This subject has been my "brick wall" for 30+ years and I am literally grasping at straws. I have tried all the surname, geographical, ethnic, and every other query board I could find without any luck what-so-ever. Birth, marriage, and death certificates, and census records reveal little useful information in this case.
My great grandfather James MacAvoy/McAvoy/MacEvoy/McEvoy (take your pick) was placed in the home of an Esther/Hester Delatush in the Jamesburg section of Monroe Township in New Jersey in the year 1853 or 1854 according to an affidavit filed in the 1890's by Esther/Hester's daughter. In our family history it has been suggested that James was born in Troy, New York, but my suspicion is that he was more than likely from NYC. In several Federal Census records James claimed to have been born in "New York" and that his parents were also born in "New York".
At the time James was placed in Esther/Hester's home, she had recently become a widow and had grown children. When Esther/Hester died in 1861 James became a "bound boy" to her son Henry Delatush in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I am not sure if James was originally bound to Esther/Hester Delatush, but I presume this was so.
I always felt that the key to this whole mess was the fact that James was placed in Esther/Hesters home right around the time that Charles Loring Brace and the Childrens Aid Society began placing underpriveledged and orphaned children in homes away from the squalor of NYC (this is why I think he came from NYC and not Troy, NY) I have written to the Childrens Aid Society in NYC and also the Orphan Train Society and struck out. I understand that the New York House of Refuge has records on microfilm in Albany, NY, but I have been told that you need to know when the child was admitted in order to track him down. Perhaps this is my last hope of finding out anything about him and his family.
Just wondering if anyone who reads this might be doing some research in the House of Refuge records and wouldn't mind skimming the records there for any mention of my GGF James.