Monday, January 9, 2012

Chasing Charles

     Charles Davis was my 4th great-grandfather on my maternal grandmother's father's side.  I don't know anything about Charles and didn't even know he was William's father until I came in contact with a distant cousin; a man who is a descendant of Charles' other son, Ferris.
     According to my newly discovered cousin, our ancestor Charles Davis is buried in the Anning Smith Ground which is located in Milton,NY.  I looked up this cemetery online and found a small list of Davises in this cemetery.  I also found that Charles was born on the 7th of April in 1800 and died on the 30th of December in 1851.
     I called Milton Town Hall to inquire about a death record for Charles.  I needed to know where I can obtain a death certificate.  Is this vital record available from the local town hall or do I need to order it from Albany?  I was told that they only have the death records for people who died at home and even then their records don't go back to 1851.  It was suggested that I call the Ulster county town hall in Kingston.  The Milton town clerk also suggested that I check the hospital records for the two hospitals in Kingston.  The town clerk in Kingston was unable to assist me and gave me the telephone number for the archivist.  The archivist had no information on Charles Davis in his database and also told me that death records weren't kept until 1881.  I looked up the telephone numbers online for the hospitals in Kingston.  I clicked on the links to read the history of each hospital and found another dead end.  The Kingston Hospital was established in 1894 and the Benedictine Hospital in 1901.
     I called the Milton town clerk back to ask where I can find the cemetery records for the Anning Smith Ground.  This cemetery is actually now located on the grounds of Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa.  I have not visited yet but I'm assuming that there's no caretaker of office to take my calls.  I'll have to drive there one of these days, it's not too far away.  The town clerk was not familiar with this cemetery.  She knew where this spa was located though and gave me the telephone number for the town historian.  The town historian didn't answer the phone.  I called the Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa because i wanted to double check the name of the cemetery which is located on their property.  I spoke to a very nice lady who didn't think the cemetery had a name.  She said that it was a family cemetery and that this area was the family homestead of Anning Smith's family.  I don't know who the Smith family was or why the Davises would be buried there but I'm going to try to find out.  I called the town historian back and was told that there aren't any records for this cemetery.  The lovely lady I spoke to told me that this cemetery used to be an Indian cemetery which was bought by the Smith family.
     There is no death certificate nor is there a cemetery record for Charles Davis.  I hope to have better luck with a church.
     I'm chasing Charles Davis and sure hope to catch him.



  1. Anning Smith was a famous military person in his lifetime. Try Google and check the dates correctly for him, there are more than one.

    The Cemetery, by the spa is located in an area near fruit orchards. Ferris Davis and his brothers worked in the fruit business as farmers, likely pickers.

    Charles L Davis is buried there along with Eddie, the youngest child of Charles and Susan. Other Davis are there too.

    Only lead maybe the Reform Churches in Milton and Marlborough for marriage records and baptismal records on Charles.

    Good Luck,

    Cousin John E. Davis