Main content

Catherine R. Belville family papers


Held at: Yardley Historical Association [Contact Us]46 West Afton Avenue, Yardley, PA, 19067

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Yardley Historical Association. 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

Catherine "Kitty" Reading Belville (also spelled "Belleville") was born in Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1897 to Robert Chambers Belville, Jr. (1868-1957) and Margaret (Marguerite) Moore Klein (b. 1872). She had a younger brother, Robert Chambers Belville, III (1898-1976). Belville spent most of her life in Yardley as well as Trenton and neighboring Hamilton, NJ, and was a 1919 graduate of Swarthmore College. There, Belville was involved in athletics, student government, and contributed to the college newspaper, The Phoenix. In 1982, Belville established the Belville Scholarship in honor of her parents, which is awarded annually to an incoming student of particular promise.

Belville had a strong interest in history. She was a member of the Colonial Yardley Association, the predecessor of the Yardley Historical Association, and she conducted a fair amount of genealogy research as well as research on Yardley history, including its historic houses and buildings. Belville died in Haverford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania in 1995.

Through Margaret M. Klein who purchased the property in 1893, the Belville family owned Lanrick Manor (established circa 1806 by Cornelius Vansant) in Yardley for close to 90 years. Lanrick Manor is an historic house that serves as a well-preserved example of an early 19th century Federal style residence, executed in Bucks County field stone. Catherine and her sister-in-law, Mary S. Belville, sold the property in 1982.

The collection mostly consists of the personal papers of Catherine R. Belville as well as some papers relating to the Belville family. Many of the materials, including correspondence, ephemera, and college course notes, relate to Belville's time as a student at Swarthmore College and her continued association with the school. There is also correspondence and ephemera relating to other organizations with which Belville was affiliated or to which she donated money. Also included are calendar diaries (1965-1979, incomplete); diaries of trips to Europe; photographs of family and friends; family autograph albums, 1855-1880s; grocery lists; and a typescript for "Small Town Child" and related correspondence. Also included are materials relating to the Colonial Yardley Association, notes on Yardley-area houses and buildings, genealogy research, and items relating to Yardley history.

Gift of Frederick Schillinger and Robert Leegard, circa 1985

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 Yardley Historical Association directly for more information.

Yardley Historical Association
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton 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 Yardley Historical Association for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Print, Suggest