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On 5 June 1843 Benjamin Franklin Lowe of New Hampshire married Delia Ebbets at St. Bartholomew’s Protestant Episcopal Church at 109 East 50th Street in New York City. They were my mother’s great-grandparents. Researching Delia’s ancestry was the genesis of this website and my book Ebbets: The History and Genealogy of a New York Family.

Because of so many similar (or identical) names in the Ebbets family, those men who are heads of families that are carried through to the next generation are each given a number, corresponding to the numbering in my book. Men who left no descendants and women who married (and thus have a different surname) are not numbered.

My first thought, when considering how to approach researching Delia’s family, was “Oh, Ebbets. . . New York. . . Ebbets Field. . . This family will be easy to trace.” My assumption was that someone as notable as whoever had built Ebbets Field and named it after himself must be well-documented. Surely the history of this well-known New York family had long ago been researched and published.


As it turned out, there was little in print about the Ebbets family. In fact, what biographical information is in print about Charles H. Ebbets (no. 29), the then president of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball club who built Ebbets Field in 1912, is notably lacking in any information about his birth or parents. When contacted, the Dodgers had no record of Charlie’s birth nor the name of his father. Even Ken Burns, in his PBS television series, Baseball, got the genealogy all wrong, claiming that Charlie’s father was Daniel Ebbets (no. 9) rather than the correct John B. Ebbets (no. 16). Ken didn’t even put Charlie’s father in the correct generation!

So I began to research. And the more I discovered, the more enamored I became of this family. There’s a lot more here than baseball. Over the generations, members of the Ebbets family have led fascinating lives in a variety of fields of endeavor. Some were men of the sea, from the Caribbean mariner who lost his life onboard ship, to the ship’s captain negotiating commerce for John Jacob Astor from Russia to China, to the Sandy Hook pilot, assisting ships in navigating the New York harbor. They were men of adventure, from the rascal who discovered Ebbets Pass in California’s Sierra Nevadas, to the entrepreneur who made a fortune from the California gold rush (but not how you think), to the self-taught chemist who raised his family in Peru. They were men of skill, from the master banker, to the master photographer, to the master gardener. They were men of sports, from great bowlers, to great billiards players, to the pro golfer. And, yes, one of them also did rather well in baseball.

The other family here is the Gilleaudeau family, that of Joseph Gilleaudeau who married Charles H. Ebbets' daughter, Sarah Genevieve Ebbets. This research was done at the request of that family and is also presented here.

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