Posts Tagged With: genealogy

The Wills family connection to Sir William Pitt

The Wills – Capon tree

I’ve had a few people ask me recently whether I know anything more about Mary Capon’s (1789-1839) connection to Sir William Pitt. She was the daughter of Mary Pitt (dates unknown) and a man whose surname was Capon. My grandmother’s tree below suggests that Mary Pitt was most likely a cousin of William Pitt (1759-1806). If they were 1st cousins, the pair would have shared a grandfather—Robert Pitt (1680-1727).

Wills Family Tree

Mary Pitt who married ? Capon

I currently do not subscribe to Ancestry’s UK resources, but I would think that the Pitt tree info must be readily accessible online given how famous the Pitts were. I will start looking into this, and perhaps those of you with access to UK genealogy databases would like to take a look-see around as well.  I’m sure we will eventually crack the case. Anyone with more ideas, thoughts, or information, including knowledge of a Pitt DNA project, please feel free to share in the “Comments” box.

If that approach fails, perhaps we can see whether Mary Pitt’s father was a brother or half brother of Sir William Pitt.  In that case the relationship may have been with William Pitt the Elder, who was also Prime Minister of Great Britain at one point. Or maybe, wherever the actual connection is, with Mary Pitt or her father, it involves a once-removed cousin relationship.

On a side note, for a while I had ‘Martha Nunn’ (m. ‘William Capon’ on 13 July 1779 in Newport Pagnell) in my tree as the mother for Mary Capon since I could find no evidence of the Pitt-Capon marriage, only the Nunn-Capon marriage. But just because I could not find it does not mean it’s not there. And given the Martha Nunn name was never in my grandmother’s tree, for the time being I am going to assume it does not belong there. But I will keep her on my radar in case evidence forces us to circle the wagons back around. Of course, it could be that Capon had a 1st and 2nd wife and had been married to both Martha Nunn and Mary Pitt. So when time permits, I will investigate that as well.

A random Pitt family tree found onlineWilliam Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was the son of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, PC, FRS (15 November 1708 – 11 May 1778) who also served as Prime Minister of Great Britain

Categories: Capon, England, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Nunn, Pitt, Pime Minister William, Wills | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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

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

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

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

I took some screenshots for my files.

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

Have a good day.

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

Eva Wilder McGlasson & Henry C. Brodhead – Part IV – ‘Til death do us part

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

A couple of months ago, while on eBay, I managed to buy a small book called Las Animas County Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by F. Dean Sneed (published in 2000). It had caught my eye because I remembered that this was the southern Colorado county in which the Brodhead mine is located, the mine I mentioned in a post about Henry C. Brodhead (1848-1922) and Eva Wilder McGlasson Brodhead (1870-1915). So, I guess this accidental find was a sign that I needed to finish writing about this couple’s final years together, in Colorado.

Eva Wilder Brodhead (The Book Buyer: A Summary of American and Foreign Literature, Volume XIII, February 1896 – January 1897 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) – page 457)

As a reminder, previous posts on the pair include:

In Part III, I had left off with this: Two years before marrying Eva, Henry’s business interests had shifted from Pennsylvania to Colorado—he and his two younger brothers, Albert Gallatin Brodhead and Robert Sayre Brodhead, had set their sights on the coal riches of that state, ultimately founding the town of Brodhead, Las Animas County, Colorado (today a ghost town), and locating several mines in and around that place. Close to Brodhead is the small town of Aguilar (“Gateway to the Spanish Peaks”); if you look it up on Google maps you will see ‘Brodhead Canyon’ nearby. Aguilar is 178 miles south of Denver.

Brodhead can be spotted in the middle of this map, above Hastings. Rand, McNally & Co.’s Colorado. Rand McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, 1912 (Source:

The book Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania (1906) offers some insight into the brothers’ activities out West: “In October of the same year [1893] Albert Gallatin Brodhead and his brothers, Henry C. and Robert S. Brodhead, journeyed through Colorado, making careful investigation of its mineral resources. Having prospected coal lands in Las Animas county, they purchased two large tracts, one of 4,000 acres at Brodhead, Colorado, and 600 acres at Walsenburg, near the foot of the Spanish Peaks, which rise to an altitude of nearly 14,000 feet. The Brodheads have leased both their coal tracts, one to the Green Canyon Coal Company, and the other to the Las Animas Coal Company. They market their output in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Indian Territory. Expert authority has passed upon the quality of the coal, and grade it as semi-anthracite. It is distributed in six workable veins, and the quantity capable of being mined is estimated at millions of tons. The Brodhead properties are held by an incorporated company, of which the officers are: Henry C. Brodhead, president; Robert S. Brodhead, vice-president; and Albert G. Brodhead, secretary and general manager, with the principal office in Denver, Colorado.”


Eva and Henry had married on December 5, 1894. The following April, they returned from a winter honeymoon spent in the Mediterranean. A small Covington, Kentucky, newspaper article, published on July 12, 1895, described Eva as being “most delightfully located on a ranch in Southern Colorado” that summer and “busy writing… She is culling material in a new field for a story…” From volume 2 of the book Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912 by John Wilson Townsend (Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press, 1913, pp 267–69), we know that Eva subsequently spent a great deal of time over the ensuing decade traveling from Colorado to New York City and many parts of the US, as well as overseas to Europe, in order to keep up with her career interests.

Subsequent to publishing that Part III post, I found the below 1896 news item in Colorado Journal of Commerce and Metal Industries, and it provides a quote from Henry about the quality of the coal in Colorado and gives a glimpse of what his hopes and plans were. Much depended on transportation costs, and evidently those eventually got resolved. According to Wikipedia, between 1896 and 1899, the brothers operated a mine in Gonzales Canyon, Aguilar, Colorado. On a map, this appears to be very close to what is today known as “Brodhead Canyon.” I assume the mine the brothers were operating was one of the ones that eventually became known as a Brodhead mine.

Colorado Journal of Commerce and Metal Industries, Volume 69, p. 15, 1896

In the 1900 census, Henry’s brother Robert S. Brodhead’s household at 132 Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre, PA, included himself “Harry [Henry] Brodhead” (52), and their parents Daniel D. Brodhead (83) and Mary Brodrick (73). Robert’s occupation was listed as a coal operator; brother Harry—a mining engineer; and father Daniel as a ‘capitalist’.  Business partner brother Albert was in Aguilar, Colorado, for the 1900 census, so perhaps Eva was away in Europe. I could not find a trace of her anywhere.

In 1902, the three brothers incorporated more of their activities in Colorado. The Denver Rocky Mountain News reported on December 21, 1902: NEW INCORPORATIONS […] Green Canyon Land company, $200,000: Las Animas and Huerfano: Henry C. Brodhead, Robert S. Brodhead, Albert G. Brodhead. In the summer of that year, the brothers’ sister Emilie Linderman (Brodhead) Honeyman visited them out West. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette (June 28): Robert B. Honeyman and wife [Emilie L. Brodhead], Miss Lassie Honeyman, Master Laddie Honeyman, and maid, of New York City, are stopping at the Barker House. Mr. Honeyman is a prominent attorney of New York and was one of the counsel for the defense in the Molineaux trial which claimed the attention of the courts of that city for several months. Robert Brodhead, a brother of Mrs. Honeyman, is part of the party and expects to spend part of the summer with them. Mr. Brodhead has extensive coal interests in the southern part of that state. (As an aside, the Honeymans lived at 106 8th Avenue in Brooklyn, a 7-bedroom, 7 bathroom townhouse with over 8,000 square feet of living space. For a glimpse into what their lifestyle was like, you can view the recent real estate photos posted on Realtor.)

In 1909, Robert, then 48, died of endocarditis, inflammation of the inner wall of the heart. The below news snippet about his passing appeared in Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly. From that moment on, the Colorado mining venture was in the hands of Henry and Albert. (Long-time blog readers may recall the post I did on the Thanksgiving Day tragedy that took place at Robert’s home in Stafford, Pennsylvania in 1904. Perhaps, due to family obligations, Robert had remained based on the east coat to handle his part of the brothers’ Colorado venture. He had children, and his brothers did not.)

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, 1909

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, p. 267, 1909

In the 1910 directory for Trinidad, Colorado, a town 23 miles southeast of Brodhead, there is a listing for brother Albert. The town of Brodhead was described as having a population of 300, being 2 1/4 miles north of Aguilar, and having a doctor, a public school, a general store, and a hotel. Stage coach fares to Aguilar were 25 cents and fares to Lynn, an express shipping point 3 1/2 miles to the east—50 cents. Albert was listed as the mine owner. Per Wikipedia, the population was largely comprised of Mexican and European immigrants, including a large number of workers from Stafford, England.

Mining is not a business for the faint of heart, especially not for the miners themselves. As everyone knows, this is a very dangerous occupation, and accidents did occur at the Brodhead mines, occasionally with lethal consequences. Below is a sampling of articles mentioning Brodhead.  Not far from Brodhead was the Ludlow mine where a horrific massacre of 21 people, including some striking miners’ wives and children, took place on April 20, 1914. That event came at the end of what was known as the Colorado Coalfield War, a major labor uprising that had begun in September 1913. The April massacre was followed by a 10-day rampage of revenge that spread to areas, including Brodhead, dispersing families and wreaking havoc until the situation could be brought under control by federal troops.

Herald Democrat, 9 May 1905, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Walsenburg World, 16 February 1911, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Chronicle News, 25 July 1912, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Las Animas Leader, 2 February 1912. Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Chronicle News, 23 April 1914, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.


Eva Wilder Brodhead (image from her last book, The Prairie Infanta)

I do wonder how those events impacted Henry, Albert and Eva. It was a tumultuous time that must have only been made worse by Eva’s ongoing health issues.

A decade prior, her acclaimed work, A Prairie Infanta, had been published in the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion. Two years after that, according to the Townsend book (p. 269), she was stricken with a very severe illness, followed by her physician’s absolute mandate of no literary work until her health should be reestablished, which has been accomplished but recently. She has published but a single story since her sickness, Two Points of Honor, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly for July 4, 1908.

The Townsend book, published in 1913, went on to say: At the present time Mrs. Brodhead is quite well enough to resume work; and the next few years should witness her fulfilling the earnest of her earlier novels and stories, firmly fixing her fame as one of the foremost women writers of prose fiction yet born on Kentucky soil.

That same year (1913) the following was published on February 17 in the Lexington Leader – p. 8 – Interesting notes in the New York letter of the Cincinnati Enquirer: Nearly 300 natives of Kentucky, who now live in New York, held their ninth annual banquet at the Plaza Hotel on Wednesday night. For the first time, famous Kentucky women joined “the Kentuckians” at their dinner, and fully half of those present were women… The purpose of the night’s program was to give recognition to Kentucky’s literary geniuses, and at the speaker’s table were these writers: [ list of names, including “Mrs. Eva Wilder Brodhead”]. That may have been one of Eva’s last trips East. Tragically, her illness returned, or perhaps it had never completely gone away. In mid-1915, she died at the young age of 45; her death reported in many of the nation’s newspapers. Who knows what may have been had she lived longer, how many more celebrated works she could have created. Had she survived to a ripe old age, she perhaps would have been quite famous today.

  • August 7, 1915 Lexington HeraldKentucky Author Dies in Colorado – A telegram received by John Wilson Townsend yesterday announced the death at Denver, Col., of Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson Broadhead [sic.], one of the most distinguished of modern Kentucky novelists and short story writers, after a lingering illness of about 11 months.  Mrs. Broadhead [sic.] was born in Covington about fifty years ago [45 actually]. She was the author of the following novels: “Diana’s Livery,” which is said to have as its background the Shaker settlement at Pleasant Hill, KY; “An Earthly Paragon,” “The Ministers of Grace,” “One of the Visconti,” “Bound in Shallows,” and her last book, “A Prairie Infanta.”  She was the wife of Henry C. Broadhead [sic.], a wealthy civil and mining engineer of Wilkesbarre, Pa., and Denver, Col. In addition to the many novels she wrote, Mrs. Broadhead was a contributor to practically all the leading magazines of the country and the New York newspapers.

Fairmont Cemetery, Denver, Colorado (Photo credit: Debra Brodhead)

With Eva’s passing, Albert and Henry were on their own in Colorado. I did not find much news of them in the ensuing years. Both brothers died in 1922—Albert (54) in January and Henry (74) in December. That left sister Emilie L. (Brodhead) Honeyman the sole survivor of the Daniel D. and Mary (Brodrick) Brodhead family.

  • January 25, 1922 – Denver Post – p. 21 – Funerals – Brodhead – Jan. 23, at the University Club, Albert G. Brodhead. Funeral services from the Rogers mortuary, Thursday, at 2 p.m. Interment Fairmount.
  • February 12, 1922: Denver Post p. 3; Albert G. Brodhead [Harvard class of 1889] left his $34,000 Estate to Brother – On June 4, 1921, Albert G, Brodhead sat in his apartment at the University Club and penned a will on the club stationary. He sealed it in an envelope and four days later gave the envelope to his brother, H. C. Brodhead to be kept unopened until the writer’s death. On January 23, 1922, Albert G. Brodhead died and on opening the envelope, the brother discovered that he was sole heir to the estate of his deceased relative, amounting to $34,000 [$522,911.95 buying power in 2020]. H. C. Brodhead, the surviving brother, lives at the Shirley-Savoy Hotel. He offered the single sheet of club stationary bearing the will of his brother in county court for probate Saturday.
  • November 10, 1922 – Denver PostColorado Geologist, H. C. Brodhead, Finder of Coal Vein, Dead – H. C. Brodhead, 74 years old, geologist and one of the discoverers of the Brodhead coal vein of the Walsenburg District, died at St. Luke’s hospital Thursday after an attack of asthma. He had been making his home at the Shirley-Savoy Hotel. Brodhead and his brother, Albert G. Brodhead, came to Colorado thirty years ago from the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Together they discovered the Brodhead vein in the Walsenburg District, said to be the biggest coal producer in Colorado. The brother died in Denver last winter.  He is survived by a sister, Mrs. Emilie Honeyman of New York. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.
  • November 13, 1922 – Denver Rocky Mountain News – p. 4 – Funerals – Brodhead – Funeral services for Henry C. Brodhead will be held at the Rogers mortuary Monday at 10 a.m. Interment at Fairmount Cemetery.
  • November 18, 1922 – Denver Post, p. 11 – Brodhead Estate Valued at $71,000 – The estate of Henry Brodhead, who died a few days ago in Denver, is valued at $71,000 [roughly $1.1 million in 2020], according to a petition for letters of administration filed in the county court by the heirs. A will was lodged in the court providing for bequests of $5,000 [roughly $77,000 in 2020] to William [son of William Hall Brodhead and Mary Van Tassel] and Clement [son of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr. and Leonora Hubbard] Brodhead, nephews, and $5,000 each to Maude, Leonore and Margaret [this must be Mary Ann], nieces [the daughters of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr. and Leonora Hubbard]. The residue of the estate [$715,000 in 2020] goes to Emilie B. Honeyman, sister of the testator.
  • November 30, 1922 – Coal Age, Volume XXII – H. C. Brodhead, 74 years old, geologist and one of the discoverers of the Brodhead coal vein in the Trinidad district, died recently in Denver. Mr. Brodhead and his brother, Albert G. Brodhead, came to Colorado thirty years ago from the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Together they discovered the Brodhead vein, one of the biggest coal producers in Colorado. The brother died in Denver last winter.

Miss Lassie Honeyman (left) with 1st cousin Mary Ann Brodhead (center), Jamestown Evening Journal, April 17, 1928. Credit: Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

The Las Animas County Ghost Towns and Mining Camps book that prompted me to write this post has no images or photos of Brodhead, unfortunately. Long since abandoned, Brodhead is located 23 miles NW of Trinidad and 2 miles NW of Aguilar along an abandoned C&S railroad spur. The land is now in private hands. Only a few foundations remain at the Brodhead town site, wrote the author. In 1903 it had a population of 75 and was home to the Clamp Mercantile Co. and the A. I. Lindsay Saloon. The Las Animas Coal Company and the Green Canyon Coal Company were the major mines. [para] By 1904, the population had risen to 125 and the D.R. Hindman & Co. Store was established. The population continued to grow (250 in 1905) and in 1910 saw the opening of the Howell & Bennett Boarding House. [para] The Green Canyon Mine closed for unspecified reasons in 1913 and the Las Animas Coal Company soon followed.

Train travelling through Las Animas Canyon, Colorado – postcard

By April of that year Brodhead lost its post office and a majority of its inhabitants. [para] In 1914, the outbreak of war in Europe brought a renewed demand for coal overseas. Brodhead, now operated by the Temple Fuel Company, began to thrive once more. Its P.O. was reestablished in 1915 and the population grew to over 300. [para] In the 1920s and early 30s, the need for metallurgical, or bituminous, coal declined. Brodhead, like other mines found throughout the region, slowly withered and was abandoned in 1939. Per the author, the mine was established on August 14, 1902 and was in operation until May 1939. However, per Wikipedia, multiple mines in Brodhead operated into the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s.  That is the extent of the information found in the book.  My second cousin, Debra Brodhead, who resides in Colorado, attempted to locate the Brodhead ghost town several years back but without success given that the land is privately owned, something she did not know before bravely setting off to try to find it.

Well, that’s the extent of what I know of Henry and Eva, and Henry’s youngest brother Albert. More could probably be gleaned by making a trip to the Colorado state archives, but I will have to save that journey for a later date. I hope you have enjoyed learning about them as much as I have. If you have more information about this interesting trio, please let me know. Wouldn’t some photos of them, taken during their Colorado years, simply be amazing to see?


Full text of John Wilson Townsend’s section on Eva Wilder Brodhead in Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912 vol. 2 (Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press, 1913, pp 267–69):

MRS. EVA WILDER (McGLASSON) BRODHEAD, novelist and short-story writer, was born at Covington, Kentucky, in 187-. Her parents were not of Southern origin, her father having been born in Nova Scotia, and her mother at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She was educated in New York City and in her native town of Covington.

She began to write when but eighteen years of age, and a short time thereafter her first novel appeared, Diana’s Livery (New York, 1891). This was set against a background most alluring: the Shaker settlement at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, into which a young man of the world enters and falls in love with a pretty Shakeress, Her second story, An Earthly Paragon (New York, 1892), which was written in three weeks, ran through Harper’s Weekly before being published in book form. It was a romance of the Kentucky mountains, laid around Chamoum, the novelist’s name for Yosemite, Kentucky. It was followed by a novelette of love set amidst the salt-sea atmosphere of an eastern watering place, Ministers of Grace (New York, 1894). Hildreth, the scene of this little story, is anywhere along the Jersey coast from Atlantic City to Long Branch. Ministers of Grace also appeared serially in Harper’s Weekly, and when it was issued in book form Col. Henry Watterson called the attention of Richard Mansfield to it as a proper vehicle for him, and the actor promptly secured the dramatic rights, hoping to present it upon the stage; but his untimely death prevented the dramatization of the tale under highly favorable auspices. It was the last to be published under the name of Eva Wilder McGlasson, as this writer was first known to the public, for on December 5, 1894, she was married in New York to Mr. Henry C. Brodhead, a civil and mining engineer of Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Brodhead’s next novelette, One of the Visconti (New York, 1896), the background of which was Naples, the hero being a young Kentucky man and the heroine of the old and famous Visconti family, was issued by the Scribner’s in their well-known Ivory Series of short-stories. Her last Kentucky novel, Bound in Shallows (New York, 1896), originally appeared in Harper’s Bazar. That severe arbiter of literary destinies, The Nation, said of this book: “No such work as this has been done by any American woman since Constance Fenimore Woolson died. * * It was founded on material gathered at Burnside, Kentucky, where Mrs. Brodhead spent two summers.

Her most recent work, A Prairie Infanta (Philadelphia, 1904), is a Colorado juvenile, first published in The Youth’s Companion.

Aside from her books, Mrs. Brodhead won a wide reputation as a short-story writer and maker of dialect verse. More than fifty of her stories have been printed in the publications of the house of Harper, the publishers of four of her books; in The Century, Scribner’s, and other leading periodicals. Many of her admirers hold that the short-story is her especial forte. Five of them may be mentioned as especially well done: Fan’s Mammy, A Child of the Covenant, The Monument to Corder, The Eternal Feminine, and Fair Ines. She has written much dialect verse which appeared in the Harper periodicals, The Century, Judge, Puck, and other magazines. Neither her short stories nor her verse has been collected and issued in book form.

Since her marriage Mrs. Brodhead has traveled in Europe a great deal, and in many parts of the United States, traveled until she sometimes wonders whether her home is in Denver or New York, and, although she is in the metropolis more than she is in the Colorado capital, her legal residence is Denver, some distance from the mining town of Brodhead, named in honor of her husband’s geological discoveries and interests.

In 1906 she was stricken with a very severe illness, followed by her physician’s absolute mandate of no literary work until her health should be reestablished, which has been accomplished but recently. She has published but a single story since her sickness, Two Points of Honor, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly for July 4, 1908. At the present time Mrs. Brodhead is quite well enough to resume work; and the next few years should witness her fulfilling the earnest of her earlier novels and stories, firmly fixing her fame as one of the foremost women writers of prose fiction yet born on Kentucky soil.

Daniel Dingman Brodhead & Mary Brodrick family tree

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead, Colorado, Denver | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

More Martin family — photo finally ID’d

Four generations: Martin/Anness – Anness/Barry – Barry/Scantlebury + Baby Scantlebury

A number of years ago, I came across this photo (left) and the inscription on the back did not ring any bells for me. Just happened upon it again yesterday, and this time the bells did ring with the surname “Anness.”

Regular blog readers may recall that in April 2019, I did a post about the wedding of Alvira Anness, the daughter of Mary Marsh Martin Anness (1863-1955; sister of my great-grandmother Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead (image below) and brother of Charles Conrad Martin).

Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead (1859-1945)

So, as per the inscription, here is Mary as a great-grandmother with her daughter Alvira Anness Barry on the right, granddaughter Alvira Martin Barry Scantlebury on the left, and holding her great-granddaughter Alvira Judith Scantlebury (born 1948 in Monterey, CA).

Charles Conrad Martin – September 1930

Brother Charles died in 1943 and my great-grandmother died in 1945, so this photo (the first and only one of Mary I have ever seen) was probably given to my grandparents Brodhead by their Great Aunt Mary (or ‘Aunt Mame,’ as my late father said the family referred to her as). She outlived her siblings by 13 and 10 years, respectively. Three other siblings died young: Thompson C. Martin (1863-1881), Frank W. Martin (1868-1873) and Alvira Woodruff Martin (1870-1875).

Another photo finally identified… Have a peaceful weekend, everyone.

Categories: Brodhead, Martin | Tags: , | 3 Comments

1812 marriage certificate for Isaac and Wealthy (Cushman) Jaques

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

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

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

The Brackens of Blacklion, County Cavan, Ireland

Anna Bracken Nixon, b. 23 August 1847

The materials for today’s post come courtesy of John Boles of Dublin, whose grandfather Rev. William Armstrong Bracken (b. 1853) was the younger brother of Anna (Bracken) Nixon (b. 1847). She was the mother of sweet-spirited Jennie (Jane) and Louise Nixon, who have already appeared on the pages of this blog. Anna married Edward Nixon on July 11, 1883, in Blacklion Methodist Church, County Cavan, Ireland, with her brother, Rev. William Armstrong Bracken, presiding.

Jane “Jennie” Nixon, eldest child of Anna Bracken and Edward Nixon; taken somewhere near Belfast, John believes

William and Anna Bracken were two of the children of William Copeland Bracken of Toam, County Cavan, and Jane Armstrong of Inishmore, County Fermanagh, who were married on November 6, 1846, in the Old Church of Derryvullan, County Fermanagh.  A description of what remains of that church appears in the 1979 book by Alistair Rowan, North West Ulster: The Counties of London Derry, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone (Yale University Press): DERYVULLAN OLD CHURCH: 1 km SW of Tamlaght Bridge. The ruins of a big hall, 28 ft wide, rebuilt in 1776. The E gable with its round-headed window and some 30 ft of the N wall still stand. In the gable a carved head taken from the medieval church on the same site.

Bracken family cousins (left to right): Jennie Bracken, eldest daughter of Rev. William Armstrong Bracken; May and Louie Bracken, daughters of Hugh Bracken, Blacklion merchant; Jennie Nixon, daughter of Anna Bracken and Edward Nixon; Ena Bracken, daughter of Hugh Bracken. A reunion with Jennie Nixon, who was visiting from the US.

The other children of William C.  and Jane Bracken were Mary Jane Bracken (b. 1849), Hugh Bracken (b. 1851), James Bracken (b. 1855), and Dr. George Bracken (b. 1858). The Bible pages John sent me show that they were all born in Tuam, townland in County Cavan that includes the border village of Blacklion. It was here in an inn that the founder of Methodism John Wesley purportedly found shelter one stormy night in the 1770s. And, according to John, “the Brackens were devoted Methodists right back to the time of John Wesley.”

The family’s devotion as Methodists is on display in a wonderful book by Reverend Alexander Fullerton, a traveling preacher who documented his decades of travel in Fifty Years an Itinerant Preacher : Being Reminiscences of Fifty Years in the Irish Methodist Ministry (Belfast; Irish Methodist Publishing Company, Ltd., 1912). I am grateful to John for alerting me to this book’s existence and providing me with the pages  mentioning Anna Bracken Nixon.

Interestingly the preacher met Anna both in Blacklion, when she was a young girl (1861) and a young woman (1872), and when she was living in the US (1896). She had moved there after she married Edward. He had emigrated to the US with some of his other siblings in 1868. (As an aside, Edward Nixon was my great-grandmother Sarah (Nixon) Boles’ oldest brother; thus Anna was my mother’s great aunt. My mother met her several times and remembers her with great affection.) The Reverend also mentioned meeting up with Robert Nixon, another brother of Sarah Nixon Boles who had ended up in the US and eventually sponsored my grandfather when he emigrated in 1912.

Below are the pages John sent me as well as a bare-bones family tree just so you can follow who’s who. These are some wonderful slices of life that have been preserved, thanks to the Reverend’s diligence in recording all of his travels in such amazing detail. Unfortunately the book is not available online, but Google books allows you to search for snippets, so if you are interested in seeing if other family members are mentioned, you can at least satisfy your curiosity by using their search box.

Categories: Bracken, Co. Cavan, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland, Nixon, Northern Ireland | Tags: , | 2 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — post XI

So these are the last pages of the guest book, which entered into use in June 1908 and, as you’ll see, came to a close on May 31,1913.  At that point, my grandparents were both 31, and that was right about when my grandmother gave birth to her second son Frank Martin Brodhead Jr., so now with two babies to tend to who were just a year apart, using the guestbook must have drifted far into the background.

Robert Packer Brodhead

Infant Frank died 11 months later, and the jolliness of the couple’s early years of entertaining vanished as they descended into a deep chasm of grief. A condolence letter from my grandfather’s Uncle Robert Packer Brodhead (shown here) bears witness to the shock waves felt across the family. Robert, too, had lost his namesake—his first-born child Robert Jr. who died of diptheria at 10. The letter of May 24, 1914:

Dear Frank and Fannie: Doug’s message [Andrew Douglas Brodhead, Frank’s father] came, last night after we had gone upstairs, we thot best not to disturb the family and wait until this morning. Well, I can’t tell you how we all with one accord wished we could comfort you, and our hearts went out to each of you as only hearts that have experienced a loss can go— This morning Mr. Haynes preached about the Angels of Heaven, what they did, and said, among other comforting things, that surely the littlest ones who come into the world had an angel assigned them by God. And how comforting it is to think that your little one was just picked up from this old world and wafted up and up and up into the very presence of God where there is no more sighing or crying or aches or pain. Don’t look into the grave, just look up, and let the grace of God which passeth all understanding guide, comfort, and keep you. We all send our tenderest love. Affectionately, Uncle Bob

In October 1917, my grandparents lost their next child, at birth—a little girl who was never given a name. I can’t begin to imagine what impact that must have had on them.  When my Dad appeared in 1921, alive and well, albeit a bit small since he was a bit early, my grandparents must have walked on eggshells with worry for a long time. But, as the initial birthdays passed, the worry must have given way to relief. My Dad was one who lived life to the full, joining the Marines in WWII and learning to fly small planes; his zest for life and adventurous pursuits must have given them pause at times. They definitely nixed his desire to be a commercial pilot, and that was his big regret later in life. He absolutely would have loved that profession.

But, back to these last two pages. Now, it was very interesting to see the name Mrs. Isaac J. Ayers (October 26, 1909) because this was my grandmother’s Aunt Phoebe, the younger sister of William Earl Woodruff, and I have never seen her mentioned anywhere else in all the materials I have—no photos, letters, etc. I have written about the Ayers family previously so click here if you are interested in going to that post.

The remaining five people on the page and the two on the last page:

  • Erwin D. Grace (sp.?) – Jan. 30, 1910 – 587 Westfield Ave. – “With Miller.”
  • Manley Miller – Jan. 30, 1910 – 591 Westfield Ave. – “Nuf Sed”
  • Netta Miller – May 30, 1913 – 591 Westfield Ave. – “I can’t wait to have this again”
  • Mrs. Thomas F. Russum – Jan. 1st 1910 – 806 Colfax St. Evanston, Ill.
  • Mabel T. Dickinson – Nov. 11, 1911
  • Miss Mary Knowles – May 31st 1913
  • Miss Gertrude Knowles – May 31st 1913

I don’t know who Mr. Grace or the Millers were, but Mrs. Thomas F. Russum was the daughter-in-law of Cecelia Bensley Angus Russum, my grandmother’s aunt. You’ve heard me talk about her before.

Mabel T. Dickinson (1880-1967, third child of Dr. John W. Dickinson and Mary Emma Woodruff) was my grandmother’s first cousin and older sister of past visitor Anna Dickinson Lorentz (b. 1886). Mabel never married.

The Knowles house in Elizabeth, NJ

And the last two visitors were the Knowles girls; these must have been granddaughters of Mary Martha Angus Knowles and Austin Fellows Knowles—the folks who lived in that beautiful old house on Elizabeth Avenue. Mary and Austin had six sons. I’ll have to research the names of their children when I have time for that.

So that’s the guestbook! I hope those of you who have followed along have enjoyed seeing all the pages. And, I think it’s good that they are here for future visitors to come across and perhaps stumble into an ancestor or two.

Adieu for now!

Categories: Brodhead, Dickinson, Knowles, Russum, Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — post X

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

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

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

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Dec. 23, 1898

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

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

The Hillside Times, January 11, 1945

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

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

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

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

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — post IX

Charles C. Martin in a photo of a family gathering circa 1916; PHOTO COURTESY OF James Brodhead of Everett, WA, personal family collection

Here are a few more pages from my grandparents’ guest book. There aren’t many more to go, so this series will be coming to an end soon. I’m publishing three pages here, and unfortunately, I have no idea who most of the visitors were. Only my Dad’s favorite uncle – Charles Conrad Martin – and Claiborne B. Baker (my Dad’s uncle by marriage; first husband of Flora Woodruff) stand out. So I will simply type out the entries for the search engines to pick up. Someday someone out there may find a name here of interest. I do see some Lewises, but whether these Lewises were related to Margaret Lewis (Martin) Brodhead (my grandfather’s mother), I don’t know. Likewise, I see some Potters. Way back in my family tree (Wait/Crow line) there were some Potters. These may have been related to those, although that seems doubtful. 

Mrs. E. W. Brown – Nov. 29, 1908 – Elizabeth, NJ
William Wolverton – December 9, 1908 – Easton, PA
Mabelle Irene Riggleman – December 12, 1908 – Newark, NJ
Naomi Simons – December 12, 1908 – Newark, NJ
J. Edgar Johnston – December 12, 1908 – Newark, NJ
Fred B. Simons – December 12, 1908 – Newark, NJ
W. Potter – December 18, 1908 – Elizabeth, NJ

Gertrude Potter – December 18, 1908
G. W. Hall (or Ball?) – December 20, 1908 – Elizabeth, NJ
Mrs. G. W. Hall – December 20, 1908 – Elizabeth, NJ
Phoebe F. Lewis – January 6, 1909 – Millburn, NJ
David F. Lewis – January 6, 1909 – Millburn, NJ
George R. Hamill (?) – January 17, 1909 – Elizabeth, NJ
H. M. Hefner – January 17, 1909 – Elizabeth, NJ – “Had a dandy drive 1:15 p.m.”

Claiborne B. Baker – February 7, 1909 – Cranbury, NJ
Charles C. Martin – February 24, 1909 – Tompkinsville, Staten Island
Grace G. Condit – February 27, 1909 – 55 Lincoln Ave, Newark, NJ
Fanny Evans – February 27, 1909 – 401 Valley St, South Orange, NJ
Anna K. Keeliver (?) – February 27, 1909 – 142S – 11th St, Newark, NJ
Jamie M. Pittenger – February 27, 1909 – 58 Arlington Ave, Newark, NJ

Categories: Baker, Barksdale, Brodhead, Martin | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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

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

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

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