Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Civil War Sam

     The Blue and the Gray.  The North and the South.  The Yankees and the rebels.  Samuel C. Braught lived in Ohio and fought alongside the Union soldiers in the War Between The States.
     My 3rd great-grandfather left behind a widow named Eleanor and children Samuel and Flora according to the records I found so far.  Samuel C. Braught is listed in the 1890 Veterans Schedule with wife Eleanor Clark.  Toward the bottom of that record under the column 'Disability Incurred' is the word 'dead'.  The Civil War Pension Index has Samuel's widow's last name as Sams yet the 1890 Veterans Schedule shows Clark.  I'm not sure why there are two other names besides Braught but I'll post about Eleanor separately.  There is also the Army Register of Enlistments with a Samuel C. Braught listed.  It shows that he enlisted in Detroit, Michigan on March 28, 1864 at the age of 44 and that he was from Ulster county, NY.  He had blue eyes, brown hair, a sandy complexion and was 5ft 4in. tall.  Is this my 3rd great-grandfather?  According to the 1880 census, his son Samuel's place of birth was NY and it stated that Samuel's mother was from Vermont and father from New York.  If this is my 3rd great-grandfather then why did he enlist in Detroit, MI when he lived in OH?  I looked at a map and saw the counties that Samuel's family lived in.  The nearest largest city is Toledo and this is in the northwest part of the state.  The neighboring state to the north is Michigan with Detroit being the nearest city other than Ann Arbor.  I found another record called The U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 and learned that Samuel Brought (last name was spelled wrong) died of disease on June (can't really read it but I 'think' it said June) 25,1864 in a field hospital in Chattanooga,TN.  It also stated that he was a private in the 19th Infantry.  I'm guessing that this was my Samuel because how many Samuel Braughts in the 19th Infantry could there have been?  I hope I'm right.  I couldn't find my Civil War ancestor Samuel Braught in any census and don't have any other records for him.  I'll keep checking.
     Sometimes I start researching and doing my look ups on the computer after my son is in bed and by that time I'm already tired.

     no more searching while I'm sleepy...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


     William Howard Davis was born the day after his three year old sister died.

     Billy was the youngest child of Samuel George Davis and Josephine Duper Davis.  He had four older siblings - Eleanor, Daniel, Samuel, and Dorothy.  His mother was deaf due to Scarlett Fever at a very young age but his father's hearing was fine.  There was no communication problem between Billy's parents because his father's parents were deaf as well.
     In January of 1927, tragedy struck.  My great-grandmother, Josephine was home with her youngest child, Dorothy.  I'm guessing that the older three were in school because it was a weekday and they were schooolage.  My grandmother, Eleanor was 9 and her brothers Danny and Sammy were 7 1/2 and about 5 or 6.  If Sammy was too young for school (photos look like he's only a year or two younger than his brother) then he might have been with a relative that day.  If Sammy had been home then he would have alerted his mother to Dorothy's screams.  Little Dorothy had gotten too close to the gas how water heater causing her clothes to catch on fire.  Josie never hear her daughter scream and by the time she realized what happended, the little girl was too badly burnt to survive.  Dorothy died on Friday, the 28th of January in Brooklyn,NY.
     The following day, Josie welcomed a new baby boy.  Althoough this should have been a joyous occasion, it was a bitterswet event.  William Howard Davis was born on the 29th of January in 1927 surrounded by sadness and mourning.  I believe Josie's stress and the trauma brought William into this world earlier than expected.  Dorothy was buried in the Davis family plot at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery which is located about 86 miles north of Brooklyn in Poughkeepsie, NY.  I don't know if the whole family travelled up to Poughkeepsie for the burial and if all the children stayed with their parents after the trafgedy.  Three years later, my grandmother, Eleanor, Billy's oldest sister is living in Brooklyn with their grandmother, Teresa.  Where was Billy?  I still haven't found the Davis boys or their parents in the 1930 census.
     Billy did not have the carefree, happy go lucky childhoold that children are supposed to have.  He did not grow up in a stable, loving home.  If his sister was living with their grandmother then where was he?  Did the boys stay with their father?  Where was their mother?  I truly believe that Josie had some kind of mental breakdown; why else would the family be wplit up?  Billy's cousin told me that her mother (his father's sister) wanted to adopt Billy but her father didn't like the Davis family and wouldn't allow it.  Was Billy unwanted by his own mother?  Why would his aunt want to adopt him?  I'm hoping to find Billy and his siblings and parents in the 1940 census.
     Billy escaped life at home when he was sent to Greer School in Millbrook,NY.  He attended this residential school from September 1941-January 1944.  He then moved to Dover, DE before joining the navy.  After serving three years, he attended college then was recalled to duty in Korea.  He served a short tour then returned to college taking advantage of the G.I. Bill to further his education.  Billy received a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and retired after 30 years with the Chrysler Corporation.  Billy had been living in California for many years.  He got married and had two children.  He eventually moved back east and spent the rest of his days in Wilmington, DE.

                                             William Howard Davis    ♥R.I.P.♥
                                            b. 29 January 1927 Brooklyn, NY
                                            d. 12 February 2010 Wilmington, DE

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Austrian Ancestor

     I had written about my maternal great-grandmother, Josephine (Duper) Davis and her mother Teresa (Devine) Duper but I hadn't written about Josie's father.
     Stephen Duper was born in Austria in the year 1873.  He arrived in 1888, according to the 1920 census, and eventually met and married Teresa Devine.  Teresa was born in Stuyvesant Falls, NY in Columbia county.  I don't know where my great-great grandparents met but they were living in Rosendale, about 49 miles southwest in Ulster county in 1894 when my great-grandmother was born.  There were four more children following Josephine but I don't know where they were born.
     I have not yet found Stephen or Teresa Duper in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  Maybe they didn't participate? Maybe the names were misspelled as they were in the 1910 and 1920 censuses.  I found my great-grandmother Josephine in the 1900 census with the rest of the students at the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes located in Manhattan.
     The 1910 census has Stephen and Teresa with tthree children, 13 year old Stephen, 8 year Theresa and little Albert who was just 2.  Baby Gerald was born later that year in September.  My great-grandmother, Josie was 16 and still at the deaf school.  The rest of the family was living in Putnam county, in a town called Philipstown.  Ten years later the Dupers are living in Brooklyn, according to the 1920 census.  The oldest two children are out of the house and Josie is married with two children of her own.  My great-great grandparents still had Theresa, Albert, and Gerald to keep them company.
     Stephen Duper died on the 16th of July in 1931 at home in Brooklyn.  So if my great-great grandfather was at home in 1931 then where was he the year before his death?  He wasn't recorded with the others in the 1930 census.  I found Teresa in the 1930 listed as married and living in Brooklyn with her sons Stephen and Gerald, and granddaughter Eleanor.  I guess Stephen (son) was living at home because he was separated from his wife, Mary.  Gerald was still single.  Eleanor's younger sister died tragically three years earlier and I believe her mother may have been too stressed to care for all her children.  Where was my great-great grandfather, Stephen?  My grandmother, Eleanor's cousin told me in a letter that her grandfather was a dynamite foreman and helped build the Storm King Highway (Route 218).  She said that the rock dust had gotten into his lungs and contributed to his death.  I found a site which gives the history with photos of Storm King Highway.  The article states that the highway opened in October of 1922.  So where was Stephen Duper in 1930?, was he working somewhere else?  His obituary has him at home so maybe he was indeed home at the time of his death.  I don't know but I need to order his death certificate.

                               Stephen Duper      born 1873  Austria
                                   ♥R.I.P.♥             died  16 July 1931 Brooklyn,NY

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

     It is Superbowl Sunday.  I am not a football fan but apparently Uncle Billy liked the sport. I found among my great-grandmother's photos a picture of her youngest child in a football pose.
     William Howard Davis was born 29 Jan 1927 in NY and died 21 Feb 2010 in DE

Today's blog post is not a post about Uncle Billy, just wanted to post this photo of him.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Missing Men

     For the rest of this month I'll write about the men in my family who I hadn't written about yet or were hard to find.  Next month is Women's History Month so I'll be featuring the ladies who are lost but hopefully will be found.
     There are some men, a few branches up in my family tree, who I know nothing about.  I have the names, dates of birth and death for the wives and children but only the names of the men.
     And so the hunt continues...