archives BuildingSouthern Lancaster County Historical Society

Ballance Meeting

Township, Lancaster County, Pa

"Churches of Today and Yesterday in Southern Lancaster County" by Fellowship of Solanco Churches, Raymond Dunlap, George Herbert, & Richard Yates , Sr. printed 1968


The Religious Society of Friends in the United States underwent a general separation in 1827 and 1828. Out of Eastland 13 members withdrew and with others from Nottingham and Deer Creek, Mary-land who felt as they did, formed this Orthodox Meeting.

The Meetings were first held a the home of Joseph Ballance. Since Eastland neighborhood was almost equidistant from Nottingham and Deer Creek it was decided to erect a meeting house somewhere in Little Britain. About 1839 two brothers-in-law, Joseph Ballance and Joseph Smedley, each deeded 1/2 acre of land from adjoining farms to this group for a meeting house and burial ground. In the autumn of 1840 this brick meeting house was erected. It is situated partly in Little Britain and partly in Fulton townships. Though officially called Little Britain Meeting, it is known as Ballance's Meeting, taking the name of the persons who gave the land. (Joseph Smedley's wife was a Ballance. )

The first interment that took place in the burial ground was the name of Rebecca Crookshank, a deaf mute. She was assisted to the asylum in Philadelphia by Joseph Ballance. After completing her ed-ucation she returned and resided in his family until her decease which took place soon after the erection of this place of worship.

In 1857, following the Wilburite Controversy, they left the Orthodox Friends and joined the Primitive Friends. The Meeting was under the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Primitive Friends. In 1868 the Baltimore Yearly Meeting was laid down and the Meeting transferred to Falls General Meeting, Bucks County.

The membership was slowly reduced due to attrition by death and the changing thoughts of the younger generation. The Meeting was laid down by Falls General Meeting in 1'890 and the members trans-ferred to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. It became too weak to con-tinue and was laid down in 1904. Philadelphia Particular Meeting was set up at that time by Falls Monthly Meeting. This Meeting was laid down in 1909 by Falls Monthly Meeting. The few remaining mem-bers were attached to Falls General Meeting, Bucks County.

The Primitive Friends was never a large group. In 1946 there were only eleven members.

This was written by Miss Sara E. Miller, taken from Inventory of Church Archives, Society of Friends in Pennsylvania and an article by Joseph Ballance.

Ballance Meeting April 2001
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