Much of my information about my Pyle ancestors comes from a privately published book, Pyle, Smith and Allied Family Histories, privately published in 1951. Unfortunately, the primary source information is lacking, so I have to use this as a resource to point myself in the direction of primary sources.
Great great grandmother Esther was the oldest of nine children, born on February 2, 1828, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia to Thomas Cutler Whitman and Diana Morgan. I believe that the following passenger list record for Esther Whitman from Nova Scotia to Boston could be my great great grandmother.
|Boston Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1943. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Boston, Massachusetts, on the Schooner Chedebuck, arriving Boston June 28, 1849. Record for Esther Whitman.|
Esther Whitman is 21, making her birthdate in 1828. Her occupation is Dressmaker. She is a native of N[ova] Scotia, and intends to become an inhabitant of the U[nited] States. None of the others listed on this passenger list are Whitmans, so I can only surmise that this is her. (Much of the rest of her family immigrated to New York in 1857.)
According to the Pyle book, Esther Abigail Whitman married James Pyle on August 16, 1853, in New York City. They had four children:
- Great grandfather, James Tolman Pyle (9 February 1855 - 8 February 1912), who married Frances Adelaide McAlpin
- William Scott Pyle (6 April 1856 - 1 January 1906)
- Charles Sumner Pyle (1858 - 1 December 1873)
- Sara Carter Pyle (9 February 1863 - 14 May 1949)
Newly found in February 2012: James and Esther's gravestones, which show there were three more daughters who died in infancy.
Later census records are interesting.
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census (taken June 2, 1900), Esther is living at 215 West 45th Street (the home at which her husband had died five months before and where they had lived for almost 20 years). However, it is her sister, Ella Bruce who is listed as Head of Household.
|Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York;|
Roll: T623_1113; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 724. Record for Ella Bruce (and Esther Pyle).
Esther Pyle, Sister, is the next name at this address. Her information is inaccurate, based on other sources. This census indicates that she was born in June 1823 and that she is mother of two children, both living. However, I know she is mother of (at least) four children with three still living, and I believe that she was born in 1828. Both of these women were born in Canada.
Other family members in the house include two granddaughters of Ella's, Marie and Kathryn Miller. In addition to four boarders, two servants, and a cook, is Harriet Bliss, another (married) sister, born in January 1852.
It certainly is puzzling to me as to why James Pyle's sister-in-law (Ella Bruce) is considered head of the household instead of his widow. And is their home now a boarding house, where Ella and Esther are taking in boarders to make ends meet? Considering how financially successful James Pyle was, this doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps it took time to settle the estate. (Note to self - need to do probate research in New York.)
By the time of the 1910 U.S. Federal Census (and New York City Directory), Esther has moved to 200 West 57th Street.
|Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York;|
Roll: T624_1045; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 1287. Record for Esther Pyle.
|Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York;|
Roll: T625_1212; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 1057; Line 4. Record for Esther Pyle.
|The New York Times, November 10, 1921|
I do not have any photographs of Esther or her husband, James. If there are any cousins out there with photographs of this couple, I would love to see them.
My descent from Esther Abigail Whitman > James Tolman Pyle > Charles McAlpin Pyle > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me.
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