Last year, while researching the family history of my childhood home at 49 Summer Street, Passaic, New Jersey, I took quite a few notes on the families that lived there before mine.
I noticed that these families don’t seem to have had much written about them in terms of genealogical information and I actually feel a kinship to them, as we had all lived in the same house, albeit at different times.
Rather than tossing out these notes, I have decided to share a glimpse of each of the families’ stories. Perhaps descendants will find these glimpses and will learn something new about their own ancestors.
Everett George Kaufman is the beginning of the story of 49 Summer Street. Everett was born in 1858 in New York, probably in Delaware County, where his family lived in 1870. He was the son of George Kaufman, born in Baden, Germany c1831 and Laurina (Louisa) Sprague, born c1836 in New York. In 1870, Everett was enumerated as the second of seven children.
Everett seemed to have a bit of wanderlust, as farming life in Delaware County didn’t hold much appeal for him. The 1880 mortality schedule included his mother, who had died of rheumatism. His father was still head of household and, although there were eight sons and daughters at home, Everett was not one of them.
He hasn’t been found in 1880, but he served as executor of his father’s estate in 1883 and stipulated that he was living in New York City at the time. On 18 October 1888, Everett married Sarah A. Andersen in Kearney, Hudson, New Jersey. I believe Sarah’s middle name was probably Augusta, as she went by Gussie.
Everett and Gussie didn’t remain long in Kearney, though, as they appear in the 1889 city directory of Passaic, New Jersey. In the land deed records of Passaic, New Jersey, I discovered a deed with grantee Everett G. Kaufman purchasing a lot on Summer Street from Mary Love. It stipulated that any structure erected on the property between 1889 and 1899 had to cost at least $2000, which equates to about $56,000 today.
By 1891, E.G. Kaufman was living at 49 Summer Street with his family – wife Gussie and sons Howard Everett and Percy Summerfield, both born in Passaic, in 1889 and 1891, respectively.
By 1895, for whatever reason, Everett was again on the move, as the Ashmead family was now living at 49 Summer Street.
Everett had moved his family to New York, but not to upstate New York. Instead, the family was living in Yonkers in Westchester County. The 1900 census shows the Kaufmans living at 570 Van Cortlandt Park Avenue. Zillow shows this home having been built in 1898, so the Kaufmans seem to have built a second new home for themselves. There was a third son at home – Herbert Arthur, born 1898 in New York.
Everett must have been quite happy living in Yonkers, as he and the family were in the same house in 1910. By that time, Howard, Percy and Herbert had been joined by one more brother – Kenneth R., born 8 May 1902, also in New York.
Everett had lost both of his parents when they were only about 50 years old and, sadly, his own life ended when he was just 54 years old. His children were orphaned because Gussie predeceased him, dying on 26 June 1912 in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 50.
The 1915 New York state census shows Howard Kaufman as head of the house in Yonkers, with brothers Percy and Arthur living with him. Baby brother Kenneth, who was only 13 at the time, was sent to Delaware County, New York to live with a paternal aunt and uncle.
Kenneth lived the rest of his life in Bovina, Delaware, New York, while his older brothers remained closer to the New York City area.
1. Howard Everett, born 30 September 1889, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; died 28 May 1976, New York; married Mabel S. Warner, 1917, Brooklyn, New York. They had no children.
2. Percy Summerfield, born 8 December 1891, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; died 19 May 1950, New York; married Betty Kapferer. They had one daughter, Mavis Andersen Kaufman, who was unmarried, but had a long career as a doctor. She was born in 1919; died 2000. Dr. Kaufman was affiliated with Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York and specialized in neuropathology.
3. Arthur Herbert, born 25 August 1898, New York; died 21 January 1960, Tarrytown, Westchester, New York; married Dora Bloom, 7 June 1925, New York, New York. They divorced in 1945 in Florida, but were the parents of two children, Florence, born c1926 and Monroe, born c1935, both in New York.
4. Kenneth R., born 8 May 1902, New York, New York; died 9 June 1958, Bovina, Delaware, New York; married Edna W. Russell, 30 June 1925, Bovina, Delaware, New York. They had four sons, Everett William, Kenneth Russell, Robert D. and Clifford Glen.
Everett spent in life in sales, but was quite successful at business, as he was able to build not one, but two new homes for his family. City directories and censuses give his occupations as salesman, grocer, clerk, sales, cutlery sales and salesman.
The 1905 entry as a cutlery salesman is particularly interesting because there was a patent application filed by Everett G. Kaufman in 1902 for a razor stropping machine, which was a handheld instrument used to sharpen razors:
Everett and Gussie have descendants today, possibly through Arthur’s children, Florence and Monroe, but definitely through Kenneth’s children.
Thus ends my glimpse into the lives of the first family who lived in my family home. Tomorrow, we will take a look at the next family to live at 49 Summer Street.