Archives: An eBay Adventure

By Kay (Munson) and Don Weaver

It started in late April 2009 with an e-mail message from Nancy K. Munson, Esq., our TMF Legal Officer. Her brother, Lee Munson, had noticed an E-bay listing for an invitation to the 1887 New Haven reunion of Munsons. Nancy K. wondered if anyone was interested in acquiring it for the purpose of adding it to the TMF archive at the New Haven Museum and Library. We immediately made our maiden voyage into the world of cyber-yardsales – and located the item fairly easily!

Our interest in this old document was brushed aside by an e-mail just a few days later from Lee Munson, Nancy K.’s brother. He gave us the tragic news of her sudden passing, the result of an automobile accident on May 3rd.

After the initial shock wore off, our interest in the invitation returned – with sharper focus. The online image of the 1887 envelope revealed that the invitee was Chauncey S. Munson of East Hamilton, New York. This detail led us directly to page 425 of Vol. I and to pages 1851&1888 of Vol. IV in The Munson Record; there we confirmed his identity:

Chauncey Schell(9) Munson (RN 3279) (Clan Waitstill)
b. 6 March 1858 at Hamilton, NY, the 3rd child of
Salmon B.(8) & Harriet M. (Schell) Munson.
Salmon was postmaster of E. Hamilton for 25 yrs.
occ: merchant, printer
m. Francelia M. Sweet, 15 Aug 1888
1 child noted: Roy Schell(10) Munson
d. after 1924

Our style is to move into new technology one very small step at a time; we chose not to make a bid ourselves, since that involved utilizing a critter called “PayPal.” So, we told our son and daughter-in-law, David & Pamela, about the find and asked them to “do our bidding,” as it were.

By Saturday evening, 9 May, they had made the purchase. (We wonder if online bidding always ends on a Saturday evening?) The item (sent from a P.O. Box in Keeseville, NY) was received by us (in quite good condition) on Wed., 13 May.

Here is what was received:

The envelope small by modern standards: 2 7/8” x 5 1/8”
addressed (hand-written) to: Chauncey S. Munson, East Hamilton, N. Y.
stamp: 1-cent; gray blue; typical 1880’s design, with image of Benjamin Franklin (perhaps Scott # 206)
cancellation: ALBANY N.Y.
The invitation (5 5/8” x 10”) folded in half, then folded again to fit the envelope

August 17, 1887

inside (pages 2 and 3):
New Haven, Conn., July 13, 1887.

Details of the day, which include:
Formal Exercises at Centre Church at 11 o’clock
Dinner at the Lincoln Rink, Chapel St. at 2 o’clock
Evening social meeting at the Rink

Hotels (with rates quoted) are suggested

The final paragraph of the invitation reads:

“It is the first, and is likely to be the only opportunity that you will have to meet all your sisters and your cousins and your aunts, and it is besides a very fitting celebration of the 250th anniversary of the landing upon this shore of our sturdy old ancestor, Captain Thomas Munson.
Luzerne I. Munson, Waterbury, Conn.
Samuel L. Munson, Albany, N. Y.
Sheldon Munson, Terriffville, Conn.
Curtis[s] J. Monson, Sr., New Haven, Conn.
Jared H. Munson, New York.
John C. Munson, Great Barrington, Mass.
Edward G. Munson[,] Cohoes[,] N. Y.
Committee of Arrangements”

Follow-up Research

Follow-up Research

Following are listed the committee members, along with details gleaned from The Munson Record:

Luzerne Ithiel(8) Munson (RN 921) (Clan Abel)
b. Ithiel Luzerne(8) Munson, 1 March 1838, 5th child of Titus(7) & Anna (Harrison) Munson; name changed — most likely because of [there being two 1st cousin[s] with same names
mbr (by profession), 1856, First Church,Waterbury, Conn.
m. Mary Brownson, 16 Oct 1861
occ. In business at Waterbury with his father-in-law,
Archibald E. Rice.

In 1887, Luzerne Ithiel(8) was serving as “president of the Munson Association”; he gave the “address of welcome at the Reunion in New Haven.” [Vol. II, pg. 881]

Samuel L.(9) Munson (RN 570) (Clan Obadiah)
b. 14 June 1844 at Huntington, Mass., 5th child of
Garry(8) [photo, Vol. I, facing page 516] &
Harriet (Lyman) Munson
m. Susan Babcock, dau. of Lemuel J. Hopkins, 1868
7 children listed [photo of Samuel, Susan and 6
children, Vol. I, facing page 545] occ. Businessman – owner/manager of plant (later two
plants) to manufacture shirts, collars, cuffs, etc.

Samuel’s eldest brother, Myron Andrews(9) Munson, compiler of Vols. I & II, states the following of Samuel L.:

“His love of kindred, his native wit, his aptitude for bright
and just thinking, and his gift of utterance, are illustrated
in the toasts which he presented at the Munson Reunion.
The project for a Family History [which became The Munson Record], as well as that for the Reunion, owes him an un–Matched debt.” [Vol. I, page 545]

Sheldon Munson, Tariffville, Conn.
b. Sheldon(8) Munson (RN 414) (Clan Waitstill),
14 Aug 1828 at Barkhamsted, Conn., 2nd child of
Chauncey(7) & Huldah (Beecher) Munson
m. Phebe Unetia(8), his cousin, 8 Feb. 1853
4 children listed
occ. Merchant
res. Lyons Falls, N.Y. (until Dec., 1854); Hamilton, N. Y.
(until Oct., 1862); and Tariffville, Conn. (thereafter)

Both Sheldon(8) and his wife, Phebe Unetia(8) “exhibited interest and devotion to the “Family enterprise,” [i.e., the Reunion]. [Vol. I, page 426]

An E-bay Adventure / page 4

Curtis[s] J. (8) Monson (RN 544) (Clan Obadiah)
b. 6 June 1821, presumably at Bethlehem, Conn., 3rd child
of Norman(7) [photo, Vol. I, facing page 494] and
Wealthy (Thompson) Monson
m. Caroline Elizabeth (Wilmot) Monson, 5 July 1843
5 children listed
occ. 45 years a jeweler at New Haven, Conn.
d. after Dec. 1892 [see footnote, Vol. I, page 534]

In the body of the invitation he is referred to as “C. J. Monson, Sr.,” the [Munson Association] “Treasurer.”

In the Prefectory to Vol. I, he is referenced as a donor to “A
Clerical Fund” [pg. vi] and as an Advance Subscriber to The
Munson Record (address: 252 Greenwich Ave.) [pg. vii]

Myron Andrews(9) Munson, compiler of Vols. I & II, states
this of Curtis[s] Joseph(8): “He was one of the earliest to be
interested in the project for a Family History. [Prior to The
Reunion] he had intended to print a brief genealogical record
of the descendants of his grandfather Ephraim(6). [Vol. I, page 534]

Jared Howes(9) Munson (RN 667) (Clan John)
b. 30 July 1836 at Richfield, N. Y., the 1st child of
Jared C.(8) Sarah Ann (Howes) Munson
m. Katherine Seguine, 10 June 1885
4 children listed in Vol. I
occ. broker & dealer in stocks and bonds
business addr: 60 Broadway, New York City
res. Brooklyn, N. Y.

John C.(9) Munson (RN 274) (Clan William)
b. 6 Dec 1861 at Delhi, N.Y.
m. Annie B. Seyffert, 2 Aug. 1882
3 children listed
occ. Stone-cutter (as was his f.) at the “Munson Quarry”

Edward Garry(9) Munson (see RN 538) (Clan Obadiah)
b. 23 Sept 1837 at Marlboro, Conn., 2nd child of
Garry(8) [photo, Vol. I, facing page 516] &
Harriet (Lyman) Munson
m. Caroline Scott Brewster of Waterford, N.Y.
(a graduate of Mt. Holyoke Seminary)
no children
occ. Manufacturer (See details, Vol. I, page 525)
res. Waterford (P.O. Cohoes), N.Y.