Albert Fish

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Albert Fish (19 May 1870 Washington DC - 16 Jan 1936 Sing Sing Prison, New York)

This page copyright 2007, by Will Johnson, Professional Genealogist. This page is locked, if you'd like to comment on it, you may email me at

Albert Hamilton Fish was born in Washington DC, to Randall Fish (1795-1875) of Kennebec County, Maine, and his wife Ellen somebody (1838-) of Ireland. His father Randall, in the 1870 census was a manufacturer of fertilizer. Randall himself was the son of Bolton Fish who died 25 Jul 1814 at the Battle of Lundy's Lane in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. At his birth, Hamilton as he was called was the youngest of four children: Walter, Annie, and Edwin being his older siblings.

His father Randall Fish died early in Hamilton's life, in 1875 in Washington DC, and his mother was allegedly unable to care for Hamilton for a few years and put him in an orphanage, later taking him back out. That is an interesting tale because Randall Fish was at one time quite wealthy. More research needs to be done on this part of his story, it certainly sounds a bit "created".

Albert Fish moved to New York City by 1890 where he was a painter. At some point, he has stated that he brought his mother Ellen to live with him as well. Or perhaps it was he who lived with her, his address at 333 Fifth Avenue is exceptionally "tony" for a painter. Perhaps his mother had died by 1900, as he is now living, as a boarder in Brooklyn. It might be that his mother had died before he got married. It would not be psychologically uncommon for a single man, youngest child, to wait until his mother died before he married, and perhaps even to marry rather quickly thereafter. I don't yet know if Albert fits that profile or not.

At any rate, Albert married to Annie somebody in 1897 or 1898, probably in New York City, and their eldest child Albert Jr was born there in April of 1899. Albert and Annie had five more children in New York: Anna, Gertrude, Eugene, John and Henry. By 1910, the family has moved into Greenwich Village living on Washington Street, renting half of a house there. Albert, in his occupation as a painter must have been doing fairly well at this time, but his fortunes changed by 1920 as the family is then living in Harlem at 113th Street.

A few years later in 1922 or 1923, their daughter Gertrude married John DeMarco, an Italian who worked in a shoe factory. As Gertrude DeMarco, she is mentioned a few times in the articles surrounding her father Albert's arrest and trial.

Primary documents

1850 census Stafford County, Virginia
p. 49
Randal Fish age 52 b. Maine Occupation Lumberer Value of Real Estate Owned 25,000
Lafayette A. age 23 b. Maine Occupation Lumberer (wsj)

1870 Washington Co, Washington DC
Seventh Ward, Washington DC PO, 23 Jun 1870
page 145, Sheet 350B
Fish, Randall, 75, MW, Manufacturer Fertilizer, Value: blank/blank, b Maine
, Ellen, 32, FW, Keeping House, b Ireland
, Walter, 11, MW, At Sch, b Penna
, Annie, 6, FW, Home, b DC
, Edwin, 3, MW, Home, b DC
, Hamilton, 1, MW, b DC (wsj)

1890 New York City Directory
Fish Albert, painter, h 333 Fifth (wsj)

1900 Kings County, New York
Borough of Brooklyn, 4th Ward
2 Jun 1900, Page 220a, Sheet 4
Toal, Elizabeth, Head, WF, Feb 1869, 31, married, 3 years ago, mother of 0, b NY/England/Canada
Fish, Albert, Boarder, WM, May 1870, 30, married, 2 years ago, b DC/ME/ME
, Annie, Boarder, WF, Jun 1880, 19, married, 2 years ago, mother of 1, 1 living, b PA/Germ/Germ
Laurence, Manuel, Boarder, WM, Apr 1868, 32, married 1 year ago, b NY/NY/NY
, Clara, Boarder, WF, May 1870, 30, married, 1 year ago, mother of 0, b NY/NY/NY
Kelly, Maggie, Boarder, WF, Jul 1872, 27, married, 7 years ago, mother of 1, 1 living, b Scot/Scot/Scot
, Irene, Boarder, WF, Sep 1897, 2, single, b NY/NY/Scot
Donaldson, Thomas, Boarder, WM, Apr 1871, 29, single, b NY/Ire/Eng
LuPier, Victor, Boarder, WM, Jun 1867, 33, single, b KY/France/France
Walker, George, Boarder, WM, Jul 1871, 28, single, b NY/Ire/Ire
????, James, Boarder, WM, Apr 1840, 60, married, 25 years ago, b Ire/Ire/Ire
Fish, Albert, Boarder, WM, Apr 1899, 1, single, b PA/DC/PA (wsj)

1910 Queens County, New York
New York City, ED 2-1271
4th Ward, 17th Election District
Sheet 18A, page 209, 27 Apr 1910
197 Washington Street
Johnson, James, Head, MW, 51, married first time, 24 years ago, b Nor/Nor/Nor, Carpenter, House, Rents Home
, Laura, wife, FW, 46, married first time, 24 years ago, mother of 0, 0 living, b Nor/Nor/Swe
Fish, Alfred H, Head, MW, 39, married first time, 12 years ago, b DC/ME/Ireland, Painter, Signs, Rents Home
, Anna M, wife, FW, 29, married first time, 12 years ago, mother of 5, 5 living, b NY/Ger/Ger
, Albert H, son, MW, 11, single, b NY
, Anna M, dau, FW, 9, single, b NY
, Gertrude M, dau, FW, 6, b NY
, Eugene H, son, MW, 3, b NY
, John W, son, MW, 0, b NY (wsj)

1920 New York County, Manhattan borough
E.D. 1198 sheet 17B
83 E. 113th St.
Albert H. Fish age 49 b. Washington father b. Maine mother b. New Jersey Occupation Painter
Anna age 41 b. New York parents b. Germany
Albert H. age 20 b. Pennsylvania
Anna age 18 b. Pennsylvania
Gertrude age 17 b. New York
Hughine age 12 b. New York
John age 9 b. New York
Henry age 6 b. New York (wsj)

1930 Queens Co, New York
1st Assembly, New York City, Ward Tract 29 Block E
40-17 23rd Street
DeMarco, John, Head, Rents, MW, 33, married at 26, b Italy/Italy/Italy, Shoe Operator, Shoe Factory
, Gertrude, Wife, FW, 26, married at 19, b NY/NY/NY
, Gloria, dau, FW, 6, b NY/Italy/NY
, Howard, son, MW, 4, b NY/Italy/NY
, Rita, dau, FW, 1, b NY/Italy/NY
Fish, Eugene, bro-in-law, MW, 23, Single, b NY/NY/NY, Painter, House (wsj)
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