Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 607, Gildersleeve Family
Papers, 1741-1895 (Bulk dates: 1850-1870), 0.2 linear feet / ˝ small manuscript box
Call Number: MG 607
Correspondence and deeds of the Gildersleeve family and related families in New Jersey and New York; school compositions written by Anna Maria Gildersleeve in 1849 while a student in Jefferson Village (now Maplewood). Deeds primarily concern land in the northern New Jersey counties of Essex, Passaic, Somerset, and Union. The collection includes letters and documents of the Crowell, Snyder, Duran, Dumont, and Ross families.
The Gildersleeves in this collection are descended from John Gildersleeve (1706-1790) and his wife Phebe (Durand?). John Gildersleeve was a successful Newark farmer who owned lands in Newark, Springfield, and Union County, New Jersey. His grandson, the Reverend Joseph Gildersleeve (1775-1846), married Mary Speer, with whom he had a son, Caleb D. Gildersleeve. At some point Caleb moved to Jefferson Village, New Jersey and on March 12, 1831 married Amanda Crowell. Caleb Gildersleeve either had a business in New York City or moved there at some point later in his life. Caleb and Amanda probably had a daughter named Anna Maria. She married James L. Snyder of New York on April 12, 1858.
Family Files: Gildersleeve family, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Genealogical Card Index, The New Jersey Historical Society.
The source of this collection is unknown. Additional documents were added to the collection in 1986.
This collection spans the time period 1741-1895 with bulk dates of 1850-1870. It is largely made up of the papers of Caleb D. Gildersleeve, Anna Maria (Gildersleeve) Snyder, and Ezra Gildersleeve, with a smaller number of documents from other individuals. The collection consists mostly of land deeds, with a small number of letters and legal and financial documents.
The land deeds run from 1741-1861 and include warranty deeds, mortgages, quitclaims, rentals, deeds of gift, deeds of dower, and others. They have been divided and arranged alphabetically by buyer, with women placed under their married names. Gildersleeves have been separated into their own folder. Other buyers are Sarah Ann Cooper, John P. Crowell, William Ross, Mary and Samuel Smith, Anna Maria (Gildersleeve) and James L. Snyder, and Robert and Margaret Withers. The documents are then arranged chronologically. A large number of the land deals documented here involve real estate in New York City on and between 20th and 27th Streets. Other deeds involve lands in Newark, Paterson, and Springfied Township, New Jersey; Buffalo and Flushing Township, New York; and President Township, Pennsylvania. Additionally, there are two maps in the collection. One is a map of lots in Paterson, New Jersey and is probably connected to the deeds of Anna Maria and James L. Snyder who purchased land in that area. The other map is of New York City and details its districts.
The correspondence in the collection is scattered. There are twelve letters, four of which were written to Anna Maria (Gildersleeve) Snyder, and two to Ezra Gildersleeve. The remaining letters are to other individuals. The letters have been arranged alphabetically, first by recipient and then by author. Most of the correspondence discusses everyday family life. Two of Anna Maria (Gildersleeve) Snyder’s letters, however, do refer to a woman’s social club. The members seem to have come from both New York and New Jersey, and Snyder was the secretary. Other letters of interest include the 1895 letter written to E.W. Lindsley from L.I. Gildersleeve regarding shorthand techniques. In it Gildersleeve briefly describes his relation to Lindsley by tracing his father’s roots. The letter of August 18, 1801 is also of interest, for the unknown author talks of Samuel Gildersleeve’s abuse of his wife Ruth. The writer seems to be have been her second husband. The collection also contains a folder of compositions written by Anna Maria Gildersleeve (Snyder) while a student in Jefferson Village, New Jersey.
The legal documents in the collection are varied and come from a number of different individuals. They include insurance policies of Sarah Ann Cooper, estate settlement documents of Anna Drake and Caleb D. Gildersleeve, and a patent application for improved bootjacks filed by George Wheeler.
There are only four financial documents in the collection: two bills, a receipt, and an account of the vendue sale of the wood of Samuel Gildersleeve. Lastly, the collection contains a folder of miscellaneous items.
Processed by Kim Charlton, December 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