Frith Strong

Frances C. (Frith) Bagwell Maxwell Maddern

I previously spoke about how strong of a woman Susan Wynn Frith McLean was in managing life with Civil War veteran Peter B. McLean. However, strong women appear to run in the family, including older sister Fanny.

Fanny C. Frith was born 11 Oct 1837 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, the oldest daughter of William Henry Frith and Frances Catherine Brown.1 Her parents had both passed away before her 18th birthday and as the oldest, Fanny no doubt felt responsible for the care of her younger siblings who ranged in age from 16 down to less than a year. I have not been able to locate Fanny or her siblings definitively on the 1855 New York (NY) State Census.

Searching for Fanny proved difficult at times, but it all came down to marriage records, newspapers, and death and cemetery records. Thank goodness for those cemetery records. When looking at the records for the Brown/Frith Family Plot in Cypress Hills the name William E. Bagwell stood out. Not a Frith or Brown, he had to be the husband of one of the girls. He was interred at the age of 28 on 26 Nov 1863. A search of the 1860 Federal Census turned up William E. Bagwell born about 1835 in New York with wife Fanny C., born about 1937, living in Brooklyn.2 A painter by trade, it is probable they met through her sister Susan’s husband Peter B. McLean who owned a painting business in Brooklyn.

It appears she married William E. Bagwell in about 1858-59. No marriage record has yet been found and it is not known who his parents are. He’s on his own in the 1850 Census,3 but I have not yet been able to locate him on the 1855 NY either. I’ll look into pulling his actual 23 Nov 1863 death certificate4 on my next trip to Salt Lake City in hopes of finding out his parentage. [Update – shown at end of paragraph.] What I did find was a news article about his death.5 William was painting the side of a ship when another ship, under tow, collided with his ship. He was crushed between the two ships. The article is below. I followed the story by searching for information on the ships and learned that the captain of the “propeller” Liberty (tug/push boat) was indeed arrested and charged with recklessness and believed to be intoxicated at the time.
Bagwell BDE tue 24 Nov 1863 p1c1William’s probate records revealed he had a daughter, Annie Elizabeth Bagwell.6 I searched for Fanny and Annie Bagwell in the 1865 NY State Census but had no luck. However, in the 1870 Federal Census, daughter Annie E. Bagwell showed up in with mother Fanny C. Maxwell in the household of William Maxwell. Once I had his name, I easily found the family on the 1865 NY. Annie Bagwell was enumerated as Maxwell.7

1863 Coroner's findings/death certificate for William Bagwell

1863 Coroner’s findings/death certificate for William Bagwell

William H. Maxwell was born about 1840 in Glasgow, Scotland and worked as a carpenter, builder, and a foreman in the Department of City Works in Brooklyn. He’d served in the 84th NY Infantry, Co. H and was injured at Bull Run in 28 Aug 1862 and discharged with a disability on 13 Jan 1863. Once again, it is probable that Peter B. McLean introduced Fanny to her future husband as both men were veterans who’d been injured in the Civil War and were both in the construction industry.8 Fanny and Annie can be found with William Maxwell through the 1880 Census.9

Max Thu 28 Jun 1883 p3Something went terribly wrong in the evening hours of 27 Jun 1883 and William H. Maxwell shot himself in the head at his home. The circumstances of the event were unclear as noted in the article SUICIDE OR ACCIDENT from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle the following day.10 He succumbed to the wound 13 days later, 10 Jul 1883, remaining at home in the care of his wife and doctor during that time. They were unable to remove the bullet and his death came from traumatic meningitis. He didn’t fall unconscious until three days before his death.11,12Max Tue 10 Jul 1883 BDE, p4 c3 Due to the questionable circumstances, the coroner held an inquest on 11 July and the jury found that the shooting was accidental.13
Max Wed 11 Jul 1883 BDE p4 c8
I’m still fascinated by the fact that in the first article, Fanny refused to let in the police or their surgeon, but surrendered the weapon to them. William Maxwell appeared to be well-liked and respected in the family as step-daughter Annie used his name throughout her life, and Fanny’s sister Ruth and her husband named son William Maxwell Reed for him. Almost twenty years after the death of her first husband, Fanny buried her second husband. William was laid to rest in Green-Wood Cemetery on 13 Jul 1883.14

Meanwhile, Fanny’s only child had married Ernest Albert (1857-1946) in about 1882. Ernest was a distinguished theatrical and scenic set designer, and it is probable that Fanny met her next husband Richard H. Maddern through him. Richard was a well-known musician and orchestra leader and both men were working in the same theaters during this time.

On 29 Jun 1885, Fanny married Richard Henry Maddern.15 Richard was born 18 Dec 1839, in England, the son of Richard and Grace (Thomas) Maddern.16 According to information found in an obituary for his niece, Minnie Maddern Fiske, the family ran a touring theatrical company known as the Maddern Family Band. On 2 Aug 1861, he enlisted in the Union Army from Keokuk, Iowa, and was mustered out on 16 Aug 1862 in Memphis, Tennessee, having served as the band director in Band 6 of the Iowa Infantry. He applied for and received an invalid pension on 13 May 1905 for that service.17 According to one of his obituaries published in New York, “Mr. Maddern for many years was successively in charge of the orchestra of the Grand Opera House and Pope’s Theater, St Louis, the Chicago Opera House and later that at Daly’s in this city.”18 Richard passed away on 24 Dec 1917 in the Bronx and was laid to rest 27 Dec 1917 in Woodlawn Cemetery.19

Fanny passed away 11 Feb 1918 in the Bronx and was buried the following day in Woodlawn with Richard.20 Her passing was noted in The New York Tribune.21Fanny NYTrib 12 Feb 1918 p13c7



1. New York City of New York death certificate 1177 (1918), Fanny C. Maddern, 11 Feb 1918. Cit. Date: 26 Jun 2014.
2. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 395, dwelling 616, family 1120, William Bagwell, 26, Fanney Bagwell, 20; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll M653 774. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
3. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Kings, New York, p. 403B, family 1091, Wm Bagwell, 16, New York; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 30 Oct 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 522.
4. “New York Death Records,” database, Certificate #7018, William E. Bagwell, died 23 Nov 1863, age 30, buried Cypress Hills Cemetery.
5. “FATAL ACCIDENT AT THE NAVY YARD,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 24 Nov 1863, p. 1, col. 1; digital images(accessed 13 May 2014). Cit. Date: 13 May 2014.
6. William E. Bagwell, 19 Dec 1863, Kings, New York, Letters of Administration for widow Fanny C. Bagwell, also named daughter Annie Elizabeth Bagwell; digital images.
7. 1865 New York State Census, Brooklyn, Kings, p. 51, family 371, line 1, William Maxwell, 26, Scotland, Builder, Frances Maxwell, 27, Wife, Kings, Anna E. Maxwell, 6, Child, Kings; digital images (accessed 30 Oct 2015). Cit. Date: 30 Oct 2015.
8. New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York; New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900; Archive Collection #: 13775-83; Box #: 353; Roll #: 122-1228
9. 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, enumeration district (ED) 224, p. 78B, dwelling 25, family 58, Maxwell, William H., Fanny C., Bagwell, Annie E.; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 855. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
10. “SUICIDE OR ACCIDENT,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 28 Jun 1883, p. 3, col. 3; digital images (bklyn.newspapers.com : accessed 30 Oct 2015).
11. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 30 Oct 2015), Certificate #7332, William Maxwell, died 10 Jul 1883, age 43, buried Green-Wood.
12. “IT PROVED FATAL,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 10 Jul 1883, p. 4, col. 3; digital images (bklyn.newspapers.com : accessed 30 Oct 2015).
13. “WILLIAM H. MAXWELL’S DEATH,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 11 Jul 1883, p. 4, col. 8; (bklyn.newspapers.com: accessed 30 Oct 2015).
14. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 30 Oct 2015), Certificate #7332, William Maxwell, died 10 Jul 1883, age 43, buried Green-Wood.
15. “New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database (accessed 13 May 2014), Fannie Maxwell to Richard H. Maddern, 29 Jun 1885, Kings, Cert #1990. Cit. Date: 13 May 2014.
16. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 30 Oct 2015), Certificate 8372, Richard Henry Madder, b. 18 Dec 1839, d. 24 Dec 1917, parents Richard Maddern, Grace Thomas, buried 27 Dec 1917 Woodlawn.
17. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
18. “MADDERN. – Richard H. Maddern,” The Drama Mirror, 4 Jan 1917, p. 28, col. 4;
19. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 30 Oct 2015), Certificate 8372, Richard Henry Madder, b. 18 Dec 1839, d. 24 Dec 1917, parents Richard Maddern, Grace Thomas, buried 27 Dec 1917 Woodlawn.
20. New York City of New York death certificate 1177 (1918), Fanny C. Maddern, 11 Feb 1918. Cit. Date: 26 Jun 2014.
21. “MADDERN.–” The New York Tribune, 12 Feb 1918, p. 13, col. 7;

More Darn Friths

The Family of William Frith the Immigrant Ancestor

I have a love/hate relationship with William Frith. He’s an open book and yet annoyingly devoid of records that would lead me further or provide much help in an ancestor search. He rudely dies in 1855 so there is only one census record to work from and no death notice or death certificate.

William Frith was born in England about 1806. One of William’s children stated his full name was William Henry Frith1 and the name William Henry appears frequently in this line, including his oldest known son. However, both are common names of the time. His oldest definitive record with a birth year is the passenger list from the Hampton which arrived in New York on 14 Jul 1837. His stated age is 31.2

On 15 Aug 1836, William Frith married Frances Brown in Saint James, Westminster, London, England.3 I have not yet looked at the original record to see if it provides further information such as parents or a birth location for William. [Update May 2016 – the source record provided no further information.]

Wm Frith 1837 Pass - excerpt On the Hampton’s passenger list, William states his profession as “Gentleman.” He is accompanied by wife Frances, age 23. They are not accompanied by any children; however, based on the 11 Oct 1837 birth date of daughter Fanny C., Frances was pregnant at the time of their immigration.

The 1840 census is consistent with his known family and also states that one person (has to be him) is involved in manufacturing or trade.4 On the 1850 census, William’s occupation is stated as “Hardware.”5 He never appears in the New York or Brooklyn City Directories, although there are several Friths of about the same age from England who work in trade jobs such as cabinetmaking and steel. I have not been able to tie any of these Friths together yet.

Frances Frith 1854 probate 1 - CopyFrances (Brown) Frith died 20 Feb 1854 in Brooklyn, and on 9 March William filed for Letters of Administration for her estate.6 In that application, he named their eight surviving children. She was interred in grave 8 of the Brown/Frith family plot, Sec 2, Lot 161 in Cypress Hills Cemetery.7 Sadly, youngest daughter Anna died only a few months later in Jul 1854 at the age of 7 months and was interred with her mother.8 There are no headstones in the family plot.

William passed away in April 1855 and was interred with his wife on 17 April in Cypress Hills Cemetery in grave 12.9

William and Frances (Brown) Frith had eight known children together:
Fanny C. Frith Bagwell Maxwell Maddern (1837-1918)
Susan Wynn Frith McLean (1839-1915)
William Henry Frith (1841-1858)
Ellen E. Frith (1844-1857)
Ruth Frith Reed (1846-1907)
George Richard Frith (1848-1903)
Matthew Taylor Frith (1850-1929)
Anna Frith (1853-1854)

Even though he left behind 7 children under the age of 18, I have not yet found a probate file for him. It appears that the children were taken in by Ellen Winn (1784-1860). Ellen and William Winn (d. bef 1850) traveled with William and Frances from England aboard the Hampton and is most likely a relation, but I have not yet figured out how. The Winns were close enough that William and Frances named second daughter, Susan Wynn Frith for one of them. I have not been able to locate Ellen or any of the children on the 1855 New York State Census, but in 1860, Ruth, George, and Matthew are enumerated under the name Winn in Brooklyn with Ellen.10 Unfortunately, the 1860 does not prove relationships. [Update May 2016 – A search of films of guardianship records showed no entries for the Frith children or Ellen Winn.]



1. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 29 Oct 2015), Mathew Taylor Frith, died 5 Jun 1929, buried 7 Jun 1929 Greenwood, parents: William Henry Frith and Frances Katherine Brown. Cit. Date: 29 Oct 2015.
2. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images(accessed 12 May 2014), manifest, Hampton, 14 Jul 1837, William Frith, 31, gentleman. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
3. Marriage Record, England Select Marriages, 1538-1973, Ancestry, William Frith/Frances Brown, 15 Aug 1836, Saint James, Westminister, London, England. FHL Film #1042320. Cit. Date: 5 May 2014.
4. 1840 U.S. census, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 652, line 26, Wm Frith; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 289. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
5. 1840 U.S. census, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 652, line 26, Wm Frith; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 289. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
6. New York, Probate, Frances Frith, Application for Letters of Administration by William Frith, stating Frances Frith died 20 Feb 1854, Brooklyn, Kings, minor children: Fanny, Susan, William, Ellen, Ruth, George, Matthew, Ann; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 29 Oct 2015). Cit. Date: 29 Oct 2015.
7. Interment Records, Mrs. Frances Frith, age 38, interred 23 Feb 1854, William Brown Family Plot Lot 161, Sec 2, Cypress Hills Cemetery. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
8. Interment Records, Anna Frith, age 7 mo., interred 12 Jul 1854, grave 8, William Brown Family Plot, Lot 161, Sec 2, Cypress Hills Cemetery. Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
9. William Frith, age 48, interred 17 Apr 1855, grave 12.William Brown Family Plot, Lot 168, Sec 2, Cypress Hills Cemetery.
10. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Brooklyn, Kings, New York,, p. 403, family 1194, George Winn [Frith] with Ellen Winn, Ruth Frith, Mathew Frith; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 29 Oct 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll M653 774.

Those Darn Friths –

The George Richard Frith Family

In an earlier series of posts, I talked about Henrietta “Nettie” Ella (Frith) McLean and the fact that she married her first cousin George E. McLean (1867-1915). I’ve also covered much of the McLean line and in that process, I wrote about George’s mother, Susan Wynn (Frith) McLean (1839-1915). Now I need to do a quick clean up on the rest of Frith line before moving on to the Browns and Brimlows.

For those who need a reminder of who’s who, here’s a link to the MacLean, Frith, and Brimlow Pedigree Chart. Today we’re going to take a look at the family of person #6 on this chart, George Richard Frith. The next post will be about the family of William Frith and Frances Brown.

George FrithGeorge Richard Frith was born 7 Jan 1848 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.1,2 He was the second son, and sixth known child of William Frith and Frances Brown. His parents were both deceased prior to his seventh birthday and until the age of eleven, he and his siblings were taken care of by Ellen Winn. Her exact relationship to the family is not yet known; however, she traveled to New York with William and Frances and is buried in the Brown/Frith family plot in Cypress Hills Cemetery. It is not known where George and his siblings lived after Ellen’s death.

12Around 1868, George married Henrietta F. Brimlow, born 7 Sep 1847, daughter of George Brimlow and Elizabeth E. Weeks. Henrietta and George’s first known child was born and died in early January of 1870. The baby appears on the interment record at Cypress Hills Cemetery as “Inft of G&H Frith, no age, interred 8 Jan 1870.”3 With no name and no death record for an infant found, it is probable that this child was a stillborn. Six more children would follow, but only two would live to maturity. Two of their children, Ruth and Matthew, died within 10 days of each other in August of 1882 and were buried in Sec 6, South ½ of Lot 596 of Cypress Hills.4,5

Hen Frith d. 1884Henrietta F. (Brimlow) Frith died on 26 Dec 1884 from pneumonia and asthma.6 She was pregnant at the time and the child was stillborn. They were buried together in George’s family plot. George filed an application for and was granted Letters of Administration on his wife’s estate, in which he named their surviving children as: Nettie E. about 10 years of age, Ada M. about 8, and Cornelia about 2.7 More research would be required to find out what her estate consisted of. Daughter Cornelia died 14 Mar 1886 and was interred with her mother.8

George worked as a grainer and painter throughout his life as did his brother-in-law Peter B. McLean, and it is likely they worked together at times. George and younger daughter Ada moved to North Hempstead to be near Peter B. and Susan and were enumerated there in 1892.9 Daughter Nettie remained in Brooklyn, living with maternal grandmother Elizabeth (Weeks) Brimlow. After Peter B. McLean’s death, both George and his sister Susan moved in with their married children George E. and Nettie (Frith) McLean and are enumerated there on the 1900 census.10

George Richard Frith died of cirrhosis of the liver on 15 Mar 1903 in Roslyn, Nassau, New York, and was interred on 18 Mar 1903 with his wife in Cypress Hills Cemetery.11 While my initial inclination was to say he drank, it is probable that his liver issues came from spending his life working with lead-based paints.

George and Henrietta’s children were:
Infant Frith (Jan 1870)
Ruth E. Frith (1873-15 Aug 1882)
Nettie Ella Frith McLean (2 Mar 1875-21 Dec 1963) m. George E. McLean
Ada May Frith Penny (Apr 1878 – 27 Mar 1943) m. Andrew “Jack” Penny
Matthew Frith (1880 – Aug 1882)
Cornelia Maria Frith (26 Mar 1883 – 14 Mar 1886)
Stillborn Frith (26 Dec 1884)



1. Death Certificate, County of Nassau-State of New York, Registration #3270, George Richard Frith, Date of Death 15 March 1903, Age 54 y 2 mo 8 d., Father William Frith, mother Frances Brown. Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
2. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 265B, dwelling 1202, family 2135, George Frith, age 2; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 522. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
3. Cypress Hills Cemetery (Brooklyn, Queens, New York), Plot Records, Sec 2, Lot 161. Plot record states infant child of G & H Frith – no age. Cit. Date: 13 Aug 2010.
4. Kings County, New York, death certificate no. 10652 (15 Aug 1882), Ruth Frith; FHL microfilm 1,323,775. Cit. Date: 3 Aug
5. Cypress Hills Cemetery (Brooklyn, Queens, New York), Plot Records, Matthew Frith, interred 25 Aug 1882, Child. Sec 6, Lot 596, South 1/2. Cit. Date: 3 Aug 2010.
6. Kings County, New York, death certificate no. 13911 (26 Dec 1884), Henrietta F. Frith; FHL microfilm 1,323,798. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.
7. New York, Kings County, Probate Administration Records; Author: New York. Surrogate’s Court (Kings County); Probate Place: Kings, New York, Henrietta F. Frith, 29 Dec 1884.
8. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 27 Oct 2015), Cornelia M. Frith, 14 Mar 1886, Brooklyn, Kings, burial Cypress Hills.
9. New York, population schedule, No. Hempstead, Queens, 2 E.D., p. 2, line 16, George Frith; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 14 May 2014). Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
10. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, enumeration district (ED) 711, p. 4B, dwelling 77, family 82, McLean, George E.; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 11 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1079. Cit. Date: 11 May 2014.
11. Death Certificate, County of Nassau-State of New York, Registration #3270, George Richard Frith, Date of Death 15 March 1903, Age 54 y 2 mo 8 d., Father William Frith, mother Frances Brown. Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.

Brick Wall… What Brick Wall?

Hunting the Family of Margaret Swasey (1806-1854)

Margaret Swasey b. abt 1806 in Massachusetts is the proven wife of Peter Charles McLean based on census records and being named in her daughter Sarah Amelia’s death records. Margaret was our brick wall for many years. We knew that Margaret had married Peter circa 1829/30 based on the age of their first child Charles Edward born 1830/31. Peter C. McLean was found on the 1830 Federal Census in Ward 7 New York as a male 20-29 with a female 20-29 presumed to be Margaret prior to the birth of Charles. Everything I knew about Margaret was posted on 24 Jun 2014.

With the release of the wills and probate on Ancestry, I did a routine search for the name of Swasey in New York prior to 1860. Margaret Swasey McLean died in 1854 so I was hoping to find a father who had named her or her children in a will.

In an application for Letters of Administration on the Estate of Nathaniel K. Swasey (deceased 28 Jul 1845; filing dated 22 Aug 1845) Sarah Swasey (signed Sarah Swasy) named herself as the mother of Nathaniel and states she and the following siblings of Nathaniel survive:
Stephen Swasey of Albany
Margaret wife of Peter C. McLean
Rebecca wife of David Bruce Jr
Sarah Swasey
Each of the children (and husbands) signed documents giving their rights up to Sarah.1
[Click on the image for full size]
Sarah Swasey
Based on the information found in that will and probate file, I researched each of the named children, spouses, and mother Sarah to reach the following conclusions:

Margaret Swasey McLean’s mother was:
SARAH “SALLIE” LEIGH
Born 26 Apr 1784 Essex, Massachusetts
Died Sep 1854 Brooklyn, Kings, New York
Interred 11 Sep 1854 Cypress Hills Cemetery

Her father was:
SAMUEL SWASEY
Born 23 Feb 1781 Essex. Massachusetts
Died aft 1825 New York
Interred Unknown

Her are the facts:
1803 – 23 Feb 1803 Sarah “Sallie” Leigh and Samuel Swasey marry in Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts.2 There are multiple records for their marriage on 14 Jul 1803, but the record from the New England Genealogical Society is the one with the earlier date and is consistent with the recorded birth of their first child Stephen in Dec 1803. Examination of the original record is now on my To-Do list.
1810 – Samuel is found (Sam Swasy) on the 1810 Federal Census in Albany, New York.3 [Daughters Sarah E. b. abt 1811 and Rebecca b. abt 1814 both claim Albany as their birth county on later NY State Census records.]
1813 – Samuel appears in The Albany Argus, 2 July, page 1, column 3 as a partner in business as a morocco dresser (a specialized process for kid (goat) leather). [Son Stephen Swasey is also listed a morocco dresser on later census records. Son Nathaniel is a leather dealer in a city directory.]
1814 – Samuel offers $20 reward for a runaway indentured apprentice, Albany Argus, 7 Jan, p4.
1815 – Samuel’s property is sold by the Sheriff at auction in Albany – Albany Gazette, 20 Feb, p4.
1817 – Samuel Swasey appears in the New York City list of letters – National Advocate for the Country, 3 Jan, p2.
1820 – Samuel Swasey appears in the list of letters in New York City – New York Columbian, 1 May, p4. [Samuel was not found on the 1820 census, but if he was living in a boarding house or with someone else he would not appear as this census only listed the heads of households.]
1822 – Mrs. Sarah Swasey appears in the list of letters – Albany Argus 4 Oct 1822 p3.
1823-24 – Samuel Swasey appears in the New York City Directory as a morocco dresser at 38 Spruce.4
1825 – Samuel Swasey appears in the city directory as a morocco dresser at 4 Ferry. [This is the last record I found for Samuel.]
1829 – Sarah Swasey first appears in the city directory running a boarding house in New York City.
1830 – Sarah Swasey is found on the 1830 Federal Census in New York Ward 45 – the city directory of the same year indicates she is running a boarding house.6 This is the same ward that daughter Margaret McLean is living in.
1834 – Daughter Rebecca Swasey married David Bruce Jr. in New York City.7
1840 – Samuel Swasey (age 20-29) along with an older woman (40-50) is found in Ward 7 – this is the same Ward as Peter McLean. The age is appropriate for Sarah.
1848 – Rebecca Swasey Bruce gives birth to daughter Sarah Leigh Bruce.8
1850 – Sarah Swasey is found on the 1850 Federal Census in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), Kings, New York with Rebecca Bruce and her family.9
1854 – 11 Sep – Sarah was interred in the Bruce family plot at Cypress Hills. I have not yet found a death notice or certificate for her. 10

When I received the plot list for the Bruce family plot in Cypress Hills it noted that Nathaniel Swasey (age 28) was interred in this plot along with Samuel Swasey (age 29) and John Bruce (age 42) on 28 Apr 1848. No death dates were shown, but we know that Nathaniel died in 1845, so these 3 individuals were obviously reinterred from elsewhere. We also know this Samuel must be a son, as the father Samuel b.1781 would have been about 44 when last found in 1825.

The Samuel and Sarah (Leigh) Swasey family (based on the above information) is up on Ancestry and FamilySearch now. Seeing all the Bruce names now explains where some of the names used by both Peter Charles and Peter Byron McLean came from. They had a ton of Bruce cousins and the family was very well off.

There is much more research to do in proving the line back, but at least I know where to look now. And all because of this one document. Happiness is surveying a pile of rubble that was once a brick wall.



1. Letters of Administration for Nathaniel K. Swasey named mother Sarah Swasey, sister Margert McLean, Rebecca Bruce, Sarah Swasey, and bother Stephen Swasey of Albany; digital images (accessed 12 Sep 2015).
2. Marriage Record, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston: vol 0943, p64. The New England Historic Genealogical Society. 23 Feb 1803 Samuel Swasey – son of Stephen Swasey & Abigail Knapp to Sarah Leigh father Benjamin Leigh. Cit. Date: 12 Sep 2015.
3. 1810 U.S. census, Albany, Albany, New York, p. 62, Sam Swasy; digital images (accessed 12 Sep 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M252, roll 26.
4. City Directory, Swasey, Samuel, morocco dresser, New York: p.472; digital images accessed 12 Sep 2015.
5. 1830 U.S. census, New York Ward 4, New York, New York, p. 216, line 13, Sarah Swasey; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 Sep 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, roll 96. Cit. Date: 12 Sep 2015.
6. City Directory, , Swasey, Sarah, boarding-house 209 William, New York: p.572; digital imagesaccessed 12 Sep 2015. Cit. Date: 12 Sep 2015.
7. U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930, New York Evening Post.
8. Burial Record, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, Lot 226, Sec 2, Owner David Bruce Sr. Interment #187370 Sarah Leigh Bruce 1 Nov 1924.
9. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 307B, dwelling 1631, family 2772, Sarah Swazey in home of David Bruce; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 Sep 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 522. Cit. Date: 12 Sep 2015.
10. Burial Record, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, Lot 226, Sec 2, Owner David Bruce Sr. Interment #5249 Sarah Swasey 11 Sep 1854.

The Children of Abraham and Ann (Orme) Walker

As noted in Abraham and Ann’s post, they had eight known children. Based on some significant gaps between children, I suspect that there may have been more, but I have no documentation to support any other births. Truthfully, I feel as though I’m missing a lot of stuff and just have the basics. In the early 19th century we are dependent on the christening and burial records of the church, and these could be spotty at best. Not all children (even in the same family) were baptized and not all records were preserved or have been filmed.

From an undocumented Walker family bible.  It is not likely Abraham or Ann's based on the entries. The recorded dates of birth for their children were all done at the same time (no variation in hand or ink except for Abraham's middle name), but the children below were added later. Also the children below are the 1st child of Abraham (Jr) and the first 3 of John's 4 children.

From an undocumented Walker family bible. It is not likely Abraham or Ann’s based on the entries. The recorded dates of birth for their children were all done at the same time (no variation in hand or ink except for Abraham’s middle name), but the children below were added later. Also the children below are the 1st child of Abraham (Jr) and the first 3 of John’s 4 children.


Let me just take one moment to thank the brilliant people who had the foresight to preserve the Oliver Bair Funeral Home records from Philadelphia and allow Ancestry to get them out there. These records have proven invaluable for added information not only about the event, but also about children that we might not have known about or been able to tie to the family otherwise.
The 1898 funeral record of Joseph Booth with costs and info about the removal of the babies in the grave.

The 1898 funeral record of Joseph Booth with costs and info about the removal of the babies in the grave.

*note* It is too cumbersome to provide all the source data here for the grandchildren of Abraham and Ann. I’ve provided birth and death (if known) – for more information, the BurgraffScott tree on Ancestry has those sources as will (eventually) the individuals on the tree on FamilySearch.

Phoebe Walker: born Jan 1844, christened 30 Jan 1844, died Aug 1844, buried 4 Aug 1844. All events occurred in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire, England. Little Phoebe’s baptism and burial were recorded in the records of Saint Michael’s, Ashton-Under-Lyne. There are no longer any tombstones in the churchyard. Find A Grave Memorial #135474303. Phoebe was most likely named for Ann’s mother Phoebe (Walker) Orme.1,2

Jeremiah Walker: born 11 Jan 1848, christened 10 Jul 1848, died Apr 1850, burial date and location unknown. All events occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jeremiah was probably named for Abraham’s father Jeremiah Walker. There is some confusion about whether the child on the 1850 Mortality Census is the same child baptized in 1848. The census shows the child was 3 mo, but the baby born in 1848 would have been 2 years 3 months. Errors on the mortality census are not unusual. Adding to my belief that the census age is in error is that the census was done in August of 1850 and Ann was 7 months pregnant at the time. While it’s not impossible to have 2 children 10 months apart, it is unlikely. I believe the census taker just missed the “2” when transcribing his field notes.3,4

Ralph Orme Walker: born 26 Oct 1850, christened 8 Dec 18505 Ralph was a carpenter throughout his life. He first married Mary Ann Saxon on 18 Aug 1871. Mary Ann was the daughter of James Saxon (1812-1876) and Mary (Unknown) Saxon (1815-1890). 6,7 Ralph and Mary Ann had four known children together:
1. Mary Hannah (3 Mar 1873-11 Aug 1874) buried Mount Moriah
2. Florence (25 Oct 1874-10 Aug 1875) buried Mount Moriah
3. Howard Ralph (26 Dec 1876-4 Nov 1877) buried Mount Moriah
4. Walter Saxon (1878-aft 1942).
Ralph and Mary split up in the early 1880s – I have not yet searched out their divorce records, but I have a feeling they’d be an interesting read. This is one of those families that I could easily assign many stories too. If you lost three of your four children when they were infants, it’s highly likely you might have been difficult to live with and resorted to alcohol, over-working, or any other number of coping skills. What is known is that the marriage failed and both moved on. Ralph married Kate (Unknown) in about 1883 (based on the 1900 census record), but I have not yet found documentation of their marriage or Kate’s maiden name. They had no known children together. Ralph Orme Walker died of pneumonia on 13 Dec 1897 and was buried with his parents in Mount Moriah.8 His second wife, Kate (Unknown) Walker, passed away on 29 Dec 1901 and was laid to rest with Ralph.9

I searched for Mary Ann for a long time, but I had to wait for the right records to become available before I found her. Hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m not going to admit that I failed to look at her mother and see if Mary Ann might be buried with her, thus coming up with her new married name. I will tell you that my cousin Jamie was great about digging out the information once the right question was asked.

Here’s what we now know – Mary Ann (Saxon) Walker married Richard Dixon around 1883 (again no records – we’re going by children’s births and census records) and together, they had two known sons; George R. and Louis Palmer Dixon. Ralph and Mary’s son Walter resided with them and he took Richard’s last name, using Dixon throughout his life. This led other researchers to believe that Mary Ann and Richard had been together longer than they actually had, but Walter Walker is found with Mary Ann and Ralph on the 1880 Census. After losing her first three children in infancy, poor Mary Ann once again suffered the loss of a child when young George was killed by a trolley car at the age of ten (11 Apr 1895). He was dragged beneath the car for a time and it must have been a horrific scene. It certainly made for a gruesome newspaper account. Mary Ann (Saxon) Walker Dixon died from nephritis at the age of 56 on 22 Dec 1908 and is buried in Mount Moriah with her parents and son George.10

Mary Elizabeth Walker: born 19 Jan 1853 in Philadelphia and baptized on 8 May 1853 in the Church of the Redemption (Spring Garden).11 She married Joseph Booth on 1 Oct 1869.12 Joseph Booth was born in England about 1848. It is not yet known who his parents were or when he immigrated to Philadelphia. He is first known to us from his marriage and on the 1870 Census in 46th District, 15th Ward of Philadelphia; his profession is engine maker/machinist.13 Joseph died 6 Dec 1898 in Philadelphia and was buried on 10 Dec 1898 in Mount Moriah Cemetery.14

Every family has a child that “carries the water,” and Mary is that child in the Walker family. She’s the one who provides the space in the family plot for her brother’s babies and appears on many of the funeral home records for her siblings or their children as the person responsible for the bill. She helps her mother with her application for a pension and is the one who cares for her mother at the end. Mary also has to bury her own son Robert after his wife passes away. Mary did not remarry, and remained in the Spring Garden area throughout her life. She passed away 27 Feb 1938 and was laid to rest 2 Mar 1938 in the Mount Moriah plot with Joseph and her parents.15 Together, she and Joseph had 6 known children:
1. Robert Booth b. 22 Sep 1870, d. 6 Jan 1918, m. Caroline (Unknown) b. 6 May 1860, d. 1 Jan 1904. They had no known children and were buried together in Mechanics Cemetery, but when it closed, they were relocated to Mount Peace Cemetery.
2. Mary Ann Booth b. 25 Mar 1872, d. 2 Apr 1872, buried Mount Moriah Cemetery
3. Stillborn Boy Booth b.1873, d.1873, buried Mount Moriah. We know of this child from the notes on Joseph’s funeral record. The stillborn child was disinterred for placement of Joseph’s casket and then reinterred with him.
4. Gertrude Booth b. 12 Apr 1879, d. 24 Nov 1955, m. James Peter Hain on 26 Apr 1899. James (1873-1944) son of Peter Hain and Sarah J. Else. Both Gertrude and James were cremated but they have a headstone in Arlington Cemetery, Drexel Hill, Delaware County. They had six known children: Stella Gladys, James B., Ruth, Frank Orme, Margaret S., and Ralph E.
5. Joseph Barber Booth b. 15 May 1885, d. 1 Jul 1945, m. Catherine Smith 11 Jul 1906, Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey. Catherine b. 30 Mar 1885 in Scotland, d Jul 1966 Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey. It is not yet known who her parents were or when she immigrated. Joseph Barber Booth was cremated. They had seven known children: Annie, Joseph William Smith, John W., Robert D., Joseph, Dorothy W., and Gladys.
6. Alice Booth b. 15 Dec 1887, d 10 Jan 1974, m1 Edward L. Hallahan on 8 Jan 1904. Edward L. Hallahan b. 23 Jul 1883 Ireland, d. 27 Apr 1924, b. St James of Kingsessing. M2 William Hynds Jr. on 3 Sep 1924. Alice and Edward Hallahan had eight known children together: Edward, Joseph, James, Thomas, Alice, Catherine, John, and Eugene. Alice and William had no known children together.

Abraham Walker: born 13 Jan 1854 and baptized 1 Jun 1855.16 He first married Eleanor Mary Agar on 7 Feb 1876. Eleanor was born about 1858, the daughter of William and Mary Ann (Rilers/Ryland) Agar.17 Eleanor died on 9 Sep 1879 of pulmonary tuberculosis and was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.18 *Note – Odd Fellows is defunct and records show Eleanor and the Agar family were relocated to Lawnview Cemetery, Sec 42, Graves 9, date removed 22 Jun 1951. Abraham and Eleanor had one known child together:
1. Eleanor Mary Walker, b.3 Nov 1876, Philadelphia, d. 16 May 1919, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, m. Joseph Edward Bernish in 1894. Joseph b. 30 Jan 1867, Birmingham, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, d. 25 Jun 1958 in Pittsburgh. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Ann (Davis) Bernish. Eleanor and Joseph are buried together in the South Side Cemetery. They had ten known children together: Irene Clara, Joseph Edward, Eleanor Mary, Thomas, Ralph Earl, Martha Elizabeth, Anna Luella, Thomas Abraham, Jean Adele, and Theresa May.

The family story handed down through Abraham’s line is that Eleanor (Agar) Walker’s parents wanted Abraham to give up baby Eleanor to them after her mother’s death. Abraham refused and relocated to Pittsburgh. They followed and to get them to give up their pursuit and probably out of fear they might sue for custody or simply take the child and disappear to Ireland, Abraham finally showed them a grave and told them the baby had died. The Agars apparently departed back to Philadelphia. It’s a great story and may have some basis in truth as single fathers were not the norm in this era and babies were usually given to grandparents or siblings to raise if the mother died. I find no evidence that the Agars intended to return to Ireland. Most of the Agar family (parents and siblings) were interred in the family plot with Eleanor at the Odd Fellows Cemetery.

What can be proven is that Abraham’s brother John and his wife Annie were in Pittsburgh in 1880. John was working as a machinist in the mills and it’s probable that the two brothers moved there together for work reasons. After the loss of their daughter Eleanor, it is quite easy to believe the Agars were distressed that he was taking their grandchild so far away. What is also clear, is that Abraham met and married Theresa Berger within about six months of Eleanor’s death. No firm marriage date has been located, but Eleanor (Agar) Walker died in September 1879 and Abraham and Theresa’s first child is born in December 1880. It is probable that Theresa was hired to care for the baby and things evolved from there. Philomena Theresa Berger was born 12 Sep 1860, the daughter of John and Margaret (Uikrohr) Berger.19 They had one known child together:
1. Louis Walker, b. 20 Dec 1880, Pittsburgh, d. 3 Oct 1945, buried South Side Cemetery, m1 Anna Reilly (1 Jul 1886-18 Sep 1940) on 25 May 1904. She was the daughter of James Reilly and Mary Ellen (Unknown), both of England. Louis and Anna had two known children: Louis Walker and Cecil J. Walker. They divorced in the mid-1920s. He next married Doris (Unknown) prior to 1930. They had no known children. Anna next married John J. Ryan (abt 1898-?)

Abraham died from cancer of the bladder in Pittsburgh on 9 Jul 1920 and was buried 12 Jul 1920 in the South Side Cemetery.20 Theresa did not remarry. She died 5 May 1936 in Oakmont, Allegheny County and was buried on 7 May beside Abraham.

A quick note here about Abraham’s name. Several trees have him listed as Abraham Lincoln Walker. He apparently adopted the Lincoln name in honor of the late president after his assassination, but he wasn’t named that by his parents. He was baptized as Abraham Walker in 1854, long before Lincoln was a blip on the national radar. There is a family bible that lists the children of Abraham and Ann and the list appears to have been created well after the fact as the writing is all the same. The name Lincoln looks as though it was added at a later date. There’s no issue with his name – Abraham can call himself whatever he likes. I’m merely clarifying that Lincoln wasn’t part of his birth name.

John Walker: born 21 Jun 1858 and baptized 9 Sep 1860.21 On 1 Jan 1880, he married Annie E. McCarrick.22 Annie was born in Ireland about 1860. It is not yet clear who her parents were or when they immigrated. On 5 Jun 1880 the couple is found in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. 23 It is possible that John went with his brother Abraham when he relocated, but the young couple did not remain in Pittsburgh. By 1883, they are back in Philadelphia as their first two children are baptized at the Church of the Redemption in March of that year. They are next found on the 1900 census in Philly, at which time Annie is enumerated as having had 3 children, 3 of who are living. Her three daughters are listed with her, indicating that her oldest known child, William James Walker, may be deceased by this time. Annie died on 25 Aug 1902 at the age of 41 from diabetes and was buried 28 Aug 1902 in Mount Moriah Cemetery. According to her death record, she was listed as married, so John should still have been alive; however, the plot was purchased by her daughter Ella, so it’s not clear if John was still alive or not after the 1900 census.24,25,26 I have not yet located a death record or any further information for John after the 1900 census. John and Annie had four known children together:
1. William James Walker, b. 10 Nov 1880, Pennsylvania, baptized 25 Mar 1883, Church of the Redemption, Philadelphia. Found in the family bible and baptismal record, but not thereafter.
2. Ella Walker, b. 24 Dec 1882, baptized 25 Mar 1883 Church of the Redemption, Philadelphia, d. 11 Nov 1905 Philadelphia, buried 14 Nov 1905 Mount Moriah Cemetery, m. Magruder Manry Cameron on 7 Nov 1903 in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware. Magruder b. 1 Jan 1878 Philadelphia, d. 18 Jul 1906, Philadelphia, buried 21 Jul 1906 North Cedar Hill Cemetery. They had two known children: Mary E. and Ella (Ellen) Gordon.
3. Sadie Walker, b. 13 Jan 1885 Philadelphia, d. 20 Feb 1953 Philadelphia, cremated, m1 to Unknown Cookson. They had one known child: Arthur E. Cookson. M2 to Unknown Kleinfelder. They had no known children.
4. Anna Walker, b. 1 Nov 1888 Philadelphia, d. 27 Oct 1938 Philadelphia, buried 31 Oct 1938 Greenwood Cemetery Philadelphia, m. Henry “Harry” Riley about 1905. Harry was born about 1883. Date of death aft 1920. They had four known children: Henry “Harry” Riley, Raymond Thomas Riley, Charles Riley, and Anna Riley.

William Zed Walker: born 2 Aug 1860 and baptized 9 Sep 1860, died 10 Apr 1941. He and his family will be the subject of a separate post.

Phoebe Ann Lincoln Walker: born 28 Jul 1865 and baptized 8 Nov 1965.27 On the 1870 census she appears as Phoebe, but on the 1880 census she appears as Annie L. She has not been located after this date. One of the missing women in our family. While I can prove nothing (what else is new?) I believe that Annie married in the 1880s and is deceased prior to 1900. My reasoning is #1 – if she’d died prior to marrying, she’d be in Mount Moriah with the rest of the family, and if she died much later, her parents would be on the death certificate. #2 – The 1900 census for her mother Ann is a mess when it comes to the number of children, but may make sense if you’re an old woman with bad hearing. Ann states she had 4 children, which we know is wrong based on baptism and death records. But it could be four living children. In 1900, Mary, Abraham, John, and William Z. are all alive. At least that’s my theory and I can prove four living children in 1900. I can’t prove Annie is alive after 1880. If anyone has any information on Annie, please get in touch.



1. St Michaels (Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England), “Baptisms,” p.24, 30 Jan 1844, Phoebe Walker dau. of Abraham & Ann Walker; FHL microfilm 1,538,434.
2. St Michaels (Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England), “Burials,” p. 246, line 2, Phoebe dau. of Abraham Walker, 4 Aug 1844; FHL microfilm 1,550,971.
3. Church of the Redemption (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County), “Church of the Redemption (Spring Garden),” Records 1846-1850 by Rev. George A. Duborow; FHL microfilm 2,048,314, item Baptism Jeremiah Walker 11 Jan 1848.
4. Pennsylvania U.S. Census Bureau, Mortality Schedule, M1838, 11 rolls: pg 2 Seventh Precinct, Spring Garden, Philadelphia, 25, Jeremiah Walker, aged 3/12, cause of death unknown; digital image, The Generations Network, Inc., “U. S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880,” Ancestry.
5. Church of the Redemption (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County), “Baptismal Record,” Ralph Orme Walker; FHL microfilm 1,731,982, item shows birth date of 26 Oct 1850.
6. John or Phoebe Walker Family Bible, family pages; Photocopy held by Private, Mr. Ralph Walker to Miss N. Mary A. Saxon, 18 Aug 1871.
7. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 120632 (1908), Mary A. Dixon, died 22 Dec 1908, buried 26 Dec 1908 Mount Moriah; Department of Vital Statistics, New Castle. Cit. Date: 5 Jul 2015.
8. Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, Ralph O. Walker death date 13 Dec 1897, burial 19 Dec 1897 Mount Moriah. Rec. Date: 20 Jun 2008.
9. Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, #15792, Kate Walker, death date 29 Jan 1901, burial 2 Feb 1901 Mount Moriah. Rec. Date: 20 Jun 2008.
10. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 120632 (1908), Mary A. Dixon, died 22 Dec 1908, buried 26 Dec 1908 Mount Moriah; Department of Vital Statistics, New Castle. Cit. Date: 5 Jul 2015.
11. (Pennsylvania), “Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records 1708-1985,” Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Abram & Ann Walker, born 1 Jan 1852; digital images, Ancestry, “FHL Film #1731982” Cit. Date: 5 Jul 2015.
12. John or Phoebe Walker Family Bible, family pages; Photocopy held by Private. Miss Mary E. Walker to Mr. Joseph Booth 1 Oct 1869. Cit. Date: 14 Jan 2012.
13. 1870 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, p. 63, dwelling 771, family 924, Mary Walker Booth; digital images, Ancestry; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll M593 1398. Cit. Date: 30 Jun 2008; Family #924 Joseph Booth age 22 Engine Builder, Mary Booth age 20 Keeping House. Census records married within last 12 months, specifically October.
14. Pennsylvania City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, 11902, Joseph Booth died 6 Dec 1898, buried 10 Dec 1898 Mount Moriah; digital image, Family Search, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Records 1803-1915,” Rec. Date: 20 Jun 2008.
15. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 11895 (1938), Mary Elizabeth Booth, born 11 Feb 1852, died 27 Feb 1938, buried 2 Mar 1938 Mount Moriah, Father Abraham Walker, Lancashire, Mother Anne Orme, Lancashire, Spouse, Joseph Booth; Department of Vital Statistics, New Castle. Cit. Date: 5 Jul 2015.
16. Church of the Redemption (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County), Abraham Walker, son of Abram and Ann, baptized 13 Jun 1855, born 1 Jun 1854; FHL microfilm 1,731,982. Cit. Date: 7 Jul 2015.
17. John or Phoebe Walker Family Bible, family pages; Photocopy held by Private. Mr. Abraham Walker to Miss Eleanor Agar, 7 Feb 1876. Cit. Date: 15 Jan 2012.
18. Pennsylvania City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, Physician’s Certificate, Elnor Walker, died 9 Sep 1879; digital image, Family Search, Rec. Date: 20 Jun 2008. Cit. Date: 15 Jan 2012.
19. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 47773 (1936), Theresa Berger Walker, age 75, born 12 Sep 1860, died 5 May 1936, Father John Berger, France, Mother Margaret Uikrohr, Germany, Spouse Abraham Walker, buried 7 May 1936 South Side Cemetery; Department of Vital Statistics, New Castle.
20. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 75562 (1920), Abraham Walker, age 66, born 1 Jun 1854, died 9 Jul 1920, buried 12 Jul 1920 South Side Cemetery, Father Abraham Walker, Mother Ann Arm, Informant Theresa Walker; Department of Vital Statistics, New Castle. Cit. Date: 7 Jul 2015
21. Church of the Redemption (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County), John Walker, son of Abram and Ann Walker, baptized 9 Sep 1860, born 21 Jun 1858; FHL microfilm 1,731,982. Cit. Date: 7 Jul 2015.
22. John or Phoebe Walker Family Bible, family pages; Photocopy held by Private. Mr. John Walker to Miss Annie E. McCarrick 1 Jan 1880.
23. Year: 1880; Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1095; Family History Film: 1255095; Page: 350A; Enumeration District: 166; Image:0253
24. Pennsylvania City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, Annie Walker, age 41, died 25 Aug 1902, buried 28 Aug 1902 Mount Moriah; digital image, Family Search Rec. Date: 20 Jun 2008. Cit. Date: 9 Jul 2015.
25. “Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records 1708-1985,” Burial Record, Ella Cameron, 14 Nov 1905, Sec 207, Lot B, Div 21, next to Annie Walker buried 28 Aug 1902; digital images, Ancestry, “Oliver Bair Funeral Home Records,” Cit. Date: 9 Jul 2015.
26. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 33, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1474; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0843; FHL microfilm: 1241474
27. Church of the Redemption (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County), Phoebe Ann Lincoln Walker, daughter of Abram and Ann, baptized 8 Nov 1865, birth 28 Jul 1865; FHL microfilm 1,289,306.

Abraham Walker (1823-1884) and Ann Orme (1820-1909)

Abraham and Ann (Orme) Walker are our immigrant ancestors; although, I’m not sure most of us consider the English to be immigrants in the same way as our Irish or German ancestors. The English are simply easier to research once you have a starting point. For this family, that came about thanks to his family providing the location of Ashton-Under-Line [sic] in his obituary. With the location came church records, which clarified his parents and siblings. However, with a common name such as Walker, the research is by nature slow and painstaking as there are boatloads of Walkers in Lancashire, and all of them seem to bear the same names. I think of Abraham and Ann as the spinners, since that was their occupation in the cotton and woolen mills.

Abraham Walker was born about 1823 in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire, England. He was the oldest of the six known children of Jeremiah Walker (1799-1850) and Mary Newton (1799-1849) and was baptized on 18 May 1823 in Saint Michaels in Ashton-Under-Lyne. No actual birth date was provided in the baptismal record or yet been located.1

Based on census and church records, the Walker family all appeared to have worked as wool and cotton spinners in the local mills. Their records show “Charlestown” as their home, making them distinguishable from the multitude of other Walkers.

On 8 Nov 1841, Abraham married Ann Orme in Oldham, Lancashire, England.2 The date was found in a pension file, but locating the church record was more difficult. A bishop’s transcript was eventually found, for Abraham Walker (son of Jeremiah) and Ann Hill (daughter) of Ralph. It appears to have been a transcription error on the bishop’s copy. The original church register has not yet been reviewed.

Ann Orme was born 13 Mar 1820 in Ashton-Under-Lyne. She was one of the seven known children of Ralph Orme (1791-) and Phoebe Walker (1788-) and was baptized on 11 May 1823 in Saint Michaels.3 Her family also worked in the local mills as weavers. It is not yet clear if Ann’s mother Phoebe was part of Abraham’s father’s immediate family.

Abraham and Ann had their first known child in January 1844 in Ashton-Under-Lyne. Phoebe Walker was baptized 30 Jan 1844 in Saint Michaels. She died that same year and was buried on 4 Aug 1844 in the churchyard of Saint Michaels.4,5

Between 1845 – 1848, Abraham and Ann left Ashton-Under-Lyne and moved to Philadelphia. He was one of hundreds of wool and cotton mill workers who came to the United States to work in the newly industrialized woolen mills in Philadelphia and Camden. Their next known child, Jeremiah, was baptized on 10 Jul 1848 in the Church of the Redemption (Spring Garden).6 Abraham and Ann appear together without children on the 1850 Federal Census in Spring Garden Ward 7; baby Jeremiah was found on the 1850 Mortality Census as having died in April.7,8 The child found on the mortality census is listed a 3/12, so it’s unclear if this is a second son named Jeremiah or an error where the years were left off in front of his birth. His burial location is not known.

The only known picture of Abraham Walker. ca. 1861

The only known picture of Abraham Walker. ca. 1861

On 5 Aug 1861, Abraham enlisted in Battery H, 1st Reg, PA Light Artillery.9 However, it does not appear that he remained in service. While his service is listed in his obituary, and was known to his descendants, when Ann applied for a Widow’s Pension, she was denied on the grounds that Abraham had been classified as a deserter.10 The family story passed down was that Abraham had become ill and was discharged; however, there is nothing in the military records to support that story.

Abraham continued to work in the wool mills and Ann remained at home raising their children. Abraham’s two brothers, John and Jeremiah, also immigrated to Philadelphia and worked in the mills, either living with him or nearby at various times. Numerous documents and directories place Abraham and Ann in the Spring Garden area of Philadelphia throughout their years in Philadelphia. Abraham was residing at 2204 Hamilton Street, prior to and at the time of his death.11,12

Abraham died on 5 Oct 1884 from cancer of the stomach and was buried on 8 Oct 1884 in Mount Moriah Cemetery.13 His obituary stated he was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Order of Chosen Friends.14

Ann (Orme) Walker at the ground breaking for her church.

Ann (Orme) Walker at the ground breaking for her church.

Ann survived him by twenty-five years, remaining in the Spring Garden area. On the 1900 census, she is living at 2222 Hamilton Street along with her daughter-in-law Kate, the widow of Ann’s son Ralph.15 Prior to Ann’s death, 24 Oct 1909, she was living with her daughter Mary Elizabeth (Walker) Booth at 2239 Callowhill Street. Ann was laid to rest in Mount Moriah Cemetery with Abraham on 27 Oct 1909.16 Her obituary states that she was a member of the Emmanuel Church at 23d and Summer streets.17

While the record from the Oliver Bair Funeral Home states there was at least a headstone for Abraham “Reopen Abraham Walker… removing stone by family”,18 a stone has not yet been located in the plot for either Abraham, Ann, or the other family members known to be buried there. Oddly enough, Abraham is found on several lists (probably copied repeatedly from others) as a veteran in the cemetery with the following information: Walker, Abraham, d. 10/05/1884, CO H 1 PA L ARTY. This would be how the information on a military tombstone would appear. There is also a record of interment from Mount Moriah to the Quartermaster General stating a headstone was ordered in 1888. It is possible that this is the record, which has generated the information for those lists. It does not mean a military headstone was ever supplied.

Abraham and Ann had eight known children together – they are listed here and will be discussed in the next post:
Phoebe Walker (Jan 1844-Aug 1844) Ashton-Under-Lyne, St Michael’s Cemetery
Jeremiah Walker (11 Jan 1848-Apr 1849) Philadelphia, burial location unknown
Ralph Orme Walker (26 Oct 1850-13 Dec 1897) Philadelphia, Mount Moriah Cemetery
Mary Elizabeth (Walker) Booth (19 Jan 1853-27 Feb 1938) Philadelphia, Mount Moriah Cemetery
Abraham Walker (13 Jan 1854-9 Jul 1920) died in Pittsburgh, South Side Cemetery
John Walker (21 Jun 1858-aft 1880) unknown death/burial
William Zed Walker (2 Aug 1860-10 Apr 1941) Philadelphia, Greenmount Cemetery
Phoebe Ann Lincoln Walker (28 Jul 1865-aft 1880) I have been unable to locate a marriage or death record for Annie.

Abraham and Ann also raised his brother John’s son, Charles, after the death of John and his wife Mary. Charles (22 Jan 1863-24 Jun 1880) was baptized as Abraham and Ann’s own in the Church of the Redemption in 1865 and they listed him as their son on the 1880 census, leading many to believe he was actually their child.19 However, Charles’s death certificate clearly lists John and Mary Walker as his parents.20 Charles is also interred with Abraham and Ann at Mount Moriah.



Footnotes:
1. St Michaels (Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England), “Bishops Transcription of St Michael’s Church,” Baptismal Record; FHL microfilm 547,829
2. Pension Application Ann Walker; Civil War and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Application; U. S. National Archives & Records Administration, Washington.
3. St Michaels (Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England), “St. Michael’s Church,” Baptisms p.218; FHL microfilm 547,823.
4. St Michaels (Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England), “Baptisms,” p.24, 30 Jan 1844, Phoebe Walker dau. of Abraham & Ann Walker; FHL microfilm 1,538,434.
5. St Michaels (Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England), “Burials,” p. 246, line 2, Phoebe dau. of Abraham Walker, 4 Aug 1844; FHL microfilm 1,550,971.
6. Church of the Redemption (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County), “Church of the Redemption (Spring Garden),” Records 1846-1850 by Rev. George A. Duborow; FHL microfilm 2,048,314, item Baptism Jeremiah Walker 11 Jan 1848.
7. 1850 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, p. 382, dwelling 249, family 327, Abraham Walker; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 819.
8. Pennsylvania U.S. Census Bureau, Mortality Schedule, M1838, 11 rolls: pg 2 Seventh Precinct, Spring Garden, Philadelphia, 25, Jeremiah Walker, aged 3/12, cause of death unknown; digital image, The Generations Network, Inc., “U. S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: 24 Nov 2009).
9. National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
10. Adjutant General Statement; Civil War and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Application; U. S. National Archives & Records Administration, Washington. Pension File of Ann Walker, Widow of Abraham Batt H, 1st Ref., PA Lt Art
11. 1870 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, p. 25, dwelling 321, family 364, Abram Walker; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1400.
12. 1880 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, enumeration district (ED) 276, p. 367 Stamped, dwelling 114, family 147; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1175.
13. Pennsylvania City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, Abram Walker; digital image, Family Search, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Records 1803-1915,” New Family Search (http://pilot.familysearch.org: 20 Jun 2008).
14. Obituary, “Walker,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 Oct 1884, p5; digital images.
15. 1900 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, enumeration district (ED) 285, p. 8B, dwelling 119; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1458.
16. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 23909 (1909), Ann Walker; Department of Vital Statistics, New Castle.
17. Obituary, “Walker,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 Oct 1909, p7; digital images.
18. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

Hard as Nails – Part 2

Henrietta “Nettie” Ella (Frith) MacLean Abell (1875-1963)

On the 1920 census, we find Nettie with a full house. Nettie, sons Edward 13, and Welling 11, daughter Susie 22, and her two children Nettie and John Stewart, Margaret and husband Harry Walker, as well as Ada and husband John (Jack) K. Stillwell.1 It’s my understanding that Nettie charged the married couples the going rate on rent. Margaret and Ada moved out within a year. My uncle Craig said his father Harry couldn’t wait to get out of his mother-in-laws house and they relocated to Philadelphia. Susie married Edmund Griffin in about 1922 and moved out also.
2a
In the early 1920s, Nettie married Alfred Abell. Alfred was born 26 May 1870 in West Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey,2 and worked as a foreman for the coal company. He was the son of Thomas and Rachel (Unknown) Abell and (based on census records) had been previously married to Georganna Streit in about 1903. I don’t know if they were divorced or if she died. They had no children. By 1940, Alfred had relocated to Greene County, New York, but both he and Nettie still list themselves as married. Alfred died there 14 Jun 1962.3 I have not yet found out if they ever divorced. If anyone wants to hunt the records, everything would have happened in Nassau County and most likely in Mineola or North Hempstead.
9b9c
The interesting part of this relationship is that none of the grandchildren knew they were married. My mother Shirlee and her brother Craig thought Alfred was the handyman because when they visited; they ate at the dining room table and Alfred took his meals in the kitchen. I also heard him referred to as “the butler” because he sometimes served the food before retreating to the kitchen. Nettie also did not speak to him during these times. My mother never heard Nettie refer to herself as Abell, and recalls that when she wrote to her grandmother, she addressed her letters to Mrs. Nettie MacLean.
1010b
My mother spent many summers on Long Island with her grandmother and cousins in the 1930s and ’40s. She and Craig both spoke of their grandmother frequently. According to them, Nettie definitely ran things in the family and when she spoke, they all listened and did as they were told. As my mother got older, she became more open about her grandmother, referring to Nettie as “warm when it suited her” but “hard as nails” underneath. She took in her grandchildren, but they were expected to work for their room and board. She was known to meddle and manipulate her children when it suited her, and was not above naming a child (her son Welling Seeley MacLean) after a wealthy childless relative in hopes he would leave his namesake something.
15a
Nettie lived with her son Edward and his family until her death on 21 Dec 1963 in Mineola on Long Island. She was buried in the Roslyn Cemetery and shares a tombstone with first husband George. The two spellings of the last name make it very clear to me that Nettie was a woman who lived life on her own terms and did things her own way.HPIM0739



Footnotes
1. 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Roslyn, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, dwelling 187, family 152, MacLean, Nettie; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
2. database(accessed 3 Jul 2014), Alfred Abell, 26 May 1870, W. Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey, Thomas and Rachel Abell; Ancestry.com. New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931. Cit. Date: 3 Jul 2014.
3. database(accessed 3 Jul 2014), Alfred Abell, 14 Jun 1962, Catskill, Greene County, NY State Death Cert. #1962/46790; The New York State Death Index, 1957-1963.

Hard as Nails

Henrietta “Nettie” Ella (Frith) MacLean Abell

This will be one of the more difficult pieces to write because I’m not sure there will be much “balance” in it. I’ve heard a lot about Nettie over the years and to be honest – most of it was not complimentary. Craig Walker referred to his grandmother as a “mean old broad” and admitted to being afraid of her as a child and avoiding her as an adult. He told me that Nettie could hold a grudge forever and had an opinion about everyone and everything. My mother Shirlee agreed with Craig’s assessment. My grandmother Margaret, who never had an unkind word about anyone, referred to her mother as “difficult.”

43160e59-0fb9-497e-acd1-3901a6f60083
Henrietta “Nettie” Ella Frith was born in 2 Mar 1875 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. She was the third child of George Richard Frith (1849-1903) and Henrietta F. Brimlow (1847-1884). While they were recording births in Brooklyn as early as 1866, I have not yet found a record for Nettie.

There has been some discussion about whether her name was Henrietta or simply Nettie. Nettie is the diminutive form of the name and most of her documentation is in that name. My belief that her birth name was Henrietta is based on two specific records. The 1 Jun 1875 New York State Census1 enumerates the Frith family in Brooklyn as:
George age 25,
Henrietta 25,
Ruth 2,
Henry 4 months.
It is probable that the census worker used the Henr. abbreviation in his notebook and simply wrote Henry instead of Henrietta when filling out the master sheet.

32848_B094052-00713The second item is the 1 Jun 1915 New York State Census when she is enumerated as Henrietta.2 This would have been her first official record after her husband died and she gave her full name. However, Nettie most likely chose to use the diminutive and it’s the name her family used for her.

Nettie’s mother died in 1884 when Nettie was only nine. She told her granddaughters that she had a vivid memory of her mother lying in the casket with a stillborn infant in her arms. My mother and her cousins were unnerved by this story at a very young age.

Nettie married her first cousin George Edward McLean on 12 July 1893.3 The news article about their secret marriage being discovered due to her fit of jealousy is revealing in its own way. Very early on, Nettie appears to be a woman who went after the things she wanted. She moves from Brooklyn to North Hempstead, Long Island (then Queens County) after her marriage to George.

Their first child was a stillborn boy born 19 May 1894.4 He was interred in the McLean family plot. Their next three children were daughters: Susan (Susie) Wynn born 20 Mar 1897,5 Margaret Frith born 22 Apr 1899,6 and Ada Mae born 25 Aug 1901.7 There is a five-year-gap and then the two boys appeared: Edward Frith born 29 Aug 1906,8 and Welling Seeley born 1908.9 The family was enumerated there together on 16 Apr 1910.10 Life appeared to be good as they own their home and have a servant to help in the kitchen. Margaret could not recall a time growing up when her mother did not have some type of domestic help.

George passed away 25 Mar 1915,11 and his mother Susan Winn (Frith) McLean (Nettie’s aunt) passed on 21 May 1915.12 Nettie was now on her own with five children. Oldest daughter Susie married John T. Kelley the following year. John Kelley, born 18 Jul 1888 in Brooklyn 13 was a fireman on the Long Island Railway and not approved of by Nettie. He died 28 Oct 191814 of the Spanish Influenza (I’m awaiting the death certificate for confirmation of this family story) and was buried in the McLean family plot in Roslyn Cemetery.
6b
Sometime between 1915 and 1920, Nettie chose to change the spelling of her last name to MacLean. The family story was that Nettie was sure the “Mac” spelling denoted the Scottish and the “Mc” spelling was for the Irish. According to my sources, Nettie appeared to feel the Irish were less than desirable and wanted to make sure that everyone knew they were Scottish. This was a common misconception that was making the rounds in the early 20th century, but those of us who do genealogy know that spelling means nothing. This is the only branch of the family that made the switch in spelling. It was a source of confusion in the research for some time.

Stay tuned for Part II –



Footnotes:
1. Brooklyn, Kings, Ward 16, E.D. 1, p. 41, line 42, George Frith; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 14 May 2014). Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
2. New York, population schedule, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, p. 17, dwelling 47, line 36, McLean, Henrietta; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 12 May 2014). Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
3. Marriage Record, Certificate of Marriage Brooklyn #3969, 12 Sep 1893, George Edward McLean and Nettie Ella Frith, witnesses: Norman and Cordelia Edith Roscoe. FHL Film #1,523,044. Cit. Date: 26 Apr 2014.
4. Roslyn Cemetery (Letter from Dominick Tarantino, Manager, Roslyn Cemetery, Roslyn, NY dated 24 Mar 08. List of people in McLean plot #61, Section Old Chart, with Name, Date of Internment and Age (if known)), Cit. Date: 10 Apr 2008.
5. State of California, “Death Index, 1940-1997,” database(accessed 10 May 2014), State of California, “Death Index, 1940-1997,” database(accessed 10 May 2014), Susan Wynn Griffin, SSN 545421305, b. 20 Mar 1897 NY, d15 Sep 1993, Santa Clara, mother maiden Frith, Father surname MacLean. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
6. New York Department of Health, birth certificate (1899), Margaret McLean; New York State Dept of Health, Albany. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
7. Ancestry.com, Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, Number: 103-14-4866; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951.
8. Ancestry.com, Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, Edward F. MacLean, 091-03-1366, b. 29 Aug 1906, d. 29 Feb 1988. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
9. Roslyn Cemetery (Letter from Dominick Tarantino, Manager, Roslyn Cemetery, Roslyn, NY dated 24 Mar 08. List of people in McLean plot #61, Section Old Chart, with Name, Date of Internment and Age (if known)), Cit. Date: 10 Apr 2008.
10. 1910 U.S. census, population schedule, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, enumeration district (ED) 1123, p. 2A, dwelling 22, family 22, Mclean, George E.; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll T624 995. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
11. Roslyn Cemetery (Letter from Dominick Tarantino, Manager, Roslyn Cemetery, Roslyn, NY dated 24 Mar 08. List of people in McLean plot #61, Section Old Chart, with Name, Date of Internment and Age (if known)), Age 47 years 6 mo 15 days. Cit. Date: 10 Apr 2008.
12. New York death certificate 84 (1915), Susan Wynn MacLean, died 21 May 1915, Port Washington, Nassau, New York.
13. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 9 May 2014), John Kelley, July 18, 1888, Electric Railway Conductor; U.S., World War I Draft Registration Crds, 1917-1918.
14. Roslyn Cemetery (Letter from Dominick Tarantino, Manager, Roslyn Cemetery, Roslyn, NY dated 24 Mar 08. List of people in McLean plot #61, Section Old Chart, with Name, Date of Internment and Age (if known)), Age 30. Cit. Date: 10 Apr 2008.

Union Cemetery in Brooklyn 1851-1897

Unburying Your Dead

One of the more frustrating aspects of genealogy is attempting to locate a death date and burial location for your ancestor. We know they’re dead, and we know that death occurred between 1870 and 1880 since we have census information on the individual in 1870 and a widowed spouse in 1880. But death records were not common in the 19th century. Finding a cemetery list naming your ancestor is just as exciting as finding a maiden name for your fourth great grandmother. We’re all hopeful that there’s a tombstone to provide us the full dates of births and death, and maybe even what damn county or shire in England, Scotland, or Ireland they came from. But in this family, cemetery information and tombstones have been scarce.

Now, imagine you’re lucky enough to discover which cemetery your ancestor is in, only to learn they aren’t there because that cemetery no longer exists. And, not only does it no longer exist, the records are missing.

Case in point, Union Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Union Cemetery was founded in 1851 on 10 acres in the Eastern District of Brooklyn. In brief, the cemetery was founded by two churches – one from New York City and one from Brooklyn. The New York church sold its share to the Brooklyn church in 1875. Then in 1897, the Brooklyn church decided to sell the land after the burial site was full. Over 30,000 burials had occurred on the site, and all those bodies needed to be relocated. Families were given the choice of arranging for relocation or letting the contractor hired by the church relocate the bodies. All bodies not claimed by a family were relocated to a ten-acre plot within Cedar Grove Cemetery in Flushing. This task was accomplished within a sixty-day period from December 1897 through January 1898. According to newspaper articles, single boxes was to be used to hold the contents of each grave, and the remains were then reinterred at Cedar Grove in corresponding order along with associated monuments. The burial occurred in numbered plots matching the order of removal.

But that’s where the recorded trail takes a giant dump. [Read more…]

Peter Charles McLean’s children

The children of Peter Charles and Margaret (Swasey) McLean:

1. Charles Edward McLean was born in 1830 in New York City, New York. He’s first found by name on the 1850 census with his parents in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.1 The 1855 New York Census provided his birth county.2 He is on his own in the 1860 census.3 Charles went with his sister-in-law Susan W. (Frith) McLean to bring his younger brother Peter B. home from Philadelphia in 1862.

He first married Sarah A. Burger (1838-1867) prior to 1865. He is found with wife Sarah and her parents John A. Burger (1809-1887) and Jane Eliza Fairweather (1817-1908) on the 1865 New York State Census in Brooklyn. Sarah died in August 1867 and was interred in Green-Wood Cemetery on 22 August.

On 2 Dec 1868 in Brooklyn, the 37 year-old Charles, married 20 year-old Isabella Marie Brown. According to the marriage record, Isabella was the daughter of Jacob M. and Margaret (Miller) Brown.4
1868 McLean - Copy - Copy
Charles, like the rest of his family, was a painter and grainer. He appears in many of the Brooklyn city directories from 1867-1889. He lived the remainder of his life in Brooklyn. He and Isabella had five children together, three of whom are known.
George F. McLean (1871- ?)
Harriet August McLean (1873-22 Oct 1945) m. William Wood (1869-?)
Cordelia Bruce McLean (5 Oct 1881-21 Jan 1969) m. John Watson Moore (1873-1940)
He died 25 Dec 1891 in Brooklyn.5 Charles was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery.

Isabella Marie (Brown) McLean was born 19 July 1846 in Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey. She had one sibling Freeman Poole Brown (1849-1925). Her mother died sometime after the 1850 census and while her father and brother were easily located, Isabella proved difficult. It is possible that she was sent to live with her mother’s family while young. After Charles’s death, Isabella moved to Huntsville, Madison, Alabama, with daughter Cordelia and her husband. She died there on 18 January 1922 and was interred in Maple Hill Cemetery. Her stone has her name as MACLEAN and it is probable that it was placed well after her death as it matches the stones of her daughter and son-in-law.

2. Peter Byron McLean (1832-1895) – previously discussed.

3. Washington McLean was born about 1836 in New York City and can be found with his parents and siblings on the 1850 and 1860 census.

In about 1862, he married Mary Elizabeth Brown. Mary was born about 1842 and is the daughter of David H. Brown (1818-1900). Washington worked as a painter and wallpaper hanger. He’s first found in the 1865 Brooklyn city directory7 at 236 Grand and remains at the address until the 1880s when he relocates to 285 Grand. 236 Grand is a 3-story brownstone and appears to be both business and home, but 285 is a single-story brick business. In 1890, his residence is listed as Port Washington in Queens, and that is where he passed away on 27 Nov 1891.8

Mary apparently continued to run the business with her son David for a short time as she appears in the 1892 and 1893 city directories.9 In 1898, she provided a deposition for her sister-in-law Susan W. (Frith) McLean in the matter of her widow’s pension. On the 1900 census, Mary stated she had a total of five children, three of whom were still living.10 (David, Margaret, and Ann). Mary died 11 Jun 1930 in Port Washington, Nassau, New York.

Washington and Mary had five children, four of whom are known. David Charles McLean (1863-1934) m. Adelaid B. Demarest (1863-1940); Margaret Rebecca McLean (1865-1945) did not marry; Anne F. McLean (abt 1872-aft1930) did not marry; John McLean (abt 1879-bef 1900) did not marry.

4. Nathaniel Bruce McLean was born 10 Aug 1838 in New York City and died 17 Aug 1860 in Williamsburg of nervous exhaustion. He was buried in Union Cemetery.11 His obituary appeared in the New York Tribune on 20 Aug 1860.12
NathlMcLean - Copy

McLEAN- At Williamsburgh, on Friday, August 17, Nathaniel Bruce McLean, aged 22 years, youngest son of P.C. McLean.”

5. Sarah Amelia McLean was born in 1842 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. She can be found there with her parents and sibling on multiple census records. According to the 1870 census record Sarah was a music teacher; she and her father resided with her older brother Peter B. and his family.13

On 23 Jan 1873, she married John Milton Page (1840-2 Mar 1931) in Brooklyn. John Milton Page was born in Maine, the son of Madison and Louisa (Small) Page.14 John served in the 40th NY Volunteers (Mozart Regiment) during the Civil War and was wounded at Bull Run.15
mclsarah1a - Copy
Sarah died in Brooklyn 24 Nov 191216 and was interred in Green-Wood Cemetery. Her obituary in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was brief.17
Sarah BDE 24 Nov 1912 p72 c2
John eventually relocated to Rockville Center in Nassau County where he remained until his death on 2 Mar 1931. His obituary appeared in the New York Times on 3 Mar 1931.18
John NYT 3 Mar 1931
John PageHe and Sarah are both interred in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.19 I have requested photographs of her tombstone.

They had two known children: Margaret R. Page (abt 1874-2 Dec 1935) did not marry, and John Wallace Page (27 Sep 1879-Jan 1964) m. Josie Mary Baldwin (abt 1882-Dec 1952). They had 2 known children: John Wallace Page, Jr. and Marjorie Page.



1. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Kings, New York, p. 469B, dwelling 1508, family 2100, Peter McLean; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 522. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
2. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 14, Kings, New York, p. E.D. 2, dwelling 832, line 6, P.C. McLean; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 10 May 2014). Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
3. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Broooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 679, dwelling 196, family 276, Chas E. McLean, age 29, Painter; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll M653 772. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
4. Kings, New York, Marriage Records, 1952, Charles E. McLean-Isabella M. Brown, 2 Dec 1868; FHL microfilm 1,543,776. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.
5. “New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848,” database, New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848 (accessed 8 Jun 2014), Charles McLean, age 61, died 25 Dec 1891, Kings, Cert #20929. Cit. Date: 8 Jun 2014.
6. “New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848,” database, New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848 (accessed 8 Jun 2014), Isabella McLean, age 70, died 3 Apr 1920, Kings, Cert.# 9408. Cit. Date: 8 Jun 2014.
7. City Directory, 1865 Brooklyn, New York : McLean, Washington, paints & paper, 236 Grand; digital images accessed 10 May 2014. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
8. Newspapers, Abstract from the Long Islander, McLean, Washington, died 27 Nov 1891, Port Washington, LongIslandGenealogy.com. Cit. Date: 6 Jun 2014.
9. City Directory, 1893 Brooklyn, New York : McLean, Mary, paints & paper, 285 Grand; digital images accessed 10 May 2014. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
10. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, enumeration district (ED) 716, p. 6B, dwelling 105, family 117, Mary E. McLean; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 11 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1079. Cit. Date: 11 May 2014.
11. Kings County, New York, death register August 1860 no. Page 111, Line 372 (17 Aug 1860), Nathaniel B. McLean; FHL microfilm 1,378,817. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.
12. Newspapers, New York Tribune, Monday, 20 Aug 1860, p. 8. Cit. Date: 29 Apr 2014.
13. 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Ward 14 Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 180A, dwelling 281, family 582, Peter McLean; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll M593 955. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
14. Kings, New York, Marriage Records, 119, John A. Page-Sarah A. McLean, 23 Jan 1893; FHL microfilm 1,543,909. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.
15. “John M. Page Dead at 91.,” The New York Times, 3 Mar 1931, online archives (Ancestry : accessed 11 May 2014). Cit. Date: 11 May 2014.
16. “New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848,” database, New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848 (accessed 10 Jun 2014), Sarah Page, age 70, died 21 Nov 1912, Kings, Cert.#21579.
17. “Deaths – PAGE,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 24 Nov 1912, p. 72, col. 2; digital images(accessed 11 May 2014). Cit. Date: 11 May 2014.
18. “John M. Page Dead at 91.,” The New York Times, 3 Mar 1931, online archives (Ancestry : accessed 11 May 2014). Cit. Date: 11 May 2014.
19. John M. Page, Find A Grave Memorial# 27428513.