The earliest record of Henrietta Marshall is found in the 1870 federal census for the Town of Fleming in Cayuga, County, NY.
She is recorded as Henrietta Marshall, age 6, living with her father William Marshall, age 42, and two older siblings, Ida, age 16, and Andrew, age 14.
If this census information is correct, Henrietta was born some time between July 22, 1863, and July 21 1864. Her death certificate lists her date of birth as 29 February 1876. Although the birth year on the death certificate in clearly incorrect, the month and day may be accurate, as 1864 was a leap year.
Ida and Andrew’s mother was Henrietta Valentine, William Marshall’s first wife. She died in 1858 in New York City as documented in this death notice from 1858. As this was six years before Henrietta Marshall was born, Henrietta Valentine Marshall was clearly not her mother. In fact, the identity of her parents is something of a mystery.
Henrietta’s death certificate identifies her parents as Edward Marshall (born in England) and Mary DeLacey (born in France). Henrietta was clearly raised by William Henry Marshall. However, it is puzzling that he would have a daughter with the same name as his deceased wife. Perhaps Henrietta was William’s niece.
It is also interesting that William Marshall had a sister Helen, who married Andrew Delacey. Helen and Andrew are found in the 1870 census living in New York City with two daughters, Florence (age 7) and Nellie (age 4).
William Marshall’s youngest sister was named Mary. At the time of Henrietta’s birth in 1864, Mary Marshall would have been about 16 years old.
From the 1880 federal census it’s clear that there has been a lot of change in the Marshall household during the 10 years since the last census. William Marshall has married Maria Peterson, who was shown living with her mother a short distance away from the Marshall’s in the 1870 census. William and Maria have had two children together. Given that their oldest child together, Hattie, is 7, they were likely married around 1872. By 1880, Henrietta, listed as Etta in the census, is the eldest sibling at home at age 16.