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Blakeslee-Foy-Crabtree families papers


Identifier: 2014-54-0

Content Description

The Blakeslee-Foy-Crabtree families papers contain documents and photographs that primarily relate to the Blakeslee family and associated families Gustafson, Newberry, Curtiss and others of Northfield and Litchfield, CT. There are also items that relate to the Foy famiy, who emigrated to the United States in the 1910s and 1920s, some of whom settled in Northfield and Litchfield, and Davida Foy Crabtree (1944- ), daughter of Alfred Foy (1904-1975) and Davida Blakeslee Foy (1910-1999).

The collection contains teaching credentials and certificates; correspondence; photographs (including daguerreotypes and tintypes); journals; genealogical records; and other materials. Among the strengths of the collection are documents and photographs that relate to Davida Blakeslee Foy's teaching career in the Thomaston, CT, and Litchfield schools and Davida Foy Crabtree's years at Litchfield High School. Photographs in the collection primarily relate to the Blakeslee and associated families and include Bernice Blakeslee's award-winning fine art slides. Also of note is a small amount of reference material on Northfield and some photographs of family farms and other buildings and landscapes there and a record book maintained by clerks Joseph Newberry and George Gilbert containing minutes of meetings and receipts for services of teachers, First Society (Litchfield), 15th School District and 7th School District, 1849-1869.

Additional information about items in the collection may be found in the accession files. Please ask staff for assistance.


  • Creation: 1850-2002

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Davida Marion Foy Crabtree was born in 1944 to Davida Blakeslee Foy and Alfred Foy. She grew up in Northfield, CT, graduated from Litchfield High School in 1962, attended Marietta College in Ohio from 1963-1967, and Andover Newton Theological School from 1968-1972. She married Robert Crabtree in 1968 while still in seminary. They divorced in 1972. She married David Hindinger Jr. in 1982. Among his ancestors are the Hutt and Crutch families of Litchfield. In 1989, she received her Doctor of Ministry from the Hartford Seminary.

Crabtree was the founder and director of the Prudence Crandall Center for Women in New Britain, CT, 1973-1976; director of the Greater Hartford (Connecticut) Campus Ministry, 1976-1980; senior minister, Colchester (Connecticut) Federated Church, 1980-1991; board of directors member, Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ, Hartford, 1982-1990; conference minister for the UCC's Southern California Conference, 1991-1996; Connecticut's conference minister, 1996-2010; senior consultant to the officers of the national UCC, 2011-13; interim senior advancement officer for Andover Newton, 2011; acting conference minister for Missouri Midsouth Conference, 2013; interim conference minister for Florida Conference, 2013-2014; and interim vice president for institutional advancement at Andover Newton, 2016-2017. Crabtree's personal papers are at The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Alfred Foy (1904-1975) was born in the island of Guersney, England, the son of Henry Foy and Emmeline Mahy Foy. Henry and Emmeline emigrated to the United States at separate times; Alfred came with his mother and several of his siblings in 1921. Emmeline and most of Alfred's siblings settled in Northfield. By 1927, he was a member of the Northfield Congregation Church. Alfred married Davida Martha Blakeslee in 1943. He worked at Quins Business Equipment of New Haven for about 15 years until he retired in 1967.

Davida Martha Blakeslee (1910-1999) was a daughter of Benjamin Oliver Blakeslee (1885-1971), a farmer, and Hattie Gustafson Blakeslee (1890-1963) of Northfield. Davida graduated from Litchfield High School in 1927, the Danbury State Normal School in 1929. She received her B.S. from Teachers College of Connecticut at New Britain in 1958 and her Master of Education from the University of Hartford in 1961. She taught in the one-room East Morris school, grades 1-8, 1929-1930; Center School, Thomaston, grades 4-7, 1930-1939; and Litchfield High School, grades 7-8, 1939-1942. She then worked for the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. in the War Damage Dept. In 1944, she gave birth to Davida Marion Foy and after the war, she returned to teaching. She retired in 1970 after teaching for 34 years in public schools, the last 10 of which she was Reading Consultant for the Litchfield Public Schools. She was a member of the National Education Association, the Connecticut Association for Reading Research and the International Reading Association. She was a founding organizer of the Litchfield Education Association.

Benjamin Blakeslee's parents were Edwin Blakeslee (1853-1919) and Cora Gilbert Blakeslee (1857-1951). Associated with the Blakeslee family were Curtiss and Newberry families.

Hattie Gustafson Blakeslee's parents were Charles Gustafson (1860-1931) and Christina Nilson (1857-1931). They emigrated from Sweden.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Crabtree, Davida Foy gift


Includes additional gifts from Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree: 2015-53-0, 2016-17-0, 2017-30-0, 2018-47-0.

Related Materials

Davida Foy Crabtree papers, 1952-2016, MS5324. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Blakeslee-Foy-Crabtree family papers
Leith Johnson
2022 Aug 24
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)