My garage clear-out yielded these two group photos of my grandmother Fannie B. Woodruff and her five sisters, Jennie, Flora, Mildred, Cecelia, and Bertha—the children of William Earl Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus. The photos were damaged and faded, but some “Photoshopping” has helped to revive them a bit. Oldest sister Jennie died in October 1955 so the image was obviously taken sometime prior to that. Sister Flora Ulrich lived out in California, so maybe this photo was taken to commemorate her visit to New Jersey or to mark some other special/solemn occasion, perhaps even the death of one of their spouses. My grandfather died in May 1951 and Jennie’s in December 1953. The location I am not sure of; but I think it may have been my grandmother’s home in Scotch Plains, NJ. I think it’s somewhat sweet that in the top photo they are all looking in different directions as if trying to catch their best sides. In the photos I have of them in their much younger years, all heads were always pointed in the same direction.
When I first glanced at the list of my grandparents’ wedding gifts (Frank M. Brodhead & Fannie B. Woodruff) a number of years back, most of the names did not ring any bells. Now, six years into delving deeper into my family history, many of these names are familiar to me, and I even almost feel as if I know some of them, as odd as that may sound. Naturally, the list both offers clues and raises questions, but c’est la guerre when you’re peeling the six-ton onion that is your family tree.
The wedding took place in Hillside (adjacent to Elizabeth), NJ, at the Woodruff family home on Conant Street on 6 June 1908. For the 1900 census, the family was living at “258 Conant Street”, where today there is nothing but an empty field. However, I’d be willing to wager that 100+ years ago, the old Francis Woodruff home (built by Fannie’s grandfather Francis in 1845 and inherited by eldest son William–Fannie’s father—in 1883) was actually 258 Conant Street because it was a working farm until the land surrounding the home was sold for housing developments. So while I could be mistaken, I feel confident the Woodruff family lived in this home on Conant Street, which is still standing. I remember my dad taking us past this house as kids and telling us that that was where his mom (Fannie) and her sisters were born.
By the way, a brief mention of the Francis Woodruff home can be found in the six-page PDF Eight Colonial Homes, an undated publication put out by the staff of the Hillside National Bank: A third Woodruff house, while appearing to be the same vintage as the others, was erected about 1845. […] …it is frequently the subject of artists’ paint brushes because of its picturesque setting. It was built by Francis Woodruff, a descendant of Enos Woodruff. A letter from Mathias Woodruff in 1843 to his brother, another Enos Woodruff, comments that he is planning to return from Louisiana to help his cousin, Ezra Woodruff, erect a house for Frank. The letter jokingly said in part: “Frank will want him to put up a house next summer. I have advised him to find out from the neighbors what kind of house he wants, sort of architecture, on which side to put the kitchen, dog house, pig pens. If all parties are satisfied, it will save a great deal of talk.” Oddly enough it was constructed sideways to the road, but when the Westminster section was developed by Edward Grassman in the 1930’s, Revere Drive was placed in front of it, so today it faces a street. [On a sad side note, brother Matthias died of yellow fever in St. Francisville, LA, in 1844, and never made it home to help Frank build his house.]
My grandmother was 17 at the time of the 1900 census and worked as a stenographer. Before she was married eight years later, she was working as a secretary for Mr. Edward D. Duffield, then president of Prudential Insurance Co.
Unfortunately, we have no photos from the big wedding day, which is disappointing. I feel very wistful when viewing others’ late 19th- and early 20th-century wedding photos—I sure wish we had some.
Notably absent from the wedding would have been Ophelia Easton Brodhead, grandmother of the groom and wife of Andrew Jackson Brodhead. She died in 1904, just shy of her 82nd birthday, and her husband Andrew’s gift is noted as being given in her memory. Also absent was Calvin Brodhead, Ophelia and Andrew’s son, who passed away in 1907, but two of his children—Alex and Emily—were in attendance. The bride’s grandparents had all passed away by then, one before she was born (James W. Angus) and two when she was just one year’s old (Francis Woodruff & Mary Jane Trowbridge). She would only have had memories of her grandmother Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus who died when Fannie was not quite ten. (Ironically, Fannie is the only grandparent I have any recollection of; all my other grandparents passed away before I was born.)
The gift list contains 133 items, so I won’t scan in and post all the pages, but I will list some of the gift-givers who stand out to me as well as some I would like to figure out. For example, Aunt Fannie Bishop. Who was she?—I wondered. She must have been someone important since my grandmother was named after her! Upon checking census records, I did indeed discover a Fannie Bishop (b. Feb 1852) living with her husband and children (Samuel, William, and Charles) in that very same neighborhood, so perhaps “Aunt Fannie” was a childhood friend of my grandmother’s mother. In short, there are names to be explored here, and as time goes by, it may be possible to figure out who more of these folks are. The Earls are no doubt all cousins, etc., via William Woodruff’s grandmother Mary Ogden Earl (married John Woodruff in 1817), and I have done nothing yet to research that line, so I am sure once I do get around to it, some of these names will start to pop up. Likewise with the Cranes, a very old Elizabeth, NJ, family.
The parents of the bride and groom were: Andrew Douglas (A. D.) Brodhead and Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead, and William Earl Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff. The extended Woodruff and Angus families were very large, the former being among the original settlers of what became Union County. Andrew Brodhead, who hailed from Mauch Chunk, PA, and whose immediate and extended family was also very large, met and married Margaret Martin (a descendant of David Wait & Irene Bell) of Perth Amboy, NJ, and, after living for many years in that town, they and their children transitioned to Elizabeth.
Perhaps, you will find the name(s) of some of your ancestors on this list, and if you do, please feel free to give a ‘shout-out’ in the comment box. It’s fascinating to see so much family coming together for a big event, something that probably happened much more often back then given how enormous families were. Births, weddings, and funerals must have been quite common occasions.
I’m including the wedding announcement, which I posted once previously on the blog, but I think it adds to this post so I am publishing it again. As for the necklace mentioned, I suspect it was sold to a new owner during the Great Depression; I never heard my Dad mention it or its whereabouts.
Well, here is the list! (As always, comments, corrections, additions, etc., are always welcome.)
- Mr & Mrs Blakslee [sister and brother-in-law of father of the groom]—1 dozen silver knives
- Mr. & Mrs. Alex Brodhead [son and daughter-in-law of the late Calvin Brodhead & Laura Leisenring; Calvin was father-of-the-groom’s older brother]—Berry set and silver spoon
- Mrs. E. B. Earl—Silver tongs
- Lizzie Earl—Sherbet glasses
- Grace Earl—Picture
- The Misses Crane—Doily
- Miss Emily Easton Brodhead [daughter of the late Calvin Brodhead & Laura Leisenring; Calvin was father-of-the-groom’s older brother]—1/2 dozen orange spoons
- Annie Earl—Cherry centerpiece
- Florence Earl—Butter spreader
- Mr. and Mrs. R. O. Van Horn [sister and brother-in-law of bride]—Old-fashioned chair
- Mildred W. Woodruff [sister of bride]—Green (?)
- Andrew J. Brodhead [ brother of the groom]—1/2 dozen sherbet glasses ivy leaf
- Mr. Richard Brodhead [brother of father of the groom] & family—cut-glass bowl
- Mr. & Mrs. A. D. Brodhead [father and mother of groom]—Bread tray, mustard (?), and salt dish & cash
- Aunt Vean & Elizabeth Booth [mother-of-the-bride’s younger sister Lavinia P. Angus Marthaler & her cousin]—Table center
- Dr. G. Carlton Brown [future husband of Mildred W. Woodruff, sister of the bride]—Tabourette
- Cal & Gertrude Brodhead [son and daughter-in-law of Garret Brodhead (father of groom’s brother) & Annie Kocher]—Gas Lamp
- James E. Brodhead [brother of father of the groom] & family—$60
- Mr. Charles C. Martin [brother of mother of the groom]—Cut-glass water pitcher
- Mr. and Mrs. John Davidson [Likely a cousin of Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead, mother of the groom; the two shared a common great grandfather, John Oliver Wait]—cut-glass vase
- Mr. R. P. Brodhead [brother of father of the groom]—1/2 dozen tablespoons
- Mr. & Mrs. James A. Knowles [cousin of bride; son of Mary Martha Winans Angus and Austin F. Knowles]—picture
- Dan Brodhead [probably Daniel Dingman Brodhead, cousin of father of groom; son of Daniel Dingman Brodhead & Mary Ann Brodrick]—1/2 dozen teaspoons
- Mr. & Mrs. Franklin Burk [sister and brother-in-law of father of the groom]—Candlesticks
- Aunt Phebe Marsh & cousin Anna—1/2 dozen towels
- Grandfather Brodhead in memory of Grandmother Brodhead [Andrew Jackson Brodhead in memory of Ophelia Easton Brodhead]—1 dozen silver forks
- Cousin Sallie Whitehead [likely the daughter of Smith Winans Whitehead who married Johanna Thompson Woodruff, aunt of the father of the bride]—China salad bowl
- Mrs. Frederick Moon [sister of father of the groom]—Silver card basket
- Cousin Ida Smith—picture (fireplace)
- Mr. & Mrs. Richard S. Earl—1/2 dozen glass tumblers
- Jennie Coleman [sister of the bride]—2 pictures
- Mr. E. B. Earl—Cream & sugar (silver)
- Mr. & Mrs. W. A. C. Earl—1/2 dozen spoons
- Julia Crane —Salad bowl
- Alice Crane—Glass vase
- Fanny Crane—Cut-glass berry bowl
- Mr. & Mrs. Walter H. Knowles [cousin of bride; son of Mary Martha Winans Angus and Austin F. Knowles]—Butter knife
- Mr. & Mrs. Job W. Angus [mother-of-the-bride’s brother and sister-in-law Jeannette Tillou]—Cut-glass bowl
- Mr. & Mrs. Morris Budd [parents of wife of Ogden Bonnell Woodruff, cousin of bride’s father]—cut-glass (?)
- Aunt Fannie Bishop—China centerpiece
- Aunt Edith & Uncle Walter [Walter Prince Angus and his wife Edith Marshall; Walter was the youngest brother of the bride’s mother]—Cucumber server
- Celia Belle and Nell—Salt & pepper
- Aunt Celia & Uncle Tom [Celia Angus and Tom Russum–sister and brother-in-law of mother of the bride]—Cream & Sugar silver (exchanged for teapot)
- Anna and Mabel Dickinson [Daughters of the sister of the father of the bride; children of Emma & John Dickinson]—Silver pie server
- The Misses L. P. and M. E. Woodruff [Likely father-of-the-bride Wm Woodruff’s elderly, never-married aunts: Lucetta P. and Mary Elizabeth—Sugar tongs
- Ogden B. Woodruff & Edward E. Woodruff [father-of-the-bride’s cousins, sons of Ogden and Phebe Woodruff]—6 silver forks
- Mr. & Mrs. Ogden Woodruff [father-of-the-bride’s Uncle Ogden and Aunt Phebe]—2 soup spoons
- Lucetta C. Woodruff, Carrie E. Woodruff & Mary E. Woodruff—Silver knives
- Mr. & Mrs. Garret Brodhead [brother and sister-in-law of father of the groom]—Centerpiece and doilies
- Mr. & Mrs. Isaac J. Ayers & Family [brother-in-law and sister of father of the bride]—Art glass celery dish
- Mr. & Mrs. George Maxwell Earl—Picture
- Mr. & Mrs. John Woodruff [father-of-the-bride’s cousin, son of Ogden and Phebe Woodruff, and his wife Carrie Conover]—Sugar shaker
- Aunt Annie Crane—Silver cream ladle
- Mr. & Mrs. Scott O. Woodruff—Picture
- Watts Knowles [cousin of bride; son of Mary Martha Winans Angus and Austin F. Knowles]—Silver sugar spoon
- Mr. & Mrs. A. F. Knowles [Aunt of the bride–Mary Martha Winans Angus—and Austin F. Knowles]—Silver butter spoon
- Gertrude Knowles [cousin of bride; daughter of Mary Martha Winans Angus and Austin F. Knowles]—Hand-worked towels
- Lewis Brodhead [brother of the groom]—Knives – 2 dozen – 2 sizes; Carvers – 2 sets – 2 sizes; Pie knife, 1/2 dozen tablespoons, 1 dozen teaspoons
Below is a Summons Notice that appeared multiple times in 1918 New York newspapers. It comes from the Brooklyn NY Daily Standard Union, Friday, 15 March 1918, and contains a ton of names of people who are in some way related to James W. Angus, one of my 2nd great grandfathers. He died of erysipelas (acute streptococcus bacterial infection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics) on 23 December 1862, over 50 years prior to this notice’s publication.
I am slowly chipping away at a lot of these names, partly thanks to the recent discovery of Jane Jaques Birch and John B. Jaques and their offspring. I have no idea what the kerfuffle was, who the plaintiff was, etc. It appears to have something to do with James W. Angus’s estate and property at 17 Ross Street, Brooklyn (visible in the upper left of Ward 19 in the attached map).
You may find some names of interest, too, if you are researching these families, so I am publishing the notice here. Thank you, Fulton History website, for allowing articles to be snipped and published elsewhere!
MAP LINK: Plan of New York and Brooklyn. (Atlas of New York and vicinity … by F.W. Beers … published by Beers, Ellis & Soule, New York, 1868) – David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
(This post is a continuation of the previous post on Isaac Jaques.) A brief but interesting statement appeared in The Trenton State Gazette on April 13, 1880, celebrating Isaac Jaques’ longevity: Isaac Jaques, the oldest citizen of Elizabeth is 91 years of age. He has seen every President of the United States, except President Hayes. His age was not quite accurate, but nonetheless, this was a fun entry to come upon. If it’s true, he would have seen Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Munroe, Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Polk, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, and Grant! That’s pretty extraordinary to think about.
So what else do we know about Isaac? Well, according to US census records, in 1880, prior to his death, Isaac Jaques was living in his stately Elizabeth, NJ, home with his 2nd wife Rebecca (age 69) and two sisters-in-law: Angelina Wile (82) and Sarah Brown (80).
Isaac’s daughter Wealthy Ann Angus (widow of James Winans Angus, d. 1962) was living up the road with her three children who had yet to fly the coop (she and James Angus had 11 children in all): Walter (18, machinist), Job (23, machinist [and future superintendent of the construction of the Smithsonian Institution building in Washington, DC, and personal friend of President Lincoln]), and Charles (26, oil dealer). Next door to the Angus family lived Wealthy’s daughter Cecelia (25) and son-in-law Thomas B. Russum (30, draughtsman) and the Russum’s children Thomas (6) and Charles (1).
I would have liked the Memorial article in the last post or the obituaries I’ve seen to have included names of Isaac’s children. For some reason, our family tree for Isaac Jaques has always listed just one child for him and his first wife, Wealthy Ann Cushman: Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, mentioned above. I’d long wondered whether that was correct. It’s been on my “to-do” list for a very long while. So today, I decided to do some digging and discovered one Ancestry tree (yes, I took the plunge after coming upon an enticing promo code) showing a son Walter (b. 1826, NYC) and a son Christopher P. (b. NYC, 1832). Although no sources were cited, I was very intrigued, so I took to the census records, and, lo and behold, in the 1850 record (available for free on Family Search), I discovered Walter (dentist) and Christopher P. There was also another son named Charles P. (b. cir 1834). Christopher and Charles (18 & 16) were working as clerks, perhaps in their father’s tailor shop. The census also showed a Catherine, age 20, and two small children (Isaac and Ann). I presumed Catherine may have been the wife of one of the son’s (Walter?), as the small children were a tad young to still be Wealthy’s. Turns out I was right–I found Catherine and her two children living with her parents (Samuel and Elizabeth Nichols) in 1860 in Elizabeth, NJ. What had happened to Walter? (5/21/13 Update: Walter must have passed away by then. I found a marriage record for Catherine on Family Search–she remarried Willet Stevenson on 22 October 1863 in Elizabeth, NJ.) (10/29/16 Update: Catherine was married to another son named Samuel.)
Wealthy Ann Cushman, Isaac’s first wife, passed away on April 13, 1856. A New York Times obituary for Wealthy [Cushman] Jaques was published on April 15, 1856: At Elizabeth, NJ, on Sunday morning, MRS. WEALTHY ANN JAQUES, wife of Isaac Jaques, in the 62d year of her age. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, this (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock, from her late residence. By the time of the 1860 census, Isaac (roughly 69) was married to Rebecca Robinson, a widow (age 49).
In summary, I am quite surprised never to have seen any mention made of Wealthy Angus’ siblings in any obituaries anywhere. Perhaps, indeed, they all predeceased her and her father, Isaac Jaques. I just truly find it odd that no family histories in my direct family line and the neighboring lines I’ve seen included any mention of anyone other than Wealthy Angus. Was it because she had been the most successful and the others not worthy of a mention? (I should hope not!) Or maybe they predeceased Wealthy and her father? Or maybe there are mentions of them out there that I simply have yet to come across.
This post has gone on way too long, so I will bid adieu for now. I have one other ‘bombshell’ to share, but I’ll leave that for next time! Maybe by then, I will have learned more about Isaac’s progeny.
I just love this photo and wish I had more like this one. Thankfully it was labelled (but not dated) when I found it buried with all sorts of family papers. It was in bad shape so I spent a lot of time on Photoshop getting rid of distracting specks, spots, and tears. Seated are the moms, two of James and Wealthy Angus‘s daughters, Cecelia Bensey (Angus) Russum and Wealthy Ann (Angus) Woodruff. Standing are their spouses, Thomas B. Russum (left) and William Earl Woodruff (right). (Wealthy and William Woodruff were my great grandparents. William, son of Mary Jane Trowbridge and Francis Woodruff, was the one who was mentioned in previous posts as having received letters from his uncles, Henry and Uzal Trowbridge, during the Civil War.) The photo was taken in the early 1890s, perhaps on the occasion of Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus’ death in March 1892 (both sisters dressed in black). Little Bertha Woodruff was born in 1888; I’d say she looks about four here. Anyone with a stronger opinion on her age, please let me know your thoughts.
With the moms and dads are some of their children and some children of another Angus sister, Mary Martha (married to Austin F. Knowles). I have labelled the photo so I won’t repeat names here. Suffice it to say that I have quite an abundance of material on this side of the family and will be working to assemble it to include as much as possible of it in this blog in the upcoming year.
On a side note, I am probably going to be reducing my blog posting to once per week as other commitments will be taking up more of my time in the coming months. That may change when summer comes as I should have a bit more time on my hands.
I welcome hearing from any Angus descendants who have any information or photos to share or who simply want to get in touch.
Update 5/16/12: Photos have been added to the memorial on Find-a-Grave for Rev. William Russum, who appears in the photo as a small chubby boy.