52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #10: Julia Thomas Davenport (née Tourville) (1843-1915)

Charles Tourville and Sophie Arpajou had eight children who made it to adulthood, four sons and four daughters. Let’s continue with one of their daughters, Julia Tourville, born in Vermont in October 1843.

I do not have an exact birth date for Julia. The 1900 US Census indicates that she was born in October 1843 which makes sense as a document dated October 20, 1851 gives her age as 8, so she would be born in early October 1843. The other censuses confirm that information as well, except for the 1850 and 1860 Census.

In 1860, Julia was 17 years and was working as a servant in a hotel in Chateaugay, NY. She probably married William Thomas, a widower who lost his first wife Ann on November 1, 1864, in early 1865 as she gave birth to their first son on December 24, 1865. It is the only child for William and Julia for whom I found a Catholic baptism. According to the 1900 US Census, Julia had seven children, six of them still living in 1900. Probably one died in infancy as I only found six children for William and Julia. They lived all their lives in Franklin County, New York.

According to the censuses, William and Julia lived in Constable, NY, after moving from Fort Covington, at least until 1880. In 1900, they were living in Brandon, NY, more precisely in Skerry, on a farm. William Thomas died on July 15, 1901 and was buried in Briggs Street Cemetery, in Westville, with his first wife Ann.

I looked for years to find Julia after William’s death and a relative of the Thomas family had found some newspaper articles solving the mystery.

On November 7, 1906, The Malone Farmer had this interesting local news about Julia:

“Mrs. Julia Thomas is repairing her house. J. H. Davenport is doing the work.”

They probably got along fine because the next newspaper article published on December 19, 1906 made the following announcement:

“The many friends of Gail (sic) Davenport and Mrs. Julia Thomas were surprised to learn of their marriage last Thursday. Mrs. Thomas was an old resident of Brandon and was loved and respected by all. Mr. Davenport has made his home here for several years and was kind and charitable. The happy couple will reside at the home of the bride. Many friends wish them much joy in their new relation.”

On August 19, 1908, The Malone Farmer, reported that Julia was quite ill. Fortunately, some ten day later, she was doing much better. Is it because of her health problem that the couple decided at the end of that year to sell the farm or “William Thomas Place” as the newspaper called it, to Henry Larock of Vermont? It seems that they decide to live in Joel’s house in Skerry as in January 1910, they moved from there to their farm in Dickinson where they received visitors like their grandchildren in 1913.

They apparently later moved to Brushton as Joel’s son, John Davenport, from New Hamspshire, visited the couple in 1914.

Julia died on February 7, 1915 in Brushton and was buried in local Sunnyside Cemetery, on Gale Road. I have found this last article on her in The Malone Farmer:

“The many friends of Mrs. Joel Davenport were shocked to hear of her sudden death which occurred at her home in Brushton Sunday evening Feb. 7th. Mrs. Davenport suffered a very severe attack of pneumonia several months ago, and since which time she has suffered with a weakness of the heart which was the direct cause of her death after an illness of less than one hour at the age of 73 years. Mrs. Davenport’s first husband was William Thomas. They with their family moved to this place from Fort Covington about thirty years ago, where they lived until his death fourteen years ago. Eight years ago she married Joel Davenport who survives her, together with six children. Mrs. Bert Eseltine, of Dickinson, Mrs. Joseph French, Mrs. Albert Eseltine, William and Grant Thomas of this place and Mrs. Joseph Cling of Deferiet, N.Y., Mrs. Chas. McElwain and George Thomas also of this town are step children. The funeral was held from the Christian church at Brushton Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Shaw officiating. Interment at Brushton. To the aged husband and family a large circle of friends extend their sympathy in the loss of a faithful and loving wife and mother.”

With these articles, I have lots of work to do! First of all, William Thomas had a farm, maybe more than one, so I should check the land record index of Franklin County, either in Malone, NY or on my next trip to Salt Lake City. It’s lucky for me they lived all their lives in Franklin County. Second, I would like to find the obituaries of her children, I might find out more details.

And last, here is a picture of Julia and William, her first husband. Would this be a picture at the time of their wedding? She was 22 and quite pretty, he was 45.

Julia Tourville and William Thomas (1865?)

Julia Tourville and William Thomas (1865?)

Her second husband, Joel H. Davenport, died in 1920 in Massachusetts, while visiting his niece. I haven’t found his burial place yet.

You might be interested in Julia Tourville’s first husband, William Thomas, as well. He was also featured in a post here.


52 Ancestors / 52 Weeks is an idea proposed by Amy Johnson Crow. Link on the image for more details about it.

52 Ancestors / 52 Weeks is an idea proposed by Amy Johnson Crow. Link on the image for more details about it.

#genchat: My homework’s done!

Two weeks ago, Jen Baldwin gave us a homework on #genchat. She proposed that we revisit a document and see what we overlooked. Does it count if we overlook an entire document? I say yes!

I was preparing for my #6 – 52 Ancestors Challenge, looking through my emails and I found a message from 3 years ago (I was sick 3 years ago for 3 months so that would explain why this document is still in my emails and not in my files).

The document is an 1861 newspaperclip from a Franklin County, N.Y. newspaper (Malone Frontier Palladium) concerning a mortgage lawsuit. It involves Charles Tourville (born 1828 in Quebec) living in Chateaugay, N.Y. I will investigate this matter and it will become a future #52 Ancestors article.

Some people asked me why the Tourvilles in Chateaugay were called DeTourville instead of Tourville, I always thought that this “De” was for “dit” (as in “dit” names). We have a proof here, “Charles Ebou (sic) DeTourville”. I think it is the first time I see the name Hubou in a US document.

Malone (NY) Frontier Palladium, Thursday September 19, 1861

Malone (NY) Frontier Palladium, Thursday September 19, 1861