William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) online

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John C. Burling, established a wholesale and retail grocery busi-
ness in 1849. Their place of business was the corner of Gold
and Sands streets, Brooklyn. Previous to this Mr. Samuel Bur-
ling had been connected wnth Hanfor Lockwood. In business
he was noted for his exactness, and was excessively careful in
all business dealings. His efforts were successful, and he made
extensive investments in real estate. He remained in business
until 1900, when they both retired to enjoy the results of their
earliest labors.

William Burling, bis brother, who lived on the homestead
at Upper New Rochelle, in Westchester county, was a man of
great integrity and universally esteemed. During his life he
was fre(|uently called upon to arbitrate differences among his
neighbors, and his opinions were very jnstly held in the highest
i-espect. When contined in his last sickness, ministers of various
denominations called upon him to express their sympathy and
show their resi)ect. He died as he had lived, a useful and hon-
ored man.

William Clinton Burling was born in Brooklyn, and was
educated at the Adeli)hi Academy. At the age of seventeen he


began business as a clerk with Thomas c^ Beuhain, of the Xew
York Produce Exchange. In this capacity he remained two
years. He then went to Europe, and while in Paris he made the
ac(|uaintance of the lady whom he afterwards married. She was,
like himself, a resident in Brooklyn, and of the same neighbor-
hood, but this was their first ac(]uaintance. T^pon his return from
Europe he entered into partnershii) with Isaac Adriance, and
conducted a dry goods establishment on Franklin street, Xew
York. The partnersliip was ended l)y the untimely deatli of Mr.
Adriance. Upon the election of Mayor Schieren. in 1894, Mr.
Burling accepted a i)Osition in the De])artment of City AVorks,
and remained for four years. Since then he has been connected
witli the real estate business, and his office on Gold street is near
the ])lace where his father began business in his early years.
Mr. Burling married Lillie T., daughter of -James Raymond,
February 22, 1887. They have three children: William Ray-
mond, born December 29, 1888; Lillian Aletta, born August 7,
1894; and Alice Gertrude, born June 11, 1896.

CLIFFORD ('()l)|)L\(rr()X (JnoDWLX.

The (roodwin family, woi-thily represented in the present
generation by Clifford C. Goodwin, a native of Xew York city,
born December 3, I860, is directly descended from the Goodwins
of East Anglia, whose names a])])ear in the records of X^orwich,
England, as early as 1238. The family was founded in America
by Ozias Goodwin, who left his native land in l(i3)2, locating first
in Boston, Massachusetts, from whence he removed to Xewtown,
now Cambridge, Afassachusetts, the same year, and there be-
came one of the leading elders and a representative of the Gen-
eral Coui't in 1634. Ozias GoodAvin an.d his l)rother, William
Goodwin. acconij)anied the colony that removed from ^lassa-
chusetts to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1635, and thev became


widely known and highly respected for the business acumen
used in everyday life, and the public spii'it they displayed upon
every occasion. They were followers of the Pilgrim Fathers,
a body of worshipers belonging to the Church of England, yet
alienated from its ritual, who determined to worship God and
study the scriptures according to their understanding thereof.

The line of descent is traced through Samuel Goodwin, great-
grandson of Ozias Goodwin, born 168l2, died 1712. He married
Mary Steele, daughter of Lieutenant James and Sarah (Barn-
ard) Steele, of Hartford. Connecticut. He married for his
second wife Laodamia ]\rerrill, daughter of Moses and Mary
Merrill, of Hartford, Connecticut. The issue of the first union
was Samuel Goodwin, 1)orn 1710, died 177(i; he was a resident of
Hartford, Connecticut, and served in the capacity of collector
during the years 1737-45-17, grand juror in 1743, and ensign of
the military company in 1749.

George Goodwin, great-grandfather of Clifford C. Goodwin,
was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1757. After completing
his education he entered the office of Thomas Green, founder of
The Connecticut Courant, and so faithfully and conscientiously
were his duties jierformed that in the year 1777 he was admitted
to a partnershi]) in the business, which connection continued un-
til his retirement from active pursuits in 1825, when his sons
succeeded him in the business. In 1779 he was united in marriage
to Mary Edwards, daughter of Richard and Alary (Butler) Ed-
wards, of Hartford, Connecticut. Their deaths occurred re-
spectively in 1844 and 1828.

Oliver Goodwin, grandfather of Clifford C. Goodwin, was
born in Hartford, Connecticut, 1784. He was a prominent and
])ublic-siurited citizen, stood high in the couununity in which he
resided, was the incumbent of several public offices in Litchfield,
and during the AVar of 1812 served as ensign in the company

Jonathan I. Coddington.


commanded by Captain Samuel Wangh. He was granted a tract
of land in the Western Reserve, Ohio. Mr. Goodwin married, in
1818, Clarissa Leavitt, daughter of David and Lucy (Clark)
Leavitt, of Bethlehem, Connecticut. Mr. Goodwin died in 1855.
Edward Clark Goodwin, father of Clifford C. Goodwin, was
born in Litchtield, Connecticut, 1825. He married Matilda
Eleanor Coddington, who died March 5, 1900. She was a daugh-
ter of Jonathan Inslee Coddington, and three sons were the
issue of this union, as follows : Edward Leavitt, born 1859, died
1878; Clifford Coddington, born 1860, mentioned hereinafter;
and Henry Leavitt, born 1862, married, in 1889, Mary Bowditch
Osborne. Jonathan Inslee Coddington, father of Mrs. Goodwin,
was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey, 1784, a son of James and
Experience (Inslee) Coddington, and grandson of John Cod-
dington, of Woodbridge, New Jersey, where his death occurred
about the year 1758. James Coddington was born in Wood-
bridge, New Jersey, 1754, was a Revolutionary soldier, and died
in 1816. His wife. Experience (Inslee) Coddington, was a
daughter of Jonathan and Grace (Moore) Inslee. Jonathan
Inslee Coddington was a member of the assembly from New
York city in 1827, postmaster of New York from 1886 to 1842, a
period of six years, and a presidential elector in the year 1844.
His death occurred at his home in New York city in 1856. Among
the children born to him were the following: Matilda Eleanor,
aforementioned as the wife of Edward Clark Goodwin; Colonel
Clifford (for whom Clift'ord C. Goodwin was named), born in
New York, 1841, was a lawyer and broker, a member of the
Seventh Regiment, an active participant in the Civil war, and
his death occurred in 1892; David Smith, born 1823, was an
orator of note and fre(]uently served as a member of the assembly
from New York city, died 1865; (lill)ert Smith, born in New York
city, 1835.


Clifford C. Goodwin was a student at Columbia University,
Washington, D. C, from which institution he was graduated.
He resides at No. 238 Fifth avenue, New York, in the home
where three generations of his family have been born, reared,
lived and died. His summer residence, Edgewater, is located
in Barrytown-on-the-Hudson. Mr. Goodwin is a prominent mem-
ber of the St. Nicholas and New York Clubs. He has recently
established in Brooklyn an extensive manufactory of drop forg-
ings, at which a very large amount of this kind of work is done.

Mr. Jonathan I. Coddington first resided in 1816 at No. 62
Beekman street. In 1820 he moved to White street, where most
of his children were born. In 1845 he purchased a lot and erected
a mansion. No. 238 Fifth avenue. The price of the lot was
$10,000. The mansion, giving way to trade, was torn down in


The ancestor of the family whose name is identified with
great advancement in the art of printing, was John Baskerville,
who was born at Wolverly, Worcestershire, England, in 1706.
In his earliest years he develojied great skill in caligraphy and
cutting in stone, and at the age of twenty became a writing mas-
ter in Birmingham. In that city he had excellent opportunities
of observing the great advancement and improvements in vari-
ous manufactures, and he applied himself to the art of japan-
ning, which he cai-ried on with great success. In 1750 he di-
rected his attention to letter founding, with the best results. A
few years later he began the business of printing, which made
his name famous. The first work from his press was an edition
of Virgil, in royal quarto.

The University of Cambridge granted him permission to
print the Bible in royal folio, and the Book of Common Prayer
in three diiferent sizes. For this privilege he paid a large sum


to the I'niversity. lu addition to this he printed many classical
works in beciutiful editions, including Horace, Terrenee, Catul-
lus, Lucretius, Juvenal, Sallust, and Floras. All of these were
in royal quai'to. He also printed V'irgil and others in small
volumes. In a word, Baskerville brought printing to the high-
est degree of ])erfeetion, and his volumes are eagerly sought
by collectors. He died in July, 1775.

Kichard Baskerville, a descendant, was l)orn in Torcjuay,
Devonshire, al.)out 1800, and came to America in 1840. He set-
tled in Brooklyn, and carried on the business of manufacturing
lishing tackle, in which he was very skillful. He married Han-
nah Xunn, and their only child, Paul Baskerville, was born in
Dartmouth, Devonshire. England, in 1829, and came with his
parents to this country. His principal business was furnishing
steamship com])anies with breadstuffs and provisions, and iu
this enterprise he met with great success. He married Mary
Joint, of a Devonshire family, and left three children : William,
now living in San Francisco; Ada, wife of Thomas De Witt
Scoble, a stock broker, now living in Xew Kochelle; and Thomas
H. Baskerville.

Thomas H. Baskerville was born at Xo. ll'o Le Koy street,
Xew York, starch 5, 1805. In his early years he attended the
public school in Grove street, and then entered the College of
Xew York. His course in this institution was cut short, owing
to a peculiar circumstance. One afternoon Professor K. Ogden
Doremus, the famous chemist, was demonstrating a certain
experiment in tlie art of which he was so profound a teacher.
Young Baskerville, with another student, resolved to repeat the
same exjieriment after college hours. In this attempt they were
like the small boy who having seen a magician [)Ound a gold
watch to pieces in a mortar, and then by a few magic passes re-
stored it perfect, tried the same on his father's watch Avitli the


most disastrous results. The two students did not possess the
g'reat knowledge of the teacher; either something was lacking, or
something was superfluous, the result lieing an explosion, which
not only came near terminating the earthly career of the experi-
menters, but destroyed the laboratory. Such an episode could
not be overlooked, and young Baskerville was promptly ex-
pelled, the only member of the faculty voting for his i)ardon
being Professor Doremus, who declared that he was the only
student who had shown intelligent interest in the subject. Bas-
kerville then entered the Law School of Columbia University,
and graduated in the class of 1886. losing liis father by death
the same year. He at once became connected with the well
known law firm of Bowers & Sands, with which he still remains,
having charge of the real estate department, for which his
extensive information on tliat subject renders him especially

Mr. Baskerville married, in 1897, Miss Jessie Bernd, of
Macon, Georgia. Their present home is the marble liouse
erected many years ago by Mr. S. Seaman, and sometimes known
as "Seaman's Folly," and stands on the old Kingsbridge road,
between 214tli and 21fith streets, wliere their desire for a semi-
rural life is fully gratified.


The ancestors of this distinguished family were among the
multitude compelled to flee from France to escape religious per-
secution. They found a ])lace of refuge and a home in Scotland,
wliere Eobert and Elizabeth Gerard were living at Mill of Car-
nousie, near Banff, in 1774. and at that place their son William
Gerard was born.

In early manhood he was a resident at Giliraltar, but came
to America before 1780 and engaged in business. The year


after his arrival lie married Christina Glass, of a family from
Sntherlandshire. Her parents were John Glass and his wife,
whose family name was Monroe. Her family was from Ros-
shire. and she was a grandniece of Sir Thomas Hector Monroe,
governor of tlie East Indies, and a favorite niece of Dr. Alex-
ander A[onroe. who was one of the founders of the University
of Edinhnrgh. Alexander S. (rhiss, her brother, was a promi-
nent New York merchant in the early part of the nineteenth
century. Their mother came to this country as a widow with
a family of young cliildi'en before the Revolution, and she after-
wai'd married Dr. Alexander McLean, a surgeon in the British
anny. By this marriage she had a son. Dr. Hugh Monroe
McLean, an eminent ])hysician.

AVilliam and Chi-istina Gerard were the parents of seven
children- -three sons and four daughters. Of the daughters,
Ann married Andrew Hasil, and was the mother of ^Nlrs. Schuy-
ler Livingston. Another daughter, Christina, married Dr. Jere-
miah I'isher. a surgeon in the United States Army in 1812.

James W. (lerard. the ycnmgest son, was born in 1794. En-
tering college, he graduated in ISIU In 1812 he joined a com-
I)any organized foi- home defence, and known as the " h'ou
Greys." After the war he entered the law office of George Grif-
fins, who was one of the foremost lawyers in the city. In 181 (i
he was admitted to the bar, and also received the degree of
Master of Ai'ts from Columbia College. In his chosen profes-
sion he achieved distinction, tie took a dee]i interest in all
philanthropic movements, and it was through his influence that
the first House of Refuge was established in Xew York, in 1825.
He wa^ also among the first to advocate a uniformed i)olice
force, and did much to jtromote its efficiency. During the latter
part of his life he was dev(.ted to the cause of itopular education,
and held the office of school trustee and inspector, and made the


public scliools the subject of assiduous care. His useful and
active life ended in 1S74, and by his death the city and state
Jest one of tlieir most useful citizens.

Mr. Gerard married Eliza, daughter of Hon. Increase Sum-
ner, a member of one of the oldest and most honored of the
families of AJassachusetts. Her father was Governor of the
State, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and her brother,
General "William H. Sumner, was aide-de-camp to Governor
Strong during the war of J 812. Their children were:

1. A\'illiani Sumner, who died young.

2. Ida, wJio married (first) Frederick Wiggin, of England,
and had two children: Frederick, who is now a practicing
])hysician in Xew York; and Catherine, who married Hon.
Charles Laurence, son of Lord Laurence, who was Viceroy of
India. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Wiggin mar-
ried Sir George-Buckley Matthew, of the British diplomatic

3. Juliette Ann, married Thomas C. T. Buckly, who was a
law partner of Mr. Gerard. Their children are Mary Ue Kay,
who married Lieutenant AA'iliiam Stark, of the United States
Navy, and Julian Gerard Buckly, of Genesee, New York.

4. James \\. Gerard, who was born in New York, and was
a graduate of Columbia College, with the honors of valedic-
torian, in 1843. In acknowledgment of his literary and his-
torical works he received the degree of LIj. D. in 1892. In the
legal profession he achieved the highest rank, and was recog-
nized as highest authoritj' on the law of real estate and prop-
erty. His great work, "Titles to Keal Estate in the State of
New York," is a standard work on that subject. In 187G he
was elected State Senator. Much of his time was devoted to
the interests of tlie schools, and he was one of the Commission-
ers of Education. His great historical work. "The Peace of


Utrecht," is a masterly account of the conflict l)eginning in ITlii,
and known as tlie ''War of the Spanisli Succession." lie also
delivered many lectnres before tlie Xew York Historical Society,
of which he is an honored a)nl us;'fnl mi'nil)L*r, u]>()n vaiions
liistorical subjects, and several of these were jtrinted. He also
wrote for "TIari'er's iNTagazine" a very carefully i)rei)ared and
exhaustive article \\\)o\\ Anneke .Jans, and tlie claim of her de-
scendants to the projierty of Ih-inity Cluircb.

On ()ctol)er 81, 1866, Mr. Gei-ard mari'ied AHss Jenny Angel,
daughter of Hon. Benjamin Y. Angel, formerly United States
Minister to S^^'eden. Her mother was .lulia .lones, daughter of
Ca];)tain Horafio Jones. Their children are James Watson Ger-
ard. Sumner Gerard and Julia Munro Gerard. Mr. Gerard
died 1(S1)(), leaving to liis family and the world the legacy of
an nnsullied re])utation, and his works will ever keep his mem-
ory green. Mrs. Geiard, who survives, is a vice-president of
the Society of CVjlcnial Dames, a jtosition t,i which she is justly
entitled as a descendant of Elder Willi:'m i>rewster, who came
over in tlie "Mayflower."

Gramercy Park, one of the finest residential sections of
New York, was founded and laid out by Samuel B. Euggles in
]8?):2. Among the first ])ui'chasers of lots was Elihu Townsend,
"banker," vrho on March 25, 1844, sold to James W. Gerard
a lot thirty-three feet in width, being a jiart of lots seventeen
and eighteen. T'pon this lot Mr. Gerard built a nuinsion which
is said to have been the third brown stone front erected in this
city. It has descended to his family, and is nt)w their residence.
No. 17 Gramercy Park. Tt is characteristic of the social changes
in New York that this is the only house on (Iramercy I'ark that
is to-chiy owned and occupied by the family that built it.

James Watson Gerard, the third of this honored name,
was born August 28, 18()7. His earlv eJucation was received at


St. Paul's School, Garden City, and he was graduated from
Columbia C*ollege in the class of 1890. Entering the legal i)ro-
fession, he graduated from the New York Law School in the
class of 1892. He then entered the h;w office of Bowers and
Sands, and was admitted to i)artnership in 1899, and holds an
honored ]>osition among the members of the New York bar.
Jfe is a member of the Ihiion University and New York Yacht
Clubs. In the Democratic iiarty he has been for some years
chairman of Tammany Hall (Vimpaign C^ommittee.

AVilliam Gerard married Mary, daughter of Marcus Daly,
June 11, 1901.


The founder of the American family of this name was Philip
Lydig, who was born at Schwab Hall, in Germany, 1723. He
came to America about 1750, settling first in Philadelphia, where
he engaged in business as a grain merchant. In 1760 he re-
moved to New York. His children were: Philip, born 1745;
Margaret; Frans ; and two daughters whose names are unknown.

Philip Lydig, the son, came to New York in 1760, and was
apprenticed to Peter Grim, a leather merchant and well known
citizen, whose daughter he married in 1763. Her brother, David
Grim, was a man to whose knowledge of early New York every
historian and antiquarian is most deeply indebted.

The early residence of Philip Lydig was at the southeast
corner of Perry and Gold streets. The house was standing until
recent times, an interesting relic of the past. A narrator of
the events of the past describes Mrs. Lydig as "a fair faced,
healthy, handsome old lady, with her plain cap, scrupulously
neat dress, and of distinguished manner, sitting in the summer
afternoon on the old Dutch stoop in front of her house." Her
husband was one of the leading members of the Lutheran church,
which stood in "Skinners street" (now a part of Cliff street).

Col. Philip M. Lydig


This edifice became too small for the increasing membership,
and in 1766 Mr. Lydig, with Jacob Grim, jjurchased lots on the
corner of Frankfort and William streets, and here was erected
that quaint edifice known as the "Swani]) ('hurch, " views of
which are given in most histories of the city. During the Revo-
lution this church was attended by the Hessian soldiers, and
their liberal contributions were of the greatest assistance in
maintaining its service. Some of the officers of the Hessians
who died in the city were buried in the graveyard attached to
the church, and in later years their remains were discovered as
they were laid to rest, "in all the panojily of war." When the
church was built it is said that Mr. Lydig, its principal founder,
went to Germany and was successful in obtaining pecuniary as-
sistance for the purpose.

Mr. Lydig quietly continued his business during the war,
and supplied the British army with bread, and accumulated a
substantial fortune. He died before the close of the Revolu-
tion, and was buried in the church which he founded. His widow
survived him many years. Thev were the parents of two chil-
dren, one of whom. David l^ydig, was in later years one of the
most prominent and prosperous citizens of New York. He was
very truthfully described as "a man of good education, care-
fully brought up, handsome in person, of good sense and judg-
ment, refined and courteous in manner." He was a leading-
member of The Club, which consisted of aljout thirty prominent
citizens, which met at the houses of the members in succession.
Among the portions of his extended estate were mills situated
at Buttermilk Falls. This ])ro])erty he sold at the time of tiio
completion of the Erie Canal, as he foresaw the competition of
the western part of the state, and by this he saved a large
amount. In New York he was a director of the ^lerchants'
Bank, which was incorporatctl in 1805. At various times he be-


came the owner of many pieces of real estate. At the beginning
of his career as a merchant he resided at No. 21 Peck Slip, living
over his store, as was the custom of those days. From thence
he removed to 55 Beekman street. In the days of his well mer-
ited prosperity his home was at No. 225 Broadway, being the
second house from Barclay street. This house and lot he pur-
chased from Jonathan Fisk in 1818. The price was $25,250.
AVhen John Jacob Astor was planning to erect the Astor House,
in 1831, he ]iurchased the house and lot of Mr. Lydig for $32,500.
Mr. Lyd'g then ])urcliased tlie house No. 34 Leight street, which
was then an aristocratic neighborhood, and here he continued
for the remainder of his life. The newspapers of the time con-
tained the following notice: "Died, on Tuesday morning. May
the 16, 1840, in the 76th year of his age, David Lydig, an old and
respectal)]e merchant of this city."

We cannot better conclude this sketch than by giving ex-
tended extracts from the diary of Philip Hone, the "Gentleman
Mayor" of New York:

"June 18, 1839. I went out yesterday with my wife and
daughter to dine with my old friends, the Lydigs, at West Farms,
and had a truly delightful day. The beautiful grounds on Bronx
river are in fine order, and such a profusion of roses and other
flowers I have scarcely ever seen. We had an excellent dinner,
Lydig 's fine old wines, and abundance of delicious strawl)erries,
with a welcome hearty as the one and unstinted as the other.
Mr. and Mrs. Livingston with some of their family were of the
party. Lydig and Suydam (Mr. Lydig's father-in-law) are both
in indifferent health, and the latter dreadfully hipped and prone
to water drinking. But our gossiping about old times, the good
cheer and lovely scenery set the old gentlemen on their legs for
time being, and both, I am persuaded, went to bed much better
than they have been for a twelvemonth. So much for the inno-
cent enjo^anents which this world, bad as we think it, affords.

"June 16, 1840. Another link is broken in the chain of so-
cial relations. Another wai'ning given of the passing away of
m^^ generation. My old and valued friend, David Lydig, died


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Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 25 of 26)