Bazil Derry-1843




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Jacob & Nancy Hartman-Derry


Melchi Derry, b. 1844


Mary Ellen Derry



Bazil & Mary Polly Schultz-Derry


Jacob? & Mary "Old Moll" Derry

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Last Update: 4March 2008

Bazil Derry
BAZIL DERRYborn 1843, died 1917. He was a son of Jacob-1816, and brother of Melchi and Mary Ellen.

Exerpt of a letter from Derry family researcher and family member, Joan Brown Derry

"...So.. you see the resemblance in the nose of old Bazil, do you? (ha ha) and the rugged character lines. This guy was the brother of Ron's great-grandfather, MELCHI DERRY (1844-1912). He was declared a lunatic in 1885 and had little. 4+ acres (were) confiscated from him by the Court. I am in the process of transcribing all the court records now and wanting to condense them in "story form" if at all possible. When this is completed I will print them out and mail them to you."

A Photo Book by Jack Gates
Caption: A Northern Appalachian Mountain Man About 1895

"Without going into a lot of detail here, it looks like his brother-in-law, WILLIAM GASKILL, who married Bazil and Melchi's older sister, MARY ELLEN DERRY, brought the court action against poor old Bazil in an effort to claim the land. Looks like some "shady" dealings were going on here. Old Bazil lost in the end and finally died by a stroke and falling into the fire grate where he was cooking dinner and was severely burned in 1917. The neighbors saw the smoke rising from across the hill, ran over to his little hermit-like shanty on Chestnut Ridge and found him in the fire...
( In reality, he had Scarlet Fever as a child and was left with hearing and speech impediments and unable to "count numbers", therefore he was deemed incompetent to manage his own business affairs and the Court took over with a trustee and they sold his little piece of land left to him by his grandfather (BAZIL-1786), at public auction.)"

Joan Brown Derry



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