February 7, 2012

Cousinology: Charlotte Higley in Binghamton 1910

While piecing together the descendants of Dr. Adam Clark and wife Harriet Watson, an unrecognized “niece” showed up in the 1910 census with Harriet Gordon Clark, widow of their son Henry.

The census record was indexed on ancestry.com as follows:
         Harriet Clark 65 widow children 2/2
         Frances Sears 45 daughter, separated         
         Arthur Clark 45 son, single <actually 54
         Charlotte Higley 40, niece, single

Charlotte was unkown and obviously a cousin to Frances and Arthur since she was the niece of their mother Harriet.  Who could her parents be? Might she be from Harriet’s side of the family?  Harriet had two sisters, both married but not to a Mr. Higley:  Eunice Jackson and Helen Bogardus.

So, she must have been the child of one of Henry Clark’s youngest two sisters, Eliza or Harriet. They were last found in the 1860 census with their parents in Westchester, both single, aged 25 and 17.  Neither had been located in the 1870 census, assumed either married or dead.

Returning to the 1870 census, I searched for both sisters initially in Westchester County – not found.  Then, I checked Family Search in hopes of finding a New York marriage record and did !  Eliza Watson Clark married Henry HIGBEE in Manhattan on 11 Sep 1867 -- and her parents were listed. Their daughter Charlotte was born after the 1870 census and they were all living at the same address in 1880.

If Charlotte had not been with her aunt in 1910 I might never have discovered her parents' marriage as I had not expected them to be in New York City. I went back to search for her aunt Harriet Clark and found her also ...though listed as Hattie W. Clarke who married Clarence Sandford in 1874 also in NYC.

So be happy when you find a cousin in the census ... it can lead to the rest of the family.

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