Abigail Powel(ll), daughter of Samuel Powell (1704-1759) and Mary Morris (1713-1759) was born on July 21, 1735 in Philadelphia, and married William G. Griffitts in 1752. To the best of our current knowledge, this Abigail Powel is the author of the original book. Mr. and Mrs. Griffitts had seven children together: Mary (1753). Hester (1754), James (1756), Thomas (1758), Samuel (1759), and two sons (names unknown) in 1760 and 1762. Mr. Griffitts died in Philadelphia in 1762 (the year their fifth son was born) at the age of 38. Abigail lived on until November 16, 1797, when she died at the age of 62. In her journal, Abigail transcribed dreams, stories, scripture, prayers, and other events considered important in her religion, the Society of Friends (aka ‘Quakers’). The original writings that she copied included documents which described events as early as 1669. Most, however, occurred in the mid-1700’s.
This transcription of her journal follows the original as faithfully as possible, using the same page numbers, spelling, and punctuation as the original hand-written pages. Her periodic flourishes in pen have been replaced in this printed version with a simple floral graphic. (The above title is, incidentally, copied directly from the original book.)
Abigail’s son, Dr. Samuel Powel Griffitts (1759-1826) provides the most direct link to her current day ancestors. Dr. Griffitts married Mary “Polly” Fishbourn in 1787. Dr. Griffitts and Mary had a daughter, Abigail Griffitts in 1791. This Abigail married Richard Waln Wells in 1817. They had 9 children, one of whom was Arthur Wells, who married Anne Frances Aertsen in 1860.
This union produced Guilliam Aertsen Wells, born in 1864. Guilliam married Margaretta Carter Murphy in 1888; they had 9 children, including Frances W. (April 24, 1889), Arthur (August 11, 1890), Eleanor (February 26, 1892), Guilliam Aertsen, Jr. (February 5, 1894), Mary Esther Aertsen (August 21, 1895), John Murphy (April 7, 1897), Joseph (March 7, 1899), James A. (February 6, 1901), and Theodore Carter (October 18, 1903). The reader can trace any personal roots from this point.
Transcribed by Peter Scott Wells, on September 13, 2000. Mr. Wells is currently in possession of the original book.
(This on-line version of the transcription has been modified slightly to fit web constraints. Therefore errors from the original script are a possibility. If in doubt, refer to the original manuscript. RMW)