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Learn to love the adventure, not just the destination . . .


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     I have assembled some DAVIS Family genealogical data that I have acquired through several different sources.  Much of the information beyond 1850 is difficult to prove, as vital records were not required.  With this in mind there is a greater likelihood for error.  I needed a place to post this data so that other researchers of this historic American colonial family could view and challenge the data uncovered to this point in time.

     The immigrant DAVIS ancestor was the Seventh Day Baptist, Reverend William DAVIS (1663-1745).  William was born in the Shire of Radnor in South Wales.  William matriculated at Oxford University on June 30, 1682 at the age of 18 to study theology.  Documentation from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University Archives where William spent two years, suggests that his father was William DAVIES of Llanstephen.  While studying the ministry for two years, he became interested in the doctrines of the Quaker Society.  He left not finishing school, and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1684 living amongst William Penn and others of the Society.  In 1685 he met and married Elizabeth BRINLEY (Brisley) in Philadelphia.

     In 1696 he adopted the philosophies of the Baptist Church and was baptized in 1697.  He became the ministrant of the Pennepek Church near Philadelphia in 1698 but was ostracized for his beliefs.  As quoted in the book Langfitt and Davis, British and Colonial Ancestry by Margaret Parks Ewing, "He maintained that the human and divine nature were blended in the person of Christ - like wine and water in a glass".  He was a century and a half ahead of his time in thinking.  In his defense, he wrote a book in 1700 entitled Jesus the Crucifyed Man, The Eternal Son of God.  The original is purportedly in the Philadelphia Historical Society Library.  

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Click on the dragon flag for information on the national symbol of Wales.


Photographs or digital image packages of churches and cemeteries in Wales.  Click on the icon to visit Rosemary Griffith's webpage. 

Following the birth of his son, the Reverend John DAVIS, I (1692-1750), William removed to Westerly, Washington Co., Rhode Island.  He was not readily accepted there because of his radical religious thinking.  In 1710 he attempted to return to England but was coerced by many friends into staying.  His woes continued with the church and he moved on to Stonington, CT where he remained without incident until 1745.  He then removed to Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., NJ, with son John and wife Elizabeth MAXSON and several of his children, and helped establish the church there.  He died peacefully later that year.  

John's son, the Reverend John DAVIS, II (1723-1792), my 6th great-grandfather, married Bethiah ROGERS and settled in New London, Connecticut.   Another son, Thomas William from William's second marriage to Elizabeth PAVIOR, literally moved the entire Shrewsbury congregation to Salem, Harrison Co. West Virginia.  In an era when families remained in the same county for generations I find it astonishing that this family spread so far and so wide braving this largely uncharted and uncivilized wilderness by covered wagon.  

The New England to New York odyssey included my 5th ggrandfather, the Reverend David Rogers DAVIS (born abt.1744, died aft.1827).  I had only found six of David's children until the acquisition of his will.  He mentions three additional daughters that I'd not previously had knowledge of.  Judging from the birthplaces of David's 9th and 10th child, I can assume that he migrated to NY about 1781 making him one of the earliest Anglo-American inhabitants of that area.  David married (1) Lydia CARTWRIGHT and (2)  Mrs. Anna LANPHERE SATTERLEE.

After my 4th ggrandfather, Joshua DAVIS (1775-1840), most available documentation of this family appeared to cease.  Joshua apparently was not a member of the clergy like the four generations that preceded him, and may have become disassociated from the church.  His name only appears once in the membership records edited by Don Sanford and his daughter Ilou.  Joshua married Amy STRAIGHT (1779-1837) in 1795 and they raised a family of 6 boys and 2 girls according to the Chenango County Historical records in Lincklaen, NY,  

Through the acquisition of two Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) records, I have found the documentation I needed to confirm that Joshua's son was my 2nd ggrandfather Job Green DAVIS, born 1799.  Job married Susan MONEY (1805-1873) in 1824 and they parented 8 children.  In later years, these DAVIS offspring spread from Florida to California and Washington.   

Job and Susan had Ahira "Jerome" DAVIS in 1843, the fifth of eight children.  After the family was complete, they migrated to Caledonia, Waupaca County, Wisconsin by covered wagon in 1855.   Susan's parents, Asahel and Lydia MONEY, and several of the Davis extended family members made the trip also.  Most of the DAVIS family remains in Waupaca Co. to this day.  

On a trip to Wisconsin two summers ago, with the help of my mother, brother, and nephew, we literally dug up Job and Susan's headstones in a farmer's flourishing cornfield.  The stones were buried intact, a few inches under the top soil, located under a overgrown tree grouping surrounded by old rusted farm machinery.  They both had died of black smallpox, and epidemic that traversed Waupaca Co. in the early 1870's.  For fear of contamination, they were not buried in the local cemetery and their house was burned to the ground.  The foundation of that home is still visible on that inhabited property.  Click for Job's marker and for Susan's marker.

After the start of the Civil War, Jerome age 18, brother Eugene 16, and brother-in-law, Silas BABCOCK 21, signed on with the all-volunteer Wisconsin 17th Infantry, Company I.  While home on a furlough, Jerome married Eunice DICKINSON.  After traveling all over the south by rail and on foot, fighting hand- to-hand combat, Jerome, then a sergeant, Eugene, and Silas returned to Wisconsin.  My great-grandfather Orson Jerome DAVIS was born in 1867, the third of three children.  Jerome later married Charlotte Roena BUTLER, a widow, and they had four children together.

Jerome and Charlotte Davis with sons Frank and Roy, circa 1907, New London, Wisconsin

 The house in 1907

The house in 2000

Orson married Stella A. KENT from a Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York family.  Stella and Orson engendered 6 children including my grandfather Walter Orson DAVIS born in 1891. Walter married Frances "Fannie" HENRY, the daughter of Philip HENRY and Lydia PETTIT of Jefferson County, NY and they also had six children.  Lydia, at the age of 48, died 10 days after giving birth to my grandmother Fannie, her 11th child.   

The DAVIS family, in addition to the families MONEY, DICKINSON, KENT, HENRY, PETTIT, and BUTLER all migrated from upstate New York.  Inexpensive, fertile farmland was being offered in the state of Wisconsin in a plea to settle and develop this wooded wilderness. This pre-railroad era found many people migrating from New York to the upper Midwest via steamships through the Great Lakes. The Davis family arriving by covered wagon settled and pioneered the New London area and has inhabited this Wisconsin community for the past 150 years.   New London, Wisconsin had been so named by the many early settlers whose families had established New London, Connecticut. 

This Welsh clan was re-generated on American soil firstly in Pennsylvania.  The pilgrimage continued to Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota where my brother Dale Walter DAVIS, son of Glenn George DAVIS and Nancy Mae ECKSTROM, was born.  Since William's birth in 1663 and immigration in 1684, the DAVIS family has come full circle by returning to New England with the birth of my nephew, Matthew Rooney DAVIS in Barre, Vermont.

Our American Colonial ancestors of the past 360 years, now into the 13th generation, have accomplished many things to make our lives as comfortable as they are today. There is so much more to learn about their journeys and tribulations.  My desire is to peer into the lives of these courageous people that sacrificed all and gave me life.


Click here for the Last Will and Testament of

David Rogers Davis, DeRuyter, Madison Co., NY 



Wisconsin Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Pardon Davis, imprisoned for assisting slaves in their escape to freedom.





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