DeVan Family History and Genealogy

What's New

Page last modified 12/20/2020

The Table of Contents in the left window aids in easy navigating through the site.
The Site Organization page summarizes each section of the site.
Be sure to visit the "Family Names" page.

This website was first posted in February 2002. Wow! 19 years online.

12/20/2020: Over the years of working on the DeVan (Devan) family genealogy, I have received email from Black DeVans in the U.S.A wondering if we are related. I still dont' have an answer to that question. But our name does translate from the Gaelic name—'Dubhain'—pronounced 'duh-vaun,' meaning 'little dark one.' It refers to the 'dark' Spanish Armada' that invaded Ireland and 'intermixed' with the locals and remained in Ireland. However, during the frustration of being locked out of the website on my own computer, I found this article about Black Devans in the Civil War. It is very interesting and I encourage people to read it, or at least skim through it. Let me know what you think.

"For Safety and For Liberty," The Devan Family of Gettysburg

12/14/2020: Cleaned up some faulty links and restored the website to viewable quality . . . well . . . almost.

11/4/2017: Added three names to the list of Family Names in this site: Edward and Mary Adams; Mary Patchen, and Thomas Dickerson. Added dates to several entries, and pdated changes to the same page.

10/2/2017: I restricted website access to members of the DeVan-Giddings families.

11/16/2016: Added a page to the Table of Contents about the derivation of the Giddings family name and an old book about the Giddings migration from England to the U.S. in 1635. You can read the book online.

1/5/2016: Found Grandmother Jennie DeVan's brother, Sidney T. Lewis' name on the Royal Navy Roll of Honour for his ultimate sacrifice in World War One. See the Articles and Bios page. Also found info for Lois (Ramey) Burton.

12/2/2014: Brother Terry died after a lengthy illness.

6/20/2014: Added a bio of Aunt Jean Bevins. She recently celebrated her 101st birthday.

5/26/2014: Completed move of website to Due to code differences between web hosts some pages may not work properly; I will fix them as I find them. If you find them before I do please let me know which pages don't work.

3/20/2013: Added obit for Bill Weeks.

3/19/2013: Added several records to the Vital Records page; census records for Furnace DeVan, Roy A. Giddings, Rachel Williams; and marriage record for Harvey Rhoades. Also added death cert for Reuben Wilson, which gives no clue as to who his parents are. Rachel Williams was Grandmother Jennie DeVan's sister; and Reuben Wilson was the nephew of Great-great-grandfather Erastus DeVan.

10/10/2012: Added Aunt Jean's Photos to the menu.

1/18/2011: Added additional census records for Reuben Wilson, Rachel Williams, & Furnace DeVan. Added death certificates for Elbert & Albert Fobes, twin sons of Ellen & Henry Fobes, who died at birth. Also death certificates for Harvey Rhoades, Dorman Williams & Rachel Williams Nichol. Rachel Williams and Ellen Fobes were Grandmother Jennie DeVan's sisters.

1/14/2011: Added a page for census records and added several records; a link is on the main Table of Contents (Documents) and on the Articles & Bios page. More records will be added soon...

1/8/2011: Added a few obituaries. Added the Ellen Lewis / Hiram Fobes family info. Also updated the "DeVans Who Were Shakers" page to show that the family of William R. DeVan, except for Erastus A. DeVan, lived in the Shaker community in 1850 as shown by the 1850 census.

1/5/2011: Found another sister (Ellen Lewis) and a brother (Sidney Lewis) of Grandmother Jennie DeVan. Click on "Lewis" on the family names page.

1/4/2011: Found additional ancestors of Claude B. Lyon. Click on "Lyon" on the family names page. Also added several obituaries (and still have several more to add).

12/28/2010: Added family groups for Henry Devan, Reuben Wilson, John Williams, John Nichol, and Rachel Lewis. Rachel was Grandmother Jennie DeVan's sister. Also added copies of or links to historical documents (census & marriage files) for some families (Reuben Wilson, Henry Devan, Furnace Devan, Amos sines, John Williams, and others. The links are on the Family Names page.

12/27/2010: Added recently discovered information about Reuben Wilson, nephew of Erastus N. DeVan and grandson of Talcot Devan. The information is not confirmed at this time but fits the timeline in Erastus' deposition regarding Reuben's Civil War service. Added Wilson to the Family Names page.

12/27/2010: Added new information about Grandmother Jennie DeVan's sister Rachael Lewis.

12/27/2010: Added Henry Devan family to Family Names page. I believe Henry is one of Talcott's missing sons.

3/10/2010: Made the Family Names in this Site page a little more user friendly. Added traceability charts for the DeVan & Giddings lineages, and added red arrows for following the lineages from family to family. And added an introductory section for how to use it all. Please let me know how this works for you.

3/1/2010: Added a dial-up friendly Family Photo Album with graphic links. Dial-up users can view the photos without having to wait as long for the larger photos to download. Please provide feedback if the page isn't working for you.

1/29/2010: Added a new photo page containing some of the many photos Mom had collected over the years. Some of these photos go back over 100 years. Cousin Louella also contributed a number of photos, both old and recent. The effort to post the photos will be on-going over the next few weeks.

1/4/2010: Added several family names including Adams, Brewster, Brown, Dayton, Ives, Thomas Jones, Pease, Todd, Tuttle, and Waters. Added photos of gravestones for Pease, Joshua Reed Giddings, Elisha Giddings, and Temperance DeVan (daughter of William & Hannah DeVan).

9/10/2009: Found a birth/death entry in the Ashtabula County records for Polly M. DeVan. This is confusing because, up to this time I have not found any information about her in any of the family documents. Polly M. was the first daughter of Erastus N. and his first wife, Polly Stone. Their second unnamed daughter died in youth. I hope to have Polly M's obituary in a few weeks; maybe it will shed some light on this little mystery.

8/15/2009: Posted four pages of new Ireland photos and five pages of Belize photos.

8/12/2009: I discovered an interesting genealogy site a few weeks ago: Find A Grave. It's URL is It's a free site and they have thousands of photos of gravestones. I found photos of several of my ancestors' gravesites: Peter Crary, Captain John Gallup, Enos Weller, and a few more. I also found something that was innappropriate regarding a family member and they quickly removed it. The site is supported by people who take photos of gravesites and headstones and post them on the site. Interesting concept.

8/11/2009: The site has been down for a few weeks while I moved it to a new host. Added a few pages for the long-over-due Ireland and Belize sections. I hope to have these sections finished within a few more weeks, although I do have a lot of pictures to add.

5/1/2009: Tragedy struck our immediate family last year and I haven't found the strength to write about it until now. My son Ric, age 44, died July 4, 2008 while hiking in the Sierras near Bishop.
Sister Christy, age 43, died of cancer in September.
Sister-in-law Brigit died in November 2008; and mother-in-law Ila Campbell died in April 2009.

02/11/2007: Added an extensive biography about Joshua Reed Giddings.

02/06/07: Added information about GrGrandma Weeks' family (Hutchins).

02/05/07: Found parents and siblings of Celia Grinnel Giddings. Celia was Grandpa Roy's mother. Florence DeVan always believed that both Celia and her husband "Charlie" were Blackfoot Indian; however, that's not likely (although still possible) since Celia's parents were born in NY and OH, and the Giddings' genealogy is documented quite well. In addition, the Blackfeet Nation was and is based in northwest Montana.

02/04/2007: Found some interesting info on distant cousin Orestes St. John. He was a well-known geologist and worked for the University of Kansas and the State of Iowa. Check it out here.

11/23/2006: Added a family photo of the Ralph E. DeVan family, circa 1944-45. Added the children of Jenny Belle DeVan.

6/1/2006: Updated info about Congressman Joshua Reed Giddings on the Veterans Page, Articles, Bios, Photos page, and Family Names Page.

4/30/2006: Corrected some typos and updated the Veteran's Page. Added Ric's military "resume," including a chronological list of his duty stations.

2/20/2006: After working with the old photos and zooming in on the faces, I realized that Grandfather Furnace could not have been the photographer of all of the photographs. Erastus is in some of the photographs and he died in 1891; Furnace would have been 13 then. Erastus' wife Ruth was known to have been an artist and I suspect she was also the photographer and that she and Isabel are the two women in the photographs.

1/28/2006: Seems like a long time since I've done anything with the site. Actually, I've been really busy with work and haven't had time to work on the site, until recently. My Aunt gave me some plate glass negatives in December 2004 and I just found the time to work with them and produce some prints. My grandfather, Furnace DeVan, is the photographer, and you can find the photographs from his glass negatives under his name on the Articles, Bios, Photos and more page.

1/27/2006: Our trip to Belize was GREAT! The highlight of the trip was a day trip to Tikal in Guatemala. Tikal happens to be the largest Maya temple in Central America. My work related travel will be significantly less for awhile and I will start posting the Belize vacation photos on the site.

12/12/2004: Finally, after a year of working on it, the Hawaii website is finished. It consists of over 280 photos of our December 2003 vacation on the Big Island. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the island. Well, maybe not that much.

06/27/2004: Added additional photos and information about the USS Maryland and her World War II history.

06/13/2004: For some time I've had the names Damie Frances Bean and Beulah Marie Devan in the files that Uncle Lewie gave to me back in 1984. I knew Beulah was the daughter of Talcott and Damie, but I didn't know which Talcott. Recently provided information suggests that it was the first Talcott. Since this is still a missing link, I've put this information on the Missing Links page.

6/13/2004: Removed the link to the fire pictures. The pictures are still there and if you to see them, type in the URL address box.

11/12/2003: Added additional military information for Lewis E. DeVan (photo of USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor), and for Ric DeVan. See the Veterans' Page.

10/12/2003: Added newspaper article about Bill Weeks' adventures. (Bill was Grandma Giddings' cousin.)

10/4/2003: Added several obits and the Ralph-Florence DeVan wedding announcement. Also a link to a letter written by Furnace DeVan while in Medora, ND in 1904. Also added Rhoads and Weeks family information provided by cousin Louella Kern.

9/28/2003: Removed the link to my email address--too much spam. I've included instructions on an alternative means to contact me.

9/2/2003: It's been several months since I worked on the family website. Consequently I've made several changes, including the following.

- Added information and photos contributed by Richard (Rick) T. DeVan. These include photos of gravestones for Lewis E. DeVan, Polly DeVan, and Ellen DeVan; and images of pages in the family Bible containing births, deaths, and marriages. Included in Rick's photos are tombstones for Billings, Chapman, Hoyt, St. John, and Weller, which will be published in the future.

- Added the 1810 census image for Talcott Devan in Madison County, NY, provided by Steve Devan. This data provides additional evidence that Talcott and Temperance had, not five, but nine children. The names of two sons and two daughters remain unknown.

- Added an article from the Oneida Post in 1893 that listed several Civil War Veterans from the Oneida area, including six Devan's. One of those Devan's is named Milo. I suspect this Milo was named after his uncle Milo who was living in Ohio at the time of the war.

- Also added Erie, PA Special Police certificate for Edwin N. DeVan, which I've had for nearly 20 years. But I didn't know if it was Erastus N. or Edwin N, since it doesn't have a first name. I also didn't have any evidence that placed either one in Erie during that time. The 1880 census shows that Edwin lived in Erie.

- Updated a few dates. Added parents, date, and place of birth for Eleanor Price (wife of Brian Pendleton); added additional information for Brian Pendleton's family.

- And last but not least, I updated the Contributors page.

4/10/2003: Added info about the Shakers and photos of grave site where Talcott and William are buried.

4/5/2003: Added Erastus A. and Julia marriage cert and announcement; added Lyle E. and Dolores marriage cert and announcement, photo; added Dolores obit. Added Sam/Mary Peterson photo; Julia Ann (Hoyt) DeVan and Irene photo, Julia's death notice.

02/16/2003: Added information about Erastus N. DeVan (lawyer, Justice of the Peace, township clerk), Milo DeVan, and Ellen DeVan. Links are on the Articles and Biographies page.

02/02/2003: Added several names to the Veterans' page. Made some corrections on the Family Names page.

01/11/2003: Did some cleanup, corrections, and maintenance of several pages.

01/02/2003: Added excerpts from deeds that show the name of Old Talcott's wife. These deeds also add clarity to the spelling of Talcott's name, and place him in Madison County, NY between 1806 and 1820. Links to the deeds are on the John and Talcott page and on the Articles and Biographies page.

Also added copies of depositions by Erastus N. and Ruth C. DeVan regarding the fact that Reuben Wilson was the son of Erastus' sister. The name of the sister remains a mystery at this time. Links to the depositions are on the Articles and Biographies page.

12/28/2002: Added 1800 and 1820 census data for Talcott in Oneida and Madison counties New York. Revised info on Talcott based on recent information regarding Talcott's wife's name and number of children he had. Updated the Enos Weller Royal Arch Mason certificate and put a link on the Biographies/Articles page.

Added photos of Danny DeVan's tombstone and Ralph E. and Florence DeVan's tombstone. Added letter written by Furnace DeVan from Custer Trail Ranch in 1904. Added Roy A. (Grandpa) Giddings and Danny DeVan obituarties. All links are on the Family Names page. Also added some "mystery names" to the Family Names page; see if you can find them.

Added Ralph P. DeVan, wife Eliza, and daughter Ada Aurora DeVan information, and photographs of the farm and gravesites. All information and photographs provided by Donna (DeVan) Duncan. Links to this information are on the Biography page and also on the Family Names page.

Added some color to the Veteran's pages.

Well, I've changed web hosts, again. Can't seem to find one that lives up to their advertisement. But that change is invisible to you, the visitor.

Added a speech that Joshua R. Giddings made to the House of Representatives in 1844, regarding the annexation of Texas and slavery.

The most obvious addition is the Table of Contents and Index of Names. The Table allows the viewer to move easily throughout the site without having to use the back button. The Index allows the viewer to navigate the Names page with ease. Click on "Index of Names" to go directly to the Names page.

I added an obituary for Eliza Giddings, actually two. Most, if not all of the names on the Names page have been added to the Index for easy cross-reference. The About page is new and this What's New page summarizes the latest changes. The Contributer's page has also been updated.

I added a bit of information about Milo DeVan's family, and also added some additional information about descendants of Erastus A. DeVan.

Feb 2002: Established the DeVan Family Genealogy Website.