Vauclain family papers and genealogical research files
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
Samuel Matthews Vauclain Sr. (1856-1940) was born in Philadelphia to Andrew Vauclain and Mary Ann C. Vauclain. He married in 1879 to Annie Kearney; the couple had several children. Vauclain, the inventor of the Vauclain compound locomotive, was best known for his work with Philadelphia's Baldwin Locomotive Works from the 1890s until his death. He presided as president of the organization from 1919 to 1929. Samuel Sr. and Anne Kearney had several children, including Samuel Matthews Vauclin Jr., who later worked for Baldwin. He married Mary Hilda Canan in 1906.
Boxes 1-3 contain family letters dating from about 1904 to 1909, though several date into the mid 20th century. Most are addressed to Mrs. S. M. Vauclain Jr. and are housed with their original envelopes. There are also a few loose letters, invitations, a book of negatives, and a small copper plate of Samuel M. Vauclain.
House in boxes 4-6 is a contemporary and fairly extensive collection of genealogical research papers on the Vauclain (Vauquelin) family, particularly Samuel M. Vauclain and the family's ties to France. The vast majority of the papers are photocopies of original documents and publications, and material on the Vauquelins is almost entirely in French. These papers highlight everything from Vauclain's roots to his presidency with the Baldwin Locomotive Works. There are also a few folders containing genealogical information on other members of the Vauclain family and related families.
Gift of Gael Crimmins, 2012.
Accession number 2012.017.
An Eastman Negative Album containing 16 negatives was removed from the collection due to the negatives' several deteriorated condition.
- Vauclain, Mary Hilda Canan.
- Vauclain, Samuel M. (Samuel Matthews), 1856-1940.
- Vauclain, Samuel M. (Samuel Matthews), 1880-1913.
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Leah Davies and Jillian Ferrera
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2012
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
Personal letters make up the majority of this series. With the exception of Samuel Matthew Vauclain Jr.'s will and a clipping at the end of Box 3, all correspondence is mixed and is arranged chronologically. Ost of the letters are either to or from Samuel Matthew Vaucalin Jr. or Mary Hilda Canan (usually identified as "Hilda"), whom he married in 1906.
The mostly incoming letters of Samuel Matthew Vauclain Jr. date from around 1904 to his death in 1913. From 1904 to 1905, he lived in Japan, on behalf of his employer, Baldwin Locomotive Works, and traveled to various locations, such as Australia, the Philippines, and China. Hilda often wrote to him, as did his mother, Anne Kearney. Their cordial letters often usually discussed family, friends, and happenings in at home. In early 1905, Hilda, Anne, and a friend Peggy (Peggie), traveled to Japan for a visit. Their itinerary is detailed in a letter from Samuel's father dated 9 January 1905. Samuel Jr.returned to the states in mid 1905, accompanied by Hilda, Peggy, and his mother.
Comprising the rest of the letters in the series are those of Hilda's. Her most frequent correspondent, besides Samuel Jr., was her mother who died in 1913. She attended Bryn Mawr College, and many of her letters from before her marriage to Samuel Jr. are on the college's stationary. She often wrote about family, friends, and her life at school. Cordial letters from her mother relayed further happenings among family members and acquaintances.
The second series showcases to the efforts of a genealogist or family historian who researched the history of the Vauclain family. Most of the material pertains to the French ancestors of the Pennsylvania Vauclain family, called the Vauquelin family. Photocopied texts, most in French with a few in English, take up the bulk of the series; and these texts highlight the family (or related families) rather than specific family members.
In addition to these photocopies, this series also contains files with copies of clippings, vital records, correspondence, and other items on Vauclain family members: Samuel Matthews Vauclain Sr., Samuel Matthew Vauclain Jr., Andrew Vauclain, and others. Some of this material is also in French.