George Washington DeJean

Luella’s father was George Washington DeJean. He was born 14 August 1846 or 1847 in Wisconsin, possibly in or near Albion, Dane County. No record of birth has been found yet, so all I have are secondary records such as U.S. and State census, military, burial and Myrle Grimes’ research. His parents were Julian Fayette Schuyler DeJean and Elizabeth Bullis.

George is another ancestor who left only the most basic of records; census, military and death.  Using these simple records, we can piece the following together.

We base his possible birth location in Albion, Dane County, Wisconsin because the family is living there according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census; George is 3 years old.  By 1860, the family was in Kildare, Juneau County, Wisconsin where many other DeJeans can be found.

He was a Civil War veteran, enlisting with the Union Army in Kildare County, Wisconsin in Company I, 12th Wisconsin Infantry on 1 October 1864 and was mustered out on 5 July 1865. According to his enlistment record, he was residing in Mauston, Juneau County, Wisconsin at the time of his enlistment. A fellow researcher wrote on Julian’s Find-A-Grave profile that George took Julian’s place when the elder was drafted at the age of 40.  This is supposedly recorded in George’s military or pension file, though I have not yet ordered a copy for myself.

He married Marion Barbara Tucker on 13 June 1869 in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin. Their marriage was witnessed by Elizabeth DeJean (mother) and what looks like Miss Kitt DeJean, though the name is hard to read – what do you think it says?

Image of Certificate of Marriage for “George W. De Jean of Milton and Marion Tucker of Milton. Digitally uploaded 22 December 2015 to by thedillons181.

He and Marion stayed in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin for just a few more years before relocating their young family to Harrison County, Iowa where they both lived the remainder of their lives. Marion died 8 March 1889 in Iowa after giving him 4 known children, only 2 survived to adulthood.  Gaps between the children’s birth years may indicate other children, but no other birth records or evidence has been found. Children of George and Marian are as follows:

  1. Carrie Irene DeJean b. 2 April 1870 in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin, and d. 24 November 1879 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.
  2. Luella DeJean b. 23 November 1873 or 1874 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. 7 June 1949 in Woodbine, Harrison County, Iowa. She married Edward Gage.
  3. Edna DeJean b. 24 July 1879 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. 25 October 1880 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.
  4. Edwin Theron b. 23 October 1880 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. about 1956 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa. He married Edith Malinda Smith on 22 December 1908 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.

He then married Mary Minnie McIntosh, widow of Mr. Vint, on 2 November 1892 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.Children of George and Mary are as follows:

  1. James Ralph DeJean b. 2 September 1893 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. 18 June 1908 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.
  2. Maria Della DeJean b. 7 January 1898 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.
  3. William Lewis DeJean b. 23 November 1901 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. January 1986 in Denver, Colorado.

George does some quirky things at this point that are a little hard to figure.  Two news articles indicate he was a little flighty.  In May of 1893 he temporarily abandons his family.  The evidence of his return is found in the 1900 and 1910 census’ which indicates he is back living with his family in Harrison County. Then, in 1913 is another news article advertising an obscure business venture.

This last article takes place in March of 1913, by August he has left Iowa again to spend a month in Hot Springs, South Dakota at a Veterans home for treatment of conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), rheumatism (inflammation of joints), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries, typical of advanced age), and cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement or thickening of the heart).  His admission records describes him as 5 foot 6 inches, fair complexion, blue eyes, and light hair.  It also records his religion as protestant. U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 [database on-line]

His father had long been dead and buried in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota and there are other cousins (grandchildren of Stephen DeJean) who were still living in Plankinton, South Dakota at the time of his Hot Springs visit.  I am not sure what the draw was for the DeJeans to South Dakota, but it wasn’t a broken lynch pin on a wagon 😏, they seem to have willingly relocated there.

George died 1 April 1921 in Harrison County, Iowa of cardiovascular renal disease (heart trouble).  Minnie appears to be the informant for his death. 

Death certificate for Geo W DeJean who was born in Wisconsin and died in Harrison County, Iowa. Iowa, Death Records, 1920-1940 [database on-line]