Scope and arrangement
Holton's papers contain correspondence, notebooks, genealogical research files, and ephemera documenting his research as a genealogist tracing the history and genealogy of the Parsons and Holton families, his experiences in Paris and Berlin in the 1850s, and his participation in a variety of historical, patriotic, educational, and philanthropic societies. One folder of correspondence, 1869-1877, between Holton, John Stagg Gautier, Samuel Smith Purple, and Henry Reed Stiles deals with the establishment and early operation of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Four notebooks kept between 1855-1880, have varied contents including copies of correspondence, diary entries, genealogical notes, drafts of essays, reports for the American press from Paris and Berlin, newspaper clippings on sundry topics including publications of his remarks, printed and draft circulars and announcements from organizations with which he was associated, including the Institute of Reward for Orphans and Patriots, Veterans Temperance Corps, the Founders Kin/Levi Parsons Scholarships, the Pilgrim Record Society, and the American Philological Society.
His genealogical research files on the Parsons, Holton and allied families contain notes, copies of sources, and ancestral charts created for or used in the preparation of the work Parsons memorial : family records of Parsons and their descendants in America, with the English ancestry as far as known, compiled with his wife Frances K. Holton.
Finally, the collection contains ephemera from the NYGB and other organizations, broadsides and published announcements of New York City political events, addresses, lectures, and sermons, 1863-1878.
The David Parsons Holton papers are arranged in three series: