William von Moll Berczy (born Johann Albrecht Ulrich Moll), baptized in Wallerstein (Federal Republic of Germany) in 1748, was the son of a prominent diplomat, Albrecht Theodor Moll. While living in Hungary, his nickname, Berti, changed to Bertzce, which in Hungarian became Berczy. He and his wife, Charlotte Allemand, whom he married in Switzerland in 1785, moved to England in 1790, where he acted as an agent for an English association and established a colony of 764 families in the Genessee Valley, New York. After a dispute with his employer, Berczy, his family and the German settlers, moved in 1794 to Markham Township, north of York (Toronto). Difficulties with the settlement abounded: a contract with the government to finish Yonge Street in one year could not be fulfilled because of too many other demands upon the settlers and his workers; there were shortages of supplies and increasing expenses; a third of the settlers moved to Newark; and the lack of support from the investors in the colony all increased Berczy's personal debt for which the Executive Council refused compensation. Discouraged and in debt, he left the Province in 1805 and lived in Montreal, supporting his family, which included two sons, William Brent and Charles Albert, by painting. Here he became a successful portrait artist, specializing in family groups. He died in New York while there on business in 1813, still trying to gain compensation for his losses as a colonizer.
This collection consists of correspondence and records of or about William von Moll Berczy; the settlement of Markham Township; the building of Yonge Street; as well as a typescript copy of the Register of the Documents and Vouchers, serving to prove his grievances against the British government and in which is found a list of the original settlers who went to Markham. Included also is material pertaining to other generations of the family, such as Charles Albert Berczy and members of the Goold family (Charlotte de Moll married James Knight Goold). Also included, is a history of the von Moll family in Germany.