Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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I would like to dedicate the Bovina Families information presented here to Bovina natives who passed away in 2004:

Charlie LaFever, my dear old dad and a life-long Bovina boy and to

Alan Davidson, who didn't live all his life in Bovina, but was always a Bovina boy at heart.

Transcribed by Ray LaFever in 2001 and continually being updated

INTRODUCTION - read about this project

Early in the 20th Century, starting around 1914, David Fletcher Hoy (1863-1930) created a very large card file to document all Bovina families. The cards included names, birth, marriage and death information. The card file eventually went to his niece Vera Davidson Storie (1891-1967), then to her daughter, Rae Storie Vandenbord. Vera's brother, Fletcher Davidson (1895-1987), took the files and created a large set of notebooks transcribing the information from the cards. This was a herculean task -- all the more so because it was all done by hand. It was 1600 handwritten pages when completed.

Starting in September 2001, I took on the task of transcribing Fletcher's Davidson transcription, completing the project in February of 2003. I estimated that there were about 12,000 entries when the project was done.

How this Information is Organized

The format is fairly simple. Names are in alphabetical order by last name. Each name has an entry. A full record will include name of parents, date of birth (Born), marriage date and to whom married (Married), date of death (Died), where buried (Buried) and children (Children). For each child's name, researchers should look to see if there is a separate entry for that child. In some cases, there is no further information than the child's name. In those instances, no further entries were made, but if there was information about birth, marriage or death, then there will be a separate entry. During the course of updating this information (more about this below), I added in parentheses right after the name the addresses that David Hoy noted on the card. This indicates the address of the person around the time the information was collected.

Women are listed. If they married and had children, researchers will want to go to the section of the list for the woman's married name to find any information that might exist on her children.

If a researcher notes that an entry does not have all this information, that reflects the information in the card files. Nothing was left out unless it was illegible.


Because these names came from a transcription of a transcription, mistakes crept in (sometimes at a gallop!). Handwriting was hard to read and typos were easy to make. Since the project's completion, a number of people have contacted me with corrections. Often, the error was mine, but I also discovered some of the errors were Mr. Davidson's. I want to thank everyone who submitted corrections. A particular thank you to Fletcher's son, Eddie, who has caught numerous typos I made.

In the Spring of 2004, I gained access to David Fletcher Hoy's original card file, so I decided that I should compare my transcription to the original Hoy files. This would allow me to catch my errors and any Fletcher may have made. I've also found some errors in the Hoy files, possibly a case of simply inverting digits. I've also noticed updates made to the cards by others, mostly likely by Fletcher. I've updated and corrected what I submitted and have included corrections others have submitted. On occasion, I'll find an error in the cards. In one instance, I found someone who was born 7 years after they came to Bovina! When I can't correct such errors, I've left the information out.

The first set of corrections was submitted in March of 2005. This will probably take over a year to complete.

A plea from the late Alan Davidson concerning the original card files:

"Through the years the files have been decimated somewhat. Many genealogists borrowed portions of the files from time to time and some "forgot " to return them. I have been advised that when my father set out to transcribe the entire file, all the "Coulters" were missing. (This was before his death fourteen years ago.) And just last summer it came to light that all the "Burns cards" are also missing. Now, between the Coulters and the Burns, that is a goodly chunk of the Bovina people! It makes you wonder, who else is missing?

" The original file was composed of "cards" (actually slips of paper) 4"x 8 1/2" , like the sample shown below. I would like all you genealogists out there to search your written records to see if you have any like them--particularly the originals. The one(s) shown are in David Hoy's handwriting."

If you find any, (originals or copies) please make copies for yourselves to keep and return to my address: Ray LaFever, 2319 County Highway 6, Bovina Center, NY 13740. We will see that they are returned to their proper home and we thank you for your cooperation.


Final Advisory

Please keep in mind that the David Hoy card files contained no information as to the source of the information. His source usually was a family member and in the vast majority of instances, it is no longer possible to determine who his source was. I strongly encourage researchers to verify the information in this transcription with primary sources. Mr. Hoy's work overall has stood the test of time, but sometimes his information was only as good as that of his source. Errors do happen.

And the families here are not limited to just Bovina. Delaware County is well represented here.

Good luck and happy hunting.

Ray LaFever, March 5, 2005

Bovina Families - Book 1 - Letters A - E

Letter A
Letter B
Letter C
Letter D
Letter E

Bovina Families - Book 2 - Letters F - L

Letter F
Letter G
Letter H
Letter I
Letter J
Letter K
Letter L

Bovina Families - Book 3 - Letters M - R

Letter M
Letter N
Letter O
Letters P & Q
Letter R

Bovina Families - Book 4 - Letters S - Z

Letter S
Letter T
Letter U & V
Letter W
Letters Y & Z

PHOTOS - As a companion to the Bovina Families transcription, I have started a collection on Flickr called 'BOVINA FAMILIES'. You can visit it at

The first set of pictures that I have uploaded come from the family of Jack Hilson. His children graciously allowed me access to two albums that had belonged to their grandmother, Helena Strangeway Hilson. The albums date from the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Someone, likely Helena herself, had written names on the portraits in the albums. Helena probably did these later in life, since the notations were done in ball point pen. I scanned the images from these albums and added further information, pulled from the Bovina families transcription and Bovina cemetery information provided by Ed and Dick Davidson. For a few of the pictures, I could find no information that would help confirm who the person was beyond the name. I would welcome any comments identifying the person. And I also will welcome further information and/or if I have a picture mislabeled.

The families represented in the albums, as well as the Strangeways, include Doig, Coulter, Gladstone and Burgin.

I hope to start regularly adding to this Bovina Families album. David Fletcher Hoy's grandson provided to me several years ago scans of a number of portraits from his family. I have similar portraits from my family and have access to some Russell family portraits. And I'm always looking for other such albums to scan so the images can be shared much more widely than they can sitting in an old album. Watch for further announcements on updates to the on-line Bovina Families Album.

And enjoy!
Ray LaFever, June 30, 2010

a service of the Delaware County Historical Association located at 46549 State Highway 10, Delhi, NY 13753

Online since 1996 - created and managed by Joyce Riedinger