Two Letters from Thomas Gilpin to Jane Strawbridge Ledyard, October 1852

The following are two letters from the archives at Lorenzo in Cazenovia, New York. These letters pre-date another between the same two correspondents that appears elsewhere on this site. In that letter, dated November 27, 1852, Thomas Gilpin was replying to a response by Jane Ledyard to his earlier two letters. These are the first two letters by Thomas Gilpin in a series in which he was asking for feedback on his genealogy of the Gilpins and related lines.

Philadelphia. 20 Oct. 1852

Jane Ledyard
Respected Cousin!

I hope that after averting to the signature of this letter some recollection may turn up of the person who makes the address and then the object of it will come to be reasonable.

For a considerable time past I have employed some of my vacant hours in looking up the various branches of the family from which we have equally descended and more particularly of that division of it in which we approximate to each other — being alike from thee the children of Samuel Gilpin the Second Son of Joseph and Hannah Gilpin the Emigrants from England in 1696. — and I refer to a subsequent part of this Letter for a further account of it.

I have had from time to time part of my information respecting thy own extension of the family from my cousin thy brother John but not having recently seen him — he formerly desired I would write thee direct as he told me thou took an interest in the family connexions backward as well as for time to come.
I therefore enclose one or two papers which will show a certain progress in the matter — and I have traced the family in a similar diagram in its descent on England from the ancestor Richard De Guylpyn in the Reign of King 1206.— to this time — it is all authenticated and comprises many worthy — and distinguished people.

Among these is Bernard Gilpin — a likeness of whom I have obtained and enclose a lithograph copy of it —

May I now ask the favor of thee to let me know at an early time if the notice I have put in it of thy own family is correct — and if not to correct it and give me any additions to it because if in time I will add them in their places and it may be not only satisfactory to me but to some persons if future perhaps of thy own family.

The whole descent in America is from the Society of Friends — and most or indeed all of them of respectable if not of elevated like —

The print I enclose is a proof of the printing and need not be returned to me — but as it is ready for my purposes and proper to be issued it will much oblige me if it may be convenient to make any addition to it very soon because it is the only impediment to it — I could not send it sooner having received it from the printer this afternoon.

If the matter interests thee sufficiently hereafter I will send the former pedigree diagram — and I am now desirous to finish the whole — because in the first place if I accomplish it — it will be the only opportunity — and in the second I have to rely upon the beneficent use of my faculties to effect it at near 77 Years of age.


Permit me to offer my best respects to Gen Ledyard and thy family and

Believe me very respectfully

thy cousin

Thomas Gilpin

144 Walnut St.


Philadelphia. 30 Oct. 1852

Jane Ledyard

My dear Cousin!

I had the pleasure to receive thy letter acknowledging the receipt of the family papers which I am very happy to find were interesting to thee — since then having written to Hugh Davey Divans Baltimore and had his reply, I have had all the alterations made from his letters as well as thy own, and they all appear in the enclosed trial sheet which is just sent me from the printer — I have had the places for thy own family better accommodated and will ask the favor of thee to let me know if it is now all correct — Hugh Davey Evans never was married.

To accompany this American branch, I send enclosed the English family from its first records to comprise all the Members there, I could obtain and to contain the descent of “Joseph and Hannah Gilpin — the Emigrants”