Davis family settled in Damascus area of Coffee County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2013

Other Davis family lines from Covington County have been presented in this column at earlier dates. The one being featured today settled primarily in Coffee County, but there were descendants who moved into Covington County.

The earliest ancestor identified for this family was John Davis who was the one who brought this family to the United States. John was born in 1730 in Ayrshire, Scotland, and was married in 1756 in Scotland, according to one record, to Janet Allen. The date of their arrival was not found, but records show their son, Sampson Davis, Sr., was born in 1755 in Edgecombe County, N.C. John died in 1789 in Braden County, N.C. There is an obvious error in one of these dates.

Sampson Davis, Sr., according to some records, was married twice, but no information was found regarding a first wife. Other data suggest he was married second to Ruth Bryan(t) (1772-1863) in 1815. Sampson Sr. had served as a Revolutionary soldier in a company commanded by Captains William Ellis and William Handon. Records indicate he rendered two periods of service. After his death in 1840, his widow was able to prove their marriage with the assistance of neighbors who knew the couple.

Two sons have been identified for Sampson Sr. who appears to have been by his first wife. The younger of these, Sampson Davis, Jr., was born in 1782. He was married to Rebecca Hester (ca 1790-1855), daughter of John and Comfort Hester. They reared the following children: John, Hannah, Everit, David, William, Ephraim P., Eliza, Anna, and Malsey. Sampson Jr. is reported to have moved to Highland Home, Ala., with his son, Sampson Davis, Jr., before his death in 1840.

The older son, William Davis, was born in 1775 in Bladen County, N.C. He was married in 1799 in North Carolina to Margaret Wise (1780-1850), daughter of John and Margaret (Manning) Wise. John was a native of England, and Margaret was born in North Carolina. By 1880, the family was residing in Lowndes County, Ala., after migrating to the South sometime earlier. William lived out his life there and died in 1849.

William and Margaret reared the following children: Thomas, b. ca 1800, d. ca 1883, m. (1) Hollen Harrell (2) 1824 Rebecca Foster (3) Ruth ?; Isaac Levi “Cap.” B. 1802, d. 1870, m. Lucy Molsie Bedsole (1806-1891); Sarah “Sallie,” b. 1807, m. Jessie F. Davis; Maria Margarette or Margaret Mariah, b. 1810, d. 1842, m. Henry Bedsole; and Nancy, b. 1812, m. Hardy Royal.

The second son, Isaac Levi “Cap” Davis, apparently moved to Lowndes County, Ala., with his father and other members of the family. He later moved his family to Coffee County where he was a miller on Sandy, Morris Mill or Thomas Mill Creek. Since his father died in 1840, in the 1850 federal census, his mother, Margaret Davis, was residing in his household.

Isaac Levi and his wife, Lucy Molsie Bedsole (1806-1891) reared the following 12 children Susan, b. 1824, d. 1919, m. James Junious Churchwell; Mary M. “Mollie,” b. 1825, d. 1919, m. Herrin Wise, Jr. (1824-1883); Margaret Catherine “Peggy,” b. 1827, d. 1901, m. Andrew Jackson Bullard; English, b. 1828; Martha Molsie Jane, b. 1830, d. 1880, m. George Washington Wise; Sampson III, b. 1832, d. 1865 (killed during W.B.T.S.), m. Esther Mariah Bullard; Charlotte “Lottie,” b. 1835, d. 1914, m. James Wilke English (1835-1918); Rebecca, b. 1835, d. 1917, m. James McKinney Wise, Jr.; Catherine “Katie,” b. 1838, d. 1901, m. Green L. Blair; Isaac Levi Jr., b. 1840, d. 1911, m. 1860 Frances F. “Fanny” English (1840-1920); William T., b. 1842, d. when killed during war, m. Margaret ?; Eliza, b. 1844, d. 1908; and Lucy Ann, b. 1849, single.

The second daughter, Mary M. “Mollie” Davis, and her husband, Herrin Wise, Jr., reared the following children: William B., b. 1848, d. 1910, m. Sarah Melissa Cody; Isaac Franklin, b. 1854, d. 1857; Joseph Washington, b. 1860, d. 1932, m. Laura Eleanor Yelverton; and Mary “Mollie,” b. 1863, d. 1936, m. (1) William F. McDonald Rushing.

Another daughter, Martha Molsie Jane Davis, and her husband, George Washington Wise, reared the following children: James Travis, b. 1850; James J., b. 1853; Andrew Jackson, b. 1854; and William Buchanan, b. 1869, m. Tinnie D. ?.

The next daughter, Charlotte “Lottie” Davis, and her husband, James Wilke English, reared the following children: Mary Frances, b. 1855, d. 1898, m. Franklin Pierce Tucker; John Jefferson “Johnny,” b. 1859, d. 1934, m. Hannah Rebecca Jeanne “Jennie” Young (1860-1951); Margaret, b. 1862, d. 1905, m. (1) Allen P. Bullard (2) Tom J. Reynolds; Eliza A. “Liza,” b. 1867, d. 1930, m. Wilmer Green “Willie” Young (1856-1944); William Isaac General Lee Rhodes, b. 1869, d. 1943, m. Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie” Farris; and Sarah Elizabeth “Lizzie,” b. 1872, d. 1952, m. Reed Wheedon Byrd (1869-1958.

The daughter, Rebecca Davis, and her husband, James McKinney Wise, Jr., had the following children: Lucy Catherine, b. 1854, d. 1933, m. William B. Bledsole; Mary Matilda, b. 1856, m. Willis Caraway; Sara F., b. 1858, d. 1913, m. Joe M. Davis; and Martha Jane, b. 1861, d. 1936, m. Hiram B. Adkinson.

The daughter, Catherine “Katie” Davis, and her husband, Green L. Blair, reared one son, Green L. Blair.

The son, Levi Isaac Davis, served in the Confederate Army along with his brothers, Sampson III and William T. Davis, who died in conflict. Levi Isaac rendered service as a private in Company K, 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He enlisted on September 2, 1862, at Camp Watts and was discharged on July 1, 1864, after having been wounded at Chancellorsville.

Levi Isaac and his wife, Mary Frances “Fanny” English, reared the following children: Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie,” b. 1862, d. 1935, m. (1) Joe Messer (2) Carl Phillips; John Isaac, b. 1864, d. 1945, m. Margaret McCall; Lizzie, b. 1865; James Francis Marion, b. 1867, d. 1940, m. (1) Fannie Money (2) Elizabeth Arnettie Josephine Melvin; William Sampson, b. 1868, d. 1926, m. Cassie Camille Freeman; Leroy Green, b. 1870, d. 1959, m. Ava Cora Wilson; Lucy Melvina “Viny,” m. Charlie B. Powell; Susan C., b. 1875, d. 1940, m. Robert F. Coleman; John Joseph “Joe,” b. 1878, d. 1948, m. Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Revels; Margaret, b. 1880, d. 1905, single; Thomas Jefferson “Johnny,” b. 1883, d. 1962, m. Irene Jones; and Lizzira, b. 1877..

Many of the Davis families resided in the Damascus or Sand Hill communities of Coffee County. Many have been buried in the Old Bethlehem Cemetery. One descendant who resided in Andalusia was Imogene (Davis) Stokes, granddaughter of Leroy Green Davis and daughter of Johnny B. Homer Davis. She taught fourth grade at Church Street Elementary School for a number of years and is the widow of M.V. Stokes, Jr. She shared her family records for this writing, which included a Davis Family Descendancy Chart prepared by Linda English Holland. The data for the early generations were found at Ancestry.com.

Anyone who might have a correction to any of the above information is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.