Archive for January, 2020

Out and About with the Denslers

January 31, 2020

Leslie and I are trailing the Densler families again.

The city of Savannah has a cemetery database. I’ve mentioned it before when I’m looking for dead people.

I scrolled through all the Denslers, and I screenshot the ones I am interested in.

Barbara is most probably the spinster whose will I posted here.

I found a record of her death on ancestry. She died at the home of her aunt at the S. E. Corner of the new church. Another mystery as to the name of the aunt and the location of the church. She is the sister of Densler, the chair maker.


I don’t know Edmond. I suspect that Edwin is the son of Frederick and Mary Pearson Densler, since he’s buried in their mausoleum at Lot 480 in Laurel Grove North, and they did have a son named Edwin.


I suspect “Frederick” was reinterred from Colonial to LGN as “Fredrick”.

GenealogyBank tells us by way of the Columbian Museum newspaper on May 17, 1820, the P. L. Wicks had a shoe store at the location of the ground floor of Mr. Frederick Densler’s residence on the corner of Broughton and Bull.




Has removed to the corner of Broughton and Bull streets, (directly under the residence of mr. Frederick Densler,) where he is now opening a fresh supply of


Kid, Satin, Prunella and other Fancy


ALSO–Gentlemen’s Calfskin & Morocco

Boots, buckskin Shoes, &c.

Together with travelling and fancy Trunks of every description–sweeping Brooms–scrubbing, shoe, white-wash and counter Brushes.

Also–Lee’s Japan Blacking, which he offers low, at wholesale or retail.

Grateful for past favors, he hopes by industry and attention to merit a share of public patronage.


may 4


I don’t know who John is. Laura is buried in Laurel Grove South which is an African-American cemetery. I think the Denslers in LGS are related to the Colonial Denslers through slavery and possible DNA.


Mary is Aunt Polly Densler buried in Lot 480 in LGN. I don’t know the Mary in Colonial or in Lot 354 in LGN.


Sophia is a mystery. There were several Sophias. One was the daughter of Michael who died young, and I would chance to say that she was buried at the plantation at Vernonburg. I think the Sophia at LGN was a Densler by marriage.


Virginia can’t be found, at least not by us, at Colonial. Little William was a child of Frederick and Mary Pearson Densler. He would also have been reinterred at LGN even though the database doesn’t show that.


Annnd we’re off…

First to Laurel Grove to Lot 296 to find that Sophia Densler has no marker. She is buried at gravesite 8.

It is a double plot encompassing 296 and 297.

This is the Spring-Mallery plot. Was she a Spring or a Mallery?

These people aren’t giving us any clues.

On to Mary Densler at 354.

Nothing. No marker for her. There are markers, but none that mean anything to us.

She should be here.

Now on to Lot 480 where this all started. More surprises here. Another marker had been reset, this time for John. He is a son of Michael and Ann. This runaway slave advertisement is from GenealogyBank, December 8, 1821, “Georgian” newspaper from Savannah, Georgia.

Somebody ran over the marker for “482” and broke it off.


departed this life

October 22nd 1835,

Aged 35 Years 11 months & 22 days.

Ye fleeting scenes of Earth adieu

Which I no more shall know

My friends a long farewell to you

And all my sorrows here below.

And you my Mother kind and dear

I bid farewell to you,

No more on earth your love to share

Until we meet in heaven above.

Y’all, I would love to go to the cemetery when they are resetting a gravestone. I feel like I have been missing something in my life.

We loop around to the Bateson plot to pick up the poinsettia pot from Christmas because the poinsettia is surely deceased.

We find more restoration work going on at a lot near them.

Fascinating! Soon we’re on our way to Colonial. Come along with us.

Sometimes you have to do something

January 25, 2020

My parents and my in-laws are all deceased. My parents are far away in my hometown. My in-laws are not so far. I was suddenly seized with the notion that I should visit them for Christmas.

I took a longer lunch and drove to the Columbarium at Fripp Island. I had to call ahead of time and get a pass from the security gate. It’s a private island which means that it is a gated community.

Christmastime is HARD for me. We used to spend Christmas with my in-laws, and after Mr. X left, I was still invited for Christmas. His family knew what a scoundrel he was, and I and the children were included and he was not.

The pass was good for the rest of the day. I was sorely tempted to drive by their old house, but I only went to the columbarium. I get weepy and disgruntled enough for the whole season while everyone else are playing happy families. Plus there’s a coworker who is giving me attitude about taking longer than an hour for lunch, even though I have permission from my supervisor. Do you have things that you need to get done during the day that might require more than one hour or do you have someone to help you? Sometimes I need for people to show me a little grace instead of attitude.

The columbarium is a nice little private area with benches for rest and reflection. I had to look up the meaning of the word “columbarium. It seemed like it shouldn’t end with the phrase “bury ’em”, but that’s just the sound of it.

I have so many questions to ask them. Why didn’t either of you tell us that you had both been married before? Why did you pretend that you married each other in January of 1957 when you were really married in January of 1960? What happened that was so problematic that you concealed any history of your previous marriages? How did your parents go along with it all?

There were some folks next to them that I had met, but didn’t realize they were also deceased.

I had also met this lady. Her family donated the fountain in her memory.

I didn’t take any poinsettias with me. It was such a last minute trip I didn’t have time to sort that out.

I have been working on scanning all their old family photos. There’s a series of photos that indicate another family mystery.

And that’s a story for another day.

A Special Sweater for a Special Nugget

January 15, 2020

A coworker had a little hurricane baby about 4 months ago. I knitted her a baby afghan in a feather and fan pattern. In truth, it is the only pattern that I can construct without looking at written directions, and it looks complicated and lacy.

Actually I knitted 2 afghans. The first one seemed too small. Lots of times I have to do something not quite right once, or several, times to get the required result eventually. That could also be applied to my life and would be a chat for another day.

I bought maybe 5 skeins of yarn of Plymouth “Encore” for the new second afghan and added one to grow on. The 5 skeins turned out to be the perfect amount, which left one lonely little skein-and-a-half.

That became this.

It is the February Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann from Knitters Almanac.

I fiddled around with the construction before I knitted this sweet confection by knitting 5 other baby sweaters. Yes, five. I outdid myself in the research and development category. I hate the sewing-up part of sweater construction, and I devised a method of crocheting the seams together.

Lil Nugget is a long baby. Her parents are tall. Mum requested enough length to cover Nugget’s tummy. I knitted several sweaters in varying lengths and needle sizes and yarns to get the effect I wanted.

Nugget’s mommy thinks that she will have Nugget’s 6-month photos made in the sweater. Did you know that 6-month photos are a thing? I have been out of the baby business for a long time, and things have changed.

As far as I’m concerned, Nugget doesn’t ever have to wear the sweater. The journey was more fun than the destination.

Andrew Marshall, a Free Man of Color in Savannah

January 13, 2020


Chatham County

In the name of God, Amen: I Andrew Marshall a free man of color of the City of Savannah, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament.

Item First. I commit my soul unto God, hoping for happiness in the world to come, and desire that my body be buried in my family vault in the graveyard in Savannah.

Item Second. I give devise and bequeath to my wife Sarah Marshall, the Southern half of lot number nineteen (19) Farm and Bryant Streets in the City of Savannah, with the improvements thereon; also my household and kitchen furniture, my four wheeled carriage and one horse to have and to hold the same for and during the term of her natural life, and after her death, to be equally divided between my sons Joseph and George , their heirs executors & administrators forever. (Grand children to represent their parents and take per Stirpes and not per Capita) and after the death of either of them without child or children, or representatives of children, then to the survivor his heirs, executors Administrators and assigns forever.

Item Third: I give devise and bequeath unto my son George Marshall the Northern Half of said lot number nineteen (19) containing a double stone building on Farm Street and a wooden building back of it in the lane, with all the improvements thereon to have and to hold the same to him his heirs executors Administrators and assigns forever. But should my said son George depart this life without leaving a child or children or representatives of children living at the time of his death, then immediately after his death to my wife Sarah Marshall, and to my son Joseph, so long as they both shall live, and after the death of my said wife Sarah, to my son, Joseph, his heirs executors Administrators and assigns forever —

Item Fourth – I give devise and bequeath to Georgiana the daughter of Cripy Houston Four shares of stock in the Marine and Fire Insurance Bank of the State of Georgia

Item Fifth – I give devise and bequeath unto my son Joseph Marshall Lot number Eleven (11) in that part of the City of Savannah, known as the village of St Gall with the improvements thereon, to have and to hold the same to him his heirs, executors Administrators and assigns forever.

Item Sixth. I give devise and bequeath  my silver watch, with all my wearing apparel unto my cousin Andrew, a slave now owned by Dr. Kollock.

Item Seventh. All the rest and residue of my property, not herein specifically bequeathed (and out of which I desire that all my debts may be paid) after the payment of my debts, I give devise and bequeath unto my wife Sarah, and to my sons Joseph and George to be equally divided between them their Heirs Executors Administrators and assigns forever, But should either of them die, without leaving a child or children or representatives of children, living at the time of their death then to the survivors or survivor of them, their and his heirs executors Administrators and assigns forever.

Item Eighth. I nominate constitute and appoint Frederick A. Tupper, John W. Anderson and Wylly Woodbrige Esqrs, Executors of this my last Will and Testament

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and fifty two.

Andrew Marshall  L S

Joseph Felt and Wylly Woodbridge vouched that they were each witnesses to the signature of Andrew Marshall on the will on April 6, 1857.

His residence was at Perry and Whitaker Streets. He died of consumption.



Buried in Laurel Grove South


From New York

From GenealogyBank, Augusta Chronicle, December 17, 1856:


A Black Man’s Funeral.

We announced some days ago the death, at Richmond, Virginia, of Andrew Marshall, the colored preacher, who had been ministering in holy things to the slave population of Savannah for nearly forth years. His remains, encased in a neat metalic coffin, were brought from Richmond, at the expense of his congregation, and yesterday was set apart at the First African Baptist Church for the funeral ceremonies of the lamented dead. Long before the hour appointed for the services, an immense throng without respect to color or condition, collected at the Church, the floor, aisles, galleries, and even steps and windows of which were densely packed. Hundreds, unable to gain admittance, were assembled in front and around the Church, while the street was completely blocked up with vehicles of every description.

At the appointed hour the body was taken from the residence of the deceased to the Church, and placed in front of the altar. After prayer, singing, and the reading of appropriate lessons from the scriptures, an eloquent and impressive discourse was preached by the Rev. Mr. Rambaut, formerly of the First Baptist Church, now on a visit to the city.

The services in the church having been concluded the body was returned to the hearse and the immense congregation formed in procession, the deacons and other officers of the various churches in front; next came the remains of the deceased, followed by the Colored Benevolent and Temperance Societies, and after them a long line of carriages, some fifty in number, and a multitude of pedestrians. The procession was a most solemn and imposing spectacle, and attracted much attention as it passed through the city. It moved up West Broad street and thence to Laurel Grove Cemetery, where the body was deposited in the family vault, with the usual ceremonies of the Baptist Church.

Andrew Marshall was, in many respects, a remarkable man. We are but little informed as to his early history, but learn that he was originally a slave, and having accumulated a considerable amount of money — his earnings in his own time, as the more industrious of our slaves seldom fail to do, purchased his freedom. His secular pursuit was that of a drayman, which he followed with energy and thrift, and laid up a comfortable support for himself and family, in his old age. His chief employment, however, for nearly a half century, was the Christian ministry, in which he acquired a large fund of scriptural lore, and exercised almost unbounded influence among his race by the truth and power of his sermons, and the piety of his life. He was, as before stated, the Pastor of the First African Baptist Church in this city, and though over a century in age, he continued his labors among his flock with unabated zeal up to the day of his death. He was greatly respected by all our citizens, and an idol among the large congregation of his own color so long under his pastoral care — a fact which no one can double who witnessed the deep solemnity and unfeigned grief that characterized the obsequies of yesterday. — Savannah Republican.


Good night, Marshall family. We’re thinking of you.


Dog Saves Infant, 1821

January 12, 2020

When I’m looking through the old files and newspaper articles, I get easily distracted. EASILY. The stories are so good.

Like this one…

Augusta_Chronicle_1821-05-17 DogSavesInfant

From the Augusta Chronicle, May 17, 1821, from GenealogyBank.

Remarkable preservation.–Mr. Geo. Kreps and family, of this town, emigrated last fall to Alabama. In crossing a river,  in the Indian nation, they mistook the ford, and the wagon and horses, with the contents, were suddenly immersed in the stream. In the agitation of the moment, Mrs. Kreps parted from her infant child, which was carried rapidly down the current. At that instant, a large dog, which had joined the family a few days before, sprung after the babe, overtook it just as it was sinking, and conveyed it safely to the shore. The horses also regained a footing, and the whole party was saved. The manner in which the dog had joined them was truly providential. They were resting by the road side, when he, “a perfect stranger” came up and fawned upon them; they returned his caresses, and he continued with them, their future benefactor.–Winchester Republican.

We do not deserve dogs.

The Catalogue of Chatham Academy, 1832-1833

January 12, 2020

While looking for more Densler information on, I found this little jewel in its entirety.

The 3 Densler children of Frederick and Mary are mentioned and BONUS! William Starr Basinger, written as “Bassinger” which it often is, and gives us a clue as to the correction pronunciation.







FROM NOVEMBER 5TH, 1832, TO MAY 5TH, 1833.















Louisa F. Alexander and Sarah R. Alexander, from Wilkes Co., Washington, Georgia. Louisa married Jeremy Gilmer and Sarah married Alexander Robert Lawton.

William S. Bas(s)inger from Savannah. He would have been about 5 years old.

Sisters Mary W. Densler and Rebecca A. Densler from Savannah, both of whom are mentioned in their mother’s will of 1852. Their brother Edwin W. Densler is noted here, but isn’t mentioned in the will because he died in 1843. There was another young son named William S. Densler who was born and died in 1815. I found him by chance while looking for another William Densler.


Whole number of Females, 153

Whole number of Males, 84

Total, 237


It is the intention of the Principals of this Institution, to afford every facility to young ladies and gentlemen for acquiring a thorough and practical education.

The Principals will devote their whole time to the benefit of their pupils, assisted, in the departments of instruction, by competent helps. It is the object of the Trustees to afford every facility, for the successful prosecution of study, and the attainment, in the Female Department, of a good female education; in the Male Department, to prepare young gentlemen for college, or give them as good an education as can be furnished by the best high schools.

The location of the Academy is airy, commanding a delightful prospect. Its apartments are spacious and pleasant, fitted up with convenience and elegance. Maps, Globes, and Chemical and Philosophical Apparatus, will soon be provided.

The pupils are so classes, as to provide for their receiving instruction from several teachers, by way of explanations and illustrations. No pains will be spared to make them understand the studies to which they attend, and to induce in them the habit of thinking for themselves. A course of Chemical lectures will be delivered during the next fall and winter terms, by one of the teachers. It is very desirable that those, who enter the school, be present at the commencement of the term.

This city, in the healthfulness of its situation, in the moral and religious character of its citizens, and its easy communication with almost every part of the State, particularly of the low country, holds out many inducements to parents, who wish to send their sons and daughters abroad for instruction.

Tuition in the Primary Department, per term of 12 weeks — $6 00

Do. in the Junior do. — 8 00

Do. in the Senior do. — 10 00

Do. for the Classics, — 12 50

Do. in addition to any of the above English Studies, for the Classics, Mathematics, &c. — 2 50

Do. in the French Department, — 8 00

I haven’t found much information online as to when the Chatham Academy began. I’ll poke around some more and if/when I find out more, I’ll add that here.

The Will of Barbara Densler

January 5, 2020

So many Denslers, so little time.

Here’s the will of Barber Densler who died in 1804 in Savannah, Georgia. She says that she is a spinster, that her deceased father is Henry Densler, that her sister is Susannah, and that her beloved brother Frederick is her executor.

I also found her record of death. Y’all, she had cancer of the face for many years.

She was the “sister of Densler, Chair Maker” and she died at the home of her aunt.

Now let’s look for the will of Henry “Heinrich” Densler to see if that can shed some light on these relationships.

Good night, Barbara. We’re thinking of you.

The Probate of Ann Densler

January 5, 2020

Sometimes when there is no will…

There’s still probate.

Perhaps there is a will but it’s not online yet.

A probate record is sometimes more rich in detail that a will. We can see what possessions a person owned, who purchased the possessions, and who were contemporaries of the deceased. In a record prior to the emancipation era, we can find out the names of any slaves, male or female, and their worth, which can give us an idea of their physical condition and/or skill level.

I’ll have to go over this probate record in more detail LATER, because I have found a cache of Densler will and probate records. I can say for certain that Michael is Frederick’s brother. At least, that is my stance until someone proves differently.

Thus story is not going to end for a while.

More About Michael Densler: Part 2

January 2, 2020

Where there’s a will…

There’s probate.

All court document images are from Ancestry.


Estate of Michael Densler deceased

No 128


Admors Bond filed and Admor qualified this 6th July 1835



To all whom it may concern:

WHEREAS, William Readick, has applied to the Honorable the Court of Ordinary of Chatham County, for letters of administration on the estate and effects of Michael Densler, late of Chatham County, deceased.

These are therefore to cite and admonish, all and singular the kindred and creditors of the said deceased, to file their objections (if any they have) to the granting of the administration of the estate of the deceased to the applicant in the Clerk’s Office of the said Court, on or before the 20th day of June next; otherwise letters of administration will be granted.

Witness, the Honorable John Cumming, one of the justices of the said Court, the 18th day of may, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five.

ROBT. W. POOLER, CL’k. C. O. C. C.

I do hereby certify that the foregoing Citation has been published in the Sav’h Republican for Thirty Days.

E. Dedunotta


July 6th 1835



To the honourable the Court of Ordinary of Chatham County

The petition of David R. Densler of Chatham County planter, respectfully sheweth

That your petitioner & Ann Densler, widow of Michael Densler & John Densler, and Ann Margaret Densler (a minor) are the only heirs & legatees of Michael Densler, late of the County aforesaid planter, deceased, that by the will of the deceased his Estate was directed to be kept together for the benefit of his heirs until the youngest child should arrive at eighteen years of Age. That Ann Margaret Densler, the youngest child of the deceased is now eighteen years of age, and your petitioner is desirous of obtaining a distributive share or proportion of the Estate both real & personal of the said Michael Densler decd to which by law he is entitled, so that the proportion or share

of the said real & personal Estate to which your petitioner may be entitled may be held in severalty by him, and that each of the other heirs may likewise enjoy & hold their respective proportions or shares then of in severalty. Your petitioner therefore prays that a writ of partition be issued for that purpose to be directed to William Davies, Patrick Houston, David E Adams, Peter Dowell & John Poullen or any three or more of them requiring them or any three or more of them to make a division & partition of the said Estates both real & personal among the persons entitled to receive the same and to cause the share or proportion thereof to which each of the said heirs are or may be entitled to, to be delivered to him or her respectively, to be had & held by them in severally.

And your petitioner etc.

David R. Densler

29 Dec’r. 1820

Tilla $270

Cash pd Owen Stromge, Sophia’s Coffin $10

Cash pd for Coffin for Tilla $3

I certify that the above Citation has been published once a week for Six months.

R. Olmstead

Sav’ah 3 Jan’y 1823

An old wench Tilla $25

July ran away and never returned, in spite of advertisements in the local papers advertising that he was a runaway. From GenealogyBank, “Georgian”, 12/1/1821:

Georgian_1821-12-01 DenslerJohnA runaway slave July

Fifty Dollars Reward!

RANAWAY from the subscriber at White Bluff, a Negro Man by the name of JULY, about five feet high, slim made, and of a yellow complexion. He usually had a wife on Skidaway Island, at a plantation of Mr. Milledge. It is supposed he will make the aforesaid island his final resort. Any person therefore who shall take up the said negro, or apprehend him and confine him in the gaol in Savannah, shall receive the above reward.


nov 15

Michael’s wife Ann Densler died later. Let’s look for her will.