Cornelius Merklee, born between 1855 and 1857 in New York, was the son of John Merklee and Elizabeth Ann (Burnett) Merklee.1
I have not located a record for Cornelius in the 1880 U.S. Census, but he apppears in late 19th century city directories. The Brooklyn directory for 1889-1890 indicates that Cornelius was employed as a printer and that his home was located at 376 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY.2 The 1897 Lain's City Directory for Brooklyn has a listing for Cornelius Merklee, a printer, living at 69 Van Voorhis Street in Brooklyn, New York.3
The Merklee family had moved to 1055 Decatur Street, Brooklyn, NY, by the time the 1900 U.S. Census was taken.4 The family consisted of Cornelius and Josephine (Aube) Merklee, and their daughter Florence Merklee. The census taker wrote the family surname as "Merkle," leaving off the final letter "e." This census reveals quite a lot about the family members. We learn that the couple had been married for 25 years, which would place the date of the event at about 1874 or 1875. Cornelius' birth is given as May 1855, and Josephine was born in March 1857. Florence, now 21, was born in June of 1879. Josephine Merklee had given birth to three children, but by April of 1900 only Florence was still alive. Cornelius is employed as a machinist, and neither Josephine nor Florence are working. Peter Aube, Josephine's father, is also in the household at this time.5 Widowed, he is 80 years of age, having been born in September 1819 in Pennsylvania, where his parents were also born.
In 1910, Cornelius is living with his wife Josephine, his daughter Florence E. (Merklee) Delaney, and his son-in-law William M. Delaney, at 629 East 28th Street, Brooklyn, NY.6 The census indicates that Cornelius' trade or profession was "printer" and that the nature of the business was a "printing house." At the time this census was taken in April 1910, Cornelius is supposedly 53 and Josephine is 52. The couple had been married for 36 years, which would indicate that that they were married about 1874. Josephine Merklee was the mother of three children, but only one child -- Florence -- was still alive when the census was taken in April 1910.
Cornelius and Josephine are found in the 1920 U.S. Census living at 2127 _______ [can't decipher name] Avenue in Brooklyn.7 Cornelius, now supposedly 63, is still employed as a printer and the nature of the business is recorded as "paper" (perhaps a newspaper). Josephine is also 63 years of age in this census, which was taken on January 2, 1920.
By 1930, Cornelius and Josephine Merlee had left Brooklyn and were residing on the opposite coast at 866 Partridge Road, Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California.8 Cornelius appears to have been retired since the census lists his occupation as "none." Both individuals are supposedly only 65 years old, which is clearly erroneous. The census indicates that they became married when each of them was 18 years of age, which is reasonably consistent with the marriage year derived from the 1900 and 1910 census data.
Cornelius died on May 1, 1935, probably in Menlo Park, CA.9
Webmaster: Robert F. Delaney
Page created: February 14, 2010