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Parson Smith family papers


The Parson Smith family papers (MS032) reflect the personal, social, and professional life and work of Peter Thatcher Smith (1731-1826) and his descendants who resided at the Parson Smith Homestead in South Windham, Maine. The majority of the collection focuses on the Anderson, Goodell, and Parker families with a small representation of papers from the Barker, Berry, and Smith families (all associated with the original owner through descent or marriage). Also contained within the papers is sizable collection of photographic materials, printed materials, and school related papers. The collection is arranged in seven series.


In 1953, Historic New England acquired the Parson Smith Homestead in South Windham, Maine, through the bequest of Louisa Anderson (Goodell) Parker (1871-1952). The papers within the house at the time of purchase formed the bases of the collection: Parson Smith papers (now MS032).

Update: 2013-2014

In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: 'Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project"), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and "best practices;" corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Parson Smith family papers (MS006) were part of the grant project.

Prior to the 2013-2014 collection processing, the Parson Smith papers (now MS032) comprised fourteen legal-size file boxes (approx. 5.84 linear ft.) and additional loose material. Materials within the fourteen boxes were loosely arranged in three series: Series I, papers of family members arranged chronologically by family groups; Series II, graphic and printed materials (non-family member specific) with no discernable arrangement; and Series III, photographic material arranged chronologically by family groups and then by record type. A file box of unprocessed material and three bound volumes also comprised the collection. Folders within the boxes were arranged according to family group only; not by individuals.

During processing, the original family groupings were maintained and the collection was arranged alphabetically by family name, creating six series; one additional series for non-family member specific materials (including the photographic material) was also created. Most of the original folder titles were maintained (appropriate headings and folder titles were supplied, as applicable); related folders were combined or rearranged, as applicable; the accumulated unprocessed material (one file box and three volumes) was incorporated into the collection; and brief research was engaged to create a biographical/ historical sketch and genealogy. Preservation issues were identified and basic preservation methods were applied, as applicable; papers throughout the collection were removed from envelopes (if applicable), unfolded, flattened, and related pages were noted with corresponding information in brackets ([x-1/3], [x-2/3], [x-3/3]; and oversize materials were interleafed within file boxes, as applicable. The collection was rehoused (in acid-free folders and boxes), numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly; subsequent accessions were tracked and noted with their corresponding items; restrictions were noted; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. A DACS-compliant, electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid was created (with corresponding paper finding aid) and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database.

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
Parson Smith family papers
Collection Code
1738-1957, undated, predominant 1800-1920
Correspondence; drawings and sketchbooks; ephemera and memorabilia; financial records; genealogical material; legal and government documents; photographic material; printed material; school papers; etc.; reflecting the personal, social, and professional life and work of Peter Thatcher Smith (1731-1826) and his descendants who resided at the Parson Smith Homestead in South Windham, Maine.
Acquisition Type
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
Family papers: 6.09 linear ft. (5 file boxes, 4 cartons) plus 4 oversize folders
Finding Aid Info
An electric finding aid is available through Historic new England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library and Archives.
Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
1953 - Acquisition of the Parson Smith Homestead, South Windham, Maine, and all its contents through the bequest of Louisa Anderson (Goodell) Parker (1871-1952)

Credit Line
Bequest of Louisa Anderson (Goodell) Parker (1871-1952), 1953
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

The Parson Smith Homestead, located in Windham, Maine, was built in 1764 by the Reverend Peter Thatcher Smith (1731-1826), who was ordained as the second minister of the town in 1762. Reverend Smith occupied the house with his wife Elizabeth Hunt Wendell (c.1744-1799), and their eleven children, eight of whom reached adulthood.

After the death of Rev. Peter T. Smith, the next in line to own and occupy his homestead was his grandson, Edward Anderson (1801-1867), whose father Abraham Anderson (1758-1844), had bought the parson's Windham properties as the estate was settled. Edward farmed the land and was also a selectman for the town intermittently between 1829 and 1849. He also represented the town in the legislature in 1844.

Next in line as owners and occupants were Edward Anderson's widow and three daughters, Olive Frances Wilson Anderson (1833-1915), Susan Watson Anderson Goodell (1835-1888), and Lucy Smith Anderson (1845-1918). Lucy was a school teacher in Portland, Maine, and acted as the first librarian at the Cumberland Mills Library at Cumberland Mills, Maine. Susan was the only one of the three sisters to marry. She married Charles Raymond Goodell (1832-1901), a civil engineer.

After the death of Lucy S. Anderson, the last surviving Anderson sister, in 1918, to her nieces and nephew: Mary Thurston Goodell (1863-1942), Reginald Rusden Goodell (1867-1944), and Louisa Anderson Goodell Parker (1871-1952). These were the last descendants of Parson Smith to own and occupy the homestead. Louisa A.G. Parker bequeathed the house to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England, and the property was transferred in 1953. In 1991 the home and its surrounding 124 acres was sold to private ownership with preservation easements to protect them for future generations.

Material within MS032 Spiller, Nellie D. History of Parson Peter T. Smith, His House, and His Descendants, 1957 "Parson Smith House," accessed January 17, 2014,

Material in other collections

Related material is held by the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine.


The collection is arranged in seven series: Series I. Papers of the Anderson family of South Windham, Maine. Series II. Papers of the Barker family of South Windham, Maine. Series III. Papers of the Berry family of South Windham, Maine. Series IV. Papers of the Goodell family of South Windham, Maine. Series V. Papers of the Parker family of South Windham, Maine. Series VI. Papers of the Smith family of South Windham, Maine. Series VII. Other family papers from the Parson Smith Homestead in South Windham, Maine.

*Collection housing/storage code: #x.x=file box (i.e., #1.2= file box 1, folder 2); C=carton; FB=folio box; FF=fragile files; MB=multi-purpose box; OB=oversize box/folder; OV=oversize volume; VF=vertical files/flat files

Record details

Other People
Anderson, Abraham, 1758-1844
Anderson, Edward Augustus, 1830-1913
Anderson, Edward, 1801-1867
Anderson, Frances Amelia (Perley), 1831-1870
Anderson, John, 1792-1853
Anderson, Louisa (Berry), 1804-1881
Anderson, Lucy Smith, 1845-1918
Anderson, Marcia Bowman (Winter), 1824-1898
Anderson, Olive Frances (Wilson), 1833-1915
Anderson, Samuel Jameson, 1824-1905
Barker, Ann Wendell (Smith), 1777-1850
Barker, Charles, 1752-1822
Bernhardt, Sarah, 1844-1923
Berry, Elizabeth (Kelly)
Berry, Robert Pagan, 1812-1873
Farwell, Elizabeth Wendell (Anderson), 1795-1876
Farwell, John, 1785-1852
Goodell, Charles Raymond, 1832-1901
Goodell, John W.
Goodell, Mary Thurston, 1863-1942
Goodell, Reginald Rusden, 1867-1944
Goodell, Susan Watson (Anderson), 1835-1888
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875
Parker, Elizabeth O.
Parker, Louisa Anderson (Goodell), 1871-1952
Parker, Myron Alexander, 1865-1939
Smith, Peter Thacher, 1731-1826
Spiller, Nellie D., 1898-1992
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896
Thomas, Ann (Berry), 1798-1871
Warren, George W.
Other Organizations
American Red Cross
Benjamin H. Sanborn and Company
Boston Opera House
Bowdoin College
Club de la Union (Santiago, Chile)
Cold Water Army
Deering Public Library Association
Delta Kappa Epsilon. Theta chapter
Farmers' and Mechanics' Mutual Fire Insurance Company
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Lakeview Cemetery (Oakland, Me.)
Littlefalls Meetinghouse Company (Windham, Me.)
Maine Library Commission
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mercantile Library Association (Boston, Mass.)
Methodist Episcopal Church (Westbrook, Me.)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Mysteries of the Realm
Order of the Eastern Star
Pan American Union
Pan-American Scientific Congress
Port of Portland (Me.)
Smith-Anderson Cemetery Association (Cumberland Mills, Me.)
United States. Railroad Retirement Board
Westbrook Public Schools (Me.)
Windham Infantry Militia
Descriptive Terms
Bible records
account books
attendance lists
autograph albums
black-and-white photographs
cards (information artifacts)
cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
cased photographs
check stubs
clippings (information artifacts)
color photographs
copybooks (instructional materials)
crafts (art genres)
drawings (visual works)
exhibition catalogs
family papers
financial records
grade books
greeting cards
insurance policies
journals (periodicals)
legal documents
letters of recommendation
line engraving (printing process)
logs (records)
manuscripts (document genre)
marriage certificates
membership cards
muster rolls
passport photographs
pensions (compensation)
personal correspondence
photo frames
photograph albums
probate records
programs (documents)
promissory notes
receipts (financial records)
report cards
rewards of merit
stock certificates
tintypes (prints)
tracts (documents)
trade cards (advertising)
travel documents
visiting cards
writings (document genre)
x-rays (radiation)
Material Type
family papers
Clergy. United States
Teachers -- United States
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Brunswick (Cumberland county, Maine)
Buenos Aires (Distrito Federal, Argentina)
Cambridge (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Cape Elizabeth (Cumberland county, Maine)
Charlottesville (Charlottesville Indep. City, Virginia)
Cumberland county (Maine) [county]
Falmouth (Cumberland county, Maine)
Newport (Rhode Island island, Newport county, Rhode Island)
Oakland (Kennebec county, Maine)
Pacific Ocean [ocean]
Paris (Ville de Paris department, Île-de-France, France)
Portland (Cumberland county, Maine)
Santiago (Región Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile)
South Windham (Cumberland county, Maine)
Washington (DC)
Westbrook (Cumberland county, Maine)
Places (Buildings)
Monticello (Charlottesville, Va.)
Parson Smith House - Main House (South Windham, Me.)
·This collection is available for research.
·Unrestricted except for #1.4, 3.1, C.1.20, C.1.61, C.1.62, C.2.2, C.3.16, C.3.18, C.3.22, C.3.32, C.3.54, which contain fragile material and require handling by Library and Archives staff only; and #C.2.22, which is restricted and closed to research until January 1, 2043.
·Note: due to age and other conditions affecting materials, the whole of the collection requires handling with care.
·Note: #4.1, 5.1-5.6 contain small latches and hinges.
·Note: #C.4.29-C.4.31contain framed glass.

Location Note
HGO-02-105-A-E-205; HGO-02-105-A-E-204; HGO-02-105-A-F-102; HGO-02-105-A-F-103; HGO-02-105-A-E-106; HGO-02-105-A-E-105
Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Note
The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Historic New England, Library and Archives books and printed materials collection:

.Werner Company (1893). Portfolio of Photographs of the World's Fair, Household Art Series, numbers 1-16.

Conservation Note
See Scope and Content note.
Language Note
Materials in English; some in French and Spanish.
Preferred Citation
[Item identification.] Parson Smith family papers (MS032). Historic New England, Library and Archives.

Processing Information
·2014 March: Processed by Rebecca M. Fullerton, volunteer; and Bridgette A. Woodall, project archivist; with assistance from Jennifer Pustz, museum historian

Rules and Conventions
This finding aid is DACS-Compliant.