In early March of 1890, 27-year-old William Latchford boarded the RMS Umbria at Queenstown, Ireland, in County Cork, for the 32-day voyage to his new home in America. He left behind his parents, Francis and Elizabeth Cassells Latchford, as well as his wife, Kate Burke Latchford, and three young children, 5-year-old Elizabeth, 3-year-old Mary (May) and infant son Frank. The Umbria, with William Latchford aboard, arrived in New York on April 7, 1890. His wife and children would join him in New York later that year.
We’re not exactly sure why William left Ireland and brought his family to America. However, according to a variety of sources, the exodus from Ireland, even around the year 1890, was largely a result of poverty, crop failures, the land system, and a lack of opportunity. William is listed on the Umbria’s outbound passenger list as a farm laborer.
On November 20, 1890, William’s wife, Kate, boarded the SS Germanic at Queenstown with her three young children for the voyage to meet her husband in New York.
We’re not certain how long her voyage took, but we can be pretty sure that the Latchfords were reunited in New York by early December 1890, as the Germanic was built for speed and was known for its record-breaking crossings of the Atlantic.
Over the next 10 years the Latchfords had settled at 536 West 27th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood, Manhattan Borough, of New York City. William and Kate had added three more children to their family: William (b. 1892), Albert (b. 1896) and Raymond (b. 1898). William’s occupation at the time is listed as hostler, a groom or stableman employed in a stable to take care of horses.
The 1905 New York State Census records the Latchfords still on West 27th Street in New York. Since the 1900 Federal Census, the Latchfords had welcomed sons John (b. 1900) and George Benedict (my grandfather, b. 1902). Young son John died in 1904. William’s occupation is listed as truckman, more horse and wagon work at stables. Oldest daughter, Lizzie, worked as a bookkeeper while daughter May worked as a forelady in a factory. Sixteen-year-old son, Frank, is listed as an apprentice. The other children were in school or at home.
The 1910 U.S. Census, taken in April, again found the Latchfords at the same residence on West 27th Street. William worked as a laborer in stables. Twenty-four-year-old daughter Lizzie worked as a clerk in an office. Twenty-year-old son Francis was a hotel cashier and 17-year-old son William was a clerk in a butcher’s store.
Before the end of the year, the family had moved to 283 10th Avenue. In early December 1910, William contracted pneumonia. He died on December 4, 1910, at the age of 47.
William Latchford was buried on December 7, 1910, at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York, interred in 18-6-BB-6. On November 16, 1923, his remains were moved within the cemetery to section 45, plot 185, grave 1/4, when new graves were purchased by his widow, Catherine (Kate) Latchford.
Kate Burke Latchford outlived her husband by about 28 years. She died at the age of 75 in 1938. She’s buried with her husband in Calvary Cemetery.