My French Connection

The following is a excerpt from Gathering Leaves – 2nd Edition

My father told me that his paternal grandmother, Della Gaume DeBacker, was born in Ohio before later moving to Kansas. This is all that I knew about my great-grandmother before discovering on my own the story of her family. In 1985, I made a trek to the National Archives branch in southern California. At the National Archives, after searching for and finding the Bannon family, I found a census record for my father’s family in the 1910 census for St Marys, Pottawatomie Co., Kansas. This entry for August & Della DeBacker confirmed that Della had been born in Ohio. It also listed her father’s birthplace as Ohio and her mother’s birthplace as Pennsylvania. From her listed age, I was able to determine that she had been born around 1868. Feeling good about finding something so quickly, I decided to look for her family in the 1880 census for Ohio. It did not take me long to find what I believed to be my great-grandmother and her family living in Stark Co., Ohio in 1880.

As it turns out the person that I found was Adeline Gaume (b. 1867), a daughter of Louis Gaume by his second wife. It was not until 1996 when I was contacted by my father’s cousin that I realized that I had made a mistake and learned that my Della Gaume was actually a daughter of Frank Gaume and, as it turns out, both related to the Louis and Adeline Gaume that I had previously found.


In tracing the French origins of the Gaume family, I concentrated my efforts on answering a few basic questions. Primarily I focused on determining the rela-tionship of four or five different Gaume families living in Nimishillen Town-ship, Stark County, Ohio in the mid-19th century. Secondly, I wanted to deter-mine the relationship of two or three different Faiver families living in the same area. Primarily in this regard I wanted to know if Elizabeth Faiver, wife of Fran-cis Gaume and my gg-grandmother, was related to Josephine Faiver, wife of Louis Gaume. Lastly, I looked at a number of collateral families that came to be linked with the Gaume and Faiver families in the hope that by learning their French origins this would aide me in discovering my French origins.

Gathering Leaves – The Book is available at

Della Gaume (g-grandmother) was born May 21, 1868 in Canton, Ohio of Francis & Della Gaume. It appears that Della’s mother died only a few weeks after she was born. According to a pension request filed by Francis Gaume’s second wife some fifty years after the fact, Della’s mother’s maiden name was Pickering and that Francis Gaume and Della Pickering were married around 1867 in Wisconsin.

Della, the daughter, was raised by her grandmother, Elise (Faiver) Gaume; the two appearing together in both the 1870 and 1880 US census for Nimishillen Towns., Stark Co., Ohio. It is unclear as to where Francis Gaume was during the time between the death of his first wife in 1868 and throughout the decade of the 1870’s, but it is certain that sometime around 1883 both father and daughter had relocated to Kansas. By this time, a number of relatives had also moved west from Ohio. Della Gaume married Dr. August DeBacker of St Marys, Kan-sas in 1887, at the age of 19.

My great-grandmother Della Gaume DeBacker
(my grandfather is standing directly behind her)

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