Saturday, October 03, 2009

Name that ghost!

Let me preface this post by saying it is merely the result of there being no Gator game to watch today.

Thus, yours truly found himself watching the Biography Channel's new series "Celebrity Ghost Stories."

Thru with the mocking laughter, yet?

OK, so the new show included the story of Joan Rivers' supposedly haunted apartment in New York City. I won't bore ye socks with the absurd details of her consultations with a voodoo priestess, but she did make the claim that the ghost who continues to lurk around the premises is a niece of J.P. Morgan named "Mrs. Spencer."

The genealogist in me found that vague identification unacceptable. So, after rolling my eyes at my own willingness to watch such tripe, I decided to attempt to at least ascertain precisely who the poor soul is supposed to be doomed to sharing the same cramped apartment with Ms. Rivers.

So far, no luck.

For starters, there were TWO men named John Pierpont (JP) Morgan:

1. John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837-1913) had four younger siblings, though only three sisters survived childhood to marry and have children of their own. The eldest was Sarah (1839-1896) who married kinsman George Hale Morgan and had at least one daughter: C. Lucy Morgan (1872). The second was Mary (1844) who married Walter Haynes Burns and also had at least one daughter: Mary Ethel Burns (1873). The third was Juliet (1847) who also married a kinsman, John B. Morgan, and had at least one daughter: Ursula Junius Morgan (1869). I couldn't find any marriage records for these nieces, but they were probably too old to be the culprits. Rivers said her ghost died only a couple of years before she moved into the apartment in the early 90s.


2. John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943) also had three sisters. I couldn't find anything about the youngest, Anne Tracy Morgan (1873-1952). But, the two older sisters did marry and have children. The first was Louise, who married Herbert Livingston Satterlee. They had at least two daughters, Mabel Satterlee Ingalls and Eleanor Satterlee Gibbs, but no Spencer marriage record for either. The second was Juliet (1870), who married William Pierson Hamilton (a grandson of Alexander Hamilton). They had two daughters: Helen, who married Arthur Woods (not Spencer!); and Elizabeth (who died in 1919).

I know, many of ye socks out there don't care for my postings of this much genealogical gibberish. So, I won't belabor the point any further. The bottom line is, I couldn't find any niece of either J.P. Morgan who carried the Spencer surname.

The thought did occur to me that the niece in question might have been a niece by marriage, but it's getting too late in the evening to go chasing down that line of thought. Anyone out there want to pick up where I left off?

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Blogger magiciansgirl said...

I looked this up too and came up empty, until....:

Rivers is selling (or has sold) her apartment - listed price $25M. It was built for a niece of the Drexel family - maybe the names were changed for TV. Still, couldn't be the same woman the mansion was built for, as the bldg dates from 1903. No mention if the apt. is really haunted.......

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jp morgans oldest sister was sarah spencer morgan. they did have an apartment in nyc. she had a granddaughter named sarah apencer morgan also.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Silvia R said...

mm didn´t she say that mrs spencer died like 75 years ago? (in 2009) and by the time she moved the time she moved in, it would have been 66 years? I thought I heard that. (I just saw the chapter today, one year after! haha)

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhere on the "J P Morgan" family tree, there is DEFINATELY a "Spencer". In fact, more than one. I don't know where the name fits in; if it was originally a first, middle or last name, or if the person was male or female.

I do know in fact, that one of the women on the reality show "The Real Housewives of New York", is Sonja Morgan. Sonja is the ex-wife of John Morgan, the great-grandson of JP Morgan. Sonja and John have a young daughter, whose first name is, indeed, "SPENCER", obviously in honor of some ancestor.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name Spencer comes from J.P. Morgan (Senior)'s father.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP Morgan was born in Hartford, Connecticut to Junius Spencer Morgan (1813–1890); and Juliet Pierpont (1816-1884) of Boston, Massachusetts

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read that jp morgan sr. father's middle name was spencer. maybe that is where the spencer name originated.

6:49 PM  

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