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McLean Family papers

Identifier: RG069_153

Scope and Content

The bulk of these papers is correspondence (1819-1833) to Francis and Sarah Childs McLean. Correspondents are mostly members of the Childs family including Sarah’s father Jonathan, Sr., her brothers Gardner, Seth H., and Ebenezer, and her sister Mercy Childs Luce. Francis McLean’s daughter Rosanna from his first marriage married Sarah’s brother Gardner in 1832. They lived in Granby, Lower Canada. Included in the papers are letters from Rosanna to her parents and one to a brother, probably Edward. Prior to his marriage, Gardner lived in Montreal and Shefford, L.C. and his letters were written from there. In them he comments on politics and religion in Canada. Seth H. Childs wrote from New Orleans and Ebenezer Childs from Green Bay and those two letters describe the conditions in those places. Also included in the papers is a genealogical notebook compiled by Francis’s daughter Mary McLean Hardy (circa 1892). Surnames present in addition to McLean are Childs, Smith, Spalding, and Spencer. In 1905 Hardy published, A Brief History of the Ancestry and Posterity of Allan MacLean, 1715-1786, Vernon, colony of Conn... Finally, there is the will of Jonathan Smith (1805). Smith was the father of Francis’s mother Joanna.


  • Creation: 1805-circa 1892, bulk 1819-1833

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Biographical Note

Francis McLean was born on September 26, 1777 in South Bolton, Conn. and his family moved to adjacent Vernon when he was a child. McLean was involved in the early manufacturing that took place in Vernon. About 1805 he built a gristmill and sawmill in southern Vernon that he later moved to a site on the Tankerhoosen. In 1809 he along with partners Irad Fuller, Lebbeus Tinker, and his brother Alexander McLean, Jr. bought John Warburton's cotton mill that was renamed to McLean's Mill. In 1821 he purchased land in the northeastern part of Vernon on the Hockanum River and in association with George Kellogg and Ralph Talcott built the "Rock Mill", the first textile mill in what is now Rockville. They incorporated as the Rock Manufacturing Company. In 1826 McLean established an oil mill immediately downstream from the Rock Mill. After severing his ties with the Rock Company, McLean built another mill downstream and in association with others incorporated the Frank Company in 1831. His last venture in Rockville was a paper mill he established in 1833.

McLean married Roxey McKinney of Ellington on February 10, 1800. They had six children: Otis (1801-1836), Lora (1802-1835), Francis (1804-1862), Mary (1806-1831), John H. (1808-1828), Rosanna (1810-1835). Roxey McKinney McLean died on March 30, 1811. McLean married Sarah B. Childs of Barre, Mass. on January 15, 1816. They had seven children: Edward (1818-1886), Roxey (1820-1904), Sarah (1822-1870), Harriet (1825-1874), Maria (1828-1854), Mary (1831-ca. 1924), and John H. (b. 1833). Francis McLean died on November 18, 1861.


Abbott, S. Ardis. Building the Loom City: Rockville, Connecticut, 1821-1908. Pittsburgh: Dorrance, Publishing Co., 2003.

Hardy, Mary McLean A Brief History of the Ancestry and Posterity of Allan MacLean, 1715-1786, Vernon, colony of Conn... Berkeley, Cal., Marquand Printing Co., 1905.


.25 cubic feet


Correspondence and a notebook of the Francis McLean family of Vernon, Conn.

Related Material

Mary McLean Hardy Papers, 1848-circa 1924, located in Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.

RG 069:153, McLean Family Papers
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository