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John B. and Kate Smith Livernoche letters

Identifier: BUSC-2023-002

Scope and Contents

Letters received by Binghamton, New York shoemaker John B. Livernoche and his wife Kate Smith Livernoche, with one note received by their daughter Laura. There is some unrelated material in the final folder. The Livernoches lived in Binghamton, New York beginning in late 1871; the letters from October 1871 indicate that John had relocated to Binghamton before Kate and has found work but not yet located a suitable house.

Senders include Jesse Hébert, Kate Smith's beau prior to her marriage to John Livernoche; John's sister Domethilde Boissy and her husband Abraham; John's brother Louis Livernoche; Kate Smith's aunt Delia McCormick; Jen Shrimpton, a Binghamton neighbor who moved with her family to Susquehanna, PA, and various acquaintances.

There are also several letters from John to Kate before their marriage: those prior to 1871 are written by an amanuensis, as John did not yet know English sufficiently to allow him to write letters.

The early letters are primarily courtship notes, first from Jesse Hébert to Kate Smith, then between Kate Smith and John Livernoche. After this the letters are largely newsy notes from relatives and friends.


  • 1867 - 1931


Biographical Note

John B. Livernoche was born in Canada in February 1848. By the late 1860s he was living in North Bennington, Vermont, where he was married to Kate Smith on April 17, 1869. The family moved to Binghamton by about 1871, where John worked as a shoemaker: he is listed in various Binghamton City Directories under that occupation through at least 1905. In the 1915 New York Census his occuption is given as "Printer & Engraver." He died in Chenango Forks, Broome County on September 3, 1917, after a day of fishing. In the 1880 census he gives his birthplace as France, but in all other records as Canada. His marriage record names his parents as John and Maria.

Kate A. Smith Livernoche was born in 1850, probably in Troy, New York. She was living in Troy, New York by at least 1867, when the correspondence in this collection begins. She died in Binghamton on August 17, 1908. In the 1880 census she gives her birthplace as Baden, Germany, but in most other records it is given as the United States. The 1875 New York Census has Albany, and their 1869 Vermont marriage record has Troy. Her parents are listed as James and Mary Smith.

Both John and Kate are buried in Spring Forest Cemetery, Binghamton.

John and Kate had two children:

Laura or Loretta Livernoche (1870 - 1949) married Edward H. Bogert. They lived in Binghamton and are buried in Spring Forest Cemetery there. Her husband gives his occupation in the 1900 census as "Musical Comedian"; in the 1910 census it is given as "Copper Plates," and in the 1915 New York State Census as "Engraver & Stationer."

Adolphus J. Livernoche (May 3, 1873 - June 18, 1923) is listed in Binghamton City Directories as a cigarpacker beginning in 1897, and in the 1920 census as a candy salesman. He married first Gertrude Daisy Sines, and second Mabel E. Condon and they lived in Binghamton.


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Language of Materials



Letters received by John B. Livernoche (1848 - 1917) and Kate Smith Livernoche (1850 - 1908), with one note received by their daughter Laura. There is some unrelated material in the final folder. John and Kate moved to Binghamton, New York in 1871, where John worked as a shoemaker.

John B. and Kate Smith Livernoche letters
Jeremy Dibbell
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Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA