“Uncle Peter” Peter Henry Mulvehill 1841-1919 & descendents

Peter Henry Mulvehill (1841-1919)

Thomas and Maria’s oldest child, Peter Henry Mulvehill we know much about, even his height and weight from his fire department pension  file.  Peter was a slight man, standing just 5 feet 6 inches and weighed 141 pounds when he joined the FDNY in 1865.  He had formerly been with Liberty Hose Company 10, the same Volunteer Company as Alfred Smith.  When the volunteers were dissolved and the paid department established, Peter Mulvehill was assigned to Hook and Ladder Number 10.  We even have a photograph of him as the drive of H&L 10.  Peter married in the early 1870’s about the same time as Alfred Smith married his sister Catherine Mulvehill.  As much as we do know, we are missing some key facts.  We do not know much about his first wife, Ella Stickles, except that she died sometime before 1880.  We do know that she was born in New Jersey from the subsequent census data.  The two surviving children of this marriage in the years to come always listed their mother’s birthplace as New Jersey. Peter and Ella had three children, Charles, Thomas Joseph, and Peter Joseph.   They lived in the Bronx.  Charles, was born in February of 1873 and died in April of 1873.  Thomas Joseph Mulvehill was born in February 25, 1875.  Peter Joseph Mulvehill was born August 29, 1878.

Peter’s first wife, Ella, died sometime around 1880 and little Thomas and Peter lived for a time with relatives. Peter married again in 1883 to Jane Francis Dunham, with who he would have four more children: Alfred, born 1884, died age 2, November 1886; Jane, born August 1885, died age 1 year, August 1886;  Henry John Mulvehill, born 10 June 1887 and Lillian Mulvehill, born August of 1888.

In several of the biographies of Al Smith, there is an old photo, dated about 1878 showing Alfred E. Smith Sr. and Junior, Peter H. Mulvehill and his son Tommy Mulvehill. In 1880, Tommy is living with the Smith family on South Street.  His younger brother Peter Joseph is living in Brooklyn with his Aunt Delia Mulvehill who is married to John O’Mara, an Irish stonecutter.  Peter is 3.  Peter H. Mulvehill, the boy’s father is living in Greenwich Street.

In 1900, the next Census we have, Peter is living with his second wife Jane (Jennie) at 1190 East 178th Street in the Bronx.  He is listed as being born in Ireland in June of 1844 (really 1841 and probably January), his occupation, Fireman.  He and his wife Jennie have been married 17 years (1883) and she reports that she has given birth to four children; two living.  Living with them is 26 year old son Thomas who is simply listed as a laborer.  The other son from the first marriage, Peter, is living with his two aunts Delia Mulvehill O’Meara and Catherine Mulvehill Smith in Brooklyn with the Glynn Family. Peter is 21 and has no occupation listed.

Peter, the elder, retired from the paid FDNY in 1901 after 36 years of service to the Ten House.  He retired to Brooklyn and was living there in 1910.  In the 1910 Federal Census, Peter H. Mulvehill,  age 55*, is living at 617 75th Street in Brooklyn with his wife Janie, age 45.  He is employed as a watchman at the Dock Department.  Daughter Lillian is 18 and working as a typewriter at a pattern company and son Henry, 22, is employed as a book keeper at a sheet metal business.  Peter H. Mulvehill, the Governor’s uncle, died in February of 1919.  He was survived by his wife Jane Dunham Mulvehill and daughter Lillian Mulvehill Scarpati and Henry J. Mulvehill.  * really 59

Thomas Joseph and Peter Joseph Mulvehill

It was not unusual for Catholic families use the names Mary and Joseph repeatedly in the naming of their children.  It appears with Thomas and Peter, the surviving children from Peter Henry Mulvehill’s first marriage, that this was the case, as both boys have the middle name Joseph.  Neither of these men left the “old neighborhood” completely.  Thomas, who marries Emma in 1902, and lives in the Bronx, nevertheless remains a clerk at the Fulton Fish Market through 1930.  Peter never actually moves out of the neighborhood, working for US Customs and living on South Street.  These two first cousins of Governor Smith, who was their companion growing up when their mother died, stayed connected to the locales which formed the Governor’s childhood in so many ways.

Thomas Mulvehill married Emma O. Lennon in 1902.  They lived in the Bronx and had 3 children by the time of the 1910 Census.  Their oldest, Ottilia, a daughter was 6, another daughter Ella was 5, and a third daughter Josephine was 2.  Thomas is employed as a porter at a Fish Market.  His brother Peter Mulvehill is living on Peck Slip, working as a dock worker in 1910. Peter’s age is listed as 34, more likely 32 or 33. He is living in a boarding house.

Between the 1910 and 1920 Censuses, there are World War One Draft Records which give a more complete physical description.  Thomas Joseph Mulvehill is tall and slender built with grey eyes and blonde hair.  He lives at 649 Westchester Avenue Bronx.  His birth date is February 25, 1875.  His contact is his wife Emma, and he works for N S Gates Company as a clerk at the Fulton Fish Market.  Peter Joseph Mulvehill is short and medium built with blue eyes and blonde hair.  He is living at 199 South Street.  He works for U.S. Customs at the Port of New York.  He is single and his contact information is his father, Peter H. Mulvihill, Brooklyn, NY.  His birth date is August 29, 1877.

In 1920, Thomas (46) and Emma (38) are still living at 649 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx.  Daughter Ottlie is 16, daughter Josephine is 12, and they have added a son, George age 7, and another daughter Lydia, age 4. Daughter Ella is presumed to have died between 1910 and 1920.  Thomas is now a clerk at the Fish Market.  Ottlie or Ottilia is working as a clerk in a “Wholesale House.”  In 1920, Peter is living at 199 South Street, age 42 and working for U.S. Customs.

In the 1930 Census, Thomas  J. Mulvehill was residing at 535 Cortland Avenue in the Bronx.  He is 55, Emma is 47.  Living with them is son George, age 17 who is an errand boy for a Newspaper Company.  Thomas is an order Clerk at the Fish Market.  Their daughter Ottilia has married George Baker and they are living on 148th Street and have 4 children.  There is no evidence of the other Mulvehill sisters, Josephine or Lydia.  Lydia at this time would be 14. She may not have survived.  Josephine would be 22, and possibly married.  I have not located Peter J. Mulvehill in the 1930 Census, but I do have a 1942 World War Two draft card for him still living at 119 South Street.

Henry John and Lillian V. Mulvehill

Henry John Mulvehill (June 10, 1887 – October 10, 1960) was the only surviving son of Peter Mulvehill’s second marriage (to Jane Frances Dunham).  His sister Lillian being his only full sibling.  Henry was working as a book keeper in the 1910 Census living with his parents at age 22.  In the 1920 Census, Henry, age 32 is living with his sister Lillian and her husband George Scarpati and their two daughters Helen, age 3 and Virginia, age 1.  Also living with them is Jane Mulvehill, Peter’s widow, age 55.  Jane Mulvehill will live until December 21, 1928. In 1916 he married Irene E. Bennett and they had two daughters, Marie, b 1917 and Marjorie, born 1918.  Although in 1920, Henry lists his marital status as “Single.”  I have been unable to locate Irene Bennett Mulvehill and Marie & Marjorie in the 1920 census.   Henry’s occupation is listed a real estate agent, the same as his brother-in-law George Scarpati.

By 1930, Henry and Irene are living together with daughter  Marie, age 12 and (Irene)Marjorie age 11 in Huntington Township in Suffolk County.  Henry’s occuption is listed as Real Estate Agent. But Harry also shows up in Brooklyn with Eva(marie) Burke who is listed as his niece, age 29, living on Beacon Court.  Henry and Evamarie would later have a daughter and by Henry’s death in 1960, his survivors would be listed as his wife, Eva(marie) and their daughter.

Henry’s daughters with Irene Bennett would also marry. Marie married Forrest D. Walker, and they had three children, and Irene Marjorie married Howard H. Hawkins; they were childless.

Lillian V. Mulvehill marries George B. Scarpati and they had two daughters as well.  Helen Scarpati was born in 1917 and Virginia was born in 1918.  I have been unable to trace these cousins any further.

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One Response to “Uncle Peter” Peter Henry Mulvehill 1841-1919 & descendents

  1. JoAnn Welsh says:

    There was another son born to Peter and Ella. His name was Lafayette Edward Mulvehill. He was raised by his grandparents – Peter and Julia Kiersted and took their last name at times, though his tombstone reads Edward L. Mulvehill. He was my great grandfather. I am working on tracking down Ella Kiersted (?Stickles).

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