While going through my grandmother Zillah Trewin’s photo album, I came across these images taken in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, during the summer of 1904 at what I presume was a small gathering to mark the placement of the gravestone for William Sargent (1861-1896) and his wife Sarah Jane Bowley (1849-1904) who died earlier that year, in January. What’s most interesting to me is the fact that the tiny elderly woman in the photo may actually be Mary Bowley Pitt, older sister of Sarah Bowley and second wife of William Sargent (Zillah’s grandfather and my 2nd-great-grandfather; 1st wife was Mary Wills, daughter of George and Mary Wills of Northamptonshire, England). You may recall the post where it was revealed that father and son (both named William) married sisters Mary Bowley Pitt and Sarah Bowley! Based on 1880 census records, Mary Bowley (1st marriage to ? Pitt) was born in 1839 in England; in 1904 she would have been 64, and I am trying to figure out if the mystery woman pictured could be around that age. Thoughts anyone?
Summer 1904 cemetery photos of family marking the placement of the headstone for Wm Sargent Jr. & Sarah Jane Bowley graves
My great-grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead (known to many as ‘Doug’) passed away 99 years ago today, on May 6, 1917, a day that would have been his father Andrew Jackson Brodhead‘s 94th birthday had he lived long enough.
When I first started working on our family history 5-6 years ago, I knew hardly anything about Andrew Douglas. Over time, images of him surfaced, as did brief mentions of him in letters and a few articles, but I’d always wondered about the circumstances of his death. Well, the answer came during the “great garage clean-out of 2016” when I discovered this obituary; it describes the very sad circumstances of his passing.
Brief as it is, the obit speaks volumes as to what kind of man he was and offers insight into his life’s travels—from Mauch Chunk, PA, to Perth Amboy, and then to Elizabeth, with his latest place of employment being in NYC. Father of Frank, Lewis, and Andrew. Husband of Margaret Lewis Martin. I’m sure this event was a huge shock for all the family, including all of Andrew’s siblings and their families. Thankfully, they were a close-knit bunch and looked after each other, something that makes a big difference in how we get through such things.
To my knowledge, this is the only photo we have of my Uncle Frank (1913-1914, son of Frank & Fannie Brodhead) who at 11 months of age died suddenly in the family’s Elizabeth, NJ, home. The photo, a recent discovery of mine, was mixed in with old newspaper clippings, and I was very grateful to come across it.
I’ve never been able to find the exact birth and death dates for Frank, and the little obit that was saved by my grandmother is undated. I think it probably appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal whose issues, I believe, are only available in certain libraries, on microfilm. The loss of Frank was sudden and the grief, perhaps, too deep to make note of dates. In any event, I will keep looking for them—the cemetery must have a record—but, more important, I want to get this little image posted so that Uncle Frank is not forgotten.
Frank was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in neighboring Hillside (Find a Grave). A second obituary appears below his. It is for James M. Hefley, son of Morris and Mabel Hefley. I think it’s likely that my grandparents knew this family and saved the two as one clipping.
‘One morn I left him in his bed’
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)
One morn I left him in his bed;
A moment after some one said,
‘Your child is dying – he is dead.’
We made him ready for his rest,
Flowers in his hair, and on his breast
His little hands together prest.
We sailed by night across the sea;
So, floating from the world were we,
Apart from sympathy, we Three.
The wild sea moaned, the black clouds spread
Moving shadows on its bed,
But one of us lay midship dead.
I saw his coffin sliding down
The yellow sand in yonder town,
Where I put on my sorrow’s crown.
And we returned; in this drear place
Never to see him face to face,
I thrust aside the living race.
Mothers, who mourn with me today,
Oh, understand me, when I say,
I cannot weep, I cannot pray;
I gaze upon a hidden store,
His books, his toys, the clothes he wore,
And cry, ‘Once more, to me, once more!’
Then take, from me, this simple verse,
That you may know what I rehearse—
A grief – your and my Universe!
Among my grandmother’s collection of news clippings was this small mention of the death of Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus from bullet wounds received in the line of duty somewhere in Italy on 28 July 1944. Samuel enlisted in the Army in February 1942, and served with Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade. He was buried in Florence American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. For links to his grave information, click: Find a Grave and American Battle Monuments Commission.
Samuel was the grandson of Job Winans Angus whose “letters from Texas” and obituary notice appear elsewhere in this blog. Samuel had one sibling named Betty. The two were the children of Grace Kendall and Rev. Harry Baremore Angus, an ordained Presbyterian minister who died of influenza on 30 April 1919 at the young age of 35. Grace, who incidentally lived to be 100, and daughter Betty must have been terribly devastated by Samuel’s loss. And I’m sure it sent shock-waves through the extended family, especially given the fact that some of Samuel’s cousins were also still in service, in harm’s way.
Thank you, Samuel Kendall Angus, for your service and for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are remembered and deeply appreciated.
I found a mention of Kendall in a letter written by Lavinia Angus Marthaler (his grandfather’s sister) to my grandmother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead. The letter was dated 29 Dec 1943: …I received a “V” from Kendall this Monday, from Italy, written Dec. 1.
Photograph of grave marker is now on Find a Grave. Click here.
Well, time marches on and I don’t always remember to do updates on previous posts and my ‘brick walls,’ so I will take the time to do this today, at least with regards to ‘grave’ news—no not bad news, just cemetery news!
Sargent / Wills: I have located the final resting places of William Sargent and his first wife (my second great-grandmother Mary Wills Sargent) and his second wife (Mary Bowley Pitt). Their surname was Slaymaker until they changed it to Sargent when moving to the US after the Civil War. I was correct to think that they were in or around Hudson County, New Jersey—they are in what is known today as Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery. I have requested photos on Find a Grave, but that can take time. (For a past post on the family: click here)
Trewin: Also located (no thanks to me) was the grave location for William Clarence Trewin (my grandmother’s step-brother): Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill, Camden County, New Jersey. According to the descendants who discovered it, the grave is unmarked. (For a past post mentioning William Clarence, click here.)
De La Flechelle: I was delighted that a volunteer found the time to photograph the De La Flechelle graves in the churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church in Woodbridge, NJ. I spent a lot of time researching this family (past post is here), so it’s nice to see them all together and permanently memorialized on Find a Grave.
Still looking for:
- John Romeyn Brodhead and wife – final resting place – this is the son of Andrew Jackson Brodhead and Ophelia Easton (not the historian John Romeyn Brodhead) – graves are possibly in Buffalo, NY area.
- Final resting place of Juebb (Jacob) Lewis — husband of Margaret Wait Lewis; father of Sarah Augusta Lewis who married Moses Martin.
Some of you may recall my Job Angus “Letters from Texas” posts. There were four of them altogether. Well, my grandmother saved Job’s Elizabeth Daily Journal obituary, offering me a bit of biography—and a photo to boot. The obit was published on 3 April 1936. This Job Angus was my grandmother’s uncle. He was the cousin of Nettie Angus Moulden from my last post, and was named after Nettie’s dad, Job Angus—the one with the connection to Lincoln’s White House and Washington, DC, building projects.
I suppose the biggest surprise in the obit was the reference to the Mayflower. I’d NEVER heard that before. Needless to say I was excited but skeptical. However, it seems like the connection may well be valid as I found some handwritten notes left behind by other relatives who were also interested in establishing the exact links. So, I just need (in my spare time, ha ha) to find them. [If anyone out there has made this connection already, by all means please let me—and this blog’s readers—know.]
The connection is purported to be with Mary Allerton, one of the 106 Mayflower passengers. She was four at the time and traveling with her parents Isaac and Mary Allerton. Little Mary grew up to marry Thomas Cushman whose father Robert Cushman was one of the organizers of the Mayflower expedition.
I need to connect Mary and Thomas Cushman with the known Cushman in my family tree: Wealthy Cushman of Hartford, Connecticut, who married Isaac Jaques. Apparently Wealthy’s father’s name was Eleazer Cushman and her mother’s name was Mary. After Eleazer died (circa 1795), Mary remarried and had two more children.
I’m afraid that is all I know at this point, but thought I would pass it along.
This pretty entrance with its ornate, wrought-iron arch overhead greets visitors to Evergreen Cemetery in Jim Thorpe (formerly known as Mauch Chunk), Carbon Co., Pennsylvania. And what special gates they are. I am missing page 1 of the accompanying article, but if you read down you will come to discover that these distinctive pillars and gates were given to the cemetery in 1913 by the nine surviving Brodhead children to honor the memory of their parents, Andrew Jackson Brodhead & Ophelia Easton.
A plaque on the left pillar says ‘Brodhead Memorial Gateway, erected 1913.’ (For a close-up look at the plaque, you can view this Instagram image.) If page 1 of the article ever surfaces, I will include it here; unfortunately I don’t know what paper it appeared in—the two pieces I do have are very old and beginning to disintegrate.
Over the years, I’ve been trying to connect the dots on Find a Grave, linking relatives together. Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead, brother of my 2nd great-grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead, about whom I know very little, has long eluded me. But, I just discovered his and his wife’s graves on the Find a Grave site, and with the permission of ‘Nashvillerambler’, I am publishing the images here. The graves are located in Mountain Grove Cemetery & Mausoleum, Bridgeport, Fairfield Co., CT.
I’ve put in a request to have Abram linked to his parents Garret Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman Brodhead. Just goes to show what a wonderful gift Find a Grave can be when searching for one’s ancestors!
Abram and Cornelia married in 1863 when she was about 21 and he was 39. A daughter Jennie Seymour Brodhead was born later that year. Cornelia died the following year, and I believe Abram remained a bachelor for the rest of his days. Daughter Jennie married into the Linderman family, making her a direct descendant of Richard Brodhead (b. 1771) and Hannah Drake (b. 1769) along two Brodhead family lines.
These lovely elderly ladies are Louise E. Nixon and Jane ‘Jennie’ Bracken Nixon, nieces of my great-grandmother Sarah (Nixon) Boles of Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose parents—William Nixon and Rachel Miller—and numerous siblings moved to the United States in the late 1860s. The ladies were my grandfather William Boles‘s cousins.
A previous post on Sarah Nixon Boles mentioned the fact that most, if not all, of her family relocated to New York after the US Civil War. This Nixon family is presumably part of the Nixon family of Fermanagh*—about which much has been written (e.g., The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and Their Descendants by Henry B. Swanzy, published in 1908). However, I have yet to figure out the family’s location in the larger Nixon family tree.
William and Rachel Nixon were about 67 and 51, respectively when they arrived in America in 1869 (the year given me by the descendant of Benjamin, one of their sons). Joining them were supposedly all of their children (I’ve found 11, although my mother’s records list 14) except for my great-grandmother Sarah: Mark Nixon (b. cir. 1839/1845), Edward Nixon (b. cir 1845); Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Nixon (b. cir. 1849); Jane Nixon (b. 1851); Thomas Nixon (b. cir. 1852); Sarah Nixon (b. 1855); Rachel Nixon (b. cir 1865); Mary Nixon (b. cir 1858); Benjamin Nixon (b. cir 1862); Robert Nixon (b. 1863); Catherine Nixon (b. 1864); the last three (whom I have yet to find a trace of) were James, John, and William.
The passenger list inset for the ship Caledonia , which set sail from Moville on Lough Foyle at the northern tip of Northern Ireland to New York on 14 September 1868, shows the names of some Nixons–the names seem to fairly well coincide with some of the Nixon children’s names & ages. If these indeed are ‘our Nixons’, it would indicate that the older children may have come ahead of the parents and younger children.
While researching the family, I found William, Rachel and a number of the children in the 1870 US Federal Census, living in NYC Ward 18. William is listed as a ‘farmer’, an answer based certainly on his past occupation in Ireland. The children in the household were: Edward (30), Thomas (20), Eliza (22), Jane (18), Rachel (15), Mary (10), and ‘Bennett’ (10, this was probably ‘Benjamin’).
William Nixon died before the 1880 US Federal Census, as Rachel Nixon is listed in that census record as a widow ‘keeping house’ and living at 203 16th Street, NY, NY. and living with children Edward, Lizzie, Thomas, Rachel, Benjamin, Robert, Mary, and Kate, and several lodgers. The census record indicates that family members were involved in the dry goods business. Son Thomas (28 and now widowed) is listed as being a ‘dry goods buyer’ as is son Edward, age 35 and single. Benjamin (20) is listed as a ‘dry goods clerk’ as is Robert (18). (The 1900 Census indicates that Robert emigrated in 1879.)
Looking at old newspapers, I found the following mortuary notice in the New York Herald, dated 11 Aug 1871: At his [Gramercy] residence, 346 East 17th Street, on Thursday, August 10, William Nixon, aged 69 years. Funeral will take place on Saturday, August 12, at one o’clock PM from Seventeenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, between First and Second avenues. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.
Almost two decades later, I found a notice for a Rachel Nixon (New York Herald, 12 May 1890): On Saturday, May 10, 1890, Rachel Nixon, age 72 years. The relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services at her late [East Village] residence, No. 224 East 12th Street, on Monday evening, May 12, 1890 at eight o’clock. Interment in Green-wood.
A William Nixon (bur. August 1871, Find a Grave memorial #127997780) and a Rachel Nixon (bur. 5-13-1890; Find a Grave memorial #106845856) are buried in Green-wood Cemetery Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114. The grave is unmarked according to the Find a Grave photographer who kindly attempted to find the graves for me. I’m not yet certain that I have the correct Rachel and William, but hope to pin all this down at some point. Meanwhile I toss this info out there to my readers and future readers who may already have turned over these stones and arrived at some conclusions.
Son Edward Nixon and wife Anna (Bracken) Nixon, who emigrated from No. Ireland in 1883, had four children: Jane ‘Jennie’ (b. 1884), William (b. 1885), George (b. 1887), and Louise (b. 1889). The first two children were born in Manhattan. The second two were born in Bridgeport, CT. Edward died sometime between 1889 and 1900, as Anna is a widow as of the 1900 census. There is an Edward Nixon in the same plot at Green-wood Cemetery (Burial 1899-03-29, Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114; (Find a Grave #106846467), perhaps giving a bit more weight to the possibility that the Green-wood plot is indeed where our Nixon ancestors were laid to rest.
By the 1900 Census, Anna (Bracken) Nixon and her children (ages 16, 15, 13, 11), sister Mary J. Bracken, and a lodger are living at 160 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City Ward No. 8, Hudson Co., NJ, and it was there that the family remained for many years. Neither Jennie nor Louise ever married. Jennie devoted her life to working as a teacher in the Jersey City public school system, and Louise worked for many years as a stenographer and then executive secretary for the president or vice president of a company in NYC. Eventually the sisters joined forces with their brother William and his wife Marion to buy a large house at 680 Orchard Street in Oradell, NJ, where they spent happy years before moving into the Francis Asbury Manor Methodist rest home in Ocean Grove, NJ. Jane died in May of 1972, and Louise in October 1979.
Serendipitously it was during their years in Jersey City that Jennie and Louise befriended my grandmother Zillah Trewin who lived there with her parents William Trewin and Elizabeth (Sargent) Trewin. According to my mother, Zillah was great friends with the Nixon sisters, as well as their cousins (the children of Jane Nixon and Wm Elliott Roberts), and it was through that friendship that she ultimately met and married their cousin (my grandfather) William Boles who emigrated to the US in 1912 at the encouragement of his uncle Robert Nixon who sponsored him.
I remember Jennie and Louise well. They were very fun ladies—full of good humor and always had a twinkle in their eyes. I always enjoyed the times spent with them, and best remember our visits to their Ocean Grove apartment. As I recall, we would drive down to see them on Saturdays since the roads in Ocean Grove are closed to all traffic on Sundays. We always took them out to lunch, and I remember taking them down to some restaurant near the ocean in Spring Lake, a short drive to the south. They were two sweethearts and it was very sad to lose them. I would love to have them here now to have some family history chats with them. When I was a teenager that topic was far from my mind.
I’ll close this post with a couple of Louise’s recipes (‘Chocolate Flake Candy’ and ‘Date Balls’) I recently came upon while re-binding my mom’s old recipe notebook. I haven’t tried either of them yet as I am trying to shift a bit of weight. Such temptations would surely sabotage my results! But they will stay on my radar!
If you’ve made it this far in the post, I wish you a great day. If you have anything to add, share, correct, etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment!
Jennie and Louise’s Nixon Tree Branch
1-William Nixon b. Cir 1802, Ireland, d. Bef 2 Jun 1880; possibly 10 Aug
1871 +Rachael Millar b. Cir 1818, Ireland, d. Possibly 10 May 1890, Manhattan, New
York, New York
|—–2-Edward Nixon b. Cir 1845, Ireland, d. Betw 1889 and 1900
| +Anna Bracken b. Aug 1847, Northern Ireland, d. After 1930
| |—–3-Jane Bracken Nixon b. 15 Apr 1884, Manhattan, New York, New York,
| | d. May 1972, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ
| |—–3-William Thomas Nixon b. 24 Aug 1885, Manhattan, New York, New
| | York, d. Sep 1967, Suffolk, New York
| | +Marion Zoller
| |—–3-George Robert Bracken Nixon b. 12 Feb 1887, Bridgeport,
| | Connecticut
| | +May L. Swenarton b. Cir 1889, New Jersey
| | |—–4-George W. Nixon b. Cir 1914, New Jersey
| | |—–4-Frank L. Nixon b. Cir 1919
| |—–3-Louise E. Nixon b. 22 Jul 1889, Bridgeport, Connecticut, d. Oct
| | 1979, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ
I recently found in a box of old papers an ‘In Memoriam’ article about my great-grandmother Sarah Boles Nixon that appeared in September 1838 in the Irish Christian Advocate newspaper, an Irish Methodist publication in existence from 1883-1971. The clipping (right) is a wonderful testament to Sarah’s character and faith in God. She passed her faith on to her children, as many who knew them personally would attest. They were wonderfully kind and caring people.
(Note: Some of the below info has appeared in past posts.)
Sarah was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, on 26 May 1855 to William Nixon and Rachel Millar (perhaps, ‘Miller’). This is the Nixon family of Fermanagh*—about which much has been written (e.g., The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and Their Descendants by Henry B. Swanzy, published in 1908), however, I have yet to figure out Sarah’s exact location in this Nixon family tree.
Supposedly Sarah was one of 14 children. I’ve come across birth dates for 11 of the 14, and so far, age-wise, Sarah appears to have fallen somewhere in the middle of the pack.
According to our family records, on 26 July 1888, at the age of 33, Sarah married Edward Boles, a farmer—also 33, at the Drumkeeran Methodist Church, Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim. Edward was the oldest of the eight children of James Boles of Fingreagh Upper, Co. Leitrim, and wife Jane Payne. (See the Rootsweb page Boles of Leitrim for a partial family tree.)
Edward and Sarah lived in Clooneen, which is a rural area located about a half mile to the northeast of the small village of Drumkeeran. Between 1889 and 1896, Sarah gave birth to six children: Jane (“Jennie”) Kathleen, John James, William Robert, Edward (“Ben”) Benjamin, Beulah Sarah, and Mary (“May”) Elizabeth. Beulah (Ben’s twin) died in 1900 at age 6; May died of TB in her early 30s. John died in December 1935 in a car accident (a “huge blow” to the family, according to my mother). He was in his early forties.
As I’ve mentioned before, my grandfather William emigrated to the US in 1912. He was sponsored by Sarah’s brother Robert, a silk salesman, who had emigrated in 1879 and was living in Summit, NJ. That left just Jennie and Ben in Ireland. Both outlived their parents—in fact, Jennie lived to the age of 92.
On a visit to Ireland in July 1935, my mother got to meet Edward and Sarah for the first and only time. She was twelve and remembers walking with Edward through the fields around the Follistown house counting sheep and chatting with him, but having a hard time understanding him through his Irish accent. He was very tall and seemed a giant to her. Sarah she remembers as being super petite and ‘absolutely ancient-looking’ from a 12-year-old’s perspective. She also found Sarah hard to understand through her accent. (Sarah sent my mom a gold coin every Christmas; of course, my mom’s mother took them immediately for ‘safekeeping’ and then when WWII hit, they all disappeared to contribute to the war effort. Mom understood but was pretty unhappy about that!)
But, back to Edward & Sarah—eventually (early 1930s?), the family purchased land in Follistown, Navan, Co. Meath (about an hour’s drive to the northwest from Dublin); a house was built and sons John and Ben took charge of farming the land. The farm was left to Ben to run after John died.
Edward and Sarah spent their final years at the house in Follistown. Sarah died in September 1938 and Edward in October 1940.
They and son John were laid to rest in Kentstown Cemetery, Co. Meath. To go to the grave site photo, click here.
Now, on a side note, something I find very interesting is that Sarah’s parents and most, if not all of her siblings, emigrated to the United States, but Sarah chose to remain behind.
According to information I received earlier this year from a descendant of Sarah’s brother, Benjamin Nixon, the parents moved to NYC in 1869, when Sarah would have been about 14. I presume she would have stayed behind with relatives, but I have no idea with whom that could have been. I’ll have to try to find her in whatever records survived or weren’t affected by the Four Courts fire of 1922.
In recent months, I’ve learned a bit more about the Nixon family in the US, so more about them in a future post. As always, comments, additions, and corrections are welcome.
(*Fermanagh is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland.)
CLICK to ENLARGE the below images: