Mary Hall Freeman & Her Children

The early Freemans we know –Mary Hall Freeman and her children Jane, Elisabeth and John– emigrated from England in the 1870’s. We have recently discovered more about the Freemans and father George, and his lineage which goes back to the late 1600’s in Cape Cod and Connecticut.The Hall Family has a deep history in England, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, going back to at least the early 1800’s. John Freeman always said he was “born near the church with the crooked spire” which is in Chesterfield. Mary emigrated to the US in the late 1970’s with her three small children, but not apparently with her husband. She worked and the children were housed in the St. Johnland Orphanage on Long Island for a time, eventually settling in Northern New Jersey and New York City.

Elisabeth Freeman on soapbox addressing street corner crowd, c. 1913 NYC

Elisabeth is perhaps the most well known of the siblings and had a career as a suffragette orator and activist, and subsequently was involved in investigating a lynching in Waco, Texas in 1916, and opposing WWI, as well as other left leaning causes. More can be learned at a website and blog dedicated to her activities created by her great niece Peg Johnston  We believe she was born in 1876 in England and died in 1941 in California.

Jane was a portrait painter of some note, working from the Beaux Arts Studios in Carnegie Hall and later in the artist colony in Rockport, MA. We believe she was born in 1871 and died in 1958 in New Jersey. Her artistic archives are stored at the Archive of American Art at the Smithsonian.

John Francis Freeman had a long career in the newspaper business as a typesetter and printer for several newspapers including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the Binghamton Press and the Sun-Bulletin, among others. He was awarded a 60 year pin in the Typesetters Union but he worked at least 68 years in the trade. He was born in 187? and died in 1958. Some of his union archives are housed in Cornell University.

The Freeman Family Tree–Also created by Bob Johnston, this has a narrative for the earlier Freeman Family.


The Freeman Family Tree  This genealogy was drawn by Bob Johnston. There are a few new additions to this pedigree. And note that non-blood relatives are included.