Brimlow/Bromilow & Chaddock & Turner

Reaching Back

We always hope that a marriage in a specific church will lead to the baptism records of those individuals in the church. If William Bromilow and Ann Chaddock married in All Saints than it made sense to look for their records there. I used the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project (did I mention how much I love this site) and found two Ann Chaddocks – one born/christened in All Saints in 1801, the daughter of Matthew and Peggy (Chisnall) Chaddock of Hindley,1 and the other christened in St Aidan in 1799 the illegitimate daughter of Betty Chaddock of Billinge.2 Both records lead to more questions than answers.
Ann 1801 With one of William and Ann’s daughters named Margaret, I could easily have just accepted Matthew and Peggy, since Peggy is a pet name for Margaret. However, William and Ann have 3 sons after this and none of them are named Matthew, nor is there a grandchild named Matthew or Margaret. The other problem is that the few records we have for Ann show her as being older than William with ages that equate to a birth year of 1797 or 98. The Ann in All Saints is born and baptized in 1801. While age variant isn’t unusual, this one seems a little big. I’m not saying it isn’t them, I’m just saying it doesn’t feel right.
Ann 1799 As for the Ann born in Billinge, we get no help with a birth date so the child could be anywhere from 1 week to 3 years. I find I’m much more comfortable with the age of this Ann baptized in 1799 over the Ann born/baptized in 1801. Also, the fact that Ann’s daughters Margaret and Jane are born in Billinge could lend meaning to this location/relationship – perhaps they had moved closer to Ann’s family for the birth of their second/third child. There are many Elizabeths in the tree below this level, but it’s such a common name and Ann’s son George married an Elizabeth that we can’t take any specific meaning from the name. As much as I’d like to accept this record, I can’t.

There simply isn’t enough evidence at this time to declare a parent for Ann Chaddock. The most we can say comfortably (based on the available records) is that she was from Wigan Parish in Lancashire. I’m not done researching, but I am setting her aside for now.

There was much better luck in locating a matching record for William. I was fairly certain that William was born in January or February of 1800 based on the multitude of records, including his New York death record, so I began with that date in mind and quickly located the following:3
1800 William Baptism While I was excited to find William’s birth and baptism, I was ecstatic to see the additional information with the name of his mother’s parents. There was a whole bunch of genealogical happy dancing going on when I found this. These names were confirmed through several more records. Once again the Bishop’s Transcripts found on Ancestry were not as good, since they erroneously state William’s mother’s name is Mary and said nothing about Jenny’s parents.

After a few days of digging through the parish records, this is the family as I now know it:
William Bromilow and Jenny/Jane Turner had the following children:
1. George Bromilow/Brimalow born 3 May 1791, Shevington, baptized 21 May 1791 All Saints Wigan, 1st son. He died Jun 1857 Orrell and was buried 11 Jun 1857 at St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland. George married Mary Knowles (2 Apr 1784 – Aug 1851), daughter of Thomas and Margaret Knowles on 4 Feb 1808 in All Saints. They had 9 known children together. They lived their life in Orrell and all the children were baptized in All Saints. They along with many of their children are buried in St Thomas the Martyr in Upholland near Orrell.
2. Unknown 1st daughter – I have not yet found any baptism or burial records, but daughter Betty is listed as the 2nd daughter. It is probable daughter #1 died shortly after birth and prior to being baptized.
3. Betty Bromilow born 3 Mar 1797, Wigan, baptized 18 Mar 1797 All Saints Wigan 2nd dau., died May 1804 Orrell, buried 6 May 1804 St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland.
4. William Bromilow/Brimlow, born 16 Jan 1800 Wigan, baptized 8 Feb 1800 All Saints Wigan, 2nd son. Married Ann Chaddock 5 Sep 1819 All Saints Wigan.
I have found no other records of children for William and Jenny/Jane, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there. Nor have I found a birth/baptism record for William Bromilow born between 1850-1875.
*Note – All sources are up in the BurgraffScott tree on Ancestry and also in FamilySearch.

However I did locate the 18 Jun 1758 baptism record for Jenny Turner thanks to having the name of her parents from her children’s baptism records.4
Jenny Turner 1758 - Copy
I’ll post more on William and Eleanor Turner later. But, yeah… I was doing a lot of happy dancing. **Note – Jenny/Jinny are pet names for Jane.

I have not yet found a marriage record for William and Jenny. What I can prove is that they are NOT the William Brimilow and Jane Turner who married in Saint Helens on 6 Sep 1790 for the following reasons:
1. The St Helens Jane Turner was a widow so her maiden name would not be Turner. Our Jenny/Jane Turner’s parents were named as William and Eleanor Turner in Jenny’s children’s baptismal records.
2. Our William and Jenny/Jane had a son George Bromilow born 3 May 1791 and baptized 21 May 1791 in Wigan. That William and Jane Brimilow had a son named John Brimelow born 26 Dec 1791 and baptized on 13 Jan 1792. Seven months is possible, but they continue to have children at the same time our William and Jenny/Jane are having children.
3. Our Jenny/Jane was born in Shevington (as was her first son George) and she was baptized in St Wilfrid, Standish. Her children were all baptized in Wigan, which is only 4 miles away while Saint Helens is almost 20 miles from her known home. It is southwest of Billinge in the map below – it’s in the Parish of Precot.
Lancashire Parish map

1. All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, Baptismal Registers 1799-1812, p.51, Ann Chaddock, born 8 Mar, bap 29 Mar 1801, parents Matthew and Peggy [Chisnall] Chaddock, Hindley, Weaver, wife parents William & Betty Chisnall, Original registers.
2. Christening records (accessed 28 Nov 2015), St Aidan Billinge, Lancashire, Baptismal Register 1787-1812, p24, Ann Chaddock, bap 2 Jun 1799, illigitimate daughter of Betty Chaddock, abode Billinge.
3. Christening records (accessed 27 Nov 2015), Wigan All Saints, Lancashire, Register of Baptisms 1799-1812, Page 20. Baptism 8 Feb 1800, Born 16 Jan, William Bromilow 2nd son of William Bromilow & Jinney Turner (dau of Wm & Elnor Turner).
4. Christening records (accessed 3 Dec 2015), St Wilfrid, Standish, Lancashire, Baptismal Registers 1733-1771 p107, Jenny Turner, 18 Jun 1758, William & Eleanor Turner, Shevington, FHL Film 1526140.

The Children of William Brimlow

Two Wives – Nine Known Children

Children with Ann Chaddock.

1. George – previously discussed.

2. Jane E., born 31 Jan 1823 Winstanley, baptized 9 Mar 1823, St Aidan, Billinge. Jane married William C. Austin (1818-27 Feb 1860) in about 1843/44 in New York. William’s death record stated he was interred in Green-Wood Cemetery, however he was not found in their burial records. They had two know children: Josephine (Austin) Wilson (Nov 1845-2 Jul 1893) and William F. Austin (abt 1849-Nov 1854) both of whom are buried in the Brimlow family plot of Cypress Hills. Jane is last found at the age of 47 on the 1870 Census. I have not found a death record or notice for her, nor have I found a second marriage record. The search continues.

3. Margaret, born 31 Jan 1823 Winstanley, died 2 Feb 1823, Winstanley, buried 3 Feb 1823, St Aidan, Billinge.

4. William, born 8 Jul 1825, Ashton in Makerfield, baptized 19 Jul 1825 St Thomas, Aston in Makerfield. He appears to have worked for his father in the coffee and spice trade for some time. On 11 Nov 1861, he enlisted as a private in Co. F, 87th N.Y. Inf., “Brooklyn Rifles” 11 Nov 1861 and participated in the Peninsular Campaign, including the Seige of Yorktown (5 Apr-4 May 1862) and Battle of Williamsburg, where on 5 May 1862, he was wounded in action. According to his compiled service record, Pvt Brimlow remained at Camp Pitcher in a field hospital and was then transferred to the division hospital near Falmouth, where he eventually died as a result of his wounds and disease. (*Note- his CSR states Falmouth, but the History of the NY Volunteers by Sergeant Fred Flood states Alexandria.) Remains from both those areas were transferred to Fredericksburg National Cemetery. On 3 May 1846, he married Sophia Emeline Barker in New York, the daughter of John Barker. They had at least 6 known children together: Mary Alice Brimlow (1847-1914) – m. Jacob Coutieri (Feb 1842-27 Nov 1903), Henry Brimlow (23 May 1849-2 Feb 1904) m. Henrietta Sophia Pieman (1848-1939), Elizabeth Ann Brimlow (17 May 1851-Mar 1854), Sophia Emeline Brimlow (13 Apr 1853-17 Feb 1880) m. John Day Smith (1850-?), and John L. Brimlow (27 Feb 1857-30 Sep 1935) m1.& div. Elen Harkin (1854-bef 1900) m2 Jennie Scheffler (1878-?). Fredericka (abt 1863- bef 1870). Fredericka appears only on the 1865 New York state census as age 1, so her birth could be anytime between June 1863 and June 1864. She is not in the death records, nor is she in the Brimlow family plot.

Sophia remained in Brooklyn near William’s family and did not remarry. Throughout the rest of her life she appears in the Brooklyn city directories and in the census records as a tailoress. In 1872, she had a son named William Lewis Brimlow (10 Nov 1872-17 Oct 1930). His death certificate states his father was William Brimlow of England. This has caused some confusion for some people, but it’s simply a case of Sophia naming a child born out of wedlock for her late husband. Young William no doubt knew that William had died in the Civil War but the informant on his death certificate still named him as father. William Lewis Brimlow m. Catherine E. Hans (Feb 1871-29 Sep 1946). On the 1900 census she stated she had a total of 9 children (I can account for 7) with 4 still living – Mary, Henry, John, and William. She was with William’s family and they were residing next door to John and his children after his divorce from Ellen. Sophia died 12 Dec 1905 and was buried in the Brimlow family plot.

5. Henry, born about 1826 was not found in any records or by any other name in Lancashire. I swear to you that I have one in every family who doesn’t make it into the church records and isn’t counted, but they appear later on passenger lists and in census records. I don’t know why. He can last be accounted for on his father’s 1840 census records, but even that’s iffy as it’s not a by-name census. He is not found on the 1850 census, in any city directory, or in the family plot. I believe he died quite young. I’m still looking.

6. John, born 25 Oct 1829 Pemberton, baptized 2 Nov 1829 All Saints, Wigan. John was still with his parents on the 1850 census and then appeared in the 1853 New York City directory with his father and brother George at the same home and business addresses. In about 1852 he married Sarah Mariah McGowan (Jul 1835-?). About 1855/56 when his family was relocating to Brooklyn, John moved to Connecticut, where Sarah was from. John died 16 Sep 1869 in Grenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut and was interred in the Stanwich Congregational Church Cemetery. His will was entered into probate on 13 Oct 1869. John and Sarah had four known children together: Anna J. “Jennie” (Mar 1853 NY – ?) m. William B. Hubbard; William F. Brimlow (16 May 1855 Manhattan – 12 May 1882 Fairfield, Connecticut) listed as divorced on the 1880 census. He’s buried with his father. Sarah Brimlow (abt 1857 Conn – ?). John Howard Brimlow (Mar 1866 Conn – 17 Oct 1902 Bronx, NY) m. Catharine Carroll (Mar 1870 – 12 Dec 1909).

Children with Deborah Gedney:
7. Arthur W. born about 1853 New York, died 22 Aug 1896, buried 25 Aug 1896 in the Brimlow family plot. He was a printer by trade. On 5 Dec 1877, Arthur married Ella F. Vail (1860-?). Together they had 2 known children: Edith G. Brimlow (1880-?) 1 Edward Gorman Barker (1872-?) m2 Edward Everett Markes (1869-1939) and Florence Ella Brimlow (16 Aug 1893-10 Feb 1960) m. Lawrence Wolcott Markes (1893-1957). Sometime between 1910-1920, Ella (Vail) Brimlow married Albert P. Whitman (1858-?).

8. Frederick Austin born 9 Mar 1855, died 27 Jul 1922, Kings, buried 29 Jul 1922 Cypress Hills Cemetery. Frederick was also a printer by trade. On 18 Jun 1879, he married Caroline Hobson (1858 Ireland – 5 Jun 1947 Brooklyn, New York). Together they had 13 known children: Frederick Hobson Brimlow (1880-1880); Robert Hobson Brimlow (9 Oct 1881 – 29 Nov 1962) m Anna Alida Tryon (25 Sep 1889 – 13 Jul 1973); Joseph Arthur Brimlow (23 Jul 1883 – Jun 1975) m. Grace Nancy Potter (26 Apr 1890 – Dec 1975); Leander Woodhull Brimlow (24 Jun 1885 – Dec 1973); Ella Deborah Brimlow (30 Jan 1887 – Mar 1975) partner Frances Reafler (1907 – ?); William John Brimlow (19 Oct 1888 – aft 1953); Rebecca Alice Brimlow (5 Feb 1892 – 8 Feb 1892); Frederick Austin Brimlow Jr. (3 Apr 1893 – 12 Jan 1957) m. Anna Louise (Lulu) Grant (12 Oct 1896 – 30 Aug 1963); Sarah (Sadie) Abigail Brimlow (12 Dec 1894 – Nov 1972) m. Joseph McCrum (2 Mar 1895 – 30 Apr 1967); Henry Howard Brimlow (29 Sep 1896 – 15 Dec 1896); Eugene Brimlow (25 Jan 1898 – ?); Howard Brimlow (24 May 1899 – 26 Oct 1899); Irene Caroline Brimlow (19 Apr 1901 – 25 Oct 1942) m. John Phillip Yrizarry (1 May 1896 – 20 Nov 1939).

9. Ella Helen, born about 1858, died 29 Aug 1916. Married Governor K. Desmond (1857 – 21 Oct 1883) on 30 Jun 1880. Both are in the Brimlow family plot in Cypress Hills Cemetery.

There are simply too many sources to include here – all of William’s children and grandchildren are fully sourced on the BurgraffScott family tree on Ancestry and in Family Search

Barking up the Right Tree

Making Sure You’ve Got the Right Family & Place

From the mailbag – “How can you be so sure you have the right people?”

In this particular case it’s pretty easy. Every “Brimlow” in New York City or Brooklyn that appears on the 1840, 1850, and 1860 Federal Census is part of this family group by birth or marriage. In fact, they are the only Brimlows at all on the 1840 and 1850 in the United States. The Brimlow in Orange, New York (1840) is actually a Timlow. There are Bromlows in Kentucky (both English and German), Bramlows in Ohio, as well as Brumloo and Brumlows in several southern states. I found no Br?malows, Br?melows, or Br?milows. The ? = any single letter. By 1860 there are only about 30 people named Brimlow who show up on an Ancestry search – some of whom are from Germany. There are only 18 who show up on FamilySearch. There’s one Bromilow (Edwd E. 1834 England in Chicago) and a John Brimelow in New York City that I chased far enough back to know he’s not ours. That’s it other than the Bram and Brum crowd.

So, yeah… I’m sure I have the right people.

As for the location – I used to think I was really put-upon by having family in New York City. Just five years ago, there were few online records available. Researching BMD (birth, marriage, death) meant a trip to Salt Lake City because you had to go through the those indexes on film to locate the dates and certificate numbers, and then go to the film that held those dates and numbers. I spent days doing something that now takes me minutes thanks to combining the indexes on Ancestry and the records transcribed on FamilySearch. I’m also lucky enough to be in a place that did the mid-decade census so there is a New York State Census online at Ancestry for 1855, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, and 1925. God bless that 1892 census. And there is also The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – free and online through the public library at this link.

Also, Fold3 has decades of city directories for New York City and Brooklyn. I was able to follow the family and track their business and home addresses. Google Maps allows you to create maps so I pinpointed the locations on a modern map.
William addresses NYC 1836-1851
This led to questions about the address of 16 James Slip. Many people have transcribed the directory address as “street” but it’s clearly “slip.” So it was off to do more research. The slips are well known in New York and were the small wharves and docks that extended into the East River. The larger ships in the harbor would discharge their cargo on barges or lighters and those smaller ships would deliver the cargo to the slips.
1860 James Slip
Most of the slips were filled in as land prices skyrocketed, but the names remain. Here are some great links to more information and some terrific pictures. Ephemeral New York and untapped cities have some great pictures and illustrations along with terrific information.

I also became fascinated by the family’s move to Brooklyn. The commute between Brooklyn and Manhattan in the 1860s was accomplished utilizing any of a number of ferries that plied their trade. Even though he didn’t live to see its 1883 completion, I have no doubt William Brimlow watched the beginning of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1869 with more than a little interest. Perhaps there was also a mixture of excitement and sorrow as some of the addresses occupied by his family or used for his business disappeared with the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once again, the more you look, the more you learn, and the more you look.

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,
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.

A Brimlow by Any Other Name


Making the leap across the pond requires an understanding and acceptance of pronunciation and spelling. While the people who recorded the information were required to be able to read and write, they were not required to know how to spell. Spelling has been optional since the beginning of written records. Our names were really only hammered into some semblance of a final form when the federal government got involved. Many people believe that occurred with the advent of standardized birth records in the early 1900s and then solidified when Social Security came along. Once the government had your name spelled a certain way, then that’s the way it would always be unless you legally changed it.

But the spelling issue came much earlier for some people. Men who served in the military kept the name they enlisted under for government records – Henry and Robert Pickel both served in the Civil War under the name Pickel but after the war reverted to the original form of the name Bickel. They were not the first with the problem. The family story is that their great grandfather Tobias Bickel had served in the Revolutionary War but when he enlisted, his accent made the “B” sound like a “P” to company clerk, so he became Tobias Pickel on the records. Most of the Bickel/Pickel men used both spellings throughout their lives and I have found marriage records for one man under both names. I have seen brothers who each used a different spelling. John Pickel used Pickel throughout his life, while his brothers Henry and Robert started as Pickel but switched to Bickel after the war except when applying for their pensions and then they used Pickel again.

While it appears our ancestor’s name solidified to Brimlow (with just the usual spelling issues Bremlow/Bramlow/Brenlow/Brimbow) by about 1840 in New York, prior to that, it’s totally up for grabs and you have to be flexible in the investigation. According to the all-knowing website, The Internet Surname Database, the name Brimlow/Brimelow “…derive from the place called Bromlow in Shropshire: The place name has generated a number of variant surnames, as the bearers of the name moved to other areas and dialectal differences produced varying phonetic spellings, among them Bromilow, Brumloe, Brimelow and Bromblow. The original place name is recorded as “Bromlawe” in the 1255 Shropshire Hundred Rolls, and means “the broom-covered hill”, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century “brom”, broom, with “hlaw, hlaew”, low hill, mound. …The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Bromlowe, which was dated May 28th 1534, marriage to Helenora Marsh, at Church Pulverbath, Shropshire…”

The reason to bring up the name discussion here is as a forewarning of what is to come. You can expect to see a wide variety of records when we make that leap across the pond and the discussion of “what should his name really be” is always fun to have. Do you go with the name he used as an adult, or list him with the name that appears in the baptism register? An evolving name is the bane of every genealogist because the names may change several times within a generation. You also can’t trust his signature. As stated, names evolve.

For all of the above reasons, I’m going to break the posts on William Bromilow/Brimalow/Broomelaw/Brimlow into several pieces. I’ll begin with William and Ann Brimlow from the arrival of the family in New York through death, because you can’t make the leap across the pond without all the little bits and pieces you know about the family to begin with. Knowing who the children are is key to locating the family in England. The next post will be about locating them in England and pinning down the family. Somewhere along the way we have to talk about the towns and villages and the occupations. It’ll be a complete disaster as far as the order of things, but in the end, you’ll know everything I know and hopefully understand why I came to the conclusions I did. And if you think I’m wrong, send me your chart with sources, and I’ll give it a serious look. Lord knows, I’ve barked up a few wrong trees before.

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 ( 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 (, 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, (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.

The Search for the Brimlows

George Brimlow 1820-1880
AKA: Brimalow/Broomelow/Bremlow

Are you completely lost? I get that way too. Here’s the pedigree chart again for this line. This post will be about #14 on the chart, George Brimlow and wife Elizabeth E. Weeks.

George began life 12 Feb 1820 in Pemberton, which is part of Wigan, which is now part of Greater Manchester, Lancashire, England. Why all the names? Because all these little villages and towns are connected and families moved between them. Knowing that Pemberton is part of Wigan also connects the records of that area to the correct family. George was christened on 2 Apr 1820, at Wigan All Saints,1 the oldest child of William and Ann Brimalow. He and his family remained in the Wigan area until his parents immigrated to the United States.

Having moved frequently as a child, I can’t help but think how excited George must have been at the age of 12 to set sail aboard the Ajax for New York in 1832. He was really at the perfect age to take it all in, and I have a feeling that he probably knew the ship inside and out by the time they arrived in New York on 29 Nov 1832.2

In about 1842, he married Elizabeth E. Weeks (1821-1899). It’s not yet clear who her parents were. We have her maiden name from several of her children’s records. There are online trees that claim her parents were John and Mary Weeks who arrived in New York in 1829 along with children Sophia, John, and Elizabeth age 1. I saved them to my tree for some time in an attempt to prove the relationship, but finally disconnected them rather than misleading anyone that they’d been proven. The problem is that from the earliest records of Elizabeth that we can prove (the 1850 census) right up through her death, she consistently has a stated birth year of about 1821. John and Mary’s daughter Elizabeth would have been born in 1828. Our Elizabeth’s death certificate is of no help as the informant named her parents both as Brimlow. There are numerous “Weeks” in New York in 1840 with a female of the right age, so narrowing this one down may not happen without some help.

George first appeared in the New York City directories in 1845. [All of the NYC directories for this period and Brooklyn directories from 1860 forward are available on Fold3 – I did not provide individual sources for all of these here.] His listed occupation is as a clerk and the address is at 51 Cherry. From 1846-1849, he was at clerk and the address is at 41 Hamilton. On the 1850 Federal Census his occupation is as coffee roaster, which is the family business. In 1851, he’s a clerk again, but it’s at the same address as his father and younger brother William. In 1853, the business address is 16 James Slip (where his father has done business for years) and is shared with his father and youngest brother John. I cannot tell a lie, I am ecstatic to find someone in the family line who worked in the coffee trade. This explains so much about my deep abiding love for the damn stuff.

By 1851, George has moved his family to Brooklyn. Based on the city directories, he moves frequently and his occupation varies between clerk and coffee roaster until about 1865 when he’s listed as a grocer. In 1870 he’s an oil dealer and then in 1871 appears as an engineer – an occupation he carried for the rest of his life.
George addresses 1863-1880
George died on 30 Dec 1880 and was buried on 2 Jan 1881 in Cypress Hills Cemetery in the Brimlow family plot.3.4 Elizabeth did not remarry and lived until 2 Oct 1899, residing with daughter Jane (Brimlow) Lloyd. Elizabeth was interred 5 Oct 1899 with George.5 Their grave is at the monument. Now all we need is a picture of the monument.

George Brimlow and Elizabeth E. Weeks had 13 known children together. It’s hard to believe that he’s the one who died of exhaustion. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I’ll cover the children in the next post.

1. All Saints Wigan, Baptismal Register 1819-1822, p72, entry 571, George Brimalow, bap 2 Apr 1820, born 12 Feb 1820, 1st son of William & Ann Brimalow, Abode Pemberton, LDS Film 1885676.
2. “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.
3. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 24 Nov 2015), George Bremlow, died 30 Dec 1880, 1030 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, FHL Film #1,323,758
4. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, George Brimlow, interred 2 Jan 1881, Sec 2, Lot 168, at monument.
5. New York death certificate 16938 (1899), Elizabeth Brimlow, died 2 Oct 1899, age 78 years, buried 5 Oct 1899.

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.

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.”

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.
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 –

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., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, Number: 103-14-4866; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951.
8., 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 ( : 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.

The McLean, Frith and Brimlow Page

The pedigree chart for this family line is now up. The spelling of MacLean versus McLean happened between 1915-1920. I have left Margaret Frith McLean’s spelling based on her birth certificate; however, sometime around the death of Margaret’s father George Edward McLean in 1915, her mother Nettie Ella Frith McLean began to use the spelling of MacLean. This declaration is from the 1899 request for a Widow’s Pension filed by Susan Wynn Frith McLean, the mother of George.1 The signature on the bottom left is George E. McLean. The family story is that Nettie changed the spelling based on the myth that the Scottish spelled it Mac and only the Irish used Mc. Her children adopted the change and their later records are MacLean. I have left Margaret’s records under her birth spelling of McLean.

While I now have locations to research in England the Brimlows and Browns, the Friths are going to be more complicated. I have some leads to explore when I go to Salt Lake City, but I have nothing beyond a marriage location to begin with on William Frith.

1.Declaration For Widow’s Pension by Susan W. McLean; Civil ar and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration.