Wadsworth Family Papers, 1773-1920 (bulk 1830-1880)

Quantity: 2 Boxes
Processed by: Eileen O'Brien, Manuscripts and Special Collections, August 1986

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The Wadsworth Family Papers are the legal and personal papers of the descendents of John and Sarah Webster Wadsworth of New Lebanon, New York. The inclusive dates of the collection are 1773-1920, with the bulk of the material from ca. 1830-1880.

Biographical Note

John Wadsworth was born in 1737 in Lebanon, Connecticut, the fifth generation of the Wadsworth family settled in the American colonies. He moved to New York State in 1761, one year after marrying Sarah Webster. They had ten children: John (b. 1762, d. 1831), Joana (b. 1763, d. 1829), Joseph (b. 1765), Sarah (b. 1766, d. 1818), Benjamin (b. 1768), Jerusha (b. 1770, d. 1814), Betsey (b. 1772, d. 1772), Constant Webster (b. 1774), Betsey (b. 1776, d. 1777), Ebenezar (b. 1778).

John died in 1788. His son John married Rachel Wheeler in 1783 in New Lebanon, N.Y., where he was a farmer. They had twelve children: Rachel (b. 1783), who married Tillotson; Lydia (b. 1785), married Carpenter; Sarah (b. 1787), married Johnson; Harriet (b. 1789), married Joseph G. Ford; Betsey (b. 1791), married Kirby; Sophia (b. 1793), married Allen Earl; John (b. 1796), married Dickenson; Orange (b. 1798), married D.L. Dewey; E. Wheeler (b. 1800), married Vincent; Ebenezer Sacket (b. 1802), married Jerusha Vincent; Anna (b. 1805), married Pierce; Constant Webster (b. 1807, d. 1834).

Ebenezer Sacket and his wife Jerusha Vincent had twelve children: John Gilbert (b. 1831, d. 1898), married Sarah Ashby; George Kirby (b. 1832); Constant Webster (b. 1834, d. 1896), married Lizzie Vodges; Silar Wheeler (b. 1835); Maria A. (b. 1836, d. 1865); Jane Ann (b. 1838); Rachel Rebecca (b. 1840), married W.S. Fowler; Dow Vincent (b. 1841); Elbert Ebenezer (b. 1845); William Perry (b. 1847); Joseph G. Ford (b. 1849); Andrew W. (b. 1853, d. 1862).

Constant and his wife Lizzie had three children: Frederick (b. 1850, d. 1908); George A. (b. 1862) and Charles V. (b. 1868, d. 1868). John Gilbert and his wife Sarah had five children: Ann Mary (b. 1858, d. 1860); Anna Marie (b. 1862, d. 1937); William Ebenezer (b. 1867, d. 1932); Andrew Silas (b. 1869, d. 1945); Hattie Ford (b. 1872, d. 1950), married Henry Hasbrouck and had one child, Jennie Wadsworth in 1903, who married George Debell in 1926. (From: The Wadsworth Family, 1837-1890 by Horace Andrew Wadsworth.)

Scope and Content Note

These papers span six generations of the Wadsworth family from 1773 to 1920. The family lived in the New Lebanon, Canaan, East Chatham area of New York State. Legal papers such as deeds, bonds, and probate records, for the dates 1773-1903, constitute a large part of the collection. The collection also includes an extensive correspondence file, principally from Constant W. Wadsworth (b. 1834, d. 1896) to his family after he had left home to learn the trade of watchmaker and jeweler. Of particular note are the series of school records of 1846-1849 and the school workbooks which are undated, and the series containing the military commissions of Ebenezer Wadsworth (1830s). The papers show the social history of a family through a period of about 150 years.

Box and Folder List

Box Folder Volume Envelope Contents
1 1

Papers of John Wadsworth (1737-1788); John Wadsworth (1762-1831) and wife, Rachel Wheeler Wadsworth (1766-1839). Includes deeds, bonds, and probate records. Inclusive dates are 1773-1852.


Constant Webster Wadsworth (1804-1834) papers. Includes probate records of 1834 and other documents concerning the settlement of his estate.


Ebenezer S. Wadsworth papers. Includes deeds and receipts for years 1830-1880.


Miscellaneous Wadsworth family papers. Legal agreements, receipts, and probate records for several generations of Wadsworth family. Inclusive dates are 1779-1903.


Military Commissions. Commissions of Ebenezer Wadsworth as lieutenant, captain, and lieutenant colonel, and exemption of George Wadsworth from draft. Inclusive dates are 1831-1863.


District school records. Includes attendance records and tax lists for school district #15, in New Lebanon, NY, for years 1846-1849.


District School Journal of State of New York. 2 copies of journal from March 1847 and August 1845.

Correspondence: Letters written by and to members of the Wadsworth family. Inclusive dates are ca. 1850-ca. 1899:


Letters from Constant W. Wadsworth (son of Ebenezer and Jerusha) to various family members, 1853-1859.


Letters from Constant W. Wadsworth, 1860-1890.


Letters from Constant W. Wadsworth, undated.


Letters from Sarah Ashby Wadsworth, ca. 1847-ca. 1869.


Letters from William H. Ashby, 1856-1869.


Miscellaneous Wadsworth family letters. Arranged chronologically, 1804-1900.


Photograph, 1894 - Picnic in New Britain

1 3 photos of John Gilbert Wadsworth, undated
1 photo of John Gilbert and wife, Sarah's home, undated.


Speeches, essays, poems. Most are by unknown authors, but one essay by Dow Wadsworth, a poem by J.G. Wadsworth, and a poem by Sarah Ashby.


Newspaper clippings, ca. 1886-ca. 1920.


Miscellaneous. Includes wedding announcements, genealogical information, 1918 North Presbyterian Church program, death notice and booklet of William Wadsworth.

Account Books, 1825-1870:

E.S. Wadsworth account book, 1825-1847.

E.S. Wadsworth account book, 1858-1870.

Joseph Wadsworth account book, 1860-1864.

School Copybooks, undated:

Melinda Alexander's books.

Mary Jane Alexander's (Hussey) book.

Diary of George Hussey, ca. 1848.

Handwritten copy of sermon delivered by Rev. Roswell Hitchcock and copied by Mary Hussey, 1859.
Last Updated: May 24, 2021