McDavid descendants arrived on horseback in early 1800s

Published 1:19 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

Today’s writing resulted from a search for information related to the McDavid family that resided in Andalusia during the first quarter of the 1900s.

A local citizen was seeking additional information on this family, which was prominent during this period of time.

The earliest ancestor identified from is James (I. ?) McDavid, but according to a story by Lydia Grimes in the January 11, 2006 issue of the Brewton Standard, it was John Mattison McDavid. John was born in 1712 in Cub Run Creek, Va. and died in 1782 in Greenville, S.C.

The wife, Mary Anna “Annie” Allen, was born in 1720 in Antrim, Ireland, and she lived until her death in 1784 in Greenville, S.C.

John and Annie McDavid had a son named John Allen McDavid who was born in 1774 in Greenville, S.C.

John Allen was married to Nancy Clement Acker (1781-1846), daughter of Peter G. Acker Sr. (1730-1815) and Jane (Sutherland (1752-1825).

Peter Acker’s ancestor was an early German immigrant.

At their deaths, Peter and Jane were buried in the Acker Family cemetery located in Anderson, S.C.

John Allen McDavid is the ancestor who moved his family from Greenville, S.C., to South Alabama and later to Northwest Florida.

He and Nancy had a son, Richmond Terrell McDavid, who was born in 1805 in Greenville and died in 1871 in Santa Rosa County, Fla.

Richmond was only a young boy when the migration south was made on horseback.

It is told that he was strapped on a horse between two feather mattresses for protection during the long ride.

The family chose to settle first in Clarke County, Ala. A few years later, circa 1816, they moved to Escambia County, Fla.

John Allen built a house next to a stream that is now called Paxton Creek.

He began milling operations there with a small hand mill and did some farming and stock raising.

In 1822, they moved on to Walton County, Fla., and settled near a lake, which became known as McDavid’s Lake.

Even today there is a small town known as McDavid in Northwest Florida, which must have been named for this family.

For some unknown reason, folks began to change the name of McDavid to McDade, so for a time the lake was called McDade’s Pond or Lake.

There are also records suggesting that General Andrew Jackson camped beside the lake on his way to New Orleans, so the name of Lake Jackson became the dominant one.

The McDavid family moved on to Santa Rosa County circa 1837.

Richard Terrell McDavid was married in 1827 to Sarah McCaskill (1781-1846), daughter of Finley McCaskill and Margaret ?.

They reared the following 10 children: Joel Alexander, b. 1830, d. 1907, m. Sabra “Sabrey” Lanier Williams (1833-1919); Margaret A., b. 1833, d. 1924, m. Wiley James Williams; James Exum, b. 1835, d. 1907, m. (1) Margaret Cameron (2) Mary Ann Cameron; Richard Terrell Jr., b. 1837, d. 1874; John Allen, b. 1839, d. 1905; David A., b. 1842, d. 1910; Henry clay, b. 1845, d. 1933; Daniel F., b. 1848, d. 1909; Mary Elizabeth, b. 1848, d. 1880; and William C., b. 1850, d. 1925.

The oldest son, Joel Alexander McDavid, who was born in 1830, was married in 1852 to Sabra Lanier Williams, daughter of William Larkin Williams and Margaret McMillan.

They began their family and lived in the Coon Hill community located near Jay, Fla.

Then the War for Southern Independence came and interrupted their family life.

Joel enlisted in August 1862 at Cavalry Camp, Fla., at the age of 31. He was assigned to Company B, 3rd Florida Cavalry Battalion and served throughout the war.

After the war ended, he returned home and continued rearing his family.

He died in 1907 in either Santa Rosa or Escambia County, Fla., and was buried in the Coon Hill Cemetery.

Sabra died in 1919 and was buried beside her husband.

Joel A. and Sabra McDavid reared the following children: Albert, b. 1852, m. Anna McArthur; Margaret, b. 1853, d. 1937, m. James H. Diamond (1848-1923); S. Clementine, b. 1855, d. 1874; William Albert, b. 1858, d. 1945 (This is questionable since the first child listed was named Albert.); Richmond Beauregard, b. 1860, d. 1940, m. Laura A. Feagin (1866-1954); Mamie, b. 1865, d. 1933, (Could this be Mary E. who is listed in some censuses?); Ida Sabra J., b. 1867, d. 1956, m. Edward Leroy McDaniel; Rebecca Fannie, b. 1868, m. Joseph F. Harrison; Alma Allie, b. 1874, m. Phillip Golay Caro; Wiley J., b. 1875, m. Maud Duncan; and Walter D., b. 1879, m. Elizabeth Williamson.

The oldest daughter, Margaret, was married to James H. Diamond, who was a veteran of the War for Southern Independence.

He served in the Confederate Army as a member of the Florida Home Guards.

This family resided in Santa Rosa, Fla., and had the following 10 children: James, b.&d. 1872; Cora A., b.&d. 1874; Lilly, b. 1875; Mary, b. 1877; Joel Leroy, b. 1879, d. 1943; Fannie A., b. 1881, d. 1932; Ida Dell, b. 1883, d. 1961; Nora Bessie, b. 1886, d. 1969; Mary Margaret, b. 1887, d. 1952; and Marion Chipley, b. 1889, d. 1976.

The second oldest son, Richmond Beauregard McDavid, was born and reared in Santa Rosa County, Fla. Circa 1908, he came to the Opp area to become bookkeeper of the Miller-Brent Lumber Company for which he had earlier been secretary to the firm. He later moved to Brewton, Escambia County, Ala., where he was living until June 1915 when he moved to Andalusia.

He became associated with the Andalusia Grocery Company, which was located on South Three Notch and Central Streets.

He and his family lived in a house in the second block and on the north side of Church Street.

It was located next to an earlier bottling company and the Christian or church of Christ.

Richmond was married to Laura A. Feagin, and they reared the following three daughters: Lucille C., b. 1889, d. 1979, m. Charles W. Mizell; Mary Ida, b. 1902, d. 1984, m. 1926 Glover O’Neal Waits (1899-1943); and Lillian, b. 1907, d. 1992, m. Leland Henry Cummins. Lucille and Charles Mizell reared two daughters: Catherine L., b. 1913; and Louise M., b. 1919, d. 1996, m. W.H. Bennett. Mary Ida and Glover Waits reared the following two children: Richmond Beauregard II, m. Nancy Breland; and Marion Jane, b. 1929, d. 1998, m. Evans Barnes.

Sources for this writing include the following:, Gus and Ruby Bryan’s Covington County History, 1821-1976, article in the June 11, 2006 issue of the Brewton Standard, and an announcement in The Andalusia Star-News.

Anyone who might find an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: