Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Great Grandmother, Margarette Edwards Davis

My paternal great-grandmother, Margarette Ann Edwards Davis (1844-1917) was a lifelong resident of Sullivan County, NY; daughter of John Edwards and Catherine Wood; sister of Deborah, George, and Uriah Blake; wife of Horace E. Davis, and mother of Osmer, Edmond, Hannah Adella, and Ralph B. (my grandfather).

What fun it is to read some of the letters she wrote. Excerpts below.  

According to my dad, "My grandmother was a very strict disciplinarian. She was a very religious woman and taught Sunday School. She maintained a very strict household, one in which you didn't dare sit down unless you were told to do so. If you wanted something you always had to ask properly, "May I have a cookie?" and she would then go out to the wood shed where the cookie jar was kept and get you ONE cookie."

On November 13, 1861 Margarette wrote her sister Debbie Edwards Fish: "Dear Sister Debbie, As George is coming to see you  I thought I would write a few lines. I ought not to for you have not written since you were here and you did not make half a visit." She tells her sister the local news:  
". . . George Albies Wife has got a boy they were married 2 or 3 weeks they are what you may call smart. Mary is teaching in Gorton's District & boards to Gortons. Well Debbie there has been another death since you was home one we little expected of Julia Kracht. . ." 
". . . We have killed our hog & I have got all through now so I will have quite a leisure time. It is a good job done. I made sausage & head cheese. Well write will you & let us know how George got there. Good by from your Affectionate Sister, Anny Davis, Youngsville, NY."    

In another letter dated Oct. 26, 1862, Morrston, NY, she wrote, "Dear Brother & Sister, Your kind letter came to me Tuesday the 21st so being so very busy I will now take the time and answer it. I wanted to write before but not knowing wether you still lived in Youngsville or not I thought I would wait and see if you would not think enough of me to send me a line or two and let me know . .  "  

Cont'd . . . 

". . . I am well but quite lame. We are living up stairs now. We have got through plastering the lower part but Horace thought it was so damp I would take cold to sleep down stairs but we are going to move down this week. . ."
". . . Eunice has not got home yet so you see I don't have any one to run in and see me. I am alone. I would like it if you was close by so you could come often. Hor says he won't come to see you till he can fetch something with us. I think you know what it is but you must not tell Ed." [My note: Margaret was pregnant with their first child.]
". . . Write to us again and direct to Parksville as there is no Post Office at Morston now. My love to both children. From your affectionate Sister Margaret Anne. To Edmund & Debbie Fish
". . . I have a Tea chest full of apples dryed and have got more to dry and we have pan cakes. . . "


Celebrating their 50th. Livingston Manor Times 4 Jan 1912. "The fiftieth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Horace E. Davis of Livingston Manor, held Monday at their residence on DuBois Street, brought together a happy reunion of the older and younger members of the Davis family. A number of handsome gold presents made glad the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Davis and a most sumptuous dinner was served at 2 p.m.
The guests include: Mr. and Mrs. E. Fish, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Davis and Mr. and Mrs. P. Davis of Livingston Manor; Mr. and Mrs. O.P. Davis and daughter and Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Davis of Liberty; Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Davis and son of Palisades Park, New Jersey; Miss Maud Wadhams of Livingston Manor and Frank R. Bennett of New York."

Both Margarette and her sister, Debbie, died of pneumonia within three days of each other. Their obituaries appeared in the Middletown Times Press, Middletown, NY, February 2, 1917.   

Margarette's death certificate says it all. She was born June 22, 1844 in Sullivan County, NY, and died Jan. 25, 1917 in Livingston Manor, NY. She was 72, married, and a housewife. Her parents were John Edwards and Catherine Wood both of Sullivan County. The attending physician was her nephew, J. William Davis and the informant was her son (my grandfather), Ralph B. Davis, of Palisades Park, NJ. Place of burial was listed as Livingston Manor . . . 

 . . . where the sisters are buried next to each other in the Methodist Cemetery.  Margaret and Horace here. Debbie and Edmund Fish here 

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

1 comment:

  1. So sad the sisters died so close together.
    The cookies were kept in the wood shed?! What a hoot, and a great diet!! Haha