Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Joseph Perkins Beach of Cheshire, Connecticut was born July 17, 1828 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was one of the California “Forty-Niners” and editor of the New York Sun during the Civil War until 1867. He retired from active business in 1868 and moved to Cheshire. Intensely interested in his family’s genealogy, he conducted extensive research of the Beach family of America as well as the related Yale, Ely and Brewster families. Joseph died at his home in Cheshire January 9, 1911, at the age of 82. He married Eliza Matilda Betts (1832-1899) in 1850. One son and three daughters survived him.
Joseph was the son of Moses Yale Beach (1800-1868) of Wallingford, Connecticut. Moses was a cabinetmaker. In 1829 he purchased the New York Sun and was called the creator of the penny press. He married Nancy Day (1802-1880) in 1819, who was a lineal descendant of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower.
The progenitor of the Beach family was John, who was born in Derbyshire, England and who died in 1680 in Wallingford. John, along with his brothers Richard and Tomas immigrated to Connecticut and is known in the records as “Ye Pilgrim.” John Beach was one of the founders of the first church at Wallingford and held numerous town offices. His son Thomas was born in 1659 and died in 1741 in Wallingford. Moses Beach (1695-1781) was the son of Thomas and he lived in Wallingford where he was a farmer. His son Moses Sperry Beach (1776-1826), also of Wallingford, was country surveyor and deputy sheriff. He married Lucretia Yale (1778-1800, the daughter of Elihu Yale. Their son was Moses Yale Beach.
This collection primarily consists of genealogical charts, loose notes on the Ely, Yale, Brewster and Beach families, notebooks on the Beach family, loose notes from published works and vital records, newspaper articles, and Beach’s correspondence his research. He complemented his notes with hand-drawn maps of New Haven and heraldry research including tracings and cut-out templates of symbols that were part of heraldic shields. Beach also collected original documents, including a commission signed by Jonathan Trumbull, 1806, deeds, bills and receipts, legal documents, and letters, dating from 1767-1878.
Beach’s personal correspondence dates from 1876-1898. It includes a number of letters to and from Mrs. Howard Moss who was also conducting genealogical research, 1909-1924.
Beach’s personal materials are filed after the genealogical research. These include three travel diaries, two dated 1881 and one undated and an account book, mostly listing assets and liabilities, 1852-1854. What are apparently unrelated items are filed last, and this includes a ribbon with an image of Abraham Lincoln with the words “The Martyr President.”
An item by item inventory of the collection can be found in the collection file in the archivist’s office.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Diaries -- 1881.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Raquel Tomison and Barbara Austen in 2007.
EAD Finding Aid created June 2012.