Is this really his birthday?

January 6, 1701, is widely reported as the date when Orphan George was born, so let’s take a moment to wish a Happy Birthday.

A word of caution is also in order. In my many years of research till now, I have yet to see a definitive citation for the source of this date. No family Bible, no Quaker Meeting minute, no correspondence. Nada. Perhaps it’s in one of the pages “too faint to microfilm” in the Lurgan Friends records, but until we find it, we do need to consider the date as soft data.

Likewise, with any claims to the place of his birth or even his parents’ names.

For instance, one account puts his birth at Newcastle, Ireland, January 6, 1700/01. (Remember, at the time, the new year didn’t begin until mid-March. Writing it this way assures that we’re accounting for the difference and adjusting it to our modern calendars.) But where does the location come from? It is situated by the sea, about 30 miles from Lurgan.

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