Wayward Jaques son returns home in 1879

River front, Oswego, N.Y., c1909. (Wikimedia Commons - photo in public domain in USA)

River front, Oswego, N.Y., cir. 1909 (Wikimedia Commons – photo in public domain in USA)

In a million years, I never would have expected to find clues about my Elizabeth, NJ, ancestors in an Oswego, NY, newspaper. Oswego, which is perched on the northeast border of Lake Ontario, is roughly 300 miles away from Elizabeth, NJ — a city very close to Manhattan. On a total lark, about eight weeks ago, I did a search for Isaac Jaques on the Fulton History website, which features old newspapers from NY state, and up popped a headline for the ‘Temperance Column’ in the Oswego Daily Times for 24 January 1879, about 18 months before Isaac passed away at age 89. (Just goes to show, that when searching old newspapers, it may be worth not restricting your search to a particular city, county, or state.)

Oswego Daily Times, Saturday Evening, 24 January 1879 (Credit: www.fultonhistory.com)

Oswego Daily Times, Saturday Evening, 24 January 1879 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Temperance Lecture, oil painting by Edward Edmondson, Jr., Dayton Art Institute collection, (Wikimedia Commons: Public domain due to expired copyright)

‘Temperance Lecture,’ oil on canvas, by Edward Edmondson, Jr. (1861), Dayton Art Institute collection (Wikimedia Commons: Public domain due to expired copyright)

This all happened prior to my discovering that Isaac had children other than my 2nd great grandmother Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus. You may recall from a previous post that I’d mentioned even Roger & Patricia Jaques’ Jaques Family Genealogy book, a massive tome, contains no reference to children other than Wealthy Ann.

I couldn’t imagine what could possibly have linked Isaac, an upstanding citizen of Elizabeth, NJ, to the issue of temperance. So, after opening the link and pulling up the page, I was shocked to scroll down to read about Isaac’s reunion with a once very wayward son named John, who had been Isaac’s ‘secret sorrow’ for several decades prior. Thankfully the Fulton History site permits its articles to be shared, so I don’t have to try to paraphrase or summarize. I think the writing of that era is so much more descriptive anyway. So I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did.

John must have been quite a character. Let’s be honest, throughout the ages, it’s the rare family that does not have at least one individual in it who occasionally (or more than occasionally) brings inharmonious moments to that family’s life. Back then, however, I suspect this all would have been much more scandalous. So it’s no wonder John got erased from the family record books; and perhaps that’s why this ‘Temperance Column’ appeared in a distant city rather than Isaac’s home town, although I can’t be certain of that since the now-out-of-print Elizabeth Daily Journal may have carried it. However, that newspaper does not appear to be available through any online sites (If I’m wrong about that, please let me know).

I’ll close this post by saying that I’ve since done tons of digging on John, on his life, both pre- and post-‘Temperance column,’ and I have much more to share. Suffice it to say that he took me on quite a roller coaster ride; just when I thought I’d found the last trace of his bad behavior, I’d stumble on something else. There were a sufficient number of cringe-worthy moments, and I will share them as well as some other interesting details, in the next 1-2 posts.

P.S. In some ways, I feel rather uncomfortable sharing scandal that’s been locked away in the family cupboards for 130+ years. What do you think? — Would it be better to let sleeping dogs lie?

Part 2

Part 2/3

Part 3/3

Part 3/3

Dayton Art Institute

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques, Oswego, Scandal | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Wayward Jaques son returns home in 1879

  1. I think you should share them. Good history must be impartial. One cannot pretend that the bad stuff did not happen. Think of how these events shaped your family’s history in ways you may not be even aware of yet. Thank you for sharing!


    • Thanks for your reply, Genealogy Lady. Every family has its sinners and saints, and you’re right that all of these things shape a family’s history in ways we don’t yet know or may never know. I can only imagine the angst felt by the family through the years. It was bound to impact every single one of them in some way. And that would have to have had a ripple effect on the younger generation. Thanks for your thoughts!


  2. This is an amazing post! You are so right… the original printed article is so well written. It’s a shame that we seem to have lost some of the poignant vocabulary, nuances and eloquence that people had in those days. And in regards to ‘scandal’, I do agree that both good and bad events are part of rich family histories. They help to shape the people that we are today. At least this situation moved towards redemption – my family history contains a great-great-aunt (is that the right way to phrase it?!) who “disposed of” two husbands for monetary purposes. I think she got caught attempting to poison the third… I need to refresh my memory (my dad has done similar genealogical searches to you… he gave me a lot of information on a memory stick some years ago. I haven’t gone through it all yet). Thanks for this interesting post!


    • Thanks for your comment, Laura. Yes, the language of that era seems more expressive even though there is a certain stiffness to it; that’s partly why I enjoy going through the old newspapers. To my 21st c. ear the texts sound lofty, quaint, and, at times, quite humorous. Enjoy going through your family info on your family’s characters when you have time. Just think, in 100-200 yrs. we’ll be part of the cast of characters being analyzed! Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks again for your comment.


  3. I am also an Angus, with possible ties to the New jersey James Angus born 1872 and married Winifred Harris born 1873. My Grandfather was Francis Louis Angus who on his marriage cert says he was born Boston 1895, unfortunately this chip off the old block cant be found! No Birth record or death record. He Married my grandmother Elizabeth Grace Barrett in Brooklyn, NY 2/19/1925 at the age of thirty and was a Chauffer by trade. My mystery comes when looking though all the census 1900, His parents James and Winfred had 1 son James JR. In 1910 census there are 2 sons James JR and Louis H Angus, no mention of Francis Louis. they (Parents) were married in 1897 after he was born.


    • Hi, Maureen; Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve looked at my tree as the name Winifred Harris did not ring any bells. I located James Winans Angus III b. 5 Jun 1872, d. 1937 (1st born child of James W. Angus Jr and Anna M. Carpenter; raised by grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus from age 8 onwards)? Have you definitely established a link between your James and James Angus Jr. and Anna Carpenter? Do you want or need any information on the latter?

      I have no information about the James W. Angus III line, so Winifred Harris marriage and subsequent offspring are all news to me. Very interesting! Sounds like you have your hands full trying to figure a few things out. The Boston location sounded out of place to me given the family’s concentration in NJ/NY, but indeed census records reflect that MA location and James III’s NJ roots.

      The 1910 census says Winifred was ‘2/2’ in the children department at that point; and as you say there is no mention of Francis who would have been 15 at that time–just a James (11) and Louis (9). Is there a chance Francis was adopted or taken in from family who became unable to care for him?


      • Maureen, I see that James and Winifred are mentioned in the newspaper summons notice (see https://chipsofftheoldblock.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/1918-summons-notice-angus-jaques-family-clues/), so you are right–they are definitely linked to that family line (descendants of James W. Angus (d. 1862)).


      • I been waiting with baited breath! I was so worried you would think my post was not relevant !!
        I been tracing this family for many years! My Grandfather left my Grandmother after the last child, Robert James Angus, My father was the second child Francis Louis Angus JR, and there was his oldest sister Gloria, and Mildred was the third child. I Have all of the census from 1900 ,1910,& 1920 Where James and Winfred are in their 40s,in Brooklyn no boys with them. My Grandfather Francis and Elizabeth Grace Barrett were married 2/19/ 1925 Brooklyn. I have their marriage cert which reads for him Born 1895 Boston, Father James Angus, mother Winifred Harris
        on the back says he was a Chauffer by trade. I have only the 1930 census with him and Nana and the children. I know It says Ireland for his parents but that I believe it is an error. My Nana parents were from Ireland she was born in Manhattan, I have her Info and I knew her, definitely a brogue!!
        also she was not as old as it states she was much younger he was 36 and they mixed up the where it reads parents for my Dad and his siblings .
        My dedication is to my Grandchildren, I would like very much to have a correct and detailed account of their forefathers, which is why I question all information I receive. I have been blessed to come across some very helpful people who have been looking for my Grandfather as he seems to have vanished from thin air!! I have been in touch with John Hotchkin , who was also interested in what I knew, so much so he has my Angus’s on his web site John Hotchkin of Guilford, CT.
        He questioned whether Francis L Angus was maybe Charles Dujah Angus’s son. as he cant be found either, I don’t really know. I was hoping you might know more. Also I can not find a Marriage or Death cert for Louis H ( stands for Harris) Angus born to them around 1900 Boston and I realize there is 5yr span between both Francis Louis and Louis H, but then??
        My Grandfather probably died somewhere around 1945 as my father told me a long time ago he went looking for his father in Brooklyn when he was a teen, finally found him just to hear go away,unfortunately there is no one alive to ask anymore. I tried when I was younger but no one wanted, or they just didn’t want to know anything about him.

        Thank you for your response , Maureen Elizabeth Angus Somes


      • Hi, Maureen; Regarding a link to Charles Dujah Angus (1852-1938), I don’t think this is the case. On page 13 of One Line of Descent of James Angus it indicates that that Frank L. Angus was living in Bayonne and had a son named Howard: “Charles D. Angus, born in Elizabeth, died 18 March 1938 aged 85 years. … He married Harriet Hartnett who died 31 October 1951 aged 93.4.1 and who is buried in Evergreen Cemetery with her husband. There were at least three children: Mrs. Lester H. Lewis and Evelyn T. Angus of Westfield, and Frank L. Angus of Bayonne, who had a son Howard Angus, also of Bayonne. Other grandchildren were Mrs. Douglas B. Class of Westfield, N.J., and Mrs. Clifford H. Coles of Hackensack, N.J., and a great-grand-daughter, Barbara Ellen Class.”

        Could your Frank L. Angus have been a child of Winifred’s from a previous marriage who took the Angus name after her marriage to James W. Angus III? Or could James W. have been married prior to the marriage to Winifred? Perhaps this was his son from a previous marriage?


      • I will look further I don’t know if he was adopted or if a member of the family took him in?
        any ifo you have I the line will be appreciated thank you Maureen


      • He may have been born out of wed lock also, as James and Winifred were married 1/19/1897
        Elizabeth Union NJ. James was in the Navy for many years stationed in Boston 1900 on navel ship called USS Wabash. I have 2 census 1900 for him one on Boyle St,Boston the other on board ship.


    • Maureen, I found chauffeur Francis (b. 1895, Massachusetts) and wife Grace in the 1930 census living in Brooklyn with children Gloria, Francis, Mildred. The record indicates that Francis (Sr.) was born in Massachusetts but his parents were both born in Ireland. So he could not have been a child of James W. and Winifred Angus. Are the latter listed on Francis’ marriage record?


  4. Maureen, I will email you directly if I find any information I think might interest you.

    By the way, I found Francis L. Angus’ WWII draft card (1942) on Ancestry.com. This is the Francis who was the son of M/M Charles Dujah Angus. His middle initial L. stands for “Lincoln”. He lived in Bayonne and worked at Standard Oil Co. in Bayonne. Physical description (age 45): 5’10”, 210 lbs., blue eyes, blond hair, ruddy complexion. Name of wife not given.


    • Thank you all the information you have already given I am so happy I found Chips off the Old Block!!
      Please put whatever you find on Angus. Loved the Letter sent from Job Angus


      • Glad the blog has been a help to you, Maureen. It’s always great to get feedback like that. You can find a few Angus-family-related links on my ‘Links’ page. Perhaps, you’ve seen them already. Keep me posted on how your search goes.


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