Isaac Duvernay

Isaac Duvernay, also known as “Dirwiney”, “Deriveney”, “Derweeney” or “Derverney”, born 1833 along the Chippewa river, in Canada or Wisconsin, the son of Pierre (1790-1862) and Mi-ne-de-mo-e-yah (also known as Julia or Julie, between 1797 and 1799).

French Canadian Pierre married “Julia”, who was born in the Lake Superior area of Wisconsin (possibly Lac du Flambeau), on July 30, 1830 in Mackinac City, Michigan. It appears that Pierre was a trapper working the rivers in upper Wisconsin and Canada, particularly the Chippewa River where a number of their children were born.

In any case About 1834 or 1835 Pierre settled his family in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan, and was closely identified with the Presbyterian church in Grand Haven, serving as its first ruling elder. One source rported that “In 1835 the Duvernays built their home on Lot 55 on the south side of Franklin [30 Franklin], midway between Harbor and First Streets, where in 1837 Pierre sold Indian blankets, fabric, salt, whitefish, cranberries, and maple syrup products.” In 1837 he operated a small store at the foot of Franklin Street in Grand Haven, selling “Indian blankets, blue broadcloth and calicos; also barrels of salt whitefish and siskowit, mococks of maple sugar and cranberries.” Pierre was still living in Grand Haven in 1840 and in fact would live the rest of his life in the Grand Haven area.

In 1850 Isaac was working as a laborer and living with his family in Grand Haven where his father worked as a trader. By 1860 Pierre (listed as “Peter” in the census records) was working as an “indian trader” and living with his family in Grand Haven. Pierre died in 1862 in Grand Haven.

Isaac stood 5’9” with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 29-year-old sailor possibly living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on February 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Ottawa County, and was mustered on February 27 at Detroit. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

He joined the Regiment on August 27 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Isaac was a Corporal when he was wounded severely and taken prisoner at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia, on October 27, 1864. He was subsequently confined in prison at Salisbury, North Carolina where he apparently died of chronic diarrhea on February 16, 1865.

According to the U.S. Quartermaster General’s “Roll of Honor”, he was buried in an unknown grave in Salisbury, no. 914.

In about 1866 his mother applied for and received a pension (no 83550). His mother was buried in Lake Forest cemetery in Grand Haven.