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Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection

Identifier: Ms-2010-067

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers of Julia Gardiner Tyler, wife of President John Tyler, and some of her descendants, mostly through daughter Pearl Tyler Ellis. Though small, the collection is comprised of a wide array of items, including correspondence, printed material, photographs and ephemera. Among the papers relating directly to the John and Julia Tyler family is an 1844 letter to President Tyler from an anonymous woman, offering congratulations on his recent marriage. Also included are several letters addressed to Julia Tyler, among which is a war-time letter from a soldier named Douthat, a Confederate prisoner-of-war at Point Lookout, Maryland. Also included are a letter from nephew John C. Tyler regarding timber interests; a letter from son John Alexander Tyler, written from Baden, Germany; a letter from William A. Galbraith, enclosing tickets to the 1868 National Democratic Convention; two letters from Pearl Tyler Ellis (including an 1885 letter written from Shawsville, Virginia); and an undated letter from F. W. Thomas, addressed to "Lady Presidentiss" and regarding invitations to be issued to the Beeckmans and Colegates for an unidentified event. Also among the Tyler correspondence is a letter from David G. Tyler (oldest child of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler) to Harry Beeckman and accompanied by an envelope addressed to Mrs. David Gardiner and free-franked by John Tyler. Included also is an autograph book used by Julia Tyler at the 1868 Democratic National Convention (containing the autographs of delegates from Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas, and accompanied by a delegate ribbon); an invitation to the 1848 National [Washington's] Birth-night Ball; and a published memorial to Mary L'Hommedieu Gardiner Horsford (including studio portrait). The Tyler-related papers also contain several empty envelopes, among which are three envelopes free-franked by Tyler and two black-edged mourning envelopes addressed to Tyler as president.

Among the items in the collection related to the Ellis family are photographs of Pearl Tyler Ellis (including one with husband William Munford Ellis), several family-related newspaper clippings, and a lock of hair from Carlton Munford (brother of Elvira Munford Ellis Peyton, William Munford Ellis's mother). A property map of the Shawsville, Virginia area is included in an oversize folder.

From the Marye family, the collection contains several family-related newspapers clippings, a letter from W. Carter Wormeley to Bob Marye, a report on the Works Progress Administration's Engineering and Construction Division by Ambrose M. Marye, two photographs of scenes on the Virginia Tech campus, and a copy of an 1862 letter from Nannie E. Kent to Mrs. James McGavock Kent. Also included here are two 20th-century studio portraits of Major William Gordon Anderson, who served with the 54th Virginia Infantry during the Civil War and was the brother of Nancy Anderson Marye. Accompanying the portraits is Anderson's 1865 military parole.


  • 1848 - 1939


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form:

Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Family History

John Tyler, tenth president of the United States, was born in Charles City County, Virginia in 1790, the son of John and Mary Armistead Tyler. Admitted to the Virginia bar in 1809, Tyler established a practice in his native county. He was elected the the Virginia House of Delegates in 1811. In 1813 he married Letitia Christian (also born in 1790), and the couple would have eight children. Elected to Congress in 1816, Tyler served until 1821, then returned to the Virginia House of Delegates, then was elected Virginia governor in 1824, then served in the U. S. Senate from 1827 until 1836, when he resigned. Elected vice-president as William Henry Harrison's running mate in 1840, Tyler became president soon after taking office, following Harrison's death on April 4, 1841. Letitia Christian Tyler died the following year, and in 1844, Tyler married Julia Gardiner, making her First Lady of the United States. John Tyler died in 1862.

Born on Gardiner's Island, New York in 1820, Julia was the daughter of David and Juliana McLachlan-Gardiner. Together, the John and Julia Gardiner Tyler had seven children: David, John, Julia, Lachlan, Lyon, Robert and Pearl. After Tyler's presidency, the couple moved to Sherwood Forest, their Charles City County estate. Following President Tyler's death, Julia Tyler moved to Staten Island, New York, though her sympathies lay with the Confederacy. In the 1870s, she returned to Virginia, her finances largely depleted, and lived with the aid of her children. She died in Richmond in 1872.

Pearl Tyler, the youngest child of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler, was born on June 20, 1860. She married William Munford Ellis, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, in 1884. Born in Richmond in 1846, Ellis was the son of Powhatan Lewis Ellis and Elvira Henry Munford. His father died while Ellis was still a boy, and he moved with his mother and stepfather, Howard Peyton, to Montgomery County, Virginia in 1853. In 1864, William Ellis enlisted in the 4th Regiment, Virginia Reserves at Christiansburg, Virginia. He was elected second lieutenant in Company A in early 1864 and later appointed adjutant. Ellis first married, in 1870, Margaret Kent Langhorne, with whom he had four children before she died in 1882. Married in 1884, William and Pearl Tyler Ellis lived for many years in the Shawsville, Virginia area and had eight children: Pearl, John, Leila, Cornelia, Gardiner, William, Julia, and Lyon. Pearl Tyler Ellis served in the U. S. Army Nurse Corps during World War I and World War II, eventually attaning the rank of lieutenant colonel. Pearl Tyler Ellis died in Richmond in 1947; William Mumford Ellis had died in 1921.

Among the children of William and Pearl Tyler Ellis was Leila MacLachlan Ellis (1888-1968). She married Ambrose Madison Marye (1887-1972). The couple lived in the Shawsville, Virginia area. Ambrose Marye was the son of Alfred J. Marye and Nancy A. Anderson, whose brother, William G. Anderson, had served as a major in the 54th Virginia Infantry.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 box; 1 oversize folder)


The Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection contains the family papers of President John Tyler, his second wife, Julia Gardiner Tyler, and descendants, mostly through the couple's daughter, Pearl Tyler Ellis. The collection includes letters written to the Tylers from family and friends; a letter written by the Tyler's son, David G. Tyler; an autograph book used at the 1868 Democratic National Convention; a published memorial to Mary L'Hommedieu Gardiner Horsford; photographs of Pearl Tyler Ellis; Ellis and Marye family-related newspaper clippings; photographs and American Civil War prisoner parole of Confederate Major William Gordon Anderson.


The collection is arranged according to family unit, then by document type.

Source of Acquisition

The Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection was donated to Special Collections in 2007.

Related Archival Materials

See the Madison E. Marye Papers, 1932-2007, Ms2022-029, also at Virginia Tech Special Collections and University Archives.

Separated Materials

The following books were removed from the Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection and cataloged for the Rare Book Collection:

Adams, Daniel, Arithmetic: in which the principles of operating by numbers are analytically explained, and synthetically applied... (Keene, NH: J. and J. W. Prentiss, 1833). QA101 A24 1833 Small Spec

Affection's gift: a Christmas and New Year's present for youth (Philadelphia: Thomas T. Ash, 1835). AY11 P4 1835 Small Spec

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Songs and scenes from Goethe's Faust (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1884). PT2026 F2 M47 1884 Large Spec

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection was completed in October 2010.

Tyler-Ellis-Marye Family Collection, 1848-1939
John M. Jackson, Archivist
2010 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US