Emma Louise Tompkins

ca. 1893 The Tompkins clan (from back left: Grace, Louise, Haviland, unknown lady, Vreeland, and Harold)

This week in #52Ancestors brings me to my namesake, Louise Tompkins.  Emma Louise Tompkins was the youngest daughter of Samuel D. and Gettianna Vreeland Tompkins.  She was born 11 October 1881 in Jersey City, New Jersey.  She lived with her parents at 533 Communipaw Ave. and there are many newspaper articles describing her participation in family trips and Jersey City social events.  She may also have been something of a singer, as there is a Louise Tompkins who is listed as soloist for various church and social gatherings.  She appears to have preferred Louise to Emma when she had the choice but occasionally there will be a record that refers to her as Emma.  All the family stories I heard growing up referred to her as “Aunt Lou.”

One such record is her marriage to John J. Voorhees on 23 November 1918.  John J. or Jack as he was called, took over his father’s company, the Voorhees Rubber Company. He was born on 9 April 1876 and had been educated in Jersey City at the Lafayette College.  He married first Florence Eliot Voorhees (no relation) who was the daughter of Abraham and Martha Voorhees of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  They had one daughter, Florence Eliot Voorhees (1908-2000).  Florence died tragically in a carriage accident on 16 July 1910. The family was traveling in a horse drawn carriage when a train rattled through on the tracks below the street.  The horse bolted and dragged the carriage over the embankment. Florence was killed and her husband and daughter were both injured.

Louise and Florence lived together after the death of Jack on 23 December 1948.  At some point they moved out of the house on Duncan Ave. and moved across the street to the apartment building on the opposite corner.   Louise Voorhees died 13 February 1971 and is buried at Arlington Cemetery.



2 thoughts on “Emma Louise Tompkins”

  1. Hello. I’m not sure this will lead to anything, because your Emma Louise Tompkins parents are not the parents of the person whom I seek. I wonder if maybe there is another member of your family whose name is similar and might be related.

    I tripped across this website while searching for Emma Louisa Tompkins who lived in New Jersey at the turn of the last century. Her sister Abigail Brown Tompkins was a painter who sent tiny paintings to members of our Adams family. She attached the paintings to small cards and added a note stating they were being sent in memory of their mother, Sarah Louisa Brown of Newark. Sarah had been a student in my great-great grandfather’s school. He was Frederick Atherton Adams who became a leading scholar-educator of this 19th century.


    1. Jody,
      This Emma Louisa is not of my line but appears in George A Tompkins’ Tomkins-Tompkins Genealogy book on page 353. Their mother would have been Sarah Louise Brown and father Daniel Freeman Tompkins. That is so cool that you have the little paintings. I find all the sideways paths in genealogy can really be fun. Thanks for reaching out.


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