Christiana Van Syckel McLenahan

This week in #52ancestors, I traveled through multiple family census records to try and track the orphaned daughter of Christiana Van Syckel McLenahan. This was a good reminder that when you don’t find someone where you think they ought to be, look sideways along your family tree.  Chances are the individual did not get missed, they are just not where you are trying to put them.

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Grave marker found on Find A Grave

Christiana Van Syckel was born on 23 February 1828, the sixth daughter of Aaron and Mary Bird Van Syckel. She appears in early documents as Christy Anna and Christian but by the time of her marriage she is simply Chrissie.

Christiana Van Syckel married Robert Mills McLenahan on 16 December 1852 in Jersey City at the First Reformed Church of Van Vorst. They had one daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1856.  McLenahan was a prominent physician in Lebanon, NJ.

Christiana McLenahan died 8 March 1856 and is buried in Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery in Pattenburg, New Jersey. Robert McLenahan married again almost immediately to Sarah Johnson on 1 February 1857 in Hunterdon County and in 1860 they reside in Lebanon, NJ with Elizabeth.

Sadly, Robert died in 1864 and daughter Elizabeth is placed under the guardianship of Daniel C. Titus (married Elizabeth Gertrude McLenahan). I found a very detailed accounting of the guardianship which was interesting but not very informative on her life experience. I also found interesting details through Find A Grave, as the person living in Dr. McLenahan’s house put up all sorts of interesting documents.

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Found on Find a Grave

Interestingly, Sarah and Lizzie do not appear to ever live together after the death of Robert.  Lizzie lives with Daniel’s family in 1870 and by 1880 she is living with her uncle Robert Killgore and his two daughters.  She married Paul A. Queen in December 1880 and lived the remainder of her life in Flemington, where Paul was a lawyer.