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Ryan Family Papers 1


Identifier: 1997-11-0

Scope and Contents

Ryan Family Papers 1 (1915-1986), consisting of music manuscripts, lyrics and poetry, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, and a biographical documentation. Thomas Ryan (1872-1933) was born in Ireland and moved to the United States as an infant with his mother. He took up acting and singing, but embarked on a law career, studying in Torrington, Conn., and graduating from Yale Law School in 1897. In 1899, he pursued mining in Arizona, California, and Mexico. After his fortunes failed, he returned to the stage. In 1904, he came back to Torrington and again took up law, finally settling in Litchfield in 1905. He served one term as a probate judge in the 1910s. In 1895 he married Mary Kelley of Torrington. They had four children, Mary Gertrude, Catherine Edna, Margaret Agatha, and Frances Mary. He died in 1933. Agatha, as she was commonly known, and Gertrude attended college. Agatha worked in her father's law office, the probate court, an insurance office, and served as secretary to the superintendent of schools in Litchfield. Frances worked as the school nurse. The papers generally relate to Agatha (1900-1986) and Thomas. Agatha's papers include correspondence, some of it to her sister Frances. Agatha was concerned with political issues, and some of her correspondence was with U.S. representatives and senators, including such members of the Connecticut delegation as Ella Grasso, Abraham Ribicoff, and Lowell Weicker, and Sen. Edward Kennedy. Agatha's diaries from 1916 and 1920 are included in the papers. Thomas's papers consist of poems, lyrics, and music which he composed in the 1910s and 1920s. A photograph depicts him as five different people. There are also several items that provide biographical information and two 1929 letters from Alain White.


  • created: 1915-1986
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/07/1998


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the Litchfield Historical Society for materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. 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.


1.00 boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is unarranged.

Source of Acquisition

Ruth DuPont

Method of Acquisition


Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Ryan Family Papers 1 and 2. Postmaster Receipt Book.

Other Descriptive Information

This collection was processed with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Ryan Family Papers 1
Leith Johnson
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)