Saturday, January 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 John & Barsheba (Delong) Dumprope

This family just had to be considered together. Theirs is a story not unlike so many others- immigration, moving to Canada and back to the US, searching for a better life. Then comes the Civil War...lives lost and families torn apart.

As I poured over documents and pension files, trying to get things straight in my head, I discovered a fascinating and tragic story of a family's intermingled lives. 

John D. Dumprope was born about 1791 in Basel, Germany (Basil/Basel is today a city in northern Switzerland, situated on the Rhine exactly where Switzerland, Germany and France touch noses.) He immigrated to the United States before 1813, which is about the time he married Barsheba Delong.

Barsheba Delong was born 18 April 1791 in North Hampton, Montgomery County, New York, the second of 14 children born to Henrick and Margaret (Joslin) Delong. 

John and Barsheba had 7 children: 
(1) Margaret M. Dumprope, b. about 1814, md. Charles Michael.
(2) Henry Dumprope, b. about 1816, md. Mary Chase. He died 22 June 1862.
(3) William Dumprope, b. about 1821, md. Mary Emeline Wannamaker. 
(4) Barsheba Ann Dumprope, b. 28 Sept. 1822, md. George Louis Brown.
(5) Sophia Dumprope, b. 14 May 1827, md. William Brayton Chase.
(6) Elizabeth Dumprope, b. about 1829, md. Thomas Bigford. She died between 1860-1862.
(7) Mary Jane Dumprope, b. 20 Sept. 1830, md. Sanford Jeremy Clark.

Barsheba Ann & George Louis Brown
Sanford & Mary Jane (Dumprope) Clark
(my Great-great grandparents)

John and Barsheba's first three children were born in New York. Around 1821-1822 they moved their family to Ontario (then called Upper Canada), settling in the township of Ameliasburg, Prince Edward County. This is where the younger four children were born. John Dumprope (also spelled Dumpprope and Dumpropre) was naturalized as a Canadian citizen on 18 March 1831, listed as a farmer. He died at the age of 53 on 18 Sept. 1844 at Ameliasburg, Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Affidavit of Barsheba's brother-in-law, Aaron Huyke, and sister, Sarah Delong

Wisconsin became the 30th state in 1848, signaling the beginning of a mass migration into the area.

Following John's death, five of the children moved their families to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, where they are listed as neighbors on the 1850 census. 

Clark, Chase & Brown families-1850 Census for Sheboygan Falls

Barsheba must have stayed behind for the time being. I could not find her listed with any of the Wisconsin families on the 1850 census. 

William and Mary stayed in Ameliasburg, where he died in 1857 at the age of 36, leaving 8 children under the age of 15. Elizabeth and Thomas Bigford also remained for awhile, as they are listed on the 1851 Canadian census.

Barsheba, Elizabeth and Thomas did make their way to Wisconsin within the next eight years, as Barsheba appears on the 1860 census in Sheboygan Falls, living in the household of Elizabeth and Thomas Bigford, and on the 1870 census in Fond du Lac in the home of daughter Sophia and William Chase. She died sometime after 1874, probably in Fond du Lac.

The following verse of an old American folk song portrays the spirit that perhaps led the Dumprope family, as so many others, to Wisconsin:

The Wisconsin Emigrant:

Since times are so hard, I've thought, my true heart,
Of leaving my oxen, my plough and my cart,
And away to Wisconsin, a journey we'd go
to double our fortune as other folks do,
While here I must labor each day in the field,
And the winter consumes all the summer doth yield.

Civil War Exacts a Heavy Toll on the Dumprope Family

So many families were affected by the Civil War, and Barsheba Dumprope's family had its own share of losses.

An example of the heartbreak families suffered at that time is that of her oldest son Henry. He was born about 1816 in North Hampton, Montgomery County, NY, but within 5 years the family moved to Canada, where he and his siblings grew up. His father John Dumprope became a Canadian citizen in 1831, living long enough to see the first four of his children marry and begin families. This included Henry, who married Mary Chase at Ameliasburg, Prince Edward County, Ontario on 22 Dec. 1840. They had five children: William, Matilda, Henry, Elizabeth and Lucy Ann.

Henry lost his father when John died on 18 Sept. 1844 at the age of 53. Within five years Barsheba and most of her seven children came to Wisconsin, settling in Sheboygan Falls. Henry and Mary were among these, and their youngest two daughters, Elizabeth and Lucy Ann were born in Sheboygan.

The next blow came when Mary died on 14 Sept. 1861, leaving Henry with three minor children under the age of 15, and his mother Barsheba dependent on him for support.

By this time the Civil War had started, and barely two months after the death of his wife, Henry enlisted in Co. E, 17th Regt. Infantry on 9 Nov. 1861 at the age of 45. His service lasted only seven months, though, as Henry died “of disease” on 22 June 1862 at Corinth, Mississippi.

Henry’s oldest son William, whose marriage to Mary Jane Pierce is recorded as taking place the day of his mother's death, was just 18. William and Mary became parents to a son, Sylvestor the following August 1862. He likely never knew his son, as William had also enlisted- in the 20th Regt. Of Wisconsin Volunteers. William was wounded on 7 Dec 1862 at the Battle of Prairie Grove, and died on 15 Dec. 1862 at the Fayetteville Hospital in Arkansas, only 19 years old. He left an 18 year old widow and newborn son.

The deaths of father and son left two families without support, and applications were made to the United States government for pensions. 

Henry’s sister Elizabeth married Thomas Bigford about 1849 in Canada, and had two of their six children there before coming to Sheboygan, where they are found on the 1860 census. Elizabeth, too, died sometime between 1860-1862. Her husband Thomas, left with 6 children under the age of 12, married his nephew William’s widow Mary Jane just 6 weeks after William’s death, on Jan. 31, 1863. This must have been a satisfactory arrangement on both sides, as Mary Jane now had someone to help raise her 5 month old son Sylvestor, and she mothered the cousins of her late husband. Thomas and Mary Jane had 4 more children of their own before her death 11 years later at the age of 30.

Barsheba's application for pension for dependant children of Henry Dumprope
Affidavit by Henry's mother, Barsheba, and sister, Mary Jane Clark


  1. I have a William Delong, born in Canada, that apparently came to NY, married and had children there, went back to Canada for a time and then returned to NY. Or at least one of his daughters did... I haven't filled in the gaps on this family because for a long time I thought they were DeYoungs because of a transcription error on a marriage record.

    You are doing a wonderful job on your blog sharing your ancestors stories. =)


  2. Erin, thank you so much. What are the years of your William Delong, and do you know where he lived in New York and Canada?

  3. Hi Judy,
    I don't know where in Canada William is from or where in New York they lived in the 1850s--possibly Rochester. In the 1860s they were back in Canada but by the 1870s they were living in Rochester, New York. William was born about 1815 and was a blacksmith. I plan to delve further into this family now that I have the correct surname. I will probably do a 52 Ancestors post on them when I have a little more. I'll let you know when I do.

  4. Hi Judy,
    I had been researching my husband’s family tree; he is a descendant of John and Barsheba’s third child, William Dumprope. I was trying to find John Dumprope’s original name, before immigrating from Germany. I had found somewhere a guess that his original name was Domprobst, but I did not confirm it. Were you able to find anything in your research?