Thursday, March 24, 2011


     My maternal great-grandmother, Josephine was born 11 December 1894 in Rosendale, NY to Stephen Duper and Teresa (Devine) Duper.  At some point in her very young life she was afflicted with Scarlett Fever causing her to lose her hearing.  According to the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Josephine Duper, age 5, is listed as a pupil of the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes located in Manhattan, NY.  The 1910 U.S. Federal Census also her her listed at that school, now age 16 but the wording on the census had changed.  The 1910 census states that Josephine Duper is an 'inmate' and the 1900 census states 'pupil'.  New York State had it's own census in 1905 and has Josephine, age 10, listed with her parents and two siblings at a residence in Manhattan.  I wonder why the 1905 census has Josie listed with her parents yet the 1900 and 1910 censuses have her at the school.  Is it because the 1905 census is the 'state' census and the others are 'federal' ?
     Josephine Duper married Samuel Davis and had two children by the time the 1920 census was taken.  In January of 1927, Josie had four children and was pregnant with her fifth when tragedy struck on the 28th and she lost her youngest child, Dorothy.  I wrote about Dorothy in a previous post.  Josie's baby, William was born the following day.  Major changes took place after that.  The 1930 census has Josie's eldest child, Eleanor (my maternal grandmother) living with Teresa Devine (Josie's mother) in Brooklyn, NY.  I have no idea where Josephine, her husband Samuel and their sons were living in 1930.  I will find them though.
     As if this poor woman hasn't had enough sadness in her life with the loss of her 3 year old child to a fire, she also lost her mother and youngest brother to a fire on New Year's Eve in 1955.  another fire...

   Josephine (Duper) Davis went to Heaven 17 July 1977

*while searching the internet for information about the school that Josie attended, I came across this article...

  The school had a fire in January of 1911. My great-grandmother was a student there in 1910 at the age of 16. I don't know if she was still in that school at the time that the fire occurred because her birthday was in December so she would have been 17.


  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. I've read your last few posts about your search for a definite date of death for little Dorothy. That was so tragic for Josie.

    Found your blog through Geneabloggers' Saturday new blog post. I think you'll find a very warm and welcoming community. I've added your blog to the list of those I follow.

  3. All those fires - how horrible.