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Makepeace family papers

Call Number: MS 977

Scope and Contents

This collection contains account books, autograph albums, and other papers of the family of Walter D. Makepeace and of his wife's family, as well as of a few individuals whose relation to the Makepeace family is not clear. The items in the collection are arranged alphabetically by individual.

The oldest items are three account books. The first was kept by the cooper Thomas Burtch from 1773 to 1787, and by another Thomas Burtch, possibly his grandson, who was a day laborer, from 1806 to 1835. Both men lived in Stonington, Connecticut, and their accounts deal largely with work done on various ships. The elder Burtch appears to have been co-owner of a sloop with Henry and William Elliot. The birth dates of the children of the younger Burtch are recorded at the end of the volume. It is not known whether the Burtch family was related to the Makepeace family.

The second account book appears to have been kept by Orlando Porter (1787-1836) of Waterbury, Connecticut, from 1809 to 1814. He was a partner in the clock manufacturing company of Lemuel Harrison & Company, and the brother of Walter D. Makepeace's wife's great-grandfather. Finally, the third account book, 1818-1842, was kept by Ward Peck (1784-1847), Ethel (Sperry) Makepeace's great-great-grandfather, and it records his farming activities in Waterbury.

There are four autograph albums in this collection: that of Sarah Andrews, of unknown relation to the Makepeace family, compiled from 1827 to 1834 in Cornwall, Litchfield, and Washington, Connecticut; two belonging to Frank Barrows Makepeace, father of Walter D. Makepeace, which include the signatures of such notables as John Burroughs, Leonard Bacon, Timothy Dwight, James A. Garfield, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wendell Phillips, and Henry Ward Beecher; the album of Helen (Viets) Makepeace, Walter D. Makepeace's mother, containing the signatures of Catharine Beecher, Horace Greeley, and students at Miss Beecher's seminary in Hartford, Connecticutof the class of 1873.

The remaining items in this collection include five diplomas and certificates of Walter D. Makepeace (1875-1942), a genealogical notebook and letter concerning genealogy of Sophy M[akepeace?] Andros, and an address book of unidentified ownership.

The account books were donated to Yale University by LeRoy M. Makepeace from the library of his father, Walter D. Makepeace, in 1945, and the autograph albums by Mary M. Kenway in 1946.


  • 1773-1925


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. 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 LeRoy M. Makepeace, 1945, and Mary M. Kenway, 1946.


Arranged alphabetically by personal name.


3.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Account books and autograph albums kept by various members of the Makepeace family of Connecticut. One, kept by Orlando Porter, relates to the clock manufacturing company of Samuel Harrison and Company. Another, kept by Ward Peck betweeen 1818 and 1842, records his farming activities in Waterbury. The four autograph albums (1827-1885) contain the signatures of such notables as John Burroughs, Leonard Bacon, Timothy Dwight, James A. Garfield, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, Catherine Beecher, and Horace Greeley. Also in the collection is an account book kept successively by two members of the Burtch family of Stonington, Connecticut. The first part (1773-1787) was kept by Thomas Burtch, a cooper and the second by his grandson, also Thomas Burtch, a day laborer. Their accounts deal largely with work on ships. Diplomas and certificates of Walter D. Makepeace and genealogical material make up the remainder of the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Walter Dunham Makepeace, B.A. 1897

Born April 27, 1875, in Gloucester, Mass.

Died August 27, 1942, in Waterbury, Conn.

Father, Rev. Frank Barrows Makepeace (grad. Hartford Theological Seminary 1873), a Congregational minister; son of Lysander Otis and Esther Eliza (Dunham) Makepeace of Norton, Mass. Mother, Helen Mary (Viets) Makepeace; daughter of James Rollin and Cordelia Tryphena (Rouse) Viets of East Granby, Conn. Yale relatives include four nephews, Frank B. Makepeace, 3d, ex-'35 E., Mark L. Sperry, 2d, '35, Lloyd B. Makepeace, '37 S., and Leavenworth S. Sperry, Jr., '45 W.

Phillips-Andover, Springfield (Mass.) High School, and Williston Academy, Easthampton, Mass. First BerkeleyPremium in Latin CompositionFreshman year; first English Composition Prize and second Lucius F. Robinson Latin Prize Sophomore year; philosophical oration appointment Junior and Senior years; second Henry James TenEyck Prize Junior year; Townsend Premium and one-year honors in political science and law Senior year; contributed dedicatory poem to Class Book; member Yale Union, Chi Delta Theta, and Phi Beta Kappa. Attended Yale Graduate School 1897-1898 (M.A. 1899) and Yale School of Law 1898-1900 (LL.B. 1900; Junior Class honors; Townsend Prize and Kent Club diploma Senior year; University Debating Team; business manager Yale Law Journal; registrar of the Law School 1899-1900; member Corbey Court).

Admitted to practice in New York 1900 and Connecticut 1907; lawyer in New York City 1900-1907 (associated with his brother in firm of Makepeace & Makepeace 1904-1907) and Waterbury 1907 until retirement 1939 (member Makepeace & Ells 1912-1916); deputy coroner for Waterbury district 1907-1916; chairman Republican Town Committee 1914-1916; deputy judge District Court of Waterbury 1916-1923 and judge 1924-1927; enlisted as seaman, Connecticut Naval Reserve, June 15, 1898; assigned to U.S.S. Minnesota ; promoted Quartermaster (1st class) and transferred to U.S.S. East Boston; discharged September 5, 1898; commissioned Captain, Ordnance, April 22, 1918, and Major, Judge Advocate General's Department, October 16, 1918; served in Washington until discharge December 14, 1918; Major Judge Advocate, Officers Reserve Corps, 1919-1925 and Lieutenant Colonel 1925-1934; an incorporator Black Hall School 1912; an organizer Associated Charities (Lincoln House Association) 1909 and trustee 1909-1913; secretary American branch International Migration Service, 1932-1939; president Yale Club of the Naugatuck Valley 1924-1927 and Associated New England Yale Clubs 1925-1926 (representative on Alumni Board); on Class reunion committees; member State Bar Association of Connecticut, American Bar Association, Mattatuck Historical Society, Mental Hygiene Society of Waterbury, United Spanish War Veterans, American Legion, Military Order of Foreign Wars, Elizabethan Club, Masonic order, and First Congregational Church, Waterbury.

Married June 19, 1906, in Waterbury, Ethel Meliscent Sperry (B.A. Wellesley 1900), daughter of Mark Leavenworth and Julia Sherman (Porter) Sperry, granddaughter of Corydon S. Sperry (B.A. 1832), great-great-granddaughter of Jesse Leavenworth (B.A. 1759), great-great-great-daughter of Mark Leavenworth (B.A. 1737), and sister of Leavenworth P. Sperry, '02 S., and Roger S. Sperry, '10 S. Children: Roger Sherman, '29; Melicent Porter (diploma Sarah Lawrence Coll. 1932); LeRoy McKim, '37; Evelyn Sperry, the wife of Douglas George Cochrane (B.A. Princeton 1939); and John Viets, '43.

Death due to terminal bronchopneumonia. Ashes interred in Riverside Cemetery, Waterbury. Survived by wife, children, a sister, Helen M. Lillie (B.A. Smith Coll. 1899), the wife of Ralph Stayner Lillie, Sc.D. (B.A. Univ. of Toronto 1896; Ph.D. Univ. of Chicago 1901), of Chicago, and a brother Frank B. Makepeace, Jr., '01 (died September 23, 1942).

[From the Yale University Obituary Record, 1940-1943, pages 58-59.]

For a chart outlining the genealogical relations of the Makepeace family, please consult the Genealogical Chart.

Guide to the Makepeace Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
July 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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