Category Archives: New York

Francis Woodruff Family

I remember trying to find family information before the internet, but it was a slow and arduous job. Now, with the internet, fast computers and the plethora of online documents — it is so pleasurable that it can become an addiction. I “met” the author of the blog titled “Chips Off the Old Block” online because we share many common ancestors. My Dickinson ancestors married into the Woodruff family (or vice versa). The Dickinson family is my link to the Mayflower. Rather than rewriting “Chips” blog post about Francis and Mary Jane Woodruff’s family, I am going to reblog it. Their daughter Emma married John W. Dickinson. I’ve written about John being a dentist in Brooklyn, NY, in an earlier post. And his father was a coroner in Williamsburgh (Williamsburg), NY. (please see earlier posts)

Scandal at The Willows Maternity Sanitarium when Singer Borrows Baby to Defraud ex-Hubby

I was born and adopted from The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City, Missouri. During its heyday, the Willows advertised “Superior Babies for Adoption”. After searching for newspaper articles that made reference to The Willows, I came across a scandal that involved The Willows in 1924. (If you would like more background information on The Willows, please see my earlier posts)

The Willows Maternity Sanitarium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Willows Maternity Sanitarium, Kansas City, Missouri

Miss Lydia Locke appeared at the Willows Maternity Hospital in 1924 calling herself Mrs. Ira Johnson of Hannibal, Missouri. She had references in place and the Willows was satisfied enough with her story that she left with a newborn baby boy. Miss Locke allegedly “borrowed” that baby in order to receive an additional sum from her wealthy ex-husband, Arthur Hudson Marks. In the divorce decree she received $100,000 but was assured an additional $300,000 in case a child was born to her. (the amounts varied depending on the newspaper) She obtained a birth certificate from the family physician naming the baby boy “Arthur Hudson Marks, Jr.”

The Marks were divorced in September of 1923. Apparently Miss Locke was mathematically challenged or unaware of the average gestational period for humans, but in October of 1924 she appeared in New York with the baby. Miss Locke contacted her ex-husband and asked him to acknowledge the baby as his own.

Mr. Marks, not so biologically or mathematically challenged as Miss Locke, employed private detectives to learn how she obtained the baby. The poor little baby, now six weeks old, was ordered returned to the Willows Maternity Sanitarium. The articles don’t say what became of the infant. In any event, he was better off without the looney Miss Locke.

locke-nov8-1925-color
bride

palm off baby

Date:  Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1924  Paper:  Boston Herald (Boston, MA)

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1924 Paper: Boston Herald (Boston, MA)

Before adoption became a compassionate process of placing children in healthy homes, it was more like the dog pound. Below is a clipping from 1906 for “The Willows” that reads like a “free to a good home” pet adoption ad.
free to a good home

Break Time. Let’s Check Out Old Articles About Death!

coroner toe

Reading old newspapers online is what I call great entertainment.  Our newspapers now are very cautious about what they print due to our litigious society.  The old newspapers were more like our modern day “Globe” or “Enquirer”, with the exception that Photo Shop hadn’t been invented yet.

The article below wouldn’t have made the newspaper now because no coroner would want to be labeled this inept.

Date: Thursday, June 15, 1911  Paper: Beaumont Enterprise (Beaumont, TX)

Date: Thursday, June 15, 1911 Paper: Beaumont Enterprise (Beaumont, TX)

Below is a bizarre rhyming obituary for a baby. Would any newspaper now print that little Jerry died from dysentery? Or old man Fancher died from cancer? There have been some improvements in the press.

rhyming obit

Date: Friday, August 18, 1871 Paper: Jamestown Journal (Jamestown, NY)

Pic of Mom & Dad in Matilda Loney's Wedding Album

Pic of Mom and Dad in Matilda Loney’s Wedding Album

The following would be a cheery addition to the “Weddings” section of the paper.

Date: Monday, March 27, 1893 Paper: New York Herald-Tribune (New York, NY)

Date: Monday, March 27, 1893 Paper: New York Herald-Tribune (New York, NY)

Below is An Honest Obituary from 1916.

Date: Monday, Sept. 25, 1916 Paper: Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC)

Date: Monday, Sept. 25, 1916 Paper: Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC)

And finally, some very unusual causes of death found in various old newspapers.

Date: Monday, August 22, 1904  Paper: Daily People (New York, NY)

Date: Monday, August 22, 1904 Paper: Daily People (New York, NY)

Date:  Monday, Dec. 29, 1884  Paper:  New York Herald-Tribune (New York, NY)

Date: Monday, Dec. 29, 1884 Paper: New York Herald-Tribune (New York, NY)

Date:  Thursday, April 2, 1914  Paper: New York World (New York, NY)

Date: Thursday, April 2, 1914 Paper: New York World (New York, NY)

tweets

Today’s Post is in Honor of the DNA Bequeathed to me by all of my Irish Ancestors. A big Shout Out to my 3rd Great Great Grandpa Chester Lamb . . .who was probably really fun until he died of cirrhosis.

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy reading old newspaper articles, especially those from New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania.  The majority of my ancestors lived in those three states.  Journalism must have been really fun back then — you could print the most slanderous personal accounts without any repercussions.  I’ve used genealogybank.com to search for a variety of old articles —  some funny & some tragic — involving intoxication, medicinal use of spirits, mayhem and a few mentions of the Irish.

1340076741284_5398583
cat
wild scene
knock your pants off
willie
dysentery
Duffy's
recollected nothing
MjAxMy1hNzA0MmFhNzFmNGFjNWJk
mother and child
death by rum
MjAxMy03NzAwNzU2NmRiYTU0Mzcx_5144b06760d3b
Irish Insanity

R.I.P. Olivette Engle, Born 1901 & Killed in 1922 by Deranged Husband

I don’t have a lot of information about my biological father’s family, so I have been slowly working backward from my father’s records to his father, etc.

It is always surprising when you find an early death or an interesting newspaper article about one of your relatives. Today I found that Olivette Engle, my paternal Great Aunt (sister to my paternal grandfather) was murdered by her 2nd husband Frank Wesley Johnson. And she wasn’t divorced from her first husband, Joseph G. Crum.

Olivette Engle, 1901 - 1922

Olivette Engle, 1901 – 1922

Olivette Engle was born on 7 Nov 1901 in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania to Charles F. Engle & Anna Thomas Engle. She was one of six Engle children. The family moved to Union, Broome County, New York at some point between 1910 and 1920. The 1910 U.S. Federal Census shows them living in Taylor, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. And the 1920 U.S. Federal Census has them living in Union, New York.

 
Murder1
 
Murder or Suicide1
 

Olivette Engle Crum Johnson's Death Certificate

Olivette Engle Crum Johnson’s Death Certificate

Frank Wesley Johnson, Olivette Engle's 2nd Husband

Frank Wesley Johnson, Olivette Engle’s 2nd Husband


Frank Wesley Johnson

Frank Wesley Johnson


Frank Wesley Johnson

Frank Wesley Johnson

Ursula 1000 fabulous videos! the best son in law that any protective mother could ask for! xoxo, dear Alex

3rd Great Grandfather Chester Lamb, Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall

Since it is almost election day, I’ll thought I’d post something political that happened in 1875.

This postcard has nothing to do with 1875, but it was mailed in 1907.  I found it today at our local Andover Antique Mall.  There is an incredible stall at the antique mall that is filled with postcards, old “Life” magazines & other historical paper items.

“Vote for Mugs”, mailed in 1907

My 3rd Great Grandfather Chester Lamb got caught up in Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall escapades.

Chester Lamb (1816 – 1891)
is your 3rd great grandfather

William George Lamb (1842 – 1898)
Son of Chester

William Chester Lamb (1878 – 1946)
Son of William George

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

The following is an article from the “New York Daily Tribune“, Wednesday, December 8, 1875.  Chester Lamb was also before the Grand Jury and closely questioned for providing carriages for the Tweed Party’s escape.  Chester Lamb had a livery stable in New York City.  (please see earlier posts about dear Grandfather Chester)

The following is a quote from “Wikipedia” regarding Tammany Hall —

Tweed regime
Main article: William M. Tweed

Tammany’s control over the politics of New York City tightened considerably under Tweed. In 1858, Tweed utilized the efforts of Republican reformers to rein in the Democratic city government to obtain a position on the County Board of Supervisors (which he then used as a springboard to other appointments) and to have his friends placed in various offices. From this position of strength, he was elected “Grand Sachem” of Tammany, which he then used to take functional control of the city government. With his proteges elected governor of the state and mayor of the city, Tweed was able to expand the corruption and kickbacks of his “Ring” into practically every aspect of city and state governance. Although Tweed was elected to the State Senate, his true sources of power were his appointed positions to various branches of the city government. These positions gave him access to city funds and contractors, thereby controlling public works programs. This benefitted his pocketbook and those of his friends, but also provided jobs for the immigrants, especially Irish laborers, who were the electoral base of Tammany’s power.[26]

Under “Boss” Tweed’s dominance, the city expanded into the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge was begun, land was set aside for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, orphanages and almshouses were constructed, and social services – both directly provided by the state and indirectly funded by state appropriations to private charities – expanded to unprecedented levels. All of this activity, of course, also brought great wealth to Tweed and his friends. It also brought them into contact and alliance with the rich elite of the city, who either fell in with the graft and corruption, or else tolerated it because of Tammany’s ability to control the immigrant population, of whom the “uppertens” of the city were wary.

It was therefore Tammany’s demonstrated inability to control Irish laborers in the Orange riot of 1871 that began Tweed’s downfall. Campaigns to topple Tweed by the New York Times and Thomas Nast of Harper’s Weekly began to gain traction in the aftermath of the riot, and disgruntled insiders began to leak the details of the extent and scope of the Tweed Ring’s avarice to the newspapers.

Tweed was arrested and tried in 1872. He died in Ludlow Street Jail, and political reformers took over the city and state governments.[26] Following Tweed’s arrest, Tammany survived but was no longer controlled by just Protestants and was now dependent on leadership from bosses of Irish descent.[19]

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

Our Country Divided — The Civil War (Not the 2012 Presidential Election)

On the Britt side of my family, I had the Confederates. On the Dickinson side, I had the Union Soldiers.

John W. Dickinson (1843 – 1916)
is your 2nd great grandfather
Mary Emma Dickinson (1877 – 1919)
Daughter of John W.
Florence Adele Lamb (1903 – 1984)
Daughter of Mary Emma
Grace Adele Britt (1928 – 1975)
Daughter of Florence Adele
Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt)
You are the daughter of Grace Adele

John W. Dickinson was born at Oyster Bay, NY in 1843. John W. married Emma Woodruff, who was born in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey in about 1847. He enlisted in the war originally on May 6, 1861 and then reenlisted on August 22, 1862. From September 28 of 1864 until June 19, 1865 (when he mustered out) he was in the hospital. Part of the time he was in Ward U.S.A. General Hospital, Newark, NJ. The records don’t say if he was injured or sick — many of the men caught communicable diseases like typhoid, Camp Fever, dysentery or tuberculosis.

 

 

 

John H. Dickinson, My 3rd Great Maternal Grandfather

John H. Dickinson was the Coroner of the City of Williamsburg, NY. It is such a coincidence that my daughter and her family live in Williamsburg, which is now part of Brooklyn, NY. We’ve gone a full cycle back to our genealogical roots. Unfortunately for John H., he died in his 40th year of age.

John H. Dickinson married Mary Weeks. They had seven children and all died in infancy or unmarried except two, Anne, Born 1839 who married H.M. Funston, and John W. Dickinson who married Emma Woodruff and had four children. I am here because of John W. Dickinson — but more about him later.

John H. Dickinson (1816 – 1853)
is your 3rd great grandfather

John W. Dickinson (1843 – 1916)
Son of John H.

Mary Emma Dickinson (1877 – 1919)
Daughter of John W.

Florence Adele Lamb (1903 – 1984)
Daughter of Mary Emma

Grace Adele Britt (1928 – 1975)
Daughter of Florence Adele

Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt)
You are the daughter of Grace Adele

Below is John H. Dickinson’s Obituary. They took his body back to Oyster Bay, NY on some kind of wagon with horses. I imagine he wasn’t in the best shape upon arrival.

John H. Dickinson graduated from Columbia School of Medicine. I emailed Columbia University and received the following documents — they are difficult to see, but say that John Dickinson has been a student of medicine for three years and is of good moral character and is over twenty one years. (no Doogie Howser, my John H. Dickinson)

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