Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 663, Henry R. Van Ness (1768-1833) and Phebe Williams Condit (1810-1873)
Papers, 1787-1902 (Bulk dates: 1790-1826), 0.2 linear feet / 1/2 small manuscript box
Consists of a book of verse by Phebe Williams Condit, ca. 1841 (labeled 1902), and an account book kept by Henry R. Van Ness, a farmer in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Also contains bills, programs, a flyer, and a deed.
Gift of Carl Condit Van Ness, 1967.
Henry R. Van Ness was born on August 14, 1768 in Pequannock Township, Morris County, New Jersey. He married Mary Wandle on January 11, 1800 and they had twelve children together. Henry was a farmer in Pompton Plains, New Jersey where the family lived. He died on June 24, 1833.
Phebe Williams (1810-1873) married Ichabod Condit, a merchant and shoe dealer in Orange, New Jersey. She was his second wife and therefore became the mother of his three children. Ichabod and Caroline had a daughter together in 1830, Caroline W. Condit. She married first Tunis A. Waldron, and after his death, James Johnson. In 1880, one of her daughters, Ann E. Waldron, married Wallace Van Ness (1848-1923), a shoe manufacturer from Newark. They had three children together: Schuyler W. Van Ness (1883-1956), Julia St. John Van Ness (1885-1886), and Carl Condit Van Ness (1894-1979).
Condit Family Association, editor Norman I. Condit. The Condits and Their Cousins in America (Cook & McDowell Publications: Owensboro, Kentucky, 1980), Volume 6.
Riker, David M. The Ancestors and Descendants of Simon Van Ness and Hester Delamater (1984).
This collection was donated by Carl Condit Van Ness in March 1967.
The collection is made up of the daybook of Henry R. Van Ness, a copybook of Phebe Williams Condit, and a few miscellaneous papers belonging mostly to Henry R. Van Ness. These items date from 1787-1902 with bulk dates of 1790-1826.
Henry R. Van Ness labeled his ledger a daybook, although it is really more of an account book. Transactions are separated by person and then list the date, item bought and/or task completed, and the price. The accounts are not indexed. The volume itself runs from 1788-1828 and covers a variety of transactions, from selling such products as pork, apples, straw, and hay, to tasks like weaving, carting, hooping, spinning, and mending. There are a few loose papers, largely bills, which have been left inside.
The copybook of Phebe Williams Condit is labeled "Essays and poems of Mrs. Ichabod Condit, neé Miss Phebe Williams, in the possession of her great-grandson S.W.V.N., 1902 AD." S.W.V.N. is Schulyer W. Van Ness, who probably labeled the book in 1902; the poems were written and copied before then. The copybook itself contains approximately fifty poems written by Phebe Williams Condit that cover such topics as friendship, the seasons, religion, and feelings.
The collection also contains a small number of receipts, bills, deeds and miscellaneous documents. These bills and receipts date from 1806-1826 and mostly belong to Henry R. and Abraham M. Van Ness. There is one deed from 1787 regarding land in Morris County, New Jersey and a number of printed programs for benefits held in 1875-1876. The remainder of the documents are miscellaneous notes and writings.
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