Collateral relations

Margaret Steward query in caseMy grandfather’s box of family papers continues to yield treasures – and some fresh mysteries. Among the former (and the latter) are a pair of small leather traveling photo frames: one, the larger, is maroon and holds a photograph of a middle-aged woman; the other (biscuit colored) shows an older man being circled by a dog.

I suspect that the subjects of this pair of photos are my Steward great-grandparents,[1] although it is certainly possible that the woman is not Daisy Steward (1861–1951) but one of her sisters: Katharine Livingston (Beeckman) Lorillard (1855–1941), Helen (Beeckman) Lyman (1858–1938), or Martha Codwise (Beeckman) French (1863–1951). The Beeckman sisters – like their grandmother and her sisters[2] – were famous beauties when young, and all of them looked very much the same in later years, as can be seen in a photo from my grandparents’ wedding in 1927.

My grandparents’ wedding in 1927. Two of my great-grandmother’s sisters may be seen in the center of the photo, somewhat isolated from the other guests.
Campbell Steward query
Campbell Steward?

The lady’s carrying case is stamped Vienna in gold, which is perplexing: if it were actually meant for the local market, one would expect it to be marked Wien. As for the gentleman, where is he? I thought the steps behind him seemed familiar, like the entrance to the Stewards’ house in Goshen, but I don’t think that’s it. Perhaps the building is a hotel?

As Aunt Helen Lyman and Aunt Mattie French outlived their husbands and had no children of their own, their effects probably passed to their sisters and then their sisters’ children: Louis Lasher Lorillard Jr. (1875–1938),[3] Campbell White Steward (1886–1960), Margaret Atherton Steward (1888–1975), Katherine Elizabeth (Steward) Johnson (1888–1969), Gilbert Livingston Steward (1898–1991), and John Steward (1902–1957). It seems entirely possible that a photo of Helen Lyman or Mattie French ended up with their nephew, my grandfather, both because he was often chosen as a family trustee and since he outlived all of his siblings, three of whom were themselves unmarried – and so the process of dividing up their effects among collateral relatives would have continued!

Continued here.


[1] Campbell Steward (1852–1936) married Margaret Atherton Beeckman in 1885.

[2] Catherine McPhaedris (Livingston) (Cuyler) Beeckman (1788–1863) was the older sister of Helen (Livingston) Smith (1789–1867), Martha (Livingston) Codwise (1791–1865), and Susan Maria (Livingston) Constable (1794–1830).

[3] Cousin Louis was my grandfather’s godfather. In due course, my grandfather served as godfather to Cousin Louis’ son, Louis Livingston Lorillard (1919–1986), a founder of the Newport Jazz Festival.

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward was the founding editor at Vita Brevis; he served as NEHGS Editor-in-Chief 2013-2022. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

5 thoughts on “Collateral relations

  1. In the photo of the man and dog …. subtle hints you may have already noticed: This set of wooden french-style doors are not “heavy-duty” or very secure nor very decorative, and were typically not used as a main entry into a house, although i contradict that and say the sidelights on each side may imply some importance to this entry …. its possible they were secondary doors from a parlor, dining room or study inside the house to an outside yard or garden. The Bowler (sp?) hat popular abt 1870’s to 1900. The fashion of the up-turned shirt collar and tie also abt 1870 to 1900. The diamond pattern of the sidelight window muttins also imply late 1800’s vintage. The season is fall (leaves on ground; heavy coat) indicating a northern climate. The small low circular metal stand on the deck to right of door is a cane-umbrella holder (see cane in it). Canes were popular status symbols in those times. Would be inside if a building was a hotel but this is likely a residence. Door bell on right side of door would also not be related to a hotel. That’s likely a circular dial-shaped thermometer on the left side of door but hanging beneath it is the ledger-style book with leather binder and corner reinforcements …. hanging on the outside of a building ? …. perhaps a register for visitors or message book for visitors to use if no one is home ? or for the owner to record daily temperatures ?

  2. PS: Man with dog: About 6 ft tall based on porch steps behind him, and around age 40 to 50. Quite sure building is a residence: Sidewalk had a thin cement coating applied over it which is cracking and breaking-up. Porch steps are wood. Porch deck is composed of narrow wood strip flooring. Exterior siding to left of doorway is wood clap board installed with about a 6 inch lap exposure. ….all features not likely found at a “hotel”. (yes, I’m an architect)

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