How do we prove a line? First, we choose a line of descendancy and follow its paper records to recent times. Then we identify a living descendant and contact him. We then test the DNA of the living descendant to see how his DNA matches others who have already tested and who are already placed on known branches of the tree.
An ancestral line is “proven” when two living descendants of the same line have DNA that matches each other closely. If living descendants of two lines have DNA that match, the line is proven only up to their ancestor-in-common. Their ancestral lines merge at the ancestor that they have in common, like two separate branches of a tree become one when they reach the trunk of the tree.
The ancestor-in-common’s DNA, theoretically, should match both descendants. Even though DNA is copied exactly for hundreds of duplications, there could be a mutation or change in markers from a father to a son. If a mutation ever occurs, it always has to occur in one father which is then inherited by his son. The changed set of markers is then passed down from his son to his grandson and so on.
Currently we have members who descend from William Davis and his first wife, Elizabeth Brisley, and we have members who descend from William Davis and his second wife, Elizabeth Pavior. Theoretically, ALL male descendants of William Davis should have similar DNA, because William is only 10 generations back from most living descendants, but we are finding many differences. Making sense out of our differences is what this project is all about.
If you want to learn more about these lines in a family tree format or see the entire Davis family tree, visit our PHP site: William Davis DNA Project members family tree. See below for our most recent visual diagram of matching Davis lines. To enlarge: click image 2x. Use your back button to return.
The entire sequence of each members’ markers is posted by kit # on the Davis Surname DNA Project site. Scroll down to “William Davis K87577,” a dark-red/maroon-shaded section, to see our group.
Proven Lines Both Branches
CURRENT MATCHES AND THEIR PROVEN LINES
As of April, 2013, we have 20 members of the William Davis DNA Project whose DNA matches each other. Most of those tested did 67-marker tests. We have tests from living descendants of William1 Davis and his first wife Elizabeth Brisley (via their only surviving son, Rev. John2) and we have tests from living descendants of William1 Davis and his second wife, Elizabeth Pavior (via their son, James2).
William and Elizabeth Pavior had 4 other sons: Thomas “William”2, Joseph2, Edward2, and William2, but we have not yet found living descendants of them.
Below is a text version of the Proven Lines diagram above. These are the lines whose living descendants’ DNA currently match each other exactly or closely. The subscripts after the given name indicate the generation number. Number 1 is the oldest generation, Rev. William1. Number 2 is William’s son, 3 is William’s grandson, etc.
Lines from B-1, (Branch 1):
1. William Gifford “Jersey Billy”5 line: Living11, Londes Ray10, Virgil Roy9, John Robert8, Zebulon7, Joshua J.6, William Gifford5 (“Jersey Billy”), Rev. Nathan4, Rev/Capt Thomas William3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
2. Nathan Gifford6Line: Living10, Hayward F.9, Gifford Nathan8, Martin Van Buren7, Nathan Gifford6, Stephen C.5, Rev. Nathan4, Rev/Capt Thomas William3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
3. Annanias5 Line: Living10, Edward H. 9, Edward H. 8, Marion C.7, Nathan6, Annanias5, Rev. Nathan4, Rev/Capt Thomas William3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
4. George Johnston5 Line: Living Davis10, Sammie Charles9, Franklin Harvey8, Ezra Franklin7, Peter W.6, George Johnston5, William “Greenbrier Billy”4, Rev/ Capt Thomas William3, Rev John2, Rev. William1
5. Jesse L.6 Line: Living10, Russell DeForest9, George8, Jesse7, Jesse L.6, David Rogers, Jr.5, Rev. David Rogers4 , John Jr.3 , Rev. John2, Rev. William1
6. Isaiah Satterly6 b1814 Line: Living10, Gerald R.9, Charles H.8, Richard7, Isaiah Satterly6, David Rogers Jr.5, Rev. David Rogers4, John Jr.3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
7. Jerome Ahira7 Line: Living 11, Ward Rexford10, Walter Orson9, Orson Jerome8, Jerome Ahira7, Job Greene6 Joshua5, Rev. David Rogers4, John Jr.3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
8. Charles7 Davis Line: J.R. 9/Living9, Gilbert Charles8, Charles7, very probably descended from: Richard Robert6, Joshua5, David Rogers4, John Jr.3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
9. Archie Eugene7 Line: Henry Raymond9, Raymond Archie8, Archie Eugene7, Richard Robert6, Joshua5, David Rogers4, John Jr.3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
10. BURNETT Line: Living11, Harry Edward10 Burnett, Harry Spencer9 Burnett, Edward Mont8 Burnett, Edwin Spencer7 Burnett, Peter H.6 Burnet, William Harrington Burnet5, Unknown Harrington4 & Grace Burnet, Sussex Co, NJ
11. Benjamin West DAVIS Line : Living10, Living9, Harold Allen8, Timothy Mosher7, Stephen Sweet6, Benjamin West5, Caneadea, NY, possibly descended from: Thomas4, John Jr.3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
12. Benjamin5 b CT Line: Living9, LaVerne W.8, Henry Eugene7, William6, Benjamin5, Thomas4, John Jr.3, Rev. John2, Rev. William1
13. MURRAY Line: Living11 MURRAY, Patrick E. MURRAY10, Living MURRAY10 (siblings), Charles Edward9 MURRAY, Joseph Edward8 MURRAY, Patrick7 MURRAY, Peter6 MURRAY, Scotland…
From B-2, (Branch 2):
14. James Madison5 Line: Living9, Roger Eugene Sr.8, Nathan Wardner7, John Tisdale6, James Madison5, James David4, William Bolton3 Davis (“Bottom Billy”), James2, Rev. William1
15. Darius King6 Line: Living9, Charles Allison8, Charles Allen7, Darius King6, Elieonai5, George I. 4, William Bolton3 Davis (“Bottom Billy”), James2 Davis, Rev. William1
16. Also Darius King6 Line (3 testers): Living10, Living9 and Living 9 (siblings), Myrl Nelson8, Charles Allen7, Darius King6, Elieonai5, George I. 4, William Bolton3 Davis (“Bottom Billy”), James2 Davis, Rev. William1
17. Thomas Benton Kelly6 Line : Living10, Elson Neil9, Chester Earl8, Alpheus Emerson7, Thomas Benton Kelly6, Elieonai5, George I.4, William Bolton3 Davis (“Bottom Billy”), James2 Davis, Rev. William1
This page will be updated as new lines are proven, so check back.