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Edward Mathews 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

Edward Mathews was born in 1837 in New Britain Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to a family of Welsh Baptists. A genealogist and local historian of Montgomery and Bucks counties, he also worked in the newspaper industry. Starting out as an apprentice in a newspaper printing office, he took a job as writer for the North Wales Record in 1878, and before long contributed columns, especially on local history, to numerous newspapers in the area. In the 1890s, he began to write books on the history of local families (e.g. The Rosenberger Family of Montgomery County: Historical and Genealogical Sketches (1892),) and locations (e.g. History of Towamencin Township (1894)).

Mathews never married. He died in 1916 and was buried at the New Britain Baptist Church.


Kennedy, Joseph S. "A Voice from the Past Echoing in the Present: Early Local Historian Edward Mathews Chronicled the Region's Bygone Days." Philadelphia Inquirer, December 14, 1997. Accessed January 31, 2012.

This collection consists of newspaper clippings scrapbooks, notebooks and diaries, and a manuscript for Mathews's memoir.

There are nine newspaper clippings scrapbooks in this collection, each containing columns on local history written by Mathews, circa 1880-1905. The scrapbooks have been microfilmed.

There is a somewhat larger number of notebooks than diaries in this collection. In the diaries, Matthews recorded the weather, where he ate dinner, and sometimes other details about his day. In the notebooks, Matthews wrote notes primarily about history, probably for his columns.

A highlight of the collection is a manuscript for Mathews's memoir, "The Story of My Life." It is accompanied by two phrenological profiles of Matthews and his family tree.

Bequest of Edward Mathews, January 6, 1916.

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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