Charles Edward Derry


Charles Edward Derry

CHARLES EDWARD DERRY, b. 1865. d. ????. A son of Basil-1820 & Fredericka. He Married He married (1) ANNA BOWMEN.

(The following information for Charles Edward & family comes from family member & Derry family researcher, Sandra Dragivich, g-granddaughter of Charles.)

Charles Edward Derry

Lilly & Pansy Derry

Daughters of Charles Edward:

"Pansy (right, in hat) was born on September 26, 1901 even though she said she had taken the year of 1899 as her birth year so she could start working earlier. She went through life two years older than she actually was. She passed away on June 18, 1980 which was a sad day for me since we were the best of friends. Just a wonderful person. Her sister Lilly who was 7 years older (don't have the data on that) was married to a man named Charles Taylor and there are pictures of them together but Gram (Pansy) said that Lilly ran off with another man one day and she never heard from her again which I think always made her very sad."


[A letter from Cousin Sandra]

Sunday, December 7, 2003

Hi Doc:

It appears that we are indeed cousins and I will try to gather information on g-grandfather Derry as well as his descendants. He didn't have too many offspring but I've discovered from looking at your web site that all it takes is just one pair, almost like Noah's Ark. I was discussing all that I found with my mother today at lunch and asked her if her Grandfather Derry had another child by his last marriage. I think he had as many marriages as children but that may not have been so unusual for the times. In fact, it's not too unusual even now. She said that there was one daughter named Francis from his last marriage but my Grandmother Pansy (daughter of Charles) always said she didn't think she was his. Pretty typical when the first children don't like the children of a step-mother. My grandmother was not a vindictive person actually but it was a rough relationship with this woman apparently and she had been orphaned early in her life because her real mother died when she was just about two years old. She had a sister named Lilly who was 7 years older than she. Anyway, I digress and the half sister named Francis apparently had two children who were put into foster care during their lives. Guess they had a tough life also. I will have to try and find the details because when I grew up, it was sketchy. Gram (my name for Grandmother Pansy) felt fairly abandoned I believe although she didn't complain. She did say she had uncles and mentioned Phillip which I saw from the web site, who apparently went west. There must have been contact because she knew there were many Derry's out West but this same step-mother had destroyed many of her documents she had in a trunk so much of this information was lost. What a treasure it would have been and you can see why my Grandmother might have been angry. People don't realize how important this kind of information is to their descendants or at least people like us who think it is. What do we have if not our connection to our past.

I have a friend in Portland who had been into genealogy for many years now and she must have found every relative in her family on both sides from Germany and Switzerland to the cemeteries in [*Location kept private] which is a city I live near by. I always envied her because of her diligent research and I know that is what it takes. Until recently, I haven't put that much effort into finding the past but as I've gotten older, my curiosity has been peaked. My Dad's people are Croatian and I've always known about them and have met them many times but even though those relatives live in Rijeka and have been in the area for many generations, I still don't know every detail. The cousin I correspond with now on Internet comes up with information and pictures on occasion and doesn't realize what it means to me. They always think I can visit all the time so there is no need to give me all the details.

Anyway, my Grandmother Pansy had 4 children, Wilbert Ray, born October 20, 1921 who passed away November 27, 2001, just after his 80th birthday. Very nice man. He had two sons, Roger Dale, B. July 9, 1946 and Wilbert Wayne, B. November 17, 1948. I'd have to check on the exact date of Will. They both live in the [*Location kept private] area. Will doesn't have any children and Roger has one daughter named Amy (approximately 28 yrs. old) and she has two children, Ashley, about 8 or 9 years and a new child that was born just last December. Not sure of the exact dates for them. We don't see each other very much. Mostly at funerals. Pretty typical of families anymore.

My mother is named Virginia Ethelyn and was born December 30, 1924 so she is coming up to 79 years. She had two children, myself, Sandra (no middle initial), B. Oct. 11, 1946 and my brother John Andrew, B. January 15, 1948. He and his wife Trudy Lynn had one daughter named Lisa Nicole, B. Jan. 16, 1973. She and her Dad always celebrate their birthdays together and it's been a tradition since she was born. Lisa and her husband Jason Minardi have one daughter named Kylie Payton, B. November 5, 2001, just passing two years. I understand from the Thanksgiving dinner that there will be another one sometime next August. In a way, the Derry's are proliferating and I wouldn't doubt that there are many more from another wing in Oberhoffen. I did look up the City and discovered that it was in the Alsace region which I wouldn't have guessed. I actually thought that the Derry's might have been from Northern Ireland. It fits the name of the north Ireland area but this is even better. Since we are such a melting pot, I'm sure I will find some Irish in the stew (no pun intended) somewhere. Being Croatian, Hungarian and now German is quite wonderful.

Now onto the last two siblings. Herman is the third child of Pansy and he had 3 children by his ex-wife, Kenneth William, about 44 or 45, Patricia Ann, about 41 or 42 and the youngest Muriel, about 34 or 35. I haven't seen them for years since they were children so I've forgotten their birthdays and they live in [*Location kept private]. I've always had a facility for remembering numbers but age has taken it's toll. The last child was Katherine Fay who had a twin brother and he died right after birth. They were born July 30, 1937. Katherine had two children, Deborah Kay, B. October 17, 1957 and Robert Lee, B. February 9 1961 (?). They all live in the northern [*Location kept private] area around Brookfield and Marceline as well as their uncle Herman who also lives in Marceline. I was born in Brookfield but my mother went back to Chicago immediately afterward so I grew up there in my early years until we moved to [*Location kept private] and I finished High School here. I've worked many years as most people my age have and hopefully I will make it to retirement in a few years. Can't wait because life is just too short although many of our ancestors lived quite a number years considering the times they lived in.

I will try to scan the picture of Charles Derry and in fact it's such a great picture of him that I've had it duplicated for framing to give as Christmas gifts. I'm not great with the scanner but I'll give it a whirl. My mother also found the list of relatives, their birth dates from the Bible printout that my grandmother had in a frame. It's quite old and frail but I'll try to copy it also. You already have the dates on your web page but this will help verify the authenticity. After the holidays I would like to go to the county seat in northern [*Location kept private] where most of Gram's people gravitated and then died so I can glean any information from public records, if there is any. I'm motivated now to find out more. The county seat is located in a small town called [*Location kept private] so if any records survived I'm hoping it will be there. I did find some information on the web about my grandfather's side of the family who are named Dowell and discovered the names of 3 men who enlisted in the Civil War in Macon which is about 25 or 30 miles east of Brookfield. I believe they were brothers or cousins of my g-g grandfather Dowell. I've discovered about a thousand on that side of the family. I thought my family was dying out but have discovered quite a different scenario.

I hope all of this helps to expand the web site and will practice with my scanner to get it just right. I'm fairly good with computers but the scanner has me baffled for some reason. Thanks again for the information and hope to hear from you

Best Wishes


P.S. I love the Derryville Diner. We can all drop in occasionally to share conversation and camaraderie.

[*Locations have been edited for privacy reasons]

[More from Cousin Sandra]

June 15, 2004

Hi Doc:

I have some interesting information about my great grandfather Charles Derry that I received thanks to the information you had sent before Christmas. I contacted the Illinois repository in the two counties where I believed Charles had married. The first one was Schuyler County and I discovered that he was married to Sarah Matheny on August 10, 1884. Much to my surprise after I counted up the years, it seems that he was only 19 years old since he was born in 1865 but stated on the certificate that he was 23. The bride was actually 19 so they would have been the same age. I guess great grandfather Charles wanted to be an older groom so he added 4 years. Even back then there were ways around the law. Perhaps men had to be 21. I'd have to research that. I tried to scan the certificate but my program is not the greatest, that's why I'll probably buy the new computer with a better scanner for text as well as graphics.

Charles' next marriage was to my great grandmother, Anna E. Bowman (Bowman was her married name) since she had one husband already. They were married on November 10, 1892. This time he gave his correct age of 27. I had a chuckle out of all of this information but I'm not so sure my mother was happy that I had unearthed this tidbit. He had another marriage after Anna but I haven't researched it yet. There has been a lot going on in this part of the country but I'll get to it. I'll try to scan both marriage certificates at a better scanner and send them to you. The one from Hancock County (Charles & Anna) is not as clean a copy as the one from Schuyler so I don't know how it will turn out. We shall see.

Take care





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