Nicholas Devore – Was He Born in France?

Who is Nicholas Devore and how is he related to the Devore and Deveaux families from colonial New York and New Jersey?

Nicholas Devore is supposedly born in 1732 France, and marries Sarah Decker in Sussex County, NJ before heading out to Washington County, PA before the Revolutionary War.

DNA matches show he’s part of the same family line as the NJ and NY Devores, but no one knows exactly where he fits.

This blog post is an attempt to put what we know about him in some sort of order — based on records, not stories — and to calculate if possible, where he’s likely to have been born.

Nicholas Devore serves in Daniel Morgan’s Rifles, and under Captain Swearingen sometime during the Revolutionary War from western Pennsylvania. I don’t have exact dates of his service, so sometime between 1776-1783. The first actual record I have for Nicholas Devore is in 1782, Nottingham Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

I believe Nicholas is probably born in New York or New Jersey. Let’s see if the facts and timeline bear this out…

Some background information and speculation

  • It’s important to note that Nicholas Devore’s migration path is extremely similar to that of Jacobus/James Devore from Sussex County, NJ.
  • Daniel (of Hunterdon, NJ, died 1729), father of Jacobus/James, is supposed to have an older brother named Nicholas — but Daniel does not name a son Nicholas, which is common practice in this family. (And if Daniel and Nicholas have a brother named Frederick, why don’t either of them name a son Frederick??)
  • It’s also important to question the date of Nicholas’ birth. When you look at the events he was supposed to have been part of, and the first birth year of his known children, he’s either born in the 1730s or the 1750s. This could make all the difference in the world!

Naming patterns of that time

The Devore family often follows naming patterns of the time, naming children after their parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Sometimes they give children a middle name of a close friend or someone they admire.

We know that Nicholas Devore m. Sarah Decker and Rebecca Devore m. Jeremiah Washburn are brother and sister. (Some trees have Rebecca as Nicholas’ daughter, but he would have been 10 years old when she was born.) What names do Nicholas and Rebecca give their sons?

Nicholas has sons: David, Nicholas Jr, Abner, and Benjamin. Nicholas’ sons are born in PA, but Nicholas’ daughter, Nancy (m. Sherry), is born 1772 in New Jersey. David, Nicholas and Benjamin are common names in the Devore family.

Rebecca has sons: George, Joseph, Cornelius, Nicholas (all born in New Jersey, the youngest born in 1767). Jeremiah Washburn, her husband, is from Sussex County, NJ, and they probably married in Sussex, NJ. Jeremiah Washburn is in Sussex up to 1761, because he’s a witness for the will of John Adams/Addoms in Wantage, Sussex, NJ in 1761. DAR applications say George Washburn, son of Rebecca, was born in Sussex County, NJ. Joseph, Cornelius and Nicholas are common names in the Devore family. If the Washburn trees online are correct, these are not common names in the Washburn family.

Who names their sons “Nicholas?”

Just as we’d analyze what Nicholas and Rebecca name their sons, let’s see who names their sons “Nicholas.” Perhaps there’s a pattern there?

  • Nicholas Devore m. Decker names a son Nicholas.
    • David m. Mann, son of Nicholas m. Decker, names a son Nicholas F Devore.
  • Jeremiah Devore m. Mann, son of Willem or Nicholas (trees differ, though his birth information is supposedly 1758 Walpack, Sussex, NJ — but that’s another blog post! If he’s born 1758 in Walpack to Nicholas, that puts Nicholas squarely in the Sussex, NJ Devore family. Jeremiah names a son Nicholas in 1793. Note that Jeremiah is not mentioned in Nicholas’ 1828 will (see below), and is likely a brother, not a son.
  • I believe Daniel Devore m. Lydia Westfael, son of Cornelis, names a son Nicholas in 1763 (Nicholas of Upper Mount Bethel, PA)
    • If Daniel names a son Nicholas, is that because he has a brother Nicholas? That would mean Nicholas Devore could be the son of Cornelis m. Lena Westfael. There is space in their tree for a child born 1732, and not all of their children have baptism records, only David (1739, Deerpark, Orange, NY), Lena and Benjamin (both in Walpack, Sussex, NJ, 1742, 1748)
    • This would mean Nicholas goes with his UNCLE, Jacobus/James, to western PA. This isn’t the only time that uncles/nephews travel together in this family. Some of David’s sons go with their Uncle Willem to Bedford County, PA after the Revolutionary War.
  • Rebecca Devore Washburn, sister of Nicholas m. Decker names a son Nicholas Washburn, and another son Cornelius Washurn. Nicholas and Cornelius are not common Washburn names, but they are common Devore names.

Who Nicholas is NOT the son of

We have several wills from the older Devore men. Note, however, that just because a person is not named in a will, doesn’t mean they aren’t children of the deceased. Sometimes fathers give land to their children in advance, and therefore they’re not included in the will because they already have received their inheritance.

  • Daniel Devore has a will in 1729 Hunterdon, NJ and does not name Nicholas.
  • Jacobus/James, son of Daniel, has a will in 1778 Washington County, PA and does not name Nicholas.
  • Hendrick Devore, son of Daniel, has a will in 1766 Hunterdon, NJ and does not name Nicholas.
  • Willem/William Devore, son of Daniel. He marries in 1740 at the age of 29, so after Nicholas is born.
  • For all these men, it’s entirely possible they are the father of Nicholas, but it’s a slighter possibility. Keep an open mind!

Who could be the father of Nicholas?

This is purely speculation; we don’t know for sure. The only reference we have is a SAR application naming his parents Nicholas and Susanna Fleury Devore, but that couple have no records I could find. These two people might not even exist. If someone has found records for this couple, I’d love to see them.

Logically, because Nicholas is in the Sussex, NJ area in the early 1770s, he would be part of Daniel Devore of Hunterdon’s family line, or part of the Devore/Devoe/DeFour family that goes from New York City to Long Island. Some possible fathers for Nicholas (of course, we still need to include the men with wills, in case Nicholas is not named because he already received his inheritance). If Nicholas is truly born 1732:

  • Cornelius Devore, son of Daniel, has space between 1729-1742 for children
  • John Devore of Chester, PA (I don’t know much about him, and he could be the son of Daniel of Hunterdon or Abraham of North Tarrytown, NY)
  • Daniel Devore, Jr (m. Kinne and Leed). Not much is known about him, but he’s in the area until at least 1750, and had children beginning around 1727.
  • Jacobus/James Devore. His first known children are born 1739 when he is at least 30 years old. It’s entirely possible he has more children, and because he and Nicholas show up at the same time in Washington, PA, there’s a definite connection.
  • Matheus/Mathias/Mathew Devore. He goes to Edgefield, SC sometime before 1787. His first known child is born 1750 when Matheus is 40 years old. He’s got lots of room for more children.
  • David Devore. His first known child is born when David is 36 years old, so he’s got lots of space for more children.
  • Willem Devore. I know, I just said earlier he can’t be the father of Nicholas because Willem doesn’t marry until 1740. But, what if Nicholas is not born in 1732 as the SAR application says, but is actually born much later? See my comments below about his birth year.

Nicholas Devore 1828 Will in Brown County, Ohio

From Peggy Fairchild,

Nicholas Devore Timeline

Creating a timeline for an individual or family brings forward important information and ties patterns together. Here is one for Nicholas. IMPORTANT: the very first reference to him being born in France is in an 1890s DAR application, over 150 years since his birth. Before that, all references say his family is originally from France, but does not say he was born there.

  • 1770 – a Nicholas Devore is in a land record, indicating that he owned property adjacent to a Benjamin Decker in Newtown Township, Sussex, NJ. This could be Benjamin Decker, son of Abraham Decker and Elisabeth Cole from Ulster, NY. Benjamin Decker is baptized 1748 in Walpack, and marries Rachel Brink. She supposedly dies in Walpack, but I’d have to research this family to be sure it’s the same Benjamin Decker. Their daughters are baptized in Walpack in 1767-1769, so it’s likely the same one. There’s another Benjamin Decker baptized in Walpack in 1749, son of Benjamin Decker and Magdalena Kortrecht (Kortright/Cortwright). No further information is available about this Benjamin.
  • 1771 Bedford County was created from Cumberland County, PA. Records of this time period would say Springhill Township, Bedford County (sometimes “Spring Hill” – two words); at the time, Springhill Township encompassed all the land in Greene and Washington counties and the land in Fayette County south of Redstone Creek
  • 1772 – Nicholas Devore’s first child with an 1850 census, Nancy (m. Sherry), is born in NJ about 1772, per her 1850 census. (All earlier children die before 1850, and their children don’t have a 1880 census to say where their parents were born.) This means Nicholas is in New Jersey until, at least, 1772 and that Nicholas Devore and Sarah Decker are probably married in Sussex County, NJ.
  • 1773 Westmoreland County was created from Bedford County; records of this time period would say Springhill, Westmoreland or Manallin (Menallen) Township, Westmoreland. Before this, people from the western side of the Allegheny mountains had to travel to Carlisle, Cumberland County to do legal work. (Bedford was created from Cumberland in 1771, but there was no town large enough in Bedford for legal work. So, some records might be in Cumberland County for far western PA records.)
  • 1773 – Westmoreland County was divided into townships: Fairfield, Donegal, Huntington, Mount Pleasant, Hempfield, Pitt, Tyrone, Springhill, Manallin, Rostraver, and Armstrong.  
  • 1773 – James (Jacobus) Devoor (Devore) in Ross Straver (Rostraver) township, now Washington County, PA per 1773 tax assessment: This is the land that was just carved out of Bedford County to become Westmoreland County. This is the first instance of a Devore in western PA.
  • 1774 – Nicholas’ second child with an 1850 census, David (m. Mann), is born in Washington, Pennsylvania per his 1850/1860 census and in Biographical Encyclopedia of Ohio. This would align exactly with time that Jacobus/James also goes from Sussex County NJ to western PA. (Note: In 1761, there were only 30 homes in what would become Pittsburgh, per the 1761 “house count” census — this drops to 20 log houses in 1770. So this area isn’t highly populated 10 years later, though there is significant migration to the area after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. Settlers were asked to leave the area in 1766 and 1768 because they weren’t supposed to be there. In 1769, officers who fought in the Indian wars were given land grants on the “waters of the west branch of the Susquehanna” — the first time settlers are allowed on the other side of the Susquehanna River. It would be an amazing coincidence that two Devore families from two different countries “happen” to arrive in Washington County, PA within a year of each other.)
  • 1774 – Nicholas Devore doesn’t appear on the Pittsburgh payrolls for 1774 for Dunmore’s War, as far as I can tell. (Isaac Devore is on the payroll per page 125 of the Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine list of January 1783 Pittsburg Payroll recipients (Volume 2, 1919), a likely son of Jacobus/James.) Nicholas is not listed in Virginia Colonial Soldiers.
  • 1776 – Rev War – Nicholas Devore is in Van Swearingen’s company, and in Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen unit in the Continental Army.  So is David Devore, son of Jacobus/James. Morgan’s Riflemen was a sharpshooter unit, and very exclusive.  Morgan recruited 500 soldiers to be in his unit. What’s the likelihood that two Devore men from different countries end up in the exact same exclusive unit, in the Frontier area of western PA, during the War?
    • In the Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Volume 23, page 204 – Nicholas Devore is listed as having been in the Frontier Rangers from Washington County, PA, 1778-1783, along with Daniel (page 205), Moses Devore (page 222), David Devore (page 250). (There is also an Abraham Devore (page 293) and Nicholas Devore (page 293) in this book, but this is the Nicholas from Upper Mount Bethel in Northampton County, PA, on the eastern side of the state, not Nicholas from Washington County on the western side of PA.) Part of this list is the 1782 Sandusky Expedition payrolls in the Militia Loan ledgers, so this is probably his service for Crawford’s Defeat (aka Sandusky Expedition). See Reconstructing Crawford’s Army, page 24-25 (and page 19 about Devo/Devore spelling). When looking at these lists, keep scrolling up until you see which county the men are serving from, including Washington and Westmoreland on the western side of PA, and Northampton on the eastern side of PA.
    • Morgan’s Rifles (Continental Army) – I see no dates on for this service, so it’s sometime 1777-1783. (aka Nicholas Devour, Devoir.) Daniel Morgan was asked to form the unit in 1777, so the service is sometime from 1777 to the end of the war. David Devore is also part of Morgan’s Riflemen per
  • 1781 – Washington County was created from Westmoreland County.
  • 1782 – Nicholas in Nottingham, Washington, PA. This is the same location as the Jacobus/James Devore family.
  • 1788 – Allegheny County was created from Washington County.
  • I’ll skip all Nicholas records in Mason and Bracken counties in KY, and Brown County, OH where he dies, and go to the history books which mention him.
  • 1828 – Nicholas leaves a will in Brown County, OH – he names wife, Sarah. Children: Amey, Susanna, Elisabeth, Nancy, David, Nicholas, Abigail, Abner, Benjamin and Sally. He names executors: David Devore (son of Jacobus/James) and Jonas Mann (I don’t know who Jonas is, but Nicholas has a grandson named Jonas Mann, so probably from the Christopher Mann family who intermarries with the Devore family often.) ***No Rebecca, John, Jeremiah, or Elijah named as children.
  • 1870 – History of Washington County, Pennsylvania book – does not mention Nicholas, only Jacobus/James. 
  • 1876 – Biographical Encyclopedia of Ohio – mentions  Nicholas as the grandfather of David, but does not mention where Nicholas was born. The book says David, son of Nicholas, was born in Washington County, PA. It says Nicholas was in the Rev War and active at Crawford’s (not Braddock’s) Defeat. Crawford’s Expedition aka The Sandusky Expedition was 1782 to Sandusky, Ohio. Braddock’s Defeat was 1755, which is why we think Nicholas is so much older than he actually is. If he was in Braddock’s Defeat, he would be born around 1735 or earlier; if he was in Crawford’s Defeat, he was born around 1762 or earlier. And if he’s in the Rev War, he’s born 1756 or earlier.
  • 1883 – History of Brown County, Ohio says, “The name Devore (Devara [sic]) is of French origin. The ancestors of the family who emigrated to America settled in Pennsylvania. Nicholas Devore, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the Rev War and served under Washington from the first. (Is that true? He was in Morgan’s Rifles. Did Morgan’s Rifles serve directly under Washington? He was commissioned by Washington to form the unit, but he served on several generals including General Howe and General Gates.) The book says his wife’s maiden name was Sarah Decker, whose family also rank in Revolutionary War fame; he moved to the West in 1787 (incorrect date?), and was among the pilgrims who entered Kenton Station, near Maysville, [Mason] KY.” The book does not say Nicholas was born in France. Another bio in this same book says Nicholas died at Blue Licks Fort which is in KY in 1813. Actually, he dies in Brown, Ohio. “Subsequently, he moved and settled at Blue Lick Fort among the Indians, where he died in 1813.” These are grandsons and great-grandsons telling the family story in this book.
    • The Decker family is an old family from Ulster and Orange counties, New York and northern NJ, including many in Sussex County, NJ. Decker people intermarry with Devore, DePue and Schoonmaker families, all of which move to Sussex, NJ. Did he meet and marry her there? There are some Decker men in western PA at the same time Nicholas Devore is there, in Fallowfield Township, Washington, PA, and their records say they live on Pigeon Creek. The James (Jacobus) Devore ferry is across the river from the mouth of the Pigeon Creek. These Decker men may or may not be related to Sarah Decker Devore. Also, Tobias Decker of Fallowfield is one of the witnesses to Jacobus/James Devore’s will, along with Nicholas and Daniel DePue, who are from the Ulster NY and Sussex NJ families. The History of Deckertown written in 1895 does not mention any Devore people.
  • 1913 – History of Clermont and Brown Counties in Ohio – mentions Nicholas was in the Rev War from Washington County, PA and married Sarah Decker. The book says, “Three brothers of Huguenot heroic blood came early to America, one settling in New Jersey, one in Virginia, and one in Pennsylvania. From the last ancestry [the ones who migrated to Pennsylvania] David DeVore, son of Nicholas and Sarah DeVore, was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, February 10, 1774, and moved to Mason County, Kentucky.” (This means Nicholas is in PA by 1774, as we have seen above.)
    • The book does not say Nicholas was the one born in France, only that the original immigrants were from France. But you can see how this would easily be misinterpreted. This is written in 1913, which is 181 years after Nicholas was born.
    • I wonder which three brothers they’re thinking of? They don’t mention New York City, or Westchester, NY, or Bergen/Hunterdon NJ — so they can’t be talking about the original immigrants Frederick, Nicholas and David (or Daniel, depending on which record/story you’re reading). Frederick goes to Westchester, NY; Nicholas ends up in Bergen County, NJ, and Daniel ends up in Hunterdon County, NJ. (If it’s David, not Daniel, then I’m stumped. Books says that David or Daniel is a cousin of Frederick and Nicholas, but original passenger manifests for Frederick and Nicholas’s arrival say their brother who came with them was David.) I think the Clermont/Brown book is talking about the sons of Jacobus or Daniel. I don’t think it’s Daniel’s line, because Mathues/Mathias/Mathew goes to South Carolina, not Virginia. But I believe Jacobus’ sons go to Hampshire Virginia (now West Virginia). There are other Devore Virginia records which need research.
  • The Betty Mann Devore family genealogy book, page 163, says this: “Nicholas Devore, b 22 Feb 1732, France…his 3 GRANDSONS, Nicholas, David, and William, came to the American colonies from France. Nicholas came to Kentucky from Washington County, PA in 1787. I’m waiting for confirmation from another Devore researcher that this snippet indeed comes from the Betty Mann book. If yes, then it means Nicholas is the grandson of the 1732 Nicholas.
  • There are 3 rev war SAR apps – none say that Nicholas was born in France.
    • 1927 – SAR app. Charles Thomas Sansberry, says he’s a descendant of Nicholas Devore and Sarah Decker, but the “and Sarah Decker” is crossed off the front page (possibly because he couldn’t prove the marriage or her name). He is through Nicholas’ daughter, Sarah, who marries James Sansberry. The SAR application does indicate Nicholas’ parents are Nicholas De Vore and Ann Fleury (I wonder where he got that information from? There are no records for a couple with these names.) Other than that, it’s the same story as Fred Hoskins has on his SAR application (below), except that in handwriting, someone has included the Upper Mount Bethel (UMB), Northampton, PA Militia record. But that record is for the other  Nicholas Devore, thereby confusing the two Nicholas men. UMB Nicholas Devore is in Northampton, PA militia in 1782 on the far eastern side of PA, while Washington Nicholas Devore is fighting from Washington, PA, the far western side of PA in 1782.
    • 1939 – SAR app. Fred Hoskins, through Nicholas’ daughter, Abigail, who marries John Mann.
      • Hoskins does not give the names of Nicholas’ parents.
      • He says Nicholas was at Braddock’s Defeat (1755), which would mean Nicholas was born in the 1730s. A history book says Nicholas was at Crawford’s Defeat (1782), not Braddock’s Defeat (1755). 
      • This SAR application Nicholas went from PA to NJ to marry Sarah Decker — is he implying that Nicholas went all the way from western PA near Pittsburgh to Sussex County, NJ, just to get married? Or that he was recruited in New Jersey for the French & Indian Wars in western PA in 1755-1763 and returned home to NJ and got married? It’s more likely Sarah Decker is the daughter or sister of one of the NJ Deckers who are also in western PA at the time (Abraham or Tobias). Or that Nicholas was born much later than the 1730s and married Sarah Decker in NJ before going to western PA. Hoskins says that  Sarah Decker’s father was a soldier in the Revolutionary War but doesn’t give specifics. If Sarah Decker’s father was in the Revolutionary War, he would likely have been born before the 1750s, and Sarah could be born much later than 1732. Otherwise, her father would be born around 1711, making him in his mid-60s when he’s in the Revolutionary War.
      • Hoskins does not say Nicholas is born in France, and does not give parents’ names.
    • 1940 – SAR app – Caleb Elmore Dodsworth. Via Nicholas’ son, David who marries Alice Mann. This app includes information about Nicholas’ parents. It does not say Nicholas was born in France, but does say that “he came to this country very young.” The SAR application says Nicholas fought in the Indian Wars for 7 years, then in 1777 from Washington County, PA. By “Indian Wars” that would mean the French & Indian War, 1755-1763.
    • DAR app – Unknown date for Annie L. Sansberry May. “Descendant of Nicholas De Vore”. App #69847. Says he was born in France. This is the first time this is claimed. Annie Sansberry is born 1862, dies 1952. She was married in 1892, so the application was filed sometime after her marriage, or 160 years after Nicholas’ birth. Also app #64591. This is a DAR app. Found under “Nicholas De Vore” with a space. But the DAR website is saying there is a problem with this DAR application, saying problems have been found with the lineage in at least one previously verified record, and that future applicants must prove the correct lineage.
    • The DAR website applications list includes Nicholas and Sarah’s children’s lines: David, Sarah, Abigail, Rebecca, Nancy, but Rebecca’s application line is questioned: DAR wants proof of the dates for Rebecca’s line.
      • Some of these DAR/SAR apps say he was born in France; they seem to copy each other. You would need to purchase one of these that say they have documentation to see what documentation is attached.
      • Some say that Sarah Decker was born at “Deckerville NJ” (Deckertown, Sussex, NJ, now call “Town of Sussex”). If that’s true, she went with a Decker family member to western PA, which needs research.
      • Some of the Rebecca apps don’t have dates for Rebecca or her children’s births

The Draper interviews

  • One person Lyman Draper interviewed was John Cuppy, whose wife was Elizabeth Devore, daughter of John Devore. John Cuppy was originally from Morris County, NJ (next to Sussex County, NJ) and moved to Hampshire, WV around 1762. John Cuppy said he hired John Devore to serve in his place around 1779 or 1780. This would be either Elizabeth’s father (who is also in Hampshire, VA around this time) or her brother. I don’t have a brother for Elizabeth named John. This family, along with some Devore families, moved to Hampshire, VA (now WV) in the 1760s which might be “the line that immigrated to VA” from the story in History of Clermont and Brown Counties in Ohio. If so, they could be from Willem, because Willem marries in Morris County, NJ in 1740 and might have known the Morris County Cuppy family at that time. John Cuppy’s parents marry in Morris County in 1754.
  • Here is a transcript of the Cuppy interviews:
  • John Cuppy m. Elizabeth Devore (Hampshire, WV line) tree here on Ancestry:
    • In the 1860s, Draper interviewed John Cuppy, Nicholas Devore and/or Peter Devore, who said Nicholas Devore was born abt 1732,  Draper Manuscript, S Series, Vol 19, 60: 126-8, f – 889, 198 pg 123. I have not seen these documents, I just found this reference online. Which Nicholas are they referring to? We need to find the original interview to provide context.
    • If Nicholas is born 1732, he would have been 19 when he married in 1751, 23 at Braddock’s Defeat, 44 when he entered the military for the Rev War. That’s do-able, but it means he marries in NJ, not PA. The first child which seems a reasonable fit for this couple is born in 1765 (Naomi/Amy) and I can’t trace her at all. The first child I can trace with an 1850 census is Nancy, who marries Sherry, and she’s not born until 1772 in New Jersey. If Nicholas and Sarah are married in 1751, where are the other children before 1765? (Their next child, David m. Mann, is born in PA per his 1850/1860 census.) This couple seems to be missing many children OR they’re married much later than we think.
    • 1863 –  Draper MS 17s pages 114 to 127: William and Phebe (Washburn) Grant were interviewed in Cass County, Indiana July 20, 1863 by Lyman C. Draper.  Phebe Washburn Grant is the granddaughter of Jeremiah and Rebecca Devore Washburn, so I’m assuming she know what she’s talking about when it comes to her grandparents. She says Jeremiah Washburn was a native of England–came to New Jersey when he was seven years of age–married Rebecca Devore while in New Jersey and moved to Red Stone Country [Redstone, Fayette, PA and Greene County, PA area]–on Ten Mile Creek–thence to Mason County, KY. Phebe Washburn Grant says Nicholas Devore “was a brother of Jeremiah Washburn’s wife” (Rebecca Devore Washburn). Phebe Washburn Grant thinks Nicholas died at Brown Co., Ohio perhaps about 1825.
    • She says that Nicholas had a brother Jeremiah Devore who lived on the North Fork of Licking, at Devore’s Ferry. This is not the Allegheny Devore’s Ferry, but the one on the Licking River. The Licking River is a tributary of the Ohio River and runs past Mason and Bracken counties in Kentucky. There aren’t many Jeremiah Devore men. The earliest is Jeremiah Devore (m. Nancy Mann) was born about 1758 in New Jersey. He’s in Bracken County, KY beginning in 1799, as is Nicholas Devore (1790-1799). If Jeremiah is Nicholas’ brother (and not his son), then Nicholas is either the eldest and Jeremiah the youngest son, or Nicholas is born much later than we suspect. Let’s say Jeremiah and Nicholas are brothers: one born 1732 and one born 1758. Let’s say their mother was 18 when she married and had Nicholas, so born around 1714. She would have been 44 when she had Jeremiah, which is possible, though iffy. But if his father had two wives, then this is much more doable. They key, then, is to find a Devore man marrying before 1732.

Some additional thoughts

  • Notes about Sarah Decker Devore’s age:
    • If Benjamin, born 1784, is Nicholas’ final child, that means Sarah gives birth to Benjamin when she’s 52 years old…highly unlikely, just on the cusp of possible ages of older mothers.
    • Sarah Devore (m. Sansberry) is born 1783 when her mother, Sarah Decker Devore, is 51.
    • On the outside of possibilities, I would say Sarah could have kids up until she’s 45, so she’s much more likely to be born around 1738 or 1739, not 1732. I conclude that Sarah is MUCH younger than being born in 1732, that they don’t marry until closer to 1760, not 1751, and their first child is born in the early 1760s. (It does happen that women have children later than 45, but it’s rare.)
    • Nearly every online tree has Nicholas Devore and Sarah Decker marrying in 1751 (no proof or records). She was born in 1734 per the DAR apps, which would mean she was 17 and he was 19. But they don’t seem to start having children until 1765 when he is 32 years old (if you don’t count Rebecca Devore m. Washburn who is supposed to be born in 1742 when Nicholas is 10 years old, and who is his sister, not his daughter). Otherwise, they marry in 1751 and they have no children from 1751 to 1765??

Nicholas’ birth year question

Only in the SAR applications do we see the birth year of 1732 and the marriage year of 1751.

  • If he’s married in 1751, where are all his earlier children?
  • The first attributed child of Nicholas is Amy/Naomi, born about 1765. That means Nicholas and Sarah could marry as late as 1764 (not 1751), and if he’s 21 at the time, he would be born around 1743. And that means he could be Willem’s first son, born shortly after Willem’s 1740 marriage.
  • Depending on which “battle” story is correct, he would be born either in the 1730s (and participated in Braddock’s Defeat, 1755) or in the 1750s (and participate in Crawford’s Defeat, 1782).
  • The Betty Mann Devore family book says Nicholas is the grandson of the 1732 Nicholas. I’m waiting for confirmation of this book snippet.
  • WHAT IF… Nicholas m. Fleury is the one who is born 1732, and Nicholas m. Decker is his son or grandson, born in the 1750s? That would mean Nicholas m. Fleury is the one at Braddock’s Defeat, and Nicholas m. Decker is the one at Crawford’s Defeat. Of course, there are zero records for Nicholas m. Fleury, if they even existed.


Based on the above information, these are the conclusions I’ve come to, at least for now. As new records are uncovered, this could change:

  • Nicholas, Rebecca and Jeremiah are siblings based on the Draper interviews.
  • Despite what online trees say, Rebecca Devore Washburn can’t be Nicholas’ daughter: She’s born around 1742 (there is a baptism for a Rebecca Devore, daughter of Willem Devore and Catherine Schoonmaker from Smithfield, Monroe, PA dated 14 March 1742, and if this is the same Rebecca, she’s born sometime before her baptism.) She must marry around 1758, because her first son, George Washburn, is born around 1759 in New Jersey per his 1850 census. If Nicholas is born 1732, he would be 10 years old when she’s born.
  • We know Rebecca is in Wantage, Sussex, NJ as late as 1761, so Nicholas and Jeremiah might be there at that time, too. Find A Grave has Jeremiah’s first son, Christopher, born in NJ in 1785, but Christopher’s children say he’s either born in PA or VA.
  • Phebe Washburn Grant, the granddaughter of Rebecca Devore Washburn, says her mother has a brother named Jeremiah.
  • Rebecca is born around 1742, and we have a baptism for a Rebecca born to Willem and Catherine Schoonmaker for 1742.
  • Jeremiah is born around 1751-1760. Online trees have a birth for him of 1758, but I couldn’t find a baptism for him.
  • So, if Rebecca is born 1742 and Jeremiah is born around 1758, then it’s highly likely that Nicholas is born in the 1740s or 1750s, not 1732, unless their mutual father had two marriages.
  • The people who were interviewed by Draper are all somehow connected to Nicholas because they all have information on his life: John Cuppy who married Elizabeth Devore (daughter of John Devore), Phebe Washburn Grant, whose grandmother was Rebecca Devore Washburn, Peter Devore, Nicholas Devore.

More research work to do

There’s much research left to do on Nicholas and his family. For instance, his daughter Naomi/Amy supposedly marries a Calvin or Colvin, and that family needs to be looked into. Searching for military records for Nicholas in Bradford’s or Crawford’s Defeat would solidify things. Finding more of the early baptism records in the Dutch churches of NY and NJ would yield fruit. Trying to discover if there ever was a Nicholas Devore married to a Susanna Fleurry or Floury would be like hitting the jackpot! Lots of Nicholas’ kids go to Brown County, Ohio, so detailed research there might be helpful. Getting your hands on the original Draper Manuscript would be priceless and clear up a lot of confusion. And looking into the Mann family would help, as many Devore people marry Mann people…is it all the same Mann family, or a coincidence?

But I’ll leave all this up to the descendants of Nicholas, because, alas, he’s not my line of Devores, and I have other Devore fish to fry.

That’s all I have! I’d love to hear from you if you have further records that would shed some light on Nicholas Devore or Sarah Decker. See my blog post about the Sussex County, NJ Devore Timeline for more information about this family.

2 thoughts on “Nicholas Devore – Was He Born in France?

  1. I am a Nicholas DeVore descendant on my Mother’s side. My Grandfather Daniel W. DeVore was born in 1898 on the DeVore Family farm in Ripley, Ohio. He did some family genealogy (I think mostly from his parents and grandparents). Across the road from the family farm (which was still a working farm about 8 yrs ago when I visited). Across the street is an old family cemetery where Nicholas (born in 1732) and Sarah Decker DeVore are buried as well as his son David DeVore and wife Eleanor Alice Mann are also buried too. Many other DeVores are buried in the Red Oak Presbytery Church nearby. I am a descendant of David DeVore and Alice Mann (nickname Elzy and I have a very old picture of her. A lot of the info presented above jives with what I have. I don’t really have official documents but information from my Grandfather and Mother. Please contact me if you have any questions. And thank you for all the info you posted!


    1. Hi, Deborah, I’m not sure I have your Daniel DeVore in my tree! I’ll have to look him up. That’s great that the cemetery was nearby. The Deckers are a NJ/NY family (Dutch). The Mann family was a NJ family, too. There were many immigrants into western PA (and then into Ohio, Indiana, etc.) who came from NJ and there are several “Jersey Settlements” in different parts of the USA where people from NJ would go in groups. You’ll often find “Jersey Township” named in a county based on these settlements. I’ll have to go back to my Nicholas Devore tree and update it with your family line.


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