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Tyler family papers


Held at: Tyler Arboretum [Contact Us]515 Painter Road, Media, PA, 19063

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Tyler Arboretum. 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 history of the [Tyler,] Minshall and Painter families in America begins with Thomas Minshall (1652-ca. 1728), a Quaker who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 with his wife Margaret (Hickock) Minshall. The previous year he had purchased 625 acres from William Penn, part of which was located in the northern part of Middletown Township in present day Delaware County. Bounded by Ridley Creek on the east, the property descended through the Painter line into the mid 20th century.

"In the mid-19th century, brothers Minshall and Jacob Painter [(descendents of Thomas and Margaret Minshall)] resided on the family farm where they established a plant collection which at one point contained over 1,000 trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. After their death, the property went to their sister, Ann Painter Tyler. Her surviving son, John J. Tyler, inherited the farm in 1914. In 1930 John Tyler made a will leaving 68 acres around the home of the Painter brothers as an arboretum, with an endowment from his estate. In 1944, his widow, Laura Tyler, also a direct descendent of Thomas Minshall, bequeathed the balance of property to [the John J. Tyler Arboretum] board of trustees."


Quoted text from: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Finding aid to "Painter family papers, 1687-1948, RG5/110." 2010. Accessed March 21, 2014.

This collection consists of various papers from John J. Tyler and his wife Laura, the Painter Brothers (Jacob and Minshall Painter), and other members of the Painter and Minshall families. Included are financial records (receipts, cancelled checks), property-related documents (deeds, lease searches), estate papers (Enos Painter, Joseph L. Murphy, and J.J. Tyler), correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs (of family members, family property buildings and grounds, plants and trees, and some local sites including Friends meeting houses). Highlights include: William Penn deed to Thomas Minshall, 1681; Thomas Minshall land survey, 1701; several early 19th century deeds; astronomy notes, circa 1820; essays on slavery and on navigation, 1824; "Cycle of Knowledge or Thought," manuscript by Jacob and Minshall Painter; Minshall Painter account book, mortgages and loans, 1842-1873; Minshall Painter, statistics of the populations of Middletown Township and Delaware County, 1850; and family photograph albums, circa 1870s.

Many items have been cataloged and described in a card catalog on-site. The photograph albums were scanned and cataloged by the Friends Historical Library.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Tyler Arboretum directly for more information.

Tyler Arboretum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu 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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