Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was founded in 1681 to provide assistance and oversight for established and prospective monthly meetings. In its early years it was called the “General Yearly Meeting for Friends of Pennsylvania, East and West Jersey and of the Adjacent Provinces.” Its geographical boundaries today are more limited but no more precise. They are the unplanned result of a series of affiliation decisions by meetings that border other yearly meetings. From 1827, when the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting split, until 1955, when the two branches reunited, two yearly meetings functioned in the same general geographic area and each called itself the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
Today Philadelphia Yearly Meeting includes meetings and Friends in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.