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Guide to the Hart, Budd, and Nestell Family Papers
 MS 3127

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 30, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hart (Family)
Creator: Nestell (Family)
Title: Hart, Budd, and Nestell family papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1804–1955
Abstract: A small collection of 19th and early 20th-century deeds, wills, estate inventories, legal papers, and portrait photographs documenting the intermarried Hart, Budd, and Nestell families of Westchester County, New York, and New York City. The collection includes two maps and a series of 1912 photographs of properties at Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island, Los Angeles, California, many of which were lost to fire in 1915.
Quantity: 1 Linear feet (in 1 record carton).
Call Phrase: MS 3127

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Biographical / Historical

(All names underlined below are represented by documents in the present collection.)

The family documented here descends chiefly from Monmouth Hart (1689–1761), of Westchester County, New York, and his wife, Sarah Ogden. Among the children of Monmouth and Sarah (Ogden) Hart was a son, Joseph Hart (circa 1726/7–1807). By his marriage to Elizabeth Gidney, Joseph was the father of another  Joseph Hart (1757–1836). The younger Joseph married Tamar Budd, a daughter of  Joseph Budd, and among their children was a son,  Henry Hart, who married Esther Horton. The children of Henry and Esther (Horton) Hart included  John Horton Hart (1819–1886),  Joseph Budd Hart (1825–1878),  Henry Azariah Hart (1832–1865), and  George Washington Hart (1837–1896).

New York City merchant Joseph Budd Hart—not to be confused with his uncle, fellow merchant Joseph B. Hart (1796–1887)—married Emma Selina Nestell (1834–1907), a daughter of  John Joachim Nestell (1809–1885) and Jane Ann Elizabeth Schultz. Together Joseph Budd and Emma S. (Nestell) Hart had four children:  Irene Nestell (Hart) Collord (1860–1950),  George Henry Hart (1861–1867),  Charles Henry Hart (1867–1940), and Emma Josephine (Hart) Sheridan (1869–1916).

Joseph Budd Hart died in 1878, leaving substantial real estate holdings. His will appointed as executors his brother, George Washington Hart, his widow, Emma, and Emma's brother, John Jay Nestell (1840–1917). The latter took control of the estate's affairs, but was eventually charged with failing to account for about $600,000 of it. Hart's heirs claimed Nestell misused the funds to speculate on recreational properties at Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island, in Los Angeles, California, for his personal gain (hence the maps and photographs in Folders 23–25).

This note draws largely from genealogical data supplied by the donor found in Folder 1. See, also, "Accused of Failing to Render Account" in the Los Angeles Herald, Saturday 15 August 1908, p. 12, and "Estate $600,000 Short. Referee Charges Speculation with J. B. Hart Property" in the  New York Tribune, Saturday 14 May 1910, p. 7.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection contains deeds, wills, estate inventories, legal papers, and portrait photographs of members of the intermarried Hart, Budd, and Nestell families, dating from the early 19th through early 20th-centuries. The family held significant amounts of real property in New York City, and files for those properties contain instruments such as quitclaim deeds, building permits, proposals, specifications, and the occasional blueprint. The properties at Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island, in Los Angeles, California, are marked on two maps (1912 and undated) and documented by two series of photographs: one taken in 1912, the other in 1915 after a fire had destroyed half of Avalon's buildings.


The collection is organized alphabetically by surname or topic in 38 folders.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Deeds.
  • Estate inventories
  • Mortgages
  • Photographs.
  • Wills

Subject Topics

  • Real property -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Real property -- New York (State) -- Orange County

Subject Places

  • Avalon (Calif.)
  • Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Westchester County (N.Y.)

Family Name(s)

  • Hart (Family)
  • Nestell (Family)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Use Restrictions

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to 20 exposures of stable, unbound material per day. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to:

Department of Rights and Reproductions
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024-5194
Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Hart, Budd, and Nestell Family Papers, MS 3127, New-York Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles Centerfit Hart, December 2018 (accession no. MS-2019-007).

Processing Information

Archivist Joseph Ditta arranged and described this collection in March 2020.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 [Genealogical data and collection information]
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Budd, Joseph. Estate
1826 July 21
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Collord, Irene Nestell (Hart) (1860–1950). Estate
1947 October 14
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Hart family. Photographs

Scope and Contents

Includes carte-de-visite and cabinet card photographs of

Emma S. Hart
Esther Horton Hart (1794–1875)
George Hart (1861–1867)
George W. Hart
George & Anne Hart
Henry Azariah Hart (1832–1865)
John Horton Hart (1819–1886)
Joseph Budd Hart (1825–1878)
William Horton Hart
Two unidentified

circa 1860–1900
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Hart, Charles Henry (1867–1940). Photographs
circa 1870–1895
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Hart, Emma Selina (Nestell) (1834–1907). Estate
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Hart, Henry (1787–1848). Assignments, bonds, mortgages, releases
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Hart, Henry (1787–1848). Will
1841 April 27
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Hart, Henry (1787–1848). Estate inventory (Eastchester, Westchester Co., N.Y.)
1848 June
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Hart, Jane (Barker). Transfer of mortgage to John G. Horton
1849 August 1
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Hart, Joseph (circa 1726/7–1807). Will (Bedford, Westchester Co., N.Y.)

Scope and Contents

Will dated December 28, 1804; proved April 10, 1807.

Box: 1 Folder : 12 Hart, Joseph (circa 1757–1836). Deed
1810 January 25
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Hart, Joseph (circa 1757–1836). Estate
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Hart, Joseph Budd (1825–1878). Notebook

Scope and Contents

Notebook originally the property of Joseph Budd Hart (1825–1878), containing genealogical data, family bible records, and later contributions by Hart's descendants. Many pages blank.

1849–circa 1985
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Hart, Joseph Budd (1825–1878). School rewards of merit (4)
Box: 1 Folder : 16–17 Hart, Joseph Budd (1825–1878). Estate (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

"Papers on Judgement against John Jay Nestell as executor under the Last Will & Testament of Joseph Budd Hart."

circa 1875–1910
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Hewer, William and Martha. Release to William Ward
1844 January 25
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Nestell family. Photographs

Scope and Contents

Includes carte-de-visite and cabinet card photographs of

Edward Victor Nestell (1871– )
John Joachim Nestell (1809–1885)
Raymond Jay Nestell (1877–1968)

circa 1860–1900
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Nestell, John Joachim (1809–1885). Miscellaneous
1849, 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Nestell, Schultz, and Coger families. Vital statistics
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Notebook [blank]

Scope and Contents

Promotional pocket-sized notebook issued by E. S. Higgins Carpet Co., 41 Union Square West, New York.

[circa 1899]
Box: 1 Folder : 23–25 Real estate. Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Los Angeles, California (3 folders)

Scope and Contents

Maps and photographs of properties owned/managed by John Jay Nestell (1840–1917), purportedly as executor for the estate of his brother-in-law, Joseph Budd Hart (1825–1878). The maps (2), labeled "Map showing portions of Town of Avalon, Catalina Island" (undated) and "Map of portion of the Town of Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Los Angeles Co., California" (March 11, 1912), are marked to indicate the following properties, each of which is recorded by an accompanying photograph (spread across Folders 23 and 24):

Bijou Apartments
Blake Bonnie Cottage [or Blink Bonnie Cottage]
Brownie Cottage
Buena Vista Cottage
Campus Virginia
Firenze Apartments
Floral Camp No. 1
Floral Camp No. 2
Isabella House
Loraine Apartments
Pacific Hotel
Rosemary Cottages (Nestell Place)
Sea Breeze Cottage
Tio Juan Houses
Touraine Apartments

For further details, see the transcript of a "Journal kept by Charles Henry Hart, 199 Lenox Avenue, New York, New York, of a business trip to Denver, Colorado and Catalina Island, California, February 26, 1912 to March 23, 1912" in Folder 1.

Folder 25 holds photographs depicting the aftermath of the fire of November 29, 1915 that destroyed half of Avalon's buildings, including, from the list above, the Bijou, Brownie, Firenze, Loraine, Pacific Hotel, Rosemary, Savoie, Sea Breeze, Tio Juan, and Touraine.

1911–1912, 1915
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Real estate. New York, N.Y. Attorney Street, no. 105
1837, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Real estate. New York, N.Y. East 3rd Street, no. 38
1942 April 20
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Real estate. New York, N.Y. East 124th Street, no. [31?]
1861, 1867, 1884
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Real estate. New York, N.Y. East 124th Street, nos. 15-21, and East 125th Street, nos. 16-24
circa 1926–1955
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Real estate. New York, N.Y. East 125th Street, no. 24
1875, 1899, 1907
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Real estate. New York, N.Y. East 128th Street, no. 157-159
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Real estate. New York, N.Y. Lenox Avenue, no. 199
1897 July 20
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Real estate. New York, N.Y. Ridge Street, no. 41
1843 December 30
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Real estate. New York, N.Y. St. Mark's Place, no. 65-67
Box: 1 Folder : 35–36 Real estate. New York, N.Y. West 125th Street, no. 76 (2 folders)
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Real estate. Orange County, N.Y.

Scope and Contents

Two deeds for property in the Drowned Lands, today known as the Black Dirt Region, of Orange County, New York: Wm. Townsend, Isaac Townsend, et al., to John Hildreth (October 19, 1818), and John Hildreth to Robert Wardell (January 16, 1819).

1818, 1819
Box: 1 Folder : 38 The Sun [newspaper]

Scope and Contents

According to the donor (see copy of letter dated December 4, 2018 in Folder 1), this single issue of The Sun, published at New York, was found inside an old Hart family bible that his father, John Budd Hart (1918–1982), had brought to Birmingham, Alabama, to be re-bound. The donor had the newspaper framed under glass, with both sides visible. That is how it came to the New-York Historical Society. The frame was discarded on March 5, 2020.

1834 March 11

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