Cecilia Abbott

Cecilia Abbott

Cecilia, Antoinette and Jameson Abbott's fifth child, was born about 1916, most likely in Manhattan because Jameson did not purchase the family home in the Bronx until 1918.1 A baptismal certificate has not yet been located for Cecilia.

Cecilia was only about 16 years old when she died from a tragic household accident. After the death of Jameson (1928) and Antoinette (1930), Florence Abbott and Cecila, the oldest girls still living at home, were attempting to keep the family together and by taking care of the younger children in the family house located at 689 East 132nd Street in the Bronx. On the morning of 24 April 1933, Cecilia was tying the shoes of a younger brother in the kitchen and apparently as she bend over her dress ignited when it came in contact with the gas stove.2 She was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan where death from multiple second degree burns occurred on 03 May 1933.3

Cecilia was buried on 06 May 1933 in the Abbott family grave in St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.4 According to the death certificate, the undertaker was Joseph Mulligan, whose place of business was at 617 East 138th Street in the Bronx. The death certificate was signed by James Abbott, Cecilia's oldest brother.

Before her untimely death, Cecilia had been engaged to be married to Al Glass, who worked at Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.5 The death certificate lists housework as Cecilia's occupation, which is consistent with the fact that she had been helping Florence take care of their siblings in the family home.

Cecilia's middle name is not known, but from one document we have a slight hint. On the back of the death certificate, in the section reserved for information provided by the undertaker, her name is listed as Cecilia R. Abbott.6 Information on certificates is sometimes inaccurate or wrong, but this is the only indication that we have so far regarding Cecilia's complete name.

1 The exact date of birth has not been determined because Cecilia's birth certificate is not available due to privacy restrictions associated with NYC records after 1908. Records prior to 1909 are located at the Municipal Archives in NYC, but later records have not yet been relaeased by the Department of Health to the Municipal Archives.
2 Story told by Dorothy (Abbott) Delaney to Robert F. Delaney, December 2000. The incident is confirmed by information on the death certificate, which states that the dress was ignited by a gas stove and that the accident took place 24 April 1933.
3 Certificate of Dealth, #10813, Manhattan, Department of Health of the City of New York.

4 St. Raymond's Cemetery, Section 14, Range 26, Grave 45.
5 As recalled by Dorothy (Abbott) Delaney.
6 Dorothy (Abbott) Delaney does not remember Cecilia's middle name. She does recall that Rita was the middle name of one sister, but she thought that it was Florence's middle name. Other documentation, however, would seem to indicate that Florence's middle name was Elizabeth and not Rita. In an e-mail exchange between Robert F. Delaney and Jeanne (Siconolfi) Stone, one of Florence's daughters, Jeanne was quite sure that Elizabeth was her mother's middle name. Perhaps it was Cecilia, and not Florence, whose middle name was Rita, which would be consistent with "R" on the death certificate as entered by the undertaker. Dorothy also remembers the sister who was named Rita hated the name, which could be one reason that it does not appear on other documents that have been found so far. This is another one of the Abbott family history mysteries that needs to be resolved, perhaps when the birth or baptismal records are found.

Cecilia Abbott - Mid-1920s Photograph
Image of Cecilia from a
circa mid-1920's group photograph
Photograph of Cecilia Abbott in Front of the Family Home - 689 East 132nd Street, Bronx, NY - Circa 1932
Cecilia - circa 1932 - in front
of the family home located at
689 East 132nd Street, Bronx, NY
Additional images of Cecilia