John Henry Kedgnal Duvernay (1844-1926)

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John Henry Kedgnal Duvernay
Duvernay, John Henry Kedgnal.jpg
John Duvernay
Born: 18 Apr 1844 of Petoskey, Michigan
Died: 2 Apr 1926 of Petoskey, Michigan
Father: Charles Duvernay
Mother: Eliza
Siblings: John Henry Kedgnal Duvernay
Louisa M. Duvernay
Spouse: Lucy Trotochaud
Married: 16 Aug 1904 Petoskey, Michigan
Children: Eliza Duvernay
Rosa Duvernay
Charles Duvernay
John Elmer Duvernay
Ida Duvernay
James Francis Duvernay

Duvernay, John Henry (aka John Kedgnal or Kedgnot) Section H, Block 36, Lot 3

John Kedgnal was born on April 18, 1844, in Grand Haven, Michigan, son of Charles and Eliza Duvernay.

On December 10, 1862, he enlisted under the name ‘John Kedgnot’ at the age of 18 in Grand Haven for a three year term of service. He was mustered in on March 31, 1863, and served in Company B of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. He was one of two Native Americans to serve in Company B. (The other was William Duvernay, his 13 year old half brother who served as a musician.) This regiment engaged in many major battles of the Civil War, including the Battle of the Wilderness, the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, the Battle of Cold Harbor and the Siege of Petersburg. At some point during his service, John received a wound to his right leg near his knee. On August 26, 1864, he was captured at Ream’s Station, Virginia, and imprisoned at Salisbury Prison in North Carolina. While in prison, he was struck in the back with the end of a rifle by a prison guard, an injury that would affect him the rest of his life. When he was released from prison, he weighed only 80 pounds. He returned to service until May 31, 1865, when he was discharged in Detroit, Michigan.

After the war, for reasons unknown, John changed his name to John Henry Duvernay. He settled in Petoskey, Michigan around 1875. On August 16, 1904, he married Lucy Trotochaud in Petoskey. They had six children together. In 1921 his picture was taken along with his comrades of Lombard Post G.A.R. and featured in a Memorial Day article in the local paper. He passed away on April 2, 1926, at his home on Sheridan Street. He was 83 years old.


Petoskey Evening News, Saturday, April 3, 1926:


John Duvernay, 83 years of age, one of the most widely known Indians of Northern Michigan, and a veteran of the Civil war, passed away Friday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock at his home, 516 Sheridan street, in this city.

His early life, both before and after the Civil war, was spent in and near Muskegon as a sailor, and more than forty years ago the family moved to this region. In the early days in Northern Michigan, his mother was prominent as a doctor.

Mr. Duvernay is survived by two sons, Elmer and James, of this city, and two grandchildren.

The funeral services will be held Sunday morning at 10 o'clock from the west side Pentecostal mission.


  • Name variations:
Kidgual [1880 census]
Kegnot [Duvernay message board]
  • 1880 Federal Census, Bear Creek, Emmet, Michigan:
KIDGUAL, John, Head, Md, Male, Indian, 34, Sailor, MI, MI, MI
, Eliza, Mother, Wd, Female, Indian, 55, Keeping House, MI, MI, MI
GENERAL, Louise, Sister, Wd, Female, Indian, 33, MI, MI, MI
, Levi, Nephew, Single, Male, Indian, 12, MI, MI, MI
  • Death: Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952, database, FamilySearch:
Name: John H Duvernay
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 02 Apr 1926
Event Place: Petoskey, Emmet, Michigan, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 83
Marital Status: Widowed
Birth Date: 18 Apr 1842
Birthplace: Grand Haven, Michigan
Father's Name: Chas Duvernay
Mother's Name: Eliza Lawrence
Greenwood Cemetery
Duvernay, John Henry (aka John Kedgnal)
Age: 83
Born: 4/18/1844
Died: 4/2/1926
Burial: 4/21/1926
Cemetery: Greenwood, Petoskey
Obituary: on file
History memo: History File [see biography above]
Section: H
Block: 36
Lot: 3
Military: Civil, Pvt., Co. B, 1 Mich SS
Memo: Death Certificate says DOB 1842
  • Personal knowledge of John Elmer Duvernay, Jr.
Another Duvernay branch
Posted: 8 Sep 2001
I was just told about this board by a cousin of mine. It seems like there isn't much activity here, so I'll make a short post.
My name is Thomas Duvernay, from the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan (Harbor Springs/Petoskey area). Our branch of the family is mainly located in the Michigan area, although you will find members in various states, such as Minnesota and California. Personally, I spend 2/3 of the year in Korea, where I teach at a university.
How our branch became 'Duvernay' is somewhat shrouded in mystery, as my great-grandfather, John Henry Duvernay, was originally John Henry Kegnot (as he was known in the Civil War); his younger half-brother (who was in the same outfit, Co. B of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters) was William Devernay. He seemingly changed his name after the war; for what reason, we aren't sure. He and his brother were Odawa Indian. If you read the book, "These Men Have Seen Hard Service," by Ray Herek, they are mentioned several times.