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 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)
Above right is a photo of Grandfather Kelley with Granny
The Beginnings of the Moreland Family
Above is a photo of John landing an airplane in Granny’s back yard.
Little Baby John
Aunt Harriett with her Niece Susan
Margaret Kelley studied at Columbia University in NY for her Master’s Degree. While she was there, Earl Page stopped (either coming or going) during WWII. It looks like they are at the Empire State Building in NYC.
John with his Everloving Aunt Harriett
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following would be a cheery addition to the “Weddings” section of the paper.
Below is An Honest Obituary from 1916.
And finally, some very unusual causes of death found in various old newspapers.
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.
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 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.
Ursula 1000 fabulous videos! the best son in law that any protective mother could ask for! xoxo, dear Alex
John W. Dickinson fought in the Union Army for four years. He originally enlisted on May 6, 1861 and then reenlisted on Aug 22, 1862, and stayed until his term of service ended on June 19, 1865. He spent the last several months of his enlistment in Ward United States Army General Hospital, Newark, NJ. I haven’t been able to find out what happened to him, but he probably became ill as there were so many communicable diseases among the soldiers during the Civil War.
John W. married Emma Woodruff of Elizabeth, NJ on September 16, 1874. He was thirty one years old when he married. The Brooklyn Directory lists John W. Dickinson as residing at 522 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY in 1884 and lists his occupation as a Dentist. The original building has been torn down, but it is now a commercial area in Park Slope.
His daughter, Mabel Dickinson, had this photo of her father’s dental office among her belongings.
Below is a comic post card depicting “Painless Extraction”
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.
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 —
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.
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. 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.