Monthly Archive: July 2013

Jul 05

Military Service of Lewis M. Davis

Searching for possible military service of my great uncle, Lewis M. Davis was not straightforward. My first go to for Civil War service is the National Park Service database of Soldiers and Sailors []. I’ve not used the site for quite a while and was greeted by a complete makeover since my last visit. I searched soldiers for “Lewis M. Davis” and “New Hampshire” with no result. Broadening the search I sought “Lewis Davis” and “New Hampshire with the following result:


NPS “Soldiers & Sailors” database

Who is this Lewis F. Davis serving in the 16th NH (middle entry). Could this entry have been miss-read by someone who interpreted the letter “M” as “F”?

Since I’m not physically located near a repository with the microfilm of New Hampshire service records, I needed to try another Online search tool. I turned to Ah Ha! Lewis M. Davis was located in the database “U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Like his brother-in-law, he had enlisted in Company E, New Hampshire 16th Infantry Regiment [Ancestry’s source: Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire].





Ancestry – “U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles

I found it interesting that this abstract indicates that Lewis M. was mustered out on the 20th of August 1863 at Concord, NH and died one day later.


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Jul 02

Davis Burials in Sawyer Cemetery, Merrimack County, NH

In September 1991, I was fortunate to have a road-trip with my uncle, Douglas Russell Woodward, while visiting in New Hampshire. Uncle Doug, 2nd child of Oscar H. Woodward and Sara Waddell, had spent much of his youth in West Franklin before his family removed to East Concord. We visited West Franklin where he pointed out the house his father rented on South Main Street while he was a young boy. He also showed me the house where he recalled his great grandmother Nancy (neé Glines) Davis resided and the cemetery, Sawyer Cemetery, where she was buried with her husband and at least two of her children. Alas, I had no GPS unit at the time, nor did I take careful note of the location of the two homes. What was I thinking?

A DeLorme map of New Hampshire, published in 1984, illustrates the location of Sawyer Cemetery.

1984 map showing location of Sawyer Cemetery.

Green Arrow Points to Sawyer Cemetery near the head of Webster Lake

Apparently, at one time the road on which the Davis family resided (in Andover just over the Franklin line) continued on past Sawyer Cemetery and on to the head of Webster Lake. That road had long since been impassable in 1991.

Davis Tombstones in Sawyer Cemetery

Davis Tombstones in Sawyer Cemetery

Lewis Davis

Lewis Davis


Nancy Davis

Nancy Davis














Lewis M. Davis

Lewis M. Davis

Catherine Davis

Catherine Davis














On that trip Uncle Doug also showed me the cemetery in Franklin where his paternal grandparents were buried the needle factory building were several of his uncles and great uncles worked. The needle factory will be discussed at a later date.


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Jul 01

From NH to Minnesota in a Conestoga Wagon?


Family Tradition…. Several family stories have been proven to be way off the mark and only apparent wishful thinking on the part of my grandfather and uncle. Consequently when my uncle told me that his great grandmother (Nancy Glines Davis) had gone to Minnesota in a Conestoga wagon, but had returned since they didn’t like living there, I was somewhat skeptical.

Many years later the memory and interest in the story was renewed when I found the will of Lewis M. Davis, written on10 November 1862 in Franklin, New Hampshire and probated in September 1963.[1] In his will, written while a soldier in service of the United States, “First One hundred and sixty acres of land situated in the town of Sauk Center Sterans County in the State of Minnesota….to Cora Judkins for her sole comfort and benefit she to come in possession at the age of eighteen the daughter of Horace and Esabeth Judkins…”




Lewis M. Davis, son of Lewis and Nancy (Glines) Davis,[2]  died  21 August 1863, at the age of 31.

I need to determine where and how he died. I suspect while he was serving with the Union forces.

Lewis is not a direct ancestor. His sister, Laura Davis, wife of Daniel R. Woodward, was my great grandmother. Daniel R. Woodward served in the Company E, 16th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Will of Lewis M. Davis, Probate Case #6128, Merrimack County, New Hampshire; Probate Clerk’s Office, Concord, New Hampshire.

[2] Tombstone of Lewis M. Davis, Sawyer Cemetery, located just off Hoyt Rd. near the Franklin and Andover town lines at the head of Webster Lake, Merrimack County, New Hampshire; viewed and photographed by Linda Woodward Geiger in September 1991.

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