William Isack Middleton (1872- )

William Isack Middleton (1872- )

Project Middleton/Smith

By – Don Taylor

Follow your Process

I find there is a right way to do things and a wrong way. The wrong way is usually a lot faster and a lot less work, but when you do it that way, inevitably you realize the error of your way and find the need to do the same work over. Such was the case of some research that I was doing for my (former) step-daughter.

I returned to her tree the other day and found a note I had made the last time I was researching her second great grandfather, William I. Middleton. It was questioning the validity of the couple I had established as his parents. I had been using Ancestry Web interface and allowed the sources and citations to be the easy attribution that Ancestry.Com provides. It is easy and nice but not as thorough as I like to document a person. When I ran into a problem suggesting different parents for William, I really couldn’t sort it out because the sources were all electronic and didn’t provide an easy way to see all of the data simultaneously. In other words, analysis was difficult, if not impossible.

Admittedly, it was a lot easier to do the work the second time because Ancestry did provide links to the Ancestry provided Census and other documents. I then took that information, generated my own hand-written census sheets and printed out for my records all of the other documents, such as a copy of William’s WW1 Draft Registration. Then I gleaned all of the information out of the various documents that I could to provide a much better picture of William and his life.

The bottom line is when you have a process that fully documents your facts and fully links those facts to the sources, don’t try to take shortcuts. Follow your process.

Bio – William Isack Middleton (1872- )

William Isack Middleton was born on 17 Nov 1872[1], in New York, probably Kings County, to John Alexander and Mary Elizabeth (Collyer) Middleton.
William had three siblings, a brother, Ferris J., who was 11 years older, a sister, Cora R., who was 9 years older, and another sibling whose age and relationship is unknown.  The 1900 Census indicates that his mother had had four children, three of whom were still living.  The family grew up in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.
The Evening World (New York, NY
December 14, 1893 – LAST EDITION, Page 3
Courtesy: Chronicling America
It appears that William moved to New Jersey before 1893 because he was he involved in prosecuting the owner of a disorderly house in December of 1893[2].  He married Lillian Neilson Bailey on 2 September 1895, at Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, NJ.
In February, 1900 Lillian gave birth to a son Stuart Rae Middleton[3].  William was working as a millwright at a machine shop. Family tradition says Lillian gave birth to twins and that the other child died as an infant. The 1900 Census corroborates this by indicating that Lillian had had two children, only one of whom was living.  The young couple was renting a home on Chestnut Street, Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey next door to Lillian’s parents, William and Mary Bailey.
625 Chestnut Street, Kearny, NJ Today
Photo Courtesy: Google Maps

By 1910 the family had purchased a home at 625 Chestnut Street.

W hen he registered for the draft in 1918, the 45 year-old William was working as an “Erecting Engineer” for Permutit Company. Permutit was a pioneer in water and wastewater treatment technology and was acquired by United States Filter Corporation in 1993[4]. William must have been prematurely gray as his physical description was Medium Height, Stout Build, Blue Eyes, Grey Hair.

In 1919, his son Stuart married Lillian Wanding and the couple came to live with William, William’s wife (also named Lillian) and William’s mother-in-law, Mary (Russell) Bailey[5].

Sometime between 1920 and 1929 William and Lillian moved to Mountain View, Passaic, New Jersey. In 1929, William and Lillian had a car accident while in Trenton. They were hit by a truck at corner of Hamilton and Broad Streets. [6]

By 1930, the couple moved again, this time to a home on Spruce Ave. valued at $6500, in Lincoln Park, Morris County, New Jersey. In 1935 they were living someplace in a rural area of Morris County and in 1940 they had moved in with their son, Stuart, to a house on Grove Street in Boonton, Morris County, New Jersey.

When or where William died or was buried is unknown.

Further Actions:
·      Order copy of William and Lillian’s Marriage License.
·      Order copy of William’s birth record.
·      Order copy of Lillian’s Death Record. (It should show if William proceeded her.)
·      Find William’s death record.
List of Greats
1.     Stuart Rae Middleton
2.    William Isack Middleton
3.     John Alexander Middleton

————- DISCLAIMER ————-

[1] U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Registration: New Jersey; Hudson; Roll: 1712201; Draft Board: 5. William Isack Middleton.
[3] U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Database online. Registration Location: Hudson County, New Jersey; Roll: ; Draft Board:. Record for Stuart Rae Middleton.
[4] http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/united-states-filter-corporation-history/
[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1920; Census Place: Kearny Ward 4, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1048; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 279; Image: 1053. – Line 35. 625 Chestnut Street (Ward 4)
[6] Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, NJ) – March, 28, 1929, Page 2 via www.genealogybank.com.

John Alexander Middleton of New York

John Alexander Middleton of New York.

Someone very dear to me asked me a question regarding a possibility to her genealogy.  Her great-grandfather was a Middleton and she wondered if it were possible that her great-grandfather could be related to Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  My initial thought was, “No — Arthur Middleton was from South Carolina and her great-grandfather was from New Jersey.  Some time ago I had established that her great-grandfather’s father was William Middleton, born in New York in Nov 1872 and married to Lillian Bailey.

Snip of 1875 New York Census (via Family Search)
I poked around here and there and finally found Family Search had an 1875 New York State Census which showed William Middleton as two years old with a brother and sister, Farris & Cora R.  Was was surprised at just how many Middletons there were in the records.  And of course, William, and his father John were really common so it was really had to determine which of many was the correct one.  Luckily, his brother Ferris Middleton had an uncommon name which was easily traceable. A search, again on Family Search, resulted in a Death Certificate. Right age, right mother’s name. 
Snip of Salt Lake County Death Certificate
for Farris Middleton – Family Search
Oddly enough the death certificate had the name of the Father, “Don’t Know” stricken through and replaced with “John Alexander Middleton” and the birthplace as Scotland.  The information regarding his parents seemed to be in a different pen and different hand than the rest of the Certificate.  The informant was E. M. Qualthrough, a name I had never heard.  Also the certificate notes that he had been in the hospital only one day and that his time in the state was unknown.  I was somewhat confused. The 1875 census indicated that John Alexander Middleton was born in New York City. 
Snip of Utah State Death Certificate for Farris John Middleton
– Family Search
Utah, being the awesome genealogical resource that it is, had another death certificate.  The one I had been looking at was apparently a county version.  A State of Utah certificate also existed.  In the State version, the informant was Cora R Holmes from New York City.  That certificate also indicated that John Alexander Middleton was born in Scotland.  I am fairly certain that she would know where her parents were born, father in Scotland and mother in New York City.
Because the Middleton line I’m looking at hit what appears to be a Scottish immigrant I’m fairly certain that it is extremely unlikely to be a relationship with Arthur Middleton, the Declaration of Independence signatory.  
I have more research to do in this line.  I’d like to find his entry into the United States.  I believe John Alexander Middleton and his wife, Lillian Bailey Middleton died between 1875 and 1880.  Neither show in the 1880 Census and the children appeared to be scattered.


1875 New York Census, Kings County, Brooklyn; Online Images,  John A. Middleton. https://familysearch.org/pal:/mm9.1.1/vnjn-wqp.; Family Search,
Utah, Salt Lake County, Death Records, 1908-1949, Ferris J Middleton – 1912 . https://familysearch.org/pal:/mm9.1.1/nqhz-qjd.; Family Search.
Utah, Board of Health, Death Certificate, Ferris John Middleton, 14 Apr 1912

Many thanks to Family Search.  They are an awesome & free resource.