Monday, June 18, 2012

Matson Family Research - Amanuensis Monday

The following is from a letter to Miss Elizabeth Cloud Seip from E. Dallett Humphill, Jr. written on May 10, 1903. They were corresponding about their Matson line and Mr. Humphill was sending Miss Seip the results of his research. The research notes are handwritten on heavy legal size paper and contain over 20 pages of data. The letters give some interesting insight into how communications between researchers were conducted before computers!

West Chester, PA
My dear Miss Seip,

    You will find enclosed some data regarding the Matson (or Mattson) family. There can be no doubt, I think, but that they are of Swedish origin, though you will notice one claim to an English descent in the enclosed data. I have had careful searches made of all deeds, wills, and orphans' court proceedings of this (Chester) county. To this I have added all data contained in Philadelphia wills up to 1800, a few records of marriages and extracts from Scharf & Westcott's History of Philadelphia, Futhey and Cope's History of Chester Co. and the Chester Co. Biographical Cyclopedia.

He goes on to list details on the data he is sending and then concludes:

  The mass of data accumulated in this search is so "muddled" that it has been difficult to separate the several families. If you wish further data in any line, please refer to names, dates, and places of record given, as it will be easier for me to find the originals than to go through the notes now before me.

Very Sincerely Yours,
E. Dallett Humphill, Jr.

May 10, 1903
Addressed to Miss Elizabeth Cloud Seip
Baltimore, MD

I posted earlier about my Matson line and some of the brick walls that I've encountered. While I don't have any evidence that my Matson family is connected to this Pennsylvania research, it is interesting to see that they were also reaching some "muddled" brick walls in 1903. The debate over Swedish or English origins continues on today. I also had to laugh about Mr. Humphill finding it easier to go back to the original records than to make sense of his notes. I can relate to that!

Here is the first page of data from Mr. Humphill. I will try to post at least a page a week, so check back if you are interested in the Matson family or early Pennsylvania records.

          #1   Matson family prior to 1700 -
                (Early Swedish settlements)

Nov 14, 1668 Patent - Gov. Lovelace to Audries Matson for 600 rods of land. See recital in deed recorded in Deed Book A page 113; New Castle Co., Del.

March 10, 1670 - Deed of Confirmation - Gov. Lovelace & Ueals Matson for 100 acres on the Delaware, already in the possession of said Ueals.

Nov. 1677 - Recorded in Deed Bk. A, p. 104; Chester Co., Pa. List of Tydables (i.e. taxable persons) returned to the Duke of York's Court at Upland. This list includes the Swedes on both sides of the Delaware.
   Nils Matson, with a family of 3.
   Peter Matson, and Antony(?) Matson.

1677 Patent - to John Mattson, Swen Low and Lacey Dalbo for 300 acres in Schuylkill, at Wiessa - Ruitouk(?), on the west side, opposite Wissahickon. See Scharf & Wesscott's Hist. of Philada., Vol I P. 75.

1678 Patent to John Mattson, of Wyalusing(?), for 25 acres of meadow and marsh land on the east side of Schuylkill. Ibid.

June 19, 1689 Deed - Neals Matson to Henry Jacobson, for 1/2 of the 100 acres on Delaware confirmed to him March 10, 1670. Rec. in D. Bk. A p. 104-5; Chester Co.

1693 "A roll of all the Swedish men, women and children found in New Sweden, now called Pennsylvania, on the Delaware River" sent by Carl Christopherson Springer to Postmaster Oberlin(?) at Stockholm. This list contains 188 (continued on page 2) families and 942 persons, all living on the west side of the river.

Amanuensis Monday – An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them. A fuller explanation can be found here. Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

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