A Guide to the Mary Henrietta Chase Papers, 1710-2000
Genealogist Mary Henrietta Chase (1908-1997) was born on September 6, 1908, to Jerry and Henrietta Chase of Franklin, Texas. A filer for Gulf Insurance Co. (later Gulf-Atlantic), Chase conducted large amounts of genealogical research on the Chase, Rhodes, and Seeley families of Texas. She wrote an unpublished family history of the Seeleys titled The Saga of the Seeleys from Southern New Jersey to Illinois and Texas. Chase died on August 7, 1997, in Dallas, Texas.
Chase’s great grandmother, Henrietta Seeley Cheek Moore (1842-1926) was born to David S. and Sarah Louise Gray Seeley on August 30, 1842, in Wheelock, Texas. While still young, she moved with her family to Falls County, Texas, where they invested heavily in land and slaves. She married Sylvester Cheek on October 31, 1859, in Franklin, Texas; they had one daughter, Emma Cheek Rhodes (1860-1938). Emma Rhodes was the Chase’s maternal grandmother. After her husband’s death in 1865, Henrietta married Thomas S. Moore on September 5, 1867; they had no children. In 1901, Henrietta went to live with her daughter Emma, the wife of Thomas Jefferson Rhodes, in Franklin. She invested heavily in oil and became suddenly wealthy. Henrietta Moore died in Franklin on April 8, 1926.
Source: “Mrs. Henrietta Moore Is Called by Death.” The Franklin Texas, April 10, 1926.
Correspondence, genealogical materials, financial documents, postcards, news clippings, literary productions, and photographs comprise the Mary Henrietta Chase Papers, 1842-1967, and relate to Chase’s genealogical research on the Chase, Rhodes, and Seeley families of Texas. The genealogical research consists of family trees; page proofs from her family history, The Saga of the Seeleys from Southern New Jersey to Illinois and Texas; photocopies of historical documents, such as birth and death certificates, correspondence, and land records; family photographs; and correspondence with various family members and historical institutions. Additionally, the research materials include the family crests of the Chase and Seeley families. The collection also contains a small amount of Chase’s personal papers, including correspondence, financial documents, and postcards documenting her life in Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, the original correspondence of Henrietta Seeley Cheek Moore from the 1850s to the 1920s composes a large portion of the collection. The correspondence documents her relationships with her husbands and contains marriage proposals tendered to her by various suitors.
The collection is open for research use.
Mary Henrietta Chase Papers, 1710-2000, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers