February 5, 2012

Family Snippets: The Comfort Sisters of Catskill

Hiram Comfort (1791-1839) and Julia Ludington (1807–1886) raised five daughters in Catskill, New York where Hiram owned a sash and blind factory.  He had been born in Orange County, New York but was in Catskill by 1822 when he married Julia, the daughter of Tertullus Ludington (son of Colonel Henry Ludington and brother of Sybil who both played important roles during the Revolutionary War).

Between 1824 and 1833, the five daughters were born about every other year:  Mary Ann, Julia, Hellen, Charlotte and Caroline.  Two of them would marry young lawyers who came to Catskill to train at the offices of Judge Malbone Watson.  

The first to marry was Julia,at the tender age of 15, to George Watson Clark of Albany County.  He was a nephew of Judge Watson, son of Malbone’s sister Harriet and her husband Dr. Adam Clark. George and Julia moved several times never living in Catskill.  Their family grew to 11 children and they settled in Delhi.  A few years later Julia’s older sister Mary Ann married lawyer William tenBroek and they raised 4 children in Griffins Corner north of Catskill.

Hellen married local banker Henry B. Hill with whom she had two children. Caroline married Catskill coal merchant Henry Bulkley producing one daughter. The last to marry was Charlotte who with David J. Ely, merchant/innkeeper/restauranteur, raised 4 children across the river from Catskill in Hudson, New York.

Charlotte and Julia seemed to be close as, even in her old age, Julia spent half the year in the Ely household in Hudson and died there in 1910.  Charlotte and Julia each had a child who married into the Eli Loomis family of Hudson.  Julia’s daughter “Molly” Clark married Albert H. Loomis in December 1873 and two months later Charlotte’s oldest son James Ely married Albert’s sister Sarah.  The Clarks lived 75 miles from Hudson – not a casual trip in the 1870s - so we might assume that Molly met Albert while in Hudson visiting her Ely relatives.

Many of the family members are buried at the Catskill Village Cemetery as shown below:

Tertullus Ludington 1821 age 48 (and 2nd wife, Anna, who is not Julia’s mother)

Hiram  Comfort 1839 age 48 and wife Julia Ludington 1887 age 79

Mary Ann Comfort 1866 age 41, wife of William TenBroek

Hellen Comfort 1880 age 51, wife of Henry Hill 

Charlotte Comfort 1916 age 86, wife of David Ely 

Caroline Comfort 1906 age 73, wife of Henry Bulkley 

Julia Comfort Clark died at her sister Charlotte’s Hudson home in 1910, at age 83. She and husband George are buried at Woodland Cemetery in Delhi, Delaware County with three of their children and one grandson.

For more information on this family line, check my online tree:
Comfort Clark along the Hudson

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