Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mary Freeland Wolfe Family

The handwritten family tree for the Freeland family that I shared in October (smaller image at right) provides all kinds of information, even though it doesn't look like it at first.

The tree shows that the third child of Barbara Fullerton and David Freeland, Mary Freeland, married ____ Wolf. As I noted in the Freeland Surname Saturday post, I found 77-year-old David Freeland in the 1860 U.S. Census in Buffalo, New York, household of his daughter, Mary Wolf, her husband, Frederick Wolf (a Lake Captain), and their two children, Oswald and Charlotte.

I wanted to find out more about this Wolf family.

City Directories for Buffalo, New York, are found at for the years between 1861-1870 except for 1869. I found Fred/Frederick Wolf/Wolfe in most of them as a Captain, Lake Captain, or Sailor.

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, I found Fred Wolf, wife Mary Wolf, and children Lottie (age 21) and Ida Wolf (age 9). Fred Wolf is a "Lake Sailor."

Detail from 1870 U.S. Census for Fred Wolf family

I have not found son Oswald in the 1870 census, but I found him in the 1880 U.S. Census in Chicago, Illinois.

Detail from 1880 U.S. Census for Oswold F. Wolf family
Oswald (or Oswold) is now in Chicago, as a bookkeeper, with his two sisters, Charlotte and Ida, and his widowed mother, Mary. In later records, I find that surname is more often found as Wolfe.

I then explored Chicago City Directories at, finding Oswald F. Wolfe as a bookkeeper in most years between 1871 and 1880, and Frederick Wolfe as a seaman, mariner, or shipmaster in most years until 1878. At, I found the death of Frederick Wolfe on March 3, 1879, in the Illinois Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922, a name index. I then found other Wolfe family members in this death index, including wife Mary (Freeland) Wolfe (d. 1903), daughter Charlotte Wolfe (d. 1920) and son Oswald Freeland Wolfe (d. 1923). I have confirmed that the family, including Ida Wolfe (d. 1915), is buried at Rosehill Cemetery. It doesn't appear that there are any descendants.


Mary Freeland Wolf
Two years ago, I shared some old photographs of Hunter and Freeland family members. There is handwriting on the back of the photos noting "Mrs. Wolf" and "Lottie Wolf." At that time, I did not know who they were. I now know that elderly Mrs. Wolf in the photos is Mary Freeland Wolf, born in Scotland around 1816-1819. Mary Wolf would have been around 80 years old when she and her daughter, Lottie, visited her sister-in-law, Nancy (Rainey) Freeland in Pittsburgh. (Nancy's husband and Mary Wolf's brother, James Freeland, died in about 1863.)

Charlotte Wolf
Lottie Wolf is Charlotte Wolf, born in 1849 in Buffalo, New York. She would have been first cousin to my second great-grandmother, Mary (Freeland) Hunter, whose pictures can be seen in a post from November 2011.

Lottie is my first cousin 4x removed.

I am thrilled that I was able to figure out who Mrs. Wolf and Lottie Wolf were in these pictures.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Marguerite Lysle Hunter 1876 - 1967

My great-grandmother, Marguerite Lysle Hunter, lived to 91. She died on Christmas Day, 1967. She is buried in Allegheny Memorial Park, located in Allison Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy Find A Grave contributor A3M

If you click through to her Find A Grave memorial, you will see that I have linked her memorial to those of her husband, Percy E. Hunter, her parents, George Lysle, Jr. and Marion Helen (Alston) Lysle, and to her five daughters (all five of whom are buried in the same section of the Allegheny Memorial Park cemetery).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Libby Died 30 Years Ago Today

My paternal grandmother died 30 years ago today, on Tuesday, December 6, 1983. She had broken a hip about a year beforehand, and not been well for several months.

I was in college, well before the era of cellphones, and received a call on the dorm hall phone (remember those?) early in the morning of December 7 from my mother letting me know that Libby had died. (We children had always called her Libby.) has digitized images of The Boston Herald from 1848 to 1992. The following death notice ran on December 8 and December 9.

Edgar Carter Rust, a widower, was Libby's second husband, whom she married in 1933, after divorcing her first husband. They are both buried in Rosedale Cemetery, Manchester, Mass.

I have written about Libby several times:
See a photo of her and her brother in an early 20th century car.
She played tennis very well as a young woman.
See photos of her at her 1916 debut tea.
Read about her high society 1919 wedding.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ Aunt Marion's 1913 Death Certificate

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words add to the stories of our ancestors.

What is not noted below is that Great Aunt Marion had suffered from pneumonia three times previously.

Pennsylvania, Department of Health & Vital Records, Death Certificate No. 114591 / 9408.
Marion Lysle Hunter, died 11/30/1913.
The handwritten entries are in blue; my comments are [bracketed]:
Certificate of Death
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
File No. 114591
Registered No. 9408
1. Place of Death
   County of Allegheny
   City of Pittsburgh No. 5629 Elgin Ave. ; 11 Ward
2. Full Name: Marion Lysle Hunter
Personal and Statistical Particulars
3. Sex: Fem
4. Color or Race: White
5. S[ingle]
6. Date of Birth: Sep. 9, 1899
7. Age: 14 yrs 2 mos 21 ds
8. Occupation: -
9. Birthplace: N. S. Pittsburg, PA. [N. S. is North Side, the former Allegheny City.]
10. Name of Father: Percy E. Hunter
11. Birthplace of Father: N. S. Pittsburg, PA.
12. Maiden Name of Mother: Marguerite Lysle
13. Birthplace of Mother: N. S. Pittsburg, PA.
14. The above is true to the best of my knowledge,
Signature: Percy E. Hunter
Address: 5629 Elgin Ave.
15. [I think this is when the certificate was registered:] Dec. 2, 1913 (signature), Local Registrar
Medical Certificate of Death
16. Date of Death: Nov 30, 1913
17. I hereby certify that I attended deceased from Nov. 25, 1913 to Nov. 30, 1913, that I last saw her alive on Nov. 30, 1913, and that death occurred on the date stated above, at 4:45 PM.
The cause of death was as follows: Lobar Pneumonia [I don't know what 92a represents, but it looks like she was ill for 7 days.]
Contributory: -
(Signed) L. W. Smith
Dec. 1, 1913, 6024 Station St.
18. Length of Residence (For hospitals, institutions, transients and foreign residents)
19. Place of Burial: Uniondale Cem.
Date of Burial: Dec. 2, 1913
20. Undertaker: H. Samson
Address: 439 6th Ave. [I think.]

Uniondale Cemetery is where many Lysle family members are buried. Marion's remains were later moved to Allegheny Memorial Park. You can see her Find A Grave Memorial here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Early 20th Century Hunter Sisters Stories

At Thanksgiving I was able to discuss the photograph of the four Hunter sisters with my mother and she corrected the previous thinking about who was in the photograph AND the date of the photograph AND the location of the photograph. I was able to show her the image on my iPhone and zoom into the picture to see each face closely. Looking at a closeup of the oldest girl at the left, she assured me that this was Caroline. She also told me that the photograph was taken about 1914 in California.

I also realized that I should have recognized my grandmother. Looking closely at the photo of the five sisters that I shared in July 2011 (also below) one can compare photos and tell which sister is which in the later photo.

Mary (8), (in back) Helen (4), (in front) Margaret (6), Marion (12), Caroline (11)
(ages estimated based on dating photo to late 1911)

The photograph also prompted a couple of stories about her mother and her older sisters.

Marion, the oldest of the five Hunter sisters, died in late 1913 of pneumonia. It was the fourth time she had suffered from it.

After Marion died, Marguerite (her mother) was absolutely devastated. Percy (her father) decided the only way to help her cope was to divert her, so he took a job opportunity in Oakland, California, and the family moved and lived in California for a couple of years. My grandmother, Helen was not quite 7 years old when her sister died. She admired a girl down the street (a couple of years older) while living in California and named her oldest daughter after this girl.

This photo was taken soon after the Hunters moved there.

June 12, 2015 Update: Additional information from my aunt has changed the timeline of this story and these pictures. See Early 20th Century Hunter Sisters - Update for the updated information.

Caroline (13-14), Margaret (9), Helen (7), Mary (10-11)
(ages estimated based on dating photo to early 1914)

You will notice in this picture that Caroline, Margaret and Mary hold dolls. My grandmother, Helen, when she received a doll as a gift, would announce that the dolly was sick and that she had to be put to bed, so her doll was not in this picture because she was recovering from some illness. I wonder if this was how Helen remembered Marion, ill in bed.

The death of the girls' oldest sister had an effect on all of them for decades. A story shared by my second cousin, a granddaughter of Caroline, above, follows:
I do remember my Grandma Caroline never being able to view a dead person. According to the practice of the day, she was forced to look at her sister Marion and kiss her goodbye when Grandma was 12 and could only remember Marion in her casket after that. She could not view her Father at his death [Percy died in 1937], but had dreams about him for years afterward. She would step off the elevator at the top floor of the Horne's store (I think, but it may have been Gimble's) and see him walking down the hallway toward the restaurant that was on that floor. She would run after him calling his name, getting a bit closer with each dream, but never catching up to him. Until one night when she got very close and great grandfather turned around and said, "Caroline, you have got to stop following me." She never had the dream again.
And another story from my mother:
Grandmother [Marguerite] could not talk about Marion for years after her death. Twenty-two years later, when my mother was born, Percy and Marguerite came to the hospital to see their youngest daughter's first child. Percy picked her up and touched her skin and said to Marguerite, “Her skin is so soft, it feels like yours and like Marion’s” and after that, they could speak of her. They hadn’t spoken of her AT ALL before that.
Thank you to my mother and to my second cousin for sharing your stories!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Hunter Sisters Circa 1909

As I noted in last week's Wordless Wednesday post, I have been in touch with a second cousin of mine, who has shared a few photographs (as well as some great stories) with me. Our grandmothers were sisters. Her grandmother was the second and mine the youngest of five daughters of Percy Earle Hunter and Marguerite Lysle. Here is a photo of four of the sisters.

November 28, 2013 Update: Information provided to me by my second cousin was that this was taken in 1909. However, after consulting with my mother, I can confirm that this photograph was taken in 1914, after the death of the oldest sister, Marion, and I have corrected the identification of the sisters in the caption below. See Hunter Sister Stories for more information.

Caroline (1900-1974), Margaret (1905-1994), Helen (1907-1990), Mary (1903-1971)
For all my cousins on this side: take a close look and enjoy the family resemblances to those of us a generation or two or three from this family.

I shared a 1911 photo of the five sisters here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Percy Earle Hunter (1873-1937)

Blogging does work! A second cousin of mine, on my mother's mother's side found my blog because she was looking online for photographs of our common great-grandfather, Percy Earle Hunter. Although I have written about him (see Percy Hunter: Engineer), I realize that I haven't posted many photos of him so here you go!

Percy E. Hunter was born October 18, 1873. I am estimating that this photo was taken around 1877, when he was about 3 or 4.


Here he is as an older boy, perhaps 1884 or so, when he would have been 11?


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Thomas Whitman

I had known the death date of Diana (Morgan) Whitman (April 25, 1861) for a while, but couldn't find any more information about her husband, my 3rd great-grandfather, Thomas Cutler Whitman (born April 2, 1803, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia). Had he returned to Nova Scotia? Was he still living in Jamaica, Queens, New York, where his family was living in the 1860 U.S. Census, as I noted in Surname Saturday ~ Whitman? I haven't had luck finding him in the 1870 U.S. Census.

Earlier this year, I was exploring Find A Grave and found that someone had set up memorials for several Whitmans in Elmont Cemetery in Elmont, Nassau County, New York. I requested a photograph of the stones (as well as requesting management of the memorials) and got a photograph of the tombstone showing a death date of July 22, 1870.

Find A Grave Memorial# 54811937
Photo credit Find A Grave user arondo.
I then found his death notice on

New York Herald, July 23, 1870
WHITMAN.- On Friday, July 22, THOMAS C. WHITMAN, aged 68 years.
The funeral services will take place from Berean Baptist Church, corner Bedford & Downing streets, on Sunday morning, at nine o'clock.
Nova Scotia papers will please copy.
I love to see that last phrase because it tells me that the family wanted the news to be shared in Nova Scotia newspapers because Thomas C. Whitman would have been remembered by friends and family there.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ~ Diana Whitman 1861

I mentioned the death of my 3rd great-grandmother in yesterday's Surname Saturday~Whitman post. Several years ago, I found the following death notice in's New York, Death Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1890 (Barber Collection):

New York Evening Post, April 26, 1861

This was helpful, because at that time, I didn't know if her daughter Esther Abigail Whitman's family was still in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia or not. This meant that the Whitmans also moved to New York City from Nova Scotia, possibly following their daughter and future son-in-law, James Pyle.

More recently, I found the following New York Times death notice:

The New York Times, April 26, 1861
WHITMAN. - In this City [New York], on Thursday, April 25, after a lingering illness, DIANA wife of Thomas C. Whitman, Sr. in the [57]th year of her age.
Funeral services will be held at the residence of James Pyle, No. 67 North Moore St., this Friday morning at 8 1/2 o'clock. Friends of the family are invited to attend, without further notice.

This does tell me that her funeral was held at the home of her son-in-law. (Her daughter was about 6 months pregnant with her fifth child.) However, I wish this death notice had more information about her ancestry.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Whitman of Unknown and Nova Scotia

The earliest Whitman I have in my family tree is Christopher Whitman and I have a death date for him of 1778. I have a name of Barbara for his wife, but nothing more. This information is from a secondary source and is therefore very questionable.

I descend from their son George.

Generation 2:
George Whitman was born in the late 1750's or early 1760's. The Pyle book [1] and Loyalist Lineages of Canada [3] indicate a birth place of Pennsylvania, but I have not found primary source information confirming the date or location. He was a Loyalist during the Revolution and ended up in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. He married Esther Atwater on March 13, 1788, in Guysborough. She was born in 1771 in New Haven County, Connecticut, to Loyalist parents who also fled to Nova Scotia after the Revolution.

Guysborough, Nova Scotia
As I have noted before, the book Guysborough Sketches and Essays, by A.C. Jost (originally published in 1950, revised edition published in 2009) is an invaluable resource for those researching families in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. This book includes lists of Loyalists who arrived from different parts of the newly-formed United States to settle in Guysborough and what lots of land they received. I found my Pyle Loyalist ancestor (Stephen) was listed under "The Associated Departments of the Army and Navy," among the last to leave New York.

I find George Whitman's name in the list entitled "The Duke of Cumberland's Regiment (Montague Corps.)," which appears to be a list of men who arrived at Guysborough with Lord Charles Greville Montague, the last English Governor of South Carolina, and two ship loads of men arrived from Jamaica. I need to do quite a bit more research on this.

George Whitman died on July 16, 1849, well after his wife, who died on February 11, 1814. They are buried in Christ Church Cemetery in Guysborough, Nova Scotia, according to Christ Church Burials: Guysborough, 1787-1880, an online index of burial records by Patricia Lumsden.

They had twelve children, born between 1789 and 1813. I am descended from their seventh child, Thomas Cutler Whitman.

Friday, October 25, 2013

AncestryDNA Updates Ethnicity Results

As they have been promising for awhile, AncestryDNA ethnicity results have been updated, and they are much more interesting to look at now!

When I wrote about my first foray into DNA testing in April 2012 (my most-read blog post), my autosomal results indicated that my genetic ethnicity (going back many hundreds of years) was 78% British Isles, 16% Scandinavian, and 6% Uncertain.

AncestryDNA has greatly increased the genetic regions and provided more information about the ranges of possibility of each ethnicity.

First, the summary: 64% Great Britain, 23% Europe West, 6% Ireland and 7% Trace Regions. Interesting: where did the Scandinavian go? And what are the Trace Regions?

My updated genetic ethnicity (according to AncestryDNA)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

142 Years Ago ~ The Great Chicago Fire

Panorama of Chicago After the 1871 Fire. Image attributed to George N. Barnard. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

There are a plethora of websites that tell us what happened in Chicago, Illinois, starting in the evening of Sunday, October 8, 1871. You can use your favorite search engine to find all kinds of resources.

In addition to these sources, I have a twelve-page booklet written and published in April 1904 by my maternal second great grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, a civil engineer and surveyor who lived in or near Chicago for over sixty years. (He died at the age of 91 in 1916; see excerpts from an obituary here.)

The upper right-hand corner has pencilled: "Lowell Townsend Copeland, 180 Linden St., Winnetka." This is my grandfather; his grandfather was the author, Samuel S. Greeley.

The introductory paragraph:
"Some years after the great Chicago fire of October 9 and 10, 1871, a number of persons, who had taken part in that tragedy, were asked to write, for the Illinois Historical Society, some account of their personal experience. The purpose seemed to be to get a number of independent reports of the burning, as seen by different observers in different localities and under widely varying conditions. In compliance with this request I wrote the following account, which has been lying unfinished and half forgotten in my desk for a quarter of a century. If it has value, it is that it was written while every incident and action was freshly stamped upon my brain in lines of fire."
Greeley's description of his experiences in the fire are wonderfully detailed. At the time he was living "at the northwest corner of Erie and St. Clare streets in the North Division of Chicago, in a new house which I had begun to occupy some ten weeks before." [p. 1]

Excerpt from page 2

He continues to describe in detail, what he could see and what he was thinking. For a short time, he put out the occasional cinders that landed on his barn, but realized the inevitable, and just after 2 a.m., he and his family rode northward in their buggy and rockaway (a small carriage).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday ~ Handwritten Freeland Family Tree

In my family collection of ephemera, I have the following 8.5" by 11" piece of paper showing pieces of the Freeland family tree.

This is one of my sources for my Freeland line that I wrote about in the last Surname Saturday post. Near the left, you can make out Helen Copeland, who is my grandmother (though Copeland is her married name).

Note in the upper-right-hand corner, written sideways is "David Freeland came over in 1821 on ship David" which helped me find the immigration record that I noted in my Surname Saturday post.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Freeland of Scotland and Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Lanarkshire, Scotland
My immigrant Freeland ancestor is David Freeland, who arrived in Canada from Scotland in 1821 with his family.

As I have been working on this Surname Saturday post, I have been finding out much more about this branch of my family, which I will share in upcoming blog posts.

The image at right is from page 96 of A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada before Confederation, by Donald Whyte (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society. Volume 2, 1995. 435p.). If I interpret this entry correctly, David Freeland was from Lanarkshire, Scotland. He (with his wife and five children) came to Quebec, Canada, on the ship, David of London, arriving on 19 May 1821. They left from Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in association with an emigration society and they settled in Lanark Township, Lanark County, Ontario. The code of ICS refers to Immigration: Canada from Scotland with a description of "Selected records in the Ontario Department of Public Records and Archives [now the Archives of Ontario], 77 Grenville Street, Queen's Park, Toronto, M7A 2K9. Reel 154."

Lanark Township, Ontario
Wikipedia has a brief entry for Lanark, Ontario, (in addition to newly incorporated (1993) Lanark Highlands Township, Ontario) noting that it was founded in 1820 by Scottish immigrants who named it after Lanark, Scotland. Textiles was one of its major industries.

I found the reference for this book in an index (U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s) on, and then looked at a copy of of the book at the NEHGS Library, where I scanned the above page. has another index: Canadian Immigrant Records, Part Two which provides additional information about David Freeland's family: that his wife was age 28 and that the family included: "male child age 7; female children ages 8.5, 3, 9, 11."

Update as of October, 2016: David and his family, had moved south to the United States during the 1820s, living in New Hartford, Oneida County, New York, by the time of the 1830 U.S. Census.

In the 1850 U.S. Census, I find David Freeland, occupation Weaver, in the household of his son, James, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Federal Census. Year: 1850; Census Place: Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania;
Roll: M432_744; Page: 76B; Lines 7-10: Record for James Freeland family

In the 1860 U.S. Census, I find David Freeland in the Buffalo, New York, household of his daughter, Mary Wolf, her husband, Frederick Wolf (a Lake Captain), and their two children, Oswald and Charlotte.

U.S. Federal Census. Year: 1860; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 5, Erie, New York; Roll: M653_746;
Page: 810 (140); Lines 30-34: Record for Frederick Wolf family including David Freeland

I couldn't find a David Freeland in the 1840 U.S. Census that seemed to fit my David Freeland. (The 1840 census is not an every-name census, and doesn't include as much detailed information as later census records.) However, I did find an entry for "Freder. Wolf" in Buffalo, New York, which included two males of the appropriate ages to be Frederick and his father-in-law, David, and one female of the appropriate age to be Frederick's wife, Mary (Freeland) Wolf. If this is the same Frederick Wolf, it appears that David Freeland's wife died by 1840.

I do not know when David Freeland died, but possibly sometime between 1860 and 1870. UPDATE: He died in 1862 in Buffalo, New York.

The names of his children that I do know include James, Barbara, Mary and Anna. I descend from his son James.

Generation 2:
James Freeland was born in Scotland sometime between 1815 and 1821. He married Nancy Rainey, whom I have written about, as she is one of my long-lived female ancestors. I have also written about James previously, as he was a plumber in the 1850 and 1860 census.

There are two men with the name of James Freeland who served in Union forces from Pennsylvania in the Civil War and it is possible that one of them is "my" James, but again, I need to do more research on that. He died about 1863, based on the family's listing in Pittsburgh City Directories in the 1860s.

They had at least five children, born between 1850 and 1858. Mary (b. 1850), William (b. 1854), Claudine (b. 1855), Edward, Emma (twins, b. 1858). In the post about Nancy Rainey Freeland, I shared several census records and city directory images showing.

I descend from their daughter Mary who I believe is the oldest.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1870 Death of Frances Adelaide McAlpin

Last week I shared the obituary of my third great-grandfather, Joseph Rose (1809-1877). His oldest child, a daughter and my second great-grandmother, pre-deceased him by seven years.

Over a year and a half ago, I wrote about Frances Adelaide (Rose) McAlpin in response to a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge. See Ancestral Name Roulette. I noted that Frances McAlpin had ten children and I shared her brief death notice.

New York Times, November 29, 1870

She was just a few months past her 41st birthday and I wondered what she died of. I recently obtained her death certificate.

Manhattan, New York deaths. FHL Microfilm 1324554, certificate no. 75063

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ~ Joseph Rose (1809-1877)

Thank you to the Matawan, New Jersey, historian who told me about the availability of The Matawan Journal at the website of the public library. The issue of December 8, 1877, has an extensive obituary of the recently deceased Joseph Rose, my 3rd great grandfather, on page 2 of this four page weekly newspaper. This obituary doesn't tell me much about his family, except that he and his wife were married for 50 years and had children, but it does tell me a lot about him: his integrity and honesty in politics and business dealings and how he treated all those in his life.

It is very hard to read and I have done my best to transcribe it below. If anyone can decipher the faded words in the last section, please let me know.  September 11, 2013 update: Thank you to Matawan local historian Al Savolaine for helping with deciphering some of these difficult-to-read words.

Mr. Joseph Rose
Rose, one of the oldest residents of this township. For two or three days it had been reported that he was very ill; but so vigorous had he always seemed that few anticipated a fatal result. He had been complaining for two or three weeks, but was not confined to his bed until Friday last and from that time he seemed to fall into a frequent stupor and unconsciousness, and died on Tuesday morning, 4th inst., at 9 o’clock. The cause of his sudden death was Bright’s disease of the kidneys, and the rapid degeneration of these organs produced a condition of uremia which hastened his end.

Mr. Rose was a gentleman of intelligence, integrity of moral character, sociability and possessed of a very warm and benevolent nature. He began business in New York city in very early life, was married before he was nineteen, and growing up with the growth of the city he won to him very many friends by the close adherence to business, promptness in all his business engagements and strict honesty in all his dealings.

While a resident of New York, he represented the city in the Legislature for one term and refused a renomination. He was a Democrat in politics, and a warm partisan. He served for two terms as Collector of City Revenue under Comptroller Flagg, and his integrity was held so high that on the election of Comptroller Haws, though politically an opponent, he was urged to remain in his position, and he continued as Collector of the Revenue until compelled by vertigo to resign. He, in occupying the above place, has much to do with negotiating the purchase of Central Park.

He was an office in the old City Guards; and an intimate associate of Hon. John Kelly, Judge Chas. P. Daley and other prominent men of New York.

About 45 years ago he purchased a farm at Cliffwood, and has ever since been the owner of the same. He owned the site of Rose Hill Cemetery [see Tombstone Tuesday ~ Rose], and sold it to the cemetery corporation. That place is honored with his name, and in it is his family plot where his remains will be interred. For several years prior to his permanent removal to New Jersey his family spent their summers at Cliffwood. Shortly after the severe attack of vertigo that compelled him to give up a lucrative position and a profitable business besides, he removed in 1860 to his farm and has for the past 17 years resided among us, endearing himself to this community, and during the time represented the township for one term in the Board of Freeholders.

On the 23d of October last, only about six weeks ago, a merry company gathered at his delightful home to join with him and his wife in celebrating their golden wedding. We referred then to the miniature sheaf of wheat overhanging their heads as a symbol of the ripening years. In his case, it becomes also the symbol of his having been gathered in by the great harvester, Death.

Mr. Rose will be missed not alone by his widow and large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; but the whole community, and in his benevolence his loss will be keenly felt by many living in the immediate vicinity of his home.

The funeral will take place on Monday next, 10th inst., at 1.30, P. M., the long delay being occasioned that the youngest son, from Colorado, might be present at the funeral.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Joseph Rose

According to a paragraph on page 53 of Matawan and Aberdeen: Of Town and Field, by Helen Henderson, of the Matawan Historical Association, found at Google Books, the Rose Hill Cemetery was established in 1858 on land previously owned by Joseph Rose, my third great-grandfather. The cemetery's highest point is where the Joseph Rose family plot is located and from there, you can see Raritan Bay and the skyline of New York City. My guess is that it has to be when the leaves are not on the trees (or before many of those trees were there), as we couldn't see those sites when we visited there a couple of weeks ago.

Having been told that the Rose family plot was at the highest point, we drove through the cemetery until we found it. While I took close up pictures with my iPhone and my son found half-buried, unreadable gravestones, my husband captured the plot from the side.

Rose Family obelisk

My third great-grandparents

Joseph Rose
Oct. 25th, 1809,
Dec. 4th, 1877
His Wife
Frances Stanton Willet
Jan 20th, 1807,
Oct. 26th, 1893

See Joseph Rose's Find A Grave memorial, which has links to the memorials for his wife Frances and a few of his children, as well as a link to a memorial for his father Joseph Rose (1770-1852) at this same cemetery.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Rose of New York and New Jersey

My immigrant Rose ancestor is Joseph Rose. It has been theorized that he was born about 1735 in England. I have been contacted a couple of times through my tree on asking me about his parentage but I don't have any information about where in England he was born or who his parents are.

NYC Directory for 1786, page 68
(NYC: H. J. Sachs & Company, 1905)
I also don't have information on when he immigrated to America, but he was in New York by 1786, when he is listed as a distiller in the NYC Directory for that year. (I don't know who "Rose, J. hair-dresser" is listed below "Rose, Joseph, distiller.")

It is said that he was a sea captain and a merchant.

His wife was Barbara Egburson / Egbertse, of Dutch ancestry. They were married in New York City on July 31, 1766.

His will can be found at under New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971. (Liber 46 p. 513 fol. old numbers, or p. 473 fol. new numbers.) (Thank you to fellow geneablogger and distant cousin, Leah, of Leah's Family Tree, for letting me know about this will.) The will was signed on March 20, 1805. He mentions his "beloved wife" Barbara and children, Mary (widow of Francis Lynch), Joseph, William, Isaac, Elizabeth, Ann, and youngest child, Samuel (who appeared to be the only one not yet 21 years old). His will also mentions that he has "certain claims against the British and French Governments" which he hopes will become part of his estate for his heirs.

Joseph Rose died February 28, 1807, less than a year after his wife, who died on April 13, 1806. They are buried together in New York City's Trinity Churchyard. See the Find A Grave memorial for Joseph and Barbara.

I descend from their son Joseph, believed to be his eldest son.

Generation 2: Joseph Rose was born about 1770 in New York and died on November 21, 1852, in Matawan, Monmouth County, New Jersey. He married Frances Stanton (daughter of Lodowick Stanton and Thankful Stanton) and they had six children. His wife died in November 1815. Her death is noted in the November 18, 1815, issue of the Weekly Museum, a New York newspaper (1788-1817) found at GenealogyBank.

Matawan is in red; Monmouth County
is gray and its location in NJ is at right.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
This Joseph was a merchant in New York, but by 1850, he was in Monmouth County, New Jersey, where I found him, 80 years old, living alone in Raritan in the U.S. Federal Census for that year.

It appears that he and his wife had six children who were all baptized at St. Mark's in New York City on April 4, 1816: Frances Maria, Joseph, William (or Willet?), Cordelia, Mary, and Lodowick.

Joseph died in 1852 and has a memorial at Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, New Jersey.

I descend from their son Joseph.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Aunt Lukie

My second great aunt Ruth Lyman Greeley Copeland died on November 21, 1975. A kind Find A Grave volunteer had set up memorials for my Copeland family members in Calais Cemetery, Calais, Maine, where my great-grandfather Lowell Copeland is buried with his siblings and parents. See Ruth Copeland's Calais Find A Grave memorial. The following photos are courtesy of Find A Grave volunteer Susan E. and were taken at Calais Cemetery, Calais, Maine.

Charles T. 1860-1952
Lowell 1862-1935
his wife
Ethel G. 1875-1931
his wife
Ruth G. 1878-
Katherine 1874-1924
wife of
Wm. H. Dunbar 1862-1935

Note that Lowell's second wife, Ruth G., is noted with a birth year and not a death year.

Well it turns out that she is actually buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois, with her parents. See her Chicago Find A Grave memorial.

Photo courtesy Find A Grave volunteer R Lerch
Ruth Greeley
July 14, 1878 - Nov. 21, 1975

I previously wrote about the plot card for this lot. If you didn't know the family, you might wonder why a Copeland was buried in the Greeley lot in Chicago. Well, now you know: Samuel Sewall Greeley (1824-1916) was her father.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Matrilineal Monday ~ Aunt Lukie, Part 2

Aunt Lukie in my
grandparents' wedding photo
I summarized the records I found about my second great aunt, Ruth Lyman (Greeley) Copeland, in last week's post. As you may remember, she married her sister Ethel's husband, Lowell Copeland, after her sister died, becoming not only my second great aunt, but my step-great-grandmother.

My mother has many memories of her step-grandmother, whom she knew as Aunt Lukie, who died when my mother was 40. She is remembered as a somewhat odd and not particularly nice woman.

When my mother was growing up in Pittsburgh, Aunt Lukie would periodically come and visit the family. My maternal grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, was Aunt Lukie's nephew and step-son. After her sister Ethel died, Lukie agreed to come to Princeton (N.J.) and "keep house" for her brother-in-law, my great-grandfather Lowell Copeland. She said it didn't "look good" for them to live together, so they got married.

My great-grandfather, Lowell Copeland, died on Christmas Eve, 1935. Every Christmas after that, Aunt Lukie would write her step-son, my grandfather, a letter. I don't know what was in these letters, but my mother remembers her father saying that "Aunt Lukie drove my father to an early grave."

When Aunt Lukie came to visit, Grandfather would have a golf game... or would go out to weed the garden... or prune the rose bushes... or anything to get out of the house. "He found every excuse in the book to be as far away from Aunt Lukie as possible" as my mother remembers it. He did not like his step-mother and wanted to spend as little time with her as possible. As my mother told me: "Grandfather couldn't stand her."

My mother's maternal grandmother, Marguerite Lysle, whom I have written about before, was born in 1876, and therefore only two years older than Aunt Lukie, born in 1878. (You can see both of them in my grandparents' 1931 wedding photo.) However, after Marguerite had a heart attack in 1952, every time Aunt Lukie would ask about Grandmother's mother, she would ask in such a way that implied that Marguerite was a great deal older, but she was only two years older than Aunt Lukie, which infuriated my grandmother Helen.

My mother remembers Aunt Lukie telling her and her sister when they were young that "You girls don't have to worry about spilling any secrets to me, you talk so fast and you mumble so much I can't understand a word you say."

Aunt Lukie spent her later life in Framingham, Massachusetts, close enough for my mother and her to visit with each other. She died in 1975 at 97 years old.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hurstmont ~ An Update

I started this blog with a post that included information about Hurstmont, the estate of my paternal great-grandparents, James Tolman Pyle and his wife, Frances Adelaide (McAlpin) Pyle.

I later shared some photos of the estate in its heyday, as well as some photos we took when we visited. This post includes a link to the June 1907 issue of American Homes and Gardens in Google Books which had an extensive article about Hurstmont, photos of which are included in the first video below.

I also found that I have an aerial photo of the estate.

Click here to read more about James Pyle and Sons successful Pyle's Pearline soap business.

Thank you to my cousin, who shared the link to a July 19, 2013, article in the Observer-Tribune (a New Jersey Hills Media Group newspaper) entitled "Three new homes OK’d for Hurstmont property in Harding". I'm glad that the current owner, an architect, was able to come to an agreement with the local Board of Adjustment that saves at least part of the mansion.

In addition, my cousin also suggested that I search on YouTube for Hurstmont and check out some videos that have been posted there. I found the following videos (really slideshows) which are from the local realtor's YouTube page. These give you a wonderful sense of the beauty of the landscape, the former grandness of the estate, and the wonderful potential of these four new and renovated properties.

Update: Because the property has been sold, the realtor's videos are no longer available to view, so I have removed the links from this post.

The former mansion will be renovated and diminished in size.

The former carriage house, which is behind and to the right of the mansion, will be renovated.

This will be a new home called the Tennis Cottage, which looks like it will be built to the right of the current driveway just after you turn off Mount Kemble Avenue.

And this will be the Garden Cottage, which looks like it will be built where the former gardens were.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Matrilineal Monday ~ Aunt Lukie, Part 1

My great-grandfather, Lowell Copeland was married twice. He married Ethel May Greeley (see her photo here) on January 1, 1900, in Winnetka, Illinois. I shared their marriage record on one of my very early blog posts. My grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, was born on December 21, 1900. Two sisters followed: Elizabeth (Betty) in 1903 and Ruth in 1907.

My grandparents married on September 5, 1931. His mother, Ethel, died on October 3, 1931, at the age of 55.

Ethel's younger sister, Ruth Lyman Greeley, was born July 14, 1878, in Chicago, Illinois. She was known in the family as Aunt Lukie. Not only is she my 2nd great aunt, but she is my step-great-grandmother. (So for those in my mother's generation, she is great aunt and step-grandmother.)

By the 1910 U.S. Census, Ruth L. Greeley was living in Boston, at 15 Pinckney Street, with her mother's youngest sister, Ruth Lyman Wells (1862 - 1943) and an Irish servant.

1910 U.S. Federal Census, Boston Ward 11, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_618; Page: 5A;
Enumeration District: 1413. Record for Ruth L. Wells and Ruth L. Greeley.

Ruth Lyman Wells was 48 years old and born in Massachusetts. Ruth Lyman Greeley was 32 years old and born in Illinois. Under occupation, both show "Own Income."


In 1920, Aunt Ruth Wells and Niece Ruth Greeley were still living together on Beacon Hill, now at 5 Lime Street.

1920 U.S. Federal Census, Boston Ward 8, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_742; Page: 10A;
Enumeration District: 228. Record for Ruth Wells and Ruth Greely.
This time, Aunt Ruth Wells is recorded as 57 years old, but Niece Ruth Greeley is 49, where it should have been 41. I don't know who Dorothy Hill, age 17 is; there are several Dorothy Hills in Massachusetts birth records in 1902 and 1903.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Who Was Mary Eliza Wells?

I recently found on Find A Grave that several Wells family members were buried in Old Hopkinton Cemetery, Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Most were buried together in one plot. My 4th great-grandparents, Dr. Thomas G. Wells (1780-1849) and wife Lucinda Lyman Wells (1785-1860) are buried there with most of their children. Dr. Thomas G. Wells' Find-A-Grave Memorial is linked to his wife's memorial and nine of his ten children's memorials. Six of his children are buried in Old Hopkinton Cemetery.

However, his son Thomas Goodwin Wells (1804-1873) is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. (I shared their Find-A-Grave memorials in September 2012.) I am descended from him and his wife, Elizabeth Sewall Willis (1820-1900). They were married in Newburyport, Massachusetts on November 6, 1838.

I always thought that Elizabeth was his only wife, until I recently received notice of a fulfilled photo request for an unknown Mary Eliza Wells (1808-1836) who was buried in Old Hopkinton Cemetery.

Find-A-Grave Memorial# 83322264
Photo courtesy of alden
wife of
Thomas G. Wells,
Obt. April 16, 1836.
AEt. 28 years.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Samuel Greele's Fourth Wife ~ Solving a Mystery

In my last post, I noted that my third great-grandfather Samuel Greele (1783 - 1861) had four wives. This is documented in the Greely-Greeley Genealogy (page 303), as well as in an obituary for Samuel Greele in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register from 1861 (pp. 360-361). These secondary sources provide details about his first three wives and note that he is survived by his fourth wife, the former Sarah Follansbee Emerson.

The name of Sarah Follansbee Emerson comes from the Newburyport, Massachusetts, marriage record. Newburyport Marriage records are found in Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, variations of which can be found at,, and handwritten and in printed form. Two examples follow:

Newburyport, Essex County, "Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850." Marriages, Vol. 2, p. 196.

(C.R. 1. indicates that the record source is "church record, First Religious Society (Unitarian).")

"Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images,
Record for Samuel Greele and Sarah F. Emerson, 1844, left hand page.
"Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images,
Record for Samuel Greele and Sarah F. Emerson, 1844, right hand page.
This record provides more information: That Reverend Thomas B. Fox, Pastor of the First Religious Society in Newburyport officiated at the marriage in Newburyport on October 8, 1844. Samuel Greele, widower, is a merchant in Boston, and didn't report the names of his parents. Sarah F. Emerson, single, is of Newburyport and her father's name is Thomas. (Note that his surname is not noted and her mother's name is not listed.)

Each of these note that Sarah F. Emerson or Sarah F[ollansbee] Emerson married Samuel Greele on October 8, 1844. She was not quite 40 and he was just over 60 years old.