Markham Family Papers

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Markham family papers
Creator: Markham (Family : Rochester Region, N.Y.)
Call Number: D.186
Dates: 1821-1907
Physical Description: 8 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Collection Overview
Title: Markham family papers
Creator: Markham (Family : Rochester Region, N.Y.)
Call Number: D.186
Dates: 1821-1907
Physical Description: 8 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Deacon Daniel Markham, an early ancestor of the Markham family, emigrated from England to the new American colonies around the year 1660, and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In June of 1761, his great-grandson, William Markham, married Abigail Cone Wiley of East Haddam, Connecticut. They had eight children, of whom Colonel William Markham (1762-1826) was the eldest. He married Phoebe Dexter in 1785, and they moved to Hartford (now Rush) in western New York state. (William and Abigail followed in 1791, and both died in 1792.) In 1804, the Colonel built a permanent family residence on the Markham farm at Elm Place, near Avon, N.Y. It was the first brick house in the region.

It is William Guy Markham who is perhaps the best-known member of the family. He was born at Elm Place on September 2, 1836. His education was largely at the Lima (N.Y.) Seminary, after which he engaged in farming. In 1858 he began breeding Durham cattle, and for almost 20 years was one of the noted breeders of cattle in the country. In 1872 he turned his attention to American Merino sheep. He became recognized throughout America and many foreign lands as an authority on sheep, and was widely known as one of the most successful and extensive sheep breeders in the United States. He traveled extensively around the world in the interest of the sheep industry. On May 25, 1885, he married Josephine Foote of Brooklyn, N.Y. They had one child, a daughter named Mary.

Scope and Content
This collection is composed of correspondence among members of the Markham family, who were one of the first families to settle in the Genesee Valley region of New York State. There are over 1720 letters here, which span three generations of Markhams from 1821 through 1907. These family letters reveal the daily occurrences as well as the personal, social and business concerns which influenced their lives.

Guy Markham (1800-1892) was William and Phoebe's eighth (of ten) child. He married Eliza Emma Williams from Goshen, Massachusetts in 1835 and brought her back to Elm Place, leaving her family behind. Most of the first generation of correspondence in this collection consists of letters to Eliza from her parents (John and Mercy (Weeks) Williams), sisters (Harriet and Elvira), brothers (Horace Hinckley and Seth), and cousins in Goshen. These were mostly about family matters, such as health, travels and day-to-day happenings.

The second generation of Markham correspondence, starting in the mid-1850's consist of letters between Guy and Eliza's children and their various friends and relatives. Among the Markham children, the principal correspondents were Mary, Isabelle, Susan Emma, and William Guy. (There appears to have been another brother, but his name is not mentioned.) They often went to visit relatives in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, and wrote home frequently with the news of their stays. Through the late 1850's, there are a number of letters from Susan and William written of their times while at school, mostly to Mary, who was at the Musical Institute in New London. In 1862, Susan married Charles Chenery Puffer (1841-1915); he traveled widely from the mid-1870's on, dealing in business matters, and wrote to her often of his experiences. (Puffer worked as a bank cashier and financier; he later started a glass-enameled steel products manufacturing business, which in 1902 became the Pfaulder Company. He often traveled to its subsidiary companies in Detroit, Michigan; Schwetzingen, Baden, Germany; and London; combined, these companies comprised the largest such concern of its kind in the world. Together with brother-in-law William Guy Markham, he also owned and ran a model dairy of some 400 acres in Rush, and traveled around the state on its business regularly.) They all wrote frequently to Mary, even after she moved to Ionia, Michigan to be a music instructor.

The third generation of Markham correspondence, starting about the mid-1880's is a mixture of William Guy Markham's business-related material and personal letters exchanged among the several grandchildren of Guy and Eliza Markham. The principal correspondents here were Susan's daughter Isabel and Linda. Isabelle (Guy and Eliza's daughter) married Alfred Dunsford; they lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan with their three daughters Mabel, Ruth and Fanny, who penned several letters to their cousins back east. When the girls weren't writing to each other, they were writing either to their Aunt Mary, their Uncle William Guy, or his wife, their "Aunt Josie". Once again, these letters centered mostly on family and other personal matters. In 1891, Linda and Isable graduated from Wellesley College, and in 1900 they traveled with their Aunt Mary through Europe. They all wrote several letters of their trips through France, England and Switzerland.

These are the principal correspondents. Letters also occur from friends of the girls and other relatives (such as the Boltwoods in Connecticut, the Dunsfords in New York, and the Dexters in Massachusetts.)

Subject(s):
New York (State)--Rochester
United States--Genesee River Valley
Correspondence
Markham (Family : Rochester Region, N.Y.)
Access
The Markham family papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Markham family papers, D.186, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Box 1, Folder 1-11Correspondence, 1821, 1831-1862
Box 2, Folder 1-6Correspondence, 1863-1867
Box 3, Folder 1-7Correspondence, 1868-1873
Box 4, Folder 1-11Correspondence, 1874-1885
Box 5, Folder 1-9Correspondence, 1886-1900
Box 6, Folder 1-8Correspondence, 1901-1922, undated
Box 7, Folder 1-7;
Box 8, Folder 1-5
Correspondence, undated
Box 8, Folder 6Date books belonging to Mary E. Markham, 1855, 1862, 1869
Box 8, Folder 7Insurance policies and property deed, 1805-1878
Box 8, Folder 8Indentured servant contract


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