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Home: Surnames: Pownall Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Pownalls of England
Posted by: Chris Pownall Date: February 12, 2001 at 02:32:38
In Reply to: Re: Pownall, John, Sussex, Eng, 1730 by Florence Palmer Herring of 176

No way were Pownalls generally Quakers although some in the USA will have descended from Quaker emigrant families and certainly Quakers were considered dissenters. If one looks through the records, The Pownalls of East Cheshire ( where most came from) were solidly Church of England , yeomen farmers,soldiers and later silk weavers. The majority of English emigrants of the 17th & 18th century did not go to the American Colonies because of religious persecution (in fact people eg French Huguenots actually came to England to escape religious persecution.). Only Catholics at that time still suffered severe religious intolerance.. including those who lived in the Colonies. (This view of these solid Englishmen desperate to escape these islands because they were persecuted and under the control of tyrannical Kings is based on post revolutionary mythology derived from the received history of those dreadful extreme Puritans of Plymouth) The real reasons were partly adventure ( the Virginian & carolinian settlements for example) , mainly economic ( to better themselves) and partly political: the English government positively encouraged emigration to defend the colonies against French & Spanish aggression from the North & South. Transportation of 'convicts' was another recognised means of increasing the population and considered to be a more humane means of dealing with 'criminals' ( one could be hanged for stealing a sheep at that time!)

If you want to know more about the POWNALLS from this side of the Atlantic I would be happy to oblige


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