GEORGE ERETY AND DESCENDANTS

Mary E.V. Hill

George Erety came to America from Ireland in the late 1700's. The first record I've found mentioning him specifically is dated 9 Oct. 1802 and states:

No.101- George Erety: The Petition of George Erety a Native of Ireland but now of the City of Philadelphia Respectfully sheweth That your Petitioner was residing within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States...five years within these United States and one year at least in the State of Pennsylvania...That he wishes to become a citizen of the United States, and never has borne any hereditary title, or been of any of the orders of nobility in the kingdom from whence he came... Walter Fortune a Citizen of the United States being duly sworn...says that he is well acquainted with George Erety...

It is exciting to see his own signature at the end of the document. He wrote with quite a flourish. George Erety was a cooper by profession, which means that he made wooden barrels. He learned the trade as an apprentice - probably in Ireland. His son, George Erety, Jr., wrote a letter to his daughter Mary Erety Shoemaker, dated January 22, 1857, answering questions she had asked him about his parents and family background. He told her that his father, George Erety, died July 4, 1812 when George was 6 years old. His mother died 17 Aug. 1831, and they had immigrated to this country between 1785 and 1790. In 1790 he worked on Water Street as an apprentice and in 1793 George almost died of yellow fever in Philadelphia. Both George Erety Sr. and his wife Elizabeth Godkin Erety were buried in the graveyard on 13th below Spruce Street, Philadelphia. My mother, Mary Erety Elmer Vassel, tried to locate this graveyard in Philadelphia but was very disappointed to learn that it is now a parking lot. George Erety Sr. carried on the coopering business for many years, and was one of the chief men in the business, according to his son's letter. In his time he knew Henry Mandenfield and Thomas Conner, coopers. George Jr. said his mother Elizabeth Godkin was an excellent woman of a fair education and more than an average share of mind. She was the mother of seven children, of whom all but his sister [Catherine Erety Hogan, wife of Patrick John Hogan of Brooklyn, New York] and himself have died. He went on to say:

When quite a child, I have looked over large bundles of papers of my Father (there was a chest nearly full of them) amongst them his certificate and Articles of Apprenticeship and distinctly recollect that his Father gave L.30 Sterling for the privilege of my Father learning the trade. You are, I suppose, aware of the fact that many Trades in Europe are closed corporations having corporate powers dating back several hundred years and being possessed of much property. It is therefore necessary to buy a right into them to enable a person to carry on the business. In course of time these papers wore out or fell into the hands of those who placed no value on them and they were no doubt destroyed. I would pay well for them now if they could be placed in my possession.

The Journeymen Coopers Society, Inc. 1807 met at Daniel M. Karaher's Inn, 2nd below Lombard, in Philadelphia. George Erety was a member and president for a time. George Erety Jr.'s sister, Ann Erety, died 1 Aug 1834 and the funeral was held at the residence of her brother, George Erety Jr., No. 313 North 5th Street in Philadelphia.

The marriage of George Erety, Jr.'s daughter Mary to Horace Brewster Shoemaker was announced in The Public Ledger Newspaper of Philadelphia on Nov. 26, 1853. They had been married on Nov. 24th of that year. George Erety Jr. was an alderman in the City of Philadelphia, which is similar to an attorney and he is mentioned in The Public Ledger Newspaper on May 11, 1837, Oct. 21, 1842, Nov. 10, 1842, Dec. 13, 1843 and Dec. 6, 1851. He wrote a very interesting letter to his daughter Mary about the excitement in Philadelphia because of preparations for the Civil War:

Mustering of troops, the constant roll of the drum, and all the women of Philadelphia are making soldier's clothes - 30,000 suits are to be made - to all of which I say God Speed. All that is worth living for is now at stake and it is far better that thousands of men shall lay down their lives than that this fratricidal rebellion shall succeed and if it shall be necessary I will as willingly give my life in the Cause of Liberty as I would sit down to my table to break bread with my children, but be of good cheer. God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. He plants his footsteps on the Sea and rides upon the storm.

Mary Erety, who married Horace Brewster Shoemaker and resided in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey kept up a steady correspondence with her father. Many insights to their daily lives come down to our generation from these letters.

Just a note about the Erety name. In the book Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe is found the following explanation:

O Heraghty, O Heyrity, O Heraght, Hearaghty, Heraghty, Heraty (Harty), Erraught, Erought, (Geraghty, Harrington, O'Conner); des. of [Galic spelling] (holding or frequenting assemblies); the name of several distinct families, formerly located in Galway, Westmeath and Donegal. Now most frequent in Donegal and Mayo; often disguised under the angl. forms of Harty, Geraghty, Harrington, and even O'Conner. Nearly all the members of this family in the neighborhood of Abbeyfeale have, for a peculiar local reason, now adopted the surname of O'Conner. p.79

George Erety, Jr. was born in Philadelphia on July 20, 1806 and died in Philadelphia on August 10, 1867. Rev. Elisha Cushman, pastor of New Market Street Baptist Church in Philadelphia, united George Erety and Sarah M. Perry in matrimony on March 4, 1826. William Erety, their son, was born in Philadelphia in 1827, and Mary Elizabeth Erety, their daughter, was born on July 11, 1833 and died in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey on March 4, 1895.

George Erety Jr. and his wife Sarah M. Perry Erety are found in the 1850 Philadelphia, PA Census:

Name No. 532. Philadelphia, 4th Ward, North Liberties, Philadelphia County, PA. George Erety, age 44, alderman, value of property owned - 9,000, born PA; Sarah M. Erety, age 44, born New Jersey; William Erety, age 23, bookbinder, born PA; Mary Erety, age 17, born PA. (FP 30, pt. 18, 5073)

Sarah M. Perry was the daughter of Jeremiah Perry and Sarah Crandell. The Crandell family came from Cape May County, New Jersey. Although some family records indicate that the Perry family also came from Cape May, to date I have only been able to locate the Perry family in Cumberland Co., New Jersey and later in Alloways township in Salem Co., New Jersey. According to the family Bible of the Perry family, property of Jeremiah Perry, dated 1811 (see Charles E. Sheppard, My History and Genealogy, vol. XV, FHL film 441363, p.297-299), Jeremiah Perry and Sarah Crandell were married Feb. 24, 1790.

Jeremiah Perry Jr. was born August 11, 1770 according to the family Bible, and his father, also named Jeremiah Perry, was born in 1748. Jeremiah Perry Sr.'s wife was also Sarah, which is somewhat confusing. Jeremiah Perry Sr. died at the age of 24 years on April 23, 1772. Jeremiah Perry Sr. and his wife Sarah only had two children, Jeremiah Jr. and John Perry.