Methodist

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

1882 Marriage Certificate for William Trewin and Elizabeth Sargent

My great-grandfather William Trewin’s first marriage (1868) ended tragically on December 7, 1879, when his wife Edith H. Fry died in childbirth. He remarried and his two sons Bert and Clarence became the beloved sons of my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent. I’d never been able to find an exact date of William and Elizabeth’s marriage until earlier this summer when I found an envelope containing the original marriage certificate. The William Sargent listed as a witness was probably Elizabeth’s father rather than her brother who shared the same name. It appears that her brother Samuel, a Methodist minister, performed the ceremony. These new details, as few as they are, combined with images we have of these four, help paint a faint picture of the happenings of July 31, 1882, in the lives of these ancestors and those closest to them.

Marriage Certificate
This is to Certify
That William Trewin of Elizabeth, NJ
and Elizabeth Sargent of Jersey City, NJ
were by me joined together in
Holy Matrimony
in Jersey City according to the ordinance of God and the Laws
of the State of New Jersey on the 31st day of July 1882
Witnesses
William Sargent
Samuel Sargent, Minister of the Gospel

Trewin_Wm_web

William Trewin (1847-1916)

Trewin_Eliz_web

Elizabeth Sargent (born Slaymaker, but name changed to Sargent when emigrated to US after the Civil War) (1854-1926)

Trewin_Wedding_Certificate_

Trewin-Sargent Marriage Certificate

William Sargent Sr. circa 1869/70

William Sargent Sr. circa 1869/70

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (image courtesy of Frances S. Cowles)

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (image courtesy of Frances S. Cowles)

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Jersey City, Hudson Co., Methodist, New Jersey, Sargent, Trewin, Weddings | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Circa 1906: Two Trewins in support of immigration

Trewins_immigration_play

‘Aliens or Americans’ – cast members from a church play? Elizabeth, NJ, circa 1906

Leafing through my grandmother’s photo album, I came across this group photo showing my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent Trewin standing in the back on the right, and her daughter (my grandmother) Zillah Trewin in the rear on the far left, partially obscured by a gentleman’s hat. On the back, Zillah had written Mother’s class in [???] ‘Aliens or Americans.’ I was intrigued. I scanned it at high resolution to read what was written on the rear left door:

A million immigrants!
A million opportunities!
A million obligations!

Interesting! My great-grandmother, a devout Christian, was evidently a proponent of immigration (not the least bit surprising since she was an immigrant herself—from England in about 1870).

The quotation on the door appears to come from a book called Aliens or Americans (by Howard B. Grose) which was published in 1906 by the Young People’s Missionary Movement, New York. I think this is about the time this photo was taken (Elizabeth’s hair has still not gone the gray that appears in photos from the 1910s).  The peak year of European immigration was 1907, so immigration was a very hot topic at that time, and the photo may be from a play that was performed in their Elizabeth, NJ, church (St. James Methodist) to highlight the church’s duty to engage in mission work by assisting newly arrived immigrants in the resettlement process.

I’ve pulled the author’s preface and Josiah Strong’s introduction to Aliens or Americans and have included them below to give a sense of what my great-grandmother and grandmother may have been experiencing and responding to. The book is available online through The Project Gutenburg (click the link in the previous paragraph). I have not had time to read it (it’s several hundred pages long), but glancing at the table of contents, it looks like it gives plenty of interesting insight into immigration at that time, the Ellis Island experience, etc. Anyone with ancestors who immigrated in the early 1900s may find something of interest here.

Have a good day, all. As always, thanks for stopping by.

PS: For interesting info and images of immigrants from that period visit: A Look at The People Coming Through Ellis Island, 1906 – Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives Website

***************************************************

Preface

new_americans

Image from Aliens or Americans, published 1906

It is not a question as to whether the aliens will come. They have come, millions of them; they are now coming, at the rate of a million a year. They come from every clime, country, and condition; and they are of every sort: good, bad, and indifferent, literate and illiterate, virtuous and vicious, ambitious and aimless, strong and weak, skilled and unskilled, married and single, old and young, Christian and infidel, Jew and pagan. They form to-day the raw material of the American citizenship of to-morrow. What they will be and do then depends largely upon what our American Protestant Christianity does for them now.

Immigration—the foreign peoples in America, who and where they are, whence they come, and what under our laws and liberties and influences they are likely to become—this is the subject of our study. The subject is as fascinating as it is vital. Its problems are by far the most pressing, serious, and perplexing with which the American people have to do. It is high time that our young people were familiarizing themselves with the facts, for this is preëminently the question of to-day. Patriotism and religion—love of country and love of Christ—unite to urge thoughtful consideration of this great question: Aliens or Americans? One aim of this book is to show our individual responsibility for the answer, and how we can discharge it.

Immigration may be regarded as a peril or a providence, an ogre or an obligation—according to the point of view. The Christian ought to see in it the unmistakable hand of God opening wide the door of evangelistic opportunity. Through foreign missions we are sending the gospel to the ends of the earth. As a home mission God is sending the ends of the earth to our shores and very doors. The author is a Christian optimist who believes God has a unique mission for Christian America, and that it will ultimately be fulfilled. While the facts are in many ways appalling, the result of his study of the foreign peoples in our country has made him hopeful concerning their Americanization and evangelization, if only American Christians are awake and faithful to their duty. The Christian young people, brought to realize that immigration is another way of spelling obligation, must do their part to remove that tremendous IF.

These newcomers are in reality a challenge to American Christianity. The challenge is clear and imperative. Will we give the gospel to the heathen in America? Will we extend the hand of Christian brotherhood and helpfulness to the stranger within our gates? Will we Christianize, which is the only real way to Americanize, the Aliens? May this book help to inspire the truly Christian answer that shall mean much for the future of our country, and hence of the world.

The author makes grateful acknowledgment to all who have assisted by suggestion or otherwise. He has tried to give credit to the authors whose works he has used. He is under special obligation for counsel and many courtesies to Josiah Strong, one of the modern patriot-prophets who has sought to awaken Americans to their Christian duty and privilege.

Howard B. Grose. Briarcliff Manor, June, 1906.

***************************************************

Introduction

A million immigrants!
A million opportunities!
A million obligations!
This in brief is the message of Aliens or Americans?

In this country every man is an American who has American ideals, the American spirit, American conceptions of life, American habits. A man is foreign not because he was born in a foreign land but because he clings to foreign customs and ideas.

I do not fear foreigners half so much as I fear Americans who impose on them and brutally abuse them. Such Americans are the real foreigners.

Most of those who come to us are predisposed in favor of our institutions They are generally unacquainted with the true character of those institutions, but they all know that America is the land of freedom and of plenty, and they are favorably inclined toward the ideas and the obligations which are bound up with these blessings. They are open to American influence and quickly respond to a new and a better environment.

They naturally look up to us, and if with fair and friendly treatment we win their confidence, they are easily transformed into enthusiastic Americans. But if by terms of opprobrium such as “sheeny” and “dago,” we convince them that they are held in contempt, and if by oppression and fraud we render them suspicious of us, we can easily compact them into masses, hostile to us and dangerous to our institutions and organized for the express purpose of resisting all American influences.

Whether immigrants remain Aliens or become Americans depends less on them than on ourselves.

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Methodist, Missionaries, Religion, Sargent, Slaymaker, Trewin | Tags: | 1 Comment

Some descendants of the Nixon family of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Louise and Jennie Nixon, 1964

Photo from my family’s private collection: Sisters Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80) in 1964

These lovely elderly ladies are Louise E. Nixon and Jane ‘Jennie’ Bracken Nixon, nieces of my great-grandmother Sarah (Nixon) Boles of Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose parents—William Nixon and Rachel Miller—and numerous siblings moved to the United States in the late 1860s. The ladies were my grandfather William Boles‘s cousins.

A previous post on Sarah Nixon Boles mentioned the fact that most, if not all, of her family relocated to New York after the US Civil War. This Nixon family is presumably part of the Nixon family of Fermanagh*—about which much has been written (e.g., The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and Their Descendants by Henry B. Swanzy, published in 1908).  However, I have yet to figure out the family’s location in the larger Nixon family tree.

William and Rachel Nixon were about 67 and 51, respectively when they arrived in America in 1869 (the year given me by the descendant of Benjamin, one of their sons). Joining them were supposedly all of their children (I’ve found 11, although my mother’s records list 14) except for my great-grandmother Sarah: Mark Nixon (b. cir. 1839/1845), Edward Nixon (b. cir 1845); Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Nixon (b. cir. 1849); Jane Nixon (b. 1851); Thomas Nixon (b. cir. 1852); Sarah Nixon (b. 1855); Rachel Nixon (b. cir 1865); Mary Nixon (b. cir 1858); Benjamin Nixon (b. cir 1862); Robert Nixon (b. 1863); Catherine Nixon (b. 1864); the last three (whom I have yet to find a trace of) were James, John, and William.

Passenger List - The Caledonia - sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 Sep 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

Passenger List – The Caledonia – sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 September 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

The passenger list inset for the ship Caledonia , which set sail from Moville on Lough Foyle at the northern tip of Northern Ireland to New York on 14 September 1868, shows the names of some Nixons–the names seem to fairly well coincide with some of the Nixon children’s names & ages. If these indeed are ‘our Nixons’, it would indicate that the older children may have come ahead of the parents and younger children.

While researching the family, I found William, Rachel and a number of the children in the 1870 US Federal Census, living in NYC Ward 18. William is listed as a ‘farmer’, an answer based certainly on his past occupation in Ireland. The children in the household were: Edward (30), Thomas (20), Eliza (22), Jane (18), Rachel (15), Mary (10), and ‘Bennett’ (10, this was probably ‘Benjamin’).

1870 Census Record ("United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

1870 Census Record (“United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

William Nixon died before the 1880 US Federal Census, as Rachel Nixon is listed in that census record as a widow ‘keeping house’ and living at 203 16th Street, NY, NY. and living with children Edward, Lizzie, Thomas, Rachel, Benjamin, Robert, Mary, and Kate, and several lodgers. The census record indicates that family members were involved in the dry goods business. Son Thomas (28 and now widowed) is listed as being a ‘dry goods buyer’ as is son Edward, age 35 and single. Benjamin (20) is listed as a ‘dry goods clerk’ as is Robert (18). (The 1900 Census indicates that Robert emigrated in 1879.)

Looking at old newspapers, I found the following mortuary notice in the New York Herald, dated 11 Aug 1871: At his [Gramercy] residence, 346 East 17th Street, on Thursday, August 10, William Nixon, aged 69 years. Funeral will take place on Saturday, August 12, at one o’clock PM from Seventeenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, between First and Second avenues. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Almost two decades later, I found a notice for a Rachel Nixon (New York Herald, 12 May 1890): On Saturday, May 10, 1890, Rachel Nixon, age 72 years. The relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services at her late [East Village] residence, No. 224 East 12th Street, on Monday evening, May 12, 1890 at eight o’clock. Interment in Green-wood.

A William Nixon (bur. August 1871, Find a Grave memorial #127997780) and a Rachel Nixon (bur. 5-13-1890; Find a Grave memorial #106845856) are buried in Green-wood Cemetery Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114. The grave is unmarked according to the Find a Grave photographer who kindly attempted to find the graves for me. I’m not yet certain that I have the correct Rachel and William, but hope to pin all this down at some point. Meanwhile I toss this info out there to my readers and future readers who may already have turned over these stones and arrived at some conclusions.

Son Edward Nixon and wife Anna (Bracken) Nixon, who emigrated from No. Ireland in 1883, had four children: Jane ‘Jennie’ (b. 1884), William (b. 1885), George (b. 1887), and Louise (b. 1889). The first two children were born in Manhattan. The second two were born in Bridgeport, CT. Edward died sometime between 1889 and 1900, as Anna is a widow as of the 1900 census. There is an Edward Nixon in the same plot at Green-wood Cemetery (Burial 1899-03-29, Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114; (Find a Grave #106846467), perhaps giving a bit more weight to the possibility that the Green-wood plot is indeed where our Nixon ancestors were laid to rest.

By the 1900 Census, Anna (Bracken) Nixon and her children (ages 16, 15, 13, 11), sister Mary J. Bracken, and a lodger are living at 160 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City Ward No. 8, Hudson Co., NJ, and it was there that the family remained for many years. Neither Jennie nor Louise ever married. Jennie devoted her life to working as a teacher in the Jersey City public school system, and Louise worked for many years as a stenographer and then executive secretary for the president or vice president of a company in NYC. Eventually the sisters joined forces with their brother William and his wife Marion to buy a large house at 680 Orchard Street in Oradell, NJ, where they spent happy years before moving into the Francis Asbury Manor Methodist rest home in Ocean Grove, NJ. Jane died in May of 1972, and Louise in October 1979.

Jennie Boles with Louise and Jennie Nixon, spring 1964

Photo form my family’s private collection: Jennie Boles (75) of Ireland with her American cousins Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80), early spring 1964, New Jersey

Serendipitously it was during their years in Jersey City that Jennie and Louise befriended my grandmother Zillah Trewin who lived there with her parents William Trewin and Elizabeth (Sargent) Trewin. According to my mother, Zillah was great friends with the Nixon sisters, as well as their cousins (the children of Jane Nixon and Wm Elliott Roberts), and it was through that friendship that she ultimately met and married their cousin (my grandfather) William Boles who emigrated to the US in 1912 at the encouragement of his uncle Robert Nixon who sponsored him.

I remember Jennie and Louise well. They were very fun ladies—full of good humor and always had a twinkle in their eyes. I always enjoyed the times spent with them, and best remember our visits to their Ocean Grove apartment. As I recall, we would drive down to see them on Saturdays since the roads in Ocean Grove are closed to all traffic on Sundays. We always took them out to lunch, and I remember taking them down to some restaurant near the ocean in Spring Lake, a short drive to the south. They were two sweethearts and it was very sad to lose them. I would love to have them here now to have some family history chats with them. When I was a teenager that topic was far from my mind.

I’ll close this post with a couple of Louise’s recipes (‘Chocolate Flake Candy’ and ‘Date Balls’) I recently came upon while re-binding my mom’s old recipe notebook. I haven’t tried either of them yet as I am trying to shift a bit of weight. Such temptations would surely sabotage my results! But they will stay on my radar!

If you’ve made it this far in the post, I wish you a great day. If you have anything to add, share, correct, etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment!

Nixon_Louise_recipe

Recipes typed up by Louise Nixon for my mother

Jennie and Louise’s Nixon Tree Branch
1-William Nixon b. Cir 1802, Ireland, d. Bef 2 Jun 1880; possibly 10 Aug
1871 +Rachael Millar b. Cir 1818, Ireland, d. Possibly 10 May 1890, Manhattan, New
York, New York
|—–2-Edward Nixon b. Cir 1845, Ireland, d. Betw 1889 and 1900
| +Anna Bracken b. Aug 1847, Northern Ireland, d. After 1930
| |—–3-Jane Bracken Nixon b. 15 Apr 1884, Manhattan, New York, New York,
| | d. May 1972, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ
| |—–3-William Thomas Nixon b. 24 Aug 1885, Manhattan, New York, New
| | York, d. Sep 1967, Suffolk, New York
| | +Marion Zoller
| |—–3-George Robert Bracken Nixon b. 12 Feb 1887, Bridgeport,
| | Connecticut
| | +May L. Swenarton b. Cir 1889, New Jersey
| | |—–4-George W. Nixon b. Cir 1914, New Jersey
| | |—–4-Frank L. Nixon b. Cir 1919
| |—–3-Louise E. Nixon b. 22 Jul 1889, Bridgeport, Connecticut, d. Oct
| | 1979, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ

Categories: Boles, Co. Fermanagh, Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn NY, Ireland, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Manhattan, Methodist Episcopal, New York, Nixon, Trewin, US Federal 1880 | 2 Comments

Cupid’s Arrow —> William H. Brodhead

Cupid in a Wine Glass, oil painting by Abraham Woodside, 1840s, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wikimedia - expired copyright - in public domain)

Cupid in a Wine Glass, oil painting by Abraham Woodside, 1840s, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wikimedia: in public domain due to exp. copyright)

In early 1893, William Hall Brodhead, 35, was a very busy guy who may have already resigned himself to a life of bachelorhood, whether by default or by design. He was living and working in Wilkes-Barre (Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania) and was one of the most well-known and established coal operators in the area. William was from a very prominent Pennsylvania family–Daniel Dingman Brodhead (brother of my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead) and Mary Ann Brodrick were his parents; Garret Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman, and Irish immigrants James Brodrick and Elizabeth Dogherty — his grandparents. (All the Brodheads mentioned in this post were descendants of Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart, original Pennsylvania Minisink Valley settlers.)

Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894 compiled by Wm Rodearmel (Harrisburg, PA: E.K. Meyers Printing House, 1893)

Major William Hall Brodhead. Credit: “Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894” compiled by Wm Rodearmel (Harrisburg, PA: E.K. Meyers Printing House, 1893); expired copyright

Daniel D. and Mary Brodhead had nine children between 1848 and 1870, and William was child no. 5. Two of his older siblings (James and Elizabeth) and one of his younger siblings (Alice) died young. Oldest brother Henry and younger brother Albert were still bachelors, at 45 and 25, respectively. Baby of the family Emily was 22 and also yet unmarried. Robert, age 32, may have been between marriages. His first wife Susan Amelia Shoemaker, a descendant of Elijah Shoemaker, died shortly after their marriage. He remarried Minnie Stafford of Rome, Georgia, and they started having children in 1896. So, at this point — early 1893 — the only one who had splashed out into post-marriage parenthood was fourth-born, 37-yr-old Daniel Dingman Brodhead, Jr. It looks like he and wife Leonora Hubbard had two of their five children by then: Clement P. and Charles R.. Baby Maude H. (b. 1893) may also have put in her appearance by then.

Any thoughts of competition between the Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Brodhead family and Daniel Dingman (D. D.) Brodhead families with regards to producing grandchildren must have vanished quickly. The two families were very large — A. J. and wife Ophelia had 10 kids between 1843 and 1864. By early 1893, A. J.’s & Ophelia’s kids had produced roughly 30 grandchildren for them, a ten-fold advantage over D. D. and wife Mary’s offspring.

But, back now to William Hall Brodhead. He was a busy guy professionally at this stage as evidenced by his biography published in Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894 by E. K. Meyers Printing House of Harrisburg (p. 208; I have highlighted the most relevant details in bold):

WILLIAM HALL BRODHEAD was born in the Seventh ward of Philadelphia in 1857. In 1873 removed with his family to Mauch Chunk and from that place into the Wyoming Valley region. Since that time has been engaged about the mines in various capacities. He is a direct descendant of Captain Daniel Brodhead, of the British army, who came to this country in 1664 for the purpose of protecting British interests in the Dutch settlement, and settled on the Hudson river. Two of the Captain’s grandsons came over into Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania, and one of them, Daniel Brodhead, who died in 1754, is now buried in the Moravian cemetery at Bethlehem. His son, Daniel Brodhead, was on Washington’s staff, and the first surveyor general of Pennsylvania. So it will be seen that the subject of this sketch comes from good old revolutionary ancestry. He received his education in the public schools of Philadelphia. Had never held any political office before moving to Wilkes-Barre in 1890, though had taken a lively interest in politics. Six month after moving to the above mentioned city he was delegate to the Luzerne County convention. In 1892 he was elected to the Legislature on the Democratic ticket and ran 350 votes ahead of President Cleveland in his district. He was put on the Committee on Military Affairs, Corporations, Judiciary, Local and Retrenchment and Reform. He introduced a bill creating a Mining institution for the purpose of educating young men in the several branches of mining, to better fit them to become foremen and fire bosses ; also a bill for the purification and improvement of the water supply in the Wyoming Valley ; also a bill providing for the repeal of an act which requires the tax collector of Wilkes-Barre to be appointed, and providing that the office shall become an elective one, to be filled by the votes of the people and bill providing that the funeral expenses of paupers shall be paid by the county, instead as now by the poor district in which such indigent person had a residence. Mr. Brodhead takes a very active interest in the National guard and is now the senior captain of the Ninth regiment. He and his boys did service at Homestead last fall for five weeks. As will be seen by the number and character of the bills he has presented, he takes a lively interest in affairs affecting his constituents, and attends well to the duties devolving upon him as a member.

William was an officer in Pennsylvania’s Ninth Regiment, National Guard, and during the summer of 1893, he attended the regiment’s annual camp. That year it was held in the town of Berwick (Columbia Co.), and ‘lo and behold, during the course of his stay there, he was introduced to Mary Jackson Van Tassel, a young lady of about 19-20 who came from a very prominent Pennsylvania family. The two developed a bit of a friendship that would blossom into something much greater weeks later when William was on a hunting expedition near Berwick and fell very ill. His prognosis was dire, and when Miss Van Tassel learned of William’s illness she went to care for him, watching over him day and night. Cupid’s arrow hit its mark and, thankfully, against all odds, William made a full recovery. Love has a habit of doing that, eh?!

William was totally smitten, and the parents on both sides, no doubt totally mortified by the age difference, worked behind the scenes to sabotage the couple’s young love. This went on for over a year until William and Mary quite obviously had enough and went behind everyone’s backs to be married in secret on December 5, 1894.

Wm Hall Brodhead, image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894

Wm Hall Brodhead, image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894


Even that day, they had been under heavy scrutiny by Mary’s mother who was completely bamboozled by Mary’s race out a back door to a taxi that whisked her away to waiting William. They fled to the Columbia County Court House for a marriage license and then sped to a Methodist parsonage where a Rev. Ferguson proclaimed them man and wife. No doubt because of William’s prominent position in Wilkes-Barre and the two families’ prominence in eastern Pennsylvania society, the marriage made it into a number of papers, including The New York Herald (you can read the article below). Amazingly, another wedding took place that day — that of William’s oldest brother Henry Conrad Brodhead. That wedding provided the perfect camouflage for William to work his plan on his side of the family. With all the Brodheads probably gone to NYC for Henry’s wedding, William was able to jump into action with no possibility of any of his detractors interfering.

After the wedding, William and Mary returned to Wilkes-Barre to await their families’ forgiveness; then they planned to head off to California for the winter.

Tragically, there was to be no happy ending for William and Mary. Whatever it was that ailed him on his hunting trip may have returned in the spring of 1895 for he passed away at home in Wilkes-Barre on 7 June 1895, just three days after his younger sister Emily’s wedding to Robert Honeyman.

But William’s legacy lived on in the form of William Hall Brodhead, Jr. who was born later that year — on 1 December 1895. And, if I’m correct, that child lived to the ripe age of 77. Major William H. Brodhead Sr. was buried in Wilkes-Barre’s Hollenback Cemetery — no doubt a very sad day for all, especially his young wife after just six months of marriage.

New York Herald, part 1 (credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, part 1 (credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 9 June 1895 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 9 June 1895 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Brodhead, Brodrick, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Mauch Chunk Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Methodist, Obituaries, Philadelphia, Scandal, Van Tassel, Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co | 6 Comments

Traces of Our Slaymakers in Northamptonshire

The Northampton Mercury, 26 January 1861

The Northampton Mercury, 26 January 1861

George Wills died in 1857 and his son-in-law William Slaymaker and daughter Mary removed to Northampton to head a stone masonry business there. With them were their daughter Elizabeth (my great grandmother) who would have been six at the time the above ad appeared; son Samuel who would have been about eight (he went on to be a well-known Methodist minister affiliated with Ocean Grove, NJ); and daughter Sarah (a.k.a. Sadie) who would have been just a baby. Son William appeared in 1861, probably after this ad was placed. I’ve done quite a few posts about them already. When they emigrated to the US in 1870, they changed their last name to ‘Sargent.’ The family settled in Jersey City, Hudson Co., NJ. I’ve found a few more traces of their Northamptonshire roots and will share them in future posts.

George Wills, 1793-856, Image from private family archives. George Wills' original portrait was inherited by his daughter Martha according to the will

George Wills, 1793-856, Image from private family archives. George Wills’ original portrait was inherited by his daughter Martha according to the will

William Slaymaker (changed last name to Sargent before moving to the US in 1870)

William Slaymaker (changed last name to Sargent before moving to the US in 1870)

Elizabeth [Slaymaker] Sargent Trewin

Elizabeth [Slaymaker] Sargent Trewin

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (image courtesy of Frances S. Cowles)

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (image courtesy of Frances S. Cowles)

Categories: Methodist, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Sargent, Slaymaker, Wills | Leave a comment

An Update on the Thomas & Sarah Trewin Family of Woolwich, Co. Kent

Two posts ago, I was wondering what became of my great great grandfather Thomas Trewin’s brothers, William and John. There was quite an age difference between the brothers. William was roughly five years older than Thomas, and John was roughly ten years younger. Thomas emigrated to the US via Canada, and I’d thought perhaps one or both of the brothers may have done the same. Well, I am still not sure about William, but I found three World Connect family trees corroborating that John, house and ship joiner, was already married (Sept 1852) to Susannah Barrett Coad of Lambeth (Surrey, London) at the time Thomas Sr.’s will was written and proved. Susannah was also of the Wesleyan Methodist faith as is evidenced by her baptism on August 20, 1832, at the China Terrace Wesleyan Church in Lambeth. Her parents were originally from Cornwall, her father having been born in Polperro, and her mother in Talland.

Cornwall, 1830 Map; Talland can be seen closer to the northeast corner (for map credit, see below)

Census records presumably (I say presumably, because I have not seen these records with my own eyes) indicate that John and family lived at 4 Watkins Terrace, Bow, Bromley, in 1861; at 62 Fore Street, St. Anne, Limehouse, in 1871; and at New Cross, 33 Brunswick Rd., St. Leonard, Bromley, in 1881. The 1871 Census shows Susannah keeping a coffee shop.

Proximity of Polperro and Talland, Cornwall, UK

John and Susannah had nine children according to all three World Connect Trees; only one tree lists the children and that list contains eight children, so I don’t know about the ninth. The eight listed are Sarah, Thomas, Henry, Jessie, William, Merriam, John, and Arthur. By the 1881 Census, Henry is working as a warehouseman, and William as an “asst. measurer” at the docks. Eldest daughter Sarah married Walter James Odgers Jane in Stepney, London, in 1877. She had five children: John, Edith, Mabel, Lillie, and Arthur.

London Map from 1831, with Woolwich, Lambeth, Limehouse, Bromley and Poplar circled in red (for map credit, see below)

My impression is that these World Connect trees were done by individuals researching the Coad family. Unfortunately, they provide no clues that can take us back to prior generations of our Trewin line. I am going to search the census records to see if I can find older brother William. I doubt he emigrated as age and family commitments probably would have ruled out such a huge undertaking, but you never know. Below is an updated tree showing what we now know about the three brothers.

 Thomas & Sarah Trewin Children*  
1-William Trewin b. 23 Jan 1812, c. 23 Feb 1812, Wesleyan Church, Middle Street, Gosport, Hampshire, England
1-Thomas J. Trewin b. 12 Aug 1817, Woolwich, Kent, England, c. 7 Sep 1817, Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England, d. 19 Sep 1875, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. 22 Sep 1875, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|   +Mary Anne Phillips b. 1820, Deptford, Co. Kent, England, d. 30 May 1878, Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, bur. 2 Jun 1878, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|     |–2-Thomas John Trewin b. 31 Dec 1839, 9 Powis Street, Woolwich, Co. of
|     |    Kent (now Greater London), d. Jul 1913, bur. 31 Jul 1913, Evergreen
|     |    Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|     |–2-William Trewin b. 21 Mar 1847, Hardin Street, Woolwich Dockyard, Co.
|     |    Kent (now Greater London), England, d. 4 Dec 1916, Elizabeth General
|     |    Hospital, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. 7 Dec 1916, Evergreen
|     |    Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|     |–2-Elizabeth Trewin b. 12 Apr 1848, 18 Maxey Rd., Plumstead, Charlton, Co.
|     |    of Kent, d. Bef 1857
|     |–2-Emma Trewin b. 4 May 1850, Campbellwell, England, d. 9 Jun 1933, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ,
|     | bur. 12 Jun 1933, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ
1-John Trewin b. 17 Aug 1827, c. 14 Aug 1831, Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
|   +Susannah Barrett Coad b. 1832, Lambeth, Surrey, London, c. 20 Aug 1832, China Terrace Wesleyan Church, Lambeth, Surrey, England
|     |–2-Sarah J. Trewin b. Abt 1854, Poplar, London, England
|     |   +Walter James Odgers Jane b. Sep 1852, Limehouse, Middlesex, England
|     |     |–3-John W. Jane b. Abt 1878, Poplar, London, England
|     |     |–3-Edith S. Jane b. Abt 1881, Paddington, London, England
|     |     |–3-Mabel J. Jane b. Abt 1883, Paddington, London, England
|     |     |–3-Lillie M. Jane b. Abt 1886, Paddington, London, England
|     |     |–3-Arthur T. Jane b. Abt 1890, Paddington, London, England
|     |–2-Thomas Trewin b. Abt 1856, Bromley, London, England
|     |–2-Henry Trewin b. Abt 1858, Plumstead, Kent, England
|     |–2-Jessie Trewin b. Abt 1860, Bromley, London, England
|     |–2-William Trewin b. Abt 1862, Bromley, London, England
|     |–2-Merriam Trewin b. Abt 1865, Poplar, London, England
|     |–2-John Trewin b. Abt 1867, Poplar, London, England
|     |–2-Arthur Trewin b. Bef 1870, Bromley, London, England

*There were additional children who did not survive to adulthood. See S-U tab of this blog for full tree.

Below are some photos of the children of Thomas and Mary Anne (Phillips) Trewin who left England in 1857. At the time, Thomas Jr. would have been about 18, William about 10, and Emma about 7.

Thomas John Trewin (Jr), bookbinder, son of Thomas and Mary Ann Trewin; Thomas never married and, in his later years, lived with his sister Emma and brother-in-law. (PHOTO COURTESY of Ruth Kirby Dean, descendant)

William Trewin, son of John & Mary Ann Trewin; William married Edith Fry who died after giving birth to their third child; William then married Elizabeth Sargent with whom he had one child, Zillah.

William Trewin, son of John & Mary Ann Trewin; William married Edith Fry who died after giving birth to their third child; William then married Elizabeth Sargent with whom he had one child, Zillah.

Emma Trewin, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Trewin

Emma Trewin, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Trewin

Jersey City, NJ, where the Thomas Trewin Family eventually settled after leaving England in 1857

Maps from David Rumsey Map Collection Cartography Associates:

  • Cornwall close-up: England IV. Published under the superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Published by Baldwin & Cradock, 47 Paternoster Row, June 15th. 1830. J. & C. Walker, sculpt. (London: Chapman and Hall, 1844)
  • East London close-up: The environs of London. Drawn & engraved by H. Waters. Published by Baldwin & Cradock, Paternoster Row, under the superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, February 1st, 1832. (London: Chapman & Hall, 1844)
Categories: Bromley, London, Coad, England 1861, England 1871, England 1881, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Lambeth, Surrey, Limehouse, London, London, Trewin, Wesleyan Methodist, Woolwich, Greater London | Leave a comment

Thomas & Sarah Trewin Family of Woolwich, Co. Kent, England

I was excited to discover that the June 22, 1854, will of Thomas Trewin (the elder) is available online through the UK National Archives.

The document is very difficult to read but so far I have been able to make out the names of three sons—William, Thomas (my ancestor who immigrated to the US with wife Mary Anne Phillips and children in 1857), and John. The fact that a William was listed seems to confirm a previous post’s suspicions that the William Trewin born in Gosport, Hampshire, to a Thomas and Sarah Trewin and christened at the Wesleyan Church there, was indeed the William of this family. Previous research I did showed that Thomas and Sarah had four children who died as infants: two sons, John (the 1st) and Joseph, and two daughters, Mary and Sarah, and that all fits with the three brothers being the sole surviving heirs:

  • William Trewin  b. 23 Jan 1812, c. 23 Feb 1812, Wesleyan Church, Middle Street, Gosport, Hampshire, England
  • Thomas J. Trewin b. 12 Aug 1817, Woolwich, Kent, England, c. 7 Sep 1817,  Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England, d. 19 Sep 1875, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. 22 Sep 1875, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
  • John Trewin b. 17 Aug 1827, c. 14 Aug 1831, Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England

Section of an 1832 map* of London; see Woolwich & Plumstead on the right, well beyond what were then the borders of the city and surrounded by marshes and fields. You can see the Tower of London along the river (upper left corner).

Age-wise they would have been 42, 38, and 26 when the will was drawn up. The document was proved several years later on 12 November 1857. By then the “boys” would have been 45, 40, and 30.  Thomas would have left for Quebec City, Canada, on the ship Ion, with his family some four months prior to that, in July 1857 (they later relocated to Jersey City, NJ. See previous posts for details on the circumstances and journey). I have yet to see mention made in the will of Thomas Sr.’s wife Sarah. It seems likely she predeceased him.

In any case, I am going to try to transcribe the will for posting here. It mentions properties in Plumstead and Woolwich (neighboring areas) and a gift to the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Woolwich. It will take some head-scratching, but I will do my best to decipher it.

I would love to know what brought Thomas Sr. and Sarah from Gosport to Woolwich; I presume it was work-related–perhaps to work at the Royal Arsenal or to help build the Wesleyan Chapel in Woolwich. I’d also love to know what  happened to William and John, whether they remained in the Woolwich area, moved elsewhere, or also emigrated to North America.  Are there any descendants out there?

So there is plenty more to learn, but the will provides wonderful new evidence of their lives in Woolwich. Stay tuned…

SEE FOLLOW-UP POST: https://chipsofftheoldblock.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/thomas-trewin-will/

*Map is in the public domain and available for sharing for non-commercial purposes under Creative Commons.

Categories: Death, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Gosport, Hampshire, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Last Wills and Testaments, Quebec City, Quebec, The Ion, Trewin, Wesleyan Methodist, Woolwich, Greater London | 4 Comments

Rev. Samuel Sargent

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin and daughter Zillah, 1919

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin and daughter Zillah, 1919

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (1852-1926; image courtesy of Frances Sargent Cowles, a great granddaughter)

My great grandmother Elizabeth (Sargent) Trewin, daughter of Mary Wills and William (Slaymaker) Sargent, had three siblings: Samuel, her older brother, and Sadie and William, who were both younger. All four were born in England. While I know little if anything about the younger two, I know a bit about Elizabeth and Samuel, mostly that they were both devout Methodists, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents (George & Mary Wills). I’ve already mentioned my great grandmother in this regard and her support of missionaries.

Samuel became a Methodist minister, and, in his day, was widely regarded as an outstanding orator. His son, Rev. Norman Vincent Sargent, followed in his father’s footsteps, earning by some accounts an even more outstanding reputation. Norman’s son Gerald became a clergyman, too, serving for years as a chaplain in the US Navy.

I remember growing up hearing my mother mention Samuel from time to time. She does not recall ever meeting him, however, though she probably did as a baby or toddler (both Samuel and Elizabeth died in 1926).

The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ

Ocean Grove Tent City

Ocean Grove, NJ

Mom remembered her mother telling her that Samuel’s portrait hung in the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ. Coincidentally, we used to travel down to Ocean Grove every so often until I was in my mid-teens to visit my mom’s elderly cousins on her father’s side of the family, sisters Louise and Jenny Nixon, who lived in a multi-storied Methodist retirement home there. They were lovely ladies and both had a great sense of humor. They passed away in the mid- to late-1970s, within a year or two of each other, and thus, the trips to Ocean Grove sadly came to an end, and we said adieu to the town’s wonderful Victorian architecture, pleasant beach, and unique ambiance.

The town was established in 1869 and developed as a summer, seaside Methodist camp meeting ground. According to Wikipedia, at the beginning of the last century, which is when Samuel would have preached there, Ocean Grove was known as “the Queen of Religious Resorts,” and it remains to this day “the longest active camp meeting site in the United States.” I remember we would always travel down there on a Saturday, because on Sundays the town was completely closed to motor vehicles. The idea of hoofing it around on a Sunday with two elderly ladies and four kids in tow was understandably impractical and unappealing to my parents, though I for one would have enjoyed experiencing a town where pedestrians were king if only for a day. Must be a bit like Venice, Italy, where the absence of cars lulls you into a completely different and totally relaxed mindset (at least if you travel there in the off season). It’s quite a rude awakening to leave.

Samuel Sargent’s grandson Rev. Gerald Hornor Sargent (second from right) being congratulated upon his ordination. Gerald’s father Rev. Norman Vincent Sargent (far right) proudly looks on. (Photo kindly provided by Frances S. Cowles)

I remember driving by Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium and past its curious tent village. It all looked so charming and quaint. Hanging out there for even a week during the summer must have been very cool. No doubt, it was also a fun town to grow up in. Sadly, in all the time we spent in Ocean Grove, we never made it in to visit the Great Auditorium to see whether or not Samuel’s portrait is there. Perhaps it is there to this day. If anyone reading this knows or ever has an opportunity to visit, please share a photo with us. (For more on Ocean Grove’s history, visit the local historical society’s website. I may send them an e-mail myself just to see what they may know of the portrait.) In any case, it was to the tranquility and salty air of Ocean Grove that Samuel Sargent retired after all his many decades of service.

Samuel married Ella Tunison on June 1, 1879, in Jersey City, Hudson Co., NJ, the town in which the Sargent children grew up. In 1889 the couple was living in Kansas when son Rev. Norman Vincent Sargent (m. Grace Hornor) was born, and a daughter, Vivian T. Sargent (m. Clyde Packard), arrived roughly two years later. By then, they had returned to live in New Jersey.

1900 Census – Samuel Sargent Family

The Daily Standard Union: Brooklyn, Sunday, August 24, 1902; courtesy of www.fultonhistory.com

The Daily Standard Union: Brooklyn, Sunday, August 24, 1902; courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com

The New York Sun, Thursday, Nov. 4, 1926 (Courtesy of www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Sun, Thursday, Nov. 4, 1926; Courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com

Below are some biographical materials of unknown origin (probably Methodist conference publications) and some old postcard scenes of Ocean Grove. Samuel had a very rich and fulfilling life and impacted the lives of thousands through the years. His grandfather George Wills, known to be a powerful speaker in his church as well, would no doubt have been enormously proud of Samuel and the legacy he left behind in his adopted country.

Samuel Sargent – Service History

Samuel Sargent Bio, page 1 of 2

Samuel Sargent Bio, page 2 of 2

Ocean Grove bathers–but not on Sunday!

Ocean Grove boardwalk

Bathers at the beach in Ocean Grove

An ocean-side pathway

View of Ocean Grove

Ocean Grove street scene with Great Auditorium in the distance

Categories: Jersey City, Hudson Co., Methodist, Nixon, Obituaries, Ocean Grove, Sargent, US Federal 1900, Wills | Leave a comment

The George Wills Line: Some Fresh Information

I was recently contacted by Tim Laker, who lives in England and is a descendant of George Will’s son, Jabez. Tim has provided some fresh information on the Wills line.

First, he brought to my attention the fact that George had all his children baptized in a Wesleyan Chapel in St. Mary-le-bone, London. I don’t recall having heard or read that, but it makes complete sense since George had converted to Methodism and was living in London prior to taking over his father Sampson’s business after the latter’s fatal accident.

Second, Tim alerted me to additional children of Jabez who were missing from my tree: Frederick Arthur and Beatrice. You may remember that Jabez was a stone carver in the tradition of his father and grandfather, Sampson Wills. Frederick Arthur continued in that tradition as did one of his sons, also named Frederick, who died in 1984. According to Tim, the two Fredericks worked together on the restoration of many London buildings including the Houses of Parliament.

And lastly, Tim advised me that he had been doing research on the Family Search site and believes he has ascertained that Sampson Wills’ parents names were Thomas Wills and Elisabeth Rainbow (married 19 June 1761). The marriage date makes it likely that Thomas and Elizabeth were born around 1740. They also resided in the Wolverton, Buckingham, England, area. I love that surname–Rainbow. How exciting to make it back yet another generation! I think Tim may well be right about Thomas and Elizabeth; with a bit of fiddling on the website, I came upon some of Sampson’s siblings and presumably Sampson himself. The tree my grandmother left behind showed Sampson’s birth date as 26 December 1767. A christening on 20 March 1768, as the record indicates, would be very plausible. There was an Elisabeth Wills born the year after Sampson to a Thomas and Elisabeth Wills, but because the birth took place in Bobbing, Kent, and that is a good distance from Wolverton, it seems likely that a different Thomas and Elisabeth Wills were involved there.

1-Thomas Wills b. Cir 1740, Wolverton, Buckingham, England
+Elisabeth Rainbow b. Cir 1740
|–2-Mary Wills c. 17 Jan 1762, Holy Trinity, Wolverton, Buckingham, England
|–2-Wills c. 4 Jan 1763, Holy Trinity, Wolverton, Buckingham, England
|–2-Sarah Wills c. 14 Jun 1764, Holy Trinity, Wolverton, Buckingham, England
|–2-Sampson Wills b. 26 Dec 1767, c. 20 Mar 1768, Holy Trinity, Wolverton, Buckingham, England

Many thanks to Tim for sharing. He promises to fill us in on more as he finds it out!

NOTE: I will be adding more pages to the GSV Wills Memoirs post sometime next week.

Categories: London, Wesleyan Methodist, Wills, Wolverton, Buckinghamshire | 2 Comments

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