George William Rutledge (1856-1930)

Overview:

Parents: Patrick Rutledge and Hannah

Born: (probably) 16 August 1856 in Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Died: 1930 (Buried New Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania)

Married: Mary F. Henion c.1881; their children:

  • George W. Rutledge
  • Helen/Ella (Rutledge) Mooney
  • perhaps five others who died young

Married: Elizabeth “Lizzie” c.1907 (no children)

Details (Analysis of sources consulted to date):

Birth date and location

A birth register from Dedham, Massachusetts lists a “Geo. Wm. Rutledge,” male, born 16 August 1856 to Patrick & Hannah, of Dedham. Patrick was an “operative”, and both he and Hannah were born in Ireland.1

George has been located in eight censuses between 1860 and 1930, including the 1865 Massachusetts state census. Table 1 below lists the information about his birth date and location that was given in these censuses.

Table 1. Birth information for George Rutledge in censuses

Year Name shown Birth Date implied Birth Place
1860 (MA)2 George W Rutledge 2 June 1855 – 1 June 1856 Mass
1865 (MA)3 George W Rutledge 2 May 1855 – 1 May 1856 Mass
1870 (NJ)4 Geo Wm Rutledge 2 June 1855 – 1 June 1856 Massachusetts
1880 (NY)5 George Rutledge 2 June 1856 – 1 June 1857 Massachusetts
1900 (PA)6 George Rutledge August 1857 Massachusetts
1910 (PA)7 George W. Rutledge 16 April 1857 – 15 April 1858 Pennsylvania
1920 (PA)8 W George Rutledge 2 January 1856 – 1 January 1857 Pennsylvania
1930 (NJ)9 George W Rutledge 2 April 1856 – 1 April 1857 Massachusetts

“Birth Date implied” in the table above was calculated in each census, based on the age given and the enumeration date of the census (except for the 1900 census, which directly listed month and year of birth). For example, even though the 1860 census for the Rutledge family in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, was recorded on 1 September 1860, after the 1 June 1860 enumeration date, census enumerators were instructed to record “what was the specific age of each person at his or her last birth day previous to the 1st day of June.”10

The birth locations given in the censuses are mostly consistent with George having been born in Massachusetts. Two censuses report him having been born in Pennsylvania, but in both of those censuses, it is unknown who provided the information about George’s birth; and as he was living in Pennsylvania at the time, that may have been a guess from someone uninformed. The fact that Massachusetts appeared as his birth state in all of the other censuses (including his final one) makes it seem likely that he was, in fact, born in Massachusetts.

The birth dates reported in the censuses vary a little, but are all consistent with George having been born in 1856 or 1857. In the 1860 U.S. Census, the 1865 MA State Census, and the 1870 census (the three censuses were George was apparently enumerated while living in his parents’ household), none of the ages given are exactly in line with the birth date found in the Dedham, Massachusetts birth register of 16 August 1856. (Other details such as George having parents Patrick and Hannah, both born in Ireland, and the family living in Dedham, are consistent between these records.) The 1860 census was recorded on 1 September 1860, at which time George would have been 4 if he was born on 16 August 1856 – if the current age was reported (rather than that as of 1 June 1860), perhaps that could explain the discrepancy. The 1865 and 1870 censuses were recorded in May or June of those years; perhaps George’s age was rounded up to his next birthday – or maybe his precise age was not remembered by whomever provided the information for the census. In some later years, his age may have been slightly misestimated, but all of the ages given are fairly close to his expected age with a birth date of 16 August 1856.

Parents

While the records found so far may not be conclusive, the birth register, 1860 census, 1865 state census, and 1870 census are all consistent with the same George William Rutledge having apparently been the son of Patrick and Hannah. Later censuses do not explicitly name Patrick or Hannah, but they are somewhat consistent with the parental birth places shown in the earlier records; see Table 2 below.

Table 2. Parental birth information in censuses

Year Father’s birth place Mother’s birth place
1880 (NY) Ireland Ireland
1900 (PA) England Ireland
1910 (PA) England England
1920 (PA) England Ireland
1930 (NJ) England “Ireland not known”

George’s mother was almost always reported as having been born in Ireland, and his father was reported as being from Ireland or England. Perhaps George forgot these details, or maybe whoever reported the information to the census enumerators was unsure or uninformed.

Other details in the censuses are consistent with this being the same George Rutledge throughout and being the son of Patrick and Hannah:

  • George Rutledge was listed in the same household as Patrick and Hannah Rutledge through the 1870 census. In the 1880 census he was listed as a boarder in someone else’s household in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York. Also in the 1880 census, Patrick, Hannah, and their younger children were listed in a household in Passaic, Passaic County, New Jersey – George (apparently their oldest child) – was no longer listed as living with them, consistent with him having moved out on his own.11
  • Patrick Rutledge had occupations listed as “spinner” in the 1860 census, “works in wool mill” in the 1870 census, “wool carder” in the 1880 census; George Rutledge had occupations listed as “works in shoddy mill” in the 1880 census, “carder – wool” in the 1900 census, “carder – woolen mill” in the 1910 census, “superintendent – woolen mill” in the 1920 census, and “spinner – carpet mill” in the 1930 census. These similar occupations (a “shoddy” mill dealing with fabric or yarn scraps respond or rewoven)12 are suggestive of this being the same Patrick Rutledge across censuses and the same George Rutledge across censuses, and suggestive of a George Rutledge that took up Patrick’s (his father’s) trade.

Marriage & Children

In the 1900 census, George was married to Mary F., and they had been married 19 years (since approximately late 1880 or early 1881). Mary was born October 1862 in New York to parents both born in New York. She had given birth to seven children, two of whom were still living. Two children were listed as son and daughter of George (and presumably Mary):

  • George W Rutledge, born September 1886 in Pennsylvania (father born in Massachusetts, mother born in New York)
  • Ella Rutledge, born January 1889 in Pennsylvania (father born in Massachusetts, mother born in New York)

In the 1910 census, George was married to Elizabeth – George and Elizabeth had been married for three years, and both were listed as being on their second marriage. Elizabeth was 38 years old (George was 52), and the only child listed in the household was George’s son George (age 22). Elizabeth is not listed as having given birth to any children. In the 1920 and 1930 censuses, the elder George appears in each one married to Lizzie or Elizabeth, without any evidence of other children from this second marriage.

These censuses suggest that George’s first wife Mary died between 1900 and 1910, and that George later married Elizabeth. A Philadelphia death certificate for Mary F. Rutledge shows that she died 7 March 1907 at 41 years, 4 months, 18 days old, indicating a birth date of 20 October 1862 (consistent with the Mary in the 1900 census). Her birth place listed was New York, and her parents were William Henion and Jane Henion, both of New York (also consistent with the 1900 census).13

In the 1880 census, there is a household in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York headed by William Henion, including wife Jane and daughter Mary (age 17); William and Jane were born in New Jersey and Mary was born in New York.14 This household was listed just three households after the one where George Rutledge was a boarder in the same census (see Figure 1 below). George’s occupation was “works in shoddy mill,” and Mary Henion’s was also “works in shoddy mill.” This suggests that George Rutledge and Mary Henion likely met as neighbors and/or coworkers in the area of Ramapo New York, and that not long after this census was taken, they married and moved to Philadelphia. The census does indicate that George Rutledge was married, but if so, no wife was living with him. Perhaps this was a mistaken entry?

1880census_GeorgeRutledge
Figure 1. Image from 1880 census in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York, showing George Rutledge, boarder, and Mary Henion, daughter of William Henion, living nearby.

Of George and Mary’s children, death records have been found that appear to be for George [Jr.] and Helen/Ella. A death record for George William Rutledge in Pennsylvania (47 years old at death on 11 October 1933, consistent with a September 1886 birth date) listed his birth place as Penna, his father as Geo. W. Rutledge, born in Penna., and mother unknown.15 A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania death certificate for Helen Butterly (likely Helen (Rutledge) Mooney Butterly) lists an age of 55 upon her death on 9 May 1945 (almost consistent with the January 1889 birth date listed in the 1900 census), with a birth place of Philadelphia, a father George Rutledge (born in Philadelphia), and a mother of Helen Rutledge (born in Philadelphia).16 The confusion over the mother’s name for both George and Helen might have been a result of their mother dying when both of them were young; and perhaps the informants for the death certificates were unsure of the actual mother’s name in each case.

Death records are likely also available for at least some of the other five children possibly born to George and Mary.

Death

The only record I have so far for George’s death is an entry on FindAGrave, where a photograph of a gravestone in New Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia for George W. Rutledge lists his birth and death dates as 1856-1930 (the FindAGrave database lists his birth date as 1855, but that appears to be a mistaken transcription of the stone).17 In support of this being the right George Rutledge is the fact that his apparent wife Mary (Henion) Rutledge was also buried in New Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia.18

by Erin Hill-Burns, Updated 25 January 2018


  1. Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts, “Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : accessed 25 June 2017), entry for Geo Wm Rullege [Rutledge], 16 August 1856 birth.
  2. 1860 U.S. Census, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Mill village Post Office, p. 88 (penned), dwelling 2685, family 2685, Patrick Rutledge [Rutledge] household; accessed in “1860 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 22 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 515.
  3. 1865 Massachusetts state census, Norfolk County, pop. sch., Town of Dedham, dwell. 105, fam. 123, Patrick Rutledge household; accessed in “Massachusetts, State Census, 1865,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 25 June 2017).
  4. 1870 U.S. Census, Essex County, New Jersey, pop. sch., Franklin Post Office, pp. 22-23 (penned), dwell. 145, fam. 159, Patrick Rutledge household; accessed in “1870 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 22 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 860.
  5. 1880 U.S. Census, Rockland County, New York, pop. sch., Town of Ramapo, ED 143, p. 25 (penned), dwelling 215, family 226, George Rutledge in Patrick Donnelly household; accessed in “1880 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 22 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 924.
  6. 1900 U.S. Census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, pop. sch., Philadelphia Ward 19, ED 365, p. 15A (penned), dwell. 285, fam. 288, George Rutledge household; accessed in “1900 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 19 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1460.
  7. 1910 U.S. Census, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, pop. sch., Bridgeport Borough Ward 2, ED 64, p. 8A (penned), dwell. 136, fam. 136, George Rutledge household; accessed in “1910 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 19 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1377.
  8. 1920 U.S. Census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, pop. sch., Philadelphia City Ward 38, ED 1361, p. 1A (penned), dwell. 7, fam. 7, W George Rutledge household; accessed in “1920 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 24 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1636.
  9. 1930 U.S. Census, Camden County, New Jersey, pop. sch., Clementon Borough, ED 4-92, p. 1B (penned), dwell. 23, fam. 23, George W Rutledge household; accessed in “1930 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 24 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1323.
  10. 1860 Census: Instructions to the Marshals, IPUMS USA (https://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/inst1860.shtml : accessed 25 January 2018), citing “Ages.”
  11. 1880 U.S. Census, Passaic County, New Jersey, pop. sch., City of Passaic, enumeration district (ED) 143, p. 37 (penned), dwell. 223, fam. 338, Patrick Rutledge household; accessed in “1880 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 25 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 794.
  12. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, The Bulletin of the Department of Labor and Industry, Volume VII, No. 9 (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania : J.L.L. Kuhn, Printer to the Commonwealth, 1920), 25; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com : accessed 25 January 2018).
  13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Return of a Death in the City of Philadelphia  no. 7075 (1904), Mary F Rutledge; accessed in “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org : 16 January 2018).
  14. 1880 U.S. Census, Rockland County, New York, pop. sch., Town of Ramapo, ED 143, p. 25 (penned), dwelling 218, family 229, William Henion household; accessed in “1880 United States Federal Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 22 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 924.
  15. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, file no. 84227 (1933), George William Rutledge; accessed in “Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 20 June 2017).
  16. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, file no. 45593 (1945), Helen Butterly; accessed in “Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 19 June 2017).
  17. Ancestry, Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 25 June 2017), memorial 56840909, George W Rutledge (1855[1856]-1930), New Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; gravestone photograph by Mike Bell.
  18. New Cathedral Cemetery (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), “Burial Register,” Mary F. Rutledge entry; accessed in “Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-1999,” database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com : 29 June 2017).

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