We have a new Davis member of the William Davis DNA Project. He is Kit #201748 on the FTDNA Davis Surname Project. He descends from Annanias Davis, born 1784, the son of Rev. Nathan Davis, Sr.

His line is Rev. William1,  John2, Rev/Capt Thomas William3, Rev. Nathan4, Annanias5, Nathan6, Marion C.7, Edward H.8, Edward H. Jr.9, living Davis10.

Annanias came from Salem, WV to Ohio and then to Sullivan County, Indiana and Annanias’ son, Nathan, continued northwest from Indiana to Welton, Clinton County, Iowa.


Our new match closely matches (1 step off at 67 markers) three of our other William Davis DNA Project members.

Our new member first matches the tester who descends from Annanias’ brother, William Gifford “Jersey Billy” Davis, both sons of Rev. Nathan Davis, Sr.

William Gifford “Jersey Billy” Davis  was the oldest,  born in NJ in 1762 and was 22 years older than Annanias Davis (and Annanias’ twin brother, John) who were the youngest, born in NJ in 1784. (See their lines on the far left of the  “Proven Lines” chart.)

This first match shows the same marker results at DYS 391, both of them=10, which sets them off from the rest of the group, who all have DYS 391=11. Although they match at DYS 391, their match is not exact because they differ 1 step at DYS 576, considered a “fast” changing STR (short tandem repeat) marker, more likely  to change within a genealogical time frame. Our new member shows DYS 576 =21 and our older member shows 576=22. Even with only one marker one step off, their common ancestor is still 7 generations ago.

Our new member’s other close match is the member descended from Rev. David Rogers4 Davis, Sr., first cousin to Rev. Nathan 4 Davis, Sr. The one step off at 67 markers for this match is at DYS 391, our new member with 10, and our old member with 11. These two matching lines are 8 generations away from an ancestor in common.

The third match is an identical match to another test, but we don’t have any genealogical conclusions from the match because it is as yet unplaced on the Davis family tree.

One thing we can observe from these two matches is that two Davis men can match 1 step off and still not have an ancestor in common for 7 generations.  When predicting ancestry in common, this is a fact we can rely on, rather than guessing with statistical probability.

UPDATE: Our new member also matches one of our current members with a genetic distance of four steps off.   Their Davis ancestors in common are Rev. John2 Davis, b. 1692, and Elizabeth Maxson, 7 generations ago.

Four steps off is not usually close enough to comment on but this same current member’s mother’s line descends from the same ancestors in common as our newest member, just 5 generations ago: Annanias Davis, b 1784, and Rebecca Clayton.

Our current member’s line on his mother’s side is: Rev. Wm1, Rev. John2, Thomas3, Nathan4, Annanias5, William Clayton6, Thomas Clayton7, Effie Irene8 Davis, Ruth Marie Sholtz9 [who married LaVerne W.8 Davis], Living10 Davis, Kit #152496. Ruth Marie Sholtz9 and La Verne W. 8 Davis were 6th cousins, once removed.

LaVerne8 Davis’ line, Kit # 152496’s father’s line, is: Rev. Wm1, Rev. John2, John3, Thomas4, Benjamin5, William6, Henry Eugene7, LaVerne8, Living9Davis.  This is the line that is 4 steps distant from our newest member.

Unfortunately the Y DNA test only tests the male line so we cannot see how close our current and newest members are via Annanias5.

See all these lines on the proven lines chart.


Our new Davis member comes with stories from his Davis ancestry which he  is happy to share with us. Here is an excerpt from the Sabbath Recorder about Annanias Davis and his wife Rebecca Clayton.

The Sabbath Recorder; Feb. 19, 1852

Western Correspondence

(Letter to the editor, dated Jan. 18, 1852)

In this place, Sullivan, the county seat of Sullivan County, I have incidentally met with a number of Sabbath-keepers, adhering to the law of the Lord; and testifying to all around of the obligation of all men to remember the Sabbath of Jehovah. the head of this interesting group is Annanias Davis, a son of Nathan Davis, Once of Salem, Virginia, whose family was part of the colony that removed from Squan River, in New Jersey, to western Virginia, Sixty-one years ago (1791), at which time the subject of these remarks was nine (born abt. 1782) years of age. The family name of his wife , who is in like manner zealous for the sabbath observance, was Clayton, and she belonged to a family who were formerly connected with the same Christian Fraternity. Annanias Davis removed from Vireto, Warren Co., Ohio forty-three years ago(1809), and thirteen years ago (1839) to this place, at that time, a dense and almost unbroken forest. It being the center of the county, by vote of the inhabitants, the county seat was removed here five years ago( 1847), which has given increased value to their lands, and importance to their location. During the whole thirteen years of their residency here, they have not heard a Sabbath Keeper preach nor even seen a single person of their own faith nor read a Sabbath publication, the Bible alone excepted; and yet they have steadily kept to the “Ancient and Honorable Way”. The posterity of this worthy couple now number Sixty-five souls; their own children are five sons and four daughters, with their families, most of them observers of the Sabbath. From the I gave them, they have concluded to send for the Sabbath Recorder. Having no public gifts among them, for nine years they lived without any church privileges; but for four years past, most of them have united with the Christian Church in this place, with the express agreement, that they may keep Jehovah’s holy day, and be subject to neither censure nor discipline for pursuing their worldly business on the first day of the week, so that they do not habitually neglect public worship in the church to which they belong. Their learning is chiefly the “one-book” learning; and that they have “right smart.” Although they have no public gifts, their honest and Christian behavior has gained for them a good report of all men where they are known. They have often been assailed by the opponents of the seventh-day Sabbath, but have so successfully used the armor of righteousness as to put to silence their opposers; and a considerable portion of the community around them have learned to say, “If there is any day of rest binding by Scripture now, it is the seventh day.”  S. D.  


The following is a story about Annanias’ son, Nathan Davis and his wife, Nancy Doty, and also about Nathan’s son, Marion C. Davis and Marion’s son, Ed Davis, written by our new member’s living aunt:

“At the time of the civil war, Nathan and Nancy Davis came to Iowa from the Terre Haute area of Indiana, traveling with their family in a covered wagon. They homesteaded a farm near the small town of Welton, in Clinton county.

Marion Clinton married Libby Mathers and they had two sons, your grandfather, Edward Harrison and William. Edward was about 2 years older than Will. Marion and Libby separated when the boys were quite young and Ed went to live with Marion’s parents while Will was raised by Libby’s parents. They did not know each other until Ed as a young man traveled by horseback from the Welton area in eastern Iowa to Rinard which is in Northwest Iowa. Must have been quite an adventure.

In later years, Marion made his home with Ed and Emma in Lyons (which is now part of Clinton). He developed cataracts and lost his sight. In 1926 Emma passed away and, after a time, Ed and Grace were married.

In the early 1920’s, Ed was driving a team of horses on the frozen Mississippi river when the ice broke and he found himself under the horses who were kicking their legs trying to swim. Somehow he managed to get hold of the harness and pull himself up to the surface where he could grab on to the edge of the ice and pull himself out of the hole. This happened in a very isolated area so he had to walk quite a long way to a cabin where the man that lived there gave him lots of hot coffee and dry clothes, then proceeded to take him into town.

At first, they told Ed that he might lose both hands but there was a young doctor who thought that just by removing the infected tissue he could save the hands. He lost part of one of his little fingers to the middle joint and three fingers to the first joint. He was always grateful that he could still work and earn a living, although in later years he had very painful arthritis which they thought was attributed to the accident.

Ed worked for the city of Clinton and had two mules. He would plow gardens and do odd jobs with them. Edwin says the name of the mules were Jack and Speck. Ed was very attached to them.”


We are happy to add this new Davis descendant to our William Davis DNA group. See all his ancestors and their relationships, and find some connections to your own Davis line, on the new William Davis DNA Project family tree. If you are a member of the William Davis DNA Project, you can edit your own facts online. Looking forward to more Davis connections!

– Jan R. (Davis) Markle