Isaac Jaques (1791-1880) – a family mystery solved?

(This post is a continuation of the previous post on Isaac Jaques.) A brief but interesting statement appeared in The Trenton State Gazette on April 13, 1880, celebrating Isaac Jaques’ longevity: Isaac Jaques, the oldest citizen of Elizabeth is 91 years of age. He has seen every President of the United States, except President Hayes. His age was not quite accurate, but nonetheless, this was a fun entry to come upon. If it’s true, he would have seen Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Munroe, Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Polk, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, and Grant! That’s pretty extraordinary to think about.

So what else do we know about Isaac? Well, according to US census records, in 1880, prior to his death, Isaac Jaques was living in his stately Elizabeth, NJ, home with his 2nd wife Rebecca (age 69) and two sisters-in-law: Angelina Wile (82) and Sarah Brown (80).

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, widow of James W. Angus, probably circa 1890

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, widow of James W. Angus, probably circa 1890

Isaac’s daughter Wealthy Ann Angus (widow of James Winans Angus, d. 1962) was living up the road with her three children who had yet to fly the coop (she and James Angus had 11 children in all): Walter (18, machinist), Job (23, machinist [and future superintendent of the construction of the Smithsonian Institution building in Washington, DC, and personal friend of President Lincoln]), and Charles (26, oil dealer). Next door to the Angus family lived Wealthy’s daughter Cecelia (25) and son-in-law Thomas B. Russum (30, draughtsman) and the Russum’s children Thomas (6) and Charles (1).

Cecelia Russum (left) and Thomas Russum (right)

Cecelia Russum (left) and Thomas Russum (right)

I would have liked the Memorial article in the last post or the obituaries I’ve seen to have included names of Isaac’s children. For some reason, our family tree for Isaac Jaques has always listed just one child for him and his first wife, Wealthy Ann Cushman: Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, mentioned above. I’d long wondered whether that was correct. It’s been on my “to-do” list for a very long while. So today, I decided to do some digging and discovered one Ancestry tree (yes, I took the plunge after coming upon an enticing promo code) showing a son Walter (b. 1826, NYC) and a son Christopher P. (b. NYC, 1832). Although no sources were cited, I was very intrigued, so I took to the census records, and, lo and behold, in the 1850 record (available for free on Family Search), I discovered Walter (dentist) and Christopher P. There was also another son named Charles P. (b. cir 1834). Christopher and Charles (18 & 16) were working as clerks, perhaps in their father’s tailor shop. The census also showed a Catherine, age 20, and two small children (Isaac and Ann). I presumed Catherine may have been the wife of one of the son’s (Walter?), as the small children were a tad young to still be Wealthy’s. Turns out I was right–I found Catherine and her two children living with her parents (Samuel and Elizabeth Nichols) in 1860 in Elizabeth, NJ. What had happened to Walter? (5/21/13 Update: Walter must have passed away by then. I found a marriage record for Catherine on Family Search–she remarried Willet Stevenson on 22 October 1863 in Elizabeth, NJ.) (10/29/16 Update: Catherine was married to another son named Samuel.)

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus, father of Job W. Angus (b. 1856)

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus, father of Job W. Angus (b. 1856)

Wealthy Ann Cushman, Isaac’s first wife, passed away on April 13, 1856. A New York Times obituary for Wealthy [Cushman] Jaques was published on April 15, 1856: At Elizabeth, NJ, on Sunday morning, MRS. WEALTHY ANN JAQUES, wife of Isaac Jaques, in the 62d year of her age. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, this (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock, from her late residence. By the time of the 1860 census, Isaac (roughly 69) was married to Rebecca Robinson, a widow (age 49).

In summary, I am quite surprised never to have seen any mention made of Wealthy Angus’ siblings in any obituaries anywhere. Perhaps, indeed, they all predeceased her and her father, Isaac Jaques. I just truly find it odd that no family histories in my direct family line and the neighboring lines I’ve seen included any mention of anyone other than Wealthy Angus. Was it because she had been the most successful and the others not worthy of a mention? (I should hope not!) Or maybe they predeceased Wealthy and her father? Or maybe there are mentions of them out there that I simply have yet to come across.

This post has gone on way too long, so I will bid adieu for now. I have one other ‘bombshell’ to share, but I’ll leave that for next time! Maybe by then, I will have learned more about Isaac’s progeny.

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., Jaques, Lincoln, President Abraham, New York City, Obituaries, Russum, US Federal 1850, US Federal 1860, US Federal 1870, US Federal 1880, Washington, President George | Leave a comment

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