Charles Davis is my 4th great-grandfather on my mother’s side [Virginia Lineberry > Jacob Lineberry > Rhoda Harmon > Delila Davis > Morris Davis > Charles Davis]. I knew nothing about him other than his and his wife’s name, a birth date and an approximate death date and location. Early spellings of the last name were Davies.
Ancestry.com has recently added a group of Quaker records to its collection and I had noted some references to Quakers with regards to the Davis family so this week I started searching the Quaker records. I found not only Charles but his parents and his siblings in those records. I then found a book on Google Books [with a large amount of preview] by the name of “Davis: a Quaker family: Charles Davies, the immigrant to Pennsylvania about 1725, from there to North Carolina, his wife, Hannah Matson, and their descendants.”
Culled from the book, an article on the Flower Swift Militia of Montgomery County, Virginia, some pages from a book written by Carroll County, Virginia native John Perry Alderman called, “Carroll the Settlements: 1765 to 1815,” and a number of different Quaker record books, I learned a good bit about Charles Davis.
Charles was born in Cane Creek, Orange, North Carolina on April 5, 1759 to Dr. Thomas Davis and Elizabeth Knox. He was the oldest of twelve children. His parents had migrated from Pennsylvania to Delaware to Virginia to North Carolina along with several of their Chester County, Pennsylvania neighbors, all of whom were Quakers.
When a Quaker family wanted to move to a new location, they approached their local Preparative Meeting or Monthly Meeting to ask for a certificate of removal to another meeting location. That certificate would then be presented to the new location. These requests were recorded in the record books, which is how this family was able to be tracked.
About 1771, the Davis family along with several other families from the Cane Creek and New Garden Monthly Meetings moved to what was Montgomery County, Virginia [Montgomery included present day Wythe County, Tazewell County, Montgomery County, Grayson County and Caroll County] in the vicinity of Chestnut Creek.
There was also a record of their approach to their congregation stating their intention to marry. They were assigned two people to interview them so as to judge their readiness for marriage. A report from the two was presented at the next monthly meeting and a marriage scheduled. The wedding ceremony was held at the monthly meeting and twelve of the people who attended signed the record book as witnesses. “Whereas Charles Davis son of Thos. Davis of the County of Megomery in Virginia, & Miriam Carr Daughter of Thos. Carr of Surry Count in North Carolina, having Declared their Intentions of Marriage with each other before Several monthly meetings of the people Called Quakers held at New Garden in Guilford County N.C. according to teh good order used amonthy them; and nothing appearing to obstruct were left to their Liberty to accomplish their Marriage according to good order the which they did on the 1st day 12 mo 1779 at Toms Creek in the Presents of many witnesses as 12 of whose names are here incerted, to wit:
Sarah Beales Thos. Davis
Patience Beales Thos. Carr
Mary Carson Jacob Jackson
Miriam Carr Thos. L. Beales
Tom Hiatt Wm. Hiatt
Elizabeth Jackson Bowater Beales”
Charles and Miriam moved to Washington County, Tennessee; I don’t have sufficient information to know when they moved but he was counted there in an 1814 and 1819 tax list. Some family historians suggest he died there about 1823.
This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.