Samuel Grant Oliphant

Samuel Grant Oliphant's Oliphant Family Records
by Robert W. "Bob" Oliphant
Westford, Massachusetts

One of the most useful Oliphant genealogical collections for American Oliphants is that of Samuel Grant Oliphant (SGO) (1864-1936), the preeminent Oliphant genealogist of the early 20th century. One of his letters was published in the March 2008 issue of this newsletter, and he has been discussed on the Oliphant Surname List. Among the papers I inherited as the family genealogist was the genealogical inquiry form that SGO sent to my great grandparents – as blank as the day he sent it. Had my great grandfather William Henry Oliphant taken SGO’s inquiry more seriously, I might be able to trace my Oliphant ancestry beyond my great great grandparents, Henry & Kizzia Oliphant of Lawrence Co., PA.

Perhaps there are Oliphant genealogists among us who are not familiar with SGO’s genealogy records. To the best of my knowledge, they can be found at two locations, The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) in Philadelphia.

The FHL has but one entry for SGO, but that is a significant one – his “Oliphant Genealogy, 1713-1895.” This handwritten genealogy contains 110 sheets and traces the ancestry of Duncan Oliphant, who emigrated from Scotland to Hunterdon Co., NJ. This genealogy is available on 35 mm microfilm roll FHL US/CAN Film 1033533 Item 4 and can readily be obtained through your local Family History Center. For more information go to, click on the “Library” tab at the top of the page, then click on “Family History Library Catalog” and do an Author Search on “Oliphant – Samuel”.

The HSP contains a much more extensive collection of SGO’s Oliphant family research records, which they acquired in 1976. The HSP has accessioned SGO’s records into 147 separate files. Most of these files are of the form:

Letters (ca. 1897-1930) and genealogical charts: Oliphant and allied Surname(s) families.
where Surname(s) may be one or multiple surnames. Presumably, when multiple surnames are given they are of kindred families. Listed below are all these Surname(s). When multiple surnames are used, they are separated by commas and an ampersand (&); a semicolon separates surnames from different files. The surnames are listed in the order in which they are listed by the HSP.

Ellis; Eneix (Enicks); Foster; Galbraith; Garris; Greenians; Gulledge; Hagaus; Hollingsworth; Hoyal; Johnson; Johnstone; Kerr; Latrobe; Leatherwood; Martin; McGill; Millard; Miller; Murphy; Patton; Peer; Peterson; Pilgram; Pomeroy; Riddle; Robinson; Rose; Scott; Shortlidge; Sloan; Steeling; Van Cleaf; Wakeman; Waldron; Ward; Wheeler; Wickes; Workman; Merwin; Murray; Rentz; Shepard; York; Evans, McCormick, & Batis; Auld; Ballinger; Bird; Brewer; Burr; Capewell; Cassina; Chamberlin; Coffman; Colver; Combs; Compton; Coventry; Curtis; Snyder & Bigler; Sprague & Cooper; Stewart, Henderson, Swearinger, Moler & Shriver; Swank & Bonham; Truxell, Clark, & Watson; Vanzile, Scofield, Carter, & Reed; Voorhees, Freday, Stowitts, Mitchell, Quackenbush, & Vanderveer; West, Kinsland, Hickle, & Justus; West, Ross, Bowen, Hilliard, Mills, Dooley, & Acuff; Wiley & Leggett; Yost & Otterstein; Fisher; Grinnell; Hartford; Hickey & Phillips; Humphry; Julian; Lessly; McDougall; McKelvey; Doolittle; Aldridge; Campbell; Dewar; Diehl; Ewing; Falkinburgh; Aaronson, Wells, & Reid; Arnot, Farley, Mathews, & Smith; Bacon & Avent; Beeson, Smith, Bean, Engle, & Lynch; Bellamy, Beckwith, Haskill, Bulkeley, Clark & Morris; Bragg, Hanson, Lippincott, Crammer, Hurff, Risley, & Ireland; Lee, Drost, & Manley; Marsh, Hayworth, & McClain; McClelland, Coles, Quigley, DePalos, Woodbridge, Davis, Wilson, & McGinness; McClenigan & Graham; McPherson & Jannry; Medley, Limbeck, Correll, & Mowen; Merritt, Haynes, Haywood, McFall, McMillen, Draper, Beedon, Butler, Bungs, & Shaw; Nevin, Finley, McElhorn & Standish; Patchett (Patchitt), Ribble & Hendershot; Patterson, Whiteby, Bailey, Chambers, Straughn, & Baldwin; Pharo, Lippincott, Tilton & Wood; Prickitt, Leeds, Davis, Hewes, Shinn, Wesner, Sheddon, Dobbins, Bareford, Kay & Cook; Putnam & Long; Reid & Wells; Ricker & Laughlin; Ridgely & Flintham; Rogers, Kirkbride, Bodine, Sooy, Mathis, & Ware; Russell & Robertson; Sidley & Allen; Smith, German Krusen (Kreusen) & Ent; Burdett & Sewell; Burns, Davison, Teed, & Beightol; Cash & McCullough; Clevenger & Bodine; Conover, Covenhoven, Adams, Lippincott, Cowperthwaite, Applegate, Howell, Hoag, Whittier, & Marshall; Donald, Folger, & Robertson; Earnest & Stout; Forsyth & Stone; Gordon, Davis, Reese, Potter, Sinclair, Mattison, Long, Levi, Reading, Miller, & Mettler; Gordon, Duncan, Lair, Kelly, Teague, Boswell, Pfeiffer, Guion, Bradley, Willoughby, & Ullery; Gordon, Larue, Buchannan, Crooks, Williamson, Kelly, Heath, Swick, & Queen; Gordon, McClain, Bonham, Condon, & Cunningham; Horning & Hartwell; Hortman, Britton & Munsch; Howe & Morris; Humphreville, Green, & Van Arsdale; Inglis, Algie, & Logsdon; Ivins & Mahan; Kilpatrick & Reisinger; and Lawrence, Kirkbride, Goldy, Coats, Hurf, & Corlis;

The following additional SGO files are also found at the HSP:
Letters (ca. 1897-1930) and genealogical charts: Oliphant families in the United States.
Miscellaneous letters (ca. 1897-1930), notes, cards and newspaper clippings pertaining to Oliphant and allied families.
Narrative / written by Eayre Oliphant in 1899 regarding his presence in Ford Theatre the night President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Photographs of various members of the Chapman and S.H. Oliphant families of Ohio: also photographs of homes and buildings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Photographs of various members of the Chapman and S.H. Oliphant families of Ohio: also photographs of homes and buildings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Samuel Grant Oliphant papers, 1897-1934. The collection contains a small amount of Oliphant's personal and professional papers. Materials include correspondence, printed materials from professional and leisure societies such as the American Philogical Society and the National Travel Club, insurance policies, stock certificates, reprints of articles by Oliphant, and notes.
Unidentified Oliphant family Bible records, 1795-1830: given names - Charles, George, Jane, Sarah and Caroline.
Letters (ca. 1897-1930) and genealogical charts: Oliphant families from New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, Newfoundland and Minnesota, U.S.A.
Letter (ca. 1917) / written by W.S. Oliphant, member of the Washington (State) Legislature concerning the method in which "House Bill No. 90" was passed.
Letter (ca. 1917) written by W.S. Oliphant, member of the Washington (State) Legislature concerning the method in which "House Bill No. 90" was passed: also additional letters containing family data,
Letter dated 1889 containing data on the families of Cadwalader Roberts, William Erwin and others.
Letter dated 1897 containing Oliphant, Applegate and Shinn family data. Includes Oliphant family record, 1713-1804.
Letter dated 1898 / written by Chalkley M. Beeson, former sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, concerning his part in the arrest of one of the notorious "Dalton Gang".
Letters (ca. 1897-1930) and genealogical charts: descendants of Davis and Mary Oliphant.
Letters (ca. 1897-1930) and genealogical charts: descendants of Hosea Oliphant of Philadelphia, Pa.

To access these SGO files go to, click on “Online Catalogs” at the top of the page, then click on “HSP OPAC” and search on “Samuel Grant Oliphant.” This will bring up all 147 SGO files.

I was quite excited when I saw the “Miller” and “Murphy” surnames, as my great grandmother Oliphant’s maiden name was Miller and a great great great aunt Oliphant married a Murphy, so I ordered these files by mail using the mail order “payment form” provided on the HSP web site (from the HSP home page click on the Quick Link “Need Research Help?”). Sadly, neither surname was for my family. Hopefully, you will have better luck.

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