November 1, 2012

Cousinology: Larz Anderson & Charlotte Higbee

I have come to learn that reviewing and identifying each person listed in a will and their relationship to the deceased can open a new world of cousins near and far.  One example is Larz Anderson who was found in a legal notice following the 1913 death of Charlotte Higbee in Binghamton, NY.The notice also stated "Cincinnati papers please copy". Why? Who lived in Cincinnati? The Higbees were from NJ and the Clarks from NY.

Charlotte was an only child born in NYC to Henry Higbee and Eliza W. Clark.  She never married.  After the death of her parents she relocated to Binghamton where she lived near or with the family of her mother's older brother Henry Clark. So how did Larz Anderson fit into the family tree?

I am related to the Clark family and knew that none of Eliza Clark's sisters had married an Anderson, so the relationship must have been on Henry's side. I knew almost nothing about the Higbees, but firmly believe it adds so much to each story if you GET TO KNOW THE IN-LAWS.

It was not clear how the Anderson family fit in, so I started with the parents and siblings of Henry Higbee. Rev Charles Higbee 1769-1841 and his wife Charlotte Townsend 1786-1851 had twelve children over a span of 19 years ! Henry was the second youngest.  In researching his siblings, I found none of his sisters married to an Anderson -- I had to go one generation deeper.

Henry's oldest sister, Elizabeth Coles Higbee, married John G Kilgour of Cincinnati in 1832 (when Henry himself was only 8 years old). Their daughter Elizabeth Kilgour married Col Nicholas W Anderson, also a Cincinnati native, in 1865 following his Civil War service. The oldest of their 3 children was Larz born in 1866. 

Elizabeth Kilgour (born 1843) was actually the first cousin of the deceased Charlotte who was born in 1872. Elizabeth's mother and Charlotte's father were siblings. Hence Elizabeth's son Larz the 1st cousin once removed of Charlotte even though he was 6 years her senior.

Charlotte lived a simple life and died unmarried in her early 40s.  Larz Worthington Anderson 1843-1937 led a very privileged life ... born in Paris, educated at Phillips Exeter and Harvard and served as a US diplomat in Europe. Following his family line back to Cincinnati has opened up a whole new world of discovery of the early pioneers who built the city. His grandfather, John Glenny Kilgour, was part of a wealthy and influential family.  

When your direct line stayed close to home and lived a simple life, it can be fun to examine their cousins, in-laws etc.  You might just find some fascinating and influential individuals. Those who moved west were pioneers and many had last effects on the areas they settled as did the Kilgour and Anderson clans.

Charlotte and Larz Chart

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