02 November 2015

Military Monday: Davis Perry

On a recent trip to the Hephzibah Baptist Cemetery in Chester County, I stumbled upon – literally – the grave of Davis Perry. There are actually lots of veterans buried there but something about this one just compelled me to go see who it was. I should probably note here that the night I went to visit was Halloween or Samhain. I was there hoping to receive some sort of guidance from my 4th great grandmother Margaret Still, who is also buried there. 

Sunday my girls and I went back over to get his name since all I could remember was Perry. I HAD to find out his story.  

Prior to the Civil War
Davis Perry was born on 8 November 1820 in Pennsylvania.  

The 1850 Census shows Davis living in East Fallowfield Township with his wife Mary Ann and their four children. He was a paper maker. The children were: Phebe, age 7; Alexander, age 4;  Anna M, age 3; and Henry M., age 1. The Davis family lived just three house down from my Margaret Still. 

The 1860 Census shows Davis living in East Fallowfield Township with his wife Mary Ann and their now eight children. He was a paper maker. The children were: Phebe, age 17; Alexander, age 14;  Anna M, age 13; Henry M., age 11; Joseph E., age 9; Sarah E., age 6; Mary R., age 5; and William H., age 2. Mary Ann was born in Ireland. The oldest four children – Phebe, Alexander, Anna, and Henry – were born in Delaware. Davis and the younger four children – Joseph, Sarah, Mary and William – were born in Pennsylvania. 

During the Civil War
He was a Private in Company K for the 27th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry Militia (Emergency 1863). He enlisted on 19 June 1863 and was mustered out 1 August that same year, according to History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865. Why only 2 ½ months? 

The 27th Regiment was organized at Harrisburg on 19 June 1863, according to the National Park Service, “for the protection of Pennsylvania against Lee's Invasion.” The men served in defending and ultimately burning the railroad bridge on 28 June 1863. 

Davis is also listed (Voucher 569) under the Chester County Board of Relief in 1863. In 1861, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law creating a board of relief for volunteers and their families during the “hostilities.” The individual municipalities determined who needed and qualified for relief.  Dependents were also often granted relief. In Davis’ case, he, his wife and four of their children were included on the same voucher. 

After the Civil War
Davis listed his occupation on the 1880 Census as a paper maker. He and his wife Mary Ann now lived in East Bradford, Chester County. William H., age 22, and Allie C., age 14, were both still at home. Mary Ann had been born in Ireland. Davis and his parents were born in Pennsylvania.  

Davis died on 10 March 1897 in Philadelphia, having moved there sometime after 1880. He is buried, as mentioned, with his wife in the Hephzibah Baptist Cemetery in East Fallowfield Township. 


Soldier Database. National Park Service. Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

Military Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.