Eliza J. Lefferts

“She died … greatly beloved and lamented.”

– Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, on the death of her sister-in-law, Eliza J Lefferts, 1867


Eliza J. Lefferts, circa 1850s-1860s

Eliza J. Lefferts (1831-1867) was born in . At the age of twenty, she moved a mile south to Flatbush when she married John Lefferts (1826-1895), son of John and Maria Lott Lefferts and inheritor of the Lefferts family homestead at 563 Flatbush Avenue. Eliza was not the first Lefferts to marry a cousin. Hers was one of many marriages that solidified the personal and economic ties between the Bedford and Flatbush branches of the family.

Eliza Lefferts spent much of her adult life pregnant: she gave birth to six children between 1852 and 1860. In 1867, after a short illness, Eliza passed away. Her death was particularly difficult for her sister-in-law, Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, who lived across the street and who had lost her mother only two years earlier. In a family history she composed for Eliza’s children, Gertrude wrote, “Every effort to renew her strength proved unavailing, and she died in 1867, greatly beloved and lamented.”

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Bedford Corners was located in present-day Bedford Stuyvesant. The Bedford Turnpike and the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike, two important roads that connected the towns of Brooklyn and Bushwick to the southeastern Kings County towns, intersected there.