Sunday, April 4, 2010

2 CDVs of S. D. Leavitt, born NH, lived Grass Valley & Nevada CA

Here's a mystery.  Two CDVs of S. D. Leavitt, one taken in his young manhood by a Boston photographer and the other perhaps 15 or 20 years later by a Grass Valley, California photographer.  I have some information on him, but not his full name or his family background.  See image of the reverse of the 2 CDVs below.

According to several Censuses, he was born about 1826 in New Hampshire.  In 1850, he was a miner at the South Fork of the American River, el Dorado, California.  In 1860, he's listed as a brick mason in Grass Valley and in 1870 as a deputy sheriff in Nevada, California.  I know that he sailed from Boston on the ship Regulus in 1849.   I also found some references to his civic activities in Grass Valley; he was on the Fire Department, for example.

Each of the CDVs refers to a Mrs. Hobbs, Chelsea, Massachusetts, on the reverse; whether this is his mother, remarried, or a sister,  do not know.  In fact, there were a couple Hobbs men who also were 49ers, including one who died in California in 1850.  Perhaps S. D. was related to or acquainted with this Mr. Hobbs.   When trying to make a connection online, I noticed that the Leavitts and Hobbs families in New Hampshire intermarried.

This is not Samuel Deane Leavitt, who was Mayor of Eastport, Maine, at one time, though they could be related.  I would appreciate any comments or hints you may have.  Thanks, and enjoy!

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  1. Hi Pam,
    I have also been trying to find more information on this S D Leavitt. With him being in the Grass Valley/Nevada area in 1860-70 censuses, I would say that he is the same Samuel D who died there "on Tuesday Morning" [from the Daily Evening Bulletin, dated Monday, Feb 26th 1877], having resided in Nevada County 25 yrs. The previous Tuesday would have been then 20th - now, if it had said 'last Thursday', the date of death would match one Samuel D Leavitt born 29 June 1822 in perhaps Effingham, NH, who died 22 Feb 1877 [from the Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, pg 87]. Unfortunately, there is no source listed for these dates, so I haven't been able to verify them. His parents, Morris and Mary (Doe) Leavitt died in 1829 and 1826, leaving Samuel a young orphan. I don't know what happened to him after their deaths, and I don't see in my notes that there was a probate file for them (Effingham was in Strafford County at that time). Sam'l also had a couple of brothers with only birth dates listed in book, and I am still looking to see where they went off to.
    I looked into Mrs (J?) S Hobbs of Chelsea, and did find a Jeremiah S Hobbs of Boston and later Cambridge, MA. I do not see him or his wife Ann C (Walton) with any Chelsea connection or in street directories, however. Their death records do not give any indication of a Leavitt connection, or to Effingham (Many Hobbs left North Hampton as did the Leavitts to settle in Effingham in the late 1700's).

    Did you see that Samuel D Leavitt married 17 Oct 1872 in Nevada City to a Grace Patterson/Pattison? I believe they had a son John born ca 1873, as he is there in 1880 census, age 7, a step-son to William T Williams, whose wife's name is Grace (2 children she had while she was a Pattison are also in the household). Record says his father was born in Conn, though, but I've seen worse errors in the censuses!

    Sorry this info doesn't exactly give you a definite answer to who this "S D" Leavitt was, but hopefully it is the right path!

    Steve Dow
    Historian for NALF (National Association of Leavitt Families)

  2. Wow - this is great!! I spent a fair bit of time researching Mr. Leavitt back when I made this post, but I hadn't revisited him recently, and there is so much more online now. There was a Samuel Deane Leavitt, born in New Hampshire, who was a lawyer and mayor at Eastport, Maine; "Leavitt" is etched into one of the bricks or stones of what is known as the Leavitt Block. Wonder if the two Samuels are related? By the way, I have the autograph album of the Eastport Samuel's wife, Emily C. White, kept from before they were married in 1860. Thanks so much for your informative comment.