Guide to the Crosby Family Papers, 1812-1893

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Crosby Family Papers
Crosby family
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Crosby Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Folder 1 gift of A. Mavis Crosby of Brookline, Mass.; Folder 6 gift of anonymous donor (Acc. RL2003.44).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Crosby family
    • Crosby, Matthew, 1791-1878.
    • Crosby, Silvanus, 1747-1817.
  • Geographical Name
    • Tuckernuck Island (Mass.)
  • Topical Term
    • Agriculture—Massachusetts—Nantucket—History—19th century.
    • Lighthouses—Massachusetts—Tuckernuck Island.

Biographical Information

Matthew Crosby (1791-1878) was born in Nantucket, Mass., to Silvanus Crosby (1747-1817) and Hulda Pease Crosby (1750-1833). He married Lydia Coffin (1793-1823) in 1813. After her death, he married Elizabeth Barnard Powell (1800-1876) in 1825. He had 15 children by his two wives. Matthew was a bank director, merchant, pilot, ship captain, and owner of the ship American.

Scope and Content

The Crosby Family papers primarily include material relating to Matthew Crosby, with a few items from his children and his father, Silvanus Crosby. An autobiographical letter, record books with farming data, and information on the lighthouse at Tuckernuck Shoal are included.


  • Box 1 Folder 1 Matthew Crosby papers, 1871-1878
  • Box 1 Folder 2 Matthew Crosby papers, 1837-1885
  • Box 1 Folder 3 Matthew Crosby papers, 1812-1861
  • Box 1 Folder 4 Matthew Crosby record books, 1856-1877
  • Box 1 Folder 5 Matthew Crosby letters in, 1831-1850
  • Box 1 Folder 6 Items concerning Matthew Crosby, 1839-1876
  • Box 1 Folder 7 Papers concerning lighthouse on Tuckernuck Shoal, 1826
  • Box 1 Folder 8 Proposal for digging out Bar flats, 1828
  • Box 1 Folder 9 Lot & Margaret Crosby papers, 1804-1805
  • Box 1 Folder 10 Matthew Crosby Jr. papers, 1860
  • Box 1 Folder 11 Francis L. Crosby papers, circa 1910
  • Box 1 Folder 12 Crosby family papers, 1805

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff. Finding aid by Abbie Minard and Amelia Holmes, June 2018.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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