DeVan Family History and Genealogy
DeVan Family VeteransPage last modified 3/20/2013
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At military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776.
There are numberous, probably dozens of veterans listed in the DeVan Family ancestral files. Some of these veterans go back as far as the wars in England. A few were in the Indian Wars, like the Pequot War. Some ancestors were in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Many were in the Civil War, World War I, World War II. Some were on the wrong side but most were on the right side. In their minds, they were all fighting for the cause they believed in. This page is a tribute to those who served their country, and a 21-gun salute to those veterans who are no longer with us.
It is appropriate that the first known male ancestor in our DeVan line should be listed first. John served in the French and Indian War in 1761 as a Corporal, according to his record, and as a Sergeant, according to other sources. One would think, from the name, that the French were fighting the Indians. In fact they were on the same side fighting the British and Colonists. Although the name Davern is probably French, John was Irish and he served with the British and Colonists against the French and Indians. Click the link to see John's record.
John served in the Pequot War in 1637. Sons John and William were with their father and assisted him with the re-capture of John Oldham's vessel from Indians, off Block Island. John was Captain of the First Company of the Connecticut forces under Major Robert Treat at the Great Swamp Fight (in King Philip's War) at Narragansett, Rhode Island, December 19, 1675. He was one of the six captains who died while storming the fort. Read the story.
Felix was in the Revolutionary war; he enlisted in Vermont in Captain Gideon Bronson's company, Colonel Seth Warner's troops; transferred to other regiments. Engaged in battles of Fort George, Lake Champlain, Bennington, Horseneck, and Valentine's Hill. Discharged 1783 at West Point.
Jonas served after the Revolutionary War; he was a Lieutenant in Whitcomb's independent corps of Rangers, Colonel George Reid's regiment, New Hampshire Contenintal line 1779-1780.
Josiah served as a Captain in the Vermont militia during the Revolutionary War.
William served in the War of 1812. He was a Private in the 129th Regiment (Elisha Farnham's Regiment) of the New York State Militia. He would have been 17 to 19 years old at the time.
Joshua served in the War of 1812, as a private in Captain Burnham's company. (Joshua is not a "direct" ancestor; he is a great-great uncle to those DeVans born of the Ralph E. DeVan-Florence M. Giddings marriage.)
Joshua Giddings' greater service was in the Ohio State Legislature from 1826 - 1828, and in the U.S. House of Representatives were he served for over 20 years, from 1838 to 1859. He and his friend and law partner Benjamin Wade (Senator from Ohio) were instrumental in establishing the platform for the Republican Party. Giddings and Wade were ardent abolitionists and Radical (liberal) Republicans, at a time when the Republican party was moderate. (Radical Republicans were critical of Lincoln, whom they felt was too slow in freeing slaves and supporting their equality. They also led the Reconstruction of the South and the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.) On May 21, 1844, Representative Giddings addressed the House of Representatives opposing the annexation of pro-slavery Texas.
Click here to see a photo of Joshua and his service listing, and read a portion of the anti-Texas annexation speech he gave before the House of Representatives.
Edwin served with the 19th Ohio Infantry, Company D, in the Civil War, as a Bugler. Company D was comprised of men from "Morgan Township." The 19th Ohio Infantry was organized for three months service on May 15, 1961, in response to President Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers to serve for three months. It was again re-organized on September 26, 1861, this time for three years. However, by this time Edwin had volunteered for the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (the Giddings Regiment), in which he served for the remainder of the war.
The 29th Ohio regiment was involved in numerous battles including the Battle of Shiloh, April 1862; with General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign May - September 1864; and the burning of Atlanta (Siege of Atlanta) July - August 1864. Click here to see images.
Edwin is listed in the JOURNAL HISTORY OF THE TWENTY-NINTH OHIO VETERAN VOLUNTEERS, 1861-1865, ITS VICTORIES AND ITS REVERSES, as the Regiment Bugler. The Journal shows that Edwin was discharged from the 29th on November 13, 1863.
Ransom was a cousin to Edwin N. DeVan. He served with the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment, Company I, during the Civil War. The 29th Ohio was organized in August 1861 in Jefferson, Ohio by Congressman Joshua R. Giddings, and was also known as the Giddings Regiment. It was comprised mostly of recruits from northeast Ohio (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Trumbull, and Summit counties) and a few men from Crawford County, PA.
The 29th OVI served for some time in the defenses of Winchester, Virginia, the second Bull Run, and participated in the battles of Port Republic, Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Davis' Cross Roads, New Hope Church, Dallas, Pine Knob, Peachtree Creek and during the Carolinas Campaign.
The 29th also fought at Lookout Mountain, and joined Sherman's Atlanta campaign, participating in the Siege of Atlanta. Ransom was killed in the Battle of Atlanta on 28 July 1864. Click here to see image.
The 29th OVI had a total of 1,529 members during the war; 540 were either killed, wounded or missing in action. Ransom is listed in the JOURNAL HISTORY OF THE TWENTY-NINTH OHIO VETERAN VOLUNTEERS, 1861-1865, ITS VICTORIES AND ITS REVERSES, as a casualty.
Sgt. Ransom D. Billings is buried in the National Cemetary at Marietta, Georgia.
Edward, the mysterious cousin, also served with the 29th Ohio Infantry, Company C, as a Bugler.
Ralph P. is a distant cousin, uncle, or grandfather, depending on your lineage. He served in the Civil War as a Private in Company D, 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded in the Battle of Cedar Mountain (also called Slaughter Mountain) and lost part of his left leg below the knee. Ralph sent a high-spirited letter to his sister Temperance while recuperating in the hospital. He received $2.00/month pension for his injury. See letter and pension record.
Erastus A., brother of Ralph P. also served in the Civil War. He enlisted in Company F, Sixteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry at Madison, WI in October 1861. He was seriously wounded in the battle at Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh) on April 6, 1862. After failing to fully recuperate he was discharged for disability. In the fall of 1864 Erastus re-enlisted in Company C, 47th Infantry Volunteers and was commissioned orderly sergeant. His regiment was mustered out in September 1865. Click here to see a photo of Erastus in his uniform, and his pension record.
Charles served in the 124th Ohio Infantry, Company H as a Private. He was mortally wounded during a battle at Thompson's Station near Franklin, Tennessee, after only two months of service. The Thompson's Station battle was a fierce battle that resulted in 1906 Union casualties and 300 Confederate casualties, and was a major loss for the Union Army.
Francis served in the 8th Regiment, Michigan Cavalry as a Corporal. He is also shown on the muster rolls for the 2nd Regiment, Company A, Veteran Reserve Corps as a Private.
Philo served in the 22nd Michigan Infantry, Company A as a Corporal. He is also shown on the muster rolls for the 2nd Regiment, Company B, Veteran Reserve Corps as a Private.
Note: Edwin, Ransom D, Charles, Francis, and Philo were cousins to brothers Ralph P. and Erastus A. Devan. Edward was most likely a cousin, as well.
Henry Devan, David Devan, Milto [Milo?] Devan, Wallace Devan, Jay (Oscar?) Devan, and Truman Devan all served in the Civil War. Henry, David, Milo, Wallace, and Jay were sons of Henry Devan (Sr.). Henry (Sr.) is believed to be an unidentified son of Talcot Devan. Reuben Wilson is the "nephew" of Erastus N. DeVan and believed to be the son of one of Talcot's unidentified daughters.
Note: Henry, David, Milo, Wallace, and Jay were cousins to Edwin, Ransom D, Charles, Francis, Philo, Ralph P. and Erastus A. Devan.
Reuben also served in the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with Edwin and Ransom, and is listed in the JOURNAL HISTORY OF THE TWENTY-NINTH OHIO VETERAN VOLUNTEERS, 1861-1865, ITS VICTORIES AND ITS REVERSES, in Company I.
Note: Reuben is the "nephew" of Erastus N. DeVan and therefore a cousin to Henry, David, Milo, Wallace, Jay, Edwin, Ransom D, Charles, Francis, Philo, Ralph P. and Erastus A. Devan.
Lewis served in World War II as a Navy Gunner's Mate aboard the battleship USS Maryland. He was on board the ship that fateful Sunday morning when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The "Mary" suffered several bomb and torpedo hits, but after repairs was able to return to service. The "Mary" was engaged in numerous battles throughout the war, including a kamikazi attack. Lewis was discharged as a Chief Gunner's Mate at the end of the war. Read about Lewis' experience in his own words.
Lyle served in World War II from 1943 to 1946 as a Navy Carpenter's Mate Third Class in the SeaBees (Construction Battalion). He built landing strips in the South Pacific, and helped build MacArthur's landing strip in Okinawa. Lyle was drafted right after high school graduation and said he washed a lot of dishes in the service. See Lyle's photo and discharge paper.
Ben served in the Air Force in Vietnam as a B-52 tail gunner. He flew 143 combat missions over South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. His meritorious achievement award shows that he earned his fifth oak leaf cluster on his Air Medal. (This means he earned six awards, the first being the Air Medal itself, and subsequent awards being oak leaf clusters.) Ben also served in the California Army National Guard from May 1980 - May 1983. See photo and award.
Jon (Jake) served in the U.S. Army Reserve from October 1971 - October 1977 as a Specialist 4th Class. He earned the National Defense Service Medal and Expert Marksman Badge. See a photo of Jake in his uniform.
Ric entered the U.S. Navy in 1958 at the age of 17, and served more than 22 years on active duty, plus an additional six years in the Naval Reserves. He served on active duty from November 1958 to January 1979, and from Aug 1982 to Aug 1984; and in the Naval Reserves from 1985 through 1991. In addition to serving at numerous Navy bases throughout the U.S., Ric deployed on four aircraft carriers: USS Lake Champlain (east coast and Cuba Blockade, 1961 - 1964); USS Saratoga (Mediterranean, May '67 to Dec '67); USS Ranger (Vietnam, Oct '68 to May '69); and USS Kitty Hawk (Western Pacific, May '75 to Dec '75). He was promoted to "Chief" (E7) in 1971, and earned numerous awards throughout his career. Ric left military life behind in 1992 to pursue a career in the aerospace industry.
There are many other veteran's biographies that will be added in the future.