The Lavery Family: Belfast to Brooklyn

Hugh and Kate Lavery married in Belfast, Ireland, on October 8, 1888 and arrived in America that same month. A ship’s manifest for arrivals in the Port of New York, dated October 25, 1888 for the S.S. State of Nevada, lists Hugh Lavery and “Mrs.,” both from Ireland.[1]

Related families include these surnames: MALLON; PATTERSON; SCHENOT; SCHEUBLIN; and VETTER.

Clara and Lillian Lavery

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Immigrant Ancestors:

First Generation Americans:
Elizabeth “Lillian” LAVERY


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Lavery Immigrants

HUGH LAVERY was born in County Down in what is now Northern Ireland on December 25, 1861, the son of Bernard Lavery and Mary Mallon.[2]  

Hugh’s wife was CATHERINE PATTERSON. Her given name was noted as “Kate” in all US records we’ve found, except one – her daughter Clara’s birth record, in which her name was recorded as Catherine. Kate was born on July 6, 1865, in Belfast, Antrim county, in what is now Northern Ireland. She was the daughter of Harrison Patterson, a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and his wife Elizabeth Deans.

A possible photo of Harrison Patterson and his family Photo collage

Harrison and Elizabeth (Deans) Patterson had at least three daughters – Agnes, Catherine, and Isabella. A photo from Malcolm Schenot’s collection shows a family of three young women and a young man, possibly siblings, sitting with a mustachioed gentleman, perhaps their father. The woman standing behind the young man looks a great deal like the mature Kate (Patterson) Lavery photographed on May 30, 1916. And we are struck by the resemblance of the young man to Kate’s grandson Louis Herbert Schenot, Jr. We’d guess that the group photo is of Harrison Patterson with his children. It’s also possible that the young man in this photo is Hugh Lavery.

The record of the marriage between Hugh Lavery and Catherine Patterson on October 8, 1888, tells us it was a first marriage for them both. They were wed at the Roman Catholic chapel of St. Malachy in Belfast. We find this interesting, given that Kate’s father once described himself as “a Protestant — a Presbyterian.” Hugh’s occupation was listed as Draper; his father’s occupation was Tailor.

According to Wikipedia, “Draper is the now largely obsolete term for a merchant in cloth or dry goods, though often used specifically for one who owns or works in a draper’s shop or store. A draper may additionally operate as a cloth merchant or a haberdasher. The drapers were an important trade guild.”

The Laverys on the manifest for the S.S. State of Nevada>

Kate and Hugh Lavery left Ireland from the port of Larne in Northern Ireland, about sixteen miles north of Belfast. They traveled alone to America; it seems no other family members came along on this voyage, unless the “Jas. Patterson” listed on the second page of the S.S. State of Nevada’s manifest was a relative of Kate’s.

We have found that Kate’s sister Isabella immigrated to Brooklyn, NY. Isabella married James Ruddy on March 10, 1891, in Kings county, NY. They appear in a few census records for that area, with the notable exception of the 1900 federal census – which would have told us when Isabella arrived in the US. Isabella (Patterson) Ruddy died at age 40 on July 14, 1908, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn city directories for 1889-90 and 1897-98 list Hugh as a salesman, which fits with the above description of a draper:

Hugh Lavery salesman 99 Hamilton avenue Brooklyn NY
LAVERY Hugh salesman h 108 N Elliott pl

The 1910 census also lists Hugh as a salesman, employed to sell “retail dry goods.”

Kate and Hugh Lavery had two daughters (surname LAVERY):

  1.   Clara Katharine (1893-1961)
  2.   Elizabeth “Lillian” (1898-1985)

Clara Lavery was born at home in Brooklyn, NY, on September 2, 1893; the family was living at 165 57th Street, in Brooklyn’s 8th ward. On her birth record, Clara’s middle name was written as “Catherine,” like her mother’s. Clara may have chosen to use a different spelling: On her marriage record, Clara’s middle name was given as “Katharine;” other records give Clara’s middle initial as “K.”

Their second child, Elizabeth, known as “Lillian,” was born at home on the 8th of June in 1898, also in Brooklyn. By this time, the family was living at 581 Warren Street.

When we found the Lavery family in the 1910 census, we were confused initially because we knew of Clara’s sister as Lillian, not Elizabeth. Lillian’s surviving child wrote that “ mother’s given name was Elizabeth, not Lillian. She was always known as Lillian, but I don’t know why.” Our research has turned up at least one other instance in which a child named Elizabeth was called “Lillie.” Perhaps this was the case with Elizabeth “Lillian” Lavery.

We have never succeeded in locating the Lavery family in the 1900 census. When Hugh Lavery and family were enumerated in April 1910 in Brooklyn, they were renters at 169 Park Avenue. Their census data tell us a great deal about them.

Hugh was listed as 49 years old; Kate was 44. They both gave their birthplace as Ireland and the year of their immigration as 1888. Hugh was listed as a naturalized US citizen. Kate Lavery was listed in the 1910 census as a seamstress, “working out” on her “own account.” (Might Kate have been shopping for fabric when she first met Hugh?) Hugh and Kate had been married (a “first” marriage) for 21 years; they had had two children, both of whom were living. Clara, age 16, had not attended school that year (i.e., “any time since Sept. 1, 1909”). She was employed as a bookkeeper at a paper box factory. Elizabeth – “Lillian” – was 11 years old and a schoolgirl.

Family notes say that Hugh Lavery died at age 49 in Brooklyn, and that he was “ill 15 minutes.” His death record tells us that Hugh died around 7:00 a.m. on June 16, 1911 at his home, which was 169 Park Avenue (a tenement building), the same address where Hugh and his family were enumerated in Brooklyn in 1910. The primary cause of death was “Acute Gastro-Entero Colitis,” with “Asthenia” noted as a secondary cause.[3]   Hugh Lavery’s obituary> At the time of his death, Hugh’s occupation was that of “laborer.” Hugh’s passing was noted in a few lines of the June 18th edition of the New York Times:

Following his funeral, Hugh was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn, in a single unmarked grave, #8450, in the section called Nazareth. The coordinates for this gravesite are 40 41.535N, -73 53.662W [MinDec] (also expressed as: 40.69225N, -73.894366W [DegDec]; and 40° 41′ 32.1″N, 73° 53′ 39.72W [DMS]). This gravesite is very nearby Cypress Avenue, which borders the Nazareth section of the cemetery.[4]

Hugh Lavery’s gravesite>

Kate Lavery probably moved again after the death of her husband: When daughter Clara married in 1912, she gave her place of residence as 5802-2nd Avenue in Brooklyn, presumably where she lived with her mother and sister. Lillian married in 1915; we don’t know if she and her husband Harry shared their home with Kate, or if Kate simply lived alone after her daughters married. That her death record gives Kate’s occupation as “housekeeper” suggests that Kate may have gone to live with and work for another family.

Family notes state that Kate resided in Brooklyn until her death on November 18, 1917 at the age of 52. Kate’s death record gives her residence, apparently where she died, as 336 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn. While family notes declare that Kate was “ill one month in bed [with] heart disease,” the official cause of death was given as “chronic pulmonary tuberculosis” (duration of two years) with “asthenia” and what looks like “apnoea” as contributory causes.[5]  Kate Lavery’s obituary> Kate’s death was noted in the November 20th edition of the New York Times:

Why Kate wasn’t buried next to Hugh in Evergreen Cemetery, we’ll never know. Clara (Lavery) Schenot buried her mother in the same plot in Calvary Cemetery where Clara’s husband Louis was interred scarcely three months earlier.

Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY, is a Roman Catholic cemetery. Both Clara and Lillian Lavery were Episcopalians. This suggests that Kate – despite her Roman Catholic marriage to Hugh – remained a Protestant and brought up her daughters the same. More likely, it was financially expedient for Clara to bury her mother in a grave she already owned. We can’t help wondering if the officials at Calvary Cemetery ever inquired as to what religious tradition Kate Lavery belonged.

Kate Lavery was buried on November 21, 1917 in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, in the part known as “Second Calvary,” section 42, range 6, plot D, grave 4. There is no headstone marking the burial of either Kate or her son-in-law Louis Herbert Schenot. The coordinates for this gravesite are 40 44.083N, -73 54.717W [MinDec] (also expressed as: 40.734716N, -73.91195W [DegDec]; and 40° 44′ 4.98″N, 73° 54′ 43.02W [DMS]).

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The Camp News> Clara Lavery>


CLARA KATHARINE LAVERY was born September 2, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York. She was 19 years old when she married Louis Herbert Schenot, born July 11, 1891 in New York City, the son and eldest child of Joseph Francis Schenot and Mary Louise Winter.

It was a double wedding with Louis’s Aunt Annie (his mother’s widowed sister, Anna [Winter] Hagerty), at whose home Louis had been living. Annie, age 30, married 24-year-old Frederick Clarence Ranich, a long-term boarder at Annie’s house. The ceremony was performed on Sunday, November 10, 1912, at Trinity (Episcopal) Church in Hoboken, NJ. The wedding was announced in The Camp News, a publication of the Hoboken, NJ, Christian Woerner Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.


Louis and Clara had two children (surname SCHENOT):

  1.   Louis Herbert, Jr. (1913-1987)
  2.   Malcolm Robert (1915-2006)

Photos of Louis, Clara and their children, and a letter written by Louis to Clara just days before his death, reveal the love Louis had for Clara and the boys. On August 3, 1917, Louis composed a letter (apparently from the hospital) in shaky handwriting on lined paper. He wrote:

Louis Schenot’s letter to wife Clara, 1917

My Dear Wife

Hoping you all got over the hot spell When you get this I will be up on the hill Can tell you better on Sunday too weak to write any more Kiss my Louie for me and my bouncer Malcolm and great love and kisses to yourself And don’t be lonesome

Love to mother and all

Your Husband


On Monday, August 13, 1917, after ten days in a Secaucus, NJ, hospital, Louis died at age 26 of tuberculosis. Louis, Jr., was not quite four years old; Malcolm was almost two. Clara Schenot buried her husband in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, in the part known as “Second Calvary,” section 42, range 6, plot D, grave 4. [Coordinates for this gravesite are 40 44.083N, -73 54.717W; also expressed as: 40.734716N, -73.91195W; and 40° 44′ 4.98″N, 73° 54′ 43.02W.]

Gravesite of Louis H. Schenot, Sr., and Kate Lavery>

Clara told her son Malcolm a story about his father’s last days: Louis and Clara, whose wedding vows had been exchanged in an Episcopalian church, were re-married in a Roman Catholic ceremony as Louis lay on his deathbed. The two children, who had been baptized in an Episcopalian rite, were also given a Catholic baptism, presumably by the same priest administering the matrimonial rite in the hospital room. No certificates for these baptisms have survived, if ever there were any. Apparently this was done at the request of Louis’s father, Joseph F. Schenot, a lifelong Catholic.

Clara observed the wishes of her late husband’s family by having Louis buried in a Catholic cemetery. She and her two sons would travel by bus to the cemetery, bringing along pots of geraniums with which to adorn Louis’s grave. In November of that same year, Clara buried her mother Kate in the same grave, which remains unmarked to this day.

Her short married life with Louis ended, Clara still maintained contact with her late husband’s family. Clara’s nephew Robert C. Schenot, Jr. (Bob Scheno) recalled how Clara would arrive for family occasions, announcing as she walked in that the party could now begin. As Bob once put it, if the event were a funeral, “you weren’t really dead until Clara got there.” (This observation was made, poignantly, at Malcolm’s funeral in December 2006.)

Malcolm told us some interesting stories about his mother. No matter how many bills were left unpaid or that the monthly rent was due, Clara liked to have nice clothes to wear. Bob Scheno has vivid memories of Clara with her red hair, all dressed-up in her favorite royal blue and looking wonderful in her big hats. And he remembers her speaking in a cultured, “upper class” manner. Malcolm recalled that they had to move frequently because they were often on the verge of eviction. He also remembered with admiration how his mother took him and his brother many different places by whatever means it took. However one might view Clara’s priorities, she seems to have been a strong and resourceful woman, and her dealing with the family deaths in 1917 certainly demonstrates this.

Eddie Vetter

The 1920 census recorded Clara Schenot in Brooklyn, living at 154 57th Street with her sons Herbert, age 6, Malcolm, age 4, and a twenty-year-old boarder named Edward Vetter, who delivered newspapers for a living. Clara’s occupation was listed as “filing clerk.” Perhaps Clara arranged with Edward to have him at home keeping an eye on her young sons when she had to go to work. Edward Martin Vetter, born June 16, 1899, was the son of George Vetter, a tailor, and his wife Catherine (“Katie”). Ed was one of eleven children, nine of whom survived infancy. When Ed completed his World War I draft registration on September 12, 1918, he listed his mother, Catherine Vetter of 75 Bleecker Street in Brooklyn, as his nearest relative.

Despite a nearly six-year age difference and the fact that Ed was Roman Catholic, Clara’s and Ed’s proximity apparently grew into love. On June 28, 1920, Clara and Ed were married in Brooklyn, NY (marriage cert. #11576). Ed had celebrated his 21st birthday just twelve days earlier.

When the 1930 census was taken, Edward and Clara (Lavery) (Schenot) Vetter were living at 952 42nd Street in Brooklyn. Ed’s occupation was that of “chauffeur” for a delivery company, and Clara was working as a superintendent of an apartment building (presumably the one where they lived).

Ed and Clara Vetter had one child (surname VETTER):

  1.   Claire Julie (1929-1975)

Clara and Ed’s baby daughter Claire was enumerated in the 1930 census, as were her half-brothers, 16-year-old Louis Herbert Schenot, Jr. (known as “Herbert” or “Herb”) and 14-year-old Malcolm. Both Herb and Mal had left high school the previous year and gone to work. The census noted their occupations, each an “errand boy” for a “checkbook printing company.”

Headstone for Edward and Clara Vetter

Mal remembered that first job after dropping out of high school. As he described it, he worked as a shipping clerk at a commercial banking stationery company, located “at 480 Canal Street, over the New York entrance to the Holland Tunnel.” (Malcolm stayed at this job for a number of years, earning enough money by 1933 to buy a used 1929 Model A Ford for $35.)

1930 census data notwithstanding, Mal always maintained that he and his brother “had to leave school to go to work” during the Great Depression because their stepfather “couldn’t hold a job.” Bob Scheno told us that Ed Vetter had “terrible cataracts.” After the cataracts were removed, Ed had to wear thick “coke bottle” glasses. Because of his poor eyesight, Edward was limited to working at night watchman-types of jobs. Bob also remembered that Ed was a kind man, “lovely to children.”

In their last years, Ed and Clara lived at 91-01 216th Street in Queens Village, NY, with their daughter Claire and her family. Clara suffered from tachycardia (a rapid and irregular heartbeat) and painful arthritis. Her death at age 67 on January 21, 1961, was sudden; Clara’s death record says she died at Memorial Hospital in Queens. She was buried three days later in Pinelawn Memorial Park & Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY. Ed Vetter died later that same year, on June 2nd, from cancer. He was buried with Clara at Pinelawn.



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Lillian Lavery>

ELIZABETH “LILLIAN” LAVERY was born June 8, 1898, in Brooklyn, New York. As noted earlier, her given name was Elizabeth, but she was known as Lillian.

After graduating from the eighth grade, Lillian Lavery went to work in a paper box factory, probably the one where her sister Clara already had a job. This is where Lillian met her future husband, Harry Scheublin, also of Brooklyn, who was employed there as a foreman. Lillian was 17 years old when she and Harry married on October 10, 1915. Harry, born March 10, 1894 in New York (probably Brooklyn), was the son of Rudolph Scheublin, a tailor, and his wife Henrietta, both immigrants from Germany.

Harry, Lillian, and baby Harold Scheublin>

Harry and Lillian had three children (surname SCHEUBLIN):

  1.   Harold, Jr. (died in infancy)
  2.   Mary (died in infancy)
  3.   Raymond (1 June 1919 - 30 December 2011)

Between 1916 and 1919 Lillian and Harry had three children. Harold and Mary died as infants, both victims of influenza. Fortunately their third child, son Raymond, survived. The 1920 census listed the Scheublin family – Harry, Elizabeth (Lillian), and seven-month-old Raymond – at 766 43rd Street in Brooklyn. By 1930 the family had relocated to New Jersey, where they lived at 65 Mills Street in Morristown. In both these censuses, Harry’s occupation was foreman at a box factory. Eventually the Scheublins moved to the Boston, Massachusetts, area.

Harry and Lillian Scheublin retired in Laconia, New Hampshire. Both lived to ripe old ages, long enough to enjoy grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Harry died at age 88 on October 18, 1982, little more than a week after their 67th wedding anniversary. Lillian (Lavery) Scheublin was 86 when she died on the 19th day of January 1985. They are buried together in Shawsheen Cemetery in Bedford, MA.

Raymond Scheublin passed away in late December 2011 at age 92. We will always be indebted to him for his generous contributions to this family history.


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1  Database “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,”
Year: 1888; Arrival: New York , United States; Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: M237_526; Line: 47; List number: 1457.
Also: Passenger lists and emigrant ships from Norway Heritage (we regretfully note that this link no longer seems to work):
S/S State of Nevada, State Line: Burden: 2,488 gross; Dimensions: 332.1ft x 36.3ft
Built 1874 at Glasgow by London & Glasgow Co. Ltd.; Shipowner or operator: State Line

2  Hugh Lavery’s death record – the most informative piece of paper we’ve found on this man – states his date of birth as December 25, 1862, but gives his age at death as 49 years, five months, 22 days. Comparing this with both family lore and the 1910 census, we’d wager that the clerk at the NYC Dept. of Health should have written “1861,” which is what we choose to note as Hugh’s probable year of birth. Also, the handwriting on Hugh’s death record makes it difficult to read his mother’s maiden name. It could be either Mallon or Mallou. We think Mallon is probably correct.

3   According to The Free Dictionary, gastroenterocolitis is an “inflammation of the stomach, small intestines, and colon.” According to Wikipedia, “Asthenia is a medical term denoting a feeling of weakness without actual loss of strength.”

4   Evergreen Cemetery (“The Evergreens”), 1629 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY 11207 (718-455-5300).

5   From Diseases and Medical Terms for Genealogists: “Apnoea – Transitory cessation of breathing.”


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Vital records were obtained from the Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers Street, Room 103, New York, NY 10007

Birth Certificate for Clara Catherine Lavery, #11875 – Brooklyn
Birth Certificate for Elizabeth Lavery, #8314 – Brooklyn
Death Certificate for Hugh Lavery, #12130 – Brooklyn
Death Certificate for Kate Lavery, #22453 – Brooklyn subscription databases:

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
U.S. Public Records Index
U.S. Veterans Cemeteries, ca.1800-2004
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

US Federal Census records:

1900 US federal census, ED #113, Brooklyn Ward 9, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1048, page 3A – household of Rudolph Scheublin.

1900 US federal census, ED #512, Brooklyn Ward 28, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1067, page 11A – household of George Vetter.


1910 US federal census, ED #462, 20th Ward, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T624, roll #970, Part 1, page 106B, lines 18-21 – household of Hugh and Kate (Patterson) Lavery.

1910 US federal census, ED #532, 22nd Ward, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T624, roll #970, Part 2, page 123B – household of Rudolph Scheublin.

1910 US federal census, ED #867, 28th Ward, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T624, roll #981, page 5A – household of George Vetter.


1920 US federal census, ED #1706, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T625, roll #1149, page 4B – household of Clara (Lavery) Schenot.

1920 US federal census, ED #534, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T625, roll #1158, page 14A – household of Harry Scheublin.

1920 US federal census, ED #1246Brooklyn Assembly District 20, Kings, NY; NARA micropublication T625, roll #1175, page 6B – household of George Vetter.


1930 US federal census, ED #47, Morristown, Morris county, NJ; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1374, page 14B – household of Harry Scheublin.

1930 US federal census, ED #1193, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1511, page 5B – household of Edward and Clara (Lavery) (Schenot) Vetter, and the Schenot/Vetter children.


Conversions for gravesite coordinates were obtained at

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© 2023 Elaine Schenot