Source materials


Barbour, General Lucius Barnes, The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Ridgefield 1709-1850, compiled by Wiliam J. Standifer Moore, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2000. This and the original document in the town clerk’s office were used as a preliminary source of and index to vital records.

Bedini, Silvio A., Ridgefield in Review, Ridgefield: The Ridgefield 250th Anniversary Committee Inc., 1958. The most recent and most extensive history of the town.

Chase, A.W., M.D., Dr. Chase’s Recipes or Information for Everybody, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1866. A large compilation of all sorts of useful information for both households and tradesmen.

Haight, Robert S., St. Stephen’s Church, Ridgefield, Connecticut, Its History for 250 Years, Ridgefield, 1975

Hale, Charles R., supervisor, Headstone Inscriptions Town of Ridgefield, Conn., Hartford: Connecticut State Library, 1937. This was a Works Progress Administration project during the Depression. The book contains the contents of all known headstone inscriptions in the town – vital data only, not testimonies or quotations. It is fully indexed and reasonably accurate.

Hall, the Rev. Edwin, The Ancient Historical Records of Norwalk, Conn., Norwalk: James Mallory & Co., 1847, reprinted 1973 by Friends of the Lockwood House. Many earlier records of Norwalk would have been lost had not Mr. Hall rescued and transcribed them in this book.

Holden, Frederic A. and E. Dunbar Lockwood. Colonial and Revolutionary History of the Lockwood Family in America. Philadelphia: privately printed, 1889

Hoyt, David W., Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight and Hight Families, Providence: Providence Press Company, 1871.

Hubbard, G. Evans, A Look at Wilton, Connecticut in 1860, Wilton: A.G. Wood, published on the Internet, 2000

Jacobus, Donald Lines. History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company. Connecticut. 1930, reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company. While centered on Fairfield, many of the Fairfield families made their way into Ridgefield, Wilton and especially Redding (once part of Fairfield). This three-volume work has much genealogical and historical information on the early settlers and can run into the 1800s.

Keeler, Wesley B., Ralph Keeler of Norwalk, Conn., and His Descendants, Vol. 1, Albany, N.Y.: 1980

Kennan, George F., An American Family: The Kennans, The First Three Generations in America, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000. Insights into the family, religious and society of 18th and 19th Century New England farmers, by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

Kuczkowski, Michael, The Great Shad Run Mystery, The Hartford Advocate Springtimes, 1997. Interesting article on the shad runs on the Connecticut River.

Lee, W. Storrs, The Yankees of Connecticut, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1957. Called “a fond look at the Yankee tradition that became an American tradition,” the book has a good section on 17th, 18th and 19th Century farming in Connecticut (he calls the farmers “husbandmen.”)

Lounsbury, Raymond H., and John Martin Smith, The Diary of Lewis W. Rude, DeKalb County, Indiana, for the Year 1864, DeKalb County, 1974. This slightly annotated diary gives insights into the life of an Indiana farmer at almost the same time the Jared Nash diary is being compiled. Rude, however, was in what was considered “the West,” and was more of a pioneer than the Nashes, who lived on long-settled land.

Marvin, George Franklin and William T.R. Marvin. Descendants of Reinold and Matthew Marvin. Boston: T.R. Marvin & Son, 1904.

Methodist Almanac 1866, New York: Carlton & Porter, 1865. A particularly interesting issue since 1866 was the centenary of American Methodism. Father and perhaps others in the family were Methodists.

Morris, Edmund, Farming for Boys, Boston: Fields, Osgood & Company, 1869. A book, written “by the author of “Ten Acres Enough,” describing for boys how they can be helpful on the farm.

Northrop, B.K., A Concise History and Manual of the First Congregational Church in Ridgefield, Conn., New York, 1868

Ridgefield Town Hall: records of the town clerk and the probate court.

Robinson, Solon, Facts for Farmers, New York: A.J. Johnson, 1866. A two-volume, 1,050 “bible” for 19th Century farmers, a guide to the best and latest techniques for farming.

Rockwell, George L., The History of Ridgefield, Connecticut, Ridgefield: Privately printed by the author, 1927. The largest history of the town.

Sloane, Eric, Eric Sloane’s Almanac and Weather Forecaster, New York: Hawthorne Books, 1955. Much information and many insights into the life of 18th and 19th Century New England farmers.

Sloane, Eric, A Museum of Early American Tools, New York: Ballantine Books, 1973. Lavishly illustrated guide to many of the tools used by 17th through 19th Century Americans.

Thomas, Elijah L., An Abridged Genealogy of the Olmstead Family of New England, Albany: Joel Munsell, 1869

Todd, Charles Burr, The History of Redding, Connecticut, New York: The Grafton Press, 1906.

Van Hoosear, David Herman, Annals of Wilton, Vol. 1, Wilton Localities, Wilton: Wilton Historical Society, 1940. An excellent survey of the places and place names of Wilton.

Various authors, Clerk’s Book of the 9th School District in Ridgefield, 1836 to 1901. Hand-written minutes of all activities of the school committee of the Flat Rock Schoolhouse, which covered the area where most of the families mentioned in the diary lived.

Ward, Geo K. Genealogy of the Olmstead Family. Compiled by Henry King Olmstead. New York, A.T. De La Mare Printing and Publishing Company, 1912.

Whiting, Samuel, The Connecticut Town-Officer, Danbury: Nathaniel L. Skinner, 1814. A guide for local officials. Excellent for insights into how town governments worked in the 1800s and what the various officials did.

Wright, Samuel Hart, M.D., Farmers’ Almanac 1866, New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1865.


A.L. Scovill & Company’s Farmers’ & Mechanics’Almanac, Cincinnati, Ohio: A. L. Scovill & Co.,  1865. Given out by pharmacies carrying Scovill patent medicines, with medical and household advice.

Ayer’s American Almanac, Lowell, Mass.: Dr. J.C. Ayer and Company, 1875. Much personal health advice from a patent medicine maker.

Farmer’s Almanac, Philadelphia: National Alamanac Manufactory, 1876. Good source of advice given to farmers.

Farmers and Planters Almanac, New York: Lodi Manufacturing Company, 1868. Manufacturer of fertilizers free almanac with information on products and testimonials.

Hostetter’s Illustrated United States Almanac for Merchants, Mechanics, Miners, Farmers, Planters and General Family Use, Pittsburgh, Pa.: Hostetter & Smith, 1884. Published by a drug maker, containing mostly health advice related to products.

Methodist Almanac, The, New York: Carlton & Porter, 1866. This was the edition celebrating the centeary of American Methodism. Religious and historical information.

Thomas, Robert B, Old Farmers Almanac, The, Boston: William Ware & Company, Brewer & Tileston, etc, 1862, 1865, 1866, 1868, 1879, 1892, 1894. The granddaddy of all almanacs, still surviving, with much advice to farmers. Various imprints on front covers; sold promotionally to different businesses to give away or sell.

Wright, Samuel Hart, Farmers’ Almanac, New York: A.S. Barnes & Company, 1866. Farm, and home, and lifestyle advice.

Source people

Roger O. Olmsted, Karl S. Nash, Marjorie McKenna.