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Hoyt Family Papers

Hoyt Family Papers

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Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Hoyt family
Title:Hoyt Family Papers
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Hoyt Family Papers consists of letters received by Mary Elizabeth Pierce Hoyt and David Webster Hoyt.
Collection Number:MSS 290

Series List

Scope and Content Note

The Hoyt Family Papers consists of letters received by Mary Elizabeth Pierce Hoyt and David Webster Hoyt. Twenty seven of the forty four letters were written by Sarah Ann Hoyt. Subjects include the health and medical treatment of family members, Otis Hoyt's Civil War service and his recovery from a battle wound, the conditions of Sarah Ann's work in a hat-making shop, and the well-being and development of David and Mary's son, Albert, and Enoch and Clara's daughter, Mary Elizabeth.

Additional correspondents are Mary's other Hoyt sisters-in-law, Clara Elizabeth Pillsbury Hoyt, Mary Emeline Britton, and Josie who notably discusses her feelings on a recent engagement.

Six letters are from the elder Enoch Hoyt, primarily concerning plans for and the financing of repairs to the Hoyt family home.

The family letters document both the press of daily household tasks and the mutual support and concern of the family.

Biographical Sketches

David Webster Hoyt was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, on April 16, 1833, the son of Enoch (1811-1865) and Elizabeth Williams (1810-1863) Hoyt. He attended Brown University and received an A. M. from Middlebury College in 1861. He taught and was principal in a series of schools in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Rhode Island, and was the author of several genealogical studies.

David married Mary Elizabeth Pierce, daughter of J. M. and F. S. Pierce on April 9, 1856. Their son, Albert Pierce Hoyt (Bertie) was born on November 29, 1857. Mary Elizabeth died in 1867 at the age of 33. After her death, David married Martha Jane Guild on December 16, 1868; their daughter, Elizabeth Guild, was born on March 29, 1870. David died on May 8, 1921.

Sarah Ann Hoyt, the daughter of Enoch (1811-1865) and Elizabeth Williams (1810-1863) Hoyt, was born on February 14, 1836. She lived in Amesbury, Massachusetts, in the family home built by her great-great-grandfather, Theodore Hoyt (ca. 1735), which she shared with her father and mother (until their deaths) and her brother Enoch and his family. In addition to caring for her parents and home, she worked in a hat-making shop. She died in 1920.

Enoch Hoyt, the son of Enoch (1811-1865) and Elizabeth Williams (1810-1863) Hoyt, was born on June 4, 1840 in Amesbury. Originally a shipbuilder (as noted in a letter from his father), he held a series of jobs related to hat-making, as descried in the Amesbury directories: hatter (1872-1873); hat packer (1866-1867); overseer, Merrimac Hat Company (1889, 1891-1901); shipper, Merrimac Hat Company (1903), and foreman (1909-1913).

Enoch married Clara Elizabeth Pillsbury, daughter of George and Mary Elizabeth Pillsbury on May 15, 1854. Their children were Mary Elizabeth (Mamie), born April 10, 1865, Alice Britton, born April 28, 1867, and Fred Albert, born September 26, 1869. Enoch shared the family home with his parent and sister Sarah Ann. He died in 1921.

Otis Hoyt was born on April 8, 1838 in Amesbury, the son of Enoch (1811-1865) and Elizabeth Williams (1810-1863) Hoyt. A watchmaker, he was connected with watch factories in Waltham, Massachusetts, and in Illinois. He served three years in the 16th Massachusetts regiment during the Civil War and was promoted to captain; he was wounded in the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 19, 1862. He married Mary Emeline Britton (Em), the daughter of Joel and Sarah W. Britton, on August 1, 1863. He died on June 6, 1885 in Elgin, Illinois.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Hoyt, Albert Pierce, b.1857
Hoyt, Clara Elizabeth Pillsbury
Hoyt, David Webster, 1833-1921
Hoyt, Elizabeth W. (Elizabeth Williams), d.1863
Hoyt, Enoch, 1811-1865
Hoyt, Enoch, 1840-1921
Hoyt, Mary Elizabeth Pierce, d.1867
Hoyt, Mary Elizabeth, b.1865
Hoyt, Mary Emeline Britton
Hoyt, Otis, 1838-1885
Hoyt, Sarah Ann, 1836-1920
Child development
Dwellings--Maintenance and repair
Amesbury (Mass.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Hoyt Family Papers, MSS 290, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was purchased on November 20, 1898 (acc #89066).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Pamela Matz, November 1996. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, January 2016.

Related Material U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Hoyt, David Webster. A Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight, and Hight Families. 2nd ed. Providence: Printed for the Author by the Providence Press Co., 1871.

Hoyt, David Webster. Hoyt Family. A Genealogical History of John Hoyt of Salisbury, and David Hoyt of Deerfield, (Massachusetts,) and Their Descendants: With Some Account of the Earlier Connecticut Hoyts, and an Appendix, Containing the Family Record of William Barnes of Salisbury, a List of the First Settlers of Salisbury and Amesbury, &c. Boston: C.B. Richardson, 1857.

Hoyt, David Webster. The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts: With Some Related Families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton. Providence, RI: Snow & Farnham, Printers, 1897.

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