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I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Mrs. Daniel Phelan, Mother of Ida Frazer, Brooklyn, NY, 1880s



This fading portrait features "Mrs Daniel Phelan, mother of Ida Frazer, grandmother of Sarah Bennett."  I believe this Mrs. Phelan to be "Sarah Ann Phelan." This was an Internet purchase that consisted of a large number of Bennett photographs.

The photograph appears to be taken in the 1880s.  The photographer, Robinson & Roe, who also had a studio in Chicago, were located at 227 Fulton, Brooklyn in 1883.  They later moved to 298 Fulton, and then finally to W. 14th. in New York.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to the necessary Brooklyn directories to nail down the dates when the 227 Fulton Street studio was in operation.  We can look at the card itself to try and figure out a time frame.  The card is a dark maroon colour, which came into vogue around 1885 and remained stylish until the early 1890s, and along with the type of brooch and earrings, I'd guess this image was taken somewhere around 1885-1888.

I began the search with the 1880 U.S. Federal Census (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, ED 191, Dwelling 98, Family 215, Daniel Phelan household)  where I found Daniel Phelan and his wife, Sarah Ann Phelan, living in Brooklyn, New York with their unmarried daughters, Ida, 21, and Nellie, 18.  Daniel, born 1820, was a retail coal dealer.  Sarah was four years his younger. Also in the same household was Mary E. Tice, a daughter of Daniel & Sarah's, and her husband John H. Tice.  Mary and John had two sons, George, 6, and Charles, 3.  Another of Sarah and Daniel's married daughters was also living there:  Emma Kollmeyer and husband, James, with their child Ada.  Rounding out the family unit was their son, George Phelan, and his wife, Ella.

I worked my way back to 1850 through the censuses to get a better look at the whole family.  Sarah and Daniel appear to have had at least four children in addition to the children mentioned above:  Sarah Amelia, b. abt. 1842; Daniel, b. abt. 1848, Charles b. 1850, and Fran, b. abt. 1859.

In the 1892 New York State Census (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, ED 129, p. 5, James Kollmeyer household) Sarah A. Phelan is living with her daughter and son-in-law, along with "Ida Frazer" who I am assuming is Sarah's daughter, Ida.  Of course, this would have to be verified with a marriage record, death or other document that lists both her maiden and married names.  Ida Frazer's children, Sarah M. Frazer, age 9, and Howard S. Frazer, age 5, are also living in the household.

Is Sarah M. Frazer the granddaughter "Sarah Bennett" mentioned on the back of the photograph?  We would have to locate a marriage between Sarah M. Frazer and a Mr. Bennett, but I believe it is quite likely one exists.  I could not locate such a document online, but a search of the local New York records could be undertaken to confirm this.

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