1st Presbyterian Woodbridge NJ

Monsieur Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle (cir. 1792 – 14 October 1847)

Birch-de la Flechelle marriage, New York Evening Express, published 28 December 1860 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Birch-de la Flechelle marriage, New York Evening Express, published 28 December 1860 (www.fultonhistory.com)

frenchAfter publishing my June 28 post, I discovered more about Monsieur Alphonse Pierre Marie de la Flechelle, the Frenchman whose daughter Elizabeth C. de la Flechelle married Isaac Jaques’ grandson, William Mabury Birch (son of Jane Jaques and John W. de la Fletcher Birch, a.k.a. John F. Birch), on Christmas day 1860. Quite a mouthful, I know, but I confess to being very intrigued by the de la Flechelle connection.

This “de la Flechelle / de la Fletcher” business is peculiar; it occurred to me that, perhaps, “de la Fletcher” was some kind of Americanized version of “de la Flechelle” and that, perhaps, John was named in honor of a “de la Flechelle.” Before checking dates, I’d hoped that maybe Alphonse’s stay in Dublin coincided with the portion of life that John’s dad (an Irishman) lived in Ireland, and that maybe the two were friends and admirers. After all, it was not uncommon for middle names to come from the surname of someone a family admired. But that is impossible, because John’s dad — George L. Birch — emigrated from Ireland to the US in 1798, when Alphonse was kindergarten-aged and living in France. I’d love to figure this out, but maybe it’s just one of those unsolvable things. (On a side note, I discovered that George L. and John F. Birch, and Jane Jaques Birch are buried in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.)

First Presbyterian Church and Cemetery [Woodbridge, NJ] Credit below

First Presbyterian Church and Cemetery [Woodbridge, NJ] Credit below

Alphonse and his wife Elizabeth Burton Fitzgerald, together with three young daughters, are buried in the churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church of Woodbridge, NJ. A book on the history of that church (History of the First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, New Jersey 300th Anniversary May 25, 1975 (published 1975) says that, when doing research for the book, the church investigated who this Frenchman was and discovered that he was the late deputy consul from the court of France to the US. He served as Chief Secretary of the French Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1814, and later in the same capacity in NYC (1825) and Boston (1839). They had no idea why he came to Woodbridge and speculate that he or his wife may have had relatives there.

Well, I’ve since discovered (and the church probably has, too) that Alphonse had a country estate in Woodbridge, and between, during, and after his various postings, he resided there.

According to church records, Alphonse passed away on 14 October 1847, in his 56th year. An obituary published on Wednesday, October 20, 1847, in the Spectator, a NY newspaper (see Genealogy Bank), revealed that Alphonse had been in ill health, and had retired to live full-time on his Woodbridge estate for the several years leading up to his death. The obituary mentions his post in Dublin and then his appointment to the post of deputy consul for New York City. No mention is made of any post in Boston.

The retreat of Napoleon from Russia, 3 November 1812, by Victor Adam - mid-19th century (Pennington Catalogue, p. 3005, McGill University Libraries (Public domain-Wikimedia)

The retreat of Napoleon from Russia, 3 November 1812, by Victor Adam – mid-19th century (Pennington Catalogue, p. 3005, McGill University Libraries (Public domain-Wikimedia)

Interestingly, Alphonse spent his early years in the French Army, serving under Napoleon in Spain during the 1808-1813 Peninsular War, and from there marched east to take part in Napoleon’s failed 1812 invasion of Russia. After Napoleon’s dethronement [11 April 1814], Alphonse was appointed to his post in Dublin.

From the History of the First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, New Jersey... book, we know Alphonse was in Dublin for a decade and started his NYC post in 1825 at the age of 32.  The start of the New York post coincided with his marriage to Elizabeth Burton Fitzgerald (b. England**), and it was shortly thereafter that children appeared. I don’t yet know where they met and married, but I suspect it was after Alphonse relocated to NYC.

Honoré Daumier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (more info below)

“La Vue” [of the Brooklyn Bridge, I presume], circa 1839, by Honoré Daumier; lithograph on wove paper; Brooklyn Museum of Art [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (more info below)

The New York City post lasted 14 years, and then supposedly he was posted to Boston in 1839.  The last four de la Flechelle children were born in New Jersey between 1840-1847-ish, so perhaps Elizabeth and the youngest of the children remained in Woodbridge while Alphonse was in Boston. Or maybe the Boston posting never actually took place due to illness or something else, as it is not mentioned in the obituary. A possibility for that “something else” occurred in 1838 and is mentioned further down this page.

Altogether 9 children (of whom I am aware) came from this union– eight girls and one boy. The oldest, Elizabeth and Zelma, died in early childhood, just a day apart in March 1834, and are buried in the Woodbridge churchyard– no doubt a crushing blow for the young family. The third child and fourth child, Alexandrine (b. Nov. 1829) and Alphonse Jr. (b. 1832), who were alive at the time of their older siblings’ passing, survived and lived to adulthood, married, had children, etc. A fifth daughter Louise died as an infant in March 1837 and is also buried in the Woodbridge church cemetery. Four more daughters followed from 1840-1847: Zulma, Elizabeth C. (eventually married Wm. M. Birch), E.A., and Mary E.

Brooklyn, NY, Daily Eagle, 21 Jun 1849 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Mrs. de la Flechelle giving piano lessons; Brooklyn, NY, Daily Eagle, 21 Jun 1849 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Once Alphonse passed away, his wife Elizabeth de la Flechelle was left to care for the brood herself; I found newspaper ads for a Mrs. de la Flechelle giving piano lessons in Brooklyn in the late 1840s; perhaps this was Elizabeth trying to earn some extra money for her young family. Tragically, she died just eight years after Alphonse — in January 1855 at  48 years of age.

Judging by the information contained within 1855 New York State Census records, the children still too young to be out on their own (Zulma Edmie (15), Elizabeth C. (12), E.A., (10)  and Mary E. (7)) went to live in Brooklyn’s 10th Ward with their older sister Alexandrine de la Flechelle Brunel, who herself was just 25 and had four small children (Mary E. (7); Alexandrine (5); Louisa I. (3), and Frederick Alphonse (3 mos.)) with her husband Frederick A. Brunel, a distiller. Frederick’s mother Mary Brunel, who was born in the West Indies and was 77 years old at the time, must have been ready to run for the hills! Thankfully there were two household servants on board — for this was indeed an “all-hands-on-deck” situation.

Tragedy followed just over a year later when Frederick died at 38, leaving Alexandrine (just 26) alone with all those children.  Zulma, the oldest of the sisters living with Alexandrine, who was probably her best helper, passed away two years later, at age 18.

New York Times, 27 Aug 1858 (www.fultonhistory.com); note: for a clearer image visit the NY Times online archives.

New York Times, 27 Aug 1858 (www.fultonhistory.com); note: for a clearer image visit the NY Times online archives.

Funeral Notice, New York  Times, 28 August 1858: FLECHELLE – In Brooklyn, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, ZULMA EDMIE, daughter of the late Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle in the 18th year of her age. The friends and family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral to-day (Friday) at 1 o’clock P.M. from the residence of her sister, Mrs. Brunel, No. 394 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn. Zulma was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Alexandrine Brunel remarried in 1869; her second husband was civil engineer Joseph Van Winkle (b. 1814, NY). In 1900, the pair were living in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY, and providing a home to her son Frederick Alphonse Brunel (farmer), his English-born wife Agnes, and their three young children: Robert, Laura, and Adolph F. Alexandrine died in August 1902 at about 62. A New York Times death notice, published 4 August 1902, read: VAN WINKLE: Aug. 4, at Hempstead, L.I.., Alexandrine, wife of Joseph Van Winkle and daughter of the late Alphons P.M. de la Flechelle.  She was also buried at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

NY Herald, published (Credit: www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Herald, published (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Her younger brother Alphonse E. W. de la Flechelle predeceased her by eight years, passing away in 1894 in Hempstead, Long Island, at the age of 58. A funeral notice was published in the New York Herald on the 21st of September of that year: DE LA FLECHELLE – At Hempstead, L. I., September 17, 1894, ALPHONSE DE LA FLECHELLE, son of the late A. P. M. de la Flechelle. French papers please copy.

Alphonse Jr. was born in 1832 and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. His card in the pension index reveals: “Gen. Serv. USA (1861), Unassd. 63 – NY Inf. (1864-65): Navy, Ship’s Corpl, Minn, N. C. Tacony, Brandywine (1863-1864), G [Company] 8 [8th Infantry] U.S. Inf. (1861-1863). ” His service extended beyond the end of the war. A record for August 1867 for Fort Columbus, New York Harbor (filed by Henry D. Wallen, Lt. Col. 14th Infantry, Brevet  Brigadier General) shows Alphonse E. W. de la Flechelle in a list of those who appear to be awaiting trial or awaiting charges. Next to his name: Rank – Pvte, Regiment – 8 Inf., Company – C, When received at the post – 14 Aug 1867, Remarks – awaiting charges.

Alphonse Jr. was thrice married, and it was his third wife Caroline who filed for a Civil War pension as a widow on 7 Sep 1895. The card reveals that Alphonse Jr. had an alias — George Stanley. I found that very bizarre and wonder what that was all about unless it was a way to escape his very obvious French first and last names.

His first marriage was to Georgiana Sheldon. An announcement appeared in the Long Island Star on 13 May 1857: In this city, on the 7th of May, by the Rev. John A. Paddock, rector of St. Peter’s (Episcopal) Church, Alphonse E.W. DE LA FLECHELLE, only son of A.P. M. DE LA FLECHELLE, deceased, to Georgiana SHELDON, youngest daughter of the late Job SHELDON. Interestingly that marriage ended in divorce, not very common back then, so I wonder what went wrong.

Queens County Court news, Queens County Sentinel, 1897 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Queens County Court news, Queens County Sentinel, 1897 (www.fultonhistory.com)

He remarried on 20 March 1872 to Mary Catherine Farmington, and is listed as “Divorced” in the marriage record. Third wife Caroline de la Flechelle was roughly 26 years younger than Alphonse Jr. She was still alive in 1920, living in Brooklyn as a lodger in the household of Mamie and Gerald Johnson, and working as a seamstress for private families.

I found an 1897  newspaper mention of a lawsuit against Caroline and other de la Flechelles (perhaps children of Alphonse Jr.). No idea what that was all about or who the plaintiff was.

There definitely was an Alphonse III, a son of Alphonse E. W. de la Flechelle, as I discovered a notice for drunkenness and cursing in a September 13, 1896, newspaper– two years after Alphonse Jr.s death.

Queens County Sentinel, 13 Sept 1896 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Queens County Sentinel, 13 Sept 1896 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Several years later, an Edward de la Flechelle was advertising in the New York Press in 1889 and 1890 for a housekeeper to help him care for his small daughter. Was this Alphonse III (if his initial E. stood for Edward, and he went by that name?) or a different son of Alphonse Jr.?

New York Press, 1889 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Press, 1889 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Press, 10 Nov 1890 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Press, 10 Nov 1890 (www.fultonhistory.com)

But, back to Monsieur Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle. I’d said that there was an incident in 1838, and I believe that incident may have initiated his transfer to Boston or sent him into an early retirement. News of this incident was published in newspapers as far away as Boston, Providence, Portsmouth, Baltimore, and St. Louis. On August 28, 1838, the New York newspaper, American for the Country, included the following, which will give you an idea of what the controversy was. It involved what appeared to be the illegally carried out arrest of two Frenchmen who had deserted a French ship called the Didon after carrying out acts of piracy. I found a number of articles on the topic through Genealogy Bank, but their copyright restrictions prohibit me from including them in full here. But this should give you an inkling of the matter:

American for the Country, 28 August 1838, 1st part of article (www.fultonhistory.com)

American for the Country, 28 August 1838, 1st part of article (www.fultonhistory.com)

American for the Country, 28 August 1838, part 2 (www.fultonhistory.com)

American for the Country, 28 August 1838, part 2 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Ultimately, a warrant was issued for Alphonse’s arrest. When first approached, he was standing out in a field of his Woodbridge estate. He refused to be taken on the grounds that a warrant was needed from NY state not NJ. So a requisition was then obtained from New York’s governor, but proved not to be needed as Alphonse turned himself in voluntarily and paid bail in the amount of $5,000.

New York - American for the Country, published 22 Sep 1838 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York – American for the Country, published 22 Sep 1838 (www.fultonhistory.com)

A rather humorous (to me anyway) description of the attempt to arrest “Monsieur de la Flechelle” in his Woodbridge estate field appeared in several newspapers (all on Genealogy Bank). For example, in the New York Commercial Advertiser of Saturday, September 22, 1838, Alphonse is described as refusing to go with the officers. He threatened to blow out the brains of the first man that laid hands on him, and remarked, La France got all Algiers for one slap in de face, and la France will get dis country for dis. From what I could glean from the remaining articles I read, the indictment against Alphonse was found to be valid by a Grand Jury, but I don’t know beyond that what the repercussions were for him or his superior. The last article I found was dated October 4, 1838, in the St. Louis Daily Commercial Bulletin (Genealogy Bank): The Grand Jury of New York, it is stated in the Express have found a true bill of indictment against Thomas Mitchell Dronet… in addition, a bill was also found against M. Alphonse de la Flechelle…

Not the last, because I subsequently (2 years later) came upon this article on the Fulton History site which also mentions the guilty verdict:

Evening Post (NY), 2 Sept 1838

Evening Post (NY), 2 Sept 1838

So maybe this incident thrust him into early retirement at the age of 46, or maybe it facilitated a relocation to Boston. I’m sure there is much more I could find out if determined to do so. But, I don’t want to stray too far from my tree. I’ll leave it for Alphonse’s living descendants to sort out his fascinating life and the lives of his many interesting descendants, something they have probably done already, and hope to read about it all sometime in the future! (For a family tree, visit my “Names A-E” page.)

UPDATE (2015): Find a Grave contributor “Gone Gravin'” has kindly photographed the graves of the family members buried at First Presbyterian Churchyard, Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ — Plot: 291. Here is the Find a Grave link.

**See 1930 Census record for “Alexandra Van Winkle”, stating her mother was born in England.

Presbyterian Church Photo Credit: By Perrycart (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cartoon: Honoré Daumier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Brooklyn Museum of Art

Categories: 1st Presbyterian Woodbridge NJ, Birch, Brooklyn, Civil War, de la Flechelle, de la Fletcher Birch, Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn NY, Jaques, Napoleon, New York 1855, New York City, Obituaries, Presbyterian, Spain - Peninsular War (1808-13), War of 1812 (Russia), Woodbridge | 2 Comments

Oldest Jaques daughter: Jane F. Birch of Brooklyn, NY

Image credit below

Image credit below

I glanced at all the material I still have to share about John B. Jaques, and decided I’m not up to it this week. Sorry to those of you who may be waiting for the next installment!  Instead, this week, I’d rather focus on another member of the Isaac Jaques’ family — John’s sister, Jane F. Jaques.

I’d discovered Jane quite by accident doing a bit of surfing on the Family Search website. I mentioned finding her in a post that dates back to May 21 of this year. In that post, I mentioned finding a marriage record for her (dated 27 December 1836) that mentions Isaac Jaques of Elizabeth, NJ, as being her father. I have since found a bit more information about her and the John F. Birch family she married into, and I’ll take this opportunity to share.

But first a disclaimer: there was a Jane Jaques born in Woodbridge, NJ, on 16 May 1814, to an Isaac Jaques (1778-1861) and Elizabeth Jones (22 December 1801). I’ve found no further information about that Jane nor do I have any information suggesting that that Isaac spent time in Elizabeth, so I feel pretty confident that these two Janes were separate individuals for several reasons: 1) the marriage record specifies Isaac Jaques of Elizabeth, 2) the marriage took place at the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, the church Isaac’s funeral was held in, so I am assuming this was the church the family attended, 3) census records indicating “my” Jane was born in New York, whereas the Woodbridge Jane was born in NJ. But I can’t be 100% sure without proof of the birth to Isaac and Wealthy Jaques. So I just wanted to get that “out there.”

With that said, on with this post! Provided “my” Jane was part of the Isaac and Wealthy Jaques family, she was likely the oldest child. A funeral notice for her, found while visiting the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives (made available by the Brooklyn Public Library), shows that she did not live long.  Sadly she died at the young age of 29 (which means she did not get to witness her younger brother’s John’s troubling antics). From the obituary, I’ve estimated that she was born in 1813/4, before her sister Wealthy Ann who appeared in 1815.

The funeral notice, which appeared on August 2, 1843, stated: In this city, Aug. 1st, Jane F., wife of John F. Birch, and daughter of Isaac Jaques, Esq., in the 30th year of her age.  The friends of her husband, and those of her father and father-in-law, George L. Birch, are respectfully invited to attend her funeral from her late residence, Smith st near Mill st, on Thursday morning at 10 o’clock.

Image credit below.

Image credit below.

John and Jane Birch had one son named William Mabury Birch (b. Brooklyn, September 1839) who is mentioned in his father John F. Birch’s obituary dated 14 Mar 1872 (also in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle): On Tuesday night, March 12, John F. Birch, in the 59th year of his age. The funeral will take place on Friday, March 15, at 2 1/2 o’clock P.M. from the residence of his son, Wm. Mabury Birch, 130 Gold Street. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend.

William’s 1900 & 1920 Census records state that his mom Jane was born in New York (the 1910 record says New Jersey). Isaac Jaques moved to Elizabeth, NJ, from New York between 1830 and 1840 (in 1830, the family is in Brooklyn Ward 4 on Smith Street; in 1840, they are in Elizabeth, NJ; Jane and Wealthy Ann were married in Elizabeth, NJ — 1836 & 1839, respectively) so it seems likelier that Jane was born in New York (as her other siblings were). More on William below.

As for John F. Birch’s father, George L. Birch, an interesting bio appears on him in the 1884 book (p. 1170), The Civil, Political, Professional and Ecclesiastical History, and Commercial and Industrial Record of the County of Kings and the City of Brooklyn, N. Y., from 1683 to 1884 (available as a free eBook – see my “Links” page):

George L. Birch, born in Limerick, Ireland, August 15, 1787; came to this country in 1798, with his parents, who settled first in Providence, R. I., then in Brooklyn. After completing his education, he was bound apprentice to Messrs, Arden & Close, shipping merchants of New York; afterwards became a bookkeeper for a large distiller, and then first clerk in the Columbian Insurance Company. At the dissolution of this company, he became the cashier and business manager of the National Advocate, a leading Democratic newspaper, edited by the late M. M. Noah, in partnership with whom he afterwards started a printing office. Shortly after, he became printer to the Common Council and to the Custom House, both of which positions he held until 1828. In 1819, he was an active member of the Kings County Agricultural and Domestic Manufacturing Society, and, on the 17th of March, 1821, he issued the first number of the Long Island Patriot, a weekly family newspaper. In October of the same year he joined the fire department, with which, as foreman of Engine No. 2, he was identified for a long period. On the 31st of December, 182., he received the appointment of Postmaster of Brooklyn, which office he occupied for four years, being succeeded by Thomas Kirk. In 1822, he established a monthly, the Minerva, in New York, and during this year, at his suggestion, a branch of the Columbian Order, or Tammany Society, was established in Brooklyn. He was a member the Mechanics’ and Tradesmen’s Society of Brooklyn, the Mechanics Society New York, and was also largely instrumental in the organization of the first Sunday-school in the village; the Erin Fraternal Association, the Apprentices’ Library, and various other valuable institutions, which have greatly contributed to the welfare of Brooklyn. In 1829, he received an appointment in the Custom House, and sold out the Patriot. In 1843, he became the custodian and librarian of the U.S. Naval Lyceum, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which position he retained until his death, which occurred on the 27th of July, 1864. In all his relations of life, he was respected and beloved.

On p. 1170, I found the below blurb about George L. Birch’s newspaper activities. And page 1171 had a brief mention of John F. Birch, who also dabbled briefly in the newspaper business after Jane’s death, founding the short-lived Brooklyn Morning Post on October 25, 1844.

page 1170 re: George L. Birch

page 1170 re: George L. Birch

Page 1071 re: John F. Birch

Page 1071 re: John F. Birch

So Jane, who was from a very well respected family, obviously married into one that was equally impressive in the contributions it was making to society.

From 1870 census records, I learned that John F. Birch went on to remarry — an English woman named Francis. They had a son — George L. Birch who was born in NY circa 1856 and would have been roughly 16 years of age when his father died in 1872.

As for John and Jane’s son William Mabury Birch, he was born in Brooklyn in September 1839 and would have been about 33 when his father died, just 4 when his mother died. William lived a good long life. I’m not sure when he died, but I found him in census records as late as 1925 (NY State Census) so he lived to be at least 85.

William married Elizabeth C. de la Flechelle circa 1864. Elizabeth’s father was Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle who came from France with Elizabeth’s mother. Elizabeth herself was born in NJ in May 1845. She died on July 13, 1900. A funeral notice appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on July 15, 1900: At Woodhaven, L.I., on July 13, ELIZABETH C., beloved wife of William M. Birch and daughter of the late Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle. Funeral services to be held Sunday, July 15, 2 P.M. at the Church of the Epiphany, Belmont and McCormick avs. Ozone Park, L. I. Relatives and friends invited.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 July 1900 (www.fulton.com)

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 July 1900 (www.fulton.com)

William and Elizabeth had 5 children in all and 4 of them were still alive at the time of the 1900 census taken in June, shortly before Elizabeth died. I don’t have all the details about the five children, mostly just their approximate birth dates: Marion N. (cir. 1862); Maybury W. (cir. 1864); Zulma (1867; have also seen her name listed as Zuluna, Julia, Zulima, Zulina– she married a John Eckert and had a son named Harry); Florence (b. cir. 1867/8); and Alphonse (b. cir 1870). Alphonse appears in the 1870 census. A “John” of the same age appears in the 1875 NY Census–so perhaps John and Alphonse were one in the same.

On a final note, I am wondering how the Birch family with its Irish roots may be related to the de la Flechelle family of France. The marriage record for Jane and John Birch’s 1836 wedding lists his name as “J. D. La Fletcher Birch”. A newspaper clipping I found lists him as “John W. De La Fletcher Birch.” There appears to be some similarity between “De La Fletcher” and “de la Flechelle” — perhaps these families were somehow related. Otherwise it would seem too much of a coincidence.

Update: Regarding Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle, I’ve since learned that he and his wife Elizabeth Burton Fitzgerald de la Flechelle (m. Sept 1825), together with three young daughters, are buried in the churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church of Woodbridge, NJ.  A book on the history of that church (History of the First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, New Jersey 300th Anniversary May 25, 1975 (published 1975) says that they investigated who this Frenchman was and discovered that he was the late deputy consul from the court of France to the US. He served as Chief Secretary of the French Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1814, and later in the same capacity in NY (1825) and Boston (1837). They have no idea why he came to Woodbridge and speculate that he or his wife may have had relatives there.  Their children that I know of were: Elizabeth Edmire (d. 20 Mar 1834, Woodbridge, age 7 1/2), Zelma Catherine (d. 19 Mar 1834, Woodbridge, age 6 1/2), Louise M. (d. 14 Mar 1837, Woodbridge, age 3 weeks), Elizabeth C. (b. 1845, m. Wm Mabury Birch), Alphonse E. W. (m. Georgiana Sheldon 13 May 1857), and Alexandrine (d. 4 Apr 1902, Hempstead, LI, m. Joseph Van Winkle). Page 80 of the above book (click link for online reading options) shows a photograph of some de la Flechelle graves in the churchyard cemetery. UPDATE 7/5/13: See latest post for more on the de la Flechelles.

That’s all for today! Have a great weekend!

IMAGE CREDIT: Both from The Civil, Political, Professional and Ecclesiastical History, and Commercial and Industrial Record of the County of Kings and the City of Brooklyn, N. Y., from 1683 to 1884

Categories: 1st Presbyterian Woodbridge NJ, Birch, Brooklyn, de la Flechelle, de la Fletcher Birch, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn NY, Jaques, New York City, Obituaries, US Federal 1870 | 4 Comments

Samuel B. Jaques (d. 1798/9) of Woodbridge, New Jersey

kapowWhen poking around various websites (Ancestry, Family Search, Rootsweb, etc.) for more information about Samuel B. Jaques, Isaac Jaques‘ father, I was bombarded with all sorts of conflicting, head-spinning information.  You really have to be careful sifting through all the information that’s ‘out there’ because some trees have been very hastily assembled. I found one tree that had three wives attached to the one husband and date-wise, it was obvious that two of the wives belonged elsewhere: one would have been 6 at the time of her ‘marriage’ and the other one would have been dead! But, anyway, most of you have probably seen similar discrepancies. People make mistakes; I know I make mistakes, and sometimes I don’t spot them until much later. The moral of the story is, of course, don’t assume anything and look for folks who have done bona fide research and provide sources. Always check and double-check yourself, when you can. Not easy I know — few of us have time to travel to different states and countries to look at original documents, etc. I know I don’t, much as I would absolutely love being able to do just that. As an aside — and this is something that never crossed my mind before — I read that some people actually manipulate their trees so they connect themselves to famous historical figures — Presidents, the Pilgrims, you name it. I was shocked — so yes, you do have to be very careful.

At any rate, at times this Samuel B. Jaques search had me feeling I was up against the ropes with all jabs heading in one direction — toward me. “Kapow!” from the old Batman series came to mind quite a bit. When I finally got my bearings, I was left with quite a different scenario from the one I’d expected. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

Prior to this new search, I’d always thought that Samuel was the son of Henry Jaques IV (1700-9 Jan. 1751; ‘Henry the Mariner’) and Rebecca Rolph*, daughter of Benjamin Rolfe of Woodbridge, NJ. Other children of the Jaques-Rolph union were Ruth Jaques Hubbell, Henry Jaques V, Colonel Moses Jaques (brickmaker who worked with Samuel B. Jaques), and David Jaques (merchant). While I’d read in Angus family genealogy papers that Henry had had a first wife (name not supplied), I assumed the children were all products of the second marriage to Rebecca.

But, as is often the case when researching one’s ‘roots’, some surprises emerge. Henry the Mariner indeed had a first wife — Hannah Walker  who died on 9 May 1733 (aged ’23 years and 2 months’) — and evidence suggests that Hannah was Samuel B. Jaques’ mother. The remaining children were all a product of the second marriage. The marriage between Henry and Hannah took place circa 1730 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and Samuel presumably appeared shortly thereafter.

Helpful in figuring this out was a ‘Pedigree Resource File’ located at the Family Search site; the file’s owner quotes copious sources that include wills, cemetery and church records, and other documents, many of which he/she saw firsthand. According to his/her research, Henry and Hannah are both buried in the First Presbyterian Church’s (Woodbridge, NJ) graveyard. I also found corroborating information regarding Hannah and Samuel that came from Jaques Family Genealogy by Roger Jaques and Patricia Jaques (Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing Company, 1995).

Some Pedigree File info didn’t add up for me such as the date of the Rolph marriage being in 1743/4. I presume that may be a typo since that would have meant three of the other four children were born out of wedlock. 1733/34 would fit much better as Ruth Jaques appeared about 1735.

I am hoping to get my hands on the Jaques Family Genealogy book soon to see whether it contains information about Samuel B. Jaques’ and Mary Coddington’s descendants. At the moment, I am only aware of three children: Lewis, Isaac, and a female who was a year younger than Isaac and married to someone with the surname Quinn. By the way, Samuel’s middle initial “B.” according to Angus family records, stands for “Barron”. I am curious as to where that name came from.

One other extremely curious thing about Samuel is that — if the dates I have are correct–his firstborn arrived when he was 53, and Isaac (my ancestor) arrived when he was 62. You may recall that the ‘In Memoriam article’ about Isaac said that his father (Samuel) died when he (Isaac) was ‘about seven’, which would be around 1798/9. So other than brick-making, what had Samuel been doing during all those years of bachelorhood? Or had he been married before? The saga never ends!

Samuel Barron Jaques
Born: 1730, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ
Married: Mary Coddington
Died: 1798/9, Gravel Hill, near Rahway, NJ
Buried: Locust Grove Cemetery, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ
Commanded a Rahway company during the Revolutionary War; employed in the brick-making business and built one of the first large brick houses on Whitehall Street, NYC.

Jaques Family Links
Jaques Register Report
Family Search – Jaques family pedigree

*Middlesex Co., New Jersey Will #2485-2488: 2nd wife was ‘Rebecca Rolph Alston’ so she had been married previously.

6/27/13 UPDATE: I have since acquired a copy of Jaques Family Genealogy which sheds more light on Samuel’s family. I’ll try to do an updated post soon.

Categories: 1st Presbyterian Woodbridge NJ, Jaques, Locust Grove Woodbridge NJ, Walker, Woodbridge | 2 Comments

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