Collection Close-Ups: Sherwood Journals and the Account Ledger of Michael W. Divine

Presented by Kalyn Loewer, Manager of Digital Collections at the NYG&B on Thu, 08/03/2023 - 12:00

Please join Kalyn Loewer, Manager of Digital Collections, as she walks participants through two of the NYG&B’s online collections: the “Sherwood Journals, Cayutaville, Tompkins County, 19th Century” and the “Account Ledger of Michael W. Divine, New York County, 1864-1884.” This session is part of the NYG&B’s online series Collection Close-Ups, in which Kalyn will explore our many online collections, explaining what you can find and how you can search.

The “Sherwood Journals” are three volumes that feature mid-19th-century handwritten journals of Drs. Amaziah Church and Orlando Beebe Sherwood. The former worked in Cayutaville, Newfield, and Enfield, New York until his death in 1860. Orlando, Amaziah’s son, served in the Civil War as a medic and later practiced in the Cayutaville community. The journals feature patient names, various fees and expenditures, and other insight into medical practices at the time.

Michael William Divine was born in Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland in 1828. He immigrated to New York City and, by 1864, was working as an attorney at a firm located at 52 Exchange Place. The ”Account Ledger of Michael W. Divine” features a variety of transactions that Michael worked on, including sales and leases of apartment buildings throughout Manhattan for the period starting in 1864 through 1884. 

Even if your ancestor’s name does not appear in either collection, these collections can shed light on what life was like in the mid-19th century, with personal insights from esteemed members of the medical and legal professions. Kalyn will share how to use these collections and other types of ephemera to better understand the context in which our ancestors lived and worked.