On Genealogy: Willis Carrier – One COOL Dude!

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I haven’t written a blog on genealogy in what feels like a long while.  We’ve been going through a bit of a heat wave in Southwestern Ontario the last few days, it’s cooler and less humid today at around 25 Celsius.  For the better part of the last week, it has been hitting near 40 or over with the humidex factor!

Our BEST FRIEND at times like this, all over the world, is my relative … inventor of the air conditioner (AC).  What better time than mid-summer than to pay homage to my 9th cousin 2x removed — the world’s coolest dude – Willis Carrier!

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Willis Haviland Carrier was an American engineer. Carrier invented the first electrical air conditioning unit in 1902 and in 1915, he founded Carrier Corporation – to this day, the Carrier Corporation remains a world leader in commercial and residential HVAC and refrigeration – I mean shouldn’t they be?  He invented it lol.

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Willis Carrier was born on November 26, 1876, in Angola, New York, the son of Duane Williams Carrier (1836–1908) and Elizabeth R. Haviland (1845–1888).

Copy of 1892 Federal Census:

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He studied at Cornell University, graduating in 1901 with a BSE degree.  In Buffalo, New York, on July 17, 1902, in response to a quality problem experienced at the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing & Publishing Company of Brooklyn, Willis Carrier submitted drawings for what became recognized as the world’s first modern air conditioning system. The 1902 installation marked the birth of air conditioning (hallelujah!!!) although he coined his machine an apparatus for treating air – the term AC was actually named by Stuart Cramer, another engineer working on the problem of controlling the amount of humidity in the air.  The patent for Carrier’s Apparatus for Treating Air was granted in the dead of winter–on January 2, 1906.

In 1910 he was living in Buffalo Ward 17, Erie, New York on Woodward Avenue.  He is listed as a Cousin

Occupation: Machinist Engineer
Industry: Forge Company
Employer, Employee or Other: Wage Earner

He lis living there with the Otto’s and his wife Claire.

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A copy of his WWI Draft Registration:

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With this home cooling was now possible. Carrier had chilled a millionaire’s mansion as early as 1914, but the price in the 1930s ran at least $1,500.  This was too expensive for the average person and wasn’t really a thing until the 1950’s when companies like GE and Westinghouse lead the way.

I was able to locate his passport application:

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Copy of the US Federal Census of 1930:

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Willis resided in Essex County, New Jersey with his wife Jennie (63) and his adopted son Vernon (27-single) who was a Journalist.  They had two servants listed – Sidney (39) and what appears to be Jesse (39) Smith from England as well as their son Vince (10).  The Smith’s immigrated in the year 1919.  The home was owned and was valued at $50,000.00.

Carrier died in October of 1950, he suffered a heart attack – he didn’t live to see the success and take off of home AC systems.

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Carrier had three of his wives, (Claire Seymour, d. 1912; Jennie Martin, d. 1939; Elizabeth Marsh Wise, d. 1964), all are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York. Despite being married three separate times, Willis Carrier fathered only one child, Howard Carter Willis.  

He was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1985. He also was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century”, in 1998.

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My Lineage

So this is the lineage of how I am connected to Willis Carrier.

Willis Carrier (1876 – 1950)
9th cousin 2x removed
Elizabeth R. Haviland
Mother of Willis Carrier 
Ann Elizabeth Button
Mother of Elizabeth R. Haviland
Lydia Otis
Mother of Ann Elizabeth Button
Dr. Harris Otis
Father of Lydia Otis
Sarah Harris
Mother of Dr. Harris Otis
Martha Jenckes
Mother of Sarah Harris
Nathaniel Jenckes
Father of Martha Jenckes
Martha Brown
Mother of Nathaniel Jenckes
Mary Holmes (1628 – 1690)
Mother of Martha Brown
Katherine Hyde (1608 – 1682)
Mother of Mary Holmes
Martha Holmes (1640 – 1711)
Daughter of Katherine Hyde
Hannah Audley (1643 – 1685)
Daughter of Martha Holmes
Abigail Devol (1695 – 1719)
Daughter of Hannah Audley
Job Milk II (1725 – 1804)
Son of Abigail Devol
Sarah Milk (1749 – 1830)
Daughter of Job Milk II
Roger Moore (1775 – 1860)
Son of Sarah Milk
Olive Moore (1821 – 1871)
Daughter of Roger Moore
Ambrose Richards (1885 – 1957)
Son of George Howard Richards
Patrick James Richards (1954 – 2014)
Son of Benjamin George Richards
Tina Rose Richards
I am the daughter of Patrick James Richards

I tell you, I’m finding soooo many cool (no pun intended) relations ….

Who are you connected to that you’re pretty excited about, I’d be interested to know???


T xo

2 thoughts on “On Genealogy: Willis Carrier – One COOL Dude!

  1. Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks Nevertheless I’m experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss drawback? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx


  2. Pingback: On Genealogy: Updated DNA Ethnicity Estimate – mybetterlifeca

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