Monday, May 14, 2018

Weekly #52Ancestors post: Dr. Louis DeBarth KUHN, 1829-1908

I am participating in the year-long #52Ancestors weekly challenge from genealogist Amy J. Crow, and here is this week's offering: my mother's grandfather, Dr. Louis DeBarth KUHN. 

Louis Kuhn's middle name, DeBarth, was chosen from a highly respected Roman Catholic priest in the early days of the Conewago Chapel, PA. A quote from Preachers, Reverends and Ministers of Lancaster co. Pennsylvania (1821-1830) says, "Father DeBarth was no Jesuit, but lived among them for many years." 

The immigrant Catholic KUHN family arrived from Wurttemburg [now Germany], settling in Pennsylvania in approximately 1735-40, my 4th great-grandparents Johan KUHN & Anna Barbara ADAMS, with their 4 children:
   1.  Heinrich [Henry],
   2.  Johan [John] George [ancestor], 
   3.  Eva Mary, and
   4 . Jost [Joseph].
All four married within a few years of arrival in Pennsylvania, settling first in Goshenhoppen, then around Macungie, Salisbury, and Conewago. Our line follows the 2nd son, John George  KUHN and his wife, Catherine RIFFEL.

Louis' parents were Joseph Jacobus KUHN & Jane Rebecca McCABE, who married Nov 5, 1826 in Conewago, PA. Louis, born October 22, 1829 and baptised November 8th in East Berlin, Adams, PA, was the 2nd of their 9 children, the 2nd of 6 boys. Note that on some censuses his first name is spelled Lewis, clearly the way it was pronounced. Here is his [Latinized] baptism record, Conewago PA:

For his medical degree, first Louis received his Pharmacy degree in 1851, as listed in the book, First Century of the Philadelphia, pg 465:
He then received his Medical degree 1854, and is found listed in the Matriculants of the University of Pennsylvania, Medical Class, Session 1851-52, p.20.

He entered the Marine Service of the United States and in 1854 sailed around Cape Horn to California, ending in Port Townsend, Washington. Interestingly he worked with the expedition which located the boundary line with British Columbia. He became well acquainted with a number of the army officers on board, including Ulysses S. Grant. In 1856, he wrote a letter [unknown receiver] published in the Monday June 6, 1856 edition of The Republican Compiler, which extracted a number of paragraphs, totalling over a column and a third. He detailed the scenery, his interactions with the native Indians, and the small towns in the area. Remember that Port Townsend was officially settled only in 1851 - these are early days!  

Dr. Louis KUHN is seen in the 1860 Census in Port Townsend, single, aged 30, M.D., with real estate of $3000, and personal estate value of $4000. 

His future wife, Amelia PETTYGROVE, is a few blocks away, aged 16, living with her family and attending school.  

Dr. Louis KUHN & Amelia "Millie" PETTYGROVE were married January 17, 1864, in Port Townsend, Jefferson, Washington Territory.  Amelia was born in 1844 in the Oregon Territory, one of the very first settlers' babies. The Oregon Territory was split into two territories, with the southern part becoming the state of Oregon in 1859.

Louis & Amelia had the following ten children, the first two born in Port Townsend, the youngest born in Brooklyn NY, the remaining were born in Reading, Berks, PA, near where his parents and several siblings lived.
   1. Dr. Joseph Francis, b.1864 WA, died at father's home 12 Sep 1898, 
            Brooklyn NY
   2. Louis B., b.1866 WA; apparently died before 1880, Reading PA.

The family moved to Pennsylvania in approximately 1867
   3. Mary Jane "Jennie", b. Sept 1868, PA, d. apparently bef 1908, Brooklyn NY
   4. Ellenora "Nellie", b. Nov 1874 PA, d. Apr 1941, Dunton L.I., NY; m. 1897 
            to Dr. Robert Fitzherbert Joseph Hussey, 4 children
   5. Charles Edward [ancestor], b.10 Jun 1876 PA, d.16 Dec 1945 
            Seattle WA; m. 11 Jun 1910 Roselle NJ to Marguerite Josephine 
            "Daisy" TERWILLIGER; 7 children
   6. Letitia Cecelia, b.10 Sep 1878 PA, d. after Jun 1880 PA
   7. George Wilfred, b.1 Nov 1880 PA, d. 24 Mar 1961 Brooklyn NY; m. after 
             1918 to Marguerite Bergen, no children
   8. Edward McCabe, b.1882 PA, d. 9 Oct 1889 Brooklyn NY
   9. Jane A., b. bef 1885 PA, d. 2 Jul 1939 Brooklyn NY

The family moved to Brooklyn NY in 1885, where their last child was born:
 10. Marguerite Louise, b. Feb 1886 Brooklyn NY, d. 25 Mar 1964 Brooklyn NY

He established a medical practice in Brooklyn after they moved to New York. He was a staff member of St Mary's Hospital, Brooklyn, a Roman Catholic hospital. This hospital was owned by St. Vincents Catholic Medical Centers of New York; it closed recently in 2005.

Louis' wife, Amelia, died January 18, 1888. In the early 1900s, he began selling off some of his properties in the Port Townsend WA area, asking his younger brother, Joseph A. Kuhn, a lawyer there to assist him.

He wrote out his will the year after Amelia died, on October 8, 1889, in Brooklyn, NY. In the 1900 Census, he was living at 471 Willoughby Ave in Brooklyn, [owned home], widowed,with his daughter, Jennie, aged 31, single, George, aged 19, single, and Marguerite, aged 14, at school.  Note, in 1910 Census, Jenny is listed as the 'Head' of the family, with George, Marguerite, and Charles, together, still living at 471 Willoughby Ave in Brooklyn. See building from Google Maps, above right. 

Louis DeBarth KUHN died May 7th, 1908, at his home, 471 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn NY. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn NY. His will from 1889 is very simple, leaving any property to be leased/sold and the value to be shared equally between his living family. The first half of his will is above on the right. And on the next page, his signature, made with a different pen, below:

His younger brother, John Randolph Kuhn, a lawyer, was the Executor of his Will. He stated that Louis' real estate in New York did not exceed the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars, and his real estate in the State of Washington, valued also below the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars. 

All his heirs, his adult children, living at the time, were Jennie, Charles, Nellie, George, and Marguerite. His Will was admitted to Probate August 19, 1908. The original will/probate documents have been copied; photocopies are in my files.

I plan to transcribe the newspaper article which is taken from a letter he wrote, and also to transcribe his will, and put those in a separate tab of this blog [see tabs above]. Look for those in a few weeks.

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If these are your ancestors, I am happy to share what little I have on these ancestors. And if there are errors, please do let me know, via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below. I appreciate the opportunity to correct any issues in these family trees.

Blogger - or my computer - is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You truly make my day.

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis