The Applegates of Brooklyn, pt. whatever

I stopped posting these a while ago, but I still have a bunch of them to get through.  I just exchanged messages from another member at Ancestry who was looking for the parents of a certain Elizabeth Applegate who died in Brooklyn in 1885.  Little did that person expect The Info Dump!

BR1B (5D4C7A)  William R. Appelgate, b. abt 1820 in Kings Co., NY (1850 US Census, NY, Kings Co., Brooklyn, 17th Ward, 1291/2189 [age 30, birthplace NY]; 1870 US Census, New York, Kings County, 7th Ward, p. 114 [age 50, birthplace NY]; 1875 NY State Census, Kings Co., Brooklyn, Ward 7, p. 55, 368/479 [age 55, birthplace Kings Co., NY]), d. November 12, 1891 at 164 Skillman Street in Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY (Brooklyn Eagle, November 13, 1891, p. 4; Probate File of William R Applegate, December 7, 1891, [no file number]).  He married (1) Ellen Colgan, b. abt. 1824 in NY (1850 US Census, supra [age 26, birthplace NY]) d. bef 1870; and (2) Elizabeth Rooney, b. abt 1836 in Westchester Co., NY (1870 US Census, supra [age 36, birthplace NY]; 1875 NY Census, supra [age 39, birthplace Westchester Co., NY]; d. December 31, 1889 at 804 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY (Probate File of Elizabeth Appelgate Kings Co. (NY), January 21, 1890, [no file number]).
In 1850, William was enumerated with his parents Lewis and Eliza in Brooklyn, NY.  He was 30, born in NY and a police officer.  With him were Ellen, age 26, born in NY (probably his wife); and George L (his son).  (1850 US Census, supra).   The enumerator provided a helpful additional comment that their house was near Myrtle and Raymond.

In the 1850 city directory for Brooklyn, William R Applegate is listed as a butcher at Myrtle Ave near Raymond.  (1850 Brooklyn City Directory, p. 23).  William changed careers between the time the directory was printed (probably late 1849) and the time he was enumerated in the census (September 27, 1850).  In May of 1850, William was appointed a police marshal by Mayor Smith.  (Brooklyn Eagle, May 31, 1850, p. 3).

In 1859, William again listed in the city directory—this time as a policeman.  He was probably listed twice:  Once under the name William Appelgate, residing at 254 Myrtle Ave., and once under the name William Applegate residing at Myrtle Ave. near Raymond.  Also residing at the 254 Myrtle address was Elizabeth Appelgate, widow—probably his mother.

In 1870, William Applegate was enumerated in Brooklyn with his second wife Elizabeth and children.  He was 50, born in NY and a policeman.  Elizabeth was 34, and born in NY; George L was 23, born in NY, and worked for the fire department; Eliza was 20, and born in NY; William F was 17, and born in NY; Lizzie was 12, and born in NY, Lewis F was 10, and born in NY; Ellen was 3, and born in NY; and Annie born in May 1870 in NY.

On July 6, 1872, daughter Annie died.  Her death notice gives her parents’ names as William and Elizabeth Applegate and states the funeral will take place at 306 Franklin Ave.—presumably her parents’ home.

In 1875, William Applegate and family were still residing at 306 Franklin Ave., in Brooklyn.  William was 54, and a policeman.  Wife Elizabeth was 39, son William F was 21, daughter Eliza was 24, daughter Eliza was 17, daughter [sic, should be son] Lewis was 14, daughter Nellie was 8, and daughter [sic] John was 3.

William’s wife Elizabeth died intestate on December 21, 1889.

William Appelgate applied for Letters of Administration on January 16, 1890.  This William may be her husband or her step-son—the Petition does not say either way.

The petition identifies the living children and heirs of Elizabeth:

Nellie Gilligan, of full age

John Appelgate, about 18

Harry Appelgate, about 14

Rebecca A Appelgate, about 9

William appears in articles throughout the second half of the 19th Century in the Brooklyn Eagle—mostly arresting criminals on warrants issued by the various courts to which he was assigned.

William Appelget made his will on November 11, 1891 and died the next day. (Probate File of William R Appelgate, Kings Co. (NY), December 7, 1891 [no file number]).  His will is not in the probate file.

The Brooklyn Eagle ran several articles about his final illness and death.


Officer William Applegate of Justice Engle’s court is very ill at his home.  The doctors do not hold out much hope of recovery.  His is 80 years of age and has been forty-three years on the force.

(Brooklyn Eagle, November 11, 1891)


Brooklyn’s Oldest Policeman said to be Dying.Officer William Applegate of Justice Engle’s court, whose serious illness was reported in the EAGLE yesterday, will never, it is feared by his friends, do police duty again.  He is the oldest man on the force in age and length of service.  He is now in his 80th year and was appointed on the force forty-three years ago.  “Uncle Bill” he is affectionately termed.  His family reunions were notable events.  At the last one his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren filled the house.

His youngest child is 12 years old and the eldest about 50 years.  In feeling and action he was as young as any of his grandchildren.  Until recent years he did not wear spectacles.  He was taken sick about two months ago.  Yesterday his son stated in Justice Engle’s court that he would not live through the week.  His residence is at 264 Skillman avenue.

(Brooklyn Eagle, November 12, 1891, p. 3)

William Applegate, or “Old Uncle Bill,” as he was known in police circles, the oldest member of the force, died yesterday at his home, 164 Skillman street.  He was 71 yards old and had been for nearly forty-five years a member of the department.  He was attached to Justice Engle’s court for the past ten years.

(Brooklyn Eagle, November 13, 1891, p. 4)

A meeting of officers of the Fifth precinct was held last night to take action on the death of Officer William Applegate.  Captain Short presided.  Sergeant Bar ford, Detective Sergeant Corcoran and Officers Richard Cleary and Pinkerton reported resolutions touching the demise which were adopted.  About a score of carriages have been engaged for the officers to attend the funeral, which takes place at 2 o’clock to-morrow afternoon from 164 Skillman street.

(Brooklyn Eagle, November 14, 1891, p. 6).

The Petition for Probate filed by William’s son William F Appelgate lists his heirs at law:
William F Appelgate, a son of deceased who resides at 903 DeKalb avenue in the City of Brooklyn, of full age.
George L Appelgate, a son of deceased who resides at 324 Livingston street City of Brooklyn of full age.
John Appelgate an infant son of deceased over fourteen years who resides at 164 Skillman street Brooklyn
Harry Appelgate, an infant son of deceased over fourteen years who resides at 164 Skillman street Brooklyn
Eliza M Briggs a daughter of deceased who resides at 638 DeKalb avenue Brooklyn of full age.
Ellen Gilligan a daughter of deceased who resides at CNO 164 Skillman street Brooklyn of full age
Rebecca Appelgate an infant daughter under fourteen who resides at 164 Skillman Street resides with her sister Ellen Gilligan.
James Hallahan, Bessie Haden, Beulah Haden and Eliza Haden children of a deceased daughter who reside as follows:James Hallan resides at Saint Johns Home Brooklyn an infant under 14 years of ageBessie Haden and Beulah Haden reside at the Industrial Home on South 3d street Brooklyn infants under 14 years of ageEliza Haden who resides with Moses Engle at Number 80 Oakland street Brooklyn an infant under 14 years of age
While William R’s will is not in his probate file, the Executor’s affidavit is, and that document states the recipients of specific bequests in the will:
William F Appelgate $100

Ellen Gilligan $100

John Appelgate  $200

Harry Appelgate $300

Rebecca Appelgate $1000

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