McAdoo Clan

This McAdoo genealogy blog has been created to share family information. It will be used to record genealogy data as well as to communicate family news.

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Location: Metuchen, New Jersey, United States

Monday, January 16, 2006

Skeletons in the Family Closets

There are times in the search for my ancestors when I discover interesting or unusual facts. Two recent discoveries fall into that category.

The first discovery occurred while I was researching my Hinchliffe ancestors on my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother, Florence Hinchliffe Smith immigrated to Philadelphia from England in 1904 with her parents, Joseph and Eliza, and her brother William. The Hinchliffe’s had lived in West Riding of Yorkshire, an area populated with a great many Hinchliffes. I found Joseph’s parents, Wright Hinchliffe and Jane Roebuck as well as Wright’s parents, Benjamin and Susannah. They are my great great great grandparents. Benjamin, born about 1788 in Cartworth, Yorkshire, is the oldest ancestor I have discovered to date. During this search, I learned that when the 1881 UK Census was taken, Wright Hinchliffe was a convict in HM Prison Borstal in Kent. The record shows that he was a widower and his job in prison was a factory overlooker. I have not yet found out the reason for his incarceration, but maybe time will tell.

The second discovery sheds light on a McAdoo story of intrigue that goes back probably 75 years. My grandmother, Nellie Butler McAdoo died in 1930, leaving my grandfather and the four children, Jimmy, Helen, Howard, and Marie at home in Germantown. My dad married my mother the next year and Helen married Dick Wharton a year or two later. I’m not sure of the next sequence of events, but shortly after the two marriages, my parents took in Howard and Marie went to live with Helen and Dick. My grandfather sold the home at 127 W. Ashmead Street and at some point, went to live a cousin, Annie Stumm and her family on Ridge Avenue in either Manayunk or East Falls.

I remember “Aunt” Annie and three of her four children very well. She was always kind to me when my dad and I visited and she and my dad got along well with one another. Most importantly, my grandfather seemed to be happy. He was still working at the Philadelphia Gas Works and I assume he was the sole support of the Stumm family. However, the “cousin” arrangement did not meet with the approval of Helen and Marie. Their Catholic upbringing and strong Catholic faith led them to believe that their father was living in sin and would never go to heaven and they blamed Annie.

I never knew the spelling of Annie’s last name until our reunion last summer, when Uncle Les Ledbetter, Marie’s husband told me the correct spelling. Well, to shorten the story, I now know where Annie fits into the family. Anna Mae McAdoo Stumm was the daughter of Daniel McAdoo, who was the brother of my great grandfather, James. She was born November 25, 1897 in Port Kennedy, Montgomery County, PA. Her first marriage ended in divorce in 1919 and she married Frederick Charles Stumm in 1920. They had four children, Susanna, Frederick, Jr., Walter, and Amelia.

So, now you know about the skeletons in the closets of two families. It remains to be seen how many more will be discovered.


Blogger Suzy said...

I came across your blog by accident, but a very fortunate accident it was. It was great to learn about our McAdoo relatives. I remember having a cousin Elsie McAdoo living near us in Wissahickon (right near Manayunk)and I also remember my Grandmother's brother, Uncle Dan (whom I believe may have been the son of your Great Grandfather's brother.) Anna Mae McAdoo was my father's mother and actually she had five children by Frederick Charles Stumm. The last which is not mentioned in your blog was Margaret (my Aunt Peg). Also, although I don't have any further information on it, I believe that Frederick moved to Virginia at one point and started another family. Unfortunately, both Frederick, Jr. and Walter are deceased. No one seems to know what happened to Suzanna. Amelia (Aunt Melie to me) and Margaret (Aunt Peg) remain my only link (until now) to the McAdoo Clan.

The Ridge Avenue house (5400 block of Ridge) was considered to be part of the Wissahickon area which is situated right between Manayunk and East Falls. I still live right above that area in Roxborough.

Looking forward to reading the rest, very truly yours, Suzanne D. Stumm

2:09 PM  

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