Skip to main content

Thomas Gilyard papers

Call Number: MS 241

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of Thomas Gilyard's journal, a farm ledger, and various poems and hymns, as well as some correspondence. In the first volume of the journal, preceding or interspersed with diary entries for 1828-1843, are copies of letters to and from Gilyard's family in England (1808-1818) and fifty-five pages of recipes for dyes. The other volume is almost entirely composed of diary entries, 1832-1853. Included are detailed accounts of family and neighborhood activities, local politics, legal cases in the vicinity, and much matter of interest for the history of the Methodist church. The small ledger dates mainly from 1833-1845, with a few later entries, and deals for the most part with farm activities and the sale of farm produce. Finally, there is also a volume of poems, hymns, and so forth, and a photostatic copy of a self-portrait of Gilyard.

The papers were the gift of David F. Gilyard in 1953.


  • 1808-1853


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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 David F. Gilyard in 1953.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Diaries, a farm ledger, poems, hymns and correspondence. The diary entries cover the years 1828-1853 and are interspersed with copies of Gilyard family letters from England (1808-1818) together with fifty-five pages of recipes for dyes. Many of the diary entries concern the Methodist Church of which Gilyard was a trustee for some thirty years. The farm ledger (1835-1845) records farm activities and the sale of farm produce.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Gilyard was born in Leeds, England in 1786, son of Edmund Gilyard. He was brought to the United States in 1807 by General David Humphreys to assist the latter in the establishment of his woolen mill in Humphreysville, now Seymour, Connecticut. Gilyard was the first broadcloth finisher in this country. He married Lois French of Bethany, Connecticut in 1810, took the freeman's oath in 1819, and settled on a farm in Humphreysville. He was an ardent member of the Methodist church, of which he was a trustee for about thirty years, and something of amateur poet and artist. He died in 1853.

Guide to the Thomas Gilyard Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
August 1981
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

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours