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Home: Surnames: Youmans Family Genealogy Forum

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Vincent Youmans, composer,died at age 47
Posted by: Patricia Drummond (ID *****6571) Date: September 15, 2006 at 20:09:32
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I've just read the book "Days to be Happy, Years to be Sad" about the life of composer, Vincent Youmans, written by Gerald Bordman. He researched the name enough to know a little about it--he says no one knows the immigrant ancestor's first name, but says several different offshoots named their children Vincent. Some say they came from Scotland; others say Wales. He goes on to say that the man named Vincent Youmana (whose sons were the scientist and educator) were distant cousins of the composer. Daniel Youmans was born in Warwick,NY, in 1829, and was the son of Samuel Youmans and Hannah Dusinberre Youmans. Samuel died between 1834 and 1839, of consumption (tuberculosis), and all but two of his children succumbed to it in their early twenties. Daniel took the disease early on, but was determined to beat it by strenuous exercise. He educated himself and decided to leave Warwick for New York City. There he was hired on to be an accountant for a well-known hatter and learned the business. He struck out on his own after three years and opened a business which grew to three. Daniel married Emma Miller in 1863. She bore him two sons, Vincent Miller Youmans in 1864, and Ephraim in 1865. Emma died when the children were small, of Scarlet Fever. The widower, Daniel D. Youmans, married Susan Stickney in 1876. She was a loving stepmother to Daniel's boys. Her only child, Charles Stickney Youmans, died when he was 16 days old. Daniel & Sarah were well off enough to travel to Europe nine times. Sarah even took in Daniel's aging mother who lived until almost 100. After her death Daniel was distraught and Sarah suggested a trip abroad. They went to Norway and went in a carriage to a lake for a picnic. Their carriage overturned and plunged them into the lake where their heavy clothing caused their drowning. So Ephraim and Vincent were left alone to carry on their father's millinery houses. Neither knew how to be frugal, having been educated at private schools and afterward sent to Yale. They both loved fine dining and horse racing. Epraim remained a bachelor until he died in 1950. Vincent courted and married Lucy Gibson Millie in 1897. They were the parents of the composer, Vincent Millie Youmans, born Sept. 27, 1898. In 1901, Vincent's sister, Dorothy, was born. When Vincent was very young, his mother noted that he liked to pick out simple tunes on the piano, so she quickly started him with lessons. He didn't like the first teacher, so the mother fired her and found a man. Vincent approved of him and did well. He actually didn't start to write music until he went into the Navy. When some programs were needed for the sailors, Vincent became interested in playing for them, and later when he met other talented people, the creative juices started flowing. This led eventually, to pitching songs, and later, to writing his own. He married twice. He died early, at age 47, of tuberculosis. Our great grandmother was a Youmans from New York state, and I'd like to claim kinship, but I haven't been able to establish it. Several of our family are songwriters, too. I didn't quote the author anywhere--just gleaned a few truths.

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