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Guide to the de Caro, Mulvehill and Menkhoff Family Papers
1880-2001
  MS 2956

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Heather Mulliner

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 14, 2015 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains documents and photographs that relate to three families of European immigrants (from Italy, Germany, and Ireland) who settled in New York City in the late 19th century. The de Caro, Menkhoff, and Mulvehill families became connected in 1891 when Frank A. de Caro married Anna Menkhoff, and in 1939 when their son Frank E. de Caro married Beatrice Mulvehill. While small and incomplete as a family history, this collection spotlights several topics, most notably, Italian-American identity in turn-of-the-century New York City, travel accounts, and middle-class courtship during the Great Depression.

Materials have been arranged into three series. Series I, Correspondence and Family Papers consists primarily of letters written by Frank E. de Caro (Frank A. de Caro’s son) to Beatrice Mulvehill between 1930 and 1933, before they were married. These letters discuss their courtship as well as Frank’s social life in New York and his work as a stock broker during the Depression. There are also several post cards written by Beatrice Mulvehill to her family members during a 1928 trip to Europe with a group of students from Berkeley Institute, (now Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn) where Beatrice attended high school. Other papers in this series relate to the first generation of the de Caro family including: documents from Frank A. de Caro’s flag manufacturing company, obituaries and biographical sketches of Frank A. de Caro and his wife Anna Menkhoff de Caro, and an account of her childhood by their daughter Frances de Caro.

Series II, Bound Volumes, contains several catalogues from de Caro’s flag manufacturing company, De Caro’s & D’Angelo Co; scrapbooks, and travel journals. The first scrapbook in this series was compiled by Frank A. de Caro and contains letters to and from a number of Italian organization and dignitaries, which are in Italian. The second scrapbook contains photographs and memorabilia from Frank A. de Caro’s daughter Lillyan de Caro Santo during a 1977 trip to Germany to visit with Menkhoff family relatives. There are also three travel journals documenting various trips to Europe and New England by Frank A. de Caro’s daughters Frances de Caro, Lillyan de Caro Santo, and one by Beatrice Mulvehill (before her marriage to Frank E. de Caro).

Series III, Photographs, spans the period between the 1880s and 1990s depicting several generations of de Caro and Mulvehill family members. These images vary in size and format and include both individual and group photographs. Highlights include tintype portraits, images of the Mulvehill family at Coney Island in the early twentieth century, and a 1910 photograph of Frank A. de Caro with a delegation Italian-Americans meeting with President William Howard Taft at the White House to discuss making Columbus Day a national holiday. Photographs in this series largely depict family events, including holidays, leisure, and travel and reflect these families’ attempt to document their history in the early days of photography.

Arrangement note

This collection has been arranged into series by format. Materials within series are grouped by subject or creator.