Buckle up and get ready for a long post. Do I have a story to tell you!
If you’ll recall from earlier today, I posted an entry about the Aydelott-Rosenberger house with a promise to update you on the ancestry of the owners. I’ll start where it all began: with the Aydelott family.
**If you haven’t seen the photos yet, please read here first! https://thewaywardwanderlust.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/bethany-lane-louisville-ky-the-aydelott-rosenberger-house/
We’ll begin with the patriarch of the family and the builder of the home, George K. Aydelott. This gentleman was born in Indiana in 1820. He met Mary Catherine McCord (born 1825) in 1843, marrying her in Indiana before moving south to Kentucky, where he and Mary started their family.
Now, there are several sources online and on Ancestry that claim that George and Mary had more than the children you’re going to see in the family tree below. Try as I may, however, I cannot confirm the existence of the children. True to form, if I can’t prove something, I won’t post it here unless I’m posting it as a theory, so these kids will not appear in the tree below. They appear to have passed away by 1850 when we first encounter the Aydelotts in the census records, so while they very well may have existed, you will not see them referenced in this post. If you have questions, please post in the comments and I’ll tell you what I know.
All right. So let’s get to the census records.
In 1850, George K and Mary are shown living in nearby Meade County. At home are their children, Robert Howard (3) and William (1). George K lists his occupation as a farmer. He’s doing pretty well for himself, however, as his real estate value is listed at $9,000–quite the pretty penny in 1850 (according to my inflation calculator, this comes out to roughly $250,000 in modern cash).
By 1860, George K and Mary, still in Meade County, have both grown their family and experienced tragedy. At home are Robert H. (13), Agnes (8), George W (5), and Harry (3), the last 3 kids being new additions since 1850. You’ll notice that little William from the 1850 census is no longer listed. In 1860, he would have been about 11. While no death records exist for this child, disappearing before you’re old enough to be out of the house in this era is a sure sign of premature death. Despite the lack of obituary, the census spells out his fate as clear as day.
But tragedy would not let the Aydelotts rest yet. In 1861, about a year after William reportedly died, four-year-old Harry succumbs to diphtheria according to both the death records on Ancestry and an obituary listed with his grave in New Albany.
Now, the mid-1860’s were an important time for the Aydelotts. Per the Riverside site, the home was built in 1868, but according to George K’s obituary, he bought the land in 1864. So, sometime between 1864 and 1868, the house was constructed and finished, and the family moved from Meade county to the rural outskirts of Louisville.
When 1870 rolls around, the census lists the family as living in Lower Ponds, Jefferson, KY. A fitting name, considering a pond still sits just north of the house. At home with George K and Mary in 1870 are Addie (17), George W (14), and Robert G (8). Now, please note that the Robert listed in this census is not the same person as the Robert H. in the 1860/1870 censuses. While it seems unthinkable to us today, George K and Mary actually named two of their sons Robert, the oldest being Robert Howard, and the younger being Robert Gaw or Gough. Though I cannot find a 23-year-old Robert Howard in 1870, he does resurface in 1880, and it’s clear that he’s already moved out of the home in 1870 as the public records list him as working for the McCord, Boomer & Co. Hatters.
Also in 1870, a black man named Sam Aydelott is listed as living in the property and is employed as a farm hand. As he is clearly not a blood relative of the family, this is likely a freed slave who remained to work for the family after emancipation. By 1870, George K’s real estate value is listed at $15,000 and his personal estate is valued at $2,000.
Jumping a decade to the next census, we find George K and Mary Aydelott still living in their farmhouse in 1880, though instead of Lower Ponds, the site is now listed as Louisville proper. At home are George W (24), A. M. (20), and Robert G. (18).
Now, A. M. represented an interesting challenge to me as I researched this family. At first, I felt quite certain A. M. was not Agnes or Addie, the daughter listed in the previous census records. At 20 years old in 1880, she would’ve been born around 1860–right about the same time her brothers would have died. It wouldn’t have surprised me to discover that she’d gone to live with family or neighbors until her parents could pull themselves together in the wake of such loss. However, upon closer review of the census record, I believe the age is incorrectly interpreted as “20” where it should be “26”. Upon looking at samples of the census taker’s handwriting in on the same page, it looks likely the “0” is actually a “6”. Either that, or A. M., who would’ve been considered an old maid for not being married by age 26, lied and told the census taker she was 20. Both scenarios are quite possible. Take a look at the screenshot below and see what you think!
In 1880, the oldest brother, Robert Howard, is now living on his own in Louisville according to the public records, employed as a hat salesman. While the record lists him only as “RD Aydelott”, this is almost certainly the same man because his age is correct, his parents’ places of birth line up perfectly, and he’s in the right line of business. Subsequent public records list Robert Howard as living and working in Louisville as a hat salesman with McCord, Boomer & Co., and then later with McCord, Aydelott Wholesale Hatters.
Now, the census in 1880 was taken on June 3. Only five months later, we find George K, the family patriarch, dead at the age of 60. His obituary sheds some light on the family at the time of his death. It specifically mentions his elder two sons, Robert Howard and George Washington, and divulges that they are both involved in the hatter business, though George is now home running the farm. This tidbit makes it even more likely that the RD Aydelott in the 1880 census, despite the discrepancy in middle initial, is really Robert Howard. The obituary also says that George K is survived by three sons and one daughter. It was based on this fact that I suspected A. M. and Agnes “Addie” were the same people, despite the age discrepancy.
Very nearly ten years will pass until the Aydelotts experience their next losses, which unfortunately occur nearly back-to-back.
On February 27, 1889, Robert Howard Aydelott, the oldest son of George K and Mary, dies at age 40. Never married, he was buried in New Albany, IN.
Only eight months later on October 29, 1889, Mary Aydelott dies at the age of 64. She indicates that she is survived by one daughter and two sons.
1890 and Beyond
From this point on, the nuclear family has either grown up and moved up or passed away, and the census records show the surviving children scattered.
Agnes “Addie” M. Aydelott is rumored to have married Samuel K. Breeding in 1886, who was widowed in 1885 when his wife likely died in childbirth. Addie, who would have been about 33, likely married Samuel to help him raise his young children. She may appear as “Addie M.” in the 1900 and 1910 census records with Samuel, though no marriage certificate or other evidence that I can find irrefutably links these two and proves that Addie M. is in fact Agnes “Addie” M. Aydelott.
George Washington Aydelott marries a woman named Mattie Pusey. Together, they have one son, Charles W. Aydelott, who never marries and dies in 1939. George W. Aydelott dies on June 18, 1916 at age 62. Mattie, who is 7 years younger than her husband, lives until 1938.
Robert Gaw/Gough Aydelott marries Mattie Pusey’s sister, Mary C. Pusey. The couple has five children and eventually move out to Massachusetts. Though Robert Gaw dies in 1913, his descendants remain scattered throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, and Kentucky.
The Fate of the House
The Aydelott House remained in the possession of Mary and George K’s children until 1891, when according to this site, it was sold. From there, it was bought by several families until the Rosenbergers bought the house in the 1930s. In 1997, the house and the land was sold to the city of Louisville and became a park. The city has plans to restore the house, but they are in need of funds to carry out the renovations.
While this isn’t necessarily related directly to my research, I thought this little tidbit was interesting. Did you notice how Robert Howard Aydelott, Geroge K and Mary’s oldest son, worked for a company named McCord, Boomer & Co. and then later McCord, Aydelott Wholesale Hatters? Did you also notice that Mary’s maiden name was McCord? While the census records before 1850 don’t list the names of household residents other than the head of the household, it is very possible to find evidence that Mary was likely the sister–or at very least, a cousin–of the man who ran McCord, Boomer & Co. and later McCord, Aydelott without ever seeing them listed under the same household.
McCord, Boomer & Co. was run by a man named Robert G. McCord. Now, that name itself should look somewhat familiar. My guess is that Mary and George K named their eldest son, Robert H, as well as their youngest son, Robert Gaw/Gough, after Mary’s brother, Robert G. McCord. At any rate, Robert G. McCord also came from Virginia over to New Albany, where he stated his hatter business. He was a very well-respected businessman in Louisville. This would explain how Robert Howard eventually got his name into the company name (McCord, Boomer & Co. eventually became McCord, Aydelott Wholesale Hatters).
Another incredibly telling fact is evident in Robert McCord’s own family. In 1860, Robert McCord and his wife had a son, whom they named William Aydelott McCord. This would have been right around the time that George K and Mary’s son, William Aydelott, died according to several online accounts. It is very likely that Robert McCord named his child after his recently deceased nephew as a gesture to his sister and brother-in-law.
Old Photos & Maps
Now, this is a cool link. The photos in the Flickr link below are of the Aydelott-Rosenberger house in 2008. The gentleman who took them is clearly an architect and sketched up a bunch of designs of the house, which can also be seen at the link below.
However, the photo that really caught my eye was the one you see here.
This photo was taken in 1980 according to the Flickr site. Note the back addition that no longer exists. This explains the boarded doors and difference in brick color on the back right of the house.
The other thing that made me oo and ahh over this Flickr site was the map below.
This sketch, reportedly done by a Rosenberger descendent, shows the location of the house and outbuildings, including a tenant house (remember old Sam Aydelott?) which proves that the foundations and rubble I was seeing on the road to the house are in fact remains of old farm structures. The windpump is even visible on this map!
Link to the Riverside site, which reveals the plans for the Aydelott-Rosenberger House.
Geocachers used the house as a landmark at one point. Photo included.
Road development near the house.