Stories of the ancestors of Dan Babish and Irene Stoppiello

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Packed Wedding Announcement

Many times wedding notices in nineteenth century newspapers were simple.  "Mr. Jones wed Miss Smith, daughter of Mr. Smith, last Thursday at the Smith home."  They provide a small, yet important, amount of genealogical information.  Sometimes, however, a great deal of information can be contained in a wedding announcement.  Consider the following article from the Sunday, December 3rd, 1893, edition of the Brooklyn Eagle. [1]

The bride, Frances H. Cargain, was Irene's first cousin three times removed, not a direct ancestor.  Yet Frances' wedding announcement provides an important view into the family of Irene's third great grandparents, Cornelius M. Currey and Mary Hannah (Conklin) Currey.

Of the eleven children reported to have been born to Cornelius M. and Mary Hannah (Conklin) Currey, seven were alive in 1893 [2].  Three had died in infancy and one, Sarah Currey, had died in 1885 at the age of thirty four.[3]  Six of the seven living Currey offspring attended the wedding  according to the newspaper account: Phebe , Amy Frances (Mrs. Joseph G. Hull), Isaac Conklin, Richard Channing Moore, Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. Henry H. Cargain), and Jotham Sherwood.

The bride's mother, Mary Elizabeth (Currey) Cargain, was a widow in 1893.  Her husband, Henry, had died in 1889.[4]  Youngest daughter May, eighteen, was the maid of honor.  Her sister, Emma, twenty one, was a bridesmaid.

Irene's 2nd great grandfather, Richard Channing Moore Currey; his wife, Matilda "Tillie" (Hammond) Currey (Mr. and Mrs. R. C. M. Currey); and their three children were there.  Henry Channing (Harry) Currey, Irene's great grandfather, was eighteen.  Sarah (Sadie) Currey was thirteen and had the honor of participating in the ceremony by forming an aisle of white ribbon with her cousins, Harry and Jessie Hull.  Josephine A. H. (Josie) Currey was eleven months old having been born the previous December. [5]

The wedding was at the home of Jotham Sherwood Currey (Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Currey).  Daughter Nettie, twenty three, was a bridesmaid.  Son Cornelius, twenty, was an usher.  Son Jotham S. (J. Currey, Jr.) was seventeen.

Phebe Currey (Miss Phebe Currey), who was unmarried, attended.

Amy Frances (Currey) Hull and her husband, Joseph Gardiner Hull (Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Hull) and their three children attended. Daughter Annie C. (Hull) Landis attended with her husband, Thomas (Mr. and Mrs. Landis).  Son Harry, twelve, and daughter Jessie, ten, assisted cousin Sadie Currey as mentioned above.

Widower Isaac Conklin Currey and his six year old son, Walter, were there.  Isaac's wife Lena (Belline Jonassohn) Currey had just died in February of 1893. [6]

The only living Currey sibling not mentioned specifically was Rebecca (Currey) Bodden.  The announcement does state that a Mr. and Mrs. Bolden attended, so perhaps all the Curreys were in attendance, but the spelling difference makes that uncertain.

The highly informative wedding announcement in the Brooklyn Eagle provides a glimpse into the lives of a large extended family of brothers and sisters and their children.  It shows that the family members kept in touch with one another and were close enough that many of the cousins participated in the wedding ceremony itself.  One can only hope that some of the photographs that were undoubtedly taken that day have survived and will surface.

[1] "Wyeth-Cargain", Walter Wyeth - Frances H. Cargain marriage announcement; 3 December 1893, p. 2, col. 6; accessed 23 February 2014, Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, online archive ( (Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1841-1902 online)).

[2] Philip Field Horne, The Currey Family in the Hudson Highlands:  Descendants of Richard Currey of Peekskill Hollow, New York (Pleasantville, New York:  The Higham Press (privately published), 1970), Cornelius M. Currey and Mary Hannah Conklin children, pp. 29-30.

[3] "Died", Sarah Curry death notice; 21 February 1885, p. 3, col. 7; accessed 23 November 2012, Peekskill Highland Democrat, Peekskill, New York, online images (

[3] "Died"...CARGAIN; Henry H. Cargain death notice; p. 1; accessed 21 November 2012, New York Herald (The) [genealogybank], New York, New York, online images (Historical Newspapers (1690 - 2007),

[4] FamilySearch (, New Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980," database (Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout New Jersey, ), Josephine A. H. Currey birth, 20 December 1892; FHL film no. 494222.

[5] "Deaths...CURRY"; Lena Curry death notice, p. 1, col. 2; accessed 21 February 2012, New York Herald (The) [genealogybank], New York, New York, online images (Historical Newspapers (1690 - 2007),

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Century

My mother, Grace Evelyn (Hamill) Babish, was born one hundred years ago, February 17, 1914.  She grew up with six brothers and sisters in Rahway, Union County, New Jersey.  Here is a photo of Grace at a young age with her dolls. [1]  A family story told by Grace to my sister Victoria is that Grace at one time received dolls as a gift from her brother Albert (Albert Hamill, b. 1899, d. 1969) who had won them at at fair. [2]  One can't be sure that the dolls in the photograph are the dolls from the story, but Grace seems very pleased with them.

Apparently, a birth certificate for Grace was never filed with the state of New Jersey around the time she was born or it was misfiled.  I have searched for it in the New Jersey Archives in Trenton without success while finding birth certificates for each of her siblings there.  A delayed certificate was issued in 1943 by the city of Rahway. [3]

Grace's mother, Sophie (Bettinger) (Hamill) Hamill, kept a record of her children's births in the back of a small book, "Our Marriage Vow," which she received when she married Richard Hamill, her second husband, and Grace's father.  She recorded Grace's birth there. [4]

[1] Babish Family Photographs original photographs; privately held by Daniel Babish, Columbia, Maryland, 2014.

[2] Babish family traditions regarding Grace Hamill receiving dolls as a gift from her half brother Albert, Daniel Babish compiler (email message, 17 February 2014), as reported by Victoria Babish, Grace's daughter, February 2014.

[3] Birth Certificates, City of Rahway (Rahway, Union County, New Jersey, Registrar of Vital Statistics), Grace Evelyn Hamill; Rahway, Union County, New Jersey; 14 February 1914 (delayed) issued 17 May 1943; Original copy in Daniel Babish household, 2014.

[4] Thomas Whittaker, Our Marriage Vow: The Service and Minister's Certificate (New York: 2 and 3 Bible House, 1877); "Born", entry of births by Sophie (Bettinger) (Hamill) Hamill; Original copy in Daniel Babish household, 2014.