I forgot I had these two other photos when I did my January 9th post on the Woodruff farm.
I offer the below as a comparison; you can see the boys all grown up and ready to go to war. They appear in reverse order in the second photo.
I forgot I had these two other photos when I did my January 9th post on the Woodruff farm.
I offer the below as a comparison; you can see the boys all grown up and ready to go to war. They appear in reverse order in the second photo.
A few days ago, I made an unexpected discovery at our local Tuesday Morning store: jars and jars of quince preserves, not a common sight here. And that reminded me of a very interesting post I’d planned to do a while back but never got around to.
Many descendants of the Angus family may already be familiar with the information I am about to disclose, but on the off-chance these details never found their way down your branch of the family tree, I will go ahead and share.
A while back, I did a post mentioning the fact that almost every yard in America within the right growing range would have once featured a quince tree; it was a fruit that was essential to the process of canning and preserving food. Well, a letter reveals that in addition to numerous other types of fruit trees, my/our second-great-grandparents Angus had a quince tree on their 927 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey, property. I know this because I came across a copy of a letter that mentions the trees and a few more interesting things about the Angus family’s life in the mid-1800s.
Thomas F. Russum, son of Thomas and Cecelia (Angus) Russum and one of the many Angus grandsons, copied the letter on February 24, 1934, on his letterhead stationery (address 6 Seneca Avenue, White Plains, New York). The original letter had been written circa 1849 by a roughly nine-year-old Isaac G. de G. Angus to his godmother in Mexico. Thomas copied the letter before passing it on to Isaac’s son Addison Clark Angus, who was then living at 1833 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
I surmise that Thomas must have found the letter among old family papers and decided to send the original letter—which evidently the godparents returned to Wealthy Angus after learning of Isaac’s 1885 death at age 45—to Addison, Isaac’s sole surviving child. (For some background on the Mexico connection, please refer to this past post.)
Isaac’s letter, though brief, is absolutely wonderful. Nowhere else have I ever seen/heard/read anything about the Angus household at that time. So, if you have never seen this letter before, I hope you will enjoy reading it. (I have retained the spelling but have added some punctuation for readability and some bracketed information.)
My dear Madrina [Godmother],
My Ma has just written you a letter so I think I will follow her example and write one too. We are all pretty well. We have another little brother. His name is George Welsh. I wish you could see him. He is a very nice little baby and we like him very much. My Pa and Ma wishes very much that you was here. They talk of you and Dona Margarita and Pepa everyday. Jacob [Jacob Baker Angus, 1844-1850] has forgotten all his Spanish and they are afraid that Jimmy [James Winans Angus Jr. 1841-1897] and I will too. Ma hears us read and gives us a lesson almost every day. Won’t you come and live with us. You would like this country. I like it very much. My Pa has got a big house and a very nice garden with apples, pears, plums, quinces and other fruit in it. And he has got a very pretty carriage and horse and some chickens and two little pigs. Give my love to Dona Margarito a Pepa. Tell my Padrino [Godfather] I think he might write me a letter if he ever thinks of me. Give my love to him and all my other friends such as Don Bernardo’s mother. We live in the next house to my Grandpas [Isaac Jaques] and we go there every day. I have no more to write now. You must answer this soon.
Your affectionate godson
Isaac Gabriel de Guadalup Angus
The letter was written after the birth of George Welsh Angus (13 May 1849) and before the death of Jacob “Jimmy” Baker Angus (8 June 1850 – scarlet fever).
The family had departed Mexico in early 1849, after a roughly seven-year stay, due to father James’s health issues. It seems likely that young Isaac wrote this letter in summer/fall when the thought of fruit trees would have been top of mind for a child.
Isaac writes about liking his new country. Even though he was born in Elizabeth, he’d spent the bulk of his life thus far in Mexico City. Returning to daily life in Elizabeth must have been a huge adjustment for him and his siblings. Certainly they must have enjoyed being next door to their grandfather Isaac Jaques and grandmother Wealthy Cushman Jaques who would have been in their mid- to late-50s at that time and, no doubt, delighted to have daughter Wealthy and her growing family back in their midst.
The contrasts between Mexico City (oldest capital city in the Americas, with a population probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 by 1850) and Elizabeth (1850 population: 5,583) must have made a big impression on the family, as I’m sure did the difference in climate. New Jersey winters are usually cold and bleak. The painting on the left, painted two years before the Anguses returned home, shows just what wintry conditions may have awaited them. For Wealthy and James especially, their Mexico life and their adventures there during the US-Mexico War must have lingered in their minds for a very long time. And, until they’d fully acclimatized themselves, daily life in Elizabeth may have seemed a bit boring. Of course, the city of Manhattan, with its population of ~500,000 was close by, so perhaps they were happy to come home and get caught up on all the changes that had taken place in their absence. This was, after all, HOME.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of reception the family received from the community when they returned to live in Elizabethtown. There must have been a lot of curiosity about these somewhat “exotic”” neighbors with their unique international experiences and ability to speak Spanish.
From the letter, we can see that Wealthy was tutoring the children daily, trying to make sure the children would not forget their Spanish; young Isaac does not mention his younger sister Mary Martha who was probably about three at the time. (Another six children would make their appearances between 1850 and 1861, one of them being my great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff.)
Obviously the family had warmly embraced their Mexican friends and now, with such distance between them, only had letter-writing as a way of remaining in touch. The fact that the godparents returned this letter to mother Wealthy Jaques Angus after Isaac’s death in 1885, some 35 years after they’d left Mexico, indicates that the families remained in contact.
It would be fabulous to know who these godparents and friends in Mexico were. Unfortunately I have not come across those details yet.
If anyone out there has more information about anything related to this post, please do share. Thank you.
In April 2015, I posted quite an extensive write-up on Isaac G. de G. Angus, which included a fair amount of information about his parents, my second-great-grandparents, James W. Angus and Wealthy Jaques Angus. For that post, please click here. I’m publishing this “Part II” today, not that it is a continuation of that post, but rather simply a bit more information about Isaac, including a photo, and his time at Princeton University, information I found while visiting Princeton University’s digitized online archives.
Due to ownership/copyright restrictions, it’s best that you go to the site yourself to view these items/request copies for your own files. (See links below.) I did pay for a high-resolution version of the image, but I am not permitted to publish it here.
Princeton’s archives include a letter dated September 5, 1859, written by James W. Angus. Isaac must have had some behavioral issues that barred him from returning for his senior year. The letter pleads with Dr. John Maclean to allow Isaac to return, vouching that he (Isaac) much regrets his inappropriate behavior (which appears to have involved alcohol) and seems a changed person who is ready to get back to business at Princeton. If Isaac were to fail again, James promised not to bother Dr. Maclean any further. Obviously Princeton agreed to take him back since he graduated in 1860.
Also available via Princeton’s archives is a small note with accompanying envelope, both written by Isaac’s wife Susan Robinson on December 9, 1986, advising Princeton that her husband had passed away.
I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit about the Angus family. Have a great day!
P.S. I believe this image of Isaac may be on Find a Grave, perhaps in higher res.
Last year I came upon the above photo of my great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff. She is pictured outside the barn of the old Woodruff farmhouse in Hillside, NJ. The house still stands, but the barn and surrounding fields were eventually lost to development. This is the only old photo I’ve seen of the premises there, and the fact that it includes my father and his cousin Dick Brown makes it even more special.
When my late Dad retired in the late 1980s, he set out to write down his recollections of the years in his life leading up to his marriage to my Mom; his logic for stopping there was that we all knew what came next. At the time that bothered me, but all these years later, I can see his point. Why potentially ruffle the feathers of your kids and other family members by writing something they may read some day and take the wrong way?
Of course, I am exceedingly grateful for the details he left us about his growing up years. Here are some recollections of 1927 that pertain to the old Woodruff family farm house and the wooden sugar bucket (photo, right):
…Grandma Woodruff died. A real blow to everyone. I remember seeing her in her casket in the living room of the old farmhouse on Conant Street in Hillside, NJ. I remember going into the field and picking some daisies and bringing them in the house and placing them in her stone cold hands. I remember the old barn. One day the young hired hand dared me to eat horse feed. I did and got sick as a dog. I remember an old horse-drawn wagon in the yard. Dick Brown (my cousin) and I used to play on it and pretend we were driving. Grandma used to make me ‘sugar bread’. Homemade bread, home-churned butter with lots of sugar on it. She also fed me lots of sweet tea. Nothing not from scratch!…
My Dad’s Grandma Woodruff had six daughters with her husband William Earl Woodruff. I have no contact with descendants of the sisters of my grandmother but, of course, would be pleased to hear from any of them at any time.
Seek and ye shall find. That’s true, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled upon something of value while seeking something else. Last week I was doing some more sifting and came upon a box of old slides from 1948. They were mostly scenes from my grandparents big train trip out west to California and the Pacific NW/Canadian Rockies. But there was a column of other miscellaneous photos, including one of my uncle Woodruff Brodhead and his family on Thanksgiving Day. My Dad was very fastidious about labeling and had terrific penmanship. Atop the slide were the unmistakable words ‘Aunt Vean.’ Having never seen a photo of her, I was thrilled to scan it in and get a look at her, albeit in her much later years (age 88) and with a hat obscuring part of her face. To her right is her housemate of many years, her cousin Elizabeth Booth. At this point they were sharing a home in Montclair, NJ. I still don’t know how they were related. And I don’t know where the photo was taken, but I presume it may have been in Elizabeth, NJ, at the Coleman residence, a distance not far from Montclair, and a home in which family and extended family were known to gather at the holidays. So, if you’re an Angus and have never seen a photo of Lavinia (‘Vean’) Pratt Angus Marthaler, youngest daughter of James and Wealthy Angus, here she is! (She lived to age 94.)
For more on Aunt Vean (Lavinia Pratt Angus Marthaler), visit these old posts:
Lavinia P. Angus (1858-1940s)—geometry whiz; who knew?!
Lavinia Pratt Angus Marthaler outlived all 10 of her Angus siblings
Photo circa 1880: Jno. Philip Marthaler, husband of Lavinia P. Angus
Anyone with an ongoing interest in things discussed in my last post (Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques and the possible Mayflower Connection) should check out page 102 of The Ancestry of Jane Maria Greenleaf: Wife of William Francis Joseph Boardman, Hartford, Connecticut by William F. J. Boardman, a book that was privately printed in Hartford, in 1906. Scroll down to see my red arrow below indicating a Marcia Toocker (daughter of Joseph and Hannah Toocker) who was married to 1) Cushman and 2) Timothy Keney.
I believe this ‘Marcia Toocker’ is the ‘Mary? Zooker/s?’ (married to ‘Eleazer Cushman’ and then ‘? Keeney’) mentioned in the last post and that this ‘Marcia’ and ‘Cushman’ are the same people mentioned on page 206 of Families of Early Hartford: “Eleasur Cushman died Aug 9, 1795 ae 27 bur Center Church. Widow Mercy Cushman.”
The Cushman family website links this Eleasur/Eleazer buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground to Seth Cushman (1734-1771) whose ancestry is documented back to Mayflower passenger Mary Allerton. The entry for Eleasur/Eleazer contains a bit of possibly conflicting info (e.g. place of death MA, not CT—states close together so the body could have been transported for burial in Hartford; and a wife named Sarah—she would have to have preceded Marcia/’Mercy’, spouse at time of death).
Referring back to the Toocker ancestry, we can see that Marcia was born between 1770 (birth of older sister Rhoda) and 1779 (birth of younger brother Joseph). Sibling Mary (aka Polly) preceded Marcia (‘Mercy’). Marcia’s year of birth probably lies between 1775-1777/8, perhaps closer to the latter if this is the ‘Mercy Keeney’ found in “Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934” on FamilySearch:
Name: Mercy Keeney
Birth Date: abt 1779
Age at Death: 70
Death Date: 7 Jul 1849
Death Place: Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
FHL Film Number: 1313828
So it appears highly possible that timeline-wise, my third great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Cushman (m. Isaac Jaques), born 11 November 1793, in Hartford, CT, is the daughter of Eleasur (Eleazer) and Marcia (Mercy). Now to prove it! Anyone with thoughts, ideas, please feel free to share. And if/when I make any headway on this, I will let you know.
Happy Thanksgiving to all this blog’s readers! Thank you for your support and encouragement this past year, and thanks to all of you who have shared information, supplied material for guest posts, or written guest posts yourself. I have seen this blog continue to help people connect with family members near and far, and for that I am also very grateful.
Today’s post may be of interest to descendants of Isaac Jaques and Wealthy Ann Cushman and it concerns the possible familial link between Wealthy and the youngest of the Mayflower’s 102 passengers—Mary Allerton. (Anyone out there with information on that link, please do get in touch via the comment box below or my email address which appears on the ‘About’ page.)
I had absolutely no idea when I visited Plimoth Plantation at age 12 that I may be related Mary Allerton. I recall wandering that open-air museum on a very cold and raw day, thinking about what it must have been like to get through just one day of life in the 1620s, let alone entire months and years. Brrr—just thinking about it makes me cold. (Ever see the episode of Colonial House where Oprah and her friend Gayle “go back in time” 400 years to experience life in a Maine settlement? See https://vimeo.com/2811969. Again, all I can say is Brrrrrrrrrrr….) Our foreparents were made of extremely tough stuff! (Four hundred years from now, they may be saying that about us, which is hard to imagine given how comfortable life is today, compared to 400 years ago.)
Forward to 2016. You may recall that I was somewhat flabbergasted this past summer to come across an obit for Job Winans Angus Jr. in which it was stated that Job had an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. A little hand-written note I found from Job’s nephew Thomas Russum seemed to confirm that this was indeed something worth exploring even if it was, perhaps, wishful thinking on their part. The ancestor on whom all this hinged was Wealthy Ann Cushman: wife of Isaac Jaques, mother of Wealthy (Jaques) Angus, and my third-great-grandmother. Thomas’s note mentioned a father Eleazer and a mother Mary Zooker/s with a question mark next to her first and last names. The year of death for Eleazer was given as 1792, again with a question mark. The mother “Mary? Zooker/s?” was noted as having remarried someone named Keeney and having had two children with him: Aaron and Jane. I did find a death record for a Mercy Keeney who was presumably born around 1779. If the circa 1779 birth date is accurate, she would have given birth at age 14/15, so this may be a red herring; if the date is off and she was older when Wealthy was born, this could be the correct Mercy.
I subsequently found, on page 206 of Families of Early Hartford, an Eleasur Cushman listed as having been buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, Connecticut: “Eleasur Cushman died Aug 9, 1795 ae 27 bur Center Church. Widow Mercy Cushman.” I believe this Eleasur may very well be the father of Wealthy Ann Cushman, who was born in Hartford, CT, on November 11, 1793, and that “Mary? Zooker/s?” was Mercy Cushman, but proving that is an entirely different thing. (Wealthy Ann Cushman married Isaac Jaques on Feb 4, 1812, and they named their second son Eleazer (b. 1820), which may be more than coincidence).
Another thing to prove is the link back from Eleasur Cushman of Hartford to his parents—possibly Seth Cushman (1734-1771) and Abiah Allen. They had a son named Eleazer, born July 17, 1768 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. If you add 27 years to 1768, you come up with 1795, the year of death of Hartford’s Eleasur Cushman.
The links between Seth Cushman and Mary Allerton (1616-1699; wife of Thomas Cushman, 1608-1691) have all been proven and are all documented.
So the challenge is to definitively connect Wealthy Ann Cushman with Eleasur Cushman and Eleasur Cushman to Seth Cushman. If those connections don’t exist, it will be back to square one. I contacted the Connecticut State Archives hoping for some clues about the Cushman family of Hartford, but they had nothing new to tell me. I also contacted the Mayflower Society (MS), but they had no information on anyone using Seth and Abiah Cushman’s son Eleazer to prove Mayflower ancestry. It is up to us descendants to do it. The MS was very helpful and supportive, so as time goes on, maybe they will help steer me in some fruitful directions.
I know from reading some letters that Wealthy’s daughter Wealthy (Jaques) Angus of Elizabeth, NJ, stayed in contact with Hartford relatives and visited them periodically, but I have found no new clues that would better ID them. Perhaps, someone out there has a box of old letters that contains some answers?
Anyway, we are standing before a brick wall of sorts and hopefully, we’ll figure it all out. Perhaps, in time for next Thanksgiving – 2017? It would be fun to be able to pass this info on to the little ones in the family. We shall see!
Again, best wishes to you all for a very blessed Thanksgiving 2016.
I have written rather extensively about Isaac and some of his family members, as you know. First wife Wealthy Cushman of Hartford, CT, died in 1856; and he and Wealthy had nine children: Jane (1814-1843), Wealthy (1815-1892), Isaac (1817-bef. 1880), Eleazer (1820-?), John (1822-1895), Samuel (1824-1858), Walter (1826-1850), Christopher (1831-1851), and Charles (1834-1866).
Isaac’s second wife was Rebecca Ann Gold Robinson (widow of William J. Robinson); and, at some point, descendants of one of Rebecca’s sisters donated an album containing old Gold family photos to the San Benito County [California] Historical Society. In the album was this image of “Uncle Isaac,” as well as one of Rebecca. I am indebted to an Ancestry dot come member for telling me about the image. She is a descendant of one of Rebecca’s sisters.
The photo of Isaac is not dated, but it must have been taken not too long before he passed away, in August 1880 at the age of 89.
Note: I had to pay a small fee to acquire this low-resolution image and get permission to publish it on this blog. If you want a high-resolution copy for your personal use (no sharing via email, no posting on Ancestry, social media, etc.), you can contact the San Benito Historical Society directly and officially request one (for a fee). You can also request an image of Rebecca Robinson Jaques. I paid for the high-res image of her but did not pay the extra fee to be able to post a low-res image here.
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
Here is an image of a few unknowns. I love the photographer! I’m quite certain that’s C. Clarence Coleman on the right. He was born in 1877 and he looks to be about 20 here, maybe younger. I’m not very good with ages. The young fellow to his left looks very familiar but I can’t place him. For some reason this photo was mixed in with some Brodhead family photos which initially struck me as odd given young Coleman is in the photo, but my Grandmother Brodhead was a Woodruff and her older sister Jennie ended up as Clarence’s bride in 1904, so perhaps those connections were all in the process of being established or in place when this photo was taken. Everything would be clearer if I knew who these other folks were. If anyone can identify them, please let me know. The woman on the left looks a bit like Clarence—perhaps, a sister?
Have a great day, All!
PS: The fence is the exact same type my dad built around our swimming pool in the early 1970s. I wonder if the inspiration came from this very spot, provided the fence here lasted another 30-40 years!
Family history in stories recalled by Edie and Leo. Edith GAYLORD Allen, Leo ALLEN, Jr
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