MSS 38:  West Family Papers, ca. 1643-1893 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Inventory of the West Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Judith Downey; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kermit Dewey Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the West Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Separations List

Administrative Information


Subject Headings

Inventory of the West Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

West Family Papers
Date Span:
ca. 1643-1893
West family
Mss Number:
Mss 38
1 linear foot
Business and personal papers of a Dartmouth and Fairhaven, Massachusetts, family, ca. 1643-1893.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

Stephen West (1654-1748), the American progenitor of the West family of Massachusetts, was one of the early settlers of a part of old Dartmouth now known as Fairhaven. He was a farmer and landholder, after whom West Island, which he acquired from his father-in-law John Cooke, was named. Papers in this collection relate to members of several generations of West's descendants. Most notable among these individuals are his son, Stephen West Jr. (1695-1769), his grandson, Samuel West (1725-ca.1812), and his great-grandson, Stephen West (1756-1841). Stephen West Jr. was a landowner who also served as selectman of Dartmouth. Samuel West also was a landowner who appears to have had various mercantile interests and the responsibility of settling relatives' estates. Stephen West was a shoemaker.

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Scope and Content Note

Papers in this collection reflect the activities of members of the West family of Dartmouth and Fairhaven, Mass., between ca. 1643-1893. The material concentrates on Stephen West Jr., his son, Samuel West, and on Samuel's son, Stephen West. Stephen West Jr.'s papers consist of personal correspondence, 1750-1751; legal documents, 1723-1763; selectman's records, 1731-1754; land surveys, 1712-1732, probably relating to his duty as selectman as none are for his properties; account books, 1723-1756; and bills and receipts, 1741-1769. Samuel West's papers include personal correspondence, 1777-1792; a deed, 1787; an account book, 1760-1776; bills and receipts, 1759-1811; estate records for Obed Hathaway, 1766-1777 and for Stephen West Jr., 1763-1811; and a poem and list, ca. 1760-1778. Stephen West's papers contain personal correspondence, 1772-1842; legal documents, 1803-1814; account books for shoemaking business, 1785-1824; bills and receipts, 1774-1834; tax records and receipts, 1797-1838; estate records for Samuel West, 1808-1817, and his own estate, 1842; and a school book for practical arithmetic, ca. 1780.

Also represented by materials in this collection are other West family members and relatives by marriage. Elnathan West's (b. 1753), son of Samuel, papers include financial records, 1772-1807, bills and receipts, 1792-1809, and estate records for Peace Clifton, 1792-1800. Papers for George A. Hatch (ca. 1800-ca. 1852), husband of Asaba West, daughter of Stephen West(1756-1841), include bills and receipts, 1830-1849, for work as mariner on various vessels, and an insurance policy, 1844. Papers for William S. Hersey (1822-1904), son of Silvanus and Rhoda West Hersey, consist of account books, 1836-1868, for work as a calker on various vessels; legal documents, 1850-1867; tax records and receipts, 1845-1891; Old Colony Railroad records, 1881-1890, where Hersey was employed as a car inspector; and school records, membership, subscription, list, program and memoranda, 1848-1893.

Materials in the West collection have been organized into sub-groups representing individual members of the West family and other individuals related by marriage. The sub-groups have been listed in chronological order by the date of birth of the individual. The papers have been organized into series by type of document and are arranged in chronological order. A final sub-group of this collection contains correspondence, a religious discourse, a guardianship record, lists, a death record, a boundary dispute, petition, meeting notice, bills and receipts, a deed, and fragments of documents, 1703-1877, believed to have belonged to West family members.

Arrangement of Collection

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Access to the Collection

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 38 [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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Removed to Printed Collection

- Contact - Flood and hurricane issue, (Boston, Mass., 1938).
- The Daily Mercury - Jan. 3, 1863, (New Bedford, Mass., 1863).
- Dartmouth Tercentenary, 1664-1964, Souvenir Booklet and Program, (l964).
- The Holburn Restaurant: Menu (London, England, 1898).
- Hurricane Pictures of Greater Fall River, Sept, 1938. (Fall River, Mass., 1938).
- Hurricane, Southeastern Massachusetts, Sept, 14, 1944. (New Bedford, Mass., 1944).
- Hurricane, 1954. (New Bedford, Mass., 1954).
- New Bedford and Vicinity. (Portland, Me., n.d.).
- New Bedford Reminiscence in Pictures, (New Bedford, Mass., n.d.).
- The New York Herald-- April 15, 1865, (New York, New York, 1865), [Lincoln's assasination].
- 1938 Hurricane Pictures from Falmouth to Fall River . . ., (New Bedford, Mass., 1938).
- "Piece from the 'Mayflower Bible,'" ca. 1620.
- Psalms, xxii - xlii (pp-.47-98, n.d.).
- Reproductions of Work designed by C. Hammond & Son - Architects, (New Bedford, Mass., n.d.).
- Thomson, James. The Seasons . . ., (Exeter, 1836).

Removed to Objects Collection

- Partial watercolor of By Chance (Brig), n.d.

Removed to Broadside Collection

- "Old Hunker Ticket," [New Bedford, Mass., ca. 1845]
- "The World's Prayer"
- "Republican Ticket" Grant and Wilson, ca. 1872
- "Law and Order Ticket," George R. Richmond for Mayor, n.d.
- "El Modena": advertisement of summer resort in California, n.d.

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Materials in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by A.S. Francis on 17 March 1980.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 26 March 2012

Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Sub-group 1: Stephen West Papers, 1686-1731 [8 items]
Sub-group 2: Samuel Jenney Papers, ca.1643, 1685-1718 [11 items]
Deeds and estate records.
Sub-group 3: Stephen West Jr. Papers, 1723-1769 [2 inches]
Correspondence; legal documents; selectman records; land surveys; account books; and bills and receipts.
Sub-group 4: John West Papers, 1721, 1746, 1778, 1789 [5 inches]
Deed, bills and receipts, and wills.
Sub-group 5: Christopher Turner Papers, 1737, 1760, 1783 [4 items]
Letter to Stephen West, deeds, and estate record.
Sub-group 6: Daniel Summerton Papers, 1737-1811 [7 items]
Bills and receipts and estate records.
Sub-group 7: Samuel West Papers, 1759-1811 [2 inches]
Correspondence; deeds; account book; bills and receipts; estate records; and a poem and list.
Sub-group 8: Bartholomew West Papers, 1749, ca.1750, 1753, 1756, 1764, 1771 [8 items]
Bills and receipts, list of tools, and meeting notice.
Sub-group 9: Elnathan West Papers, 1772-1809 [27 items]
Financial records, bills and receipts, and estate records.
Sub-group 10: Stephen West Papers, 1772-1842 [3 inches]
Correspondence; legal documents; account books; bills and receipts; tax records and receipts; estate records; and a school book.
Sub-group 11: Rhoda West Papers, 1776-1788, 1812-1827 [3 items]
Account books and poetry.
Sub-group 12: Nehemiah West Papers, 1826 [1 item]
Deed with Jonathan Howland.
Sub-group 13: John Peckham West Papers, 1841-1852 [2 items]
Deed and an account book.
Sub-group 14: George A. Hatch Papers, 1830-1834, 1836-1840, 1844, 1849 [16 items]
Bills and receipts and an insurance policy.
Sub-group 15: William S. Hersey Papers, 1836-1893 [1 inch]
Account books; legal documents; tax records and receipts; schools records, membership, subscripton, list, program, memoranda; and Old Colony Railroad records.
Sub-group 16: Miscellaneous Family Papers, 1703-1877 [1 inch]
Correspondence, a religious discourse, a guardianship record, lists, a death record, boundary dispute, a petition, meeting notice, bills and receipts, a deed, and fragments of documents.

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Subject Headings

Account books--Dartmouth, Mass.--1723-1812
Account books--Fairhaven, Mass.--1812-1868
Boots and shoes--Trade and manufacture--Mass.--Dartmouth
Clifton, Peace, d. 1799
Decedents' estates--Mass.--Dartmouth
Distribution of decedents' estates--Mass.--Dartmouth
Hatch, George A., ca. 1800-ca. 1852
Hathaway, Obed, 1740-1773
Hersey, William S., 1822-1910
Inventories of decedents' estates--Mass.--Dartmouth
Jenney, Samuel, 1659-1718
Jenney, Samuel, ca. 1616-1692
Local taxation--Mass.--Fairhaven
Local taxation--Mass.--New Bedford
Merchant seamen--Mass.--Dartmouth
Poll tax--Mass.--Fairhaven
Poll tax--Mass.--New Bedford
Ships-- Maintenance and repair
Summerton, Daniel, b. 1713
Summerton, Thomas, 1711-1736
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--Fairhaven
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--New Bedford
Taxation, State
Taxation--Mass.--New Bedford
Turner, Christopher, ca. 1710-ca. 1780
West Island, Mass.
West, Bartholomew, 1734-ca. 1818
West, Elnathan, b. 1753
West, John Peckham, b. 1791
West, John, 1697-ca. 1789
West, Nehemiah, b. 1788
West, Rhoda, b. 1756
West, Samuel, 1725-ca. 1812
West, Stephen, 1654-1748
West, Stephen, 1756-1841
West, Stephen, Jr., 1695-1769
West, William R., b. 1788

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