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Register for

The Scots Thistle Society

MSS 144

1 3/4 linear feet

(3 slightly oversize boxes)

Sandy VanDoren

July 1998


The Scots Thistle Society was founded in 1796 by Adam Davie, its first president, and incorporated in 1799.  Like so many other early immigrant organizations, it was formed as a benevolent society to provide aid to its members during economic hardships.  Its first set of records was destroyed by fire within a few years of the society's founding, and the original constitution (adopted in 1797), by-laws, articles of incorporation and membership list of sixty-five members were laboriously reconstructed and copied into the bound minute book of 1806 (see bound volume #1) in the collection.  The society existed throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but was finally unable to attract sufficient membership to sustain it and was made redundant by the availability of federal welfare programs.  It was disbanded in 1976 and its records were retained by the Scottish Historic Research Society.


These records were the property of the Scottish Historic Research Society of the Delaware Valley, Inc., and were donated to the Balch Institute in 1992.  They were brought to the institute by Betty Kienzle, society president, along with materials from the Scottish Historic Research Society itself, in two installments during that year.

These records are from accessions M92-19 and M92-80.  See also the remaining materials in M92-19 which belong to the Scottish Historic Research Society.


This small collection is surprisingly complete in its inclusion of all the important records of any organization, and a sampling of lesser, but more typical, documents.  The bound minutes cover roughly the years 1806-1896 and the correspondence has bits from throughout the nineteenth century as well.  Financial data and the two or three annual reports basically only deal with the end of that century.  As a  benevolent society, the organization also helped the survivors of its members, as the two bound volumes of orders for gravesites indicate.  Finally, as outlined above, this collection contains the original constitution, by-laws and membership list of the society, as well as an early history, and reprints of both the constitution and history, dated 1992.  The collection is arranged alphabetically.

The box list of the register of the records of the Scots Thistle Society is one page long.