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.

Frith Strong

Frances C. (Frith) Bagwell Maxwell Maddern

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

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

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

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

1863 Coroner's findings/death certificate for William Bagwell

1863 Coroner’s findings/death certificate for William Bagwell

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

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

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

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

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



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

More Darn Friths

The Family of William Frith the Immigrant Ancestor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Those Darn Friths –

The George Richard Frith Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Hard as Nails

Henrietta “Nettie” Ella (Frith) MacLean Abell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned for Part II –



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

Peter Charles McLean (1805-1872)

Peter Charles McLean was born 28 Apr 18051 in Columbia County, New York.2 It is not yet positively known who his parents are, but I believe he might be the son of Peter and Mary McLean. More research in this area is required. His daughter-in-law Susan Winn (Frith) McLean referred to him in depositions as Charles, indicating that was his preferred name.

Circa 1929, he married Margaret Swasey who was born about 16 Jun 1806 in Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Samuel Swasey and Sarah (Sally) Leigh. Peter Charles (with a female of the appropriate age to be Margaret) was found on the 1830 census in Ward 7 of New York City,3 but I have been unable to locate him in 1840. Peter C. relocated to Williamsburg in 1842, and thereafter he and his family are found on the 1850, 1860, and 1870 federal census records as well as the 1855 New York State Census.4,5,6,7

Margaret passed away 11 Sep 1854 in Williamsburg and was probably interred in Union Cemetery. Her death notice appeared in the New York Daily Times.

“At Williamsburg, L.I., on Monday, Sept.11, MARGARET, wife of P.C. McLean, in the 49th year of her age.”8

Peter Charles was a house, sign, and fresco painter. Several of his sons followed him into that trade and either worked with him or opened their own businesses. The city directories for Brooklyn between 1860 and 1870 list both he and his sons with paint and wallpaper businesses located on Grand Avenue. He never remarried.

Peter Charles was nothing less than a stand-up guy. When his desperately ill son Peter B. came home from the war in early 1862, he moved in with his father. For almost three years, Peter Charles took care of his son and supported Peter B.’s family as he recovered. In about 1869, Peter Charles suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed and unable to care for himself. Peter B. took in his father and Peter Charles remained with his son until his death on 27 Feb 1872.

He was interred on 29 Feb 1872 in Union Cemetery.9 I have not yet found an obituary.

He and Margaret had five known children who will be discussed in the next post.
1. Charles E. McLean
2. Peter Byron McLean – previously discussed.
3. Washington McLean
4. Nathaniel Bruce McLean
5. Sarah Amelia McLean

*note – Union Cemetery was closed and the bodies relocated. I will cover this in a separate post.



1. Kings County, New York, death certificate no. 1916 (27 Feb 1872), Peter Charles McLean; FHL microfilm 1,324,745. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.
2. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 14, Kings, New York, p. E.D. 2, dwelling 832, line 6, P.C. McLean; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 10 May 2014). Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
3. 1830 U.S. census, New York Ward 7, New York, New York, p. 79, line 22, McLean, Peter C.; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, roll 97. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
4. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Kings, New York, p. 469B, dwelling 1508, family 2100, Peter McLean; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 522. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
5. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Ward 13 Dist 1, Kings, New York, p. 653, dwelling 55, family 89, Peter C. McLean; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll M653 772. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
6. 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Williamsburg, Ward 14 Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 180A, dwelling 281, family 582, Peter McLean; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 10 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll M593 955. Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
7. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 14, Kings, New York, p. E.D. 2, dwelling 832, line 6, P.C. McLean; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 10 May 2014). Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
8. Newspapers, New York Daily Times, 28 Sep 1854. Cit. Date: 2 May 2014.
9. Kings County, New York, death certificate no. 1916 (27 Feb 1872), Peter Charles McLean; FHL microfilm 1,324,745. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.

As Strong as They Come

Susan Winn (Frith) McLean (1839-1915)

The Civil War pension file for Peter B. was often painful to read, but much of the personal material about his quality of life was found in his wife Susan’s widow’s pension application and the depositions written on her behalf. While reading about his condition and demise saddened me, more often than not, my mind turned to the question of what it must have been like for Susan.
Susan

Susan Wynn Frith was born 24 Jun 1839 in Kings County, New York. She was the second child of William and Frances (Brown) Frith who had arrived from England only two years earlier. Her mother died when Susan was thirteen and her father died the following year. Her grand aunt Ellen Winn took in Susan and her siblings. She was barely seventeen when she married Peter Byron McLean on 27 Aug 1856 in Brooklyn. Her first child, Franklin Byron McLean arrived on 6 Nov 1857. Son Washington and daughter Sarah R. followed.

In June of 1861, Susan might have thought life was pretty good. Her husband had a thriving business in Brooklyn, she and Peter owned their home, she had three children, and her siblings and in-laws lived nearby. But then Peter decided to go play soldier. He helped raise a company and by the beginning of winter, he’d gone marching off to war, leaving Susan to manage without him.

Eight short months later, Susan was married to a complete invalid who was delusional and, according to the doctors at the hospital, a man who “might become violent.” [Read more…]

Peter Byron McLean (1832-1895)

Peter Byron McLean was born 21 Jul 1832 in New York City, New York,1 the second known child of Peter Charles McLean (1805-1872) and Margaret Swasey (abt 1806-1854). He relocated to Williamsburg in Brooklyn with his parents in about 1842. He was enumerated there with his father and siblings in 1850 and then again on the June 1855 New York State Census.2,3 In researching Peter Byron, I refer to him as Peter B. to distinguish him from his father Peter C. While I have many documents for Peter B., I have not yet located a photo of him. His physical description from his pension file states he was 5’8″, 145 lbs., light complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes.

Peter B. married Susan Winn Frith on 27 Aug 1856, at St. Mark’s Protestant Episcopal Church, in Williamsburg.4 Susan (24 Jun 1839-21 May 1915) was the daughter of William Frith (1807-1855) and Frances Brown (1815-1854).

Marriage Certificate provided in 1895 by Susan as proof of marriage.

Marriage Certificate provided in 1895 by Susan as proof of marriage.


Like his father and brothers, Peter B. was a house, sign, and fresco painter as well as a stainer and grainer. A grainer was a painter who could stain and change the colors of wood with both paints and varnishes. He worked first with his father and then opened his own business.

On 5 Oct 1861, Peter B. joined the Union Army. On 1 November he was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in Company H, 87th New York Infantry Regiment. He was mustered out on 4 May 1862 after contracting typhoid fever and malaria during the Siege of Yorktown in early 1862.5 A separate series of posts about Peter B.’s civil war service and information from his pension file will follow this post.

After his return from the Civil War, Peter B. and his family were dependent on his father’s assistance until he was able to resume his career as a painter almost three years later. By 1870, Peter B. had his business at 156 Grand in Williamsburg, near the businesses of his father and his brother Washington.6

After the death of his father in 1872, Peter B. relocated his family to Roslyn in Queens County. He filed for his Civil War Invalid pension and was granted disability on 29 Jan 1890, although he continued to operate his business until 1893.7
Peter Adv Card

Upon suffering a mental breakdown, he was committed to the insane asylum at the State Homeopathic Hospital at Middletown on 1 Jul 1893.8
middletown2
He died 1 Oct 1915 at Middletown, Orange, New York.9 A copy of his death certificate was found in his Civil War pension file and states his cause of death as chronic melancholia consecutive with pulmonary hemorrhage. He was buried in Roslyn Cemetery.

Died. Peter B. McLean, an old resident of Roslyn, died in Middletown, N.Y., last Tuesday, age 61 years. He was a war veteran, having served in the Eighty-seventh New York volunteers. He was a member of Mansfield post G.A.R. of Brooklyn. Funeral services were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church of Roslyn and the interment was in Roslyn cemetery. Elijah Ward post G.A.R. furnished the pall bearers, and the members of the Roslyn Benevolent society, of which the deceased was a member, also attended in a body and performed the last burial services at the grave.10

Peter B. McLean

Susan survived her husband by ten years and will be discussed in a separate post. According to her widow’s pension file, she and Peter B. had twelve children together. Eight are known by name, one burial for a stillborn has been found, but the other three have not yet been located. It is possible they were interred in Union Cemetery in Brooklyn. There are no extant records for this cemetery.

1. Franklin Byron McLean, born 6 Nov 1857, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, died 10 Oct 1925, Hempstead, Nassau, New York, buried 19 Oct 1925, Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale. On 26 Sep 1887, he married Martha (Mattie) Elizabeth Wetterau, born Jan 1867, died 28 Nov 1949. They had three children: Emma McLean, Francis Byron McLean, and Jennette (Jane) McLean. All but Francis Byron are interred together in Greenfield Cemetery. Francis Byron is in the Cemetery of the Holy Rood.
2. Washington McLean, born Feb 1859 and died 24 Feb 1861 of convulsions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. He was interred in Union Cemetery.
3. Sarah R. McLean, born 28 Mar 1861 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, died 21 May 1948 in Floral Park, Nassau, New York, buried Roslyn Cemetery. In about 1883, she married Wallace Thurston, born Oct 1863, died 9 Dec 1941. They had five known children: Wallace Bruce Thurston, Edward McLean Thurston, Henry Thurston, Albert McLean Thurston, and Byron McLean Thurston. All are interred in Roslyn Cemetery.
4. Charles Wallace McLean, born 30 Dec 1863, died from diphtheria 24 Jun 1867 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. He was interred in Union Cemetery.
5. Peter McLean, born 1865 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. He is not found on the 1880 Census or in any documents after 1870.
6. George Edward McLean – previously discussed.
7. Matthew Taylor McLean, born 7 Sep 1869 and died 21 Jul 1871 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. He was interred in Union Cemetery.
8. Unknown McLean, born circa 1872, died before 1878, probably interred in Union Cemetery. Probable stillborn as no death certificate on file.
9. Unknown McLean, born circa 1874, died before 1878, probably interred in Union Cemetery. Probable stillborn as no death certificate on file.
10. Stillborn McLean, born circa 1876, probably interred in Union Cemetery. Probable stillborn as no death certificate on file.
11. Stillborn McLean, born and died 1878, interred Roslyn Cemetery. This is the unnamed McLean baby interred in the family plot when it was purchased in 1878.
12. Virginia Stuart McLean, born 17 May 1881 and died 10 May 1896 of malaria in Roslyn, Queens, New York. She was interred in Roslyn Cemetery.



1. Declaration For A Disability Pension filed by Peter B. McLean; Application #751962; Civil War and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration. Cit. Date: 20 Dec 2008.
2. Declaration For A Disability Pension filed by Peter B. McLean; Application #751962; Civil War and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration. Cit. Date: 20 Dec 2008.
3. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 14, Kings, New York, p. E.D. 2, dwelling 832, line 6, P.C. McLean; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 10 May 2014). Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
4. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 14, Kings, New York, p. E.D. 2, dwelling 832, line 6, P.C. McLean; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 10 May 2014). Cit. Date: 10 May 2014.
5. Declaration For A Disability Pension filed by Peter B. McLean; Civil ar and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration. Cit. Date: 20 Dec 2008.
6. Declaration For A Disability Pension filed by Peter B. McLean; Civil ar and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration. Cit. Date: 20 Dec 2008.
7. Declaration For A Disability Pension filed by Peter B. McLean; Application #751962; Civil War and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration. Cit. Date: 20 Dec 2008.
8. Declaration For A Widow’s Pension filed by Susan W. McLean 1905; Application #622894; Civil War and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration. Cit. Date: 20 Dec 2008.
9. New York death certificate (1915), Peter B. McLean, died 1 Oct 1895, Middletown, Orange, New York, Melancholia Chronic, Pulmonary hemorhage. Cit. Date: 11 May 2014.
10. “Obituary – Peter B. McLean,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 Oct 1895, p. 7 c.6; digital images. Cit. Date: 27 Apr 2014.

George Edward McLean (1867-1915)

GeorgeGeorge Edward McLean was born 10 Sep 1867, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York,1 the fourth known child of Peter Byron McLean (1832-1895) and Susan Winn Frith (1839-1915). His Brooklyn birth certificate states he was born at home, 428 Grand Street, Brooklyn, and provides both his parents full names as shown below.
1867 Birth
On 12 Jul 1893, twenty-six-year-old George married his eighteen-year-old, first cousin Henrietta “Nettie” Ella Frith (1875-1963) in Brooklyn.2 Nettie was the daughter of George Richard Frith and Henrietta Brimlow. Her cousin Cordelia Edith (Frith) and husband Norman Roscoe were the witnesses.
Marriage
For some reason, George and Nettie kept the marriage secret from his family for almost two months. When the marriage did come to light, it made the 18 Sep 1893 edition of the New York Times.3

Became Jealous and Claimed Her Husband. ROSLYN, L.I., Sept. 17. – George E. McLean of this village married his cousin, Miss Nettie Frith of Brooklyn, July 12. The ceremony was performed in Brooklyn by the Rev. A. J. Wright. The couple kept the marriage a secret, and there is no telling when it would have leaked out had not McLean caused his bride to become jealous of his attentions to other girls. She yesterday told her husband’s parents of the marriage. The announcement caused considerable surprise.The bride’s father is a brother of Mrs. McLean senior, and is well known in the Eastern District of Brooklyn, where he lives. The young people have been forgiven.

My cousins and I have spent a great deal of time wondering what it is about this thin, long-necked, big-eared man that was so captivating.

l-r: Margaret , Nettie holding Welling, Sue, George with Edward, and Ada.  c.1909 Roslyn Height, NY.

l-r: Margaret , Nettie holding Welling, Sue, George with Edward, and Ada. c.1909 Roslyn Height, NY.


George was a painter and general contractor by trade. There are several notices in the newspapers of his receiving contracts for painting and building in the Roslyn area. The family can be found there on the 1900 and 1910 Federal Censuses.4,5 However, I have not been able to locate them on 1905 New York State Census yet.

He died 25 Mar 1915 at the age of 47 and was buried in the Roslyn Cemetery.6 He died of chronic parenchymatous nepritis – bad kidneys. His widow Nettie is the one who changed the spelling on this line to MacLean after his death.
HPIM0739

I will discuss Nettie and their children in more detail in a separate post. Their known children were:

1. Stillborn Boy McLean, 19 May 1894, buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
2. Susan Wynn McLean, born 20 Mar 1897, No. Hempstead, Queens, New York, died 15 Sep 1993, Campbell, Santa Clara, California. Married 1st about 1916 – John T. Kelley (18 Jul 1888-29 Oct 1918). Children: Nettie E. Kelley and John Stewart Kelley. Married 2nd about 1922 – Edmund Griffin (6 May 1894-7 Apr 1977). Children: Edmund Griffin Jr. and Benjamin Payne Griffin.
3. Margaret Frith McLean – previously discussed.
4. Ada Mae McLean, born 25 Aug 1901, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, died 30 Dec 1982, Long Branch, Monmouth, New Jersey. Married 1st about 1919 – John (Jack) Stillwell (10 Aug 1897-aft 1951), children: Dawn Stillwell and John Wesley Stillwell. Married 2nd – Henry Sykulski (10 Feb 1913-Dec 1982). They had no children.
5. Edward Frith MacLean, born 29 Aug 1906, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, died 29 Feb 1988, Mineola, Nassau, New York, buried All Saints Cemetery, Great Neck, Nassau, New York. Married Dorothy Coleman 26 Apr 1947 in Roslyn, Nassau, New York. Children: Laurie E. MacLean and Leslie MacLean.
6. Welling Seeley MacLean, born 1908 in No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, died 25 Oct 1964, Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey, buried Roslyn Cemetery. Married Mabel Ramee 2 Sep 1935 in Garden City, Nassau, New York. Children: Nancy Ruth MacLean (16 Jun 1939-23 Jul 1945). Family sources have stated there was a stillborn child early in the marriage and that Nancy was adopted.



1. Kings, New York, (FHL microfilm, Salt Lake City, UT), birth certificate no. 3453 (10 Sep 1867), George Edward McLean; FHL microfilm 1,324,344. Cit. Date: 2 Aug 2010.
2. 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.
3. “Became Jealous and Claimed Her Husband,” The New York Times, 18 Sep 1893, online archives (http://nytimes.com : accessed 20 Dec 2008), p. 5. Cit. Date: 21 Dec 2008.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Roslyn Cemetery (Letter from Dominick Tarantino, Manager, Roslyn Cemetery, Roslyn, NY dated 24 Mar 2008. List of people in McLean plot #61, Section Old Chart, with Name, Date of Internment and Age (if known)), George E. McLean, Age 47 years 6 mo 15 days. Cit. Date: 10 Apr 2008.

MARGARET FRITH McLEAN (1899-1977)

Margaret Frith McLean circa 1917

Margaret Frith McLean circa 1917

My grandmother Margaret was one of my favorite people. She came to live with us in 1965 when my father was in Vietnam. My mother Shirlee had come hurt her back and Grandma came to take care of my brother and me and never left.

Margaret is also the first step back on the McLean, Frith, and Brimlow lines. I’ll work back through the McLean line and then return to Margaret’s mother and work up the Frith and Brimlow lines.

Margaret Frith McLean was born 22 Apr 1899, in North Hempstead, Queens, New York.1 She was the second daughter of George Edward McLean (1867-1915) and Henrietta “Nettie” Ella Frith (1875-1963). She told me that she often claimed to be one year younger than she really was because being born in the last century made it harder for her to find work.

Margaret and her sisters. l-r Margaret, Susie, Ada

Margaret and her sisters. l-r Margaret, Susie, Ada


Margaret married William Harry Walker on 27 Sep 1919 in Roslyn Heights, Nassau, New York.2 She’d met Harry when he was stationed at nearby Roosevelt Field during World War I. He stayed on Long Island to woo her after the war and worked as a mechanic.
27 Sep 1919 l-r: John Mortimer, Harry Walker, Margaret McLean, Jeannette McLean

27 Sep 1919 l-r: John Mortimer, Harry Walker, Margaret McLean, Jeannette McLean


After their marriage, she and Harry lived with her mother for a short time and can be found with Nettie on the 1920 Census.3 Margaret and Harry moved to his hometown of Philadelphia shortly thereafter. Their first child Harry Craig Walker was born there on 21 Aug 1923.4 In the summer of 1927, Margaret went back to Long Island to escape the city heat as she awaited the birth of daughter Shirlee Delores Walker. Shirlee was born 18 Jul 1927 in Howard Beach, Queens, New York.5
Margaret and Harry Circa 1935

Margaret and Harry Circa 1935


For a number of years, Margaret and Harry resided with Harry’s sister Ruth (Walker) Schoenleber and her husband Bill. Harry had changed careers and become a plasterer and building contractor. The 1930s were lean years and Harry went wherever he needed to in order to find work. Eventually, they were able to afford their own home. They remained in the Kensington section of Philadelphia through the 1950s; Harry’s mother and several siblings lived nearby.
1953 Harry, Margaret, and Shirlee on the Oregon Coast

1953 Harry, Margaret, and Shirlee on the Oregon Coast


When Harry retired, he and Margaret sold their home and moved to Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic, New Jersey. The cost of living was a little lower and Harry wanted to be out of the city. They weren’t there long when Harry suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away on 12 Nov 1961.6 Margaret was devastated. She moved to Horsham, Montgomery, Pennsylvania to be near her son Craig and his family.

In 1965, Margaret joined her daughter Shirlee (Walker) Burgraff in Alpena, Michigan, and remained with Shirlee and her family for the next seven years. In that time, Margaret lived in Michigan, Edmonds, Washington, Hamilton AFB, California, and finally in Eugene, Oregon.

l-r Susie McLean Griffin, Bruce Burgraff, Margaret Walker, Edmund Griffin, Shirlee Walker Burgraff, Jack Brugraff - 1969 Reno, NV

l-r Susie McLean Griffin, Bruce Burgraff, Margaret Walker, Edmund Griffin, Shirlee Walker Burgraff, Jack Brugraff – 1969 Reno, NV


While in Oregon, Margaret met seventy-nine year-old Lloyd Columbus Thomas at a senior citizen’s dance. They married 10 Jan 19727 and remained together until Lloyd’s death 3 Feb 1976.8

Margaret died 19 Mar 1977 in Eugene, Lane, Oregon.9 She was cremated and her ashes were scattered.

Margaret was a gentle, sweet, woman, who was known as the peacemaker in our family. As was normal for the time, her white hair appeared blue from the rinse she used to keep it from appearing dingy, and she was well into her seventies before she wore slacks when it wasn’t snowing. Her skin was flawless, and I remember her commitment to Yardley’s lavender soap and Pond’s Cold Cream. She was soft-spoken, tender-hearted, and loved to play board games, dance, and be with her family.



1. New York Department of Health, birth certificate (1899), Margaret McLean; New York State Dept of Health, Albany. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
2. Marriage Record, Nassau Co., New York, Marriage License, 27 Sep 1919, William Harry Walker to Margaret Frith McLean. Cit. Date: 4 Jun 2014.
3. 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Roslyn, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, dwelling 187, family 152, MacLean, Nettie; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014)
4. Letter in Margaret Walker’s hand detailing children & grandchildren births, Margaret McLean Walker’s Notes, circa 1960; privately held by Sharon Scott.
5. New York Department of Health, birth certificate 7646 (1927), Shirley Dolores Walker; New York State Dept of Health, Albany. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
6. New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, death certificate (short form), (1961), Harry Walker; New Jersey State Department of Health, Trenton. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
7. Marriage Certificate, Marriage Certificate, 17 Jan 1972; privately held by Sharon Scott.
8. Oregon Death Index, 1903-1998. Salem, OR, USA: Oregon State Archives and Records Center.
9. Oregon State Health Division, death certificate (1977), Margaret Frith Thomas; Oregon State Health Division Center for Health Statistics, Portland. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.