One of the issues that has bedeviled genealogists researching the Ferris family tree in the United States has been the existence of two lineages, that of Jeffrey Ferris and that of Samuel and Zachariah Ferris. The timing of the arrival of the Samuel / Zachariah lineage is a bit uncertain but it is believed that Zachariah was born in 1653, in Charleston, Mass. The records are a bit confused, as some suggest Zachariah was the emigrant while others point to his father, Samuel. What is clear is that Zachariah was living in Connecticut in the late 1690’s.
It is equally unclear if the two lineages were related. They lived in Connecticut at about the same time, quite near to each other. They also moved to Dutchess County in New York at about the same time and lived close to each other there. They may, on occasion, have intermarried.
The Samuel / Zachariah lineage has one outstanding characteristic that Jeffrey’s does not. The majority of the people in the Samuel / Zachariah lineage were Quakers. Many moved to Delaware, and they are known to have been extremely prominent in Quaker circles in the 1800s.
More on the Samuel / Zachariah lineage can be found at these sites:
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Quaker Hill, by Warren H. Wilson
The Ferris family was a prominent Quaker family of Wilmington, Delaware. The family of Zachariah and Sarah Ferris had its roots in Connecticut. Five of their eight children became members of the Society of Friends, and three of their sons, David Ferris (1707/08-1779), John Ferris (1710-1751), and Zachariah Ferris (1717-1803) removed to Wilmington before 1740. David Ferris became a Quaker minister, and his Memoirs were published in 1825. His son, Benjamin Ferris (1740-1771) also was a Quaker minister. David’s younger brother, John, moved to Delaware from Connecticut in 1748 and died of small pox three years later.