Monday, February 13, 2012

Pioneer Woman of Jersey County, 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 part of a migration of people who left the Piedmont of North Carolina and ventured west. She was born December 11, 1798 in Rowan County, North Carolina to John Clifford and Alsey Galloway. Mary 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. When her father died in 1826, he left her $20 in his will.

On July 31, 1823, Mary married Samuel Davis and they soon started a family. According to the 1830 census, they had a boy born before 1825, and two girls born between 1825 and 1830, one of whom was Elsa Louisa; the other two children seem to have died young.

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, as did many residents of Rowan County. Samuel and Mary Davis would be credited 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. Mary gave birth to four more children between 1831 and 1838.

Later in Mary's life, tragedy struck her family when in 1869 her only surviving son, William Asbury, was murdered in what was believed to be a bar fight. The incident happened in Jerseyville and 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 at the age of 77. She was buried in Keller Cemetery in Jerseyville, Illinois.

Children:
1. Elsa Louisa 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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