In 1994 at my grandmother's birthday party, Cindy and I started a family tree, where we had
everyone sign their name into the appropriate branch. Barely fitting all the names onto one
poster board, this was essentially an exercise to remember everyone's names and to capture a
snap shot of our very large family.
The impetus for our interest in the Deuel ancestry began with the unanswered questions
surrounding our grandfather John James Deuel who died in 1970. We knew there was a
family secret about him, a topic we were not allowed to bring up around my grandmother. A
culmination of events heightened our curiosity into this secret and thrust us headfirst into the
fascinating world of genealogy.
The first event began when Cindy wanted to find a place to hike on the Appalachian Trail with
her girlfriends. As she was doing an Internet search, she discovered that the trail winds
through an area in Dutchess County New York called DEUEL HOLLOW. Later we would
find an old Deuel cemetery dating back to the 18th century and a historical fiction book
written about the people who lived there. The second event was the revelation at my
grandmother's funeral that our grandfather had another family before my grandmother.
We were soon learning a great deal about the Deuels and my grandfather's first family. We
were also to find a great many mysteries to which we did not have the answers. Our first
attempt to solve them was to send an email to all of our cousins, uncles and aunts, hoping
someone would be able to fill in the missing data.
Before venturing into the Deuel site, please read this initial email written by Cindy, which will
give you an idea of where we were at the beginning of this quest. In it she does a fine job of
covering all the areas in which we needed help. Where I have inserted the word "update" you
can click on this link and see what new info has been learned.