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I have a brick wall that maybe someone can help me with - Levi Curtiss

Levi Curtiss, born 23 Apr 1813 in CT, married Grace Brown 6 Jul 1843 OH, and died 25 Mar 1894 in Concord, Champaign, OH.  I can not locate his birth place in CT or his parents.   There are so many Levis that I can't find him.   He had three sons, all too old to be sons of Grace, so he must have been married before.   I can't find that either.   I've had help from the Curtiss Society through Art Curtiss, Jr, and he couldn't get back any farther.   Also, I've been in touch with someone who works in the CT State Library and she has been a big help, but did not find anything that pin pointed my Levi.  Anyone on this list have any suggestions?

Thanks so much,

Marylin Curtiss DeYoung

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Where did you get the information that he was born in Connecticut? Is it a reliable source? What is your earliest sighting of him?

Hi,  I have a copy of his death certificate from Lake Co Ohio.  He died 25 Mar 1984 at 81 years old.  He died in Concord, Ohio; born in CT.   All census that he appears in shows him born in CT.  The death certificate was signed by Fred V. Skok, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, who copied it from the Record of Deaths Vol 1 Pg 212.  He was widowed and no parents are listed  My earliest sighting of him is   his marriage certificate dated 6 Jul 1843.

I am going to be away now until Saturday, so if you reply, I won't be sending any more messages until the first of next week.

Thanks for your interest, and I hope you can help.

Marylin DeYoung

Not and unusual problem. Levi may have been born in CT but this does not mean his family resided there. You need to look at all surrounding states and Canada as well. I would also explore more of OH for possible family connections back in 1834 or earlier. You mentioned 3 sons, if you know their given names you can also try checking out family naming conventions. Often the father and grandfather’s given name were passed down. I have also found problems with the CT census records when looking for people who appeared to have been missed or were missing at the time of the census.

Do you know the names of the three sons you mentioned? If so, you might try to get a death certificate for any of of those sons that are too old to be Grace’s sons. They may have the information on Levi’s first wife, if it lists a mother. Depending on what the certificate lists, it also might have information on where he (Levi's son) was born, which might help you get closer to where Levi was born, or at least where he was married to his first wife. 

It's a shot in the dark, but it might be worth a look. Good luck!

Thanks to each of you for your suggestions.  I've been on ancestry checking out the three sons, Otis b c1836, Osman/Osmer b c1838, and Erastus b c1841/3.  In 1850 they are all with Levi and Grace in Michigan. In 1860 Otis is in OH listed as a laborer living with another family.  Erastus enlisted in the military 1 Jan 1864 at age 22.  None of the boys are with Levi and Grace in the 1860 census.  I found where Erastus married Sarah Keefer (nee Musser) 26 Mar 1866 in Hancock OH.  No parents are listed, so I don't know if this is my Erastus or not. They had several children but none have any family first names.  Trying to get death certificates in OH might be a next step.

I've had a researcher at the CT state library searching for anything on the family and she comes up empty too.  Also, a researcher from the Curtis/s Family Society did a quite thorough search and found nothing I didn't already have.

Thanks again.  I'll keep searching.


I have access to ancestry and found the marriage record for Levi and Grace. Here is a link:


After viewing the record you'll see that Levi was only 21 and Grace was 18 and that neither had been married previously


There is also a family tree on ancestry:

this tree shows his birthplace as Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA but unfortunately no source for that info


Hope this helps


Thank you, Randy, for doing this checking.  I have the marriage record for Levi and Grace.  I guess I overlooked the part about him being only 21 and never had been married.   Those three boys are possibly nephews or some other relation.   Guess I shouldn't spend so much time on them.   I spent a long time on the phone with Mrs. Dagenais whose tree you cited.  She used a professional researcher to find the information she has.  She also has parents for Levi but did not list them on her tree.   Maybe she's not sure either.  Her place of birth could very well be correct, but the people she had for Levi's parents were rejected by myself plus four other researchers - two being Curtisses and two professionals.

Thanks again for the time you put in searching.


Thanks, Robyn.  I have this information and I have corresponded with Jack Curtiss for several years.  In fact, I just heard from him today.  His wife has Alzheimer disease, so he isn't doing any genealogy right now.  I think he wasn't thinking clearly when he posted this as Levi would have been 14 years old when that first boy was born.  I think that's a bit young.   What you sent Jack had transcribed.   He sent me a copy of the original documents that he got when he was in Ohio some years ago.  They basically say the same thing except for the comments he made at the end about the boys and a first wife.

I so appreciate everyone who has offered suggestions.  Just maybe some day this riddle will be solved.




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