James McMasters1

#21770, (1 April 1820 - 29 December 1886)
Father*Rev. Gilbert McMasters2 (1778 - 1854)


Gertrude S Fetterman b. c 1832
Children 1.Mary McMasters9 (c 1857 - )
 2.Sr. Gertrude Genevieve McMasters9 (c 1859 - 1913)
 3.Sr. Helen Pauline McMasters9 (c 1863 - )
 4.J Alphonsus McMasters10 (1866 - )
 5.Wilfred Michael McMasters11 (1869 - )
"Brought up in all the rigor of the Covenant faith, he apostasized and joining the Catholic Church has been one if its ablest and most uncompromising defenders. His family, with the inflexibility characteristic of their faith, cast him off and he was as one dead to them."3 
He had three brothers; "The Rev. John MacMaster who died at Princeton, Ind., on Saturday, was a member of a remarkable family. The father was a Scotch Covenanter minister, and three of his sons were ministers." The article goes on to name Dr. E D MacMaster who died while a professor in the Chicago Theological Seminary; Dr. A S MacMaster; and Abbe MacMaster, editor of the Freeman's Journal. But the minister who died in 1874 was not Gilbert's son --- he was the husband of Gilbert's daughter, born in Ireland and possibly related. Gilbert's son John was still living in 1880, as recorded in the census of that year, residing with his brother Algernon. The will of the deceased John makes it clear tha he was not the son of Gilbert.3 
Birth*1 April 1820He was born on 1 April 1820 at Duanesburg, Schenectady Co., New YorkG; (Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography (IV:135) has b. 1 Apr 1820 in Schenectady NY.)4 
Marriage*13 November 1856He married Gertrude S Fetterman, daughter of Washington Wilfrid Fetterman Jr. and Sarah De Bulan, on 13 November 1856 at Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co., PennsylvaniaG.1 
2 July 1860He and Gertrude S Fetterman appeared on the census of 2 July 1860 at 17th Ward, 8th Dist., New York, New York.5 
24 June 1870He and Gertrude S Fetterman appeared on the census of 24 June 1870 at 22nd Ward, 15th Dist., New York, New York.6 
Death*29 December 1886He died on 29 December 1886 at St. Mary's General Hospital, Buffalo and St. Mark's Avenues, Brooklyn, New YorkG, at age 66.7 
Administration*12 January 1887Administration of the Estate of James McMasters on 12 January 1887 at King's County Surrogate's Court, Brooklyn, New York.8 


  1. [S1941] The Pittsburgh Post, Pittsburgh, Penna.
  2. [S1949] Rob S. Cox, "Gilbert McMaster Autobiography Finding Aid", William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, January 1998), online quod.lib.umich.edu.
  3. [S1960] The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  4. [S1948] Thomas Meehan, "James Alphonsus McMaster", The Catholic Encyclopedia 9:506 (New York: Robert Appleton Company,1910).
  5. [S19] 1860 U.S. Federal Census. James A (40), b. NY, editor; Gertrude G (30), b. NY [sic]. Also William S Brown (44), US Officer, Elizabeth Brown (40) and Bermona Brown (10).
  6. [S18] 1870 U.S. Federal Census. James (50), b. NY, editor; Gertrude (38), b. PA.
  7. [S14] The New York Times, New York, N.Y.
  8. [S1947] New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923, online FamilySearch.org, New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923, imgs. 203-209. Probate records, administration records (without wills). James Alphonsus McMasters, deceased; d. Brooklyn 29 Dec 1886, intestate. John D Keily, guardian of John A McMasters, res. 213 Clermont Ave., Brooklyn NY, heir, named Administrator, 12 Jan 1887. Keily's application states survivors include "no widow but four children to wit Mary McMaster residing in Pennsylvania Gertrude G McMaster and Helen P McMaster both residing in Maryland and John A McMaster about 20 years of age and residing in the City of Brooklyn." Renunciations of Mary McMaster (10 Jan 1887), Gertrude Genevieve McMaster and Helen Pauline McMaster (both 8 Jan 1887).
  9. [S18] 1870 U.S. Federal Census.
  10. [S1461] New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909, online FamilySearch.org, J. Alphonsus Mcmasters, b. 2 May 1866, son of Jas. A McMasters and Gertrude G Fetterman; cert. no. 119.
  11. [S1461] New York City Births, 1846-1909, online FamilySearch.org, Wilfred Michael Mcmasters, b. 28 Sep 1869, son of James McMasters and Gertrude Fetterman; vol. 19, p. 32.