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Guide to the Nutting Family Papers
1875-1936
  MS 460

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jan Hilley

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English.

Biographical Note

Andrew Jackson Nutting, prominent Brooklyn, New York, merchant, was born in Chateaugay, Franklin County, New York, in 1834. A descendent of the Nutting family of Groton, Massachusetts, he was also a distant relation of Samuel F. B. Morse (his maternal grandfather was Morse's cousin).

Called by the New York Herald Tribune a "self-made merchant prince," Nutting's first job was driving a horse that provided the power to run a tan bark mill in Chateaugay. He was paid seventy-five cents a week. Other early experiences included selling fruit at a railway station in Schenectady, working as a "devil" for the Schenectady Sentinel and printing bibles. His preference was for selling goods, and it was through his various mercantile enterprises that he made his name. Starting out as a shirt and collar salesman on the road between Troy and Buffalo, he worked in a succession of leading New York department stores before establishing, in 1879, his successful A.J. Nutting & Co. Clothiers at 386, 388 & 390 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. He ran this business until the time of his death in September, 1924. (Mr. Nutting is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn.)

In 1868 he married Agnes Livingstone Moore (1841-1903). They had three children: Andrew Hamilton (b.1869), Agnes Livingstone (b. 1873) and May (b. 1875).

Andrew married Maude Slater and had two daughters - Dorothy Slater Nutting ("Dot") and Alene Kilbourne Nutting. Alene was married, in 1930, to Frederick Selchow.

Agnes married Neil Morrow Ladd. Within these papers, there no children are mentioned. As an indication of Mr. Nutting's success, his wedding gifts to Agnes included a luxurious home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a Packard touring car.

May (sometimes referred to as "Mae") was married twice. From her first marriage, to Robert Davidson Kennedy, a daughter was born - Agnes Rafaella Kennedy. The second marriage was to J. H. Patterson. The Pattersons left New York and became residents of London for quite some time. It was in London that Rafaella was first married to Clare Van Neck (1928) and, subsequently, to Edward Fitzgerald, Duke of Leinster (1932).

The Duke had previously been married to the actress, May Etheridge. The Duke committed suicide in 1976. Although he brought to the marriage with Ms. Kennedy many titles including Duke of Leinster, Marquess of Kildare, Earl of Kildare, and Earl and Baron of Offaly of Ireland, his grand lifestyle and gambling debts left him in a constant state of bankruptcy.