SCUA

Great Barrington (Mass.)

Charles Taylor Collection, 1731-1904.

(5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 104

Collection of historical documents compiled by Charles Taylor, author of the 1882 town history of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Includes Court of Common Pleas cases, deeds, estate papers, indentures, land surveys, sheriff’s writs, town history reference documents, Samuel Rossiter’s financial papers, and genealogical research papers for over 40 families.

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.


Contents List
Series 1. Court of Common Pleas Cases
1784-1815

This series contains the final award of 34 cases. Most involve the debt of farmers in Great Barrington and surrounding towns; thirteen occur in the years between 1784-1787 and provide some of the background for the events leading to Shays’ Rebellion. Arranged chronologically.

Ives v. Curtis
1784
Box 1:1
Goodrich v. Harlbut
1784
Box 1:2
VanDeusen v. Sprague
1784
Box 1:3
Mansfield v. Burghardt
1784
Box 1:4
Hickock v. Bush
1784
Box 1:5
VanDeusen v. Herrick
1784
Box 1:6
Gilbert v. Fitch
1784
Box 1:7
Totten v. Younglove
1785
Box 1:8
Fitch v. Messenger
1785
Box 1:9
King v. Lard
1785
Box 1:10
Smith v. Fitch
1785
Box 1:11
Laverge v. Bryan
1786
Box 1:12
King v. Ingersoll
1787
Box 1:13
Brunson v. Hopkins
1789
Box 1:14
Brunson v. Palmer
1789
Box 1:15
Canfied v. Baker
1790
Box 1:16
Cooper v. Darby
1791
Box 1:17
Cooper v. Lombard
1791
Box 1:18
Lombard v. Gregory
1792
Box 1:19
Pepoon v. Sergeant, et al
1793
Box 1:20
Ensign v. Noble
1794
Box 1:21
Brimsmaid v. Van Deusen
1795
Box 1:22
Hogeboom v. Darby
1797
Box 1:23
Chadwick v. Gregory
1798
Box 1:24
Chapin v. Clark
1799
Box 1:25
Hogeboom v. Hubbard
1799
Box 1:26
Hill v. Daley, et al
1800
Box 1:27
Broom, et al v. Dewey
1801
Box 1:28
Rossiter v. Hopkins and Ransom
1802
Box 1:29
Rynders v. Pierce
1802
Box 1:30
Van Deusen v. Hogeboom
1803
Box 1:31
Pitkin v. Buber
1810
Box 1:32
Kilborn v. Morse
1815
Box 1:33
Commonwealth v. Pitkin
n.d.
Box 1:34

Series 2. Deeds
1741-1865

Containing about 80 property transactions, this series reflects sales principally from 1790 to 1840. In particular, the documents here reflect the prodigious land acquisition of Samuel Rossiter (36 transactions), Thomas Ives (20), and George Pynchon (11), and the declining property holdings of some of the early families, including the Whitneys, Roots, and Hopkins. Arranged chronologically.

Sales
1741
Box 2:35
Sales
1765-1767
Box 2:36
Sales
1773-1777
Box 2:37
Sales
1783-1786
Box 2:38
Sales
1790-1794
Box 2:39
Sales
1795-1797
Box 2:40
Sales
1798-1799
Box 2:41
Sales
1800
Box 2:42
Sales
1801-1803
Box 2:43
Sales
1806-1810
Box 2:44
Sales
1811
Box 2:45
Sales
1812
Box 2:46
Sales
1813
Box 2:47
Sales
1814
Box 2:48
Sales
1815-1816
Box 2:49
Sales
1817-1818
Box 2:50
Sales
1819
Box 2:51
Sales
1820-1821
Box 2:52
Sales
1822-1824
Box 2:53
Sales
1826
Box 2:54
Sales
1827-1829
Box 2:55
Sales
1831-1832
Box 2:56
Sales
1837-1840
Box 2:57
Sales
1843-1865
Box 2:58
Sales
n.d.
Box 2:59

Series 3. Estate Records
1755-1811

Shown here are scattered estate inventories, wills, and executor’s expenses for seven estates. Of particular interest are the documents of 3 Ingersoll family estates, and the detailed will and inventory of Hewitt Root. Arranged alphabetically by name.

David Ingersoll
1755
Box 2:60
Israel Ingersoll
n.d.
Box 2:61
Peter Ingersoll
1789
Box 2:62
Hewitt Root
1788-1792
Box 2:63
Stephen Sibley
1809-1811
Box 2:64
Moses Stocking
n.d.
Box 2:65
Isaac Van Deusen
1809
Box 2:66

Series 4. Indentures
1798-1827

Most of the more than 50 indentures here reflect the farm leasing activities of Thomas Ives and are interesting for the detailed description of the terms of the lease. Several of the later indentures show the increased activity of Samuel Rossiter in this area. Of particular interest is the 1812 case of Kasson Freeman (folder 81), in which Thomas Ives had great difficulty in forcing Freeman to adhere to the terms of the indenture; and the beginnings, in 1808, of Ives’ leasing of carding machines to Dudley Woodworth. Arranged chronologically.

Isaac Van Deusen
1798
Box 3:67
Parin Batchellor, John Eldridge, Isaac Preston
1799
Box 3:68
Melanston Foster, Levi Ormsby, Marson Whiting
1800
Box 3:69
Richard Francis, Ormsby, Andrew Hollenbeck
1803-1805
Box 3:70
Aaron Phelps, Benjamin Rogers, Ethel Jones
1806
Box 3:71
Martin Richmond, Joseph Buel
1807
Box 3:72
Jabez Jones, Palmer Utley, Jared Selley, Dudley Woodworth
1808
Box 3:73
Jones, Daniel Pixley, John Kennedy, Jonathan Turner, Samuel Barstow, Utley
1809
Box 3:74
Barstow, Kennedy, Aaron Otis, Nicholas Hearse
1810
Box 3:75
Hollenbeck, Otis, Woodworth, Samuel Billings, Barstow, David Boardsley, John Burghardt
1811
Box 3:76-77
Otis, Woodworth, Hollenbeck, Billings, Barstow, Lewis Goram, James Reese, Con Mooney, Dan Weed
1812
Box 3:78-80
Kasson Freeman
1812
Box 3:81
Seeley, Weed, Billings, Barstow
1813
Box 3:82
James Humphrey and S. Rossiter
1815
Box 3:83
Sylvester Burt
1827
Box 3

Series 5. Land Surveys
1792-1860

Many of the surveys in this series were commissioned by George (between 1813-51) and Walter Pynchon (between 1792-1839) for their extensive holdings in the town. Arranged alphabetically by name.

John Ashley
n.d.
Box 4:84
John Burghardt
1793
Box 4:85
P. Chapin
n.d.
Box 4:86
W. Deland
n.d.
Box 4:87
Greene and Walker
n.d.
Box 4:88
Hopkins family
1824
Box 4:89
Ives family
1833
Box 4:90
John Kellogg
1792
Box 4:91
Leavenworth family
1831
Box 4:92
Morris Loomis
n.d.
Box 4:93
George Pynchon
1813-1851
Box 4:94
Walter Pynchon
1792-1839
Box 4:95
Josiah Smith
1860
Box 4:96
R. Taylor
1845
Box 4:97
S. Trobridge
1845
Box 4:98
David Wainwright
n.d.
Box 4:99
Whiting family
1810-1831
Box 4:100
Unidentified
1791-1858
Box 4:101

Series 6. Sheriff’s Writs
1743-1869 (bulk 1801-1827)

Included in this series are a large number of writs addressed to sheriff Ezra Kellogg for failure to pay creditors, coinciding with the first major American economic depression (1817-21). Evident in these documents is the increasing propensity of town residents to pursue their neighbors for even small amounts of money. Also evident are the increasing numbers of actions against artisans, reflecting the changing nature of the town’s economy. A list of names mentioned in this series is included in folder 102. Arranged chronologically.

Writs & List
1743-1744
3 items
Box 4:102
Writs
1801-1816
3 items
Box 4:103
Writs
1817
22 items
Box 4:104
Writs
1818
2 items
Box 4:105
Writs
1819
6 items
Box 4:106
Writs
1820
3 items
Box 4:107
Writs
1821
9 items
Box 4:108
Writs
1822-1827
15 items
Box 4:109
Writ
1869
1 item
Box 4:110

Series 7. Town History Documents
1731-1904

Series 7 contains an array of documents covering events and institutions in the town’s history, including correspondence (July 9, 1776) warning certain people to put down their arms and a 1754 court case involving a false alarm about an Indian raid. Among other subjects covered are the riparian rights of mill sites, roads, bridges, town buildings, militia duties, school expenses, Revolutionary War reimbursements, and some correspondence. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Committee of Correspondence notice
1776
Box 5:111
Complaint vs. Militia Delinquents
1812
Box 5:112
Correspondence–Thomas Ives
1789-1795
Box 5:113
Correspondence–Thomas Ives
1804-1811
Box 5:114
Correspondence –G. Kindale
1770
Box 5:115
Correspondence –Mary Pynchon pension
1846
Box 5:116
Correspondence –Samuel Rossiter
1819
Box 5:117
Correspondence –Peter Van Ness
1769
Box 5:118
Court cases
1754-1755
Box 5:119
Duty on carriage
1799
Box 5:120
Fire at Isaac Pixley’s
1787
Box 5:120a
Highway plan
1764
Box 5:121
Iron bridge
1867
Box 5:122
Militia appointment
1794
Box 5:123
Mill Claims vs. Proprietors
n.d.
Box 5:124
Minutes of Bear Town roads
1792-1797
Box 5:125
Miscellaneous receipts
1777-1821
Box 5:126
Muddy Brook Settlers
1770-1870
Box 5:127
Newspaper clippings
1883-1904
Box 5:128
Petition against assigned road from Stockbridge to Great Barrington
1810
Box 5:129
Petition against the Sheffield Turnpike
1805
Box 5:130
Petition Against Town Officers
n.d.
Box 5:131
Petition of Peter Nusted
1800
Box 5:132
Pluma Sumner Obituary
n.d.
Box 5:133
Power of Attorney–David Ingersoll
1731, 1741
Box 5:134
Proprietors Records–Land Distribution
1734-1793
Box 5:135
Protestant Episcopal Church
n.d.
Box 5:136
Revolutionary Soldier Tombstones
1895-1896
Box 5:137
Revolutionary War reimbursements
1782
Box 5:138
School Expenses
1814-1880
Box 5:139
School House Shares
1810-1819
Box 5:140
Sheriff’s Auction
1807
Box 5:141
Simon’s Rock
1898
Box 5:142
Stories and Anecdotes
n.d.
Box 5:143
Town Hall
1874-1876
Box 5:144
Town History notes
n.d.
Box 5:145
Town House
1837-1845
Box 5:146
Town Meetings
1761-1811
Box 5:147
Voters’ Register
1818
Box 5:148
Washington Benevolent Society
1812
Box 5:149
Water Company
1865-1868
Box 5:150
Willard Family
1738-1819
Box 5:151

Series 8. Samuel Rossiter Financial Records
1790-1821
(oversize flat box)

Included here are a series of documents concerning the debt, assets, and eventual insolvency of Rossiter in 1799. Rossiter rebounded from this to amass considerable holdings in Great Barrington by 1815 (see, in particular, series 1, 2, 4, and 6). Arranged chronologically.

Documents relating to Indentures, Insolvency, and Estate
1790-1821
Box 6:152-154

Series 9. Charles Taylor Genealogical Material
1877-1901

This series consists of correspondence, documents, and notes, compiled by Great Barrington historian Charles Taylor concerning local families. Arranged alphabetically by family name.

Bacon
1899
Box 7:155
Barnaby
n.d.
Box 7:156
Bement
1894
Box 7:157
Bronson
1900
Box 7:158
Crittendin
1897-1898
Box 7:159
Daniel-Thompson
n.d.
Box 7:160
Danks
1891
Box 7:161
Day
1898
Box 7:162
Dersey
1897-1898
Box 7:163
Farmer
1893
Box 7:164
Foote
1894
Box 7:165
Gay
1896-1897
Box 7:166
Gilbert
1893
Box 7:167
Gregson
n.d.
Box 7:168
Gridley
1895
Box 7:169
Hyde
1877
Box 7:170
Ingersoll
1893
Box 7:171
Ives
1895-1900
Box 7:172
King
1894
Box 7:173
Kinne
1898-1899
Box 7:174
Leavenworth
1879-1880
Box 7:175
Peyer
1899
Box 7:176
Pier
1898-1899
Box 7:177
Pixley
1901
Box 7:178
Plummer
1897-1898
Box 7:179
Porter
1877-1900
Box 7:180
Posell
1893
Box 7:181
Pynchon
1896
Box 7:182
Ransom
1891
Box 7:183
Rossiter
1898
Box 7:184
Sutliffe
1897-1899
Box 7:185
Talcott
1897
Box 7:186
Taylor
1888-1901
Box 7:187
Turner
1879-1897
Box 7:188
Van Deusen
1898
Box 7:189

Subjects

  • Debt--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Farm tenancy--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Genealogy
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--History
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Land use--Massachusetts--Great Barrington

Contributors

  • Ives, Thomas
  • Kellogg, Ezra
  • Pynchon, George
  • Pynchon, Walter
  • Root, Hewitt
  • Rossiter, Samuel
  • Taylor, Charles J. (Charles James), 1824-1904

Types of material

  • Deeds
  • Genealogies
  • Land surveys
  • Writs
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