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Maj. William Davidson

Maj. William Davidson

Male 1736 - 1814  (77 years)

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  • Name Maj. William Davidson 
    Prefix Maj. 
    Born 10 Oct 1736  ____, ____, Ireland, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Soldier and Farmer 
    1790 Census 1790 
    • ____, Burke Co., NC, p. 109, 4-2-4-8
    1800 Census 1800 
    • ____, Buncombe Co., NC, p. 166, 00201-01001-08
    Land 1804  ____, Buncombe Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • ABSTRACTS FROM DEEDS OF BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, DB "A" pp 156-160, 1804.
      Deed of Gift from William Davidson. l/lOth each to his 9 children? JOHN, GEORGE, HUGH, SARAH, MARY SMITH, ELIZABETH ALEXANDER, RUTH WILLIAMS, WILLIAM MITCHELL DAVIDSON, AND SAMUEL WINSLOW DAVIDSON, all of Buncombe Co., NC, and l/lOth to 5 grandchildren, children of JEAN DAVIDSON (deceased), his daughter, and her husband, THOMAS DAVIDSON. These grandchildren were, MARGARET LATTA DAVIDSON, JOHN DAVIDSON, WILLIAM DAVIDSON, EPHRAIM McLEAN DAVIDSON, and SALLY (or DOVEY) DAVIDSON; all grandchildren being from Logan County, KY except WILLIAM of Buncombe Co., NC. SAMUEL WINSLOW DAVIDSON, 3,000 and 2,000 acres on Obion and Duck River, TN.
    1810 Census 1810 
    • ____, Buncombe Co., NC, p. 80, w/Samuel Davidson, 10101-20020-09
    Died 16 May 1814  ____, Buncombe Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Aft 16 May 1814  Piney Grove (Swannanoa) Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Swannanoa, Buncombe Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • William has a Headstone at this cemetery that was placed as a memorial, long after his death by the DAR. It has an incorrect birth and death years. He was likely really buried at his farm on Davidson Road nearby. The monument confuses Maj. William Davidson with Col. William Davidson, his likely cousin.

      The following is a copy of what appears on his monument:

      MAJ. WM. DAVIDSON
                1744-1810
      Soldier of the Revolution.
      House of Commons, 1790.
      Senate,                      1792.

      One of the earliest settlers of the French Broad Valley.
      He was prominent in the organization of Buncombe County.

      On the reverse side:

      Erected by the
              D.A.R.
    Maj. William Davidson (1736-1814)
    Maj. William Davidson (1736-1814)
    Person ID I422  DNA Family 1 Genealogies
    Last Modified 18 Sep 2011 

    Father John Davidson,   b. Abt 1700, ____, ____, Ireland, UK Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1749, ____, ____, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 49 years) 
    Mother Jane Tucker,   b. Abt 1712, ____, ____, Ireland, UK Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Unknown, ____, ____, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1728  ____, ____, Ireland, UK Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F68  Group Sheet

    Family Margaret McConnell,   b. Abt 1742, ____, Brunswick Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1806, ____, Buncombe Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 64 years) 
    Married 1758  French Broad Valley, ____, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Alt. Marriage 1759  [2
    Children 
     1. Mary McConnell "Polly" Davidson,   b. 4 Oct 1760, ____, Rowan Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Apr 1842, Asheville, Buncombe Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     2. John Davidson,   b. 26 Oct 1764, ____, ____, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1845, ____, Bedford Co., TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     3. Hugh Davidson,   b. 5 Jan 1768, ____, Burke Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Sep 1841, ____, ____, TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     4. George Davidson,   b. 5 Jan 1768, ____, Rowan Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1837, Water Valley, Yalobusha Co., MS Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     5. Jane "Jean" Davidson,   b. 1 Jun 1772,   d. Bef 1800, ____, ____, KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     6. Sarah "Sallie" Davidson,   b. 9 Jun 1774, ____, ____, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Unknown
     7. Elizabeth Vance Davidson,   b. 1 Jul 1775, ____, Iredell Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 27 Nov 1843, ____, Williamson Co., TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     8. Ruth Davidson,   b. 7 Nov 1777, ____, Iredell Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 May 1849, Columbia, Maury Co., TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     9. William Mitchell Davidson,   b. 2 Jul 1780, ____, Haywood Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1846, Rock Island Ferry, ____, TX Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
     10. Col. Samuel Winslow Davidson,   b. 2 Apr 1781, ____, Burke Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Oct 1858, ____, ____, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
    Last Modified 4 May 2006 
    Family ID F63  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 10 Oct 1736 - ____, ____, Ireland, UK Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand - 1804 - ____, Buncombe Co., NC Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 16 May 1814 - ____, Buncombe Co., NC Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Aft 16 May 1814 - Piney Grove (Swannanoa) Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Swannanoa, Buncombe Co., NC Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Major William Davidson was born in Ireland in October 1737.  Some sources list his birth year as 1739.  Samuel Davidson was his twin brother.  His family moved about 1750 to what was then Center Church in Rowan County, NC.  This area is now in Iredell County.

      He married Margaret McConnell.

      When the Revolutionary War broke out, he was living in western Rowan County at a place called "The Glades", now in McDowell County, NC, on the Catawba River near Greenlee.

      Soon after the war, he removed from "The Glades" a place not far from the present village of Old Fort in McDowell County, NC, on the Catawba River to the Swannanoa River in what is now Buncombe County, NC, where he resided till his death at age 78 on 16 May 1814.  The home was in the mountains at the mouth of Bee Tree Creek and remained in the family for about a century.  He is buried on the estate.

      The following is a biography abstracted from the book "Genealogy of the Davidson Family of the Duck River Valley" by Ede Davidson Neil, John Q. Davidson, and Hugh Davidson (Nashville, 1907):

      "William Davidson was a patriot in every sense of the word, and was by appointment of the Provincial Congress, April 22, 1776, a Major in the Fourth North Carolina Regiment.  He was a member of the Continental Congress from North Carolina from 1818 to 1821  [Sic. -  This is impossible.  By 1818, he was dead and the Continental Congress no longer existed.], and was also the first Senator in the Legislature of North Carolina from the county of Buncombe.  The county of Buncombe was organized at his home, and the first County Court was held there.  From an old record we get the following:

      "'B.'
      "'North Carolina, Buncombe County, April 16th, A.D. 1792. -- Agreeable to a commission to us directed, the County Court of said county was begun, opened, and held at the house of Col. William Davidson, Esq.  Present: James Davidson, David Vance, William Whitson, William Davidson, James Alexander, James Brittain, Philip Hoodenpile.'

      "He was also a member of the Committee of Safety for Rowan County.  At a meeting of this committee held on Wednesday, November 8, 1775, we find the following resolution:

      "'Resolved, That John Brevard, John Dickey, Moses Winsley, and Hugh Brevard, or any three of them, attend at Capt. William Davidson's, on the 20th instant, to see that the company of minute men, whom he has enlisted, are embodied, and able, effective men, and make report to the next committee.'

      "An old family record shows that William Davidson died May 16, 1814, aged 78 years.  His wife Margaret (McConnell) Davidson, died November 13, 1806, aged 58 years; yet the monument erected by the D.A.R.'s gives the year of his death as 1810.  The following is a copy of what appears on his monument:

      "'MAJ. WM. DAVIDSON
                1744-1810
        Soldier of the Revolution.
        House of Commons, 1790.
        Senate,                      1792.

      One of the earliest settlers of the French Broad Valley.
      He was prominent in the organization of Buncombe County.'

      "On the reverse side:

      "'  Erected by the
              D.A.R.'

      "In 'King's Mountain and Its Heros' the following appears:

      "'A little incident, worthy of relation, occurred while the British Troops were encamped at William Davidson's place.  A soldier was tempted to kill a chicken and enjoy a savory meal: but he was discovered by Mrs. Davidson, who reported the theft to Ferguson.  He had the culprit punished, and gave the good lady a dollar in compensation for the loss. This was certainly creditable to Ferguson's sense of justice: but it was, like an oasis in the desert, a circumstance of very unfrequent occurrence.'

      "This Mrs. Davidson was Margaret McConnell, wife of William Davidson, our ancestor, and must have been a woman of considerable courage, as Ferguson was known as 'The Great Wolf of North Carolina,' who often showed his bloodthirsty temper.

      "On another occasion, while the British were on the lookout for 'rebels,' they went ot the home of William Davidson: and young Morrison, her husband's half-brother, attempted to frighten her into revealing the hiding place of her husband by pointing a gun at her in a threatening manner.  He failed to get any information.

      "By way of explanation we will say that some of the 'Duck River' branch of the Davidsons have been a little confused by the fact that there were two William Davidsons, which can be easily explained.  We descend from William Davidson, son of John Davidson (The First).  Gen. William Lee Davidson, who was killed at Cowan's Ford, February 1, 1781, while resisting the advance of the British forces, under command of Colonel Hall, was a son of George Davidson, brother of John Davidson (The First).  A renegade Tory, Frederick Hager, was Colonel Hall's guide on this occasion; and it was thought by General Davidson's friends that it was Hagar who killed him, as he was shot through the body by a bullet from a small-bored gun -- the only one in the Bristish command -- and was carried by Hager.  After the war, it was entirely 'too hot' for Hager in North Carolina, and he came to Tennessee and settled near Cascade Falls, in what is now Coffee County.  Several years later John Davidson (The Third) and his brother, Hugh Davidson, came to the Duck River country and settled, the latter about four miles east of Normandy.  Hager, learning this fact, removed again westward, going into the wilderness of Arkansas, and died near Lone Post, leaving a large family."
      _________

      PACOLET, Spartanburg County, SC
      March 11, 1875
      Friend Spartan:

      The other day I saw a  veritable Centennial curiosity. Just below the old Grindal shoals, on Pacolet  river, stands a large beech tree about three and half feet in diameter, upon  which is carved the initials " W.D., 1776 " and tradition says it was CAPT.  WILLIAM DAVIDSON, who was in command of a picket at that memorable ford, while  some troops were making their way to Charleston. On the South side of the river,  a considerable number of torys lived- hence the " rebels", in camping always  used the precaution to guard the ford. That WILLIAM DAVIDSON must have been a  good scholar or at least expert in carving as the letters and figures are well  made and beautifully proportioned. On another beech close by, is inscribed  LEMUEL FERNANDES, 1804. This old ford has long since, from necessity, gone out  of use. In olden times there was here a fine shoal and boats sluices, but not a  vestage of it is to be seen. The natural bed of the river, I suppose, has been  elevated five or six feet and mostly ruined the once magnificent water  power of that place.
      PACOLET.

  • Sources 
    1. [S8] Davison/Davidson Family, Robert Stephens Hand, (2nd Ed., 1991), p. 10 (Reliability: 3).
      Estimated date

    2. [S2] AAA McConnell Families, 1748-1982, Joel P. McConnell, (1983), p. 13 (Reliability: 3).