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Mather-Nicholson family papers


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

Thomas T. Mather (1814-1877) was the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Mather, members of Abington Monthly Meeting. He married Rachel G. Nicholson (1834-1900), daughter of William and Susan G. Nicholson, in 1856 at Green Street Monthly Meeting. Rachel Nicholson Mather was awarded a teaching certification from the Pennsylvania Normal School in 1853 and was an acknowledged Quaker minister. Their daughters, Sarah, Eleanor, and Rachel Mather, attended Friends Central School, Froebels School and the School District of Philadelpia. Their son Thomas T. Mather (1873-1957) married Bertha Marie Ohnmeiss in 1903.

The collection includes student note books of Thomas Tyson Mather (1814-1877) and his sister, Mary Ann Mather (1811-1889), two marriage certificates and four school certificates relating to the Thomas T. and Rachel (Nicholson) Mather family, Philadelphia Quakers. Of special interest is the diary kept by Quaker minister Rachel Mather, 1866-1875, in which she remarks on spiritual matters and speakers at the meetings she attended. Also includes a store ledger/day book kept by William Nicholson, 1834-1838, which subsequently was used in part as a scrapbook for clippings.

The donor, Thomas Tyson Mather, IV, is the great-grandson of Thomas Tyson Mather and Rachel Nicholson. Mather.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas T. Mather, IV. Acc. 2013.017

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Student workbooks, largely mathematics

Physical Description

5 volumes

Mary Ann Mather mathematics notebook, Bristol Seminary, 1823.
Thomas T. Mather mathematics notebook, Gwynedd Boarding School, 1822.
Thomas T. Mather mathematics notebook, Bristol School, 1824.
Thomas T. Mather school notebook, "Exchange", 1826-1827.
Thomas T. Mather geometry notebook, Gwynedd Board School, 1828.

Physical Description

2 volumes

William Nicholson store ledger and daybook, 1834-1839. 1 volumes.
Scope and Contents

William Nicholson (1809-1875) was a birthright member of Salem Monthly Meeting. He became a Philadelphia merchant, a member of Green Street Monthly Meeting at his death. The daybook commences 8mo 11, 1834, as a business ledger in ink which ends in 1839. This is followed by rough calculations, vocabulary, etc., in pencil and, after a break, cake recipes in bulk in pen. Loose pages dated 1838 are more ledger notes in pen, partly covered by unrelated newspaper clippings. William Nicholson was the father of Rachel Nicholson who married Thomas Tyson Mather in 1856.

Physical Description

1 volumes

Rachel N. Mather journal, 1866-1875. 1 volumes.
Scope and Contents

Rachel Nicholson Mather was acknowledged as a minister at Green Street Monthly Meeting. The journal mentions family events such as the deaths of her son in 1870 and her mother in 1873 as well as description of speakers at the Quaker meetings she attended and spiritual musings. The visiting ministers included Elizabeth Plummer, Martha Travilla, Catherine Foulke, Lucretia Mott, and particularly, Sarah Betts.

Physical Description

1 volumes

Scope and Contents

Marriage certificate of Thomas T. Mather and Rachel G. Nicholson and marriage certificate of their son, Thomas T. Mather, and Berta Marie Ohnmeiss. Teaching certification awarded to Rachel G. Nicholson and school certificates granted to her daughters.

School certificates, 1853-1899.
Scope and Contents

Rachel Nicholson, Pennsylvania Normal School teaching certification, Feb 10, 1853; Sarah Mather, Friends Central certificate, 1880; Sarah Mather, Froebels School certificate, 1882; Eleanor Mather, School District of Philaelphia, 1896. Rachel Mather, Froebel's certificate, 1899.

Marriage certificates, 1856, 1903. 2 items.
Scope and Contents

Marriage of Thomas T. Mather (1814-1877) and Rachel Nicholson, Green Street Monthly Meeting, 12 mo 3, 1856; Marriage of Thomas Tyson Mather (1873-1957) and Bertha Marie Ohmmeiss, Green Street Monthly Meeting, 6 mo, 24, 1903.

Physical Description

2 items

Print, Suggest