Monthly Archives: October 2013

Job Winans Angus (1821-1909) and Lincoln’s lost inaugural ballroom

Smithsonian Headquarters Building, 1847; Architect:

Smithsonian Headquarters Building (“The Castle”), 1847-1855; Architect: James Renwick, Jr. (Wikimedia – public domain image)

Job Winans Angus (1821-1909) was the younger brother of James Winans Angus (1810-1862), a second great grandfather of mine; the former born in Elizabethtown, NJ, and the latter in New York City. Job was 11 years younger than James but outlived him by some 36 years, attaining the ripe old age of 88. Job’s life was replete with extraordinary experiences, something one would never guess looking at the simple marker that adorns his grave* in Glenwood Cemetery, where he rests alongside his wife Antoinette G. Hopper and their three daughters.

James and his wife Wealthy Jaques Angus, who settled in Elizabethtown, NJ, went on to name one of their seven sons after Job**, and their son James W. Angus Jr. (1841-1897) is actually believed to have gone to work in Washington for Job prior to the start of the Civil War, remaining there  until 1867 when he (James-age 26) was stricken with a stroke that tragically left him permanently paralyzed.

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus

James Renwick, Jr. (Wikimedia - public domain image)

James Renwick, Jr. (Wikimedia – public domain image)

Job, who came to Washington DC with the Odd Fellows to help lay the cornerstone of the Washington Monument, was the construction superintendent for the Smithsonian Institution’s main building (“The Castle”, 1847-1855) which was designed by famed architect James Renwick Jr. Other projects Job supervised included Washington DC’s Metropolitan Hotel and Trinity Church, Lake Winnipesaukee’s Governor’s Island Club, a building in San Antonio, TX, and a number of government buildings throughout the US. He was architect of the American Mosaic Company Building in Washington DC, which has since been torn down, though this photo remains. At the time of his death, on July 1, 1909, he resided at 11 Ninth Street NE in Washington.

Job’s Washington Times obituary notice of July 2, 1909, stated that Job “was a friend of President Lincoln, and had charge of the Executive Mansion during that administration.” It also mentioned that he was present at the Washington Monument ceremony (December 6, 1884), celebrating the placement of the monument’s capstone.

Regarding Job’s relationship with President Lincoln, the following newspaper clipping*** shows that he participated as an Assistant Marshal in the inauguration of President Lincoln on March 4, 1861 (see bottom of third column).

National Republican newspaper, 4 March 1861

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national_republican_3

And, evidently, the inaugural ballroom in which celebrations took place that evening was built by none other than Job Winans Angus. The fate of the ballroom is described in detail on the Greater Greater Washington website which ran a fascinating article in June 2011 by David Rotenstein: Lincoln’s Lost Inaugural Ballroom. Click the link to go to the article which includes some great images.

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871

It’s a true honor to have had a very distant uncle who had a friendship with President Lincoln, and who worked so diligently to undertake such impressive projects. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the Angus family’s home in Elizabethtown to listen in the family’s conversations about Job’s experiences and accomplishments if and when he ever managed to visit. It really must have been quite a thrill.

*Find a Grave: Job Winans Angus; Antoinette G. Hopper Angus; daughters Emma, Louise, and Nettie are also buried at Glenwood and are linked to their parents on the Find a Grave site.

**Job Winans Angus, 1856-1936

***National Republican newspaper, 4 March 1861, from a Montour Falls, NY, paper (retrieved on 10/30/13 from http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Angus, Glenwood Cemetery Wash DC, Lincoln, President Abraham, Washington DC | Leave a comment

S. E. H.’s thoughts from the Dakota Territory, March 4, 1882

Grand Forks, ND, Store, 1880, probably visited by Matthias Woodruff during his time in the Dakota territory (Photo in public domain)

Grand Forks, ND, Store, 1880, probably visited by Matthias Woodruff during his time in the Dakota territory (Photo in public domain)

Last year I published a few posts on Matthias Woodruff, younger brother of the recently mentioned William Woodruff who in 1870 spent time in San Ysidro as a sheep farmer. A little over a decade later, Matthias left his home in Elizabeth, NJ, to seek his fortune growing wheat in the Dakota Territory. Several of the letters he sent home have survived and were featured in these posts:
Matthias Woodruff Letter to Francis Woodruff, May 10, 1883
Matthias Woodruff Letter to Francis Woodruff, June 8, 1883
Matthias Woodruff — Letter from Sheyenne Valley, Dakota Territory, October 7, 1882

Official Railroad Map of Dakota, 1886

Official Railroad Map of Dakota, 1886

On the Fulton History website, I came upon a letter to the editor of the Holley [NY] Standard newspaper that was written on March 4, 1882, and published by the paper on March 16, 1882—roughly the same time Matthias was in that area. It’s an amusing read about a landlady’s observations of the gentlemen who arrived at her establishment. I doubt Matthias was one of them, but you never know.

Coincidentally, the article caught my eye right before an email arrived from the The Art of Manliness blog (no, I have no interest in being manly!, but I do find their blog extremely entertaining and illuminating; check it out and see what you think!) notifying me of today’s post: “Dining Etiquette and Table Manners.” In a world where manners are increasingly disappearing, it’s always good to see somebody talking about them. I confess to never having heard of leaving knife and fork in the “4:20 position” or of pulling a “French leave”, so I definitely learned a few new things.

So, I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. As always, comments welcome! Have a good Sunday.

NYStandard1

NYStandard2

NYStandard3

NYStandard4

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The Holley Standard, Holley, NY,  March 16, 1882 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The Holley Standard, Holley, NY,
March 16, 1882 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Dakota Territory, Woodruff | 4 Comments

A post of interest to John Oliver Wait & Elizabeth Crow descendants: The Herriott connection

Those descendants of John Oliver Wait (1787-1876) and his wife Elizabeth Crow (1792-1854) may find this post of interest. Ray Harriot of the Herriott Heritage Association contacted me recently to tell me about the link that they have established with the Crow family thanks to a tip that came from Scotland, and that is that Elizabeth Crow’s great grandfather Samuel Crow was married to Eleanor Herriot, a daughter of Elizabeth Lockhart and David Harriot.

1-Samuel Crow d. 1761 +Eleanor Herriot, daughter of David Harriot and Elizabeth Lockhart, b. cir 1716; d. 22 Apr 1749, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ

2-Col. Samuel Crow b. 1737, NJ; d. 15 Mar 1801, bur. First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ +Elizabeth Potter d. 6 Aug 1831, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ, bur. First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ

3-Ellis Crow b. 4 Jun 1765, d. 2 Nov 1824, bur. First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ,  +Martha Campyon b. 23 August 1768, NJ; d. 2 Dec 1851, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ

4-Elizabeth Crow b. 11 Sep 1792, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ, d. 9 May 1854, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ, bur. Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ, +John Oliver Wait b. 10 Jan 1787, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ, d. 23 Nov 1876, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ, bur. 24 Nov 1876, Alpine Cemetery, Middlesex Co., NJ

Quite a while ago, I did a blog post that included the will of David Wait, John’s father. Ray pointed out to me that his ancestor James Harriot (once the mayor of Perth Amboy) was listed as one of the inventory takers for the will. Pretty fascinating!  For more information on the Herriott family (note: a number of various spellings of the surname exist), click this link to the Herriott Heritage Association website. They publish a newsletter twice yearly, and you can subscribe to it via their site.

With their permission, I am posting the below pages from one of their recent newsletters that included mention of the discovery of the Crow-Herriott connection.

Herriott Herald Newsletter, published here with the permission of the Herriott Heritage Association

Herriott Herald Newsletter, published here with the permission of the Herriott Heritage Association

Herriott Herald Newsletter, published here with the permission of the Herriott Heritage Association

Herriott Herald Newsletter, published here with the permission of the Herriott Heritage Association

Herriott Herald Newsletter, published here with the permission of the Herriott Heritage Association

Herriott Herald Newsletter, published here with the permission of the Herriott Heritage Association

Categories: Crow, Herriott, New Jersey, Perth Amboy, Wait, Woodbridge | Leave a comment

Charles Conrad Martin (1866-1943)

Gift to my dad on his 7th birthday (1928) from his "Uncle Charlie"

Gift to my dad on his 7th birthday (1928) from his “Uncle Charlie”

Today I was delighted to come across a memorial page for Charles Conrad Martin (1866-1943) on the Find a Grave website. I was equally delighted to see that the contributor had linked him to his parents, Augusta Lewis (1836-1900) and Moses Martin (1833-1883). A photo of their shared headstone in Alpine Cemetery, Middlesex, NJ, appears on each page. Click here to link to Charles’. From there you can click to the other two pages. The appearance of the parents’ memorial pages allowed me to connect their daughter (my great grandmother) Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead (1859-1945) to them. (There were three other siblings: Mary (“Aunt Mame”), Frank W., and Merritt, and I’ve yet to discover their resting places)

Margaret and Charles were very close, in fact, my father was named after Charles Martin. In my late Dad’s memoirs, he wrote about celebrating his 7th birthday and receiving the Indian plate shown here as a gift from his Uncle Charlie: Uncle Charlie was a favorite of mine… He was general sales manager of Clark Thread Corporation. Lived in an old brownstone in Tottenville, Staten Island. He was an antique fancier and had at least 100 old clocks which all chimed at the same time. I used to love to visit there. He had an old friend, Tom Alexander (a Scotsman) who lived with him. We always had Uncle Charlie and “Uncle” Tom with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pop and I would go down to the Staten Island ferry terminal and pick them up. Uncle Charlie liked a little sauce now and then. So to celebrate, Pop would whip up the Brodhead cocktail: 1/3 orange juice, 1/3 dry gin, 1/3 rye whiskey, a dash of grenadine, lots of ice, shake it up and enjoy. Uncle Charlie was a tall, very distinguished-looking man. White mustache and white hair. Everything he bought came from the likes of Tiffany, Wanamaker, Van Cleef & Arpels, and the like. Uncle Charlie died right after I was sent to Parris Island, so I did not get to his funeral.

Charles had amassed a fortune in antiques by the time of his death, and his estate was auctioned off on October 12, 1943. A six-page booklet was prepared for the event by Jacques Noel Jacobsen. I remember my Dad saying that his parents went to the auction to bid on some of the items. Somewhere we have a news clipping on the event; if I come across it again, I’ll post it here.

Below is the only photo I’ve ever seen of Charles Martin, and it is from the personal collection of James Brodhead of Everett, Washington. I thank him for allowing me to publish it here. Charles is standing in the rear next to his sister (my great grandmother) Margaret. Margaret is next to my great grandfather Andrew D. Brodhead who died in 1917. I suspect this photo was taken in 1916/17 as the little boy in the photo was born in 1912. I am wondering whether perhaps Uncle Tom is the gentleman in the middle next to Charles. I’ve labelled one woman Fannie W. Brodhead although James and his family had her labelled as Ethyl Pike; but she looks so much like my grandmother (mother of the little boy in the photo who was my uncle). Maybe Ethyl is the lady behind Mr. Pike? My grandfather Frank Martin Brodhead (a brother of Andrew who appears in the photo) may very well have been the person behind the camera. It’s a fantastic photo, and I really treasure seeing the group together.

A family gathering circa 1916; PHOTO COURTESY OF James Brodhead of Everett, WA, personal family collection

A family gathering circa 1916, likely in Elizabeth, NJ; PHOTO COURTESY OF James Brodhead of Everett, WA, personal family collection

Categories: Brodhead, Lewis, Martin, Wait | Leave a comment

A Brodhead-Schoonhoven Conundrum

One of this blog’s readers, Donna K., is in a conundrum about her Brodhead ancestry. She is a descendant of Garret Brodhead (1733-1804) and his first ‘partner’ Cornelia Schoonhoven (b. 1733).  I use the word ‘partner’ because Donna has found no evidence of a marriage. Garret and Cornelia had one son, Garret (b. 1756), from whom Donna descends.

It is common knowledge among descendants that Garret went on to marry Jane Davis (b. 1736)—presumably after Cornelia died—and had a number of children with Jane. My fourth great grandfather, the Honorable Richard B. Brodhead (1772-1843), was among them. The Brodhead Family Association’s history book (Vol. I, p. 72) records a 15 Mar 1759 marriage between Garret (“blacksmith”) and Jane (“spinster”).

But Donna has discovered compelling evidence, largely from those responsible for compiling the Schoonhoven Mastertree, Part 1, that Cornelia did not die but married Daniel Marvin and had more children with him:

66. Cornelia “Kate” Van Schoonhoven (Henricus “Henry Nicolas”, Hendrick Claessen, Claes Hendrickse Hendrich1 Van Schoonhoven) was born Abt January 1732/33 in Kingston, Ulster County, NJ d 1782?. She married? (1) Garett Brodhead.b 1745? d 1840?  She married 1760 in Sandyston, Sussex County, NJ to (2) Daniel Marvin. bp abt 1727 CT d 1788? (Sources vary on dates of birth and death)

Children of Cornelia Van Schoonhoven and Garett Brodhead are:
187 i. Garrett Brodhead bp abt 1756.

Children of Cornelia Van Schoonhoven and Daniel Marvin are:
188    i. Maria Marvin b abt 1763 in Sussex Co NY.
188.1 ii. Cornelia Marvin b abt 1765
188.2 iii.Rachel Marvin, born October 20, 1766.in Sussex Co NY.
188.3 iv. Hendrikkus/ Henry Schoonhoven Marvin, born February 02, 1771in Sandyston, Sussex County, New Jersey
188.4. v. Catherine Marvin b Aug 30, 1772 in Walpack Sussex Co NJ
188.5  vi. Daniel Marvin
188.6  vii. Judith Marvin

Other points Donna makes are the following:

  • It seems highly likely that Garret and Cornelia either never married or had an early divorce. A divorce was unlikely because of the times.
  • Garret, the son of Garret and Cornelia, may have been raised in the household of Cornelia’s father since he is mentioned in his grandfather’s will. Another possibility is that he went with his mother when she married Daniel Marvin, since a Garret Schoonhoven (“187 i” in the Schoonhoven tree) is mentioned as part of that household.
  • Garret Sr. married Jane Davis in 1759 when his son with Cornelia is three years old.
  • Cornelia marries Daniel Marvin in 1760, when her son with Garret is four years old.
  • Cornelia and Daniel Marvin have their first child, Daniel, in 1761.
  • Garret Jr. is known as Garret Brodhead Schoonhoven until adulthood (this assertion is based on the fact that he is mentioned as such in his grandfather’s 1771 will).
  • Garret Jr. enlisted in the Sussex County NJ Militia in 1776 as Garret Brodhead, Jr. I t seems likely that he enlisted in Sussex County because that is where he grew up. (His father served in Pennsylvania’s Northampton Militia.

Donna has contacted someone involved with the Schoonhoven master tree. That person noted that some of the Schoonhoven girls were “pretty wild” and that it could very well be that no marriage ever took place between Cornelia and Garret.

Anyone with information that could shed light on the foggy circumstances of Garret Jr.’s earliest years is asked to kindly share it. You can leave a comment or contact me via the email address in the About page. Donna is eager to learn anything else she can about her ancestor, and I must say I’m a bit curious myself!

Categories: Brodhead, Davis, Schoonhoven | 4 Comments

Rebuilding London’s Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace General view from Water Temple, 1854. Author: Philip Henry Delamotte, Negretti and Zambra (Wikimedia Commons: PD-Art, copyright expired 70+ years ago)

Crystal Palace General view from Water Temple, 1854. Author: Philip Henry Delamotte, Negretti and Zambra (Wikimedia Commons: PD-Art, copyright expired 70+ years ago)

I just read in The Telegraph of London’s plans to rebuild the famed Crystal Palace, which was built in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and later relocated to South London. There in 1936, it was destroyed by a massive fire. To view the October 3rd online article & accompanying video clip, which includes animated schematics of the planned rebuild, click here.

You may recall that this blog mentioned the Crystal Palace once before. It was there that famous chemist George S. V. Wills‘ granddaughter Dorothy Hope Wills (m. Frederick James Warren) played piano with the Palace’s orchestra.

A Chinese investment firm is responsible for the redevelopment which will also include the restoration of the vast grounds and gardens. Work is expected to begin in winter 2015.

Once the reconstruction is complete, I imagine it will be extremely exciting for Dorothy’s descendants to visit and get a sense of the wonderful world in which she adored sharing her enormous musical talent with the visiting public.

Dorothy Hope Wills wedding to Frederick Warren, circa 1920

Dorothy Hope Wills’ wedding to Frederick Warren, circa 1920 (Photo from personal family collection of Colin Newton)

Crystal Palace interior during the Great Exhibition of 1851. (Wikimedia Commons: PD-1923 – published before 1923 and public domain in the US)

Crystal Palace interior during the Great Exhibition of 1851. (Wikimedia Commons: PD-1923 – published before 1923 and public domain in the US)

Plan of Crystal Park Palace in 1857 (Wikimedia Commons: Public domain in US; copyright expired 70+ years ago)

Plan of Crystal Park Palace in 1857 (Wikimedia Commons: Public domain in US; copyright expired 70+ years ago)

Categories: London, Wills | 4 Comments

1870s fashions from Godey’s magazine

Godey's 1870 Fashion: September (reprinted in Italy, offered by McCall's magazine)

Godey’s 1870 Fashion: September (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall’s in 1970)

The day after I finished the post on the 1870 letter from Francis Woodruff to his son, William, I found four Godey reprints dating back to 1970 that probably had not seen the light of day since my mom purchased them through the mail from McCall’s that year; they were still in their original cardboard mailing envelope.

From Antique Images website (free clipart)

A Victorian hairstyle from Antique Images

The Woodruffs were well-to-do farmers in Elizabeth, NJ, but whether daughters Emma and Phebe would have been adorned to such an extent at that time, I have no idea. But, perhaps, like many people today who have subscriptions to Vogue and other fashion magazines, the Woodruff girls enjoyed leafing through whatever Godey’s magazines may have been in their possession.

In any event, this is what we ladies may have been wrapped up in 143 years ago had we been members of the upper middle-class—one thing’s for sure, the weight of those outfits would have made them great calorie-burners! (For more on Godey and his magazine, click here. For tips on how to sit in an 1870s Victorian bustle dress or create a Victorian dress of your own (!), visit Historical Sewing.)

Godey's 1870 Fashion: December (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall's magazine in 1970)

Godey’s 1870 Fashion: December (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall’s in 1970)

Godey's 1870 Fashion: March (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall's magazine in 1970)

Godey’s 1870 Fashion: March (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall’s in 1970)

Godey's 1870 Fashion: May (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall's magazine in 1970)

Godey’s 1870 Fashion: May (reprinted in Italy, purchased from McCall’s in 1970)

Categories: 1870s, Fashion & Beauty, Woodruff | Leave a comment

January 1895 sleigh ride to a late night party in Dallas, Pennsylvania

Although some of my past posts may make it seem otherwise, all was not doom and gloom for the Brodheads, Lovelands, and Lukes of Kingston, PA. In fact, I’m sure that all the good far outweighed the bad, with a small article in the Wilkes-Barre Times serving as a small example. On the evening of 23 January 1895, four big bobsleighs carrying some 75 Kingston residents—including Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Brodhead, Loren Luke, and Emilie Loveland (the latter two not yet married)—headed off to a dinner dance in nearby Dallas, PA–roughly an eight-mile journey. The departure for the return to Kingston took place at roughly 1 a.m. What a fun night that must have been!

Godey's - 1864

Godey’s Lady’s Book (1864); Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0

Categories: Brodhead, Kingston, Luzerne Co., Loveland, Luke, Pennsylvania | 2 Comments

Winter 1870: William Woodruff in San Ysidro trying his hand at ‘wool growing’

William Woodruff, in June 1870

William Woodruff, in June 1872, photo from personal family collection

A January 1870 letter written by my 2nd great grandfather Francis Woodruff (1820-1883) to my great grandfather William Earl Woodruff (1848-1928) is a joy to read. It reflects the love and warmth of father for son and gives insight into the goings on in that little part of the Woodruff family 143 years ago.

William, it appears, was trying his hand at wool farming out in San Ysidro, California. He was just 21 years old and still a single guy (he married 2 1/2 yrs later), and appears to have gone cross country from his home in Elizabeth, NJ, to work for Hedden Bruen, possibly the John Hedden Bruen (b. NJ about 1815) who appears in Santa Clara County voting records from that period. The letter mentions a “Charles and Sarah” and I’m quite sure this was a reference to Charles Woodruff (1814-1898), a first cousin of Francis’ (they shared Enos Woodruff as their grandfather). Charles was married to Sarah E. Bruen (1821-1899), so I imagine that Hedden was likely one of Sarah’s brothers.

Redmond Granville's Shepherd Herding Sheep in a Misty Landscape, 1911, Private collection in Irvine, CA (Wikimedia: In Public Domain in USA)

Redmond Granville’s Shepherd Herding Sheep in a Misty Landscape, 1911, Private collection in Irvine, CA (Wikimedia: In Public Domain in USA)

California had been a state for almost 20 years, and the transcontinental railway had been completed a year prior, in 1869, an event that heralded a huge influx of visitors from the east. The letter gives an indication of that at one point in reference to the large number of New Jersey folk wandering about San Francisco. This was a long way from home for William, and to his parents, it probably seemed like he’d gone to the edge of the Earth. But at least they had the ability to communicate via letters. How exciting it used to be to get letters in the mail! I can only imagine how exciting it was for them, especially given that the telephone was not yet an option.

San Francisco Harbor, 1850-1851; with Alcatraz Island in the background. Daguerrotype. |Wikimedia: Source - Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: DAG no. 1330]

San Francisco Harbor, 1850-1851; with Alcatraz Island in the background. Daguerrotype. |Wikimedia: Source – Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: DAG no. 1330]

I love the references to William’s younger siblings, Matthias and Phebe, both also still single, and living at home, and the reference to Mary Jane Trowbridge, William’s mother, who obviously had her reservations about her son’s current enterprises. No reference was made to the oldest child Emma, who was also still likely at home. (Within the next four years, all four of the children would be married: William, 20 Jun 1872; Matthias, 21 Nov 1872; Emma, 16 Sept 1874; and Phebe, 23 Oct 1874. Between them, they produced 16 grandchildren for Francis and Mary Jane who both died in 1883.)

I don’t have any more information about William’s life out West, but I do know he was back home in New Jersey in time for the June 1870 census. What happened between then and his June 1872 marriage, I’ve no idea—perhaps, he went off to dabble in whale fishing like the young man mentioned in the letter? I kind of doubt it—I think that morsel of information would have been passed down through the family!

Below is the letter which I have broken into paragraphs and added punctuation for ease of reading. Comments, corrections, and additional information always welcome. Be sure to click on the Henry Winslow link when you get to it.

Here you go—a slice of life from 1870 (the letter was postmarked 4 February):

Elizabeth Jan. 20th ‘70

Dear Will,

We received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear that you were well. We are getting along here about the same old way. We were not a little surprised to hear of Mr. Bruen’s marriage. I went right down to tell Charles and Sarah. I told them your news from California this time. Sarah guessed right away that Hedden was married and wanted to know all about it: how old his wife was and all the particulars. I told her I was not posted on that score. She had a good laugh over it and I left.

We are having a very mild winter of it. So far we have not got any salt hay yet and at present there is no prospect of it. The weather is warm. No frost in the ground. The roads are very bad today. Matt and I dug that stump of an apple tree that the wind blew down last summer and set another in its place. The Mr. Earles are setting their line fence and they have got a well and cellar dug. Things will look quite different around here in a little while with three new houses between ours and Charles’ well.

William's loving father Francis Woodruff

William’s loving and very supportive father Francis Woodruff; photo from personal family collection

Will, I was going to answer your letter right away as you see from the date but I did not intend to be so long about it. It is now the 30th January and no frost yet. I was at Mr. Jones’ auction the other day and saw a young Sparks [?]. He said he had a letter from his brother. He spoke of your being in San Francisco with him. He said he learned more about the Jersey folks than he could write in a month. I have had a bad cold and was a most sick for a few but am better now. I was afraid I was going to be lame again but have escaped so far pretty well. Phebe has had a slight attack of scarlet fever but is getting better so that she is up today. Matt has gone to Newark for a load of grain with three horses. You know that suits him to make a show with the team. We have a good one now.

Mary Jane Trowbridge, William's concerned Mom

Mary Jane Trowbridge, William’s loving but skeptical Mom; photo from personal family collection

You write about going out tending sheep and as it is Mr. Bruen’s avice [sic] I have some faith in it. It is quite a new kind of life for you but if there is a chance of doing anything worth while and you have a mind to try it I have no objection. But you must do as you think best. You are your own man now and must choose for yourself. We cannot advise you anything about it because we don’t know any of the circumstances. Your Mother thinks it is a wild scheme but I do not think near as bad as whale fishing that Henry Winslow tells us about. By the way he has been here and made us quite a visit. He is a stout fine looking young man. I think he looks something like his Uncle Hedden. He tells us some great whale stories. We were telling about your talking of going round the world. He said if you once got on the water you would never leave it.

Whale Fishing, Currier & Ives, 1850s

Whale Fishing, Currier & Ives, 1850s

You must write as soon as you can and tell us about the country you are in and about wool growing. It would be very pleasant to have you with us here again but if you have a mind to try your luck I’m just as willing to do anything I can for you there as here. I have great confidence in you and think Mr. Bruen would not advise anything but for your good. Mother says give her love to you and I send my own and all the rest of the family.

From your affectionate Father,

Francis Woodruff

Tell us how far out in the country you are.

Envelope and page 4 of Francis' letter to son William

Envelope and page 4 of Francis’ letter to son William

Categories: Ayers, California, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, San Ysidro, Trowbridge, US Federal 1870, Woodruff | 3 Comments

Boles & Brodhead posts updated

Just FYI, I have updated several posts:

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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Travels with Janet

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Uma Familia Portuguesa

A história da nossa família

The Good, the Bad and the Italian

food/films/families and more

newarkpoems

350 years of Newark in verse 1666-2016

Russian Universe

Understanding Russia with a Russian

Almost Home

Genealogy Research and Consulting

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy

WeGoBack

family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

Genealogy Technology

Family history for the 21st century

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Meeting my family

RESEARCHING MY FAMILY TREE

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