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Guide to the Blackburne, Woodward, and Ottaway family papers 2013.006

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Jeff Edelstein

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on September 17, 2015
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of correspondence, wills, travel journals and diaries, photographs (cabinet cards, cartes-de-visite, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, photo postcards, loose prints), holiday greeting cards, school programs, report cards, birth certificates, inventories of assets, genealogies, and artifacts including parasols and pairs of spectacles, relating to individuals in the Woodward, Blackburne, Cooke or Cook, Ward, Littlejohn, Condit, Haynes, Hart, and Ottaway families; other family names mentioned include Haviland, Prosser, Weber, and Procteroe. The items date from 1807 to circa 1960 and describe travels all over Europe and family events and daily life in Brooklyn, New York (addresses include 161 Henry Street, 259 Henry Street, 54 Remsen Street, 70 Sands Street, 86 Sands Street, and 578 East 17th Street); Endicott, New York; Purchase, New York; Norfolk, Connecticut; and Buck Hill Farms, Pennsylvania.

Highlights include a handwritten story, report cards from Packer Collegiate Institute, a description of the lace on Ruth Ottaway’s wedding dress given by her aunt in a letter, a colorful collection of holiday cards, inventory lists of some family members’ property with their Last Will and Testament, indentures from as early as 1807 related to the family’s properties on Sands Street, many handwritten journals of traveling in Europe in the late 19th century (including descriptions and ephemera related to the Paris Exhibition of 1889), the citizenship papers for Sophia B. Littlejohn, a letter and certificate signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as assistant secretary of the Navy during World War I, an oversized photograph of the Packer Institute Class of 1930, and a family tree workbook that is partially filled with information. The photographs are mostly portraits; a large number being cabinet cards from Brooklyn and Manhattan studios, interior photographs, and some casual photographs taken with what is probably one of Kodak’s first Brownie cameras.

Arrangement note

The collection is organized into five series. The first three series, John B. Woodward and Elizabeth C. Woodward scrapbooks and papers, Mary B. Woodward scrapbooks and papers, and  Ruth Hart Ottaway papers, include material related to specific family members, including both text and photographic items. The fourth series,  Documents and genealogical papers, includes legal materials (wills, indentures, inventories) and genealogical material. The fifth series,  Photographs, includes photographs of other family members (most unidentified) and places, including interiors of several family residences.