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Ferris family pictures


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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 Ferris family was a prominent Quaker family of Wilmington, Delaware. The family of Zachariah and Sarah Ferris had its roots in Connecticut. Five of their eight children became members of the Society of Friends, and three of their sons, David Ferris (1707/08-1779), John Ferris (1710-1751), and Zachariah Ferris (1717-1803) removed to Wilmington before 1740. David Ferris became a Quaker minister, and his Memoirs were published in 1825. His son, Benjamin Ferris (1740-1771) also was a Quaker minister. David's younger brother, John, moved to Delaware from Connecticut in 1748 and died of small pox three years later.

John Ferris's second son, Ziba Ferris, was born in 1743 and died in 1794. After his father's early death, he was raised in the household of his uncle, David Ferris, and was apprenticed as a cabinet maker in Wilmington. He married Edith Sharples of Chester Co., Pa., in 1769. Ziba and Edith had seven children, among whom were Deborah (1773-1844), who married Joseph Bringhurst; John (1775-1802), who married Sarah Harlan; and Benjamin (1780-1867), who married Frances Canby. John Ferris was a cabinetmaker who died of yellow fever in 1802. Benjamin Ferris apprenticed as a watch and clock maker in Philadelphia and later worked as a surveyor and successful conveyancer. He was a prominent member of the Society of Friends and the first Clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite). Benjamin and Frances ("Fanny") had ten children, and after the death of his wife in 1833, he married her cousin, Hannah Gibbons.

Benjamin Ferris's eldest surviving son, David Ferris (1821-1908), became a farmer. In 1849 he married Sarah Ann Underwood, daughter of Quaker minister Sarah Hunt. An Elder of Wilmington Monthly Meeting, David Ferris was active in Quaker and social reform issues. David and Sarah Ann Ferris had six children: Francis ("Frank"), William C., Matilda, Henry, Alfred, and Walter. Frank, Henry, and Alfred Ferris were involved in the printing business.

Henry Ferris (1855-1941) married Elizabeth E. Masters of Muncy Monthly Meeting in 1885. Henry was active in the Society of Friends and served as editor of the Hicksite journal Friends Intelligencer during WWI. His daughter, Frances Canby Ferris, was the long-time principal of the Friends School in Haverford, Pa.

This collection contains family portraits, individual photographs, silhouettes, and drawings, among other forms.

Part of Ferris family papers: RG5/040. Purchased 1940 from Henry C. Ferris, grandson of Benjamin Ferris; Correspondence of Anna M. (Canby) Smyth, gift of Frances C. Ferris, 1943; Additional family letters and papers, gift Frances C. Ferris, 1947-1972, and other family members including Mary Ferris Blackburn and Edith S. Blackburn, 1965.

This collection was removed from RG5/040: Ferris family papers.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Zoe Peyton Jones
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is available for research use.

Use Restrictions

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Collection Inventory

Benjamin Ferris and Daughters.
Scope and Contents

Drawing of Zachariah Ferris (1717-1803) (great uncle of Benjamin Ferris); Photograph of Benjamin Ferris portrait by Bass Otis, Winterthur; Two portraits of Martha Ferris (1907); Group photograph of Martha, Deborah and Ann Ferris in the Wilmington home at 301 West Street (1885)

David Ferris, Sarah Ann Ferris and Children.
Scope and Contents

Group portrait, David and Sarah Ann Ferris with Francis C, William C, Matilda and Henry; Two photographs of David Ferris (1873 and 1898); Photograph of Sarah Ann Ferris (1877); Photograph of Matilda and Sarah Ann Ferris (1890); Photograph of Matilda Ferris (1878); Photograph of Francis C Ferris ( 1878); Photograph of Davis Ferris (1876); Photograph of Matilda and Henry Ferris (1862); Photograph of Henry Ferris (1870); Photograph of Francis C Ferris (1873); Photograph of Walter Ferris (1886); Tintype of Alfred Ferris (1871)

Frances Canby Ferris's Photographs.
Scope and Contents

Two photographs of Frances Canby Ferris (in American Friends Service Committee uniform) (1917 and 1918); Photograph of Elizabeth M. Ferris, 1949 (d. 1950); Photograph of Laura Harris Smith (1972)

Thread and Needle Photographs.
Scope and Contents

Two group photographs (undated)

Paper cut silhouettes.
Scope and Contents

Pamphlet with silhouettes of Benjamin Ferris (1831), Fanny Canby Ferris (1806, 1831); Pamphlet with silhouettes of John Ferris, Martha Biddle, Edith Harlan , and Martha C. Biddle (the last "B.F. ficit," with original taken 1832, copied 1833.; Photograph of Benjamin Ferris silhouette, image dated ca. 1824; Silhouette of Anna M Ferris; Silhouette of Deborah Ferris Bringhurst; Silhouette of Fanny Canby Ferris

Buildings: Family Homes and Meetings.
Scope and Contents

Newspaper clipping of Sandy Spring Meeting House; Photograph of Rock Cottage, Pennsdale, PA. Home of Joseph and Sarah Masters in 1868 (grandparents); Photographs of Davis and Sarah Ann Ferris and Sarah Hunt's home (Jennerville, PA)(1878, 1885); Photograph of William Shipley's chair, owned by Benjamin Ferris in his home in Wilmington, Del.); Photograph of Davis and Sarah Ann Ferris home in Rancocas, NJ, from 1854-1871. -1895; Photograph of outer office in Benjamin Ferris home, Wilmington, Del. (1900); Photograph of Wilmington meeting burial ground (?); 2 photograph of Millville, PA, meeting house (1958); Photograph of John Eves homestead site and site marker (Millville, PA) (1958); Photographs of Elizabeth Masters Ferris birthplace and family farmhouse, Joseph Masters's farm (Millville, PA)(1958); Postcards of Brooke Grove, Sandy Spring, Md. Home of Miller sisters; Postcards of Alloway, Sandy Spring, Md. Home of Miss Janet Miller and her sister

Miscellaneous Individual Photographs.
Scope and Contents

Tintype of Catharine Underwood and her husband Dr. Phineas Jewell; Carte de visite of William Doram, note by Matilda that he was her father's partner; Carte de visite of Dillwyn Parrish; Carte de visite of Susan Maxfield Parrish, wife of Dillwyn Parris; Carte de visite of Daniel Pope (?); Carte de visite of Daniel Pope of Harford Co., Md.; Carte de visite of Anne Biddle, daughter of Clement and Mary Canby Biddle; Carte de visite of Darlington Hoopes of West Chester, Pa., and Harford Co., Md.; Cabinet card of Mary Logan, daughter of Maria (Dickinson) and Albances Logan; Cabinet card of J. Wilson Moore, Fallston, Md. (Note: Gift of Josephine P. Amor, to be placed with photograph of Mary Jones Moore, his mother, in the Ferris Collection, 1941; Cabinet card of Sylvester D . Linvill "interested in Swarthmore College"; Cabinet card of Sarah Hunt, taken by Tyson, West Grove, Pa.; Cabinet card of Sarah Bringhurst and grandson Edward Bringhurst, 1889; Photograph of Sarah Edwards Masters, wife of Joseph Masters; Cabinet card of Phebe Preston; Photograph of cousin Sarah Bancroft, wife of Joseph Bancroft and mother of William C. Bancroft; Group photograph including Alfred Ferris and W.C. Ferris with tennis rackets; Seven unidentified photographs

Miscellaneous Drawings.
Scope and Contents

Lithograph of Margaret Morton; Engraving from a daguerreotype of William Stabler; Painted Foulke family coat of arms; Unidentified small etching

Print, Suggest