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Guide to the Burling Family Papers
1666-2001 (bulk 1789-1860)
  MS 89

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Gregory Tavormina

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 19, 2011
Description is in English.

Biographical Note

The Burling family traces its origins to Barking, a town in east London, England. The earliest known Burling ancestor is Edward Burling (c. 1613-1677), who married Katherine Bowler (c. 1618-1678) in 1638. His son, also named Edward (1639-1697), was also a skilled wheelwright. It was he who immigrated to the Colony of New York around 1680 with his wife Grace Norington (c.1651-1715) and three children. The Burlings were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), and had experienced some religious persecution in Barking. It is thought that the combination of religious persecution, the political turbulence of 17th century England, and economic pressures led the Burling family to seek a new life in New York.

Once in America, the Burlings excelled in various trades, such as farming, carpentry, and shipping. The Burlings initially lived on a lot of property located on lower Manhattan's East River waterfront that eventually became known as Burling Slip.

Many of the documents contained within this collection concern those descendents that had settled in New York City and Westchester County. In particular, William Burling (1750-1832) and Thomas Burling (1741-1820), both sons of John Burling (1703-1785), were especially involved in real estate deals in locations such as Fort Schuyler, Newcastle, Ulster and Westchester County.

The next most-represented people within the collection are William and Thomas' brother James Burling (1752-1840), and his son John Burling (1807-1870). Their presence largely takes the form of business receipts. Both worked as farmers in Purchase, New York.