Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Daniel Burnap was born on November 1st, 1759. He grew up in East Windsor, Connecticut and earned a reputation as a clock maker, particularly musical clocks. He married Deliverance Kingsbury (born 1761) and about 1795 moved to Andover, Connecticut, where he became a farmer, a Justice of the Peace, and repaired watches and made buckles, jewelry and silverware.
Deliverance Burnap died in 1822 and a year later Daniel married Mary Kingsbury, his late wife’s niece. They had three children: Daniel Kingsbury (1824-1844), Mary Delia (born 1827) and Charlotte Elizabeth (born 1830).
Daniel had several siblings, including Abner (born 1764), and many nieces and nephews. Daniel died on September 26th, 1838; his second wife Mary died in 1876. Daughter Charlotte married Thomas Hyde and they had three children.
For more on Daniel Burnap, see Shop Records of Daniel Burnap, Clockmaker, by Penrose R. Hoopes, 1958.
The collection consists primarily of letters to and from Daniel Burnap’s family and documents relating to his work as a justice of the peace, including court summonses and other legal and financial documents. There are also numerous bills, receipts and accounts, along with deeds, military documents and more. The earliest documents are from the late early 1780s and the latest from the 1850s, after Daniel died. The bulk of the collection dates roughly between 1800 and 1838. The collection has been divided into correspondence, financial records, Justice of the Peace records, and assorted documents and then organized chronologically by year and partially by day and month. Several sets of documents found in labeled wrappers have been preserved separately in the manner Daniel had collected them.
There are several letters from Daniel’s brother Abner as well as many letters from three of his nephews: Ela (also known as Eli, born 1784 and son of Abner), Silas A. (another son of Abner) and National Olmstead (1784-1870, married to Daniel’s niece Phidelia, daughter of Abner). There are also many letters to Daniel’s second wife Mary (some addressed to Mrs. Daniel Burnap, others to Mrs. Mary Burnap or Mrs. Mary K Burnap). Most of these were written after Daniel died and are from her daughters or friends.
In addition to family letters, the collection contains general letters written to Daniel from friends or business acquaintances. Many court summons signed by Daniel and written to various sheriffs in Connecticut are also included along with other legal documents, probably related to his role as Justice of the Peace. Daniel’s involvement with the 1st Ecclesiastical Society of Andover is also documented in the collection.
Of particular note are a notebook with drawings of parts of clocks, a volume he labeled his “Watch book” with accounts of watch repairs, and several account books, that post-date his clock making days. Tax documents from Coventry, and Daniel’s own taxes also form part of the collection.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Burnap, Mary Kingsbury
Clocks and watches.
Justices of the Peace.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Robert Johnston in 2009.
EAD Finding Aid created October 2013.