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McNeal-Watters-Preston-Munnikhuysen papers

Identifier: MS 3055


The papers in the collection span more then 200 years, from 1776 to 1981. The materials consist of letters, diaries, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, business correspondence and photographs relating to the McNeal, Watters, Preston, and Munnikhuysen families.


  • 1776-1981


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical Sketches

Joshua Vasant McNeal, 1846-1917

Joshua Vansant McNeal was born on June 11, 1846 to James McNeal and Sarah Jane Golibard. He was educated in Baltimore public schools and attended Loyola College from 1860 to 1862. He was employed in the fire and marine insurance business until 1872 when he accepted a job with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a clerk. He steadily progressed up the ranks of the company, being elected fourth Vice President and Treasurer in 1904. He was a patron of music and sponsored several young promising musicians. He married May Preston in 1873 and had eight children, four of whom lived into adulthood: Mark M. McNeal, Stella McNeal, J. Preston W. McNeal and Marie McNeal Tettoni. May Preston McNeal died in 1913. Joshua Vansant McNeal died in 1917.

Mark J. McNeal, 1882-1935

Mark J. McNeal was born in 1882 to Joshua Vansant McNeal and May Preston McNeal. He attended Georgetown University prior to seminary. He was a member of the Maryland – New York Province of the Society of Jesus, traveling to Japan in the 1890s to establish the Catholic University in Tokyo and the novitiate in Manila, Philippines. He founded the University bulletin “Sun Rise” and was a regular and lengthy correspondent with his brother J. Preston W. McNeal and his sisters, Stella McNeal and Marie McNeal Tettoni. He was in Tokyo during the 1923 earthquake that destroyed much of the University and assisted in its reconstruction. He died in Manila in 1935 following a lengthy illness.

James David Watters, 1834-1908

James David Watters was born on January 11, 1834 in Harford County, Maryland, to Henry Godfrey Watters and Mary Clendenin Watters. He served in the Maryland Confederate Cavalry during the Civil War, returning to Harford County, Maryland where he was elected twice to the 3rd judicial court of Maryland. He married Frances (Fanny) Howard Munnikhuysen and had one daughter, Anna Mary Watters. He died March 30, 1908.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 document boxes)

Language of Materials



The McNeal –Watters – Preston –Munnikhuysen Family Papers consist of four major series: 1) McNeal Family Papers; 2) Watters Family Papers; 3) Preston Family Papers, and 4) Munnikhuysen Family Papers. The papers in this collection range from 1776-1981.

Each series is arranged by author and filed chronologically. All undated material comes before the dated material. Bound books, scrapbooks and miscellaneous materials physically gathered together in Box 3.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ann P. McNeal, 1994.

Related Materials

PP223, McNeal, Watters, Preston, Munnikhuysen Photograph Collection, 1862-1966

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the material centers on the correspondence, diaries and notes of Mark J. McNeal (1885-1935), but also includes correspondence, both business and personal for Joshua Vansant McNeal, Treasurer and Vice President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company and Judge James D. Watters of the Third Circuit Court of Harford County. The majority of this material spans the years 1895-1935 and 1850-1985, respectively. The collection also includes correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks and notes for various family members, both of the four principle families and also other families that have intermarried into the principles. These volumes, especially the family history, contain very valuable genealogical and Maryland historical data, such as information about the Catholic Church and its Catholic University Institute missionary movements in the early twentieth century, nineteenth century operations of the Harford County Third Judicial Court and other governmental processes, the Civil War, the Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States, Maryland Chapter, the Maryland Confederate Society, the Maryland House of Refuge, and the 1923 Tokyo Earthquake.

The bulk of Mark J. McNeal’s Papers reveal his life as a Catholic missionary in Asia. Extensive correspondence between Mark and his sisters Marie McNeal Tettoni and Stella McNeal and his brother J. Preston W. McNeal reveal much information about the life of a missionary and also the social and political events of the time period. Included in the collection are Mark’s travel diaries, notes and Church correspondence. Of special note are the papers commenting on the 1923 Tokyo earthquake that caused much damage to the Catholic University buildings.

Series I: McNeal Family Papers; 1882-1981 (Box 1 and 2)

This series includes a book of family history, personal journals, a scrapbook of pictures and newspaper clippings, personal and business correspondence, Catholic Church correspondence, speeches, wills and estate records, official certificates and a marriage license, biographical and genealogical information. The bulk of the correspondence falls between the dates 1882-1934

Subseries 1: Joshua Vansant McNeal Books and Papers; 1846-1917 (Box 1, Box 2, Folder 1)

This subseries includes personal and business correspondence relating to Joshua’s position within the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company as Treasurer and Vice President, speeches, a scrapbook, a diary and a life history, a will, estate records and land sales. Also included are several applications for admittance to the War of 1812 Society and an acceptance letter to the Maryland Historical Society.

Subseries 2: James McNeal, Jr. Papers; 1815- n.d. (Box 1)

This subseries includes business correspondence, official certificates and an account book.

Subseries 3: Mark J. McNeal Papers and Correspondence; 1882-1934 (Box 1)

This subseries contains extensive personal correspondence between Mark and his sisters Marie (Tettoni) and Stella, his mother and father and his cousin James Preston Wickham McNeal. Catholic Church correspondence, especially concerning missionary work in Japan and the Phillipeans in the early 20th century. Newspaper clippings, obituaries, diaries, notebooks and Japanese printed material circa 1910 – 1920. There is some detailed information on the Japan earthquake of 1923,

Subseries 4: James Preston Wickham McNeal Correspondence; 1876-1951 (Box 1)

This subseries contains James personal correspondence to his wife, his cousin’s Marie, Stella and Mark. A copy of his marriage license is included in the collection.

Subseries 5: Sara Jane Golibard McNeal Papers, 1900 (Box 1)

This subseries contains estate records, a will, a copy of a release of executors and a naturalization certificate for Joseph Golibard.

Subseries 6: Anna M. Watters McNeal, 1902-1903 (Box 2)

This subseries contains a journal and a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings on Judge James D. Watters of Harford County. Anna is the wife of James Preston Wickam McNeal and the daughter of Judge Watters.

Subseries 7: Marie McNeal Tittoni Correspondence, 1906 - 1934 (Box 1)

This subseries contains letters between Marie and her brothers Mark and James Preston Wickham McNeal and her sister Stella.

Subseries 8: Renato and Tomasso Tittoni Correspondence, 1918, 1919 (Box 2)

This subseries includes WWI letters written between brothers Renato and Tomasso. There is some information on supply and headquarters in France and Germany during WWI. Also includes a WWI address book and list of rank and signatures for the United States Marines.

Subseries 9: Gordon Charles McNeal Child’s Story (Box 2)

This subseries includes a short story titled “My Perfect Room.”

Series II: Watters Family Papers, 1834-1950 (Box 2 and 3)

This series contains assorted papers of the Watters family. Included are personal correspondence, one scrapbook, two diaries, one school journal, speeches, legal papers, a Harford County Tax collection book, genealogical information, wills, estate records, deed and land sales, official certifications for Harford County government positions including the Third Circuit Judge, civil war correspondence, confederate cavalry pay receipts, a list of Harford County residents who fought for the Confederacy, and local histories.

Subseries 1: James D. Watters Papers, 1834-1908 (Box 2)

This subseries contains personal and business correspondence, legal papers in connection to Harford County Third Circuit Court. Official Certifications, notes on the Confederate actions by those in Harford County, a list of Harford County men who served the Confederacy, civil war correspondence and speeches. Information on the Watters Device for cattle is included, with an informational pamphlet and letters and orders from customers.

Subseries 2: Henry G. Watters Papers, n.d.(Box 3)

This subseries contains Henry Watters appointment certificate as Officer of Registration for Harford County. Deed from William Mann to Henry Watters dated 1852. Letters to Ellen Clendenin, his wife, from E. Archer 1830, an old school diary, and a written history of Watters Meeting House. Clendenin genealogy.

Subseries 3: Frances (Fanny) K. Howard Munnikhuysen Watters (Box 3)

This subseries contains a history written by Frances K. Howard titled “Medical Hall,” a history of a Harford County house built by John Archer. It also contains a “Sacred Albun” for Fanny Howard Munnikhuysen Watters, wife of Judge James D. Watters.

Subseries 4: A. Watters, 1864 (Box 3)

This subseries contains pay receipts for A. Watters service in the Maryland Cavalry.

Subseries 5: Henry Watters, 1776 (Box 3)

This subseries contains a slave manumission document.

Subseries 6: Patience Watters, n.d. (Box 3)

This subseries contains a will for Patience Watters detailing the release of slaves at the time of her death, and also the future release of slaves and the willing of the remainder of slave’s service to her inheritors.

Subseries 7: Godfrey Watters, n.d. (Box 3)

This subseries contains a tax book recording the 3rd district of Harford County, Maryland for the year 1862.

Series III: Preston Family Papers,1830- 1913 (Box 3)

This series includes correspondence for the Preston family. A letter to A. S. Abell, esq. referencing an offer of sale for Pleasant Plaines, the Preston estate in Towson, 1871.

Series IV: Munnikhuysen Family papers, 1776- 1917 (Box 3)

This Series includes a settlement sheet for ground rent payable to Louise W. Munnikhuysen, a Deed dated 1919 transferring ownership from Hall and Virginia Munnikhuysen to Frances, Robert and Louise Munnikhuysen, a will for Ann Lee Munnikhuysen dated 1889 and also one for Louise Munnikhuysen, bond paper payable from Parker H. Lee to John Munnikhuysen, Mutual Fire Ins. Co. of Harford Country premium for 1847 and 1861, power of attorney document to John M. from Edward M. dated 1872. Correspondence for the Lee family and genealogies for the Smith and Dallam families. A list of names and dates of deaths for Lee family members,

A copy of a will for Emily M. Hall dated 1920. A family genealogy for the Clendenin family. A book, Rocks of Deer Creek, Their Legends and History.

Guide to the McNeal-Watters-Preston-Munnikhuysen papers
Under Revision
Marcella M. Callahan
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Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-23: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States