Alfred S. Wickham and his Second Family

Alfred S. Wickham, son of Jonathan and Hannah Wickham, is my great, great, great grandfather.  He was born in about 1817 in Otsego County, New York State (USA).  Alfred married Nancy Mariah Ashley (b: 1 Apr 1825),  daughter of Alden Ashley and Rheuamy Green.

Alfred and Nancy had 7 children — all born in New York State (except Perry, who was born in Michigan)

  • Ellen Sarah Wickham (my great, great grandmother; b: 19 Jul 1844)
  • Isaac A (b: abt 1847)
  • Almira (b: abt 1848)
  • Elva A (b: abt 1850)
  • Alfred S Jr. (b: abt 1851)
  • Alden (b: abt 1853)
  • Perry (b: abt 1859)

In a previous blog, I wrote about Alfred and Nancy from the time of their marriage until Nancy’s death sometime between November of 1856 and June of 1860.  This blog will focus on what happened to Alfred after Nancy died.

Battle Creek Business District 1852

Battle Creek Business District 1852

In 1860, Alfred was living and farming in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan (USA) with 6 of his 7 children.

All of the children, except the oldest (Ellen) and the youngest (Perry), are attending school.

His son, Isaac, was living close by with the Hoag family in Whiteford, Monroe County, Michigan.

Sometime between the 1860 Census and about the beginning of 1865, Alfred married the widow, Matilda Allen, and moved from Michigan back to his childhood home of Chatham, Columbia County, New York.

Matilda had a son from her previous marriage, William Allen — who was born in about 1861 in New York State (USA).  Matilda also bore Alfred a son, Charles Wickham who was born in July of 1865.

1870 Census - Alfred and Matilda Wickham and FamilyIn 1870,  the blended family is living together in Chatham.

Two of Alfred’s sons from his first marriage, Alfred Jr. and Perry, are also living with them.

As he was in Michigan, Alfred continued to earn his living as a farmer.

1880 Census - Alfred and Matilda Wickham and FamilyIn 1880, Alfred and Matilda are still in Chatham.

Also living in the household are two children that are identified as grandchildren of Alfred and Matilda: Herbert (age 6) and Edith (age 2).

It took me a while to figure out who these children were — until I noticed that Albert Jr. was living next door.  Further research revealed that Herbert and Edith are Albert Jr.’s children!!

A big problem with researching your American family tree is that, in 1921, most of the 1890 Federal Census was burned in a fire.

1890 US Census Records - destroyed by fire

It was estimated that 25% of the census documents were destroyed and 50% of the remaining were damaged by water, smoke and fire.

So the next available U.S. Federal Census after 1880 is the one in 1900.  In 1900, Alfred would be 83 and Matilda, 75.

1900 Census - Alfred Jr. Wickham and familyI couldn’t locate either Alfred or Matilda in the 1900 Census.  But I did find their son, Alfred Jr. who was living in Hagaman Village, Montgomery County, New York (USA).

Listed as living with the family is a person that Alfred identifies as his mother  — but her name is “Nellie”, not Matilda?

Nellie’s age (75) and place of birth (New York) matches that of Matilda.  Could it be that Matilda’s nickname was Nellie?   Or maybe the census taker mis-heard the name and it was really “Tillie” (nickname for Matilda).  In any case, Nellie is listed as widowed.

When I found Matilda (widow of Alfred S) in the 1901 and 1903 City Directories for Hagaman Village, I knew that “Nellie” must be Matilda.  In 1901 and 1903, the Wickham family is living on Church Street in Hagaman Village.

Church Street, Hagaman, New York 1905

Church Street, Hagaman, New York 1905

Matilda died in 1907 and is buried in the same plot in Hagaman Mills Cemetery as her son Charles, his wife Catherine, and her grandson Edward.

As of the date of this blog, I do not know when or where Alfred S Wickham Sr. died exactly — but he must have died sometime between the 1880 and 1900 US Censuses.

In a future blog, I will detail the life of Charles Wickham, Alfred and Matilda’s son, but for now here is a Descendancy Report for him.

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One Response to Alfred S. Wickham and his Second Family

  1. Pingback: My Evison Great Uncles, Part One | In Search of My Ancestors

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