Bishop family collection, 1825-1918
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Brief Description:

The Bishop family collection (2011-14-0, .42 linear feet) documents the families of Charles B. Bishop (1832-1913) and Jane Farnsworth Bishop (1829-1892) of Litchfield, Conn. A number of individuals are represented in the collection, including Charles, his father Charles Bishop (1791-1871), his grandfather John Bishop (1756-1848); Charles’s brothers James Ensign Bishop (1828-1903) and Theophilus Fenn Bishop (1820-1846); Theophilus’s wife Susan Amelia Pratt Bishop (1818-1848); several of Jane’s sisters, including Emily Farnsworth Sheppard (1827-1853), Mary Farnsworth Rogers (1835- ), Cornelia Farnsworth Barraclough (1842-1897), and unidentified Farnsworth family members. Charles and Jane Farnsworth Bishop had six children and some are represented in the collection, including Kate Bishop Prenctice (1864-1909), Mabel Bishop (1871-1951), and Charles Bishop Jr. (1872-[1944?]). Kate married Charles Prentice. Their son was Donald Bishop Prentice (1889-1971). In addition to those of family members, there are also items which relate to friends, associates, the First Ecclesiastical Society of Litchfield, and the Litchfield School Society. The collection primarily consists of correspondence; it also contains deeds, news clippings, legal and financial records, and other documents.

Charles Bishop (1791-1871) moved to Litchfield, Conn., in 1838 and established a farm. He married Mary Bacon (1794-1884). Charles and Mary Bacon Bishop had three sons, Theophilus, who died in Saybrook, Conn., aged 26; James, a Thomaston, Conn., clock factory employee and later, a florist; and Charles, a prominent Litchfield merchant who co-owned a dry goods firm under the name of Bishop & Sedgwick and was an insurance salesman for over 40 years. Jane Farnsworth Bishop was a daughter of Benjamin Farnsworth (1799-1845) and Emily Raphel (1803-1860) of Hartford, Conn. Jane’s sister Lucy Farnsworth (1837-1902) married Theodore Sedgwick of Litchfield, who was Charles Bishop’s dry goods partner.

Besides family correspondence, the collection contains several items regarding the First Ecclesiastical Society, including a list of subscribers for a new church building that records their pledge amounts, and a contract between Charles Buell and the Litchfield School Society for the construction of a new building, including its specifications.

Held at:
Litchfield Historical Society
7 South Street, P.O. Box 385
Litchfield, CT 6759
Phone: 860-567-4501
Fax: 860-567-3565
Email: archivist [at]
Created by: Bishop family, Farnsworth family
Volume: 0.42 Linear Feet
Acquired: 04/15/2011.
Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Bishop family
Farnsworth family
Litchfield (Conn.)
Genres/Forms of Material
Business records
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Acquisition Notes: Donor unknown.  Found in collection.
PreferredCitation: Bishop family collection (2011-14-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759