|Margaret Evans - Packet ship built in 1846|
Lawrence A. Samuel is my second great-grand-uncle, the third child of my third great-grandfather, Aaron Samuel. Lawrence was born on Dec. 27, 1846 in Whitechapel, England. In 1851 he lived with his family at 47 Green Street in Stepney, England. By 1857, Aaron and his wife, the former Phoebe Levy had 8 children in total. The youngest child, John, had just been born in February of 1857. John would become my second-great-grandfather.
By August of 1857, Aaron and his family were sailing to America on board the Margaret Evans. (More about this in the post on Aaron’s birthday January 4) Lawrence was 11 years old when he arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey.
By 1870, Lawrence had met and married Abbie Levy. A young lady five years his junior, Abbie had been born in New York. The couple made their home in Springfield, Massachusetts where Lawrence worked as a cigar maker. Lawrence’s father worked at the same trade in England and New Jersey as did many other family members.
The 1880 census shows Lawrence living in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter Phoebe (age 8), son Charles (age 6) and daughter, “Lotta” (Charlotte- age 3). The family was living at 470 DeGraw Street just a few houses away from Aaron who was living at 439 DeGraw.
|1880 US Census entry|
Between 1880 and 1886 they had three more children. I was confused as to whether there were three or four children. The name “Aron” appears on the 1880 census as an infant aged 2/12 giving him a birth date of March 1880. I also located a 1905 marriage record for an Edward Samuel also born to Lawrence and Abbie in 1880. This led me to wonder what was up – were they twins? Why wasn't Edward’s name listed on the same census as Aron? It didn't help that I haven’t been able to find Lawrence in the 1890 or 1900 US Censuses. (The 1890 census was burned in a huge fire, so I have a good excuse there. I have no idea why I can’t find the 1900 information.) Only when I found a birth record for Edward’s child Henry did I realize that Aaron and Edward were, in fact, the same person! Aaron Edward Samuel used his middle name as his first name as an adult. The record itself did not provide the information - it was the way it was listed on the familysearch.org website!
Interestingly, my own grandfather did basically the same thing. Born “Aaron Edgar Samuel”, he used Ed as his first name..
On June 23, 1883, Lawrence’s fourth child, Samuel Frederick Samuel was born. Finally on January 22, 1885, they had a third son, Lawrence who lived less than 2 years old. This poor child died on Dec. 26, 1887 of meningitis.
Lawrence became a naturalized citizen on October 22, 1887.
Sadly, Abbie died of heart disease on January 24, 1895 at the young age of 44.
We then lose track of Lawrence for a few years. However, we do know that he remarried. It was the second marriage for his new wife as well. According to Massachusetts records, Lawrence married Katherine McCarthy (born 1862 in Boston) on September 8, 1897. The strange thing about the marriage record is that Kate’s last name is listed as “Samuel” – not sure what that means.
The 1910 census shows the couple living at 5 Elwood Street in Everett, Massachusetts, along with a 13 year-old son named Hiram Lawrence Samuel. That would mean that the child, nicknamed “Harry” had been born approximately 1897 – the same year Lawrence and Katherine married. That census also shows that Kate had borne 6 children- only 3 of whom were living. Was Harry a son of Lawrence or of the Kate’s first husband? I located the birth record for Hiram. It proved even more interesting: Hiram was born on May 3, 1896 –more than one year before his parents were married. Possible explanation: Lawrence and Katherine had a civil marriage previous to the 1897 one that had been officiated by a rabbi. More work to be done….
Lawrence continued work as a packer in cigar factories at least through 1920 by which time he was 74. By 1930 he had retired and moved with his wife to 305 Rockland Street in Brockton, MA.
I have no further information on Lawrence. I have yet to locate a death date.
Anyone want to pick up the challenge??