Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Death's Heads in Manhattan

Historians James Deetz and Edwin Dethlefsen, in their groundbreaking study in the 1960s, identified the tripartite iconographic system of New England gravestones: death's head, cherub, urn & willow. Death's head is the oldest tradition and, frankly, the coolest. In many ways, New Englanders of the seventeenth century were still living in the Middle Ages, and the death's head definitely has a medieval feel to it. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Trinity Church Cemetery on Wall Street, where you can find examples of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gravestones with death's heads right in the shadow of skyscrapers.

Like this one. Check out its curly eyebrows. So. Awesome.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Old Burying Ground, Fairfield, Connecticut

During my trip to Fairfield, I couldn't resist stopping by the Old Burying Ground on Beach Street, and I'm really glad I did. I saw some of the most beautiful eighteenth-century stones - if not the most beautiful - I've ever seen. Sophisticated craftsmanship and excellent preservation has a lot to do with their beauty, but the material of the stones makes a huge difference as well. I don't know what the material is, but it has a gorgeous, shimmering stripe to it, which you can see running diagonally in the stone of Samuel Osborn, above.

The stone below was probably made in the same workshop, if not by the same artist. The death head has the same little umbrella above it, and the stripes are there, too. They're more obvious here than in the stone above, and they run horizontally.

I'm guessing this stone below could have come out of the same workshop, although it isn't as similar to the two stones above as they are to each other. The inscription is really extensive - it's practically a C.V. If there's a stripe in this one, it's much more subtle.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cause of Death

So far, I have documented the causes of death for 24 people buried in the cemetery. Since that isn't very much, and is spaced out over more than a century, I decided to take a look at the mortality schedules for the town to get an idea of what most people were dying of. The mortality schedule above is from 1850. None of the people listed were buried in the cemetery (that I know of), but people buried in the cemetery probably died for the same reasons.

According to this document, 21 people died in the town in the year ending June 1, 1850. The causes of death were:

Dysentery (11)
Consumption (3)
Inflammatory rheumatism (1)
Old age (1)
Inflammation (1)
Paralysis (1)
Congestion of the lungs (1)
Cholera (1)

More than half of these people died of dysentery. All of the people who died of dysentery died in August and September, with the exception of one who died in October. They ranged in age from one month to seventy years old.

The one person who died of old age was a man who was 99 years old.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Old Town

George W. Gorham's Store on West Main St. and Maple Ave.
I have recently been in touch with Frank, the grandson of town historian Oliver Knapp (and great-grandson of the Oliver Knapp pictured in this photo), who had been kind enough to share some of his photos of the old town, such as the store of George W. Gorham, above. Below is a photo of a man Frank thinks was probably a butcher, standing in the doorway of a building on West Main Street.

West Main Street, butcher?
At the time the picture was taken, the building below housed the local press, post office, and a pharmacy. In 1882 pharmacy was purchased by Stephen H. Sarles, who had started working there as a teenager.

1 January 1876

Thursday, July 18, 2013

James J. and Carrie J. Gorham

When Charles and Caroline Gorham buried their two children within just a few weeks of each other in the middle of the summer of 1860, there would have been many parents in the community who knew their pain. The 1850s and 1860s were the worst decades for children in the cemetery's history. A full third of the burials that took place in those years were those of children 10 years old or younger. With the 1870s, child mortality would start to decline. The cemetery would decline, too - not of a consequence of the decreased mortality rate, but rather of the foundation of a rival cemetery several blocks away.

But in the 1860s, the cemetery was busier than it had ever been or would be again. Dozens of caskets would have made their way up the gravel pathway to the new church, built in 1852. Others would have entered the other cemetery, behind the church, through its side entrance, via an iron gate that is now propped up against a tree. This back half of the cemetery site belonged to the Methodists, and it is where the Gorhams were buried.

Charles W. Gorham, the children's father, was a shoemaker who was born in Connecticut around 1827. In 1850, he and his wife Caroline lived in Lewisboro with their one-month-old child, Clarence.

1850 US Federal Census
Unfortunately, I can't find the Gorhams in the 1860 or 1870 censuses, so a full thirty years passes before I see them again. During that time, they lost two children, and possibly more. They also had at least one grandchild. Edward Field, their grandson, was living with them in Lewisboro. Unfortunately, due to the gap in the censuses, I don't have the name of a single daughter of the Gorhams other than Carrie, the one-year-old who died in 1860.
1880 US Federal Census
Charles W. Gorham died in 1882 and was buried in the cemetery. In 1895, his 68-year-old widow sought shelter in the Westchester County Almshouse. The document below states that Caroline Gorham had one sister, one brother, and one child surviving. The reason for her stay was that she was "sick," and her chances of recovery were deemed "not probable."

Charles and Caroline's sole surviving son, Charles F. Gorham, was living in Ansonia, Connecticut, with his family: his wife Sarah and their four daughters and one son.

1900 US Federal Census
I would love to fill in more details about the Gorhams - for instance: When did Clarence Gorham die and where is he buried? What is Charles Gorham's connection to the other Gorhams in the cemetery? When did Caroline Gorham die, and did she ever leave the Almshouse? And did the following children all die of the same illness?

Carrie J. Gorham, died 1 August 1860
George Starr Gorham, died 4 May 1860
James J. Gorham, died 23 July 1860
Lillian Harriet Gorham, died 17 October 1860

It just seems like a lot of Gorham children (4) dying within a short period of time (five months).
  1. Charles W. Gorham (1827-1882) m. Caroline M. (1828-)
    1. Clarence Gorham (1850-)
    2. James J. Gorham (1856-1860)
    3. Carrie J. Gorham (1859-1860)
    4. Charles F. Gorham (1861-) m. Sarah Jane (1859-) in 1885
      1. Mable B. Gorham (1887-)
      2. Eloise Gorham (1890-)
      3. Hazel Gorham (1871-)
      4. Bessie M. Gorham (1894-) m. Charles W. Clark (1889-)
      5. Edwin W. Gorham (1896-1961)

William F. and Elise B. Cowers Lockwood

WANTED: Any information regarding this couple, William F. Lockwood and Elise B. Cowers. They are the only Lockwoods buried in the cemetery. She died in 1883 at the age of 44 and he died in 1889 at the age of 53. The closest match I've found is a William F. Lockwood and Elizabeth Bower who were married in the town in 1879, according to a local newspaper.

Matilda K. Sands Sherwood

Detail of the gate of the Sands family plot
In one of my early posts, I wrote that Gilbert Marten, who died in 1854 at the age of 90, was probably the oldest person buried in the cemetery. I may have been wrong. Matilda K. Sands Sherwood, who died at the age of 92, was older, according to the transcription of the cemetery conducted in 1914. The transcription gives Matilda's birthdate as March 3, 1810 and her date of death as December 17, 1902. However, different censuses suggest different years of birth for Matilda, ranging from 1817 to 1827. For several decades, she seems to have gotten younger by the year.

Women buried in the Episcopal Cemetery died on average 2.7 years later than men. By my calculations, life expectancy for women in the cemetery was slightly but consistently greater for women - the opposite of the national trend throughout the nineteenth century. So it would be appropriate (but not necessary) for Matilda to be two years older than Marten, who is probably the longest-lived man in the cemetery.

I have to rely on the 1914 transcription for Matilda's dates of birth and death because I have not yet identified her stone. I know where the Sherwood plot is - it's located directly behind the Sands plot in the Methodist section of the cemetery. I haven't seen Matilda's stone, though, and I have a sneaking suspicion it's this one.

Grave of Matilda Sands and Daniel Sherwood?
Matilda's husband was Daniel W. Sherwood, a minister who was born in Connecticut in 1820 and ordained in the Patterson Baptist Church in 1844 or 1845. They had one son (whom I know of), Joseph, born in 1846. In 1850, the family lived in East Fishkill, New York. Matilda's age was given as 33, which would place her year of birth around 1817.

1850 US Federal Census
In 1860, the Sherwoods were living in Saugerties, New York. In one decade, Matilda had aged only five years, going from 33 to 38. This meant that in 1860 she was younger than her husband, while in 1850 she had been older.

1860 US Federal Census
In 1870, the Sherwoods were living in Northfield, Staten Island, with two new family members: Joseph's wife Adelia and their child Jesse, who had been born that May. Joseph was working as an apothecary. A notable error in the 1870 census is that Jesse is listed as a girl, when he was in fact a boy, as indicated by all subsequent censuses.

For the second time, Matilda had only aged five years in a decade - going from 38 to 43.

1870 US Federal Census
The next decade was particularly rough on Daniel and Matilda, as it aged them each by about twenty years. Either that or the Sherwoods were becoming more comfortable in revealing their actual ages. Matilda, who had been 43 in 1870, was 61 in 1880. The couple lived in Farmers Mill, Putnam County, New York, with their servant Cordelia Light.

1880 US Federal Census
Meanwhile, Joseph and Adelia Sherwood were still living in Staten Island. They had suffered the loss of their one-year-old son Clayton in 1875, and buried him in the cemetery. The couple's surviving children were Jessie and Edith.

1880 US Federal Census
Daniel Sherwood died in the house of his son in Shandaken, New York, in 1898; his obituary stated that he was "about 80 years old." In 1900, Matilda was living with her son's family in Shandaken. Her age is given as 88 and her birth year as 1812.

1900 US Federal Census
Matilda died on December 17, 1902. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, she left her son Joseph $5,000 in real estate and $10,000 in personal estate.

Ages of Matilda Sherwood
Out of curiosity, I made this little chart to see how Matilda "aged" over the years. As you can see, her estimated birth year - based on the age she gave to the census enumerator - gets steadily later between 1850 and 1870. In 1880, her estimated birth year drops down to 1819 - still two years later than the census of 1850 would suggest. Matilda's year of birth is given outright in the census of 1900 as 1812. This is the closest to the year (1810) given in the transcription, and probably the closest to the truth.

By 1910, Joseph and Adelia were back in Staten Island and were living alone. His occupation was given simply as "own income." I'm guessing that meant that he and Adelia still had plenty of his inheritance left to live on.

Joseph and Adelia's son Jesse married Inez Doyle in 1896. In 1900, they were living in Manhattan with their children, Thelma and Daniel, and Jesse was working as a bookkeeper. They had lost one child.

1900 US Federal Census
By 1910, Jesse and Inez had moved to West Pittston, Pennsylvania. This census reveals that Jesse's son Daniel's middle name was Merritt. Jessie also had a younger son named after his brother Clayton who died in 1875. Inez was now said to be the mother of five children, three of whom were living. Jesse was a clerk in a "DLYW Office." His sister Edith Sherwood Smith and her husband Frank lived with them.

1910 US Federal Census
In 1920, Jesse's mother Adelia had moved in with them, presumably after Joseph had died. Jesse's son Daniel Merritt Sherwood, age 20, was now known simply as Merritt, bringing the Merritt Count up to six. Jesse was working as a clerk for a steam railroad company, as was his 22-year-old daughter Thelma. Son Merritt was working as a wagon driver for an "Express Co.," and Edith Smith was a seamstress.

1920 US Federal Census
Jesse died sometime in the 1920s. In 1930, Inez was living with her son Daniel Merritt Sherwood, who was divorced, and daughter Thelma Sherwood Keller in Douglas, California. Thelma had two sons. Daniel worked as a salesman in a bakery.

1930 US Federal Census
To return to Matilda K. Sands: I wonder whether she was a daughter of Merritt Sands and Elizabeth Kirby. They have four children buried in the cemetery, all of whom were born between 1810 and 1820. There is also an Abram Sands buried in the cemetery who was born in 1812 and died in 1901; could he be a son of Merritt and Elizabeth? More investigation will be needed to find out.

  1. Daniel W. Sherwood (1820-1898) m. Matilda K. Sands (1810?-1902)
    1. Joseph L. Sherwood (1846-) m. Adelia F. (1852-1920) in 1868
      1. Jessie M. Sherwood (1870-) m. Inez Doyle (1872-1957) in 1896
        1. Thelma Sherwood (1897-) m. Eugene Keller
          1. Eugene C. Keller (1922-)
          2. Winfield Doyle Keller (1926-2002)
        2. Daniel Merritt Sherwood (1899-1952)
        3. Clayton Sherwood (1903-) m. Nan (1907-)
          1. Sherie Sherwood (1930-)
      2. Edith M. Sherwood (1873-) m. Frank Smith (1871-)
      3. Clayton E. Sherwood (1875-1876)

Child Mortality by Age

As I have already discovered, child mortality was high in the Episcopal Cemetery. Out of 398 people buried in the cemetery, 21% were aged 10 and younger and 26% were aged 20 and younger. Child mortality was highest in the cemetery during the 1850s, when children accounted for 33.8% of burials, but was also high in the 1830s (33.33%) and 1860s (33.33%).

At what age were children most likely to die? It's not surprising that the answer is "infancy." The chart above represents 104 burials of children and adolescents aged 20 or younger. Twenty-six, or 25%, of these burials were of infants under the age of one year. Eighteen burials, or 17%, were of children between one and two years old. After the age of two, mortality declines dramatically. Of all children buried in the cemetery who were younger than 10 years old, 65% were two years old or younger.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Burials Per Year

This chart should give a little context to the other ones. As you can see, burials in the cemetery started off slowly, gained momentum in the 1820s, and really took off in the 1850s and '60s. The 1870s marked the beginning of the cemetery's gradual decline. Notably, the large "competitor" cemetery that would end up housing many of the descendants of people buried in the Episcopal Cemetery was founded in 1872.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Life Expectancy in the 19th Century

Using the new life tables created by J. David Hacker, I put together these charts in order to compare the life expectancy of people in the cemetery with the overall life expectancy of the white population of the United States. I excluded the decades before 1830 because there wasn't enough data available from the cemetery. Here are my results for male life expectancy at birth and female life expectancy at birth.

As you can see, all four sets of lines share the same general trend: a dip in the middle, followed by gradually increasing life expectancy over time. The lines in each chart also have the same relationship to one another. That is to say, in both of these charts, the cemetery has lower life expectancy than the new life tables in the earlier decades but reverses later on, so that the cemetery has higher life expectancy than the new life tables.

Now compare this with male and female life expectancy at the age of 20. Again, the same general trend is visible: a dip in the middle of the century, with steadily increasing life expectancy from the 1870s on. The cemetery also shows lower life expectancy than the new life tables at the beginning, but overtakes the new life tables towards the end. Notably, it is much later in the century that the cemetery begins to show greater life expectancy - in the 1870s for men and not until the 1890s for women, whereas in the tables for life expectancy at birth, the trend had already reversed by 1870.

Also notable is the fact that the 1860s seem to have been a bad time for everyone, but especially men and especially men buried in the cemetery.

It would seem that for much of the nineteenth century, people at the cemetery died younger than average. Then, in the 1870s, as general life expectancy increased, the life expectancy of people in the cemetery increased even more, overtaking the national average. For both the cemetery and the national population, 1870 seems to have been a turning point, after which longevity greatly increased, and continued to increase.

I don't know how to explain why the people in the cemetery seem to have shorter lifespans than average. Was this an accurate reflection of the longevity of the congregation, or of the local population? Are the numbers skewed by the relatively small sample size, or by my methods of data collection? How might they compare to other cemeteries in the area?

Much more research is needed!

Hacker, J. David. "Decennial Life Tables for the White Population of the United States, 1790-1900." Historical Methods Vol. 43, No. 2 (April 2010): 45-79. 

Mortality at the Episcopal Cemetery

After reading the article "Applying Archaeological Techniques to Conserve a Historical Cemetery in Ripley, Maine" in the Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin (thanks, Laurie!) I wanted to make my own chart to show the ages at which people in the cemetery died and track them across time. The chart above is based on the 1909 transcription and my own research drawn from the stones themselves, obituaries, censuses, etc. The chart represents 398 individuals. Twenty two individuals were excluded from the chart due to the fact that their age at death could not be determined. Also, my data for the 20th century is not as complete, so the latest burial included in the chart is from 1906.

I should note that infants for whom no age was given (some graves simply say "Infant") were automatically given the age of 0.5 years, as were any infants who were less than one year old, for the sake of the chart.

Looking at the chart, it's difficult to distinguish any sort of pattern, aside from perhaps a general drift towards greater longevity over time. It's easy to see that more people were buried in the cemetery after 1820 than before, but the age at which they died at any time seems almost random, with one exception. There is a huge cluster of child deaths in the mid-19th century, particularly between the years 1845 and 1870.

The next thing I wanted to do was to break down age at death by gender. The following charts represent 199 male burials and 198 female burials. One infant was excluded because his/her gender could not be determined. One person who was identified by initials only (C. H. Purdy) was assumed to be male.

Again, it's somewhat hard to make out a pattern. I expected that more women than men would die in their 20s and 30s due to complications of childbirth and pregnancy, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There does seem to be a small cluster of deaths of men in their 20s around the year 1860, perhaps reflecting Civil War fatalities.

Life Expectancy at the Cemetery
The most important thing to remember about average life expectancy is that it can be misleading - more so in the past than it is today. Because children died so frequently, life expectancy at birth was low throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. However, as soon as an individual made it out of childhood, his or her life expectancy increased significantly. This pattern is reflected in the average life expectancy of people buried in the cemetery.

To begin with, average life expectancy at birth for all 398 individuals included in this study was 42 years. For the 199 males, it was 40.8 years, and for the 198 females, it was 43.5 years.

Once a person reached the age of 10, average life expectancy was 53 years (54 for women and 51 for men). Once a person reached the age of 30, average life expectancy was 61 years (62 for women and 60 for men). Once a person reached the age of 60, average life expectancy was 74 (74.5 for women and 73.6 for men).

Of 398 burials, 21% were children below the age of ten, and 30% were adults over the age of 65.

Life Expectancy Over Time
By calculating and plotting average life expectancy at birth for each decade, it's easier to see the trends in mortality at the cemetery over time. The following chart shows the average life expectancy of people buried at the cemetery between the years 1773 and 1906. The numbers for the early decades (1770s, 1790s, 1800s, and 1810s) are distorted due to the fact that there were so few burials (and none in the 1780s). Beginning in the 1820s, the numbers are more likely to reflect reality.

To shed light on the important factor of child mortality, I made this graph, representing the percentage of children under 10 years who were buried in the cemetery each decade.

Again, the first few decades of this graph are distorted due to the small number of burials, but after 1820 are more accurate. It seems that child mortality was very high in the mid-nineteenth century, averaging around 1/3 of burials between 1830 and 1860, but it dropped off dramatically in 1870.

Below, you can see the numbers I used to create the charts above.

Two burials; average life expectancy: 62.5 years
0% under the age of 10 years
50% over the age of 65 years

No burials.

Nine burials; average life expectancy: 38 years 
33.33% under the age of 10 years

Two burials; average life expectancy: 24 years
0% under the age of 10 years
0% over the age of 65 years

Three burials; average life expectancy: 52 years
None under the age of 10 years
33.33% over the age of 65 years

Twenty burials; average life expectancy: 38.9 years
15% under the age of 10 years
20% over the age of 65 years

Thirty burials; average life expectancy: 31.4 years
33.33% under the age of 10 years
16.67% over the age of 65 years

Forty burials; average life expectancy: 37.9 years
32.5% under the age of 10 years
25% over the age of 65 years

Sixty-eight burials; average life expectancy: 33.7 years
33.8% under the age of 10 years
22% over the age of 65 years

Seventy-five burials; average life expectancy: 31.6 years
33.33% under the age of 10 years
18.7% over the age of 65 years

Sixty-one burials; average life expectancy: 50.6 years
6.6% under the age of 10 years
37.7% over the age of 65 years

Forty-three burials; average life expectancy: 50.8 years
14% under the age of 10 years
37.2% over the age of 65 years

Twenty-eight burials; average life expectancy: 65.2 years
0% under the age of 10 years
60.7% over the age of 65 years

Sixteen burials; average life expectancy: 66 years 
0% under the age of 10 years
56.2% over the age of 65 years

If I were to do a proper scientific study of mortality at the cemetery, I would want to fill in the missing data by transcribing graves erected after 1906 and by conducting research on the 22 individuals who were excluded from these charts in order to determine their ages at death. I would also try to find a way to control for the discrepancies in the number of burials each decade; obviously, the fact that burials were few to begin with and tapered off toward the end is bound to distort these sort of calculations.

There are also historical and cultural factors to consider. How did war, epidemics, immigration, industrialization, religion, familial ties, social class, ethnicity, and interpersonal issues affect who was buried at the cemetery and when? How did the lives of the two churches on the site affect the life of the cemetery?

It's possible to take a guess at the latter question. Burials were few during the years that the first church stood, due to both the low density of people in the area and the Revolution. After the war, the cemetery didn't see a significant rise in burials until the 1820s and 1830s. During this time, the congregation was growing, but the church had been damaged by the war and wasn't used. The second church was built in 1852 to accommodate the growing community, and perhaps because of its construction, the cemetery continued to see more and more burials.

My next step will be to research mortality rates in nineteenth-century New York to see how they compare to the figures I have calculated for the cemetery.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Church c. 1890

Once in a while I like to paint in watercolor, so yesterday I thought I'd paint the church - the second one, built in 1852, which stood until 1911. I based the majority of the painting off of this postcard, but since the trees obscure the view of the top of the church in that picture, I based the steeple on this photograph. That may be why the perspective looks a little off ... the bottom of the church looks like it's seen from below, while the steeple looks like it's seen from above. Oh well.

Since neither of those pictures is in color (the postcard had color applied after, which doesn't count) the colors in my painting are largely conjecture.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Susan Montross

Susan Ferris was born March 11, 1804, in Pines Bridge, New York. In 1823, she married David Montross, a farmer and the son of Nathaniel Montross and Hester Swarthout.

In 1850, Susan and David lived in Somers with their three children, Ann, Cornelius, and Julia, as well as Ann's husband William Acker, and a 10-year-old boy named George Leonard.

1850 US Federal Census
Susan died in 1852 at the age of 47, and was buried in the cemetery, probably because her Ferris family was buried there.

After his wife's death, David Montross lived with his daughter Julia, who had married Samuel Baker Reynolds, a laborer; Julia and Samuel's two children; and Charles and Mary Robertson, in Somers.

1860 US Federal Census
Ann Montross Acker moved to New York City, where her husband William worked in hardware. They had three children, two of whom (Eva and Susan) were alive in 1870, and one of whom was alive in 1900. The one surviving child, Susan, married George Mersereau and lived in Madison, New Jersey. In 1910, both William and Ann were living with the Mersereaus, who did not have any children.

Julia Montross Reynolds had three children: Daniel, Susan, and George, and died in 1879.

Cornelius Montross lived in Brooklyn with his wife Madeline and worked as a cartman. In 1870 they had three children: Annie, William, and David. Cornelius died in 1897.

David Montross died in 1891.

I find the patterns of names in this family to be very sweet. Both Ann and Julia named their daughters after their mother. Cornelius named his son after his father and his daughter after his sister. 

  1. Susan Ferris (1804-1852) m. David Montross (1804-1891)
    1. Ann Eliza Montross (1826-after 1910) m. William Acker (1827-after 1910)
      1. Eva Acker (1856-)
      2. Susan Acker (1834-) m. George Mersereau (1834-)
    2. Cornelius Montross (1828-1897) m. Madeline (1834-)
      1. Annie M. Montross (1858-)
      2. William F. Montross (1860-)
      3. David Montross (1867-)
    3. Julia Montross (1832-1879) m. Samuel Baker Reynolds (1834-1909)
      1. Daniel M. Reynolds (1856-)
      2. Susan A. Reynolds (1859-)
      3. George D. Reynolds (1863-)

A Sarles Family

What is the relationship between these four Sarleses? By the way, did you know that there are five Thomas Sarleses buried in the cemetery? What, was the name Merritt not an option?

I'd like to take a moment here just to thank the volunteers at Find A Grave, which truly is one of the best free genealogy resources on the web. I like to have a photograph of the stone I'm researching, but if I've neglected to take one myself, I always go to Find A Grave to find one. They're fantastic! Not only are most of the graves in the cemetery covered already, but people continue to add stones to the database on a daily basis. You can tell how recently this photo was added by the posts and tape around Charles Haight's stone in the background, which have only been there since April. Find A Grave volunteers have been visiting the cemetery since our campaign began, adding photos not only of the stones, but of the signs we've put up next to them. They do great work.

Anyway, back to the Sarleses. Here are the names on the stone:

Leila May, died 1867
Mortimer S., died 1903
Harold, died 1904
Thomas H., died 1905

My first guess about these Sarleses was that they were a quartet of unmarried siblings, just like the Haines family. It turns out my suspicions were right on target. Here is the Sarles family in 1870. Note the presence of Harold, Mortimer, and Thomas (Leila would have died already). Also note that the census taker has neglected to fill in the name of the children's mother. I have called this census the Sexist Census before, due to the fact that the census-taker refused to list the first names of any married women, but instead listed them as "Mrs. [Husband's First and Last Name]." That is bad enough, especially considering that the 1850 and 1860 censuses do give the first names of married women, but look at this! Even when Mrs. Sarles is the householder, she doesn't get a name! And because her husband is dead, so she doesn't even get the courtesy of a "Mrs. [Blank] Sarles."

1870 US Federal Census
Thanks to the 1860 census, I know that Mrs. Sarles's husband's name was Thomas, probably the Thomas Sarles buried in the cemetery who died in 1869 at the age of 33, and that her name was Ernestine A. Hyatt.

Leila May Sarles isn't listed in the 1860 census. She was probably born between 1860 and 1867, and died as a child.

Harold Sarles didn't marry. In 1900, at the age of 40, he was living as a boarder in the house of his aunt, Catherine Hyatt, and her husband Oliver Van Cortlandt, and was listed as an "invalid." He died in 1904.

I might not have been able to identify Mortimer Sarles in the 1880 census, where he is listed as "M. S. Sarles," if it weren't for the fact that he was living in the same household as his brother would be 20 years later. While he lived with his aunt and uncle, 18-year-old Mortimer worked as a store clerk. 
He died December 16, 1903, in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 1910, Ernestine Sarles was living with her son Effingham, who was one of only two of her seven children still alive. At age 53, Effingham was listed as an "invalid," just like his brother ten years earlier. Did the Sarles children suffer from an inherited illness? Mother and son lived with three boarders at 339 West 50th Street.

1910 US Federal Census
During this time, Ernestine Sarles was embroiled in a court case regarding the estate of her "mentally incompetent" niece, Augusta Hyatt, which was estimated to be $400,000 (quite a sum back then). Ernestine died in 1911, leaving her brother Mortimer A. Hyatt and nephew George Hyatt Robinson as the last two relatives in the running. Ultimately George won.

Here's an article from the New York Times written when Augusta Hyatt was first declared insane.
New York Times 15 Dec. 1898
These articles, also from the times, announced George's victory over his uncle. Apparently George was a bit unstable himself, having been institutionalized by his wife in 1909 after an epic spending spree (seriously - he spent $500,000, the equivalent of 12.6 million dollars today, in 5 years).

New York Times 29 June 1912
New York Times 6 May 1914

  1. George E. Hyatt (1815-) m. Rachel (1821-)
    1. Augusta (1844-)
    2. Agnes (1847-)
    3. George (1849-)
  1. Thomas Sarles (1835-1869) m. Ernestine A. Hyatt (1834-1911)
    1. Effingham H. Sarles (1857-) m. Carrie G. Griswold (1860-)
    2. Harold Sarles (1859-1904)
    3. Mortimer S. Sarles (1861-1903)
    4. Alice Sarles (1863-)
    5. Thomas H. Sarles (1869-1905)
    6. Leila May Sarles (?-1867)
  1. Joseph Ryder Hyatt (1787-1848) m. Mary Pamela Montross (1796-1840)
    1. George E. Hyatt (1815-) m. Rachel (1821-)
      1. Augusta Hyatt (1844-)
      2. Agnes Hyatt (1847-) m. Charles Robinson
        1. George Hyatt Robinson
      3. George Hyatt (1849-)
    2. Jackson Hyatt (1819-1892) m. Phebe J. Sarles (1824-1909)
    3. Catherine Hyatt (1820-) m. Oliver Van Cortlandt 
    4. Oscar Warren Hyatt (1824-)
    5. Emily Hyatt (1826-1887)
    6. Mortimer A. Hyatt (1828-1916) m. Margaret L. Anderson (1827-1893)
    7. Minerva Hyatt (1830-1907)
    8. Ernestine A. Hyatt (1834-) m. Thomas Sarles (1835-1869)
    9. Pamela Hyatt (1838-1910)
    10. J. Effingham Hyatt (1840-1872)