Nutting Family Papers, 1833-1857


The Nutting Family Papers contain account books and family letters from the mid 19th-century. The account books are from Truman Nutting's shop and mill in South Amherst, and the letters trace the westward movement of family members as they left Amherst for Ohio.

Biographical Note

John Nutting (1762-1834) moved to South Amherst, Massachusetts in 1785 at the time of his marriage to his first wife Esther Smith. Within fifty years the family had so influenced the community that their section of town was known semi-officially as Nuttingville. Among the more notable of John Nutting's sons was George (1786-1838), who, in 1825, built the South Congregational Church, an edifice that still stands on the South Amherst Common. George’s daughters became locally known as the “seven Nutting girls” – seven daughters all born and all married in the same front room of the family home. Truman Nutting (1807-1891), George's half-brother, was well known as a maker of planes and other wood working instruments. As the bulk of the family papers indicate, several of John Nutting's children joined the westward expansion of the country in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Scope and Contents

The Nutting Family Papers consist mainly of a series of letters and two account books. The letters are from the children of George Nutting, written as they and their families moved westward and settled in Ohio. These letters provide important insight into the family and to the history of northeastern Ohio. The fifty-five letters, dating from 1836 to 1857, also provide information on South Amherst and its people. There is a calendar of the letters available.

The account books are from Truman Nutting, a plane and tool maker in South Amherst. One book dates from 1833-1851, with a second volume overlapping the period 1845-1851, and are of great value as insight into the economics of skilled craft work during the first half of the nineteenth century. The account books have a modern index.


0.5 linear feet (1 document box)

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.


The Nutting Family Papers were obtained as gifts in part from Walter M. Nutting in 1929 and in part from the heirs of Myron Nutting in 1978. 

Preferred Citation

Nutting Family Papers, Special Collections, Jones Library, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Collection Inventory

Title/Description Date
Nutting Family Papers - Guide  
Nutting, Henry - Deed
[Henry (1830-1896) was the son of Truman.]
1863 March 7
Nutting, Judith Hastings - Memorial
[Judith (1786-1883) was the wife of George.]
Nutting, Truman - Account books
Housed in the Account Book section
1833-1851, 1845-1851
Nutting, Truman - Index to account books
Nutting Family - Clippings
News clippings, notes, and a few photographs of various members of the Nutting family.

Nutting Family - Letters 1836-1841
Nutting Family - Letters 1842
Nutting Family - Letters 1843-1844
Nutting Family - Letters 1845
Nutting Family - Letters 1846
Nutting Family - Letters 1847 February-May
Nutting Family - Letters 1847 July-September 
Nutting Family - Letters 1847 October-December
Nutting Family - Letters  1848 February-April
Nutting Family - Letters 1848 April-August
Nutting Family - Letters 1849-1857 
Nutting Family - Letters Undated 
Nutting Family - Letters - Calendar