08 February 2014

52 Ancestors #6: Mary Vanderpool Hayes Pennington

52 ancestors #6: Mary Vanderpool Hayes Pennington

No Story Too Small — 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

Inventing Vanderpools

I come from a long line of colorful characters with some interesting occupations. On mom’s side there were politicians, musicians, spies, preachers, moonshiners, shoemakers, carpenters, and an occasional doctor and farmer. On dad’s side, mostly they were engineers, millwrights, mechanics, architects, lawyers, marshals, sheriffs, blacksmiths, and artists. Then there is a bigamist with no known occupation and some adventurous explorers and miners in the Far West and Alaska who were dubbed with the less than politically polite term of “squaw men.”

One thing that makes genealogical research so entertaining is you never know who you are going to find or what you are going to uncover when you discover a new (to you) database to explore. So it was when I checked out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909, that is available online via subscription at Ancestry.com.

The earliest patent I found for a Vanderpool family member is one for Medders Vanderpool, of Polk County, Oregon, in October of 1868 for a “new and useful machine for thrashing grain without cutting or heading the grain previously.”

In March 1870, a patent was issued to James Vanderpool, of Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey, for a “new mode of oiling axles or arms of vehicles.”

There were several for Albion Alexander Vanderpool (1847-1932) , of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, including one for a “type-writing machine” in 1905. His occupation, given in various U.S. censuses, was draftsman of machinery, electrician, and toolmaker, so I was not surprised at him being an inventor. What was unexpected was finding Mary Vanderpool Hayes, also of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, listed for two patents — for an evaporator for hot-air registers and a finger-ring guard.

Although Mary and Albion were both from Newark, they were a generation apart and were third cousins once removed (3C1R) and they are my 5C3R and 4C4R, respectively. But cousins are cousins, and I was curious to learn more about our family’s female inventor, recorded as Mary Vanderpool Hayes. Turns out she is Mary Isabelle Vanderpool, who was born in 1870, married first Judge Howard Worley Hayes in 1899 in an elaborate ceremony at her parents’ home.[1] Judge Hayes died just four years later in 1903 and Mary Isabelle then married a widower, Louis Pennington, on 19 April 1905. Ironically, Pennington was best man to her first husband at their wedding.[2] Her two patents were obtained 8 September 1903 and 21 February 1905.


Mary Isabelle and her second husband, Louis Pennington, left the United States 31 August 1905 and went to Naples, Italy. In December, he went to the consulate at Rome and filled out an emergency passport application for himself and his wife for the purpose of travelling in the Orient, saying they intended to return to the U.S. within a year.[3] Evidently they did as they are found in Newark, New Jersey in 1910 and in Washington, DC in 1920. A search for them in the 1930 census has not been successful. However, Mary is enumerated as a widow in the 1940 census, living in Summit City, Union County, New Jersey with two maids and a cook.[4] Apparently she did not have any children. Additional research needs to be conducted to learn what happened to her, when she died and where she is buried — and learn if she had any additional patents or other talents.

Mary Isabelle Vanderpool was the daughter of Eugene Vanderpool (1844-1903) and Eleanor Banker “Ellen” Tiffany (1846-1900).[5] Ellen was the daughter of Samuel Slater Tiffany and Isabelle Eliza Mead, who was daughter of Rev. Dr. William Cooper Mead. She was the granddaughter of Bela Tiffany, founder of B. Tiffany & Co., in New York, and Deborah Turner. [6]



[1] Vanderpoel, George Burritt. Genealogy of the Vanderpoel Family with Items of Personal, Political and Social Interest. New York City, New York: Charles Francis Press, 1912. pp. 627-631.
[3] Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2007. Accessed 22 January 2014. (Source: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad) 1877-1907; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 1187503 / MLR Number A1 515; NARA Series: M1834, Roll #: 52; Volume #: 101.)
[4] 1940 U.S. census, Summit County, New Jersey, population schedule( index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K4YD-PW1, accessed 25 Jan 2014), Mary Vanderpool Pennington, Ward 2, Summit, Summit City, Union, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district 20-156, sheet 6B, family 117, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 2389, p. 2305 (stamped).
[5] Tiffany, Nelson Otis (for and in the interest of Charles Lewis Tiffany of New York City). The Tiffanys of America. History and Genealogy. Buffalo, New York: Author, 1901. Print, p. 15.
[6] Ibid.

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