Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This photo was identified as Amy Lair (or possibly Lain or Sain, it’s hard to tell), who was the sister of Amy T. Mearns. So we know this is a relation to the family. Does anyone else find it odd that two sisters were both named Amy? One must have gone by her middle name. She is an older woman, possibly in her late 50s. The photograph was mounted on a maroon card, which were not as popular because they were more expensive than the pearl, white and pink cards. Along with the deckled edges of the card, we can date this to the 1890s. Unfortunately the photo quality is not the best and aging has dappled the image. The photographer was Jeanes of 702 Edgemont Ave, Chester PA.

17 thoughts on “Amy Lair or Lain or Sain

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    Jeremiah Rittenhouse born May 25, 1806 and died at Rising Sun, Maryland in July 1882. He was twice married. His first wife was Anne, his second wife was Sarah Felty whom he married Jan 1, 1845. He removed from Hunterdon County to Bucks County, Pa., and from there to Maryland. The children by his first wife were Mary Jane, Eliza Ann and Amy T. Mary Jane married Benjamin R. Lair; Amy T. married William L. Mearns.

    Benjamin Rittenhouse Lair was the son of William Lair and Elizabeth Rittenhouse (b. 1801 and a sister of Jeremiah, Gertrude (later Roberson), and Catharine (later Clugston) Rittenhouse) (perhaps now you can understand how complicated this family is?) :)

    Benjamin R Lair and Mary Jane had a daughter named Amy (after her aunt), born in 1870. The Lair and Robeson families were also from Hunterdon county, NJ and lived near the Rittenhouses – the families are intermixed with several marriages between them.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    So AmyT Mearns was Amy Lair’s aunt via Jeremiah and Benjamin Lair’s aunt via Elizabeth.

    :) Pass the aspirin please….


  3. Mrs Marvel says:

    The tradition of intermarrying between families, cousins and such, thankfully has passed by the wayside. At least from a genealogical perspective this is very confusing!


  4. It’s all so grim. History has left her as a very grim person. She actually just as easily look like a man. Let’s hope her life wasn’t as harsh as she looks.


  5. IntenseGuy says:

    The photographer was Joseph Jeanes (b. May 1829 in Delaware) He was living in Wilmington, Delaware in 1862, Allentown, PA in the 1870 and 1880 US Census. He is living in Chester in the 1900 US Census at age 71 still listed as a Photographer. So it appears the photo dates between 1880 – 1900. Given Amy was born in 1870… this photo seems to date 1890+ (and possibly early 1900).


  6. Strange, we have a relative from Hunterdon County NJ..some are buried there. It is funny to read about other people from that county. You are making some headway with these photos:)


  7. My husband, James William Carr11(deceased) of Calvert Co. Md. has a gr. gr.grandmother,named Amy Lair born Feb.17,1823 in Hunterdon Co. N.J., I believe Frenchtown? .She died in Bucks Co. Pa. on 19 may 1904. According to a copy of a will I have(in storage right now) so all this is by memory. On the will her name is listed as Amy Lair Apgar, so we didn’t know whether Lair was her maiden name or Apgar (it didn’t mention – a husband.) In a book on the Apgar Family years later I found her with same b.d. & other similar inf. as on the will – also found her married to a Lewis B. Apgar on Nov.1 1865 in Hunterdon co. N.J.as his 2nd. wife. Last year on the Godown website i found her parents to be Phillip Lair b.1799 & Mary? On several other websites I found her as daughter Phillip Dilts Lair & Mary Snyder, both born in 1799, I believe? The children in both families with same or similar names same dates of births, deaths & etc.. On some cesuses some of the kids may be under a middle name as well(that can get confusing?) On the Godown Website the Siblings of Amy Lair (1823-1904) are – William b.1830, Edward b.1832, Lucinda b.1834(married William Buffer, with 3 children,Ella, Francis(Frank?) & Mary E. & a lot of other info on her familly!) Jonathan b.1836, Jane b.1838, Sarah b.1840, Elmira b.1842, Harriet b.1844,John b.1846. Elmira is Alimira in other census & etc………………………….. In the will it mentions leaving property to her granddaughter Elizabeth Amy Lair(1872-1929 Frenchtown, N.J.) wife of Gardner Johnson Snyder(1870-1939) of Ridgewood, N.J.. (Secretary of the Fidelity Lodge there in Ridgewood on Maple Ave. Also Principal of Ridgewood H.S. in the 20’s & 30’s & Commissioner of the Bergen Co Schools.) Gardiner & Elizabeth are my husband’s grandparents, parents of Olive Ida Snyder Carr(1896-1968) wife of James Entwisle Carr of Washington, D.C.& Alexandria, Va..(Married 21 April 1925 in New York at an Episcopal Church.) All buried in Frenchtown Cemetery in Hunterdon Co. N.J,, except James Entwisle Carr, who was buried in the Carr Cem. in Bristow, Manassas, Va. on the family farm with his family & ancestors are buried since late 1700’s. ………………………….According to a deed we received from an estate In 1969 traced back to Eilas Johnson of Hunterdon Co. N.J. & Dutilla Gano, married Dec.28,1844(Johnston in marriage record of Amswell or Kingswood Twp.?) are parente of Emma Johnson, married to Wesley Snyder Feb. 24,1869. are parents of Gardiner Johnson Snyder(above). We also have a will(in storage) of Ida J. Hann that says she is Aunt of Elizabeth Amy Lair, wife of Gardiner Johnson Snyder, also leaving her as well as others such Salters & other families that I have forgotton of Bucks Co Pa..In storage also are wills of Gardner & Elizabeth to each & other I believe – cannot remember who they are? The NAMES WOULD SURELY HELP I’M SURE! I do know there are other wills! Gardner Johnson Snyder had another daughter Ethel (married to John Hardecoph) by Elizabeth Amy Lair(1st. wife.) His 2nd. wife was Louise Yeager Gardiner and they had a daughter, Carolyn Snyder b. in 1937 – married to Earl Heaton Pugsley also of New Jersey. WELL WITH ALL THIS INFORMATION I have yet to find the PARENTS OF Elizabeth Amy Lair Snyder(or vice versa) DOES ANY OF THIS INFO. SOUND FAMILAR TO ANYONE? A lot of previous information(above) sounds familiar to me also & I know what you mean by so much inter-marring. I tried to shorten all this by just high-liteing but did the best I could in order to get enough material out there to make since. Please excuse errors & pararaphs running together. I iust taught myself how to use the computer a couple years ago and a lot I still don’t know how to do! If you need more information let me know? Due to the names in above Amy article I’m sure these two Amys are related! Thanks, Jan Carr


  8. OOPS! I forgot my e-mail is [removed].

    I don’t want you to get spammed, MG.


  9. I forgot to say I have a couple of eye diseases as well & noticed I misspelled Elias and got some comas, periods & etc. wrong. I do apologize!


  10. Intenseguy says:

    Hello Janice. I hope this reaches you – I believe the Godown website may have a case of mistaken identity – or the find-a-grave site does…

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32691026 shows the Amy that they refer to’s gravestone. But this Amy was born an Apgar and never married. She is shown is this 1850US census https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M6MJ-PN5 born about 1817…

    The 1900 US census shows Amy, born Jan 1824, widowed.

    There is something strange going on here. Wayne Apgar (of find-a-grave) might be helpful in straigthening this out. wayneapgar@msn.com – his website is http://www.apgarfamily.org/ which has the Apgar family tree.


  11. Intenseguy says:

    Gardiner J. Synder married Lizzie A Lair —
    14 Dec 1892 in Trenton, Mercer, New Jersey
    They had Ethel and Olive 1910-1920


  12. IntenseGuy says:

    I think I’ve got it!

    Lizzie A. Lair was Elizabeth Amy Lair. Her parents were John Lair and Mary H. Hann.

    Marriage record of her parents – married 07 Oct 1871

    John died November 2, 1874 Frenchtown, Hunterdon Co, NJ, at 28 years of age. Was run over by a few railroad cars as he was uncoupling them.
    http://thegodowns.com/d9/i0017766.htm#i17776 (bottom 10 ix.)

    Shows Mary H living with her father, Edmund Hann in 1870.

    https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MN86-182 shows Amy E. born (1872) living with her grandfather in 1880.

    The Godown website is incorrect. John Lair (born abt 1846) appears to have been Phillip’s son as shown in the 1850 US census

    :) I hope this gets to Janice, I wish I could email her.


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I contacted her to please come back and read your always fantastic research discoveries! :-)


  13. IntenseGuy says:

    P.s., Hann, Edmund married Elizabeth Maclone on Dec. 30, 1848


  14. Janice Earliene Carr says:

    I thought I had thanked you for ALL the information you sent me on here & through my email address! I just ran across this again- discovering I didn’t on here anyway. I will need to check my email, but if I didn’t, I do Apologize! All this inf. means so much to me! I still cannot figure out how Amy is Phillip & Mary Lair’s oldest child & John their youngest according to the 1850 N.J. Census. Yet according to records John is the father of Elizabth Amy Lair “Lizzie” ,wife of Gardner Johnson Snyder. According to the will I have in storage Amy is her Grandmother, when she should be her Aunt instead? can you figure this one out? I DO appreciate everything you have sent to me on this site & on my email! > I do know the Rittenhouses are related, so the Amy above could have been named after Amy, dau. Of Phillip & Mary Lair?


    1. Janice Earliene Harrelson Carr says:

      Did Izzy (intense Guy) get the message above I sent him previously? I do wish we could email each other also. He has really helped me a lot!

      Could it be possible That Amy Lair Apgar had Lizzie in her will as her “granddaughter” since she took care of her so much, as both of her parents died very young?!

      If Amy’s parents had not had other young children within a couple years of each other ~
      ( I would think John could have been born out of wedlock to Amy( , then the will would make since. On the other hand she was the mainCaretaker of Amy Elizabeth “Lizzie“ (Lair) Snyder, so she could have just considered her as a granddaughter instead? Could this be possible? Such a mystery! I am 83, and I will probably will never solve this in my lifetime. 🤔👵🤗 I have been trying to since 1969 when we first received that Information on that Deed of Elias Johnson & Dutila Gano. as well as before finding those wills of my Mom-in-law after her death In 1967.
      I would appreciate any information anyone, including you Izzy. Thanks! Jan


      1. Mrs Marvel says:

        Hi Janice – I don’t know if Iggy follows the site any more. Sorry!


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