Saturday, September 25, 2010

Forgotten branch?

One of the pursuits in genealogy is to assemble all of the children of a couple.  Only heads of household are listed in census years before 1850.  If the children left the nest before the 1850 census, you will need to assemble the family piece by piece.
Garret Duryea and Ann Cornell had lots of children.  I started with three siblings- Fannie, Stephen, and George- and then incorporated the parents.  The children seemed to be born in New York- Long Island or New York City- starting around 1810 and complete by 1834, when Garret died.  My theoretical fourth sibling, John, died in 1836, leaving behind a pregnant wife, Sarah, and a daughter, Catherine Jane, information obtained from his will.

Will of John H. Duryea, probated 1836 in New York City

I found a big piece of the puzzle when I received the estate papers of Fannie Duryea, widow of Abraham Brewer.  She died intestate in 1901 in Rockland County, New York.  Her estate was divided among her surviving sibling and the children of her deceased siblings.  I found previously unknown siblings, Jacob, Mary, and Sarah, and confirmed that Stephen and George were indeed brothers to each other and Fannie as originally theorized.  The problem was that John’s child or children were not mentioned in the estate papers.
John’s widow was last seen in the 1848-49 New York City directory for a “fancy store.”  Had she given birth in 1836, and did that child survive?  What about Catherine Jane?  She may have died or remarried just before the 1850 census, precluding me from finding her intact family.

Doggett's New York City Directory 1848-1849, page 135

Following Stephen Duryea’s death in 1887, his widow, Mary, remarried in Jersey City in 1890 to Alfred D. Eyre (this scenario is a separate blog post to come).  The witnesses were Mrs. Kate Lockwood and H. A. Lockwood.
Always research the witnesses to a marriage.  By looking at their entries in the census and the Jersey City city directories, I discovered that Mrs. Kate Lockwood was actually the Catherine Jane Duryea mentioned in her father’s will in 1836; Harry Abram Lockwood was her husband.  By figuring this out, I was able to find her mother, Sarah, who had remarried to Joseph L. Scott; and the baby that Sarah was pregnant with in the 1836 will- Elizabeth Duryea, who had married Joseph Henley and had children.
Yet you will not find a marriage record for Catherine or Kate Duryea to Harry Abram Lockwood.  This is because she married in 1869 as Kate Leander, widow.  Her mother is listed as Sarah M. Scott, not her maiden name, Moffet, and nowhere is Duryea mentioned.
What is puzzling about this branch is that it is left out of Fannie Brewer’s 1901 estate disbursement.  As I previously wrote, I visited the plot for this branch at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn; however, the death dates of Sarah and her two daughters are not on the stone or on the burial transcript.  Kate and Harry Abram Lockwood are last seen in the 1900 census in Jersey City.  I do not know if Kate and Elizabeth died before their aunt Fannie died in 1901.  I do know that Elizabeth had at least one child, Augustus B. Henley, who was alive in 1901.  According to his gravestone, he died in 1931.  I initially thought that the family forgot about John, as he was probably one of the earlier siblings, dead in 1836 when several of the other siblings were still very little and could never remember him.  But the presence of Kate Lockwood’s signature on the 1890 marriage of Mary Duryea to Alfred D. Eyre shows that the family did know about John’s children and their whereabouts.
So why did the children of John Duryea, Fannie’s deceased brother, not inherit from her estate in 1901?  I do not know.  Still more searching to do.