Main content

Historical Society of Montgomery County family papers collection


Held at: Historical Society of Montgomery County [Contact Us]1654 Dekalb Street, Norristown, PA, 19401

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Montgomery County. 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

Montgomery County, situated in southeastern Pennsylvania, was established in 1784 out of the western portion of Philadelphia County. Part of the Welsh Tract, an area of Pennsylvania settled by Quakers from Wales, it is located along the Schuylkill River. Montgomery County has played an important role in U.S. history, including being the site of such Revolutionary War events as the dramatic reshaping of Washington's Army at Valley Forge and the lesser-known engagement of General Lafayette at Barren Hill. Among its significant residents are military figures Winfield S. Hancock, John F. Hartranft (also Governor of Pennsylvania), and Henry "Hap" Arnold; abolitionist Lucretia Mott; inventors David Rittenhouse and Thaddeus Lowe; and artist Thomas Hovenden. Since its founding, Montgomery County has experienced "booming industry and manufacturing, rich farm fields, advanced transportation, artistic endeavors and unique religious beliefs."

The Historical Society of Montgomery County was established in 1881 as the institutional successor to the Federation of Montgomery County Historical Societies. The Society's mission is "to preserve the county's rich heritage and help tell the stories of the many people who have walked and tended its soil."


Quoted text from: Historical Society of Montgomery County. "Home." Accessed March 2, 2012.

This collection consists of miscellaneous original papers from families and individuals in the vicinity of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. There is less than one linear foot of material, and sometimes less than an inch, for each of the families or individuals included in the collection. Families or individuals whose records span one linear foot or more are described in separate finding aids. Some account books in this collection may more appropriately belong in the Historical Society of Montgomery County business records collection.

This collection consists largely of original, primary source documents (e.g. diaries, letters, account books, etc.). There is an independent collection called "Historical Society of Montgomery County family files" which is made up of secondary materials (i.e. newspaper clippings and typescript family histories). Some family names may appear in both collections.

Over 150 different family names are represented in the collection, including several significant individuals such as John F. Hartranft (1830-1889), Governor of Pennsylvania from 1873 to 1879. There are myriad record types, including account books and financial records, diaries, letters, docket books, certificates and vital records, and genealogical research notes.

A very rough inventory of the collection is provided below. It does NOT cover all the family papers held by the Historical Society of Montgomery County, but provides a general sense of the types of material in the collection.

Adams, John Quincy document transcriptions

Allen, Mrs. Philip

Anderson, Ezekial account book

Anderson, J. Aubrey, esq., legal records, 1871-1919

Anderson, Wilmer pamphlets

Andrews, J.W. account book

Antes family photocopies

ArcPri/Arc Pub/Closed Stacks (1776-1953): individual documents, filed by name--many estate records and wills; documents dating from the early republic; civil War letters (on-site inventory listing family names)

Auge, Moses manuscipt, "Clocks and Watchmakers of Montgomery County"

Autograph books

Bard, Ezekial diary and account book

Barndt, Harry H. account books

Bartle, George W. account books

Baum/Sisty genealogy notes

Bean, Henry diary (Freeland Seminary), 1852

Bean, William H. family papers (includes photos), 1865-1902

Binder birth/death records (1841)

Brecht, Jacob, letters to, 1860s

Burgess court docket (1885-1886 and 1896-1904)

Casselberry family history

Casselberry, D. Morgan (Evansberg) diaries, 1851-1919

Cassell family papers, including autograph book (1850s) and financial records (1887-1910)

Civil war letters and diaries

Coates family assorted items

Coates, S. civil docket book, 1891

Coats, Samuel account book

Colton, M. Baldwin diary (PA 15th Cavalry, 1862-1863)

Conrad, Frederick, J.P., docket book

Couston, Freas, Styer, Streeper family records and photos

Cox family papers, 1906-1938

Crawford family papers 1764-1822

Davis genealogy records

Decks genealogy info

deeds, 1788-1900

DePrefontain family association minute book, 1904-1940

Detwiler, Jones [farmer?] commonplace books circa 1850s-1880s

Develin, Dora Harvey historical records

Dismant, Benjamin, J.P. docket book, 1792-1795

Dungan, Paul film reels

Earnest, A. Catherine, papers concerning properties in Whitemarsh and cancelled checks, circa 1870-1910, and transcription of 1841 volume

Elliot autograph book

Evans/Brooke ledgers

Fitzwater, Abel ledger 1828-1829

Flower, Arch. T. collection

Francis, John G. papers (1809-1892)

Frick, Benjamin letters (PA State Senate) 1855-1857

Fritz, Laura autograph book, 1881

Garges family history

Gehman, A. H. family papers (receipts, correspondence, certificates, ephemera) 1880s-1910s

Gehret, Augusts R. record book

Gehret, George W. diaries 1885-1914

German, Conrad docket

Granor, Pritchett, Jones, and Conrad family

Griffith, James estate ledger, circa 1905

Grubb family history

Grubb family

Harley, Herbert homework assignments (circa 1969)

Hartranft, John F. [Governor] 7 letter copybooks (most indexed) 1876-1885, 1860

Harvey, Edward, J.P. (Lower Merion) docket book, 1840-1852

Harvey, Margaret B. transcriptions of Lower Merion records

Heckler family manuscript

Heckler, James Y. papers

Heiser family history

Hellings receipt book

Hendrickson, W. R. court docket (1928-1932),

Hill, Adam account book

Hinkle family genealogy

Hughes family history

Hunsicker, Charles receipt book

Hunsicker, Joseph W. docket book

Johnson, Samuel & Charles Isaac note books and receipt books

Jones family documents and genealogy

Jones, Caleb P. and brother record book of current events, 1870-1872

Jones, Caleb P. record books of current events, 1862-1870

Jones, John receipt book

Jones, Nathan account books

Junken family papers

Keiss family papers

Kelly, Charles papers, 1975-1998

Kenderdine, George papers (millwright, Horsham Township), 1830-1840 (inventory inside box)

Keystone families

Knipes, Irving addresses

Kratz, Henry W. diary

Krause genalogical and notebooks/photos from "Red Hill Band" 1808-1954

Landes, James M. genealogy records

Lattimore, Samuel court docket (1909),

Lightfoot family records

Linderman, Jacob account book

Little, Sgt. John Slingluff report

Litzenberg family records

Livezey, Thomas docket

Lowry, Thomas, docket book, 1838-1839

Lukens family ledgers for properties in Whitemarsh, Conshohocken, Bridgeport, and the Alan Wood Company, 1847-1888

Lukens family records (copies)

Maloney, Annie B. scrapbook

McCarter, Eli (Bridgeport), criminal docket

McDonough family documents

McLean, John D. correspondence, newspaper clippings, and military documentation (1940s)

Mear, John H. research notes on railroads, 1960s

Mears, John N. collection on local fire companies with original Centre Square Fire Company records, circa 1878-1956

Mensch, Abraham, transcription of diaries, 1890-1934, and Jacob Mensch, 1880-1911

Meredith family papers (1690-1938)

miscellaneous copy and original marriage certificates, wedding invitations, oversize diplomas, birth certificates, etc

miscellaneous marriage certificates 1862-circa 1910

Moir, James estate records, circa 1900-1917

Morris family of Upper Merion

Moyer, Samuel diaries and school books

Moyer: transcriptions of historical deeds and maps, undated

Orr family receipts book 1796-18??

Oversize documents, diplomas, posters, certificates

Pennypacker securities ledger

Powell, William docket book, 1840-1844

Preston papers, circa 1930s

Price family records

price lists, notes on history of Whitpain Township, 1819-1889

Price, Joseph, transcribed diary

Rapp, Joseph E. account books, 1873-1884

Raysor, Georgianna Bowman Smith autograph book

Recounts and Reminiscences, Lower Merion death records

Reed, Frank account book

Reed, Michael ledgers receipt books

Reiff family by James Y. Hechler

Reiff, Harvey scrapbook and school appers

Ribble, J. research notes for second hundred years of Perkiomen Township

Roberts family genealogy

Roberts, Amos ledgers and school book, 1792

Roberts, Massey, Stevens family history

Roberts, Samuel court docket (1905-1909),

Roberts, Septimus

Roberts/Wm Smith account books

Robinson family papers, 1857-1943

Rudder family papers

Saeger, John docket

Schlichter, Jacob account book

Schrack-Porter account books and diaries, 1872-1894

Shearer, George personal papers

Shearer, Peter, family papers, circa 1801-1875

Sheetz family genealogy

Sheffey family papers, circa 1886-2000

Sheneberger, John docket book 1818-1841

Slingluff, John accounts

Slingluff, Main Derr, engagement books (1921-1938), diaries (1907-1926), and wedding gift log book

Smith, Joseph H. World War I collection clippings and correspondence 1917-1927

Smythe/Van Metre family correspondence, 1819-1926, "The Passing of Peter Legaux"

Sowers, Charles E. diary (with notes on Norris City Cemetery)

Spencer, Samuel account book

Starr family history

Sterigere, John B. papers, photographs, receipts, newspaper clippings, circa 1850-1900

Styer, Lewis account book

Summer family history

Summers, William genealogies

Supplee, Lukens, Reed/Naylor, Streeper/Johnson (circa 1781-1930)

Swift, John family financial records, circa 1744-1836

Thomas, George W. H., docket book, 1884-1926

Turner, Henry estate papers, 1860s

Tyson account book

Unidentified account books

unidentified medical notebook, 1865

Various cipher books 1785-circa 1900

Wanner Collection

Weaver, Dr. J. K. (Norristown, Nat'l Guard PA Division surgeon records 1900-1904) morning sick reports, medical lecture notes, notes and prescription book (1867-1871)

Weber, Christian, descendants

Wentz, John docket, Whitpain township, 1803-1806

Wetherill family papers, circa 1850s-1930s

Williams/Read book and scrapbook

Willit family genealogy notebooks

Willouer, Aaron L.: manuscript for "The Willauer Family," circa 1955

Wolf family history notes

Yerkes family diaries

Yerkes, Anna, Nathaniel, Miriam composition copy books

Yerkes, Harman receipt book

Yerkes, Martha and Miriam composition copy books

Yerkes, Susan diaries

Young, Florence "Johnnie" collection

Materials collected at various times by the Historical Society of Montgomery County.

Historical Society of Montgomery County
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Historical Society of Montgomery County for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Print, Suggest