Catherine Maria "Kate" Randell, born 6 January 1832 according to a family Bible kept by her husband, somewhere in NY. She married as his second wife, Jonathan Randell, 7 March 1853. Jonathan had first been married to Jane Ellen Van Wickle who died in 1851. According to Amanda Malvina Bennem-Randell, her daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Kate were cousins. Trying to prove or disprove is a whole different story. Jonathan's lineage was very well documented and easy to trace. He links back to Jonathan Randell who purchased Randall's Island in 1784. Yes, the name was Randell. The name was written as Randall on the deed purchasing the island that eventually named it. Jonathan Randell and his wife Catherine Meyers had a large family so where did Kate fit in if she even did?
Since I knew her birth date and I also knew Jonathan was her only husband I thought I would start with the 1850 census. I cringed when I clicked search since I was expecting a lot of hits for Catherine Randell, born 1830-1834 in NY. Shockingly there were only 3. I quickly narrowed it down to two since one was married. Of the two one was living in Brooklyn and the other in NYC. Since her husband lived in Queens county you would think that the Brooklyn Catherine would ring bells. It did but the other was ringing them even louder. Her named was Catherine M. Randell, father's name John S., and she was living in an area that I knew Jonathan grew up in and owned land there as well. I opened the census page for her and saw this:
While I am researching John S. Randell and his wife Eliza I come across a settlement. John's father, John, died in 1850. In his will he said his property was not to be sold until his youngest children reach the age of majority. As soon as they did the family sold the property and there was a court case about it. One of the older daughters was alive when her father died but died in 1857 before the estate could be settled. Her name was Susan Antoinette Randell and she had married a man named Marcellus Eells. Kate's son, John Sickles Randell, named one of his daughters Susan Eells Randell. Coincidence?
I have since linked John S. Randell to the name John Sickles Randell. Also through census records, land deeds, and wills I have connected John to the Jonathan Randell family. He was born on Randall's Island in about 1798, the son of John Randell and his first wife Anna or Nancy Hammond. There were only three families living on the island in 1800 all Randell's, Jonathan Sr. (the original purchaser), and his two sons Jonathan Jr. and John. The property that was sold in the above case was part of the Jonathan Randell Sr. estate as well.
In my eyes Kate is their daughter. It's just a matter of finding that one record that proves it. My next step: By the 1860 census John and Eliza had moved to Bergen county, New Jersey. In the 1860 census for the area the enumerator went a step further with the birth place. He got towns not just states or countries. John, born Randall's Island; Eliza, born Wincanton England; all their children, born Harlem, New York. Since Kate was born between some of the children still living with them I am going to dig into Harlem records and see if I can find anything.