Elfreth Family papers
Scope and Contents
The collection consists primarily of the letters written to Joseph Elfreth (1824-1898), a Quaker, many of which relate to family matters, including health and the birth of children, and occasionally indicates the connections among Quaker families. Many of the letter writers only sign with an initial, but some who can be identified include: Caleb P. Elfreth and James Elfreth, Joseph's brothers, and Abigail Pierce, their mother. There is also a box of financial accounts, including two notebooks kept by Jacob R. Elfreth. There are also miscellaneous letters, documents and a few photographs. Unusual among the latter is an eye-witness account by Florence Elfreth, Joseph's daughter, of events at the Equal Rights Convention, ca. 1870s.
- 1832 - 1892
- Marsh, Rolph C. (Person)
The collection is open for research use.
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
The Elfreth family was a notable Philadelphia Quaker family during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. (1789-1870), son of Jeremiah and Mary Taylor Elfreth, was initially apprenticed to enter into the hardware trade, but left to become a teacher, first in New Jersey, and later at Westtown School. He later became a bookkeeper for the Leigh Navigation Company, which was his occupation until he retired. Elfreth Sr. married Abigail Pierce, daughter of Caleb and Jane Pierce, in 1821, and the couple had ten children: Joseph (1824-1898), Jane (1826-1826), Jane P. (1827-1912), Caleb P. (1828-1908), Sarah (1830-1885), James (1833-1907), Rebecca P. (1835-1906), Jacob R. Jr. (1837-1924), Mary Elizabeth (1840-1898), and Robert M. (1846-1894).
Joseph Elfreth (1824-1898), eldest child of Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. and Abigail Pierce Elfreth, married Hannah Hill, daughter of John and Esther Hill, in 1851. They had three children: Florence (1852-1875), John, and Esther.
Jacob R. Elfreth Jr. (1827-1924), the son of Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. and Abigail Pierce Elfreth, was born on October 22, 1837 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a Quaker merchant, elder, and minister. Initially apprenticed for five years to J.R. Sowers & Co., dry goods, Elfreth started a carpet business with his brother, James Elfreth (1833-1907). Elfreth Jr. never married and died November 14, 1924, in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania.
1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
The collection, spanning the period from 1832 to 1892, consists primarily of the letters written to Joseph Elfreth (1824-1898), a Quaker, many of which relate to family matters, including health and the birth of children, and occasionally indicates the connections among Quaker families. There are also financial accounts, miscellaneous letters, documents and a few photographs.
Letters to Joseph Elfreth are arranged alphabetically.
Materials Specific Details
A descendant chart has been created beginning with Jacob R. Elfreth (1789-1870) and wife, Abigail Pierce.
Original processing information unknown. Revised by Allison Hall; completed June, 2020.
- Marsh, Rolph C. (Person)
- Hill, William (Person)
- Elfreth, Jacob R., Sr., 1789-1870 (Person)
- Cowperthwaite, William C. (Person)
- Elfreth, Joseph (Person)
- Harris, William (Person)
- Elfreth, Caleb P. (Person)
- Nelson, Judith W. (Person)
- Elfreth Family papers, 1832-1892
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- June, 2020: Revised by Allison Hall
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