52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Sarah Davis, neé McCane

Another of my maternal 3rd great-grandmothers was Sarah McCane Davis. I have very few documentary records for her life. None of them is sufficient alone to warrant giving her a name. Here are the records that lead to her name:

The marriage record of my 2nd great-grandmother, Delila or Delia Davis Harmon, has a document signed by Morris Davis giving permission for his daughter, Delilah Davis, to marry Thomas Harmon.

The Virginia death index for Delia Harmon lists her parents as Morris and Sarah Davis.(1)

A marriage bond image (2) was available through FamilySearch.org for Morris Davis and Sarah McCane on April 1 1812 in Surry County, Virginia, a county just across the border south of Grayson County, North Carolina, which provides the maiden name for Morris’ wife/Delilah’s mother. DAVIS Morris & McCANE Sarah Marriage Bond 1812 Surry County, North Carolina (2)The bond was jointly signed by Morris Davis and David McCane; the relationship between David McCane and Sarah is unknown. He could have been her father, her brother or perhaps an uncle.

Tax records and census records for Morris Davis indicate he and his wife and children lived in Grayson County, Virginia until the county boundaries changed in 1842 when the area where they lived was changed to Carroll County.

It was only in the 1850 census (3) that a name was once again given to Morris Davis’ wife: Sarah. The below clip of the census begins with their son, William and his wife, followed by Morris and Sarah and three of their younger children: Nancy, Jane and Morris.1850


Sarah and Morris were the parents of eight known children: David (1814), Elizabeth (1815), Delila (1818), Sarah (1820), Nancy (1825), William (1827), Jane (1835), and Morris (1838).


By the 1860 census, Morris was enumerated with his daughter and son-in-law in Clinton County, Ohio; Sarah was not enumerated and her death is assumed. It is not known if Sarah made the move to Clinton County and then died or if Morris made the move to Clinton County following the death of his wife. No records have, as yet, been located for either Morris or Sarah.


(1) “Virginia, Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5RV-LNY : accessed 16 Nov 2014), Delia Harman, 05 Nov 1888; citing Carroll, Virginia, reference p91c38; FHL microfilm 2056976.

(2) “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11664-134147-82?cc=1726957 : accessed 16 Nov 2014), 004364145 > image 75 of 686; county courthouses, North Carolina.

(3) Year: 1850; Census Place: District 11, Carroll, Virginia; Roll: M432_939; Page: 359B; Image: 277


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #26 – Charles Davis

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.

Charles married Miriam Carr at Tom’s Creek Meeting in Surry County, North Carolina. The record below names the couple as well as their parents and gives the marriage date of December 1, 1777.DAVIS, CARR, COFFIN, BRYANT, LOVETT Quaker Marriage Record 1779-1801, Guilford Co. NC

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. DAVIS Charles & CARR Miriam Quaker Marriage Record 1779 Dec 1 New Garden Men's Meeting Minutes“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.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #25 Morris Davis

Morris Davis was my 3rd great-grandfather [my mother Virginia Lineberry Willis > Jacob Lineberry > Rhoda Harmon Lineberry > Delila Davis Harmon > Morris Davis]. As is the case for most of my more distant ancestors, I have more questions than I have document-supported answers.

He was born in Virginia, perhaps in Wythe County, to Charles and Miriam Carr Davis about 1792. He married Sarah McCane in Surry County, North Carolina on April 1, 1812, according to the date of the marriage bond.

The 1820 Grayson County, Virginia tick mark census indicated that, in the time between their marriage and the census, Morris and Sarah had one son and three daughters [David, Elizabeth, Delila and Sarah].

The 1830 Grayson County census listed the same children above plus one male [William], and three as yet unidentified sons and one more daughter [Nancy].  The next decade added two more children [Jane and Morris].

The 1850 census for Carroll County, Virginia [remember the 1842 creation of Carroll County out of Grayson County  I mentioned in an earlier blog] is the first census for which details such as name, age, occupation, property value, birth location and literacy were made available. Morris was listed as 56, a farmer with property value of $250 who was born in Virginia and could read and write.

There was a fairly large migration of people from Virginia to Ohio to what was known as Virginia Military District Land Grants. This was land set aside as bounty land for military service. Morris purchased 120 acres in 1837 and another 40 acres in 1838.

By the 1860 census in Clinton County, Ohio, Morris was enumerated in the home of his daughter Sarah Summers, son-in-law, and grandchildren but without Sarah his wife.1860 Ohio

I have no information to identify when the families moved to Ohio and I have not found death or burial records for either Morris or Sarah his wife and no records past the 1860 census.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #24 – Delila Davis Harmon

One of my four second great-grandmothers on my mother’s side was Delila Davis Harmon. Delila was one of eight known children of Morris and Sarah McCane Davis born about 1820 in Grayson County Virginia. She married Thomas Benjamin Harmon in Grayson County on August 23, 1838. It’s oftentimes difficult to determine maiden names of women this early in our country’s history but Martha Fontaine Patterson uploaded on Delila’s FindAGrave memorial a copy of the permission to marry signed by her father [I provided a link to the page with the permission and marriage bond in my blog for Thomas].Davis PermissionI have spelled her name in this blog as Delila but there is often no consistency in early records in the way a name was spelled. Many of the people who recorded events listed names as they heard them; additionally, people often went by nicknames and used them in official documents. Her name in the marriage permission document above is Delila but the 1850 census listed her as Lila while the 1870 census spelled her name Delilah and the 1880 census spelled it Delila. The 1860 census has not yet been found. The 1850 ‘Lila’ was apparently what she was called; in fact, with the propensity for people in the South to pronounce the ending ‘a’ with a ‘y’ sound, she may have been called Liley (with a long I sound) or perhaps Lillie.

Delila and Thomas had eleven known children [censuses were recorded every ten years and provide one of the best listings of the children in a family; however, birth records were scanty and children may well have been born and died during the decade between censuses and consequently missed]. My great-grandmother, Rhoda Harmon Lineberry, appears to have been their 5th child. Because I named the children in the blog about her husband, I won’t list them again.

Delila died at about 68 years of age on November 5, 1888 in Hillsville, Virginia. The listed cause of death was dropsy, an old term for edema, which could have been a symptom of several health issues, including heart failure. She was buried in the Melton Cemetery in the Mount Zion Community of Carroll County; there is a FindAGrave memorial for her with some details and a photo of her headstone as well as the marriage permission and bond.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.