View Full Version : Census lookups please, in Brooklyn, New York
25-11-2007, 12:39 PM
Could a very kind person please look up James Phair for me in the U.S Census, in Brooklyn, New York? He was a printer/compositor b abt 1824 in Ireland. I think I've found him in 1880, all the details match, but its possible he was in the USA from about 1850 onwards.
If you have a sub that has the shipping lists and can find him there too, I'll be doubly grateful!! He'd been living in London for several years, so would have departed from there.
fingers crossed, regards birdlip
25-11-2007, 1:00 PM
Got a few hits that might be your man. 1850 no occupation listed.James Phair Age: 24 Estimated birth year: abt 1826 Birth Place: Ireland Gender: Male Home in 1850(City,County,State): New York Ward 17, New York, New York
I'll see what else I can find. sorry, no shipping on my Subscription.
25-11-2007, 1:06 PM
birth year not right, but is a printer? And wife ann, like on the 1880, but the ages seem wrong.
Name: James Phair
Home in 1900: Manhattan, New York, New York
Estimated birth year: abt 1836
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse's name: Ann
Occupation: View image
Immigration Year: 1870
Neighbors: View others on page
James Phair 64
Ann Phair 46
William Phair 25
Edward Phair 23
Albert Phair 21
Might be worth posting what you know about him, so we can narrow it down a little more.
25-11-2007, 1:52 PM
Hi Mike, thanks so much for looking. I think the 1850 entry might be him, is he on his own?
I don't think the one in 1900 is him, I'll explain..
There seem to be several Phair's in New York, I think the printers are all related somehow, and they're all originally from Ireland. I've been trying to trace James for some time, and have posted recently about my Phair searches, when I thought he (and his son) were still in London. I've managed to find out a bit more since then though.
Briefly, James and his parents, Joseph and Mary came to London from Ireland in the 1820's. By 1827, James's father had set up a printing business, J.Phair, 67 Great Peter Street, Westminster. In the 1841 census there are three more children, Thomas,15, Richard,10 and Sarah 3.
James marries in London in 1845, and has two children, James, b 1847 and Joseph 1849. Then he disappears.
25-11-2007, 2:17 PM
In 1851, the family is still at Gt Peter Street, minus James and Thomas. I think Thomas married in Lambeth in 1850, I've just sent off for the certificate for that.
A Thomas Phair, printer, aged 21, with wife Mary 21 and infant Emily arrive in New York on 2 Oct 1850 from London, on board the 'General Victoria'
On 8 Jan 1853, Joseph and Mary, Richard and Sarah arrive in New York on the ship 'Yorktown'
here they are in 1860;
Brooklyn Ward 11 District 3, Kings, New York
Joseph Phair printer age 63 b Ireland
Mary Phair 62 b Ireland
Richard Phair engraver 22 b England
Sarah Phair 20 b England
By 1863, there is a company operating, that I think they all worked in, including Richard who was a wood engraver, and would have done the illustrations; Phair and co's Steam Print 11, Frankfort Street (near City Hall) N.Y.
25-11-2007, 3:24 PM
I may have found burials for Joseph and Mary in the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, both the same date in 1869.
Richard marries in 1861, and by 1880 has five children. I even found a report in 1911 in the New York Times online, of his golden wedding anniversary, he seems to have become a pillar of the community!
I've found Thomas and Mary in all the census's; in 1860, they're in Brooklyn Ward 11, in 1870 in Ward 8, in 1880, still in Brooklyn, another district and he obligingly gives his place of birth as LONDON, England, he is always a printer or compositor. They don't seem to have had any more children. I may've found an obituary for him in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives online, for 1900.
I THINK this is my James in 1880, (though by 1870, his family in England were saying he was deceased!)
Kings (Brooklyn), New York City-Greater, New York
Louise Phair keeping house age 49 b NY, parents b NJ/NY
Henry Phair son printer 24 NY, NY/NY
William Phair son printer 21 NY, NY/NY
Louise Phair daughter at home 18 NY, NY/NY
James Phair brother, printer 56 Ireland, Ireland/Ireland
Not sure what to make of the 'brother' part, could be brother in law, Louise may be a widow, her husband may have been an older brother of James, who didn't show up on the 1841 census. James is quite likely to have older siblings, as I think I've found his parents marriage in 1817 in Ireland. Though if that were the case, the childrens parents should be showing up as NY/Ireland. I was sure I'd found this same James in 1860, still with Louise and no husband, but it was weeks ago, when I still had a sub, and was just printing off possibilities, and I've obviously lost him in my pile of 'Strays'.
The James you found in 1900, is also around with the same family in 1880, which is partly why I don't think he's mine, though I'm sure they all worked together, and were related somehow. I noticed his daughter Mary is a book folder, so I'm sure she was involved too.
Well, thats the gist of it.. except I've also found a death notice for a James Phair of Brooklyn, who died in 1890 in Bishops Mills, Ontario(!) " in his 66th year"
Hope I haven't confused you too much!
25-11-2007, 4:15 PM
I just don't think any of those NY Phairs are yours.
But I think he might have died in Toronto in 1890... Found his death in the Toronto death records on ancestry. For some reason I can't save images on there anymore (Vista???).. I emailed you a link and prehaps you can take a look at it. It's #20 on the page. Says he died of consumption after 2 months on 4 August 1890 in Grenville. Perhaps Mike can take a look at it and see if he can make much more out of it than I did.
I suggest we look in the Toronto Ontario area.. perhaps we will find more.
PS and of course.. there's that other possibility.. if he did come to NY, they were notorious for mucking up names... have you looked for Fairs? (I haven't yet)
25-11-2007, 5:44 PM
PS and of course.. there's that other possibility.. if he did come to NY, they were notorious for mucking up names... have you looked for Fairs? (I haven't yet)
Good shout, I'll try and take a peek for that later. Need to update my Account, to get the the Canada info, but I need to do that anyway for my brother-in-laws tree.
26-11-2007, 12:12 AM
Hi there you two, thanks so much for looking at this for me,
Betsy, unfortunately the image you sent is too small to read, and they won't let me enlarge it unless I pay up. Any chance of you typing out the details for me?
I don't really know what to make of a Canadian connection. This is the reference I found to a James Phair dying in Canada in 1890;
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Aug 20 1890
DIED: PHAIR- On August 19th, at Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada, JAMES PHAIR of Brooklyn, in his 66th year.
Note it says OF BROOKLYN though. Is this the same fellow as yours? The dates are a couple of weeks out aren't they? Is Bishops Mills anywhere near Grenville?
Look, I've seen the Phair name spelt Fair, Phayre, Phayer etc, so I think anything goes really. Whatever you can find!
thanks again, birdlip
26-11-2007, 12:37 AM
I used to be able to save those images on ancestry but for the past 2 weeks I haven't. I'm blaming it on my VISTA and the stupid security features within it. I pointed Mike to it and maybe he can do better than me.
I'm not all sure exactly what it said... I could make out the name, ireland, age and consumption, but otherwise, I'm a bit at a loss. The date of death, and grenville came from the transcribed entry on ancestry.
What is important to note is that his occupation was still listed as "printer". I haven't poked around the canadian records lately, so I'm having to re-educate myself on what is available there.
Grenville is what's located on the death certificate. Bishops Mills is in the electoral districs of Grenville and Dundas -- so I imagine it's the same one we're looking at.
26-11-2007, 1:06 AM
Aha! and isn't google wonderful, I'd just come to the same conclusion myself. I found Bishops Mills on wikipaedia, "in the township of North Grenville," abt 60 kms SW of Ottawa. When you look on a map, its not too far from New York, its North straight up the highway.
I wonder if there was some sort of Sanitorium there? I would LOVE to see that death entry. Presumably the discrepancy in the dates was because they were late putting the entry in the paper, or the Canadian authorites were late letting the family know?
26-11-2007, 1:37 AM
I would LOVE to see that death entry. Presumably the discrepancy in the dates was because they were late putting the entry in the paper, or the Canadian authorites were late letting the family know?
My guess is their internet connection was probably down. :D
Actually, time delays like that were very common then when you consider the options for communication. An american who died in London didn't get reported for 2 months.
dunno about sanitariums or much of the area at all, although it appears there are various phair's in that area. I kept seeing a mention of a JT Phair in regards to the printing of books while I was googling. I saw a mention of a widow phair (of James) in the 1891 census with 2 kids. Just because the obit said "of brooklyn", it could just as well have meant from 40 years earlier.
The canada genweb has lots of resources. As I recall I used that as my stomping ground when I was searching for people in northern ontario.
Would also suggest you post for a Phair in Ontario on the canada board here... that might wake up some experts in searching that area.
26-11-2007, 2:11 AM
Well, I hadn't thought he may have actually LIVED in Canada, though there are Phair's there too, I'd noticed that. Something to think about.
However, if when I get to see the details, I do think this James Phair is mine, it looks like his will was proved in N York:
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov 8 1890
IN THE SURROGATES COURT. Probate Business Disposed of During the Past Week. During the week just closed Surrogate Abbott has disposed of the following probate business:....(a list of names)...James Phair.....
Now I don't know if thats a further suggestion that this James did actually live in New York before his illness and death, or not. Perhaps he could have sorted his will out many years prior to his death, and lived for forty years in Canada, as you say. Anyway, I will be SO interested to see what the will contains! If it IS him, is there any mention of the family left behind in London?
I'm know I'm getting ahead of myself here, I need to be fairly sure its him first, but then does anyone have any idea how I would get access to that will?
26-11-2007, 3:24 AM
I've posted on the Canada board as you suggested Betsy. It'll be interesting to see if anything comes up. Perhaps he did marry again, and the widow of James you saw, is another wife!
Meanwhile, I've spotted Thomas and Marys burials in the Greenwood Cemetery, same Lot and section numbers as Joseph and Mary, the parents. Also this;
Brooklyn Eagle, Dec 2 1876
SUICIDE OF A BROOKLYN COMPOSITOR. The sad death of Mr. James Phair in an Elizabeth Hotel.
A LONG article, lots of detail! Not my James, this one was only 23, and was said to have shot himself "from disappointment in a love affair". It gives James's address, 330 Dean Street, and says "the remains were taken in charge by an undertaker, and were brought to the residence of his mother. The reception of the news of the sad fate of her son by her is described as heart rending " (I'm not surprised!!) However, theres this; " The deceased was a compositor and was a nephew of Mr. James Phair, the well known job printer of No. 22 Beekman Street, New York."
The uncle could be my James I think. Why wasn't the father mentioned, presumably he'd died, could the mother be Louise from the 1880 census I found? Too many Phairs!!
26-11-2007, 3:53 AM
Here's what I found on wills.
Surrogate, Kings County
Hon. Margarita Lopez Torres
2 Johnson Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 Stephen Chepiga
Mary Egan Dunbar
Deputy Chief Clerk
Phone: (347) 404-9700
...is the address of the court that is supposed to have the probate records for Brooklyn.
I found this info on another site:
Photocopies can be made in this room for .15 cents a page.
For mail requests (even when the file number is provided by the researcher)
The fee is $20.00 if the record is less than 25 years old, and
$53 if it is more than 25 years, plus $4.00 perpage.
(I don't know how old that webpage is... the prices that appear to be current on the new york county page was now $90 for a will older than 25 years and $6/page).
I have not yet found an email address for this office, except this general one at http://www.nycourts.gov/contactus/index.shtml . I suggest you try and email them first.. perhaps they will respond promptly. ( you know they must have a direct email addy, but where the heck is it?)
If you haven't seen this.. it is probably worth perusing in depth and perhaps a query to this group in Brooklyn might yield some helpful hints. http://www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/index.html
26-11-2007, 4:03 AM
WHAAAAT? ....$90.00!!! I'd have to be very sure I had the right fellow, wouldn't I? I might just leave that on hold for a while....
I'm really hoping Mike E will come back with the details on that death, or some other kind person that has a sub.
I hadn't seen the Brooklyn site, so thanks for that, I'll check it out.
26-11-2007, 4:06 AM
yes, if that price is true.. it is absolutely outrageous.. but then I can just imagine the filing system that they need to dig through to find a will over a 100 years old... much like a needle in a haystack! Surely there are indexes...
I suggest you see if you can't find a HUMAN at either that brooklyn website or at the RAOGK for King's County in New York, who might be willing to tottle down to that court house and order you up a will for $4/page and skip that rediculous fee.
I'm sure there's got to be a better way to do this that isn't SO expensive... but sorry to say, the bigger the city in the US, the more of a headache genealogy is. :-(
Go to this site.. email one of these people in King's County ... maybe they will know of something... http://www.raogk.com/newyork.htm
26-11-2007, 11:47 AM
Looks like several Phair's enlisted as Union soldiers in the Civil war, including two James Phair's in the NY infantry, I'm sending off for their records, to see if either is my man.
Isn't it funny? For years I 've put off researching the Phair's, partly because I knew they were from Ireland, and I'd heard so much about Irish research being difficult; but mainly because I just thought they'd be a boring lot!! Far from it, so far.
p.s. The Brooklyn site looks very good by the way.
30-11-2007, 10:34 PM
Any chance you are looking for a Joseph W. Phair, born Ireland 1868... then living in New Jersey, Canada and Brookleyn NY about 1900. Wife was named Eleanor. He had a brother named Robert. Joseph W. was in investor in NYC.
01-12-2007, 9:57 AM
No connection that I know of at this stage Betsy, though its quite possible they may link up somehow.
23-12-2007, 11:07 AM
Thomas Phair's marriage certificate, 1850, Lambeth, arrived in the mail, and yes, he was definitely James's brother.... Father :Joseph Phair, printer.
Hmm, so where to from here?
23-12-2007, 2:37 PM
I'm sooooo confused -- perhaps I have eggnog head? (with no eggnog).
All those Phairs must be connected somehow, have you determined who Louise is yet?
I don't know about hauling dead bodies back from Canada, but they might just have buried James up there and then had a memorial service in Brooklyn.
23-12-2007, 5:17 PM
I found another message by the same person I mentioned on the other thread stating that "Brothers Henry Woods Phair James Phair ran a business, Phair Co.,in the printing district.downtown."
I found 3 family trees on the A site that had Henry Wood Phair on them.(2 were very suspicious) Parents given were Robert J Phair and Jane Wood.Other sibling given was Laura.They have Henry marrying Ann Louisa Ball.
As I had to purchase ppv credits for Canadian records and I didn't need all ten, I found James on the US censuses. 1850 James is living with Jane age 50 (presumably their mother)Henry and Laura.1860 living with Henry and Ann and children. Trees have Henry's death in 1863. James living with Louisa and children in the 1870.Henry and James are printers.
I discovered that "w "on the US censuses is the race category-White-not widow and that relationships are not given. The surname was enumerated as Pier and Fair
I downloaded a couple of images so if you would like them please pm me.
I don't know if this eliminates this James Phair or clarifies or muddies the water even more, but I sure had fun finding them:)
30-12-2007, 1:46 AM
Hi Keewatin and Betsy,
I managed to read your messages quickly, but no time to reply over Christmas week away visiting family etc. So, I've had some time to mull all this over before replying..... and Keewatin, I think you may've cracked it.
You've actually answered Betsys question, which was a crucial one... "have you determined who Louisa is yet?" I now think it very likely the James Phair, printer b 1824 Ireland in all the Brooklyn census's, Brooklyn Eagle snippets and the Canadian death records will turn out to be one and the same fellow; NOT my James Phair at all. Even though they have the same occupation, date and place of birth, and even though the rest of my James's family emigrated to NY; I think its been a gigantic red herring.
I'm sure they are all related somehow, and presumably worked together though. I will pm you with my email address, Keewatin, thankyou, I'd definitely like to see the originals. Thankyou SO much for looking all that up for me.
Happy New Year, birdlip/Jan
Oh dear....NOW where do I look?
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