Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quiet Farmer from North Carolina – Samuel Davis

B. 8 Jul 1798 in Rowan County, North Carolina
M. 31 Jul 1823 in Rowan County, North Carolina
Wife: Mary Clifford
D. 22 May 1888 in Jersey County, Illinois

Samuel Davis was born July 8, 1798 in Rowan County, North Carolina, the eighth child of John Davis and Elizabeth Bryan. His early years were described as having been spent in “the wilds of North Carolina,” and he recieved little or no formal education. When he was 23, his father died and left him a portion of his land.

On July 31, 1823, Samuel married Mary Clifford. They had eight children, three of whom died young. In 1829, the family moved to Greene County, Illinois (later split off as Jersey County). They were amongst the first settlers of the area and it's likely that the Davis family lived in a log cabin during the early years. Samuel arrived poor, but did fairly well farming in Illinois — by 1850, his property was worth $6,000. He kept the same farm for many years, and was described as having “always lived the life of a quiet farmer.”

In 1872, it was reported that Samuel was in such good health in his mid-seventies that he retained “almost the same activity that marked his boyhood.” His wife Mary died in 1875, and in the 1880 census, Samuel was recorded as living on the farm of Jospeh Luckey, who was his son-in-law's brother. Samuel's unmarried daughter Louisa was living with him.

Samuel died May 22, 1888 at the farm of C.H. Waters, six miles west of Jerseyville. He was buried in the Keller Cemetary in Jerseyville next to his wife. At the time of his death, his descendants totaled 4 children, 39 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

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

Sources:
Atlas of Jersey County, Illinois, 1872
Tombstone inscriptions, Keller Cemetary, Jersey County, Illinois
Marriage bond of Samuel Davis and Mary Clifford, Rowan County, North Carolina, July 1823
1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses
Obituary of Samuel Davis, Jersey County Democrat, Jerseyville, Illinois, 31 May 1888
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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