This Davis dilemma is making me dizzy. I had written in an earlier post about the Davis line that I am researching. I couldn't get past my g-g-great-grandfather, William H. Davis who according to census records was born abt. 1832 in Milton, NY. William's son Daniel was my g-great-grandfather. Daniel had a brother named Ferris. I had decided to broaden my search to cousins and their descendants.
During this past weekend, while looking up a few records on Ancestry.com, I saw the name Ferris G. Davis in a city directory for Ulster County, NY. This can't be my g-g-grandfather's brother because the city directory is dated 1871-1872 and lists Ferris G. Davis as a fruit raiser in Milton yet my Ferris was only born in 1863. After I saw the name Ferris G. Davis in the city directory, I searched the Civil War records and struck gold. I think... I hope...
Ancestry.com has records of New York Town Clerk's Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865 with Ferris name as well as two other brothers, David and Daniel. This record has the enlisted man's name, residence and date of birth, as well as the parents names and discharge information. Charles Davis and Susan Lounsberry are listed as the parents of Ferris, David, and Daniel. Ferris was single and his brothers were married. David and Ferris returned home to their families. Daniel served in The Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and The Battle of Gettysburg. He was take prisoner at James City and died at Belle Island (prison on the James River, outside Richmond,VA) leaving behind a wife and two young sons. I didn't see my g-g-g-grandfather, William H. Davis' name in these Civil War records. If he didn't serve then I wonder how or why he was excused?
What makes me think that the Davis men I just found are the brothers of my William H. Davis? Well, I have no actual proof 'yet'. William lived in the same town as the other Davises and had named two of his sons Ferris and Daniel. It would be quite a coincidence to have two Ferris G. Davises, who were not related, living in the same town and born a generation apart. William also had a daughter named Susan who I'm guessing was named after her paternal grandmother, that it, 'if' the Davis boys I found were William's brothers.
I found on Ancestry.com another person who has a Ferris G. Davis (the elder Ferris) on his tree but I wasn't able to see if he could possibly be my Ferris because the tree is private. I sent the owner of that tree a message inquiring about Ferris G.Davis, born 1841 and his brothers. until I receive a reply, I am left wondering about William.
Belle Isle Prison http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Belle_Isle_Prison