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Nicholas L. Childs family papers


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

The Childs family were long-time residents of Norristown in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Jacob Childs (1822-1886) married Lydia Foss in 1850, they had five children including Louis Moore Childs (1859-1926). Louis M. Childs married Alice Grace Hibberd in 1889, they had three children including Louis M. Childs II (b. 1900). Louis M. Childs II was a lawyer in the Norristown firm High, Swartz, Childs & Roberts (High Swartz LLP), and attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve. Louis M. Childs II married Margaret Moon (b. 1907), and their children included Nicholas Lewarne Childs (1940-2009) and Louis M. Childs III.

Nicholas L. Childs graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and earned an MA in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught history and Asian studies in private secondary schools, first in Montclair, N.J., and then at American schools in Iran and Singapore. After retirement, Nicholas returned to Norristown, where he worked part-time at the Norristown Public Library and was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church and the Historical Society of Montgomery County. Nicholas died in 2009, survived by his widow, Carol M. Childs, and three children in Raleigh, N.C.

Nicholas L. Childs' mother, Margaret Moon (b. 1907) was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Orchard) Moon and Nicholas Lewarne Moon (1866-1943) of Norristown. Margaret had a sister named Elizabeth Marie Moon (1893-1990).

Bibliography: Davies, John. Obituary for Nicholas L. Childs. Find A Grave Memorial #69942430, added May 16, 2011. Accessed March 26, 2011.

This collection is comprised of family papers belonging to multiple generations of the Childs family. The bulk of the collection relates to Nicholas L. Childs, but there are also materials from Louis M. Childs II, Nicholas L. Moon, Jacob Childs, Lizzy Orchard, and other Childs and Moon family members.

Nicholas L. Childs papers in this collection date primarily from time he spent traveling and teaching in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia--especially Germany, Singapore, and Iran. There is a large quantity of letters sent from Nicholas to his mother (Margaret Moon Childs) and his aunt (Elizabeth Moon), 1974-1988. There are also some travel journals, 1967-1983, and travel ephemera, 1970s-1980s, from his journeys. The collection also includes class/lecture notes, circa 1980, and slide collections that Nicholas likely used for teaching, circa 1976-1977.

The collection includes a sizeable amount of material relating to Nicholas L. Childs' father, Louis M. Childs II, which include wedding congratulations (1936), tax returns, and other miscellaneous legal documents.

Papers relating to other family members include: Jacob Childs papers, circa 1850; Lizzy Orchard autograph books, circa 1882; Nicholas L. Moon papers; World War II letters; and various miscellaneous family documents, such as marriage certificates and deeds. There are also a number of family genealogies and genealogical notes, including a genealogy of Uri Doolittle Moore.

The collection includes a number of photographs in various forms: cased photographs, including an opalotype; photograph albums, circa 1875-1950; framed and loose photographs; color slides (likely used by Nicholas Childs for teaching: see above), 1976-1977.

Gift of Nicholas L. Childs, 2006-2010 (accessions #2006.01 and #2010.001)

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.
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