Family Histories and Living in 19th Century Spuyten Duyvil

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    • #417

      I’m curious if others have stories and family history in Spuyten Duyvil dating to the 19th Century. Here’s what I know about my family connection during that time period. Born in Moville, Ireland, my 2x great grandfather Hugh McCauley (b 1827, d 1906) immigrated to America around 1847 and spent nearly 20 years in New Haven, employed as an iron molder. Sometime between the Civil War years 1863 and 1866, he and his wife Rose (nee Dillon) moved their family of 4 children to Spuyten Duyvil, where they had 3 more children (all recorded in the family bible pages indicting they were born in Spuyten Duyvil from 1886 to 1874).

      Hugh’s oldest son, my great-grandfather was Patrick Henry (b 1861, d 1948). Family lore passed down by my 84-year old uncle tells that my great-grandfather dropped the name Patrick and went by Henry the rest of his life because he hated being called “Paddy”, which was derogatory at the time. He is already listed as “Henry” at the young age of 8 in the 187o Federal Census when Spuyten Duyvil was in the Town Of Yonkers, County of Westchester. Interestingly, older sister Mary Ann, age 10 is “at school”, which is two years before the 1872 school on Bailey Avenue was erected (see William Tieck’s 1968 book) .

      I find father Hugh in various New York City Directories from 1875 to 1899 with his occupation listed mostly as molder, sometimes laborer. Family lore indicates Hugh and Henry in his younger years worked at the Johnson Foundry. Both are listed as molders in the 1880 Federal Census as inhabitants of Kings Bridge in the County of New York, following annexation in 1874. Sister Mary Ann is no longer at school, but is now a servant, while another 13-year old boy is a “laborer”. The three youngest are “at school”, which I’m imagining is in the 1872 Bailey Avenue school.

      In the dozen or so directories, their residence is simply listed as “Spuyten Duyvil”, with no street address like other directory entries. This has always been a curiosity to me – were there not street addresses in Spuyten Duyvil at the time? The first record of the family address I have is from the 1886 death certificate of one of the children – Joseph, which lists the residence as “Spuyten Duyvil Road”, which I have not been able to find on any old maps. Next, I find Henry listed as living on Ackerman and Weber lane in 1897 and 1899 directories. Before Hugh passed in 1906 and was buried at the family plot at St Mary’s Cemetery in Yonkers, other records have the family on 5189 Broadway or Kingbridge Road. I can locate this road, but don’t know the location of the 5189 address.

      While Henry would move his family first to Elton Ave, Morrisaina in 1900 and then to Brooklyn in the 1920s, two siblings Elizabeth (b 1871) and John b 1874 stayed in Spuyten Duyvil until Elizabeth’s death in 1917 (address 5189 W 225th Street). John (b 1874), a carpenter moved out of Spuyten Duyvil and lived in various other addresses in the Bronx before he passed in 1943.

      Thanks for indulging me. I would love to hear other family stories, especially from this time period and any connections to the Johnson Foundry or early 19th century schools, churches, etc. I’m also interested in any recommended resources for further study.


    • #419
      Thomas Casey

      I always use the NYPL Digital collections first,  searching on  ” spuyten duyvil road ”   and I got back map

      Double Page Plate No. 44, Part of Ward 24, Section 13  which you can zoom in on.

      The url is

      The 225th st address may have been renumbered,  since 225th street is both in Marble Hill, near Broadway and in Spuyten Duyvil


    • #420
      Thomas Casey

      Map from 1884  has a few houses along Kingsbridge Road and Spuyten Duvil Road  ( both areas are now built up with schools on the east side of these streets.   Along the west side of Spuyten Duyvil Road is appx  Palisades ave today.  A trip to the real estate office will help.  I use the Westchester County clerks office first, before going to the Bronx Office.

      see NYPL  digital collection

    • #421
      Thomas Casey

      I have added the Johnson Foundry map from 1884

    • #422
      Thomas Casey
    • #423
      Thomas Casey

      Yes….according to the
      Iron Molders’ Journal – Volume 33 – Page 540  1897,   Moulder Henry McCauley was suspended

    • #424
      Thomas Casey

      [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="811"] School map 1868[/caption]

      Acording to Rev Tieck School Days Riverdale Kingsbridge and Spuyten Duyvil, the school house was locaed near  Piece St off Kingsbridge Road/ Spuyten Duyvil Road in 1857.  It is clearly on his map from 1865 on page 34-35 “map of Village of Spuyen Duyvil ” Vol 3, Page 8.  I have attached a similar map from 1868 with the school circled


    • #436

      Wow Thomas – thank you for taking the time and sharing the maps and links. I find them fascinating and they help feed the imagination of what life in the area was like at the time. I appreciate now knowing about the NYPL Digital Collections. It’s also great to see the location of the school in 1868. To me it’s part of the broader immigration story in which immigrants like Hugh found steady work in America which allowed their children, first generation American, to attend public schools. By the second generation, my grandfather and siblings who came out of school post-WWI, they found jobs and careers as teachers, accountants and nurses after school, including the women.

      One question – you reference a trip to the real estate office will help. What might I find there? Will they have resources to find addresses from the turn of the last century?

      Thanks again for your replies, Dan



    • #437
      Thomas Casey


      At the White Plains  County Clerk,  Real Estate Office,  you can search on computers,  based on names

      You will quickly find  deeds or mortages, I am sure for Van Tassel etc  The deed may say what and when the house was built…..    Not sure if they have records from the building dept available ?    Do you live close bu in Yonkers ?

      Then you can move on to family members

    • #438

      Thomas, that could prove valuable – thanks for the tip. I actually live in Chicago, so not close by. I’ll have to try to plan a visit, perhaps over the summer.

    • #439


      You might want to give the Westchester County Archives a call at (914) 231-1500.  I was just there yesterday and the Reading Room Manager, Jackie Graziano, was very helpful finding old deed from Spuyten Duyvil that I was looking for.  Additionally, she told me that the indexes to the deeds are accessible from anywhere so you could at least see if they have any McCauleys in their system.  They might charge to see the actual deeds but it would definitely be cheaper than a plane ticket.

    • #441

      I will – thanks Nick

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