And today was special. I am sending in the forms on this portrait to the Smithsonian so that they may register Meeker in their INVENTORY OF AMERICAN PAINTINGS.
I applaud your discipline and focus and strategy for exploring your family's heritage.
Who am I? I am a Philadelphian and am well-connected with many cultural heritage organizations and research centers. Indeed, I am forwarding your blog link to them, and encourage you to connect with them as well, as they have the resources and original documentation to serve your endeavor.
Many of these organizations are quickly digitizing their collections, so it might be easier to do more on-line research oforiginal material.
The next time you visit Philadelphia, try to visit these places. They are most helpful and receptive to serious scholars. Many of these research centers are FREE. The Historical Society of PA is the only one, I believe, that charges research fees. Best wishes for the New Year!
Anita Mc K.
1) John Van Horn, Director, The Library Company
2) Stephen Girard/Girard College and Estate
No doubt your ancestor had many interactions with Girard. Girard College has all of Stephen Girard's records (all of them -- in the thousands) on microfilm at Founders Hall at the College, including correspondence, diaries, bank statements, business records, etc
See "museum collections" and "archival collections" at this link below:
3) The McNeil Center at University of PA might connect you with academic scholars who have information about your ancestors. http://www.mceas.org/intro.htm
4) Independence Seaport Museum "archives and library" http://www.phillyseaport.org/Museum_Library.shtml
5) Philadelphia Athenaeum. This museum may have information about your ancestor's homes in Philadelphia. BTW its current exhibit "William Birch: Picturing The American Scene" runs through Jan 11, 2011.
6) The Philadelphia Historic Commission may have materials and photos of the Meeker home in today's Fairmount Park. http://www.phila.gov/historical/contact.html
7) For historic photos check: http://www.brynmawr.edu/iconog/frdr.html
The Philadelphia Free Library Photo collection ... some of the oldest photos of Phila landmarks, homes, businesses, that your ancestor would have known.
Phillyhistory.org Thousands of photographs of Philadelphia dating from the late 1800s onwards from the city archives and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. http://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArchive/Search.aspx