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Borton Family Papers - MS 462

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory

Introduction

The Borton Family Papers, MS-462, is a collection of 216 letters dating from 1849-1889. The .75 linear foot collection of correspondence is housed in two boxes, box 1 containing photocopies of the original letters and box 2 containing transcripts of the same. Provenance has been maintained. The collection has been chronologically arranged.

The original collection of letters was donated by the Borton family to the Fulton County Historical Society, Mrs. Merrill Bernath, Curator; and was acquisitioned on loan to the Center for Archival Collections for duplication by Assistant Director Ann M. Bowers for one moth commencing April 1986. The following information was researched and prepared by collection assistant Holly A. Hoffman, April 25, 1988. There are no restrictions on either the photocopied letters or the accompanying transcripts.

Biographical Sketch

The Isaiah Borton family moved to Fulton County from Stark County, Ohio, shortly after 1849, and settled near the village of Spring Hill, now Tedrow. Mary and Isaiah Borton were parents to eight children--John, Rhoda, Silas, Lucas, Simeon, Samuel, James Elwood, and Elizabeth Jane--four of whom--Silas, Simeon, Samuel, and James Elwood--served in the Civil War.

More specific information describing the immediate Borton family members is included in the family group sheet, page 2a; with the Borton brothers' Civil War service information listed on page 2b. As an additional aid to the researcher, pages 2c-2f contain a complete listing of all correspondents, the inclusive dates of that correspondence, and familial relationships where known. All correspondents are identified in relation to the primary family of Mary and Isaiah Borton and its members whenever possible.

Additional biographical information is contained in a two volume publication by Betty M. Mann, 1675-1979: 300 Years of Bortons in America, available at the Center for Archival Collections.

Civil War Service Information

  • Borton, James Elwood: Company C, 130th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Entered service May 2, 1864. Mustered out September 22, 1864 at Toledo, Ohio. Died before he could get home.
  • Borton, Samuel: Company I, 67th Regiment, Ohio, Volunteer Infantry. Entered service August 13, 1862 for 3 years. Mustered out June 21, 1864 at Richmond, Virginia.
  • Borton, Silas: Company J, 67th Regiment, Ohio, Volunteer Infantry.
  • Borton, Simeon: Company I, 67th Regiment, Ohio, Volunteer Infantry. Entered service August 13, 1862 for 3 years. Killed in action on May 10, 1864, at Chester Station, Virginia. Buried at Hampton, Virginia.

List of Correspondents

NAME AND IDENTITY

  • Baldwin, A.W.: Cousin of an undetermined Borton
  • Baldwin, Martha: Sister to Mary Borton
  • Baldwin, Stephen H.: Cousin of an undetermined Borton
  • Biddle, J.H. (T.H.): Friend of James Elwood Borton
  • Borton, Ann: Undetermined
  • Borton, Arthur: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Elizabeth Jane: Daughter of Mary & Isaiah Borton; later married Alfred Shaffer (see also Shaffer, E.J.)
  • Borton, Ellis: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Ezra: Brother of Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Ira: Brother of Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Isaiah: Husband to Mary Borton; father to John, Rhoda, Silas, Lucas, Simeon, Samuel, James Elwood and Elizabeth Jane
  • Borton, James Elwood: Son of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Joseph: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Lillie: Daughter of Samuel Borton
  • Borton, Marvith: Undetermined
  • Borton,Mary: Wife to Isaiah Borton; mother of John, Rhoda, Silas, Lucas, Simeon, Samuel, James Elwood and Elizabeth Jane
  • Borton, Pap: Undetermined
  • Borton, Rhoda: Daughter of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, S.: Son of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Samuel: Son of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Silas: Son of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Borton, Simeon: Son of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Brina: Niece of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Hamlin, Alva J.: Friend to Borton's S. & James Elwood (note: Hamlin is Mary Borton's maiden name)
  • Hamlin, Wilson F.: Undetermined (note: Hamlin is Mary Borton's maiden name)
  • Hugus, N.C.: Friend of James Elwood Borton
  • Hugus, W.H.C.: Undetermined
  • Johnson, Joseph: Undetermined
  • Lozer, Lilhe D.: Friend of Silas Borton
  • Marmon, Jane P.: Sister of Mary Borton; wife to Joseph Marmon; mother of Sally Marmon
  • Marmon, Joseph: Husband to Jane Marmon
  • Marmon, Sr., Joseph: (same as Marmon, Joseph?)
  • Marmon, Roth: Undetermined
  • Marmon, Sally: Daughter of Jane and Joseph Marmon; niece of Mary & Isaiah Borton (see also Potee, Sally)
  • McGuire, John: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • McGuire, M.R.: Undetermined Borton
  • Milligan, J.H.: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Milligan, Joseph H.: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Milligan, John: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Milligan, K.T.: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Milligan, K.Y.: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Milligan, Thomas: Nephew of Mary & Isaiah Borton
  • Minnick, Deem: Undetermined
  • Minnick, John: Undetermined
  • Minnixk, Julie: Undetermined
  • Minser, David: Undetermined
  • Nash, Sophia: Friend of Simeon Borton
  • Ogden, William B.: Undetermined
  • Olds, Mary J.: Undetermined
  • Pinney, George: Undetermined
  • Potee, Sally: Daughter of Jane & Joseph Marmon; Niece of Mary & Isaiah Borton (see also Marmon, Sally)
  • Reeve, Benjamin: Husband of Lydia Reeve
  • Reeve, Lydia: Niece of Mary & Joseph Borton; wife to Benjamin Reeve
  • Richards, J.W.: Undetermined
  • Rittenhouse, Mary: Undetermined
  • Shaffer, Alfred: Husband to Elizabeth Jane (Borton) Shaffer
  • Shaffer, Elizabeth J.: Daughter of Mary & Isaiah Borton; wife to Alfred Shaffer (see also Borton, Elizabeth Jane)
  • Struble, Seubina: Undetermined
  • W., H.M.: Undetermined
  • Walker, Maggie: Friend of Silas Borton
  • Wentz, Mary: Friend of Simeon Borton
  • Wisner, Mary: Undetermined
  • Wisner, William: Undetermined

Scope and Content

The Borton Family Papers, dating 1849-1889, is a fine collection of family correspondence containing general family information and, between the years 1862-1864, is highlighted by a significant number of detailed letters written during the Civil War. As a whole, the collection illustrates the problems confronted by and the changes which occurred in the philosophy and lifestyle of a nineteenth century farm family as it faced and dealt with the hardships induced by the Civil War, family crisis, and the on-going trials of life itself.

The collection of incoming and outgoing family correspondence contains an extensive amount of material dealing with family life in Fulton County, Ohio; including such topics as health, weather, family finances, agriculture, and social and political issues of the day. Several letters speak specifically on land prices, the dollar value of farm commodities, and the intrinsic value of a good education. Highly significant correspondents writing or receiving letters of family and farm information include Borton's Elizabeth Jane, James Elwood, Mary, Samuel, Silas, Simeon; and Jane P. Marmon. For more specific information, see the selected letter listing.

The collection also contains a significant number of Civil War letters, dated 1862-1864, written by the four Borton brothers--James Elwood, Samuel, Silas, and Simeon--who served in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry; and a few from their cousin J.H. Milligan, stationed at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio. The letters reveal very descriptive accounts of a soldier's living conditions, food and rations, th picket line, marching and traveling, contact with enemy troops, injuries incurred, and interesting and detailed accounts of battle.

Included in the collection as an aid to the researcher is a comprehensive set of transcriptions of the original letters, prepared for the Fulton County Historical Society by Michael L. Williams of Bryan, Ohio. Also of value to the researcher is the two volume publication by Betty M.Mann entitled 1675-1979: 300 Years of Bortons in America, available at the Center for Archival Collections.

Overall, the Borton Family Papers is an excellent collection for the research historian, strong in its descriptive accounts of the Civil War from the perspective of the foot soldier, and in its specific references to and information on farm family life in nineteenth century Fulton County, Ohio. Unfortunately, the photocopied letters can be extremely difficult to read, and the researcher needs to rely heavily upon the transcriptions. The collection is a little more problematic for the genealogist however, in that little information is offered regarding family history and in that many family relationships remain difficult to determine. It is therefore recommended that the serious researcher use Betty Mann's publication in conjunction with this wonderful collection of family correspondence.

Selected Letters of Interest

LETTERS BY DATE AND SUBJECT

  • 4/23/1849: Perspectives on morality and religion, slavery and abolition.
  • 2/17/1861: Prices of available land in the Fulton County area; prices of farm commodities; the importance of education and traveling up the "hill of science".
  • 6/30/1861: Civil War draft policy.
  • 3/15/1862: Extensive discussion on education.
  • 7/10/1862: Very articulate and specific early Civil War letter from J.H. Milligan mentioning Captain Morgan; written at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1/23/1863: A soldier's song in verse sent home in a letter from Simeon Borton from the Civil War.
  • 4/17/1863: Commodity prices listed in a letter written by James Elwood Borton.
  • e.a. 1863: Civil War letters from simeon Borton relaying rumors about the death of Stonewall Jackson and the imprisonment of General Lee.
  • 12/29/1863: Interesting account of a severe winter storm and its effects on the family and their livestock.
  • 5/22/1864: A more detailed account of Simeon Borton's death in a letter written by James Elwood Borton.
  • 5/26/1864: A more detailed account of Simeon Borton's death in a letter written by James Elwood Borton.
  • 11/30/1864: A record of the death of James Elwood Borton in a letter from K.T. Milligan.
  • e.a. 1870: Account of a stroke suffered by Joseph Marmon.
  • 11/2/1884: Account of the death of Mary Borton's sister Ann in a letter from Jane P. Marmon.

Series Description

The Borton Family Papers is a collection of incoming and outgoing family correspondence dating 1849-1889, arranged in 2 boxes chronologically by year. The .75 linear foot collection numbers 216 photocopied letters which are housed in Box 1, with transcriptions of those letters housed in Box 2.

In most cases the letters include the date when written, the name and location of the author, the site of the letter's destination by county and state, and the name of the person for whom the letter was intended. The correspondence contains general family information and, between the years 1862-1864, is highlighted by a significant number of letters written during the Civil War.

Inventory

Box 1

Folder
  1. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include family health, weather, crops/farming, and education.1849-1861
  2. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include health, education, livestock, and a few Civil War letters.1862
  3. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include health, weather, family information, and Civil War letters.January-May 1863
  4. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include health, weather, family information, and Civil War letters.June-August 1863
  5. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include health, weather, family information, and Civil War letters.September-December 1863
  6. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include health, weather, the Civil War, and family information. 1864
  7. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include health, weather, the Civil War, and family information.1865-1889
  8. Photocopied letters. Major subjects include the Civil War and family information. n.d. or partially dated

Box 2

Folder
  1. Transcripts of photocopied letters. 1849-1861
  2. Transcripts of photocopied letters. 1862
  3. Transcripts of photocopied letters. January-May 1863
  4. Transcripts of photocopied letters. June-August 1863
  5. Transcripts of photocopied letters. September-December 1863
  6. Transcripts of photocopied letters. 1864
  7. Transcripts of photocopied letters. 1865-1889
  8. Transcripts of photocopied letters. n.d. or partially dated

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