Sunday, July 24, 2005

Is Mary Ann Metcalfe the mother of Ann Elizabeth Metcalfe?

As noted in the previous post, in 1850 a woman named Mary A. Metcalf, age 50, was living with Joseph Metcalf, Ann Elizabeth Metcalfe's brother. At that time, Joseph Metcalfe was about 31 and Ann (Metcalfe) Betts was about 29. It would not be unreasonable for Mary, age 50, to be their mother.

Mary A. Metcalfe prior to 1850

In 1850, Mary A. Metcalfe was living with Joseph Metcalfe and family, probably at 202 Sassafras St. In the 1840s, there was a Mary Metcalfe living at nearby 178 Sassafras:

Philadelphia City Directory
[1840] Metcalfe Mary, 178 Sassafras
[1841] Metcalfe Mary, 178 Sassafras
[1842] Metcalfe Mary, 178 Sassafras

This was probably the same person listed in the 1840 Census:
Lower Delaware Ward, Philadelphia, p. 16
Mary A. Metcalf - - - 2 3 - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 - 1 - - - - -
(two males age 15-20, three males age 20-30, two females age 20-30, one female age 40-50). When this census was taken, Joseph would have been about 21, and Ann would have been 19 or 20 (she may have been married to Edward Betts at this time).

I have not found any earlier listing for Mary - she would probably have been listed with a husband.

Where was 178 Sassafras St?

178 Sassafras St. was probably on the south side of Sassafras (Race) Street between 5th and 6th (listed under "Race"). Today that location is part of the National Constitution Center of the National Independence Historic Park.

What happened to Mary Metcalfe after 1850?

Mary Metcalfe was not living with Joseph Metcalfe in the 1860 census.
However, a Mary A. Metcalfe, age 63, was living with Henry Loughlin, his wife Sarah, and their children in the Upper Delaware ward. Henry was a sailmaker.

In 1870 and 1880 Mary A. Metcalfe (at age 74 and 85 respectively), was living with the widow Sarah Laughlin.

It is likely that Mary Metcalfe died before 1900. More research will be needed to determine whether this Mary is the same as the woman living with Joseph Metcalfe in 1850.

It is of possible significance that Joseph's son Thomas also worked as a sail maker, like Henry Laughlin, rather than following his father's profession of painter.

Hopefully we can find evidence that Henry Laughlin married Sarah Metcalfe.

Was Thomas Metcalfe the husband of Mary A. Metcalfe?

In the 1830 Census and 1825 and 1830 City Directories, there are three Metcalf(e)s in Philadelphia:

Wm. Metcalf in Kensington, James Metcalf (or Medcalf) in , and Thomas Metcalfe in Upper Delaware Ward.

William Metcalf lived at 174 Germantown Road in Kensington. He was a well known minister of the Bible Christian Church, as well as teacher and proponent of vegitarianism. His life and family history, has ben extensively documented, making it unlikely that he is the father of Joseph and Ann. William died in 1862.

James Metcalf was a laborer who lived on North Broad Street, between Cherry and Sassafras Streets. He is listed in the 1825 and 1830 city directories, but has not been found in the 1830 census, possibly because he is living in someone else's household.

Thomas Metcalf(e) was a cabinet maker who lived at 7 Sassafras St. in Upper Delaware Ward. He was living in Philadelphia as early as 1820. In 1830 there were four children living in his household: two boys, age 5-9 and 10-14 and two girls age less than 5 and 5-9. There is one man, age 30-39 (presumably Thomas) and three women, aged 30-39, 40-49 and 80-89. Thomas's wife could be either age 30-39 or age 40-49. In 1830, our Joseph Metcalf would have been about age 11, and Ann Metcalfe would have been about age 9, so their ages are consistent with Thomas's census record.

I have not found any listing for this Thomas Metcalfe after 1835.
(note that there was another Thomas Metcalf, married to a Jane, who appears to have arrived in Philadelphia from Ireland in the early 1820s, and worked as a laborer.).

One reason that I favor Thomas as the husband of Mary (and father of Ann) is his occupation of cabinet maker. Edward Betts was living in Philadelphia by at least the mid-1830s. As a pianomaker, cabinent making would probably have been one of his skills. It's pure speculation, but Edward may have apprenticed with a cabinet maker in his youth - maybe with Thomas Metcalfe in Philadelphia. (I hope that I can find evidence of this one way or another).

Addresses on Sassafras (Race) Street
- 178 Sassafras was on the south side of the street between 5th and 6th
- 202 Sassafras was on the south side of the street at the corner of 6th
- 7 Sassafras was on the corner of 10th street.
Map of the intersection of 6th and Race (click for a closeup view of each quadrant) from the Hexamer & Locher Atlas of Philadelphia, 1858-1862

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