Cousins and their connections

Jaudon wedding Click on image to expand it.

My father and his brother were the principal heirs of their father’s second cousin (and friend) Emily Bennett. As a result, a box of her papers ended up in my parents’ attic. The contents of the box included this undated and unattributed newspaper clipping. Current online research revealed that the clipping was from the Japan Weekly Mail of 30 November 1901, page 573.

I realized that “the late Mr. Peyton Jaudon” must have been related to Emily Bennett, whose mother was Maria Conrey (Jaudon) Bennett. Fortunately, a good Jaudon genealogy shows that the bride, Julia Ayamé Jaudon, and Emily Bennett were second cousins. Julia’s father, Samuel Peyton Jaudon (1831–1897), a resident of Japan, had married Oshidzu Matsura – and Julia was their only child.[1]

Like the bride, two of the bridesmaids were daughters of Western men and Japanese wives, and the third bridesmaid probably was as well. Ine Brinkley must have been a daughter of Captain Francis Brinkley and Tanaka Yasuko,[2] and “Miss I. Irwin” must have been a daughter of Robert Walker Irwin (a descendant of Benjamin Franklin) and Iki Takechi.[3] “Miss Duer” was perhaps a daughter of Yeend Duer.[4] The father of the groom was Taro Ando, a samurai who became a Christian, and who was Consul General in Hawaii 1886–1889.[5] The ushers could not be readily identified since their first names were not given.

One of the interesting aspects of the Meiji period in Japanese history (1868–1912) was the large numbers of Westerners living in Japan – and the substantial number of marriages between Japanese and foreigners, which became legal under Japanese law in 1873. See William Wetherall’s work on this subject online at

As you see, there is a value – and an interest – in exploring the connections of one’s connections!


[1] Edwin Jaquett Sellers, Jaudon Family of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Allen, Lane & Scott, 1924), 32–32, 36–37.

[2] See “Francis Brinkley” on Wikipedia.

[3] Information confirmed by the leading scholar on the Franklin family, Michael J. Leclerc, who proposes that the letter “I” was for the Japanese first name of one of the Irwin daughters, none of whose Western first names began with I.

[4] The account of “Duer, Elizabeth Yeend” (online at claims her parents, Yeend Duer and Yasu Tsunekawa, were married in Shanghai in 1885 and did not come to Tokyo until 1904. The latter statement clearly is incorrect, as the Japan Weekly Mail of 12 December 1896, page 651, lists Mrs. Brinkley, Miss Brinkley, Mrs. Duer, and Miss Duer at a church bazaar in Tokyo. This Duer family appears elsewhere in the Japan Weekly Mail before 1904, but no other Duer family appears.

[5] Yukiko Kimura, Issei: Japanese Immigrants in Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1988), 132, 154, 158.

Henry Hoff

About Henry Hoff

Henry Hoff is Editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists as well as a Fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. He is also a Certified Genealogist. His genealogical interests include New York and the West Indies. Henry is the author of more than 125 genealogical articles in numerous scholarly journals and is the co-author, compiler, or editor of seven books.View all posts by Henry Hoff