Collection MS/MS 01.05 - Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material

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US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.05

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Title

Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material

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0.50

Name of creator

(1872-1952)

Biographical history

1821 Born in New Hampshire

1847-ca.1853 Congregational pastor

1852 Married Julia Chapin

1854 Founded Grinnell, Iowa

1856 Active in organizing Republican Party in Iowa

1856-60 State Senator. Worked to establish public schools in Iowa

1858 Admitted to the Iowa bar

1860 Delegate to Republican convention which nominated Lincoln

1863-67 Representative (Republican) to U. S. House of Representatives

1854-84 Trustee of Iowa (Grinnell) College

1891 Death

Interests included religion, education, politics, railroading, stock breeding, and sheep raising.

More details in Dictionary of American Biography, National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Who Was Who in America, Charles Payne’s Josiah Bushnell Grinnell.

Grinnell, Iowa was founded in March 1854 by Josiah Bushnell Grinnell (1821-1891) who chose a site which surveys indicated would be the junction of two railroads. Grinnell was a minister, trustee and benefactor of Iowa College (later renamed Grinnell College), helped organize the Republican party in Iowa, was a Representative to the Iowa legislature and later to the U.S. House (1863), was active in agricultural development and railroad building. He and his wife, Julia Chapin, were both descended from old New England families; their daughter, Mary Grinnell Mears, may have assembled some of these papers.

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Scope and content

The collection consists of genealogical charts 1480 0 1919.  Correspondence ca. 1898-1908, 32 portraits, some unidentified, copies of cemetery inscriptions, Family Association publications for the Chapin (4 books, 1862, 1908, 1908, 1927) and Alden (1 book, 1916) families, sixty Chapin family deeds and documents from Massachusetts 1674-1851, and a 114-page handwritten notebook by E. F. G. of Stockbridge, 1848, family history of Chapin ancestors Dudley, Woodbridge, Jones, and Eliot.

The papers have detailed information about a few branches of the family, little or no information on other branches.  The researcher might consult U.S. Library of Congress, Genealogies in the Library of Congress to identify more complete sources.

Genealogical charts in this collection trace part of the Grinnell family from Pierre Grenelle, born about 1480 in France. A descendant, Matthew, born 1602, became a Protestant and moved to Newport, R.I., in 1630, beginning the American line of the family. Matthew’s son married a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Other charts trace various branches of the Chapin family from about 1576 to Mary Grinnell’s birth about 1857.

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  • English

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Provenance of the bulk of the papers in unknown.  They might have been compiled in the early 1900's for application to such organizations as DAR and Society of Mayflower Descendents, and later donated to the college by Mary Grinnell Mears’ family.  Members of the Grinnell family, many very distantly related to J.B. Grinnell, donated some genealogical charges and biographical notes.

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