Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Administrative Information

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Organization & Arrangement

Index Terms

Related Items

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Series Arrangement & Description

Series 1: Manuscripts and Papers

Series 2: Genealogy

Series 3: Visual Materials

Series 4: Realia

Series 5: Scrapbooks and Ephemera

Series 6: Published Material

Container Listing

 

 

Plainfield Public Library
Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection [1772-2005]

13 Vails
Thirteen Vails, circa 1890s-early 1900s. (VV-60220)

Finding aid edited and updated by Debra Schiff in 2013;
original inventory by Jessica Myers in July 2005, and updated by Debra Schiff in 2012;
Finding aid encoded by Sarah Hull in February 2013.

Processing of this collection was made possible through a project grant received from the
New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.


Descriptive Summary
Title: Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection, 1772 to 2005 (with gaps)
Creator: Vail family members
Accessions: PPL-MSS-2005-3
PPL-VIS-2005-4
PPL-ART-2005-1
PPL-2012-036
Size: Approximately 30 linear feet
Comprised of 51 boxes and 11 binders
Repository: Plainfield Public Library, Local History Department, 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060
Abstract: The Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection documents the history of the Vail family from 1772 to 2005. The collection includes Civil War letters, diaries, Bibles, genealogy research, more than 2,700 photographs and postcards, manuscripts, yearbooks, sketches, 19th century wedding dresses and linens, books, ledgers, newspaper clippings, and ephemera of the Vails and their extended family. These materials have been handed down through generations of family members. Many of the records had been stored in hand-hewn chests, and meticulously labeled and dated. The Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection chronicles an arm of the earliest families to settle in New Jersey, and one of the most influential Quaker families in Plainfield.
Language: The records are in English and German.

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Administrative Information

Access & Restrictions on Access

The Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection is available for research.

Access is restricted to materials prepared by the Local History department staff, by appointment only. All materials must be viewed in the Plainfield Room and may not be removed to another area of the library without permission of the Library Director or designee. Materials must be handled carefully and kept in order. Materials must not be leaned upon, altered, folded, ripped, or traced upon. Marks may not be added or erased from materials. Materials must be returned directly to Local History department staff and inspected before the researcher leaves the Plainfield Room.

One photocopy may be made (by Plainfield Public Library staff) of each document for the purpose of research; official Local History departmental reproduction fees may apply. Permission to publish must be obtained by the Plainfield Public Library Board of Trustees as delegated to the Library Director. Permission to publish does not constitute a copyright clearance. The researcher is responsible for further copyright restrictions. The Plainfield Public Library is not responsible for the misuse of copyrighted material.

Cameras, hand-held scanners, and the use of cell phones is not permitted in the Plainfield Room. See guidelines for Access to Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item; Date (if noted); "Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection," Box and Folder Number; Local History Department, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acquisition Information

Marjorie and Roger Vail donated the majority of the collection in April 2005. A posthumous donation of two family Bibles dated 1791 and 1822 was given to the Library as per the Vails’ wishes in 2012.

Processing Information

This collection was inventoried by Jessica Myers in July 2005, updated in September 2007, and re-inventoried by Debra Schiff in 2012. The finding aid was compiled using historical information researched by Jessica Myers, then prepared and encoded by Sarah Hull in March 2009. Partial processing of the visual materials was completed by Local History staff. Further processing of the collection was completed by Debra Schiff in 2013. The finding aid was updated in 2013 by Debra Schiff. Finding aid content follows the guidelines suggested by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

 

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Biographical Note

Introduction

There can be no overstatement about the impact that the Vail family had on America and especially on New Jersey. The Courier News said: “No family name is more honorably and continuously associated with the welfare of the Friends in this locality than that of the Vails.” The family was filled with creative, courageous, and determined settlers. Marjorie and Roger Vail’s ancestor, Thomas Vail’s (c.1628-1687) arrival in the United States was noted in the Salem Massachusetts annals in 1640. His son Samuel (1654-1695) and grandson Samuel Jr. (1678-1733) were born in Westchester County, N.Y. Samuel Jr. had several children, including John Jr. (1708-1754), Stephen (1710-1777), Samuel (1711-c.1733), and Phebe (1712-1776). John Jr. is the direct ancestor of Marjorie and Roger Vail. After their father purchased a large plot of land along Green Brook, John Jr. and Stephen were raised on the farmland, and later raised their children on farms in a settlement still called Green Brook Village (a Plainfield postal address as of 1800).

Many of the Vails were members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). After fellow Quaker William Penn purchased New Jersey in 1682, a number of Vails moved to the state to escape religious persecution by the Massachusetts Puritans. Not all of the Vails were retiring Quakers; some were ambitious industrials and Presbyterians.

The family spread throughout Northern New Jersey. The Plainfield Vails count among their cousins such notables as Stephen Vail (1780-1864), inventor, lawyer, industrial magnate, and developer of the Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown; his son, Alfred Lewis Vail (1807-1859), co-inventor of the telegraph and Morse code; and Theodore Newton Vail (1845-1920), creator of AT&T. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), statesman, is a very distant relative by marriage.

Three of the original 12 Pioneers of Plainfield were Vails. These were: John J. Vail (1685-1774) and his nephews John Vail and Stephen Vail, sons of Samuel. Stephen became the founding partner of the Baldwin Locomotive Works first known as the Vail Works. The company took government contracts for the Revolutionary War. Stephen saw opportunity, and grabbed it as the source of capital for the Morse Vail telegraph that was first demonstrated at Speedwell. Other Vail relatives helped shuttle runaway slaves via the Underground Railroad to Cousin William Vail, a grocer whose store was nearby the tracks. In the first Plainfield City Directory (1879), 24 Vail households are listed. Their professions include: bookkeeper, banker, clerk, hatter, scroll sawyer, confectioner, truckman, harness oil and dressing manufacturers, blue stone dealers, real estate salesman, and postmaster. Eighty-three of the 243 Friends buried in the Plainfield Quaker Meeting Cemetery are Vails.

A Long Legacy

Important tracts of Vail family land in addition to the original Green Brook farm acres include:

  • Jonah Vail Farm where in June 1777, General George Washington entered the gateway and asked Marjorie and Roger Vail’s ancestor (grandson of John Jr.) to guide him along Greenbrook to the hill, now known as Washington Rock, where he was able to watch the British troops and narrowly escape their raid.
  • Green Brook Farm east of Dunellen site of the Vail Dairy.
  • Cedarbrook Farm site of many of the Vail family reunions, weddings, and picnics.
  • The Vail Plantation Museum near Morristown.
  • Vail Sawmill and Gristmill in Greenbrook.
  • Speedwell Ironworks north of Morristown on the Whippany River. Here were early hydraulic powered forges predating ironworks. Speedwell works made parts for the first American-made locomotive. The first steam engine installed in an ocean-going ship was cast and assembled at the Speedwell Works.
  • Vail Homestead on the 40 acres adjacent to Speedwell Village.
  • Vail Factory Building (on same property). This site held the first demonstration of the electric telegraph, as well as the development of electromagnetic automatic telegraphic systems.

Marjorie and Roger Vail

Marjorie (1932-2009) and Roger Vail (1935-2009) were the great-granddaughter and great-grandson of Jonah Vail (1799-1880) and Rachel Pound Vail (1799-1881). Jonah was a farmer and hatter, and lived his entire life on great-grandfather John Jr.’s farm on Greenbrook Road. Marjorie and Roger’s paternal grandparents were Adelbert (1834-1917), a bank clerk, and Gertrude Adams Vail (1856-1929).

The Adelbert Vails had eight children: Clarence Brooks (1875-1957), Edith Gertrude (1875-1937), Percy Wilbur (1880-1944), Mabel Howard (1883-1929), Helen Beatrice (1890-1929), Roy Gaston (1894-1980), and Russell Adams (1896-1981). Roy, a public accountant who served in World War I married Ida Vera Stiehl (1898-1987) in 1930, and fathered Marjorie and Roger a few years later.  

Ida Stiehl’s parents were Ida (1866-c.1950) and Philip Stiehl (1854-c.1930), a flour merchant. The younger Ida was raised in Westchester County, N.Y., and graduated White Plains High School in 1917, and Columbia University in 1921.

Marjorie graduated Plainfield High School in 1950. She attended Beaver College and Douglass College, and graduated from Berkeley Secretarial School. For 33 years, she was employed by the Singer Company in New York and Stamford, CT, including 14 years as Executive Secretary to the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. She later worked with Olin Corporation in Stamford until her retirement. She returned to Plainfield to live with Roger in the family home, and later at Arbor Glen. She was a lifelong member of the Plainfield Friends Meeting.

Roger, a lifelong resident of Plainfield, attended Evergreen School and graduated Plainfield High School in 1953. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in West Germany. After returning from military service, Roger was a machinist for 30 years at Wood Industry, and later at Johnson and Johnson. Like his sister, he was a lifelong member of the Plainfield Friends Meeting.

Roger and Marjorie were entrusted with the Vail family papers as the last two surviving members of the Plainfield line. They spent much of the last 30 years documenting their family’s history and sharing information at least once a year at the Vail family picnic reunions.


References:

Ameigh, Michael. “They Turned Telecommunications into a Business.” The Vails of Speedwell. September 1997. Web. 7 Jan. 2013.

“First Settlers.” Green Brook Historical Society. 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2013.

“Historic Houses, Jonah Vail House.” Green Brook Historical Society. 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2013.

“Marjorie E. Vail.” Courier News. 26 Jul. 2009. Web. 18 Jan. 2013.

“Roger P. Vail.” Courier News. 25 Feb. 2009. Web 18 Jan. 2013.

“The Vails of Green Brook, Descendants of Thomas Vail.” Green Brook Historical Society. 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2013.


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Scope and Contents

The Marjorie and Roger Vail Collection spans the time period from 1772-2005. It includes the family records of the direct descendants of John Vail, Jr., including Bibles, correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, diplomas and certificates, photographs, newspaper clippings, artifacts, postcards, works on paper, scrapbooks, sheet music and songbooks, maps, ledgers, textiles, ephemera, genealogical research, and books. Many of the clippings document the births, deaths, marriages, and other major life events of the Vails and those close to them. Additionally, photographs and clippings record the attendees and activities of the annual Vail Family Picnics. Early photographs detail the family members and their houses.

Notable materials include correspondence between David and Maria Vail, letters written between two cousins from 1860-1862, wherein David describes his service in the Civil War. Other collection highlights are postcards sent and collected during World Wars I and II, mid and late 19th century wedding dresses, and Marjorie Vail’s exhaustive genealogy research.

Because the Vails were world travelers, and Marjorie and Roger’s mother’s side of the family originated in Germany, there are materials in the collection that were created in Germany, as well as greater Europe. There is some focus on Historic Speedwell, however, the majority of materials in the collection pertain to the Plainfield area.

Records are in varying conditions, some are in need of conservation. The collection fills 51 boxes of varied sizes, 12 of which are oversized.

 

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Organization & Arrangement

The Marjorie and Roger Vail Family Collection has been arranged into six series, all of which have been further arranged into subseries:

Series 1: Manuscripts and Papers [Correspondence, Diaries and Journals, Ledgers, and Manuscripts]
Series 2: Genealogy [Diplomas, Bibles, Genealogy, and Wills]
Series 3: Visual Materials [Photographs, Postcards, Works on Paper, and Maps]
Series 4: Realia [Artifacts and Textiles]
Series 5: Scrapbooks and Ephemera [Clippings, Newspapers, Scrapbooks, and Ephemera]
Series 6: Published Material [Sheet Music, Song Books, Yearbooks, and Books
]

 

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

People:

Bloom, Thurston, R.
Bloom, Wilson
Ditzel, Augustus
Haring, Mabel
Fitzrandolph, Katherine
Knight, Edith V.
Knight, Frank
Leis, Carl R.
Leis, Charles
Leis, Elise D.
Leis, Robert
Leis, Rudolph
Stiehl, Ida
Stiehl, Otto
Stiehl, Philip
Vail family.
Vail, Adelbert
Vail, Catherine
Vail, Clarence B.
Vail, Cornelia R.
Vail, David
Vail, Edith G.
Vail, Gertrude A.
Vail, John, 1734-1814
Vail, Jonah
Vail, Mabel H.
Vail, Margaret F.R.
Vail, Maria
Vail, Marjorie
Vail, Rachel P.
Vail, Roger
Vail, Roy G.
Vail, Walter L.
Varian, Marguerite V.

Organizations:

Historic Speedwell
Plainfield Friends
Plainfield Quaker Meeting House
Plainfield High School
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Speedwell Iron Works

Places:

Cedar Brook Park [Cedarbrook]
Germany
Plainfield (N.J.)

Subjects:

Civil War America
Early American Settlers
New Jersey--History
New Jersey--History--19th century
New Jersey--History--20th century
Plainfield, NJ – Local History
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
United States – History
World War I
World War II

 

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Related Items

Plainfield Public Library's Digitized Vail Collection

Plainfield Public Library's Bible Records Project - Vail Family Bible Records

Plainfield library now home to one of few remaining copies of oldest Bible printed in America
(Courier News article, January 18, 2013)

Prized Artifacts of the Garden State, www.GardenState Legacy.com, December 2012 : p. 34.

Catherine Webster Family Tree, undated, "The Records of the Ladies Home of Plainfield

See Also:

Green Brook Historical Society

New Jersey Historical Society’s Alfred Vail Papers



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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection consists of materials that do not require any additional technology for access. Some of the materials are quite fragile and require the assistance of library staff for viewing.

 

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Series Description

Series 1: Manuscripts and Papers [1820-2002 (with gaps), undated]

ledger1820Series Description
Series 1 comprises the following subseries: Correspondence, Diaries and Journals, Ledgers, and Manuscripts. Correspondence includes a set of letters between David and Maria Vail during his service in the Civil War. David describes battles, troop movements, and conditions of war from 1860-1862. This subseries also includes Marjorie Vail’s letters to family members and other individuals interested in helping her with genealogy research. The Diaries and Journals subseries features materials from Ida and Philip Stiehl, Marjorie and Roger Vail’s maternal grandparents. There also is a small composition book from Marjorie’s childhood, which holds poems and songs by her Stiehl grandmother.

The Ledgers subseries includes an 1820-1822 accounts ledger whose pages had previously been covered with newspaper clippings (the clippings are found in Series 5: Scrapbooks and Ephemera). This accounts ledger has been conserved by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia (folio shown on left). Additionally, the subseries contains Jonah Vail’s Day Book ledger dating from 1825-1831.

In the Manuscripts subseries, patrons will find poems, plays, Mabel Vail’s cookbook, travelogues, and an account of N.J. historic sites.    

Arrangement
The Correspondence subseries is arranged alphabetically by author. The Diaries and Journals subseries is arranged alphabetically, then chronologically. The Ledgers subseries is arranged chronologically, and the Manuscripts subseries is arranged alphabetically, then chronologically. Series 1 is housed in boxes 1, 2, 3, and 49.

 

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Series 2: Genealogy [1791-2005 (with gaps), undated]

Series Description
Series 2 consists of four subseries: Diplomas, Bibles, Genealogy, and Wills. The Diplomas subseries documents the formal studies of Ida Vera Stiehl, Marjorie and Roger Vail’s mother. The Bibles subseries contains a 1791 Bible believed to have belonged to John and Catherine Vail, and an 1822 Bible believed to have belonged to Jonah and Rachel Vail.

The 1791 First Edition of the Isaac Collins Bible is the first Bible to be printed in New Jersey and the first “Family Bible” to be printed in America.  This King James version Bible was the most influential Bible in Colonial America from the late 1700s until the mid-1800s. The American “Family Bible” -- large and extensively illustrated -- became a fixture in the 19th and 20th century American home. The 1791 Isaac Collins Family Bible is an early example of that historical trend.

The bulk of this series is held within the Genealogy subseries. It comprises Marjorie Vail’s genealogy research, family trees, and reference materials. The Wills subseries includes the wills of Abraham Smith (1797) and John Bloom (undated transcript; original is dated 1868).  

Arrangement
Series 2 is arranged alphabetically by name and topic, then chronologically. It is housed in boxes: 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

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Series 3: Visual Materials [c.1858-1998 (with gaps), undated]

vailSeries Description
Series 3 is divided into four series: Photographs, Postcards, Works on Paper, and Maps. The Photographs subseries contains nearly 2000 individual photographs and 5 photo albums. Some of the images date to the earliest day of commercial photography in the mid-19th century. Many of the images are of family members, but family homes, pets, and travel also play a role in the collection. There are black and white, as well as color photographs and negatives.

The Postcards subseries contains more than 700 postcards and 12 postcard booklets. There are 34 family and house cards, 19 Plainfield cards, approximately 300 World War I and German language postcards, and more than 330 travel and tourism cards.

The Works on Paper subseries includes drawings, sketchbooks, and sketches, many by Otto Stiehl, and Robert and Otto Leis. The Maps subseries includes site maps for houses on Woodbine and Stilford Avenues, as well as a lot at Coolidge and Sterling Streets. Additionally, there are modern copies of the Great Peconic Bay and Battle of 2nd Manassas maps.

Arrangement
Series 3 is primarily arranged by topic, then chronologically. It is housed in binders 1-10, and boxes: 9- 24, and 49.

Search the Vail photographs

 

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Series 4: Realia [1772-c.1950s (with gaps), undated]

nailSeries Description
Series 4 is divided into two subseries: Artifacts and Textiles. Within the Artifacts subseries are Roger Vail’s harmonica; a Verdun, France medal; wood and nails from the original Plainfield Quaker Friends’ Meeting House (1777, shown on left); a sewing box; wooden shoes; and woven metal handbags.  

The Textiles subseries contains Edith Vail’s multi-piece Victorian-style wedding dress from 1874; a black taffeta and glass beaded evening gown; Ida Stiehl’s simple, but elegant silk bridal gown with rhinestone clasped belt; baby dresses; Carl Leis’ university cap; many linen hand-embroidered towels; linen tablecloths; and labeled fabric swatches from Gertrude Vail’s wedding dress.

Arrangement
Series 4 is arranged by type and size, and is housed in boxes 25-39.

 

 

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Series 5: Scrapbooks and Ephemera [1870-2003 (with gaps), undated]

Series Description
Series 5 is further divided into five subseries: Clippings, Newspapers, Scrapbooks, Ephemera, and Stock Certificates. The Clippings subseries mainly contains family birth, death, wedding, and military announcements, however there also is a fascinating collection of Mabel Vail’s travel diary entries that had been published in the 1912 Plainfield Daily Press. Additionally, the clippings include material on Plainfield historic sites and historic homes. Box 41 contains newspaper clippings ranging from 1888-1924 exclusively, which have been conserved from the 1820-1822 ledger in Box 1.

The Newspapers subseries includes copies of complete issues published on pivotal days such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Plainfield Centennial, and the end of World War I. Additionally, there is an 1870 German language newspaper.

Within the Scrapbooks subseries are a 1917 World War I scrapbook created by Mabel Haring, an English and German language scrapbook created by the elder Ida Stiehl, and two scrapbooks created by Marjorie Vail.

The Ephemera subseries includes notes previously housed with the textiles and photographs, European travel materials, and a program from the Marjorie’s Plainfield High School Class of 1950 50th reunion.

The Stock Certificates subseries comprises Jonah Vail’s three shares in Morris and Essex Mutual Coal Company from 1867, and A.W. Vail’s 2000 shares in Plainfield Mining Company in 1909.     

Arrangement
Series 5 is arranged chronologically and housed in boxes 40-44, 49-51.

 

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Series 6: Published Material [1886-2001 (with gaps), undated]

Series Description
Series 6 is further divided into two subseries: Sheet Music and Songbooks, and Books. The sheet music and songbooks include various vocal and piano arrangements ranging from 1900-1948. The Books subseries comprises Plainfield High School yearbooks (1949-1953), genealogy texts, Quaker histories, New Jersey histories, and Plainfield histories.

Arrangement
Series 6 is arranged chronologically for the Sheet Music and Songbooks, and yearbooks, and alphabetically by author for the Books. It is housed in boxes 44-48.

 

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Container Listing

 

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Correspondence, Bloom, Thurston R. (to his sister Pamela) 1838
  2 Correspondence, Bloom, Wilson (to his niece, Vail, Maria) Undated
  3 Correspondence, [Dakin] 1896
  4 Correspondence, Chase, Theodore 1869
  5 Correspondence, Christmas Card 1953
  6 Correspondence, Vail, David (Civil War) with Vail, Maria, transcriptions follow letters 1860-1862
  7 Correspondence, Vail, Gertrude (Mrs. Adelbert Vail), regarding the estate of William Hayes 1851-1904
  8 Correspondence, Vail, Ida mainly from Emma 1977-1986, with gaps
  9 Correspondence, Vail, Jeanette 1862
  10 Correspondence, Vail, John R. 1860
  11 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Brown, Frances E.  1976-1983, with gaps, 2001
  12 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Days, Frances 1956
  13 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Deadwyler, George B. 1979, undated
  14 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, Dunn, Philomena 1991
  15 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, Genealogy, Fowler, Arlene 1972-1976, with gaps
  16 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, Genealogy, General 1973
  17 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, Slocum Disaster 1998
  18 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Hagestad, Diane E. 1996
  19 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Hayes, Robert 1986-1990, with gaps
  20 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Johnson, Robert and Nancy 1973-1974, 1998
  21 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with King, Harlan F. 1977-1978
  22 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Kirchner, Marguerite 1976, undated
  23 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Mason, June W. 1974-1978, with gaps
  24 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Vail, Roy G. 1965-1998, with gaps, 2002
  25 Correspondence, Vail, Marjorie, with Vail, Ruth and Horace E. 1976
  26 Correspondence, Marjorie Vail, with Silence, William A. 1988
  27 Correspondence, Vail, W.W. 1861
  28 Diary, Stiehl, Ida 1913
  29 Diary, Stiehl, Philip 1909, 1911
  30 Journal, Stiehl, Philip Jr. 1942-1946
  31 Items removed from Stiehl, Philip Jr., journal in German and English 1942-1963, with gaps, undated
  32 Journal, Vail, Marjorie 1937-1947, with gaps
  33 Accounts Ledger (pages previously covered with newspaper clippings) SEE INDEX HERE 1820-1822
  34 Accounts Ledger cover 1820-1822
2 Day Book Ledger, Vail, Jonah 1825-1831
3 1 Manuscript, Leis, Clara, poem/song Undated
  2 Manuscript, Regen, Rosalie, “Washington Rock” Undated
  3 Manuscript, Stiehl, Ida, play sent from Germany to NY 1927
  4 Manuscript, Vail, Mabel’s cookbook, with clippings 1951-1952
  5 Manuscript, Vail, Marjorie, 8th grade graduation, papers, measurements 1946, 1947, 1955
  6 Manuscript, Vail, Marjorie, European Trips 1959, undated
  7 Manuscript, Vail, Marjorie, travelogue on Yosemite 1971, undated
  8 Manuscript, handwritten account of N.J. Historic Site visits [unattributed] Undated
  9 Award, Vail, Roy G., American Institute of CPAs, 49 years of service, framed 1976
  10 Organizational papers, Fall Membership Dinner and Society List of Seraphic Society 1979
4 Regents Exams results, Stiehl, Ida Vera, White Plains High School 1917
  Certificate, Stiehl, Ida Vera, University Scholarship Certificate No. 734, for four years at Columbia University, from the University of the State of New York 1917
  Diploma, Stiehl, Ida, White Plains High School 1917
  Diploma, Stiehl, Ida Vera, Westchester Congregational Church, Sunday School 1917
  Diploma, Stiehl, Ida Vera, Columbia University Bachelor of Science 1921
    Diploma, Stiehl, Ida Vera, Teacher of Household Arts, Columbia University 1921
5 Bible, said to have belonged to Vail, John and Catherine 1791
6 Bible, said to have belonged to Vail, Jonah and Rachel 1822
7 Bible, Leis, Carl P. 1861
8 1 Genealogy, Bailey, Judy 1994, 1998
  2 Genealogy, Ditzel, Augustus 1992
  3 Genealogy, Ditzel, Newark Census 1860
  4 Genealogy, Hayes Jenkins Papers 1987-1989, 1998
  5 Genealogy, Leis, Elise, widow pension records for Rudolph Leis Undated
  6 Genealogy, Leis, Frieda 1996
  7 Genealogy, Leis, Rudolph 1996
  8 Genealogy, Leis/Stiehl, also includes Dietzel/Ditzel 1912-1913, 1926, 1980, 1991
  9 Genealogy, Seldeneck, Charles 1861-1864, with gaps, 1889 (all copies)
  10 Genealogy, Ida Stiehl's Interment Undated
  11 Genealogy, Vail, Gertrude E. 1874, 1844, 1927
  12 Genealogy, Vail, Mabel H. 1916-1917
  13 Genealogy, Vail, Margaret F.R. Undated
  14 Genealogy, Vail, Walter L. 1971
  15 Genealogy, Varian, Marguerite V. 1937, undated
  16 Genealogy, "Jacob Zavitz and Elizabeth Pound, their Background and Descendants" Zavitz, James 1973
  17 Genealogy, Vail Family Tree 1916, 1953, 1957, 2005, undated
  18 Genealogy, Vail Family Tree 1970, 1973, undated
  19 Genealogy, index card book, notes Undated
  20 Genealogy, manuscript, Vail, Marjorie Undated
  21 Genealogy, manuscript, "Vail Family History" Undated
  22 Genealogy, notes 1973, 1989, undated
  23 Genealogy, reference materials 1971
  24 Genealogy, reference materials 1853, 1874 (copies), 1982-1996 with gaps, undated
  25 Genealogy, research 1986, undated
  26 Genealogy, research 1990, undated
  27 Genealogy, research, Civil War correspondence Undated
  28 Will, Transcript, Bloom, John orig. 1868
  29 Will, court record of Smith, Abraham 1797
  30 Will, Smith, Abraham 1797
  31 Family History, Vail Picnic 1951, 1972-1974, 1976, 1978
  32 Rahway & Plainfield Monthly Meeting/Quaker 1951, 1963, 1983, 1986, 1997, 2000
Binder 1 Photographs VV60000-VV60262 Various dates
Binder 2 Photographs VV60263-VV60685 Various dates
Binder 3 Photographs VV60686-VV60911 Various dates
Binder 4 Photographs VV60912-VV60967  Various dates
Binder 5A Photographs, reproductions VV60968-VV61609 Various dates
Binder 5B Photographs, reproductions VV60968-VV61609 Various dates
Binder 6 Photographs, enlargements Various dates
Binder 7 Photographs VV61610-VV61970 Various dates
Binder 8 Photographs VV61971-VV62121 Various dates
9 Photo album, "Philip Stiehl Jr. Christmas 1910 from His Mother." Approx. 33 pages of content 1910
10 Photograph, framed, "1916 Ida Stiehl Vail taken by Otto Stiehl" on verso 1916
  Photograph, framed, 3 children "Philip, Ida, Otto; Children of Philip & Ida,” on verso Undated
  Photograph, daguerreotypes, tinted, framed, "Elise Ditzel Leis and Baby Charles" Undated
  Photograph, daguerreotypes, "Clara Leis Kreither, Kansas City about 1920" c. 1920
  Photograph, mounted inside a copper pin, "Grandpa Rudolph Leis" Undated
11   Photo album, Vail house, two elders in white, 1160 Stilford Ave. 1911-1918
    Photo album, Washington, WWI photos Undated
  Photograph, framed family portrait, “Philip, Ida, and Otto” Undated
12 Photographs, Otto and Home, sepia Undated
13 Photograph of Robert Leis on horseback Undated
  Photo album, Vail family c. 1880-1890s
  Daguerreotype, “Elise Ditzel Leis and Baby Charles” (see Series 3 image above) Undated
  Photo album, "Vail Picnic Cedar Brook Park June 1974" [photos removed to binders due to preservation issues] 1974
  Photo albums, Small black and white photo booklets Undated
    Postcard booklets, southern N.J., Germany, Europe, etc. Undated
  Postcards, duplicates of color postcards, Plainfield, Europe Undated
14 Framed Portrait, “Grandpa” [Jonah] Vail Undated
15 Framed Portrait, Rachel Pound Vail Undated
16 Framed photograph, signed photo of parade c. 1921
17 Framed photograph, Jonah Vail Homestead Early 1880s
18 Framed photograph, "F.O.E. Degree Team Plainfield #866" Undated
Binder 9 Collection of postcards, WWI and German post cards 1909, undated
Binder 10 Collection of postcards, family and houses Various Dates
19   Framed drawing, charcoal drawing of woman by Robert Leis. Undated
20 Framed drawings, women drawn by Otto Stiehl Undated
21 Framed sampler stitched by Kate Fitzrandolph Undated
22 Small sketch, color drawing of a man on a carriage with a horse Undated
  Small sketch, pencil landscape Undated
23 Sketchbook, Leis, Robert c. 1928 
  Sketchbook, Leis, Otto Undated
  Print, elderly woman, believed to be representing Death, French writing beneath "agee elle aime son Dieu" (Elderly woman loves her God) Undated
24 Photocopy of drawing, grave marker for Leis family Undated
  Map, Great Peconic Bay Undated
  Maps, property survey, site maps for house on Woodbine (1936) and Stilford Avenues, and lot at Coolidge (1455) and Sterling Streets, Plainfield Undated
  Small map, Battle of 2nd Manassas, VA Undated
25 Artifacts, feather, sharpened quill Undated
  Artifacts, key Undated
  Artifacts, piece of lumber with one nail hole, said to have been removed from original Quaker Meeting House Undated
  Artifacts, piece of wood approx. 6” long, from original Quaker Meeting House Undated
  Artifacts, wood and metal harmonica [belonged to Vail, Roger] 1876
  Artifacts, school pin, Stiehl, Ida, P.S. 77 Undated
  Artifacts, medal from Verdun, France Undated
  Artifacts, nail, “From Friends’ Meeting House” 1777
26 Artifacts, wooden shoes, 2 pairs: adult and child sized Undated
27 Artifacts, woven metal handbags, one contains a small round mirror in pocket; said to have been property of Ms. Philip Stiehl [elder Ida] Undated
  Artifacts, blue leather wallet, previously contained clippings c. 1950s
  Artifacts, Rosenbaum's box, held the woven metal handbags Undated
28 Artifacts, sewing box, wood [belonged to Elise Ditzel Leis] Undated
29 Artifacts, items removed from sewing box: 5 spools of colored thread, 10 needles, 1 fabric measuring tape, 1 silver ring with blue stones, 4 buttons, 3 plastic items, 1 piece of ribbon with "V." printed on it, and 1 plastic finger protector Undated
30 Textiles, off-white linen tablecloth, embroidered with "V2V" although no thread, just a shadow Undated
31 Textiles, buff colored linen tablecloth, embroidered with "P2V" in black and "KFE" in red thread Undated
  Textiles, white table cloth, checkerboard pattern, cotton, red embroidered "JoP 12./6." Undated
32 Textiles, “Edith’s Wedding Dress” in multiple pieces 1874
33 Textiles, evening dress, black taffeta and net with glass beading throughout, as well as embroidery. Is said to have belonged to Stiehl, Ida. Also includes head/neckband made from the same material Undated
34 Textiles, bridal gown, gold silk, separate sash with rhinestone clasps, said to have belonged to Ida Undated
35 Textiles, fringed and embroidered shawl, silk Undated
36 Textiles, fabric, lace collar, buttons Undated
37 Textiles, draw-string bag, red and white gingham with cross-stitched initials Undated
  Textiles, baby dress, white cotton with pin-tucking and embroidery, open back Undated
  Textiles, baby jacket, white cotton with lace detail Undated
38 Textiles, baby dress, white silk and lace Undated
39 Textiles, linen, white hand towels, 6 Undated and 1772
  Textiles, university cap; belonged to Leis, Carl Rudolph Undated
  Textiles, labeled swatches from Vail, Gertrude Adams’ wedding dress c.1874
40 1 Clippings, First Annual Family Reunion committee, births, deaths, anniversaries, weddings 1909-1953, with gaps; undated
  2 Clippings, birth, death, and wedding announcements 1909-1957
  3 Clippings, Vail, Mabel's Travel Diary published in Plainfield Daily Press 1912, 1962 (envelope)
  4 Clippings, mid-century clippings of weddings, obituaries and other articles; removed from the blue leather wallet 1930-1959
  5 Clippings, births, military, Vail family members 1930, 1936-1937, 1958, 2001, undated
  6 Clippings, births, deaths, weddings 1937, 1948, 1953, 1970, 1978, undated
  7 Clippings, Quaker Meetings 1948, 1969, 1973
  8 Clippings, blizzard, crime 1950, 1955, 1964, undated
  9 Clippings, Plainfield Courier News, “As It Was, As It Is” 1950
  10 Clippings, Vail family members 1955, 1973-1974, 1996
  11 Clippings, sale and razing of Vail home on Greenbrook Road 1972-1973
  12 Clippings, historic Plainfield sites 1972-1974, with gaps, 1994
  13 Clippings, history, general 1972-1976, with gaps
  14 Clippings, historic homes 1973
  15 Clippings, Vail, Russell, E. 1974
  16 Clippings, Obituaries 1976, 2003
  17 Clippings, dolls 1984
41 Clippings, clippings from 1820-1822 ledger 1888-1924, undated
42 Newspapers, full issues of the JFK assassination. New York World, The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, German newspaper 11/22-26/1963
  Newspapers, headlines of significant historical events. Courier News, Plainfield centennial and end of WWI 1969, 1918
  Newspaper, in German language 1870
43 1 The School Spirit, magazine of PS77, Manhattan. Stiehl, Philip listed on front page 1912
  2 Scrapbook, World War I, Haring, Mabel 1917
  3 Scrapbook, Mrs. Phillip Stiehl [Ida], including newspaper clippings, German and English poems Undated
  4 Scrapbook, Vail, Marjorie E., genealogy Undated
  5 Scrapbook, Vail, Marjorie E., Plainfield High School 1949, 1950
  6 Ephemera, items removed from photographs (envelopes and notes) Undated
  7 Ephemera, note removed from textiles (black dress, Ida Vail's white silk baby dress) Undated
  8 Ephemera, class song, poem by Robert Louis Stevenson Undated
  9 Ephemera, Princeton commencement program 1963 1963
  10 Ephemera, European travel 1977, 1990
  11 Ephemera, materials removed from photographs 1986, undated
  12 Ephemera, materials removed from books 1973, undated
  13 Ephemera, Plainfield High School Class of 1950, 50th reunion 2000
  14 Stock certificate, 3 shares in Morris and Essex Mutual Coal Company, Vail, Jonah 1867
  15 Stock certificate, 2000 shares in Plainfield Mining Company, Vail, A.W. 1909
44   Scrapbook, cloth book c.1890s
  Scrapbook, baby book, Vail, Marjorie 1932
  Scrapbook, autograph book, Vail, Marjorie 1946
  Framed Clipping of German poem Undated
45 1 Newsletters, historical organizations 1972-1999, with gaps
  2 Newsletters, Speedwell Village 1970-1978
  3 Pamphlets, historical sites 1998, undated
  4 Pamphlets, Historic Speedwell 2001
  5 Sheet music, various vocal and piano arrangements 1900-1939, with gaps
  6 Song books, various collections 1908, 1939-1940, undated
  7 Song books, various collections 1934-1948
  8 Song books, various collections 1935-1938
  9 Yearbooks, Plainfield High School 1913
  10 Yearbook, The Oracle, White Plains NY 1917
46 1 Yearbooks, New York High School of Commerce 1913
  2 Yearbooks, New York High School of Commerce 1914
  3 Yearbooks, Plainfield High School 1949
  4 Yearbooks, Plainfield High School 1950
  5 Yearbooks, Plainfield High School 1951
  6 Yearbooks, Plainfield High School 1952
  7 Yearbooks, Plainfield High School 1953
47   Books, Banghard, Karl, Fünf Schneeballen, zwölf Jahrhunderte. 1979
    Books, Biebel, Frank A., Index to Marriage and Death Notices in the New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung 2000
    Books, Cunningham, John T., Newark 1988
    Books, Ethyl Corporation, What’s In a Name Undated
    Books, Feldkirchner, Irene E. and Langdon, Louise, A History of the Township of Green Brook 1976
    Books, Grady, John A. and Pollard, Dorothe M., Plainfield 2001
    Books, Haberstroh, Richard, The German Churches of Metropolitan New York 2000
    Books, Halsey, Abigail F., In Old Southampton 1940
    Books, Hinshaw, William W., Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy 1940
    Books, Hooker, Ralph M., Plainfield New Jersey Illustrated 1895
    Books, Lawton, Wilbur, The Boy Aviators in Africa or an Aerial Ivory Trail 1910
    Books, Lattimore, Ralston B., Fort Pulaski National Monument 1954
  Books, Lender, Mark E., The New Jersey Soldier 1977
    Books, McCormick, Richard P., New Jersey from Colony to State 1609-1789 1964
    Books, Meuly, Walter C., History of Piscataway Township 1666-1976 1976
    Books, Miscellaneous Words, Prefixes and Suffixes, with Roots of Derivative Words 1898
    Books, Nadel, Stanley, Little Germany 1990
    Books, New Jersey History, vol. 102, no. 3-4 (Fall/Winter 1984) 1984
    Books, New Jersey in the American Revolution 1969
48   Books, Rawson, Marion N., Under the Blue Hills, Scotch Plains, New Jersey 1974
  Books, Discipline of New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends 1893
    Books, Book of Discipline of New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends General Conference Affiliation 1930
    Books, Richmond, Katharine F., John Hayes of Dover, New Hampshire, A Book of His Family, vol. 1 1936
    Books, Ryan, Dennis P., New Jersey in the American Revolution, 1763-1783, a Chronology 1974
    Books, Snyder, John P., The Mapping of New Jersey 1973
    Books, Spyri, Johanna, Heidi 1899
    Books, Stevenson, Robert L., A Child’s Garden of Verses 1923
    Books, Tomblin, Barbara, Villages at the Crossroads, a History of Warren Township Undated
    Books, Vail, Henry H., Genealogy of Some of the Vail Family Descended from Jeremiah Vail at Salem, Mass., 1639 1902
  Books, Wiggin, Kate D., The Birds’ Christmas Carol  1886
  Books, Willison, George F., Saints and Strangers 1945
    Books, Wright, William C. (ed.), Economic and Social History of Colonial New Jersey 1974
49   Ephemera, sheet of paper covered with calculations and various notations Undated
    Works on paper, Clarence Brooks Vail, matted by Howard Rowe, Plainfield. Note on verso Undated
    Certificates and Photographs, German-language wedding certificate and wedding portrait 1894
    Works on paper, Elise, Robert, and Rudolph, graphite crayon and charcoal on canvas Undated
    Maps, reproduction of 1848 NYC map 1848 reproduction
    Ephemera, Tepper's Christmas bag c. 1970s
    Certificates, Modern reproduction of Frank Corman Knight and Edith Gertrude Vail's wedding certificate 1906, modern reproduction
50   Ephemera, Steinbach boxes used to hold Vail dresses c. 1970s
51   Ephemera, Schraft's candy box Undated
Map Case   Maps, Survey of Plainfield Friends Burial Grounds by Abraham Hornstein and Mary L. Cadron. Notes supplied by Lee Varian, a donor of the Vail collection, whose papers may be in this collection 1986

 

 

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