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Barrett family papers

MS007 (RS33777)


This collection includes the family papers associated with the Barrett House of New Ipswich, New Hampshire. The materials date from 1774 to 1966 with the bulk of the material from the 1800s. The materials document the Ames, Barr, and Barrett families as well as other relatives of the families. The collection includes personal papers, correspondence, photographs, legal and financial documents, newspaper clippings, photograph albums, deeds, land transfers, leases, court documents, and materials documenting the history of New Ipswich, New Hampshire.

NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.


Collection Name
Barrett family papers
Collection Code
1774-1966, predominant 1800-1899
The Barrett family papers document the history of the families associated with the Barrett House of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, as well as history of the town.
Acquisition Type
Physical Description
2.09 linear feet (5 boxes) plus 17 volumes
Finding Aid Info
An electronic finding aid is available through Historic New England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library & Archives.
Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
The materials in this collection were acquired by Historic New England through the donation of the Barrett House in 1948; the materials were gathered from within the house by Historic New England staff.
Credit Line
Gift, Caroline Barr Wade, 1948.
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

Charles Barrett, Sr., built the Barrett House in 1800 as a wedding gift for his son, Charles Barrett, Jr., and his son's wife, Martha Minot Barrett. Martha's father, Jonas Minot, furnished the home for the couple. Soon after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1794, Charles, Jr., became a business partner of Samuel Appleton (an ancestor of William Sumner Appleton). Charles and Martha maintained an elegant lifestyle at Barrett House. They entertained guests, at times in their third floor ballroom, and surrounded themselves with fine furniture and decorative pieces. After Martha's death in 1842, her second eldest son, Charles III, lived at Barrett House with his family for several years before moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to pursue a career as a book dealer. In 1848, George Barrett, the eldest son of Charles and Martha, and his wife, Frances Ames Barrett, took up residence in the Barrett House. In 1862, George Barrett died, leaving Frances the house. To accommodate the growth of her extended family, Frances built an adjoining ell for her son Edward and his family. She maintained residence in the main house with her younger son George Robert. After Frances's death in 1887, George Robert Barrett took ownership of Barrett House. He and his wife, Elizabeth Barr Barrett, were living in Boston at the time. In an effort to make Barrett House their comfortable country summer retreat, they undertook several renovations, including the addition of two luxurious bathrooms.

George Robert and Elizabeth's renovation of Barrett House took several years and was never completed. Elizabeth died in 1911 and George Robert in 1916, leaving renovation and redecoration of some rooms unfinished. Crates of furniture and fixtures, still in their original packaging, are in the house today. At George Robert's death, the house and its contents were left to his stepdaughter, Caroline Barr Wade. She never made Barrett House her home. Instead, she boarded up the house and its contents and it sat unoccupied for more than forty years. In 1948, Caroline Barr Wade donated Barrett House to Historic New England (then the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) as a memorial to the Barrett family.

Barrett House History. (2014). Historic New England. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from


The collection is arranged in three series, which are arranged into subseries as follows: Series I. Family papers, 1774-1907; Series II. Photographic materials, 1883-1954; and Series III. Printed material, 1815-1966.

Record details

Barrett family
Other People
Ames, Ambrose, 1765-1858
Ames, Jane, 1798-
Barr, George Lyman, 1830-1877
Barr, James, Jr., 1790-1845
Barr, James, Sr., 1752-1829
Barr, Laura L. (Bellows), 1804-1878
Barr, Mary H., 1825-1893
Barr, Molly, 1764-1845
Barr, Sarah J., 1827-1897
Barrett, Charles, 1740-1808
Barrett, Charles, Jr., 1773-1836
Barrett, Frances Hall (Ames), 1809-1887
Barrett, George Robert, 1844-1916
Barrett, George, 1801-1862
Barrett, Martha Minot, 1771-1842
Bellows, Caroline P.
Brooks, Daniel
Bullard, Jeanie W.
Bullard, Silas, 1786-1835
Campbell, Caleb
Emery, Noah
Green, Elizabeth
Green, James
Green, John Q. A.
Green, Leonard
Green, Nathan, Jr.
Green, William
Hartwell, Ephraim
Hartwell, Polly
Hersey, Mary Ann (Barrett), 1802-1875
Hodgeman, William F.
Kidder, Thomas
Minot, Jonas
Morgan, Caroline Ames, 1795-
Wade, Caroline Hartwell (Barr), 1865-1954
Wilcox, David
Other Organizations
Barr family
Historic New England (Organization)
Kidder family
Minot family
New Ipswich Water-loom Factory
Russell family
Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
Wade family
Descriptive Terms
account books
clippings (information artifacts)
financial records
legal documents
local history (discipline)
photograph albums
Material Type
family papers
New Ipswich (Hillsborough county, New Hampshire)
Places (Buildings)
Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.)
This collection is available for research.
Location Note
HGO-02-102-C-C-501; HGO-02-105-A-E-104; HGO-02-105-A-J-202
Related Items
Historic New England properties photographic collection - Barrett House, New Ipswich, N.H. — Additional images of Barrett House can be found in the Historic New England properties photographic collection.
Barrett family property and financial papers, 1734-1860. Concord Library, Concord, Mass.
Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Note
The following materials have been removed from the collection: Beecher, C. E. (1854). Miss Beecher's domestic receipt book: designed as a supplement to her Treatise on domestic economy. New York: Harper & Bros.
Language Note
Materials are mostly in English with a small amount of French (see copy book, folder 3.7).
Physical Access Restrictions
There are no physical restrictions on this collection. There are no technical restrictions on this collection.
Preferred Citation
Item identification. Box #, folder #. Barrett family papers (MS007). Historic New England, Library & Archives.
Processing Information
This collection was originally processed and the finding aid written by Susan Johnson, March 3, 2005. Johnson updated the finding aid on May 1, 2007. Additions to the collection were added by Johnson in March, 2008. Johnson revised the finding aid in April, 2010. The finding aid was updated and made DACS-compliant by Abigail Cramer in April, 2014; the 2014 updates and online access to the collection were made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (project #RH-50051).
Rules and Conventions
This finding aid is DACS-compliant.

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