52Ancestors Lucey

A Lucey crosses the NC State stage, 80 years in the making


On Saturday May 9th my son will graduate from North Carolina State University, the first Lucey in our direct line to receive a bachelor’s degree. We had no idea when he first enrolled, but this was not the first time a Lucey attended the university. In 1935 David Joseph Lucey travelled from Dover, New Hampshire to play football and pursue a degree at what was then North Carolina State College.

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Dave made a splash at NC State, scoring the first touchdown of the season (against Wake Forest) for the freshman football team, but he would play just the one year. His mother became ill and he moved back to New England to help her, enrolling at Boston College and playing there for the next few years. His 1939 BC team went to the Cotton Bowl, where they lost a defensive battle to Clemson 6-3.

NC State Freshman football team 1935-36.  Source: NCSU Library

He graduated BC (where his son and grandson would also attend) with a Bachelors in Education and later went on to coach the Saugus High School and Boston College football teams. He was also the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for Massachusetts in the early 70’s.

“Big Dave”, as he was known to me, was my 1st cousin 2x removed and a wonderful guy. Dave died in 1997 when John was very young, but they did meet several times. I think he would have been quite pleased with this coincidence.

David J Lucey, 1936 and John Lucey, 2014, flanked by friends.
Well-dressed David J Lucey, 1936 and John Lucey, 2014, flanked by friends at NC State.

Congrats John, we are so proud of you!


Team Photo. NCSU Libraries Rare & Unique Digital Collections. 1936 Agromeck Yearbook. (Accessed 30 Apr 2015)

Other photos used courtesy of David J Lucey III, grandson of David.






52Ancestors Lucey

52 Ancestors: #14 Sandra Smith Davis

This week, I’d like to say Happy Birthday and remember a wonderful woman, Sandra Davis.


When I moved to Haverhill, MA in 2001, I knew that my Lucey’s had lived across the Merrimack River in Groveland in the 1860’s, it was what drew me to the area in the first place. What I didn’t know, was that my 2nd great-grandfather James had a brother David that stayed in the area after James left for Rochester, NH in 1879.

David Lucey (1857-1904) lived on Temple St with his wife Jean (Brodie) and their daughter Lucille [yes, Lucy Lucey].  He was a real estate investor and owned a bar/restaurant in Washington Square in downtown Haverhill. It was such a pleasant surprise to find out about this “lost” [to me anyway] branch of the family.

Later in 2001, I found a forum post on a local website looking for information on relatives of Lucille. A woman named Sandra Davis from Texas said she was a descendant of Lucille and Harold Smith. How exciting! A real, long-lost cousin!

Sandra, a 3rd generation only child on her Lucey line, had been looking for information on this part of her family for a number of years and fortunately, my grandfather’s sisters Betty and Joan were still around and knew Sandra’s father and grandmother. They exchanged letters and in 2002 we held a family reunion at our house and Sandra attended as the guest of honor.

Sandra and Betty Lucey Bedard August 2002
Sandra and Betty Lucey Bedard August 2002

We kept in touch over the ensuing years and when we moved to North Carolina, Sandra and her husband Ted came from Texas to visit their son Russell and his family who live in the same area and we visited with them. And while I haven’t met her other children, we keep in touch via social media and I’m sure will meet at some point.

Unfortunately, Sandra passed away in 2011.

In her emails to me, she would often thank me for giving her a connection to this part of her history that she never knew, but I’m the one that’s thankful. Not only was she wonderful to me, my wife and my children; she was the catalyst for having that family reunion which was the last time my grandfather’s sisters and my grandmother were together, three short years later they were all gone. We also have a great relationship with Russell and his family. Russell and I share a love of beer and music, it’s in the genes I’m sure.

So thank you Sandra and Happy Birthday, you are missed.

Lucey Family Reunion Aug 2002
Lucey Family Reunion Aug 2002

This post is 14th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.