Beatty J. Smith collection of Smith family papers
Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Beatty J. Smith (1933-2014) was the daughter of Cooper Smith (born 1900) and the granddaughter of James S. Smith, III (1866-1956). The bulk of this collection consists of legal papers from her paternal line beginning with her great-great-great grandfather Daniel Smith (1755-1836), her great-great grandfather James S. Smith (1782-1861) and his two sons, Richard Rundle Smith (1817-1903) and James S. Smith, Jr. (1822-1894); and her grandfather James S. Smith III (1866-1956).
The vast majority of papers in this family collection date from the late 1700s to the late 1800s; however, there are a few items dating from the mid to late 20th century. The collection consists of correspondence, mortgages, stock certificates, bonds and warrants, title papers, estate papers, genealogical notes, clippings, magazine articles, and other miscellaneous legal and financial papers. There are a few bound volumes, photographs, and glass negatives. Individuals represented include James Somers Smith (1782-1861), Richard Rundle Smith (1817-1903), James Somers Smith (1822-1894) and James Somers Smith (1866-1956). Related families, including the Leamings and Welshes, are also significantly represented in the papers.
In its original condition, the collection was poorly organized with many items folded and bundled. Some bundles were labeled; most were not. In processing, the papers bundled together were housed together even when there was no obvious connection between the pieces. After the entire collection was unfolded, flattened, and placed in folders, some loose rearrangement was done that resulted in organizing the collection into three series. The first series contains genealogical and personal family papers and photos. Comprising the second series are legal papers and documents. In the third series are items related to places or events of interest, along with some miscellaneous items. Since most of the papers in the collections are legal in nature, the second series is the largest.
Items of interest in Series 1 include Mary Nixon Smith’s Application to the Colonial Dames; photographs of Spring Bank, a family estate; and genealogical notes and letters. In Series 2, some order was imposed on the collection based on names connected to legal matters. Among the names that appear are Thomas and Mrs. R. Leaming, Susanna Maria Gapper, Frances Gurney, Charles Patton, Thomas S. and Mary Ridgway, Charles Chauncey Smith, Daniel Conn, William Penn, John and Henry Fine, John Pierson of Salem County, New Jersey, John Morgan, Daniel Foy, John C. Stocker, and the Reverend Bishop H. Onderdouk. Other legal items of interest include indenture papers titled “Moses, a Black Boy to James S. Smith,” an insurance policy for the Ship Charlotta (1804-1808), seven almanacs (1821-1872), a ship log (1801-1802), and a notebook recording servants’ wages (1820). Series 3 houses some items of interests on the University of Pennsylvania (1826-1852), the Academy of Fine Arts (1843), Christ Church and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (1827-1828), the Common Prayer Book Society (1813-1852), and the recollections of Margaret Strawbridge (1989).
Gift of Beatty J. Smith, 2009.
Accession number 2009.053.
- Smith, James Somers, 1782-1861.
- Smith, James Somers, 1822-1894.
- Smith, James Somers, 1866-1956.
- Smith, Richard Rundle.
- Estate administration--18th century
- Estate administration--19th century
- Estate administration--Pennsylvania--18th century
- Estate administration--Pennsylvania--19th century
- Estate administration--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th century
- Estate administration--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
- Family life--Pennsylvania--19th century
- Family life--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Lawyers--Pennsylvania--19th century
- Legal instruments--Pennsylvania--19th century
- Legal instruments--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
- Legal instruments--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Legal instruments--Pennsylvania
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Susan M. Kearney.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2016.
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.