In December my visit to NARA was fruitful. Determining the best way to share what was found, it was decided to blog my results. Who knows...maybe it will help someone out there? My next series of blogs will focus on the documents found and list the names found from the documents. What are the documents you ask? Bankruptcy records and shipping records of course!
RG 36 of NARA contain US Custom Records from New London. This included bonds for ships: 1790-1825, import bonds: 1790-1821, and original papers for ships. Anytime a ship pulled into the seaport there had to be documentation of proof of the ownership, captain, crew, and cargo. Looking at the cargo of the ship can tell you what was it carried and idea of how big the ship was. Sloop or brig, you can get a good idea of what the size of the boat was like. For example, Stephen Miner in 1799, master of the sloop Fanny arrived in New London with 2 hogshead of rum, navigated with four men. In 1792 James Powers of New Haven submitted papers that he was the co-owner and master of the brig Rebecca. Thomas Wait and Samuel Mather paid to Thomas Wait, master of the schooner Maria. (Most likely a son and friend purchasing the ship from the elder Wait or a change of ownership status.)
Some records included correspondence. I found several references to "Nathanil" Ingraham. The blotters are another part of this series to examine. Blotters from #106: 1794-1795 through #109: 1821 that were helpful to me. On June 19, 1795, my ancestor, James Peters, left New London on the sloop Hiram. He was cleared to sail and lists the cargo he carried. One other record that I didn't have time to examine was Ships Oaths. I have that on my future research list.
One last interesting item to look at was found in the bankruptcy records for Job Tabor. It was insurance on the sloop Betsy and Point Judith. Phineas Huntley, Thomas Rice, and John Arnold were mentioned, Edward Chappell featured predominately in the folder. A promissory note from James Noyes was listed as well as two females Elizabeth Proctor and Lucy Bolles. (Lucy was a relative of the Bolles captains who later sailed to the South Pacific in the 1850s.)
Next: Job Tabor's bankruptcy records