Deshon Family Website



If you didn't know already we are Mayflower Descendants
through the lineage of Ruth Christophers married to Daniel Deshon.
(Ruth Christophers is the 2nd great-granddaughter of William Brewster)

About the Deshon-Allyn House in Connecticut:

I found out about this house in 1999 by a distant relative who sent me the photo. This house is currently part of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

Thanks to Sarah Ryan the historian in New London, she sent me a copy of an article written about the house which at one point used to be owned by Daniel Deshon son of Henry and Bathsheba (Rogers) Deshon.

Click here to read the article.

This house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in New London, Connecticut:

Deshon-Allyn House ** (added 1970 - Building - #70000700)
613 Williams St., New London

Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Unknown
Architectural Style: Greek Revival, Federal
Area of Significance: Architecture, Social History
Period of Significance: 1825-1849
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-function: Single Dwelling2
Current Function: Domestic, Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Museum, Single Dwelling2

This is a letter written by Harriet T. Deshon (daughter of John and Frances (Robertson) Deshon) to her nephew Charles A. Deshon, Jr.

Providence Feb. 12th
215 Governor St.

My Dear Charley,

I think you are mistaken about them wanting information about the Deshon family at West Point for the letter you sent me was written to the Paulist Fathers and they did not request it to be sent to any of the family. As I told you before I am a very poor scribe but you are welcome to the little knowledge I have. The Deshons settled in Mass. and were Huguenots. When their settlement was destroyed by the Indians, the family scattered. Daniel found his way to New London. He must have been a man of ability for he married Ruth Christophers. The Christophers family were direct descendants of Elder Brewster and one of the most important in the Colony. Daniel had five sons and one daughter. They were a very patriotic family, three of the sons Capt. Daniel, Col. John and Col. Richard were in the Army. Henry had a very large family and I imagine was kept at home by family cares. In time of war six beautiful daughters cannot be left without protection. Henry was Father Deshon’s grandfather. His father John Deshon was born 1777 and was the youngest of thirteen children. In 1798 he sailed from New London mate of the armed merchant ship Cartision(??) armed to resist any aggression that might be met from the French. The Master died on the voyage so he brought the ship home as Captain. He after that made many voyages in different directions and was a man thoroughly respected and beloved by his fellow citizens. He was killed by a railroad accident in his 89th. year. George was his fourth son and said to resemble him both in appearance and character. Of his five sons it is difficult to tell which was the most talented so we will only say they were all the comfort and stay of his old age.

These particulars were mostly taken from Miss Caulkins History of New London.

Father Deshon’s mother was a very able woman and as her husband was away most of the time the bringing up of the children and care of the family devolved upon her and the result was her worth. She was of Scottish origin and belonged [to] the Robertson clan. I believe Uncle William in his prosperity went to Scotland hunted up the family and found them very prosperous and was treated very handsomely. He in consequence got the Coat of Arms and had his silver engraved with it and mother was proud of her family but had no recollections of her Father. Her mother married again so most of her interest was in the Deshon family. Dr. John Robertson who was the first Missionary to Guam was her own cousin. He had a large family but there has been very little intercourse and most of them have died off, those that remain are married and I don’t know their names. There was a cousin Dr. Robertson of Albany, who used to come to New London and was very much interested in the family history and had devoted both time, money and study to trace their lineage. I think he had traced the line to King Duncan. He was a graduate of Harvard College and a specialist on the eye and ear. When he died his wife intended to carry on his work, but she was taken away soon after his death. His sister used to live in Cambridge but I have not heard of her for twenty years and I doubt if she is living. The Robertson Clan have a very pretty plaid and I know descended from King Duncan, there must be many Cousins worth knowing and bragging about, though I cannot refer you to the Chapter of ours in the National History of Scotland.

I cannot tell you how much we all enjoyed your Mother’s visit. If she enjoyed as much she will be anxious to come again. I hope the Fair will be a great success and I don’t know anything that will help it more than beautiful weather so we must pray for it. With much love to all those dear to you and great regret that I have not the ____ of a ready writer.

Your affec Aunt,

Written in 1904
Harriet Thurston Deshon (sister of John James)
to Charles Augustus Deshon, Jr.

This is a letter written by Father George Deshon after the death of President Ulysses S. Grant for the newspapers about his time with the President.


Taken from the New York Freemans Journal, May 1, 1897

You ask me for recollections of the cadet life of General Grant. Grant and myself came to West Point within a few days of each other. The new cadets were placed in rooms in the South Barracks, one side of which was vacated for the purpose. The rooms were entirely destitute of furniture, we were allowed a thin pair of blankets and a host of a pillow. Resting on the bare floor we were routed out at 5 oclock in the morning to stand for an hour in the position of soldier, eyes to the front, elbows to the side, palms of the hand turned to the front, little finger on the seams of the pants, etc. This of a hot June morning, with cadet corporal bawling out his cadets so as to be heard across the plains, reminding one of the saying of the frogs stoned by the boys “What if fun for you, is death to us.” All this we endured manfully, buoyed up by the hope of future greatness.

A few days after we went into camp, I met my classmate for the first time. The impression was very agreeable. I found him a pleasant, entirely unpretentious and pleasant young fellow. He made friends of all who knew him and was the friend of many of his classmates who were congenial. In a short time we began to call him “Uncle Sam,” from the initials of his name, “U.S.” This name suited exactly to his kindly disposition, and although we did not know it at the time, was prophetic of his future greatness. He was called indifferently, Uncle Sam or Sam Grant. For two years we were allotted to different companies, lived in different barracks, and were in different sections of the class in our studies. But upon returning from the only furlough we had in our four years at the beginning of the third year of the course, we were assigned to the same room. This room was at the top of the North Barracks. It was called the cockloft, and was a favorite place because it was safer from inspection from the army cadet in charge of the company. By placing a sentinel at the top of the stairs we could tell when he was coming round and be prepared accordingly.

On many occasions we profited from this arrangement. One night after taps, at ten oclock, we had a hash, a compound of potatoes, butter, etc, cooking on a bright coal fire in the open grate in our room and friends were waiting to come and partake of it, when the alarm was given. “The inspector is on his rounds on the lower floor.” What was to be done? The smell of the cooking was strong. Necessity is the mother of invention. The hash pan was placed under the bed. I stood off and threw half a pail of water on the fire and a big puff of steam and gas came out and killed the odor of the cooking, and we crawled into our bed clothes. “What is the matter here,” said the inspector. “The fire was intolerable, and we threw some water on it to cool it.” He went off, and we finished our entertainment without further molestation.

Grant was a most agreeable and athletic roommate. It warms my heart when I think of the year we passed together so pleasantly. At first we had another inmate in our room, but he was transferred to another company and we were alone together. We never had the slightest disagreement. Grant was not what we called “military.” He was careless in dress, he did not pay much attention to the minutae of drill. For two years we were both high privates in the company. The we were made cadet sergeants. We had many a good laught about the military cadet rank. He was at the foot of the list and I was just above him. The next year whent the appointment of Cadet officers was made out, he returned to the rank of private and I was at the foot of the list. Grant had a good head for mathematics and other studies. He was not a hard student. He studied enough to take the head of the second section, and I do not doubt if he had been more ambitious he could have been in the first section. Three parts of the class were below him as it was. He got a good deal of demerits for troding carelessly in military matters which lowered his general standing in the class. He joined the Dialectic Society, a literay association, purely voluntary, to imporove himself in general education and attended its meetings regularly. Although always cheerful and pleasant, he seemed a good deal of the time occupied in serious thoughts on the problems of human life. He was free from all profanity and his conversation was pure. He did not drink liquor or use tobacco. One of his characteristic traits was a great straightfowardness and a scrupulous regard for truth. He would not deviate from it even in jest. We had a chaplain, the Rev. M. P. Parks, a graduate of the academy who was first a Methodist minister, then he became a Low Churchman, and at last was what we called a Puseyite. He delivered a course of sermons on the Real Presence which people called Catholic, and caused much discussion; but he closed by saying that he did not go beyond John Calvin who advocated a virtual presence that one read only in its effects. Talking over the sermon, after being marched back from chapel one Sunday, it started the questions between us. On what grounds does the Pope claim the headship of the Church? Being ignorant ourselves, we agreed to refer the question to Mike, the fireman. When we came to fix the fire, we asked him, “Mike, you are a Catholic, tell us why the Pope claims to be the head of the Church?” Mike answered, “We read in the Bible, what Christ said to Peter, Thou art Peter which means rock and on this rock I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” We both agreed that Mike had made answer very much to the point.

Grant never forgot his friends. After his election to the Presidency, and before his inauguration, I went down to Long Branch to see him. He was out driving when I got to the hotel. When he returned I went up to him, and he got out of the carriage. He threw up both of his hands and exclaimed, “Deshon!” This please him as he said. It is my great pleasure, that upon seeing each other, he recognized me at once.

My recollections of Cadet Grant are among my most pleasant memories.


This is a letter written about Father George Deshon and the Deshon family by an unknown person.

The Deshon family was of Huguenot descent. The first of the name came to this country from France soon after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and settled in New London, Conn.
In which town Father Deshon was born, the son of Capt. John Deshon and Fanny Robertson Deshon. He was one of a large family, five sons and three daughters. In his boyhood he attended a private school in New London until he went to West Point. I think it likely that he obtained his appointment through the influence of his brother in law Gov. Thurston who must have been in Congress at about that time. His Cousin Augustus Brandegee (father of the late Senator Frank Brandegee) also went to Congress but probably at a later date. The Deshons were Episcopalians of the old fashioned kind but at West Point Father Deshon came under the Tractarian influence of the Chaplain, a very High Churchman whose teachings led to many Conversions, Gen. Scammon, Gen. Rosecrans and others. It was said he made many Catholics, but never became one himself. Unless I am mistaken he was the father of Dr. Leighton Parks, late Rector of St. Bartholomew’s.
The same spirit which prompted Father Deshon on his conversion to become a Priest had previously led his older brother Giles after his graduation at Yale College to enter the Episcopal Ministry instead of studying Law as his family had expected him to do. I have been told his Mother was disappointed at this step, and of course much more so when some years later her son George gave up a career in the Army to become a Catholic and a Priest. She visited him when he was in the Redemptorist Novitiate and the old prejudice shows in a conversation she had with the Superior – In speaking of Father Walworth who was also there he said that Chancellor Walworth had another son who was very dissipated and asked her if she would not prefer to have a son a priest rather than like that – she replied No that there would always be the hope that the bad son would reform but no hope of changing the good Catholic. I heard this told long after her death in connection with the tragedy in the Walworth family.
Father Deshon had the great happiness of receiving his own father into the Church on his death bed and two of his nieces.
Emma went to receive her first instruction the night he died.

About John James Deshon in Nicaragua:

John James and his brother Francis Bureau had planned to go to California during the Gold Rush (1848-1858). To get to California they took Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt's route which was by steamship that left from New York to California via Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua John James fell in love with Maria Morales. John James settled in Nicaragua marrying Maria Morales creating a large family. It seems that Francis Bureau also fell in love with a woman in Nicaragua, but there is no other information about him.

This is a translated article from a newspaper in Nicaragua about the death of Maria Morales. (There are some errors - see below)

Mrs. Maria widow of Deshon dies in Leon at the age of 103 Years

Mrs. Maria Cartin* widow of Deshon, died early the night before last in her residence in Leon. Sleeping peacefully at the ripe age of 103 years.
Mrs. Maria, or "Mamayita", as she was affectionately called in Leon, with difficulty she suffered a day of sickness in her long life, which was a strong demonstration of pure and simple happiness of family, religion and society.
She was born in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1829 and she became an orphan as a child. Her famous uncle Father Cartin brought her to Leon, when he came to take charge of the old Recoleccion in that city. This notable man of the Church not only is he remembered for being an eminence of religious annals of Nicaragua, but also an author of fame and philosophical scientist of an international reputation.
He gave away his niece in matrimony to an energetic young North American in 1844 when Mrs. Maria was at the tender age of 15 years. This American, Mr. Juan J. Deshon, of Bridgeport, Massachussets**, brother of the founder of the Paulists in the United States, Father Charles*** Deshon, he settled in Nicaragua as an agriculturer and built the well known sugar refinery El Polvon. Before his premature death in 1882, he was known for bringing the first steel plough, the first sewing machine and for introducing modern mechanics to the benefit of sugar in Nicaragua. He built other properties of great importance in the Leon District and he left a family of sons and daughters that became great leaders in business, agriculture and religious within their communities: Leon, Chinandega and Corinto.
Mrs. Maria outlived some of her children. She leaves Mr. Jorge Deshon and Mr. Juan Deshon, in Corinto. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are a lot and numerous spreading the traditions of this strong family throughout parts of Nicaragua and in a lot of places in the United States.

**New London, Connecticut

This is a poem written by the famous Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario to Daniel Deshon Morales. (No translation can be done without losing the original meaning)



Querido amigo Daniel:
Soy el marino Simbad;
para mi navego bad,
para ti navego well,
para los amigos miel
y para mi siempre amargo:
que en este camino largo
do voy dejando el pellejo,
para todos el bien dejo
y para mi el mal recargo.

Mas digo, por Belcebu,
que sin temor ni recelo,
no adivino piel ni pelo
en amigos como tu.
Me mantengo haciendo el bu
a mi Musa, y tal me rio:
y en vez de mantener frio
mi entusiasmo ante la gente,
es el poeta mas ardiente
tu amigo Ruben Dario.


Dios es siempre un buen testigo
de que, cuando doy mi mano,
es seguro que me gano
un amigo.

Esto es un hecho, y de modo
que, por lo firme y lo fiel,
si soy amigo, Daniel,
lo soy todo.

Amigo en toda expresion,
y en eso llevo la palma;
que soy amigo del alma
y el corazon.

Tu me ofreciste una vez
tu mano franca y leal,
y yo la acepte cabal,
sin doblez.

Ya tu sabes que me voy.
Oye, y esto no es fingido:
Sabe que sere y he sido
como soy.

Y si alguien niega eso, dile
que amistad, amistad fragua,
y el mismo de Nicaragua
sere en Chile.

El mismo para quererte
y asi mi afecto brindarte:
el mismo para apreciarte
hasta la muerte.

No olvides, amigo mio,
ya cuando este en otros climas,
que aqui ha dejado sus rimas
Ruben Dario.

Written in 1886. This is found in the book Poesias Completas by Ruben Dario; Edicion, Introduction and notes by Alfonso Mendez Plancarte, Madrid 1961, p. 228-229.

About the Robertson line (Frances Robertson married to John Deshon):


The Chief of the Clan Robertson, known as the Clann Donnachaidh, was Donnachaidh Reamhar, otherwise known as Duncan de Atholia, who was male descendant of the ancient Celtic Earls of Athole. The clan, however, count their Cheifs from Duncan, under whom they first appear as a clan in support of Robert the Bruce – Duncan’s friend and kinsman.
“The Robertson’s of Struan,” says Skene, “are unquestionably the oldest family in Scotland, being the sole remaining branch of that Royal House which occupied the throne of Scotland during the eleventh and twelfth centuries.” From first to last the clan is noted for its loyalty to the Stewarts. On the murder of James I. at Perth, it was Robert, the Chief of Clann Donnachaidh, who captured his murderers, for which act he had many honours conferred on him by King James I.’s successor; and to further commemorate this, father and son took the name of Robertson, which the clan has since retained. Their territory, it is said, at one time extended from the watershed of Rannoch Moor to the gates of Perth. One of the most famous chiefs was Alexander Robertson of Straun, known as the “Poet Chief”. The Chiefs had Castles in Rannoch and at Invervack, near Straun; later, and up to 1860, their principal residence was Dunalastair; other residences were Cario, Dall and Rannoch Barracks. Miss Jean Rosine Robertson in 1910 succeeded as head of the clan.

From “The Scottish Tartans” printed by
W. & A.K. Johnston, Ltd.
Edina Works, Easter Road, Edinburgh, Scotland.



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