This week in #52Ancestors another “oh, this one will be easy, look what a unique name he has!”
Joseph Huddell Roach was born 17 April 1822 to Isaac (1786-1848) and Mary Huddell (1788?-?) Roach. He was raised in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania between 1836 and 1840. He married Eliza Walter Jones (1820-1894, daughter of Walter Moore Jones) on 15 April 1846. They had two children, Joseph Chandler Roach (1847-1888) and Mary Huddell Roach (1848-1912).
This was one research project that irritated. It is hard not to project my 21st century sensibilities onto this family but the men were mostly coasting on the previous generation’s income and the women barely get mentioned in any records, including obituaries! Mary Huddell Roach does not even merit a mention in husband Isaac’s death notice, although none of his children do, either.
Joseph Roach is listed in records as a merchant, but I can find little to document what and where he did business.
***2019 additional information: I did find him listed in an 1861 city directory as a merchant at 122 & 124 Chestnut St. after a cousin pointed me in that direction: that Roach was in business with another cloth wholesaler named Brooks. Interestingly enough that same city directory lists Jeremiah, Josiah and William Brooks as dry goods merchants at 122 & 124 Chestnut under the business name Brooks Brothers! But alas, it is not the famed New York haberdashery in which I spent many a black Friday following my father from the tie display to the sports jackets and gray flannel pants.
Joseph is more likely to get mentioned for his memberships in the Schuylkill Skating Club or the Social Art Club (later the Rittenhouse Club). He also served in Captain John Cadwalader’s Artillery Company in 1844. In 1876 he was elected to the vestry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, but he died a month later on 16 May 1876. He is buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard, but don’t look for his wife there. After much searching, I discovered that she was Catholic and was buried in New Cathedral Cemetery, at 2nd and Butler Streets. Although I found cemetery record books that show this and also show her buried near her son Joseph Chandler, he appears to have a monument near his wife, as well, in St. Denis Cemetery, Haverford.
Someday, I will pay a visit to a few archives in Philadelphia to fill in the blanks. In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Joseph Huddell Roach!