Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 292, Ogden-Ford Family (Cumberland County, NJ)
Papers, 1789-1887 (Bulk dates: 1850-1860), 0.25 linear feet / 1 small box
Call Number: MG 292 + folder number
Letters and business documents of the Ogden and Ford family of Bridgeton and Fairfield in Cumberland County; records of the Bridgeton Literary Association, a debating society; records of the Sunday School Society of Bridgeton; letters to the editor of the Bridgeton Chronicle, 1840-1842. Includes letters of James H. Ford, William H. Ford, Curtis and Lizzie Ogden.
The extensive Ogden family in New Jersey is descended from John and Jane Ogden, immigrants from England in 1640. The Ogdens in this collection were early residents of Cumberland County, New Jersey.
Joseph Ogden (ca. 1724-1772) owned land at Mill Creek in Fairfield, New Jersey and was a tanner. He married a woman named Abigail, with whom he had five children: Joseph, who was a yeoman; Jonathan, who was a tailor; Ruth Harris; Nathaniel; and George.
Curtis Ogden, Sr. of Bridgeton, possibly Jonathanís son, was a tailor and the postmaster. He married Ruth B. ( ) and they had at least three children together: Curtis, Jr.; Henry; and Jonathan. Both Ruth and Curtis Ogden were founding members of the Second Cohansey Baptist Church at Bridgeton, later called the First Baptist Church. Ruth B. Ogden died in 1853 and Curtis, Sr. moved to Philadelphia to live with his son, Curtis, Jr. Curtis Ogden, Sr. died in 1867.
Curtis Ogden, Jr. married Elizabeth Ford, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Ford of Philadelphia. William Ford was a merchant and he and his wife had at least one son, William H., and two other daughters, Sarah and Jenny. Curtis and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ogden lived in Philadelphia and vacationed on Cape Island in Cape May County, New Jersey. They had at least three daughters together: Emma, Helen, and Bertha.
This collection was purchased, date unknown.
The collection is made up of four series: Correspondence, Business/Legal Documents, Records of Bridgeton Organizations, and Miscellaneous. The collection spans the time period 1789-1887, with bulk dates of 1850-1860.
The first and largest series is Correspondence. Most of the letters in the series are those of Elizabeth (Ford) Ogden and her husband Curtis Ogden, Jr. and date from 1850-1860. These mostly pertain to family matters such as births, deaths, sicknesses, trips, and visits. Other letters in the collection refer to the western frontier and the cities of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, national events such as the 1852 nominating convention in Baltimore, and local events in Philadelphia such as a Missionary Union meeting in 1854 and a railroad accident in 1856. The letters to Elizabeth Ogden from her brother William H. Ford were written while he was at school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and later during his travels in Europe. They describe European towns, events, and news.
The Business/Legal Documents series is mostly made up of the bills and receipts of Curtis Ogden, Sr. These records cover thirty years (1808-1838) and document Ogdenís business dealings as a tailor and as a leader of the church. This series also contains two indentures from Joseph and Jonathan Ogden. They pertain to land deals in Cumberland County.
The Records of Bridgeton Organizations series dates from 1832-1842 and is made up of the records of two organizations: The Bridgeton Literary Association and the Sunday School Society of Bridgeton. There are two folders of Literary Association letters. The first folder is made up of letters written to the Associationís president that outline arguments to be used in upcoming debates. The president would then use these notes to introduce the speakers at the beginning of the debate. The second group of Association letters is to editors of various publications. Some of the letters pertain to Bridgeton Literary Association business, while others are in regard to current events or to previously published articles or statements. This series also contains the constitution of the Sunday School Society of Bridgeton.
The Miscellaneous series is made up of calling cards, a list of daily temperatures, a sketch of property in Bridgeton, and lecture/address notes.
Processed by Kim Charlton, November 1999 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society