Ongoing Research

Over several generations, Chew family members kept record of their lives through journals, business accounts, and correspondences. The Chew Family Papers ranging from the 17th century through the 20th century, include historic maps of Pennsylvania and the Mason Dixon Line, commentary on significant issues in American history, family stories, and names and stories of free, enslaved, and indentured laborers.

The Chew Family Papers are part of the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Cliveden staff continues to use this rich repository as a source for our exhibitions, programs, and tours.

family tree graphic

Chew Family Genealogy

Family tree including the Chew family members who lived at Cliveden

Coloring Page Outline, cliveden conversations

Cliveden: The Chew Mansion in Germantown

by Nancy E. Richards – Documentation of the Chew family at Cliveden from the 18th century through the transferring of the property to the National Trust in the 1970s

Mary Johnson Brown Chew

Cliveden: Legacy of the Chew Women of Germantown

– by Jennifer L. Green – Stories of the lives of three generations of women who owned and lived at at Cliveden: Anne Sophia Penn Chew (1805-1892), Mary Johnson Brown Chew (1839-1927), and Elizabeth Brown Chew (1863-1958)

More Secondary Source Material

The City Home of Benjamin Chew, Sr., and His Family: A Case Study of the Textures of Life by Nancy E. Richards – Documentation of Benjamin Chew, Sr., and his family’s life at their town home on Third Street in Philadelphia from 1771 to 1819

Chew Family Chronology – A chronology of many Chew family events and other happenings in Philadelphia

Cliveden Bibliography – Extensive listing of sources related to Cliveden and the Chew family

Benjamin Chew, Sr.’s Receipt Book – Transcription of receipts documenting expenses and business contacts of Benjamin Chew, Sr. (1722-1810). Includes receipts for construction and repair, farm work, domestic servant wages, housekeeping expenses, and more.

Documentary References to Chew Family Furnishings and Lifestyle – A complete transcription of copybook owned by Samuel Chew III (1832 – 1887)

Historic American Buildings Survey – Architectural drawings and large-format photographs of Cliveden’s structures

Invisible Hands: Slaves and Servants of the Chew Family – Information regarding the free and enslaved people who worked at Cliveden to support the wealth and prestige of the Chews


Primary Source Material can be Found in these Collections

The Chew Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania – Primary source documents detailing the lives of the Chew family from the 17th through the 20th centuries

Library Company of Philadelphia – Includes books that belonged to the family, primary source documents by family members and photographs of the property

Recovering A Lost World, 1772-1921: Epsom Project at Goucher College – Discusses Goucher College’s research into Epsom Farm owned by Henry Banning Chew (1800-1866) and his first wife, Harriet Ridgely Chew (1803-1835) and place of bondage of enslaved African Americans. Henry was a grandson of Cliveden’s first owner, Benjamin Chew, Sr.

Homewood: Johns Hopkins University Museums – A National Historic Landmark in Maryland, Homewood was the home of Charles Carroll, Jr. (1775-1825) and his wife, Harriet Chew Carroll (1775-1861). Harriet was one of Benjamin Chew, Sr.’s twelve daughters.

Radnor Historical Society – The Brown and Chew families owned a home in Radnor, PA called Vanor through the 20th century.

Connected Historic Sites & Organizations

Homewood Museum - A National Historic Landmark, Homewood is one of the best-surviving examples of Federal-period Palladian architecture in the nation. Built circa 1801 for members of Maryland’s prominent Carroll family, the house also was home to at least 25 enslaved individuals, including William and Rebecca Ross and their two children and Izadod and Cis Conner and six of their 13 children.

Historic Hampton - Operated by the National Park Service, Historic Hampton, Inc. supports the programming and preservation of the Hampton National Historic Site, the core of what was once a vast 25,000-acre estate owned by the Ridgely family from 1790 – 1948.

Goucher College & the Epsom Project - Epsom Farm was once part of the Ridgely family property, Hampton, in Maryland.  After the death of Charles Carnan Ridgely in 1829, the property and the enslaved people who labored there were inherited by Harriet Ridgely and her husband, Henry Banning Chew. In 1921, Goucher College purchased the deed for the property from the Chew family. In 2012, Goucher College began the Epsom Project, studying the history of the property.

People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North - Historic Hudson Valley's interactive website offers an interactive cross-section of human stories emblematic of the lived experience of slavery in colonial America.

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