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© Paul R. Swan    10 May 2016 15:09 Return to Home Page Hide All Notes Swan~Hartzell Family History


b 1724      d ____
b 1724      d ____
b 1748      d ____
b 1752      d ____
b 1771      d 1836
b 1771      d 1837
b 1806      d 1868
b 1811      d ____
b 1839      d 1922
b 1827      d 1910


We know a considerable amount about the life of our immigrant ancestor Hamilton Brown. Our sources range from family notes handed down to us from earlier generations, to census records, a marriage licence, citizenship papers and the New York City directories which provide a year by year record of his residences and business locations as a weaver and watchglass maker. In contrast, his ancestors can only be identified from generation to generation through circumstantial evidence. However, this evidence seems to be strong enough to claim that we have in fact found Hamilton's ancestry.

What we do know from records overseas and in this country is that Hamilton was born in Scotland around 1806. Also, we know he was in Manhattan, New York City by the time of his first marriage in 1833. He was recorded there in the city directories as a weaver from 1838 to 1842, just four blocks from where he then started his watchglass making business in 1846. Finally, we know that he moved to Brooklyn, then an independent city, in 1852 and lived there the rest of his life.

A common theme in Scottish families of Hamilton's time and earlier was the use of naming conventions for the children of the family. The first son would be named after his father's father, the second after his mother's father. Similarly, the first daughter after her mother's mother, and the next after her father's mother. So, if Hamilton followed this convention in naming his children, his parents should be Alexander and Mary Brown (first son, second daughter).

In searching the Scottish records, we find first of all that Hamilton is a quite rare given name. There are only about a score of male Hamilton Brown births recorded in the IGI for Scotland, and about half that many females, as compared to literally thousands of Alexander Browns, for example. And among those few Hamiltons, we find only one possible match as to age, a Hamilton Brown born 17 August 1806 to Alexander Brown and Mary McNaught in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland. These parental names are just what the naming convention would predict.

This couple in addition to Hamilton also had four older children, Mary, Katharine, William and Alexander, the latter being just two years older than Hamilton. These names according to the naming conventions imply that Alexander, Sr.'s parents would have been William and Katharine. Looking again for all of Scotland, one family stands out immediately – William Brown and Kathrine Hamilton, whose son Alexander's baptism 8 Sep 1771 and daughter Janet's 29 Dec 1774 were recorded in the same Stevenston Parochial Register! This brings up a bonus bit of circumstantial evidence, Kathrine's maiden name of Hamilton. Note that Hamilton was a third son in Alexander and Mary's family. One naming convention would give him his father's name, an alternate convention would have him named after his father's brother. But Hamilton's older brother had already been given the name of their father, and William and Kathrine didn't have a second son. So Hamilton was given his grandmother's maiden name instead, despite the fact that it wasn't a name very often given to a child in Scotland.

As we will see, Hamilton's brother Alexander named a daughter Hamilton, an even rarer occurence. And in this country, our Hamilton's daughter Jane and her husband James W. Swan named a son Hamilton, and that Hamilton in turn named a son William Hamilton Swan. This last William Hamilton, who died 30 Oct 1918 in France during World War I, was the last we know of who carried the maiden name of Kathrine Hamilton Brown, born about 140 years before him.

There is, however, an alternate possibility which should be mentioned for completeness concerning the parents of our Alexander Brown. William Brown and Katherine McNeil had a son Alexander (as well as other children) baptised 2 Sep 1777 in Stevenston. This couple fits the location and naming convention, and their ages are satisfactory even though this Alexander is six years younger. The only distinction is that Kathrine was a Hamilton, thus providing the name of her grandson. While I think the argument is sound for the choice I've made here, there is no documentary evidence to distinguish between these two families.

The Hearth Tax list for Stevenston Parish in 1691 includes Robert Broun, Robert Broune and William Broun, all of whom would have lived one or two generations before William's father John. Our progenitor's surname was spelled Broun at the birth of his son William, although it appeared as Brown thereafter, so the different spellings do not necessarily indicate a different lineage. No connection has been traced, however, between those three men and our John Brown.

As for the surname Brown, itself, Eleanor Patrick wrote on GenForum June 1, 2001: "I am the Indiana Commissioner for Clan Lamont and you are right, Brown is a Sept of Clan Lamont, also a Sept of Clan MacMillan. There was a terrible time (1646) when Clan Campbell attacked Clan Lamont and almost destroyed them forever. Many Lamonts who escaped the attack, or were living someplace other than Cowal in Argyllshire, changed their names to Black, Brown and White at that time. The fact that your ancestor was in Ayr probably means he was part of Clan Lamont." Other sources on Clan MacMillan implicitly exclude Ayrshire from their Brown Sept, so it does appear that the very earliest ancestors of our Brown line might have been affiliated with Clan Lamont. Here is the tartan of that clan:

IMAGE: Clan_Lamont_tartan.jpg
Clan Lamont tartan

This part of the coast of Ayrshire lies on the Firth of Clyde in southwestern Scotland about 20 to 25 miles southwest of Paisley and Glasgow, Renfrew County. According to the "Ayrshire Directory" by Pigot and Co., 1837, their main industrial activities were coal export, shipping and at one time ship building, the manufacture of salt by boiling seawater, and weaving of muslims and other cloths for the Glasgow and Paisley markets. At least three generations of our direct Brown ancestors, John, Alexander and Hamilton, were weavers; William was described as a salter.

Here is a detail from "A New Map of Ayrshire", Andrew Armstrong, 1775, which shows the three towns of Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan in which our Brown and McNaught ancesters resided:

IMAGE: Three_Towns_Ayrshire.jpg
Three Towns of Northern Ayrshire

In order to provide a pictorial map of the Scottish lineages in our ancestry, the tree below shows the ancestry of Hamilton Brown. His daughter Jane, who married James Swan, was the last of our line of Browns.

IMAGE: Scottish_Tree.jpg
Our Scottish Ancestry

John Brown  &  Agness Gulliland
John 1, William 2, Alexander 3, Hamilton 4 m1 m2, Jane 5 Gulliland Top  

John Brown was born about 1724 in Scotland. 

John and Agness Gulliland were married 8 Feb 1747 in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

Agness Gulliland was born in Scotland and baptized 21 Jun 1724 in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland.  She was the daughter of David and Janet (Whitefoord) Gulliland.

That John Brown and Agnes Gulliland are the parents of William Brown is somewhat less well established than later generations discussed in the introduction to this lineage, because William named his first and only son Alexander, not John. However, the naming conventions may not have taken root quite this early, but the lack of this particular kind of evidence as to Alexander's grandfather must be cautionary.

On the positive side, the date and location of the birth of their son William, born in Crofthead and baptised in Ardrossan in 1748 are what one could reasonably expect for our William's parents.

IMAGE: William_Brown_Ardrossan.gif
John Broun weaver in Crofthead & Agnes Guileland had a lawfl Son called
William born Jany ye 11th baptized the 24th 1748

I had originally believed that this "Crofthead" referred to a town just north of the town of Kilwinning. However, Margaret Scott points out that there defintely was an area called Crofthead in Saltcoats. It is now called Manse Street, and it houses among other establishments the North Ayrshire Museum and a graveyard. She notes that if the town Crofthead were meant, the birth record in Ardrossan would have stated "Crofthead, Kilwinning". Manse Street is west of the dividing line in Saltcoats between Ardrossan Parish on the west, and Stevenston Parish on the east, so the record in the Ardrossan Parochial Register would not have explicitly named a parish in conjunction with the designation Crofthead.

Another John Brown reasonably close to Ardrossan was the son of John and Margarat Brown born in Irvine, five miles down the coast, on 12 Jan 1724. He would have been 24 at the time William was born. I'm leaving the question of John's identity completely open at this time since John and Agnes could have moved to Crofthead from somewhere else before the birth of William. In Northern Ayrshire, within eight or ten miles of Ardrossan, there were over two dozen John Browns born between 1722 and 1732!

Identifying the marriage of John and Agnes was made somewhat difficult by the highly variable spelling of her surname throughout the Ayrshire records. (The IGI for Scotland has Gulliland and Gilliland as the most common spellings, indexed separately, but 19 spellings in all appear there.) There's only one marriage, however, of about the right date.

IMAGE: Brown_Gulliland_marriage.gif
John Brown and Agnes Guliland in this
parish hath given in their Names for procla
mation in Order for Marriage Jany 30th
Married Febuary Eigth 1747

The three records of that marriage submitted to the IGI spell it Gilinland, but that spelling does not appear in any other record in all of Scotland. Except when citing specific sources, I'll use Gulliland as that is the spelling recorded in the SCR for Agnes' birth and that of her father.

The Scottish Church Records (SCR) entry for William Brown's birth shows the parents as John Broun and Agnes Guileland. After that, John's name is consistently spelled Brown. The spelling Broun seems to have been the choice in earlier years. The SCR entries for the births of Jannet and Marion spell their mother's name as Gulieland, and for the youngest child Jean it's spelled Guileland, as it was for William, the eldest.

The birth of James born 5 Feb 1750 in Ardrossan to John Brown and Agnes Gilinland [IGI] does not appear in the Scottish Church Records nor the Ardrossan Parochial Registers, so where the information for the submission to the IGI came from, with a complete date, is unknown. It's possible that this is one of the records obtained from a Monumental Inscription, statuary memorials of Northern Ayrshire which are, unfortunately, only available in the Ardrossan Library. (These inscriptions were copied in 1983 in eleven large volumes, indexed by surnames, located by maps of the graveyards and cemeteries and each stone photographed.) Since the date conflicts with that of Jannet, I'm not accepting James in this family for now.

There is a record on, citing "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", recording the birth of a son John to John Brown on 2 Feb 1758, christened 4 Feb in Stevenston, but the name of the mother is not given. This would conveniently fill the seven year gap between the two youngest daughters in John and Agness' family. I think it likely that this John is their son, but cannot claim that that is so without more evidence. A search of the Stevenston record to see if there was only one John Brown having children about that time would increase the probability of that supposition.

Similarly, the birth and christening in Stevenston of an unnamed son of John Brown on 11 May 1759, eleven months before the birth of Jean, their youngest daughter, might also be a child of John and Agness.

The four children of John and Agness (Gulliland) Brown:   William, Jannet, Marion and Jean. 

1    Brown, William was born 11 Jan 1748.    

2    Brown, Jannet was born in Scotland. 

From the Ardrossan Parochial Registers:

John Brown weaver in Crofthead and Agnes Gulieland his spouse had a lawfull Daughter named Jannet born Febr 3th baptised Febr 11th 1750

There were two Janet Browns married in Stevenston either of whom could be this Jannet. One married Archibald Steel on 23 Dec 1784 [SPR; FR342, APR; FR292], and the other Thomas Young on 16 Nov 1789 [SPR; FR349]. The other Janet was born 9 Apr, baptised 11 Apr 1749 in Stevenston to William Brown, Sailor in Stevenston (mother's name not given, even though she was named as the sponsor in the absence of the father!) [SPR; FR66], who could have been the bride for one of these marriages.

3    Brown, Marion was born 8 Jul 1753 in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

There is no record of a marriage for a Marion Brown in Stevenston. From the Ardrossan Parochial Registers for 1760:

John Brown weaver in Saltcoats and Agnes Gulieland his Spouse had a lawfull Daughter called Marion born July 8th baptised July 12th 1758

4    Brown, Jean was born 13 Apr 1760 in Scotland. 

From the Ardrossan Parochial Registers for April, 1760:

John Brown weaver in Saltcoats and Agnes Guileland his Spouse had a lawfull Daughter named Jean born ye 13th baptised the Same Day

As is the case for her sister Jannet, there are two marriage records for a Jane Brown in Stevenston. One Jane married 16 Jan 1783 to Robert Cochran, the other 22 Jun 1783 to William Esdale [IGI]. The distinction between Jean and Jane is probably irrelevant.

William Brown  &  Kathrine Hamilton
John 1, William 2, Alexander 3, Hamilton 4 m1 m2, Jane 5 Hamilton (1) Top  

William Brown was born 11 Jan 1748 in Crofthead, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

William and Kathrine Hamilton were married about 1770 in Ayrshire, Scotland. 

Kathrine Hamilton was born 15 May 1752 in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland.  She was the daughter of James and Ann (Hamilton) Hamilton.

William Brown was a salter in Saltcoats. The principle business of the town was the boiling of seawater to make salt, and his description as a salter in the birth records of his children indicates that was his trade. As we indicated above, William was born in Crofthead, Kilwinning Parish. The entry in the Ardrossan Parochial Registers:

IMAGE: William_Brown_Ardrossan.gif
John Broun weaver in Crofthead & agnes Guileland had a laufl Son called
William born Jany ye 11th baptized the 24th 1748

A William Brown of Stevenston died 14 Jan 1825 [SPR; FR778], but it's difficult to determine whether or not that was our William. Another William had died in Parkend, Stevenston, on 31 Oct 1823 [SPR; FR777]. Marriage: [IGI]

Kathrine's birth and baptism appear in the Ardrossan Parochial Registers:

IMAGE: Kathrine_Hamilton_Ardrossan.gif
James Hamilton Salter at the Pans Stevenston ____ of Saltcts
And Ann Hamilton his Spouse had a lawfull Daughter called
Kathrine born May 15th baptized May 17th 1750

The baptisms of William and Kathrine's two children were registered in both Stevenston and Ardrossan parishes. When their children were born in 1771 and 1775, William was described as a "salter", and their town of residence was Saltcoats, on the coast below the town of Stevenston. Between the births of Alexander and Janet, the Parochial Church of Ardrossan was rebuilt, in 1733. That site is now the North Ayrshire Museum of Saltcoats. At the time William and Mary were living in Saltcoats, it was the main town of Ardrossan Parish, the town of Ardrossan itself not yet in existence.

The two children of William and Kathrine (Hamilton) Brown:   Alexander and Janet. 

1    Brown, Alexander was born 5 Sep 1771.    

2    Brown, Janet was born 26 Jan 1775 in Saltcoats.  She and John Scot were married 7 Dec 1800 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  John was born in Ayrshire?, Scotland. 

The entry in the Stevenston Parochial Registers records Janet's birth and baptism, but leaves a blank space for her mother's given name and indicates that the baptism took place at Ardrossan:

Janet Dau to William Brown Salter in Saltcoats & ____ Hamilton bor 26th Bapt 29th at ardr

In the Ardrossan Parochial Registers for January, 1775 we find:

William Brown Salter in Saltcoats and Katharin Hamilton his Spouse Had a laufl Daughter named Janet Born the 26th, Baptised the 29th

This is the same combination of birth and baptism places as was recorded for her brother Alexander over three years earlier. The Ardrossan Parochial Registers also record this baptism [SCR], but the film has not yet been examined in order to read the details. Two IGI submitted records incorrectly give the baptism of this daughter of William and Katharine as 20 Dec 1774.

Alexander Brown  &  Mary McNaught
John 1, William 2, Alexander 3, Hamilton 4 m1 m2, Jane 5 McNaught Top  

Alexander Brown was born 5 Sep 1771 in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland and died after 1836. 

Alexander and Mary McNaught were married 17 Jul 1797 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

Mary McNaught was born 8 Jun 1771 in Stevenston and died 17 Feb 1837 in Stevenston.  She was the daughter of James and Margaret (King) McNaught.

Alexander Brown was a weaver, a trade he passed on to his son Hamilton who practiced it in New York City before he apprenticed to become a watch glass maker. Alexander was born in Saltcoats, but established his family in Stevenston on School Well Street close to the relatives of his wife Mary McNaught.

The record of Alexander Brown's birth in Saltcoats and baptism in Ardrossan Parish in 1771 can be found in both the Stevenston Parochial Registers and the Ardrossan Parochail Registers, although they differ by one day in his birth and in the spelling of his mother's name. In Stevenston:

IMAGE: Alexander_Brown_Stevenston.gif
Alexr Son to Willm. Brown Salter in Saltcoats
and Kathrine Hamilton bor. Septr. 6th Bap 8th at ard

and in Ardrossan:

IMAGE: Alexander_Brown_Ardrossan.gif
Wm Brown in Saltcoats and Katharin Hamilton his Spouse had a laufull
Son named Alexander, Born the 5th, Baptized the 8th

Mary McNaught's birth, also in 1771 in Stevenston:

IMAGE: Mary_McNaught_baptism.gif
Mary Daut to James Mcnight wright in
Stev And Margt. King bor June 8th Bap 9th

The marriage in 1797 of Alexander and Mary is also recorded:

IMAGE: Brown_McNaught_marriage.gif
Alexander Brown and Mary McNaught both in this parish
give in their Names July 12 married 17th

Alexander was listed on the Rev. Landsborough's lists of the residents of Stevenson Parish, the last time, 1 Dec 1836, living alone. (This doesn't gibe with Mary's death record in 1837, see below.) In the first list, he is shown with Mary and their three youngest children, transcribed as “William, Alex, Ham??”. The Rev.'s handwriting was apparently somewhat difficult to read, and whatever he wrote for Hamilton evidently wasn't able to be decyphered. Schoolwell Street, a single block-long, quarter-circle street in the middle of Stevenson, was also the address of the High Kirk, the Established Church of Scotland, and of the Manse, or parsonage, of their pastor the Rev. Landsborough.

Landsborough, pastor in Stevenston, compiled censuses of all of the families in his parish in three different years, 1819, 1822 and 1836 (downloadable transcriptions are available on RootsWeb) and these are an invaluable source of additional information. The Rev. Landsborough, or Dr. David Landsborough, was a polymath in the best tradition of the educated ministers of nineteenth century Great Britain. In addition to being the pastor of the High Kirk of Stevenston from 1811 to 1843, he was a naturalist of some note. He dredged for marine specimens around the islands of Arrand and the Cumbraes in the Firth of Clyde opposite Stevenston, and published "A Popular History of British Seaweeds". Smittina landsborovii, a species of Bryozoans, a colonial type of marine animal similar to but more complex than corals, was named after him. He was one of the participants in the Disruption of 1843 when many ministers who objected to the political constraints of the Established Church broke away to form the Free Church. The Rev. Landsborough left Stevenston High Kirk and set up a Free Church of Scotland in Saltcoats. During the second of two severe outbreaks of cholera in Ayrshire, Landsborough ministered to the dying until he, too, succumbed to the disease in September 1854.

In 1851 the Stevenston Census has an Alex Brown, weaver aged 74, at 96 Townhead353. As our Alexander's age at that time would have been 80, it's not clear whether this is his record with an inaccurate age, or that of someone else with the same name. In any event, we don't know our Alexander's death date.

Mary's birth and baptism were recorded in the Stevenston Parochial Registers for 1771:

IMAGE: Mary_McNaught_baptism.gif
Mary Daw to James McNight wright in
Stev And Margt King bor June 8th Bap 9th

All of the McNaughts in town seemed to live on School Well, the same one-block street as Mary and Alexander.

The Rev. Landsborough's 1822 list gave only the number of children in each family, two for Alex and Mary, with one lodger in their home. William would have been twenty at that time, and was no longer at home. In the much later list of 1837, Alex was listed as living alone (at age 64), as Mary had died that year, and Hamilton we know had by then emigrated to America. In the 1837 Stevenston Parochial Registers we find:

McNight, Mary, wife to Alexr Brown Stevenston died 17th Feby

The six children of Alexander and Mary (McNaught) Brown:   Mary, Katharine, William, John, Alexander and Hamilton

1    Brown, Mary was born 13 May 1798 in Stevenston.  She and John Boyd were married 2 Jul 1819 in Stevenston. 

The Stevenston Parochial Registers baptisms for 1798 contains:

Mary Dautt to Alexander Brown weaver in Stevenston and Mary McNaught born May 13th Bap 27th

There were two Mary Browns married in Stevenston in 1819 according to the Vitals Record Index for the British Isles, but the one who married John Boyd on 2 July 1819 had children John, Mary, Margaret and Alexander. (The other Mary Brown marriage abt 1819 to a Robert Mitchel appears only in the IGI.) The naming convention thus identifies her parents as Alexander and Mary (second son, first daughter), and so enables us to choose the more likely Mary. By those conventions, John Boyd's parents would have been John and Margaret, but this combination of names leads to several John Boyds born in Stevenston in the 1790s.

John Boyd and Mary Brown both in this parish gave in their names June 19th Mard July 2d

The four children of John and Mary (Brown) Boyd:   John, Mary, Margaret and Alexander. 

i    Boyd, John. 

The IGI give's John's baptism as 27 February, nine days before his birth on 18 March, so one of the records must be wrong. I've "guessed" that the baptism record is correct, but may have erred here myself.

ii    Boyd, Mary was born 22 Feb 1822 in Stevenston. 

iii    Boyd, Margaret was born 17 May 1824 in Stevenston. 

iv    Boyd, Alexander was born 22 Jul 1829 in Stevenston. 

2    Brown, Katharine was born 26 Mar 1800 in Stevenston and died after 1881.  She and Benjamin Thom were married 20 Aug 1819 in Stevenston.  Benjamin was born 18 Jun 1797 and died 1879.  He was the son of Alexander and Mary (Brown) Thom.

From the Stevenston Parochial Registers for 1800:

Katharine Dau to Alexander Brown weaver in Stevenston & Mary McNight born Mar 26 Bap 29

And from the 1819 Stevenston Parochial Registers:

Benjamin Thom and Catherine Brown both in this parish gave in their names Augt 20th

Margaret Scott writes that Benjamin's parents, Alexander Thom and Mary Brown, had at least three other children, William b 20 Feb 1780 in Irvine, Janet and Elizabeth bo 17 Mar 1782 in Stevenston, and "probably some missing".

From the 1841 Stevenston Census, Benjamin was 45 years old and a coalminer/spirit dealer, in 1851 a carter and spirit dealer living at 44 Mason Lodge New Street, and in 1861 living at 36 Boglemart Street. In that year Benjamin was a former carter, but Catherine was still working as a muslin sewer353.

Margaret then notes that the 1871 Stevenston census lists Catherine, a widow aged 71, as a staymaker and handsewer. Also, Catherine made application on the Poor Relief rolls of 1879. She then writes "D. C. pull 1881 for Stevenston and then 1879-1881 for Ardrossan", but I don't know to what this refers353. In any event, this implies that Katharine died no earlier than 1881.

All of the children given here are listed in the SCR for Stevenston. In addition, two sons named James appear as submissions in the IGI, but both records are suspect. One was supposedly born 1827, and the second in 1841, but the latter birth would surely would have been recorded in the parish register as a twin to Alexander born 28 March that year.

I missed the death records in the Stevenston Parochial Registers for the first daughter Margaret and both sons Alexander, but the dates given here are from Margaret Scott citing that source.

The spouses of Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth, and the notes on Marion and Benjamin, are from the Poor Relief Records, Stevenston 1879, sent to me by Linda A. Nordby [Personal Communication, Oct 2002]

The nine children of Benjamin and Katharine (Brown) Thom:   Mary, Margaret †, Janet, Margaret, Marion, Alexander †, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Alexander †. 

i    Thom, Mary was born 18 Mar 1820 in Stevenston and died 20 Jan 1893 in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland.  She and John Thomson were married 27 Feb 1841 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

From the censuses over the years in Ardrossan, John was a railway engine driver living at 16 Glasgow Lane and in Bute Place. Their children were Catherine, Margaret, Mary and Benjamin, born 1841 through 1851 in Stevenston353.

ii    Thom, Margaret † was born 18 Sep 1824 in Stevenston and died 1825 in Stevenston. 

iii    Thom, Janet was born 17 Dec 1826 in Stevenston.  She and Charles Scott were married 13 Aug 1846 in Stevenston. 

The children of Charles and Janet were Benjamin, born about 1850 who married Mary McDiarmin, and Catherine, born about 1852 who married Joseph McHattie.

iv    Thom, Margaret was born 18 Dec 1829 in Stevenston and died 17 Sep 1888 in Stevenston.  She and Isaac Park were married 18 Sep 1847 in Stevenston.  Isaac was born 1823/1824 and died 29 May 1898 in Stevenston.  He was the son of Robert and Margaret (Cunninghame) Park.

From Margaret Scott's notes from the various sources she cites, Isaac was a fireman, labourer and riddesman in the colliery, and Margaret was a hand sewer, dynamite packer and muslin sewer. They lived at 26 Boglemart Street in Stevenston353.

Maira Frew has transcribed Stevenston Monumental Inscriptions and posted them on the web page Ayrshire Roots. There we read: In memory of his wife Margaret Thom who died 17th September 1888 aged 59 years the said Isaac Park died 29th May 1898 aged 74 years.

The nine children of Isaac and Margaret (Thom) Park:   Benjamin, Jane, Janet, Robert, James, Margaret Cuningham, Catherine, Mary Thom and John. 

1    Park, Benjamin was born 30 May 1851 in Stevenston. 

2    Park, Jane was born 21 May 1853 in Stevenston. 

3    Park, Janet was born 13 May 1855 in Stevenston. 

4    Park, Robert was born 19 Aug 1857 in Stevenston. 

5    Park, James was born 22 Jul 1860 in Stevenston. 

6    Park, Margaret Cuningham was born 28 Aug 1862 in Stevenston. 

7    Park, Catherine was born 13 Dec 1864 in Stevenston. 

8    Park, Mary Thom was born 15 Jan 1867 in Stevenston and died 1939.  She and James Maxwell were married 1 Jan 1887 in Carbon, Clay, Indiana.  James was born 26 Nov 1859 in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland.  He was the son of Archibald "Archie" and Christina (Stewart) Maxwell.

James and Mary's marriage, according to Jim Paxton [Personal communication, Oct, 2010] took place in Indiana, not in Scotland as I originally had it here. They and their son Archie returned to Scotland, and are in the 1901 Scotland census. Jim writes that Archie returned to Indiana where he died in 1963.

James' parents' names are also from Jim, and found by him on Family Search under "Indiana Marriages 1811-1959".

The three children of James and Mary Thom (Park) Maxwell:   Archie, Margaret Thom and Janet. 

i    Maxwell, Archie was born 3 Dec 1887 in Carbon and died Sep 1963 in Indiana. 

ii    Maxwell, Margaret Thom was born 2 Mar 1890 and died 16 Jun 1966.  She and James Wales were married 6 May 1916. 

A son of James and Margaret Thom (Maxwell) Wales:   Abraham. 

1    Wales, Abraham was born 25 Sep 1916 and died 28 Apr 1991.  He and Margaret Stark were married 6 Jun 1941.  Margaret was born 1911/1912. 

A daughter of Abraham and Margaret (Stark) Wales:   Margaret. 

i    Wales, Margaret was born 19 Apr xxxx.  She and Bryan Scott were married 14 Aug 1965. 

iii    Maxwell, Janet.  She was married to Charles Paxton. 

Charles and Janet are the grandparents of Jim Paxton, by correspondant of Oct, 2010, regarding the Maxwell and Thom families.

9    Park, John was born 27 Mar 1869 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

v    Thom, Marion was born 8 Apr 1832 in Stevenston.  She and Robert Thomson were married 5 Dec 1850 in Ayrshire. 

Marion and Robert, a journeyman blacksmith in 1855, lived at 5 Glasgow Lane, Ardrossan. They had one child, Robert, born 15 Nov 1855353. As of 1879, Marion was living in America [Poor Relief Record, Stevenston, 731].

vi    Thom, Alexander † was born 11 Jun 1834 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland and died 26 Aug 1836 in Stevenston. 

vii    Thom, Elizabeth was born 20 Jul 1836 in Stevenston.  She and Archibald Tait were married 24 Mar 1854 in Stevenston.  Archibald was born 1831/1832 and died 6 May 1874 in Stevenston.  He was the son of William and Georgina (Brown) Tait.

Elizabeth and Archibald lived at 13 Harbour Row, Ardrossan. Their eleven children were Georgina Brown, William, Catherine, Benjamin, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Archiblad, Benjamin, James and John, born 1854 through 1877353.

viii    Thom, Benjamin was born 4 Jan 1839 in Stevenston.  He and Elizabeth Jeffrey were married 16 Aug 1861 in Stevenston, Ayr, Scotland.  Elizabeth was born 18 Jan 1840 in Stevenston.  She was the daughter of Joseph and Janet (Love) Jeffrey.

In 1861 Benjamin was a ship's engineer residing in Greenock, and an engine fitter at 59 Main St. in Cambusnethan, Lanark in 1881353. In 1879 was he listed as an engineer [Poor Relief Record, Stevenston, 731].

Benjamin and Elizabeth's children were Benjamin, Joseph, Benjamin, david Jeffrey, William J. and Janet, born 1861 through 1880. The first four were born in Stevenston, the last two in Kilmarnock and at Newmains, Glasgow353.

ix    Thom, Alexander † was born 28 Mar 1841 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland and died 13 Feb 1842 in Stevenston. 

3    Brown, William was born 22 May 1802 in Stevenston. 

From the Stevenston Parochial Registers for 1802:

William son Alexander Brown weaver in Stevenston and Mary McNaught born May 22th Bap 29

There were two William Browns married in Stevenston, and five in the closely neighboring Ardrossan Parish, who were of an age to be this William. However, the two in Stevenston each had a single daughter's birth in the IGI, and the other five had no children recorded at all, so naming patterns aren't available to provide distinquishing clues.

The two couples in Stevenston were William Brown and Mary McBride married about 1823 [IGI], who had a daughter Barbara, and William Brown and Mary Harvie who married 3 Oct 1824 [SPR FR619], with a daughter Catharine.

This William could, of course, have died young, married out of the parish, or remained a bachelor all of his life. We don't know. For that matter, he could have emigrated with his brother Hamilton, but a search for him over here hasn't been carried out. There were more than a few William Browns in New York City. Hamilton named his third son William, in accordance with the naming conventions used so consistently in this lineage, so I don't believe his brother died young.

4    Brown, John was born about Jun 1803 in Stevenston?, Ayrshire, Scotland.  He and Barbary Levi were married 1 Apr 1831 in Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York City. 

John was not found in the Stevenston Parochial Registers, either because his baptism wasn't recorded or because I simply missed it when scanning the Register images. His existence is proved by a New York State census taken 30 Jun 1855 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. There he appears as the brother (explicitly so stated) of Hamilton Brown, his youngest brother and our direct ancestor. Also in the household at that time were Hamilton's second wife Charlotte Robertson, his daughter Jane (also our direct ancestor) by his first wife Mary Biggert, and the four children of his and Charlotte's.

Both Hamilton and John's occupations were listed as "Watch Me…", the latter word a scribbled abbreviation probably for mechanic, as that term was used to mean "maker" in those days. Also, the family, including John, was recorded as having lived in Brooklyn for three years, which corresponds to other records (see below) indicating that Hamilton moved from Manhattan in 1852. This strongly suggests the possibility that John had been living - and working - with his younger brother in Manhattan before that move, although no records have been found to support that possibility.

John was recorded in the census as born in Scotland and 62 years of age, evidently a decadal error, as the implied birth year would have been four or five years before his parents' marriage. I have assumed here that the census taker misheard 52 as 62, which implies a more reasonable birth year of 1802/1803. That puts him in the middle of his siblings, and leaves William as the eldest son, named after his grandfather in the usual Scottish naming convention. But the dates are unusually closely spaced: his brother William having been born 22 May 1802 and Alexander 6 Jul 1804. That leads me to estimate John's birth as having been about June 1803.

John has few records in New York City, but those are convincingly clear as belonging to Hamilton's brother. John Brown and Barbary Levy were married 1 Apr 1831 in the Dutch Reformed Church in Greenwich Village, as were Hamilton and Mary Biggert two years later on 22 Apr 1833. Then, over the next eight years, John and Barbary had four children baptised in that church, Alexander, Barbary, Elizabeth and John. The eldest son was named after his grandfather, the conventional pattern once again. Each one of those four records spelled the mother's name as Barbary, so that was not a misprint, but probably an informal usage for Barbara.

A rather exhaustive search online failed to find any other records of John and Barbary and their children. The difficulty is, however, that the name John Brown is somewhat widespread over the country, and although Barbary is somewhat rare, Barbara is again a very common name.

A search across the U. S. for Barbary Levi of any age also turned up no records ascribable to her other than her marriage and childrens' births in New York City. Similarly, a search for Barbary Delevie/de Levie/de Levy and similar variations was unsuccessful.

The four children of John and Barbary (Levi) Brown:   Alexander, Barbary, Elizabeth and John. 

i    Brown, Alexander was born 10 Mar 1832 in New York City, New York, New York and baptized 6 Apr 1832 in the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York City. 

ii    Brown, Barbary was born 15 Jun 1834 in New York City, New York, New York and baptized 11 Jul 1834 in the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York City. 

iii    Brown, Elizabeth was born 13 Oct 1836 in New York City, New York, New York and baptized 6 Jan 1837 in the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York City. 

iv    Brown, John was born 18 Feb 1839 in New York City, New York, New York and baptized 12 Apr 1839 in the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York City. 

5    Brown, Alexander was born 6 Jul 1804 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  He and Grace Fulton were married 25 Apr 1825 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  Grace was born 1801 in Ayrshire, Scotland. 

From the Stevenston Parochial Registers for 1804:

Alexander son to Alexander weaver in Stevenstoun and Mary McNaught born July 6 Baptised at Ardro?san

but this baptism doesn't appear in the Ardrossan Parochial Registers for some reason.

From the 1825 Stevenston Parochial Registers:

Alexander Brown and Grace Fulton both in this parish of L___ster gave in their names April 2

No marriages were being recorded at this time in the Stevenston Parochial Registers, just proclamations of banns, but Margaret Scott has a marriage date of 25 April from some unrecorded source, and the same day appears in two submitted records of the IGI.

Alex and Grace, both "Cotton HLW", were living at 1841 South Burnside in 1841 with Jean, Mary, Alex and Hamilton, and in 1861 were at 93 Boglemart Street with their daughter Grace and granddaughter Janet, 5 years old. Alexander Barron of Inverness, Scotland, tells me [Personal Communication, 10 Nov 2006] that HLW means Hand Loom Weavers. Alexander Brown was listed that year as a grocer and spirit dealer353.

There exist some IGI records in a prior generation between Fulton and Brown: James Fulton, b 17 JUL 1748 Saltcoats, d 14 Jul 1818, m 1778 in Saltcoats to Margaret Brown, b 3 May 1749 Saltcoats, d 14 Aug 1830.

These are submitted records, not a primary source extraction, so the marriage date is probably someone's guess. A correspondant, Josephine Pike of Australia, is searching for the parents of a Margaret Brown/Broun who married a James Fullton/Fulton in Ardrossan in 1783 (a second marriage for both), and that could well be this same couple. These births are some fifty years before that of Grace Fulton, and so could be her grandparents in so far as date and location are appropriate. Obviously, however, no connection can be assumed based on only that information.

The first son and second daughter of Alexander and Grace were Alexander and Mary, matching his parents, and in addition they named a daughter Hamilton, which just about clinches this identification. Alexander and Grace appear in the Rev. Landsborough's 1837 census with seven children in the household. We only know the names of six children born by that date, and two of those had died by that time, so who all of these children were we don't know.

The births of Jean, Mary and Robert (the latter born 1832), with only birth years specified, are from submitted records to the IGI and are given that same way by Margaret Scott. In addition, a second Robert born 1840 appears in the IGI, but was not recorded in the 1841 census, so most likely is a reference to the first Robert with an erroneous birth year. There is a record of a Robert Brown who married Helen Wallace Arnot 3 Mar 1854 in Stevenston who Margaret Scott believes to be the son of Alexander and Grace born 1832. But the two death records "Alexr Brown's infant child died March 29th" in 1831 and "Alexr Brown's child in Stevenston died Sept 23rd" in 1834 can only refer to Margaret and that Robert. On the other hand, a Robert born in 1840 can hardly be the one who married in 1854. At this time, I'm rejecting the second Robert and the 1854 marriage as not pertaining to this family.

Note that three of the children died young (marked with the symbol †).

The eight children of Alexander and Grace (Fulton) Brown:   Jean Fulton, Mary, Alexander Ingram, Margaret †, Robert, Hamilton, Grace † and Grace. 

i    Brown, Jean Fulton was born 1822/1826 in Stevenston and died 20 Jun 1885 in Townshead Street, Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  She and David Frew were married 10 Jun 1843 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  David was born 13 Feb 1820 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland and died 3 Jun 1906 in Boglemart, Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth (Lindsay) Frew.

The name of Jean's husband was given to me by Alexander Barron [Personal communication, 10 Nov 2006], a descendant of David and Jean. It was confirmed later (2007) from an extensive Frew ancestral document supplied to me by Margaret Scott.

Jean and David had eight children, Elizabeth, Alexander, Grace †, Robert †, David, Jane, Margaret † and Margaret † Frew, born about 1845 through 1865353.

ii    Brown, Mary was born 1826/1827 in Stevenston. 

This record, Alexr Brown's child in Stevenston died Sept 23rd [From the 1834 Stevenston Parochial Registers] probably refers to this daughter Mary, as there is no record of any other child born before this date who does not have later marriage records. I had previously assigned this death to her brother Robert, but Gillian Mauchan pointed out to me [Personal Communication, July, 2010] that Robert survived, was married, and died in 1910.

iii    Brown, Alexander Ingram was born 23 Jan 1828 in Stevenston and died about 1875 in Stevenston.  He and Flora Stewart were married 22 Nov 1848 in Stevenston, Ayr, Scotland.  Flora was born 1830/1836 in Kilmorie, Arran, Scotland and died 30 May 1899 in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

The 1828 record in the Stevenston Parochial Archives for this son of Alexander and Grace is interesting in that the name was originally entered as Ingram, and then the abbreviation "Alexr" was written in the space above. It's not possible of course to determine when the addition was made, but as near as one can tell it's in the same handwriting, not a modern one. The Index of Baptisms appearing on the microfilm of the Register reads "Alexander Ingram". The day of the baptism is missing because of the worn edge o the register page:

IMAGE: Alex_Ingram.gif
Alexr Ingram son to Alexr Brown Weaver Stevn
& Grace Fulton, Born Jany 23d Bapd March __

In 1861 Alexander Brown, 32, was a potato merchant at 6 Main Street in Stevenston with his wife and three daughters. By 1876 Flora was a widow, with a two year old Jane in her household, her daughters being away. On November 13th of that year Flora was certified insane and sent to an asylum, but was back in her own home a year later. She moved in 1877 to Ardrossan and probably died in an asylum353.

Alexander Ingram and Flora's children were Grace b 1853, Alexander b 1855, Margaret b 1859, Janet b 1860, Alexander Ingram b 1866, Mary Stewart b 1869, and possibly also Flora b 1851/52 and Jessie b 1860 who were in their household in 1861 but not listed as children by Margaret353.

iv    Brown, Margaret † was born 12 Jan 1830 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland and died 29 Mar 1831 in Stevenston. 

From the 1830 Stevenston Parochial Registers:

Margaret Daughter to Alex Brown weaver Stevn & Grace Fulton born Jan 12th Bapt 20th

There is a death record in the 1831 Stevenston Parochial Registers: Alexr Brown's infant child died March 29th, and that is most likely for Margaret.

v    Brown, Robert was born 1832 in Stevenston and died 26 Sep 1910 in Androssan, Ayrshire, Scotland.  He and Helen Wallace Arnott were married 19 Feb 1854 in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland.  Helen Wallace was born 1834 in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland.  She was the daughter of William and Ann (Wallace) Arnott.

Gillian Mauchan is a 3rd-gr-grandchild of this Robert and his wife Ann Wallace by their daughter Grace Fulton Brown who married Andrew Mauchan. She has kindly provided me with the results of her research on this family in the form of a beautifully documented Register Report.

Robert was born in Stevenston, the son of a weaver. He started out as a weaver but with the collapse of the cotton industry changed jobs and became a gardener. He appears to have had steady employment as he lived in the same house for the rest of his life.

Gillian's research reports that they had nine children: Alexander, William, Robert Fulton, Ann Wallace, John, Robert Fulton, Gardner, Helen W. and Grace Fulton Brown born through 1854 through 1875 in Stevenston (the first three) and Ardrossan.

vi    Brown, Hamilton was born 19 Aug 1836 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland.  She was married (1) to Edward Stevenson 12 Feb 1858 in Stevenston.  Edward died before 1875.  She was married (2) to Cowan Gibson 12 Feb 1873 in Scotland.  Cowan was born 1823/1824 in Stevenston and died before 1891.  He was the son of Robert and Catherine (Cowan) Gibson.

Although it had been corrected indexed in the SCR, until I inspected the 1836 entry itself in the Stevenston Parochial Registers I had missed the point that this Hamilton was a daughter!

IMAGE: Hamilton_dtr.gif

The Index of Baptisms also appearing on the microfilm of the Register reads "Hamilton (Fem)", so someone else felt this somewhat rare usage needed to be flagged.

Hamilton's children by Edward Stevenson were Robert, Sarah, Grace, Alexander, Sarah, Jane and John, according to one of my correspondants. Margaret Scott says that the 1871 census described Edward as a manufacturer of shawls, and listed their children at home as Grace, Alexander, Sarah and Jane Stevenson. I have not read the Stevenston Parochial Registers for these two families of Hamilton, and so must rely on the IGI for names and birth dates, as shown below. Considering those dates, it seems unlikely (but not impossible) that Grace and Robert were children in the family, even though Grace was living there in 1871.

The record in the IGI for the marriage of Cowan Gibson and Hamilton Brown 12 Feb 1873 seems right for the date (considering her children's birth dates), but it lists the place as High Church, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. That seems such and out-of-place place, that I only mention it here but don't accept it without seeing the original record. Two such couples with these names, however, being married about the same time seems highly unlikely.

I also had from some source (now lost) that Hamilton's children by Cowan were Hugh, Mary and Martha. This doesn't accord completely with the births of Margaret and Martha, as listed below from the IGI, although the seven years between the births does leave time for two children whose births were not registered. The birth for Martha, incidently, has her mother listed as Hamilton Brown Stevenson, thus testifying to Hamilton's two marriages.

The seven children of Edward and Hamilton (Brown) Stevenson:   Sarah †, Sarah †, Alexander, Sarah, Jane, John † and John. 

1    Stevenson, Sarah † was born 1 Nov 1858 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

2    Stevenson, Sarah † was born 19 Sep 1860 in Stevenston. 

3    Stevenson, Alexander was born 9 Jul 1862 in Stevenston. 

4    Stevenson, Sarah was born 10 Aug 1864 in Stevenston. 

5    Stevenson, Jane was born 29 Nov 1866 in Stevenston. 

6    Stevenson, John † was born 11 May 1869 in Stevenston. 

7    Stevenson, John was born 7 Dec 1870 in Stevenston. 

The two children of Cowan and Hamilton (Brown) Gibson:   Margaret Cowan and Martha Young. 

1    Gibson, Margaret Cowan was born 17 May 1873 in Stevenston. 

2    Gibson, Martha Young was born 22 Dec 1880 in Stevenston. 

vii    Brown, Grace † was born 24 Apr 1838 in Stevenston and died 10 Jan 1840 in Stevenston. 

From the 1838 Stevenston Parochial Registers:

Grace daughter to Alexr Brown Weaver Stevn & Grace Fulton, Born April 24th Bapd 29th

And from the1840 Stevenston Parochial Registers:

Alexr Browns child d. Jany 10th

viii    Brown, Grace was born 22 Nov 1841 in Stevenston. 

From the 1841 Stevenston Parochial Registers:

Grace daughter to Alexr Brown Weaver Stevn & Grace Fulton, Born Novr 22th Bapd 29th(?)

6    Brown, Hamilton was born 17 Aug 1806.    

Hamilton Brown  &  Mary Biggert
John 1, William 2, Alexander 3, Hamilton 4 m1 m2, Jane 5   Top  

Hamilton Brown was born 17 Aug 1806 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland, died 29 Jan 1868 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York and was buried 2 Feb 1868 in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

Hamilton was married (1) to Mary Biggert 22 Apr 1833 in GreenwichVillage, New York, New York, New York. 

Mary Biggert was born about 1810/1811* in Scotland? and died 1839/1844 in New York, New York, New York. 

IMAGE: Deb_author.jpg

The record of Hamilton's birth and baptism can be found in the Stevenston Parochial Registers for 1806:

IMAGE: Hamilton_Brown_baptism.gif
Hamilton Son to Alex Brown weaver Stevenston &
Mary M'Night Born Augt 17th & Bapd 17th

Hamilton Brown, weaver and watch crystal maker, came to the United States before his marriage in 1833, and probably after 1830, as he has not been found in the 1830 Federal Census and wasn't listed in the 1829/1830 Manhattan City Directory. His immigration records haven't been found either, but what we have discovered shows that during his early years in the United States, Hamilton lived, worked and married on Manhattan Island, New York City, New York, New York.

The original marriage certificate of Hamilton Brown and Mary Biggert was discovered in the effects of the widow of their grandson, Albert Markley Swan, when she died in 1993. The specifics of the occasion were added to a preprinted calligraphy document with an illustration at the top of a marriage ceremony in nineteenth century dress:

IMAGE: Brown_Biggert_certificate.gif
Hamilton Brown and Mary Biggert marriage certificate

To all whom it may concern.
This Certifies that the bonds of Marriage
between Hamilton Brown and Mary Biggert
were by me confirmed, according to the Usages of the
Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, in
North America, on the '22nd day of April'
in the year of Our Lord, 'One Thousand Eight Hundred
and Thirty Three'.
Given at New York this '22nd' day of April, A. D. '1833'.
N. J. Marselus, Minister of the Reformed Prott. Dutch Church in
Bleecker St., N. York.

Their marriage on 22 Apr 1833 is also recorded on FamilySearch, citing the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York, New York.

Bleecker Street (from the Dutch for bleacher, as in the cleaning profession, and named for a member of a prominent New York City family of the early 19th century wikipedia) runs west from Bowery Street paralleling West Houston St, then continues from The Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) diagonally west and north to merge with Hudson Street at Abington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The Bleecker Street church was established in 1804, and after several moves, a new structure was erected in 1827 on Bleecker at Amos Street, now West 10th Street (south of Abington Square)371. Nicholas J. Marselus (1792-1876)427, who presided at the marriage of Hamilton and Mary, was its minister for thirty-five years, from 1823 until its closing in 1858 [Corwin, 1859]. The congregation probably was absorbed into either the Reformed Church in Washington Square, established 1837 two blocks north of Bleecker, or the Houston Street Reformed which had been at 7th Avenue and 12th Street, on the edge of Greenwich Village, since 1823. (The Reverend Nicholas J. Marselus and family were censused in the ninth ward of New York City in 1830, 1840, and 1850. In the mid-1850s, Nicholas sued for funds of the founding Dutch Reform Church in New York City to be distributed to other congregations for support of their ministers. The corporate entities of each congregation were upheld as separate, and the suit was denied upon appeal by the State Supreme Court in 1858, the same year that his Bleecker St. congregation dissolved67.)

Hamilton, born in 1806, was 27 years old at marriage. According to Albert Markley Swan's notes, Mary was 22 years old when she married in 1833, so she was five years younger than Hamilton, and born about 1810-11.

Hamilton Brown declared his intention of becoming a citizen on November 3, 1834 in the Marine Court of the City of New York. He became a citizen 30 Sep 1840, when he was certified as having been known for five years in this country by James Nicol, perhaps the same James Nicol censused that year in Ward 16 of New York City, as was Hamilton. A James Nicol, who was born in Paisley, Scotland (near Hamilton's origins), was naturalized here 27 Nov 1822. This James is recorded as being a weaver in the naturalization records, also the occupation of Hamilton Brown at that time, as evidenced in the New York City directories from 1838 to 1842. (Later, from 1852 to 1854, a James Nichol, commercial merchant, is listed on Water Street in lower Manhattan; Hamilton's watch glass making business was just off Water Street on William Street from 1852 to 1858.) Hamilton worked originally as a weaver at 223 West 20th, a mile north of Bleecker Street where he was married, and only four blocks from where he later established his business as a watch glass maker. He can be found at that address in both the 1839/40 and 1842 New York city directories. Also at 223 West 20th in 1842 was Ovid P. Wells, a physician, and John Hay, no occupation given. The 200 block of W 20th had both residences and businesses listed. A lawyer and a broker resided there and worked elsewhere. There were also an engineer, a grocer, a shoemaker, several merchants, a carman, and a minister's widow.

Hamilton and Mary's three children were born in the years from 1836 to 1839. In the 1840 census for New York City's 16th ward, Hamilton is listed as engaged in manufacture and trade. His household has one male 30 to 40 a female 20 to 30, and two males and one female under five years. All ages are in agreement with other records. Hamilton was 34, and Mary, "22 in 1833" puts her at 29 in 1840, which affirms Albert Markley Swan's notes.

Sometime between 1839 and 1844 Hamilton lost his wife Mary, but we have not found death or burial information online. (Records of the Reformed Dutch Church would likely reveal more.) Later records allow us to verify which of Hamilton's children were Mary's and which were his second wife, Charlotte's: Charlotte's 1900 census reveals that she had four children, only one of whom was still living (Mary). As Jane was also still alive in 1900, this confirms that Jane and her older siblings were the children of Hamilton and Mary.

Daughter Jane's death certificate indicates that both of her parents were born in Scotland. We know that her stepmother, Charlotte, who raised her from a young age, was born in Scotland, and the document could have been referring to her. (Note also that Jane's eldest daughter is named after her stepmother.) But if the informant for Jane's death certificate knew about her birth mother, we could conclude that Mary Biggert was born in Scotland, also. Biggert, or Biggart, is a common Scottish name. For example, in the same region as our Brown and McNaught ancestors, there were Biggarts in Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland, about 11 miles inland by road from Stevenston, and in Paisley, Renfrewshire, about 22 miles inland from Stevenston. We found no Biggerts or Biggarts listed in the New York City censuses of 1830 and 1840 nor in the city directories of the period.

Hamilton Brown, living and working on Manhattan Island, New York City, changed his occupation from weaver sometime in the 1840s and was listed in the records as a watch glass maker from 1846 until his death in 1868. He started his new business at 90 West 18th Street, but within a year established a home and shop at 261 Bowery where he stayed for about five years. The mechanical pocket watches of the nineteenth century were assembled by hand by watchmakers from components hand manufactured by specialists. Clear glass covers protected the watch parts while allowing the hands to be viewed By 1865 the American Watch Company in Waltham, Massachusetts began machine manufacture of watch parts and producing less expensive watches for a wider market, wikipedia, and the time of the specialists would have begun waning

Two birth records of a Mary Biggart in Scotland are of interest as possible identifications of Hamilton's wife.

One Mary Biggart was born 13 Aug, baptised 21 Aug 1808 to Mary Greenfild and John Biggart in Abbey (Paisley), Renfrew, Scotland.

The other Mary Biggart was born 2 May, baptised 9 Jun 1810 to Jean Gordon and John Biggart in Inveresk, Midlothian, Scotland. (This couple also had a daughter Jean baptised 4 Dec 1808 in Haddington, East Lothian, about twelve miles away.)

These records were found on, where three marriages from 1740 to 1752 of a Mary Biggert in Renfrew, but none in Abbey, were also recorded. At this point, no evidence of either Mary emigrating to New York has been located, nor have I found any birth records for Mary over here.

It should be mentioned here that in answer to my query concerning a Mary Biggart born 20 Apr 1807 in Beith, Ayrshire, an extensive discussion on the [, threetowners] forum demonstrated clearly that this lass married a Thomas Biggart and had a son Thomas born 6 May 1849 in Dalry, Ayrshire.

The three children of Hamilton and Mary (Biggert) Brown:   Alexander, Hamilton and Jane

1    Brown, Alexander was born Jul 1837 in New York, died 2 Jun 1859 in Brooklyn Ward 6, Kings, New York and was buried 3 Jun 1859 in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

Alexander's death notice was published in the New York Times288:

"In Brooklyn, on Thursday, June 2, of consumption, Alexander Brown, eldest son of Hamilton and Charlotte Brown, aged 21 years and 10 months. "The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral from the residence of his parents, this Friday afternoon, at 4 o'clock, from No. 132 Sackett st., South Brooklyn."

Consumption, the term used at that time, was what we now call pulmonary tuberculosis. Alexander was listed as a jeweler in the 1860 Federal Census Mortality Schedule. If he was a watch jeweler, he installed the jewel bearings into pocket watches. See also "Hamilton Brown and Charlotte Robertson", below.

There is burial recorded for an unidentified Mary Brown in the family plot in Green-Wood Cemetery. She died 2 Dec 1856, three and a half years before Alexander, and was buried 16 months after Hamilton and Charlotte's youngest son John. If Alexander had been married and his wife predeceased him (and so didn't appear in his obituary), that Mary could have been his daughter. That postulated wife isn't buried in the Brown family plot, but, especially as the marriage would have been short lived, she might have been buried in her natal family's cemetery.

A second possible explanation is that Alexander had a cousin Alexander, five years his senior and son of Hamilton's brother John, who could likewise have lost a daughter Mary at an early age. An inquiry has been sent (6 Mar 15) to the Green-Wood cemetery to see if they have records to identify Mary Brown.

2    Brown, Hamilton was born Jul 1838 in New York, New York, New York, died 21 Jan 1860 in Brooklyn Ward 6, Kings, New York and was buried 22 Jan 1860 in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

Less than eight months after his brother Alexander's death of tuberculosis, Hamilton also died of that disease. Like his brother, he was listed in the 1860 Federal Census Mortality Schedule as a jeweler, perhaps a watch jeweller. The death notice in the New York Herald-Tribune gave his age as 21 years and three months, which would suggest he was born Oct 1838, but he was listed as already twelve years old in the July 1850 census. See also "Hamilton Brown and Charlotte Robertson", below.

3    Brown, Jane was born 26 Oct 1839.    

Hamilton Brown  &  Charlotte Robertson
John 1, William 2, Alexander 3, Hamilton 4 m1 m2, Jane 5   Top  

Hamilton Brown was born 17 Aug 1806 in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland, died 29 Jan 1868 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York and was buried 2 Feb 1868 in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

Hamilton was married (2) to Charlotte Robertson 5 Jul 1844 in Springfield, Otsego, New York. 

Charlotte Robertson was born 12 Jan 1821 in Inverness, Scotland, died 21 Aug 1905 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was buried 25 Aug 1905 in Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was the daughter of William and Jane (____) Robertson.

Hamilton Brown, a widower with three young children, married Charlotte Robertson on July 5, 1844 in Springfield, Otsego, New York, where her parents resided, and possibly where she did, also. (Image courtesy Alice Dixon)

IMAGE: Hamilton_Charlotte_marriage.jpg

These certify that Mr Hamilton Brown of the city
of New York and Miss Charlotte Robertson daughter of
Mr. Wm. Robertson & wife of Springfield, Otsego Co & State of
New York were married July 5th, 1844

Hamilton was 37 years old at his second marriage; his bride Charlotte was about 23 years old. Springfield is some 185 miles north of Manhattan--quite a distance in those days; the Robertsons must have had a connection to New York City in order for the two to have met. If the Robertsons immigrated to New York, perhaps they had settled for a time in New York City before William and Jane moved north to the farmlands of Otsego County. As Charlotte was born in Scotland, we can narrow the family's immigration date to after 1821; we have not searched immigration records. A look into the Robertson families censused in 1830 and 1840 Otsego and New York City might reveal more about how these two might have met.

Charlotte's age as given in the records is inconsistent. The 1900 census gave her birth as January 1820, yet her age as recorded on her 1905 death certificate suggests she was born in 1822. We have found a birth record on FamilySearch for a Charlotte Robertson, born January 12, 1821 to William and "Jean" Robertson in Inverness, Scotland; we suspect this is her. Charlotte's mother ("Jane" in the American records we've located) was in her mid-forties when Charlotte was born, so she may have been the youngest of a large family.

Photographs of "William and Jane Robertson", parents of Charlotte, held by descendants, connect the "Wm. Robertson and wife" of the wedding document with the Jane Robertson residing with the Brown family later in 1860. The 1850 federal census of Otsego County, New York shows a William "Robinson" 80, born in Scotland, and wife Jane, 73, also born in Scotland. Her age corresponds with the Jane Robertson listed with the Browns in 1860; we think these are them and that the census taker made an error with the last name. (images courtesy of Jane Dixon)

William and Jane Robertson

In the (July 22) 1850 census for the 17th ward (which includes 261 Bowery), Hamilton Brown, age 44, was listed with his second wife Charlotte, 29, also born in Scotland, and five children, all born in New York: Alexander 13, Hamilton 12, Jane 11 (children of Mary Biggert), William 5, and Mary, a year and a half. Their neighbors were from Germany, Ireland, England and New York. They were a blacksmith, a shoemaker, a cigar maker, a cartman, an upholsterer, a machinist, a gardener…and William Swan, 21, glass cutter, born in England, with wife Mary A. Swan 22, born in Ireland. William was Hamilton's apprentice and brother of James Swan, who was to marry Hamilton's daughter, Jane, in 1857.

Another son, Robert, was born about 1851, and their last child, John, in 1852/1853. John was recorded as age two in the 1855 New York State census on 30 June, but he died less that two months later. We don't know the circumstance of his death, but he was the first to be buried in the family plot, Lot 9291 Sect 116, in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where ultimately eight of the family members were to be buried.

That census of 1855 is valuable in that it records in one place all five of the children of Hamilton and Charlotte, as well as his children Hamilton, Jr. and Jane, our ancestress. Also living with the family was Hamilton's brother John, our first indication of his existence, albeit with an incorrect age, as discussed above.

IMAGE: Brown_Family_1855.jpg
Hamilton and Charlotte Family

In 1852 Hamilton had moved his business to 158 William (near Water Street and Maiden Lane), and his home to a residence at 132 Sackett Street across the East River in Brooklyn, where he and his family were to live for the next two decades. This residence was between Columbia and Hicks, and only a block or two from where he could board the sidewheeler ferries on which he would have commuted between work and home. (Hamilton's business location in the Bowery was taken over by his former apprentice William Swan.) In 1856 Hamilton's business address in Manhattan changed around the corner to 95 Fulton, and in 1859 two blocks away to 75 Nassau. These three locations were in the heart of the watchmaking business about six blocks from Wall Street; his move to this part of the city apparently signaling Hamilton's success in the business world. His descendants through daughter Mary hold his bank book from the Market Bank at 82 Nassau, near Fulton. (image courtesy Alice Dixon)

IMAGE: Bank_Book_Cover.jpg

Daughter Jane Brown was married to James W. Swan on August 19, 1857 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York at the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church; in New York City in March of 1859 their eldest child, Charlotte, surely named after Jane's stepmother, was born.

The summer of 1859 began three horrible years for the Brown family. The perils of living in a large, densely populated, major port city are never more apparent than when disease and un-safeguarded hazards hit one family multiple times. On June 2nd, 1859, Alexander, eldest son of Hamilton, died at age 21 of consumption (tuberculosis) after six months of illness. Then, in a freak accident, his little brother, Robert, drowned. A short newspaper account in the Brooklyn Eagle on July 30, 1859 reports a "Singular Death" :

IMAGE: Robert_Brown_death.jpg
Death of Robert Brown by Drowning

The Gowanus neighborhood was a very short distance from the Brown home. Penny Bridge crossed the Gowanus channel (once a creek), a commercial waterway which also fed sewage from the burgeoning city of Brooklyn into Gowanus Bay wikipedia. A swim on a hot summer evening would have been a tempting escape for a young boy whose home had become a sick house. How horrible to picture the constable arriving at the door with the wet, muddy body of the young child, whose parents perhaps had been distracted by his deathly ill siblings. Their second eldest son, Hamilton Brown, also sick with TB that year, lasted until January of 1860. All three were buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn; all three were reported in the 1860 Federal Census Mortality Schedule. Three sons dead in the space of eight months.

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Hamilton and Charlotte Brown, at 132 Sackett St, were censused on July 7, 1860. Their neighbors were from New York, Scotland, Ireland, England, Prussia and France, and included a porter, a furrier, a currier, a cooper, a stone cutter, a master carpenter, a carman and a bookkeeper. Hamilton's age was given as 56 instead of 54; Charlotte's was recorded as 37 instead of 38 or 39. The census taker, who recorded deaths of the twelve months previous to 1 Jun 1860, received their report of three dead sons. (Alexander's death on June 2nd just fit the time frame, although oddly, both Alexander's and Robert's death months were recorded incorrectly as being August.) Their older daughter Jane was married and residing elsewhere, so only two children remained in the household--William was 15; Mary was 11.

Also recorded in Hamilton's household in the 1860 census was Jane Robertson, 83, born in Scotland 1776/77. Charlotte's mother, most likely widowed by this time, had left Otsego County, and joined the household sometime in the past decade, perhaps to lend support to the grieving family. In any case, Jane a year later on the 27th of August, 1861 at the age of 84. She was buried in the Brown family lot in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, on the 29th.

Much earlier, there was an 1840 census taken of a William Robertson in Laurens, Otsego, New York, probably of Charlotte's father. That record gave his age as 40-49 (born 1790-1800), and he had four females in his home, one born 1800-1810, probably Jane, two born 1820/1825, and one born 1770/1780, most probably William's mother or mother-in-law. Laurens is about 30 miles SSW of Springfield.

It is interesting to note that, from 1849 through 1854, there was a James W. Robertson listed in the New York city directory as a watchmaker at 84 Wooster. Hamilton's occupation changed to watch glass maker in the same period as his marriage to Charlotte. Was James a new relation, and tied to those changes in Hamilton's life? Could James have been supplied with watch glasses by Hamilton? According to the 1850 census, Jas. W. Robertson, born in New York, was 34 years of age and a jeweler by profession. Hamilton's sons Alexander and Hamilton were listed as jewelers in the Census Mortality Schedule of 1860--were they working for Robertson? In James' 1850 household were Catherine Brown, aged 38, Catherine McKenzie, aged 36, both born in New York, and a Mary M. Robertson, aged eight years, who had been born in Pennsylvania. As it turns out, Catherine later became James' wife, which we learned from her obituary in the New York Herald. Catherine Brown, born 1811/1812, does not appear to fit anywhere in Hamilton's Brown lineage. Records tying James Robertson to William and Jane, or to Charlotte, have not been found online.

We did trace James further. In earlier New York city directories (1839 to 1848), a James Robertson is listed as a gilder, perhaps the same James in a previous, related occupation. In an 1853 (Brooklyn Eagle) newspaper advertisement, R. C. Akerly & Co, "watches, jewelry and silver-ware", announce their removal from the Bowery to 41 Fulton near Pearl, and point out that "J. W. Robertson" will give his full attention to the watch department. (Hamilton moved from the Bowery to this area three years later.) James W. Robertson, jewels, is listed in the 1857 New York City directory at that same Fulton address, still residing at 84 Wooster. He was not listed in the 1859 business directory and we could not find him in the 1860 or 1870 censuses, but in 1871, James W. Robertson, jeweler, was listed in the Long Island directory residing on Congress Avenue in Whitestone (across the river in Queens). His wife, Catherine Brown, died there two years later287. Almost twenty years later, James W Robertson, age 80, died on 28 Sep 1892, in the village of Whitestone, New York.

Despite the correspondence in surnames, James Robertson (husband of Charlotte Brown) could not be a brother to Charlotte Robertson, (wife of Hamilton Brown) born 1821 in Scotland, as he was born five years earlier in New York. (That is, unless Charlotte's parents returned to visit Scotland during those five years.)

Hamilton Brown was listed on a non-population schedule for the 1860 census as an individual in Ward 2, New York City, producing articles to the annual value of $500. He had $650 capital invested in his business of producing watch glasses, with an average of one employee at $20 a month. The annual cost of his raw material (glass) was $500 and the annual value of his production was $1,000.

According to the 1860 census, 15 year old son William was working as a watch spring apprentice--the watch industry of those days clearly was carried out by many different, highly specialized craftsmen. The 1859 New York City Business Directory listed case makers, case chasers, case polishers, dial makers, watch jewelers, watchmakers and watchmaker tool makers, watch and clock spring makers and watch case spring makers. Several of these last were listed on Nassau and Fulton- one only a few doors from Hamilton's shop at 95 Fulton, and James Robertson's shop at 41 Fulton. (Hamilton Brown and William Swan were listed as two of the six watch crystal makers in the city.)

In another incredible blow to the family, according to a notice in the New York Times, son William, 17, died of a "short, severe" illness on March 6, 1862, and the Browns buried a fourth son at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Adding a touch of the absurd to the tragedies endured by the Browns, the New York Times (12 March 1862) reported that a twenty five year old Irish "girl" was remanded for sentencing in tne Court of General Sessions for pickpocketing -- she was convicted of stealing a gold watch and cash from the pocket of Hamilton Brown of 132 Sackett Street, Brooklyn on the 18th of the previous month (probably in Manhattan).

In the 1862 and 1863 Brooklyn city directories, Hamilton was still residing at 132 Sackett, then the 1864 and 1866 Brooklyn city directories list Hamilton Brown residing at De Kalb Avenue and Nostrand, with his watch glass business continuing at 75 Nassau (Manhattan).

Listed in the 1865 U.S. IRS Tax assessment lists, District 2, New York, Hamilton was assessed $1 for the possession of one watch, possibly the gold one retrieved from the pickpocketing Irish girl a couple of years previously.

In October of 1866, Hamilton Brown stood as witness for the naturalization of his former apprentice William Swan.

Hamilton Brown, 61 years old, died intestate on the 29th of January, 1868, in Brooklyn and was buried alongside his four sons in Green-Wood Cemetery on February 2nd. On February 13, Charlotte, 46 year old widow of Hamilton Brown, applied to become administrator of his estate. The document gives his death date, and an estimate that his estate was not more than $1500 dollars. It also confirms that all of Hamilton's sons had died before him, as it lists as survivors only Charlotte, widow, and two children, Jane wife of James Swan, residing in Paterson, New Jersey, and Mary Brown, a minor, aged nineteen, with no general guardian. The application was granted the next day.

Charlotte appeared as widow of Hamilton in the Brooklyn City Directory at 587 De Kalb Avenue from 1869 through 1872, the year before her daughter Mary married. Charlotte and daughter Mary were censused September 5th, 1870 in Brooklyn, ward 21. Charlotte was 48, with a home valued at $5000, and personal property valued at $500. Mary, 21, worked as a milliner.

On April 29, 1873, Charlotte's daughter Mary C. Brown married marble cutter Daniel G. Dimond of Hartford, Connecticut, but Charlotte and Mary remained closely tied--Charlotte evidently lived with Mary and her family until she died; sometimes listed as head of family, suggesting some personal financial stability. From 1874 to 1881, Charlotte was listed in the Hartford, Connecticut city directory, residing on Liberty Street with Daniel and Mary. By around 1875, Daniel had his own marble business on 263 Asylum Street, offering monuments, headstone, mantels, floor tiling and more. The 1878 Hartford City directory street index includes the information that Liberty Street, in Ward 1, had water, sewage and gas lines, and was macadamed (paved).

In 1880 Charlotte Brown was censused residing in a duplex at 15 Liberty St in Hartford, Connecticut. A 58 year old widow, she was listed as head of a household which included son-in-law and daughter Daniel G. and Mary C. Dimond, and granddaughters Emily R. and Jennie M.

It's possible that Daniel suffered reverses in his business, as he relocated several times over the next 20 years, and once again was listed as a marble cutter. In the 1885 New York City directory, Daniel G. Dimond, was listed as a tileworker residing at 696 E. 164th Street (Bronx). In 1888 Charlotte Brown, widow of Hamilton, and Daniel Dimond, marble cutter, were listed in the New York City directory at 652 Railroad Avenue. Then they all appeared in the Browns' old neighborhood: The Brooklyn city directory of 1889/90 included Charlotte Brown, widow of Hamilton and Daniel G Dimond, marble cutter, both listed at 658 De Kalb Ave, just a block east of Nostrand St and the Browns' former residence. Then the family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they were to remain: by the 1891 directory they were residing at 3426 N. 16th Street in that city. In 1894 they were at 1731 Juniata Street, where they continued through 1898. In 1900 the family appears in the census residing again at 3426 N 16th St, which is where Charlotte died in 1905.

Charlotte Brown, an "80" year old widow born in Scotland, was censused in Philadelphia in 1900 with Daniel and Mary, their two daughters, and their two granddaughters, i.e., Charlotte's great-granddaughters.

We hold an interesting (to us) artifact of Charlotte's life. At some time while Charlotte resided at 1731 Juniata Street in Philadelphia (1894?-1898?), Charlotte mailed to her stepdaughter Jane Swan in Topeka the marriage license of Hamilton Brown and his first wife Mary Biggert (Jane's birth mother). When found in Lillian Swan's effects, the certificate was still in the envelope it was mailed in. Besides the interest of the certificate itself, we find the envelope itself somewhat curious.

It is a letter-size envelope of thin paper, resized by being folded so that the tip of the gummed flap extended to the bottom edge of the envelope. On the front of the envelope is written "Mrs James Swan | 622 Buchanan St., | Topeka, Kansas". To the left is a faded, reddish, stamped impression of which the word Register is clearly visible, below which was a date, May 3 or May 8 and a year which cannot now be read, followed by "Sta. R", "No. 215" entered by hand in the blank spot provided. Between that registry stamp and the address is a trace of adhesive which presumably marks the original location of a postage stamp. Finally, there is a green stamped number 1554 against the ragged right edge of the envelope, where perhaps it was opened.

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Charlotte's envelope

On the back side appear two addresses. On the left edge, written vertically across the body and the flap, appears "Charlotte Brown | 1731 Juniatta St. | Philadelphia | Pa". Then through the increased flap area, written in a large hand, is "J. R. Garaway | Beta | Winscombe | W. S. Mare | Bristol". Just above Charlotte's name, along the ragged edge of the envelope is the bottom edge of a purple stamped impression with the word Registered.

The Topeka address on the front and the "return" address of Charlotte Brown on the back are written in the same hand and ink, but the name and the address in England were written by a different person. During the late 19th century, Weston-super-Mare was a popular seaside resort in southwest England. Winscombe, a small town in Somersetshire, England, is some three miles inland from there. Messrs. J. Garaway & Co., owners of Durdham Downs Nursery, Whiteladies road, Bristol, can be found listed in 19th century post office directories of Bristol, England, as well as in horticultural journals throughout the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th.

It may be that Charlotte recycled an envelope she received in Philadelphia from Bristol, explaining why her address seems written to fit around the Garaway address. Or the Bristol address was written later on the back of the envelope after Jane received it, but by whom and for what purpose is unknown. Perhaps Charlotte or Jane had an interest in horticulture and corresponded with J. R. Garaway on the subject. But the connection is unlikely to be a family one; the name Garaway has not appeared elsewhere in our family history.

Charlotte Brown's death certificate indicates that she died of a stroke ("apoplexy") on August 21, 1905 at the N. 16th Street residence and that she was buried at the Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia.

The four children of Hamilton and Charlotte (Robertson) Brown:   William, Mary C., Robert and John. 

1    Brown, William was born 1845 in Manhattan, New York, New York, New York, died 6 Mar 1862 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York and was buried 8 Mar 1862 in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

In July of 1860 William's family, which had recently suffered the deaths of all three of his brothers, was censused in Brooklyn. William was a 15 year old watch spring apprentice, probably traveling by ferry with his father each day to Manhattan to work in the same watchmaking district. Less than two years later, William died at the home of his parents at 132 Sackett St., Brooklyn, of a "short, severe illness" at the age of 17289. He was buried with his brothers in Green-Wood Cemetery.

We do not have birth information for this first son of Hamilton and Charlotte. Their marriage date of 5 July 1844 plus his age of 5 in the July 1850 suggest April to July 1845. But if he had already turned 17 by his death in March 6 1862, then perhaps he was born Jan-Mar 1845. His family was living in Manhattan at the time.

2    Brown, Mary C. was born Dec 1848 in New York, New York, New York, died 21 Sep 1917 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was buried 25 Sep 1917 in Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia.  She and Daniel G. Dimond were married 29 Apr 1873 in Manhattan, New York, New York, New York.  Daniel G. was born Mar 1837 in New York, New York, New York, died 27 Mar 1902 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was buried in Northwood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Mary C. Dimond was born to Scottish born immigrant parents in the Bowery district of New York City (on Manhattan Island). Her mother's name being Charlotte it is possible that that was Mary's middle name. She was the youngest of five children until her brother, Robert was born in 1851. The family moved to Brooklyn when she was about four years old, and she grew up in that city. As a child Mary experienced the deaths of all four of her brothers, and with her sister Jane grown and married, Mary was the only child at home from age thirteen (1862). Her maternal grandmother lived with the family at that time, and died in 1861. Mary was nineteen when her father died in February 1868, and from that time, Mary and her mother Charlotte remained together until Charlotte's death.

In the 1870 Federal census of Brooklyn, Charlotte Brown, a 48 year old widow, was head of household and Mary, 21, worked as a milliner. They were soon to start a new life, though, when Mary married in 1873.

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Daniel G. Dimond

We have not found a birth record online for Daniel, and other records that would indicate his year of birth are inconsistent. According to the 1900 census, Daniel was 63, born in March of 1837, but in 1902, his death certificate gave his age at death as 68, or born in 1833/1834. Other censuses suggest 1834/1835; New York State Militia records of 1861 and 1862 indicate 1833; in his civil war draft registration he gives his age as only 25, which gives the latest birth year--1838.

The 1880 and 1900 censuses both recorded that Daniel was born in New York and his parents were born in Ireland. Despite this information we have not located his family in the 1850 or 1860 censuses when each individual was listed nor in city directories of the 1850s or 1860s, despite looking statewide. But we do think we have found relatives. Daniel was a marble cutter, and the early 19th century records of New York City show a family of Dimonds who had marble cutting businesses. In 1850 John Dimond, 30, and William Dimond 28, both marble cutters born in Ireland, lived next to each other in Ward 16, which ran horizontally along the then-northern edge of the city, just beyond Greenwich Village. The 1860 census of New York City (ward 20, distict 3) lists John Dimond, 40, a master marble cutter, and worth $10,000. Next door to him lived James G. Dimond, 41, a master baker born in Ireland, and nearby was a William H. Dimond, 29, born in New York. In 1859 John Dimond withdrew from the partnership of Murphy & Dimond, marble dealers, at 1053 Broadway, and then advertisements for his own marble works (and probably his son John's marble works) appear through the 1880s in the city directories.

Because we have not located records for Daniel during the 1850s, his life during his early adulthood remains a mystery. He was not listed in the New York City directory of 1857 when he would have been around 20 to 24 years old, which opens the search to other parts of the state or even the country. But because of the New York City Dimonds and his marriage to Mary C Brown of New York CIty and Brooklyn, we conclude that Daniel had to be familiar with that corner of the state.


The earliest certain appearance that we have for Daniel in online records is his participation in the New York State Militia (8th Regiment, Company F) in 1861 (age "28") and 1862 (age "29") for three months each year, mustering out as a 2nd lieutenant Ancestry's [U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles. (James G. Dimond, mentioned above, was a captain of the 8th Regiment.) That these militia records are for our Daniel are confirmed by a document held by descendants--a pension claim made by his widow in April 1902. (courtesy Alice Dixon)

From the New York State Military Museum [website, New York State Military Museum 8th Regiment first Bat…] we learn that the regiment served the United States at Washington, in Maryland and in Virginia, participating in the first Battle of Bull Run (1861) and the Siege of Yorktown (1862). When mustered, the regiment marched through the lively city cheered by crowds as they headed to the docks to board the ships that would take them south; they were also greeted with cheering crowds on their return. A year later the regiment would be facing much different crowds as they quelled the Draft Riots of 1863, but we think Daniel had moved out of state by then.


In 1862 or 1863 Daniel moved from New York State to Hartford, Connecticut, which we know from his Civil War draft registration. From a draft list of the Provost Marshal General's Bureau we learn that "Dan'l" Dimond, born in New York and single, lived at 472 Main Street and worked as a Stone (Setter?). His age was recorded as 25 instead of the 29 or 30 that would be suggested by his militia records. This record also acknowledged his previous seven months in U.S. service. We did not find records of service resulting from the draft. We can confirm this Daniel in Connecticut is the same Daniel of the New York Militia because the Civil War Pension and later Hartford records connect both to the same wife.

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Daniel Dimond Civil War Draft

Through the Hartford city directories (digitized beginning with 1863) we traced Daniel residing in several lodging houses, mostly on Main Street or Church Street, for the next decade. In 1870 Daniel was censused as a 36 year old marbleworker, born in New York, still single, and boarding at 128 Trumbell Street. In 1872 he is listed on Liberty Street, where he was to remain for several years: In 1873, Daniel brought his bride and mother-in-law to this address, and their first daughter, Emily, was born there in 1874. Beginning in 1875, the Hartford city directory includes listings and an ad for Daniel's own marbles business at 263 Asylum Street. In fact, in 1876, the year that daughter Jennie was born, he lists the Asylum Street address as both his home and work address. It may be that the three generation household of females was a little too crowded for him. Later records provide the details that the family rented the upstairs of a duplex; their home was probably on the small side. In 1877 Daniel expanded his advertising to the city directories of Middletown/Portland and Waterbury, Connecticut.

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advertisement, 1877 Waterbury, Connecticut city directory

The 1878 and 1881 Hartford directories gave Daniel's home address as Liberty Street, but in 1880 he was censused separately from his family. The census lists his mother-in-law, Charlotte Brown as head of household at 15 Liberty Street, with her daughter Mary C. Dimond and two granddaughters. Daniel himself was added with several other individuals at the end of the census by the enumerator, but listed at the same Liberty Street address. Perhaps the hiccup in the record keeping occurred because he was living part time at both addresses in those years.

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advertisement, 1881 Hartford, Connecticut city directory


The 1882 Hartford city directory includes a list of “persons who have removed”; Daniel G. “Diamond” and Mrs. Charlotte Brown are both listed as having moved to New York. It's possible that Daniel suffered business reverses, as he relocated several times over the next 20 years, and once again was listed as a marble cutter. Spotty records place them back in New York City--the 1885 directory lists Daniel G. Dimond, tileworker, residing at 686 E. 164th Street (Bronx). In 1888 both Daniel G. Dimond, cutter, and Charlotte Brown are listed at 652 Railroad Avenue, New York City, which we have not been able to locate. (John Dimond's Steam Marble Works were on West 42nd Street at the time.) Then they all appeared briefly in the Browns' old neighborhood: The Brooklyn city directory of 1889/90 included Charlotte Brown, widow of Hamilton and Daniel G Dimond, marble cutter, both listed at 658 De Kalb Avenue, just a block east of Nostrand Street and the Browns' former residence.


Daniel Dimond then tried Philadelphia - the 1890 city directory includes Daniel Dimond, cutter, at 1751 Juniata. By the 1891 directory the family was residing at 3426 N. 16th Street in that city. In 1894 they were at 1731 Juniata Street, where they continued through 1899. Charlotte Brown continued with the family at these addresses; daughters Emily and Jennie became young women during these years. In the 1900 census the family, expanded by the inclusion of daughter Jennie's two young daughters May and Dorothy, resided again at 3426 N. 16th Street, where the family would continue for more than 40 years.


In the 1900 and 1902 Philadelphia city directories both Daniel and his older daughter are listed, Daniel as a marbleworker, Emily R. as a dressmaker, both residing at the 16th Street address. In the latter publication and occasional future ones, the family name was spelled “Diamond”, but mostly they continued to appear in the records as “Dimond”.

On March 27th, 1902, Daniel G. “Diamond” died of angina pectoris. (Presumably the condition led to a heart attack.) The death registration record gives his age as 68, states he was born in New York, that he resided in ward 38 of Philadelphia and that he was buried in Northwood Cemetery on March 31st. His widow, Mary, purchased a burial plot in that cemetery which would eventually hold (besides Daniel) herself, her mother and her granddaughter Dorothy. (We have not found burial records online for her daughters, but I expect they, too, were buried in the family plot.) Descendants possess the original Northwood Cemetery burial plot deed. (Image, courtesy Alice Dixon)

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burial plot deed

Emily becomes head of household as she and Jennie continue in the family home with Jennie's daughters May and Dorothy.

The two children of Daniel G. and Mary C. (Brown) Dimond:   Emily R. and Jennie M. 

i    Dimond, Emily R. was born 31 Jan 1874 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut and died after 1940. 

Emily's birth in Hartford, Connecticut, is recorded in the "Connecticut, Births and Christenings, 1649-1906," index on, where her parents were named as Daniel G. Dimond and Mary C. Brown, but her own name was yet to be chosen.

Emily grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, Brooklyn, New York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the family moved in 1890, when she was 16. At some point she began working from home as a dressmaker, and could be found listed as such in the Philadelphia city directory from 1900 on. (In those days, only men were listed, the exceptions being widows and female heads of households, or the rare women with occupations.) She always was listed as Emily R., but her last name occasionally appeared as "Diamond". A photographic portrait of Emily R. Dimond is in the possession of descendants of her sister, Jennie. (image courtesy Alice Dixon)

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Emily R. Dimond

Emily never married, and remained in the family home at 3426 N. 16th St, becoming head of household (and presumably inheriting the home) after her parents died. Her sister Jennie and her two nieces Emily May and Dorothy lived in the house with her until both nieces married in the 1920s. The 1930 census listed Emily R. Dimond, 56 and single, with a house valued at $6000. "Jane" Broadrick, 53, her widowed sister, was still residing with her. Mary E Stant, 46, single, and working as a fitter in a department store, was a lodger in the household. In 1940 Emily was still at the same address, 66 years old. Her home's value had dropped to $2500. The census included a question about education level, so we learn here that Emily had an 8th grade education, as did most other women on the census page. Her sister Jennie was not listed in the household, but two older single women were lodging with her-- Mary E Stant was listed as Marie E Staunt, 59, and still working as a fitter at a ladies store. With them was Catherine Melcher, 69 and retired from bookkeeping at a grocery retail (store).

We have not found death record or burial information for Emily online.

ii    Dimond, Jennie M. was born 12 Aug 1876 in Hartford and died after 1930.  She and John Joseph? Broadrick were married 26 Aug 1895 in Camden, Camden, New Jersey.  John Joseph? was born in Pennsylvania. 

Jennie's birth record for 12 Aug 1876 mirrors that of Emily two years earlier in the familysearch index in that it, also, was for an as yet unnamed daughter. Numerous subsequent records confirm that this birth date was Jennie's.

Jennie was married when she was 19 years old, one month before the birth of her first daughter Emily May, whose Sep 1895 birth date was recorded in the 1900 census. Jennie married John Jos. Broadrick in Camden, New Jersey, directly across the Delaware River from her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Later records agree; in the 1900 census Jennie reported that she had been married five years, and in 1930 she reported that she had been married at age 19.

Their second daughter, Dorothy, was born in July of 1899, but by the 1900 census Jennie, listed as married, and her two daughters were residing in her parents' home, and John Broadrick had disappeared from the picture. According to family lore, he abandoned the family133. The 1900 census tells us that Jennie had had two children, both were living, and that the girls' father was born in Pennsylvania. There are several John Broadricks that appear in the censuses of the era, including one born in Pennsylvania in 1873 but raised in Minnesota, and censused there in 1900. Intriguingly, he is listed as a marble cutter, the same occupation as Jennie's father. Perhaps this was Jennie's husband, and had tried making a life back east, then married the boss's daughter, but fled back home by 1900 for reasons unknown. There are other candidates as well; we do not have enough information yet to identify which was Jennie's husband. Mysteriously, the 1920 census listed the girls' father as born in Massachusetts. There were Broadricks, with that spelling (as opposed to the more common "Broderick") in Massachusetts, but the other censuses gave Pennsylvania for the birth state of the girls' father.

Jennie's father Daniel died in 1902, and for a time, the Dimond family home consisted of four generations of women--Jennie's widowed grandmother Charlotte (who died in 1905), her widowed mother Mary (who died in 1917), Jennie's older sister Emily (who remained unmarried), Jennie, and her two daughters whom Jennie raised while working to support them. The household remained a family of women. After their mother died, Jennie's sister Emily, a dressmaker, was always listed as head of household in the censuses, and Jennie and her daughters remained in the home with her. By the 1910 census Jennie was recorded as widowed, but whether this was literally so, or just a simpler answer to questioners, we don't know. Jenny worked as a bookkeeper--in 1910 for a tailor, in 1920 for a dry goods store, in 1930 for a meat store, and probably many other places during her working years. We found her listed only once in the city directory, in 1918 as "Jean" M. Broadrick. She is not listed in the family home in the 1940 census, and we have not found a death record for her online.

The two children of John Joseph? and Jennie M. (Dimond) Broadrick:   Emily May and Dorothy. 

1    Broadrick, Emily May was born Sep 1895 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She and Isaac Bloomenfeld were married 1926 in Philadelphia. 

Emily May, the second Emily in the family, was listed as May in the 1900 and 1910 censuses. In 1920, "Emily M." was censused in the family home, age 24, and listed as a clerk. She was married to Isaac Bloomenfeld in Philadelphia in 1926.

We have found no further records of Isaac and Emily or May Bloomenfeld online. There was one Bloomenfeld family from Russia censused in Philadelphia in 1920; perhaps they were relatives of Isaac.

2    Broadrick, Dorothy was born 4 Jul 1899 in Philadelphia, died 1984 in Ridley Park, Delaware, Pennsylvania and was buried in Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She and Albert Hartung Nyholm were married 1921 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Albert Hartung was born 27 Apr 1896 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died 19 Oct 1965 in Philadelphia and was buried in Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was the son of Herman and Minnie (____) Nyholm.

In 1920, Dorothy was single, age 20, and living with her mother, sister and aunt in her aunt's home (formerly her grandparents', and where she grew up) in Philadelphia. She worked as a stenographer. Albert, who had served in World War One, was also censused in his parents' home in Philadelphia. He was 24 and working as a draftsman which would continue to be his career in various contexts including engineering and construction. Dorothy and Albert were married in 1921 in Philadelphia.

By the 1930 census the Nyholms resided at 1505 (later at 1507) Carlisle Ave, Prospect Park, Delaware, PA (just outside Philadelphia), and continued there at least until Albert's death in 1965. Their last name was incorrectly spelled in the 1930 census as Neihung. Dorothy, sister of Emily May, named her two daughters Dorothy Jane and Emily May (the third Emily in the family). Daughter Dorothy was listed as 3 years, 6 months old in the Apr 15, 1930 census; she was born in September of 1926. Daughter Emily May was born in Jun of 1931.

In May of 1932, daughter Dorothy, age 5, rated a newspaper article in the Chester Times (May 30, 1932, accessed via Newspaper Archives) for being hospitalized after breaking her leg--she had darted in front of an automobile while the family was visiting relatives in Ambler (Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia). Dorothy had just been recovering from crushing her hand when it accidentally caught in a washing machine wringer, a pretty common injury in those days.

In 1940 the Nyholm family (indexed as “Mykoliw” on the Ancestry website) was censused at 1505 Carlisle Ave. Albert, 44, with an eighth grade education, worked as an engineer for an oil company. Dorothy, 40, had completed four years of high school. Dorothy Jane, 13, had completed seventh grade and Emily May, 8, had completed the second grade.

Albert, age 46, registered for the World War Two draft. His address was by then at 1507 Carlisle Ave, and he worked for the Sinclair Refining Company, from which he would later retire. Albert died at age 69 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Philadelphia, and his obituary in the Delaware County Daily Times mentioned Masonic and American Legion services. Dorothy Nyholm appeared in social and church news items in the Chester Times through the '40s and 50s. She died at the age of 84 in 1984 in Ridley Park, a community next to Prospect Park, and was buried in Northwood Cemetery133 where her grandparents and great-grandmother Charlotte Brown had been buried.

The two children of Albert Hartung and Dorothy (Broadrick) Nyholm:   Dorothy Jane and Emily May. 

i    Nyholm, Dorothy Jane was born 16 Sep 1926 in Philadelphia, died 25 Jun 2010 in Chester, Delaware, Pennsylvania and was buried in Philadelphia.  She was married to John Donovan. 

Dorothy Jane was buried in Philadephia Memorial Park, Frazer, Chester, Pennsylvania.

A son of John and Dorothy Jane (Nyholm) Donovan:   John. 

1    Donovan, John. 

ii    Nyholm, Emily May was born Jun 1931 in Pennsylvania. 

3    Brown, Robert was born 1850/1851, died 29 Jul 1859 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York and was buried 31 Jul 1859 in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

4    Brown, John was born 8 Aug 1855 in New York City, New York, New York and was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

This fourth child of Charlotte is known from the 1855 New York State census of the family, in which he was reported as two years old. It was only five weeks after that 30 June census that John died and was the first to be buried in the family plot in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. He is also attested in that Charlotte in her 1900 census reported that she had borne four children.

The record of the death of John Brown 8 Aug 1855 in New York City was found in an extract from an index to deaths recorded in the "Brooklyn Eagle" or in the "New York Evening Post," That newspaper obituary would most probably have described the cause of his death, but that has not been seen.

Jane Brown  &  James W. Swan
John 1, William 2, Alexander 3, Hamilton 4 m1 m2, Jane 5 Swan Top  

Jane Brown was born 26 Oct 1839 in New York, New York, New York, died 8 Jul 1922 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California and was buried 10 Jul 1922 in Inglewood Park, Cemetery, Inglewood, California. 

Jane and James W. Swan were married 19 Aug 1857 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York. 

James W. Swan was born 15 Aug 1827 in England, died 29 Dec 1909 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California and was buried 3 Jan 1910 in Inglewood Park, Cemetery, Inglewood, California.  He was the son of Charles and Ann C. (Morrison) Swan.

IMAGE: James_and_Jane_Swan.jpg
James W. Swan and Jane (Brown) Swan

James' middle initial was "W.", but we have never found a reference as to what that stands for. His paternal grandfather was William, so it is quite likely that he was given the name James William, but that is at this time pure speculation.

Of James' life as a child in England we have a charming description by Hattie and Jean in their chapter entitled "Household in Hulme":

"Ann was a strict churchwoman and her family were invariably in their place of worship in the Episcopal Church in Hulme each Sunday. As a matter of fact the boys' Sabbath observance commenced quietly at sundown Saturday evening. However it did not end at sundown on Sunday and the boys could never understand this.

"To the brothers and their young and more restless nephew the church services would have been very tiresome if it had not been for the soldiers who had to attend also. At one time there were ten thousand soldiers stationed there. Their bright uniforms made a large spot of brightness to the young boys.

"Jim Swan was delicate as a child and was not sent to school very much. Later, after his father's death, when he was stronger, he had to go to work to help his mother support the family. When he was an old man he liked to say,

"I went to school but one half day and me schoolmaster was absent the day."

"He often said that he learned more in Sunday school than in the Old Dames schools. These Dame schools were kept by old women, widows and spinsters who were unable to do much else. In their own homes they herded the youngsters of the community while the mothers and other able bodied women were out helping to earn a living or tending to their younger children.

"Jim's teacher at Sunday school was a retired old army sergeant named Walters. He heard many of the experiences of these old soldiers. One story which made an impression on the boy was the one told about Sir John Moore who had a man shot for stealing a loaf of bread.

"One day, when Jim had grown to be quite a boy, Captain Dick Taylor, of the Fifth Dragoon Guards, stopped at his house looking for recruits for the army.

"What about this young fellow going into the service a bit later?" he inquired of Ann.

"But Ann shook her head. "I'll say what my husband's mother said, "There have been enough Swans in the military. Jim will do something else."

According to his grandson Albert Markley Swan's genealogical notes386, James at age 14 went to work in a foundry in Manchester to learn the trade. He was also censused at that age as a cotton piecer in Hulme, so that year evidently marks his passage from "children's work" to that of a young man starting his own career. Albert wrote that, after his apprenticeship, James worked at his trade in Glasgow, Scotland for three years just prior to coming to this country at age 24. It would have been about 1848, then, that he moved to Scotland, and 1851 that he came to America. That latter year is confirmed by a later census which recorded his time in this country.

It is a tradition in the family that Ann and Jim came to this country in order to prevent his having to go into the service. Whether or not this was a realistic threat at this midpoint of the nineteenth century in England is not clear, but certainly the family antipathy to more military service was quite firmly established. Some seventy years later, however, James' grandson William Hamilton Swan, son of Hamilton and Clara, died in the service of his country in World War I.

Another family tradition says that James came over with his mother, Ann. Several years ago a record was found, the ship's list for the Martha's Vineyard which arrived in New York City from Glasgow on 27 Oct 1851176. The difficulty was that an Anne Swan, age 55, was listed, but James Swan, age 24, did not appear on the list. Then we found from Albert Swan's notes that James had already worked as a molder in Glasgow before coming here, and that he met his future wife on the day after her twelfth birthday -- that very same date. Therefore the immigration record was reexamined. Wonder of wonders, the entry on the ship's list immediately preceeding that of Anne Swan, age 55, was James Leaven, 24, with an occupation of molder! Somewhere in the transcription process, the "S" of Swan had been read as "Le", the "w" became "av", and the final "an" became "en". A poorly written entry in the ship's manifest led to one of the most outlandish recording errors we have encountered, as can be seen when we finally found a copy of the original, handwritten lines:

IMAGE: Marthas_Vineyard_Manifest.GIF
Manifest of the ship Martha's Vineyard for 27 Oct 1851

The index to James' census in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, twenty years later, reads "James Iwan". He didn't have good luck with records of his name!

There were at least six James Swans, distinquishable by their occupations, listed in the New York City directories from 1846 through 1856, but not our James, a molder or foundryman. Why his brother William appears both in the census and in the city directories, but James doesn't, is a small mystery. Since his profession was that of a foundryman, at which we know he worked in England and Scotland, and later in Wisconsin and Kansas, he probably did that kind of work in New York, but we have as yet to find any records to that effect. Were the foundries all across the river in New Jersey, where he lived after returning from Maryland? The 1855 N.J. census is incomplete and unindexed, so would probably be of little help, although a scan of Paterson is not out of the question.

James' and Jane's 1857 marriage date, six years after he immigrated, we originally had from mother's notes, but this was confirmed when the original marriage certificate was found in the effects of their granddaughter-in-law Lillian Swan after her death in 199321. The certificate was exactly the same form used for Jane's mother Mary's marriage 24 years earlier (see the Brown family history), but now the minister, Nicholas E. Smith, was with the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in Brooklyn, where Hamilton and his family were living by that time. The certificate was for some reason given at Brooklyn 13 Feb 1858, some six months after the marriage date of 19 August the previous year. We don't know if Jane's father and stepmother Charlotte (both born in Scotland) also were members, but obviously Jane still belonged to the Reformed Dutch Church of her mother, Mary Biggert.

IMAGE: James_and_Jane_Certificate.jpg
Marriage Certificate
of James Swan and Jane Brown

The other primary evidence found for James and Jane in New York City is the birth record for their daughter Charlotte on 10 March 1859, for which the address given was 118s Harlem. The attending physician was J. Stotley [Birth Certificate, 1859]. My sister Pat Thiessen found a Harlem St. listed in the 21st ward in 1878, and was told by someone who had lived near there that Harlem was an old street in the Wall Street district, but that it no longer exists. This latter seems the most probable location for James and Jane, as that was near where her father, and James' brother William, both worked in the watchmaker trade.

Shortly after Charlotte's birth, James and Jane started out on their peripatic life of the next twenty years. The map below provides a log of their travels across the country, with the dates of their moves when these are known, and locates the births of their four children. Most of the information for this slow trek to Kansas comes from a Topeka Daily Capital biography of their son William on the occasion of his candidacy in 1892 for election to the State legislature. The details are also confirmed in part and extended by the genealogical notes of their grandson Albert Markley Swan.

IMAGE: Swan_in_US.jpg
James W. & Jane Swan in the U. S.

For their first move James and Jane, with their baby daughter Charlotte, went to Maryland, where in 1860 Hamilton was born, in Baltimore according to Albert's notes. But even more came to light when their 1860 census in Baltimore was found. (That discovery was delayed somewhat, as the head of the family was recorded as "Jas Swann", which required a broader online search algorithm than I originally used.). The first discovery provided by that census was that a child named William was part of the family along with Charlotte, their first child. This was not the William to be born in 1864 in New Jersey, and must have been a child who died before that latter date.

A possible date anomaly is also apparent in this census, in that Albert Swan's genealogical notes states that Hamilton Swan was born in Baltimore 4 Aug 1861, two days before the census was taken. Would James, even if Jane and the baby were in the hospital, not mention this to the census enumerator? Hamilton's 1900 census confirms that he was born in August of 1860 in Maryland, but doesn't speak to the specific day of that month.

The second surprise in 1860 is that James, an iron moulder, had living in his home an Alfred "Swann", 28, another iron moulder also born in England. This was surely a relative, and I have assumed for the time being, very tentatively, that Alfred was a younger brother of James. There was no Alfred living with James and his mother in Scotland in 1851. More discussion of these two discoveries appears elsewhere in the appropriate place in this narrative.

Then, at some time by 1863, they moved back north. This time they settled in Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from their former home, and so not too far from James' brother William and Jane's father. If James had been working in New Jersey when they first lived in New York City, it could well happen that he returned to his old job, and they chose to live closer to his work than before, but that is simply speculation. There their second son named William was born in 1864.

Note that the above years from Maryland to New Jersey include the time of the Civil War. In June, 1863, James registered for military service. That record lists him as a Moulder, born in England, and living in the 5th Ward of Paterson, New Jersey. No record has been found of James having actually served in the military during that conflict. (Although a James Swan had enlisted in 1862 in Maryland, the New Jersey draft register showed no entry for our James in the column marked "Previous Military Service".)

IMAGE: James_Swan_Draft_1863.jpg
James Swan Civil War Registration for Military Duty

For 1870 and 1871 the Paterson City Directories list James as a moulder, the first of those with a street address of 14 Essex. That address today is about a half block from a N-S running train track. However, I've been unable to determine what railroads, if any, went through Paterson as early as 1863, when James moved there. The Hoboken, Ridgefield & Paterson Railroad, now part of the New York, Susquehanna & Western, was chartered in 1866 to connect Peterson to Hoboken. It would take some deep research to determine if James was doing brass molding for this railroad, but it seems quite possible given his later employment in Wisconsin and Kansas.

According to William's biography, because the New Jersey climate did not agree well with James' health, the family decided in April, 1870, to move to the north central part of the country. The actual decision may have been fairly abrupt, for they took the children out of school before the end of the term, William having just started first grade the previous fall. Albert's notes claim that Jane's father, Hamilton Brown, went with them, and that they settled on his farm. This, however, is erroneous, as Hamilton had died some five years earlier.

The first record we have of James and Jane in Wisconsin is that they lived in the 1st Ward of the City of Fond du Lac, where they were censused in 1870. The name Fond du Lac means, literally, "at the bottom (geographically) of the lake", the town being located at the southern tip of Lake Winnebago. James was working in a Brass Foundry, but didn't report owning land or personal property. By 1875, James was censused in the town of Fond du Lac with four males and two females in his household. No further information was collected in that state census. The City of Fond du Lac is located mostly within the town, although a small portion extends into adjacent towns. These two records may thus indicate two separate living places over those five years.

James both farmed land and established a foundry, the trade that he learned in Scotland and which would continue to occupy him for the rest of his working life, and furnish work for all of his sons, as well, over the years. Albert's notes also say that James worked for the C. & N. W. Railroad (Chicago and North-Western) for about three years before James Albert's birth, thus from about 1871 to 1874. He was surely doing foundry work for that railroad, as he did for the Santa Fe later in Topeka. The C. & N. W., for which the ground breaking ceremony was held in Fond du Lac 10 Jul 1851, was one of four railroads serving the city.

The children attended school for a few months each winter for the next eight years, but the boys spent the rest of each year working on the farm and in the foundry, while Lottie undoubtedly worked with her mother in the farmhouse. That these young boys worked in their father's foundry here indicates that his work for the C. & N. W. must have been as an independent contractor, and this may have set the pattern at least in part for his later work for the Santa Fe.

Early in May of 1878 the Swan family contracted "Kansas fever" and started out (in a covered wagon, according to an addition on a copy of Albert's notes) on the overland route to that frontier state. James first homesteaded a claim two miles north of Fort Larned; Albert says 10 miles from town, in Pawnee County. On an 1873 map of Kansas by Asher and Adams, Fort Larned is shown as approximately four miles square with its center about ten miles southwest of the town. The two descriptions of James' land would place it near the south border of Range XVIII West, Township 21 South. The fort, some thirty miles southwest of Great Bend, is now a national monument. James soon concluded that farming was not then a viable business in that part of Kansas, and the next year moved the family to Topeka, where they remained the rest of his working life. It's noteworthy that there were five James Swans in Kansas by 1870, two of whom were in Shawnee County -- one in Dover and our James in Topeka.

Of the three of our ancestral lines to come to Topeka — Swan, Markley, and Hartzell — James was the first. We give here a brief chronology of the settlement and joining of the three branches of our family in Topeka, the capital city of Kansas:

IMAGE: Topeka_Settlement.jpg

In March of 1880 James took charge of the brass foundry at the Santa Fe shops, and William at age 16, and Hamilton at 20, went to work there for their father. Their residence at that time was on Hancock Street, one block east of the Santa Fe line, about where the Topeka Amtrak station is today, and all of the children were still living at home. Here is their census that year:

James SWAN       Self  M  52   ENG  Moulder                ENG ENG
Jane SWAN        Wife  M  40   NY   Keeps House            SCT SCT
Charlotte SWAN   Dau   S  21   NY   Seamstress             ENG  NY
Hamilton SWAN    Son   S  20   MD   Apprentice To Moulder  ENG  NY
William SWAN     Son   S  16   NJ   Moulder Apprentice     ENG  NY
James A. SWAN    Son   S   6   WI                          ENG  NY
1880 Census, Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas, N 1/2 2nd Ward, Hancock Street

They lived there less than a year, according to Albert, and from 1882 through 1885 on three adjacent streets on the other side of the tracks — 77 Madison, then a brick house also on Madison "next door to Goodrich", 29 Monroe, and at 100 Quincy — all about a year each. These are blocks near the riverfront on streets which terminate at the Kaw, the local name for the Kansas River, and the Santa Fe Shops were located within walking distace just a few blocks to the east.

In William G. Cutler's "History of the State of Kansas" (published by A.T. Andreas, 1883) is found a history of the Santa Fe shops in Topeka, which were established in the buildings of then defunct "King Wrought Iron Bridge Manufactory and Iron Works". The history reads, in part: "The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company commenced their work in these shops, August 12, 1878, and they have so gone on step by step increasing their business, as to now have the shop divided into twelve distinct departments … under the management of a separate foreman, …, brass moulding shop, James Swan, foreman". This documents that James was by 1883, at least, an employee of the Santa Fe, not an independent contractor providing brass moulding services.

By 1887, James and Jane had moved away from the river and railroad and now lived at 622 Buchanan. Probably up to this time they had lived in rented houses. Radge's City Directory locates him at this address through 1902. On 9 Oct 1891 James purchased Lot 206 in Horne's Addition on Buchanan Street, probably the house at number 622 in which they had been living. According to the record, they sold Lot 204 on Buchanan for $1950 on 29 Mar 1904 [321:486], and this is probably the same lot, with a confusion of numbers in the record or in our reading of it.

In 1895 in the Kansas State Census we find James Swan, 67, and born in England, with Jane, 55, born in New York, Sharlott (sic), 35, also in New York, William B., 30, born in New Jerrsey (sic) and James A. Swan, 21, born in Wisconsin. All had listed Wisconsin as the place from whence they had come to Kansas. James and both of his sons are listed as Molders, although William's entry reads "apprentice[?] Molder", and the next census column indicates he was studying to be a physician.

Over the years James is listed in the city directory as a Brass Molder, presumably remaining in charge of the Foundry Department for the Santa Fe. But in the later years he was listed alternately as Contractor and Brass Molder, so he must have again set himself up a least part time with an independent business. His son Hamilton worked as a moulder as early as 1885, William by 1887, and the youngest son James Albert went to work for his father by 1893 (but see also his employment history, below). All three of his sons continued to work with him for varying periods up until his retirement around 1902, at age about seventy-five years.

On 22 Jul 1895 James purchased for $200 six lots, numbered 405-07-09-11-13-15, on Grand Avenue in Norton's 1st Addition [223:259]. As will be seen later, he also owned lots 415-17-19-21-23, but we did not find the record of that purchase. The six constitute about one fourth of the block of what is now Plass Street between 11th and Munson. On 8 Feb the next year, he and Jane sold this property for $325, a quick 62% profit on their investment. But then, an interesting transaction occurred. J. H. Hunt on 11 Mar 1896 paid the back taxes of some $15 for 1892 on three of James' lots on Plass for which we do not have the purchase record. Hunt then transferred the certificate of overdue tax payment back to James. Finally, since the assessments had been paid for the intervening years, the third part of the court action transferred the ownership back to James and Jane. Possibly a real estate attorney could explain just what transpired in that particular shuffle.

In 1899 their son James Albert solved a similar problem, apparently paying the back taxes for 1896 on lot 421 for his parents [272:45]. Then, on 20 May 1908, James and wife Jane, "of Los Angeles", sold lots 421 and 423 on Plass for $1250 [340:552]. We don't know that they ever lived on Grand (Plass) Street, and it may be possible that these were investment properties.

In 1900 James and Jane were living with their daughter Lottie on Buchanan Street in Topeka adjacent to their son William and his wife Belle. In that census James gave his profession as Moulder, his immigration date as 1851, that he had been in the country for 48 years, and that he had been naturalized. This is the census in which he reported that his parents were both born in England. Also, Jane reported that she had had four children, all still living (but see below regarding the 1910 census).

James held two patents on inventions of his. In 1898 he was granted a patent on a new journal bearing for freight cars which prevented the lining from becoming loose and displaced. This was evidently quite a success, as attested in a news article which reported that the Santa Fe Railroad was building 100 of the largest freight cars ever constructed in the west, and that they featured these new journals. (Click any of the thumbnails below to see the full size image in a separate window.)

IMAGE: U_S_Patent_thumb.jpg
Patent #607576 to James Swan, July 19, 1898

One of the witnesses on this patent was his son, "Wm. B. Swan". Then, four years later, James was granted a second patent, #703974 dated July 1, 1903, which substantially improved on his original invention. The description of the patent begins:

"This invention relates to journal-bearings, and more particularly to that character of bearing disclosed in a former patent granted to me ...

"One of the objects of this invention is to greatly improve this structure by extending the holding-lugs from the outer edges of the sockets and so constructing the same that they will have a better interlocking engagement with the lining, which latter will thus be more firmly held in place.

"Another important feature of the present invention resides in a novel means for storing a lubricant in the bearing, said lubricant being securely sealed in place against leakage between the lining and the body and being automatically fed to the journal during the movement of the same."

The full text and illlustrations of this second patent can be seen as a PDF file online. The witness for this patent was his youngest son, James Albert. I have no idea whether James profited from these inventions, or whether in those days they belonged exclusively to the AT&SF Railroad. James listed himself in the Topeka city directories during that period both as an employee of the railroad and as a contractor, so possibly he was able to claim some benefits from his inventions.

A real estate transaction the meaning of which has been lost is the one of 27 Sep 1902 in which James transferred for $1 to Jane, “his wife”, lot 206 on Buchanan, apparently their home at number 622 [290:574]. This was just about the time he retired, and presumably represented some kind of machinations prepatory to selling their property and leaving for California. On 15 Nov 1904 James and Jane sold, for $300, a 20 rod (320 foot) square property on the southwest corner of Huntoon and Wanamaker Road, now cut diagonally by the Interstate 470 bypass.

After James retired, he and Jane moved to West Los Angeles, settling at 931 West 36th Place. The eastern portion of this street including their address is now named Downey Way, and its location is within what is now the University of Southern California Park Campus (a single building when they moved there). Their home was just two blocks north of Exposition Park. Originally an agricultural park, it was renamed in 1913 and contained at that time the California Museum of Science and Industry, National Armory, Domed National History Museum and the Sunken Garden (which was later renamed the Rose Garden). After James' death in 1909, Jane and their daughter Lottie continued to live in this home until Jane's death in 1922.

There is a Probate Court document dated 19 Dec 1912 for a James Swan, resident of Shawnee County, who signed his will on 23 Sep 1909. That was just three months before our James' death and burial in California. The witnesses to the will were L. G. Hill and Rosa E. Hill. I don't think this was our James, but I've found no record of another James Swan living in Shawnee County around 1909. If the Shawnee County probate court holds a copy of that will, it would be interesting to read just in case it was our James, despite the Kansas/California inconsistencies.

The 1910 census for Jane, very recently a widow, differs from that ten years earlier. Now Jane testified that she had borne five children, of whom three were living. Her first son William had died as an infant, and her second son named William Brown Swan died back in 1902. Incidently, the census shows Lottie, a dressmaker, as head of household, and Jane as an unemployed "Mother".

Seven years after moving west, James died of "chronic gastroenteritus". The specific nature of his illness is unknown. The information on his death certificate was provided by their daughter Lottie. It's interesting that Aunt Lottie was confused about her grandfather's name, listing James' father as James, rather than as Charles, and that her brother Albert Markley Swan made the same mistake in his genealogical notes on the famiy.

In 1920 Jane and Lottie were still at 931 36th Place, ages 80 and 60, and neither is shown on the census as working. Jane, this time listed as head of household, is noted as owning her own home which, however, was still mortgaged.

Dated thirteen years after James died, Jane's death certificate, with Lottie Swan again as informant, indicates she died of "senility", which would today be termed either dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

In response to an e-mail query, a representative of the Inglewood Park Cemetery wrote "Our records indicate that James Swan was interred in Grave #2, Lot 445, Sequoia Plot, on 1/3/1910. Jane Swan was interred next to him, in Grave #5, on 7/10/1922. Neither of these graves is marked." Thus there are no tombstones of which photographs can be taken.

The five children of James W. and Jane (Brown) Swan:   Charlotte "Lottie", William †, Hamilton, William Brown and James Albert

1    Swan, Charlotte "Lottie" was born 9 Mar 1859 in New York, New York, New York and died 18 Feb 1950 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas. 

Charlotte, "Aunt Lottie" to all of us for many years, was the first born in our direct Swan line in this country, although her Uncle William Swan had several of his children born here before her. The record of her birth in New York is amusing, for there she is named "Charles, a white female" [Anon., 1859]. Her nephew Albert Markley Swan, in one place (only) in his genealogical notes, writes "(Ann)" after her name, which presumably he thought might be her middle name. Her grandmother, Ann, in her last listing in the New York City directory, is listed as "Ann C.". Could it be that Jane named her daughter Charlotte Ann after her own mother, Ann Charlotte?

Lottie never married, and lived with her parents until her mother's death. In the 1889 Topeka Directory, she is listed as a dressmaker. After her mother's death, Lottie stayed in California at least until 1927, for we have in our possession our parents' wedding announcement mailed to her in Los Angeles. Eventually, however, she returned to Topeka and lived the rest of her life with her brother Albert and Maggie, our grandparents.

2    Swan, William † was born about May 1860 in Baltimore, Maryland and died 1860/1864. 

This first son of James and Jane is known from only three records, one direct and two indirect. In the 1860 census in Baltimore, James and Jane listed two children, Charlotte, age 2 and born in Maryland, and William, age 1 year, also born in Maryland. We know from her birth certificate that Charlotte actually was born 9 Mar 1859 in New York City and would have been one year, five months old at the time of the 6 Aug 1860 census, so we have some measure of the accuracy level of that record. (And the census enumerator spelled the surname as "Swann".)

We also know that there was a spacing of two years, five months, between Charlotte and the subsequent birth of Hamilton on 4 Aug 1861. A date half way between those two, the most probable birth date of a second child, would be the middle of May, 1860. That would make William less than three months old at the time of the census, hardly one year old. A minimum time of, say, ten months between Charlotte and William would have made William seven months old at the census.

Finally, the indirect records concerning this William are, first, that James and Jane named another son William born in 1864, and second, that Jane in 1910 certified to the census taker that she had borne five children, of whom three were alive at that time. The second William we know died in 1902. Thus these two bits of information indicate that the first William died at an early age, and certainly before 1864. We know the family was in New Jersey before June, 1863, so the place of the infant William's death cannot be deduced, and no death record has been found.

3    Swan, Hamilton was born 4 Aug 1861 in Maryland, died 24 Jan 1937 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas and was buried in Topeka Cemetery.  He and Clara Davidson were married 1 Dec 1884 in Parsons, Labette, Kansas.  Clara was born 4 Nov 1860 in St. Louis, Missouri and died 19 Aug 1936 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.  She was the daughter of James B. and Amanda M. (____) Davidson.

From the 1900 census we find Hamilton's birth date as August, 1860, and his age as 69. Albert Markley Swan, in his notes, in one place gives 4 Aug 1861, but appends a question mark, while elsewhere he writes 1861. I've merged these records. To all of the family, Hamilton was known as "Ham".

In the 1895 [, Census] of Hamiltion and his family, his birthplace is listed as Massachusetts instead of Maryland. This could have been a problem of the census taker mis-hearing, I suppose.

In contrast to his brother Will, Ham had only one place of employment throughout most of his life — the Santa Fe Shops. But if he worked at only one place, he moved often enough. From the birthplace of his first daughter, we can presume that he lived right after his marriage in Johnson Co., Kansas. We know that during his married life he lived in eleven homes in Topeka, three of which at least were houses that he built himself. His name has been found on sixteen Shawnee county land deeds (and we know we missed some), and it may be that he built more than the homes at 2801 (or 03), 2809, and 2810 Ohio St. in Highland Park. (2801 is where he lived according to the 1920 and 1925 censuses, and where my sister Pat and I were raised.)

The first three Topeka homes that Hamilton and Clara lived in were close to where his father first lived, near the Kaw River and the Santa Fe Shops. About 1896 he moved to 1141 Clay St., some six blocks from where his parents had moved some ten years previously in the western part of town, and lived there for about three years. It's interesting that just one block south was located the property purchased in 1892 for the glove fitting and dress cutting system of Aaron and Mary Alice Markley. While Ham and Clara were living on Clay, his youngest brother James Albert in 1898 married Marguerite, the daughter of Aaron and Mary Alice, and these are our grandparents. This is probably the neighborhood where the two families became acquainted.

In 1899 Ham and Clara moved to Lime Street on the block where it abuts Shunganunga Creek in the east part of town, and in 1902 back to the western part of town at 1115 West 10th. They seem to have been there, although during this time Ham executed seven land deeds, until they moved to 2803 Ohio where they were listed in the 1914 directory reproduced in the Highland Park History. By 1921 they lived across the street at 2814 Ohio while Ham built the adjacent home, probably numbered 2810, later owned by Bill Root, the Superintendant of Mails in Topeka. From Highland Park they moved by 1924 to Elmwood, then to Lincoln, and finally to 801 Lindenwood where they spent the last decade of Hamilton's life.

Hamilton and Clara were censused 1900 through 1930 in Topeka, the 1910 and 1920 locations adjacent to his parents James and Margaret on Ohio Street. Hamilton worked as a Brass Moulder (his father's profession) in 1900, in a Pattern Shop 1910, and as a Clerk for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1930. Hattiebel and Jean lived with their parents at least through that year.

Below are summarized the land transactions found under Ham's name in the Shawnee County deed books. In an attempt at brevity and clarity, the original lot and subdivision descriptions have been omitted and replaced with their street number equivalents. However, the deed book and page numbers for each transaction have been retained so that the original descriptions could be easily found if desired.

On 5 Sep 1893, a parcel consisting of a lot and a fraction belonging to Ham, on the west side of Clay north of Munson, was sold for taxes [244:242]. We failed to find the deed recording Hamilton's original purchase of this property. On 15 Apr 1899 Ham repurchased this land for $900 [257:425], and this purchase price probably indicates that a house existed on the lot. On 25 Jan 1901 Ham and Clara sold this property for $1000 [280:355], and this small increase in price certainly indicates that Ham had not improved the lot by building on it.

3 Jul 1895 Ham bought, for $100, one and 1/2 lots on Lime north of Sixth Street [239:387]. Almost four years later, 7 Mar 1899 (six weeks before his Clay street repurchase), he bought for $300 from his brother James Albert and wife Maggie another two and one half lots on Lime toward Shunganunga Creek adjoining the original parcel [278:54], and they lived there at least by this time. 23 Jan 1902 Ham and Clara sold to Marion G. Wright for $250 two lots of the Lime Street property [307:562], and on 22 Mar 1904 they sold to Wright for $200 another one and 1/2 lots of this property [312:359]. (Sale of the remaining one-half of a lot seems not to have been recorded.) A comparison of purchase and sale prices seems to indicated that Ham didn't build on any of these lots.

24 Sep 1898 Ham and Clara sold for $1250 a lot on Madison between Crane Street and the river [270:539]. We didn't find a record of the purchase of this property.

15 Mar 1899 Ham bought for $900 two lots on the south side of 10th Street in the middle of the block between Clay and Buchanan [270:116]. On 20 Feb 1907 he and Clara sold this property for $2450 [315:385]. This substantially increased value surely is due to Ham having built a house on the property. In 1909 there was another entry in the deed index concerning the 10th Street property [348:433], probably the final payment on a mortgage given by Ham to the buyers in 1907. They were censused in 1900 while they lived on 10th Street, and Hamilton was described as a brass molder:

Ham's brother James had purchased six lots on Ohio in Highland Park in Sep 1906. We believe that Ham soon after that date built the house for James and Maggie on the most southern three lots. No record of the construction has been found, nor of the payment James must have made for the work. This became our grandparents' home for the rest of their lives.

Then, 7 May 1909, Ham purchased for $325 from James the first three of the Ohio lots on the corner of Eagle (28th) [351:529]. Here Ham built a second house, numbered 2803 Ohio, and moved into it sometime before 1916 when he and his wife and their three grown children were listed at that address. He then sold it 21 Aug 1921 to W. C. Lamb [472:567].

That house was bought back by our grandparents, James and Margaret Swan, from Lamb on 9 Jan 1926 [544:443]. On 8 July that year they mortgaged it for $2000, and on 23 September for an additional $200. On 8 Dec 1936 they sold the house and land to our parents Paul Reese and Mildred Swan for the balance due on the mortgages of $1785 and $200 [735:205]. However, our family moved into the property (and renumbered it 2801 Ohio) before Pat was born 19 Nov 1931, so it was probably being rented from Dad's parents until that time. Mother finally sold the property 13 May 1981 when she moved to an apartment in Mission Towers at 29th and Minnesota.

5 Sep 1913 Ham sold to his brother J. Albert Swan for $1 and other considerations one and 1/2 lots on the west side of Monroe Street between 1st and 2nd Streets [394:273]. We didn't find a record of the purchase of this property.

19 Aug 1919 Ham bought for $2900 from Maggie Swan and James the eight lots at 28th Street on the east side of Ohio [452:288]. Margaret's parents Mary Alice and Aaron Markley had purchased this land and house, in two parcels, 10 Oct [326:496] and 3 Dec [327:214] 1906 for a total of $1050. Ham built a house on the corner parcel of six lots (whether before or after purchasing the land from his brother is not known), while he and Clara lived in the Markley home, at 2814 Ohio, on the next two lots. On 11 Jan 1923 Ham sold these eight lots and the two houses to Bill Root [489:168] in exchange for a lot and a half on Lincoln Street between 11th and Munson Streets [489:164]. Bill was the postmaster of Topeka.

The last transaction found in the deed books for Ham is his sale 6 Sep 1936, for $1 and love, an undivided interest in their home at 801 Lindenwood to his daughters Hattie and Jean. Three months later Ham died, of cardiac insufficiency, and is buried in Topeka Cemetery.

Clara's natal family was quite peripatetic. Her parents James (born in Scotland) and Amanda Davidson were in St. Louis, Missouri in 1860, in Fond du Lac, Michigan in 1870, in Ness County, Kansas (central part of the western half of the state) in 1880, and finally in Topeka, Kansas by 1900. In that first census they and their two year old daughter Ida were shown as living in the home of Truman Lindsay, 45, with Lindsay family members ranging in age from 29 down to 6 years, all except the youngest born in Canada. Amanda, 22 at that time and born in Michigan, might possibly have fit into that family, so Truman might have been her father. I haven't been able to find any records to substantiate that premise.

In her burial record at Topeka Cemetery, Clara is recorded as "Harriet, wife of Hamilton Swan". Whether that is a first or middle name I don't know. However, I would guess that, although she went by the name Clara all her life, perhaps the cemetery required her legal first name for their records. (Or, the name Harriet is simply an error.) From that cemetery record we have her birth and death dates, the former corroborated by her 1900 census.

IMAGE: Hattie_and_Jean.GIF
Jean Clara, William Hamilton and Hattiebel Charlotte Swan
Children of Hamilton and Clara (Davidson) Swan

The three children of Hamilton and Clara (Davidson) Swan:   Hattiebel Charlotte, Jean Clara and William Hamilton. 

i    Swan, Hattiebel Charlotte was born 3 Oct 1885 in Mission, Johnson, Kansas, died 17 Apr 1959 and was buried in Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas. 

Hattiebel and her sister were the Hattie and Jean who wrote the Swan family history, cited many times in this genealogy.

I am combining their stories under Jean's heading below, as they spent their entire lives together, and their two stories are actually one.

An inquiry to the Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence, Kansas, was responded to 21 Mar 2015 by Brittany J. Keegan, Curator ~ Collections Manager, who located Hattiebel's obituary in the 17 Apr 1959 issue of the "Lawrence Journal-World":

"Funeral services for Hattiebel Swan 73, of Lecompton, will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lecompton Evangelical United Brethren Church. She died Thursday morning at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. … Survivors include her sister-in-law Mrs. Clara May Swan of Sherman, Tex., and several cousins.

ii    Swan, Jean Clara was born 23 May 1887 in Kansas, died 1 Jul 1951 and was buried in Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas. 

There were several society news items in the "The Topeka Daily Capital" mentioning one or other of the two sisters. These give a flavor of the life they led in Topeka over the years:

"Miss Edythe Hughes of 201 Chandler street was given a delightful surprise party last evening af her home by her young lady friends. An oyster supper was served and the following guests enjoyed a good time: … Miss Hattiebell Swan …" - Sunday, December 19, 1909.

"The Dally Capital extends an Invltatlon to the public to visit it in its new home. Visitors will be shown the big presses and through all departments of the building. Those who visited the Daily Capital yesterday were: ... Jean Swan, city ... " - Wednesday, June 1, 1910.

"Mrs. Jesse Van Cleave and daughter Leona, Mrs. Sam Newman and son Robert, Mrs. George Gustin, and Mrs. Earl Ready were the guests one day of [garbled OCR text]. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. James B. Davidson [Jean and Hattie's maternal grandparents], Mr. and Mrs. James R. Davidson, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Magee, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Swan [their parents], Mr. and Mrs. Guy Magee, Miss Alice Magee, Miss Mildred Davidson, Miss Hattiebel Swan, Miss Jean Swan, Mr. William Swan (their young brother], Mr. Ralph Davidson, Mr. Harry Davidson and Mr. Clyde Davidson." - Thursday, May 16, 1912. Clyde and Anita Davidson were friends of my parents for many years, and lived a few blocks away in Highland Park. Clyde, Dad, and my uncle Don Swan graduated from eighth grade together.

"The K. K. Ks. held a grand Halloween party Friday evening at Parrish's. Those present were: Hattie Swan, ... Jean Swan, …" - Tuesday, November 3, 1914. Surely not the Klu Klux Klan (although they did start recruiting in Topeka by 1922), but I haven't been able to identify the "K. K. Ks".

"The Eighth grade pupils of the Oakland school will hold a class picnic at the home of Miss Jean Swan in Highland Park next Saturday afternoon." - Thursday, May 13, 1915. Oakland is a neighborhood in a large loop of the Kansas River, the "Kaw", to the west of the Topeka Airport.

"John F. Eby, county superintendent of schools, announced the names of the teachers who have been employed for the year 1915-16 for the county schools. ... Oakland: Jean Swan…" - Tuesday, July 27, 1915

"Dr. and Mrs. G. H. Ensign entertained the members of the Oakland W. C. T. U. and their families and the teachers of the Oakland school at their home … Tuesday evening at a Halloween dinner. The teachers present were: Miss Jean Swan, ..." - Thursday, October 28, 1915. That's the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

"Mrs. Hamilton Swan, Miss Hattiebel Swan and Miss Jean Swan left Monday for Siloam Springs. Ark., to spend several weeks. Mr. Hamilton Swan will Join them later in the summer." - June 18, 1916

"The teachers chosen for the Oakland city schools for the coming year are …Miss Jean Swan. Miss Ruby Bush, high school teachers …", - Thursday, June 7, 1917.

"Miss Hattiebel Swan and Miss Jean Swan entertained Friday evening in honor of Miss Clara May Haynes of Sherman. Tex., who has been a guest this weeK at the Hamilton Swan home." - Sunday, December 30, 1917. Clara May in a few months' time would marry Hattie and Jean's brother William just before he left to die in France during WW I.

"The following girls enjoyed a Halloween tacky party Wednesday evening at the home of Miss Mabel Cromwell, on Adams street:..., Miss Jean Swan, Miss Hattiebell Swan, ..., Miss Clarice Zirkle." - Monday, October 31, 1921. Miss Zirkle was my first grade teacher thirteen years later.

In 1930 Hattie and Jean were living with their parents at 801 SW Lindenwood Ave, just off of 8th Street in the southwest part of Topeka. But by 1935 the sisters were living together less that a mile away at 1029 Liane St, just off of 10th Avenue, as attested in their 1940 census. At that time Jean was listed as head of household and working as a school teacher. No occupation was listed for Hattiebel.

Hattibel and Jean had been living together in Highland Park in their later years, if my recollection is correct, but apparently moved to Lecompton, a small community about halfway between Topeka and Lawrence, sometime in the 1940s.

In August of 1948 Jean was hired as a new faculty member in the Lecompton school as a teacher of home economics and English.

Jean's obituary in the "Lawrence Journal-World" of 7 Jul 1951 reads:

"Friends here of Miss Jean Swan, a former De Soto high school teacher, have learned of her death a few days ago. Miss Swan and her sister, Miss Hattie Bell [sic] Swan, made their home in Lecompton in recent years were they operated an antique shop."

Hattiebel and Jean are buried in Section 14, Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas, according to memorials. Those memorials give correctly their years of birth and death, but provide no family connections.

An inquiry to the Oak Hill Cemetery elicited the information from Mitch Young that Hattiebel bought the cemetery plot for $50 on 2 Jul 1951 when she lived in Lecompton. That was the day after Jean's death.

iii    Swan, William Hamilton was born 9 Jan 1890 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas, died 29 Oct 1918 in France and was buried 18 Oct 1921 in Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.  He and Clara May Haynes were married 1917/1918.  Clara May was born 6 May 1888 in Wartrace, Bedford, Tennessee, died 17 Jul 1961 in Sherman, Grayson, Texas and was buried 20 Jul 1961 in West Hill Cemetery.  She was the daughter of James W. and Pattie (Dobson) Haynes.

William entered the Army 19 Sep 1917, Company D, 353rd Infantry, 89th Division. He died in France following wounds received 25th of Oct 1918. He appears on the Shawnee County Honor Roll online at http://www.shawneeww1.infol:

IMAGE: Wm_Hamilton_Swan_obit.jpg

IMAGE: Wm_Hamilton_Swan_stone.jpg

On 10 Feb 2004 Jim Laird posted an obituary of Williams's from the Topeka Daily State Journal of Dec 17, 1918:

"Killed October 13; William H. Swan of Highland Park

"Topeka has another man on its roll of honor, the name of William H. Swan, who died October 13 [sic] from wounds received in action on the western battle front. Word of the death of their son was received Monday by Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Swan, of Highland Park. It is thought that the battle in which young Swan received his death wounds was between the Argonne Forest and the Meuse River. He was a member of Company D, 353rd infantry, 89th Division.

"Before entering the army Swan was a teacher in the manual training department of the Topeka schools. He had previously taught two years in the Leavenworth high school. He was educated in the Topeka grade schools, the Los Angeles high school and the Kansas State Manual Training Normal School. He was 28 years of age at the time of his death.

"Swan left Camp Funston (Fort Riley, Kansas) May 28, 1918. A short time before leaving he was married to Miss Clara May Haynes of Sherman, Texas. He is survived by his wife, his parents, and two sisters, Hattibel C. Swan and Jean C. Swan."

From Clara May's gravestone memorial, see below, I was able to find her family in the 1880 and 1900 censuses. In that latter year, the family was in Sherman, Grayson County, Texas; J. W. and Pattie R Haynes, with daughters Lula M, 21, and Clara May, 12, all four born in Tennessee His occupation was given as "Furniture Undertaker". Was that a coffin maker? In 1900 James W. and Patty R. Haynes were censused in Shelbyville, Bedford, Tennessee, with son Jimmie, 3, and daughter Lula M., 1 year old. In 1910, he was listed as James, an undertaker, and Clara May was still at home that year.

In The Athenium, published by the student body of the Sherman High School, 1916 [], Clara May is listed as "Assistant Domestic Science" of the faculty, and her picture is shown:

IMAGE: Clara_May_1916.jpg
Clara May Haynes - 1916

Clara May attended Pittsburgh State College in Kansas, and graduated in the class of 1917. In that directory, she was listed as "Haynes, Clara May (Mrs. Wm. Swan)", so she wasn't married by the spring of 1917. They must have been married less that a year before William left for the war in May, 1918.

By 1920, after being married and widowed, Clara May was back living with her parents and sister in Sherman and working as a high school teacher. In the 1930 and 1940 censuses in Sherman, she and her sister were living together, with no occupation shown for either one, either year.

On 4 Jan 2015, Don Ruperts published a memorial on giving Clara May's birthdate, birthplace and parentage, which he obtained from her death certificate, a copy of which he forwarded to me 14 Jan 2015. He also included in the memorial an image of her gravestone in West Hill Cemetery in Sherman:

Clara May's death certificate names her as Clara May Haynes Swan, living at 703 N Elm Street in Sherman, Grayson, Texas, where she died of acute myocardial infarction after suffering for about two years with arterioscleriotic heart disease. The informant was her sister Lula Haynes.

IMAGE: Clara_May_stone.jpg
Clara May Haynes Swan Gravestone

4    Swan, William Brown was born 16 Feb 1864 in Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey, died 1 Sep 1902 in Ludington, Mason, Michigan and was buried in Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.  He and Belle B. Bennett were married 5 Jan 1898.  Belle B. was born Nov 1871 in Illinois, died 23 Jan 1944 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois and was buried 25 Jan 1944 in Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.  She was the daughter of Henry and Mary F. (Vreeland) Bennett.

William Brown Swan's birth is to be found on which cites "Records of births, marriages, and deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, Microfilm of original records at the New Jersey State Library, Trenton". He was the second son of James and Jane to be named William, which indicates that the Maryland born William of the 1860 census had died before 1864.

William, known as Will to his family, was a man of many talents — brass molder, foundry foreman, graduate of Baker University, Methodist minister, newspaperman, legislator, homeopathic physician who studied under Karl Menninger, Secretary of the Kansas State Board of Health, and University Trustee. His accidental death at the age of thirty-eight was a tragic loss.

Will B. Swan was listed for Representative, thirty-seventh District on the Republican County Ticket of 1892 [Topeka Weekly Capital, 27 Oct 1892]. In that election he was a successful candidate for the Kansas legislature. During the campaign, the Topeka Daily Capital endorsed him for the seat, and ran a biography in support of his candidacy. This short article provided us with our first knowledge of the itinerary of his parents as they moved from New Jersey to Wisconsin to Kansas, and relates William's own life up to that time.

As a youth Will worked on his father's farms and in his foundrys as a brass molder. He entered Baker University at Baldwin, Kansas in the fall of 1882. After having taken two years off to secure more funds for his education, he earned his A.B. with honors in 1889. After graduation, he was invited to fill the pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal church at Peru in Chautauqua county, Kansas, just west of Coffeyville and a few miles from the Oklahoma line. He left there at the end of the Methodist conference year, in March, 1890, and returned to Topeka to work again for his father as a brass molder at the foundry in the Santa Fe Shops.

Early in 1891 William accepted a position as advertising agent for the Knoxville, Tennesee Journal, and was associated as well with the Memphis Commercial. After only nine months in Tennesee, he returned to a job as foreman with his father at the Santa Fe brass foundry. It was at this time he was elected to the legislature. These were turbulent political times, and at one point violence became the preferred method of political action. In the legislative war of 1893, the statehouse had been barricaded by the Populists in an effort to prevent the Republican legislators from taking their seats. William is mentioned as one of the crowd who battered down the door to enable Stephen Douglas to legally call the house to order. Pistols were brandished by several men of both parties, but no shots were actually fired and only votes, not lives, were lost.

While working as the foundry foreman, and carrying out his legislative duties, Will had begun studying medicine under Dr. Karl Menninger, and in 1893 went to the Chicago Homeopathic (Webster: "Homeopathy: a system of medical practice that treats a disease especially by the administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in healthy persons produce symptoms of the disease treated".) Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, to continue his studies. (One source says he also studied there in 1891-92, but that conflicts with his biography which puts him in Tennessee and back in Topeka at that time. This is probably a confusion with his study under Dr. Menninger.) Upon graduation with an A.M. (1895) and M.D. (1896), he entered practice in Topeka, opening an office at 725 Kansas Avenue (telephone 942, according to an ad for his practice.). In 1899 William was elected secretary of the State Board of Health, a position which he held until his death, and in March 1902 was chosen as a Trustee of Baker University, representing the Kansas Conference of the Methodist Church.

In 1900 William and Belle (censused as Bella) were living on Buchanan Street in Topeka, with his birth date given as Feb 1863 rather than 1864. They were censused adjacent to his parents James and Jane and sister Lottie.

That year William came into conflict with the state auditor. The Kansas Board of Health had voted to send him to the national convention of health boards at Atlantic City, New Jersey. When he submitted his expense account for reimbursement (railroad fare plus $15 for a hotel room for two weeks!), the auditor refused to allow the bill, stating that the health board had no right to use money for any purposes outside the state of Kansas. This despite the fact that the auditor had previously approved funds expended in Missouri. Feelings ran strong: Dr. Minick of the board, and the Governor's personal physician, said "The nine members are of sufficient standing financially to buy out the whole administration and not feel the outlay", arguing that the board wasn't complaining about the money, but the principal they should be able to spend the money given to the board as they see fit in carrying out their duties.

While on vacation with his family on Lake Michigan in 1902, Will and two friends decided to attempt rowing in the face of a rough sea. The boat capsized, and Will, being unable to swim, was drowned despite the efforts of his friends to rescue him. His body was returned home for burial in Topeka Cemetery.

William's wife Belle was the daughter of Henry Bennett, for whom an extensive biography can be found in A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans112 We abstract a few of the highlights here:

Henry served with the Chicago Board of Trade Battery for almost three years during the Civil War, and started a very successful construction business in Chicago before coming to Kansas in 1876. There he engaged in an impressively wide range of construction work, including buildings for the insane asylum at Ossawatomie, many of the state buildings in whole or in part, churches, banks, business blocks and many of the important structures for the Santa Fe Railway. In 1878 he went to Manhattan and put up several structures for the state at Manhattan, including the auditorium, the mechanical engineering building, the veterinary building and the original creamery building. (A KSU archive states that Henry Bennett of Silver Lake was awarded the contract for the interior work on Anderson Hall.) In 1888 he took the contract for remodeling the east wing of the State House as a senate chamber and put in between $250,000 and $300,000 of interior finish work on the central part of the building.

Some of the more conspicuous of his operations in Topeka alone have been the Governor Crawford Block, the Columbia, the Masonic Block, the Independent Telephone Building, the original Central National Bank Building, the National Hotel, the old Copeland Hotel which was destroyed by fire and the present fireproof building on the old site. He built the governor's mansion, the Topeka Library Building, and the Edison office building. After he had passed his seventieth birthday his organization undertook the new Santa Fe office building, the Grace Cathedral, and the Sunday School building of the First Methodist Church.

In 1891 Mr. Bennett went to Mexico and constructed the general offices, a depot and a hotel for the Gulf & Monterey railroad, and also built a number of stations between Monterey and Mexico City for the Mexican National Railway. He also had several contracts for construction work on the World's Fair grounds at Chicago, and put up the Territorial Building for the territories of Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico and Alaska. In 1896 he erected the National Hotel at Cripple Creek, Colorado, and has erected many buildings for the Santa Fe Railway Company all over the Southwest. When Oklahoma was open to settlement he had a contract with the Rock Island Railroad for building every station on that company's line in Oklahoma. That was one of his largest years and besides all of this work he put up the roundhouse and other buildings for the Rock Island at Blue Island, Illinois.

Mr. Bennett was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Topeka, a Knight Templar Mason, a past commander of the Loyal Legion in the State of Kansas, and belonged to the Rotary and the Topeka Commercial Clubs.

After William died, Belle took out permit #10724 for a $2,250 house at 914 Munson (then King) where she then lived with her father, who established an office in the building []. She appears as Belle B. Swan at this address in the 1902 Radge's Topeka City Directory, while William B. Swan has an entry listing his profession of physician, his position as secretary of the State Board of Heath, and his residence at 624 Buchanan Street. William drowned that year, and these separate listings probably represent "before and after" entries during the publishing process.

Belle appears in the 1905 census index for Topeka, age 33, as Mrs. Bell B. Swan.

I cannot find Belle in the 1910 census, but her father was censused in the 3rd ward in Topeka on a page [Series: T624 Roll: 457 Page: 43] that is so faded as to be almost entirely illegible, so Belle was probably listed there also but her entry not readable.

In 1915 the census lists "Bell" and her daughter living with her parents at 914 W 11th Street in Topeka. In 1920 Belle and her daughter were censused living with Henry on King Street in Topeka, her birthplace given as Illinois and her age as 49. Wilma was 17 years old. Both are listed with no occupation.

On 13 Jul 1922 Belle B. Swan purchased lots 110, 112, and part of 114 on King Street in Giles subdivision [443:575]. This is now Munson Street, and the lots lie in the middle of the block between Western and Fillmore, around the corner and a block over from where her in-laws, James and Marguerite Swan, had lived.

In 1930, Belle was living at 914 King Street in Topeka, owning her home which was worth $8,500. She had three boarders in her home, two public school teachers and a widowed broker named Charles B. Minor who dealt in stocks and bonds.

In the next ten years Belle married Charles and again became a widow. The 1940 census finds Belle Minor living with her sister Ada and brother-in-law Joseph Peters, postmaster of Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi. That census also recorded that the three of them had in 1935 lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Belle died in 1944 in Chicago, and was buried in the Bennett family plot in Topeka Cemetery, Section 69, Lot 136.

A daughter of William Brown and Belle B. (Bennett) Swan:   Wilma Bennett. 

i    Swan, Wilma Bennett was born 1 Dec 1902 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas, died 21 May 1925 and was buried in Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas. 

Wilma's birth and death years given here are from her tombstone in Topeka Cemetery. The cemetery record says that she died of tuberculosis.

5    Swan, James Albert was born 29 Mar 1874.    

b 1874      d 1937
b 1875      d 1949
b 1903      d 1953
b 1903      d 1989
b 1929      
b 1930      d 1998

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