MSS 142:  Barney Family History Papers, 1754-1963 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Barney Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Christina DeBenedictis; machine-readable finding aid created by: Christina DeBenedictisInventory of the Barney Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Related Materials

Separations List

Administrative Information

Inventory of Collection

Subject Headings

Inventory of the Barney Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Barney Family Papers
Date Span:
Barney family, 1754-1963
Mss Number:
Mss 142
3 linear inches
Primarily correspondence and financial records of various members of the Barney and Howland families of New Bedford, Massachusetts
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

Peter Barney was born on Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 1757. He began his career there as a tradesman and by 1800 moved his business and family to New Bedford, Mass. He first operated a boot and shoemaking business in the city and by 1804 had set up a mercantile business with his two sons, Paul (1781-1836) and George (1783-1811). The business sold household goods, fabrics, candles and food stuffs and was known as Peter Barney and Sons. The firm operated under that name until George left in 1809, when it then became Peter Barney and Son, operating until 1811.

Peter Barney had also established himself as an auctioneer in 1808 selling goods to settle debts for others. He continued to maintain his auction rooms until 1825. He also briefly formed a partnership with Elisha Thornton in the auction and commission business which lasted from 1818 to 1819.

Barney married three times and had seven children by his first wife, Sarah Coleman Barney (d. 1804). He died in New Bedford in 1838.

His eldest son Paul, after the dissolution of the business with his father, operated a ship chandlery and hardware business. He also served as an agent for Winslow Lewis and Co. of Boston, a manufacturer of patent cordage. He, like his father, also married three times and had two children, one each by the first two wives.

Paul’s son by his second wife, George Howland Barney, was born in New Bedford in 1821. He began his career in the counting room of Charles W. Morgan and then moved into the counting room his uncle Edward Wing Howland, also a whaling agent. He also invested in several of Howland’s vessels and inherited a considerable amount of property. He died as Nashawena in 1883.

Edward Wing Howland, the brother of Paul Barney’s second wife Rebecca Howland, was born in New Bedford in 1804. He engaged in the whale fishery as an agent, owner and outfitter of whaling vessels along with his brother Cornelius and the above mentioned nephew. He died in New Bedford in 1879.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers of various members of the Barney family from 1754-1963 with the majority of the documents dated 1803-1879. The collection begins with the eldest member of the Barney family, Peter Barney. Peter Barney was father to Paul Barney and grandfather to George Barney, who are also both represented in the collection. Peter Barney’s papers are dated 1803-1807 and consist of several financial documents including receipts and personal account listings. Paul Barney, Peter’s eldest son, is present in the collection with a small series containing his correspondence (1830-1831), financial papers (1810) and two items pertaining to his estate, dated 1873. Papers belonging to Paul Barney’s third wife Eliza C. Barney are also part of this collection. Eliza’s papers include a record of an audit done for an organization, “Orphan’s Home,” of which Eliza served as treasurer.

The majority of the documents in the Barney Family Papers belong to George Howland Barney and include his personal correspondence from 1839-1883. A large part of this correspondence is letters written between George Barney and business associate Edward Merrill, who also has a series of financial papers in the collection (1837-1873). George Barney’s financial records (1844-1875) are part of his series as well and are mostly bills of sale regarding whaling ships but there are also several shipping accounts present and insurance documents from 1875-1880. Juliet A.M. Barney, George’s wife, has her own series that contains correspondence (undated) and financial papers (1875-1895).

George and Juliet Barney’s children, Morgan Barney and Anne Barney Sharp, are also represented in this collection. Morgan’s papers include two letters written to Morgan discussing his progress with a family history (1912-1914). Anne’s papers include correspondence (1948-1951) and records regarding the estate of her husband Benjamin Karl Sharp (1946-1963). Anne’s papers also include two legal documents that belong to her father-in-law Benjamin Sharp, dated 1863.

Papers belonging to members of the Howland family are part of this collection as well. The Howlands and Barney’s were related by marriage and the patriarch of the Howland family, Gideon Howland, has a series containing a handwritten copy of his last will and testament (1814). The majority of the Howland family sub-group in this collection belongs to Edward W. Howland, uncle to George Barney, and includes series of his correspondence (1870), ships papers (1860-1878), estate papers (1870-1879) and legal papers (1857). Other members of the Howland family included in this sub-group are Sarah Howland (1833), Lydia Congdon Howland (1851), Cornelius Howland (1855-1856), Louise C. Howland (1865-1895), and Andrew Howland (undated).

Additional family members represented in this collection include Abraham Gifford whose series contains several probate records (1804-1843). The last subgroup in the collection contains collected items both dated (1754-1958) and undated. Included in the collected items sub-group is a series of photographs.

Arrangement of Collection

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Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 142, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:

- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution

If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.

Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.

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Related Manuscript Collections

Mss 103: Barney Family Papers
Mss 156: Barney Family Papers

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Removed to Photographs Collection

24 photographs

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Donated by Nancy Ann Newhouse, 2014. Accession #2014.5.1

Processing Information

Processed by: Christina DeBenedictis, 2014

Encoded by: Christina DeBenedictis, 08 December 2014

Box list appended by: Sara Rose, 08 December 2014

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Inventory of Collection

Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Sub-group 1: Barney Family Papers, 1803-1963
Correspondence, financial records, and legal papers
Series A: Peter Barney Papers, 1803-1807
Box 1
Folder 1
Personal accounts and receipts, 1803-1807
Series B: Paul Barney Papers, 1810-1873
Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1830-1831
Folder 1
Incoming correspondence of Paul Barney, 1830-1831
Subseries 2: Financial Papers, 1810
Folder 1
Receipt of payment, 1810
Subseries 3: Estate Papers, 1873
Folder 1
Floor plan of the estate of Paul Barney, 1873
Manuscript note describing Paul Barney's garden
Series C: Sarah Coffin, 1846
Folder 1
Deed between Matthew Luce, his wife Hepsa Luce, and Sarah Coffin, June 26, 1846
Series D: Eliza C. Barney, 1852
Folder 1
Pamphlet entitled "Ninth Annual Report of the Managers of the Orphans Home"; pamphlet indiciates that Eliza C. Barney was the treasurer, May 11, 1852
Series E: George Barney Papers, 1839-1883
Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1839-1883
Folder 1
Letter from George Barney to Captain Edward Merrill, 1839
Correspondence from Edward Merrill to George Barney, 1849-1853
Folder 2
George Barney incoming correspondence, 1862-1883
Subseries 2: Financial Papers, 1844-1875
Folder 1
Bills of sale, 1844-1853
Folder 2
Bills, receipts, and accounts, 1854-1875
Subseries 3: Insurance Documents, 1875-1880
Folder 1
Fire insuranace policies, 1875-1880
Series F: Juliet A. M. Barney Papers, 1875-1895
Subseries 1: Correspondence, undated
Folder 1
Mrs. George Barney incoming correspondence, undated
Subseries 2: Financial Papers, 1875-1895
Folder 1
Receipts and contracts, 1875-1895
Series G: Morgan Barney, 1912-1914
Folder 1
Morgan Barney incoming correspondence, 1912-1914
Series H: Anne Barney Sharp, 1863-1963
Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1948-1951
Folder 1
Anne Barney Sharp incoming correspondence, 1948-1951
Subseries 2: B. Karl Sharp Estate Papers, 1946-1963
Folder 1
Papers regarding the estate of B. Karl Sharp, 1946-1963
Subseries 3: Benjamin Sharp Papers, 1863
Folder 1
Legal documents, 1863
Sub-group 2: Howland Family Papers, 1814-1879
Correspondence and financial records.
Series A: Gideon Howland, 1814
Folder 1
Last will and testament of Gideon Howland, 1814
Series B: Edward W. Howland, 1857-1879
Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1870
Folder 1
Edward W. Howland associated correspondence, 1870
Subseries 2: Ship's papers, 1860-1878
Folder 1
Shipping accounts, papers, receipts, 1860-1878
Subseries 3: Estate Papers, 1870-1879
Folder 1
Papers regarding the estate of Edward W. Howland, 1870-1879
Subseries 4: Legal Papers, 1857
Folder 1
Pamphlet outlining a lawsuit against Edward W. Howland over the will of George Howland, March 7, 1857
Series C: Papers of Various Howland Family Members, 1833-1895
Subseries 1: Sarah Howland Papers, 1833
Folder 1
Will of John Howland, Jr., 1833
Subseries 2: Lydia Congdon Howland Papers, 1851
Folder 1
Deed of property, 1851
Subseries 3: Cornelius Howland, 1855-1856
Folder 1
Deeds and family papers related to Cornelius Howland, 1855-1856
Subseries 4: Louise C. Howland, 1865-1895
Folder 1
Financial statement and newspaper clipping, 1865-1895
Subseries 5: Andrew M. Howland, undated
Folder 1
Manuscript note, undated
Sub-group 3: Abraham Gifford Papers, 1804-1843
Probate records
Series A: Probate Records, 1804-1843
Folder 1
Probate records related to Abraham Gifford, 1804-1814
Folder 2
Probate records related to Abraham Gifford, 1818-1843
Sub-group 4: Edward Merrill Papers, 1837-1873
Financial records
Series A: Financial Papers, 1837-1873
Folder 1
Financial papers of Edward Merrill, 1837-1873
Sub-group 5: Collected Items, 1754-1958
Series A: Collected Items, 1754-1958
Folder 1
Associated collected material, 1754-1904
Folder 2
Associated collected material, 1914-1958
Series B: Collected Items, undated
Subseries 1: Old New Bedford, undated
Folder 1
Collected materials relating to Old New Bedford, undated
Subseries 2: Collected items, undated
Folder 1
Associated collected items, undated

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Subject Headings

Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1804-1879
Barney family
Barney, Anne Sharp
Barney, Eliza Coleman Barker, 1797-1861
Barney, George Howland, 1821-1883
Barney, Juliet A.M.
Barney, Morgan, 1878-1943
Barney, Paul, 1781-1836
Barney, Peter, 1757-1838
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Businessmen--Mass.--New Bedford
Decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Distribution of decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Executors and administrators--Mass.--New Bedford
Genealogy--Archival resources
Gifford family
Gifford, Abraham
Howland family
Howland, Andrew M.
Howland, Cornelius, 1802-1865
Howland, Cornelius, 1835-1893
Howland, Edward Wing, 1804-1879
Howland, Louise C.
Howland, Lydia Congdon
Howland, Sarah
Inventory of decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford
Merchants--Mass.--New Bedford
Merrill family
Merrill, Edward, 1800-1884
New Bedford (Mass.)
New Bedford (Mass.)--19th century
New Bedford (Mass.)--Genealogy
New Bedford (Mass.)--History
New Bedford (Mass.)--History--Pictorial works
New Bedford (Mass.)--Maps
New Bedford (Mass.)--Newspapers
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford(Mass.)
Ship's papers
Whalemen--Mass.--New Bedford
Whaling--Mass.--New Bedford
Wharves--Mass.--New Bedford

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Vessel Names

Archer (Ship)
Condor (Ship)
Cornelius Howland (Ship)
Euphrates (Ship)
Hesper (Ship)
Ohio (Ship)
Roscius (Ship)

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