Working Backwards on the Brimlows

William Brimlow (1800-1873)

For as long as I can remember, I have known about Henrietta (Brimlow) Frith (1847-1884) and her sad death at the age of 37. My mother told me the tale her grandmother Nettie Frith (1875-1963) had told her about her mother Henrietta dying and seeing her in the casket with her stillborn child in her arms. It was not difficult to trace Henrietta to her parents, George Brimlow and Elizabeth Weeks. It was also not difficult to work out George’s parents and siblings thanks to the early research provided by my distant cousin Chris Beale. Chris had done quite a bit of the legwork prior to the explosion of records online. It was Chris who outlined the basic family, located the family plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery, and located the passenger list. With Chris’s excellent research as a starting point, I went through thirty years of New York City and Brooklyn directories, combed the NY State Census records, and drove myself insane looking at New York and Brooklyn birth, death, and marriage records to fill in the gaps and add some flesh to the bones.

Here’s what we currently know about the family in New York along with the evidence:

William and Ann Broomelaw arrived in New York, along with their 5 children, aboard the Ajax on 29 Nov 1832.1
Ajax pass list 1832
William Broomelaw, 32 (1800), Miner, England
Ann, 35 (1837)
Jane, 9 (1823)
George, 12 (1820)
William, 7 (1825)
Henry, 6 (1826)
John, 3 (1829)

Let’s address the two concerns with this record – the name and the occupation. As stated in the previous post, a genealogist has to be flexible with the name. The family is English and if they are from Northwesterern England, Shropshire/Cheshire/Lancashire, which all border on Wales, the pronunciation of the name will sound more like Broom or Brom than it does Brim. As for the occupation… occupations are usually the job people last held and not necessarily what they may have done earlier in life or will be doing in the future. As proven in the previous post about William Brown, he listed himself as a farmer, but he was actually a butcher. And William Brimlow’s oldest son George named himself as a coffee roaster on the census and a clerk in the directory of the same year before changing his occupation to engineer only one year later. This is America—you can be whatever you choose.

William Brimlow makes his first appearance in the New York City directory in 1836 and remained at this particular address through 1846:2
“Brimlow William, coffee & spices 59 Cherry”

The family can be accounted for on the 1840 Federal Census in New York Ward 4 under the name Wm Brimlow:3
Males 10-14 – 1 (John 11),
15-19 – 2 (Henry14, Wm15),
20-29 – 1 (Geo 20),
40-49 – 1 (Wm 40),
Females 15-19 – 1 (Jane 17),
40-49 – 1( Ann 43)

The Brimlows are well established in New York’s Lower East Side. On 7 Nov 1842, William is naturalized.4 In 1846, the business address changes to 16 James Slip, where it will remain for at least the next 10 years. William and Ann appear with youngest son John on the 1850 Federal Census in New York Ward 4.5 The family has moved to 59 Monroe Street and middle son William appears in the city directory at that address with his father and brother George as a clerk for the first time in 1851.

Ann died 10 Mar 1851 in New York City, and William purchased the large family plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery, Sec 2, Lot 168 on 11 Mar 1851. Ann was the first interment in the plot on 13 Mar 1851.6

About 1852, William married Deborah (Gedney) Woodhall (1817-16 Nov 1895),7 17 years his junior, she was the widow of Thomas Woodhall (1818-1850). She had three children from her previous marriage: Mary Elizabeth (Woodhall) Wines Jones; Josephine (Woodhall) Johnson, and Leander Byron Woodhall. Some of these children were enumerated as Brimlow at times. William and Deborah had three children together: Arthur W., Frederick Austin, and Ella Helen.

By 1855, the entire family had moved across the river to Brooklyn. The New York City directories reflected the business address at James Slip with a home listing of Brooklyn. At the age of 65, William still listed himself as employed in N.Y.8

William died on 6 February 1873 at his home, 75 Taylor Street, Brooklyn.9 He was laid to rest with Ann in Cypress Hills Cemetery on 8 Feb 1873.10 Deborah died 16 Nov 1895 in Brooklyn and was buried in Eleazor Gedney Burial Ground, Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York.11
Wm dc 1873

The next post will be about William and Ann in England, and the evidence related to Ann’s maiden name in the Wood versus Chaddock debate.



1. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry,” online images(accessed 20 May 2014), manifest, Ajax, 29 Nov 1832, William Broomelaw and family. Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
2. 1836 – (City Directories – New York – p.114, Fold3.com
3. 1840 U.S. census, New York Ward 4, New York, New York, p. 219, line 20, Wm Brimlow; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 30 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 300. Cit. Date: 30 Nov 2015.
4. Rec# 33, 7 Nov 1842, William Brimlow, English, Marine Court of New York City; digital images(accessed 20 May 2014). Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
5. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, New York, New York, p. 278A, dwelling 461, family 1694, William Brimlee; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 14 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 536. Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
6. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery interment #1254 – Ann Brimlow, 13 Mar 1851, Sec 2, Lot 168.
7. New York death certificate #19974, Deborah Brimlow, died 16 Nov 1895, 249 Broadway, 2nd floor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, age 70 (or 76)y 6 mo., apoplexy, buried 19 Nov 1895. Cit. Date: 15 May 2014.
8. 1865 NewYork State Census, Brooklyn Ward 13, Kings, New York, p. 21, dwelling 88, family 152, line 29, Wm Brimlow 65, Deborah Brimlow 49, Leander W. Brimlow 18, Mary Wines 25, Arthur Brimlow 12, Fredk Brimlow 10, Ella Brimlow 8; digital images(accessed 30 Nov 2015). Cit. Date: 30 Nov 2015.
9. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 27 Nov 2015), Certificate #1069, William Brimlow died 6 Feb 1873, age 73, Brooklyn, Kings, buried 8 Feb 1873 Cypress Hills Cemetery.
10. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, William Brimlow was interred 8 Feb 1873, in Sec 2, Lot 168.
11. New York death certificate #19974, Deborah Brimlow, died 16 Nov 1895, 249 Broadway, 2nd floor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, age 70 (or 76)y 6 mo., apoplexy, buried 19 Nov 1895. Cit. Date: 15 May 2014.

The Brimlow’s Baker’s Dozen

The Children of George Brimlow and Elizabeth Weeks

Mary Jane Brimlow b. 11 Dec 1843, New York City, died before 1850. She was found in the Baptismal Register of the Reverend Henry Chase of New York, FHL Film #17,777. She did not appear on the 1850 Census and is not in the family plot which was started in 1851. It is possible that she was one of the thousands who died of influenza in New York 1847-48 or in 1849 from the Cholera epidemic that overran the city.

Elizabeth Ann Brimlow b. Apr 1845 New York City, died 27 Nov 1932, Rockaway Beach, Kings, New York, buried 30 Nov 1932, Cypress Hills Cemetery.1 Elizabeth married John M. Elliott (Dec 1843 – 6 Jan 1908) in about 1864.2 John was the son of Alfred and Cecilia Elliott and had served in Co B of the 158th New York Infantry during the Civil War. Elizabeth collected a widow’s pension after his death.3 They had three known children: Cordelia Edith (Elliott) Roscoe Kuck (Jun 1865 – 29 Sep 1940) m1 Norman Roscoe (1964-1911) m2 Robert Kuck (1861-1946); Cecelia E. Elliott (1869 – 27 Apr 1876); John M. Elliott Jr. (1874 – bef 1880).

Henrietta F. Brimlow b. 7 Sep 1847 Brooklyn, died 26 Dec 1884 Brooklyn, married George Richard Frith. Covered in a previous post.

Caroline Brimlow b. Dec 1849, died abt 1850. She appears on the 1850 census at age 7 months,4 but is not on the 1855 NY Census. Nor is she in the family plot which began in Mar 1851. No record of her passing has yet been found.

Jane Eliza Brimlow b. 13 Feb 1851 Brooklyn, died Feb 1931 New York, buried 18 Feb 1931 Cypress Hills Cemetery.5,6 Jane married Charles Peakes Lloyd on 12 Nov 1871 in Brooklyn.7 Charles was born in Nov 1846 and was christened on 6 Dec 1846 in Aberystruth, Monmouthshire, Wales, the son of Joseph Lloyd and Eliza Perkes/Peakes.8 He immigrated in about 1868 and worked as a steam fitter. Charles died 14 Nov 1923.9 Both he and Jane are buried in the Masonic plot of Cypress Hills. They had six known children: Joseph Lloyd (1873 – 22 Apr 1875); Lizzie E. Lloyd (1874 – 28 Mar 1875); Cornelia M. Lloyd (1876 – 25 Dec 1880); George D. Lloyd (1 Dec 1877 – 28 Jan 1954) m. Minnie M. Platte (1884-?); John Elliott Lloyd (13 Mar 1880 – 18 Mar 1880); Charles Edward Lloyd (24 Aug 1881 – 17 Dec 1929) m. Anna Dora Euler (1883-1971).

Mary Ann Brimlow b. 1853 Brooklyn, died Dec 1855, buried 15 Dec 1855 Cypress Hills Cemetery.10 She appeared on the Jun 1855 NY State Census with her parents.11 I did not find her in the death records.

George Washington Brimlow b. 9 Aug 1853 Brooklyn, died 8 May 1893 Brooklyn, buried 11 May 1893 Cypress Hills Cemetery.12 George worked as a house painter and grainer. He married Ida M. Lane on 15 Apr 1873 in Brooklyn.13 Ida (1 May 1856 – 1 Jul 1928) was the daughter of Daniel Lane and Elizabeth Miller.14 After George’s death, Ida married William H. Lock (Sep 1850 – 26 Oct 1931)15 on 21 Dec 1895.16 She and William are both buried in Cypress Hills Cemetery. George and Ida had six known children together: George W. Brimlow (31 Oct 1875 – aft 1942) m. Margaret Loretta Moran (1881-1926); Theodore Clarence Brimlow (1 Oct 1877 – aft 1940) m. Jennie W. Alomott (1880-?); John Merrell Brimlow (10 Jan 1881 – 4 Oct 1948) m. Kathryne R. Steckley (1886-1947); William Henry Brimlow (23 Jun 1883 – 18 Dec 1934) m. Elizabeth L. Allen (1884-aft 1951); Florence May Brimlow (15 Jan 1886 – 1 Jan 1931) m1. Robert H.F. Clark (1878-?) m2 Edward Bolomey; Georgeanna Mildred Brimlow (1893 – 4 Aug 1894).

Cornelia M. Brimlow b. 1856 Brooklyn, died 30 Sep 1905 Brooklyn, buried 2 Oct 1905 Cypress Hills Cemetery.17 Cornelia married Charles J.C. Nielsen on 8 Oct 1879 in Brooklyn.18 Charles (16 Aug 1851 – 8 Mar 1920) was born in Elsinore, Denmark and immigrated in Sep 1861.19,20 His occupation was as tobacconist or cigar manufacturer. Cornelia and Charles had five known children: Charles J. Nielsen Jr. (1882 – 5 Sep 1889); Olaf Andrew Nielsen (17 Jul 1883 – 22 May 1913); Allyn Field Nielsen (22 Jul 1888 – 20 Dec 1947) m. Minerva Wilhelma Helling (26 Sep 1890 – Jul 1985); Ethel A. Nielsen (Nov 1890 – ?); Albert Goodwin Nielsen (6 Feb 1892 – 20 Oct 1955) m. Grace E. Camp (18 Sep 1891 – 26 Nov 1991)

Ada May Brimlow b. Jan 1859 Brooklyn, died 3 Feb 1900 Brooklyn, buried 6 Feb 1900 Mt. Olivet Cemetery.21 Ada married Henry William Pidgeon on 6 Oct 1880.22 Henry (20 Dec 1856 – 5 May 1926) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was the son of John T. Pidgeon and Ellen Umstead.23 They had 8 known children together: Elizabeth Ellen Pidgeon (19 Aug 1882-6 Oct 1951) m1 Thomas Denis Ryan (1868-1913) m2 Martin J. Ryan (1876-1923); Ada May Pidgeon (6 Feb 1884-Nov 1973) m. Thomas Bartley (1883-1973); Cordelia E. Pidgeon (14 Feb 1886-Aug 1976) m. Adolph Weismantel; Henry William Pidgeon (13 Aug 1888-Apr 1973) m. Leah Bernice Westcott (1888-1873); John H. Pidgeon (1889-2 Oct 1889); Norman R. Pidgeon (23 Nov 1894-26 May 1919); Annie L. Pidgeon (28 Sep 1896-12 Aug 1970) m. Floyd Henry Frankenstein (1896-1996); Infant Pidgeon (3 Feb 1900-3 Feb 1900).

Ida Brimlow b Jan 1859 Brooklyn, died 29 Mar 1866, buried 31 Mar 1866 Cypress Hills Cemetery.24 Twin sister to Ada May, Ida died of Cholera. I have not yet found a death certificate so it is possible she died outside the city.

Josephine E. Brimlow b. 1861 Brooklyn, died 25 Dec 1865 Brooklyn, buried 26 Dec 1865 Cypress Hills Cemetery.25 Found in the NY Death Index on Ancestry indexed as Josephine Bremton. In the FamilySearch NY Death Records the only Josephine of this age is shown as Josephine Brandon died 24 Dec 1865. I’ll have to check the certificate in Salt Lake City.

William Joseph Brimlow b 1861 Brooklyn, died 18 Jul 1862 Brooklyn, buried 19 Jul 1862 Cypress Hills Cemetery.26 Twin brother of Josephine. He’s in the NY Death Index, but I haven’t found his death record yet.

Charles E. Brimlow b 1864 Brooklyn, died 27 Apr 1893 Brooklyn, buried 30 Apr 1893 Cypress Hills Cemetery.27 There is a marriage record dated 16 Mar 1887 to Hattie Meddlar in Brooklyn,28 but on his death record he is listed as single. I found no death or marriage records for Hattie.



1. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 28 Nov 2015), Elizabeth Ann Elliott, 27 Nov 1932; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,070,586.
2. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 28 Nov 2015), John M Elliott, 06 Jan 1908; citing Death, New York City, Queens, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,409.
3. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
4. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, New York, New York, p. 160B, dwelling 948, family 2240, Geo. Brimlow; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 20 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 539. Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
5. “Family Search,” database, “New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FDYL-B8G:accessed 18 October 2015), Jane Eliza Brimbow, 13 Feb 1851; citing, reference; FHL microfilm 17,777.
6. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Jane E. Lloyd, interred 18 Feb 1931, Sec 17, Lot 160A, Masonic Section.
7. Kings, New York, Marriage Certificates Brooklyn 1866-1937, 2097, Charles Peakes Lloyd-Jane Eliza Brimlow, 12 Nov 1871; FHL microfilm 1,543,859. Cit. Date: 3 Aug 2010.
8. “Family Search,” database, Beaufort Church, Charles Lloyd, s. Joseph Lloyd of Ebbw Vale, pattern maker, by Eliza his wife. Charles Lloyd, 06 Dec 1846, Baptism; citing Aberystruth, Monmouthshire, Wales, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey; FHL microfilm 2,411,675.
9. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 28 Nov 2015), Charles Perks Lloyd, 14 Nov 1923; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,032,197.
10. Cypress Hills Cemetery (Brooklyn, Queens, New York), Plot Records, Mary A Brimlow, interred 15 Dec 1855, grave 4, Sec 2, Lot 168, dau of G & E. Brimlow .
11. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, Kings, E.D. 2, p. 1, family 2, line 12, Geo Brimlow; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 20 May 2014). Cit. Date: 20 May 2014
12. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 28 Nov 2015), Death Index Geo W. Brimhow Cert #7842; Fam Search -George W. Bramlow, 08 May 1893; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,903.
13. “New York, New York, marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database (accessed 26 Apr 2014), Geo W Brimlow/Ida M. Lane, 15 Apr 1873, Kings, Cert #610.
14. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 28 Nov 2015), Ida M. Lock, 01 Jul 1928; citing Death, New York City, Queens, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,169,603.
15. William Lock, 26 Oct 1931; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,069,668.
16. “New York, New York, marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database (accessed 28 Nov 2015), Cert #6550 21 Dec 1895 William H. Lock to Ida Brimlow, Kings.
17. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 28 Nov 2015), “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WFV-D1B, Cornelia M. Nielsen, 30 Sep 1905; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York.
18. “New York, New York, marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database (accessed 26 Apr 2014), Cornelia Brimlow/Charles J. Nielsen, 8 Oct 1879, Kings, Cert #2369.
19. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (accessed 29 Nov 2015); Charles J.C. Nielsen, born 26 Aug 1851 Elsinore, Denmark, arrive Sep 1861 S.S. Navigator from Consbull Russia, Cigar Dealer.
20. “Obituary – Nielsen,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9 May 1920, p. 9 c.2; digital images. Cit. Date: 26 Apr 2014.
21. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 26 Oct 2015), Certificate #2211, Ada Pidgeon, died 3 Feb 1900, age 41, indexed on FamilySearch as Ada Pedgron, parent Brenlou
22. “New York, New York, marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database (accessed 26 Apr 2014), Ada Brimlow/H. Henry Pidgeon, 6 Oct 1880, Kings, Cert#2866. Cit. Date: 26 Apr 2014.
23. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 26 Oct 2015), Certificate #2900, Henry W. Pidgeon, died 5 May 1926, age 68, buried Flushing Cemetery.
24. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Ida Brimlow interred 31 Mar 1866, Sec 2, Lot 168. Cit. Date: 22 May 2014.
25. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Josephine Brimlow interred 26 Dec 1865, Sec 2, Lot 168.
26. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, William J. Brimlow interred 19 Jul 1862, Sec 2 Lot 168.
27. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 28 Nov 2015), Charles Brimlow, 27 Apr 1893; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,902.
28. New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937 Charles E. Brimlow to Hattie Meddlar 16 Mar 1887, Kings.

More on the Brown Children

Sarah Brown Mason

I honestly have no idea what makes me focus on any particular person in a family, but it frequently happens. I always try to work the family as a group. So I worked by great-great-grandparents Frances Brown and William Frith along with with their children. Then I move back and worked Frances’s parents and her siblings. While it’s a great genealogical technique to develop more information (children’s birth and death certificates often provide middle and maiden names), it can lead to strange emotional attachments. My usual plan is to look at the siblings, figure out who they married and then simply try to establish who their children were. I rarely dig too deeply into all the kids and their marriages, but sometimes, especially on these older families, I get caught up in them. Before I know it, I’ve spent a week trying to figure out the maiden name of my second great grandmother’s nephew’s wife or who the parents were of her niece’s husband. Collateral family can be just as contagious as ringworm.

Some of Frances Brown Frith’s siblings passed quickly across my desk without much information to help my search. The fact that there was a family plot helped tremendously when dealing with a family named Brown in New York City and Brooklyn in this era. Determining which William Brown or James Brown was ours often came down to who disappeared after one of them wound up in the plot. Three of Frances’s siblings drove me to distraction as I worked through the list of ten. I simply couldn’t let these three kids or their families go until I chased them down. Sarah – the oldest, Edward – the disappearing, and Mary Anne – the caretaker. I’ve spent a ton of time on them because they wouldn’t let me walk away. I’m going to tell you all I know and believe about these three because that always seems to be how I find out more.

First up – Sarah Brown Mason – the oldest. She was born in 1811 in Sussex, England. As with most of her siblings, I haven’t yet found a christening record for her. She and her siblings are on the top of my research list when I go to Salt Lake City this spring.

She married William Mason in St Nicholas Church, Brighton on 19 Sep 1830.1 William was born about 1805 in Lewes, Sussex, England and worked as a coach maker or coach trimmer. They, along with their two small sons, William born 1831 and Henry born 1834, immigrated to New York on the Henry Thompson with her parents and siblings and arrived on 11 Apr 1835.2 I did not find a William Mason on the 1840 Census that fit the known family parameters, but that’s not uncommon for that census record. Sarah died about 1849 and was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery on 14 Jan 1849.3 Based on her listed age at death (38) and her birth year from the passenger record, it is probable that her death prompted the timing of the relocation of her siblings. She shares grave 17 in lot 161, Sec 2, with two of her siblings.

The search should have ended there – daughter born, died, and burial location noted. But I couldn’t leave it alone. What happened to her husband and children? Why the hell couldn’t I locate William and his sons on the 1850 Census? If they were dead that soon then they would have been in the family plot, so they had to still be alive.

It annoyed me that I was struggling to locate them five years ago, so when I revisited the family this year I went into “Break out the coffee and energy bars – it’s now a quest!!” mode.

I believe that their youngest child Henry probably died very young. I found no evidence of him after his arrival and he’s not in the family plots. It is possible he left home and went west, but I simply can’t tie anyone I’ve found to this family.

As is often the case, I only found William Mason Senior after I quit searching for him and switched my focus to Junior. I have no idea why this happens when the two men have the same name, but sometimes the Search Gods just like to mess with me. Truthfully, I thought they might have left New York after Sarah’s death and even looked at the possibility of them returning to England. But then I found a U.S. Passport Application for William Mason of Brooklyn, New York, who had been born 13 Dec 1831, is Lewes, Sussex, England4 – the same location that one of Sarah’s brothers had claimed as his birth location. In the details, William Mason stated he’d arrived aboard the Henry Thompson in March 1835 (close enough) and that he’d been a resident of the New York since his arrival. That record led me to many other records, and I was finally able to trace some of his father’s records through him. I worked completely through William Junior’s life (and his children) before going back to his father. I was only able to locate some records for Senior based on the information found on Junior’s documents.

I believe that William Senior and Sarah’s youngest child Henry died very young. I have found no evidence of him after his arrival and he’s not in either of the family plots.

William Senior and Junior did remain in New York City and Brooklyn after the death of Sarah. While I still have not yet located them on the 1850 Census, I did find them together on the 1855 New York State Census.5 Senior appears to be married to a woman enumerated as Barbery A. born about 1819 in England, who states she’s been in the city one year, placing their marriage date around 1854/55. I have found no other record for her yet. I presume she passed away prior to his next marriage.

I did not find Senior in 1860 or 1870, however I did locate him on the 1865 New York State Census6 – God bless those mid-decade census records. By 1865, Senior is 60 years old and married to Ann who’s born about 1824 (19 years younger than him) from England and there is a six year-old daughter named Alice. Truth be told, I hadn’t found William until I searched for Alice after learning of her existence when she showed up with William Junior on the 1880 Census named as his sister.7 That didn’t help for the 1870 Census though as I haven’t located Alice or William Senior yet. Because I haven’t found William or Alice in 1860 and have not yet found any marriage records for William or a birth/christening or marriage record for Alice, I can’t be sure whether she is Ann’s daughter or if she was Barbery’s.

William Senior was found in Junior’s family plot in Cypress Hills Cemetery. He died 15 Jul 1873 in Brooklyn and was interred on 17 Jul 1873.8,9 Once I had the family plot records with the interment date, I was able to locate William in the FamilySearch death records. Now that I have a certificate number, I’ll look for the image of his death record when I’m in Salt Lake City to see what other information it may contain. Neither Barbery nor Ann were interred with him in this plot. Nor have I been able to figure out what became of Alice after 1880. I found no will or probate records for William Mason Senior, nor did I find a death notice or obituary for any of them.

William and Sarah Mason’s surviving son William Mason, Junior, was born 13 Dec 1831, in Lewes, Sussex, England.10 He has an actual birth record stating his place of birth, his mother’s maiden name, and his grandfather’s name and occupation. He arrived in New York with his parents on 11 Apr 1835. In about 1853, Junior married Isadore Germain Wanser (1838-1890). They had eight known children:
Sarah Isadore Mason Binns (1854-1929)
Mary Emma Mason Mannering (1857-1933)
Anna Louise Mason Ludman (1860-1914)
Ida May Mason Mott (1862-1938)
William Henry Mason (1866-1869)
Lottie Mason (1869-1869)
William Mason (1870-1870)
Alfred Wanser Mason (1871-1872)
On 22 Mar 1892, at the age of 60, Junior married Margaret “Maggie” E. Heulls (1855-?).11 Maggie appears to have been his housekeeper for many years and appears on several census records with the family.

Junior died 22 Jan 1895 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York. He was interred in Cypress Hills, in Sec 17, E-1/2, Lot 78, grave 2, with his first wife and 6 of his children.12,13 At the time of his death 4 of his daughters were still alive and 3 contested his will, which left everything to his 2nd wife Margaret. The will was upheld as valid. The probate file is available on Ancestry.



1. Marriage Record, Sara Brown to William Mason, 19 Sep 1830, Family Search. Cit. Date: 9 Jun 2014.
2.”New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images(accessed 12 May 2014), manifest, Henry Thompson, 11 Apr 1835, William Brown and Family. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
3. Interment Records, William Brown Family Plot Lot 161, Sec 2, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Sarah Mason, age 38, interred 14 Jan 1849 at the same time as her brothers John and George.
4. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (accessed 9 Nov 2015); William Mason born 13 Dec 1831, Lewes, Sussex, England, arrived 1835, a resident of New York City and Brooklyn since arrival, appliction dat 5 Apr 1892, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.
5. 1855, New York, population schedule, New York City, Ward 20, New York, New York, p. E.D.2, family 614, line 19, William Mason 50, Barbery A. Mason 36, William Mason 24; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 10 Nov 2015).
6. 1865 NewYork State Census, Brooklyn, Ward 9, Kings, New York, p. 44, family 288, line 9, William Mason 59, Ann Mason 41, Alice J. Mason 6; digital images(accessed 10 Nov 2015).
7. 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, enumeration district (ED) 238, p. 418B, dwelling 171, family 192, Wiliam Mason 45, Isidor Mason 18, Louise A. Mason, 18, Ida Mason 16, Alice Mason 20; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 856.
8. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 10 Nov 2015), William Mason, 15 Jul 1873; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,704.
9. Cypress Hills Cemetery (Brooklyn, Queens, New York), Plot Records, William Mason Sr., interred 17 Jul 1873, E 1/2, Lot 78, Sec 17.. Cit. Date: 10 Nov 2015.
10. England, birth certificate for William Mason, Son of William and Sarah Mason, born 13 Dec 1831; Lewes, Sussex, England registration district, Non-Comromist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970, Piece 4674: Dr Williams’ Library, Index to Birth Certificates, 1828-1837 sub-district. Cit. Date: 9 Nov 2015.
11. “New York, New York, marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database(accessed 13 Nov 2015), Certificate #1039, William Mason to Margaret E. Heulls 22 Mar 1892, Kings.
12. “New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848,” database, New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848 (accessed 10 Nov 2015), William Mason, age 63, died 22 Jan 1895, Kings, Cert #1701.
13. Cypress Hills Cemetery (Brooklyn, Queens, New York), Plot Records, E 1/2, Lot 78, Sec 17, William Mason, interred 27 Jan 1895, grave 2.

Chasing a Family Named Brown in New York

Just Kill Me Now!

WILLIAM BROWN and ELIZABETH HERIOTT

I was led to William and Elizabeth through their daughter Frances (Brown) Frith (1815-1854) who was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery. My distant cousin Chris Beal had sent me a good bit of information, but with even more information online now it was important to take a second look. In hopes of learning more, I retraced some of Chris’s steps (he’s an excellent genealogist so it was easy to go down the path he had blazed) and contacted Cypress Hills to request a plot listing for Frances and those interred with her in the Brown-Frith plot, Sec 2, Lot 161. I received an interment list with 21 more people on it. Of those 21, I’ve been able to establish the familial relationship between Frances (Brown) Frith and 17 of those individuals, including her parents William and Elizabeth Brown.1 Many are William and Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren.
interments

Page 2 of the interment record which provided the "age at death" and interment date.

Page 2 of the interment record which provided the “age at death” and interment date.

There was also a major “breaking down the brick wall” moment with this family when I really paid attention to the 1868 Certificate of Death record of Elizabeth Heriott Brown.2
Eliz dc 1868 - Copy
In the summer of 2010, I found this record in Salt Lake City, but there was nothing else to help me at the time. I didn’t know where to look in Sussex, so I just tucked the file away and went to work other lines. This year, I decided to revisit each of my lines and write about them. In writing about a family your perspective changes and you have to go back and look for things you may not have looked at before. There has been an explosion in “searchable” online records in the last few years and suddenly the things I most needed began to fall into place.
The clues and questions in my file from 2010:
1. Her name – DUH! I didn’t really miss this one. Heriott had to be a family or maiden name. But 5 years ago, I found no records for an Elizabeth Heriott – NONE, NADA, ZIP, ZERO. They simply weren’t online in 2010.
2. The completeness of this record – records from this era are notoriously lacking in detail and normally would only give an age in years or say England. Why is this record so complete with a full name, age, and location of birth?
3. The address where she died. The address meant nothing at the time, but it factored in this time when I did a search and worked with the address.
4. The name of the doctor and his address. I knew that she had a son named Edward, but he wasn’t a doctor, and he wasn’t living in Brooklyn then. His address meant nothing to me in 2010, but by the time I revisited the family in 2015 it would mean more – half the damn Brown/Frith/Brimlow clan lived and worked with walking distance of this location.

Here’s what I now know about the family and how I know it.

WILLIAM BROWN was born about 1790 in the vicinity of Lewes, Sussex, England. I have used his birth year from the earliest found document that William would have provided the information for, which was an 1835 passenger list. Big surprise, there are several William Browns in that area of Sussex, and I have not yet determined which birth or christening record might be his.

ELIZABETH HERIOTT was born 6 May 1791 in Sussex, England. This information came from her 1868 death record which provided her age at death in days, months, and years along with her maiden name and place of birth. While this information is often suspect, I’m now comfortable accepting the information as I have discovered the person who created the 1868 death record was her grandson, Dr. Edward A. Brown, MD. Based on this information, I can now extend the research. While I’m fairly sure I’ve nailed her parents down, I’ll wait until I can look at the actual records to see if I can gather more information before declaring them here.

WILLIAM and ELIZABETH married on 23 or 25 Jul 1809, in Saint Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex, England. 3 Two marriage listings were found on FamilySearch and Elizabeth’s name is listed on both as Betty Herryott. I’ll be looking at the images for these records in Salt Lake City this spring before making a final determination. This could simply be a transcription error, or there may be some other reason for the two dates. I can at least say they were married in July of 1809. As stated in previous posts, people often married at the main cathedral rather than in their home parishes simply to save a bit of money. There was the standard fee to marry in your town, plus an added fee to the city or county for registration. If you went the main church, you only had to pay the fee for the city you were in.

While I haven’t yet located all the children’s baptism records, some of the family members appear to have been baptized in St. Anne’s in Lewes, and Lewes is about 10 miles outside of Brighton in the farmlands. I’ll be going through the films for the churches in Lewes on my next trip to Salt Lake City.

How did I know to look in Lewes? William Mason (son of William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Sarah) stated in his 1892 passport application that he was born in Lewes, and I found his birth was registered there.4 The birth registration also states that his mother and grandfather are from there, so it is reasonable to continue researching the Browns and Heriotts in this location.5
Wm 1931 Birth - Copy
William and Elizabeth had ten known children, all of whom were born in England. All of their children immigrated to New York – eight sailed aboard the Henry Thompson with William and Elizabeth, arriving on 11 Apr 1835.6 Oldest daughter Sarah’s husband William Mason and their two children, William and Henry, were also on that ship. Daughter Frances (Brown) Frith arrived in 1837 with husband William. I have not been able to determine exactly when son John Brown arrived.

The Brown and Mason families are at the bottom of the image.

The Brown and Mason families are at the bottom of the image.


The ten children as I currently know them:
Sarah Brown Mason (1811-1849) m. William Mason
John Brown (1814-1848)
Frances Brown Frith (1815-1854) m. William Frith
William Brown (1816-1856) m. Harriet (Unknown)
Edward Brown (1819-1906) m. Ann Burnett
Marshall Brown (1822-1851)
Catherine Brown (1824-????)
Mary Ann Brown Pringle (1826-1904) m. Robert William Pringle
James Brown (1829-1870) m. Unknown
George Brown (1831-1846)

From the time of arrival until their interment we’re reasonably able to trace William and Elizabeth. There is an 1840 Federal Census, 5th Ward, Brooklyn, Kings County that fits, but is typical of the 1840s – hardly perfect.7
1 Male 50-59 (1780-1790) William (b.1790)
1 Female 40-49 (1790-1800) Elizabeth (b.1791)
1 Male 20-29 (1810-1820) William (b.1816) or John (b.1814)
1 Male 15-19 (1821-1825) Marshall (b.1822)
1 Male 10-14 (1826-1830) James (b.1829)
1 Female 10-14 (1826-1830) Mary Anne (b.1826)
1 Female 5-9 (1831-1835) No known daughters this age, but there is a son George not accounted for who was born in 1831. Of note – Son Edward was married in 1839 so he doesn’t appear on this record. Daughter Catherine b. 1824 would have been 16 in 1840. It is possible, but not probable that she had married. It is also possible that she was simply missed in the numbers. However, it is much more likely that Catherine died prior to the 1840 census.

William’s occupation on the passenger list was farmer, which hardly seemed to mesh with someone coming to New York or Brooklyn. However, on the above shown birth record, his daughter Sarah states she is the daughter of “William Brown, pork butcher” of Lewes, Sussex.8 An 1844 New York directory lists “Brown, William, butcher, b.r. 343 Grand.”9

He was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, on 12 Aug 1848.10 His interment record lists his age at death as 63 (1785), but it’s not known who provided that information, nor is it known if William actually died in August 1848 or if he died earlier and was reinterred from elsewhere. I have not been able to locate a death record or obituary for him.

Locating Elizabeth between William’s 1848 death and her own death 20 years later was a real challenge. I first located her with her son William in 1850 in Ward 10 of Brooklyn.11 I have listed the family here in the same way they are listed on the record:
William Brown, 31 -1819, England, Painter
Elizabeth, 61 – 1789, England
James, 16 – 1834, Ireland, Painter – not our James who would be 5 years older
Harriet, 29 – 1821, England –
Charles, 4 – 1846, Pennsylvania
James, 3 – 1847, Pennsylvania
Margaret, 1 – 1849, Pennsylvania
There are also two borders who have no occupations and do not yet appear to be related.

In 1855, Elizabeth Brown, age 56 (1799) was found living with her youngest daughter Mary Ann and her husband Robert William Pringle in Brooklyn.12 She remained with Mary Ann and Robert for the remainder of her life. Elizabeth’s son James is with them in 1865, as is grandson William Brown.13

Elizabeth died from general debility compounded by pneumonia on 29 Jan 1868 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, and was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery on 31 Jan 1868.14 A death notice for Elizabeth appeared in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on Thursday, 30 Jan 1868, pg 3, c2 “BROWN – On Wednesday, Jan 29th, at the residence of her son-in-law, R.W. Pringle, 114 Franklin ave, ELIZABETH BROWN, wife of Wm. Brown, deceased, of Sussex, England. In the 77th year of her age.” I found no will or probate records for Elizabeth. There are no stones or monuments in the family plot.
LOT cypress hills
The next post will be about their 10 children.



1. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery Plot Record for Lot 161 in Sec 2. Elizabeth H. Brown, age 76 interred 31 Jan 1868. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
2. New York death certificate 647 (1868), Elizabeth Heriott Brown, died 29 Jan 1868, born 6 May 1791 Sussex, England. Cit. Date: 9 Jun 2014.
3. Marriage Record, Saint Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex, England, William Brown and Betty Herryott, Marriage, St Nicholas’ Church Brighton, Brighton, Sussex, England, 25 Jul 1809; citing 00264, West Sussex County Record Office, Chichester; FHL microfilm 1FamilySearch.org. Cit. Date: 9 Jun 2014.
4. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (accessed 9 Nov 2015); William Mason born 13 Dec 1831, Lewes, Sussex, England, arrived 1835, a resident of New York City and Brooklyn since arrival, appliction dat 5 Apr 1892, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.
5. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (accessed 9 Nov 2015); William Mason born 13 Dec 1831, Lewes, Sussex, England, arrived 1835, a resident of New York City and Brooklyn since arrival, appliction dat 5 Apr 1892, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.
6. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images(accessed 12 May 2014), manifest, Henry Thompson, 11 Apr 1835, William Brown and Family. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
7. 1840 U.S. census, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 620, line 16, William Brown; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 289. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
8. England, birth certificate for William Mason, Son of William and Sarah Mason, born 13 Dec 1831; Lewes, Sussex, England registration district, Non-Comromist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970, Piece 4674: Dr Williams’ Library, Index to Birth Certificates, 1828-1837 sub-district. Cit. Date: 9 Nov 2015.
9. 1844 Brown, William (p. 54) City Directories – New York – Fold3
10. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery Plot Record for Lot 161 in Sec 2. William Brown interred grave 13, 12 Aug 1848. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
11. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 10, Kings, New York, p. 188B, dwelling 1115, family 1845, Elizabeth Brown; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 9 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 520. Cit. Date: 9 Nov 201.
12. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, E.D.1, Kings, New York, dwelling 345, family 446, line 34, Elizabeth Brown; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 9 Nov 2015).
13. 1865 NewYork State Census, Brooklyn Ward 2, Kings, New York, p. 59, family 422, line 31, Elizabeth Brown; digital images(accessed 9 Nov 2015).
14. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery Plot Record for Lot 161 in Sec 2. Elizabeth Brown interred grave 13, 31 Jan 1868. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.

The Jan Kortlever Family

Mary Kortlever’s parents came from the Netherlands in one of the later wave of immigrants in the 1880s. Jan Kortleever was born 18 January 1849 in Leerdam, Zuid, Netherlands, to Cornelis Kortleever and Maaike den Besten.1 He was married to Maaike Flora Bel on 6 March 1873 in Kedichem, Zuid, Netherlands.2 Maaike was born 5 February 1853 in Leerdam, and was the daughter of Hugo Bel and Maria de Leeuw.3

Jan left the Netherlands aboard the Waesland, landed in New York on 15 May 1882,4 and proceded to Sioux County, Iowa. Maaike made the trip on the W. A. Scholten and arrived in New York on 15 September 1882.5 She travelled with her children; Cornelis age 11, Maria age 8, Hugo age 6, Bastian age 4, and John age 4 months.

The Kortlever family appears on the 1885 Iowa State Census and at that time is: Jan age 36, Magie Flora age 31, Maria age 10, Hugo age 9, Jan age 3, Cornelis age 1.6 There is some confusion about oldest son Cornelis who would be 13 or 14 at the time of this census. He is not with the family on that 1885 census and a baby boy has been given the name. Baby Cornelis (born about 1884) and the older Cornelis are never heard of again in this family group. An unsourced family group sheet lists only the older Cornelis with no death date.

A Cornelis of the right age (23) appears on the 1895 Iowa State Census, and then again on the census records in Lynden Washington. After further research I have conclude that this Cornelis is the son of Jan’s older brother Bastiaan Cornelis Kortleever (1847 – 1920).7 Bastiaan also immigrated from the Netherlands in the early 1880s with his wife Jannigje van Klei and his son Cornelis and daughter Maaike. Once again the repeating names makes searching a challenge. However, Bastiaan Cornelis and his family would take the same journey as his brother – first to Iowa, then to Minnesota, and finally to Lynden.

Jan and Maaike had three other children born in Iowa; Maaike (Maggie) in 1885, Cornelia (Nellie) in 1890, and Jantje (Jennie) in 1892.



1. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 11 Aug 2009), Birth, Jan Kortleever, 18 Jan 1849; Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
2. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 11 Aug 2009), Marriage, Jan Kortleever age 24 & Maaike Flora Bel age 20, 6 Mar 1873; Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
3. Whatcom County, Washington, death certificate no. 90 (15 Aug 1931), Maaike Kortlever; Washington State Vital Records, Olympia, Washington.
4. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2010), manifest, Waesland, 15 May 1882, Line 14, Jan Kortlever.
5. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2010), manifest, W.A. Scholten, 15 Sep 1882, Line 31, Maaike Kortlever.
6. 1885 Iowa State Census, Sioux County, Iowa, population schedule, Alton, p. 6 handwritten, 266 stamped, dwelling 32, family 37, line 26, Jan Kortlever; digital images, The Generations Network, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jun 2009); citing Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925.
7. Washington State Digital Archives, “Death Records,” database, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/default.aspx : accessed 20 Feb 2010), Bartiaam C. Kortuver, died 29 Aug 1920.

John Burgraff and Mary Kortlever

Jan Burggraaf began to use the spelling John Burgraff in the early 1890s and never used the original spelling after 1900, so from this point on I’ll refer to him by the spelling we use.

John Burgraff found himself in fairly dire straits after the death of his wife Elizabeth circa 1890. He is a farmer with five small children at home. The youngest, Little Sadie, would have only been 2 or 3 at the time and he needed help. Apparently, several family members helped out for a little while, but eventually John hired a full time housekeeper – Maria Kortlever. [update – see the 16 May 2011 post for the correct information provided by a recent discovery.]

Maria (Mary) Kortlever was born 17 October 1874 in Leerdam, Zuid, Netherlands.1 She was the oldest daughter of Jan Kortlever and Maaike Flora Bel. [Maaike is pronounced Maw-key and becomes Anglicized to Maggie.] Jan Kortlever had arrived in May of 1882 and his wife and family followed, arriving 15 September 1882 aboard the W. A. Scholten in New York and then travelled to Sioux County, Iowa.2 She is enumerated with her family on the 1885 census in Alton, Sioux County, Iowa.3

One of our family stories is that Mary arrived in Iowa without being able to speak English. She attended school in Sioux County and by the end of the first year was speaking English with almost no accent.

I believe that Mary went to work for John sometime in early 1891 although there are no specific records. On 20 March 1893 daughter Maggie Burgraff is born.4 John and Mary Kortlever married on 12 August 1893 in Rock Rapids, Lyon County, Iowa.5 They may have been married prior to this date, but I have found no other record and according to their younger children, it was an open secret that Maggie arrived before the minister.



1. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 10 Feb 2010), Maria Kortleever, 17 Oct 1874, Kedichem; Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
2. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2010), manifest, W.A. Scholten, 15 Sep 1882, Line 33, Marie Kortlever.
3. 1885 Iowa State Census, Sioux County, Iowa, population schedule, Alton, p. 6 handwritten, 266 stamped, dwelling 32, family 37, line 26, Marie Kortlever; digital images, The Generations Network, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jun 2009); citing Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925.
4. Burgraff Bible, family pages; Photocopy held privately. Maggie 20 Mar 1893.
5. Iowa District Court, Clerk’s Certificate as to Marriage Record, Rock Rapids (12 Aug 1893), John Burgraff-Mary Kortlever; Lyon County District Court, Rock Rapids.

The Stek Family

Before I move on I want to talk a little about Sygje and her family. I found it fascinating that this tiny little woman would come to America all by herself. I spoke to a woman who specializes in Dutch history and research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City about Sygje. She told me that Dutch women were notoriously independent, and in fact, many of the Puritans that had fled England found these women to be too independent. While they shared a religion they certainly did not share the same cultural norms. Dutch women experienced a large amount of freedom and equality in their history and the English were not interested in having their women influenced by this. The English moved on to America with the Great Migration in the 17th and 18th century.

Sygje was born on 7 March 1820 and I have attached a copy of her birth registration. She is the oldest child of Aalbert Stek (abt 1793 – 26 December 1829) and Anneke (Anna) Van Blokland (abt 1783 – 13 December 1842) and was quickly joined by brother’s Ruth, Jan, Kornelis, and Pieter, and then sisters Kornelia and Aafje.

After Aalbert’s death in 1829,1 Anna married Teunis Sprong. Sygje would have been 11 at the time of their 5 March 1831 marriage.2 Her mother Anna died in 1841,3 and I can theorize that she may have taken care of her younger siblings until they were old enough to care for themselves or married. Sygje left with the first wave of immigrants in 1847 at the age of 27. Did she leave because she had no future at home after her siblings grew up? Had she already met Willem Burgraff who came from Schoonrewoerd, a village only a few miles from her home? Whatever the reasons, I believe that Sygje made the trip alone. I find no evidence of a close relation with her even though I have looked for aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins; but I find no relationships that I can pin down.

Sygje’s younger brother Jan Stek apparently makes the trip in 1870.4 He appears in several documents that discuss the later group of immigrants to Pella. I have found no records indicating that Jan ever married and I have found no record of him in Iowa other than those immigration documents. I believe that Jan Stek died in Iowa before 1880.

I have not yet been able to determine all of the siblings of Sygje’s parents. As Genlias loads older records I hope to someday be able to determine all of the family members and cousins to see if any of them immigrated.



1. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en: accessed 9 Jul 2009), Aalbert Stek, death 26 Dec 1829, age 36, parents Jan Stek and Sijke Romijn; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
2. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en: accessed 9 Jul 2009), Marriage – Anna van Blokland and Teunis Sprong 5 Mar 1831; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
3. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en: accessed 10 Feb 1842), Death, Anneke van Blokland, 27 Dec 1841, Kedichem; Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en: accessed 9 Jul 2009), Marriage – Anna van Blokland and Teunis Sprong 5 Mar 1831; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
4. Gale Research, “Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s,” database, Ancestry (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2010), Jan Stek, 1870, Pella Iowa.

Leaving the Netherlands

There are lots of great books and sites that can explain, far better than I, why so many Dutch migrated in the mid-1800s. The IowaGenWeb Project has up the Pioneers of Marion County by Wm. M. Donnel,1 and Part II, Chapter VI provides a good basic story of the immigration to Pella. Our three Burggraafs, Pieter, Willem, and Peter, departed Rotterdam in April 1847 aboard the Maastroom.2 Pieter Burggraaf was the third child of Jan Burggraaf, (1811-1892); he came with his wife Cornelia Verschoor (1816-1896),3 his sons Teunis (1842-1904) and Jan (1846 – ). According to the records on Genlias, Pieter and Cornelia had two other children, Jan and Jannigje who had died young.4,5

The passenger list was my first discovery of Peter Burggraaf. He is #59 on the line directly above Pieter and lists his age as 20. Willem is passenger #196 on a separate page of the passenger list and Sygje Stek is on the line directly below him, indicating there may already have been a relationship between them. Sygje is the only member of the Stek family listed, but she may have traveled with other relatives. It should be noted that Dutch women were known to be very independent and many did travel on their own.

They arrived 2 June 1847 in Baltimore, Maryland and there are some interesting accounts of the trip available from letters and also some fun things written up in the Souvenir History of Pella.6 Apparently the Dutch women cleaned the ship from stem-to-stern while at sea, and it was remarked upon by the inspectors at the Port of Baltimore.

From Baltimore the group of immigrants traveled to Pella via Pittsburgh and St. Louis and finally arrived in the fall of 1847. Sygje and Willem married in 1848 and settled into the hard work of farming in Marion County, Iowa. Their family of 5 children is fairly small by Dutch farm standards of the day. Also unusual is that all their (known) children survived to adulthood.

Older brother Pieter had a total of 9 children and he died in Pella on 20 Jan 1892.7 He is buried in Graceland Cemetery with his wife Cornelia. I have posted a family group sheet for Pieter Burggraaf, but I don’t plan on providing any more information on his family in this blog. His line is well documented on Ancestry, Rootsweb and FamilySearch.

The family of Peter Burggraaf (I have come to think of him as Peter the Younger) will be discussed as they are closely intertwined with Willem’s family.



1. William M. Donnel, Pioneers of Marion County (N.p.: n.p., 1872), Part II: Chapter VI, transcribed on the Iowa GenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/marion/DONNEL.
2. National Archives, Washington, D.C., “Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1848,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Jul 2009), Ship name: Maasstroom, Passenger: Willem Burggraaf, age 24, Farmer; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, Maryland.
3. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 9 Jul 2009), Marriage – Pieter Burggraaf and Cornelia Verschoor 2 May 1840; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
4. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 9 Jul 2009), Death – Jan Burggraaf, 24 May 1841; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
5. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 9 Jul 2009), Death – Jannigje Burggraaf, 12 Jun 1845, age 1; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
6. G.A. Stout, Souvenir History of Pella Iowa, (Booster Press, 1922).
7. Graceland Cemetery (Marion County, Iowa), Pieter Burggraaf marker.

The Willem Burggraaf Family – Just the Facts

Willem Burggraaf was born 14 November 1822 in Schoorewoerd, Zuid, Netherlands.1 He was the eighth child of Jan Burggraf and Jantje Van Stenis and he left the Netherlands with his older brother Pieter and possible younger brother Peter (yes really) in April1847, arriving at the Port of Baltimore aboard the Maastroom on 2 Jun 1847.2

Also aboard that ship was his future wife Sygje Stek, and together they made the trek to Pella, Marion County, Iowa, with a large group of Dutch settlers. Here Willem and Seigje (known as Sallie or Sadie) would marry on 15 August 1848 and raise their family.

Willem Burgraff born 1822 the Netherlands – 1900 Pella, Marion County, Iowa,3
married Seigje Stek – 15 Aug 1848 Marion County, Iowa,4
Seigje Stek – 7 Mar 1820 – 1901 Sioux County, Iowa.5,6

Children of Willem and Seigje Burggraaf:
Jantje Burggraaf (1850-1928),
Albert Burggraaf (1853-1928),
Goverdina (Diana) Burggraaf (1855-1923),
Annetye (Anna) Burggraaf (1857-1921),
Jan Burggraaf (1858-1921)

There is a well documented path back 5 more generations to Hendrick Adriaense Van Den Burghgraeff (1572-1612), and I received a lot of guidance from an online tree Parenteel van Adriaen Hendriksz. I was searching for “Willem Burggraaf” Pella, Iowa when this site came up. Willem is “IXs” on this page and this site gave me the leads to his family. If you follow his father back you will see that it lists his children, including both Pieter, and Peter.

I’ll start the story of the family from here with the immigration of Willem and his brothers. Stay tuned for pictures and documentation.



1. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 9 Jul 2009), Birth – Willem Burggraaf 14 Nov 1822, father Jan Burggraaf, mother Jaantje van Stenis; Civil Register – Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
2. National Archives, Washington, D.C., “Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1848,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 9 Jul 2009), Ship name: Maasstroom, Passenger: Willem Burggraaf, age 24, Farmer; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, Maryland
3. Graceland Cemetery (Marion County, Iowa), William Burggraaf marker.
4. Marion County, Iowa, marriage register, Wiillem Burggraaf-Sygje Stek, 1848.
5. Kedichem, Zuid, Netherlands, “Tienjarige tafels 1818-1842 Geboorten, huwelijken 1818-1842,” ( ), Geboorten (Births), Syke (Seigje) Stek, 7 Mar 1820; FHL microfilm 120,928
6. Graceland Cemetery (Marion County, Iowa), Sallie Burggraaf marker.