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Doughty Family Papers

Collection ID: MG 47

Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters, paid receipts and household ledgers belonging to William Polk Fitchett. The content of many of the letters deals with James Polk Fitchett's (William's son) life at school and also love letters sent to Willetta Fitchett (William's daughter) from various suitors. The paid receipts consist of charges for services rendered to or from Fitchett himself and the ledgers are an account of household expenses. Other items in the collection are brochures, a shopping list, a poem and business letters from distant relatives and friends.


  • 1855-1904, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 06/20/1980



0.20 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

William Polk Fitchett was an Eastern Shore plantation owner who resided in the community of Seaview in Northampton County, Virginia. He lived in the Poplar Grove plantation home that was built in 1783 by Benjamin Stratton. As a farmer his income was created by the growing of potatoes, which were transported north by rail and corn, which was used to feed his livestock. He had a common country school education and was of English descent. William Polk Fitchett was married to the former Margaret E. Mapp, his first wife, who was originally from Willow Grove plantation in Weirwood, Virginia. By his first wife, Fitchett had two children, a daughter Willetta and a son, James P. Fitchett. It is from this first marriage that the Doughty family traces it genealogical roots to the present. The dates of birth, death and marriage to his first wife are unknown. Fitchett's daughter Willetta was born June 19, 1862. She married Edward Joseph Doughty (born May 10, 1861 - died January 19, 1954). The marriage produced two children: E. J. Doughty, Jr. (born March 6, 1895 - d. ?) and Adelaide W. Doughty (born January 24, 1894). Adelaid married Louis M. Doughty. They had two sons, Louis C. Doughty (May 14, 1922) and Francis Marion Doughty (November 5, 1925). Mrs. Adelaide Doughty outlived her husband and resided on the Eastern Shore. She passed away on March 9, 1993. William P. Fitchett lived through but did not participate in the Civil War and was married a second time to the former Elizabeth Ann Roberts (b.? d.?). They had three children, two sons Julian (b.? d.?) and Charles Polk Fitchett (b.? d.?), and one daughter, Eva Roberts Fitchett (b.? d.?). Little is known about the second set of William Polk Fitchett's children.

Note written by Thomas C. Evans

Language of Materials



Letters, paid receipts and household ledgers belonging to William Polk Fitchett, Eastern Shore plantation owner, and his family.

Source of Acquisition

Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. Doughty

Method of Acquisition

Gift. Accession #A80-30

A Guide to the Doughty Family Papers
Thomas C. Evans
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU Community Collections Repository

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US