What Happened to the Surviving Members of Boulty’s Family?

Two decades after the Civil War-era death of John Boulton Young, Thomas Edison opened a coal-fired electrical power plant on Fourth Street in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1883 (public domain).

Still residing in Sunbury, Pennsylvania nearly a decade after the tragic, Civil War-era death of their son, John Boulton Young (also known as “Boulty”), Michael and Elizabeth (Boulton) Young headed a household in Sunbury, Pennsylvania in 1870 that included Boulty’s surviving siblings: William Dewert L. (aged 23), who was shown on that year’s federal census and other later records as “Dewert” or “Dewart”; Mary Elizabeth (aged 20); George Weaver (aged 16); Kate Irene (aged 14); Gertrude Louise (aged 12); Gobin (aged 10); and Delphine (born July 1865), whose name had been misspelled by that year’s census taker as “Bellfino.” Family patriarch Michael had amassed real estate holdings of $1800 and $300 in personal property by this time (or roughly $41,000, according to one CPI Inflation Calculator), and was supporting the family on the wages he earned as a laborer in a car shop while son Dewert helped out with his earnings as a printer.

By mid-February of 1871, Michael and Elizabeth Young had been married 25 years and were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary. According to the 25 February 1871 edition of the Sunbury American, a “number of invited friends … began to assemble about 8 o’clock” on the prior Saturday evening “bringing with them silver offerings.” Following two hours of socializing, those in attendance were treated to “a most beautiful repast which comprised everything that the appetite could desire.” The Youngs were then also toasted by their friends and family well into the evening “who wished the happy couple happiness and prosperity many decades to come.”

Sadly, that wish did not come true. Sometime before the federal census taker arrived at the Young’s home in August of 1880, tragedy had struck the family yet again. U.S. Census records from that month indicate that family matriarch, Elizabeth (who was listed as “Margaret”), had been widowed by Michael (likely sometime between March 1871 — after the Youngs had just recently celebrated their wedding anniversary — and August 1880 when the federal census taker arrived at Elizabeth’s door in Sunbury). And, if that were not heartache enough, the widow Young had also informed the census taker that her eldest son, Dewert (aged 33), was institutionalized at that time at the Danville Insane Asylum in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Still living at home with Elizabeth (Boulton) Young that August of 1880 were her surviving children: Mary Elizabeth, a dressmaker; George Weaver, a laborer; Kate Irene, who was described only as being “at home”; Gertrude Louise, a store clerk; Gobin C., who was employed by a telegraph company; and Delphine, who was still in school.

Two years later, Gertrude L. Young wed Samuel C. Brown [alternate presentation of name “V. C. Brown”] at Boehm’s Reformed Church in Sunbury on 18 October 1882; however, her happiness was also cut short when her husband widowed her roughly four years later. Roughly around the same year of that loss, Gertrude’s sister, Mary Elizabeth Young, wed George W. Weaver, a son of John and Isabella Weaver, in Sunbury on 18 March 1886.

Thirteen years later, the youngest of the Young siblings, Delphine Young, then wed William H. Culp, a son of John C. and Annie Culp. Their union took place in Sunbury on 22 February 1898.

But, once again, the Young family’s happiness would be altered by the cold hand of death, which claimed the life of Gertrude (Young) Brown on 30 December 1898. According to her hometown newspaper, The Daily Item:

Mrs. Gertrude Louise Brown died at her home on Market street at 5 o’clock Friday afternoon. She had been in ill health for the past year but did not take to her bed until about four weeks ago. She was not thought to be dangerously ill and the announcement of her death was a severe shock to her many friends. Hodgkin’s disease, better known as enlargement of the spleen, was the cause. Funeral at 2 o’clock – Monday afternoon. Interment at Pomfret Manor cemetery. Mrs. Brown was a daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth and the late Michael Young. She was born at the old home and lived there all her life with the exception of one year. She was married about seventeen years ago to V. C. [sic?] Brown, who died about four years later. After clerking several years in the stores of Ira T. Clement and John B. [Bucher?] she about eight years ago accepted a position in P. P. Smith’s book store. About four weeks ago she was compelled on account of failing health to resign her position. Friday morning she felt so well that she remarked to one of her sisters that she felt like a new person. About 1 :30 o’clock in the afternoon was stricken with paralysis and was unconscious until the end came. Mrs. Brown was well known in town and has a host of friends who deeply sympathize with the bereaved family in their hour of deep affliction.

The 1900s

Market Day, Sunbury, Pennsylvania, c. 1905 (public domain).

As one century ended and another began, family matriarch Elizabeth M. Young continued to make her home at 449 Market Street in Sunbury. Still widowed and still the head of the surviving members of the Young household, she had given birth to thirteen children in her lifetime, just six of whom were still alive. Also still residing with her that year when the federal census taker arrived were her unmarried son, George W. Young, a machinist’s helper; her unmarried daughter, Kate Irene Young, a seamstress; and her youngest child, Delphine, who had wed railroad postal clerk William H. Culp two years earlier. Also living at the home at this time was Elizabeth Young’s granddaughter, Gertrude J. Weaver, who had been born in November 1886, and was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Young) Weaver.

Then, after more than four decades after the tragic, Civil War-era death of her son, Boulty, Elizabeth M. B. Young (1828-1905), joined him in the afterlife. Following her death on 4 February 1905, she was laid to rest three days later in Sunbury on 7 February.

By 1910, Elizabeth (Boulton) Young’s son, George W. Weaver, was employed as a railroad clerk. Still residing at the old family home on Market Street, his widowed sister, Mary E. (Young) Weaver, was now listed as the head of the household by that year’s federal census taker. Also residing with them were her children, Pauline and George B. Weaver (aged 22 and 17, respectively), and a boarder, Richard Morgan. Mary Weaver’s children, Pauline and George, were also employed, respectively, as a saleswoman in a dry goods store and a weaver at a local silk mill.

Still unmarried by 1920, George W. Young was also still not listed by Sunbury’s census taker as the head of his own household. That year, the Market Street household was headed by his youngest sister, Delphine (Young) Culp, who had been widowed by her husband, William. Also residing with them were George and Delphine’s sister, Kate I. Young, and Delphine’s sons: Leslie C. (aged 19) and John B. (aged 16) Culp. In addition, two boarders also lived at the home: George V. Weam and James H. Beatty. The household was supported via the earnings of Leslie C. Culp, a machinist’s helper with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

Retired and suffering from chronic valvular heart disease, George Weaver Young became the next member of the Young family to pass away. Following his death on 10 January 1912 at the home of his sister, Mary Elizabeth (Young) Weaver at 520 Chestnut Street in Sunbury, he was laid to rest at that city’s Pomfret Manor Cemetery on 12 January 1921. Multiple newspapers across the state reported on his passing with The Wilkes-Barre Record describing him as the “smallest volunteer fireman in Pennsylvania,” and noting that:

As a member of the Sunbury volunteer steam fire engine company No. 1, Mr. Young attended most of the State firemen’s conventions for nearly half a century and was awarded numerous prizes for being the lightest and thinnest man in the parades.

The next day’s edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph reported that, professionally, he had been a longtime employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad “for many years at the master mechanic’s office until ill health compelled him to retire some years ago.”

Boulty’s sister, Mary Elizabeth (Young) Weaver, who survived her husband’s passing by many years even as she was being treated for various heart-related diseases, also spent her final months living with her youngest sister, Delphine. Also residing at their home at 530 Chestnut Street in Sunbury was Delphine’s husband, William A. Culp. Passing away there on 17 April 1926 from complications related to apoplexy, Mary E. Weaver was subsequently buried at the Pomfret Manor Cemetery in Sunbury on 20 April. Her son, George B. Weaver, served as the informant for preparation of the death certificate. Her obituary in Mount Carmel’s Daily News described her as “one of Sunbury’s oldest residents.”

Delphine (Young) Culp, who had been born after the Civil War-era death of her older brother, John Boulton Young, and was also preceded in death by her husband, became the penultimate of the surviving Young siblings to pass away. Lingering just over two months after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage on 24 October 1926, she died in Sunbury on 3 January 1927. Her son, Leslie C. Culp, served as the informant on her death certificate. Like many of her older siblings before her, Delphine Culp was then also interred at the Pomfret Manor Cemetery three days after her passing.

Kate Irene Young, who was just six years old when her brother, “Boulty,” went away for Civil War military service and never returned, then became the sole survivor of the Young siblings. Having never married, she retired from work as a seamstress, and then also fell ill in later life. Suffering from myocarditis and still residing at the former home of her late sister, Delphine, Kate Young then also developed lung cancer in 1926. Following her death on 27 November 1927, she was also laid to rest three days later at the Pomfret Manor Cemetery. Her nephew, Jack Culp, served as the informant for her death certificate. She was subsequently eulogized by Mount Carmel’s Daily News as “the last survivor of an old Sunbury family,” who had been “the third sister to die within a year.” Prior to her death, the 72-year-old had “attended a Thanksgiving dinner,” returned home, and then died from “a general physical collapse.”


1. “Death of a Young Soldier.” Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania: Star of the North, Wednesday, 30 October 1861 (reprinted from the Sunbury Gazette).

2. “Deaths of Soldiers.” Washington, D.C.: The National Republican, 18 October 1861.

3. Elizabeth M. B. Young, in “Boehm’s Reformed Church (United Church of Christ) Records,” Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 5 and 7 February 1905. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry.com, retrieved online 16 October 2019.

4. “History Day at Hunter House.” Sunbury, Pennsylvania: The Daily Item, 17 April 2013.

5. Inkrote, Cindy. “Civil War drummer boy was different kind of hero.” Sunbury, Pennsylvania: The Daily Item, 4 October 2009.

6. Letters of John Peter Shindel Gobin, 1861-1900. Various Collections (descendants of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers, et. al.).

7. Marriage Record (Gertrude L. Young and Samuel C. Brown). Sunbury, Pennsylvania: Boehm’s Reformed Church, 1882.

8. “Mrs. Gertrude Brown Dead” (obituary of Boulty’s sister, Gertrude). Sunbury, Pennsylvania: The Daily Item, Saturday, December 31, 1898, p. 1.

9. Miss Kate Irene Young (obituary of Boulty’s sister, Kate). Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania: The Daily News, December 1, 1921, p. 8.

10. “Mrs. Weaver, of Sunbury, Expires” (Mary E. (Young) Weaver’s obituary). Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania: The Daily News, 20 April 1926, p. 8.

11. “Our Fallen Heroes” (Decoration Day description which mentions John Boulton Young). Sunbury, Pennsylvania: Sunbury American, 30 May 1868.

12. “Registers of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865” (J. Bolton Young, in “Co. C, 47th Regiment, Infantry”), in “Records of the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs” (RG-19). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Archives, retrieved online 1 October 2010.

13. “Silver Wedding” (25th wedding anniversary celebration of Michael A. and Elizabeth (Boulton) Young). Sunbury, Pennsylvania: Sunbury American, 25 February 1871.

14. “State’s Smallest Volunteer Fireman Dies” (George Weaver Young’s obituary). Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: The Wilkes-Barre Record, 11 January 1921, p. 23.

15. “The Drummer Boy’s Monument.” Sunbury, Pennsylvania: Sunbury American, 6 February 1864.

16. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1850 (Bolton, Catherine; Young, Elizabeth, William, Harriet, Mary, William L. D., John, Mary; Uren, Barney; Lander, Charles). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

17. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1860 (Young, Michael, Elizabeth M., William D., John B., Mary, George, Kate, and Gertrude). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

18. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1870 (Young Michael A., Elizabeth, Dewert, George, Mary, Kate, Gertrude, Gobin, and “Bellfino” [sic; should have read “Delphine”). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

19. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1800 (Young, Margaret, Dewert W. L., Mary E., George W., Kate I., Gertrude L., Gobin C., Delphine). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

20. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1900 (Young, Elizabeth M., George W., Kate I.; Culp, Delphine and William; and Weaver, Gertrude J.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

21. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1910 (Weaver, Mary E., Pauline, George B.; Young, George W.; Morgan, Richard). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

22. U.S. Census: Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 1920 (Culp, Delphine, Leslie C., John B.; Young, George W. and Kate I.; Weam, George V.; Beatty, James H.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

23. Young Family Death Certificates (Culp, Delphine Young; Young, George Weaver; Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Young; Young, Kate Irene). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Bureau of Vital Statistics, Department of Health, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1926-1927.

24. Young Family Marriages (Gertrude L. Young to Samuel or V. C. Brown, 18 October 1882; Mary Elizabeth Young to George W. Weaver, 18 March 1886; and Delphine Young to William H. Culp, 22 February 1898), in “Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950” (Northumberland County; Pennsylvania; Family History Library microfilm 961,091: Young, Michael and Mary E.; Weaver, George W., John and Isabella, 18 March 1886; Family History Library microfilm 961,097: Young, Delphine, Michael and Elizabeth; Culp, William H., John and Annie C., 22 February 1898). Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch.

25. Young, Jno. B., in U.S. Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861 (Pennsylvania). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.