This is NOT intended to be a COMPLETE record. It is however, a study of this family taken primarily from sources available online on various free and fee sites. Everything in this compilation should be checked against primary sources, where available, for the best accuracy. The authors of this work are not related to this family!
Jonathan G. Tifft was born 28 Aug 1804 in Stephentown, NY a son of Robert Tifft and Anna Woodward. Robert was in the Militia in the War of 1812. Jonathan was married on 14 Feb 1824 at the Tucker homestead in North Nassau, NY, to Caroline Matilda Tucker who was born 17 Aug 1805, a daughter of Henry Tucker and Mindwell Cook. By 1832 Jonathan was a partner of Andrew K. Morehouse in selling land for the new settlement of Bethuneville and an early resident, residing within the town of Morehouse from 1832 until at least 1851. Jonathan died on 30 Jan 1865 in Charlestown, WV and Caroline died on 12 Apr 1891 in Brooklyn, NY.
New York Times
8 Jul 1865
Tifft - At Charleston, West Va., on Friday, June 30, J. G. Tifft, aged 60 years, 10 months and 2 days. His remains will be brought to New York for interment. Due notice of the funeral will be given in the New York papers.
12 Jul 1865
Tifft - At Charleston, West Va., on Friday, June 30, J. G. Tifft, aged 60 years, 10 months and 2 days. The funeral services will be held at the house of his son-in-law C. B. Shaw, No. 46 Wyckoff st., Brooklyn, on Wednesday, 12th inst., at 3 P. M. The relatives and friends of the family, and of his sons, J. N., H. R., and A. H. Tifft, are requested to attend without further notice.
New York Times
14 Apr 1891
Tifft - Sunday, April 12, Mrs. Caroline M. Tifft, in her 86th year.
Funeral services at the residence of her son, A. H. Tifft, No. 87 Madison St., Brooklyn, on Tuesday, April 14, at 8 o'clock, P.M. Friends invited to attend.
1850 - Morehouse, Hamilton, NY
1870 - Ward 7, Brooklyn, Kings, NY, page 173/444; residing with son, Alanson, and daughter, Caroline ("Tifte")
1880 - Brooklyn, Kings, NY (ed56, sd2, pg41); widow is residing with son Alanson
Children of Jonathon Tifft and Caroline Tucker:
1. Martha E. Tifft, b. 7 Dec 1825, d. 24 Jul 1827
2. Jonathan Neville Tifft, b. 22 Jun 1828
3. Henry Robert Tifft, b. 20 Aug 1832 in Morehouseville, NY
4. Mindwell Ann Tifft, b. 14 Sep 1834 in <Morehouseville>, NY
5. Caroline S. Tifft, b. 3 Sep 1837 in <Morehouseville>, NY
6. Alanson H. Tifft, b. 18 Sep 1843 in <Morehouseville>, NY
7. George W. Tifft, b. 2 Dec 1844, d. 13 Dec 1844 in <Morehouseville>, NY
2. Jonathan Neville Tifft was born 22 Jun 1828. He was married on 31 Dec 1848 in Ilion, NY, by Benjamin J. Diefendorf, to Martha Elizabeth Fish, who was born 8 Dec 1827. Jonathan was a banker (1880) and died 29 Mar 1885 in Washington, D.C. Martha died on 26 May 1905, Kings county, NY at the age of 77 years.
Brooklyn Eagle, 31 Mar 1885
Jonathan N. Tifft, who died on Sunday at Willard's Hotel, Washington, in the 57th year of his age, was formerly a well known resident of this city. For some time he had been suffering from pulmonary and gastric catarrh, which finally proved fatal. The deceased at one time was a commission merchant, doing business at No. 32 Dey street, New York. In 1865 he opened a banking office at No. 57 Broadway. He negotiated the Mexican loan. This brought him into prominence with the Mexican government, and its commissioner appointed him the special financial agent of the government in New York, which relation he sustained at the time of his death. For the last two years, however, he had been gradually retiring from active business. He leaves a wife and two sons, both of whom are engaged in the practice of law. The funeral will take place tomorrow from his home, No. 53 East Twenty-first street, New York.
New York Times
27 Mar 1905
Tifft - On Friday, May 26, 1905, Martha Elizabeth Tifft, widow of J. Neville Tifft and beloved mother of Henry N. and Irving H. Tifft, in the 78th year of her age.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the services to be held at her late residence, No. 612 Hancock St., Brooklyn on Sunday, the 29th inst., at 3 P.M.
1880 - Manhattan, NY, NY (ed73, sd1, pg26); Banker, residing at No. 53, 21st street, but the whole family are listed as boarders.
Children of Jonathon Tifft and Mary Fish:
2.1. Ada L. Tifft, b. 29 Jan 1857, d. 7 Mar 1857 in NYC
2.2. Ella Tifft, b. 17 May 1853, d. 24 Jul 1853 in NYC
2.3. Etta Tifft, b. 17 May 1853, d. 24 Jul 1853 in NYC
2.4. Henry Neville Tifft, b. 6 Sep 1854
2.5. Herbert George Tifft, b. 5 Jul 1856, d. 20 May 1857 in NYC (of convulsions)
2.6. Irving H. Tifft, b. 4 Oct 1858
2.7. William Tifft, b. 17 Apr 1861, d. 12 Sep 1862 in NYC
3. Henry Robert Tifft was born 20 Aug 1832 in Morehouseville, Hamilton county, NY. He was married on 15 Sep 1859 in NYC by the Rev. E. N. Chapin to Mary E. Gray, who was born 14 Dec 1841. Henry died on 18 Mar 1902 in Manhattan, NY, NY and was buried at Greenwood. They lived in Brooklyn, NY.
New York Times
19 Sep 1859
Tifft-Gray - In this City, on Thursday, Sept. 15, by the Rev. E. N. Chapin, at the residence of the officiating clergyman, Mr. Henry R. Tifft to Miss Mary E. Gray, all of this City.
20 Mar 1902
Henry Robert Tifft
In the death of Henry Robert Tifft, at his home, 334 Central Park West, on Tuesday, there passed away one who had been for almost half a century a leading citizen of Brooklyn, and one prominent in Wall street banking circles. He was one of three brothers who had all made their marks as financiers. Mr. Tifft was born in the town of Alps, Renssalaer County, N.Y., 72 years ago, his parents, Jonathan G. Tifft and Caroline M. Tucker, both descended from families long in Rensselaer County and originally from Massachusetts. He went in 1834 to Morehouseville, Hamilton County, where he lived the life of a backwoods farm boy. He came to Brooklyn to live when 18 years old, and started in business in Wall street as a clerk. He subsequently became one of the banking firm of John W. Corlies & Co., who effected the loan to the Mexican government after the Maximilian incident. He remained with the firm for twenty years, until its dissolution through the death of the senior partners. Then was formed the firm of Tifft Brothers, in the Produce Exchange, in which Alanson Herbert Tifft was the junior partner. This firm still existed at Mr. Tifft's death. While in Brooklyn deceased had lived in the First, Eleventh and Nineteenth wards. He went to Manhattan to reside ten years ago. Mr. Tifft early in life married Miss Mary E. Gray, who survives him, with a daughter, Mary E., the wife of Arthur Louis Fay of London, England, where she resides. His surviving brother, Alanson Herbert Tifft, has been a resident of Brooklyn since 1863. His home was recently burned out, on Kingston avenue, since which time he has lived at the Larendon Hotel. Mrs. Minnie A. Sprague of 9 Halsey street, and Mrs. William F. Chittenden of 632 Throop avenue, are his surviving sisters. he was an original member of DeWeitt Clinton Council, R. A., and was a man of kindly and generous nature, with a large circle of friends. The funeral services were held at his home today, and after cremation the ashes will be interred in the family plot at Greenwood.
1900 - Brooklyn, Kings, NY (sd 1, ed 525, pg 7)
Child of Henry Tifft and Mary Gray:
3.1. May Leonore Tifft, b. 6 Nov 1860
4. Mindwell Ann Tifft was born 14 Sep 1834. She was married on 29 Dec 1859 in Utica, NY by Rev. S. O. Lincoln to Charles B. Shaw, who was born 26 Feb 1827 and died 5 Feb 1876 in Brooklyn, NY. She was married second on 8 Oct 1877 in Brooklyn, NY by Rev. H. R. Nye, to George R. Sprague, who was born 15 Apr 1814 and died 16 May 1889 in Brooklyn. Mindwell died on 18 Dec 1915 in Queens county, NY at the age of 81.
New York Times
Shaw-Tifft - Chittenden-Tifft - At Utica, on Thursday, 29 Dec, by Rev. T. O. Lincoln, at the residence of the bride's father, Charles B. Shaw of New York, to Mindwell A., daughter of Jonathan G. Tifft, Esq. Also at the same time and place, by the above, Wm. F. Chittenden, of New York, to Caroline S., also daughter of Jonathan G. Tifft, Esq.
1880 Brooklyn, Kings, NY ????????????
1900 Brooklyn, Kings, NY (sd 2, ed 383, pg 8)
4.1. Lelia C. Shaw, b. 6 Dec 1861, d. 6 Apr 1862 in Brooklyn, NY
4.2. Charles B. Shaw, b. 10 Jul 1863, d. 4 Jan 1868 in Brooklyn, NY
4.3. Martha E. Shaw, b. 19 Dec 1866
4.4. Emma L. A. Shaw, b. 14 Feb 1871, d. 28 May 1871
4.5. Herbert H. M. Shaw, b. 31 Jul 1874, d. 19 Feb 1875
5. Caroline S. Tifft was born 3 Sep 1837. She was married on 29 Dec 1859 in Utica, NY by Rev. T. O. Lincoln, to William F. Chittendon, who was born 12 Aug 1834. They resided in Brooklyn, NY
1880 Brooklyn, Kings, NY (ed56, sd2, pg37) - Stock broker, cousin Hettie E. Tucker age 25 residing with the family, 96 Madison Street
Children of Caroline Tifft and William Chittendon:
5.1. William Herbert Chittendon, b. 12 Sep 1861 in Brooklyn, NY
5.2. Henry Neville Chittendon, b. 20 Oct 1864, d. 6 Aug 1865 (born and died in Brooklyn)
5.3. Charles Edward Chittendon, b. 20 Mar 1867 in Brooklyn, NY
5.4. Frederick Chittendon, b. 10 Oct 1869, d. 10 Oct 1869 in Brooklyn, NY
5.5. Esther Tifft Chittendon, b. 28 Jan 1872
5.6. Agnes Bertha Chittendon, b. 10 Aug 1876, d. 26 Jun 1906 in Kings county, NY, age 29
5.7. Helen Hughson Chittendon, b. 4 Nov 1878, d. 12 Dec 1891 in Brooklyn, NY
6. Alanson H. Tifft was born 18 Sep 1843. He was married on 20 Sep 1865 in Utica, NY by Rev. T. D. Ballou to Esther R. Underwood who was born on 8 Apr 1848. Alanson died on 5 Oct 1903 in Kings county, age 60. Esther died on 21 Feb 1922, age 73 in Kings county. They resided in Brooklyn, NY.
New York Times
8 Oct 1903
Tifft - At his home, 808 Prospect Place, on Oct. 5, 1903, Alanson Herbert Tifft, aged 60 years.
Services Thursday at 8:00 o'clock.
New York Times
23 Feb 1922
Tifft - On Feb 21, at her home, 579 East 18th St., Flatbush, Etta R., widow of Alanson Herbert Tifft and mother of Tifft and Mrs. Frank Douglas, in her 74th year. Services at her home on thursday, Feb. 23, at 3 P. M.
1880 Brooklyn, Kings, NY (ed56, sd2, pg41) - Wholesale house furnishings, mother is residing with them
Children of Alanson Tifft and Esther Underwood:
6.1. Kittie Tifft, b. 20 Jun 1868
6.2. Mary E. Tifft, b. 12 Aug 1873, d. 18 Jul 1878
6.3. [unnamed] Tifft, b. 15 Mar 1878
2.4 Henry N. Tifft was born 6 Sep 1854. He was married on 20 Nov 1883 in NYC, by Rev. Howard Crosby, to Gertrude Havens. Henry graduated from Columbia College and practiced law in the NYC area. He died on 11 Mar 1925 in Manhattan, at the age of 70 years. She died on 1 Dec 1936.
New York Times
12 Mar 1925
Henry N. Tifft Dies of Heart Disease
Former President of Board of Education Was Member of an Old New York Family
Defender of Dr. Fosdick
Once Assistant United States District Attorney Was Long Active in Civic Life
Henry Neville Tifft, former Assistant United States District Attorney, and at one time President of the New York City Board of Education, died yesterday morning from Heart disease at his home, 309 West Seventy-sixth Street. Mr. Tifft was 71 years old.
Born the son of an old New York family which dated its American history back to the Colonial and Revolutionary days, Mr. Tifft received his education in this city. In 1873 he received the degree of Bachelor of Science from the College of the City of New York and three years later the same institution conferred upon him his master's degree. In this same year, 1876, he graduated from the Columbia University Law School, and shortly afterward was admitted to the bar.
Not long after he had begun his legal career he was appointed Assistant United States District Attorney, serving in that capacity for several years under Elihu Root, ex-Governor Dorsheimer and Stephen H. Walker. After practicing law for some time in the offices of Mr. Root and Willard Bartlett he established his own office at 15 William Street, where he was engaged up to the time of his death.
In 1903 Mr. Tifft was appointed a member of the Board of Education and the following year was elected its President. While officiating in this capacity for two terms the school system of New York experienced a tremendous growth and it was in a large measure due to Mr. Tifft that the number of school buildings in the city were increased at that time.
A life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church, where the Rev. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick preached as a specially authorized minister, Mr. Tifft came into public prominence recently as a stanch supporter of the popular exponent of modernism. In the disagreement with the General Presbyterian Assembly over the retention of D. Fosdick in the Presbyterian pulpit Mr. Tifft took an active part in defense of his minister friend.
The lawyer was a member of several clubs and associations, including the University, Downtown, Quague Field, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Phi Beta Kappa, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Municipal Art Society, Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, the Presbyterian Independent Republican Club and the Society of the Genesee.
He was, furthermore, the Director and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Children's Village since 1891; a member of the Board of Managers and Executive Committee of the West Side Y. M. C. A. since 1890; Trustee of the Sevilla Home for Children, and Trustee and Treasurer of the Board of the Madison Square Church House.
Mr. Tifft spent his Summers at Bar Harbor, Me., and Quogue, L. I., where for many years, he maintained a Summer residence. He is survived by his wife, a son, Henry Neville Tifft Jr., and a daughter, Mrs. Philip LeBoutillier, whose husband is of the firm of Best & Co.
Funeral services will be held tomorrow morning at 10:30 at the First Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue and Twelfth Street.
Children of Henry Tifft and Gertrude Havens:
2.4.1. Gertrude Havens Tifft, b. 24 Sep 1884, m. 19 May 1909 to Philip Le Boutillier
2.4.2. Henry Neville Tifft, b. 30 Jul 1889, d. 30 Dec 1966, m1. 18 Jun 1926 to Elizabeth Taylor (she d. 7 Mar 1932), m2. 15 Dec 1933 Mary Elizabeth Porter (d. 24 Jul 1970)
2.6. Irving H. Tifft was born 4 Oct 1858. He graduated from Columbia College and practiced law in the NYC area. He died on 3 Apr 1915 in Kings county, NY at the age of 56 years.
New York Times
5 Apr 1915
Tifft - On Saturday, April 3, 1915, at his home, 570 Classon Av., Brooklyn, Irving H. Tifft in the 57th year of his age. Services Tuesday, April 6, at 4:30 P. M.
1880 - Manhattan, NY, NY - lawyer, residing in a boarding house with his parents
3.1. May Leonore Tifft was born 6 Nov 1860. She was married on 3 Sep 1890 in NYC to Arthur Louis Fay. They lived in London, England.
May Tifft and Arthur Fay had at least one child (more?):
3.1.1. Donald Ward Fay, b. 16 Jul 1894
4.3. Martha E. Shaw was born 19 Dec 1866. She was married on 3 Nov 1888 in Brooklyn, NY by Rev. J. J. White, to Howard Crocker who was born 13 Jun 1865. He died previous to 1900.
Children of Martha Shaw and Howard Crocker:
4.3.1. Harveta S. Crocker, b. 11 Dec 1889, d. 11 Dec 1889
4.3.2. Howard S. Crocker, b. 15 Mar 1892, d. 25 Feb 1903 in Kings county, age 10
5.1. William Herbert Chittendon was born 12 Sep 1861 in Brooklyn, NY. He was married on 7 Jun 1891 in Brooklyn, NY by Rev. C. P. Mains to Adeline Johnson. William died 13 Dec 1893.
New York Times
15 Dec 1893
Chittenden - Suddenly, on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 1893, in his 33d year, William Herbert
Chittenden, eldest son of William F. and Carrie S. Chittenden.
Funeral services at the residence of his father-in-law, Henry M. Johnston, 67 Downing St., Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday afternoon, Dec. 17, at 3 o'clock. Interment at convenience of family. Please omit flowers.
Buffalo, Utica and Niagara papers please copy.
1880 Brooklyn, NY - clerk in store, residing with parents
5.3. Charles Edward Chittendon was born 20 mar 1867 in Brooklyn, NY. He was married on 12 Jul 1893 by Dr. Everett to Lulie Moody Jenkins, who was born 20 Oct 1868. Charles died 14 Mar 1922 in Kings county, NY at the age of 54 years.
5.5. Esther Tifft Chittendon was born 28 Jan 1872. She was married on 26 Oct 1892 in Brooklyn by Rev. C. P. Rhoades to Malcolm Townsend. They resided in Brooklyn. Malcolm died 21 May 1906 in Kings county, NY at the age of 34.
6.1. Kittie Tifft was born on 20 Jun 1868. She was married on 5 Jun 1888 in Vernon, NY by Rev. Stephen F. Holmes to Thomas C. Bell, who was born 23 Oct 1865. They resided in Brooklyn, NY.
6.3. Tifft was born 15 Mar 1878.
New York Times
14 Jan 1929
Mister Tifft Marries
Brooklyn Man Whose Parents Didn't Name Him Weds Ruth Peterson
South Berwick, Me., Jan. 13. - Miss Ruth Esther Peterson of Fryburg, Me., and Mister Tifft of Brooklyn, N. Y., were married today in the Baptist Church here by the Rev. Eben W. Wood and the Rev. John W. Brown. The church had been decorated for the occasion.
When Mister Tifft was born forty-five years ago his mother wanted to give him a certain Christian name, while his father preferred another. They settled the matter by not giving him any. When he grew up he became Mister Tifft. This is his second marriage. His oldest son, Herber, was best man.
Miss Peterson was given in marriage by Joseph Gautheir of Hillinsford, in whose family she had been brought up. Mrs. Elihu Barney of Kittery was matron of honor. A sister, Mrs. Raymond Willis of Hollinsford, and Miss Letha Gauthier were bridesmaids. After the ceremony refreshments were served by the ladies' aid society of the church.
The couple will reside in Brooklyn.
NYC Death Index (online database)
Brooklyn Eagle (online database)
7 Sep 1890: marriage of May Leonore Tifft to Arthur Louis Fay last Thursday
31 Mar 1885: death of Jonathan Neville Tifft on 29 Mar 1885
20 Mar 1902: obituary of Henry Robert Tifft
Various Federal Census records
Historical New York Times (online database)
Tifft, Maria E. Maxon: "A partial record of the descendants of John Tefft, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and the nearly complete record of the descendants of John Tifft, of Nassau, New York : containing the names of seven hundred and four descendants, and extending over a period of two hundred and forty-one years in America : together with other miscellaneous records" Buffalo, N.Y.: Peter Paul Book Co., 1896, pages 43-48.
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:17:20 PDT
Copyright © 2006: Lisa K. Slaski and Joanne Murray