John Davis1

b. 14 October 1743, d. June 1810
FatherNathaniel Davis d. bef 15 Oct 1765
MotherSarah (?)2
Birth14 Oct 1743 John Davis was born on 14 Oct 1743.1 
Baptism6 Nov 1743 He was baptized on 6 Nov 1743 in Stone or Tinkling Spring Meeting House, Augusta County, Virginia.3 
Land-Sell15 Oct 1765  Augusta County, Virginia.
On October 15, 1765 John and his mother, Sarah, sold 115 acres on Buffalo Creek in what was then Augusta [now Rockbridge] County (Virginia) to Moses Cavet for 35 pounds. [It was the same land John's father Nathaniel patented on August 30, 1763]. No neighbors were named in the deed but it was witnessed by John Maxwell, Audley Paul and George Wilson. It is not known at this time what relationship existed, if any, between the Davises and the 3 men who witnessed this transaction.4 
  The deed referred to Sarah as the relict [widow] of Nathaniel Davis, deceased, and John as their son and Nathaniel's heir, indicating Nathaniel died sometime between his purchase of the above property in late August 1763, and it's sale in October, 1765. John's brother Samuel applied for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832 in which he stated that his father was killed by the Shawnee Indians.4,5 
Marriagecirca 1766 He married first Mary Allison circa 1766. 
Research  Warren and Wendell Davis, in their manuscript on the Davis family, state that John owned 350 acres along the Elk River in Tennessee, just south of Abingdon; need to follow up on this. 
Research  John and Nathaniel were in the county bef 1772 per writings attributed to Gov. David Campbell in Early Settlers of Washington Co., part of Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher and Kindred Families by Mgt Pilcher (Nashville: Marshall and Bruce Co., 1911). He also states that 4 Davis brothers were present at an early date: Nathaniel, John, James and Samuel.

Note: David Campbell served as governor of VA from 1837-1840. He was born in Washington County in 1779 and was a merchant in Abingdon for many years. He died in 1859 ( citing the Dictionary of VA Biography). Gov. Campbell was a nephew of Col. Arthur Campbell, under whom several of the Davis brothers served during the Revolutionary War (online genealogies of the Campbell family; Davis Rev. War pension applications). 
Research1780  Accd to Summers Annals SW VA the following were at Kings Mtn: Capt John Davis, Nathaniel Davis, Ensign Robert Davis, Samuel Davis, Col. William Davis.6 
Religion1782  Washington County, Virginia;
an elder in the Sinking Spring congregation in 1782 under Rev. Charles Cummings.7 
Tax1782  Washington County, Virginia;
John appeared on tax rolls the first year they were kept and remained on them through 1810. He was recorded in the Lower District and was a slave holder.8 
Marriage19 Oct 1786 He married second Mary (Copeland) Corry, daughter of Benjamin Copeland, on 19 Oct 1786 in Washington County.9 
  Mary was a widow whose husband James Corry was killed in 1780 at the Battle of Kings Mountain. She was the mother of 4 young children.  
Witnessed1 May 1796  Washington County, Virginia;
witnessed will of James Herrald.10 
Land-Sell25 Dec 1799  Washington County, Virginia.
133 acres in Washington County for $200 to John Stewart; spelled DAVIES - is this the right John and Mary?11 
Research21 Dec 1802  Deed between Michael Coleman and John Davis; 233 pds; 466 acres on both sides of the big road - gives description; ment John Allison's survey and John Allison's son Mathew; did not copy DB 3:21. 
Will27 Feb 1809  John wrote his will on 27 Feb 1809 in Washington County, Virginia. He left the plantation on which he was living for the use of his wife Mary during her widowhood or remaining lifetime. John's son John was allowed the use of a portion of the land; he was to receive the remainder on Mary's death or remarriage. The elder John's son James received a tract of land on the waters of the Elk River in Tennessee. John also left Mary the household furniture and all the slaves during her lifetime with 2 exceptions. Following Mary's death the slaves and any remaining personal property was to be sold and divided among John's sons-in-law William Snoddy, Thomas Snoddy, William Gray and John Moffett and his sons Nathaniel and Robert Davis. John Campbell and Andrew Russell were designated as John's executors.12 
DeathJun 1810 John died in Jun 1810 at age 66.13 
Will-Recd1 Oct 1810 However John's will was not recorded in Washington County Circuit court until 1 Oct 1810.12 
Court RecordNov 1813  Three years after John's death Mary filed a law suit against Andrew Russell as John's executor, as well as against her stepchildren Robert Davis, Mary (Davis) Gray and her husband William, Isabella (Davis) Moffett and her husband John,Thomas Snoddy, Sarah (Davis) Snoddy and her husband William, and the administrators of Nathaniel Davis. Mary wished to receive a portion of John's estate in her own right (rather than as a life estate) but was unable to come to agreement with the other heirs.14 
Land20 Nov 1821  Several years after his death, John's heirs sold their interest in a tract of land in Washington County containing 234 acres to David Campbell. He paid each of them $20. It was the balance of a larger tract of land patented to Michael Coleman and sold to John Davis in Dec. 1802. John sold 232 acres of the tract to Jacob Shoemaker on May 4th 1805, leaving 234 acres on both sides of the main road about 5 1/2 miles west of Abingdon. The land had orignally been jointly purchased by John Davis and Mathew Willoughby who had also sold his share to David Campbell. Their are 2 separate deeds for the sale, both dated the same day, one recorded in 1821 and one in 1823. Oddly the 1823 recording date appears in the deed book before the 1821 entry. The wording is not identical, the first entry being more detailed.15,16 

Related Links and Images:

See also Any Davis
John and his mother Sarah - deed to Moses Cavet after Nathaniel's death
Wythe Co. court case between Mary Davis and certain of her stepchildren
John's will

Family 1

Mary Allison b. 14 Feb 1743, d. bef Oct 1786

Family 2

Mary Copeland d. 1821
  • Elizabeth Davis12,18,1 (22 Mar 1788 - )
  • Nancy Davis12,14 (6 Feb 1793 - )
Last Edited1 Aug 2013


  1. [S1708] Mrs. Ivie McNees, "Davis Records," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume XXII, No. 2 (June 1934): 36. Transcribed entry from religious record printed in 1768 lists John and Mary Davis's dates of birth followed by the names and dates of birth for each of their children (also John's first child from his second marriage). The NGS submission included an annotation, presumably by Mrs. McNees that stated: "John Davis md. 1st Mary Allison; md 2nd Mary Curry (said to be a widow) in 1786."
  2. [S1289] Augusta Co., Virginia Deed Book 12: p. 295. Sarah Davis (relict of Nathaniel Davis, dec'd) and John (son of Nathaniel and Sarah) sell 115 acres on Buffalo Creek to Moses Cavet; 15 Oct. 1765.
  3. [S323] Howard McKnight Wilson, The Tinkling Spring, p. 470-484. Appendix F. contains baptismal records abstracted from Rev. John Craig's personal book. Among them are two entries for children of Nathaniel Davis: John, bapt. 6 Nov. 1743 and Elisabeth, bapt. May 11, 1746. Both of these baptisms took place "in the congregation" which included both Stone and Tinkling Spring Meeting Houses.
  4. [S1289] Augusta Co., Virginia Deed Book 12: p. 295. Sarah Davis (relict of Nathaniel Davis, dec'd) and John (son and heir by law of Nathaniel and Sarah) sell 115 acres on Buffalo Creek to Moses Cavet; 15 Oct. 1765.
  5. [S1294] Samuel Davis personal statement, dated 8 Nov. 1832 at Madison Co., Alabama; Samuel Davis Revolutionary War Pension Application File; RG 15; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M804 - Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, roll 755).
  6. [S726] Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia, part 2:1379.
  7. [S727] Lewis Preston Summers, History of Southwest Virginia and Washington Co., p. 605.
  8. [S1249] Washington Co., Virginia Tax Records 1782-1805.
  9. [S4] D.E. Brown, Marriages of Washington Co., VA 1781-1853, p. 15. Entry reported to read: John Davis and Mary Curry, 19 Oct. 1786 by Charles Cummings.
  10. [S726] Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia, part 2:1351. Will of James Herrald. His estate to his children Robert, Mary & James. Exec. John Davis & Rbt. Herrald. Wit: John Davis, James Davis, John Moffett. Probated Oct. 18, 1796.
  11. [S726] Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia, part 2:1340.
  12. [S1248] Washington Co., Virginia Deed Book B (District Ct): 262. Will of John Davis, dated 27 Feb. 1809 and recorded 1 Oct. 1810; witnessed by Alex'r Hamilton and John McCormick.
  13. [S1295] Andrew Russell deposition in case of Mary Davis vs Russell et al; Wythe Co. Virginia Superior Ct. Chancery Pleas Records 2: 20.
  14. [S1295] Mary Davis vs Russell et al; Wythe Co. Virginia Superior Ct. Chancery Pleas Records 2: 19.
  15. [S1947] Washington Co., Virginia Deed Book 8: 313. Deed dated 20 Nov. 1821 and recorded the same day.
  16. [S1947] Washington Co., Virginia Deed Book 8: 145. Deed dated 20 Nov. 1821 and recorded 19 Aug. 1823.
  17. [S1295] Mary Davis vs Russell et al; Wythe Co. Virginia Superior Ct. Chancery Pleas Records 2: 19. Administrator of Nathaniel Davis deceased named among heirs of John Davis.
  18. [S1295] Elizabeth Willoughby deposition in case of Mary Davis vs Russell et al; Wythe Co. Virginia Superior Ct. Chancery Pleas Records 2: 19.