I was looking though the correspondence of Ella Durant Rose in the Syracuse University Collections of her papers and found letters addressed to 'Lillian Tiffany Rose' Ella's daughter-in-law dated 1932-34.
As if I had nothing better to do with my time, I went to New York City to look through the papers of Poultney Bigelow, housed at the New York Public Library. I discovered correspondence from Lillian Tiffany, including her own personally-sketched Christmas cards. In them she mentions how busy her husband Durant is busy with his job. I then made the connection: Durant Rose, Ella Durant's son and Lillian's husband, was Poultney’s Bigelow's Godson.
I didn’t think too much about it until one day I stumbled upon a request from somebody on Ancestry.com asking for information about the artist Lillian Tiffany Durant. The person making the request knew there was a connection to Durant but didn’t realize it was Durant Rose.
Soon afterwards I received an inquiry from someone in New City, NY that happened to buy the house that Lillian and Durant built in 1937. He was doing renovations when he found some of Lillian’s sketches and when he Googled the Durant name he found my website and blog about the Durant family (interestingly there is a Durant Rd. and Rose Blvd in the same town).
I explained the connection to him. I don’t know very much about Ella Durant’s life after the lawsuit she won against her brother in 1903 to claim her part of the inheritance left by their father Dr. Thomas C. Durant. She helped found the Dante Society, wrote a few novels and published a book of poetry. She contributed articles to the New York Times. She married Charles Rose late in her life, and had her son Durant when she was around 43 years of age.
The fact that she made Poultney Bigelow the godfather of her only son is a testament to their close friendship that began one summer in the Adirondacks in 1878 and lasted well into the 1930s.
I know even less about Lillian Tiffany and Durant Rose. Their lives do not intertwine with the timeline of my novel so I would have no reason to investigate further except for the fact that I am curious. When I looked up Lillian’s artwork on the Internet I found that some of her paintings sell for ~$2,000. If anyone else knows more about the life of Lillian Tiffany, please share.
Lillian Tiffany Sketches courtesy of Poultney Bigelow papers. Manuscripts and Archives Division. The New York Public Library. Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.