Friday, August 01, 2008

Isaac Duvernay

Isaac Duvernay, also known as “Dirwiney”, “Deriveney”, “Derweeney” or “Derverney”, born 1833 along the Chippewa river, in Canada or Wisconsin, the son of Pierre (1790-1862) and Mi-ne-de-mo-e-yah (also known as Julia or Julie, between 1797 and 1799).

French Canadian Pierre married “Julia”, who was born in the Lake Superior area of Wisconsin (possibly Lac du Flambeau), on July 30, 1830 in Mackinac City, Michigan. It appears that Pierre was a trapper working the rivers in upper Wisconsin and Canada, particularly the Chippewa River where a number of their children were born.

In any case About 1834 or 1835 Pierre settled his family in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan, and was closely identified with the Presbyterian church in Grand Haven, serving as its first ruling elder. One source rported that “In 1835 the Duvernays built their home on Lot 55 on the south side of Franklin [30 Franklin], midway between Harbor and First Streets, where in 1837 Pierre sold Indian blankets, fabric, salt, whitefish, cranberries, and maple syrup products.” In 1837 he operated a small store at the foot of Franklin Street in Grand Haven, selling “Indian blankets, blue broadcloth and calicos; also barrels of salt whitefish and siskowit, mococks of maple sugar and cranberries.” Pierre was still living in Grand Haven in 1840 and in fact would live the rest of his life in the Grand Haven area.

In 1850 Isaac was working as a laborer and living with his family in Grand Haven where his father worked as a trader. By 1860 Pierre (listed as “Peter” in the census records) was working as an “indian trader” and living with his family in Grand Haven. Pierre died in 1862 in Grand Haven.

Isaac stood 5’9” with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 29-year-old sailor possibly living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on February 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Ottawa County, and was mustered on February 27 at Detroit. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

He joined the Regiment on August 27 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Isaac was a Corporal when he was wounded severely and taken prisoner at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia, on October 27, 1864. He was subsequently confined in prison at Salisbury, North Carolina where he apparently died of chronic diarrhea on February 16, 1865.

According to the U.S. Quartermaster General’s “Roll of Honor”, he was buried in an unknown grave in Salisbury, no. 914.

In about 1866 his mother applied for and received a pension (no 83550). His mother was buried in Lake Forest cemetery in Grand Haven.


tresho said...

Isaac had a brother, William Duvernay and a half-brother named at one time John Henry Kedgnal (later John also went by the Duvernay surname). Both William and John Henry served in Co. B, 1st Michigan Sharpshooters.
From "These Men Have Seen Hard Service", p. 21 & 445
"Out of the 1,300 officers and men who would serve in the regiment, at least 41 were under the age of 18. How many more lied about their age will never be known. Two of them were only 13 when they enlisted. William Duvernay, the youngest of the volunteers, came into the regiment as a musician. He and his half-brother, 18-year-old John Kedgnot, enlisted from Grand Haven in December 1862. The two young enlistees were also the first Indians in the Sharpshooters. Both would serve in Company B. (102)..Record of Service, 1st MSS, 31, 52.

tresho said...

More on father Pierre (Peter) Duvernay:
Obituary, Michigan, Grand Haven, Loutit Library, vertical file,
Duverney, Pierre C.:
DIED. In this village, on the 21st inst., Mr. Pierre C. Duverney. Mr.
D. has been intimately connected with the history of our village. He
was of French descent, born near Montreal, of Catholic parents,
educated in that faith, and designated for the priesthood. But, at the
age of 15, or thereabouts, he left the parental roof clandestinely and
engaged as a voyageur in the Indian Fur Trade, up Lake Superior, under
the English North-West Company, continuing in that employment as a
common hand for some seven years, first with Mr. Magotta and afterward
with Mr. Davies. He then became a subordinate clerk, over a small
outfit, at Lac du Flambeau, first under Erskin's, then Auld, and
afterward Truman Warren, the father of Capt. John B. Warren, so well
known as a lake captain. Mr. D. continued connected with Mr. Chas.
Ermating, the principal Factor of that department, as an employee,
till 1821, when he entered the employ of the American Fur Company, as
principal clerk, in continuation of the fur trade at Lac du Flambeau,
where he remained eight years, passing thus twenty-four years at that
lake and the Superior region, and up to 1830. The two following years
he spent with Rix Robinson, in this vicinity, in charge of an outfit
upon the waters of the Muskegon, one year at the Badeau place, near
the present village, and the next year some distance up the Muskegon
River. The three years following he resided at Mackinaw, engaging a
portion of the time only in the fur trade, till the fall of 1834,
when, with his family, he accompanied Rev. Wm. M. Ferry and family to
this place, and here resided till his death, a period of nearly
twenty-eight years. As we before stated, he was educated in the
Catholic faith, but his connection with the American Fur Company
brought him in contact with Protestant influences at the Island of
Mackinaw, under the ministerial labors of Rev. Wm. M. Ferry, during
his visits there. His bitter animosity to the Protestant faith
gradually gave way under the softening, modifying and correcting
influences of the gospel, and, in 1826, he united with the Protestant
Church at that place. The following year Mrs. D. connected herself
with the same church, having their children, four in number, baptized.
They remained connected with the Presbyterian Church, in Mackinaw,
till 1834. In '36 they both united in the organization of the First
Presbyterian Church, at Grand Haven, Mr. D. enjoying in that body the
position of ruling elder to the time of his death. His quiet,
unpretending manners won the respect of all acquainted with him. His
funeral was attended on Friday last by a large concourse of friends
Rev. D. M. Cooper officiating in the service.
(Grand Haven News,
August 27, 1862).