Francis Davis Devane was born in April of 1835 in Bladen County to Benjamin Robeson Devane, Sr. and Ann Davis.  Francis was named for his grandfather, Francis Davis (1756 - 1847).  Francis Devane was known and remembered as Frank Devane.  The birth month of Frank is extracted from the 1880 census.  His age is varied in census records.  Based on the ages and birth dates of his sibling, 1835 is the best estimate for his year of birth.

Civil War abstract from N.C. Troops
Devane, Francis, Private
Enlisted in New Hanover County at age 32, April 16, 1861 for the war. Present or accounted for until transferred to Company A, 2nd Regiment Confederate Engineer Troops August 3, 1863.

A discharge date was not given for Frank's Civil War service.  It can be assumed that he probably served until the end of the War in 1865.  As an Engineer Troop, Frank likely helped work on fortifications, roads, and bridges.  He could have also participated in explorations and surveys to plan and erect defenses.

Frank's father, Benjamin Robeson Devane, Sr. (1783 - 1858), had served in the War of 1812 under Captain G.W. Bannerman's Militia Company in Wilmington.  Frank's grandfathers, James Devane (1757 - 1840) and Francis Davis (1756 - 1847), were both Captains in the Revolutionary War.

Frank married Sarah "Sallie" Elizabeth Young (January 1852 - 18 August, 1919), daughter of John Young and Elizabeth "Betsy" Singletary, probably in 1867, shortly after serving in the Civil War. Sallie was 15 or 16 when their first child Julia was born.  Frank was about 17 years older than his wife at the time. Frank and Sallie lived in the White Oak area.  

i. Julia "Julie" Devane (1868 - )
ii. Elizabeth B. "Lizzie" Devane (1870-1959)
iii. William A. "Willie" Devane (1872-1956)
iv. Georgia "Georgie" Anna Devane (1874-1949)
v. John "Johnnie" Young Devane (1876-1933)
vi. Benjamin "Bennie" Franklin Devane (1879-1961)
vii. Susan "Sudie" J. Devane (1883-1912)
viii. Emma "Emmie" Jane Devane (1887-1969)
ix. Margaret "Maggie" Lee Devane (1890-1967)

Frank died sometime after 1890 when his youngest child,
Maggie Lee Devane, was born. He died from dropsy or congestive heart failure. The best estimate of his year of death is about 1895. 

According to family members, Frank was buried in the D.B. Melvin Cemetery in White Oak. Sallie's death certificate lists the D.B. Melvin cemetery as her place of burial, so Frank is likely buried there as well. If Frank or Sallie had markers, they were obviously wooden and did not last very long. Their graves have been unmarked for years.

Jason Bordeaux and Layton Dowless recently placed a CSA tombstone for Frank on August 12th, 2006.  The marker was placed beside of Frank's brother, Benjamin Robeson Devane, Jr.  This was the older section of the cemetery and the most likely place where Frank and Sallie's grave would have been.


Contact Jason Bordeaux for more information.

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Bladen County NC GenWeb

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