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Brush/Lockwood Family Papers Edit




  • 1731-1911 (Creation)


  • 4.5 Linear Feet (Whole)



  • Scope and Contents

    The Brush and Lockwood families were joined by the 1855 marriage of Mary Angeline Brush and George A. Lockwood. The collection includes personal writings of family members, correspondence, deeds, estate material, and material relating to the Stanwich Society.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    There are no conditions governing access to this material.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], the Brush/Lockwood Family Papers, Greenwich Historical Society.

  • Arrangement

    This collection has been arranged into seven series. Series I: Correspondence Series II: Brush Family Material Series III: Lockwood Family Material Series IV: Business and Financial Material Series V: Estate Papers Series VI: Stanwich Society Papers Series VII: Stanwich Academy, Library, and Society School District

  • Biographical / Historical

    The Brush family is desecnded from Thomas Brush, an Englishman who settled in Huntington, Long Island in the 1650s. The Brushes came to Greenwich in 1725, when Benjamin Brush (1700-1760) and his wife Mary Reynolds (1704-1760) moved there from Long Island. Benjamin Brush was instrumental in the 1731 founding of the Stanwich Society, a Congregational society in northeastern Greenwich and northwestern Stamford.

    Benjamin and Mary had sevel children; among them were Benjamin II (1729-1786), Edward (1733-1772), and Shubel I (1742-1800). The family had ties through marriage with other Greenwich families, including the Meads, Ingersolls, Pecks, Husteds, and Rundles. The families most directly concerned in these papers are those descended from Shubel I and his son Benjamin II. [Note: the assignation of numbers is used purely to avoid confusion; the family did not use numbers to make a distinction between same-named family members of different generations]

    Benjamin III married his cousin Rachel Brush (1778-1853) in 1799, and they had four children, including Shubel II (1801-1864). Benjamin and Rachel were very active in the Stanwich Church, where they were admitted to membership in 1831. Benjamin owned a tannery, in which Shubel II worked with his brother William. In 1826, Shubel II married his cousin Sarah Ferris Bursh (1807-1858) from Westchester County, New York. Shubel II and Sarah lived in a home adjacent to the old Stanwich Church (burned in 1923), and Shubel II was the last tanner in the area, although he was also a farmer of 40 acres of land. The Brushes were a wealthy family, and when Shubel II died, his personal wealth was valued at more than $11,000 in real estate and other holdings. Sarah and Shubel II had five children, Mary Angelina (1828-1911), Rachel Ann (1830-1856), Samuel (1833-1835), Harriet (1836-1870), and Henry (1839-1840). Like his father, Shubel II was also very active in the Stanwich Society, working as a surveyor, and also participating in the administration of the Stanwich Church and the Stanwich Society School District.

    Of the Lockwood famly represented in this colelction, less is known. Alexander Lockwood (1810-1890) was a member of the Lockwood family that had been in Greenwich for several generations by the early 19th century. The Lockwoods ran a store in Greenwich. In the late 1820s, Alexander married Mary Derby. Their son, George A. Lockwood (1831-1908), was a clerk and choirmaster for the Stanwich Congregational Church. He married Mary Angelina Brush in 1855.

    The Marriage of George Lockwood and Mary Angelina (Lina) Bruch was not a happy one. The two began courting ca. 1853, to the dismay of Shubel Brush - perhaps due to George Lockwood's financial circumstances. Alexander Lockwood was also uncertain of the match, and much of his correspondence with his son from this period expresses his concern with regard to Mary Angelina, to whom they refer as "Lina." It is likely that Mary Angelina and George formed an acquaintance through the Stanwich Congregational Church which they both attended. Mary Angelina's diaries record in great detail the highs and lows of their relationship, of which there were many. Mary Angelina was very jealous of George's frequent interaction with other girls. The two were engaged at one point in 1854, but Mary Angelina broke off the engagement following a row of George's interaction with a girl in the congregation. The two were reconciled only to part again over another girl, Abigail Finch (whether she is the same girl as the first is unclear). Correspondence from Alexander Lockwood to George during this time demonstrates not only his exasperation with the state of the relationship, but also his final acceptance of Mary Angelina as a future daughter-in-law. He urged George to "do the right thing" and marry Mary Angelina, however, a letter from George's uncle Benamin urges him not to pursue the relatonship with Mary Angelina, whom he had heard had been speaking against George.

    Lage in 1854, George moved to Brooklyn to pursue his career, and Mary Angelina joined her cousins the Aspinwalls in upstate New York and, while there, she declared herself through with George Lockwood. In 1855 however, Mary Angelina surprised her family by joining George in Brooklyn, and the two eloped to a relative's house in Norwalk where their first child, Charles, was born in 1856. The couple eventually returned to Stanwich, where they raised five children. Unfortunately, their troubles were not over, and in the 1870s, George apparently left Mary Angelina a final time for Abigail Finch. In 1875, Mary Angelina was excommunicated from the Church, for a reason that remains as yet unknown. By the time of her death in 1911, however, she had been welcomed back into the fold, and was celebrated at her memorial service at Second Congregational Church as an outstanding member of the community. There is little known about the remainder of George Lockwood's life. The two are buried separately, in their parents' plots, at Union Cemetery.