For those of you who might be interested in the history of deaconesses in the Anglican or Episcopal Churches, there is an interesting blog site called "Through the Dust" that I can recommend at http://oplater.blogspot.com/
The blogger, Ormonde Plater, explains regarding the name of his site: The title of this blog reflects the folk etymology of diakonia, diakonos, and the like, which ancient Greeks believed came from two words meaning "through" and "dust."
Plater's daily entries are about both deacons and deaconesses. To give you a small taste, the first two paragraphs of today's entry read:
Elizabeth Ferard, first deaconess in the Church of England, founder of the Community of St. Andrew, died 18 April 1883.
The Lutherans were the first denomination to revive the order of deaconesses, a deaconess institution being founded at Kaiserwerth by Pastor Theodor Fliedner in 1836. His idea was to train and send women, two to each parish—one to nurse and one to teach. But his two successive wives had different ideas and realized that such deaconesses needed a “home” for community structure. The Bishop of London, Archibald Campbell Tait, visited the Kaiserswerth community of deaconesses...