For some falls the task of recording the family history as it can best be known. My predecessors where such individuals as Albert Hopkins Davis who in 1927 recorded events and people in his infirmed years, and Joseph Francis Thornton who published his compilation covering generations before and as many after as he knew them in 1940. The motivation for taking on such a daunting task can be found in the very family of which they speak. For Albert he wished that descendants would know and appreciate the accomplished life his father Don Henry Davis a veteran of two wars and public servant. For Joseph, he desired to know his father who died within the week of his birth. He left the reader with the distinct privilege of coming closer to the dear Christian heart and benevolent love his mother showered on all of her children.
As for me, it is my hope to write a version of public and private events that surrounded two of my closest and most interesting relatives; my grandfather Nicholas Dozenberg and the woman he loved who was as equally interesting; Frances Davis DeLawder. Frances’ personal reputation preceded her and was left for others to marvel at years after her death. It was no wonder that she attracted dashing, powerful, and equally charismatic men. Her choice to become a mother at an unfashionably late stage of life was no less unique than also becoming a single mother in a social setting that was well equipped for the task. She cherished her only daughter and each of her grandchildren. Her death, and his absence left a vacuum that could not be filled, the loss was palpable, and for at least one young man an insurmountable sum of events.
This story has its roots at least in part from family legend. This is a story that could only happen in America, the greatest melting pot ever known, where established families and immigrants came together in a new social context. I have read that for some descendants with ancestors of dubious character, they,(the descendants), end up on the “wrong side of history“. It is my opinion that there is no “side” to history but rather just a continuum of time in history.
After spending countless hours and personal treasure on researching the family tree and reconstructing events, my research aided by unimaginable technology in my ancestors time, I will present the story as I know it. I am not a historian in the academic sense, but an appointed historian in the familial sense. And so I embark on a journey like so many other journeys in life with an unknown destination, the first task is to settle on a title of my words yet to be tied together in some fashion of readable form.
I have come up with the title after much consternation. The final choice is: “A Man of Family,” and the title of this blog.
This is a true story that spans the globe, political philosophies and intimate personal desires, the stuff that makes up human life. I will share some of the details here. I am telling this story for “us,” the victims of a great deception. You are welcome to tag along as I trek along this path.
from left to right: me with my family, father, Amy, Allan, George, Grandma Frances, before the last baby was born