Tag Archive: Lewis M. Davis

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 [http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm]. 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 Ancestry.com. 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.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=574

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=554

Aug 22

Will of a Young Soldier

The headstone of Lewis M., son of Lewis & Nancy Davis, indicates that he died the 21st of August 1863 at the age of 31.

What caused his early demise?

This Davis family lived in Merrimack County, New Hampshire around Andover which borders Franklin on it’s western border.

Lewis M. Davis was the fifth known child, first son, of Lewis and Nancy Davis. His siblings were Sarah Jane Davis who married Nathan Gage; Elizabeth who married Mr. Brown; Catherine, who died young and is also buried in Sawyer Cemetery; Nancy who married Jeremiah Judkins; Albe C.; Laura Davis (my direct ancestor) who married Daniel Russell Woodward; Olive B. who married Calvin Call; George Davis; and Alva Davis.[1]

Search results for Lewis M. Davis and several of his siblings in New Hampshire in the records in the 1860 federal census were negative.

My next step was to investigate the Merrimack County probate records for Lewis M. Davis on the premise that by his death at the age of 31 he may have acquired some real or personal property which have resulted in a probate to his legal heirs at the time of his death. I did not expect to find that he had left a will. Much to my surprise, Lewis M. Davis did leave a will. Actually it was unusual for young men with property to write their will in preparation for marching off to war.

Lewis’ opening lines  read, “I Lewis M Davis of the town of Franklin in the County of Merrimack and State of Newhampshire beinn about to start for the ward do make a disposal of my property …”[2]

[1] Siblings of Lewis M. Davis have been reconstructed from a variety of newspaper articles, and an interview by this author with Douglas R. Woodward, grandson of Daniel Russell and Laura (Davis) Woodward, in September 1991, and from a newspaper article, “Fiftieth Anniversary: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel R. Woodward Receive Their Friends,” Franklin Journal Transcript, Franklin, N.H. 4 February 1904.

[2] Will of Lewis M. Davis, file no. 6128, Merriamck County New Hampshire Probate Court, Concord, New Hampshire.

This story will be continued.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=312