Digital Commonwealth

Coffin family papers

Item Information

Coffin family papers
The Coffin family papers (MS010) focus on domestic, commercial, and civic life during the mid-seventeenth century through the early twentieth century, reflecting the life and work of the Coffin and Coleman families of Newbury, Massachusetts. Materials within the collection relate to the towns of Newbury, West Newbury, and Newburyport in Massachusetts; Buxton, Maine (formerly Narragansett); and Contoocook, New Hampshire. Comprised primarily of land deeds, estate papers, account books, and correspondence, the papers highlight the role of the town proprietors, the daily operation of the Coffin family tannery business, the running of the Coffin family household and estate, and the life of merchant sailors. Material relating to the "Siamese Twins," Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), and their relationship with the Coffin family through Abel Coffin (1792-1837) and Susan (Hale) Coffin (1792-1837) is also included in the collection; there is also material relating to abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859). The collection is arranged in nineteen series. Background: In 1929, Historic New England acquired the Coffin House in Newbury, Massachusetts, from Margaret E.C. Merriam (a fourth great granddaughter of Tristram Coffin, Jr., 1632-1704). The papers within the house at the time of acquisition formed the bases of the collection: Coffin family manuscripts collection (now MS010). In 1986, intern Amey Case Callahan processed the papers and created the original finding aid. Callahan arranged the papers into series, chronologically by family member or by groups of relatives (i.e., siblings), then by record type; bound account books were placed into a separate series and were cross-referenced with the corresponding individual(s) who kept them. The collection was housed in acid-free folders and document boxes; folders were numbered by box; and a paper finding aid was created, which included an index and a compilation of genealogical material. In 1987, Amey Case Callahan processed and created a separate finding aid for the papers of the Abel Coffin (1792-1837) and Susan (Hale) Coffin (1792-1837) family: Abel and Susan Coffin manuscript collection (now MS010). Again, Callahan applied the same arrangement scheme as described above (in lieu of a bound account book series, a photograph series was created). When fully processed, the collection comprised eight file boxes (approx. 3.34 linear feet). Update: 2013-2014 In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: "Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project"), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and "best practices;" corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Coffin family papers (MS010) were part of the grant project. Since 1986/1987, following the initial processing of the collection(s) and creation of the original two finding aids, subsequent acquisitions/accessions had been integrated into the collection; material was removed/separated from the collection; and notations and additional pages were inserted into the finding aid. Additionally, the finding aids read/functioned more as research papers, than as traditional archives finding aids. Prior to the 2013-2014 collection processing, the Coffin family manuscripts collection (now MS010) comprised eight legal-size file boxes (approx. 3.34 linear feet) and additional loose material. During the 2013-2014 collection reprocessing/updating, the two 1986/1987 finding aids were combined into one collection (MS010) and the original arrangement schemes updated to reflect an alphabetical arrangement of Coffin family members, rather than a chronological arrangement. Both the bound account book series and the photograph series were maintained. Most of the original folder titles were maintained; the bound account books were properly labeled and housed; and related folders were combined or rearranged, as applicable. Additional loose material was integrated into the collection and properly housed; preservation issues were identified and basic preservation methods were applied, as applicable; papers throughout the collection were removed from envelopes (if applicable), unfolded, flattened, and related pages were noted with corresponding information in brackets ([x-1/3], [x-2/3], [x-3/3]; and oversize material and photographic material were rehoused appropriately (or materials were interleafed within file boxes), as applicable. The scope and content notes, biographical/historical sketch, and genealogy were updated accordingly. The overall collection was rehoused using new acid-free, legal-size folders and boxes, as applicable), numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly; subsequent accessions were tracked and noted with their corresponding items; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. The original 1986/1987 paper document finding aids were updated to be DACS-compliant, as applicable; converted into an electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid (with corresponding paper finding aid); and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database. 2013 extent of collection (prior to updating): ·08 file boxes (legal-size)= 3.34 linear feet ·04 oversize volumes *Yale linear footage calculator: approximately 3.34 linear feet (8 file boxes), plus 4 oversize volumes Note: One ambrotype and three daguerreotypes were separated from the collection prior to the 2013-2014 collection reprocessing/updating. See Daguerreotypes Collection, ca.1845-1865 (PC005). Note: In 1984, prior to the 2013-2014 collection reprocessing/updating, the Edmund Coffin (1764-1825) 1816-1819 account book (#C.1.21) was separated from the collection and transferred to the wallpaper collection due to the cover of the item being comprised of a wallpaper fragment. The account book was transferred back to the Library and Archives in 2014 and has been reaccessioning and reincorporation into the collection along with additional documentation and material (#C.1.21). NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.
family papers
Historic New England
Collection (local):
MS010: Coffin family papers
account books
autograph albums
bills of lading
birth certificates
card photographs (photographs)
church records
clippings (information artifacts)
commercial correspondence
estate inventories
estate records
family papers
financial records
legal documents
letters (correspondence)
lists (document genres)
manuscripts (document genre)
marriage certificates
military records
performing artists
personal correspondence
personal papers
photographic materials
programs (documents)
promissory notes
receipts (financial records)
visiting cards
United States. History. Revolution, 1775-1783
Camp Prospect (Cambridge, Mass.)
Christ Church (Boston, Mass.)
First and Ocean National Bank (Newburyport, Mass.)
First Church of Newbury (Newbury, Mass.)
Hotel New Yorker (New York City, N.Y.)
Kilburn Brothers
Latin and English High School (Newburyport, Mass.)
Metropolitan Railroad Co. (Boston, Mass.)
National Horse and Carriage Mart of Moses Colman and Son (Boston, Mass.)
North Meeting House (Newburyport, Mass.)
Ossipee Mountain Park (Moultonborough, N.H.)
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (1802-1822). Synod of the Carolinas
St. John's Lodge (Newburyport, Mass.)
Adams, Washington
Boyd, James
Boyd, Susan (Coffin)
Brown, John, 1800-1859
Bunker, Chang, 1811-1874
Bunker, Eng, 1811-1874
Coffin, Abel, 1792-1837
Coffin, Abel Hale, 1820-1883
Coffin, Abigail Hale
Coffin, Charles, 1741-1821
Coffin, Charles, 1765-1820
Coffin, David, 1733-1764
Coffin, David, ca.1763-ca.1838
Coffin, Edmund, 1764-1825
Coffin, Enoch, 1669-1728
Coffin, Eunice
Coffin, Holland
Coffin, Jemima
Coffin, John, 1694-1762
Coffin, John Lambert, 1852-
Coffin, Joseph, 1702-1773
Coffin, Joseph, 1762-1805
Coffin, Joshua, 1732-1774
Coffin, Joshua, 1792-1864
Coffin, Julia Ann (Holland)
Coffin, Lucy, 1811-1893
Coffin, Lucy (Kimball), 1776-1858
Coffin, Nathaniel, 1669-1748
Coffin, Paul, 1738-1821
Coffin, Peter, Jr.
Coffin, Sarah (Bartlett), 1732-1798
Coffin, Susan (Hale), 1792-1837
Coffin, Tristram, 1632-1704
Coleman, Mary Chute
Coleman, Elizabeth Low (Coffin), 1813-
Coleman, Jeremiah
Coleman, Moses
Cross, Ralph
Hale, John
Hale, Stephen
Boyd, Susan Hale (Coffin), 1822-1892
Kilburn, B. W. (Benjamin West), 1827-1909
Kimball, Mary
Lord, Joseph
Lunt, Benjamin
Lunt, Margaret (Coffin), 1755-1783
Lunt, Paul
Mitchell, Daniel
Mitchell, John
Pike, John
Plummer, Nancy
Seymore, John
Short, Henry
Smith, Henry
Squire, William
Soule, John P.
Swett, Joshua
Ward, John
Weller, F. G. (Franklin G.), 1833-1877
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)Boston
MaineYork (county)Buxton
MassachusettsMiddlesex (county)Cambridge
WyomingLaramie (county)Cheyenne
ColoradoEl Paso (county)Colorado Springs
MassachusettsPlymouth (county)Duxbury
New HampshireGrafton (county)Franconia Notch State Park
Rhode IslandWashington (county)Narragansett
New YorkNew York
MassachusettsEssex (county)Newbury
MassachusettsEssex (county)Newburyport
New YorkNiagara (county)Niagara Falls
New JerseyEssex (county)Orange
New HampshireCarroll (county)Shaw, Mount (peak)
New HampshireCoos (county)White Mountains (area)
Coffin House (Newbury, Mass.)
Portledge Manor (Devonshire, England)
Silver Springs (Orange, N.J.)
Family papers: 3.25 linear ft. (3 file boxes, 2 cartons) plus 7 oversize folders, 4 oversize volumes, 1 vertical file folder
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
Rights status not evaluated.
Contact host institution for more information.
Acquired from Margaret E.C. Merriam, 1929
Call #: