Elizabeth, Union Co.

1882 Elizabeth, NJ, map showing Isaac Jaques Estate now on eBay

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

An 1882 map of the Isaac Jaques Estate in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is now available on eBay.  You can buy it now for $100. (Click here.)

I’m sure Rebecca Place was named after his second wife Rebecca Ann Gold Robinson (1804-1886). Of Isaac’s nine children, only two outlived him. One was my 2nd-great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus (1815-1892) and the other was John Barron Jaques (1822-1895), the black sheep in the family, unfortunately. I suspect Rebecca and Wealthy were the primary beneficiaries.

I took some screenshots for my files.

Just wanted to pass this tip along in case any Jaques-Angus descendants out there would be interested in buying it or taking their own screenshots.

Have a good day.

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques, New Jersey | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

James Morris and Mattie Thomas – Battin HS graduates, 1898

James Arthur Morris – Battin HS graduate – 1898

Regular readers of this blog may remember that my grandmother’s 1898 Battin High School (Elizabeth, NJ) graduating class had two African-Americans among its ranks. Battin High School was recognized at that time as the best high school in the state.

I wrote at length about the class photo I found that included them and went to great lengths to label everyone as best I could; I also posted newspaper articles on the graduation event itself. Click here for that post. I did not, however, look beyond that event to see what was happening at that time in the field of education for members of the African-American community. So I thought I would try to see if I could find out what happened to these two students and also look at newspapers of that period using the Library of Congress’s digital newspaper archives.

Mattie Kenyon Thomas – Battin HS graduate – 1898

As for trying to learn more about the students:

I found a James Morris (b. June 1878, VA) in the 1900 census who was 22 at the time and living with his wife Nannie and two small children, Margaret and Harold, at 10 1/2 Center Street in Elizabeth. His occupation was listed as ‘coachman’; this census asked all citizens whether they could read and write. Both this James and his wife checked ‘yes’. Whether this was the same James, I don’t know. If it was, perhaps he was working as a coachman while going to college. He has such a scholarly look about him, I am inclined to think that he went on to pursue a profession requiring a degree or two.

I found a Mattie Thomas (b. Jan 1879, VA) in the 1900 census who was living and working in the home of a physician and his wife, Harry and Daisy Washington, in Middletown, Monmouth Co., NJ, which is 30 miles south of Elizabeth. I found the same Mattie in the 1880 census as a 1 year old living in Samuel Miller, Virginia, with her parents Alexander (laborer) and Lucinda (homemaker) Thomas and 4 older siblings. At some point she probably got married and changed her last name so finding her in records further down the road may be difficult.

My quick newspaper search resulted in a variety of articles, many from African-American newspapers. Did you know there were 400 in existence across the country by the end of the 1800s?

Some interesting stats from the Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, August 10, 1899, are bulleted below. Note: dollar amounts have NOT been converted to today’s dollar; but bear in mind that in 1898, $1,000 would be $30,072 in today’s currency; also, I have substituted ‘black’ for ‘n—-‘:

  • Blacks had reduced their illiteracy rate by 45% in just 35 years
  • 1.5 million black children were enrolled in the common schools
  • 40,000 blacks were enrolled in higher educational institutions
  • 30,000 black teachers were at work in schools
  • 20,000 blacks were learning trades
  • 1,200 blacks pursuing classical courses
  • 1,200 were pursuing scientific courses
  • 1,000 blacks were pursuing business courses
  • Black libraries held 250,000 volumes
  • There were 156 black higher educational institutions
  • 500 black doctors
  • 300 books written by blacks
  • 250 black lawyers
  • 3 black banks
  • 3 black magazines
  • 400 black newspapers
  • Value of black libraries: $500,000
  • Value of black church property: $37 million
  • Value of black-owned farms: $400 million
  • Value of black-owned homes (besides farms): $325 million
  • Value of personal property: $165 million
  • As of this date in 1899, blacks had raised $10 million towards their own education.
  • Blacks “are more eager for their education than whites. The whites enrolled 14 percent of their population in 1870, and only 22 percent in 1890”; blacks enrolled “3 percent in 1870 and 19 percent in 1890.”
  • Whites “have .61 of 1 percent divorces; blacks .67 of 1 percent…”
  • “In the whole country, there are 25 blacks to 75 whites who own their own homes. The proportion should be 1 black to 6 whites.”
  • “Of the black homes, 87 percent are freeholds; of the white homes but 71 percent.”
  • “Of farms owned by blacks, 89 percent are unencumbered; of those owned by whites but 71 percent.”
  • “Forty-one percent of blacks are engaged in gainful pursuits, while only 36 percent of whites are thus engaged.”
  • “Government reports show that the [black man] is the best soldier in the regular army.”

Surely this is history worth exploring and celebrating. I never knew James or Mattie or any of the American people behind all these factoids, but boy am I proud of what they were achieving! I encourage anyone wanting to get a true picture of what was happening at any given time in our history to go to the newspapers of that day. Here is one more gifted lady I discovered in an article published in Montana’s Republican newspaper, The Philipsburg Mail, dated October 7, 1898:

The Philipsburg Mail (Montana) – October 7, 1898

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey | Tags: , | 2 Comments

1812 marriage certificate for Isaac and Wealthy (Cushman) Jaques

Today I am posting a copy of the original 1812 marriage certificate that belonged to my third-great-grandparents, Isaac Jaques and Wealthy Cushman. It was among the numerous papers and clippings saved by my grandmother. I wish it contained details that would be helpful with connecting the Mayflower dots—e.g., the names of Wealthy’s parents. I assume the marriage took place in either New York City, where Isaac was making a career as a tailor, or Hartford, Wealthy’s birthplace. The couple and their children did not relocate to Elizabethtown, NJ, until 1843.

The pastor’s name was “N. Bangs”. This may very well have been Nathan Bangs, the self-taught itinerant theologian who was very well known at that time. He kept a diary of his travels and eventually wrote a history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada and the US.

Categories: Bangs Nathan, Cushman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques, Methodist Episcopal, New Jersey, Weddings | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Rev. Harry Baremore Angus (1883-1919)

Harry B. Angus, Rutgers College Class of 1905

I just came across the service of ordination bulletin from June 16, 1909, for  the late Rev. Harry Baremore Angus (1883-1919). Once again, I must thank my grandmother for being one to never toss anything out and my parents for holding onto it all these years.

I’d forgotten that Harry, son of Job Winans Angus (1856-1936) and Jeannette Tillou (1860-1932), died of the Spanish influenza—on April 30, 1919. Certainly that period in history is much more relatable now that we are in the midst of our own pandemic. Fortunately we are blessed with many more scientific advancements, although that is of little comfort to those who’ve lost a loved one. My sympathies to any of you who have found yourself impacted on a very personal level through the loss of a friend or family member.

Harry was in his mid-thirties and had been married to Miss Grace M. Kendall for less than four years. At the time of his death, his children were just 4 months old (Samuel Kendall Angus, later killed in Italy during WWII) and 2 years 9 months old (Elizabeth Dorothea Angus). Harry was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in the Angus plot. Grace survived to age 100.

A small bio of Harry appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on October 11, 1916, prior to his installation as pastor of McDowell Presbyterian Church in that city. Philadelphia. So much left undone at the end of the day. So much talent lost. But he’s not forgotten. Hopefully someday someone closely related to Harry will find this bulletin if perchance they don’t already have one in their family history files.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 October 1916 – Credit: Fulton History dot com

McDowell Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; public domain image on Wikipedia

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Presbyterian | 6 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — post X

We are nearing the end of the guestbook. Here are two of the last four pages.

On the first page shown below, only the name Anna Dickenson Lorentz stands out to me. This was my grandmother’s first cousin on the Woodruff side of the family. Mary Emma Woodruff (1846-1923) was my great-grandfather William Earl Woodruff’s older sister. She married John W. Dickinson (b. 1843), a dentist, in 1874. They had four children: John (b. 1875), Mary (b. 1877), Madel (b. 1880) and Anna (b. 1886). Anna, who was four years younger than my grandmother, married Douglas C. Lorentz sometime after my grandmother’s own wedding on June 8, 1908, as she appears in my grandmother’s list of wedding gifts under her maiden name.

  • Florence A. Thompson – March 7, 1909 – Goshen, NY
  • Mrs. Isabelle S. Van Riper – March 8, 1909 – 210 Park Ave., Paterson, NJ – “Just Jamie and I for a call”
  • Anna Dickenson Lorentz – March 10, 1909 – 60 Ward St., Orange, ?
  • Hazel M. Knott – March 13, 1909 – 256 South Clinton St, East Orange, NJ
  • Harriet N. Ackerman – March 13, 1909 – 154 Rahway Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
  • Nellie E. Baldwin – 931 South St., Elizabeth, NJ

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Dec. 23, 1898

Mrs. Thomas B. Russum was my grandmother’s aunt Cecelia Bensley (Angus) Russum. Both she and Thomas Bayley Russum have been mentioned in this blog before.

As for Marietta B. Earl, I learned that she was a granddaughter of Marietta (Crane) Earl and Edward B. Earl, who were married on 19 Jan 1859 and subsequently had a large number of children: The 1880 census registered Elizabeth (20), Annie (15), Marietta (10), Grace (1), and Florence (6 mo.), Edward Jr. (16), William (12), Fannie (7), and Alice (4). Daughter Marietta died of consumption in Tucson, Arizona, on 21 December 1898 (see clipping); she’d have been about 28.  The 1900 census, in addition to the above and minus Marietta, showed a brother George (18) and a granddaughter Marietta B. (6). So, evidently one of the siblings named a daughter after Marietta.

The Hillside Times, January 11, 1945

The 1920 census recorded Edward (then 83) and Marietta (then 82) residing with never-married daughters Elizabeth (age 52), Annie (50, dressmaker), Grace (40, nurse), and Florence (39, teacher).

So going back to the guestbook, Florence A. Earl was Marietta B. Earl’s aunt, and Marietta B. was about 15 when she paid my grandparents a visit. As I’ve said before regarding the Earls, there may have been some familial connection (my great-grandfather was William Earl Woodruff, after all), but how far back it goes, I have no idea. Meanwhile I do know that all of these folks went to First Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, so that may explain the close friendships.

For this family’s Evergreen Cemetery plot, visit their Find a Grave entry. It includes:  Elizabeth Littell Earl,18601944 /// Anna May Earl,18651938 /// William Alexander Earl,18671925 /// Marietta Benton Earl,1870–1898  /// Fannie Crane Earl,18731882 /// Alice Maxwell Earl Crane,18761951 /// Sarah Margaret Earl,18771879 /// Grace Earl,1878–1936  /// Florence Adelaide Earl,18801972 /// George M Earl, 18821963

Categories: Dickinson, Earl, Elizabeth, Union Co., Heirlooms, New Jersey, Russum, Woodruff | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Photo of some Angus children circa 1870 – need help with identifications

Here is another photo that I could use some help with. I have tentatively labelled these young fellows based on some resemblance I see with images I’ve come upon of Charles (1852-1938) and Job (1856-1936) as old men. I have never seen a photo of Walter (1861-1945) so I am just guessing there. These were the three youngest sons of James and Wealthy Angus. I think this would have been around 1870. Anyone with some thoughts on who’s who, please chime in. Thank you!

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey | Tags: , | 2 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — post VIII

James Easton Brodhead

The most notable guests on this page were my grandfather’s Uncle Jim and wife: James Easton Brodhead (1851-1943) and Harriet Locklin Boyd (1852-1935), who resided in that big old house in Flemington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, I have mentioned before.

Cropped from “Mitchell’s 1880 State, County and Township Maps of New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware”

In the ‘Residence’ section, we see that they were en route to Perth Amboy, probably to visit his brother Garret Brodhead (1848-1936) and family, and in the ‘Remarks’ that they were traveling by auto. There were a number of automobiles in existence in 1908. Click here to see what those with means were riding in at that time.

Categories: Brodhead, Elizabeth, Union Co., Flemington, New Jersey, Perth Amboy | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tintype of Angus children: Need help with IDs

I have this very old, Civil War-era tintype of some of the Angus children and could really use help with the identifications.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think I have three of them identified: my great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus (b. 1850) and her younger sisters Cecelia Bensley Angus (b. 1855) and Lavinia Pratt Angus (b. 1859).  I’m at a loss, however, when it comes to the rest.

There was one other daughter, the oldest of the four—Mary Martha Winans Angus (b. 1846). Is that her in the rear on the left? I know Walter (b. 1861) is not pictured since he was younger than Lavinia, and she appears to be the youngest one here. Likewise, I have seen a photo of Isaac, the oldest child (b. 1840), and one of James W. Angus, Jr., the second oldest (b. 1841), and they are not here either. I have a newspaper photo of Job Winans Angus Jr. (b. 1856; married 1883) as an old man, and don’t see enough of a resemblance with this young man. Same for brother Charles Dujah Angus (b. 1852; married circa 1880), whose photo I have seen on Ancestry.

I am wondering if the young man seated is not George Welsh Angus (b. 1849) and behind him his bride (or bride-to-be) Sophie C. Willey? They were married on May 15, 1870, when he was 21, and she was 22. The way Wealthy and Lavinia are seated towards him, he appears to be the focal point.

And, who is the girl in the middle?

PLEASE feel free to weigh in either in the comments below or via email (for the address, please refer to the “About” page)! Thank you.

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Who’s in that old tennis court photo

It dawned on me today, just after I posted the tennis court photo, that I may have an idea of who the lady and little girl are. I suspect that this is Cecelia Russum (Woodruff) Van Horn (b. 1878) and her little girl Abigail. Abigail was born in 1904, and here she looks to be about 6 (?), so if that’s them, this must be about 1910.

The Van Horn Children: Abigail Van Horn, Frances Van Horn, and Robert Osborn Van Horn

Is this Abigail with her mom Cecelia (Woodruff) Van Horn?

Cecelia (Woodruff) Van Horn (b. 1878)

Elizabeth, NJ, tennis court – photo was among those belonging to Jennie B. (Woodruff) Coleman

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

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — Post V

Untitled (Cracked watermelon) By Charles Ethan Porter – ca. 1890; Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Another page from the guest book my grandparents started using right after they were married. And here we see my grandmother’s parents came to pay the newlyweds a visit: William Earl Woodruff (1848-1928) and Wealthy Ann Woodruff (1850-1927). The date was August 9, 1908. They resided at their farm on Conant Street and commented “Our first time to dinner to help eat watermelon.”

Wm Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus

The following day, three visitors arrived: Mary Earl Woodruff of 854 Salem Road — “My first call”; Carrie E. Woodruff of 902 Salem Road — “Spent a pleasant evening”; and Mr. and Mrs. George Maxwell Earl of 637 Jefferson Avenue, Elizabeth — “Here for dinner.”

Mary Earl Woodruff (1880-1957) and Carrie Elizabeth Woodruff (1875-1967) were daughters of Ogden Woodruff and Phoebe Bonnell. Neither of the sisters ever married. They were my grandmother’s aunts even though the age difference between them and my grandmother was only 2 and 7 years, respectively.

Bertha Winans Woodruff (1888 – 1973)

Mr. George Maxwell Earl (1882-1978) was born in Elizabeth and baptized at the First Presbyterian Church there. He and my grandfather may have gone to school together or, perhaps, met through the church. George’s wife was Edith Willis (1881-1978; b. Pennsylvania). The couple appeared in a different blog post I did about my grandparents’ wedding and the list of gifts they received.

I do not know who Jessie A. Pierson was, but below her name in pencil is “Sister Bertha”—the same Bertha who visited previously.

Some August guests

Categories: Brodhead, Earl, Elizabeth, Union Co., Memorabilia, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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