© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Papers of the Delaplaine Family
1762-1966 (bulk 1762-1879)
  MS 161

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

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jan Hilley with later assistance by Alison Barr. Online finding aid created by Erin Shaw.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on May 28, 2013
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Delaplaine Family Papers
Dates: 1762-1966 (bulk 1762-1879)
Abstract: A collection of correspondence; wills and estate papers; land and real estate transactions; financial papers; genealogical materials; and personal items such as diaries, poetry, religious writings, recipes, school documents, calling cards and invitations, and book recommendations. The Delaplaine family members were New York residents from approximately 1657 although some individuals represented in the collection left the area and established themselves in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.
Quantity: 3.0 Linear feet (4 boxes)
Location note: Manuscript cage
Call Phrase: MS 161

Return to Top »

Biographical Note

1658 Marriage of Nicholas De la Plaine (1633-1712) and  Susanna Cresson (b. 1642) in New York. De la Plaine was a Huguenot who fled France and was known to be in New York as early as 1657. Nicholas and Susanna were the parents of at least twelve children, two of whom, along with their descendents, figure prominently in this collection - James (1659-1750) and Joshua (b. 1683).
1692 Marriage of James Delaplaine (1659-1750) and  Hannah Cock. Of their seven children, son James (1695-1780) moved to Philadelphia and established a branch of the family there.
1716 Marriage of Joshua Delaplaine (b. 1683) and  Esther Zane. Three children were born of this union - Joseph, Joshua (1721-1771) and Elizabeth (b. 1718).
1745 Marriage of Joshua Delaplaine (1721-1771) and  Mary Bustill (d.1792). Of their five children, two married sisters from the Pell family of Westchester County, New York. Joshua (d. 1797) married Euphemia Pell (b. 1750) and Samuel (1750-1809) married  Phila Pell (1752-1832).
1752 Birth of Phila Pell (1752-1832) at the Manor of Pelham, granddaughter of Thomas Pell "first lord of Pelham Manor, an English gentleman and rank royalist (formerly Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I.)" Phila Pell became the wife of Samuel Delaplaine (1750-1809). Many of the items in the collection relate to Samuel and Phila's descendents, including  Elijah Pell Delaplaine (1788-1845) and  John Ferris Delaplaine (1786-1854).
1784 Birth of Phila Pell Delaplaine who married  Collin Reed (d. [1846].) Their one child was  Charlotte Reed (1822-1834).
1804 Marriage of Samuel Bustill Delaplaine (1776-1857) to  Catharine Fink (1788- 1829). This union produced ten children including Phila Amelia Delaplaine (1816-1892).
1814 Marriage of John Ferris Delaplaine (1786-1854) and  Julie Ann Clason (1793-1866). John Ferris Delaplaine was the son of Samuel Delaplaine and Phila Pella and was a wealthy New York shipping merchant. This union produced five children including  John Ferris Delaplaine, Jr. (1815-1885).
1843 Marriage of Phila Amelia Delaplaine (1816-1892) to  David Sage Williams (1819- 1867).

Information derived from wills and other genealogical information within the collection. (Delaplaine family trees are available in the repository.)

Return to Top »

Scope and Content Note

This collection reflects the life and times of a relatively large family living in the northeastern United States in the late eighteenth - early nineteenth centuries. Among its varied contents are two folders of correspondence (1797-1879). There are letters relating business activity, family news, health concerns and reports, religious messages and romantic feelings (Box 1, Folders 1 and 2). Prominent among the correspondents are Phila Delaplaine Reed and her son-in-law David Sage Williams. A group of letters between Charlotte ("Lottie") and Nathaniel ("Nat") reveal their somewhat clandestine relationship. In one letter "Cousin Elizabeth Briggs," who is in financial distress, writes to Phila Reed asking that she take over the care of her daughter, Mary. Most of the letters are easily legible although, in a few cases, the ink is very faded.

Materials dealing with estates and their disposition are found in Box 1 and Box 2. In the first of these, there are wills, notices, releases, assignments, agreements and court actions involving the estates of Samuel Delaplaine, Joshua Delaplaine, Phila Delaplaine, Elijah P. and Charlotte Delaplaine (siblings who died in the same year, intestate), Phila Delaplaine Reed, John Ferris Delaplaine, and Samuel B. Delaplaine. Box 2, Folder 5 contains items pertaining to Collin Reed. He made many wills and this collection contains five of them, as well as an inventory of his estate and a number of documents related to the distribution of his property. Box 1, Folders 9-10 and Box 2 contain information on the many estates of John Ferris Delaplaine.

There are also two folders of land and real estate transactions (Box 1, Folders 7 and 8). With only two exceptions, all properties mentioned are located in New York City. The exceptions are a 1794 document referring to land in Georgia and a deed, dated 1838, for property in Flushing, Queens County. These items include deeds, indentures, notes, leases, agreements, quit claims, a tenant's agreement and a title search.

Among the financial items in Box 3, Folders 3 and 4, are calculations, obligations, accounts, tax assessments and many receipts. There are a bound receipt book (1801-1823) and two booklets primarily used for receipts but which also contain brief genealogical notes. Two 1762 insurance policies (Box 3, Folder 10) cover shipments of goods from New York to Philadelphia. Both policies are in poor condition.

Box 4, Folder 1 contains two personal diaries, for the years 1844 and 1845, belonging to Phila Delaplaine. The entries deal with weather, family issues and the condition of her health. At page 9/16 of the 1845 diary is a valentine poem. Of interest is the supplemental material in the 1844 diary. Included at the beginning are such things as a list of sheriffs and clerks for the various counties; public notaries and commissioners of deeds in New York City; rates of postage; foreign consuls; banks and insurance companies in New York and Brooklyn; and a list of Sundays in the year 1843. In Box 4, Folder 4 are more than 50 recipes for dishes such as pickled walnuts, ground rice pudding, gingerbread, jumbles, syllabub and fried oysters. Most are contained in a booklet that also has other personal notes such as comments on sermons and charitable activities. One page contains Phila's thoughts on the death of her daughter Charlotte in 1834.

The collection contains poetry (12 items in Box 4, Folder 2) and religious papers such as hymns, religious cards, a booklet listing members of the Brick Presbyterian Church of New York (1833) and "The Prayer of an American Citizen " written by B. Delaplaine, Jr. in 1793 (Box 4, Folder 3) Many of the Delaplaines were Quakers although membership in other denominations, such as Presbyterian, is also seen in the collection.

Among the school papers in Box 4, Folder 5 are five compositions written by David Sage Williams while he was a student at Renssalear Oswego Academy.

Box 4, Folder 7 contains three health-related items - a remedy for cholera, another for dropsy, and a medical certificate stating that Samuel B. Delaplaine is unfit for military duty (1814).

Specifications for the construction of a residence for Phila Delaplaine at 136 Bowery in New York City are included in Box 4, Folder 8. They require that the house be very similar to that on the adjoining lot belonging to Collin Reed. Box 4, Folder 10 contains a list of book recommendations by Phila Amelia Delaplaine (1842) and an inventory of books in an unidentified library.

Phila Reed was for many years associated with the New York Asylum for Lying-in Women. References to meetings and prospective 'patients' are intermingled with the recipes in Box 4, Folder 9 and there are several items such as a meeting invitation and a patient recommendation in Box 4, Folder 6.

A significant amount of genealogical information is contained in this collection (Box 4, Folder 11), from births and deaths written on scraps of paper to a 42-page typescript containing transcribed documents and citations focused on the Delaplaines. There is an account of Thomas Pell, Sr., a Williams family genealogy going back to 1647 and a list of houses in New York owned by the Delaplaines and the Pells. Many of the scraps of paper are barely legible but other items are in good condition.


All materials are arranged chronologically or by type of material.

Return to Top »

Return to Top »

Administrative Information


Donation, [1966], later donation, 2012.

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Library Director
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Delaplaine Family Papers (MS 161), The New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

Within the Manuscript Department can be found the following:

  1. Samuel Delaplaine Papers
  2. Joshua Delaplaine Papers

One of the Delaplaine family members mentioned in the Philadelphia area is Joseph Delaplaine. The Library has several related items such as the following:

  1. Delaplaine, Joseph. Delaplaine's Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans. Philadelphia: [s.n.], 1815-[1816]. (Call Number: Y-q 1815.Del)  Delaplaine's Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans

The Library also has genealogical information concerning families related to the Delaplaines. Examples include:

  1. Van Name, Elmer Garfield. Pierre Cresson: the Huguenot of Staten Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Progeny Including (De la Plaine and Demarest Lines). Woodbury, N.J.: Van Name for the Benefit of Gloucester County, 1968. (Call Number: CS71.C9253 no.1)
  2. Barr, Lockwood. Genealogical Charts & Biographical Notes on the Pell Family with Special Reference to the Lords of the Manor of Pelham, Westchester County, New York. Pelham Manor, N.Y.: 1946. (Call Number: CS71.P385)

Return to Top »

Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence (1 of 2)
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence (2 of 2)
1854-1879, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Wills, Estate Papers and Distribution of Estate - Delaplaines
1786-1859, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Wills, Estate Papers and Distribution of Estate - Collin Reed
1809-1848, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Estate Papers, Inventories, Court Records, and Distribution of Estate - John Ferris Delaplaine
1854-1858, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Land and Real Estate Transactions (1 of 2)
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Land and Real Estate Transactions (2 of 2)
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Land and Estate Transactions, Brinkerhoff Property - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Land and Estate Transactions, Eldridge Street - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Land and Estate Transactions, Cannon Street Property - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Land and Estate Transactions, 27 Acres of Land (Kingsbridge) - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Land and Estate Transactions, Corner of Cherry and Pike Streets - John Ferris Delaplaine
1831-1845, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Land and Estate Transactions, 122-123 Streets - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Land and Estate Transactions, 10 Van Dam Street - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Land and Estate Transactions, 189 Tenth Avenue - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Land and Estate Transactions, 7th Avenue Lots - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Land and Estate Transactions, 114 Warren Street - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Land and Estate Transactions, Gowanus Farm - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Land and Estate Transactions, Gowanus Farm - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Land and Estate Transactions - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Land and Estate Transactions, 18th Street - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Elijah Delaplaine - Rentals
1818-1840, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Advertisements for Property Sales
1828, 1844, 1868
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Financial Papers (1 of 2)
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Financial Papers (2 of 2)
1810-1847, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Financial Papers - John Ferris Delaplaine
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Financial Papers - Elijah Delaplaine
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Papers - John Ferris Delaplaine, Jr.
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Insurance Policies
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Bond - Daniel Proudfit to George Soullard
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Fire Insurance Policies
1839, 1856, 1860
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Blank Forms
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Pew Purchase - Reformed Protestant Dutch Church
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Greenwood Cemetary Deed - Julia A. Delaplaine
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Diaries of Phila Delaplaine
1844-1845, 1910
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Poetry
1800-1855, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Religious Papers and Hymns
1793-1858, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Recipes
1824-1834, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 5 School Papers
1838-1840, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Calling Cards and Invitations
1799-1893, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 7 Health-Related Materials
1808, 1814, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 8 House Construction Specifications
1828, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 9 New York Asylum for Lying-In Women Material
Box: 4 Folder : 10 Book Recommendations and Inventory
1842, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 11 Genealogical and Historical Materials
1809, 1917, 1966, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 12 Fragment and Alienated Envelopes

Return to Top »

Return to Top »