Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

And Finally: David R. Densler

January 20, 2020

David died intestate. Fortunately for us Densler followers, we have probate.

There’s a problem with 2 slaves, Hector and June (possibly Jane). They are part of the estate, and they will not stay at any one place. This of course means I will need to check the newspapers to see if they were ever reported as runaways.

Does the DenslerFest end here? It should, since there are no more wills or probate records that I can find. However, this requires a day trip to Savannah to revisit some cemetery locations. I’ve reviewed the Densler burial records on the City of Savannah’s cemetery site and made screenshots of the ones that we’re interested in.

To be continued…

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.

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 ancestry.com, 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.

CATALOGUE

OF THE

TRUSTEES, INSTRUCTERS AND STUDENTS

OF

CHATHAM ACADEMY,

SAVANNAH, GEO.

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

**SAVANNAH:

W. T. WILLIAMS,

1833

BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

REV. EDWARD NEUFVILLE, PRESIDENT.

GEORGE GLEN, ESQ. SECRETARY.

WM. THORNE WILLIAMS, ESQ. TREASURER.

RICHARD W. HABERSHAM, ESQ.

DR. wILLIAM C. DANIELL.

BENJAMIN E. STILES, ESQ.

ANTHONY BARCLAY, ESQ.

RICHARD R. CUYLER, ESQ.

HON. WILLIAM LAW.

 

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.

RECAPITULATION.

Whole number of Females, 153

Whole number of Males, 84

Total, 237

REMARKS.

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 1790 Estate of Henry Densler

January 6, 2020

Here’s where things get interesting. If Henry is the father of Barbara and Susannah and Michael and 3 other unnamed sons, and Barbara says that her beloved brother is Frederick, doesn’t that mean that Michael and Frederick are brothers? I think so, too.

I’ll come back and transcribe these. I have found a marvelous court case involving a woman named Selina Munroe who was formerly a slave of Mrs. Mary Densler. She is suing Leslie’s great-grandfather William Starr Basinger who was the custodian of an account which was assigned to him at the death of his great-aunt Mrs. Mary Pearson Densler.

The case went all the way to the Georgia state Supreme Court. Wow. I’m almost speechless.

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

January 1, 2020

Clever reader Teri knew exactly what I was talking about in the last post about the mystery at Laurel Grove Cemetery. She helped research the genealogy of the Denslers, and she provided some very good links to newspaper stories. I found TV news stories about the old Densler plantation and relocation of the human remains on the old Densler property at White Bluff.

From WTOC: March 20, 2019

From SavannahNow: April 2, 2019

From Fox28Media: April 3, 2019

From SavannahNow: June 7, 2019

From WSAV3: June 7, 2019

If you read and/or watch most of the stories, they mention that the graves were being relocated to Gravel Hill Cemetery in Bloomingdale. Apparently the final disposition at Laurel Grove came after the conversation about the relocation to Gravel Hill. The last story on WSAV3 does say that the Denslers are being relocated to Laurel Grove. Another interesting aspect is that the graves were identified by an archaeologist as being the remains of Michael and Ann Densler and their children David and John. But David and John lived to adulthood, and the graves that were found were 3 adults and an infant. Apparently at one time, the markers, but not the bodies, were relocated to Gravel Hill.

I found this link to a registration form for the National Register of Historic Places.

I am so interested in this story that I poked around my Ancestry account and found Michael’s will.

Georgia

Chatham County

In the name of God Amen!

I Michael Densler planter of the State and County aforesaid being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind and disposition do will and bequeath to my son Michael Densler the sum of Fifty Dollars to be paid him out of my Estate in Six months after my decease. The remainder and residue of my Estate both real and personal I bequeath and will unto my beloved wife Anne Denlser my sons David Densler & John Densler and my daughters Anne Margaret Densler and Sophia Densler Share and Share alike — in case of the death of any of the last mentioned children without issue their mother and said last mentioned shall inherit his or their property derived from my said Estate — It is my desire

that my Estate real and personal remain undivided for the natural and joint support of my wife Anne and said last mentioned children until the aforementioned children attain the age of Eighteen Years and that there shall be no addition or increase made to my Estate until all my lawfull debts are paid discharged and do appoint my wife Anne Densler Executrix my son David Densler & John Dillon Executors of this my last will and testament revoking all wills heretofore made by me.

Michael Densler  L.S.

Signed sealed & published in presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the Testator the fifteenth day of November One thousand Eight hundred & Seven

Henry Nungazer

Peter OConnor

George Nungazer

*****

Georgia

Before the Hon’ble the Court of ordinary for the County of Chatham & State aforsaid

Personally appeared John Dillon who being duly sworn said he was present and did see Mr. Michael Densler sign the above will and Henry Nungazer, Peter OConnor and George Nungazer sign the above will as witnesses and that the Testator was of sound mind at the time to the best of the deponents belief.

John Dillon

Sworn to before the Court

May 10 1808

Tho’s Bourke

Clk of Or’dy

*****

May 10 1808

Then qualified John Dillon Executor on the foregoing will

Tho’s Bourke  C. C. O.

 

 From GenealogyBank, Columbian Museum, October 18, 1808:

*****

All of this only brings more questions. The Densler people that we know are descendants of Mary “Aunt Polly” Marston Pearson Densler and Frederick Densler. Surely all these Densler people are connected. But how?

I conjecture that Michael and Frederick are brothers.

How to prove that?

A Mystery at Laurel Grove Cemetery: Michael and Ann Densler

December 30, 2019

We took our usual Christmas tour of Laurel Grove Cemetery when we placed poinsettias this year.

We stopped at the Densler plot, and something seemed a bit off. There was a stone that we didn’t recall seeing in the past. It was newly repaired, and Leslie conjectured that the old stone had sunk far down into the dirt and was recently lifted and repaired.

Something still seemed off to me. So after we got back home, I hunkered down with the laptop and the iPhone, and I looked back at old posts about when we would have taken a poinsettia there to the Densler mausoleum to see if I could find a photo for reference. I also made findagrave memorials for Michael and Ann since they didn’t have one in Laurel Grove. The stone had some cracks along the death date so I pulled up ancestry and familysearch for reference.

I found a photo all right. The stone didn’t exist in 2015.

In 2019…

In 2015…

I went to the city of Savannah cemetery database, and there is no listing for either Michael or Ann Densler. If you scroll to the end of the list, there is “unidentifiable remains” in lot 481 interred in September 2019. But Michael and Ann died in the early 1800s.

Guess which lot we are at?

The next logical step was to do a findagrave search for other Densler people.

They are listed in Gravel Hill cemetery in Bloomingdale, Chatham County, Georgia. There are photos of the exact same stone, pre-repaired. The breaks are at the exact same spot.

It appears to me that the unidentified remains re-interred in Lot 481 are indeed Michael and Ann Densler. Why were they moved? And who accomplished this?

FlowerFest 2019: On to Robertville

December 25, 2019

It’s another bright, sunny December day. Just perfect for winding down our FlowerFest. We’re back at Robert Cemetery, and we’ve stopped at John and Elizabeth Dixon Robert.

Then onward to Robertville Baptist. It was originally known as Black Swamp Baptist. You might remember that the original plantation owned by Zephaniah Kingsley was called Black Swamp, and I’ve been tracking the associated families ever since I found the plats and records in July 2019 at the South Carolinians Library.

We’re done! See you next year!