Friday, March 20, 2020

~ ~ All that Glitters~ ~

     The topic for week 8 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge was 'Prosperity' and I knew as soon as I saw that word who I would be writing about.  The Devine brothers were miners of gold and quartz in Maricopa, Arizona at the beginning of the 1900s.
     My 2nd great-grandmother, Teresa Devine's older brothers, Martin, John, and Patrick from her father's first marriage had moved west before 1900.  I don't know what year their journey to a new adventurous life began.
     Martin Devine, the oldest of the Devine boys who moved west to seek their fortune in mining was born approx 1856 in Dutchess County, NY.  Martin died March 20 in 1911 and his death certificate states that he had been living in Arizona for 18 years which would make his arrival in Arizona territory to be about 1893.  His burial was March 22, 1911 in Pioneer Gravesite, La Paz county, Arizona.  I have tried and tried but have been unable to locate this cemetery.
     John J. Devine, Martin's younger brother, was born July 13, 1859 in NY.  I don't know when he moved to Arizona But I know it was before Martin because in 1887 he was working in Tucson as a deputy collector for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  At some point, John travelled further west to California where he settled in Ventura. John died Oct 19, 1944 in Ventura, California and is buried in Ivy Lawn Memorial Park.
     Patrick Devine,  the youngest of the Devine brothers to head west was born 6 July 1862 in New York.  I don't have any information other than what I saw on the 1900 federal census.
     The 1900 U.S. Federal Census shows Martin Devine along with his younger brothers, John and Patrick living in Sunset precint of Maricopa county which was in Arizona territory.  They were owners of a gold mine.  I don't know how successful the Devine brothers were with the gold but the older two, Martin and John relocated to Yuma according to voter registration records and I have no idea what became of Patrick.
     The 1910 federal census shows Martin and John living in Yuma and owners of a quartz mine.  What happened to the gold?  Were they any more successful with quartz?  Sadly, Martin died the following year in March of 1911 and John remained in Yuma for at least a few more years according to voter registration records.  I was not able to find John in any of the censuses after 1910 and actually didn't see his name again until a record of death in October of 1944.
     I don't know how prosperous the Devine brothers were but they say "all that glitters is not gold."



Thursday, March 19, 2020

I Found Emily!

     The topic for week 7 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge was 'Favorite Discovery' and I didn't need to give this one a second thought. I knew who I was writing about.


     I first learned of Emily when I was looking at my 2nd great-grandmother, Teresa's death certificate.  It listed her parents as Patrick Devine and Emily O'Leary.  I also had a copy of Teresa's baptismal certificate which listed her mother's maiden name as Sheridan.  So, was Emily's last name O'Leary or Sheridan?  I would be more inclined to believe it was Sheridan rather than O'Leary because that name on the baptismal certificate was supplied by Emily herself whereas the name on the death certificate was the informant who might not really know.  I had two last names for Emily and needed to confirm the correct one.  I contacted the church where she was baptized and ordered her certificate.  I was surprised to see this one had Emily's last name listed as Sheldon.  Both baptismal certificates I now had with names of Sheridan and Sheldon were handwritten/typed by someone in the office.  I didn't want to bother the church again but I needed to know the correct name.  The man I spoke with was very nice and made a photocopy of the page with the entry for Teresa's baptism.  I can see the handwriting with the name Sheldon.
     Emily J. Sheldon was born approx. 1846 in the beautiful Emerald Isle.  I do not know what county in Ireland my 3rd great-grandmother was born.  She immigrated to the United States in 1851 and by 1865 was married to Patrick and step-mother to his three children from his first wife.  I traced Emily and her family through the years using census records.  I believe this family fell off the face of the earth and were unavailable for the 1880 federal census.  The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire but Emily resurfaced again in 1900 living as a divorced lady with her youngest son, 18 year old William.  In 1905, Emily was living with her daughter, Emma and Emma's family according to the New York state census.  The next census taken would have been in 1910 and I have no idea where Emily was.
     I searched and stalked for years thinking I would never find Emily until one day I made a great discovery.  I have made many great discoveries over the years, some that would have me doing back flips if I were acrobatic like that but my "favorite discovery", which is actually the topic for week 7 is finding Emily.  I had a hint on which was a Canadian death record for an Emily Devine who was born in Ireland near the year of birth for my Emily.  At the time I only had the U.S. subscription so even though I was able to see that there was a hint, I was unable to actually view the record.  I asked a friend who had the worldwide subscription to look up that record and email it to me.
     I finally found Emily!  I learned that she had been living in Ontario, Canada for the last ten years of her life.  The last five were with her daughter, Emma and son-in-law, Simon.  She died 12 March 1928 in Toronto, Ontario.  So, if she moved to Canada in 1918 then where was she in 1910?  I couldn't find her in the census.  The informant on this death record was Emily's son-in-law, Simon and I guess he didn't know her parents names because that was left blank.  I guess it would be a waste of time and money to order an actual death certificate.  Emily was buried in Mount Hope Catholic Cemetery three days after her death.

                                                           Rest in Peace, Emily


Sunday, March 8, 2020

* Eleanor Ferris *

     The topic for Week 6 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge was 'Same Name.'  I thought I might write about my 2nd great-grandfather's name, Daniel until I found Eleanor Ferris who was my 5th great-grandmother.
     Eleanor Ferris was my 5th great-grandmother.  She was born about 1763 and died 4 May 1842.  I'm sure she had a large family with a ton of children like many women back then but I can only account for two of them.
     Eleanor's son, Charles, was my 4th great-grandfather who was born in 1800 and died 30 Dec 1851.  He is buried in Anning Smith Cemetery, the same cemetery as his parents.  Charles had a son named Ferris who I am guessing was named after Eleanor.  I've come across many ancestors whose first name was the maiden name of a parent or grandparent.  Charles had another son named William who was my 3rd great-grandfather.  William named one  of his sons Ferris and his youngest daughter was named Elnora.  William's son, Daniel was my 2nd great-grandfather.  Daniel was one of 13 children but he and his wife had only three children.  Their middle child was named Eleanor.  Daniel's oldest child, Samuel, was my great-grandfather.  He and my great-grandmother had five children.  The first born child was my grandmother, Eleanor, born in 1917.
     Eleanor Ferris, my 5th great-grandmother, is smiling down from Heaven seeing her name being passed down through the generations for almost half a century, from her birth in approximately 1763 to my grandmother, Eleanor's birth in 1917.
                                           Rest In Peace Eleanor    


Copyright 2020 by Annmarie Novick, Skipping Down Memory Lane. All Rights Reserved.

~ Long Ago & Far Away ~

The topic for Week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge was 'So Far Away' and I had planned on writing about my 3rd great-grandfather, Patrick and his life.  Instead of writing about a person this time, I choose to write about a place.
     Long ago and far away, in a land of rolling green hills, lived a boy named Patrick who dreamed of better days in a new country.
     I have always been fascinated with Ireland, the land of my ancestors.  I used to sit and watch the St Patrick's Day parade with my grandmother and wish I could visit someday.  My grandmother died many years before I became interested in genealogy so I never asked about our family or who exactly were the Irish family members.
     From my 2nd great-grandmother, Teresa's death certificate and baptismal certificate, I learned the names of her parents.  It took thorough research and patience to discover that my 3rd great-grandfather, Patrick Devine was born about 1838 in Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland.  He immigrated to the United States in 1853 and I think I have a date of death but haven't confirmed it yet.  I still have not found the county of birth for Patrick's 2nd wife, my 3rd great-grandmother, Emily but I haven't given up.
     My mother visited Ireland a few years ago with a tour group but didn't visit County Mayo.  I hope to visit soon.  I cannot wait to visit the land of my ancestors from long ago and far away.



Copyright 2020 by Annmarie Novick, Skipping Down Memory Lane. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

* No Place Like Home *


     The topic for week 4 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge was "Close to Home" and all I could think of was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  Dorothy told us "there's no place like home" and she was right but then she lived in a warm, cozy, loving environment and not everyone had that.
     My maternal grandmother's sister died at the age of 3, a day before her brother William's 1st birthday in January of 1927.  I can not even begin to imagine how my great-grandmother, Josie must have felt losing her little girl at such a young age and still having a baby and three other children to tend to.  According to the 1930 federal census, my grandmother was living with her maternal grandmother and her uncles in Brooklyn, NY.  Her brothers were with their father and paternal grandparents upstate in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Josie was nowhere to be found.  I wonder if Josie had a breakdown and was hospitalized?  In 1940, Uncle Billy was a 6th grade student living at the Greer School in Millbrook, NY which is only about a half-hours drive from his paternal grandparents in Poughkeepsie.
     Greer School was founded in 1906 as Hope Farm, a home and school for disadvantaged children.  Located in a beautiful, scenic, country setting of  Dutchess County, NY; it provided a home like atmosphere and wholesome environment.  Along with the daily educational curriculum, the children learned domestic skills such as sewing and cooking.  There was also the canning of tomatoes, milking cows, farming, gardening, carpentry, and more.  They received pay for their work and attended church on Sunday mornings.  It was not all work and no play at this residential school.  There were all kinds of sports from football and basketball, their main sports, to hockey and baseball.  They had outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, swimming, boating, and fishing in the warm weather, sledding and ice skating in the winter months.  They had scouting, movie nights, dances, and field trips.  There were children who went home during the holidays and some remained year-round.  I'm guessing and hoping that Uncle Billy went home especially since his family didn't live too far away.
     After graduation, Uncle Billy enlisted in the Navy.  He served out country in WWII and the Korean War.  He went to college on the G.I. Bill and became an engineer.  Sadly, he chose not to keep in touch with his family.  I have a photo of him looking handsome in his uniform during the late 1940's early 50s.  I think this was the last time he saw his sister.
     I found him decades later and he told me his story.  He felt unloved and unwanted when he was sent away to school.  Although this school provided a home with love and many activities that most children would never have received with their families, this wasn't the case with Uncle Billy.
     Uncle Billy lived close to home at this school but it was not the home sweet home that he craved.  Is there "no place like home?"      

                               Uncle Billy in 1939, I think this was at school

blue dot in center is a pond, Rapallo next to it was the cottage that Uncle Billy lived in with close to 20 other boys

  Rapallo was the name of this cottage,  where Uncle Billy lived

Copyright 2020 by Annmarie Novick, Skipping Down Memory Lane. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Generations of Patriotic Gentlemen

     The topic for Week 3 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge was 'Long Line' and I had absolutely no idea what to write about.  I was already behind schedule in my writing and wasted more time trying to figure out what to write then I was home with a sick child.  I left my writing notes at work but the longer I delayed writing the more research I did on and I went back another generation.
     After giving this topic much thought and looking at the pedigree chart on, I saw the long line of Davis men who served this country during the different wars throughout history.
     My maternal grandmother, Eleanor Davis, who I called MaMa, was married to a very patriotic man who served in WWII and the Korean War.  I remember standing with my grandmother watching my grandfather march proudly in the Veterans Day parades.  MaMa had three brothers who all served during WWII.  Two of her brothers were in the Army and her youngest brother, William (Uncle Billy), served in the Navy.  Uncle Billy served our country during WWII and the Korean War.  He went to college on the G.I. Bill and secured an excellent job as an engineer.
     My great-grandfather, Samuel George Davis, was 33 years old in 1918 when he registered for the draft for WWI but did not serve.  I love the WWI draft card records because it gives a physical description of the person with such details as height, and build (slender, medium, stout), hair and eye color and any physical condition which would disqualify such as loss or arm, leg, eyesight, etc.  Samuel was 57 years old when he registered for WWII draft in 1942.  If I don't have a photo of an ancestor then I can visualize what he looked like from the WWI draft card.  Samuel's father, Daniel was deaf and couldn't serve but his brother, Samuel's uncle Melville, registered for the draft in 1918.
     My 2nd great-grandfather, Daniel did not serve in any war due to hearing loss from the Scarlet Fever he had as a child.  Daniel's younger brother, Melville registered for the WWI draft at the age of 42 but he didn't serve.
     My 3rd great-grandfather, William H. Davis registered for the Civil War draft in June of 1863 at the age of 28 or 31 but did not serve.  His older brother, Isaac registered and served as well as three of his younger brothers.  William's younger brothers were David, Daniel, and Ferris.  Daniel Davis had deserted but then returned.  Daniel Davis was mustered into a New York regiment in August of 1862.  He was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, captured at the Battle of James City in Virginia, and died at the Belle Isle POW Camp, Richmond, VA in January of 1864.  Ferris Davis was wounded at Chancellorsville.  It had been noted that he was disabled upon discharge from Army.
     My 4th great-grandfather, Charles L. Davis was born in 1800 and died in 1851.  He did not serve his country but his father and four of his sons did.
     My 5th great-grandfather, John Davis, at the age of 19, was a messenger from West Point, NY to Newburgh, NY in 1779 during the Revolutionary War.  He was in Captain John Hasbrouck's company in the third regiment of Ulster County, NY.
     From 1779 during the Revolutionary War until the Korean War in the early 1950s (1950-1953), my Davis ancestors proudly fought for their country.

                                                        God Bless America

Copyright 2020 by Annmarie Novick, Skipping Down Memory Lane. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

~ Fascinating Photo ~

     I'm late once again with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge.  I had started writing my story for week 2 but I guess I was still caught up in the first week's story that all I could think of was my main goal for this year.  I was ready to post this but my son was home sick and I left my writing at work.
     The theme for Week 2 was "Favorite Photo" and I was all set to write about any of the photos I have of my favorite grandmother when I came across this mystery man.                                                        


     I loved looking at the old black/white photos with my grandmother and listening to her stories about each photo.  There was no story to accompany this man's photo.  This photo is a copy of a tintype.  Who was this man?  I had been told that he was her grandfather (don't remember if she told me how many 'greats') and that he was an American Indian.  My mother and I took DNA tests with and there is no trace of Native American in us.  My grandmother who I called MaMa didn't talk about her ancestors and I never asked.  MaMa's maternal line came from Ireland and Austria.  Her paternal line I was not able to trace back to the 'old country' for anyone.
     This photo looks like it was taken during the Civil War era and if so then he would be her great-grandfather.  MaMa's paternal great-grandfather's were William Davis, born1832 in Milton,NY and Samuel Braught, born approx. 1820 somewhere in Ulster County, NY.  I have William's photo but not Samuel's.  Is this mystery man my 3rd great-grandfather, Samuel?  I don't know much about Samuel other than an approx. year of birth and his death.  He died during the Civil War.  I would love to get military records but it is not in my budget at the moment.  MaMa's maternal great-grandfathers were Stephen Duper who was in Austria during the 1860's and Patrick Devine who emigrated from Ireland to the United States in approx. 1853.  I don't know if Stephen came to the United States with his son in 1888 or arrived later.  Is this a photo that Stephen's son brought with him?  Maybe this is Patrick, my 3rd great-grandfather from Ireland.
     Who is this mystery man?  I wish I had a clear photo with better details and I wish there was someone who could assist me but they are all gone.  Those who have answers are looking down from Heaven and smiling in amusement as I try to piece together the puzzles of the past.    

I edited the photo hoping for an improvement..

Copyright 2020 by Annmarie, Skipping Down Memory Lane. All Rights Reserved.