18 January 2012

Emma Antrim (my great grandmother)

Date Plan made: 18 January 2012  Researcher: Linda Newman


1. To find Emma’s birth date and place, death date and place, to find out where Emma is buried.

2. To verify that the Emma Antrim that married Frederick R Boyer is the same Emma that is the daughter of John Antrim and Sarah Downey.

3. To discover why, if possible, it appears that Emma is living separately from her husband Frederick R Boyer on the 1900 census.

Known Facts (with sources):

1. Emma Antrim first appears on the 1860 census in Philadelphia, Pa with parents John and Sarah Antrim. It says she is 6 yrs old birthplace Pennsylvania.

2. Emma Antrim is on the 1870 census living in Smyrna, Delaware with her parents John and Sarah Antrim. It says she is 14 yrs old birthplace Pennsylvania.

3. Emma Antrim is on the 1880 census in Neptune, New Jersey with her parents John and Sarah Antrim. It says she is 24 yrs old birthplace Pennsylvania.

4. In Sarah Antrim’s application for a widow’s pension based on her husband John’s civil war service there is a General Affidavit dated 3 January 1890 by Emma Antrim aged 37 address 1626 Diamond St, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It states she is a daughter of John Antrim and was 12 years old when he returned from the army in the spring of 1865.

5. Philadelphia Marriage license number 65598 says that Emma Antrim married Frederick R Boyer on 25 December 1893. Affidavit says Emma was born on 10 November 1864 in Philadelphia, was residing at 3035 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, and that she was a Milliner. Parents’ names not given.

6. Birth certificate for Louise Grace Boyer (born 1 February 1895 in Philadelphia) says her mother’s name is Emma Antrim and father’s name is Frederick R Boyer. Home address is listed as 1839 N 24th St, Philadelphia.

7. Death certificate for Thomas Mason Boyer (born 1 February 1895 in Philadelphia, died 12 February 1895 in Philadelphia). It says his mother was Emma Antrim, father Frederick R Boyer. Home address is 1839 N 24th St, Philadelphia.

8. Emma Boyer is on the 1900 census in Philadelphia, Pa with daughter Louis [sic] G. Boyer in someone else’s household as their housekeeper. It says she was born Nov 1863 in Pennsylvania. It says that Emma is a widow.

9. There is a Fred. R Boyer listed on the 1900 census in South Ardmore, Montgomery County, Pa. He is was born Dec 1860 in Pennsylvania and is a plasterer which fits the age and occupation of the Frederick R Boyer who is the husband of Emma Antrim. It says he is single.

10. Family story is that both of Louise Grace’s mother and father died when she was 9 yrs old, within a few months of each other. That would mean they would have both died approximately 1904. According to the same story Emma died of stomach cancer. Family story is that Aunt Lou also died of stomach cancer when Louise Grace was 12, although Louise Grace was 15 at the time of the 1910 census and Anna Louise was still alive at that point. If it was Emma that died when Louise Grace was 12 that would have put a death date of approximately 1907. Or it could have been Emma or Anna Louise or Frederick died in 1912.

11. The book, American Boyers by Charles C Boyer (published 1915), said that in 1910 Frederick Boyer’s residence was 1203 Green St, Philadelphia. The Frederick in the book has the same birth date, birth place and occupation as the Frederick that was on the marriage affidavit.

12. I do not see Emma (Antrim) Boyer on the 1910 census, and Louise Grace Boyer is living with her Aunt "Lou" Reynolds (Emma’s sister Anna Louisa) in Upper Oxford, Chester, Pennsylvania.

13. On 1910 census there is a Frederick R Boyer (indexed as Boyar on ancestry.com) age 49 plasterer living in Philadelphia ward 14 listed as a widower.

14. 1912 Philadelphia city directory lists a Frederick R Boyer plasterer as living in the city. I have not checked any more recent city directories to discover when he was last listed.

15. My father was named Thomas Mason Antrim Newman for his mother’s uncle who served in the civil war and was a minister. This fits the facts for the Thomas Mason Antrim who is the son of John and Sarah Antrim. My grandmother’s twin brother was named Thomas Mason Boyer (presumably after the same uncle that my dad was named after). Thomas Mason Boyer is buried in the same plot at Mt Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia as Rev Thomas Mason Antrim, Sarah Antrim (Rev Thomas’ and Emma’s mother), Kate Antrim (Rev Thomas’ and Emma’s sister), Dorothy Louise Newman and Violet Grace Newman (daughters of Louise Grace Boyer Newman), and 3 of Lillie Antrim Hoffer’s sons (Lillie is Rev Thomas’ niece). I have in my possession the Bible that belonged to Louise S Cox who was betrothed to Rev Thomas Mason Antrim. It includes newspaper clippings of Rev. Thomas Mason Antrim’s obituary. I also have in my possession the deed for the plot at Mt Vernon Cemetery purchased by Rev Thomas M Antrim. When my grandmother was research her grandfather her congressman helped her access the civil war pension file for John Antrim. I have the letter from the congressman’s office in my possession.

Working Hypothesis:

Emma Antrim is the daughter of John Antrim and Sarah Downey. Sister of Thomas Mason Antrim, Sarah Antrim, John E Antrim, Anna Louisa Antrim, George W Antrim, and Kate Antrim.

This is the same Emma Antrim that married Frederick R Boyer in 1893 in Philadelphia. Emma and Frederick had 2 children, twins: Louise Grace Boyer and Thomas Mason Boyer on 1 February 1895 in Philadelphia. Their son died at 11 days old and is buried in Mt Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Emma was probably born in the month of November 1854 (+/-2 year) in Pennsylvania, likely in Philadelphia.

For some reason between the birth of their children (and subsequent death of their son) in February 1895, and the 1900 census Emma and Frederick separated. This could be for Frederick to get a job away from home, although that would not explain why the census said she was a widow and he was single. They may have just been separated but not divorced. Possible causes might be the stress of the death of their son, or possibly Frederick discovered Emma lied about her age. If she was born approximately 1855, Emma would have been approximately 40 yrs old at the time she gave birth. Pure speculation, but she may not have been able to have more children and this may have caused stress to the marriage. They may have legal divorced, if so there should be a record of it somewhere, probably Philadelphia.

Speculate that Emma died between the time of the 1900 census and the 1910 census. She may have died in Pennsylvania, but another possibility is she died in NJ as her sister Anna Louisa Reynolds was living in Paterson, NJ at the time of the 1900 census. Unsure of where she was buried but Mt Vernon Cemetery is one possibility since her son is buried there, or some other cemetery in Philadelphia. She may have been buried in Pottstown, Montgomery county since that is where Frederick and his family were from. If she died in NJ it is always possibly she was buried there, or if Anna Louisa had already moved to Upper Oxford, Pa at the time of Emma’s death she might have died and been buried there.

Speculate that Frederick outlived Emma by at least a couple of years, despite family story. (Note: Since originally writing this I have discovered a death certificate that I believe belongs to my Frederick R Boyer stating he died 10 Jun 1922 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.)

Research Strategies (specific records to check):

1. Look for birth record for Emma, first in city of Philadelpha, then broader search in Pennsylvania.

2. Check for Christening or baptismal record for Emma.

3. Check for will or probate record for father, John Antrim, who died at a Soldier’s home in Hampton, Va in July 1885.

4. Check for will or probate record for brother, Rev Thomas Mason Antrim, who died in Philadelphia in July 1886.

5. Look for divorce records for Emma and Frederick, starting in Philadelphia, then broadening search to nearby counties.

6. Look for custody records for Louise Grace Boyer making Anna Louise her guardian.

7. Look for death/burial records for Emma, first in Philadelphia, then broadening search to nearby counties including Chester, then in NJ.

8. Look for obituary for Emma in Pennsylvania and NJ newspapers.


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