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Guide to the Relyea Family Papers
1839-1924 (bulk 1860-1900)
  MS 518

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


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Gregory Tavormina

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

Biographical Note

The bulk of the papers revolve around Peter Relyea (1817-1896), a prosperous New York undertaker. He served in the New York State Militia during the 1830s and 1840s rising to the rank of lieutenant. Relyea also achieved prominence in his secondary field, having crafted the hearse that carried President Lincoln's body through New York City in 1865.

Relyea relocated to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1869, and was appointed an Official Undertaker of that city in 1881. Peter Relyea married Elizabeth Ryers in 1838. After her death in 1866, he married C.A. Decker. A long-time Freemason, Peter Relyea was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn with Masonic honors.