Frederic Wait ("Freddy") LORD -- Tim's great-grandfather -- was born 3 July 1871 and died 31 Dec 1951, in or near New York City. He attended MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Then he founded, in 1895, the Lord Electric Company, a large family concern which kept three generations of his descendants in comfortable circumstances (until it finally failed in the late 1980s).
According to his obituary in the New York Times, Freddy wrote three books: Ethics of Contracting and Stabilizing of Profits; the Selective Method of Letting Contracts; and Contracting as a Profession. An "improbable administrator", as a family member described him, Freddy was fond of handiwork and tools, and extremely warm-hearted. As a young man Freddy was extraordinarily popular with young women; consequently his usage of the word "legitimate" to describe some of his grandchildren in his diaries is intriguing!
He married the young widow Alice Harrison KIRKHAM Garrison, and raised her two children by her first husband as his own; they had three more children together, including Tim's grandmother Ellen Wait ("Ellie") LORD (1909-1984). Alice and Freddy often referred to each other as "Old Honey."
Freddy, Alice and the children lived during the Twenties and Thirties on East 68th Street, Manhattan, and spent many summers and weekends in Black Point, Connecticut.
Freddy's mother was born Mary Ann ARCHER (1840-1925; first cousin, on her mother's side, to the Seth LOW who became mayor of New York), and married his father, Joseph LORD, on 26 Apr 1865 in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1866 and 1879 they had eight children: Ernest Archer, George Archer, Sidney Archer, Freddy, Josephine, Archer, Genevieve, and Harriet. (George and Archer died young, and Ernest and Harriet without issue; we believe that Genevieve married Edgar Frothingham, and we know all of Freddy's descendants, so that leaves Sidney and Josephine unaccounted for.)
Joseph LORD was born (according to one LOW genealogy) 22 Mar 1832 in New York, NY, and died 12 Jan 1880 in St. Augustine, FL. While we've ordered a death certificate to confirm it, the genealogy asserts that Joseph's parents were George William LORD and Mary WAIT.
The 1880 census shows that the family was fairly well-off: the widowed Mary Ann kept house in Brooklyn with her six surviving children and no fewer than three servants! (This isn't too surprising; her maternal grandfather, the prosperous merchant Seth LOW, was an incorporator of the city of Brooklyn.) We also gather they were able to travel before Joseph's death, as one of the children was born in Switzerland, and the baby in New Jersey. Unfortunately, since Joseph was six months gone, we have no way of knowing where his parents were born. And we haven't been able to turn up any hits in various census indexes or online genealogies for a George William LORD or a Mary WAIT(E) born around 1800.
We'd love to get past the block and connect Joseph to earlier LORDs: Tim's full name is Timothy William Lord Pierce, and his father and many of his LORD-descended cousins also bear the name, so there's a bit of an emotional stake in learning its origins. :-)
If this family sounds at all familiar to anyone, we'd appreciate any leads. Thanks.