Deeds for mill-seats on the Brandywine Creek and environsCreation: 1719-1855 Creation: Majority of material found within 1790-1855
Oliver Canby (1716-1754) was a miller on the Brandywine Creek. This collection of deeds and indentures documents the acquisition of mills or mill seats, and other lands near the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware by the Canby family. This collection was in the possession and care of the Canby family until it was given to Hagley Museum and Library in 2011 by a descendant of Oliver Canby.
- Creation: 1719-1855
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1790-1855
- Rumford, Beatrix T. (Collector, Person)
1.5 Linear Feet
Oliver Canby (1716-1754) was a miller on the Brandywine Creek. He continued his family’s tradition of operating mills that were begun in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by Dr. Tymen Stidham (fl. 1704) and Samuel Kirk (1782-?).
The family of Dr. Tymen (Tymon) Stidham (Stedham/Stidden) ran the first mill on the Brandywine. They owned land on the south side the Brandywine from tidewater to Rattlesnake Run. Their barley mill was built sometime before 1687.
Samuel Kirk purchased the old barley mill and surrounding land from the Stidman family in the early eighteenth century. Kirk then formed a company to raise capital for a new mill and to build a dam at the foot of West Street in Wilmington, Delaware.
Oliver Canby bought shares in the Kirk Company in 1742 and built a short race and mill powered by a breast wheel at the foot of Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware. The following year, 1743, he bought out the Kirk shareholders. By controlling three mill sites and the south side of the Brandywine from Rattlesnake Run to tidewater, Canby secured his family’s fortune for many generations to come.
Scope and Content
A collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century deeds and indentures regarding the Canby family’s acquisition of mills or mill seats and surrounding lands near the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware. Materials date from 1719 to 1863 and are presented on vellum or paper. Numerous deeds, leases, condemnations, mortgages, conveyances, and maps are contained within. Highlights include a large 1796 hand-colored map documenting a land dispute along the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware. Local families involved in this dispute include Hollingsworth, Morton, Canby, and Shipley. Notations in iron gall and red ink, include illustrations notating buildings along the ‘Brandy Wine Creek’; a sketch of the Christiana Creek [River]; a drawing of the bridge crossing the Brandywine near Market and King Streets. The stream system of Rattle Snake run is also notated. A late eighteenth or early nineteenth century genealogical history of descendants of Dr. Timon Stidham (Timothy Steadman) of Wilmington, Delaware, records the shares of his estate given to his children and the subsequent descendants of those shares to Stidham’s heirs through the eighteenth century.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Deeds for mill-seats on the Brandywine Creek and environs
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- 2020: Marsha Mills