Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Bonsall family papers, 1683-1916, bulk 1825-1875

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Series I: Correspondence, 1818-1901 [Bulk Dates 1824-1878]

This series, which comprises approximately half of the collection, contains correspondence by and to various members of the Bonsall and Martin families. Most of the letters were generated by or to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879) and are personal in nature, although a small number concern Bonsall's career as a conveyancer and railroad industrialist. Substantial correspondence exists between Edward H. Bonsall and his son, Joseph Bonsall (1833-1876); and between Edward H. Bonsall and John Ousley Bonsall, a distant relative living in Ireland. The collection also contains several letters written by or to Spencer Bonsall when he was a student at the Westtown School in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Martin family is represented by several letters between William Martin, Esq. (1797-1862); his wife, Sarah Ann Martin (née Smith); and their daughter, Ellen Crosby Martin, wife of Spencer Bonsall.

Box 1 Folder 1 Biddle, [Craig?] to Spencer Bonsall, 1884

Box 1 Folder 2 Bonsall, Anna to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1855

(includes correspondence by Jane M. Plummer)

Box 1 Folder 3 Bonsall, Charles, 1832-1871

(includes letter from "Laura" to Mary Bonsall)

Box 1 Folder 4 to 6 Bonsall, Edward H. (1794-1879), 1824-1876, (3 Folders)

Box 1 Folder 7 Bonsall, Edward H. (1821-1841), 1831-1836

(includes correspondence by Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879) and Henry Bonsall)

Box 1 Folder 8 Bonsall, Eleanor Crosby Martin to Santa Claus, 1901

Box 1 Folder 9 Bonsall, Henry to Spencer Bonsall, 1831-1832

Box 1 Folder 10 Bonsall, Jeremiah, 1833-1847

(includes correspondence by Lydia M. Bonsall)

Box 1 Folder 11 Bonsall, John Ousley to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1837-1870

Box 1 Folder 12 Bonsall, Joseph H., 1859-1875

Box 1 Folder 13 Bonsall, Spencer, 1833-1854

Box 1 Folder 14 Boustead, James to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 1 Folder 15 Brewster, A.W. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1876

Box 2 Folder 1 Castle, J. H. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1859

Box 2 Folder 2 Chandler, Joseph R. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1878

Box 2 Folder 3 Clark, S. J. to Ellen C. Martin, undated

Box 2 Folder 4 Cope, Marmaduke C. to Mary Ann C. Morris, 1870

(extract in the hand of Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879))

Box 2 Folder 5 [Duttan?] Samuel to Spencer Bonsall, 1832

Box 2 Folder 6 Egner, Emma C. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1876

Box 2 Folder 7 Hollinshead, Ray M. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1824

Box 2 Folder 8 Hoopes, Edward C. to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 2 Folder 9 Horner, Joseph P. to Joseph Hartshorne, 1836

Box 2 Folder 10 Johnson, Rowland to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 2 Folder 11 Kite, Thomas to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 2 Folder 12 Lightfoot, H. M. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1839

Box 2 Folder 13 Martin, Georgiana, [1852?]

Box 2 Folder 14 Martin, John Hill to Ellen C. Martin, 1852

Box 2 Folder 15 Martin, Sarah A., 1852-1853

(includes correspondence by William M. Martin, 1853)

Box 2 Folder 16 Martin, William, M. (1797-1862),1844-1853

(includes correspondence by Sarah A. Martin, 1853)

Box 2 Folder 17 Moynan, Harriette E. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1873

Box 2 Folder 18 Moynan, Richard to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1876

Box 2 Folder 19 Newman, Henry to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1858

Box 2 Folder 20 Pease, Jonathan, 1836-1860

Box 2 Folder 21 Plummer, Jane M., 1818-1872

Box 2 Folder 22 Price, Isaac C. to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 2 Folder 23 Rhodes, C. D. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1876-1877

Box 2 Folder 24 Smith, Ellen C. to William M. Smith, 1852

Box 2 Folder 25 Snider, Annie L. to Ellen C. Martin, 1854

Box 2 Folder 26 Stokes, Hannah M. to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879), 1872

Box 2 Folder 27 Tatum, Josiah to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 2 Folder 28 Thompson, Joseph B. to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Box 2 Folder 29 Warrington, Priscilla to Jane M. Plummer, 1831

Box 2 Folder 30 Wilson, Susan to Spencer Bonsall, 1831

Box 2 Folder 31 Wood, M. A. to Mary B. Hutchin, 1838

Box 2 Folder 32 Woodnutt, Preston to Spencer Bonsall, 1833

Series II: Documents and Photographs

This series, which comprises most of the remainder of the collection, contains a broad range of documents relating to several generations of the Bonsall family. The largest portion consists of ancestral wills, land deeds, and other property records, dating from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Also well represented are genealogical tables and coats of arms. Personal documents, such as poems, calling cards, tickets, and invitations, are interspersed with professional membership certificates, speeches, writings, and general memoranda. Dozens of photographs, tintypes, and silhouettes depict members of the Bonsall and Martin families, some of which have been annotated by William Martin Bonsall, the son of Spencer Bonsall and Ellen Crosby Martin. A small number of documents pertain to individuals with an uncertain relationship to the Bonsall family, while a few others are anonymous. A map of the Denver, Colorado area by Joseph H. Bonsall, dated August 22, 1871, has been moved to the Historical Map Collection.

Box 3 Folder 1 General, 1805-1909

(includes envelopes, poems, tickets, newspaper clippings, a political cartoon, and other miscellaneous documents)

Box 3 Folder 2 Aston, Peter and Hannah--Land Deed to Thomas Guest, 1751

(includes release of claims on Thomas Guest for above indenture by Isaac Greenleaf and Mordecai Yarnall)

Box 3 Folder 3 Bonsall, Benjamin--Copies of Will and Land Deed to Josiah Fearne, 1729-1768

Box 3 Folder 4 Bonsall, Benjamin Say--Printed Jury List, 1833

Box 3 Folder 5 Bonsall, Edward H. (1739-1826)--Land Deed, Will, and Estate Settlement, 1798-1830

Box 3 Folder 6 Bonsall, Edward H. (1794-1879), 1826-1879

((includes business reports, travel accounts, orations, passport, an account of the death of Edward H. Bonsall Jr.(1821-1841), and other personal and professional documents)

Box 3 Folder 7 Bonsall, Eleanor Crosby Martin, 1894-1898

(includes drawings, hair, and religious cards)

Box 3 Folder 8 Bonsall, Ellen C. (Martin)--Receipt, 1877

Box 3 Folder 9 Bonsall, Enoch--Copy of Marriage Certificate, 1717

Box 3 Folder 10 Bonsall, Isaac--Marriage Certificate and Estate Documents, 1786-circa, 1830

Box 3 Folder 11 Bonsall, Jacob, Benjamin and Enoch--Copy of Land Grant from William Penn,, 1703

(includes envelope addressed to Spencer Bonsall, Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

Box 3 Folder 12 Bonsall, James--Will, 1754

Box 3 Folder 13 Bonsall, John Ousley--Poem on the Death of his Wife, 1869

Box 3 Folder 14 Bonsall, Mary (Mrs. John Ousely)--Poem to her Husband, 1860

Box 3 Folder 15 Bonsall, Mary H.--Land Title Brief, 1864

Box 3 Folder 16 Bonsall, Mercy--Poems, 1788-1789

Box 3 Folder 17 Bonsall, Richard--Copy of Will, 1699

Box 3 Folder 18 Bonsall, Spencer, 1827-1889

(includes receipts, copper plates for calling cards, marriage certificate, professional membership certificates, poem transcriptions, and four undated, unsigned letters)

Box 3 Folder 19 Bonsall, Vincent--Property Documents and Will, 1751-1796

Box 3 Folder 20 Bonsall, William Martin, 1867-1911

(includes will, tickets, class rosters, invitations, a court summons, and professional membership certificates)

Box 3 Folder 21 Butler, John--Land Deed to Abraham Scott, 1768

Box 4 Folder 1 Bonsall Family--Photographs, Silhouettes, Tintypes, 1776-1916, undated, 1776-1916, undated

Box 4 Folder 2 Bonsall Family--Genealogical Research and Coats of Arms, 1761-circa, 1870s undated

(includes photocopies gifted by Joseph Colton Bonsall, October 2005)

Box 4 Folder 3 Clarke, John Jr.--Copy of Will, 1731

Box 4 Folder 4 Flower, Samuel--Land Deed to John Butler, 1765

Box 4 Folder 5 Fraelich, Leonard--Mortgage to Christopher Witt, 1759

Box 4 Folder 6 Froth, Henry--Copy of Will, 1836

Box 4 Folder 7 Grand Central Variety Theatre--Playbills, 1874-1875

Box 4 Folder 8 Guest, Thomas--Indenture to Samuel Flower, Land Deed, 1755

Box 4 Folder 9 Hunt, Joseph--Marriage Certificate, 1724

Box 4 Folder 10 Jones, Robert--Land Deed to John Butler, 1763

Box 4 Folder 11 Martin, E--Invitation from Union League Club, 1886

Box 4 Folder 12 Martin, Ellen C.--Certificates of Approbation, 1843

Box 4 Folder 13 Martin Family--Coats of Arms, Genealogical Table, circa, 1860s undated

Box 4 Folder 14 Martin, John Hill--Engagement Cards, Newspaper Subscription, 1859-1876

Box 4 Folder 15 Martin, William (1765-1798)--Receipts, Appraisal of Goods, 1788-1798

Box 4 Folder 16 Martin, William M. (1797-1862)--Justice's Commission, Testimonials on Death of,, 1836-1862

Box 4 Folder 17 Mercantile Library Company, Philadelphia--Library Rules, circa, [1855?]

Box 4 Folder 18 Milhous, Jane--Poem, 1823

Box 4 Folder 19 Pearson, Isaac--Land Deed to Samuel Flower, 1752

Box 4 Folder 20 Penn, William--Coat of Arms, undated

(includes four miscellaneous coats of arms, undated)

Box 4 Folder 21 Pennsylvania Laws and Statues--Extracts from laws passed between 1698 and 1774, undated, 1698, 1774, undated

(includes envelope addressed to Spencer Bonsall)

Box 4 Folder 22 Penrose, Thomas--Deed to Jane Hales, 1777

Box 4 Folder 23 Philadelphia--Wax Seals, 1683-1701

(includes two seals of William Penn and one of the city of Philadelphia)

Box 4 Folder 24 Sandilands, James--Copy of Petition to William Penn, 1700

Box 4 Folder 25 Scott, Abraham--Land Deed to Robert McMin, 1769

Box 4 Folder 26 Wroth, William--Receipt, 1807

Box 4 Folder 27 Yarnall, [Mordecai?]--Transcription from the Third Book of Chronicles, undated

Mapcase 14-P-2 Bonsall, Spencer--Life Membership to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania,, 1870

Mapcase 14-P-2 Bonsall, William M.--Membership to the Veteran Corps of the 1st Infantry National Guard of Pennsylvania,, 1894

Mapcase 14-P-2 Crosby, John--Appointment as Judge to the Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County, Pennsylvania,, 1799

Mapcase 14-P-2 Martin, William--Commission as Captain of the Pennsylvania Artillerists of Delaware County,, 1828

Series III: Journals and Account Books

The sixteen journals in this series cover a range of topics. Prominent are the travel journals of Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879) and Spencer Bonsall, which describe voyages to Washington DC, the Ohio Valley, and Calcutta, India. The collection also contains a Civil War journal by Spencer Bonsall, written between March 1 and April 17, 1863 during his service as a hospital steward in the 81st Pennsylvania Regiment. Further additions include a book of genealogical tables, the legal journal of John Crosby (written between 1803 and 1816), and a handful of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century account books containing the costs for such mundane expenses as rent, hair dressing, and laundry. The collection also contains the composition books of Spencer Bonsall, his mother, Lydia McIlvain, and a Rebecca B. Thomson, whose connection to the family is unclear.

Box 5 Folder 1 to 2 Bonsall, Edward H. (1794-1879)--Travel Journals and Letter Books, 1824-1875, (2 Folders)

Box 5 Folder 3 Bonsall Family--Genealogy Book, 1903-1908

(covers 1682 to 1866)

Box 5 Folder 4 Bonsall, Mercy--Copy of Writings, 1785-1805

Box 5 Folder 5 to 7 Bonsall, Spencer, 1832-1863, (3 Folders)

(includes composition books, travel journals, Civil War diary; and a poem by Edward H. Bonsall, 1828)

Box 5 Folder 8 Crosby, John--Legal Notebook, 1803-1816

Box 5 Folder 9 Martin, William (1765-1799)--Account Book, 1787-1796

Box 5 Folder 10 McIlvain, Lydia--Composition Book, 1812

Box 5 Folder 11 Thomson, Rebecca B.--Composition Book, 1824-1826

Box 5 Folder 12 Wroth, William and Elizabeth--Account Book, 1794-1824

(includes records of James and Mrs. McKeever, and Sarah Thompson)

Series IV: Family Bible, 1814 (with notes dating 1815-1876)

This family Bible (Collins's "Quarto" Bible, 3rd ed., NY: printed and sold by Collins and Co., 1814) was owned by Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879) and lists the marriages, births, diseases, and deaths of his two wives, Lydia Bonsall (née McIlvain) and Mary Bonsall (née Hutchin), as well as his eleven children: Spencer, William Milhous, William, Edward H. Jr., Henry, Jeremiah, Charles, Elizabeth, Jane, Joseph, and Jesse. The Bible is signed and dated at the front: "Edward H. Bonsall 1815."

Box 6 Folder 1 Bible--Collins's Quarto, 3rd edition, New York, 1814