The earliest recorded statement by the Livingston family of Henry Livingston's claim to the Christmas poem comes in
a letter written by Henry's daughter Elizabeth to Henry's great-great granddaughter, Anne Livingston Goodrich, the descendant
of Elizabeth's half-sister Catharine.
Henry + Sarah|
Catharine (b:1775) + Arthur Breese
Catharine Walker Breese (b:1798) + Captain Samuel Griswold
Cornelia Platt Griswold (b:1821) + William McLean Goodrich
[sister of S.F.B. Morse's wife Sarah]
Anne Livingston Goodrich (b:1851)
Henry + Jane
In 1879, Elizabeth was the widow
of both U.S. Supreme Court Justice Smith Thompson and Judge Richard Ray Lansing. She had returned
to Poughkeepsie, and was living down the road from Locust Grove, in Rust Platz, the house where her sister-in-law, Eliza Clement Brewer, the wife
of brother Charles, had lived when all the Livingston children were growing up.
Elizabeth had been only 3 years old
when the poem was recited, so she knew the poem had been her father's from her brothers telling her so.