Thursday, March 25, 2010

This time I'm really back----Update on ancestor Joseph Davis

We finally thawed out here and I am able to not only get to the computer, I can sit long enough to type. It's been colder than-------here and my computer is in our non-heated basement so I literally froze out. I know, I know, being in Arizona I don't even know how to spell the word cold. Wellll anyway, I'm really back and so shall remain. I hope to get you up to date on the family genealogy I've been doing over the winter---on Gene's portable computer in a warm room of the house. 

I have a little bit of new information on Joseph Davis--not much---but every little bit helps though
     I had a small breakthrough on the Joseph Davis conundrum and just, I mean like yesterday, was able to get in touch with a desdendant of one of Joseph's half-sister's through his mother's (Agnus/Nancy Leeman/Leman/Lehman) marriage to Samuel Davis with whom she and a Margarita Davis (widow of one of Samuel's brothers?) were living in 1850. He confirmed the marriage of Agnus and Samuel Davis and provided me with the names of Samuel and Agnus's (Nancy) children.  In that census in Middlesex Twp., Butler County, Pennsylvania. Joseph, 10 at the time, was nowhere to be be found. Where Agnus had him stashed then is a mystery to me and has been for 35 years.  If anyone out there has a clue, I'd sure appreciate it.

     As an interesting aside, living almost next door in 1850 was Samuel's 80 year old father, John--wife dead by then---who hailed from the town of Bridgend, County Donegal, Ireland. Living with John was one of Samuel's younger brother's and his family. It seems the family had moved from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where Samuel was born, to Middlesex Twp, Butler County, Pa.  Why is this important? Well, just maybe, Agnus also hailed from the same place, Bridgend, County Donegal, Ireland, and when she came to America she needed a place to go to so went to the home of a family aquaintenance who used to live next door in Ireland before migrating to America. A common happening in those days. I haven't checked this idea out yet but I sure intend to.

     As I stated above, in the 1850 census and living with Samuel Davis, Agnus is listed as Agnus Leman(census spelling of her name). In the 1860 and 1870 censuses, now listed as Samuel Davis's wife, she is shown as Nancy Davis and in the 1880 census, still shown as  Samuel's wife, but now as Agnus Davis. I have very little doubt that Agnus and Nancy are one and the same. I must admit though, I have no paper trail to back that supposition up. She died the following year, 1881, and is buried as Nancy Davis in nearby Prospect Cemetery in the plot owned by Samuel Davis. According to data from Prospect Cemetery, buried alongside her in the same plot, are children, Baby Davis, died 1863, John Davis d1872, Robert Davis d1872, (both children of Samuel and Agnus)  Rebecca Lehman, age 2, born 1884, Wilkins, Pennsylvania, died in Hite, Pennsylvania of Brain Fever (typhoid fever?), 6 February, 1886, and last but not least,  J. W. Lehman, born Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1840, died of Typhoid Fever, 12 February, 1886 in Hite, Allegheny County,Pennsylvania.

     All seems to fit, except, in the 1880 census---the only census that I can definitely say it is Joseph---he calls himself Joseph Davis. And, more puzzling, there is absolutely no family lore of the existence of a child of Joseph and his wife Saran Ann (Kennedy) named Rebecca. Compounding this, in the 1900 census Sarah Ann stated she had six children five of whom were still living. If I use Rebecca I can come up with six children, William Stevick, Martha Bell, Amy Nancy (?), Anny Theresa, Albert Hooker aka Herbert Albert and Rebecca. However, in 1900 two would be dead instead of one, Amy Nancy and Rebecca.  Martha Bell and Amy Nancy are listed in William Kennedy's bible however, Anny Theresa, Albert Hooker and Rebecca are not. And remember, living with Joseph and Sarah Ann at  the time was his daughter, Laura, from a previous marriage of his. Was Sarah Ann referring to Laura as the fifth living child even though she was not her's by birth and either Amy Nancy or Rebecca as the dead one? If so, whose child was Rebecca?   If any of you out there are working on this family I could sure use your help.

     I suspect Joseph Davis and J. W. Lehman are one and the same and that Amy Nancy and Rebecca are the children of Joseph and Sarah, but I have no proof, especially for Rebecca. Amy Nancy is at least listed in Sarah Ann's father's, William Kennedy, bible.

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