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Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Object ID
MG0828
Date Range
1839-1932
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
General Thomas Welsh Family Papers
Description
The General Thomas Welsh Family Papers is a collection of original correspondence, official documents, and ephemera. Many of the papers were created by or directed to Thomas Welsh between approximately 1843 and his death in 1863. They provide glimpses into his youth, his experiences in the Mexican War, his life in Columbia between the wars, and his rise in rank to Brigadier General during the Civil War.
The collection contains correspondence with his wife and family from 1861-1863. There are also official correspondence and documents related to Welsh's military service, autobiographical pieces, correspondence following his death, obituaries, and family papers into the early twentieth century. Other items in the collection include genealogy pages from the family bible, photographic images of Thomas Welsh and family members, two scrapbooks, newspaper issues and newspaper clippings, written notes from recollections of one of Welsh's daughter, and a biographical sketch of Welsh written by his son.
Admin/Biographical History
Thomas Welsh (1824-1863) was a Lancaster County native (born and raised in Columbia), who rose from hardscrabble origins to local fame, first as a Mexican War hero, and then as a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was well known and well respected as a no nonsense officer, for his leadership and gallantry in battle, for his dedication to the service of his country, and for his concern for the welfare of his men.
Welsh lost his father at the age of 2, and went to work to support his family at age 8. He had very little formal schooling, and was largely self-educated. In 1843, at age 19, he left Lancaster County for Washington City, then went west as an itinerant carpenter/laborer to Cincinnati, Little Rock, and Fort Smith.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, he enlisted in a Kentucky regiment, and was severely wounded at the battle of Buena Vista (1847) from which he never fully recovered. Returning home to Columbia, he re-enlisted as a second lieutenant, assigned to the 11th U.S. infantry regiment in Mexico City. Within days of his arrival in Mexico City, he was declared unfit for service on account of his battle wound, and sent home again.
Back in Columbia as a civilian, he dabbled in politics, and received a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works (the rail and canal system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After several years, he opened up a grocery and dry goods store in Columbia's canal basin. He also became an insurance agent. In 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and his reputation grew as a community leader. By 1860, he was president of the Borough Council, a founding member of the Columbia Board of Trade, Vice President of the Columbia Cricket Club, and a canal boat operator, in addition to a dry goods merchant, insurance agent, and Justice of the Peace. He had a wife, 5 surviving children, and legal guardianship of his sister's 4 children.
When Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Welsh raised and organized the first company of volunteers from Lancaster County, and took them into the field as their Captain. Within days, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which served out its 90-day enlistment in the Shenandoah Valley.
Returning to Harrisburg, he was appointed Commandant of Camp Curtin, the problem-plagued processing center for new recruits. In short order, Welsh cleaned up the camp's poor sanitary conditions, improved the health of the camp, and implemented soldierly discipline and training.
In October 1861, he resigned from his camp duties, and as Colonel of the 45th Pennsylvania, led his regiment into the field. After brief service outside of Washington, they were sent to South Carolina in December, where they were posted to Otter Island. After the battle of James Island, they were recalled to Newport News, in July 1862, then sent to guard Aquia Creek.
In September, now in brigade command in Burnsides' 9th Corps, Welsh chased Lee's Confederate army west into central Maryland. His brigade broke the enemy line in Fox's Gap, on Sept. 14, then 3 days later achieved the furthest Union advance at Antietam, reaching the edge of Sharpsburg, and nearly cutting off Lee's only avenue of escape. Welsh's gallantry earned him a field promotion to brigadier general, which Congress confirmed on March 13, 1863.
The 9th Corps (Welsh now in command of the 1st Division) was sent west in the spring of 1863, then dispatched south to support Grant's investment of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg fell, they turned east and defeated Confederate General Johnston at the Battle of Jackson. Welsh contracted malaria in the southern swamps, and died in Cincinnati upon their return north. One of his men later recalled, "Had he lived, Welsh would undoubtedly have attained a much higher command. 1
1. Beauge, Eugene, in Albert, Allen D., Ed., History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865, Williamsport, PA: Grit Publ. Co, 1912, p. 79.
Custodial History
Almost all of the papers have been passed down through successive generations of Welsh's descendants, from Thomas Welsh's wife and children to his granddaughter, Emilie Benson (Welsh) Wiggin, to her daughter Nancy Jane (Wiggin) Townsend. After Nancy Townsend's death, her son Charles Townsend passed them on to his cousin, Richard Wiggin (grandson of Emilie Benson Wiggin) in 2015.
A few papers passed out of the family's possession and found their way into other collections. Richard Abel of Columbia, PA began collecting Welsh papers and artifacts some years ago, and subsequently transferred this collection of Welsh materials to Richard Wiggin in 2012.
System of Arrangement
The collection is arranged in series:
Series A Thomas Welsh before the Mexican War
Series B Mexican War, 1846-1848
Series C Between the Mexican War and the Civil War, 1848-1861
Series D Ciivil War
Series E Post-Civil War
Series F Miscellaneous Family Papers
Date Range
1839-1932
Year Range From
1839
Year Range To
1932
Creator
Wiggin, Richard C.
People
Welsh, Thomas
Welsh, Annie Eunice Young
Welsh, Blanton Charles
Welsh, Effie
Welsh, Lilian
Welsh, Mary Young "Mazie"
Buchanan, James
Subjects
Letters
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Military orders
Military promotions
Personal correspondence
Political campaigns
Presidents--Election
Speeches, addresses, etc.
United States. Army--Military life
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Search Terms
Civil War
Correspondence, Personal
Letters
Mexican War
Military life
Military orders
Military promotions
Political campaigns
Presidential elections
Speeches
United States Army
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Condition
Fair to good
Condition Date
2020-12-18
Condition Notes
Items are in fair to good condition.
Object ID
MG0828
Classification
MG0828
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives North
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pa.
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Collection
Constables' and Detectives' Bonds
Object ID
CONSTABLES' AND DETECTIVE
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Constables' and Detectives' Bonds
Description
Bonds posted by constables, showing names of constable and surety; date and amount of bond; conditions of obligation; signatures of constable, surety, and witnesses; and date filed. 1809-1924. Arr. chron. by date filed. No index. Hdw. and typed on ptd. fm.
Admin/Biographical History
The County of Lancaster has given LancasterHistory.org custodial responsibility of this collection.
System of Arrangement
Arranged by year; alphabetical by surname with in year.
Constables' Bonds: 1809, 1811, 1825, 1826, 1829, 1830-1849, 1875, 1888, 1893-1924.
Detectives' Bonds: 1890-1896, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1906, 1927
Includes: Remonstrations, affirmations, petitions, bonds, receipts, notices.
Creation Date
1809-1927, inc.
Year Range From
1809
Year Range To
1927
Date of Accumulation
1809-1927, inc.
Creator
Clerk of Courts of Lancaster County
Search Terms
Constables' Bonds
Detectives' Bonds
Bonds
Extent
4 boxes, 2 cu. ft.
Object Name
Bond, Legal
Language
English
Condition
Good
Object ID
CONSTABLES' AND DETECTIVE
Classification
RG 02-00 0558
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives West 1
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Request at Reference Desk; photocopy or PDF made by staff member.
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Collection
Estate Vouchers
Object ID
ESTATE VOUCHERS
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Estate Vouchers
System of Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by year.
Creator
Orphans' Court
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
ESTATE VOUCHERS
Classification
RG 04-00 0169
Location
Archives
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Request at Reference Desk; photocopy made by staff member.
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Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F026
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Fellenbaum, Jacob
Fellenbaum, Fannie
Fellenbaum, Henry F.
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
Place
None
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F026
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncer: Fellenbaum, Fannie.
Administrator: Fellenbaum, Henry F..
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
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Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F027
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Fisher, Philip
Fisher, Mary Barbara
Fischer, Michael
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
West Cocalico Twp.
Place
West Cocalico Twp.
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F027
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncer: Fisher, Mary Barbara.
Administrator: Fischer, Michael.
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
Less detail
Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F028
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Flowers, George
Flowers, Sarah
Stehman, John M.
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
Rapho Twp.
Place
Rapho Twp.
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F028
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncer: Flowers, Sarah.
Administrator: Stehman, John M.
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
Less detail
Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F029
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Foust, Jacob
Foust, Clemmentenk
Oldwiler, Frederic
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
Mount Joy Twp.
Place
Mount Joy Twp.
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F029
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncer: Foust, Clemmentenk.
Administrator: Oldwiler, Frederic.
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
Less detail
Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F030
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Fullerton, John
Fullerton, Robert Sr.
Bell, Margaret
Fullerton, Ann H.
Caldwell, Catherine
Swartz, Samuel C.
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
Columbia
Place
Columbia
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F030
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncers: Fullerton, Robert Sr.; Bell, Margaret; Fullerton, Ann H.; Caldwell, Catherine.
Administrator: Swartz, Samuel C.
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
Less detail
Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F031
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Good, John M.
Good, Adam
Good, Samuel M.
Good, Martin
Schnader, Sarah
Worst, Samuel
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
Place
None
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F031
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncers: Good, Adam; Good, Samuel M.; Good, Martin; Schnader, Sarah.
Administrator: Worst, Samuel.
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
Less detail
Collection
Renunciations
Object ID
Ren 1880 F032
Description Level
Fonds
Collection
Renunciations
Description
Renunciations are papers filed in the Orphans' Court by executors of an estate who do not wish to administer that estate. They show the name of the decedent, the decedent's place of residence, the name of the person renouncing administration, the name of the replacement administrator to be appointed, and date. The relationship between the decedent, the executor, and the administrator is usually shown. Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
System of Arrangement
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within each year.
Date of Accumulation
1762-1820, 1821-1842, 1880-1906
Year
1880
Creator
Register of Wills
People
Harnish, Elias
Ely, Savanna Harnish
Harnish, Lydia
Harnish, Abraham
Eshleman, Anna H.
Helm, Catharine
Harnish, Frances
Harnish, Elias E.
Taylor, Amand H.
Harnish, George
Taylor, John Z.
Subcategory
Documentary Artifact
Search Terms
Renunciation
Strasburg
Place
Strasburg
Extent
12 cubic feet
Object Name
Documents
Language
English
Condition
Fair
Object ID
Ren 1880 F032
Classification
RG 03-00 0115
Location
Archives
Container
012
Box Number
012
Associated Material
Administrators Accounts
Miscellaneous Orphans' Court Papers
Additional Notes
Renouncers: Ely, Savanna Harnish; Harnish, Lydia; Harnish, Abraham; Eshleman, Anna H.; Helm, Catharine; Harnish, Frances; Harnish, Elias E.; Taylor, Amand H.
Administrators: Harnish, George; Taylor, John Z.
1 item, 1 piece
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Restricted use of original. A photocopy will be made for patron use.
Less detail

3893 records – page 1 of 390.