TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Creator:||Nesbitt, Thomas, 1760-1819.|
|Title:||Thomas Nesbitt (1760-1819), Merchant Record Books|
|Abstract:||Consists of twenty-one volumes of daybooks and account books kept by Thomas Nesbitt, a merchant who operated in Millstone, Mount Pleasant, Plainfield, Raritan Bridge, Scotch Plains, and Springfield, New Jersey. Thomas Nesbitt was born in County Armagh, Ireland and came to America in 1784. His brother, Hugh, became a business partner of John Ralston and his son, also Hugh, married Ralston's daughter.|
|Quantity:||.75 linear feet (21 volumes)|
|Collection Number:||MG 130|
Thomas Nesbitt (1760-1819) emigrated from County Armagh, Ireland to the United States in 1784 probably with his brother Hugh Nesbitt. He eventually settled in New Jersey, moving progressively west over the years from Springfield, Scotch Plains, and Plainfield, then probably part of Essex County (now in Union County) to Millstone, Mount Pleasant, Raritan Bridge, and finally Somerville, in Somerset County. He married, had at least one son, Hugh, and operated a general store in Somerville and probably other towns in New Jersey (it is unclear how many stores he had because of changing town names and borders).
On January 27, 1818, Hugh Nesbitt (d. 1827), Thomas’s son, married Mary Ann Ralston, the daughter of John and Margaret Ralston, also from County Armagh, Ireland. John Ralston, who lived in Mendham, New Jersey (part of which was later called Ralston), was a merchant and the partner of Hugh Nesbitt, Thomas’s brother. Hugh (d. 1827) joined his father’s business in Somerville until Thomas Nesbitt’s death in 1819, at which time he moved with his family to Mendham where he became a farmer and businessman. Hugh and Mary Ann Nesbitt had three children before Hugh’s death in 1827. Their only son was named after Mary Ann’s father, John Ralston Nesbitt.
The Thomas Nesbitt Records consist of twenty-one volumes of daybooks, account books, and a notebook, used in Nesbitt’s general store. The record books date from 1787-1826 and document the purchase or barter of dry and wet goods, such as butter, molasses, handkerchiefs, buttons, rum, and spirits. The volumes are arranged by record type and then by date.
The collection contains sixteen daybooks, dating from 1787-1826, and labeled with the various town headings of Springfield, Scotch Plains, Plainfield, Millstone, Mount Pleasant, Raritan Bridge, Somerville, and Mendham. The series of daybook entries from the last town, Mendham, date from 1821-1826, and are probably from either Thomas Nesbitt’s brother, Hugh Nesbitt, who ran a store in Mendham, or from his son, also named Hugh, who lived there. The daybook entries are chronological and record customer name, purchase, and price.
The collection contains four account books, dating from 1788-1816. Two of the volumes were labeled as "Ledger C" and "Ledger F," while two have missing covers and are therefore unlabelled. The volumes all refer to other ledgers, for example "Ledger E." The accounts are by customer and contain debit and credit sides, the former of which includes date, item purchased, and price, while the latter includes date, and how the debt was paid, for example "by cash," "by bushels of corn," or "by work at a wagon." Each of the account books contains an index.
The remaining item in the collection is a small notebook containing a list of boarders, a recipe for dying fabric or yarn blue, and an "account of work at the sawmill." The notebook dates from 1810-1813.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
|The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.|
|Nesbitt, Thomas, 1760-1819.|
|Dry goods--New Jersey.|
|General stores--New Jersey.|
|Mount Pleasant (N.J.)|
|Raritan Bridge (N.J.)|
|Scotch Plains (N.J.)|
This collection should be cited as:Manuscript Group 130, Thomas Nesbitt (1760-1819), Merchant Record books, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Gift of Mrs. E. J. Rood, 1927.
Hopler, Martha G., et al.Cyclopedia of New Jersey Biography Memorial and Biographical The Mendhams (Mendham Township Committee: Brookside New Jersey, 1964), pgs. 83-89.
|1||1||Daybook – Springfield||1787 July-1788 Mar.|
|1||2||Daybook – Scotch Plains||1791 Aug.-1792 May|
|1||3||Daybook – Scotch Plains||1792 May-1793 Feb.|
|1||4||Daybook – Plainfield||1793 Mar.-1793 Dec.|
|1||5||Daybook – Plainfield||1793 Dec.-1794 Aug.|
|1||6||Daybook – Plainfield||1795 July-1795 Nov.|
|1||7||Daybook – Millstone||1796 June-1796 Sept.|
|1||8||Daybook – Millstone / Mount Pleasant||1797 Nov.-1797 Dec.; 1798 Jan.-1798 Dec.|
|1||9||Daybook – Mount Pleasant / Raritan Bridge||1799 Jan.-1801 June; 1801 June- 1801 July|
|1||10||Daybook – Raritan Bridge||1801 July-1802 Nov.|
|1||11||Daybook – Raritan Bridge / Bedminster||1802 Dec.-1804 June; 1822 June-1825 Apr.|
|1||12||Daybook – Raritan Bridge||1806 Feb.-1807 Nov.|
|2||1||Daybook – Raritan Bridge||1807 Nov.-1809 July|
|2||2||Daybook – Raritan Bridge||1812 June-1816 Feb.|
|2||3||Account book – "Ledger C"||1788-1797|
|2||5||Account book – "Ledger F"||1792-1794|
|3 (Ledger size)||Daybook – Somerville||1815 June-1816 Mar.|
|4 (Ledger size)||Daybook – Somerville & Mendham; "Sundry accounts to H. Nesbitt"||1816 Mar.-1818 Apr. & 1821 Apr.-1826 Sept.; 1817 May-1821 Dec.|
|5 (Ledger size)||Account book||1804-1816|
Submit a request to copy part of this collection
The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place - Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 596-8500 - Fax: (973) 596-6957
Copyright © 2001, The New Jersey Historical Society