Monday, February 13, 2012

Pioneer Woman in Illinois – Mary Clifford

B. 11 Dec 1798 in Rowan County, North Carolina
M. 31 Jul 1823 in Rowan County, North Carolina
Husband: Samuel Davis
D. 7 Nov 1876 in Jersey County, Illinois

Mary Clifford was born December 11, 1798 in Rowan County, North Carolina to John and Alsey Clifford. She also went by the name "Polly." Her father was an immigrant from Ireland of Scottish descent and he had 10 children by two wives, so Mary was part of a large family.

On July 31, 1823, Mary married Samuel Davis and they soon started a family. She would have eight children, five of which were living in 1872. According to the 1830 census, they had a boy born before 1825, and two girls born between 1825 and 1830 — one of which we know was Louisa. Mary’s father died in 1826, and left her $20 in his will.

In the fall of 1829, Mary and her family left North Carolina for Greene County (later to become Jersey County), Illinois. Several of Mary’s siblings also moved to the same area of Illinois. Samuel and Mary Davis would be credited in later years with being amongst the first families in the county. It's likely they lived in a log cabin for at least the first few years there.

Tragedy struck Mary's family in 1869 when her only surviving son William Asbury was murdered in what was believed to be a bar fight. Nobody was brought to justice for the crime. In 1872, Mary was described as being in good health, but she died on November 7, 1876. She was buried in Keller Cemetery in Jerseyville, Illinois.

Children:
1. Elsa Louise Davis – B. November 1828, Rowan County, North Carolina

2. William Asbury Davis – B. 23 Apr 1831, Greene County, Illinois; D. 16 Oct 1869, Jerseyville, Illinois; M. Mary Elizabeth Luckey (1835-1901), 10 Mar 1853, Jersey County, Illinois

3. Mary Jane Davis – B. March 1834, Greene County, Illinois; D. 7 May 1927, Parsons, Kansas; M. Samuel Luckey (1830-1884), 7 Apr 1853, Jerseyville, Illinois

4. Margaret E. Davis – B. 4 Jul 1835, Illinois; D. 18 Oct 1919, Jersey County, Illinois; M. Tissier LaFayette Cray (1835-1920), 29 Sep 1857, Jersey County, Illinois

5. Minerva Davis – B. 17 Mar 1838, Jerseyville, Illinois; D. 24 Dec 1923, Jersey County, Illinois; M. John Cray (1826-1892), 5 Apr 1856, Jersey County, Illinois

Resources:
Marriage bond of Samuel Davis and Mary Clifford, Rowan County, North Carolina, July 1823
Will of John Clifford, Rowan County, North Carolina, 1826
1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses
The Heritage of Rowan County, North Carolina, A.E. Collier 1991
Atlas of Jersey County, Illinois, 1872
Tombstone inscriptions, Keller Cemetary, Jersey County, Illinois
"Found Dead! An Interesting Trial," Jerseyville Democrat, Jerseyville, Illinois, October 23, 1869
Foot Prints in the Sand [Rootsweb.com], Garland Lively, 2009
Marriage certificate of Samuel Luckey and Mary Jane Davis, Jerseyville, Illinois, 7 Apr 1853
Illinois statewide marriage index, 1763-1900
Handwritten records of Pefley Cemetery, Parsons, Kansas
Obituary of Mary Jane Luckey, Parsons Daily Sun, 9 May 1927, Parsons, Kansas
Jersey County, Illinois cemetery records
Jersey County, Illinois funeral records
Jersey County, Illinois obituary index

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