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Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Genealogical History of the Jinks and Aveta Families in America

ImageFamily history research takes me to places all over the United States and the world. I get to travel vicariously through the genealogical research I do for my clients, and it’s always a fascinating journey.

This was my ninth family history narrative and it is by far one of the most interesting. I will say, trying to choose a favorite narrative project is like picking a favorite child; I love them all equally, yet for different reasons.

The Jinks and Aveta families could not have been more different and yet, both arrived in America for the same reasons – the chance at a better life and opportunity. The Jinkses immigrant ancestor arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1643, from London, England. Joseph Jinks was a master cutler and was extremely well-respected in his field. Joseph, his father John, and his half-brother’s swords are on display in museums across the UK and in private collections.

In 1643, Joseph came to the colonies to design, plan and establish the first ironworks in America, located at Saugus, Massachusetts. Joseph invented the modern scythe as we know it and was also responsible for building the first fire-engine, under a commission from the city of Boston. Joseph’s son Joseph Jr. later moved to Rhode Island where one of his grandsons was a long-term Governor of that state. The Jinks family was heavily involved in Rhode Island politics as judges and deputies, and others served as doctors and Baptist preachers. The family later moved back to Massachusetts, then New York, and settled in Indiana Territory in 1814, in what would become the small community of Laurel, Franklin County, Indiana.

The Aveta family arrived in the United States over 260 years later, settling in the heart of Manhattan’s Little Italy on Mulberry Street in 1905. Little Italy at this time was vastly different than the Little Italy we know today. Over ten-thousand immigrants, mostly southern Italians, lived in extremely cramped apartments and tenements. The majority were men who sent money back home to their families for passage to the United States. Other immigrants were just in the States seasonally for work, then returned to Italy during the winter months. Work in southern Italy was difficult to find and poor crops, natural disasters (earthquakes) and high illiteracy rates took a toll on the population.

Gennaro Aveta arrived in New York City and brought his wife and four children over almost two year later. A gilder by trade, Gennaro started his own furniture manufacturing business which was located at 295 Bowery. The location had the distinction of being formerly known as McGurk’s Suicide Hall, after a dozen or so destitute young women, mostly prostitutes, drank carbolic acid on the premises in 1899. Gennaro later removed his business to Washington Street in Brooklyn and did quite well until about 1917 when he was sued by several investors. He kept the company going until about 1922, shuttered the furniture business and opened a music store. Gennaro and his wife, Consiglia, had four children—three boys, all of whom fought in WWII, and a daughter who married a young G.I. named Ronald Jinks while he was stationed in New Jersey in the 1950s, merging the two families.

Over two hundred and sixty years separated the arrival of these families, and yet both came for the chance of greater opportunity and freedom. Opportunity is the reason why most immigrants came to America, and both of these families succeeded in building a better life for themselves and their descendants.

 

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Henry Bouchy

Henry Bouchy

Henry Bouchy

This is Henry Bouchy, my second-great grandfather on mom’s side. Henry was a gold smelter at a watch case company in Dayton, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, in the early 1900s. Henry had ten children and three wives.

Henry arrived in the United States with his family on 2 May 1865 just two weeks after the assassination of President Lincoln and less than a month after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomatox Courthouse. Henry was nine years old at the time of his family’s emigration from Moselle, France, and one of seven children born to his parents Jean Charles and Melanie Bardeau Bouchy.

The Bouchy family initially resided in New York City, but moved to Newark, New Jersey, about 1875 after Henry’s brother Emil’s tragic suicide. Emil was chronically ill and decided to end it all with a revolver to the head at the age of twenty-one. Henry’s sixteen year old sister Lucie died five months later.

Henry worked in a watch factory in Newark and married Ada Johnson in 1880. Ada was the first of Henry’s three wives and they had seven children together. One year after their youngest child Carolyn was born, Ada died on 3 September 1893 at the age of thirty-three. Twenty-two days later Henry wed a fifty-seven year old widow, Caroline Ferris Crossman. Henry was thirty-six years old and with seven children and needed someone to care for his children. It’s probably safe to say that this was strictly a marriage of convenience. Caroline died on 10 January 1899 leaving Henry a widow once more. Eight months later on 2 August 1899, Henry wed another widow- Anna Buehler Linz. Anna was twenty-eight at the time of their marriage. The couple soon packed up the entire family and left Newark for Dayton, Kentucky, where Henry worked as a gold-smelter for a watch company.

Henry and Anna had three boys together. When the youngest Frank was two years old Henry died at the age of fifty-one on 8 March 1909. Henry’s death certificate states “mastoiditis” as the cause of death which is basically an untreated ear-infection. Prior to antibiotics, this condition was often fatal in infants, children and adults.

Henry’s wife Anna did not stay in Dayton with her seven stepchildren after Henry’s passing. She took her three sons she had with Henry and returned to New Jersey where things went poorly for the Bouchys. But that’s a story for another day.

 

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