If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to basque in nature’s golden autumn glow, you may enjoy this poem by 19th-century, Kentucky-born writer Eva Wilder (McGlasson) Brodhead, written in her specialty—dialect verse—and published in 1895. She was in her early twenties at the time and already had an enormous following of admirers all across the country. I realize Eva’s verse may be a strange match for some of these Indian-summer-themed paintings, but they’re all gorgeous scenes… Why not put them together and celebrate the beauty of the season?
Old unlabelled and undated photographs… you could be looking at bona fide ancestors and not even know it. A reminder that we should be dating and labeling our family photos so that someday—100 years from now—our descendants aren’t left in the same predicament. But I know how it is. We’re all busy, and for me, it always seems to be ‘mañana‘ when it comes to the drudgery of dating and identifying my own photos.
Anyway, what can one do other than share these antique photos in the hope that someone out there can provide some clues? Here are five that I have come across; I think they all date back to the 1880s, but I could be wrong. Only the last one provides evidence of that. Two were taken in Philadelphia, one in Boston, one in NYC, and one in Plainfield, NJ.
Naturally, I would love to know who these folks were. The images may have belonged to Charles Conrad Martin (1866-1943), son of Moses Martin and Sarah Augusta Lewis, and brother of my great-grandmother Margaret Lewis (Martin) Brodhead. I found them in a box with some of Margaret’s correspondence concerning her late brother’s estate. The NY lady and the Philadelphia lady share some resemblance, I think. And the Philadelphia lady in particular looks a bit like my grandfather Frank Martin Brodhead, Margaret’s son. But, maybe I am just grasping at straws here…
I love middle names. They can be so helpful when researching family members who were actually given a middle name, a practice that started in the US in the first half of the 19th century. Even a middle initial can be very useful.
Once armed with the middle name “Berry” (see last post) for Civil War assistant surgeon Dr. Charles B. Jaques (my second great-grandmother Wealthy Jaques Angus’s youngest sibling), I was able to find his cause of death.
The book Catalogue of the Alumni, Officers and Fellow, 1807-1891, published by Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (NY: Bradstreet Press, 1891, p. 79) states that Charles (Class of 1856) died from cardiac disease. Born on Valentine’s Day 1834, Charles was just 32 at the time of his death. He’d saved many lives during his Civil War years with New Jersey’s 7th Regiment, yet his own life could not be saved. Perhaps, some childhood illness finally took its toll.
(Note: they have a typo in his year of death, which was 1866 (vice 1876) according to his obituary notice and grave marker.)
If you would like to view a carte de visite of Charles, one is currently on display on the Heritage Auction website. Copyright restrictions prohibit me from showing the photo here, but you can view it yourself. Just click on this link—he is in the top row, third from the left.
A year plus ago, I did a post on Samuel Barron Jaques (1730-1799), a fourth great-grandfather, who lived on the Jaques (pronounced “Jay-quiss”) family farm in Locust Grove, which was just north of Woodbridge, New Jersey, as I recall. There were numerous subsequent posts about his son Isaac (1791-1880), my third great-grandfather, a Manhattan tailor who removed to Elizabeth, NJ) and the children of Isaac I’d managed to discover: Jane, John, Isaac, Walter, Christopher, and Charles. All of them came as a surprise to me since we’d always believed my second great-grandmother Wealthy Jaques Angus (b. 1815) was the only child of Isaac and wife Wealthy Ann Cushman of Hartford, CT, a circumstance seemingly corroborated by the voluminous Jaques Family Genealogy (ed. by Roger Jaques and Patricia Jaques for the Jaques Family Association, published 1995): on page 457 the book describes Wealthy Ann Jaques as being the …only child of Isaac and Wealthy A. (Cushman) Jaques….
Well, as Sod’s law would have it, I’ve just now come across a thin, browned Newark News clipping from 13 March 1915 (according to the handwriting en verso) that was stuffed in an old envelope with a bunch of other papers. I sure wish I’d come upon this clipping a long time ago, but better late than never, as the saying goes. But, those of us researching our family trees would probably all agree that we’ll take gold whenever we can get it, and gold for me was learning names and dates contained in the Samuel Barron Jaques family Bible. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The clipping, which must have been taken from a newspaper column that focused on family history, gives the names and birth dates of all of Samuel Barron and Mary (Coddington) Jaques’s children, as well as all the names and birth dates for Isaac and Wealthy (Cushman) Jaques’s children.
I discovered that—after all my research—I’d still missed two of their children: Eleazer Jaques (b. 1820) and Samuel Barron Jaques (b. 1824). But, nonetheless, the fact that I had managed to nail the others into place prior to this with varying degrees of biographical detail brought some satisfaction. Significantly, the Family Bible provides middle names, and those can be very valuable when researching an individual. Of course, they can also lead to new questions such as why this or that name? For example, I learned that dentist son Walter’s full name was Walter Madison Smith Jaques, and Christopher P. Jaques was Christopher Prince Jaques. The Prince middle name was familiar to me. Walter and Christopher’s sister Wealthy Jaques Angus (my ssecond great-grandmother) had named her youngest son Walter Prince Angus (b. 1861). I believe Christopher (b. 1831) and Walter (b. 1826) died while still in their 20’s/30’s, though I have yet to find exact death dates for them. But Wealthy’s decision to name her youngest Walter Prince may have been to honor her late brothers. In addition, a long while ago, I discovered that one of the siblings’ brothers, John Barron Jaques (b. 1822), named his youngest child (b. 1853) Walter M. S. Jaques, and now I think I can guess what those middle initials stand for!
The clipping starts off mentioning the initials of F. W. G. and J. A. K. I have no idea who F. W. G. was, but feel quite certain that the latter was James Angus Knowles, son of Mary Martha Angus Knowles (b. 1846, a daughter of the aforementioned Wealthy Jaques Angus and James Angus) and Austin Fellows Knowles. James Angus Knowles was a great-grandson of Isaac Jaques, and evidence I’ve seen (in the form of genealogical details written on his letterhead) suggests he had a strong interest in the Angus/Jaques family history. I assume that the Samuel Barron Jaques family Bible may have been passed down along his Knowles family line, or perhaps it is now with the descendants of one of James’s siblings.
Also of interest are the final details mentioned of the Jaques’s family coat of arms, which was then apparently likely in the possession of the descendants of Dr. Moses Jaques (1770-1858), a nephew of Samuel Barron Jaques: The Jaques family is of French descent, the name originally spelled Jacques; of Huguenot origin, fled to England during the fifteenth century. The arms in shield is a fer-de-neorelin (a mill iron), with five stars. Crest: A horse’s head and neck stuck with a tilting spear. Motto: Detur forti palma (the reward given to the brave).
So, to close, below are my updated family tree for these three generations of the Samuel Barron Jaques family and a photo copy of the clipping. As always, comments, corrections, and additions are most welcome!
1-Samuel Barron Jaques b. 1730, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ, d. 26 Jul 1799, Gravel Hill, near Rahway, called Milton, NJ, bur. Locust Grove Cemetery, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ +Mary Coddington b. 1769, New Jersey, bur. Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ |-----2-Hannah Jaques b. 17 Aug 1782, d. 17 Aug 1783 |-----2-John Jaques b. 15 Oct 1783, d. Bef Sep 1798 |-----2-David Jaques b. 9 Oct 1784 |-----2-Ziporah Jaques b. 31 Mar 1787 |-----2-Nansey Jaques b. 25 Apr 1789 |-----2-Isaac Jaques b. 9 Aug 1791, Woodbridge Neck, NJ, d. 24 Aug 1880, | Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. 27 Aug 1880, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ | +Wealthy Ann Cushman b. 11 Nov 1793, Hartford, CT, d. 11 Apr 1856, | Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. 13 Apr 1856, Evergreen Cemetery, | Hillside, NJ | |-----3-Jane F. Jaques b. 9 Jan 1814, New York, d. 1 Aug 1843, Brooklyn, | | Kings Co., New York, bur. 3 Aug 1843 | |-----3-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, | | d. 7 Mar 1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, | | bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ | |-----3-Isaac Jaques b. 15 Nov 1817, d. Prob bef 24 Aug 1880 | |-----3-Eleazer Jaques b. 7 Mar 1820 | |-----3-John Barron Jaques b. 12 Sep 1822, New York or New Jersey, USA, | | d. 19 Dec 1895, St. Michael's Hospital, Newark, Essex Co., NJ, | | bur. Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ | |-----3-Samuel Barron Jaques b. 12 Oct 1824, d. poss 27 May 1858 | |-----3-Walter Madison Smith Jaques b. 28 Jul 1826, New York City, New | | York USA, d. Bef 22 Oct 1863 | |-----3-Christopher Prince Jaques b. 6 Jan 1831, New York City, New York | | USA, d. Bef 24 Aug 1880 | |-----3-Dr. Charles Berry Jaques b. 14 Feb 1834, New York City, New York | | USA, d. 2 Nov 1866, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY, bur. 5 Nov 1866, Old | | Somerville Cemetery, Somerville, Somerset Co., NJ, USA | +Rebecca A. Robinson b. 1804, CT, d. 29 Dec 1886, bur. Evergreen | Cemetery, Hillside, Union Co., NJ |-----2-Mary Jaques b. 23 Sep 1793 |-----2-Jane F. Jaques b. 26 Jan 1796, d. 27 Aug 1880, bur. St. Paul's Church | Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Westchester Co., NY | +John B. Quinn d. 20 May 1860, bur. St. Paul's Church Cemetery, Mt. | Vernon, Westchester Co., NY |-----2-John Morris Jaques b. 21 Sep 1798
I’ve just spent a week white-knuckling it as my hubby skillfully navigated the dozens of back roads crisscrossing the hills, dales, mountains, gorges, and tiny towns of SE Tennessee/SW North Carolina. He rarely let me drive, assuming that I might suddenly ‘zig’ when a ‘zag’ was needed. I can understand his concern—rarely did we see warning signs on approach to nasty sharp turns, and there were many of those, most veering around the edge of some exceedingly high cliff. He kept telling me to sit back and relax… hmmm, easier said than done. Toward the end of our vacation, he relinquished his iron grip on the driver’s seat, and after observing me behind the wheel for a while, he understood that I was just as eager not to go over any cliffs as he was!
So now we are back on the flat-as-a-pancake roads of south Florida, and I must say it’s a bit of a relief, though we will definitely venture forth again into that mountainous world. Next time, however, we’ll at least better know what to expect.
Two of the little gems we discovered were the town of Tellico Plains, Tennessee’s gateway to the relatively unknown but breathtaking Cherohala Skyway and home to the Tellico River and nearby Bald River Falls (and excellent trout fishing), and the tiny village of Coker Creek (also in Tennessee), which is nestled high in the southern Appalachian mountains, surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest. The latter was apparently a haven for panners of gold long before the California gold rush. You can still try your hand at it today; plenty of places, including the local visitor center, seem to sell the pans.
We did some canoeing and kayaking on Apalachia Lake, a nine-mile-long wilderness lake in southwestern North Carolina. We rarely saw a soul out there and, apart from the birds, could only hear the occasional faint sound of an airplane going by overhead, somewhere high in the stratosphere. Day and night the waters were calm, apart from the occasional fish jumping.
I saw plenty of cemeteries as we made our way around the area, and immediately thought of taking some photos of individual graves, but after checking the Find a Grave site, was amazed that all the cemeteries seemed to be registered there; and plenty and even sometimes all graves appeared to have been recorded. No need to feel compelled to grab the camera; those amazing Find a Grave volunteers had already ‘been there, done that’!
So having taken some time off, I have no family history post to share with you this week. But I do want you to see some reproductions of stage coaches and other now-obsolete wagons, all handcrafted by a Coker Creek craftsman. Two are on display outside the Visitor Center and a brochure shows you all the rest of the carriages available for purchase should you so desire. Fascinating! Of course, what for us is an amazing and novel sight would have been common for many of our ancestors of the pre-automobile era. This was just the way you got around. Imagine climbing aboard that covered wagon and having it be your home for months on end, no matter what the weather…
As I stepped up to peek inside the stage coach, I could not help but think of my second great grandmother Wealthy Jaques Angus, who traveled over the mountains of Vera Cruz, Mexico, by coach in the early 1840s with her two small children in tow, to meet up with her husband, my second great grandfather James Winans Angus who had established a coach-making business in Mexico City. Who do you think she shared her stage coach ride with on that memorable journey? None other than a young Army lieutenant, the recently graduated Ulysses S. Grant! Imagine that!
More on that some other day. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures!
To temporarily digress from the family history focus of this blog, I’ll tell you a story of a recent “unicorn” sighting… Let me explain. Hubby comes home one night and, after sitting down to dinner, reports rather animatedly that he saw a sheep just up the road, while driving to work that morning. I quickly glanced in his direction, examining his face and wondering whether he was running a fever, but he insisted it was true—he’d even captured an image on his iPod. Now, where we live in south Florida, that’s pretty much like saying that you’ve spotted a unicorn. While I believed him, this was an incredibly strange development. Such things simply don’t happen here. Where on earth could this sheep have come from?
With dinner over, we went out on our nightly skate, and, after doing our usual route, we were perhaps 1/2 mile from the house when my husband started talking about the sheep again. Having not yet seen the iPod image, I probed for full details—black face and legs, adult-sized, fuzzy white wool, looked like Shaun the sheep, appeared to be in good health, etc.
Miraculously, I turned my head quickly to look between two houses to get a view of a mango tree laden with fruit, and voila!—there was “Shaun”, standing there, looking straight at us. I shouted back to hubby that I’d just seen his sheep. We both spun around like maniacs and returned to the spot. And sure enough “Shaun” was standing there munching away on someone’s lawn. Just then, the homeowner, an elderly gentleman, arrived home in his car, and we made the mistake of asking him whether he was aware of the sheep. Oh, yes, he said, unhappily. He’d been trying to shoo it away for several days, and claimed he’d even been tempted to go get his gun and fix himself some stew… Next thing we knew, he was grabbing a rake and running around the lawns of various neighbors swatting the air in “Shaun”‘s direction to drive him away. This was definitely not the outcome we’d hoped for when we asked him about the poor lost sheep.
With little we could do, we skated home. I called the police non-emergency line to file a report; the dispatcher listened to me somewhat skeptically at first, but promised to report it to the relevant authorities. Then, miraculously, ten minutes later, “Shaun” galloped right past our lanai, full throttle to the east. We dashed out the door, but darkness was falling… That was it. He’d vanished into the night. We never saw him again.
We hope “Shaun” made it home or found a good new home. This is not the type of habitat a sheep should be running loose in… packs of coyotes can often be heard howling in the night in response to the occasional ambulance siren.
I still can’t help but look for “Shaun” now, every time we drive past that spot. A sheep–here? Very bizarre! Where I grew up in NJ, we saw sheep nearly every day. We even had some ourselves for a while. But, the streets of south Florida?! Amazing.
So now you know what counts for excitement around here!
How many times do you come back from a vacation feeling as if you need another vacation? or How many times do you relax so much on vacation that you can’t snap back into the rhythm of your normal life routines–especially when it comes to work? I’ve experienced both scenarios, as I’m sure have many of you. I must say, the older I get, I seem to go more for the pure R&R vacations. The idea of marching through a vacation in order to pack in as much as possible no longer holds great appeal.
Vintage photographs offer a historical record of how our American ancestors spent their “downtime.” For example, the fabulous Shorpy images (links included below) show some early-20th-century seekers of R&R. I especially love the ones of Asbury Park and Atlantic City, and the one of the group of boys outside the movie theater (see “Saturday matinée”). The detail is just extraordinary.
It’s comforting to know many of our ancestors likely also dealt with the “vacation recovery” phenomenon. A 1909 issue of The Outing Magazine included the article “Getting Over Your Vacation” by Dr. W. R. C. Latson (see the pages included below). Lots of advice; much of it just as good today as it was back then.
So, if you are currently recovering from a vacation, know that you are not alone—many, like the vacationing boaters and swimmers shown above, have tread these waters before!
(Click on the links to view the images; you can then click on each image if you want to see the smaller version)
- Ocean Grove, New Jersey, circa 1905. “Tent life.”
- Circa 1904. “North veranda, Manhanset House, Shelter Island, N.Y.“
- 1902. “The Basin, lower spring, Banff, Alberta.”
- Vacation bungalow colony at Rockaway, Queens, c. 1910.
- Circa 1910. “Trembleau Hall. Port Kent, N.Y.” Old-school rockers.
- Volusia County, Florida, circa 1903. “Sailing bicycles on the beach at Ormond.”
- Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, circa 1901. “Shoo-fly at Madame Boyle’s.”
- New Jersey, April 1905. “The Boardwalk parade, Atlantic City.”
- Petoskey, Michigan, circa 1906
- “Asbury Park, New Jersey.” The North End Hotel on the Ocean Grove side of the boardwalk circa 1914.
- Saturday matinee, Washington, DC, 1925
- Alligator Joe, Palm Beach, FL, 1904
- Cincinnati, OH, postcard shop, 1910
- Dutchess County, New York, circa 1905. “Mount Beacon Incline Railway, looking down, Fishkill-on-the-Hudson.”
- An open camp in the Adirondacks, 1905
(Click on the first image and then view as a slideshow:)
Not trying to panic anyone, but it’s good to remember that—over time—pencil and ink photo inscriptions can fade and become lost forever. Here’s one I just managed to salvage: my dad Charles Brodhead pictured with some of his Marine Corps buddies (Company A, 3rd Marine Division) on the island of Guam, 1944. A bit of “Photoshopping” helped me pull out almost all that remains of his writing. Thanks to Dad for writing this down, we know who these good-looking young guys from the Greatest Generation were. Thank heavens we caught the fading inscription in time!
Reading from left to right standing: Northrop, Bob Palmer, yours truly, and Cal Downey from Cranford [NJ]. Kneeling from left to right: Jensen and Toney. Our eyes were focused on Lieutenant Waszak. Northrop is from NY state; Bob Palmer from Van Wert, Ohio; Jensen from NY state and Toney from NY State. With all my love for ….. from your … son Charles
I stumbled on this article yesterday. It’s probably old news to many of you, but in the event not, I thought I would share the link here: “A long obscured branch on John Kerry’s family tree: More Jewish forebears, more tragedy” by Michael Kranish (Boston Globe, October 13, 2013).
As tragic as they are, it’s so important to see stories such as this one coming out of the shadows and into the light so that family lines can be connected and the history of our ancestors remembered properly. Thank heavens for all those genealogists and family historians out there who are working so diligently to connect the dots.
The fact that some of our ancestors may have changed their names doesn’t always cross our minds. I’ve found one instance of this in my family tree (Slaymaker to Sargent, ca. 1870; so, no, dear family members, we can’t possibly be related to American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)! :-(). How about you? Any surname surprises in your family tree?
PS: For another blog post in a similar vein, see this past post.
I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here it is blazing hot and way too humid. Thank heavens for air-conditioning. Most of our ancestors did not have it as good as we do in that regard. The earliest electric fans appeared in the early 1880s, but they weren’t manufactured for residential use until around 1910. And, of course, you can imagine that while fans offered relief, they were no substitute for the air-conditioners we enjoy today.
So, apart from serving as a fashion accessory, the handheld fan must have saved the day for many ladies, especially when you consider the fashions of the time. (For a history of the fan, visit Victoriana dot com.)
Wooden autographed fans gained popularity in the 1860s, and here is one that belonged to my great grandmother, Wealthy Ann Angus. The fan dates back to 1870-1871, before she married my great grandfather William Woodruff in 1872. It was common for the signers of these fans to leave some sort of verse or message. A couple of signatures appear to have been collected at an Armenian social club. Others, appear to have been collected while visiting Utica, NY, and traveling on some sort of pleasure cruise. A few are clearly from her home town of Elizabeth.
Wealthy wrote her address on the fan: 176 Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth, NJ. Somewhat puzzling is the fact that on the opposite side of the fan is written “The owner of this fan Jennie Angus, Elizabeth”. I have no idea who this Jennie Angus was. Wealthy’s dad James Angus had a cousin named Jane (b. 1805), but I don’t know if there is any connection there. Wealthy named her first daughter Jennie. Any thoughts, anyone? Well, I’ll leave you to enjoy the images of the fan. Stay cool, all!
Antique Fan Collectors Association – Museum