Manuscript Group 89, Sayers Coe (1772-1851), Farmer Records, 1793-1911 (Bulk dates:1806-1850)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 89, Sayers Coe (1772-1851), Farmer Records, 1793-1911
(Bulk dates: 1806-1850), 0.5 linear feet, 2 small boxes
Call Number: MG 89 + box & folder number


Financial records kept by a farmer who lived on Court Street in Newark, New Jersey.  Includes accounts concerning services rendered in turnpike and highway construction.  Occasional documents pertaining to other members of this nineteenth century Newark family.

Gift of Mabel P. Coe.

Biographical Note:

Sayers Coe was born on April 26, 1772 to Bethia Grummon and Benjamin Coe.  The family resided in Newark, New Jersey and all of the Coe’s eight children were born there.  Benjamin Coe owned extensive lands and earned his living as a farmer.

Sayers (or Sears) Coe, Benjamin’s eldest surviving son, followed in his father’s footsteps.  He became a farmer, settled in Newark with his family and eventually took over his father’s lands. He also engaged in contract labor such as cutting timber, carting stone, and building roads.

Sayers Coe married Sally (or Sarah) Davis (1774-1853) in 1795 and they had seven children together.  Their children were: Isaac, Caroline, Joseph Davis, Moses Bruen, Abby, Harriet, and Aaron.  Sayers Coe died on February 1, 1851 in Newark, New Jersey.

Provenance Note:

This collection was the gift of Mabel P. Coe.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection is made up of two record books that were kept by Sayers Coe and possibly by his son Joseph D. Coe.  The first volume is a daybook that runs from 1806 to 1851.  The inscription on the inside page of this book reads, “Sayers Coe’s Book of account 1806.”  The first section of the volume starts off with account entries dating from 1806-1822.  These entries include the person’s name, the date, the work done, and the price.  The work that is recorded includes such tasks as cutting timber, carting stone, and work done for the courthouse from 1810-1812.

The next section of the volume is a daybook dating from 1822-1851.  The pages are headed with the title Daybook and each entry contains the date, the person, the job, and the payment.  Typical jobs in this section include carting wood, stone, or clay; keeping a horse; scraping the Springfield turnpike; and they show the sales of such livestock products as beef, calfskin, veal, and lamb.  There are a number of larger jobs (made up of multiple task entries) in this section of the volume. They are labeled by the name of the client, i.e. Aaron Coe, Charles Pierson, and the highway.

Sayers Coe provided some of the labor for the building of the Newark and Springfield turnpikes.  Typical entries for the highway project, like those for June 7 and 10, 1826, are “to wagon and horses with 3 days labor” and “to oxen to plough.”

There are receipts glued into the rear of the volume.  These include receipts for money paid and items bought, in addition to tax receipts.

The second volume is an account book and seems to have been used in conjunction with the daybook.  The first pages of this volume are an index to the accounts.  The actual accounts follow after this and date from 1798-1850.  The pages are headed by the person’s name and each entry contains the date, the transaction, and the payment price.  For the transaction, many entries simply read, “amount brought from daybook.”  There is one account labeled, “expenses on building house on High St.”

Like the daybook, the accounts are followed with glued-in receipts from a number of different Coes, including Benjamin, Sayers, Joseph D., and Davis.  The receipts range in date from 1793 to 1872.

Each volume also contained newspaper clippings.  While there are a number of clippings from a newspaper column entitled “Jersey Genealogy,” it is unclear for some of the others what article was of interest to the saver.  Those news clippings that are dated were published in 1897 and 1911; the others are undated. The daybook also contained four letters from 1896 written to Ernest E. Coe in regard to family genealogy.  All of these items have been removed from the volumes and placed in box 1, folders 2 and 3.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 291, Baldwin-Brown-Coe Family Papers
Manuscript Group 358, Newark Turnpike Company Records
Manuscript Group 1421, Coe Family Genealogy Collection

Container List:

Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Daybook 1806-1864
1 2 Newspaper clippings removed from record books 1897, 1911, n.d.
1 3 Ernest E. Coe -Genealogy correspondence 1896
2 1 Account book 1793-1872

Processed by Kim Charlton, November 1999 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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