albert fish family tree

Albert Fish Family Tree

As a genealogist with a focus on the darker corners of family histories, my experience with Albert Fish's lineage has been particularly haunting. I believe that delving into his family tree is not just an academic pursuit but a journey into the heart of human complexity.

Through my research, I've traced the English and Irish strands that entwined to form the backdrop of Fish's life. His parents, Randall and Ellen, appeared to embody an ordinary 19th-century American household, yet beneath that veneer may have lurked predispositions to mental disturbances.

My exploration of the Fish family has reinforced my understanding of the intricate dance between nature and nurture.

Key Takeaways

  • Albert Fish came from a troubled lineage, with both of his parents and several relatives suffering from mental illness.
  • His immediate family included his parents, Randall and Ellen Fish, as well as three living siblings.
  • The descendants of Albert Fish have had to carry the burden of his infamy and the psychological impact of his actions throughout generations.
  • Fish's heinous acts ultimately led to his arrest, trial, and execution, with the legal repercussions resulting in his death by electrocution in 1936.

Ancestral Beginnings

Where did the troubled lineage of Albert Fish begin?

Born Hamilton Howard Fish to Randall Fish, of English ancestry, and Ellen (née Howell) Fish, an Irish immigrant, your family tree reveals a lineage fraught with mental afflictions.

Randall, a riverboat captain and fertilizer manufacturer, passed when you were young, making you the smallest sapling among three other relatives: Walter, Annie, and Edwin Fish.

Your mother, Anna Mary Hoffman, wasn't spared from the family's history of mental illness, suffering from aural and/or visual hallucinations.

This pattern of distressing mental health wasn't isolated—several relatives were diagnosed with similar conditions.

Hamilton Fish, your troubled ancestor, thus emerged from a lineage that was as complex and shadowed as the untraceable maps of your distant English roots.

Immediate Relatives

Your immediate family, marked by the shadow of mental illness and tragedy, included your parents Randall and Ellen Fish, as well as your siblings Walter, Annie, and Edwin. You were christened Albert after a dead sibling and to escape the nickname 'Ham and Eggs' that teased your connection to the statesman Hamilton Howard Fish.

Here's a glimpse into your family dynamics:

  1. Father's Age Gap: Your father, 43 years older than your mother Ellen Francis, was an aging river boat captain turned fertilizer manufacturer who left the world early in your life.
  2. Mental Illness: The family history was rife with mental afflictions; you weren't the only one touched by it, as an uncle suffered religious mania, and a brother landed in a state mental institution.
  3. Childhood Ordeals: The youngest of the three living siblings, you endured the harsh environment of an orphanage, fostering a sinister fascination with pain and suffering that would infamously define you.

Descendants' Lives

Turning from the shadows that loomed over your immediate family, it's clear that the descendants of Albert Fish have carried a heavy legacy, with each generation grappling with the infamy and psychological aftermath of your appalling actions.

Your family, including your child and the three others born to Fish's wife, grew up in the wake of your grisly reputation. Hamilton Howard Fish, born on Long Island, left behind a lineage that has had to navigate life tethered to your chilling legacy.

Each of the six children, including Edwin Fish, has walked a path shadowed by the sinister echo of their ancestor. The descendants' lives, undoubtedly, have been shaped by the stark contrast between a desire for normalcy and the gravity of being tied to Albert Fish's name.

Notorious Acts

Albert Fish's descent into criminal depravity began with male prostitution and steadily spiraled into the molestation, abduction, and murder of several children, marking him as one of history's most notorious serial killers. Known by his birth name, Hamilton Howard Fish, he committed numerous notorious acts:

  1. He infamously sexually assaulted and killed children, often targeting the vulnerable.
  2. Fish sent an anonymous letter to the Budd family, detailing the murder of their daughter, which led to his arrest.
  3. At Sing Sing prison, he was sentenced to die by the electric chair, meeting his end with a meat cleaver once used in his heinous crimes.

Your understanding of this monster's acts paints a chilling picture of a man who transformed from a troubled child into an embodiment of evil.

Legal Repercussions

While the sheer brutality of Albert Fish's crimes is undeniable, the legal system eventually caught up with him, resulting in his arrest and subsequent execution for the atrocities he committed.

Fish was arrested in New York City after years of gruesome acts against children. Known as Hamilton Howard Fish, he'd a history of mental affliction and was diagnosed with mental illnesses. Despite this, the jury found him sane and guilty of his crimes.

Police would later uncover evidence linking him to multiple murders. The legal repercussions of Albert's actions reverberated through society, leading to his execution in 1936. He never saw the inside of a state mental hospital, as the court deemed the final measure for his heinous acts to be death by electrocution.

Psychological Impact

One can't overlook the profound psychological scars that Fish's traumatic childhood and familial history of mental illness etched into his psyche, fostering his evolution into one of history's most disturbed individuals. Delving into the psychological impact:

  1. Family History of Mental Illness: Fish was diagnosed with mental illnesses, which isn't surprising considering his family had a history of similar issues.
  2. Childhood Trauma: The youngest child often vulnerable, Fish endured the death of a sibling and neglect from his mother, confined in a state of constant despair.
  3. Disturbed Progeny: Howard Fish in Washington, among other children, likely experienced the ripple effects of their father's deranged psyche, perpetuating a cycle of psychological distress.

Cultural Reflections

Reflecting on the psychological ramifications of Fish's upbringing leads us to consider how his cultural heritage and societal context may have shaped his heinous actions. Hamilton Howard Fish, also known as Albert, descended from a line where mental illness was present, and his blood ran with a mix of English and Irish ancestry. His father, an aged river boat captain turned fertilizer manufacturer, and his mother, perhaps an Island farmer's descendant, set a distinct familial stage.

Fish, who later adopted the name Frank Howard, engaged in cultural reflections that were as dark as they were deep. His half-brother's claim of voices telling him to kill echoed in Fish's own disturbed psyche. These reflections culminated in a legacy that still haunts the study of criminal psychology today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are the Relatives of Albert Fish?

You're curious about Albert Fish's relatives. His siblings were Walter, Annie, and Edwin. His parents were Randall, a river boat captain, and Ellen, of Irish descent, with a history of mental illness in the family.

How Many Children Did Albert Fish Eat?

You're asking about a grim topic: Albert Fish confessed to eating three children, but the true number remains unknown due to the lack of concrete evidence for all his claimed victims.

What Nationality Was Albert Fish?

You're asking about Albert Fish's nationality; he was American, born in Washington, D.C., with a heritage that included English and Scots-Irish ancestry. His complex background also featured a history of mental illness.

Was Albert Fish Buried?

Yes, you're right to wonder—Albert Fish was indeed buried. After his execution in 1936, he was interred in the Sing Sing prison cemetery, marked only by his prison number. His grave isn't publicly accessible.


You've delved into the dark history of Albert Fish, tracing his lineage and the lives touched by his chilling acts. His family tree bore witness to unspeakable crimes, leaving a legacy marred by mental anguish and legal battles.

The psychological scars endured by his descendants and society reflect deeply in cultural commentary, forever imprinting the Fish narrative as a somber reminder of humanity's potential for darkness amid the complex tapestry of ancestral roots.