52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #32 William Henry Devaughn

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #32 William Henry Devaughn --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Amy Johnson Crow, the author of the blog No Story Too Small, is the host of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Blog Prompt series. If you are not familiar with the project please click on the following link:   Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.

For this week's post, I decided to continue on with the Devaughns who are linked to my Jones family line. I began with Violet Ann Jones Devaughn and her husband Warren Devaughn. Violet was my 2nd great grandfather Alexander Hamilton Jones's sister. My last 52 Ancestors post, I wrote about Violet and Warren's daughter Mary Jane Devaughn Fenderson who was born in Morehead City, NC but later settled in Philadephia, PA. Well, she wasn't the only Devaughn to do that. Mary's brother,William Henry Devaughn made his home in the city of brotherly love as well.

William Henry Devaughn was born around 1869 in Morehead City, NC to Warren Devaughn and Violet Ann Jones Devaughn. My current theory is that I believe William's father, Warren Devaughn was probably already deceased by 1880.  Warren Devaughn was noticeably absent from the 1880 Federal Census. William, his sister Mary, and his mother Violet can be seen residing near my 2nd great grandfather, A. H. Jones as well as many other Jones relatives.

Source Information Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]Source CitationYear: 1880; Census Place: Morehead City, Carteret, North Carolina; Roll: 956; Family History Film: 1254956; Page: 115D; Enumeration District: 024; Image: 0232

Tragically, William would lose his mother by year's end. Violet passed away on December 2, 1880. William was only 11. Thankfully, there were many Jones relatives nearby who probably stepped in to care for my first cousins 2x removed,William and Mary.

Some time between 1880 and 1900 William Devaughn made his way to Philadelphia. Perhaps he and his older sister made the move together or perhaps Mary Jane Devaughn Fenderson and her husband Nathaniel established themselves first in the new town and then invited William out. Either way, I bet the transition to Philadelphia was made easier by having family in the area for support. 

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition:  #32 William Henry Devaughn --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

He married a Blanche Mumford in 1900 in Philadelphia.  I found William Devaughn  listed in a Philadelphia city directory for 1908. His occupation was listed as a "puttymaker" living at 1325 South Stillman St. By 1910, the Devaughns had crossed the Delaware River and settled in Camden, NJ according to the census for that year.  They rented a house at was 635 Locust Street.

Source Information Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Source CitationYear: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 3, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_872; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0020; FHL microfilm: 1374885

Or was it 511 Lawrence Street?

Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989 [database on-line].
 Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Title : Camden, New Jersey, City Directory, 1910

The census was taken on April 22, 1910. Perhaps the couple had moved after the printing of the city directory. Three different addresses in two years makes me think that they might have had some financial instability during this time. 

What the heck is a putty maker anyway? 

The following definition I found in a book called Descriptions of Occupations: Coal and water gas, paint and varnish, paper, printing trades, rubber goods that was created in 1919 by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Putty Maker
Description:  The putty maker operates the putty mill in the manufacture of putty.
Qualifications:  He must have the knowledge of the proper proportions of linseed oil and whiting to be used and know when the putty has been reduced to the proper consistency. He must be able to operate the controlling devices of the mill.
Schooling:  Common School

Okay so now I have an idea of what sort of work William Devaughn was involved in. He would have had to have a good head on his shoulders to be able to handle chemicals and know precise measurements to make a decent product. Working in a paint factory, would have exposed my cousin to lead and other noxious chemicals. This exposure may have played a role in what eventually killed him.

Source Information Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Pennsylvania (State).
 Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons)

William Devaughn died on January 29, 1924. The cause of death was listed as "nephritis."

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes the disease as follows:

Nephritis:  acute or chronic inflammation of the kidney caused by infection, degenerative process, or vascular disease

After reviewing several websites, I was struck most by this sentence that I found on a site called medscape.com. The sentence was from a section of an article that described how someone may develop lead nephropathy.

In the industrial setting, welders, smelters, battery workers, painters, and restorers of old buildings, especially in poorly ventilated work environments, can be exposed to toxic amounts of lead.

All I can think is ...paint factory, early 1900's, noxious chemicals, and poor ventilation. Yeah I think his line of work played a role in his demise.

William's sister was the informant on the death certificate. Did you notice that in 1924 William was living at yet another address? This time he resided at 1101 Christian St in Philadelphia. 

Image courtesy of Google Maps

It looks like toward the end of his life, William moved to be closer to his sister. Perhaps this was because his health was failing or because he was a widower. It appears that Blanche Devaughn died sometime between 1910 and 1924. Or did she? 

Source Information Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 27, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1631; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 862; Image: 729

Poor thing. I think this Blanche Devaughn is William's wife who in 1920 was a patient at the Philadelphia Hospital for the Insane. I probably won't ever know what the circumstances were that put her in this place. Whatever it was the effect of having to institutionalize his wife must have taken a terrible toll on William.

I don't think Blanche died before her husband. I think this is her again in the 1940 census.

I can't help but think that Mary Fenderson, William's sister, must have know that Blanche Devaughn was institutionalized. She probably lied on her brother's death certificate because of the stigma associated with mental illness. Perhaps it was just easier that way.


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