MSS 47:  Smellie Family Papers, 1826-1952 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Smellie Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Barbara E. Austen, with assistance from Barbara Groves; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kermit DeweyFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Smellie 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 Smellie Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Smellie Family Papers
Date Span:
Smellie family
Mss Number:
Mss 47
5 linear feet
Chiefly business records of a Rochester, Massachusetts, family, 1826-1952.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

James Smellie was born about 1802 in Scotland. He came to the United States between 1837-1840 and settled in Rochester, Massachusetts, where he owned a farm. His oldest son, Walter G. Smellie, born in Rochester in 1842, owned and operated a sawmill. William Henry Smellie, James' second son, born in 1843, learned the blacksmithing trade at the age of sixteen and continued that work up until his death in 1918. William's son, William Nye Smellie, born in 1875, helped his father in his blacksmithing business, later establishing his own business in bicycle and motor bike sales and service. He had at least one son, William Covell Smellie, born in 1910, who changed his name to William Covell Scott in 1960.

Return to the Table of Contents

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of this collection consists of the papers of William Henry Smellie, whose financial records, consisting of day books and ledgers for his blacksmithing business, are nearly complete from 1865-1916. Only six years are missing in the day books: 1882, 1883, 1890, 1891, 1892, and 1903, while the ledgers appear more complete. These volumes are supplemented by day books and ledgers kept by William Nye Smellie, who apparently became his father's partner around the year 1909. Other papers of William Henry Smellie encompass insurance records from 1888-1917, both business and personal; bills and receipts, 1873-1917, including bills he received, particularly from Jonathan Handy Company of New Bedford, Mass., as well as bills he sent for services rendered and for his son-in-law, Walton H Jenkins; estate records for his aunt, Elizabeth Parlow, 1881, 1902-1903; incoming business correspondence, 1904-1914; and a membership certificate and receipt book for the Knights of Honor, 1881, 1895-1899.

In addition to the day books and ledgers, dating from 1909-1924, William Nye Smellie is represented by bills and receipts, legal documents, and a business letter, 1903-1952; papers for C. Augustus Covell, 1859, and Amy Covell Smellie, 1900-1946, relatives by marriage; and related material, 1942-1945.

Other family members represented in this collection include James Smellie, whose papers consist of a cash book, 1832-1837, and correspondence, 1826, 1828; Walter G. Smellie, whose account books, 1870-1872, principally consist of labor records; and William Covell Scott, whose papers consist of bookkeeping exercises, 1921-1926.

Arrangement of Collection

Return to the Table of Contents

Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 47, [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.

Return to the Table of Contents

Removed to Photographs Collection

- Photograph of man in uniform, ca. 1900.

Removed to Printed Collection

- Annual Report of the Directors of American Telephone and Telegraph Company . . . , New York, 1916.
- "Currants, gooseberries, raspberries and champion grape," Rochester, N.Y., ca. 1875. Pamphlet.
- General Laws and Constitution of Subordinate Lodge Knights of Honor, Boston, 1880.

Removed to Objects Collection

- Advertising card, ca. 1900.
- Leather folder, ca. 1940.
- Leather wallet, signed Jeremiah Randall.
- Postcard of Crawford Notch, N.H., ca. 1900.

Return to the Table of Contents


Existing records reveal neither the source nor the accession date of the bulk of this collection. One ledger was given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by William C. Scott, 20 October 1964.

Processing Information

Processed by: Barbara E. Austen, with assistance from Barbara Groves, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 03 April 2012

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

Return to the Table of Contents


Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Sub-group 1: James Smellie Papers, 1826, 1828, 1832-1837 [3 items]
Cash book and incoming personal correspondence.
Sub-group 2: Walter G. Smellie Papers, 1870-1872 [4 items]
Account books.
Sub-group 3: William Henry Smellie Papers, 1865-1917 [4 linear feet]
Financial records; insurance records; bills and receipts; estate records of Elizabeth Parlow; incoming business correspondence; and a membership certificate and receipt book.
Sub-group 4: William Nye Smellie Papers, 1859, 1900-1946, 1952 [10 inches]
Financial records; bills and receipts; lease and deed; letter concerning bills for lumber; papers for C. Augustus Covell and Amy Covell Smellie; and ration books, salary records, checks, and a poem.
Sub-group 5: William Covell Scott Papers, 1921-1926 [1 item]
Bookkeeping exercises.

Return to the Table of Contents

Subject Headings

Account books--Rochester, Mass.--1865-1924
Account books--Scotland--1832-1837
Bicycles and tricycles--Maintenance and repair
Business records--Mass.--Rochester
Carriage and wagon making--Mass.--Rochester
Covell, C. Augustus, b. 1843
Insurance policies--Mass.--Rochester
Jonathan Handy Company, New Bedford, Mass.
Lumber trade--Mass.--Rochester
Rochester, Mass.--Commerce
Sawmill workers--Mass.--Rochester
Scott, William Covell, 1910-
Smellie family
Smellie, Amy Covell, b. 1879
Smellie, James, b. ca. 1802
Smellie, Walter G. b. 1842
Smellie, William Covell, b. 1910 SEE Scott, William Covell, b. 1910
Smellie, William Henry, 1843-1918
Smellie, William Nye, 1874-1957
Wages--Sawmill workers--Mass.--Rochester

Return to the Table of Contents