United States

Reunion news — De Puy and Brodhead families

The Stroud Mansion. Built by Jacob Stroud, city’s founder and Revolutionary War Colonel, for his eldest son John in 1795. The Stroud Family lived in it until 1893, and in 1921 it became the Historical Society’s headquarters. Image and caption from: Wikimedia Commons. Photo taken and uploaded by User Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD, on 19 February 2008.

The next annual reunion of the DePuy and Brodhead families is scheduled for 9AM, Saturday, August 25, at the Monroe County (PA) Historical Association (a.k.a. the Stroud Mansion).

According to the De Puy / Brodhead Family Association, which is holding the event, as many as four guest speakers will address attendees. The Monroe County Historical Association Curator will take guests on a private tour that will include a Special Collections Presentation of General Daniel Brodhead’s uniform. Other activities are hoped for/being planned. An optional activity may be on offer for the day before (Friday).

For full information, please contact: depuy dot brodhead dot family dot assoc @ gmail dot com.

 

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Categories: Brodhead, De Puy (De Pui), Miscellaneous, Monroe Co., Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Hon. Albert Gallatin Brodhead house in Jim Thorpe, PA

Albert Gallatin Brodhead portrait, *between p. 260 and p. 261 of Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, PA – published in 1905

Coincidentally, I came upon this house while looking for another: the Jim Thorpe (previously known as Mauch Chunk) home of the Honorable Albert Gallatin Brodhead (1815-1891). It’s a beautiful three-story Victorian brick home that has a wonderful tiered rear garden. The verbiage written by the realtor mentions that the home was initially in the possession of the Lockhart family; a Lockhart daughter married a son of Asa Packer.

To view the home, click here.

For more about Albert, please see this post.

I don’t know how long the photos will linger online. The house was sold so the listing is inactive. If you want to save copies for your own personal use, better to do so sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

Categories: Brodhead, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Inside the house Francis Woodruff built, circa 1845

Francois Gignoux, View near Elizabethtown, New Jersey, 1847

If you’re like me, you occasionally look up the addresses of ancestors to see if their homes are still standing; and if they are and they happen to be for sale or have sold in the not-too-distant past, you can get a glimpse inside, thanks to all those online realtor photos, many of which seem to linger long after the sale has been made.

Last fall I found a listing for the house my second-great-grandfather Francis Woodruff built circa 1845 in Elizabethtown, NJ, on what was then farmland and in what is now the town of Hillside. Frenchman Régis François Gignoux (1816–1882) painted the above scene around that time. As you can see, it must have been a very bucolic setting in the summertime; Francis and his family made a living off the land, something many living in that part of New Jersey today might find hard to imagine.

I contemplated flying up to NJ to take a look inside but scrapped that idea after all of us in the family contracted type A flu, an event we did not rebound from quickly. Of course, now I regret not getting up there—who knows when the house will be for sale again?

In any case, the house was sold, but many photos remain on Realtor dot com. To look inside, visit this link: Conant Street house. I wrote about this house once before in a post about my grandmother’s wedding in which I included this information from the six-page PDF Eight Colonial Homes, an undated publication put out by the staff of the Hillside National Bank:

A third Woodruff house, while appearing to be the same vintage as the others, was erected about 1845. […] …it is frequently the subject of artists’ paint brushes because of its picturesque setting. It was built by Francis Woodruff, a descendant of Enos Woodruff. A letter from Mathias Woodruff in 1843 to his brother, another Enos Woodruff, comments that he is planning to return from Louisiana to help his cousin, Ezra Woodruff, erect a house for Frank. The letter jokingly said in part: “Frank will want him to put up a house next summer. I have advised him to find out from the neighbors what kind of house he wants, sort of architecture, on which side to put the kitchen, dog house, pig pens. If all parties are satisfied, it will save a great deal of talk.” Oddly enough it was constructed sideways to the road, but when the Westminster section was developed by Edward Grassman in the 1930’s, Revere Drive was placed in front of it, so today it faces a street.

Having seen the interior photos, I can try to picture the family members living there and going about their daily lives. This is where Francis and Mary Jane Trowbridge raised their four children: William, Matthias, Emma, and Phebe. This is where William, who took over the farm, raised his six daughters with wife Wealthy Ann Angus. The house remained in the family until 1928, the year William (b. 1848) died. (Wealthy predeceased him.) By then the six daughters were married with children and living elsewhere. Farmland in Elizabethtown was becoming non-existent as the county’s towns expanded. The Woodruff farm was swallowed up and became part of a housing development in Hillside.

I now read some of my old posts in a slightly new light, better able to imagine the happenings inside the home—this is where Mary Jane got her small children up and dressed in the morning; these are the stairs the Woodruff children, grand-children and great-grandchildren ran up and down through the years; this in the fireplace Francis sat down next to to write his grown children letters while they temporarily lived elsewhere or where he retired to to read their letters—letters to and from William when he was out West sheep farming or letters to and from Matthias when he farming wheat in the Dakota Territory; this is the home in which a teen-aged William wrote letters to his uncles Trowbridge while they were serving in the Union Army; this is the parlor in which the family entertained guests and marked my grandmother’s wedding in 1908 and William and Wealthy’s golden anniversary in 1922, etc.

Of course, the house has been altered through the years, there’s no denying that, but original features remain as you can see in the photos—the wood flooring, the beams, the fireplaces, and the windows, including the diamond-shaped window in the attic.

It’s wonderful to see this house still standing after 170+ years. For that I thank all of its past and present occupants and all of those local citizens who through the decades have appreciated its important heritage.

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, Woodruff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Mystery photo – Brodhead line?

Greetings, “Chips” Followers;

I hope you’ve been keeping well. Not long ago I received an email (contents below) from Virginia O’Neill, asking for help identifying the couple in an old electrograph. I was unable to help, but offered to post it here so that others could have a chance to weigh in with their opinions. I think the woman looks somewhat like Andrew Jackson Brodhead, but he had no sisters. Perhaps a cousin? Let’s see if we can get this photo identified. Perhaps one of you holds the key!

3//12/18 – Check the comments section below for responses.

I have in my possession an unidentified electrograph/painted tintype portrait of a man and woman side-by-side. It is decoratively matted, and framed in dark wood. Its overall size is 14″x12.” SEE: attached photo.

Unfortunately, it was given to me without any provenance. I am writing to inquire if you are familiar with this portrait and if the subjects could be BRODHEAD ancestors on my father’s maternal line. My father is Richard Brodhead ARNOLD, grandson of Richard Henry BRODHEAD, youngest son of Andrew Jackson BRODHEAD and Ophelia EASTON.

I have compared photographs of Garret BRODHEAD (1793-1872) and wife Cornelia DINGMAN (1797-1885) SEE: your post of 5 May 2014 “Brodhead family descendants repair Cornelia D. Brodhead headstone.”

I have also compared the photographs of Andrew and Ophelia as a young couple from the personal family collection of James & Barbara BRODHEAD. SEE: your post of 1 January 2016 “A Brodhead family New Year’s Eve wedding 170 years ago.”

I would appreciate any help you might provide identifying the portrait.

Categories: Brodhead, United States | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Happy National Ice Cream Day

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan named July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day—so Happy National Ice Cream Day 2017 to all of you. No need to tell you that ice cream has been a beloved treat for a very long time as evidenced by the Library of Congress Archive images below. You will notice one image of an airplane promoting a National Ice Cream Day on May 27, 1920. I’m not sure what that was all about; perhaps an effort to establish such a day back then given prohibition started on January 17, 1920, and America’s prohibition-fueled consumption of sweets and ice cream was already on a rapid rise.

When you tuck into your favorite flavor(s) today, may these ice cream-themed images of yesteryear dance in your head. Bon appétite!

Currier & Ives. The Cream of Love. , ca. 1879. New York: Published by Currier & Ives. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/91723709/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Hine, Lewis Wickes, photographer. [Where the newsboy’s money goes. Investigator, Edward F. Brown.Location: Wilmington, Delaware / Photo by Louis i.e. Lewis W. Hine, May, 1910]. Delaware Wilmington, 1910. May. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ncl2004002274/PP/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

The Ice Cream Girl. , ca. 1913. Aug. 11. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2003688432/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Detroit Publishing Co., Publisher. On the beach at Atlantic City, N.J. Atlantic City New Jersey, None. [Between 1900 and 1906] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/det1994006562/PP/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Bain News Service, Publisher. Eileen Sedgwick — Marion Tiffany. , 1917. [June] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ggb2005024649/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Hine, Lewis Wickes, photographer. Sanitary Ice Cream Cone Co., 116 S. Dewey St. Cisar, Manager. John Myers, 14 years old, who is in Grade 6 in Franklin School works after school and Saturday. He has been there 7 months. Can bake cones as well as pack them. For a month in the Fall, after school started, he went to school and worked from 4 p.m. to midnight. Expects to do it again soon. Gets $4 a week for part time and $8 a week when working 8 hours a day.Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Lewis W. Hine. Oklahoma City, 1917. April 3. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ncl2004004861/PP/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Reid Ice Cream Co. truck, probably in Washington, D.C. , 1918. [?] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2001706376/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

[Betty Compson, half length portrait, standing, with umbrella, in bathing suit, facing slightly right, eating Eskimo Pie. Movie star]. , ca. 1922. Dec. 26. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2005691986/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Thos. R. Shipp Aeroplane. , 1920. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/npc2007001691/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

[Group of Farm Women Holding Plates of Cake and Ice Cream and Spooning Homemade Ice Cream Out of Freezers]. , None. [Between 1935 and 1930] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2006690311/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Mrs. Herbert Hoover feeds ice cream to a small black bear cub, Seward, Alaska. Alaska Seward, ca. 1926. Meadville, Pa.: Keystone View Company, manufacturers, publishers. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/91481774/. (Accessed July 23, 2017.)

Chicago Sunday Tribune, May 23, 1920 [Though the third Sunday in July was declared National Ice Cream Day by President Ronald Reagan, here is evidence of an attempt to establish a national day back in 1920. Perhaps this was the result of the prohibition-fueled, astronomic rise in ice cream consumption. (Prohibition – 1920-1933)]

Categories: 1890s, 1900s, Advertisements, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, United States | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

July 1905: Grandma’s photos from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Photos from Ocean Grove 112 years ago. My grandmother, Zillah Trewin, was 23 when they were taken. She appears in the image at the top, on the far right, holding the sides of her face. No sunglasses back then, except for on film stars, so a brimmed hat could surely have helped her. Perhaps she took hers off to have her picture taken.

I love these glimpses into history–an outing at the Jersey shore, the happy faces, the windy sailboat ride, the lady holding a parasol in her lap and waving, the fellow with the newspaper wrapped around the back of his head. A carefree, summer day at the start of the 20th century. A tiny slice of life you are unlikely to see anywhere else but here, thanks to my grandmother and her beloved brownie camera.

I can imagine the excitement as everyone piled into the rowboat (photo 3) to go out to the sailboat rocking in the ocean waters off shore. The boat’s captain (seen in photo 4) appears to be helping ladies into the rowboat. I gather all those other gents were there to push it into the surf. Aboard the sailboat, the group looks to be having a fun time. Lots of smiles. I think it’s likely that these were all Methodist Church friends and acquaintances of my grandmother and that this was an organized outing. The land in Ocean Grove is all owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (founded 1869) so perhaps the group attended one of the camp meetings in the Great Auditorium. Perhaps they even overnighted in some of the tents in “Tent City”.

Once back north in Union County,  their bit of summer fun may have lingered on their minds for a while. And sunburn may have served as proof (ouch!) of the trip until real proof emerged in the form of these few photographs—proof that landed in my grandmother’s then ever-expanding photo album, which just happens to be sitting on my desk today.

Categories: New Jersey, Ocean Grove, Trewin | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Calling card left for Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Jaques

Isaac Jaques (1791-1880) Courtesy of San Benito County Historical Society

A calling card left for Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Jaques by Mr. & Mrs. John A. Gunn. Given it is undated, the Mrs. Jaques could have been Isaac’s first wife Wealthy Ann Cushman (1793-1856; m. 1812) or his second wife, widow Rebecca Gold Robinson (1804-1886; m. between 1856-1860).

We know nothing of the circumstances, obviously, but after reading up on calling card etiquette, I believe this may have been an invitation to some sort of party / special social gathering. The envelope is quite decorative. Experts, feel free to weigh in.

I looked for a John A. Gunn and came up with one born in New York in 1820, so perhaps this was a friend of Isaac’s from his days in Manhattan where he was once a well-known and highly successful tailor before retiring across the Hudson River to his Elizabethtown country estate. (For more on Isaac, visit this past post.)

Below are some calling card etiquette resources, in case you want to brush up 🙂 — our ancestors who lived during the 19th century when they were in custom would have been well versed in all the nuances of their use. Personally I find it quite fascinating. It was indeed a much different time–no doubt they would find today’s varied forms of communicating and interacting rather head-spinning to say the least!  Bonne fin de semaine!

Calling Cards for LadiesMass historia website
Calling Cards for GentlemenMass historia website
The Gentleman’s Guide to Calling CardsThe Art of Manliness blog

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

William Trewin & St. James Methodist Church in Elizabeth, NJ

William Trewin, b. 21 March 1847; son of John & Mary Ann Trewin; year unknown.

St. James Methodist Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey, celebrated its 80-year anniversary in 1957, and a church program I recently came across commemorating the occasion indicated that my great-grandfather William Trewin was one of eight people who were on the committee that agreed to found the church, which was the result of two churches (Elizabeth Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church and St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church) coming together in a building that was acquired through an exchange with the Broad Street Baptist Church. The first service was held on April 15, 1877.

At the time of the committee meeting, October 23, 1876, my great-grandfather was 29 years old and married to his first wife Edith Fry with whom he was raising two sons, Bert and Clarence.  The commemorative program is included in this post for anyone curious about some of the history of the church during its first 80 years. Today, the building is occupied by the Haitian Bethany Baptist Church.

Image from City of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Illustrated, 1889

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Methodist, New Jersey, Trewin | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

The special trees in our American landscape

In the Berkshires, 1850 – By George Inness – Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza en depósito en el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21148368

A belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you. There seemed to be green everywhere yesterday, and speaking of green, today I have trees on my mind, not all trees, just a certain kind of tree…

Have you ever looked out on fields and seen a tree that was just massive? You can tell it has been there for a very long time. Was it standing alone like a lone sentry or providing vast swathes of shade to a centuries-old farmhouse? If the answer is yes, you may well have come upon what is known as a “first-growth tree,” a tree that is described so beautifully in Our Vanishing Landscape, a 1955 book by Eric Sloane.

Such trees provide first-growth timber, the strongest and best timber of all, timber that our American ancestors were blessed with in abundance as they took to settling the land and harnessing its natural resources. Per Sloan, this was “wood grown from untouched earth with the humus and peat and the natural rot of age-old forests.” He describes how, today, seemingly dilapidated centuries-old barns made of chestnut may actually still be in exceptionally good shape, the wood in even better condition than any new wood that could ever be found to replace it.

Morning by George Inness – Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11006350

As you can imagine, in many parts of America today, first-growth timber is quite rare. Certainly that’s true in the East. Many of America’s forests and woods were cleared to make way for agriculture. But, says Sloane, America’s first farmers would leave some first-growth trees dotting the landscape to serve as navigational markers, and often they would choose their home sites based on the fact that a first-growth tree stood nearby, for shade, and as a reminder, he says, that “into that tree went the memory of all the forests of great trees that had disappeared around it.”

I grew up in a farmhouse that was built in 1774, and I often think of that place and its beautiful surroundings, and my mind always wanders to a maple tree—a gigantic maple tree—that stood to the rear of the house on the left, alongside a babbling brook. It’s only after reading Sloan’s book that I realized a first-growth tree in the form of that maple had quite possibly been in our midst all those years ago, and perhaps that is why, subconsciously, my mind, without fail, wanders back to that tree… There is something about nature that pulls us, captivates us, calms us, and has the power to make us feel whole. That tree was magnificent. I’ve been searching for a photograph of it, and I’m sure we have one somewhere. The closest I’ve gotten so far, however, is an image with just part of the tree in the background.

Landscape by George Inness, 1878; Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to be in a place where the majority of maples were that size. Unfortunately, history and human circumstances have denied us of the possibility to see such trees en masse in many parts of the country. We have to seek out our sequoias and redwoods and travel to mountain and forest places left largely untouched by human hands and natural disasters. We can dig into historical records to find traces of giant trees, and examine paintings by artists of previous centuries to catch glimpses of past American landscapes. As I look at paintings by 19th-century American artist George Inness (1825-1894), for instance, I see what I think must be at least the occasional first-growth tree dotting his landscapes. Whether they were there in reality or his imagination conjured them up, I don’t know. But, for instance, go back to the top of this post and look at the tree hiding in the background on the right in his painting In the Berkshires. That tree looks absolutely gigantic.

Credit: Flickr user Rocor, Hackensack Meadows, Sunset, 1859, by George Inness. Oil on canvas NY Historical Society. LACMA – Creative Commons non-commercial 2.0 generic license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Interestingly, Sloane points out that it is documented that trees the size of California’s redwoods once existed in the East. He cites an 1841 record of a walnut tree that once stood in Forestville, New York, a mile above the mouth of a creek, named Walnut Creek after this tree. The giant tree was “36 feet in circumference at its base, gradually tapering 80 feet to the first limb. Its entire height was nearly 200 feet, and was estimated to contain 150 cords of wood, or 50,000 feet of inch boards. The bark was a foot thick. The tree was entirely sound when blown down in 1822…”

When I went on the Fulton History website to look into the existence of other giant trees reported in the press, I discovered an article in The Album of Rochester, New York, dated December 1, 1825: “An Elm in Hatfield, Mass. is supposed the largest tree in New England, It measures in circumference 34 feet at two feet from the ground; at the height of five feet, the smallest place in the trunk, the circumference is 24 feet 6 inches. There is a cut in the tree four feet from the ground, which tradition says was made by the Indians, for the highest rise of water in Connecticut river.”

By George Inness – The AMICA Library, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20146490

The December 12, 1826, issue of the Franklin Herald and Public Advertiser (Greenfield, Mass.) contained an article on large trees. Some excerpts include: “The Charter Oak in Connecticut — From the best information that we can obtain, says a Hartford paper, this tree is no less than four hundred years old; it is 23 feet in circumference near the ground, and at the height of 7 feet, it is 17 feet in circumference; the height of the tree, is about 70 feet; some of its branches extend 20 feet. […] In May, 1826, there was an Elm blown down in Wells, (Maine,) which measured 27 feet and 4 inches in circumference, making the diameter something over 9 feet; and was 40 feet from the foot to a crotch; from thence it was 20 feet to the first limb, running to the height of 60 feet from bottom before it had any limbs, when it expanded to an immense size. The exact height of the tree could not be accurately obtained, as the top was much broken, but was computed to be upwards of 100 feet. […] The Lexington, Ky. Public Advertiser says, that there now stands on the bank of the Ohio river, in the State of Indiana, opposite the mouth of Salt river, a Sycamore tree, which has stabled fourteen head of horses at one time, with ample room. It takes 75 long paces to go round its trunk, and you may with perfect ease turn a fourteen foot pole in the inside of its cavity.”

By George Inness – ArtDaily.com, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49327263

The New Jersey Fredonian on April 11, 1827, reported that a giant poplar in perfect health had [very sadly] been felled by a Mr. Moser on his land in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was 117 feet high with a circumference at the base of 20 feet 7 inches. The first limb appeared at 64 feet off the ground. It was estimated to be at least 300 years old by those who examined it’s circles. The article’s author, lamenting the poplar’s demise, referred to it as the “largest solid tree” ever seen or heard of, and a “giant of the forest.”

Painting by George Inness; image uploaded by Noroton at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3051470

The Onondaga Register of Onondaga Hollow, New York, on 28 July 1827 included an article originally reported by the Allegany [sic.] Democrat of a massive sycamore tree that had provided a winter residence to a family of seven: “There is now on the farm of Mr. Andrew Beggs (painter) of Pittsburgh, a sycamore tree, in which a family of seven persons, resided all winter, having been detained by the freezing over of the river while ascending it. In this tree they found a comfortable asylum from the storms of a severe winter, with room for all the necessary furniture and cooking utensils, having a fire in the centre Indian style), the smoke of which ascended through a whole in the trunk occasioned by the breaking off of a large limb from the tree. This giant of the forest is about fourteen miles below Pittsburgh, and directly on the Ohio River.”

Then I came across this 1842 article (page 72 of the Farmer’s Monthly Visitor, Vol. 3-4) describing a gigantic maple, a tree very dear to my heart, as you know ;-). Perhaps, best of all, at the end it contains a list of the largest trees known to exist in the US at the time. (Bear in mind that at this point in history, the United States had only 26 states.) Scroll down for an image of what was probably the giant sycamore in Ohio with the 60-foot circumference, and an article that may refer to the New York sycamore.

One thing is for sure: if you see a BIG tree, it always leaves a BIG impression. And it’s clear that big trees made a big impression on our ancestors too!

So as you go about your travels, keep an eye out for any first-growth trees—elm, maple, sycamore, poplar, chestnut, oak, hickory, pine, etc.—you see (or think you see) in your neck of the woods. Feel free to report back here in the Comments box. Better yet, email me a photo, and I’ll post it here for others to enjoy and try to imagine the glorious age-old forests that greeted our early American ancestors. And/Or consider posting your find on the Monumental Trees website so that even more people can learn of your discovery. Let us treasure those giant trees in our midst and do everything we can to assure their survival.

Some amazing and memorable trees I’ve seen down here in the south:
The Big Oak, Thomasville, GA – 329 years old
The Angel Oak Tree, Charleston, SC – 400-500+ years old

The New York Herald, November 17, 1901 (Credit: FultonHistory dot com)

The Bolivar Breeze, December 21, 1922 (Credit: FultonHistory dot com)

Categories: Miscellaneous, Nature, Trees, United States | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Daguerreotype of brothers William Earl Woodruff and Matthias Woodruff, circa 1853

Sons of Mary Jane Trowbridge and Francis Woodruff, circa 1853

I was thrilled to come upon this old daguerreotype of my great-grandfather, William Earl Woodruff (b. 1848, right), and his little brother Matthias (b. 1851, seated on the left and holding what appears to be a rifle/sword). William has his hand on Matthias’s shoulder; apart from showing his brotherly love, he was perhaps doing his best to keep Matthias from fidgeting while the image was being recorded. Was having Matthias hold the rifle/sword a way to keep his hands still? I suspect so. This is the only image I have ever seen of Matthias, who eventually grew up to marry Mary S. Ayers and, in his 30s, headed out alone to the Dakota Territory to farm wheat. He died an accidental death in Chatham, New Jersey, when in his early 40’s.

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff (1820-1883)

I think Matthias resembles his mother Mary Jane, while William looks more like his father Francis. From previous posts you may remember that the family lived in a farmhouse built by Francis on Conant Street in present-day Hillside.

For more posts on this family, enter ‘Francis Woodruff’ in the search box on the left. Enter ‘Matthias’ for those posts chiefly related to him. As always I recommend reading the posts in chronological order.

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff (1820-1883)

On a different note, I have seen a few trees on Ancestry that show a son named John for this family, and Family Search corroborates this:

“New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FC1S-YHV : accessed 23 March 2015), John Woodruff, 27 Jun 1851; citing Union Twp., Essex, New Jersey, reference v 1 p 132a; FHL microfilm 493,712.

Francis’s father was John Woodruff (1795-1857; husband of Mary Ogden Earl) and  Francis’s older brother was Matthias Woodruff (1818-1844, died of Yellow Fever in Louisiana), so I can see where the names ‘John’ and ‘Matthias’ came from. I am however wondering whether there were two sons by those names or if there was one son named ‘John Matthias’ who was known by family and friends as ‘Matthias’. I have not yet found an exact birth date for Matthias but other information I have places him as being born in 1851 (1860 census, death certificate—aged 42 on day of death April 6, 1893, etc.) So, if there was a John, perhaps he was a twin who died very young? (He is absent from the 1860 census). Personally, I am much more inclined to think that ‘John’ and ‘Matthias’ were one in the same person. Blog readers, please feel free to weigh in!

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

Being Em | From Busan to America

this journey is my own, but i'm happy to share.

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy: Looking For "Dead People"!

Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine

To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number) NUMBER

The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

TRACK

Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea

Rose of Sharon Healing

Healing for the Nations

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Discovering Your Ancestors - One Gene at a Time

A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND

An Eclectic mix of items from a 'senior' blogger in Ireland looking at the past and keeping an eye on the present.

Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

jerseyrootsgenealogy

A Garden State Journey in Genealogy

Genealogy With Valerie

Genealogy..a journey to the past present and future.

Jake Fletcher

Professional Genealogist, Educator, & Blogger

The Hanneman Archive

History Preserved. Lives Treasured.

Jane's Blog

Bitter Angry Ajumma

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