Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Abijah Catlin, the progenitor of this Harwinton-based family married Hannah Cook. Their children included Millicent, Honour, Abijah, Hannah and Lewis. Abijah the son was born in 1747. He married Huldah Wiard and they had Anna, who married an Abernathy, Abijah, (1779-1836) who married Orinda, Huldah (b. 1781) who married James Stoddard, Hannah, Samuel A., Lucretia and Rachel who married Dana Hungerford (1790-1860) of Harwinton, Conn. and Columbus, Georgia.
Abijah and Orinda had children Abijah (b. 1805), David W. (b. 1806), Harriet, Orinda, Caroline (b. 1809) who married Anson Hungerford, Julie, Anne and Adeline. David and Abijah formed a partnership with Dana Hungerford to operate a grocery business in Georgia. Dana Hungerford’s brother Anson (1785-1867) had a daughter Nancy who married William S. Hurd and a son named Anson (1814-1871). Hurd and the younger Anson Hungerford formed a commercial partnership in Georgia, called Hurd & Hungerford.
The collection descended in the Hungerford family, from the younger Anson to his son Newman, the eventual donor of the materials. It has been organized into four series based on family name or location. A number of bundles or packets of material were found. These were kept together and the original title of the bundle was transcribed as the description.
Series I contains the papers of the Catlin family. Abijah Catlin (1747-1813) is primarily represented by estate records, 1802-1822. These records include bills, notes and accounts predating Abijah’s death by several years. The earlier records were probably unsettled transactions that were considered outstanding debt when the estate was settled. The folders marked “Recpts and ac[counts] include some deeds, and accounts related to his sister Huldah and her husband James Stoddard, dated 1815-1822. All of these documents were found tied in a bundle and therefore were kept together.
Among the papers of Abijah (1779-1836) are militia records, specifically his appointment as an officer, 1798, and his discharge, 1807. Also of interest is a bundle of records, 1827, 1829 entitled “Bill good bo’t for Harriet, Adeline, Orinda and Julia.” These were found among his estate records, but appear to be bills for items he purchased for his daughters as they set up housekeeping after their marriages.
Abijah’s daughter or wife Orinda kept notes on sermons that were probably given by Reverend George Pierce of Harwinton, 1824-1827. There are also copies of Orinda’s will, 1860. Abijah’s brother Samuel A. is represented by his estate records, 1829-1833.
The first folder of Abijah (b. 1805) Catlin’s papers contains “papers taken from Father’s pocket book by me Feb. 16, 1842.” Abijah studied law at Yale College and his papers include notes he took from his classes. It was this Abijah who conducted business in Georgia. His co-partnership agreement includes Dana Hungerford of George, his brother David W. Catlin of Harwinton, and Lester Cowdry of Hartford. They conducted a grocery business in Columbus, Georgia, 1835. However, the partnership does not appear to have lasted very long as there is a court case, 1837-1838 involving the buy-out of a portion of the business by one of the partners. A bundle of documents entitled “Southern papers” includes various partnership agreements, bills and accounts, 1837-1839.
The most unique item among David W. Catlin’s papers is the minutes of “the dissection & examination of Amos Root 36 hours after death,” undated. He also settled the estate of Mary Williams, 1835-1838.
Series II contains records from the town of Harwinton, probably gathered by the Catlin family through their civic activities. Accounts and receipts of the Litchfield & Harwinton Turnpike date from 1818-1827 and include papers signed by and perhaps written by Joshua Williams. These include two essays he wrote for his birthday, 1796, 1817, and autobiography, and orders of payment to the treasurer of the Turnpike signed by Williams as a director, 1826.
Of most interest in the records of Harwinton Church Society, 1789-1828, are the minutes of a series of special committee meetings regarding the status of the Reverend Joshua Williams, 1821-1822, 1828. He had stated in a sermon that he was not fit in mind of body to conduct his ministerial work. The committee questioned the minister and also called a larger consociation meeting to decide the best course of action.
One folder in this series contains assorted documents with a Harwinton provenance. The most interesting are the constitution of the Harwinton Temperance Society, a prenuptial agreement, 1854, and a sermon dated 1799 but with no author indicated.
The Hungerford family papers in Series III primarily deal with business ventures, most notably Hungerford & Catlin and Hurd & Huntington. Dana Hungerford’s papers revolve around selling his part of the Hungerford & Catlin business. A 1839 document is a sales agreement in which he sells ¼ part of Brown & Co. The records of Hungerford & Catlin include notes, 1835-1839, a summons, 1837, and a statement of why Dana Hungerford entered into partnership with Catlin. Bills, receipts and accounts represent both Anson Hungerford’s papers and the records of Hurd & Hungerford. A folder of genealogical material on the Hungerford family include funeral sermons, pages from a printed genealogy, and family records.
The final Series contains non-family materials. Vital records of the Phelps and Cook family are arranged first. An unknown individual wrote a document entitled "The March of the Rifle Battalions Across Connecticut, August 1775." There are three copies, one of which contains illustrations (photographs). The final folder contains assorted documents, the most interesting of which are a set of tickets to Andrew Johnson’s impeachment hearings.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Catlin, Abijah, 1747-1813.
Catlin, Abijah, 1779-1836.
Catlin, Abijah, 1805-1891.
Hungerford, Anson, 1814-1871.
Hungerford, Dana, 1790-1860.
Hungerford & Catlin (Columbus, Ga.)
Harwinton (Conn.)--History sources.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Barbara Austen in 2006.
EAD Finding Aid created September 2014.