Husband: William Davis
Born: in NC
Died: before 1794 in NC
!NOTES:Marty Grant's 5th Great Grand Father.;
!DISCUSSION GROUP (Free) for those researching the William & Frances (Carpenter) Davis family:
"The Davis Family Record", Orville Wright Davis;
!BIRTH DATE:Based on census and age at death = Oct, Nov or Dec 1740
1790 = age 16+ (born before 1774)
1800 = age 45+ (born before 1755)
1810 = age 45+ (born before 1765)
1820 = age 45+ (born before 1775)
1830 = age 90-99 (born 1730/1740)
1840 = age 100+ (born before 1740)
Combined = 1730/1740
So taking all of the above in to consideration, he was born 1730/1740. "Uncle Jake Carpenter" stated that William died at age 100.8. Assuming he meant 100 years 8 months, if you subtract that age from his death date of October 1841 and you get 1740 or 1741. If he was born in late 1740, he would have not turned 101 until after October 1841, so this means he was probably born October, Nov, or Dec 1740. This doesn't quite work with his ages in 1830 and 1840 but is close.
However, this could be off a little if "100.8" actually meant "108" instead. That puts his birth at ca 1733 instead, which also works with the records we have, and works a little better than ca 1740/1741.
Uncle Jake was only about 8 when his uncle William Davis died, but he is a much better witness than those who later reported that William was 117 or 127 years old when he died! The record does not support those ages. We can assume Jake got his information from his parents or others who were contempories with William Davis.;
!BIRTH PLACE:There are conflicting family traditions about where William Davis was born. One legend has him born in England and another in Wales. One story has him stowing away on a ship and coming to America while still young. One published source has him born in Pennsylvania. I believe all of these are incorrect.
William Davis was born in Virginia without a doubt. He didn't live long enough to be listed on a census that included the birth place, but the 1880 census did have a column for where a person's parents were born. William's daughter Elizabeth Davis Vaughn Vance (1796-1883) was listed on that census. She reported that her father was born in Virginia. William's oldest son John Davis (1798-1881) was also listed on the 1880 census, and he also reported his father's birth place as Virginia. William's son Thomas Davis (c1805) was also listed in 1880, and just like the others, he listed his father's birth place as Virginia. The only contrary evidence is William's daughter Frances Davis Burleson (1808-1892). Her 1880 census entry lists her father's birth place as North Carolina. Those four were William Davis's only children to survive to 1880, and 3 of the 4 report his birth as Virginia. This is reasonably conclusive. It doesn't answer the question of *where* in Virginia though.;
!PARENTS:Unknown, no clue, no idea where to start.;
!NOTES:Some say that William Davis had brothers John, Richard and Thomas. This seems to be based on the biography of Gen. Daniel Morgan that mentioned them in the Frederick Co., VA area and being neighbors of his. This probably isn't the same William Davis, so those brothers aren't our William's brothers. However, our William did serve with Daniel Morgan during the Revolutionary War, so that is probably the source of the mixup.;
!FRENCH and INDIAN WAR:(1754-1763) Tradition says that William Davis served along with Col. George Washington and was at Braddock's defeat. No evidence of this has been located so far, but records from that war are scarce.;
!AMERICAN REVOLUTION:(1775-1783). Tradition says that William Davis served in this war and that he was at the Battle of Kings Mountain where he was shot in the thigh. Someone long ago concluded that he was the same William Davis who was a Corporal in the 2nd North Carolina Regiment, Continental Line. Indeed there was a Cpl. William Davis in that unit. However, thanks to the meticulous research of Mike Davis, it is now known that that couldn't be our William as that unit was never at Kings Moutain and spent most of the war as prisoners. Mike has found evidence that seems to show that our William Davis was a resident of Fairfax Co., VA during the war and served from there. This book is worth having:
!NOTES:According to his Will, William Davis lived in Mecklenburg County [NC] prior to moving to Burke. It isn't known when he was in Mecklenburg, but it was probably just after (or during) the war as it isn't far from Kings Moutain where he was injured.
!CENSUS:1790 Burke Co., NC (two) -
p. 97 7th Company Wm Davis 2-2-2-0-0
p. 100 9th Company Wm Davis 2-0-2-0-0
*It isn't clear which of these is our William Davis, perhaps neither. Can't really determine based on household members or neighbors. Neither are a real good fit. Perhaps he wasn't living in Burke at this time, or was missed by the census taker.;
!NOTES:William married Frances Carpenter in the early 1790's, probably in what is now Ashe Co., NC but was then part of Wilkes. It isn't known if he ever lived there, or how or where he became acquainted with her. She was born in Surry Co., NC in 1771 and lived there with her family until they left in the 1790's for what is now Ashe.;
!CENSUS:1800 Burke Co., NC (three) -
p. 740 William Davis age 26-44 (1755/74) 21110-50100-0-0
p. 742 William Davis age 45+ (bef 1755) 10001-21110-0-0
p. 743 William Davis Senr age 45+ (bef 1755) 31012-20100-0-0
*Only the one on page 742 fits, and it fits very well. Census is alpha, so no way to determine neighbors:
Burke Co., NC p. 742
William Davis age 45+ (bef 1755)
Analysis (who each person might be):
1m 45+ (bef 1755) = William Davis (1730/40)
1m 0-9 (1790/1800) = John Davis (1798) son
1f 26-44 (1755/1774) = Frances Carpenter Davis (1771) wife
1f 16-25 (1774/1784) = Daughter (Betsy, Mary or Sarah)
1f 10-15 (1784/1790) = Daughter (Betsy, Mary or Sarah)
2f 0-9 (1790/1800) = 1. Nancy Davis (c1795) daughter
"f 0-9 (1790/1800) = 2. Elizabeth Davis (1796) daughter;
!CENSUS:1810 Burke Co., NC (two) -
p. 320 William Davis 20010-31201-0-0
p. 320 William Davis 21001-22011-0-0*
*Second one is clearly him due to age and was living next to Jacob Carpenter (his brother-in-law).
!CENSUS:1810 Burke Co., NC p. 320
William Davis age 45+ (bef 1765)
My Analysis (who each person might be):
1m 45+ (bef 1765) = William Davis (1730/40)
1m 10-15 (1794/1800) = John Davis (1798) son
2m 0-9 (1800/1810) = 1. Jacob Davis (1801) son
"m 0-9 (1800/1810) = 2. Thomas Davis (c1805) son
1f 45+ (bef 1765) Frances Carpenter Davis (1771) wife
1f 26-44 (1765/1784) = Daughter (Betsy, Mary or Sarah)
2f 10-15 (1794/1800) = 1. Nancy Davis (c1795) daughter
"f 10-15 (1794/1800) = 2. Elizabeth Davis (1796) daughter
2f 0-9 (1800/1810) = 1. Margaret Davis (c1804) daughter
"f 0-9 (1800/1810) = 2. Frances Davis (1808) daughter;
!TAXLIST:1815 Burke Co, NC
Captain White's Company
William Davis, 160a Three Mile Creek Rogers Camp, $250, 0 whites 0 blacks
" ", 140a, $120, 0-0
" ", 100a, $50, 0-0
" ", 100a, $60, 0-0
" ", 100a, $30, 0-0;
!CENSUS:1820 Burke Co., NC (two) -
p. 33 William Davis age 45+ (bef 1775) 200201-03010-0-0
p. 61 William Davis age 45+ (bef 1775) 011201-12001-0-0
*Second one is clearly him based on neighbors and age enumerations.
!CENSUS:1820 Burke Co., NC p. 61
William Davis age 45+ (bef 1775)
Analysis (who each person might be):
1m 45+ (bef 1775) = William Davis (1730/40)
2m 16-25 (1794/1804) = 1. John Davis (1798) son
"m 16-25 (1794/1804) = 2. Jacob Davis (1801) son
1m 16-17 (1802/1804) * One of above, though not good match for either.
1m 10-15 (1804/1810) = Thomas Davis (c1805) son
1f 45+ (bef 1765) = Frances Carpenter Davis (1771) wife
2f 10-15 (1804/1810) = 1. Margaret Davis (c1804) daughter
"f 10-15 (1804/1810) = 2. Frances Davis (1808) daughter
1f 0-9 (1810/1820) Rachel Davis (1810) daughter;
!CENSUS:1830 Burke Co., NC p. 196
Wm Davis age 90-99 (1730/1740)
Analysis (who each person might be):
1m 90-99 (1730/1740) = William Davis (1730/40)
1m 20-29 (1800/1810) = Thomas Davis (c1805) son
1f 50-59 (1770/1780) = Frances Carpenter Davis (1771) wife
1f 20-29 (1800/1810) = Rachel Davis (1810) daughter;
!WILL: 9 May 1836 Yancey Co., NC Book 1, p. 353 William Davis
daughters - Betsy Cantrel, Sally Rowan, heirs of Polly Browning, my children by my 1st wife
five daughters Nancy Burleson, Elizabeth Vance, Margaret Wise, Franky Burleson and Rachel Davis
my children: Nancy Burleson, Elizabeth Vance, John Davis, Margaret Wise, Thomas Davis, Franky Burleson and Rachel Davis.
In the name of God, Amen, I William Davis, formerly of Mecklinburg County, but for many years past a resident of Burke, now Yancey County in the state of North Carolina being advanced in years and infirm of Body, but of sound mind and disposing memory calling to mind the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death do hereby make ordain and publish this as my last will and testament. To wit:
Item first. After commanding my soul to God who gave it I desire that my body may be descently intered after my decease at the graveyard on the plantation on which I know reside at the expense of my estate and by me executors herein after named in this Will.
Item the second. To my daughters Betsy Cantrel, Sally Rowan and the heirs of Polly Browning in addition to what I gave them when they left me, I give and bequeth to Betsy Cantrel one dollar. To the heirs of Polly Browning one dollar and to the heirs of my daughter Sally Rowan thirty dollars in property. These being all the children which my first wife had that were mine or ever claimed or acknowledged by me.
Item the third. I give and bequeth to my beloved wife Frances as much of my household and kitchen furniture and bedding as she may choose to keep for her own use, two cows and calves to be selected by her out of my stock and a horse team out of my stock to be worth fifty dollars and fifty dollars in money for her comfortable support during her life.
Item the fourth. I give and bequeth all the residue of my bedding, household and kitchen furniture to my five daughters Nancy Burleson, Elizabeth Vance, Margaret Wise, Franky Burleson and Rachel Davis to be equally divided between them, share and share alike.
Item fifth. All the Residue of my property not contained in the bequeth all ready made consisting of slaves, horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, money on hand, notes and accounts and property of every description I give and divise to my children Nancy Burleson, Elizabeth Vance, John Davis, Margaret Wise, Thomas Davis, Franky Burleson and Rachel Davis to be equally divided among them, share and share alike.
Item the sixth. I constitute and appoint Josiah G. Wise my executor of this will.
I have this 9th day of May in the year of our Lord 1836 made ordained and published this as my Last Will and Testament revoking all former wills and have said the same in the pressance of the witnesses who said the same in the presance of each other and in the presance of the testator.
Signed WILLIAM (x) DAVIS
J. F. Avery
John (x) Buchanan;
!GRANT:28 Dec 1836 Yancey Co, NC 1-156;
!CENSUS:1840 Yancey Co., NC pg 266
Wm Davis age 100+ (bef 1740)
Analysis (who each person might be):
1m 100+ (bef 1740) = William Davis (1730/40)
1m 30-39 (1800/1810) = William Davis (1809) son-in-law
1m 20-29 (1810/1820) = Alfred Vaughn (1815) gr-son*
1m 15-19 (1820/1825) = ?
1m 5-9 (1830/1835) = George W. Davis (1833) gr-son
2m 0-4 (1835/1840) = 1. John H. Davis (1835) gr-son
"m 0-4 (1835/1840) = 2. William N. Davis (1837) gr-son
1f 70-79 (1760/1770) = Frances Carpenter Davis (1771) wife
1f 30-39 (1800/1810) = Rachel Davis Davis (1810) daughter
1f 15-19 (1820/1825) = Eleanor Vaughn (1823) or Nancy Vaughn (1824) gr-daus*
1f 0-4 (1835/1840)= Frances E. Davis (1839) gr-dau.
* Not certain if the Vaughn's were here, but they fit and they were not with their mother in 1840.;
!TAXLIST:1840 Yancey Co., NC
Captain Vance's Company -
William Davis Senr, 360a, $200, 0 white polls, $1.00 tax due
(Toe Valley Genealogical Society Newsletter, Volume 5, Number 8, October 1993, 1840 Yancey County Tax List, Capt Vance's Company by Kathy Sullivan);
!OBITUARY:From the Diary of Jacob Carpenter (1833-1920), now called "Uncle Jake Carpenter's Anthology of Death on Three Mile Creek" -
William Davis age 100.8 dide oc 5 1841 ware old Solder in rev wre and got his thie brok in laste fite kinge monte he wars farmer and made brandy and never had Drunker in famly.
* Considering that Jacob was only about 8 when his Uncle William died it can be assumed he wrote this down much later and his comments about William were based on what others told him.;
!COURT:Spring 1848 Yancey Co, NC- Revaluation of Property value - North Toe River District - William DAVIS Sr from $25 to 16 2/3;
!TOMBSTONE:Avery Co, NC Davis Cemetery, Original marker is a field stone, a newer marker was placed by the field stone "Cpl William DAVIS" and is almost completely grown into a tree. An even newer stone is placed close by "Cpl William Davis, 2nd NC Regt 1778-1781 Born ca 1727 Died Oct 5, 1841 .. Franky Carpenter Weatherman Davis Born 1755 Died Sep 10, 1842";
!ESTATE:1849 William Davis Graham Co., NC, 35 pp.
* Probably filed in Graham since several of his heirs lived there, though it was actually Cherokee County at the time, but this record is filed under Graham County.
From: North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979 Graham County, from familysearch.org.
Below I've abstracted or summarized some of the more interesting documents in the estate file.
- 13 Apr 1831 Burke Co,, NC Received of William Davis Satisfaction in full of my part of his estate of land I say recvd by Jacob (his mark) Davis. Attest: Josiah G. Wise
- 23 May 1831 Burke Co., NC I Rachel Davis bound unto Wm Davis for the sum of 100 Lbs current money ... will not bargain sell nor convey to any persons the tract or parcel of land that is this day conveyed to my by deed of gift by the said Wm Davis while I am living.
S: William (X) Davis (his signature marked out)
S: Rachel (X) Davis
Attest: Moses Y. Burchfield, Joseph Pyatt.
- 10 Dec 1840 Land Grant to William Davis for 511 acres in Yancey included.
- Received 12 Sep 1847(or 1849) of William Davis, Adm with the Will annexed of Wm Davis the sum of one hundred and eighty eight dollars and twenty eight cents in cash, all of which is in full of my share of the estate of said William Davis Deceased. Thomas (X) Davis. Attest: Miles Davis.
- Received 12 Sep 1849 of William Davis, Adm with the Will annexed of Wm Davis the sum of one hundred and eighty eight dollars and twenty eight cents in cash, all of which is in full of my share of the estate of said William Davis Deceased. Jacob (X) Davis. Attest: Miles Davis.
- Jul 1849 Received of William Davis, Adm with the Will annexed of Wm Davis deceased the following property in ... (personal property named) ... and the sum of one hundred and eighty eight dollars and twenty eight cents in cash, all of which is in full of my share of the estate of said William Davis Deceased. John (X) Davis. Attest: B. Wise.
- 4 Jul 1849 Received of William Davis, Adm with the Will annexed of Wm Davis deceased the following property in ... (much furniture, livestock and other personal property named) ... and the sum of one hundred and eighty eight dollars and twenty eight cents in cash, all of which is in full of my share of the estate of said William Davis Deceased. Margaret (X) Wise. Attest: B. Wise.
- 24 Jul 1849 Received of William Davis, Adm with the Will annexed of Wm Davis deceased the following property in ... (much furniture, livestock and other personal property named) ... and the sum of one hundred and eighty eight dollars all of which is in full of my share of the estate of said William Davis Deceased. John (X) Vance, Elizabeth (X) Vance. Attest: B. Wise.
- 24 Jul 1849 Know all men by these presents that we
are held and formally bound unto William Davis administrator with the Will annexed of William Davis deceased in the penal sum of Three thousand dollars to which payment to be made and done we bind ourselves and heirs Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents.
The condition ... last Will was administered to probate at the July Term of Yancey County Court and the above bounded Nancy Burleson and others is the legatees named in the said Will and ... received following titles of property to which they are entitled ... $188.28 in full of our shares in property and cash ...
S: John (X) Vance
S: John (X) Davis
S: Wilson Burleson
S: Nancy (X) Burleson
S: Margaret (X) Wise
Attest: B. Wise, G. W. Davis, Tilman Blalock.
We Tilmon Blalock, Joseph Pyatt and Arthur Erwin being chosen by the heirs and legatees of William Davis dec met at the house of William Davis this 23 Jul 1849 a majority of the heirs being present it was agreed that the property notes judgments cash should be vallued as cash and divided accordingly. We find that after paying all the expenses against said estate there would be a sum of $188.28 of cash ...
Also leaves in hands of the administrator William Davis Jr, with the Will annexed the following sums bequethed to the other heirs of the first wife
Sally Rowen thirty dollars
the heirs of Polly Browning one dollar
Betsy Cantrel one dollar
The following is a true account of all the heirs of William Davis deceased, to wit
1st: John Davis due the Estate $147.06. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $41.22
2nd: Jacob Davis due the Estate $200.66 and $12.38. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13.
3rd: William Davis due the Estate $110.62. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $77.66
Thomas Davis due the Estate $79.50 Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $108.78.
Wilson Burleson due the Estate $21.75. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $166.53.
John Vance due the Estate $117.14. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $71.14.
Margaret Wise due the Estate $72.06. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $116.22.
Nancy Burleson due the Estate $188.28. Good debts and cash $188.28. Bad debts $9.13. Total due in good debts and cash $0.00.
Sally Rowen $30.00.
Polly Browning $1.00
Betsy Cantrel $1.00;
!NOTES:Heirs of William Davis named in 1873/1874 Probate Court Records regarding A. D. Childs vs. Estate of Samuel Carpenter regarding land. Heirs named over several documents in summons dated 4 Oct 1873. The summons commanded them all to appear at Mitchell court the 3rd Monday of November Next (1873) to show cause why they did not acknowledge a deed from them to A. D. Childs. The other heirs of Samuel Carpenter were mentioned elsewhere in the same set of records.
From: Estate of Samuel Carpenter, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979 Mitchell County, via FamilySearch.org, 26 pp
(anything in [brackets] below are comments by me, and not part of original record)
- 4 Oct 1873 to Sheriff of Mitchell County summons for:
Andrew Davis, Dulcena Wiseman, William Burleson, Elizabeth McCurry
Sheriff complied, except for Dulcena Wiseman who was not found in Mitchell.
[The above are heirs of Nancy Davis, daughter of William, wife of Thomas Burleson. Nancy died in the 1860's.]
- 4 Oct 1873 to Sheriff of Mitchell County summons for:
Elizabeth Carpenter, Rachel Sullins
Sheriff complied William Carpenter, Elizabeth Carpenter and Rachel Sullins. Attest T. D. Vance for William & Elizabeth.
[The above are heirs of Samuel Carpenter]
- 4 Oct 1873 to Sheriff of Cherokee County summons for:
Jacob Davis, Alfred Carpenter, Nancy Carpenter, Martin Singleton and Mary M. Singleton.
Sheriff found none in his county. Stated Jacob Davis lived in Graham and died there last winter.
[Jacob Davis is son of William, the others are heirs of Samuel Carpenter]
- 4 Oct 1873 to Sheriff of Mitchell County summons for:
John Wise, Rachel Dellinger, Sarah An Shook, Francis Brewer, Susan Clark, Eliza Mace, Thomas Wise, Newton Wise, Mrs. Francis Burleson, Mrs. Elizabeth Vance, John Davis, Thomas Davis
Sheriff complied except as to Franky Brewer and Thomas Davis, not found.
[John Wise through Newton Wise are heirs of Margaret Davis (died 1868), the rest are children of William Davis.];
!REFERENCE:"A History of Watauga County, North Carolina. with Sketches of Prominent Families" by John Preston Arthur. Richmond: Everett Waddey Co. 1915.
William Davis.--What?-- Hero: Patriot: Let us see. His grave is near the road in front of the Gen. Albertus Childs' house on Three Mile Creek, now owned and occupied by Robert Moseley. Two common "mountain rocks" mark the place of his burial. Two other graves beside his are similarly designated. No munificent government, proud of his record, has "sought his frailties: or his virtues "to disclose." Why? For he was a soldier of the Revolutionary War as well as those over whose ashes grave-stones have been erected. Who knows? Probably a bit of red-tape was missing somewhere. maybe his name does not appear on any roster or muster roll. Yet, in the congressional Library, at the nation's capital, is an allegorical painting called "History." It represents a gray-haired sire telling the story of the past to his son, and this son selling the same story with additions to his son, and so on down the line till the printed page is reached. The name of that oral story is "Tradition." Well, tradition says that William Davis was not only a brave soldier, but a mighty hunter as well, when the wilderness was to be conquered and weaklings stayed at home and sneered at the illiterate and lowly. Davis came to America with William Wiseman and William Penley long before the Revolution. He settled first in Virginia and afterwards came to Ashe County, where he married Frances Carpenter, sister of the first Jacob Carpenter. Then he moved to what is still called Davis Mountain, near Crossnore, on the upper waters of Linville River. When the game was exhausted there, he moved to Three Mile Creek and built four log houses "all in a row," with communicating doors between and a chimney at each end. Standing before a blazing fire in one end of the house, with the three intervening doors open, one looks through four large, low-ceiled comfortable rooms to cherry-red flames leaping up the chimney at the father end--one of the "fairest pictures of calm content that mortal ever saw." The date of the building of this old structure is recorded on one of the inside logs, but it has been ceiled over and cannot now be seen. But it was made there many, many years ago. The present Jacob Carpenter, his grand-nephew, of Altamont, knows the date of his birth and death, but they would cost the United States some "good money" to have them carved on a 12 X 24 inch stone. Davis died November 18, 1841, when 114 years of age. Still, as he had no middle name, it does seem that the Government, with a big G, might "sort of look after" uncle Billy, who fought his battles for him before Uncle Sam was born, he having been shot through the hips at King's Mountain. His wife, who sleeps beside him, was certainly a heroine, whether Uncle Billy was a hero or not, for on one occasion, in February, while in a sugar camp on Davis Mountain, he had to be away from her on a cold night. One of her cows found a calf that night, and Mrs. Davis brought it to camp with her and fought off the wolves with fire-brands till morning.
William Davis, a soldier of the Revolution, stole his wife, a Carpenter, from Ashe, and settled at what is still called the Davis Mountain, now the Monroe Franklin place, and which Warsaw Clark now owns, one mile and a half above the Crossnore place, where Kate, the five year old daughter of Davis, is buried under an apple tree. It is said that he first gave the name of the Cow Camp to a creek of that name which runs into the Toe River because of the fact, that, having no feed for his cattle, he camped near them on that creek and supplied them with lin tree limbs, called laps, from the time the buds began to swell till the grass came.;
!NOTES:1st Spouse of Marty Grant's 5th Great Grand Father.;
!NOTES:The name of William Davis's first wife has yet to be determined. Some list her as "Mary Miller" but the evidence for that isn't conclusive. Christian Miller listed a daughter "Mary Davis" in his 1785 Will in Surry Co., NC. None of the records list who her husband was, other than a Mr. Davis.
A William Davis was associated with Christian Miller around that time. However, we don't know if he was the husband of Mary Miller, or if it is the same William Davis who later married Frances Carpenter (who is Christian Miller's granddaughter).
See Mary Miller (RIN 1610, MRIN 1280) for additional information on her.;
!NOTES:The implication in William Davis's 1836 Will is that his 1st wife was unfaithful to him because after naming his three daughters by her he stated:
"These being all the children which my first wife had that were mine or ever claimed or acknowledged by me."
William's grandson Isaac Thomas Davis stated that William and his 1st separated over her unfaithfulnes and that after her death he married Frances Carpenter.;
Revised: November 29, 2021
Copyright © 2021 Marvin A. Grant, Jr. All rights reserved.