Pvt Patrick Dever

Pvt Patrick Dever

County Donegal, Ireland
Death 6 Nov 1862
Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section 1, Grave 3306
Memorial ID 21345456 View Source
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Patrick, nicknamed Paddy, was born about 1833. His parentage is unknown. His surname would have been Diver in Ireland (rhymes with river). He may have had a brother Henry. As a teenager, he survived the Irish potato famine of 1846-1849, when over a million people died of starvation.

Patrick married Susanna Herrity on Apr. 11, 1852 at St. Columba's R.C. Church in Kilmacrenan, Co. Donegal.

The couple departed from Londonderry, Ireland on the ship "The Helen Thompson", arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylania on June 6, 1853. The ship's manifest listed Ramelton as their place of origin.

Patrick and Susanna had five daughters: Ellen Teresa in 1853, Mary A. 'Mamie' in 1857, Catherine Agusta in 1858, Anna Matilda 'Hannah' in 1860, and Susanna in 1861. The youngest died of measles at 2½ years old.

Patrick was an unskilled laborer. His wife was illiterate, and it is likely that he was, too.

The family was itinerant, moving from place to place depending on the available work. In their first eight years in the US, they lived in Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey; Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., Pennsylvania; and Solebury Twp., Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. The family finally settled across the Delaware River in Lambertville, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey.

Patrick declared his intention to become a US citizen on Sep. 3, 1860, but his naturalization was interrupted by the start of national hostilities.

Patrick was a Civil War veteran, first as a three-months' man guarding Washington, DC, and then fighting in Northern Virginia with Co. A, then Co. E, 5th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. His military service records are under the name of Patrick Daver.

Patrick would have seen action in the campaigns listed at this website:

Volunteer 5th New Jersey Infantry Regiment

Sanitation was non-existent in the army camps. Like many soldiers of his era, Patrick died of dysentery (chronic diarrhea) in the Lovell US Army General Hospital in Portsmouth Grove after an illness of more than two months. Penicillin would not be developed for general use until the 1940s.

The family would have been too poor to recover his body. He was first interred in the hospital graveyard, then moved to the national cemetery in Cypress Hills. I have always wondered whether anyone in his family has ever visited his final resting place. If not, I plan to rectify that some day.

Because of Patrick's war service, Susanna was awarded a widow's pension of $8/month for the rest of her life plus $2/month for each child under the age of 16 years. Payments began 17 months after his death, after she had submitted all the proper paperwork.

Lambertville later honored its fallen soldiers with a memorial on the corner of Union and York Streets. Patrick Dever's name appears on the statue.

He had 18 grandchildren and 218 known additional descendants as of early 2012. All but one of the latter are through his daughter Catherine.

Many thanks to Charles Ryan, who graciously took the photos of Patrick's gravestone.

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