Davidson, John

Male Bef 1744 - 1825  (> 80 years)

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  • Name Davidson, John  [1, 2
    Born Bef 24 Nov 1744  Augusta County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number 1382 
    Died 25 Apr 1825  Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I1382  Caswell County
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2016 

    Father Davidson, John,   b. Bef 1709, Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1749, Rowan County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 40 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Tucker, Jane,   b. Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married Abt 1727  Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reference Number 11536 
    • According to tradition, John Davidson (b. 1709) married a young widow named Mary Morrison whose beauty and charm had attracted him during the long voyage. She was born in Ireland of wealthy parents and had eloped with a devout young Protestant who succumbed to disease aboard the ship. One Morrison boy was born of this union who was raised by the Davidson family. During the Revolution that young man remained a Tory and family ties were strained. Source: The Heritage of Old Buncombe County, Volume I (1981), Doris Cline Ward, Editor (Published by the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society)(pages 189-190).

      However, several Davidson family researchers and descendants strongly disagree with this story and claim that her name was Jane, that she married John Davidson in Ireland, had children with him there, and moved with him to America. After John Davidson died c.1849, Jane Davidson married William Morrison and had one child. Source: Family History Research Center--The Davidson Family of Iredell County, North Carolina, John Bulmer Lisle (jbl@tqsi.com) and Carolyn Miethe Lisle (2000): http://www.tqsi.com/genealogy/ [last updated 6 February 2000, when accessed 12 February 2010].
    Family ID F783  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Living 
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2016 
    Family ID F813  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Living 
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2016 
    Family ID F814  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • John Davidson (c.1744-1825)

      Researchers are alerted to the confusion with respect to the John Davidson of this entry. Some historians claim that the John Davidson, who was the brother of Samuel Davidson (and of William Davidson, twin brother of Samuel Davidson) was killed by Indians during the early days of the Revolutionary War:

      ". . . . On September 25, 1913, some relatives of Samuel Davidson unveiled with ceremonies a monument at his grave erected by them to commemorate the first settler of the present Western North Carolina beyond the Blue Ridge. In the days which knew the beginning of the Revolution, July, 1776, John Davidson, brother of Samuel Davidson, was murdered with his wife and small daughter at their home in or near Old Fort by Cherokee Indians." Source: Sondley, F. A. My Ancestry. Asheville: The Inland Press, 1930. Print.

      However, others claim that John Davidson, brother of twins Samuel and William Davidson was nicknamed "One Eye" and lived to 1825 and died in Tennessee.

      Elizabeth and her sister Margaret and her brother John were all born while living there in Virginia. Elizabeth had been baptized April 19, 1741, by Rev. John Craig at Tinkling Spring. She was the first of John and Jane’s children to be born on American soil.

      Source: TennKin, Robert W. McLean (Bob@TennKin.com) (2010): http://www.tennkin.com/ [last updated 12 February 2010, when accessed 12 February 2010].

      Source: Family History Research Center--The Davidson Family of Iredell County, North Carolina, John Bulmer Lisle (jbl@tqsi.com) and Carolyn Miethe Lisle (2000): http://www.tqsi.com/genealogy/ [last updated 6 February 2000, when accessed 12 February 2010].

      Also note the conflicting birth information with respect to this John Davidson.

      Born Feb. 15, 1764 in Rowan Co., NC ... Enlisted 1781 in Burke Co., NC as a substitute for William McGonigal under Capt. Samuel Davidson and was stationed at Upper Fort on Catawba River. In 1781 he enlisted under Capt. Daniel Smith and was stationed above and at a Fort on Broad River and frequently went on scouting expeditions against the Cherokees, once marching to Watauga town on the Tennessee River. After the war he moved to Buncombe County, NC and in 1809 or 1810 moved to Bedford Co., TN where he was living in 1835. He married 1st Ruth Clement and 2nd Frances Bateman. Source: Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society.

      "One Eyed" John Davidson, eighth and youngest child of John Davison/Davidson and his wife Jane, was baptized at Tinkling Spring in Augusta/Rockbridge Co., VA on 24 Nov 1744 by the Rev. John Craig.

      On 7 May 1770, John married Ruth Clement who bore him seven children and who died in 1792 in Burke Co., NC. The year after Ruth died, John married Frances Bateman, who bore him one child.

      In 1777 Burke County was split off from Rowan, and its western boundary extended to the Appalachian mountains. John and Ruth were living there in 1778. At the close of the Revolutionary War, John received a grant of 5000 acres in Tennessee for his work in surveying lands for revolutionary soldiers. He had been a member of Ephraim McLean's surveying party.

      Tennessee became a state in 1796. John sold his lands in Burke County and went, with friends and relatives, to Maury County, Tennessee, where he registered his cattle mark 21 Dec 1807. Both he and Ephraim McLean were called for Jury duty in Maury County in March 1808.

      John died on 25 Apr 1825 at Columbia on Maury County, TN. He is buried in Ebenezer Churchyard (later called "Reeses") Churchyard.

      Will of John Davidson:

      I John Davidson of the County of Maury and state of Tennessee being advanced of aged and infirm but sound of mind and disposing memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and following

      First I wish my body to be buried at the discretion of my Executor, hereafter appointed. my worldly estate to be divided as follows, to wit, My Negro man Comdon I give and bequeath to him and his heirs forever to Ruth C. [Clements] Davidson daughter of my son Ephraim E. Davidson. I give a negro boy named Albert to her and her heirs forever. to Richard Whiteside son of my daughter Ruth Whiteside [Ruth Malinda Davidson, wife of Abram Whiteside] I give my Negro boy William to him and his heirs and assigns forever. to my beloved wife Francis [Frances Bateman] I Give and bequeath my Negroes Chilsy, a woman, Randall, a Negro boy, and a girl named Gady, which three Negroes I will to her and her heirs forever as her right and to be at her disposal. to John G. Davidson, son of my son Thomas Davidson [Thomas Irwin Davidson], Dec'd I give and bequeath a horse worth 80 dollars. to B. C. Davidson son of my son Thomas Davidson I give and bequeath a sorrel colt now claimed by him. all the ballance of my property I wish sold by my Executors and one third part of which I give and bequeath to my wife to her proper use and behoof forever.

      I further wish my Executors to pay over a legacy by me bequeathed to my Children, Grandchildren, and other legal heirs if any not named in this one dollar as a full distributive share of my Estate. I do further nominate and appoint my son John O. Davidson [John Osimus Davidson] and my son-in-law Paris F. Dooley [husband of Cynthia Eliza Davidson] Executors to this my last will and testament. And having full confidence in their integrity and honesty no Security is required of them as such, and lest a misunderstanding should take place as to the ballance of my Estate in the hands of my Executors, my will is that after the legacies named in this will is paid the ballance after paying all my just debts are paid I wish divided equally between the heirs of Thomas Davidson in right of their father, Andrew Neely and Jane [Jane (Jennie) Davidson] his wife, Ephraim E. Davidson, John O. Davidson, Paris F. Dooley and Cynthia his wife share and share alike. I do by this my last will and testament disannul and make void all former wills by me declaring this alone to be my last will and testament.

      In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 15th day of June, 1824.

      Signed, sealed and disclosed in presence of

      Joseph B. Porter, Jurat
      John Mathews, Jurat

      John Davidson

      (Porter was Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. Mathews, was a close friend who had witnessed a number of John's legal transactions and had bought two parcels of land from him. Both were members of Ebenezer.)

      It has been noted that John had previously given land to his children as follows: 466 acres to Abram Whitesides when he married Ruth Malinda Davidson; 900 acres to Ephraim Edward Davidson; 800 acres to John Osimus Davidson, plus 200 more to be administered for his step-mother; 400 to Paris Dooley, plus slaves for Cynthia; 120 acres to John Martin, son of his daughter Mary, who was probably dead, since she is not named in the will.

      Source: Family History Research Center--The Davidson Family of Iredell County, North Carolina, John Bulmer Lisle (jbl@tqsi.com) and Carolyn Miethe Lisle (2000): http://www.tqsi.com/genealogy/ [last updated 6 February 2000, when accessed 12 February 2010].

      Irdele Co., N.C. Sept. 20, 1840

      Dear Cousin:

      Since my return I have seen the letter you wrote to Father, making inquiries about the family of Davidsons, and he has attempted in some degree to answer them. The oldest members of the family who came to this country were John and George Davidson. George married a widow Simmeral and was the father of General Wm. Davidson, killed in Revolution, and another son who died a young man before that time.

      John was the father of Grandfather George D., and also 4 other sons, viz: Thomas who lived and died near Charleston, S.C. - William and Samuel (twins) both lived and died in Buncombe (the latter was killed by Indians -- the first was father of Col. Samuel Davidson who now lives in Buncombe on the same plantation) -- the 4th brother was the one-eyed John D. who lived in Murry Co. Tenn -- and a half brother, William Morrison, whose family went to Kentucky.

      Great G. Father John had three daughters, Rachel and Peggy who married John and David Alexander, some of whose descendents are now living in Buncombe and Tennessee -- and Betty who married Ephraim McLean, and lived in Kentucky.

      G. G. Father and mother Reece died about 1800, the former, who first name was William, aged 100, the latter, name was Penelope Groner, aged 75. Grandfather George Davidson was born in 1728, died in 1814; Grandmother born in 1731, died 1814.

      Our family emigrated from Rockbridge, Virginia about 1748. G.G. father died about 2 years after. and was buried on his plantation.

      There are some of the particulars about which you wished to be informed and I expect are mostly correct. I hope they will meet your wishes and enable you to effect your purpose.

      We are all well at present time, tho Father has recently had a dangerous spell of sickness.

      There is little news here. I should be gratified to hear from you. Father sends his best wishes, etc.

      Yours etc.

      Geo. F. Davidson

      Source: T. P. Davidson, Memphis, Tenn (Copied July 3 1896)

      Welcome to Davidson's Fort Historic Park

      By the mid 1700's, European settlers had come into the Catawba Valley. In 1763, the British made a treaty with the Cherokee Nation agreeing that Europeans would not settle west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nonetheless, in the early to mid 1770's several settler families -- among them the brothers John, Samuel, William and George Davidson -- took up land in what is now McDowell County, including the present site of Old Fort.

      The summer of 1776 saw in increase in Cherokee violence against settlers, and as a result, a small fort was constructed on land acquired by the Davidsons at the headwaters of the Catawba River. Built by North Carolina militia soldiers, it was called Davidson's Fort and was continually garrisoned by militia troops for the protection of North Carolina's far-western settlements. Davidson's Fort was the final departure point for some 2,700 militia troops led by General Griffith Rutherford as they began a campaign into Cherokee territory in the fall of 1776.

      Walk in the Footsteps of our Colonial Ancestors . . .

      It is 1776, and for the next 20 years, you stand at the westernmost outpost of present day North Carolina -- and just over the hill, the Cherokee have sided with the British. You live close to the fort built by the North Carolina Militia because the Cherokee stage raids on you and your neighbors. Stand and watch 2,700 militiamen led by General Griffith Rutherford bivouac around Davidson's Fort before they set out and march up the valley along the Catawba River and the Catawba Falls to attack the Cherokee Nation.

      Through interpretive re-enactors and various demonstrations of Colonial life and activities, we help history come alive for visitors to Davidson's Fort.

      Please Join Us!

      The building of a replica of Davidson's Fort has been underway since 2004, begun by a small yet dedicated group of visionaries. Development of the Fort is ongoing, and we have big plans to make your future visit even more educational and enjoyable. The Fort provides educational opportunities for schools and other groups. You can help preserve and breathe new life into our history by contributing to Davidson's Fort Historic Park, a non-profit organization. We invite you to become a patron or sponsor today.

      Spring & Fall Muster

      Revolutionary war re-enactors gather her annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the 3rd Saturday in May. See our web site for details on these and other special events.

      We appreciate your support -- enjoy your visit!

      Visit our web site for more historical information, and learn how you can help us!


  • Sources 
    1. Details: N.C. Genealogy-McDowell (Pack Memorial Library, Asheville, North Carolina).

    2. Citation Text: North Carolina Through Four Centuries, William S. Powell (1989) at 239.