Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

#3 Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane

#3 Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane  

This week’s ancestor is  Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane.  He is my great, great uncle, brother to my great, great grandfather, William.  I had heard various stories about him from my father and my aunt, particularly that he would come to Brooklyn to visit his brother and his family and how they would go to Manhattan to the theater and other performances.  I also heard that my grandmother met her husband when she visited her cousin, Lucy Cochrane, who was one of Andrew’s daughter.  I thought it would be interesting to know about him and his family.  In doing so, I was impressed with the amount of information that was available in the Buffalo city directories. 
                Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane was born on May 12, 1809 in London, England.  His parents were The Honorable Andrew James Cochrane and Ann Morgan.  Andrew had two brothers, William and George, and one sister, Anna Maria, all born in London.   In 1828, he married Emma Shaw at St. James Church, London, England.  According to the baptismal records for his daughter Emma, in 1830, the family lived on Museum Street, in London, and from the records for his son, Charles,  in 1832,  on Court Street.  Both records indicated that Andrew was an assistant overseer. 
In 1835, Andrew and his family and his brother William and his wife immigrated to the United States and settled in Buffalo, New York.  According to the census and the City Directories for Buffalo, Andrew was a bookkeeper.  From 1836 until 1855, Andrew worked for a variety of different companies, e. g,, Holt, Palmer & Company;  E. Norton; and Kinne, Davis, and Company.  Beginning in 1855 and until his death, Andrew was the general account for the American Merchants’ Union Express Company, which I believe was the forerunner of American Express. 
                Andrew and Emma had five children:  Emma born in 1830; Andrew Charles, born in 1832; Lucy, born in 1834; William, born in 1838; and Edward Chester, born in 1843.  The census for 1840 show that Andrew was living in Buffalo  in a house with 15 other people.  I suspect that his and his brother’s families were living together, but who the additional people were is a mystery.  By 1850 Andrew was living with his wife, and children, Lucy, William and Edward.  In 1860, Andrew and his wife were living with Andrew, Lucy, William, and Edward.  In addition, Emma, her husband, Amasa Kingman and their four children, were also living with them.  By 1870, all the children were married and living out of the house with the exception of Charles, who is described as away at school. 
                The City Directories for Buffalo list the associations, organizations, and churches as well as the individuals who held offices in them.   In 1837, Andrew was the recording secretary of the Young Men’s Association, a literary society, which is described as having a “well-selected” and large library of books and was the forerunner of both the Buffalo Public Library and the Buffalo Museum of Science.  A year later, he was still the recording secretary, but also on the library and by-laws committees.  In 1847-48, he was the Assistant Secretary of the St. Andrews Society, a group for those of Scottish descent; a notary public,  and the Deputy District Grand Master of Erie District #3 of the Odd Fellows.  From 1847 to 1849, he was a trustee of the Unitarian Church. 
                While I would like to have a picture of Uncle Andrew, the best I can do is the description on his passport application when he was 62.  He is described as 5 feet 8 and ½ inches tall with grey eyes, gray hair and an oval face. 
                Andrew died on May 28, 1872.  He along with his wife is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York.

                If I were able to speak to him, I would ask why he and his brother decided to come to the United States and particularly to Buffalo.  I also would like him to tell me about his mother.  She is one of my brick walls.

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