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Helena Willett Freeland Alger
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Birth: Sep. 27, 1846
Manhattan
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 5, 1879
Hudson
Columbia County
New York, USA

Helena Willett Freeland was born on September 27, 1846 at Manhattan to John Augustus Freeland, Sr. (born July 28, 1807 at Claverack, Columbia County, New York and baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church of Claverack) and Eliza C. Bryan, born about 1823 in Manhattan. John was the son of Leonard Freeland and Maria Van Deusen and Eliza was the daughter of Dr. Elijah Bryan (dentist, who had been born in England in 1790) and Margaret Robertson McQueen who had been born in New Jersey (possibly Middletown in Monmouth County) about 1800. Margaret Robertson McQueen was a younger daughter of John McQueen, possibly born in Scotland, and Helena Willett (c. 1759 to Jan. of 1840) 'of an old American family.' The obituary for Helen McQueen who died at 25 Walker Street in Manhattan, New York mentions her age of 80 at time of death and the fact that she was the widow of John McQueen and formerly of Middletown, New Jersey. By Thanksgiving of 2011, I was able to ascertain that Helena Willett McQueen was a daughter of Thomas Willett, Jr. and his wife Ann and a granddaughter of Thomas Willett, Sr. and his wife Abigail Stevenson who had probably been married in Westchester County, New York by license and that Thomas Willett, Sr. was the oldest son of William Willett and his first wife Anna Field. William Willett was a son of Thomas Willett, the High Sheriff of Flushing, Queens County, New York and his first wife Helena Stoothoff. This Thomas had been one of the two sons of Sarah Cornell and her first husband of three, Thomas Willett, a soldier for the Dutch West India Company who died about 1645 in Manhattan.

Helena's parents were married at St. Paul's (Episcopal) Chapel at Manhattan in July of 1844. According to the U.S. Census of 1850, Helena, her parents, and her brother Johnnie were living in Manhattan in 1850 where John, Sr. was working as a merchant. Also at the house in the summer of 1850 were Eliza's parents but the Bryan surname was spelled wrong.

In 1853, Helena's father, John Augustus Freeland, Sr., who was in a partnership with his first cousin James Freeland in Manhattan, dropped out of the business and bought a 60 acre gentleman's farm at Greenport, Columbia County, New York. The New York State Census of 1855 finds the parents and two children living there as does the U. S. Census of 1860.

Helena's father John died in December of 1860 and in October of 1864, her mother married again. The groom was Joseph Simonson, Jr. who was a merchant on Canal Street in Manhattan and whose family lived on Staten Island. He was eight to ten years younger than Eliza and had not been married before. Joe and Eliza apparently had no children from their marriage and by 1880 Eliza was listed as a widow in the U. S. Census of 1880 when she was at the hotel in Yonkers managed by her son, Johnnie.

Helena married Charles Alger, the son of Charles Coffey Alger and Sarah Palmer on January 4, 1866 at the bride's home at Greenport, Columbia County, New York. Their first child would be Grace Coffey Alger, born on January 3, 1867 at the townhouse owned by Charles Coffey Alger at 16 East 29th Street in Manhattan. The townhouse was across the street from the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration (Little Church Around the Corner) but the townhouse has since been demolished along with other townhouses and a large hotel built on the site. Grace was later baptized at St. Mary's in the Highlands (Episcopal Church) at Cold Spring, New York.

The next child was Helena Willett Alger, born November 27, 1870 at Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland when Charles Alger was managing an iron foundry there. She was my grandmother.

The third child was Sarah Palmer Alger, born January 10, 1875 at Albany, New York when Charles Alger was working at an iron foundry there. She was named after her father's mother.

The fourth child was Charles Francis Alger, born in October of 1877 at Hudson, Columbia County, New York at his grandmother's house which she purchased in 1876.

Helena (Lillie) Willett Freeland Alger died February 5, 1879 of pneumonia at the Hudson house of her mother-in-law. She was buried at the Hudson City Cemetery. There were death notices in the New York Times and another Manhattan newspaper. Her husband never remarried but lived in his mother's house until his death on January 2, 1897 after suffering a stroke the previous day. He was 60 years old when he died. His mother outlived him by about six to seven weeks. She had turned the house over to him in 1881 but retained a life estate in the house for herself with the provision if she outlived him the house would go to her beloved grandchildren, Helena, Sarah, and Charles. There was no mention of the first born grandchild Grace but one possible explanation is that Grace was left out because she was the only grandchild to inherit anything ($5,000)from her grandfather, Charles Coffey Alger. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John Augustus Freeland (1807 - 1860)
  Eliza C. Bryan Simonson (1823 - 1901)
 
 Spouse:
  Charles Alger (1836 - 1897)
 
 Children:
  Grace Coffey Alger Groat (1867 - 1942)*
  Helena Willett Alger Farrand (1870 - 1929)*
  Sarah Palmer Alger (1875 - 1949)*
  Charles Francis Alger (1877 - 1930)*
 
 Sibling:
  Helena Willett Freeland Alger (1846 - 1879)
  John Augustus Freeland (1850 - 1897)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Hudson City Cemetery
Hudson
Columbia County
New York, USA
Plot: F 11
 
Created by: Barbara Doxey
Record added: Nov 01, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6898576
Helena Willett <i>Freeland</i> Alger
Added by: Barbara Doxey
 
Helena Willett <i>Freeland</i> Alger
Added by: Jim Morris
 
Helena Willett <i>Freeland</i> Alger
Added by: Jim Morris
 
 
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