Fordyce family papers, 1839-1979.
Collection Number: 3646

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


Fordyce family papers, 1839-1979.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Collection Number:
Collection consists of correspondence, account books, notebooks, photographs, deeds, and other material of the Fordyce family of Scipio Center, Cayuga County and Monroe County, New York. Also contains papers of the Ohio branch of the Fordyce family, which included George Lincoln Fordyce, a Cleveland businessman and naturalist.
Fordyce family.
30.4 cubic feet.
Collection material in English


Cite As:

Fordyce Family Papers, #3646. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Scope and content

This collection consists of correspondence, account books, notebooks, photographs and deeds of the Fordyce family of Scipio Center, Cayuga County and Monroe County, New York, dating 1839-1979. It includes letters and papers of the Nathaniel Horton Fordyce family of Monroe County, New York, 1839-1925, 1969. Many of them are letters to Nathaniel and Henrietta's daughter, Cornelia, a schoolteacher, from sisters Helen, Frances and Mary, her brother Horton and from Henrietta. Also, courtship letters of Horton (Nathaniel Horton, Jr.) Fordyce to Julia Heusner of Rochester, New York, and other letters from Heusner and Fordyce friends and relatives, 1846-1919. Includes letters to Cornelia Fordyce from family and friends, 1851-1919, some written by cousins fighting in the Civil War, 1861-1864; letters from Addie Gilson to Cornelia Fordyce, 1877-1907; photocopies of letters, papers and clippings concerning the Ohio branch of the Fordyce family, 1890-1979; correspondence includes letters from Ernest Thompson Seton, field notes, glass slides, articles, and clippings, largely concerning ornithology, by and about George Lincoln Fordyce, a Cleveland businessman and naturalist. Also, daguerreotypes, portraits and photographs of family members and friends; photograph albums, newspaper clippings; wallpaper samples from the Fordyce house; menus, invitations, postcards and stock certificates; letters, scrapbooks and photographs from the travels of Oscar F. and Rebecca Fordyce Gayton.


Coulson, Louise.
Fordyce, Cornelia.
Fordyce, Frances.
Fordyce, George Lincoln.
Fordyce, Helen.
Fordyce, Henrietta.
Fordyce, Horton (Nathaniel Horton)
Fordyce, Mary.
Fordyce, Nathaniel Horton.
Seton, Ernest Thompson.
Gayton, Oscar F.
Gayton, Rebecca Fordyce.
Gilson, Addie.
Heusner, Julia.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
Scipio Center (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.
Ohio -- Social life and customs.
Monroe County (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.
Cayuga County (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.
Voyages and travels.
Form and Genre Terms:
Stock certificates.

Series I, 1839-1925, 1969.
Scope and Contents
Consists of the letters and papers of the Nathaniel Horton Fordyce family of Monroe County, New York, and of a few friends and relatives. Many of the letters are to Nathaniel and Henrietta Fordyce's daughter, Cornelia, a schoolteacher, from sisters Helen, Frances, and Mary, and brother Horton, and from Henrietta.
Box 1 Folder 1
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3
Box 1 Folder 4
Box 1 Folder 5
Box 1 Folder 6
Box 1 Folder 7
Box 1 Folder 8
1872, 1873
Box 1 Folder 9
Box 2 Folder 1
Box 2 Folder 2
Box 2 Folder 3
1878, 1879
Box 2 Folder 4
Box 2 Folder 5
Box 2 Folder 6
1882, 1884, 1885
Box 2 Folder 7
1886, 1887
Box 2 Folder 8
1888, 1889
Box 2 Folder 9
Box 2 Folder 10
1901-1922, 1969
Box 2 Folder 11
Series II, 1846-1919.
Scope and Contents
Mostly the courtship letters of Horton (Nathaniel Horton, Jr.) to Julia Heusner of Rochester, whom he married in 1896. In them he discusses the progress of the rooms he is adding to the farmhouse at Scipio for their own use. (Julia died in 1898 in childbirth.) Other letters are from Heusner and Fordyce friends and relatives.
Box 3 Folder 1
1846, 1871, 1877-1887
Box 3 Folder 2
Box 3 Folder 3
Box 3 Folder 4
Jan.-Apr. 1896
Box 3 Folder 5
May 1896
Box 3 Folder 6
June-July 1896
Box 3 Folder 7
Aug.-Sept. 1896
Box 3 Folder 8
Oct.-Dec. 1896
Box 3 Folder 9
Jan.-June 1897
Box 3 Folder 10
July-Dec. 1897
Box 3 Folder 11
Jan.-Mar. 1898
Box 3 Folder 12
Apr. 1898-1919
Box 3 Folder 13
Series III, 1851-1913.
Scope and Contents
These letters are from more than fifty friends and relatives to Cornelia Fordyce. A few letters, 1861-1864, are written by cousins at the battlefront. The transcripts of these letters are alphabetically arranged by sender.
Box 4 Folder 1
Box 4 Folder 2
Box 4 Folder 3
1860, 1861
Box 4 Folder 4
1862, 1863
Box 4 Folder 5
Box 4 Folder 6
Box 4 Folder 7
Box 4 Folder 8
Box 4 Folder 9
Box 5 Folder 1
Box 5 Folder 2
Box 5 Folder 3
Box 5 Folder 4
Box 5 Folder 5
Series IV, 1877-1907.
Scope and Contents
Addie Gilson is the author of this extensive correspondnce--she wrote at least weekly to Cornelia--filled with thoughts on religion, her infirmities, and news of various family members and friends. Addie apparently was confined to a wheelchair much of the time. Beside writing many letters, she used her time in bottling and distributing "Dr. Hammond's Great Remedy."
Box 5 Folder 6
Box 5 Folder 7
Box 5 Folder 8
Box 6 Folder 1
Box 6 Folder 2
Box 6 Folder 3
Box 6 Folder 4
Box 6 Folder 5
Box 6 Folder 6
Box 6 Folder 7
Box 6 Folder 8
1893-1894, 1898, 1900, 1907
Box 7
Daguerreotypes, portraits, photographs of family members and friends.
Box 8
Two paragraph albums, photos, portraits, newspaper clippings of family members and friends.
Box 9
Letter transcriptions. Five looseleaf notebooks: Part I, Part II, Part III, Parts IV and V, Appendix.
Box 10
Envelopes, temporarily housed with the collection. (See Accession Sheet)
Series V, ca. 1890 and later.
Scope and Contents
Transcriptions only and concerns the "Ohio Fordyces." It includes photocopies of papers and letters and newsclippings, and narratives by the donor about family members; also articles by and about George L. Fordyce, businessman and noted Cleveland naturalist.
Box 11
Mr. & Mrs. O.F. Gayton's travel literature and itineraries, c. 1950's.
Box 12
George L. Fordyce's ornithological files: corres. and observations, corres. With Ernest T. Seton and photographs.
Box 13
O.F.G. travel material, stock certificates, clippings re Fordyce Dept. Store, c. 1930's, other clippings include L.G. Coulson, wallpaper samples from Fordyce house, file of David Scollan's on N.Y.S. sugar beet growing.
Box 14
G.L.F.'s ornithological papers include field diary, 1903-1905; corres. Of O.F. and D.C. Gayton and typescripts (3 paper boxes), c. 1904-1929, include Alvord, Cooper and Fischer relatives, and travel postcards.
Box 15
Mr. & Mrs. O.F.G's letters and typescripts (Part IV), c. 1895-1959; printed items, slate blackboard, items of Louise Coulson.
Box 16
G.L.F.'s photographs, glass slides and colored printed pictures of birds.
Box 17
Case of glass slides of birds.
Box 18
G.L.F.'s ornithological corres. And observations, corres. With E.T. Seton, and scrapbook of sports clippings.
Box 19
Glass slides [foldered, box only partly full]
Box 20
O.F.G. corres. And typescripts, photograph albums. [Box mostly foldered].
Box 55
Black case containing a Bell and Howell Standard Cinemachinery (has plug for use in an electric outlet).
Series VI. Additional papers. Louise G. Coulson material.
Note: Boxes 21-26, 28, and 49 transferred to the Cayuga County Historical Society, July 2018.
Box 27
Louise Coulson, Cayuga county local history, correspondence
Box 29
Files-House Benjamin Built
Box 30
Family files, genealogy files
Box 31
Box 32
Genealogy, correspondence
Box 33
Louise Coulson correspondence, etc.
Box 34
House Benjamin Built, and other typescripts
Box 35
Fordyce family - all typescripts
1861-1862 diaries of John H. Fordyce, 1864 diary of Louisa Fordyce. Notebooks: Parts I, II, V and VI - winter of mss. On Fordyce family, 1839-1888-1938; 2 notebooks # pp. 1-258, 259-333 [cf. Box 37 for more pp. of mss.]; typescripts of Cayuga Co. church records ie. Reformed Protestant Dutch Church Owasco Outlet (Sand Beach Clr., Fleming).
Box 36
Gayton Family - letters, 1920's and later; clippings, anniversary cards.
Box 37
Fordyce family
L. Coulson's typescripts of Benj. A. Fordyce letters in 1 notebook, annotated typescript of mss. On Fordyce family, pp. 1-1339, in 5 cardboard paper boxes; 1 folder "Notes" 1 folder "Book"
Box 38
Fordyce, Coulson family and personal
Box 39
Fordyce, et al photos
Box 40
Fordyce, et al photos
Box 41
Fordyce, family papers and miscellaneous
Box 42
Box 43
letters, clippings, deeds, photos, marriage certificate of George L. & Grace Fordyce, estate of N. Horton Fordyce items, silver teaspoon, small leather change purse.
Box 44
Fordyce, genealogy, miscellaneous
Box 45
Box 46
Fordyce, family, miscellaneous
Box 47