Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Q is for Query... What ever became of the husband of Catherine Davis?

Do you remember what happened in 1849?   It was the gold rush in California and men from all over the country fled to California to seek their fortune.   One of those fellows was Catherine's husband, Davie Hayton.  The stinker never came home!  Speculation is that he wrote her a letter saying he was not coming back.  No one ever heard from him again.   Well, OK... she was a little scary looking, but that is no reason to leave a woman!

Catherine Davis was born in Orange Co., New York on Nov. 2, 1816.  She was the daughter of James Davis of Orange Co., New York.    Catherine was 19 when she married Davie Hayton on the seventh of December, 1835.  They had seven children before Davie skedaddled.  

Their first,  Mary Elizabeth was born December 21, 1836.  She died in the spring on April 27, 1837.  Another girl, also named Mary Elizabeth was born December 4, 1838 and only lived 16 months before passing away in April of 1840.   Daughter Mary Catherine  proved to be of hardier constitution.  She was born  August 2, 1840  in Clyde, Wayne Co., New York and lived to be 81 years old.   Another daughter, Jane Augusta, my great, great grand mother,   was born June 3, 1842.  A son, David Truman was born February 11, 1844 followed by Ann Eliza on February 20, 1846.  Catherine had been married to Davie 14 years  by the time  James Henry was born on April 10, 1849.   That  year  gold rush fever was spreading all across the continent and Davie Hayton left town to try his hand at prospecting, never to return.

Catherine waited 10 years for Davie to come home from California  before she married a second time to Houghton Knapp, on Oct. 20, 1859 in Southport, New York.   Catherine and Houghton never had any children together, but a descendant of Catherine's,  Jeanette Brown,   remembers  the older people in her family talking about Grandmother Knapp, as she was known then.   After Catherine and Houghton were married they moved down to Daggetts, Jackson Township, Tioga County,  Pennsylvania,  which is south of the Elmira, Southport, New York area.

Catherine  died in Daggetts.    My father remembers that when he was a child he lived one winter in a house in Daggetts.    His Grandfather, Sim Hughes,  provided the house, a cow and hay for the cow  so that he and his sister would have milk that winter.  They may have lived in the house which had been Catherine Davis Hayton Knapp's.   Catherine was the grandmother of  Dad's grandmother, Fannie Westlake Hughes,  wife of Sim. 

“Meet me loved ones
Up in Heaven,
There is room for one and all;
There’ll be no death
Nor parting,
This is mother’s last farewell.”    

Her obituary contained  the above poem.  She lived to be 79 years old, often working to take care of others, making her home with her children or grandchildren after Houghton's death in 1876.  She  died May  18,  1896, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Lewis Parmerter, (Mary Catherine) of Daggett, Pa.  The obituary notes that she was a consistent member of the Baptist Church  for many years.  The funeral was held  May 20th at Daggett,  Rev. Dunham officiating,  Interment at Judson Hill.

                                  This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
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  1. Wow, she waited 10 years. So many didn't wait that long for their husband's to return. There was goldrush in Australia too, and many from all around the country flocked to it, so it is a familiar story of the wives being left at home with the kids, with the husbands sometimes to never return.

  2. Thank you for all your thoughtful, inspiring comments. I appreciate your taking the time to read these posts. I know I am getting plenty of readership, but few take the time to drop a note, so I am very much grateful to you for doing so.

  3. I have been doing some genealogy research and Catherine Hayton would be my 4th great grandmother. We are trying to take the Hayton name back past David, but have found little information. Please let me know if you have anything that could help.
    Jared Ransom

  4. Jared,

    I wish I knew more about Davie. I have never been able to get a track on where he came from or who his parents were. Would love to know that too. If you break through this wall please let me know what you have found.