Guide to the Macy Family Papers, 1716–1959, Bulk 1800–1870

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.

Summary

In 1659, Thomas Macy was among the first Englishmen to purchase land on Nantucket. He, his wife Sarah Hopcott Macy, and their five children became the first European settlers on the island and his descendants would contribute to local government, whaling, manufacturing, and Nantucket history. This collection includes correspondence, diaries, deeds and land records, estate papers, business and financial records, and other materials of various members of the Macy family including Obed Macy (1762–1844). Subjects in both series include the manufacture of soap and candles, salt trade, fishing, whaling, real estate, the Coffin School, banking, local history, ships, shipbuilding, shipwrecks, the War of 1812, weather, Quaker meetings, Native Americans, and medicinal cures. Of note are the 6 volumes of journals kept by Obed Macy in which he recorded daily details of island life, as well personal opinions on national and international events.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
MS96
Title:
Macy Family Papers
Date(s):
1716–1959, Bulk 1800–1870
Creator:
Macy family.
Repository:
Nantucket Historical Association
Language:
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 Macy Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

The moss book in folder 46 a gift of Moses Joy (Acc. No. 1195); the account book in folder 44 a gift of Moses Joy (Acc. #1521); and folder 2 a gift of Mrs. Frank E. Lewis in 1974 (Acc. 74-62-9 PFM).

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.

Related Collections

  • MS119 Macy Family Papers / Cloyes Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Macy family.
  • Topical Term
    • Landowners.
    • Ship captains.
    • Whaling masters.
    • Local officials and employees.
    • Quakers.
    • Candle industry.
    • Soap trade.
    • Salt industry and trade.
    • Whaling ships.
    • Real property.
    • Shipbuilding.
    • Fisheries.
    • Shipwrecks.
    • Medicine -- Formulae, receipts, prescriptions.

Biographical Information

Between 1635 and 1639, Thomas Macy left his home in England and sailed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There, he was a merchant, planter, selectmen, juryman, and a Baptist preacher. In 1659, he was among the first Englishmen to purchase land on Nantucket. He, his wife Sarah Hopcott Macy, and their five children became the first Europeans settlers on the island. His descendants would contribute to local government, whaling, manufacturing, and Nantucket history. One of these descendants, Obed Macy (1762–1844), was a Quaker, historian, whale man, shoemaker, blacksmith, farmer, ship owner, merchant, Clerk of the Town Meeting, author, journalist, and one of the Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Land. He and his brother Silvanus manufactured soap and spermaceti candles, and served as agents for whaleships, merchant vessels, and fishing craft. In 1835, he published History of Nantucket, a book Herman Melville would reference while writing Moby Dick.  

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of two series. Series 1 includes correspondence, diaries, deeds and land records, estate papers, business and financial records, and other materials of various members of the Macy family. Series 2 is comprised of the correspondence, letter books, journals, research materials, and other papers of Obed Macy (1762–1844). Subjects in both series include the manufacture of soap and candles, salt trade, fishing, whaling, real estate, the Coffin School, banking, local history, ships, shipbuilding, shipwrecks, the War of 1812, weather, Quaker meetings, Native Americans, and medicinal cures. Of note are the 6 volumes of journals kept by Obed Macy in which he recorded daily details of island life, as well personal opinions on national and international events.

Contents

Series 1: Macy Family Papers, 1716–1959, undated.

Extent: About 450 items.

Scope and content: Includes correspondence, diaries, deeds and land records, estate papers, business and financial records, and other materials of various members of the Macy family arranged alphabetically by name.

 

Folder 1 Albert Macy (1819–1889), 1876–1946

Folder 2 Alexander Macy (1792–1880), 1792–1854

Folder 3 Alexander I. Macy (1820–1884), 1845–1855

Folder 4 Alice S. Macy, 1853, undated

Folder 5 Barzillai Macy (1759–1789), 1786

Folders 6–7 Caleb Macy (1719–1798), 1754–1799

Folder 8 Caleb Macy (1764–1834)                                                                              1790–1820

Folder 9 David Macy (1714­–), 1749

Folder 10 Elisha Macy (1753–1806), 1796

Folder 11 Francis Macy (1715–1893), 1782–1787

Folder 12 Eliza Rand Potter (1839–), undated

Folder 13 Francis Macy (1750–1817), 1788–1807

Folder 14 George C. Macy (1814–), 1901–1905

Folder 15 George W. Macy (1815–1890), 1847–1872

Folder 16 James Macy (1796­–1862), 1845–1858

Folder 17 John Macy Jr. (1675–1751), 1792–1749

Folder 18 John Macy (1655–1691), 1716

Folder 19 John W. Macy (1826–), 1875

Folder 20 Jonathan Macy, Jr., 1797

Folder 21 Joseph B. Macy (1821–1888), 1862–1886

Folder 22 Josiah Macy (1785–1872), 1828–1872

Folder 23 Judith Folger Gardner Macy (1729–1819), 1819–1879

Folder 24 Latham Macy (1759–1793), 1792

Folder 25 Louisa Macy, 1825

Folder 26 Lydia Russell Macy (1760–1847), 1795–1847

Folder 27 Macy Family Reunion, 1959

Folder 28 Macy Genealogy, circa 1868

Folder 29 Mary B. Coffin Macy Thain (1803–1847), 1847

Folder 30 Obed Macy 2nd (1773–1848), 1827

Folder 31 Paul Macy (1740–1832, 1780–1834, 1780–), 1809

Folder 32 Peleg Macy (1787–1870), 1803–1863

Folder 33 Peter Macy (1792–1846), 1809–1831

Folder 34 Phillip Macy (1819–1901), 1844

Folder 35 Richard Macy (1689–1779), 1720–1784

Folder 36 Richard Macy (1742–1814), 1766–1812

Folder 37 Richard Macy, 1840–1846

Folder 38 Capt. Richard Macy (1797–1850), 1815–1816

Folder 39 Robert Macy (1798–1828), 1865

Folder 40 Robert C. Macy (1822–1885), 1865

Folder 41 Robert F. Macy (1822–1891), 1828–1856

Folder 42 Samuel G. Macy, 1855

Folder 43 Silvanus Macy (1756–1833), 1792–1835

Folder 44 Silvanus Macy (1756–1833) and Obed Macy (1762–1844), 1798–1822

Folder 45 Stephen Macy, 1786

Folder 46 T.G. Macy, 1874

Folder 47 Thomas Macy (1787–1864), 1824–1861

Folder 48 Thomas Macy (1787–1864), 1855

Folder 49 Thomas M. Macy (1796–1838), 1832

Folder 50 Thomas W. Macy (1974–1878), 1844–1849

Folder 51 Tirza Bearse Gibbs Macy (1816–1860), 1852

Folder 52 William C. Macy (1827–), 1877

Folder 53 William D. Macy (1830–), 1855

Folder 54 William F. Macy, undated

Folder 55 William F. Macy Nantucket Telephone Cable, 1916

Folder 56 William H. Macy business card, undated

Folder 57 William Hussey Macy (1826–1891), 1848–1873

Folder 58 William Hussey Macy (1826–1891), 1848–1873

Folder 59 Zaccheus Macy (1713/14–1797), 1768–1793

Folder 60 Zephaniah Coffin Macy (1781–1866), 1808–1843

Folder 61 Unidentified members of the Macy family, 1789–1850

 

Series 2: Obed Macy Papers, 1799–1855, undated.

Extent: About 130 items.

Scope and content: Comprised of the correspondence, letter books, journals, research materials, and other papers of Obed Macy (1762–1844). Subjects in both series include the manufacture of soap and candles, salt trade, fishing, whaling, real estate, the Coffin School, banking, local history, ships, shipbuilding, shipwrecks, the War of 1812, weather, Quaker meetings, Native Americans, and medicinal cures. Of note are the 6 volumes of journals kept by Obed Macy in which he recorded daily details of island life, as well personal opinions on national and international events. Papers are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

 

Folder 62 Obed Macy (1762-1844): A Solemn Review of the Customs of War, 1815

Folder 63 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Addenda to History, undated

Folder 64 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Bank Books, 1795–1812

Folder 65 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Book of Macys and Folgers, 1851

Box 4 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Cancelled checks, 1813–1829

Folder 66 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Census, 1810

Folder 67 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Census, 1820

Folder 68 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Journal 1, 1 January 1799–22 February 1811

Includes daily details of island life, as well Obed’s personal opinions on national and international events.

Folder 69 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Journal 2, 23 February 1811–12 November 1814

Includes daily details of island life, as well Obed’s personal opinions on national and international events.

Folder 70 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Journal 3, 13 November–27 April 1822

Includes daily details of island life, as well Obed’s personal opinions on national and international events.

Folder 71 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Journal 4, July 1822–13 October 1827

Includes daily details of island life, as well Obed’s personal opinions on national and international events.

Folder 72 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Journal 5, 14 November 1827–December 1838

Includes daily details of island life, as well Obed’s personal opinions on national and international events.

Folder 73 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Journal 6, 17 December 1838–10 March 1855

Includes daily details of island life, as well Obed’s personal opinions on national and international events.

Folder 74 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Land records, 1813

Folder 75 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Letter books, 1835

Folder 76 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Medicinal Receipts, 1817

Folder 77 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Notebook “A”, undated

Folder 78 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Notebook “B”, undated

Folder 79 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Notes for second printing of “History of Nantucket”, undated

Folder 80 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Papers, 1800–1839

Folder 81 Obed Macy (1762–1844): Plans of Coskata, 1777

OP-96/1 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Plats, 1821

Folder 82 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Salt Book, ship Lydia, 1798

Folders 83–85 Obed Macy (1762-1844): Two records of deaths of Nantucketpersons and descendants by Philip Macy being in continuation, 1837–1914

Folder 86 Obed Macy (1762–1844): War of 1812, 1812–1815

Items Separated

  • OP-96/1 Oversized paper item

Processing Information

Processed by Mimi Fowlkes and Peggi Godwin, September 2022.

Finding aid by Ashley Miller, September 2022.

Materials in this collection were digitized with support from Connie and Tom Cigarran.

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