More Great-Grandma Lizzie Clues

When I was in New York last, my mom said that she had once done some Lizzie research too, in 1996, when she was exactly my age. She said she had a folder somewhere. Thankfully my mom is more organized than I am. She found the folder, and we brought it out to the garden to read through it.


At the time, Mom had spoken on the phone with Francis's wife. Francis was Lizzie's youngest brother. Most likely, he would have remembered her. She died when he was about 12-years-old. It's not impossible that he could still be alive, but I'm doubtful. He would be 99. Still, I may be able to contact his family.

The best part of Mom's research was that she had Lizzie's birth date!

July 17, 1913

I updated the ancestry record with the new information. Mom also was led to believe, through her research, that Lizzie had been born in Ogdensburg (my hometown!), at the St. Lawrence State Hospital, built as an insane asylum in 1886. (The post image is what the hospital looked like in 1913, postcard from ebay.)

The records from the state hospital are, as you can imagine, hard to obtain. It probably explains why it's been near impossible to find out any information about Lizzie's birth.

I wonder why Lizzie's mother, Mary, had to be there. Back then, you could be admitted for a number of reasons. Maybe she had anxiety or "hysteria" brought on by her pregnancy.

Next step is to find records of Mary's admittance to the hospital in 1913 and Lizzie's birth there.


Hospital photo from late 1800s, courtesy of

Gretchen PearlComment