Two African American Doylestown families – the Stratton’s and the Nelson’s – are the focus of a comprehensive exhibition at the Doylestown Historical Society (DHS) located at 56 S. Main Street.
The exhibit displays ancestral documents, photographs and artifacts which both families have preserved throughout the 130-plus years they have lived in Doylestown.
The exhibit is open for public viewing on Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm, until June 2019. The museum will accommodate visitors at other times by calling 215-345-9430.
Census documents have determined that the first record for Tobias Stratton was his birth in Philadelphia during 1767. Tobias’ grandson, Joseph B. Stratton, served in the Navy during the Civil War and settled in Doylestown in 1887.
The Nelson genealogy has traced Levi T. Nelson as far back as 1813, born enslaved in Lewisburg, Virginia. He and his brother Grayson Snowden purchased their freedom before traveling to Pennsylvania, arriving in Reading before eventually settling in Doylestown.
The two families first became related in 1846 when Joseph B. Stratton’s sister married Grayson Snowden; and then in 1878 when Joseph B. Stratton’s daughter married a descendant of Levi T. Nelson.