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Bartram family papers

Call Number: MS 63

Scope and Contents

A collection of letters, deeds, and other papers, 1795-1928, of the family of Captain Thomas Bartram, 1771-1838, of Black Rock, Fairfield, Connecticut. Catain Bartram was a shipmaster and was joined in this business, and later succeeded by his sons, Joseph and Thomas Burr Bartram, who were merchants and associated in the shipping business with Sturges and Clearman.

The letters, 1806-1827, consist of three, 1822-1823, from captain Thomas Bartram to his wife, Sarah (Burr) Bartram, 1771-1849; three, 1824-1827, from Joseph Bartram, 1800- to his father; one, 1820, from Thomas Burr Bartram, 1803-1886; to his brother Joseph; two, 1795, 1821, from Nehemiah Burr, Jr., to his sister, Sarah (Burr) Bartram; one, 1824, from John P. Brace to Sarah Ann (Bartram) deForest, daughter of Captain Thomas Bartram, one each to Captain Thomas Bartram from William S. Hotchkiss, 1821, and Miah Perry, 1806.

Business papers of the family include 29 bills and receipts, 1823-1851, relating primarily to the ship "Live Oak," owned and operated apparently by Captaoin Thomas Bartram with his sons and later by the two sons together; also 17 other miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1816-1862; 15 accounts, 1852-1866, to Thomas Burr Bartram from his New York stock brokers, H. T. Morgan & Co., 24 accounts, 1838-1864, by Joseph Bartram with Thomas Burr Bartram, dealing mainly with their packet ship business with Sturges and Clearman to Savannah and other Southern ports [see Burr geneology p. 154]; also two accounts, January 4, 1839, and [ca. October 1849] from Joseph to his brother for property distributed to the latter from the estate of their father and mother, respectively.

In addition there are 33 bills, receipts, etc., 1848-1851, dealing with the affairs of the first Congregational society of Black Rock, Connecticut, of which Thomas Burr Bartram was treasurer.

There are 40 deeds, 1800-1846, all to land in Black Rock or Fairfield, Connecticut, unless otherwise indicated. Of this number 36 are to Captain Thomas Bartram from: Rhoda Abel, September 23, 1811; Joseph Bartram, October 14, 1829; Samuel Beers, February 26, 1818 [also William Hoyt and Sullivan Moulton]; Medad Bradley, May 7, 1825; executor of estate of Anna (Lewis) Brewster [i.e. Sturges Brewster], October 9, 1824; Isaac Bulkley, May 10, 1816; Uriah Bulkley, March 11, 1817; Lemuel Coleman, October 6, 1832 [for land in Bridgeport]; Isaac Deforest, June 17, 1828 [for land in Bridgeport] Elisha Ely, April 3, 1829; Samuel Henshaw, November 3, 1828; William Hoyt, August 24, 1813, February 26, 1818 [latter also from Sullivan Moulton]; Thaddeus Hubbell, December 14, 1820; Peter Johnston, January 11, 1825; Samuel Kellog, March 31, 1830; James Knapp, October 19, 1813; executors of estate of Lothrop Lewis [i.e., Nathan Beers and Jonathan Lewis], February 9, 1819; Jonathan Middlebrook, May 12, 1801; Gideon Morehouse, February 8, 1832; Daniel S. Odell, October 30, 1812; Samuel Read, November 29, 1800 [also Caleb Brewster for land in Stratford]; Philo Shelton, February 1, 1823; Joseph Squire, April 15, 1801; William Squire, April 29, 1807; Samuel Staples, February 27, 1823, January 20, 1824; John Turney, December 7, 1820 [to land in Weston]; George Wheeler, November 8, 1830; John Wheeler, July 28, 1809, October 5, 1812; Daniel Wilson, October 22, 1814, February 3, 1820; John Squire Wilson, February 15, 1813, June 24, 1820 [the latter also to Bradley Perry]. Two are to Thomas Burr Bartram from: John G. West, June 28, 1838; William Wheeler, December 30, 1846. The remaining two are: from Captain Thomas Bartram to Joseph Bartram, October 15, 1829, and from Linus K. and Samuel Henshaw, March 30, 1826. There are 3 undated maps and surveys for unspecified lands.

Three other papers include two powers of attorney to Captain Thomas Bartram: from his niece, Mary Wheeler Bartram, 1804-, June 10, 1825; from Ebenezer Bartram, 1762-, in the estate of Isaac Jennings, March 22, 1822; and an agreement October 8, 1810, between Captain Thomas Bartram and William Wheeler for a fence line.

Five account books and two checkbooks, 1820-1928, consist of the following:

Day book, 1820-1827, of Joseph Bartram, b. 1800, shipmaster of Black Rock, Connecticut. The entries deal with the sale of the cargo of the schooner "Live Oak", which consisted mostly of shoes, grain, beans, and fish. The entries were made in Black Rock, Fairfield, Salem, Massachusetts, and New York City.

Three Account books of Thomas Burr Bartram, 1803-1886, as follows: Day Book, 1827-1830, kept in New York, Salem and Boston; Day book, 1830-1831, has accounts similar to the above. There are also entries in this volume for 1862-1863 and 1872. Several pages and parts of pages torn out, and a considerable amount of scribbling in the front and back of the volume. Account Book with mixed day book and ledger entries, 1836-1885, consists primarily of farm accounts in Black Rock. The entries deal with charges for the use of team, payment of workers, and the sale of farm produce, wood, and meat. There are also charges for wharfage, and some of the later accounts deal with dividends. The volumes also include undated but detailed information on the financial condition, earnings, and expenses of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad.

Two books of check stubs, 1881-1883 and 1883-1886, the latter lacking a cover. Some of the entries on these stubs are in Thomas Burr Bartram's hand, but the writer of the greater part of them is unidentified as is the bank upon which the checks were drawn.

Records, 1918-1928 and undated, of the securities of Alice Anna Bartram, Thomas Burr Bartram's daughter, and possibly of her mother, Ann Marie (Burr) Bartram. Most of this volume is blank.

7 volumes – 31 x 10, 29 x 16, 40 x 15, 39 x 15, 23 x 33, 21 x 15 (in folder), and 20 x 16 cm.

Gift of Mrs. Harry Bartram, September 24, 1948.


  • 1795-1928


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Harry Bartram, 1948.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The principal figures in the papers are Captain Thomas Bartram, a shipmaster of Black Rock, Connecticut, and his two sons, Joseph and Thomas Burr Bartram. The papers consist chiefly of records connected with the operation of their schooner, Live Oak (1823-1851) and financial and legal papers relating to land transactions in Fairfield, Connecticut (1800-1846). Also included are a small amount of family correspondence, genealogical materials, financial records of the First Congregational Society of Black Rock, earning and expense records of the Danbury and Norwalk Railroads, and accounts for a farm in Black Rock (1836-1885).

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Bartram (1771-1838) was a shipmaster and was joined in this business and later succeeded by his sons, Joseph and Thomas Burr Bartram, who were merchants and associated in the shipping business with Sturges and Clearman.

Guide to the Bartram Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
February 1983
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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