Henry Family Collection

The Henry Family archive collection provides access to archival documents related to gunsmith, merchant, and patriot financier William Henry of Lancaster (1729-1786) and his accomplished descendants. Among these descendants were John Woolf Jordan (1840-1921), an archivist and librarian and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and James Henry (1809-1895), a scholar who founded the Moravian Historical Society.

The Henry Family collection includes letters, weekly journals, personal papers, drawings, family genealogy, correspondence, and photographs from the Henry family of Pennsylvania.

Photograph of the Boulton Gun Works

William Henry II (1757-1821) traced his roots to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where William Henry I (1729-1786) apprenticed as a gunsmith and later became a successful merchant and important patriot during the Revolutionary War. In 1780, William Henry II settled in Nazareth, after learning the gun trade in the Moravian communities of Lititz and Christian’s Spring, and he worked in Nazareth as a gunsmith and joiner.

The Moravian Historical Society collection spans two centuries and includes letters by James Henry (1809-1895), first president and founding member of the Moravian Historical Society, and his son Granville Henry (1834-1912), successor and last gunsmith at the Henry Gun Works and supplier to the U.S. Army during the Civil War. The collection includes significant archival material on the Henry Gun Works at Boulton including letters, newspaper articles about the war between 1861-1865, poems, account books and business papers relating to the gun works, the family, and the surrounding area between Nazareth and Philadelphia. The collection also includes letters concerning Henry family genealogy between cousins James Henry and John W. Jordan (1840-1921).

A more complete family geneology of the Henry family is available online by the Jacobsburg Historical Society.

Explore some featured items from the collection below, or browse and search the collection by Item or Item Sets of related items.

Featured Items from the Henry Family Collection