Category Archives: Demarest and Related Families

Born in Fairlawn, New Jersey, Jacob Demarest changed his last name to Van Emburgh and moved to Monroe, Louisiana where he married Malinda Dull in 1854. The couple had a daughter Georgiana who married William Abram O’Kelly Sr. Although the Louisiana and New Jersey branches of the family would never meet, they sent a great deal of letters to each other over the span of three generations.

1891 Le Grippe

Anna Demarest Post to her aunt Malinda Van Emburgh

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana May 18th 1891

Dear Aunt

I hasten to reply to your letter which reached me on May 16th and also to say the pictures of the [O’Kelly] children received all safe and in perfect condition and many thanks for them and they are all nice bright nice looking children. I would like the ages, and name of the oldest boy [James George O’Kelly] who died as I wish to mark them on the back . They are a great deal of company for you and also a care. Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest]  is quite sick she has been a bed three weeks to day and not able to sit up any at all. She had Le Grippe in Jan and got around but did not get strength and seemed to take more every time the weather changed which is very often in this climate she has liver trouble which is cronic of course every time she is sick it takes her longer to pick up as she is in her 80th year. I have been been very ill for a long time but am very much better so I can go around the house and go out some  have been to New York to spend a week with Uncle Zeolotes [Demarest]. Uncle Zeolotes and [his wife] Elmira are quite well. Sister Emma [Post Noonan] and family and family are all well. Pa [Halmagh Post] and Ma [Kezia Demarest Post] are well. Garret [Deamarest] wife [Margaretta Duncan] has been sick eight weeks today she was confined had a long hard time then the child was dead, then she has been very ill and very dangerous but she is improving and it would seem as though the danger was past the rest of his family are well. There are great many people who have had the Le Grippe here and so many whom had pneumonia and proved fatal. Was very glad to hear it was to long time since you had written to me. Write soon again.  With love from all to you and the children I close as ever

Anna D Post

292 Broadway

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1888 We have to take the bitter with the sweet

Headstone of Peter J Demarest and his first wife Helen Hopper. Valleau Cemetery, Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Anna Post to her aunt Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana April 21st 1888

Dear Aunt

Your most welcome letter received and very glad to hear that you and your daughters [Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly] family are well but very sorry to hear of your loss of your sister, but that is the way all through life we have to take the bitter with the sweet. Grandpa [Peter J. Demarest] was sick just four weeks he was taken with billions fever which lasted 12 days and left him so very weak he could not rally and then he had inflamation of the kidneys, he lived a good Christian life and he died a peaceful death, the first two weeks he was sick his mind wondered but the last two weeks his mind was as clear and bright as it ever was in his life, he was nearly 81 years old. Of course you know he was grandma second husband but I never knew any other Grandpa as he and Grandpa had been married about 38 years and then he was a brother to Grandma first husband he had six children by his first wife but none with Grandma, he and Grandma lived very happy together and both his and her children loved him dearly. Uncle Henry [Demarest] lived in Trinidad [Colorado] when he died he was sick about one month but was confined to his bed about one week he took to his bed the first day of Jan 1888 and died the 8th of Jan he had Brights disease of the kidneys. All we know about it is that the woman who took care of him wrote to uncle Zeolotes [Demarest] and sent us the peice which was in the paper out there, we had not seen him in 17 years. Grandma has had a great deal of trouble lately she has lost a sister [Polly Van Emburgh] a brother [Peter Van Emburgh] a son [Henry Demarest] and her loved husband in ten months and 8 days. Uncle Henry`s daughter Caty [Kathryn Louise Demarest] has been getting married, she and her brother [George Mills Demarest] and Mother [Martha Mills Demarest] live in Illinois. Uncle Zeolotes [Demarst] was up at our house last Sunday, he and [his wife] Aunt Elmira are well but all upside down as the landlord is fixing the house and do not know when they will get settled.

Grandma was down here at our house for a few days last week, she is feeble but better than she has been, we received pictures of Cousins [Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly]  little boy thank you for and they look as though they were good. We are all well. Sister [Emma Post Noonan] and family are well.

With love to all. Write when you can

Yours ever

Anna D Post

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1888 Grandpa died yesterday

Anna D. Post to her Aunt Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana March 20th 1888

Dear Aunt,

Have not heard from you in a long time and had no answer to my last letter, have been anxious to know how cousin [Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly] gets along. Grandpa [Peter] Demarest died yesterday at ten minutes of two o’clock in the afternoon, he was nearly 81 years old, he was sick just four weeks to the day, will be buried Thursday at 10 o’clock from his home at Fair Lawn. Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] has been sick too but is better now she feels very badly about the loss of her husband. Uncle Henry [Demarest] died January 8th, he was out west [Trinidad, Colorado].

A.D. Post

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1887 The horse gave a sudden start

Anna D. Post to her Aunt Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana August 22nd 1887

My Dear Aunt

Both of your welcome letters the one of April 19th and July 11th were both received glad to hear from you. I was away from home when the last one came so I arrived home Aug 17 so will hasten to answer. On May 11th 1887 Grandma only sister died she was at Grandmas her name was Aunt Polly Ackerman. I have written to you about her to you before she was there sick over two years still she died very suddenly. She was very sick only three days she had been quite smart before that only could not walk as she fell and broke her hip. Nine weeks ago today Grandma brother Peter Van Emburgh aged  84 years was out riding and the horse gave a sudden start and threw him out and hurt him very badly he cannot live very long he may die any moment then there will only be her left. Grandma is very smart now for her.

Uncle Zelotes [Demarest] has not been very well but is better again and [his wife] aunt Elmira is well. Sorry to hear of your dear ones being sick hope they are better now. Sister [Emma Post Noonan] and her family are quite well. Ma [Kezia Demarest Post] has been quite sick for a few days but she is better now again so she goes around. I am very well my going away did me so much good! I hope I shall live long enough and be able to afford it to come down  to see my Aunt and Cousin in the South but I have no idea when that will be. I will have to close for this time as it is time to get dinner.

With love to my cousin and yourself I close hoping to hear from you soon again and that this will find that you all well.

I am ever yours truly

Anna D. Post

239 Summer st. Paterson New Jersey

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1886 Letter from Grandma Caty

Tintype photograph of Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest.

Fair Lawn, New Jersey January  31 1886 to Monroe, Louisiana

Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest to her granddaughter Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Dear Grandchild George Anna

I am today 74 years of age and it has pleased almighty God to let me live beyond the allotted time of Life. And I have no doubt but it will soon be turn to be called away to meet my Holy Maker. I am very well for one of my age. The rest of the family are all very well. I trust that you and your mother are also and if it lay in your power take the best care of your mother you can.

I wish you would write me a good long letter and tell me if you have ever heard anything of your father. I have not heard from him in I think it must be some were about twenty years or more. If you have any news concerning him please let me know. I presume it was a great loss for you and your mother to loose your brother. I always had a desire to meet him, but it was not to be, so I have to be contented.

Remember me kindly to your mother and your dear children and endeaver to bring them to learn and honor their parents. Sometimes children get led astray but if you indeaver to teach them correctly and then they go astray you cannot help it.

Enclosed you will find two pictures. One of myself and one of your father. Please write and let me know how you all are.

From your GrandMa
Mrs Caty Demarest

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1886 But you say you have nothing to live for

Anna Post to her Aunt Malinda Dull Van Emburgh and cousin Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana April 10th 1886

Dear Aunt and Cousin,

Received your letter was glad to hear from you was sick in bed when it came or else would have written before this. I am better again so I go out. I took a heavy cold and had fever so the Dr was afraid I was going to have billions fever but he got the upper hand of it. Still I was confined to my bed for 12 days and to the house for a little over two weeks still I am thankful God has seen fit to spare me to live longer and I hope I may do good for him. Has not cousin George Anna three children. You spoke in your letter as though there were three children but there was pictures of only two and is the little girl the youngest and have you no pictures of yourself and daughter. I was up to Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] yesterday to spend the day and there came back to her from the dead letter office a letter and hers and Grandpa [Peter J. Demarest] pictures which was sent to you in Jan. They were gone just three months and then came back to her. I will in close the letter although it is rather stale and will forward the pictures. Grandma is not very well and her only sister [Polly Van Emburgh] she has living is at her house and has been there a year and is sick a bed helpless as she fell and nearly broke her hip so she will never walk again and may die at any time and the Dr says she may lay that way a long time and Grandma has a great deal to do as they have so much company it keeps them all busy. Grandpa is well and if he lives until Aug he will be 79 years old and he is a smart old man. Pa [Halmagh Post] and Ma [Kezia Demarest Post] are both well. Sister Emma [Post Noonan] and family are all well. We all feel very sorry for you at the loss of your son [James George Van Emburgh]. Of course it was a great loss for you but you say you have nothing to live for but is not your daughter and her children as near as the son and you can live for them and try and bring them up to live for and love God perhaps that is the mission for which you are spared. Sorry to hear you do not feel well but of course your age just now cannot assure you good health but perhaps in a year or two you will be well and strong. You and Ma are nearly one age. Ma was 50 years old the 18th of last Sept. Uncle Zelotes [Demarest] eyes are some better although he cannot see out of  one eye at all but he does not wish Grandma to know it as it worries her. The other eye is improving very slowly still he can see out of it other wise his health is good and [his wife] Aunt Elmira is well. I will send you Ma picture to you and as soon as you receive them please to drop a letter  or postal card to us. The face of Grandma picture is good but I do not like the hat and shawl but it is the best she had. I will close for this time. All send our love to you all. Write as soon as you can and often.

Yours Truly

Anna D Post

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1884 I am Anna Post your cousin

Anna D. Post to her cousin Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Fair Lawn, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana September 1884

Dear cousin,

I suppose you will be very much suprised indeed at recieving a letter from me. I am Anna Post your cousin. I did not answer James Garret [George Van Emburgh] letter. I had intended  answer it but had put it off from time to time thinking I would have more news to write about. Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] recieved a letter from a gentleman from your place some where in July 31st saying [your brother] James Garret [George Van Emburgh] had been killed on the railroad. We were very sorry to hear of his death for he was just getting along so he could be of help to his mother [Malinda Dull Van Emburgh]. The man who wrote seems to be a stranger and to day when Grandma wanted me to write – I went upstairs and got your wedding card and I find the name is just the same as your married name is and if it was your husband who wrote why in the world did he not tell her he was his brother inlaw and Uncle Zelote`s [Demarest] wrote a letter to him but Grandma thinks perhaps he did not get the name correct. He directed to William O` Rilly and the wedding card says O`Kelly, so it may be it has never reached him. Grandma says she was very much disappointed at you or your mother did not write to her about all the particulars and she would like to have you write her. Was the man who wrote your husband or a man by the same name. Grandma is not very well and you know she is growing old she has been 72 years old and her stomach and bowels are the main trouble. Grandpa [Peter J. Demarest] has not been very well this summer the Dr says he has malaria. Aunt Maggie [Margaret Demarest] is well she is Grandpa oldest child she has never been married so she is here to see and take care of Grandpa and Grandma. Have you heard that cousin Garret [H. Demarest] lost his wife [Maranda Van Emburgh Demarest] she died 21st of June she left three small children one 13 years [Mary Demarest] one 8 years [Florence Demarest]  and the other 5 years [Jennie Demarest] . It seemed very strange providence in her death to me but we have not the ruling of such things in our hands. How are you getting along and how many children do you have and what does your husband do and where does mother [Malinda Dull Van Emburgh] live did not she and your Aunt [Elizabeth Dull] and James Garret [George Van Emburgh] live all together and he support them. Now Grandma would like and I would be glad to hear from you and know where your mother is now, I know it is very hard for your mother, where is he buried is it in the place where you live. Sister Emma [Post] and Family are well she has been married will be 8 years next April and has three children. Two boys [Walton and Percey Post]  and one girl [Kathryn Post] her baby [Percey Post] is 10 months old. Uncle Zelotes [Demarest] and [his wife] Aunt Elmira are quite well it is very hot here just now but we are in hope we will soon have cooler weather. I will now close this letter hoping to hear from you soon. Love to your mother and yourself.

I am your cousin , Anna D. Post Paterson New Jersey

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