Presbyterian

Irene Bell Wait of Perth Amboy, New Jersey—my new theory

Irene Bell Wait (b. 1764) married my fifth great-grandfather David Wait (b. 1754, Edinburgh, Scotland) on 21 April 1874. They lived in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

A recent comment left on my post Irene Bell Wait, one of my brick walls, which I wrote nearly 7 years ago, prompted me to go back and re-read it. You know, whenever I read my old posts, which isn’t very often, I kind of come away amazed that I managed to come up with so much information. Maybe some of you fellow family history bloggers feel the same way: “Did I write all that??!”

Anyway, that first post mentions an Andrew Bell, a witness to David Wait’s will, which was executed on October 29, 1810, shortly before David succumbed. His wife Irene Bell had died in 1804 at age 39, leaving him with 11 children, many of whom were still very young when he died. Twenty-year-old daughter Margaret was left a house in which she was to raise her younger siblings.

I wanted to try to connect Andrew Bell with Irene Bell as this was the first time I actually sensed I had a lead as to her possible identity, but my attempts to link the two failed.

My latest theory, and it’s only a very loose theory at the moment, was spawned by a reexamination of materials I’d already read and the discovery of a few new ones, and that is that Andrew Bell (b. 1757) and Irene Bell (b. 1764) were half-siblings.

This hinges on “Andrew Bell” being the Andrew Bell who was born in 1757, in Philadelphia, to English-born John Bell (cir. 1725-1778) and his first wife Hannah Smith, daughter of Frederick Smith of Philadelphia, hatter.* One other child, Cornelia Bell, was born in 1755. She eventually married William Paterson, one of the signers of the Constitution. She is mentioned on the website www.constitutionfacts.com under the heading “The Women Behind the Signers of the U.S. Constitution” (note: the birth and death dates are incorrect).

Andrew Bell and his father John Bell were Loyalists, while Cornelia was pro independence. How the family dealt with these divided loyalties is reflected in the numerous letters Cornelia wrote to her brother during the war years. You can read about this in the book Past and Present: Lives of New Jersey Women

At some point, the marriage between John Bell and Cornelia and Andrew’s mother Hannah Smith ended, and John Bell remarried on 27 April 1763, to widow Annaatje “Anna” Meyer Tilden (1731-1819, daughter of Johannes Pietersz Meyer and Elizabeth Pell**; Find a Grave memorial #16213136). Anna Meyer’s first husband Captain Richard Tilden had died in October 1762 in Philadelphia. They had been married for roughly 11 years and had had two children:

Richard, who died in infancy, and John Bell Tilden, December 1762-1838 (Find a Grave memorial #16213149). Obviously, given the second son’s name was John Bell Tilden, the Tildens had some very close connection to John Bell. And, clearly, John Bell did not hesitate to leave Hannah to go take care of the Captain’s widow and her infant son.

From p. 465-466  of Volume IX of The Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, we can read the following about Captain Richard Tilden and son John Bell Tilden (note that the latter’s birth year here is given as 1761; his tombstone says 1762):

The Tilden or Tylden family is one of great antiquity in England; as far back as the reign of Edward III. We find William Tylden paying aid for land in Kent, when the Black Prince was knighted. ( I ) The first Tilden of whom we have record in America was Captain Richard Tilden of England, who died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. October, 1762. He married Anna Meyer, born in New York, August 31, 1731, daughter of John Meyer and Elizabeth (Pell) Meyer, and granddaughter of William and Elizabeth (Van Tuyl) Pell. She bore him two sons: John Bell, see forward, and one who died in infancy. (II) Dr. John Bell Tilden. son of Captain Richard and Anna (Meyer) Tilden, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 9, 1761, baptized in the Episcopal church, and died July 31, 1838, in New Town, now Stephen City, Virginia. He was a student at Princeton College at the time of the revolutionary war and left college to join the Continental army, receiving a commission as ensign. May 28, 1779, in the Second Regiment Pennsylvania line, commanded by Colonel Walter Stewart. He was subsequently promoted to second lieutenant, his commission to date from July 25, 1780. His regiment left York, Pennsylvania, for the southern campaign in the spring of 1781, and he was present at the siege of Yorktown and surrender of General Cornwallis.  At the close of the war he was honorably mustered out of service, and became a member of the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati. During his entire service he kept a diary, which is now in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. Dr. Tilden settled in Frederick county, Virginia, where he practiced medicine until the close of his life. Some time prior to 1824 he was ordained to the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, and during the agitation of the question of lay representation, he advocated the equal rights of the laity with the clergy in the legislative department of the church, for which he and other prominent members were expelled for so-called heresy. In 1872 the church admitted its error by adopting lay representation into its polity. Long before the subject of African slavery took a political shape, Dr. Tilden manumitted his slaves and sent them to Liberia with one year’s outfit. Dr. Tilden married August 9, 1784, Jane Chambers, born in York county, Pennsylvania, December 18, 1766, died May, 1827, (laughter of Joseph and Martha (McCalmont) Chambers, of York, Pennsylvania. [It goes on to list all the children and their progeny.]

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John Bell was 38 when he married Anna Tilden. She was 32, so it would have been highly plausible for her to have had more children. Was Irene Bell, one of my fifth great-grandmothers, a product of this union?

Irene Bell was born in 1764. When John Bell died in 1778 at his Bellfield Estate in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. Irene would have been about 14. The fact that she is not mentioned in John Bell’s will does not seem surprising to me given her age. Note to self to try to find Anna Bell’s will. Perhaps, Irene is mentioned in it.

John Bell’s will appears on page 40 of the New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817 (accessible via Ancestry website, and probably Family Search). In his will, John leaves the following:

  • $500 to wife Anna Meyer Tilden Bell;
  • $200 to ex-wife Hannah Smith;
  • “a negro” to stepson John B. Tilden, who was anti-slavery (as per the Virginia biographical info above) and surely would have freed this individual;
  • “a negro woman, Delia, and her son Rory” to daughter Cornelia Bell;
  • “house and fifty acres of land in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County” to son Andrew Bell;
  • “All my lands in Earls Colne, in County of Essex, England” to friend Mark Grime of Witham, County Essex, England;
  • Residue of Estate to Anna Bell, Cornelia Bell, Andrew Bell, and John Tilden.

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Last reflections:  Irene Bell married David Wait in 1784; it had struck me before that some of the names in their family Bible appeared to be the German/Dutch variants. If Irene’s mother was from a Dutch community and had a Dutch upbringing, as Anna Meyer did, this may explain why a few names in the family Bible sound Dutch. Also, her first two sons were named David and John. Perhaps, David’s father was also David.  If Irene’s father was John Bell, the name John would have been thoroughly appropriate for a second-born son.

In one of my past posts, I’d mentioned that there was some confusion as to which side of the Revolutionary War events David Wait was on. Given what I’ve learned recently—about Perth Amboy being a Loyalist stronghold during the War—the version of him coming to America as a member of the British forces and subsequently being captured now makes the most sense. It would also make sense that David felt comfortable marrying into a Loyalist family. The War had only officially ended a little more than six months prior to their marriage.

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If you have read this far, you are probably someone interested in this family line. Please let me know if you ever find anything that corroborates (or refutes) my “theory”; I will certainly keep chipping away at this. Hopefully we can all get this figured out some day!

PS: I will say that I am very confused by the fact that John Bell had two wives and took the second one while the first was still living. I’ve been doing some reading on marriage, etc. during the pre-Revolutionary Colonial period. Divorce was very uncommon. I will have to look into this some more, but from what I’ve read thus far, the laws in place would likely only have condoned divorce in cases of abuse, adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, and would not have awarded the guilty party the opportunity to remarry while the wronged party was still alive. So was Hannah Smith the guilty party here? Did her actions lead to a divorce and John Bell’s remarriage to Captain Tilden’s widow?

John Bell Tilden was born in December 1872, two months after his father Captain Richard Tilden died. Did Anna name the baby John Bell Tilden because John had been supporting her financially and morally? They married four months after the baby was born.

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*See page 40 of the New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817

**Ancestry.com. New York City, Compiled Marriage Index, 1600s-1800s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Categories: Bell, Loyalists, New Jersey, Perth Amboy, Presbyterian, Revolutionary War, Wait, Woodbridge | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Obit for Mary Jane Woodruff (1833-1916)

Grave of Mary Jane Woodruff (and her younger brother William Henry) in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Grave of Mary Jane Woodruff (and her younger brother William Henry) in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Just a brief post today: the nearly 100-year-old obituary notice for Mary Jane Woodruff, daughter of Henry King Woodruff and Abby Winans Angus Woodruff, which was saved along with a bunch of other clippings by my grandmother.

Mary Jane (single, never married) died on November 30, 1916, at age 84, at the home of her cousin Mary Martha Angus Knowles (1846-1922) and Mary Martha’s husband Austin Fellows Knowles (d. 1924). (Their beautiful house located at 924 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ, was featured in a previous post.)

Below is a tree showing how they were related. My great-grandmother Wealthy Angus Woodruff, one of Mary Martha’s sisters, was a cousin as well. She lived a little less than 3 miles away on the Woodruff family farmhouse located on Conant Street and was probably a frequent guest in the Knowles’ home.

Mary Jane was buried in the First Presbyterian Churchyard. She shares a gravestone with her younger brother William Henry Woodruff (1836-1913).

I have another Woodruff obit to share, but will do so in a separate post. Have a great day, all.

1-Jacob Baker Angus b. possibly 13 Oct 1786, c. 26 Nov 1786, First 
  Presbyterian Church, Albany, NY, d. 27 Mar 1828, Hester Street, New York 
  City, New York USA, bur. Methodist Society Cemetery, New York, NY
 +Mary Winans b. 1784, Elizabethtown, NJ, d. 27 Nov 1824, New York City, Kings 
  County, NY, bur. Stone #1249, First Presbyterian Church yard, Elizabeth, 
  Union Co., NJ
|--2-James Winans Angus b. 10 May 1810, New York City, New York USA, d. 23 
|    Dec 1862, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of 
|    Elizabeth, NJ
|   +Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, d. 7 Mar 
|    1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. First 
|    Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|  |--3-Mary Martha Winans Angus b. 20 Aug 1846, Mexico City, Mexico, d. 16 Jan 
|  |    1922, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
|  |   +Austin Fellows Knowles b. Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., PA (Jim Thorpe, PA), 
|  |    d. 20 Aug 1924
|--2-Abigail Winans Angus b. 16 Jul 1812, Albany, New York, USA, d. 16 Mar 
|    1905, 1177 S. Chestnut St., Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. First 
|    Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|   +Henry King Woodruff b. 1806, New York, USA, d. 1852, Elizabeth, New 
|    Jersey, USA
|  |--3-Mary Jane Woodruff b. 1833, New York, NY, d. 30 Nov 1916, Home of Mrs. 
|  |    AF Knowles, 924 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. First Pres. 
|  |    Church of Elizabeth, Union, NJ

Angus_MaryJaneWoodruff_obit
Knowles_house_924ElizAve


			
Categories: Angus, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Knowles, Obituaries, Presbyterian, Woodruff | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Andrew Douglas Brodhead obituary

A. D. Brodhead

A. D. Brodhead (1853-1917)

Brodhead_AD

Obituary, probably from the Elizabeth Daily Journal, May 7, 1917

My great-grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead (known to many as ‘Doug’) passed away 99 years ago today, on May 6, 1917, a day that would have been his father Andrew Jackson Brodhead‘s 94th birthday had he lived long enough.

When I first started working on our family history 5-6 years ago, I knew hardly anything about Andrew Douglas. Over time, images of him surfaced, as did brief mentions of him in letters and a few articles, but I’d always wondered about the circumstances of his death. Well, the answer came during the “great garage clean-out of 2016” when I discovered this obituary; it describes the very sad circumstances of his passing.

Brief as it is, the obit speaks volumes as to what kind of man he was and offers insight into his life’s travels—from Mauch Chunk, PA, to Perth Amboy, and then to Elizabeth, with his latest place of employment being in NYC.  Father of Frank, Lewis, and Andrew. Husband of Margaret Lewis Martin. I’m sure this event was a huge shock for all the family, including all of Andrew’s siblings and their families. Thankfully, they were a close-knit bunch and looked after each other, something that makes a big difference in how we get through such things.

Categories: Brodhead, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Obituaries, Presbyterian | 9 Comments

Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus (b. 1918) – killed in Italy on 28 July 1944

Angus_WWII_obit_EDJ

Among my grandmother’s belongings: A news clipping that most likely appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal, end of July/August 1944

Among my grandmother’s collection of news clippings was this small mention of the death of Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus from bullet wounds received in the line of duty somewhere in Italy on 28 July 1944. Samuel enlisted in the Army in February 1942, and served with Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade. He was buried in Florence American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. For links to his grave information, click: Find a Grave and American Battle Monuments Commission.

Samuel was the grandson of Job Winans Angus whose “letters from Texas” and obituary notice appear elsewhere in this blog. Samuel had one sibling named Betty. The two were the children of Grace Kendall and Rev. Harry Baremore Angus, an ordained Presbyterian minister who died of influenza on 30 April 1919 at the young age of 35. Grace, who incidentally lived to be 100, and daughter Betty must have been terribly devastated by Samuel’s loss. And I’m sure it sent shock-waves through the extended family, especially given the fact that some of Samuel’s cousins were also still in service, in harm’s way.

Thank you, Samuel Kendall Angus, for your service and for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are remembered and deeply appreciated.

Update 3/11/17:

I found a mention of Kendall in a letter written by Lavinia Angus Marthaler (his grandfather’s sister) to my grandmother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead. The letter was dated 29 Dec 1943: …I received a “V” from Kendall this Monday, from Italy, written Dec. 1.

Update 11/4/19:
Photograph of grave marker is now on Find a Grave. Click here.

Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen

Wikimedia Commons – no copyright restrictions – released by US government – “Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen”

== Summary == The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy. From the [http://www.abmc.gov American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) web site] per their [http://www.abmc.gov/copyright.php copyright info]. [[Category:American Ba

The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy.  US government image – no copyright restrictions – public domain

Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Florence American Cemetery – Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

 {{flickr| |title=DCP_3156 |description=American soldier cimitery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |photographer_location= |photographer_url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Wikimedia Commons – American soldier cemetery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Angus, Death, Florence American Cemetery Italy, Obituaries, Presbyterian, WWII | Tags: , | 6 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evening Post (NY), 2 Sept 1838

Evening Post (NY), 2 Sept 1838

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isaac Jaques (b. 1791) and family – more tidbits

Isaac Jaques had been a successful tailor in Lower Manhattan before retiring to Elizabeth, NJ. An article [found on Genealogy Bank] in the Newark Daily Advertiser, published on Thursday, 15 October 1846, mentions some tailor’s shears–an invention of Isaac’s–as being on display at an exhibition, the Fair of the American Institute: … An entire new invention, by which the cloth can be cut without raising it from the counter.

Elizabeth, NJ, 1872 (David Rumsey Map Collection (*credit below)

Elizabeth, NJ, 1872 (David Rumsey Map Collection (*credit below)

Last week I was wondering why more of Isaac’s children had not been mentioned in the few articles written upon his passing in August 1880. Until last week, I’d never known that Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus had siblings: Walter, Christopher, and Charles. Well, using Genealogy Bank, I came upon an obituary notice in the New York Tribune that was published on Thursday, 26 August 1880. From it, we know that two children were still living at the time of Isaac’s death, one of them being Wealthy Ann (d. 1892).

Downtown Elizabeth showing location of Jaques St (lower right) and 2nd Presbyterian Church - Rumsfeld Map Collection - credit below*

Downtown Elizabeth showing location of Reid St. and Jaques St (lower right) and 2nd Presbyterian Church (middle, top) – David Rumsey Map Collection – credit below* I believe Isaac Jaques lived on Reid Street.

According to the terms of use of articles found via the Genealogy Bank site, I am not allowed to provide a snippet of the actual obituary notice; I am only allowed to transcribe small bits of it (but not too many bits for fear you won’t want to subscribe to their services).  

Isaac Jaques, the oldest citizen of Elizabeth and Union County, NJ, died at his home…  …having accumulated a large fortune, he retired from active business in 1833, and bought a tract [Ricketts Farm]... …built a house which he occupied up to the time of his death. He… …was a member of Dr. Spring’s Church, [The Brick Church**]… …was active in caring for the poor… …was a sincere friend of sailors… attended the daily Fulton-street prayer meetings [up to two weeks before he died]. In the centennial celebration at Elizabeth in 1876, [he was one of four] of the oldest residents of the county [they rode in a carriage together; the others have since died]… …twice married… …two children still living. A sister… … is now lying at the point of death. [Funeral] …will take place… …the ***Second Presbyterian Church at Elizabeth.

So that chopped the obit considerably. Sorry I cannot include the whole thing!

In any case, Isaac’s immediate family now appears to have included the following:

1-Isaac Jaques b. 8 Aug 1791, Woodbridge Neck, NJ, d. 24 Aug 1880,
Elizabethtown, NJ
+Wealthy Ann Cushman b. possibly 1796, Hartford, CT, d. 13 Apr 1856,
Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
|—-2-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, d. 7 Mar
| 1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ
|—-2-Walter Jaques b. Cir 1826, New York City, New York USA
|—-2-Christopher P. Jaques b. Cir 1832, New York City, New York USA
|—-2-Dr. Charles P. Jaques b. Cir 1834, New York City, New York USA, d. 2 Nov
| 1866, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY
+Rebecca Robinson b. Cir 1811, CT, d. After 24 Aug 1880

NY Death Newspaper Extracts (1801-1890) show Charles (a doctor) as having passing away in 1866. So who was the other survivor? Walter or Christopher? There was an 11-year gap between first-born Wealthy and second-born Walter. Had there been other children?

*Image courtesy of David Rumsey Map Collection: State atlas of New Jersey based on State Geological Survey and from additional surveys by and under the direction of F.W. Beers. Published by Beers, Comstock & Cline, 36 Vesey Street, New York. 1872. Lithogc. Power Press Printg. of Charles Hart, 36 Vesey St., N.Y. Engraved on stone by Louis E. Neuman, 36 Vesey St., N.Y.

**For more on the history of the Brick Church, click here.

***For an 1880’s-era exterior view of Second Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, click here.

Categories: Cushman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques, Manhattan, New York City, Obituaries, Presbyterian | Leave a comment

David Wait Family of Perth Amboy, NJ: David Wait’s 1810 Will

City of Perth Amboy, 1823

Perth Amboy Presbyterian Church

Last year I wrote a couple of posts about the David Wait family of Perth Amboy, NJ. This past weekend, I came across details from David Wait’s will dated October 29, 1810, written 14 days before his death at age 56. As you may recall, David was a carpenter and was involved in the construction of Perth Amboy’s first Presbyterian Church. To read the previous posts about David and his family, click on Oct. 5 & 7, 2011, in the calendar/archives on the left side of this blog.

David’s immediate family tree looks like this:
1-David Wait b. 20 May 1754, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, d. 11 Nov 1810, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ
+Irene Bell b. 20 Oct 1764, CT, d. 31 May 1804, Perth Amboy, NJ
|–2-David Wait b. 15 Jan 1785, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 7 Nov 1825
|–2-John Oliver Wait b. 10 Jan 1787, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 23 Nov. 1876, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ
|–2-Isaac Wait b. 26 Apr 1788, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 25 Jun 1815
|–2-Margaret Wait b. 9 Jun 1790, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 4 Jun 1837
|–2-Joseph Thompson Wait b. 13 Oct 1791, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 12 Feb 1854
|–2-Kathrine (Catherine) Wait b. 18 May 1793, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 25 Jan 1813
|–2-Agnes Wait b. 16 Oct 1794, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 24 Mar 1859
|–2-James Wait b. 31 Jul 1796, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 31 Dec 1800
|–2-Sarah Matilda Wait b. 31 Mar 1798, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 21 Jun 1818
|–2-William Elias Riggs Wait b. 3 Jun 1800, Perth Amboy, NJ
|–2-Phillip Kearny Wait b. 30 Sep 1801, Perth Amboy, NJ, d. 25 Feb 1843, Savannah, GA

When the will was written, David’s wife Irene was deceased, having passed away six years previously at age 39, and the children ranged in age from 9-23. The eldest, David and John, were bequeathed all the tools and implements of my trade to be equally divided between them according to their value.(John is the son from whom I am descended).

Brindle cow
PHOTO BY Christian Bickel, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany

Daughter, Margaret, my brindle cow, bed, bedding, 2 chairs, 1 chest, 4 looking glasses (one of which is in trust for each of her sisters, Catherine, Agnes, and Sarah). Said daughter, Margaret, the house and lot in Perth Amboy, which I bought of the late Sophia Terrill, to be occupied by her as a home for herself and all of my younger children, to wit, Joseph, Catherine, Agnes, Sarah, William, and Phillip, until they reach age 21 or are married; and when youngest is 21, executors to dispose of said house and lot, and proceeds to be divided between children, or their heirs, equally. Executors to hold in trust the new house and lots belonging thereunto (in which I now live), to rent or to be sold and profits or proceeds used for support and education of my children.

English flintlock blunderbuss (Image in public domain. See http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/revwar/image_gal/morrimg/blunderbuss.html)

All residue of estate to be divided equally between said children when youngest is 21. Executors–sons, David, John, and Isaac. Witnesses–Andrew Bell, Jas. Edgar, Jr., Lewis Arnold. Proved December 11, 1810. 1812, Jan. 18. Inventory [not totaled]; made by James Harriot, Thomas Griggs. Lists “one uniform Coat, Vest & Boots,” spy glass, case of drawing instruments, lot of architect books, other books, one blunderbuss. (NEW JERSEY, ABSTRACT OF WILLS, 1670-1817, FILE 10279 L; viewable in book Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Volume XII, 1810-1813, page 409)

Daughter Margaret certainly had her work cut out for her, but she had probably already been raising her younger siblings for some time given the tragic loss of mother Irene (Bell) Wait some years prior. One name here that stands out in particular is that of witness Andrew Bell. This may have been a brother of Irene’s. Irene’s ancestors have been a mystery to me so far, so maybe I can find something out by researching Andrew. Hopefully this is a promising clue!

Categories: Last Wills and Testaments, Lewis, Martin, Perth Amboy, Presbyterian, Revolutionary War, Wait | Leave a comment

Rev. Frank Stiles Woodruff in Beirut, Syria–Late 1800s

American University of Beirut (Wikipedia copyright-free image) view of Mediterranean

One of Francis Woodruff‘s younger brothers was Ogden Woodruff (1832-1918). Ogden was married to Phebe Asenath Bonnell and between 1860 and 1884, the couple had twelve children–eight boys and four girls. Frank Stiles Woodruff (Jan 29, 1863 – May 26, 1893) was the second-born child in the family, and we have a letter written by him in 1892, the year before he passed away, to his cousin William E. Woodruff, Francis’s son. William E. Woodruff, my great grandfather, and his wife Wealthy Ann Angus had six daughters, the youngest being Bertha, who has been mentioned in previous posts. She would have been about four when the letter was written. William was about fourteen years older than his cousin Frank.

Frank Stiles Woodruff led a short but very interesting life. He attended Princeton University, graduating on June 17, 1885, with academic honors. The New York Herald of June 18, 1885, lists his name and honorary thesis/oration, “General Excellent Poem, ‘The Battle of Princeton’.” While a student, he won the Dickinson Prize in 1884 and the Science and Religion Prize in 1885. In 1885, he was also listed as one of the Baird Prizemen, having won in the category of Poetry. (The previous details can be found in John Roger Williams’s Academic Honors in Princeton University (p.8.)). He later returned to Princeton and graduated from the Theological Seminary.

On March 28, 1887, The Princetonian mentioned: Frank S. Woodruff, who is now in Syria, has written a poem on the “Cedars,” which has been favorably commented upon as showing much true poetic genius.

The New York Times “City and Suburban” section of June 30, 1891, printed a small article on Frank Stiles Woodruff’s ordination as a Presbyterian minister to Beirut, Syria. The ceremony took place on June 29, 1891 at the Third Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, NJ: At the Third Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth last night Frank Stiles Woodruff of Linden was ordained as a Presbyterian minister to Beirut, Syria. The Rev. Dr. J. Garland Hammer, Moderator of the Elizabeth Presbytery, presided, and the charge to the candidate was delivered by the Rev. Dr. James G. Dennis of Beirut. The Rev. Dr. Gillespie, Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, preached the sermon.

Also in 1891, an article written by Rev. Woodruff appeared in the much-beloved children’s publication St. Nicholas (Vol. XVIII, No. 1-6, Nov 1890 – Apr 1891, Part One, pp. 471-476). The article, “Busy Corners in the Orient,” appears below.

On September 30, 1891, Rev. Woodruff was once again mentioned in The Princetonian: The Rev. Frank S. Woodruff was ordained to the ministry in Elizabeth, New Jersey, June 29. Mr. Woodruff has been elected to the professorship of the English Language and Literature in the Syrian Protestant College* at Beirut, Syria, and sailed for his field of labor early this month.

*Now known as the American University of Beirut.

Sadly, Rev. Woodruff died very young, at just 30. His New York Times obituary dated May 27, 1893, stated: The Rev. Frank S. Woodruff of Elizabeth, who for three years was a teacher in the Presbyterian College of Beyroot, Syria, and later was Professor of English Literature there, died suddenly yesterday at his parents’ home in Elizabeth from a hemorrhage. He left Syria in bad health, but felt much better after reaching home. He was twenty-nine years old. Having been graduated from Princeton College in the class of ’85, he went to Syria, where he taught for a while. Returning, he entered the Princeton Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1891. Soon after he went to Beyroot again and remained there until forced to leave his work by failing health.

Woodruff’s work in Beirut was also mentioned in the book, That They May Have Life: The Story Of The American University Of Beirut, 1866-1941: Another Princeton man called back to a professorship was Frank S. Woodruff, who came first to Beirut in 1885 as tutor of English and was made head of the English Department in 1891 after his graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary. Unfortunately Professor Woodruff’s health forced him to withdraw early in 1893 and he died in America in May of that year, shortly after his return from Beirut. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, NJ, alongside his parents and some of his siblings, Lucetta, William, Carrie, Edward, and Mary. For a view of his grave marker and the family plot, click here.

I was able to find the ship record for his last journey home–he sailed from Genoa, Italy, on an English vessel called the Kaiser Wilhelm II, arriving in New York on May 9, 1893.

The letter to William Woodruff appears below in the photo gallery. As the handwriting is very legible, I won’t go to the trouble of transcribing it here. In it, Rev. Woodruff mentioned the frailty of his health but firmly believed he was in Beirut for a reason–that it was the place he was meant to be. Looking out at the azure waters of the Mediterranean, as he likely often did, Rev. Woodruff must have reveled in his exotic location and in being in such close proximity to places at the heart of the Christian faith. And to all those back in New Jersey who knew him, he must have seemed quite literally a world away.

In the last paragraph of his article for St. Nicholas, Rev. Woodruff pondered whether the technology of Western civilization would impact “Beyroot” by the year 2000 A.D., akin to one of us imagining what changes may take place in our own geographic locations by 2120.  Surely that he himself would be the subject of a blog post in the 21st century would never have crossed his mind–but I hope he would be pleased to know that his work and life have been remembered, among other places, here.

Link to Frank Stiles Woodruff’s grave on Find a Grave

Categories: Angus, Beirut, Syria (now Lebanon), Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Missionaries, Obituaries, Presbyterian, Woodruff | Leave a comment

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