Biography & Descendants of Phineas Davidson Return
Biography & Descendants of

Phineas Davidson

"Family History of the Davidson Family
by Darius Davidson"

In the early part of the seventeenth Century 3 brothers, young men, the name of Davidson, came from Scotland to America to find a home and settled in Maryland.

The name of one of them was Fineas. He married and raised a family, one of whom was named William, who became your great-grandfather and it is of him this story principally retales.

He joined the Revolutionary Army at the age of 18 years and served until the end of the war. He afterwards married Mary Coil and moved to Hickory in Western Pa. Their family consisted of 2 children, Elizabeth and Samuel. Both born in Hickory. Samuel was your grandfather.

While living at Hickory, Mary, your great-grandmother put a piece of meat on to boil for dinner and then went on an errand to a neighbors house, talked too long--a thing women seldom do, and when she returned their house was in flames and their goods were all consumed and with them his discharge from the Army. This they regretted more than anything else.

Soon after this, he and two other men (Hammond & Wells) came to Jefferson Co., Ohio, and entered a section of land near what is now East Springfield at $1.25 per acre. At that time land could not be entered in less than sections. When they divided the land, Hammond took a strip, one-third of the section off the East side. Your great-grandfather and Mr. Wells, divided the remainder by a line running east and west and Davidson took the Southwest corner, as it was considered the best land, he got only 200 acres. He afterwards said he took that to get the famous Spring we all know so well. He hired a man to clear 10 acres for which he paid him $1.00 per acre.

In 1804, he moved to Ohio, when your Grandfather was 8 years old.

Your Grandfather was a large and very strong man. At raisings and log rollings, he could lift more than any other man in the crowd. It is said his teeth were all molars or double teeth, he could easily crack a black walnut or peach stone with his teeth, and could lay a row of hazel-nuts clear around his teeth, and crush them all with one crunch. He never had a decayed tooth in his head nor toothbrush in his mouth.

One day while in the woods, now a field, he saw a little black walnut bush growing, bent-over in the form of a bow. At the beginning of the bend, a thrifty limb was growing up straight, so he took his knife and cut the main stem off and left the branch to form the top of the tree. If the tree is still standing, you can see a bulge on the hole where he cut the stem off. Years afterward, he said he wished to be buried beneath the branches of that tree and it was so done.

The Government appointed him commander of a squad of men in the block house which stood near where the town of Wellsville now stands, for the Indians were not an entirely "unknown quantity" in those days.

He was also Justice of the Peace for 20 years, but very few law suits were held before him. He would get the parties to meet at his office and would often persuade them to settle their difficulties.

Was a very religious man. Was a Methodist from his youth. For many years he was class-leader and his house was a preaching place and home for the early Methodist preachers. On(c)e he had difficulty with a church member by the name of Lish McGuire who he charged with stealing some of his grain sacks. This McGuire denied and had him arraigned before the Quarterly Conference. Grandfather failed to prove the charge and was ordered to confess that he had done wrong, this he refused to do, for he said he knew he was right, so he was expelled and died outside the church he loved so well rather than confess he had lied. Years afterward McGuire confessed he was guilty.

Your Great-Grandfather was a mighty man in prayer all his life. A few days before he died, he sat on the side of his bed and offered one of the most wonderful prayers the household ever heard. He was born in 1757 and died July 24th 1831 of dropsy of the chest, when the writer of this history was one year and four days old.

Your Great-Grandmother lived 17 years after her husband's death, was thrown from a horse which dislocated her hip and she had to walk with crutches ever afterwards. Later she had her leg broken between he knee and ankle in the same way. She died in 1848.

Your maternal Great-grandfather, Alexander Morrison was born in Penna. of Irish ancestry and married Catherine Rickey, moved to Ohio, raised a family of 12 children (5 boys 7 girls) they all grew to maturity and married.

Your great grandfather, Samuel Davidson married Matilda Morrison, Alexander's eldest daughter in 1822. He was a man of sterling worth. He died in the year 1874 at the age of 78. Your paternal grandmother was born in Bald Eagle Valley, Penna., 1799 died 1876. She was a good woman.

The remainder of this history was contributed by Frank S. Davidson. He says years ago he stopped at the town called Reedsville in Penna. stayed at the Morrison Hotel. As soon as he saw the landlord, Ephraim Morrison he knew he was of the same stock for the was the "dead image" of old Uncle Henry Morrison who died in Steubenville many years ago.

This Ephraim Morrison is probably a son of your great-great Uncle Joseph Morrison for he had a son Ephraim who was in the hotel business. Reedsville is in Bald Eagle Valley. He knows all about the Morrisons and Montgomeries for generations back. He brought out an old Bible. It gave the dates of your great-great grandmother's marriage. Her name was Hannah Montgomery and was a direct descendant of Richard Montgomery who fell at the Battle of Quebec. She was probably great-grand father Alexander Morrison's great-great grandmother.

Further about the Davidsons he writes "years ago when I landed from a steam boat at Vanceberg, Ky, a man on the bank stepped up to me and called me by my name and told he his own. It was Geo. Davidson. Told me my father's name & occupation. Told me who was my grandfather and great grandfather. Took me home with him and entertained me all night. He had the correct genealogy of the family.

When Geo. Washington was a young man, a surveyor, under Lord Fairfax, Gov. Dinwiddie of Va. asked him to make a trip thru the wilderness to Ft. DuQuesne (now Pittsburgh) he consented if he be allowed to take a man of his own choosing with him. And he chose John Davidson, who afterward became one of Washington's staff. All these things the old Kentuckian had at the end of his tongue, and had the correct relationships. They are undoubtedly descendants of the three brothers who emigrated from Scotland in the early years of the 18th Century." Frank writes that there is a bronze statue of Col. Geo. Davidson standing in front of the Opera House in Spartanburg, S.C. and a celebrated Davidson College in N.C. and a Davidson County in Tenn.

The blockhouse and several other items of this history were given by Tertulus Davidson living near Jacksonville, Fla. This history was written by Darius Davidson of Canton, Ohio May 1919.

NOTE: A photo copy of this handwritten family history was mailed to Larry and Kay Davidson on July 30, 1999 by Joan Moxley of New York. She is the great granddaughter of Bunyan and Dora Jean (Glover) Davidson. Bunyan is the son of Samuel and Matilda (Morrison) Davidson of East Springfield, OH.

Larry Davidson is the great grandson of Cicero Davidson. Cicero is the son of Samuel and Matilda (Morrison) Davidson.

Darius Davidson is a brother to Cicero and Bunyan, son of Samuel and Matilda (Morrison) Davidson.

William is the father of Samuel and son of Phineas Davidson, who was one of three brothers who emigrated from Scotland to America and found a home in Maryland.

"The Davidson Family History" 
Poem  by Jessie Davidson 1919

To my mind come scores of pictures,
Vague, uncertain, not to last
They reveal in many cases
Glimpses of our family's past.
And I sit and ponder o'er them,
Often as the daylight dies,
Tho but halting is the rhyme.
Some are quaint and full of fancy,
Some to merriment give rise.
Some, no doubt, are changes in color
By perspective given by time,
I shall try to paint them truly,

First the shores of far off Scotland,
With its heather covered braes,
Whence four brothers started westward
To the new  world and its ways.
Reached the shining shores of Freedom,
Settled 'neath her starry dome,
And beneath her flag's protection,
Started each to make a home.

Only one our history touches
Phineas was he by name,
And to Maryland's fair borders
Looking for a home he came.
Of his family knew we little,
Doubtless many children came
For to bless his home and fireside,
But we only know the name

Of one son, and that was William,
Our Great grandfather was he,
And tis he and his descendents 
That make up our family tree.

At eighteen his country called him,
In her struggle to be free
From the hated foe and tyrant
Ruling from beyond the sea.
He, his musket bravely seizing,
Followed on at duty's call,
And he came back from the conflict
Bringing the old cannon ball.

Which for years has been a souvenir,
Where 'tis now I cannot tell,
But whoever of you has it
Prize it highly, guard it well.

After William came from battle,
Soon he married Mary Coil,
Moved to Western Pennsylvania,
And together they did toil.
On the frontier built their cabin,
There were born their children two,
Betsy and a boy named Samuel,
Grandfather of me and you.

Just one picture of their trials
Finds its way down through the years,
Tho no doubt they had their portion
Of life's joys and hopes and fears.

'T was like this: Great Grandma Mary
Put a piece of meat to cook
Thus providing for the dinner,
Then her morning way she took.
Through the forest to a neighbor
On some needful errand bent,
And while talking (Woman's failing)
Heeded not the time she'd spent.

But alas! The pot boiled over,
Grease took, the flames consume
All the scanty store and clothing
And the little cabin room.
Worst of all Great Grand Dad's paper,
Bearing proof of his release
From the Continental Army,
When the country gained her peace.

Thus was burned our hopes of riches,
Which with great regret I mention,
For because the pot boiled over,
We've no grounds to claim a pension.
With his home a smoking ruin
Great Grandfather planned to go
Farther west, and with two neighbors
Turned his face to Ohio.

This it was he, Wells and Hammond,
Trod old Jefferson County's lands.
Entering in it a section
Near where East Springfield now stands.

Then the section they divided,
Hammond from east side took a third,
Wells and Davidson dividing
East and west without a word.
Thus he got the southwest acres,
Just two hundred in the ring,
For they were the richest portion,
And he chose them for the spring.
Whose cold waters so abundant
From its rocky confines burst,
Where, no doubt, the passing red man
Often stopped to quench his thirst.
That old spring thru generations
Has flowed steady, clear and pure,
Photo-type of things Eternal,
Which forever shall endure.

It is said that our Great Grandfather
Was a man of mighty frame,
Who in strength excelled all others,
When they to the raisings came.
Once a great log to be lifted
Put each strong man to the test,
He alone with ease could do it
Standing out from all the rest.

All his teeth were large and double,
Strong and white, without a flaw,
And a row of hazel nuts he
Cracked with one move of his jaw.
While he scorned to use a hammer
For a walnut or a peach stone,
When he wished to get the kernel
Cracked them with his teeth alone.

Best of all he was a good man,
Great in faith and strong in prayer,
Old time Methodist Class Leader, 
Known and honored every where.

Opened up his house to strangers,
Bade the Circuit-Rider enter,
And for all the country round him
Made his home a preaching center.

Once he had a disagreement
With a neighbor Lish McGuire,
Granddad said he stole his grain sacks,
Lish denied the charge with fire.
And arraigned our Great Grandfather
When the Quarterly Conference met,
For, you see, these men were brethren,
Tho against each other set.
Our ancestors couldn't prove it,
And was ordered to confess
He had sinned in bringing charges,
And to beg for forgiveness.

This he steadfastly refused,
For he knew that he was right,
So he died out of the church
He had loved with all his might.
The Sequel proved his innocence
For McGuire confessed the theft,
So his name was vindicated,
Which means much to us who're left,

His wife Mary, our great grandma,
Was made a cripple, so they say,
By a horse that reared and threw her
As she rode on the highway.
With broken hip she used crutch and cane
For she was both large and tall,
Still she rode to see Aunt Betsey,
Mounting from the steps to the Old Hall.
Carried her crutch under her arm,
Hung her cane to her saddle horn,
It was octagon and heavy,
If to us this seems forlorn------

'Tis because we're used to "flivvers"
When on our way forth we fare,
She, no doubt, was just as happy
Riding on her big bay mare.

But alas!  'twas once too often
That she rode thus, unattended,
For again her "Old Fly" threw her,
And her riding days were ended.
In the ditch out by the school house,
Grandpa found her all alone,
On the sled he bore her homeward,
With another broken bone.
This time twixt her knee and ankle,
Much she suffered from the shock,
While she lay the long hours counting
Ticked off by the old tall clock.

That old clock is now a treasure 
Which she gave her fourth grandson,
And it still keeps time correctly,
Tho near eighty years it's run.

The break healed, and great grandmother
Walked about her big old room,
In the east end of the farmhouse,
But she never touched her loom.

Does it seem too long I've lingered,
And this scene over-portrayed?
'Tis because it shows the fiber
Of which great grandma was made.
And I'm sure no great grand daughter
In her courage could out do her,
'Tis to jolt our self complaisance,
That I thus compare us to her.

Her son Samuel, our grandfather
When he grew to man's estate,
Following time honored custom,
Looked about him for a mate.
Went a few miles to the eastward
Where his wooing was begun,
Chose Matilda, eldest daughter 
Of the house of Morrison.

After wedding ceremony
Horseback to the farm they came,
Same old farm, now owned by Edson,
May it always keep the name.

In the old house of logs builded
They their housekeeping begun,
Here was born our uncle William,
Also Cyrus, second son.

Then grandfather built the brick house,
Where some of you first saw the light,
And in which we lived one winter,
In the big room to the right.
On the farm the bricks were molded
Stacked and burnt down by the road,
Soon the house rose tall and stately,
And was thought a fine abode.
'Tis a story oft repeated,
So I'm sure it must be true,
How small William one brick carried
Till he wore his apron through.

Our grandfather, tall and stalwart,
Was a good and honest man,
Much respected by his neighbors,
Tho he oft bare footed ran.
Loved the dogs that chased the rabbits,
Kept a pack about him ever,
Rode and hunted as a pasttime,
But neglected his farm never.

So his years ran on in comfort,
In the bounds of his estate,
While his faith was strong and simple,
And he died at seventy-eight.

Of our grandmother, Matilda,
Now a word I wish to tell,
For I'm sure the oldest of us
Were too young to know her well.
Very fair and small and dainty,
Auburn haired was she and slight,
Cook unequalled, earnest Christian,
Always standing for the right.

As we've said, she and grandfather
Lived long years in the old brick,
Raised a strong and sturdy family,
Seldom any of them sick.

Five strong sons and two fair daughters
Grew up neath the old roof tree,
And by two of them quite often,
Have these tales been told to me.

Their names were chosen mostly
From the histories granddad read,
William, named for his grandfather,
Cyrus who the Persians led.
While Tertullas from scriptures,
Orator confronting Paul,
For John Bunyon, the great writer,
Named a boy both frail and small.
King Darius, Medo-Persian,
Was a monarch brave, but then
Spoiled his record when he ordered
Daniel to the Lion's den.
Cicero, was an old time Roman
Statesman, orator of fame,
To the youngest boy was given this 
His euphonious odd name.
Fair Thermutis was the Princess
Who beside the River Nile
Walked at evening with her maidens,
When they found the Hebrew Child.
And our Aunt was christened for her,
But she died at three years old,
Soon the little brother followed,
Brief their lives their tale soon told.
Celia Anthus, flower of heaven,
Name suggested by a preacher.
For our last and youngest auntie,
Then a very little creature.
Mandane was a Persian matron,
So the histories record,
Mother of good King Cyrus,
Once a great and ruling lord.
But to us the name is nearer
Then its origin would tell,
For she was our dear old "Auntie"
And she loved us all so well.

So the seven grew together,
Bore their names as best they could,
And we who are their descendents,
Honor them and call them good.
Now the history has descended,
To nineteen eighteen, our day,
Nothing very strange or startling
Just a common place array.
Of the doings to generations
Of the Davidsons here given
And when our lives, too, are ended.
Please God, we'll all meet in heaven.

Descendants of Phineas Davidson
1 Phineas Davidson +Mrs. Phineas Davidson ..2 Elizabeth Davidson ..2 William Davidson b: Abt. 1758 in ? d: July 04, 1831 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio ......+Mary Coyle d: in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio ......3 Elizabeth B. Davidson b: in Washington County, Washington City, Pennsylvania d: 1872 in Palermo, Carroll County, Ohio ..........+John Scott b: 1778 in Ireland d: April 10, 1864 in Palermo, Carroll County, Ohio m: 1802 Father: Charles Scott ..........4 Nancy Scott b: 1807 in Jefferson County, Ohio d: 1875 in Jefferson County, Ohio .............. +Isaac Skeels b: 1799 d: 1879 m: May 13, 1829 in Jefferson County, Ohio ..........4 Mary (Polly) Scott b: January 14, 1809 in Jefferson County, Ohio d: November 30, 1844 in Jefferson County, Ohio .............. +John Jackman b: January 19, 1808 in Jefferson County, Ohio d: March 19, 1888 in Jefferson County, Ohio m: October 04, 1838 in Jefferson County, Ohio ......3 Samuel Davidson b: December 27, 1796 in Pennsylvania d: January 30, 1874 in East Springfield, Jefferson County, Ohio .......... +Matilda Morrison b: July 07, 1799 in Bald Eagle, Centre Co. PA d: February 15, 1876 in East Springfield, Jefferson County, Ohio m: December 12, 1822 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio Father: Alexander Morrison Mother: Catherine Rickey ..........4 William Alexander Davidson .............. +Lydia .......... *2nd Wife of William Alexander Davidson: .............. +Margaret Arnold .........4 Cyrus Davidson b: Abt. 1825 in Springfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio d: February 28, 1885 in Springfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio ..............+Anna Fast b: Abt. 1827 d: February 25, 1885 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio m: February 01, 1849 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio ..........4 Tertulas Davidson b: 1828 in East Springfield, Jefferson, Ohio ..............+Viola (Violana) S. Van Dozer b: Abt. 1838 ..........4 Darius Davidson b: July 20, 1830 in Springfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio ..............+Margaret Arnold b: Abt. 1838 m: June 26, 1857 in Jefferson County, Ohio Father: Moses Arnold Mother: Nancy ..........4 Mandane Davidson b: 1833 d: 1918 in Springfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio ..........4 Margaret Davidson b: 1836 in East Springfield, Jefferson, Ohio ..........4 James Walter Davidson b: 1836 in East Springfield, Jefferson, Ohio ..........4 Celia Anthus Davidson b: 1841 in Springfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. ..............+Sutton ..........4 Cicero L. Davidson b: February 27, 1842 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio d: May 04, 1913 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio ..............+Mary Ann O'Connell b: 1842 in New York d: September 09, 1914 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio m: December 31, 1867 in Jefferson County, East Springfield, Ohio Father: Charles O'Connell Mother: Bridget ..........4 Ellen Davidson b: Abt. 1849 ..........4 Bunyan Owen Davidson b: in East Springfield, Jefferson, Ohio d: in Oakland, California ..............+Dora Jean Glover b: 1858 in Hutchinson, Kansas d: October 11, 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri. m. abt 1878 in Kansas City, Kansas ..........4 Thermutis Davidson Submitted by Larry Davidson, descendant of Cicero Davidson> David W. Davidson> Hugh James Davidson
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