Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Henry Davis, 1781-1855

My 5th-great-grandfather Henry Davis was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania on 20 September 1781. He married Rachel Pollock in Ohio (most likely Guernsey County) on 12 March 1807.

According to the account of son James Davis in the Past and Present of Vermilion County, Illinois, Henry Davis served in the War of 1812. I don't yet have a service record for Henry, but he did acquire a land patent in Guernsey County in 1812. At the age of 31, on 19 November 1812, Henry Davis obtained a land patent for the southwest corner of section 6, of township 9, in range 10 in Guernsey County, Ohio. The land patent shows that Henry was living in Muskingum County, Ohio at the time.

Henry Davis received an additional land patent for Guernsey County, Ohio on 6 July 1819 (source, Bureau of Land Management records, http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=0046-037&docClass=CV&sid=pkc2sb1n.zbk#patentDetailsTabIndex=0). 

Guernsey County is located in the eastern corner of Ohio, along the road to West Virginia and far western Pennsylvania. The map excerpt below dated 1818 (source, Alabama Department of Archives and History, http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/historicalmaps/us_states/ohio/index_Before1875.html), provides some context for the area where the Davises resided.

Henry and Rachel Pollock Davis had at least the following children:
1. Azariah Davis - 1808-1857
2. Samuel Davis - born 29 Jul 1809
3. William Davis - born 25 Jan 1811, died 23 Jan 1895 in Vermilion County, Illinois
4. Jane Davis - born 15 May 1813
5. Abraham Davis - born 19 Jul 1815
6. Joseph Davis - born 25 Aug 1817
7. Henry Davis - born 25 Sep 1819
8. Martha Davis - born 27 Mar 1822, died Aug 1892 in Hardin County, Iowa
9. John Davis - born 28 May 1825, died 25 Dec 1898 in Texas
10. James Hayes Davis - born 21 Jan 1828, died 11 Dec 1918 

According to the documents passed to me by Robert P. Jones (see copies below), Henry and Rachel moved to Vermilion County and built a 14 room home, which they operated for a time as the Buckhorn Inn.

I have included an excerpt from a posting by Dorothea Clymer (West Virginia Gen Web, 16 July 2006, http://www.wvgenweb.org/hardy/twoschooners.htm), describing the journey of the Carrier family from Hardy County, West Virginia (where Davis and Van Meter families once resided) to Vermillion County, Illinois in the early 1850s. While this family is not as far as I know related to ours, it gives a description of what it was like for these families to journey to Vermillion County from the Shenandoah. The following is a first hand account from John Wesley Carrier:

When I was ten years old my parents loaded the family and household goods in a prairie schooner and started the slow tedious trip to Illinois. For seven long weeks the old schooner creaked, moaned and groaned over the pikes through mud, swamps and rivers. There were no bridges.”

A prairie schooner was a covered wagon (see The Prairie Schooner Got Them There, American Heritage Magazine, 1962, Volume 13, Issue 2, http://www.americanheritage.com/content/prairie-schooner-got-them-there). 
Henry and Rachel donated the land for the Davis Cemetery, which still operates in Vance Township, Vermilion County. It looks from the Google Map below that the original Davis land & home may still be there. I'd be very interested in information from other Davis descendants who may find this page.
Davis Cemetery via Google Maps, Fairmount, Illinois
Photo Source: Ancestry.com Tree
As with other posts, I hope to update this with further information on Henry Davis. If you're descended from Henry and Rachel and are interested in sharing information, please let me know.


  1. I too am descended from this prolific couple, through their first child Azariah and Jane Connor Davis. I am at maneal13@earthlink.net if you want to "converse' and share notes. I talked with Bob Jones, who has passed by the way, and have some data on the Davis family. Mary Ann Bumgarner

  2. Hi Mary Ann, I've tried to email you a few times directly at that address. Are you getting those? Happy to share info on the Davis and Oyler lines.