Collection ID: MS 241

Collection context


Gilyard, Thomas, 1786-1853
Diaries, a farm ledger, poems, hymns and correspondence. The diary entries cover the years 1828-1853 and are interspersed with copies of Gilyard family letters from England (1808-1818) together with fifty-five pages of recipes for dyes. Many of the diary entries concern the Methodist Church of which Gilyard was a trustee for some thirty years. The farm ledger (1835-1845) records farm activities and the sale of farm produce.
0.5 Linear Feet


Acquisition information:
Gift of David F. Gilyard in 1953.
Rules or conventions:
translation missing: en.enumerations.resource_finding_aid_description_rules.Finding aid created in accordance with Manuscripts and Archives Processing Manual
Scope and Content:

The papers consist of Thomas Gilyard's journal, a farm ledger, and various poems and hymns, as well as some correspondence. In the first volume of the journal, preceding or interspersed with diary entries for 1828-1843, are copies of letters to and from Gilyard's family in England (1808-1818) and fifty-five pages of recipes for dyes. The other volume is almost entirely composed of diary entries, 1832-1853. Included are detailed accounts of family and neighborhood activities, local politics, legal cases in the vicinity, and much matter of interest for the history of the Methodist church. The small ledger dates mainly from 1833-1845, with a few later entries, and deals for the most part with farm activities and the sale of farm produce. Finally, there is also a volume of poems, hymns, and so forth, and a photostatic copy of a self-portrait of Gilyard.

The papers were the gift of David F. Gilyard in 1953.

Biographical / Historical:

Thomas Gilyard was born in Leeds, England in 1786, son of Edmund Gilyard. He was brought to the United States in 1807 by General David Humphreys to assist the latter in the establishment of his woolen mill in Humphreysville, now Seymour, Connecticut. Gilyard was the first broadcloth finisher in this country. He married Lois French of Bethany, Connecticut in 1810, took the freeman's oath in 1819, and settled on a farm in Humphreysville. He was an ardent member of the Methodist church, of which he was a trustee for about thirty years, and something of amateur poet and artist. He died in 1853.


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