William Wallace and Margaret Brinkerhoff Wallace

One of my brick walls is finding out what ever happened to William Wallace.  William is my biological 4th great grandfather.

William Wallace (1779 – 1848)
is your 4th great grandfather
Elizabeth W. Wallace (1828-1899)
Daughter of William
Mary Ella Lewis (1851-1928)
Daughter of Elizabeth W.
William Chester Lamb (1878-1946)
Son of Mary Ella
Florence Adele Lamb (1903-1984)
Daughter of William Chester
Grace Adele Britt (1928-1975)
Daughter of Florence Adele
Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt)

You are the daughter of Grace Adele

William Wallace and Margaret Brinkerhoff were married July 26, 1801 at the Trinity Episcopal Church (Wall Street), New York City.

Trinity Church
74 Trinity Pl
New York, NY 10006
(212) 602-0800

Their records are searchable online.   http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/history/registers

I found the date of William Wallace and Margaret Brinkerhoff’s marriage.

Husband Name: Wallace, William
Date: 07/26/1801
Church Reported: Trinity
Minister: Moore, Benjamin
Wife Name: Brinckerhoff, Margaret

Gosh — wonder if Benjamin Moore had a paint factory as well as being an Episcopalian minister?

William and Margaret had two of their children baptized on January 18, 1804 at the Broadway and Seventy First Street Christ Episcopal Church, New York, New York.  William Henry Wallace (born 17 August 1803) and Jane Ann Wallace (born 18 January 1804) were baptized that day.

I’ve found Margaret’s obituary but not William’s.  I found a 1850 census listing Margaret Wallace living with daughter & son-in-law, so I suspect that William had died by that point.  For the first time in the history of the United States census, the census workers of the 1850 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Added to this, enumerators were presented with printed instructions, which account for the greater degree of accuracy compared with earlier censuses.

While searching on the free ancestry search site  http://www.familysearch.org   I found a William Wallace that meets the description that I had been searching for.  He was born in Albany, NY in 1779.  He died before the 1850 census — this one died on February 21, 1848.  But — as I looked at the film, I saw that he died of Typhoid Fever and was buried in Potter’s Field.  Because I knew that William Wallace was a staunch Episcopalian and had a family, I immediately discounted this record because I knew he wouldn’t have been buried in a Potter’s Field.

BUT — today I was reading a book titled “The Graveyard Shift, a Family Historian’s Guide to New York City Cemeteries”, writted by Carolee Inskeep.

In her introduction (page xiv) she writes,

“Please keep an open mind about where your ancestors are buried.  New Yorkers turn up in the least expected places.  Some wealthy New Yorkers are buried in the “potter’s field” because they died of contagious disease.”

Perhaps this is William Wallace, especially if he did die of Typhoid Fever.  I have also found records where Margaret Wallace was baptized as an adult in the Baptist Church, in the Hudson River.  Her love of the Baptist Church is mentioned in her obituary.  Perhaps she never got comfortable with William’s Episcopalian ways.

From the “New York Herald, NY, NY” on Monday, January 14, 1861

One response

  1. Hi Janet!
    I learned about your blog via Geneabloggers.
    Reading it, it struck me that the Brinkerhoff name sounds very Dutch. Being Dutch myself, I was very much interested. I also have a blog with many genealogical subjects. One of my posts shows a survey of foreign genealogical blogs/sites showing Dutch origin surnames. The URL is http://www.patmcast.blogspot.com/2012/05/dutch-ancestors.html. The idea is to try and establish contacts between people who have an interest in the same surname. There are numerous cases in The Netherlands where people emigrated centuries ago without leaving a trace in Dutch archives. With my blog I try to bring Dutch and foreign (mainly US/CAN) genealogists together.
    Therefore, I like to have your permission to show your site in my a.m. blog.
    I look forward to your reaction!
    Kind regards,
    Peter
    PS In the Dutch National Archives there are 69 mentions of the Brinkerhoff surname. They all refer to records from the Collegiate Church of New York and go back to the 18th/19th century

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