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Luquer and Payne families papers

Call Number



1822-1980, inclusive
; 1822-1941, bulk


Payne family
Luquer, Eloise Elizabeth
Luquer family
Pierrepont family


0.5 Linear Feet in one manuscript box and one flat box

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


The Luquer and Payne families papers (1822-1980) center on the Reverend Lea Luquer (1833-1919) and his wife, Eloise Elizabeth (nee Payne) (1834-1894), with material related to earlier and later generations of their family and related families, including Low, Lynch and Pierrepont. The collection includes Eloise's journal of her 1874 travels in Western Europe with Lea. There are several editions of "The S.S.S.S. Gazette" (1876-1879), handwritten collections of poems and stories authored principally by the children of Lea and Eloise Luquer. There are nineteenth century indentures and other agreements concerning property in Brooklyn Heights, New York City, and Westchester County (N.Y.). Many of these relate to the estates of Nicholas Luquer (1810-1864) and Thatcher Taylor Payne (died 1863). The collection includes Payne and Luquer family genealogical documents compiled in the twentieth century, and records of burial plots at Green-Wood Cemetery for members of the Low, Luquer, Lynch, and Pierrepont families, among others. There is correspondence from Henry Evelyn Pierrepont to his wife (1865-1866) and documents concerning Seth Low Pierrepont's disposition of property from the family home at One Pierrepont Place in Brooklyn, circa 1941. The collection holds a few Civil War era documents related to the Confederate States of America, including bonds and military correspondence.

Biographical / Historical

The collection centers on the Reverend Lea Luquer (1833-1919) and his wife, Eloise Elizabeth (nee Payne) (1834-1894), with material related to earlier and later generations of their family and related families, including Low, Lynch and Pierrepont.

On the Luquer side, the collection refers to Nicholas Luquer (1810-1864) of Brooklyn, N.Y. Luquer owned property in Brooklyn Heights, where he also lived; some material in the collection concerns Nicholas's estate and this Brooklyn property. Nicholas married Sarah Lea Lynch, and they had four children: Lea, Nicholas, Sarah, and Margaret. At least some of the Luquers and Lynchs were buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, which is reflected in the collection.

Nicholas and Sarah's son, Lea, graduated from Columbia University in 1852. He would become the rector of St. Matthew's Protestant Episcopal Church in Bedford (N.Y.) in 1866, where he remained until his death. In 1860, Lea married Eloise E. Payne. A rich journal in the collection describes their 1874 trip to Europe. Eloise was the daughter of Thatcher Taylor Payne and Anna Elizabeth (nee Cottrell). Thatcher Taylor was a descendant of John Howard Payne (1791-1852), a poet popularly known for the song, "Home! Sweet Home." Part of the collection concerns financial claims contingent on the line of descent from John Howard. Thatcher T. Payne died in 1863. A significant part of the collection concerns Lea's handling of Thatcher's estate, especially the disposition of properties in New York City, on behalf of Anna. Anna died in 1890.

Lea and Eloise had three children: Eloise P. (1862-1947), Lea McIlvaine (1864-1930), and Thatcher Taylor Payne (1866-1958). Thatcher became president of the Bedford Historical Society in the twentieth century, along with other positions engaged in the history of Bedford and Westchester County. Lea McIlvaine married Ann Low Pierrepont, the daughter of Henry Evelyn Pierrepont II and Ellen Almira (nee Low). Lea McIlvaine and Ann Low had four children; among them was Evelyn Pierrepont Luquer (1900-1983), who was a donor of a portion of this collection. Evelyn married Frances Noble Jones, who donated the largest portion of the collection after her husband's death.

Lea McIlvaine's wife, Ann Low Pierrepont, was the niece of Anna Jay Pierrepont. Anna Jay died in 1940, bequeathing her property to her five nieces and nephews, including Ann Low. This property included the old family home at One Pierrepont Place and its contents. Among the other legatees was Seth Low Pierrepont of Ridgefield, Connecticut, who appears in the collection in connection with documents concerning the disposition of Anna Jay's property.

(Sources: Most of the information was gleaned from documents in the collection. A website with helpful information, especially dates, was (though it's authoritativeness is uncertain). A brief obituary of Lea Luquer was in the New York Times of June 19, 1919. BHS has several other sources for family information on its library shelves.)


The collection is arranged roughly by family. Material emphasizing Luquers and Paynes (and early related families, such as Lynch) appears first, which is the bulk of the collection. Material concerning the Pierreponts follows. Miscellaneous historical documents not clearly linked to one of the families is at the end.

Scope and Contents

The Luquer and Payne families papers include a travel journal, property indentures, estate records, correspondence, genealogical notes, and other material concerning these two families and related families, including the names Low, Lynch and Pierrepont. The travel journal consists of correspondence written by Eloise E. Luquer to her mother while traveling with her husband, Lea, in Western Europe in February-June 1874. Eloise writes in detail about the transatlantic voyage on the steamship Oceanic of the White Star Line, travels through England, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium, and the return crossing on the steamship Celtic.

The collection includes a number of property records and agreements, principally related to the estates of the Luquer and Payne families. These properties were located principally in New York City, but also Brooklyn Heights and Westchester County (N.Y.). Lea Luquer's summary of his handling of Thatcher Taylor Payne's estate is in the collection. An indenture concerning the Luquer family property in Brooklyn Heights includes manuscript maps (1872). There are financial records from Thatcher T. Payne, including invoices related to his daughter Eloise's wedding (1860). The collection includes Payne and Luquer family genealogical notes compiled in the twentieth century, and records of burial plots at Green-Wood Cemetery for members of the Low, Luquer, Lynch, and Pierrepont families. Several editions of "The S.S.S.S. Gazette," a handwritten collection of poems and stories authored principally by the children of Lea and Eloise Luquer is in the collection (1876-1879).

For the Pierrepont family, there are three letters from Henry Evelyn Pierrepont to his wife reporting from a business trip in the Midwest (1865-1866). There are documents concerning the history and final resolution of the Pierrepont's decades-long effort to receive compensation for spoliation claims against the French made by Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont. There is also correspondence related to Seth Low Pierrepont's distribution of documents to the New York Public Library, Long Island Historical Society and other institutions before the closing of the family home at One Pierrepont Place in Brooklyn.

The collection also includes documents related to the Confederate States of America, apparently taken during the Civil War, including three bonds with attached coupons and two letters relating to the defense of Wilmington and Fort Fisher in North Carolina, and a letter concerning soldiers' pay in South Carolina.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The material is in the public domain.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Luquer and Payne families papers, ARC.282, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection is comprised of five accessions. Accession 1985.063 forms the bulk of the material, and was donated to the Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) in 1985 by Frances Noble Luquer, wife of the late Evelyn Pierrepont Luquer. Accession 1977.552 was donated in 1960 by Evelyn Pierrepont Luquer. Accession 1974.171 was donated by Thatcher T. P. Luquer in 1924. The source of accessions 1973.252 and 1974.169 is unknown.

Separated Materials

A property map was separated from the collection. Its place in this collection is noted in the container list. The map is available in the BHS library at call number B P-1848(19--?).Fl.

Related Materials

The following related archival collections can be found at Brooklyn Historical Society:

March, Middagh, and Sands families property records (call number 1974.038) includes documents concerning the Luquer family.

Gowanus Bridge Company Stockholder list (call number 1974.170) is believed to have been compiled by Nicholas Luquer, and he is among the stockholders noted.

The Autograph manuscript collection (call number ARC.206) includes various letters to John Howard Payne.

Much more material on the Pierreponts is found in the Pierrepont family papers (ARC.263).

Various materials related to the Luquers, Paynes, Pierreponts, and related families can be found on BHS's library shelves by searching the on-line catalog, Bobcat. BHS also has articles about the families in its scrapbook collection, on microfiche in the library.

Beyond BHS, Columbia University holds the John Howard Payne papers (ca.1780-1952) with manuscripts and other material relevant to the Luquer, Payne and related families.

Collection processed by

Larry Weimer

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 11:17:14 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid is written in English.

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed and an inventory prepared by D.S. Moore, with additional research by Ariadne Valsamis, in 1986. The collection was re-arranged slightly and a full finding aid was written by Larry Weimer in 2011.


Brooklyn Historical Society
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201