Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-317
Location: LH-317

(Description ID: 595463)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

May Family


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The May Family Papers were donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 2003 by Sandra Tellvik.

Biographical Sketch
William Allen May (1912 - 2002) was born and reared in Owosso, Michigan. After his graduation from Owosso High School in 1929, he studied photography and worked for a photographer in Manhattan, New York. Returning to Michigan at the beginning of the Great Depression, he took a position as cub reporter with the Owosso newspaper, the Argus Press. He continued his career in journalism until his retirement in 1975. He spent thirty-four years with The Muskegon Chronicle.

William May’s book The House of May (1984) traces the descendants of John May, a ship’s master who moved his family from Mayfield in Sussex, England, to Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1640. Among John May’s descendants, who migrated through Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and Michigan were Elisha May (1669-1744), a founding father of Barrington, Rhode Island, and Hezekiah May (1736-1819), a member of the Vermont militia during the Revolutionary War.

Scope and Content
The bulk of this collection is genealogical information collected by William Allen May while researching for his book The House of May. The materials were gathered by May during his retirement years (1975-2002). Included are photographs of family members, headstones, and sites associated with the family; copies of legal documents such as wills and land grants; and genealogy charts and information for the May family as well as collateral families: Brown, Carpenter, Cooper, Opper, Smith, Walker, Goret, Loucks, Reynolds, and Griggs.

Correspondence from other genealogists and May family researchers is included. Also contained in the collection is information on various locations associated with the family’s history: Barrington, Rhode Island; Woodstock, Connecticut; Strafford, Vermont; and Mayfield, Sussex, England. Biographical data collected by Sandra Tellvik on Harvey Griggs, a collateral May descendant, is also part of the collection.

Ac. 5591
2/3 linear ft.

Box 1

1. Anderson, Mrs. John, correspondence and lineage
2. Barrington, Rhode Island; Tyler Point Cemetery (contains photographs)
3. Brown family genealogy
4. Carpenter family (Elizabeth, wife of Hezekiah May)
5. Carpenter, John (of Stafford, Connecticut)
6. Bugbee, Woodstock, Connecticut
7. Coats of Arms
8. Census records and miscellaneous notes
9. Civil War data
10. Cooper genealogy data
11. Death certificates and related correspondence
12. Derr, Mrs. Cecil (Maggie)
13. Genealogical correspondence of Carol Roberson Johnson, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
14. Genealogical correspondence of Madeline Wilkinson, Montpelier, Vermont
15. Genealogical correspondence of Ruth Zorn, Saginaw, Michigan
16. Opper, Peter and Lydia, 1590-1986
17. May family research correspondence with the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, 
18. Ingham, Norman, correspondence
19. McKibbin, McCarty, Ferguson families
20. Marriage Data
21. May, Clifford C. and Neva
22. May, Charles G., Livonia, New York
23. May, Decatur D. family
24. May, Earl E., Lansing, Michigan
25. May, S.

Box 2

1. May, Elijah and Jane (Whitaker)
2. May, Elisha - land grants; estate
3. May, Elisha - first wife
4. May, Elisha - children
5. May, Ephraim (brother of Elisha)
6. May, Glendon - 1970 - 1980
7. May, Glendon - Fremont, Ohio - correspondence 1978
8. May, Glendon - Fremont, Ohio - correspondence 1977
9. May, Hezekiah and wife Elizabeth Carpenter
10. May, DeForest regarding Hiram May, Livingston County, New York
11. May, Hiram, Livingston County, New York
12. May, Isaac, Sandusky County, Ohio
13. May, Joab Y., Ohio and Michigan
14. May, John F. , Babylon, New York, (publisher - May Family book)
15. May, John (1)
16. May, John (2)
17. May, Marvin

Box 3

1. May, Thomas Jefferson
2. May, William Albert, 1870-1931
3. May, Agnes, wife of William Allen, Jr.
4. Mayfield, Sussex, England (May Ancestral Home)
5. Mayfield Connection; Dorothy May Bradford
6. Obituaries; Miscellaneous Clippings
7. Peck, Joseph and Elizabeth Carpenter
8. Genealogical correspondence with Eva Jane Prior, Woodstock, Connecticut
9. Rehoboth-Swansea History - Barrington, East Providence, Rhode Island
10. Roxbury, Massachusetts, School
11. Signatures
12. Smith, Chester (family), Lenawee County, Michigan
13. Strafford Historical Society correspondence with Mrs. Peter Smith
14. Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate Court records, etc.

Box 4

1. Strafford, Vermont, history; research notes
2. Trowbridge, Doris, Lenawee County, Michigan
3. Vermont (state) correspondence
4. Walker family genealogy
5. Whitaker, Squire, Ruggles ancestry
6. May, Harvey families, Miscellaneous data.
7. May, Rawson, Reynolds families
8. Genealogical charts: Carpenter, Goret, Loucks, May, Reynolds, Wedge
9. Mayfield, Sussex, England data
10. Griggs, Harvey [Civil War service with Rutherford B. Hayes, 23rd OVI ]
11. William May [author of The House of May] and Emily Coy May
12. Negative photocopy images of Vermont records c. 1774-1819

Transferred to Library:

Descendants of John May of Roxbury, Massachusetts, 1640 (revised edition, edited by John
    Franklin May)

History or Biography of the Griggs Family from 1803 to 1925 (reprinted 1978 by Helen Nye)