WAS GEORGE PERRY, BORN 1862 IN ROME, NY TO GEORGE & ANN (JONES) PERRY OF WALES A BIGAMIST?


George family group sheet

George was my second great grand uncle on my dad’s side – uncle to my g-grandmother Georgianna (Hughes/Clough) Hall and brother to her mom, Kittie (Perry) Hughes/Clough/Shipman. Was he a Bigamist or were there multiple George Perry’s in the same place/time?

[Click on photo to see a larger version]

george perry disappearance

In February 1891, after nine years of marriage, George Perry of East Dominick Street, Rome, New York, deserted his four children and wife. They came down with diphtheria.  His wife’s sister, Miss Alice Phillips, cared for the family. George’s wife and eldest child, an eight year old son, recovered, but the others—George, Alice, and Arthur—died.  A few months later George Davis’s new wife, of January 1891, learned of a public notice exposing her husband as George Perry. When confronted, George fled from their residence in Dunkirk, New York to Syracuse, New York and lived under an assumed name.

There is speculation that George married Nettie Hickson (originally of Syracuse) under the assumed name Henry Lincoln Perry, born in Rome to George Perry and Elizabeth Jones.  The groom’s description, according to the pastor who officiated the marriage in January 1891, matched that of George. When the couple later settled in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, Nettie wrote her brother in Rome and referred to her husband as a wealthy “George Perry”. Prior to his disappearance, George was said to have been “infatuated” with 20 year old Nettie.

Were there rumors that he ran off with Nettie when he actually ran off with an unsuspecting woman (who’s name is not given in newspaper accounts) under the alias George Davis? Or are Nettie and the woman known as Mrs. Davis one in the same?  We don’t know.

A decade prior, in 1880, a man of the same name, George Perry, whose siblings included Kittie, William and Cordelia, lived with his mother, Ann and stepfather, James Evans on East Dominick. In 1895 George, wife Elizabeth, and sons ages twelve and three resided in Minneapolis. The youngest was born in Minnesota, though the remaining family members were born in New York. A year later, when Ann died, George resided in Oregon, Cordelia in Galeton, Pennsylvania, and William in Rome.  In March 1900 Arthur Phillips, born in Ireland, died, naming daughters Mrs. Lissie Perry of Galeton and Miss Alice Phillips of Rochester.

In 1900 George, of Welsh parentage, and Elizabeth L., of Irish descent, lived in Galeton.  With them was a son, seventeen, born in New York, children ages seven and four born in Minnesota, and an infant born in Pennsylvania. Four children died previously.

George Perry 1900 census

Cordelia lived nearby. Between 1900 and 1920, Cordelia, George and their children often visited William who remained in Rome. When George died in Galeton in 1923, his late wife, who he married 40 years prior, was recorded as Alice Phillips of Rome [this is likely a typo and his wife was Lissie, Alice’s sister]. 

These sources leave little doubt that the George born to Ann and the bigamist are the same man.

– Both had fathers named George Perry and mothers with a maiden name Jones (one Ann, the other Elizabeth)

– George of Galeton had a father-in-law Arthur; the bigamist had a son named Arthur:

– Both married in 1882–3 a woman of Irish heritage, with the surname Phillps, and a sister Alice.

– Each fathered three or four children who died before 1900 and a son born about 1883 in New York.

– Neither had living children born between 1884 and 1891.

– Each lived on East Dominick Street, Rome, NY, and left the area by 1892.


Notes:
[1] Year: 1920; Census Place:  Galeton Ward 2,  Potter,  Pennsylvania; Roll:  T625_1648; Page:  16A; Enumeration District:  117; Image:  820.
[2] Utica Observer Dispatch 5/22/1923, fultonhistory.com  Note – Footnotes need to be redone in the format of Evidence Explained – there were other newspaper articles and documents examined that supports the case, but are not included here in order to keep the article to 500 words.
[i] Year: 1870; Census Place:  Rome Ward 1,  Oneida,  New York; Roll:  M593_1059; Page: 543A; Image:  404; Family History Library Film:  552558.
[ii] “New York, State Census, 1875,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VNJS-84N : accessed 6 June 2012), Ann Perry in household of Ann Perry, Rome, Ward 01, Oneida, New York, United States.
[iii] Rome NY, buried Wright Settlement Cemetery, Rome, NY, Perry, George 1828-1862 ,http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~townoflee/ceme teries/Rome/WS3.html & gravestone photo e-mailed to Linda Hall-Little by Sam Kuntz 20 Jun 2010
[iv] Year: 1880; Census Place:  Rome Oneida New York; Roll:  903; Family History Film: 1254903; Page:  29C; Enumeration District:  109; Image:  0060.
[v] Ibid
[vi] These are common Welsh names in the area , albeit similar to those of George Perry’s family, a search produced no couple of this name and/or George Perry with these parents in Oneida County – NY vitals , census records and other records on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Fold3, newspapers & online trees in April 2012.
[vii] Feb 18, 1891, Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen (page # unknown) & Rome Semi -Weekly Citizen. SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 1891.Fultonhisto ry.com.
[viii] Feb 21, 1891, Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen (page # unknown) & Feb 24, 1891 Utica Weekly Herald (page 4, column 5), Fultonhistory.com.
[ix] Same name as Alice and Lissie Phillips’ father.
[x] None of these children are found in the records of Wright Settlement Cemetery where this family was typically buried from mid 1800’s to the mid-1900’s – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~townoflee/cemeteries/Rome/wrightsettlementmap.html
[xi] Feb 21, 1891, Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen (page # unknown), Fultonhistory.com.
[xii] August 21, 1891 Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen (page # unknown) entitled “The Wife Deserter”, Fulton History.com
[xiii] THE BUFFALO EXPRESS, THURSDAY MORNING. AUGUST 13, 1891, Fulton History.com
[xiv] A year prior, in 1895 George Parry, wife Elizabeth and children Daniel (all born NY) and Willie (born MN) all of the appropriate age are found in the Minnesota territorial census, living in Minneapolis.
[xv] Cordelia’s 2nd husband Charles Spoor in 1900 was a “master car builder” probably for the railroad had expanding to this area in 1893: http://wnyrails.org/railroads/bs/bs_home.htm
[xvi] Ann Jones Perry Evans obit, Utica Morning Herald, November 4, 1896, page 2, column 3,http://www.fultonhistor y.com/Fulton.html  – “PUSHED INTO THE CANAL. Sad Death of Mrs. James Evans of  Frankfort”.
[xvii] The Utica morning March 31, 1900 (page # unknown), Fultonhistory.com
[xviii] These same daughters are named in the 1870 census: Year: 1870; Census Place:  Kirkland, Oneida,  New York; Roll:  M593_1058; Page:  323A; Image:  652; Family History Library Film: 552557.
[xix] Working as a RR Mechanic, the railroad had expanding to this area in 1893: http://wnyrails.org/railroads/bs/bs_home.htm – George had many jobs over the years ranging from farmer, blacksmith and rolling mill worker – while he cannot be linked from place to place by occupation, his sister Cordelia lived nearby in Galeton, and names/ages/birth places of himself & family members tie to records from other areas.  
[xx] The 1910 census has her listed as giving birth to 9 children, 7 whom are living (their last child was born in 1903 – in 1910 only 5 were living). Year: 1910; Census Place:  Westmoreland,  Oneida,  New York; Roll:  T624_1053; Page:  8A; Enumeration District:  0176; Image:  973; FHL microfilm: 1375066.
[xxi] Year: 1900; Census Place:  Galeton Potter Pennsylvania; Roll:  1482; Page:  25A; Enumeration District:  108; FHL microfilm:  1241482.
[xxii] Anne Jones & George Perry’s son W.C. Perry remained in Rome, lived on 414 West Dominick for years and became Postmaster, he is named in 50+ articles linking him to his parents, siblings and multiple other family members.
[xxiii] UTICA DAILY PRESS, FRIDAY MORNING MAY 4, 1917, Fultonhistory.com
[xxiv] Year: 1920; Census Place:  Galeton Ward 2,  Potter,  Pennsylvania; Roll:  T625_1648; Page:  16A; Enumeration District:  117; Image:  820.
[xxv] Utica Observer Dispatch 5/22/1923, fultonhistory.com  Note – Footnotes need to be redone in the format of Evidence Explained – there were other newspaper articles and documents examined that supports the case, but are not included here in order to keep the article to 500 words.
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2 responses to this post.

  1. […] – “George Perry, A Bigamist?” on Passage to the Past’s […]

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  2. […] blog posts detail the lives of her grandmother Catherine and her brothers, William and George (click on their name to see the […]

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