Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Fire?

     I was on the other day and did a search for Anna Devine, my 2nd great-grandmother, Teresa's cousin.  I have Anna's birth and death dates but didn't know much about her other than what a dedicated schoolteacher she was.  Anna taught in a one room schoolhouse for almost fifty years then a few more years in the school that built on the same grounds and named in her honor.  During those fifty years, Anna started a 4-H Club and made a book with her students about the local history of Rifton, NY.  I did not know how involved Anna was with the community until I started reading old newspaper articles.  I read about Anna as a treasurer of this club, vice-president of that club, she directed school plays, and there was the 4-H club, victory gardens, and the list goes on.  She was invited to weddings and baby showers yet never married or had a child of her own.  There were many, many newspapers which had her name mentioned for one reason or another.  They were interesting to read.  Then I read about the fire.
     Last year I had written about fires claiming the lives of a few ancestors.  My maternal great-grandmother, Josephine Duper Davis was a deaf-mute and attended a school for the deaf in Manhattan.  In 1911, a fire broke out in the school.  I don't know if she was still in the school at the time because she was already 17 years old.  By 1927, Josie was married with four children.  My grandmother< Eleanor was the eldest at 9 and Dorothy was the youngest at 3, with the boys Daniel and Samuel somewhere in the middle.  One day, little Dorothy had gotten too close to the gas hot water heater causing her dress to catch on fire.  Her mother, being deaf, never heard her screams.  She died on the 28th of January in 1927.  Tragedy struck again in 1955 when Josie's mother and youngest brother lost their lives to a fire on New Year's Eve.

     and now back to Josie's cousin, Anna Devine...

     Anna was the only child of John Devine and Mary Jane Corby.  John was my 3rd great-grandfather, Patrick's brother.  I have absolutely no information at all on John and have not found him in any censuses.  All I know is that he was born in Ireland.  Mary Jane was born in NY in 1860 to Barney Corby and Anna.
     It was the September 27, 1943 issue of the Kingston Daily Freeman newspaper that had the article about the fire.  The article stated that "Mrs Mary Devine who was taken to Kingston Hospital Thursday suffering from third degree burns about the upper part of her body is reported to be in very serious condition.  Mrs Devine was preparing lunch when her apron caught fire from the kerosene stove on which she was boiling potatoes.  Her cousin, James Devany was home that day and was outside the house when he saw the flames."
     Two days later, the September 29, 1943 issue of the Kingston Daily Freeman had the obituary.

                                            ♥ R.I.P. Mary Jane ♥
                                               born 1860
                                               died 28 Sep 1943

Monday, March 19, 2012

♥ Ireland ♥

     rolling green hills, and friendly people...
     the Blarney Stone and four leaf clovers...

     It has always been my dream to travel to the land of my ancestors.

     Six year old Emily Sheldon and her family arrived in the United States in the mid- 1800's and settled in New York.  I'm not sure what town the Sheldons lived in but when she married Patrick Devine, she and her husband resided in Stuyvesant Falls, NY which is in Columbia county.  Patrick was also from Ireland but I have no idea when he sailed to this new country.
     I can't visit the towns of my 3rd great-grandparents until I found out where exactly in Ireland they lived.
     I wish I were lucky to meet a leprechaun to assist me in my search. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

                                                         Irish Blessing           

               Image Detail

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Searching for Susan

     In January of this year (blog past dated 1/9/12), I was "Chasing Charles" and now I am "Searching for Susan".
     Charles Davis was my 4th great-grandfather on my maternal grandmother's father's side.  He was born in New York in 1800 and died in 1851.  I found Charles and his wife Susan listed with their children in the 1850 census living in Marlborough, NY.  I don't know what became of Susan after her husband died bur according to a cousin I found on who was also researching the Davis family, Susan had gotten remarried to a man named John Mackey.  This cousin also informed me that Susan's last name was Lounsbury and her mother's name was Mary.
     The 1850 census has Susan's year of birth as 1808 and shows her living with her husband and children.  Ten years later, she is with her new husband, John Mackey.  The 1860 census shows Mary Lounsbury living with Isaac Davis and his family.  I'm guessing that Isaac was Susan's son because he was listed with Susan and Charles in the 1850 census and his date of birth in both censuses is the same.  When I first saw Mary's name and date of birth I thought she might be Susan's sister.  Mary's date of birth is listed as 1792 which would make her a teenage mother of just 16 years old if the dates on the census are correct.  We all know how unreliable the census records could be.
     I wish I knew when and where Susan died so I could possibly get a death certificate is available.  New York State didn't start keeping death records until 1881 so if my 4th great-grandmother died before then I guess I would have to try local records such as churches or cemeteries.  we'll see....

           Seeking and Searching and Scouting for


Saturday, March 10, 2012



     Violet was born in New York on May 22, 1924 to Robert Engstrom and Theresa Duper.  She had Swedish ancestors on her father's side and Irish/Austrian ancestors on her mother's side.
     By the time she was 6 years old, Violet was living in New Jersey and had a younger brother according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.
     My grandmother's cousin was a beauty and worked as a Coronet model.  She appeared on magazine covers and in newspapers.  I have quite a few photos of her that had belonged to my great-grandmother.  I love the name Violet.  It is such a pretty name for such a pretty girl.  She changed it to Pat.  hmmm...  I wonder why?  Maybe her manager, if she had one, suggested she change it?
     What became of Violet?  Did she blossom in her glamorous career or did she wilt?  Did she keep the name Pat when she was no longer modeling or return to her flowery name?  Did she use both names, Violet for everyday use and Pat in front of the camera?
     Whatever she did, she had a beautiful smile.

Photos were taken in Florida.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

~ Ruby ~

     Who was Ruby? Was she wife #1 or wife #2 and did she know that she was sharing her husband?  Whatever happened to Ruby?
     My maternal grandmother's younger brother, Samuel liked the ladies.  I had heard that Uncle Sammy was a bigamist.  Of course I have no proof of this, only family stories.  Uncle Sammy was the black sheep of the family and even spent some time in Sing Sing prison according to his cousin.
     Sammy married Ruby.  I don't know where and I don't know when but I know that at some point she wasn't a happy wife.  While living in North Carolina, Ruby wrote a letter to her sister-in-law, Eleanor.  In this letter to my grandmother which was dated February 2, 1944, Raleigh,NC, she stated how Sammy was never home and was a sorry husband.  I wonder if Sammy was visiting his other wife when he wasn't with Ruby?
     I wonder what became of Ruby.  Did she ever get to meet her husband's family like she wanted to as stated in her letter?  I have among my great-grandmother's photos, a picture of Sammy with a woman.  I have no idea who this woman is.  Is the mystery woman Ruby?  I'll never find out....

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Quiet Flower

     My 2nd great-grandmother, Flora on my maternal grandmother's father's side was born on the 4th of March 1863 in Ohio to Samuel C. Braught and Eleanor.
     At the age of 20, Flora Braught became Flora Davis when she married Daniel on the 16th of September in 1883.  They had three children then moved east to New York where Daniel was born and raised.  I don't know much about Flora but I do know that she was deaf according to the 1870 census.  Her husband Daniel was also deaf as a result of a fever at the age of 7.  I wonder if Flora had a fever as well?  Their daughter-in-law, Josephine had Scarlett Fever at a very young age and was in a deaf school at the age of 5.
     The Davis family lived in Poughkeepsie,NY.  The had a strawberry farm in the 'country' and also a home in 'town'.  Daniel died tragically in 1937 and Flora died four years later.

                                    Flora Braught Davis
                                    b- 4 March 1863 Ohio
                                    d- 11 July 1941  Poughkeepsie,NY

                                           ♥ R.I.P. ♥

Thursday, March 1, 2012

~ Eleanor ~

     My maternal grandmother's father, Samuel George Davis was born in Ohio to Flora Braught and Daniel Davis.  Flora's parents were Samuel C. Braught and Eleanor.
     It looks like MaMa was named after her great-grandmother, Eleanor J. Braught.  I don't know much about this Eleanor.  The 1870 U.S. Federal Census shows Eleanor living with a family in Ohio and working as a domestic servant.  Her daughter, Flora who is listed as D & D (deaf & dumb) is living with her in this house.  Ten years later, the 1880 census has Eleanor as head of household with both children living with her.  Flora is now 17 years old and her brother, Samuel who was not with his mother in 1870 is 23 years old.
     Both the 1870 and 1880 censuses show Eleanor's place of birth as Vermont.  Her last name is different in each of these censuses.  The 1880 census has the last name Sams and the 1870 census has the last name of her late husband and children which was Braught.  I thought that Sams might be her maiden name because I also found that name in the Civil War Pension Index.  I saw Eleanor's name listed as Clark in the 1890 Veterans Schedule.  How many last names did this woman have?
     A few days ago, while looking up the name Eleanor Sams on, I came across a story that another subscriber had posted.  This person had written that Eleanor married William Riley Sams in 1867.  The story was about William and not Eleanor.  There was no other information about my 3rd great-grandmother other than the censuses which Eleanor appeared in being listed as sources on this person's tree.  Eleanor was a widow in 1867 due to her husband Samuel Braught's death three years earlier.  Why wasn't she listed with her new husband in the 1870 census and where was her son who was only 13 at the time?  Was she working as a live-in domestic servant for financial reasons?  Was her daughter listed with her in the house she served because of the little girl's ailment and young age?  If she did indeed marry William Sams and this last name was her new married name and not a maiden name then why use the previous married name on census?  She did have the name Sams in the next census though.  I haven't found Eleanor in any other census and I have no idea when or where she died so I can't get any information from a death certificate.

     all these unanswered questions...