This week in #52Ancestors and #52familyphotographs I start on the process of fleshing out the branches of the Van Syckel family tree. I wrote about Chester Van Syckel last year and at the time did a bit of research on his siblings but not enough, never enough! So this blog is about Amanda Van Syckel (28 June 1834 to 28 September 1917).
I can find very little about Amanda prior to her marriage to Theodore J. Hoffman on 22 February 1855. There’s not that much available on her after that fact either. She and Theodore had eleven children, seven surviving to adulthood. She does not even merit an obituary, although Theodore got special accolades for being the oldest alumnus of Rutgers when he died in 1922. He was a lawyer in Somerville, New Jersey and I suppose she occupied herself with eleven pregnancies and raising seven children:
Alletta Hoffman (1855-1941)
Joseph V. Hoffman (1857-1894)
Kate V. Hoffman (1859-1862)
Mary E. Hoffman (1861-1943)
Alexander B. Hoffman (1863-1864)
Louisa C. Hoffman (1865-1866)
Ann E. Hoffman (1868-1868)
Alice V. Hoffman (1869-?)
Clara Hoffman (1871-1949)
Frank C. Hoffman (1873-1943)
Ogden Hoffman (1876-1948)
Amanda Van Syckel died 28 September 1917 and is buried in the New Somerville cemetery in Somerset County, New Jersey.
Sometimes you come across a picture that helps you find a person. This week’s #52ancestors #52familyphotographs started out with just that discovery. I have already written about Philip H. Prince and his wife Gertrude, but I really knew very little about her. I came across this photograph and thought, hmm, I didn’t know she was a nurse.
So I went looking and low and behold, there on the 1920 Census, Gertrude Williams is employed as a nurse and is living at St. Mary’s Hospital, on Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. That lead me to wonder where she got her nursing certificate (Pennsylvania would have registered her at that time) but I was unable to determine whether she trained at the hospital or elsewhere.
I wonder if she met Philip H. Prince while nursing?
Joseph was born on 29 June 1834 at Hanover, New Jersey. He appears to have attended a school run by Jesse Davis, and OSP clergyman in New Hanover. I cannot determine that he served in the Civil War but he was living in Brooklyn, New York when he married Christine Kellog (daughter of Martin Kellog and Marilla Cooley Kellog). They had one son, Joseph Walter Jones, who tragically died before he was six months old in 1866. The couple was in Florence, New Jersey at the time.
At this point the details get sketchy. I found Joseph and Christine living in Eden, Pennsylvania on 12 July 1870 but I do not find him again on another census in any state. Curiously, Joseph’s death certificate listed him as a widower on 25 March 1895 when he died in New York at 229 W. 12th St. However, Christine did not predecease him.
In 1875 Christine was living in Caldwell, NY near Lake George within the household of her mother Marilla Kellog. And in 1884 she married Henry Lewis Gregg in Newton, Massachusetts. She was living in Hudson, NY with her husband when she died on 12 August 1889.
That moment when the identified photograph ends up being more confusing than the unknown? That’s this weeks #52ancestors and #52familyphotographs rolled into one!
The man sitting in the plus fours is my great grandfather’s older brother. Born Elwood Andrew Jones on 12 October 1869 to Benjamin and Mary Carroll Jones, He may have worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as an engineer. In 1891 he married Amy Emmons. They lived in Pemberton and raised five children: Inez, Paul, Oscar, Gladys and Myrtle.
I think the people named on the label are as follows left to right:
If there is anything to be grateful about the change in family dynamics in the 20th century, it is that father’s could hold their babies and play with their children. This is George Raymond Prince (1895-1939) holding either George Raymond Jr. (1921-2004) or Paul Everett Prince (1924-1991). I live the casual informality here but my heart breaks a little as this photo is included in an album my grandmother Kathryn Preston put together for my father about his family. Sadly, Barclay Gibbs Jones Sr. never got to hold Barclay Jr. this way.
George R. Prince, Philip H. Prince and Kathryn M. Prince were the children of George Cornell Prince. They make up the New Jersey branch of this early Bradford County, Pennsylvania family.
George R. Prince, Sr. lived in Camden and worked the family business at Prince Concrete. He married Clara about 1920 (would love more detail on this!) and they had five children: George R. Jr. (1921-2004), Alice Rae (1922-1922), Paul Everett (1924-1991), Joyce Eleanor (1926-2003) and David Roger (1924-2004).
It’s February and the stores are filled with heart shaped boxes of candy, so romance in on my mind as I select this weeks’ #52ancestors and #52familyphotographs. I don’t know when it was taken but I think the location is the back porch of James Haviland Tompkins‘ house in South Orange, NJ. This is Joseph Fairfield Poland and Eleonor Marie Tompkins. If it is courtship, then it is pre-1935 wedding.
I always wondered what it would have been like if my father and Joe Poland could have communicated more easily (email, whathaveyou) as their careers intersected in so many ways. Joe was an early force in the field of engineering geology and had a world wide reputation, known by Italians as the “savior of Venice” for his research on why that city was slowly becoming a puddle. Back in the states, he was instrumental in helping California deal with some of its many water issues.
I know far less about Eleonor, the grown up. I know that after her mother’s early death, Eleonor lived with the Tompkins clan in Jersey City. Haviland depended on his sisters Louise and Grace to take care of the little girl while he worked. It was a sad day for them when he married for the second time to Elizabeth Carol Baldwin and set up a new household which included Eleonor and two new children. The family story is that none of his children could leave Jersey City until Samuel D. Tompkins died. It bears out as shortly after his 1926 death, Haviland and family moved to South Orange.
Joe and Eleonor lived in Sacramento and had five children, who will not be named here because they are still alive and this is the internet after all.