Monday, January 17, 2011

Notable Women Ancestors: Raising New Yorkers

The Scottish immigrant William Lamb found his bride about 1872 when he married Mary Louise Wurster. He was 37, a Civil War veteran, and established as a builder in New York. She was born in New York, the daughter of Bavarian immigrants William and Catherine Wurster, and about 28 years old.

Her family was living in Plymouth, North Carolina in 1850 where her father was a tailor. Her three year-old sister Caroline was born in NC, as was her infant brother Frederick. The census has not yielded further info in 1860 or 1870. What took them from New York to North Carolina and back again?

She had her first child, a daughter, Louisa, in 1874. More daughters followed in two year increments: Janet in 1875, Jessie in 1877, Gertrude in 1879, and Katherine in 1881. When she was 36 her last child was born, a son, William Frederick. The family lived on Rodney Street in Brooklyn and employed a servant and a nurse in 1880. Her brother Frederick lived nearby, with their father and another house full of young daughters: Emily, Louisa and Carrie. Frederick was the owner of a foundry. Their father died in 1881.

The family business prospered and her husband served on the boards of banks and churches. Her brother became Mayor of Brooklyn in 1892. About 1899 her daughter Louisa married Thomas Lamb, possibly her first cousin, and moved to Delta Colorado where they employed five men raising stock. In 1901 daughter Janet married Clarence Lowes at home.

Mary Louisa lost her husband, William Lamb, October 3, 1903. He died peacefully at home, according to an account in the New York Times. She survived him by nearly 20 years. In 1910 her remaining children still lived with her, now in Queens. Janet lived next door with her two children. Clarence was treasurer of a bank. Gertrude and Jessie were gone by 1920, but Catherine and William remained with her. Catherine had taken a trip to Europe in 1909. William graduated from Williams College in 1904, studied at Columbia, and received a degree from Beaux Arts in Paris in 1911. He went on to become a prominent architect in New York.

Her brother Frederick predeceased her in 1917. She died in 1922, leaving an estate of $67,847.oo.

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