Death Certificates

Margaret Ann Wait Lewis cause of death

Margaret Wait Lewis (b. Perth Amboy, NJ, March 7, 1817) is a 3rd great grandmother to me. She was the wife of Juebb (Jacob) Lewis and the oldest of three daughters of John Oliver Wait and Elizabeth Crow.

Margaret died in Perth Amboy on March 26, 1851, at just 34 years of age. I’d long wondered what took her, and so I sent off for her death certificate. It came in the mail today. Cause of death: consumption (a.k.a. pulmonary tuberculosis – an infectious bacterial disease of the lungs). Note: I’d always had her date of death listed as 26 March; the certificate says 25 March, but the entry in the Wait family Bible corroborates the 26th as being the date.

She is listed as “married” so her husband Juebb appears to have survived her—that’s the first morsel I’ve discovered about him. Anyone with more information, please get in touch.

Categories: Crow, Death, Death Certificates, Lewis, Wait | 3 Comments

John B. Jaques – Part IV – The Final Years

When we left off with the story of John B. Jaques (see Part III), it was 1870 and he was living in Newark with his wife Mary and sons Walter and John (Civil War veteran, former drummer boy highlighted in a recent post). John Sr. was still estranged from his father at this point, and had yet to seek help with his rehabilitation from a serious addiction to alcohol that had driven him to a life of petty crime and at least one stint in state prison.

In March of 1872, John was arrested for stealing some coats, as reported in the New York Tribune on the 28th of that month. Somewhere between then and his 1879 reunion with his father (documented in the past post, Wayward Jaques son returns home), he sought and found help to get sober and straighten out his life. He was in his late 50s by then.

New York Herald, 28 Mar 1872 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 28 Mar 1872 (www.fultonhistory.com)

After I read in the Oswego paper about the father-son reunion, my first thought was about whether John Jr. managed from then on to live in a permanent state of sobriety. His father died the following year; with dad gone, did John Jr. have the will and courage to continue coping with the numerous temptations that would naturally have come his way in normal, everyday life?

1880 Census Record, 12 Jun 1880

1880 Census Record, 12 Jun 1880

On 12 Jun 1880 (two months before his father Isaac’s death), John and Mary were living together alone on Court Street in Newark; the children were out of the nest, settled down, and married, and having children of their own. John reported his profession as “Tailor” but had experienced some unemployment that year as evidenced by the tick in box 14 of the record. At some point in the next six-plus years, Mary passed away (or divorced him, but I think the former is more likely). I found a marriage record showing John’s remarriage to someone named Margaret A. Wambeld, a lady some 26 years younger than he. The marriage took place in Newark on 14 September 1886. Did she help keep John on the straight and narrow, or did she serve as an enabler of his bad habits? (Or, was she into all those bad habits herself?)

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

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

One answer to that question came from a New York Times article published on 3 September 1892, about an Elizabeth, NJ, robbery of the Walter P. Angus home at 25 Reid Street, and I thank blog reader Mary Keenan for pointing the article out to me. John’s first name is never given, but it is crystal clear from the contents that it was he who perpetrated the crime. Walter P. Angus was one of John’s nephews, a child of John’s late sister Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus. This was the home Wealthy lived in until she died some six months earlier, so with “big sis” permanently out of the picture, little brother with the alcohol problem seized a moment when the family was on holiday in Ocean Grove (NJ) and Walter was at work in NYC to break in and rummage through the household. John walked off with roughly $200 worth of clothing and jewelry. The police were called and after a bit of discussion and investigation, it was determined that an old man named Jacques, a relative of the Angus family, who had been boarding in this city perpetrated the crime. The article went on to mention that John was wanted for a charge of forgery, having paid his latest board bill with a forged and worthless check. The search for John had thus far proven to be fruitless: They have been unable to find any trace of him, and he is supposed to have left the city. Jacques’s father many years ago was one of the largest real estate owners in the central part of the city, and one of the streets there is called after him. Jacques is supposed to be somewhere in New-York City.

So, no, sadly it appears that John fell off the wagon at some point and was engaging in the classic activities of an addict– either drinking or looking for a way to finance his next drink.

Newark Alms House on the Elizabeth/Newark line.

Newark Alms House on the Elizabeth/Newark line.

St. Michael's Hospital, 1900

St. Michael’s Hospital, 1900

Final confirmation of John’s sad demise came in the form of his death record, which I received in the mail some two months ago:  John died of stomach cancer on 19 Dec 1895, at the age of 73 (it’s rather amazing he lived that long, given his lifestyle). The death occurred at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark, and prior to that, John had been living at the Newark Alms House (aka the poor house). According to the website The Poor House Story, Poorhouses were tax-supported residential institutions to which people were required to go if they could not support themselves. They were started as a method of providing a less expensive (to the taxpayers) alternative to what we would now days call “welfare” – what was called “outdoor relief” in those days. Evidently, Newark’s first alms house was a godforsaken place where the down-and-out and society’s deviants were dumped. The Old Newark website provides a description (click here). A glimpse of the situation for one poor soul who met his maker there in 1867 was described in this NY times article. Whether a new alms house was in existence by the mid-1890s, I don’t know. The census of 1880 gives an idea of the types of people who ended up here (visit the Newark Research website). Margaret may well have been residing there with John. I found a death record for a ‘Margaret Jaques’ for 31 December 1896 (just over a year after John’s death), and this may have been her; had she been an alcoholic, too, a death at 50 would have come as no surprise.

John B. Jaques was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ. If he was buried in his father’s plot, he is in an unmarked grave as no marker appears for him in that vicinity.

That is the extent of what I know about John B. Jaques Jr. He has numerous descendants “out there,” and I have managed to track down a few lines into the early part of last century. It still amazes me to think that John’s existence had been hidden from us until quite recently, and it took the Fulton History newspaper archives website to reveal him to me. I can now attest to the veracity of that site’s tagline: Finding the Angels & the Devils in the Family Tree since 2003!

1-John Barron Jaques b. Mar 1822, New York or New Jersey, USA, d. 19 Dec 
  1895, St. Michael's Hospital, Newark, Essex Co., NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, 
  Hillside, Union, NJ
 +Mary F. Briggs b. Cir 1827, New Jersey, d. Bef 1886
|----2-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. Cir 1845, Pennsylvania, United States, d. Bef 8 
|      Mar 1918
|     +John Seaman b. Cir 1842
|    |----3-Mary Seaman 
|----2-Mary Jaques b. 1847, New Jersey
|----2-John B. Jaques Jr. b. 15 Oct 1848, Elizabeth, Twp, Essex Co., New 
|      Jersey, d. 13 Jun 1911, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
|     +Katherine Griffith b. Nov 1849, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |----3-Mary F. B. Jaques b. Sep 1871, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |     +Horace E. Apperson b. 1869, New Jersey, d. After 1930
|    |    |----4-Charlotte Apperson b. Jun 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |    |----4-Apperson b. 6 Jun 1894, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
|    |----3-Isaac Jaques b. Jan 1872, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |     +Ida E. b. Jun 1875, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |    |----4-William C. Jaques b. Mar 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |    |----4-Russell Jaques b. 13 Jul 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |          +Edna b. Est 1899, New York
|    |         |----5-Joseph R. Jaques b. 13 May 1916, New York
|    |----3-William S. Jaques b. Aug 1874, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |     +Ann 
|    |----3-Ida Jaques b. Cir 1877, New Jersey, d. Bef 1900
|----2-Margaretta Jaques b. 10 Jul 1851, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
|     +Sylvanus Stansbury b. 1854, New Jersey
|    |----3-Ella May Stansbury b. 1880
|----2-Walter M. S. Jaques b. 4 Nov 1853, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
      +Anna Corigan b. Cir 1856, New Jersey, d. Bef 1900
     |----3-Jaques b. 7 Apr 1876, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
     |----3-Lillie B. Jaques b. Cir 1878, New Jersey, d. After 1900
     |----3-Josephine Jaques b. Jan 1880, Rhode Island
     |----3-Catherine Jaques b. 4 Sep 1885, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
 +Margaret A. Wambeld b. cir. 1848, d. Poss 31 December 1896
Categories: Angus, Crime & Punishment, Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Jaques, Newark, Essex Co., Scandal, US Federal 1880 | Leave a comment

John B. Jaques – Part I – The Early Years

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, oil on canvas, by Frans Francken II, 1860 (Wikimedia Commons - Public domain in US - expired copyright)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, oil on canvas, by Frans Francken II, 1860 (Wikimedia Commons – Public domain in US – expired copyright)

Was John B. Jaques, who arrived at his father Isaac’s door in 1879 looking for forgiveness, to be trusted in his recently adopted quest to make things right? I must admit that I felt cynical; the Oswego newspaper article makes it quite clear that John had been leaving a trail of misery behind him for the previous 30 years.  I could not help but wonder who else had been affected by his behavior, and whether, aware of his father’s advanced years, he wasn’t simply trying to pull a fast one, to get his frail old father to include him in a share of his estate, which I imagine must have been quite substantial.

But, I always try to be one to keep an open mind and give people the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps, this really was the turning of a page. And, I was very intrigued as to who this John Jaques was and what else I could find out about him.

From his death record, I discovered that John was born in 1822 in New York, so he was 57 when he was reunited with Isaac. John’s year of birth probably places him in the middle of the pack of the Isaac Jaques and Wealthy Ann Cushman family:

1-Isaac Jaques b. 8 Aug 1791, Woodbridge Neck, NJ, d. 24 Aug 1880, 
  Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. 27 Aug 1880, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ
 +Wealthy Ann Cushman b. 11 Nov 1793, Hartford, CT, d. 11 Apr 1856, Elizabeth, 
  Union Co, NJ, bur. 13 Apr 1856, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ
|----2-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, d. 7 Mar 
|      1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. First 
|      Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|----2-Jane F. Jaques b. cir. 1818
|----2-Isaac Jaques
|----2-John B. Jaques b. Mar 1822, New York or New Jersey, USA
|----2-Walter Jaques b. Cir 1826, New York City, New York USA
|----2-Christopher P. Jaques b. Cir 1832, New York City, New York USA
|----2-Dr. Charles P. Jaques b. Cir 1834, New York City, New York USA, d. 2 Nov 
|      1866, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY
 +Rebecca Robinson b. 1804, CT, d. 29 Dec 1886, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, 
  Hillside, Union Co., NJ

I also learned that John was a family man; his wife’s name was Mary F. Briggs (b. cir. 1827 in NJ), and they had five children, born between circa 1845 and 1853:

  • Wealthy Ann (there’s that name again!)
  • Mary
  • John B. Jr.
  • Margaretta
  • Walter

Curiously, in the 1850 census (taken on 16 September 1850), John was in Richmond Co., Georgia. Yes, I know. Georgia. How did he end up there? His age is listed as ’30’, occupation — ‘Tailor,’ and birth place — ‘NY’. He is listed among a large number of other seemingly mostly single individuals of various occupations — teacher, clerk, mechanic, book keeper, stable hand, etc. To be sure that was him, I looked to see where his wife was that year. I found her and the children that had been born prior to that living in Elizabeth, NJ, (down the street from Isaac and Wealthy Jaques and family) with what appears to be Margaretta’s family (John’s sister):

  • Charles B Archer, 33, Cabinetmaker, b. New York
  • Margaretta Archer, 26, b. New Jersey
  • Margaret Carlton, 61, b. New York
  • Mary Jaques, 23, b. New Jersey
  • Wealthy A. Jaques, 5, b. Pennsylvania
  • Mary J. Jaques, 3, b. New Jersey
  • John Jaques, 1, b, New Jersey

So, why Georgia? And what was going on in Richmond Co. at that time that may have taken John Jaques there?

According to Rootsweb: In 1850, Richmond  County produced 1087 bales of cotton; 297,780 bushels of corn; 27,458 of oats, and 51,045 of sweet potatoes. There were 2 woolen factories, 1 cotton mill, 2 foundries, 1 car factory, 3 saddle manufactories, 1 machine shop, 3 flour mills, and 19 saw mills. It contained 14 churches, 10 newspaper offices; 720 pupils attending public schools, and 415 attending academies or other schools.

I assumed that being a tailor, he was somehow attached to the woolen factories or the cotton mill. Apparently the mill industry gained great momentum in the first half of the 19th century in Georgia, and by 1850, the industry had really taken off. According to the Georgia EncyclopediaSensing the emergence of a profitable enterprise for their state, political leaders passed legislation making it easier for potential mill operators to incorporate their businesses. The industry began to flourish, and by 1850 Georgia had thirty-eight textile mills. The cloth produced in the mills evolved from the early coarse fabrics, sometimes called “Georgia wool,” to cotton duck, a heavier canvas-like material. Most of the regional mills in operation at this time were small, with fewer than 2,000 spindles and 100 workers. Often these mills were situated next to the local gristmills, flour mills, and sawmills. 

In Georgia’s emerging cities, however, factories tended to be larger. One example was Eagle Manufacturing Company in Columbus, opened in 1851 by William H. Young, a native New Yorker. The growth of the textile industry in Georgia, along with the population increase and expansion of railroads in the state, prompted William “Parson” Brownlow, the editor of a Tennessee newspaper, to call Georgia “the New England of the South” in 1849.

As the 1850s progressed, Georgia mill owners focused on improving rather than expanding their factories. Employees, by then strictly composed of rural whites from areas surrounding the mills, were developing into a skilled workforce. Some owners in the state encouraged seasoned northern mill workers to relocate to Georgia factories, where they could pass along their experience to local workers; some experienced mill workers came from as far away as England.

Perhaps, John was one of those seasoned northern workers who was paid to come down to Georgia to pass on his experience. Given his father was a tailor, John grew up in the trade and no doubt had acquired a great deal of skill by this time.  How long he spent there, I don’t know, but I do know that he was back in New Jersey several years later, as I found the first trace of trouble — a little article in the ‘Police’ section of the Newark Daily Advertiser on 9 August 1853:  John B. Jaques arrested yesterday by Marshal Francisco for obtaining goods under false pretenses, by representing himself as a partner of Holmes, the clothing merchant, was committed to Justice Plume.

Whether this marked the beginning of John’s run-ins with the law, I don’t know,  nor could I find a follow-up article to see what the outcome of this incident was.  Isaac and Wealthy would have been in their late 50s when this took place.  You can imagine what their reaction must have been, not to mention the reaction of John’s poor young wife.

The 1850s held more tumult for John and those in his sphere.

Part II to follow.

Categories: Crime & Punishment, Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Georgia, Jaques, Richmond Co., US Federal 1850 | 2 Comments

Daniel Brodhead Jr.’s daughter, Ellen

Mt. Vernon Cemetery (image in public domain - Wikimedia Commons)

Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (in public domain – Wikimedia Commons)

Ellen Brodhead was “Christian” & Daniel Brodhead Jr.‘s first child. Born in Pennsylvania in 1802, she died in Philadelphia on 17 August 1881 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 79. She was buried two days later in Mt. Vernon Cemetery. At the time of her death, she had been living at 4658 Main Street in Germantown, Philadelphia.

Ellen married Michael Stroup circa 1822; their two children that I know of are listed below. :

  • Amanda Kline Stroup (b. cir. 1823) – married Christian Donat (b. 1822; d. bef. 1870) and had at least one child, a daughter named Mary (1846-1895) who went on to marry Charles D. Matlack (1843-1905).  Amanda died on 1 November 1895 and was buried in St. Thomas Episcopal Church Cemetery, Whitemarsh, Montgomery Co., PA. Daughter Mary and Charles Matlack are buried there as well. (Whitemarsh is a suburb of Philadelphia.)
  • Ellen Stroup (b. 1826) – married **Thomas Jefferson Woolf on 25 Sep 1845; they had one child — Margaret Ewing Woolf (b. 1847) who married a Mr. Hatch.  Ellen Stroup Woolf was buried in Monument Cemetery, Philadelphia. Her husband Thomas went on to marry one of Ellen’s cousins, **Julia Brodhead Cobb (daughter of Mira Brodhead and William Cobb), on 9 March 1857. Thomas and Julia are buried in Mt. Vernon Cemetery. A son named Clifford (b. 1859), who died of pulmonary consumption at age 16, is also buried at Mt. Vernon.

Michael Stroup likely passed away prior to 1850 since, according to census records, that year Ellen was living with her daughter Amanda Donat & family in Spring Garden, Ward 3, Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Ellen’s marital status is not given.

Christian Donat M 28 Pennsylvania
Amanda Donat F 26 Pennsylvania
Mary Donat F 4 Pennsylvania
Joseph Mahenacke M 24 Pennsylvania
William La Mintzer M 32 Pennsylvania
Ellen Stroup F 46 Pennsylvania

The 1860 and 1870 census records* show an Ellen Stroup (of the right age) living in Hoboken, Weehawken Co., NJ, and working as a housekeeper in the two households. I don’t know why Ellen would have left Phila. for a housekeeping job in Hoboken.

View looking down the Schuylkill River from Laurel Hill cemetery near Philadelphia, Pa, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (in public domain - Wikimedia Commons)

View looking down the Schuylkill River from Laurel Hill cemetery near Philadelphia, Pa, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (in public domain – Wikimedia Commons)

In 1880, at age 76,  she was back in Philadelphia, living on Germantown Avenue with the Joseph Budd family, according to US Census records found on Ancestry.com. At this point she is listed as a widow. Her relationship to the Budds is not given. Joseph Budd was listed as a bookkeeper and Ellen Budd as keeping house.

Self Joseph Budd M 60 Pennsylvania, United States
Wife Ellen Budd F 56 Pennsylvania, United States
Daughter Julia Budd F 28 Pennsylvania, United States
Son Charles Budd M 25 Pennsylvania, United States
Other Ellen Stroup F 76 Pennsylvania, United States

Since 1st daughter Ellen Stroup Woolf died in 1852, this Ellen Budd could not have been Ellen Brodhead Stroup’s daughter as I have seen claimed in message boards on the topic. But Ellen Budd must have been someone important to Ellen Stroup since Ellen Budd is listed as a beneficiary in Ellen Stroup’s will* dated 20 March 1873 and proved on 6 September 1881 in Philadelphia.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, stereoscopic views (in public domain - Wikimedia Commons)

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (in public domain – Wikimedia Commons)

Interestingly, Ellen B. Budd and Joseph Budd are buried next to Ellen Brodhead Stroup’s sister Juliana Brodhead Mintzer and Juliana’s husband Adam in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, which is just across the road from Mt. Vernon Cemetery, resting place for Ellen Brodhead Stroup and her niece Julia Cobb Woolf & husband Thomas J. Woolf.

So who was Ellen Budd? That’s the question. If you know or have a theory, please share!

More on other Daniel Brodhead Jr. offspring in an upcoming post.

1-Capt Daniel Brodhead Jr b. 1756, d. 2 Feb 1831, Philadelphia, PA
 +Christian Abel b. Poss. 1783, d. Prob. bef. 1820
|----2-Ellen Brodhead b. Cir 1802, Pennsylvania, United States, d. 17 Aug 1881, 
|      Philadelphia, PA, bur. 19 Aug 1881, Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, 
|      Philadelphia Co., PA
|     +Michael Stroup d. Bef 1850
|    |----3-Amanda Kline Stroup b. Cir 1823, Philadelphia, PA, d. 1 Nov 1895, 
|    |      Pennsylvania, United States, bur. St. Thomas Episcopal Church 
|    |      Cemetery, Whitemarsh, Montgomery Co., PA
|    |     +Christian Donat b. 1822, d. Bef 1870
|    |    |----4-Mary Donat b. 1846, Pennsylvania, United States, d. 15 Mar 
|    |    |      1895, Pennsylvania, United States, bur. St. Thomas Episcopal 
|    |    |      Church Cemetery, Whitemarsh, Montgomery Co., PA
|    |          +Charles D. Matlack b. 23 May 1843, d. 16 Feb 1905, bur. St. 
|    |           Thomas Episcopal Church Cem., Whitemarsh, Montgomery Co., PA 
|    |         |----5-Elwood Matlack b. Cir 1866
|    |----3-Ellen Stroup b. 23 Feb 1826, Pennsylvania, United States, d. 27 Nov 
|    |      1852, Philadelphia, PA, bur. Monument Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
|          +Thomas Jefferson Woolf b. 28 Apr 1823, Philadelphia, PA, c. 8 Mar 
|           1850, St. Jude's Church, Philadelphia, PA, d. 15 Feb 1904, 
|           Philadelphia, PA, bur. 18 Feb 1904, Mt. Vernon Cemetery, 
|           Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., PA
|         |----4-Margaret Ewing Woolf b. 1847
|               +Hatch

Source:

*Research done by Diana Gail Matthieson and posted on Diana, Goddess of the Hunt — for Ancestors!
**Harper-Banta Tree on Ancestry.com – shows original marriage records for the two Thomas Woolf marriages.
Ellen Stroup on Find a Grave

Categories: Brodhead, Death Certificates, Donat, Last Wills and Testaments, Laurel Hill Cemetery Phila PA, Mintzer, Monument Cemetery Phila PA, Mt. Vernon Cemetery Phila PA, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, St. Thos Episc Church Cem Whitemarsh PA, Stroup, US Federal 1850, US Federal 1860, US Federal 1870, US Federal 1880, Woolf | Leave a comment

Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques (d. 13 Apr. 1856)

The small notice in the New York Times published on April 15, 1856, stated:  At Elizabeth, NJ, on Sunday morning [Apr 13], wife of Isaac Jaques, in the 62d year of her age. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, this (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock, from her late residence. Apart from the fact that Wealthy Ann (Cushman) Jaques was born in Hartford, Connecticut, I know little else about her. I’ve no idea where she got her interesting name, whether from her mother or another relative, but I do know that she was the namesake for a number of her female descendants including her daughter Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus.

I received her church and cemetery death record information in the mail last week from the NJ State Archives. One record came from Robt Boyle, Sexton of the 2nd Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, who recorded “deaths in the Township of Elizabeth County of Union State of New Jersey, from the 8th day of April 1856 to the 1st day of June 1857”:

Date of death: April 14 [inaccurate according to the New York Times obit. info]
Name of deceased: Wealthy Ann Jaques
Sex of deceased: Female
Married or single: married
Age: 61 years 4 mos.
Occupation: none listed
Place of death: Elizabeth
Place of birth: Hartford, Conn.
Name of parents: Mr. & Mrs. Cushman
Cause of death: Consumption [a.k.a. pulmonary tuberculosis]
Time of making record: 20 March 1857

Evergreen Cemetery records kept by James Arness [spelling?], Superintendent, listed the following:
Date of death: April 13
Name of deceased: Wealthy Ann Jaques
Sex of deceased: Female
Married or single: married
Age: 61 years
Occupation: none listed
Place of death: Elizabeth City
Place of birth: none listed
Name of parents: none listed
Cause of death: Consumption
Time of making record: 16 April 1856

I am glad I sent off for the record. Not only does it clarify the place of burial and the cause of death, but it also helps pin down her previously elusive date of birth to circa 13 December 1794.

Categories: Connecticut, Cushman, Death, Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Hartford, Jaques, New Jersey, Obituaries | Leave a comment

Death Certificates — Thomas Trewin and Mary Ann Phillips Trewin

According to death records held by the state of NJ, Thomas Trewin died (1875) of consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis) & his wife Mary Ann died (1878) of apoplexy (a stroke). Both were just 58 years of age.

They’d left England in 1857, so they had been in this country for about 20 years. Thomas worked as a carpenter. You may remember that in his teens he served back in England as an apprentice to master carpenter Joseph Binks.

They were buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Union County, NJ. Two grandchildren who died as infants were buried with them.

Categories: Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Phillips, Trewin | Leave a comment

Death Certificates — Francis and Mary Jane Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

I sent off for the death certificates of my 2nd great grandparents, Francis Woodruff and Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, who have been mentioned in numerous previous posts. I’d always wondered what had happened to them since they died in the same year (1883), just months apart. Both were in their early sixties, which probably was considered a good long life at the time. But by today’s standards, of course, that seems quite young. Too young. But the certificates have now arrived in the mail, so we have an idea of what happened to them.

Mary Jane died on February 27, 1883, of Bright’s disease (today known as acute or chronic nephritis, aka kidney inflammation). Francis, a farmer, died on August 8, 1883, at their Conant Street home in Elizabeth, NJ, of dysentery. Both were attended by Dr. G. W. Bailey. Her place of death and last residence were both listed as Lyons Farms, land that eventually became known as Hillside, NJ. I’m not sure what to make of that as I would have thought she lived on Woodruff Farms whose territory included the house on Conant Street and was adjacent to Lyons Farms.

Here is a map showing the division of Woodruff Farms and Lyons Farms in 1700. Conant Street was well within the Woodruff Farms territory.

Categories: Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Lyons, Trowbridge, Woodruff | 2 Comments

The Fate of Mary (Wills) Sargent–Cause of Death

Last year I did a series of posts about what became of Mary Wills, daughter of George and Mary Wills,  who was born in November 1829 in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire; met and married William Slaymaker in Blisworth, Northamptonshire; and then lived in Northampton, before moving with her husband and children to the US in 1870. They settled in Jersey City, New Jersey (click here for some historic images of the city). They changed their surname to Sargent before leaving England. I’ve no idea why they picked that surname. Slaymaker sounds okay to me.  According to Family Facts for Slaymaker at Ancestry, it’s an occupational name for a maker of slays. Altered form of German Schleiermacher, an occupational name for a maker or shawls or scarves, from Middle High German sleier ‘scarf’, ‘shawl’, ‘veil’ + macher ‘maker’. Surname Database has its own thoughts on the matter—-perhaps, makers of shoes or sleighs.

In any case, here is a list of past blog posts, the main ones anyway, about Mary and her family.
Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Update Post, Most recent Post1

I always felt badly for her, being dragged away from her family in England at age 41 at her husband’s insistence, he wanting to make his fortune during post-Civil War reconstruction. At least that is what my great grandmother (Mary’s daughter) passed down. Husband William’s business affairs failed miserably and the family was on public assistance for a while. She also allegedly gave birth to 12 children over the course of her somewhat brief life, including 2 sets of twins, my great grandmother being one of them (her twin died). I presume that all those births happened when Mary was still living in England. The four of the twelve children who survived–Samuel, Elizabeth, William, and Sadie–emigrated to the US with her.

I’d always wondered how Mary died, because she was only in the US for seven years before she passed away. Well, today my answer arrived in the mail. The death record sent along to me by the NJ Dept. of Health Archives. And though lots of scenarios had played out in my mind with regards to a cause of death, I’d never thought of this: “stomach cancer, encephaloid variety.” My heart goes out even more to Mary; this must have been a very painful illness. There was no cure. According to a medical dictionary, encephaloid cancer is a very malignant form of cancer that manifests itself as a tumor of brain-like consistency. Encephaloid means “resembling the brain.”

Prior to June 1, 1878, individual certificates were not issued by the state of NJ, so Mary’s record appears in the ledger format used from May 1848 until May 1878.
Date of Death: 6 December 1877
Name of Deceased: Mary C. Wills
Age: 48
Occupation: none given
Place of Death: 96 Chestnut Ave.
Place of Birth: England
Names of Parents: George Wills and Mary C.
Cause of Death: Cancer of the stomach; Encephaloid family

I’d hoped the record would indicate a place of burial, but unfortunately it does not. On a positive note, her name appears with the middle initial “C.”—perhaps for “Capon,” her mother’s maiden name. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a middle initial for her.

The ledger format reveals so much about “life and death” in Jersey City in 1877. Listed are lots of infants and babies taken by meningitis, convulsions, cholera, diptheria, hydrocephalus, bronchitis,and asthenia (lack of body strength). A 16-year-old laborer died of a fractured skull from an injury working for the railroad, a 40-year-old mother died of exhaustion after “instrumental delivery,” other adults died of phthisis (per Merriam-Webster’s: a progressively wasting or consumptive condition; especially : pulmonary tuberculosis), uterine cancer, typhoid, and asthenia. Only one person on the list, a 79-year-old laborer from Germany, died of “old age.”

Mary Wills Sargent Death Record

The Practitioner, published 1897

Description of Stomach Cancer from the book The Practitioner, published in 1897, 21 years after Mary’s death

Mary Wills Sargent’s place of death (see red balloon)

Categories: Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Death Certificates, Jersey City, Hudson Co., New Jersey, Sargent, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, Wills, Wolverton, Buckinghamshire | Leave a comment

William Sargent Jr. — Cause of Death

Jersey City, NJ

In a previous post about the Sargent family, I spoke about discovering William Sargent Jr.’s spouse, Sarah Jane Bowley, in Evergreen Cemetery alongside him. I’d had no idea he was married. And there were other revelations such as the fact that his wife was considerably older and had the same surname as William Sargent Sr.’s second wife Mary Bowley Pitt. I was also surprised and curious about his death at a young age, 34, so I sent off for the death certificate. It arrived the other day and revealed that William Jr. died of “debilitation of the heart” at what I presume was his home address: 195 Harrison Ave., Jersey City, NJ. I “googled” the location, and it is now occupied by a Bank of America.

Debilitation of the heart is a rather vague description, and it was probably secondary to the actual cause of his death. Perhaps he had suffered as a child from something like rheumatic fever which can have devastating effects on the heart as one ages. Unfortunately back then, it seems like these certificates of death were filled out in hasty fashion; the doctor in this instance did not indicate the “length of sickness,” a detail that may have provided more clues as to what happened to him. In any event, how sad his loss must have been to all who loved him, not the least his wife of just five years.

William Sargent (Jr.) death certificate

Where William fits into the Sargent family (for a more elaborate tree, go to the S-Z tab)
William Sargent Sr. b. 1828, c. 10 Dec 1829
+Mary Wills b. 1829 d. 1877
|–2-Rev. Samuel Sargent b. 1852, d. 1926
|–2-Elizabeth Sargent b. 1854, d. 1926
|–2-Sargent b. 15 Sep 1854, d. 1854
|–2-Sadie Sargent b. 1858
|–2-William Sargent Jr. b. 1861, d. 1896

Categories: Death Certificates, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Sargent, Wills | Leave a comment

Matthias Woodruff — Cause of Death

Before I get to Matthias, I wanted to say that you may notice the change to my WordPress theme. The old one had some sort of bug that would not allow me to limit the number of blog posts per page. And that was becoming very annoying (for me, anyway). This new one is much better in that regard though I am still getting used to it.

Re: Matthias, you may recall that I’ve done several posts concerning him. He is the son of Francis and Mary Woodruff who went off to farm land in the Dakota Territory back in the 1880s (see posts from March 28 & 30, and April 11). He passed away on April 6, 1893, at just 42 years of age. Wife Mary (Ayers) Woodruff was left a widow at 40, and their son Frances left without a father at 18. I have long been curious as to the circumstances of his death. Well, on Monday, the envelope arrived from the NJ Department of Health’s archives, and I finally got my answer (and, indeed, it’s a very sad one): “Shock & loss of blood after injury.”

Matthias Woodruff death certificate

The certificate says the death occurred in Chatham, Morris Co., NJ, and that Matthias’s residence was located in Madison (next town over). You may recall that Madison is where Isaac Ayers, Matthias’s brother-in-law, ran a grocery store. How terribly tragic for the Woodruff and Ayers families, and I can’t help wondering whether the below group photo may have been taken on the occasion of the funeral (Matthias’s brother William, my great grandfather, is shown standing on the right). It fits the timeline, though I can’t remember whether NJ looks that wintery in early April. Matthias was buried at Evergreen Cemetery near his parents, Francis and Mary (Trowbridge) Woodruff, who passed away in the early 1880s.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the circumstances of his injury, and I am not sure how I would go about finding that out. Was this an industrial accident? A road accident? What happened to his land in Dakota is a mystery. Had he sold it by then, or was he just home visiting before heading off to begin his spring planting? If I were on the TV show, Who Do You Think You Are?, I would be saying, “Guess I’m going to North Dakota” or “I’m off to Chatham, then.” But alas, such travels are not in the cards for me any time soon! Perhaps, someday a descendant of Matthias’s son Frances will contact me via the blog to provide some clues.

William and Wealthy Woodruff with extended family, Elizabeth, NJ, circa 1893 (Photo from my family's personal archives)

William and Wealthy Woodruff with extended family, Elizabeth, NJ, circa 1893 (Photo from my family’s personal archives)

Categories: Angus, Ayers, Chatham, Morris Co., Death Certificates, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Madison, Morris Co., Woodruff | Leave a comment

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