Elizabeth Leary – Census Records

The 1850 Federal Census is one of the few places I’ve found a reference to my 4th great-grandmother Elizabeth Ambrose nee Leary. She is married to David Ambrose and they have three young daughters: Mary Ann, Ellen and Catherine. They lived in the Western District of the 1st Ward of New York, which is the tip of Manhattan in the area now part of the Wall Street/Financial District. Elizabeth and David were listed as the same age in 1850: 26 years old, which would put their dates of birth circa 1824. Both of their birthplaces are listed as Ireland, while their daughters’ are all listed as New York, which means they immigrated sometime between 1824 and 1847 when Mary Ann was born. Mary Ann is listed as 3 years old, Ellen as 1 year old, and Catherine as 2 months old. David is listed as working as a laborer.


1850 Federal Census


Biography of Michael Reilly


Right now I’m obsessing over my 3rd great grandfather, Michael J. Reilly. He was born in 1846 in Ireland and probably came to the United States with his parents, John and Ann, when he was about 5 years old. They settled in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. He met and married May Ann Ambrose, a native of New Jersey, who was the love of his life. They had seven children, of whom only four survived to adulthood. As an adult, he worked as a sailmaker. Even after his children were adults, he helped raise his grandchildren – my great grandfather Lawrence Ambrose Reilly, and his brother Arlington and sister Madeline. A couple of this children, David and Elizabeth, remained single and lived at home as adults. He died in 1926 in Brooklyn at the age of 80.