Traces, Newsletter #5

Newsletter #5January 2010

Traces is a newsletter that we are sending to over 100 family, friends, and the many nice people we have met through years of research into the Davis families of Ulster County and vicinity. We hope it will help all of us learn more about our Davis ancestors. Please contact us if you have stories to share, would like more information, or just want to let us know how we are doing.

Who we are:
Richard Davis of LaHave, Nova Scotia, descendant of Moses Davis and Lydia Markle.

Diana Davis Deppe of Hudson Falls, N.Y., sister of Richard.

Barbara Davis Schaffer of Livingston, NJ, descendant of William Davis and Maria Kittle.

To contact us:
E-mail Richard Davis at
[email protected]

or Barbara Schaffer at
[email protected]

Regular mail: Diana Davis Deppe, 28 Thomas Ave., Hudson Falls, NY 12839

We are always delighted to meet new "cousins." Feel free to contact us. We would especially like to hear about your Davis ancestors who fought in either the Revolutionary War or the Civil War. With your permission your stories and photos could appear here.

Traces is free, if you would like to subscribe send an e-mail to Richard for an e-mail version, or to Diana for a paper copy. If you know someone who would appreciate receiving Traces feel free to forward it, or send us an e-mail or postal address and we will send it to them. And please e-mail or write if you do not want to receive Traces in the future.

More Davis Genealogy:
Many Davis names can be found in our gedcoms, which are online genealogical databases:

Another Davis Family Tree

Project Background
This Geographic Project is focused primarily on the Davis surname but is open to all families with roots in Ulster County, New York, and surrounding area. The purpose of this project is to provide a place where Y Chromosome DNA test results from this geographical area can be shown side by side so that family connections, and non-connections, can be easily seen.

Our goal is to use Y-DNA testing to firmly establish the relationships of the various early Ulster County area families, including the well known and documented family of Christopher "Kit" Davis, one of the earliest European settlers of what is now Ulster County, New York.

We encourage any males with early paternal line roots in Ulster County to join us. Females whose direct paternal line originates from this area can have a paternal side male relative test for this project.

For more information on how we've already used Genetic Genealogy, how we hope to continue using it in the future, and how to join us see the article "Genetic Genealogy, Finding Our Roots Through DNA", in Traces issue #4, October 2009.

Below is a complete list of the Davis/Davies mentioned in the Wawarsing Reformed Dutch Church Records recorded by Vosburgh in 1922.

Date: 18 Dec 1774
Parents: William Davies; Maria Kittle
Child: Elizabeth

Date: 08 Apr 1776
Parents: William Davis; Maria Kittle
Child: Sarah
Witnesses: John Kittle; Sarah Kortreght

Date: 15 Dec 1777
Parents: William Davis; Maria Kittle
Child: Jacobus

Date: 18 Jan 1784
Parents: William Davis; Maria Kettle
Child: Maria
Birth Date: 05 Jan 1784

Date: 27[1787]
Parents: William Davis; Maria Kettle
Child: Arriantje
Birth Date: 28 Oct 1786
Witnesses: Sarah Kettle; Abram Kettle

Date: 21 Nov 1789
Parents: Gideon Hornbeek; Abigail Davis
Child: Andrew
Birth Date: 16 Aug 1789
Witnesses: Andries Vanleuwe; Marretje Davis

Date: 02 May 1790
Parents: William Bodly; Blandena Bevier
Name: Jenneke
Birth Date: 18 May 1790
Witnesses: Henry Davis; Elizabeth Bodly

Date: 1791
Parents: Gideon Hornbeek; Abigail Davits
Child: Elizabeth
Birth Date: 2 Nov 1791

Date: 07 Jan 1795
Parents: William Davis; Maria Kittle
Name: Zuzanah
Birth Date: 02 Oct 1794

Date: 08 Mar 1798
Parents: Isaac Concklin; Elzabeth Davis
Name: Cathrina Maria
Birth Date: 04 Mar 1798
Witnesses: Margrieta Concklin

Date: (record not clear)
Parents: Jacobus Davies; Nancy Wooden
Name: Henry Wooden
Birth Date: 06 Nov 1800

Date: 12 Sep 1802
Parents: Catrina Terwilleger, the wife of Heny Kettle
Name: Polly
Birth Date: 03 Aug 1802
Witnesses: Caterina Davis

Date: 24 Oct 1802
Parents: Daniel Osterhout; Polly Davis
Name: Caty
Birth Date: 10 Jul 1802

Date: 13 May 1804
Parents: Mary Davis, wife of James Irwin
Name: William
Birth Date: 11 Mar 1804

Date: 17 Nov 1805
Parents: Mary Davis, wife of James Irwin
Name: Elizabeth
Birth Date: 10 Sep 1805

Date: 23 Feb 1806
Parents: Daniel Oosterhout; Polly Davis
Name: Nancy
Birth Date: 01 Dec 1805

Date: 27 Sep 1807
Parents: Mary Davis, wife of James Irwin
Name: Jane
Birth Date: 14 Jul 1807

Date: 29 Nov 1807
Parents: Daniel Oosterhout; Polly Davis
Name: Henry
Birth Date: 11 Oct 1807

Date: 25 Feb 1810
Parents: Daniel Osterhout; Mary Davis
Name: Wyntie
Birth Date: 28 Aug 1809

Date: 11 May 1811
Parents: John Davis; Charity Wilson
Name: Benjamin Hornbek
Birth Date: 02 Mar 1811

Date: 06 Oct 1811
Parents: Daniel Osterhout; Polly Davis
Name: Richard Davis
Birth Date: 03 Sep 1811

Date: 06 Jun 1813
Parents: John W. Davis; Charity Wilson
Name: Maria
Birth Date: 03 Jan 1813

(The following 12 baptisms were recorded by Rev. James Murphy, who recorded birth dates only.)

Parents: John Davis; Charity Wilson
Name: Elizabeth Ousterhoudt
Birth Date: 28 Nov 1814

Parents: Daniel Ousterhoudt; Mary Davis
Name: Peter
Birth Date: 21 Sep 1814

Parents: John Davis; Charity Wilson
Name: James Giles
Birth Date: 20 Apr 1817

Parents: Susana Davis, wife of John Harris
Name: William Doll
Birth Date: 18 Jul 1813

Parents: Susana Davis, wife of John Harris
Name: Caty
Birth Date: 28 May 1816

Parents: Coonradt Davis; Jane Schoonmaker
Name: Sarah Anne
Birth Date: 20 Sep 1817

Parents: John W. Davis; Charity Wilson
Name: Abner
Birth Date: 07 Oct 1819

Parents: Jane V. Bunschoten, wife of Moses Davis
Name: Cornelius Vernooy
Birth Date: 11 Sep 1821

Parents: John W. Davis; Charity Wilson
Name: Hannah Wilson
Birth Date: 09 Jun 1822

Parents: Daniel Osterhoudt; Polly Davis
Name: John
Birth Date: 04 Sep 1820

Parents: Jane Van Bunshoten, wife of Moses Davis
Name: James Clinton De Witt
Birth Date: 28 Sep 1823

Parents: John W. Davis; Charity Willson
Name: Reuben Vernooy
Birth Date: 17 May 1825

Date: 27 Oct 1827
Parents: Jacob C. Turner; Jane Irvin
Name: Maria Davis
Birth Date: 19 Mar 1818

Date: 28 Feb 1830
Parents: John W. Davis; Charity Willson
Name: Willis Havelin
Birth Date: 22 Dec 1829

Date: 03 Aug 1845
Parents: James G. Davis; Elizabeth Roots
Name: Delia
Birth Date: 28 Jan 1845

Date: 03 Sep 1847
Parents: James G. Davis; Elizabeth Roots
Name: Maria Helen
Birth Date: 06 Sep 1846

Date: 05 Jul 1851
Parents: - Davis; - -
This name was written in lead pencil in the original record, to indicate the beginning of the pastorate of the Rev. Daniel Mc Laren Quackenbush.

Date: Aug 1774
Name: William Davis
Spouse: Maria Kittle
Comment: William Davis, young man, born in New Jersey, with Maria Kittle, young woman, born at Wawarsing and both residing there.

Date: 28 Jan 1830
Name: William Phillip
Spouse: Margaret David
Comment: William Phillip, of Lackawaxen, Pike County, Pennsylvania, Merchant, Aged 27 years, to Margaret David, of Phillipsport, Sullivan Co., N. Y., Spinster, aged 20 Yrs., 6 months. Witness present, Jno. P. Phillip, Phillipsport.

Date: 24 Jun 1832
Name: Herman Rosecrants Smith
Spouse: Sarah Ann Davis
Witnesses: Herman Rosecrants Smith, Sarah Ann Davis.

Date: 16 Apr 1834
Name: William Blackmore
Spouse: Maria Davis

Date: 08 Apr 1803
Comment: On satisfactory confession of faith were received as members of the congregation: wife of Egbert De Witt
Name: Wyntye Davis

Date: 01 May 1819
Comment: After calling on God in Prayer the following persons, on confession of their Faith were received as Members in full communion: wife of John W. Davis
Name: Charity Wilson

Members in Full Communion in the P. R. D. Church, Wawarsing, 25th May, 1842
Name: Charity Davis

Date: 28 Nov 1842
Name: Mary Davis
Comment: widow of Danl. Osterhoudt.

Date: 27 Feb 1843; 04 Mar 1843
Name: James G. Davis

Date: 27 Feb 1843; 04 Mar 1843
Name: Benjamin H. Davis

Date: 27 Feb 1843; 04 Mar 1843
Name: Elizabeth Roots
Comment: wife of James G. Davis.

Date: 03 Apr 1848
Name: John W. Davis

“In reference to our great grandfather, Henry, there is a tradition in the family that he had ‘second sight,’” so wrote Muriel Davis Wright in the Davis Genealogy that she compiled and sent to my father (envelope above) in 1935. No matter how many times I referred to the names and dates in that genealogy, I kept going back to read, and re-read, the stories Muriel had written. But just how much truth was there to her story-telling? And, what exactly did it all mean? I finally realized the stories were leading me to names and events that I never would have known about, thereby, providing clues in my quest to document my own Davis family history. Muriel had some wonderful stories to tell of her father and grandfather, as well as our shared ancestor, Henry Wooden Davis. This is how it all began:

“Henry Davis left Ulster County and went up into Sullivan County to the vicinity of what is now known as Livingston Manor prior to 1838……"The more I searched church and census records, published genealogies, histories and newspaper accounts, the easier it was to create a timeline of events which included Muriel’s stories, but in doing so I needed to start from the beginning.

Jacobus Davis, eldest son of William Davis and Maria Kittle, married Nancy Wooden about 1799. Their first child, Henry Wooden Davis, was born November 6, 1800 in Wawarsing. By 1820 the family had migrated from Ulster County to densely wooded Sullivan County. Perhaps the move was prompted by the need for employment as one source states Jacobus was a tanner by trade and became involved with the William Bradley tannery in Parksville. Another source states Henry had also been employed by a tannery known as Bradley & Shoemaker.

On October 7, 1822, Henry married Eunice Fisk, eldest daughter of William Fisk and Hannah Martin who were originally from Williamstown, VT. About this same time Edward Livingston, heir of the Livingston Tract of the original Hardenburgh Patent, started selling lots to the tenants who were homesteading on his property. Fred Fries, Livingston Manor historian writes, “The Sullivan County records for these early deeds show that Henry Wooden Davis was the first of Davis landowners at Rockland, though the exact date is unrecorded and unknown, but by 1832 Davis sold the forty-eight acre lot located along the Little Beaverkill to Nathaniel Tomlinson, his brother-in-law. The Jacobus Davis deed from Edward Livingston is dated 1835 while Albert Davis’ deed from the landlord is dated 1839.”

In 1827, Henry and Eunice named their third daughter, Harriet Bradley Davis, probably after Eunice’s sister, Harriet Fisk, and William Bradley, her future husband. Bradley was a very successful land dealer and is most likely the person Jacobus Davis knew and by whom Henry was employed at one time. He not only operated a tannery at Parksville, but also a smaller one along the banks of the Little Beaverkill on land owned by Salmon Steele, Henry’s neighbor. When the 1850 census was taken Bradley’s occupation was that of ‘tanner’ but Henry’s was ‘farmer’ even though most of his neighbors reported they worked in a tannery. It is likely Henry’s involvement with the Bradley tannery was prior to 1850.

By 1836 the Davises went their separate ways. Henry and his brothers, James B. and Albert E., remained in Sullivan County while their parents, Jacobus and Nancy, along with younger brother, George, and possibly a sister or two, migrated to Brighton, MI, where Jacobus became a landowner in January 1837. About this same time, Henry’s sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, Nathaniel Tomlinson, arrived in Brighton after migrating from Washtenaw, MI, eventually settling in Howell; and brother, John W. and his wife, Lucy Crippen of Rockland were in Brighton by 1840 and settled in Portland, MI, by 1858.

…“my grandfather, Wallace Davis, told my father he was born on what is called the Mussman Farm, which Henry owned at that time, and lived there until he was past eight years old for he remembered breaking his arm there at that age…...” James Wallace Davis was born October 7, 1838. Muriel’s reference to the Mussman Farm may well have coincided with that of another that appeared in an early published biographical history of the Davis family which states Henry “bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres at Livingston Manor, where he spent his last years.” Interestingly, there was a Mussman Farm that was located on the east side of Rt. 17 at Morsston which, according to an article in the Sullivan County Review in 1923, was owned by A. A. Mussman who sold the house and farm buildings and about 160 acres of land to Almos & Cohen of New York City. Could this be the same farm that Henry had owned?

Henry’s wife, Eunice, died on August 12, 1844, almost one month to the day after giving birth to their ninth child, Eunice Fisk Davis. Henry, then 44 years old, was left with eight children to care for, ages sixteen to one month. Eunice was buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Livingston Manor.

“Thru some legal difficulties, Henry W. Davis lost the farm and went, with his family into the employ of _____Grey, father of Cyrus Grey. To him he lost all of stock, leaving his family destitute.” James Gray, father of Cyrus Gray, and James’s brother, also Cyrus, were well-known business men in Parksville. Eventually, James D. Gray became one of the proprietors of the general store known as Gray, Davis, & Krum’s (see advertisement in Traces issue #1). The other two proprietors were Milton Krum, son of Peter and Rebecca Krum of Liberty, and Harrison W. Davis, Henry’s nephew, son of Albert E. Davis and, his wife, Helen Krum.

“Aunt Betsey Broadard (Broadhead?) grandmother of John C. Smith, who was their housekeeper, took her own money and purchased the Ross Farm, above Morston [sic], where the children grew up.” Aunt Betsey Broadhead is most likely Elizabeth Gusey Broadhead, the widow of Cornelius Broadhead.

When the 1850 Rockland census was taken, Elizabeth “Davis” was enumerated in Henry’s household, along with his children, Harrison [Horace], James W., Plymouth and Eunice; but, there was also another family living in that dwelling, William Smith, Cornelia, and son, John C.

When Muriel wrote that Elizabeth was John C.’s grandmother, then Cornelia had to be her daughter. Elizabeth and her first husband, Cornelius, had seven children in Rockland, two of whom were Cornelia and Wickham. These two siblings lived practically next door to each other in 1850: Cornelia in Henry’s household and Wickham in Salmon Steele’s.

Through the years Elizabeth was enumerated as a Davis but it is not known whether or not she and Henry ever married. They remained together for at least the next twenty years, during which time Henry’s children married and began having families of their own. Some moved away while others remained in the area: Nancy Davis had already married Daniel Garritt, a blacksmith from Liberty; Hannah Davis married David Dean and eventually migrated to Onarga, IL; Harriet Bradley Davis married Frank Meriam, a broker from Brooklyn; Horace Davis married Margarette Ann Edwards in Youngsville; James Wallace Davis married Hannah Jane Leroy in Monticello, the same day and place where Plymouth married Harriet DeWitt; Eunice Fisk Davis married Milton Conine, a grocer from Binghamton, NY.

Not much is known about Henry and Eunice’s other two sons, Daniel and William. Daniel Davis was last enumerated in 1850 living with Harriet and William Bradley in Liberty. According to Muriel’s genealogy, William moved to either Indiana or Illinois where he married and had several children.

Henry was in his 60’s when his other sons returned from the Civil War: Horace E. had served with the 2nd NY Mounted Rifles where he received a Distinguished Service Award for injuries he sustained at the Battle of Petersburg; James W. and Plymouth had served with the 56th NY Volunteer Infantry and were discharged for disabilities. Fries notes, “After the war, James Wallace Davis returned to the family farm located on the flats between Old Morsston and Purvis.” Could this be the Mussman Farm?

Horace Davis, center, and his brothers Plymouth and James Wallace. The original photograph was attached to Horace's Civil War Discharge Certificate. A large jpg of this certificate can be found here.

While Henry’s sons returned home his grandson did not. Hesekiah Garritt, son of Henry’s eldest daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Daniel, was killed September 30, 1864 at Pegram’s Farm, VA, at the age of eighteen. Like his uncle Horace, he had enlisted on January 23, 1864 and served with the 2nd NY Mounted Rifles in Co. G.

As for Henry having ‘second sight,’ here is the rest of Muriel’s story: “On one such occasion, when my grandfather was a young boy, the two of them were walking along the road. Suddenly Henry Davis stopped and taking off his hat, stood for some minutes with bowed head. When the boy asked why, he said, “Didn’t you see them?” and described the funeral procession of someone they had thought was still alive, telling who were following the hearse in detail. The next day, my grandfather was amazed to see everything and everybody pass as his father had seen it.”

Muriel Davis Wright’s oral history proved to be invaluable. After a long and interesting life, Henry died December 22, 1874 and was buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Livingston Manor next to his wife, Eunice.

Henry Wooden Davis
by Barbara Davis Schaffer

Below is a four generation Descendant Report of Henry Wooden Davis and his wife, Eunice Fisk. It is based on information culled from family records as well as primary, secondary and other relevant sources. Additions and corrections are always welcome.

(1) Henry Wooden DAVIS (b.1800 d.1874)
sp: Eunice FISK (b.1802 m.1822 d.1844)
(2) Nancy DAVIS (b.1824 d.1881)
sp: Daniel S. GARRITT (b.1822 m.1842 d.1898)
(3) Mary S. GARRITT (b.1843)
(3) Hesekiah GARRITT (b.1846 d.1864)
(2) Hannah A. DAVIS (b.1826 d.1910)
sp: David DEAN (b.1829 m.1851 d.1919)
(3) Charles E. DEAN (b.1852)
(3) Irving Monroe DEAN (b.1854 d.1915)
sp: Cora L. LAYCOCK (b.1865 m.1884 d.1939)
(4) Elizabeth Alice DEAN (b.1884 d.1975)
sp: James Matlock OGDEN (b.1870 m.1903 d.1956)
(4) Vera Irving DEAN (b.1892)
sp: Claus H. BEST (b.1890 m.1920)
(3) Cora M. DEAN (b.1864)
sp: Unknown SEYFORTH
(2) Harriett Bradley DAVIS (b.1827 d.1898)
sp: Francis MERIAM (b.1832 m.1857 d.1901)
(3) Isabella MERIAM (b.1858)
(3) Francis Wheeler MERIAM (b.1862)
(2) Daniel DAVIS (b.1830)
(2) William E. DAVIS (b.1834)
(2) Horace E. DAVIS (b.1837 d.1924)
sp: Margarette Ann EDWARDS (b.1844 m.1862 d.1917)
(3) Osmer P. DAVIS (b.1862 d.1935)
sp: Carolyn LAWRENCE (b.1867 m.1894 d.1947)
(4) Olga DAVIS (b.1887)
(4) Florence DAVIS (b.1895 d.1975)
sp: Unknown SELLE
(3) Edmond F. DAVIS (b.1868 d.1937)
sp: Emma UNKNOWN (b.1876 m.1895)
(4) Marguerite DAVIS (b.1897)
sp: Lillian E. TREMPER (b.1860 m.1910 d.1945)
(3) Hannah Adella DAVIS (b.1869 d.1894)
sp: George Elsworth LAWRENCE (b.1865 m.1885 d.1939)
(4) Irene I. LAWRENCE (b.1889)
sp: Unknown BLAUVELT
(3) Ralph Butler DAVIS (b.1882 d.1971)
sp: Maude HANKINSON (b.1884 m.1906 d.1967)
(4) Ralph Franklin DAVIS (b.1909 d.1992)
sp: Henrietta Florence BOWER (b.1910 m.1936 d.1964)
(4) Alvin Butler DAVIS (b.1912 d.2001)
sp: Helen NAIRN (b.1920 d.2006)
(4) Margaret Edwards DAVIS (b.1914 d.1972)
sp: Kenneth ROSEMAN (b.1909 d.1986)
(2) James Wallace DAVIS (b.1838 d.1912)
sp: Hannah Jane LEROY (b.1839 m.1865 d.1914)
(3)James William DAVIS (b.1876 d.1933)
sp: Kathryn Jeannette HOPE (b.1879 m.1904 d.1947)
(4) Muriel Adelaide DAVIS (b.1905 d.1973)
sp: Daniel Wentworth WRIGHT (b.1898 m.1926)
(4) Clare M. DAVIS (b.1906)
sp: A. Alfred SOLOMON (b.1905 d.1983)
(3) Clara LeRoy Burr DAVIS (b.1871 d.1933)
sp: Wellington WOOLSEY (b.1867 m.1890 d.1926)
(4) Laverne WOOLSEY (b.1897 d.1917)
sp: Wilton R. BAIRD (b.1897 m.1916 d.1917)
(2) Plymouth DAVIS (b.1839 d.1912)
sp: Harriet A. DEWITT (b.1844 m.1865 d.1927)
(3) Frank W. DAVIS (b.1868)
sp: Jennie A. BATSFORD (b.1874 m.1895 d.1920)
(4) Floyd H. DAVIS (b.1896 d.1897)
(4) Kenneth H. DAVIS (b.1899)
sp: Hazel UNKNOWN (b.1902 m.1928)
(4) Henrietta DAVIS (b.1900)
(4) Kathia DAVIS (b.1915)
(3) Oda DAVIS (b.1871 d.1899)
sp: William S. WADHAMS (b.1871)
(4) Maud WADHAMS (b.1894)
sp: Frank W. HARTIG (b.1891)
(2) Eunice Fisk DAVIS (b.1844 d.1929)
sp: Milton CONINE (b.1835)
(3) Richard F. CONINE (b.1873)
sp: Frances GETCHELL (b.1883)
sp: Elizabeth GUSEY (b.1801)

This gelatin-based photo from the late 1890s, was taken in Elba Township, north of the village of Bannister, MI. It is of the homestead of George Sedan Davis, son of Jacobus Davis and Nancy Wooden, and grandson of William Davis and Maria Kittle. From left to right are Mary Ann (Oliver) Davis, wife of George Jr., unidentified child, George Davis Jr., unidentified child, unidentified child, Frank Davis, son of George Jr. and Mary Ann, unidentified child, Jane (Smith) Davis, widow of George Sedan Davis, and William Davis, son of Jane and George. It was sent to us by Robert H. Davis in Tennessee, a grandson of Mary Ann and George Junior.

These charming tintype photographs were sent to us by Robert E. Davis in Washington state, they are of his great great grandparents, Moses H. Davis and wife, Marietta Ploeg, probably taken in the late 1850s or early 60s. Moses and Marietta lived most of their lives in and around Kingston. According to his death record Moses was the son of Henry Peter Davis, Henry being a son of Petrus Davis and Theodosia Ferris.

1940 Census, Coming in 2012
by Diana Davis Deppe

Part of an original blank 1940 census schedule.

As we all know, this is a census year. Those of us who do genealogy as a hobby are anxiously waiting to see the 1940 census, which will be released by the National Archives on April 2, 2012. By law, there is a 72-year restriction on release of the census documents for privacy reasons.

The 1940 census will contain a great deal more information than any previous census. The documents include personal information on the head of household and all people living in that household or temporarily absent from the household. The census also goes into detail about employment, the residence, veterans' information and where the members of the household were living in 1935.

Older censuses are available, from the first one in 1790 through 1930, except for 1890, most of which was destroyed in a fire and lost forever.

Back issues of Traces Newsletters are being archived on our RootsWeb Freepage at

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional