Karen McCloskey, a daughter from the San Antonio de Bexar chapter, shares her special narrative relating to the Davenport Cemetery near Nacogdoches, Texas, and her New Horizons Capstone Project that highlighted Historic Preservation in an exceptional and very personal way.
“Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. For 12 years, a weekly volunteer responsibility has steered me past the historic Davenport Cemetery located on the corner of Nacogdoches (the old Camino Real) and Evans Road (south of the Cibolo Creek) near the community of Bracken.
Many times over those 12 years, I pulled off the road, drove under the classic arched cemetery sign, and through a grassy field to spend time at this little cemetery with only 13 headstones. For 12 years, I could not explain my fascination with this cemetery or why it seemed to call to me. As a history major and genealogy hobbyist, I presumed it was only because it harkened to both interests of mine.
In the summer of 2021, I chose to make the historic Davenport Cemetery restoration my New Horizons capstone project and a DAR National Day of Service Project for the San Antonio de Bexar Chapter. The namesake of the cemetery, William Davenport, is a proven grandson of DAR Patriot, Clayborn Davenport. I was compelled to research a man named John Young, also buried there, with the birth year of 1794. I thought it might be interesting to do genealogy to determine if John Young might be the son a of Revolutionary War patriot. The simple answer is that he was not, but in conducting the research, I learned that he married a woman who was the half-sister of my 4th great-grandfather. Their daughter, Nancy Young, was the second wife of William Davenport.
In short, I have since learned that I am related to 2 of the people interred in the Davenport Cemetery by marriage and am related to an additional 8 genetically. Our first common ancestor is Sarah Benham, my 5th great-grandmother.
Why did I visit the Davenport family cemetery so many times over the past 12 years? The only reasonable answer I can come up with is they wanted to make me aware of their presence and our connection to each other.
The historic Davenport Cemetery cleanup and restoration project was a success on several fronts. Not only were weeds pulled and grass mowed, but the headstones were lovingly treated and cleaned with a biologic product, and the direct descendants have been inspired to have the damaged fencing around the cemetery repaired. It also brought about a reunion of sorts between this member and her distant cousins. Most importantly, the service project brought together a variety of San Antonio de Bexar chapter members and potential members for a worthy cause that brought joy to us all!”
For more information about the San Antonio de Bexar chapter, please visit their website at: (https://www.texasdar.org/chapters/SAdeBexar/).