William Royal diary and bible census, 1858-1864

Overview of the Collection

Royal, William, 1796-1870
William Royal diary and bible census
1858-1864 (inclusive)
0.1 cubic feet, (2 folders in shared box)
Collection Number
Coll 915
Diary of William Royal (1796-1870), and notebook he used to record information about bible ownership in Portland, Oregon. Royal was a Methodist minister who came to Oregon in 1853, and who lived in Portland in the 1860s.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Royal was born in 1796 in Monogalia County, Virginia (later West Virginia). He came to Oregon in 1853, and lived in Portland, Oregon, in the 1860s. Royal was a Methodist minister, and in 1864 he founded the Centenary Methodist Church (later Centenary-Wilbur Methodist Church) in East Portland; a building for the church was completed in 1867.

Royal married Barbara Ebey (1800-1890) in 1818; the couple had two sons. William Royal died in 1870 in Salem, Oregon, and was buried there.

Sources: Vital and census records on Ancestry.com; articles in the Oregonian, 1870-1939; Portland city directories from 1863 to 1868; "The Preacher Train," by Robert Livingston Casebeer, oregonpioneers.com, http://oregonpioneers.com/ThePreacherTrain.pdf

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of a diary of Methodist minister William Royal and a notebook he used to record data about bible ownership in Portland, Oregon. The diary covers the period of Royal's life from 1858 through February 1862. The notebook contains the names of the heads of 808 households that Royal canvassed from April to July 1864, along with information about the number of men and women in the household, the number of people who were literate, the number of Protestant bibles, Catholic bibles, or Torahs they owned, and whether they purchased a bible from Royal, accepted a bible donation from him, or refused. The first page of the notebook includes a clipping from a November 23, 1864, issue of the Oregonian newspaper, summarizing Royal's findings.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

William Royal diary and bible census, Coll 915, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dorothy M. Mumford, August 1997 (Lib. Acc. 23211).

Related Materials

Other papers of or relating to William Royal at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library are in the Royal family papers, Mss 1628; and in a vertical file, Genealogy - Royal family.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Christianity--Oregon--Portland--19th century
  • Methodist Church--Oregon--Clergy

Personal Names

  • Royal, William, 1796-1870

Form or Genre Terms

  • diaries