Charlotte M. Davies Tytus (1852-1936)

I thought I would start the ball rolling for Judy, by writing something about Charlotte M. Davies. When Judy sent me a GEDCOM, lo these many years ago, of the Davies family, I got interested in the Tytus family. The Tytus family was from Middletown, Ohio which is not so far from Cincinnati and some of my family lines. It turns out that it isn’t easy to track the Davies, or Charlotte who married into the Tytus family. Here is a first take on her life.

Charlotte Mathilda Davies was born in Newark, New Jersey on the first of October, 1852 (1). She was the youngest (at least found) of the children born to John May Davies and Alice Sophia (Hopper) Davies. Her next oldest siblings were her sister Alice, who was 5 years older, and her brother Cornelius, who was 6 years older. These three formed almost a second family for the elder Davies. Two sons had died young, in 1845 and 1846, and then there were the oldest siblings who had been born in the late 1830s and who probably were out of the house by the time Charlotte was born. The federal census of 1850 only listed older sister Louisa and then Alice and Cornelius at home. I haven’t yet found the 1860 census listing this Davies family.

Davies 1870 census

The 1870 census found the family consisting of John and Alice (parents), the two daughters (Alice and Charlotte), and 6 servants. Son Cornelius lived next door (? or was enumerated as a separate household anyway) with his young wife and a gardener. And here I will leave the Davies for Judy to pursue.

Charlotte was married June 24, 1874 to Edward Jefferson Tytus. Edward was born August 22, 1847 in Middletown, Ohio to Francis Jefferson and Sarah (Butler) Tytus (2). He was “prepared for college at home by Mr. J. F. Elder” and attended Yale College, graduating in the class of 1868. It seems likely, though there is no documentation found yet, that Edward and Charlotte met in New Haven as a result of his connection with Yale. He was in the paper warehouse business in Milwaukee, following his graduation, first with a younger brother and then as Tytus, Van Buren and Co. His partnership was dissolved in the fall of 1874, following his marriage. April of 1875 found Edward and his young wife applying for a passport and traveling to Europe. This may have been their honeymoon trip. According to the biography published for his Yale class, Edward and Charlotte returned to the United States from Europe in the fall of 1875 since Edward’s health was bad. Edward had been advised to spend the winter in more salubrious weather than Connecticut or New York, so they went to Asheville, North Carolina. Edward and Charlotte’s only child, a son named Robb DePeyster Tytus or maybe Robert Davies Tytus, was born in Asheville in February 1876. (This son has his own interesting story and will probably show up in a post of his own at some point.) Edward died of tuberculosis 19 May 1881, at Saranac Lake, New York.

Charlotte was 29 years old when she was widowed and left with a young son. It seems likely that she returned to the house in New Haven to live with her mother at first. A number of city directories for New Haven show her as there from 1882 to 1896, and for some of that period her son was a Yale student. The directory for 1898 lists both of them as removed to New York. An article about New York American Guild of Organists (3) reports that Mrs. Charlotte Tytus acquired or built a townhouse at 10 East 77th Street around 1896 and lived there until about 1904. From 1882 on, Charlotte traveled to Europe frequently, and in Egypt

Charlotte M. Tytus, c 1920

with her son. This picture, from her 1920 passport application, is one of two I have found of her so far.

Around 1920 or 1921 Charlotte became more actively involved with the Dominican Fathers, and she is credited with having founded Blackfriars in Oxford, England, although it seems more accurate to note that she contributed the financial means to purchase the property that houses the group (4,5). She spent more and more time abroad: her son died (also of tuberculosis) in 1913 and she and her daughter-in-law may not have gotten along particularly well. Her daughter-in-law had also remarried. The article on Blackfriars includes information about Charlotte and her life, not all of which is accurate, and notes the many unanswered questions about this solitary woman. Charlotte died in London, at the Dorchester Hotel, 2 April 1936. She had outlived her husband, her son, her daughter-in-law, and all of her siblings. She had two granddaughters, from whom she seems to have been estranged.

1 “New Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980.” index, FamilySearch ( accessed 11 February 2012. entry for Charlotte Davies, born 1 October 1852; citing Births Newark City V. L 1848-1867 , FHL microfilm 584562; Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

2 Wright, Henry Parks, Yale College Class of 1868. History of the class of 1868: Yale College, 1864-1914. New Haven : Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Press, 1914. This year of birth has been used in a number of references. However, a compilation about the Butler family, “The Family of Rev. John Butler” lists his birth year as 1845. So far I have not discovered any primary source of evidence.

3, website accessed 2/11/2012

4 Kerr, Fergus. Mrs. Tytus: Founder of Blackfriars, Oxford. New Blackfriars, 2006 87 (1007), 72-82

5, accessed 2/12/2012

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