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Hart family papers

Call Number: MS 265

Scope and Contents

These papers of the inter-related Hart and Norton families of Connecticut include correspondence, legal and financial papers dealing with estates and land holdings in Connecticut, and miscellaneous writings and other papers.

The bulk of the papers are deeds, writs, and other estate papers belonging to several branches of the Hart and Norton families, 1721-1876. They include deeds and indentures for land in Wallingford and Barkhamsted belonging to Hawkins Hart (1736-1824) and his descendants and estate papers of Hawkins Hart, Jr. (1781-1836), and deeds of properties in Farmington and Berlin belonging to Isaac Hart (b. 1686), his descendants, and members of the Norton family of Berlin. Also mentioned are members of the Hooker, Cowles, and Brownson families.

The correspondence consists of approximately forty-five letters of the Norton family of Berlin, being for the most part letters written to William H. Norton, who lived in Georgia and Troy, New York, from his parents, Albert (d. 1847) and Lucy (Hart) Norton, and his brother Albert R. Norton. The letters, written between 1819 and 1885, describe family financial matters and events such as the death of Harriet Norton (1839 Sep 8), while the letters of Albert Norton in particular express antislavery sentiments and strong religious beliefs.

Other miscellaneous items in the collection include a catalogue of members of the family of Solomon Dunham, a roll of the Kensington, Connecticut, militia, and writings on religious topics, including a printed copy of a sermon preached by Royal Robbins at the funeral of Ruth Hart.

The papers of the Hart and Norton families of Farmington and Berlin were placed in Yale University Library by Mrs. Walter E. Crittenden in 1940. The remaining papers were purchased from Dawson's Book Shop in 1947.


  • 1721-1894
  • Majority of material found within 1721 - 1850


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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 Mrs. Walter E. Crittenden, 1940; additional papers purchased in 1947.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Principally the papers of the related Hart and Norton families of Connecticut, descendants of Hawkins Hart. Included are correspondence, legal papers, chiefly concerning the transfer of property in Wallingford, Barkhamsted, Farmington and Berlin, and writings on religious topics. The correspondence consists of letters of the Norton family of Berlin, Connecticut written mostly between 1835 and 1846 to their son, William H. Norton, who was living in Troy, New York and then in Georgia. The letters discuss slavery, religion, family finances, and also describe the death of a daughter of the family in 1839. Also mentioned in the papers are the Hooker, Cowles and Brownson families.

Guide to the Hart Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Susan Grigg and Betsy Morris
February 1980
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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