Most of my ancestors were poorer than dirt . . .and few made it past elementary school.
My sister, who shares my interest in genealogy, and I are trying to find another Revolutionary Patriot. We are obviously in D.A.R. We’ve been researching Margaret Brinkerhoff. She was the daughter of Hendrick Brinkerhoff and Annetje Vreeland. Margaret was born in New Jersey in approximately 1787. She somehow met and ran off with William Wallace and they were married in Trinity Church, an Episcopalian Parish, in 1801. Her family were all members of the Dutch Reformed Church and this may have caused a family rift. If you have visited the site of the World Trade Center Towers or visited the Wall Street area, that is the church they were married in.
This old postcard is not of the original church. The original church was destroyed in a fire, which started in the Fighting Cocks Tavern and destroyed nearly 500 buildings and houses and left thousands of New Yorkers homeless. Six days later, most of the city’s volunteer firemen followed General Washington north.
But back to my relatives. When you hit a brick wall in genealogy, you go back and try researching lesser players, i.e., children of the people you are researching and their relatives. I was searching obituaries today on genealogybank.com to see if I could find out more about Margaret Brinkerhoff and William Wallace.
One of their daughters, Mary Wallace, married Isaac Lewis. Mary Wallace was born in 1810 in New York City and Isaac Lewis was born in 1807 in Stratford, Connecticut. Mary died on 17 Nov 1891. Isaac Lewis died on 2 Feb 1892.
But, wow! When I started reading his obituary and finding newspaper articles about him, I saw that he was an extremely wealthy man. OK. . .OK, I confess, he isn’t exactly a relative, but he was the husband of my third great aunt on the Wallace side. So I actually still have struck out on having any wealthy ancestors and only have inebriates, coal miners and the slightly deranged. Sigh.
Below is what can be found now at 107 East 13th Street, NY, NY. This address was printed in his obituary.
After I found the obituary for Isaac, I found a notice of the sale of his real estate. “The following private sale is reported: Ascher Weinstein has bought nos. 105 and 107 East Fifteenth St. between Union Square and Irving Place. . . .This is part of the estate of Isaac Lewis”
This area is now part of New York University (NYU), and 107 East 15th Street is where the The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is located. And all of this is near my very favorite book store in the entire world — The Strand, which is located at 828 East 12th Street, NYC. No visit to NYC is complete without a trip to The Strand.
But it gets better. Isaac Lewis was a big investor in the “L”. It isn’t the “L” subway line that we know now, but a road to Brooklyn. My daughter and her husband bought their condo in Brooklyn precisely to be close to the “L” subway. The L subway is a straight shot into Manhattan. It is so much faster and easier than a car or a cab. And, voila!, you can get off right in Union Square (where Isaac Lewis lived) and visit The Strand. And, even better, by living in Brooklyn, they get a tiny bit of outdoor space. Which is a rare commodity in NYC and Brooklyn.
It kind of makes you wonder about DNA and retained genetic knowledge. I have loved The Strand since I first set foot in it. And my daughter loves the L so much that she moved close to a station in Brooklyn. Strange!
I am going to attach three parts of different articles detailing Isaac Lewis’ interest in the L and the bridges to Brooklyn. Please note that another gentleman named was Senator McCarren. He has a park named for him close to where my daughter and her family lives.
I made another trip to the Andover Antique Mall to check out my favorite booth of old photos and postcards. If you live in the Wichita, KS area and haven’t been to this antique mall, you must check it out. It is also a great stop if you have guests in town and run out of other shopping venues.
First up are two photos of young people with strange raccoon eyes. These kids are scarey. Perhaps they were so thin that their eyes look abnormally large. Or maybe they weren’t well. Anyway, these are wonderful additions to my old photo collection.
The people in the old photos I find are always thin. Food wasn’t as plentiful as it is now and some of the photos were taken during the depression. Plus they didn’t have the vast assortment of Ding Dongs, cookies, Cheetos, etc. that grace our present day grocery shelves. I finally found a photo of a chubby couple. And I must say, especially the Mrs., they look fat and happy.
The next photo was taken in 1938 and is of a sweet little girl on the occasion of her First Communion. It is so sad that most of the photos I find have no names or places written on them. Remember to always write names and dates on the back of your photos so you and your relatives will be able to identify who is in them.
Below is a photo from 1921 titled “Everts Family”. I don’t know where they lived, but the man on the far right has on overalls and the woman next to him looks like Granny Clampitt, so maybe they lived on a farm.
The couple on the couch in the next photo may be celebrating the Holidays in some fashion. The date on the photo is January 1960, but doesn’t say anything else. The man taking the photo is reflected in the mirror behind them.
Hazel Palmer is the subject of the photo below. I wish I knew more about her. I love her hair and she has a sweet expression.
No clue as to what the next couple is doing. On the back is written, “isn’t this good of the clothes line? Nearly strung up – eh? what? Note the big toes clinging fearfully to the shoulders, ha”. And I also don’t have any idea what that meant either!
I didn’t realize men had comb overs this long ago, but the wind certainly has his hair standing on end. Taken at a beach.
This couple will be fashionable forever. They look so sporty in their summer attire — sort of like an early version of a Ralph Lauren ad.
And last, some twins. This photo is of Richard and Russell Lahm (twins) and their little brother Arthur, Jr. Taken about 1930. And including their dog.