Monday, June 6, 2022

Locating the Death Certificate of Jennie Bishop in 1957

My great great grandmother, Minnie Caroline Bishop (1866-1910), had a sister named Jennie Maud Bishop (1878-1957). They were buried in the same plot and share a gravestone at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, Union County, New Jersey. (The cemetery stretches across the Township of Hillside and the City of Elizabeth. This grave lies in Hillside.)

Gravestone at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, New Jersey.
Children of William Reuben Bishop and Susan Jane Marsh.
William F. January 19, 1973 - March 20, 1895.
Mabel E. September 3, 1868 - April 17, 1907.
Minnie E. Wife of Charles E Cook. February 19, 1866 - March 25, 1910.
Jennie Maud. 1878 - 1957.

Evergreen Cemetery's records are available for viewing.

Picture of plot listing at Evergreen Cemetery owned by William R Bishop.
William F Bishop, age 22, buried March 24, 1895.
Mabel E Bishop, age 37, buried April 21, 1907.
Minnie Caroline Cook [nee Bishop], age 44, buried March 28, 1910.
William Bishop, age 72, buried April 29, 1915.
Susan Jane Bishop [nee Marsh], age 83, buried January 21, 1932.
Eugene T Bishop, age 60, buried May 4, 1936.
Miss Jennie M Bishop, age 74, buried July 5, 1957.
Lafon Allen Foster, age 57, buried March 7, 1964.
Bessie Foster [nee Gulick], age 54, buried March 7, 1964.
Bessie Gulick [nee Bishop], age 85, buried June 9, 1972.

When the 1957 death certificates became available at the New Jersey State Archives, I looked for Jennie Maud Bishop's record. She was buried in July 5, 1957. The index for death records has an entry for Jennie J Bishop, died in August of 1957. Close and worth a look. (Note: if you cannot travel to the Archives, you can request a copy from the Department of Health, but the cause of death will be blocked. Although the Archives holds the record, it is not authorize to release it via mail because it is too recent.)

New Jersey index of deaths
Available online at or

Good that I did look at this death certificate. This is not my Jennie. This is the record for Jennie Josephine Bishop, born Tier, wife of John Michael Bishop. She was born in Jersey City in 1884. She died in Long Branch on August 4, 1957 and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.

Death certificate of Jennie Josephine Bishop.
Born June 15, 1884 in Jersey City.
Died August 4, 1957 in Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

I remembered how I recently found a death record in Florida for a great great great grandmother. I checked Florida's death index. A possible match for Jennie appeared.

Online Florida death index at

The turnaround time for a record request is only a few weeks and the cost is a mere $5. (Go Florida!)

This is the death record for my great great grandaunt, Jennie Bishop. She died on July 2, 1957, age 74, in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida. She had uterine cancer.

Death certificate of Jennie Maud Bishop.
Born October 25, 1882 in Newark, New Jersey.
Died July 2, 1957 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Although Jennie's death certificate has her date of birth as 1882, this cannot be. Jennie was enumerated in the 1880 census as age 2.

1880 federal census. 29 Cross Street, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.
Wm R Bishop, age 37; locomotive engineer.
Susan, wife, age 32.
Minnie, daughter, age 14.
Mabel, daughter, age 11.
Emma, daughter, age 9.
Willie, son, age 7.
Eugene, son, age 5.
Jennie, daughter, age 2.
Georgie, daughter, age 8 months.

Jennie's sister, my great great grandmother Minnie, also died of uterine cancer, but at an earlier age. Jennie was the informant on that record.

Death certificate of Minnie Caroline Cook, born Bishop.
Born February 19, 1866 in Newark.
Died March 25, 1910 at 224 North 3rd Street, Newark.

Why did Jennie move to Florida? Was she staying with any family? I have not found a marriage record for her.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Family Documents: Howard Lutter, Mason

 A family member kindly sent me keepsakes and photographs! (Thank you D. N.)

Below is a document commemorating my great grandfather, Howard Lutter (1889-1959), becoming a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason in Newark, New Jersey. He signed December 4, 1932.

Signature of Howard Lutter
1932 Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

On Howard's gravestone is the Masonic square and compasses with the letter G.

Gravestone for Howard H Lutter (1889-1959)
Glen Haven Memorial Park
Sylmar, Los Angeles County, California
Picture courtesy of Bill Burgess

I found two other instances of Howard's signature: the certificate of his second marriage and the piano rolls he created.

Signature of Howard Lutter
1928 marriage certificate New York City
bride- Fiorita L Winnie

Signature of Howard Lutter
piano rolls

More goodies to follow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Divorce in the Newspapers

Charles Luther (1862-1919) was a brother of Herman Lutter, my great great grandfather.

I tried to uncover what I could about the life of Charles. He lived in Newark, New Jersey after arriving from Germany in the 1880s.

In 1887 he married Theresa Tornow (various spellings) (1865-1949) in Chicago, Illinois. From 1887 through 1907, the couple had at least eight children: Edith, Sophia (1892-1977), Kartha, Martha, Joan, Elsie, Karl, and Otto.

By 1900 they relocated to Wisconsin. By 1910, they relocated to Brooklyn, New York. Theresa remarried to Frederick Brink (1846-1930) in 1917 after divorcing Charles.

On February 28, 1919, Charles Luther died in Newark, Essex County New Jersey. He is buried in a plot with his ex-wife at The Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Thank you to FindAGrave member JP Rayder for taking a picture of Charles' gravestone. Note that the date of death on the stone is April 30, 1919.

Gravestone at Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York
Father Charles Luther
Jan 14, 1862 - Apr. 30, 1919
Mother Therese Luther Brink
June 9, 1865 - Mar 11, 1949

The Standard Union and the Brooklyn Times newspapers of Brooklyn, New York ran articles about the divorce of Charles Luther and Theresa Tornow. Their daughter, Sophia, trailed her father, finding him with another woman.

In the 1910 census, Sophia's occupation was "Artist Fashion Drawer." She lived with her parents and seven siblings at 635 Hamburg Avenue in Brooklyn. She married Ralph Baldwin in 1926 in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut. The first article called her a "young artist" and that she "laid aside her artist's brush to follow her father."

Below are transcriptions of the newspaper articles. Charles was not cooperative with the divorce proceedings. Sophie gathered evidence against her father; namely, that he was with another woman.

These articles depict a dysfunctional family that could easily sound like a modern-day Lutter family (my cousins, you know what I mean).

Brooklyn Times Union (Brooklyn, New York). Thursday, July 6, 1916. Page 1.

Miss Luther Played Sleuth Through Tenderloin.
Decision in Case Deferred by Judge Benedict.

Miss Sophie Luther, painter, testifying to-day in the suit for divorce which her mother, Mrs Grace Luther, of 214 Sumpter street, has brought against Charles Luther, related how she laid aside her artist’s brush to trail her father through the lower Tenderloin in Manhattan to investigate rumors about him, finally securing at a hotel on Twenty-third street the evidence she used against him.
Rumors often came to us concerning our father,” testified Miss Luther, who is 24, and one of eight children. “But we seldom found anything tangible. Of course, it caused a great deal of unhappiness. I therefore hired a detective and once followed father to Fourteenth street, but I lost him there. I did not secure the evidence I was seeking until last April 29.
In reply to questions from Supreme Court Justice Benedict, Miss Luther said that she has a studio at 303 Fifth avenue, Manhattan, and has realized a substantial income thus far this year.
The Luthers were married in Chicago twenty-nine years ago. Luther now lives at 376 Marion street. Of their eight children, all but a married daughter live with the mother. One daughter is a designer and another a school teacher.
Samuel Kaplan, who said he owns the hotel on East Twenty-third street, referred to by Miss Luther in her evidence, aroused Justice Benedict’s ire by saying the hotel register sheets of the day in question had been destroyed by water.
“His testimony is worthless,” said the Court.
Karl F White, of 191 Flatbush avenue, testified that, in company with Miss Luther, he had served the summons and complaint in the action on Luther. Then he admitted he went back days after to have Luther pointed out to him by an Italian.
“Why was that?” asked Justice Benedict.
“I wanted to be sure,” replied White.
“But you have already sworn to having served this man.”
“I wanted to play safe,” replied White.
“Mr Luther must be brought here to be identified,” said the Justice. “I’ll set the matter over until July 12.”

The Standard Union (Brooklyn, New York). Wednesday, July 6, 1916. Page 1.

Miss Luther Tells of Visits to Tenderloin, Where Parent Frequented Cafes.

How she laid aside her artist’s brush to follow her father through the lower Tenderloin in Manhattan was related by Miss Sophia Luther to Supreme Court Justice Benedict to-day. The young woman, who is about 24 years old, was testifying for her mother, Mrs Grace Luther, of 214 Sumpter street, who married Charles Luther twenty-nine years ago in Chicago and is now seeking a divorce.
Luther, according to his wife and daughter, left their home two years ago. He now lives at 376 Marion street. There are eight children. All except one daughter, who is married, live with the mother.
“Rumors often came to us concerning our father,” testified the young artist, “but we seldom found anything tangible. Of course, it caused a great deal of unhappiness. Often my father boasted of what he had done. I therefore hired a detective and once followed father to Fourteenth street, but lost him there.
“Other nights when I thought he’d go out, I’d watch his house. One time, I followed him and another man to Fourteenth street and watched them.
The girl however, did not secure the evidence she desired until April 29.
The case was [illegible] over until July 12.

Brooklyn Times Union (Brooklyn, New York). Wednesday, July 12, 1916. Page 1.


Judge Refuses Wife Divorce Till He Appears.
Sophia, Daughter Sleuth, Finds His Shop to Let.

That the fear of being taxed with alimony in the suit for divorce brought by his wife, Mrs Theresa Luther, of 214 Sumpter street, has caused Charles Luther to close his carpenter shop at 376 Marion street, to evade being summoned to court for the purpose of identification, was revealed to-day when the trial of the action was resumed before Justice Benedict in the Supreme Court.
Miss Sophia Luther, painter, who has a studio at 303 Fifth avenue, Manhattan, testified that she had tried since Wednesday but could not locate him. His shop is “To Let.”
Nevertheless, Justice Benedict said he must have Luther brought to court to be identified in person, although a photograph of his was identified and introduced into evidence. He will defer decision in the case until F H Gerrodette, attorney for Mrs Luther, produces the missing defendant. The case was postponed without date, and the lawyer can produce the missing man whenever he locates him, Justice Benedict said.
Further light was thrown on the alleged excursions of Luther into the lower Tenderloin in Manhattan. Miss Sophia Luther, the artist, testified that on the night of April 28 last, accompanied by Jacob G Hamburger, a detective, she trailed her father from his place of business to the Hotel Hudsonia, on East Twenty-third street, Manhattan. Her father, another man and two women entered the place at 12:20 AM on April 29, she said, and they left at about 2 AM.
“Well,” asked Justice Benedict, “weren’t you afraid your father might see you?”
“I did not care about that,” replied Miss Luther. “I wanted to see him.”
Detective Hamburger, employed at the Hotel Bossert, corroborated Miss Luther’s testimony. He said that when Luther and the party of three entered the Hotel Hudsonia, he followed them into the place.
“I saw Mr Luther sign the register,” said Hamburger. “He wrote, ‘Mr Luther and wife, of Brooklyn, NY,’ and I wrote my name right under his signature.”
“How could you see what he wrote?” asked Justice Benedict.
“I was standing right next to him, as I was the next one waiting to register.”
“Where was Miss Luther all this time?”
“She was waiting outside. I left her outside the hotel when I followed the party into the hotel.”
Miss Martha Luther, another daughter, also testified. She said her father, when asked where he had been when he did not come at night, “merely laughed, shrugged his shoulders and said he had been out all night with another woman.”

The Standard Union (Brooklyn, New York). Wednesday, July 12, 1916. Page 5.


Charles Luther, a carpenter, of 376 Marion street, who is being sued for divorce by his wife, Theresa, of 214 Sumpter street, did not appear in court to-day as Supreme Court Justice Benedict ordered he should.
Testimony against Luther was given last Wednesday by his daughter, Sophia. Luther made no defense. Justice Benedict directed his appearance to-day.
Miss Luther said she made efforts since last Wednesday to see her father, but found it futile. There is a “To Let” sign over his shop, she said.
Justice Benedict said a decree cannot be given Mrs Luther until her husband is properly identified in court.