By Debbie Miller
John Davidson was born about 1720 in Ireland and came to America with his parents and sister in 1735. His father, Robert Davidson was born about 1690 in Ireland and died between 10 Jan 1751 and 29 Aug 1751 in Augusta Co, VA.
From Chalkey's Vol III p 387: Will of Robert Davison wr 10 Jan 1751, proven 29 Aug 1751. Wife Ann, son John, dau Mary Huston. Teste: John Mackey, Wm Lusk.
Date: Jan 10, 1751
Location: Augusta Co., VA
Notes: This probate record was originally published in "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County" by Lyman Chalkley.
Remarks: Robert Davison's will, yeoman - Son, John Davison, 13 1/2 pence; daughter. Mary Huston, 13 1/2 pence; wife, Ann. Executrix, Ann. Ann refuses to execute, and administration granted to John Davison.
Description: Decedent's Wife
Book date: WB1-387
Prove date: Aug 29, 1751
John’s mother was Ann – possibly Ann Dunlap, though the last name is not proven. John’s sister Ann Davidson was born c 1720-1725 and died in September 1793 in Augusta Co. She was married about 1745 to Robert Huston (Houston).
John first shows in the record as a witness to a will in 1753:
Will of Halbert McClure - 23 March 1753 Source: Augusta Co., VA Will Bk. 2, Pg. 67-68
At a court held for Augusta County the 15th Day of May 1754 This Last Will and Testament of Halbard McClure, Gent. Being proved by the oaths of John Davison and Samuel Lyle, witnesses.
By this time he is married to Elizabeth, born about 1730. Her maiden name is unknown but family speculation gives it as either Houston or Maben. John Davidson died “suddenly of colick” on 11 April 1762 in Augusta Co, VA. He left a will:
CHRONICLES OF THE Scotch-Irish Settlement
IN VIRGINIA EXTRACTED FROM THE ORIGINAL COURT RECORDS OF AUGUSTA COUNTY
ABSTRACTS OF WILLS OF AUGUSTA COUNTY, VIRGINIA. AUGUSTA COUNTY COURT. WILL BOOK NO. 3.
page 69 Page 133.--The last will and testament of John Davison, being taken suddenly ill of a colick and departed this life the 11th of April, 1762, expressed these words (to wit): that all his just debts should be paid and Elizabeth, his wife, should have her share as the law directed, and all the rest to be equally divided amongst his four children--Thos. Paxton, David Gray. Proved, 18th May, 1762. Elizabeth Davison ( ) and Danl. Lyle qualify, with Thos. Paxton and David Gray.
Three of his four children are later named in the estate distribution along with his wife Elizabeth: dau Ann married John McKemmey, sons Samuel and John. Son William d 1793 is not listed in the estate distribution of 1773. His parentage is proven by his own will : Will in 1793 lists wife Elizabeth, brothers John and Samuel, sister Ann McKemmey. No children listed. In 1795 his widow Elizabeth married Henry McKey.
The estate distribution of 1773 seems to have been prompted by the youngest son John Jr coming of age.
John Davidson’s widow Elizabeth shows up in these transactions:
CHRONICLES OF THE Scotch-Irish
Settlement IN VIRGINIA EXTRACTED FROM THE ORIGINAL COURT RECORDS OF AUGUSTA
DEED BOOK NO. 14.
ADDITIONAL MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
page 461 Page 69.--10th August, 1767. Borden's executors to Benjamin Gray, £25, 260 acres, part of 92.100; corner widow Davison and William Taylor, poplar in Daniel Lyle's line, David Gray's corner. Delivered: Benjamin Gray, 26th September, 1773.
Washington Co, VA 19 May 1784: Elizabeth Davidson & Daniel Lyle, executors of John Davison Decd. Plaintiffs against James Hemphill Deft, In Chancery. Plaintiffs in their bill said Deft owed 4 pounds 19 sh & 7 pence plus interest since Oct. 1, 1752 (WC-COMB 1:265)
9 Nov 1786 Elizabeth DAVIDSON, Relict of John DAVIDSON dec'd, and Samuel DAVIDSON (heir at law and son of Sd John DAVIDSON, dec'd) and wife Elizabeth DAVIDSON, to Joseph RUSSELL of Shannandoe County, for £375; 300 acres next to Isaac TAYLOR and corner to John and Widow DAVIDSON's Land. Sg: Elizabeth DAVIDSON, Saml DAVIDSON, Elizabeth DAVIDSON Rec: 3 Apr 1787 Witts: Henry MAKEY, David ROGERS, James DOUGHERTY, John DAVIDSON. Rockbridge Co. VA Deed Book A, p. 632 (Deed Abstracts, p. 65)
Then in 1813 the will of Elizabeth Davidson of Rockbridge:
Rockbridge Co, VA Will Book No 3, pp 529-530:
"Will of Elizabeth Davidson, Rockbridge County Virginia. To Wit: In the name of God amen I Elizabeth Davidson Senior of Rockbridge County being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind do make and constitiute this my last will and Testament and first of all I recommend my soul to Almight God who gave it my Body I recommend to the Earth to be decently buried. And as for such wordly goods as divine Probidence has bestowed upon me I dispose of in the manner following To wit, first I Bequeath to my Grand Sons fifty four pounds to be divided as follows- To Wit to John the Eldest ten pounds to James ten the balance to be equally Divided between the other two William & Robert. To the three sisters of the above legetees I Bequeath fifty pounds to be equally divided between the sd Sisters Ann, Elizabeth, and Nancy. to John McCemey I bequeath twenty dollars also to (Margunce Reid?) twenty dollars to my son Samuel Davidson I give one dollar the balance if any there be I bequeath to my Son John Davidson likewise my bed and Clothes of every kind & whatsoever property shall remain after my decrease and lastly I do constitute my son Jonn Davidson to execute this my last Will. In Testimony whereof I have affixed my hand and seal this fifth day of March one Thousand eight hundred and thirteen."
Dicky Beard Elizabeth Davidson (seal)
William H. Letcher
At Rockbridge County Court May 3, 1813
A writing purporting to be the last will and Testament of Elizabeth Davidson dec'd was produced in court by John Davidson Executor
Therein named and proved by the oath of Dicky Beard and William H. Letcher the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Copy Attest AW Reid CRC
<Deb's note: William Houston Letcher 1781-1861 is a Davidson relation. His grandmother Mary Davidson Houston was a sister of John Davidson, father of Samuel Davidson. William Letcher's wife was Betsy Davidson b 1788, the daughter of John Davidson, brother of Samuel Davidson.>
Of the four children of John and Elizabeth Davidson, three had children of their own. Son Samuel married Elizabeth “Betsy” Gilmore and had seven children. Daughter Ann married John McKemy and had at least one son, John McKemy, Jr. Son John married Mary “Polly” Thompson and had six children. Family names among their descendents include Davidson, Kirkpatrick, Gilmore, McKemy, Letcher, and Rodgers.