St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Convert to Roman Catholicism; foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, which was the first sisterhood native to the United States; a wife, mother, widow, sole parent, educator, social minister, and spiritual leader, Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native-born resident of the United States to become a canonized saint (September 14, 1975); b. August 28, 1774, New York City; d. Emmitsburg, Maryland, January 4, 1821. Of British and French Huguenot ancestry, Elizabeth was born into a prominent Anglican family in New York and was the second daughter of Dr. Richard Bayley (1744-1801) and Catherine Charlton (d.1777). The couple’s first child, Mary Magdalene Bayley (1768-1856), married (1790) Dr. Wright Post (1766-1828) of New York. Catherine Bayley (1777-1778), the youngest child, died the year after the untimely death of her mother, which was probably a result of childbirth.

Mother—Native of New York

The Bayley and Charlton families were among the earliest colonial settlers of the New York area.  Elizabeth’s paternal grandparents were William Bayley (c.1708-c.1758) and Susannah LeConte (LeCompte, b.1727), distinguished French Huguenots of New Rochelle.  Her maternal grandparents, Mary Bayeux and Dr. Richard Charlton (d.1777), lived on Staten Island. where Dr. Charlton, was pastor at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

After the death of his first wife, Dr. Bayley married (1778) Charlotte Amelia Barclay (1759-1805), of the Jacobus James Roosevelt lineage of New York, but the marriage ended in separation as a result of marital conflict. The couple had seven children, three daughters and four sons. Among them was Guy Carleton Bayley (1786-1859), whose son, James Roosevelt Bayley (1814-1877), converted to Roman Catholicism and became the first bishop of Newark (1853-1872) and eighth archbishop of Baltimore (1872-1877). In response to his request, Archbishop Bayley is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, the original graveyard of the Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg.

Elizabeth and her sister were rejected by their stepmother. On account of her father’s travel abroad for medical studies, the girls lived temporarily in New Rochelle, New York, with their paternal uncle, William Bayley (1745-1811), an