In Memory of Olin C. Davis
28 March 1926 – 29 May 2013

by Jan Davis Markle

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of our eldest member, Olin Cecil Davis, who died May 29 at age 87. Olin was a member of the William Davis DNA Project since 2009, when he was 83.

A double DAVIS

Olin must have been very much a DAVIS because he was a Davis descendant from two lines: his father’s DAVIS line AND his mother’s line.

Olin’s father,  La Verne William DAVIS, was a descendant of Benjamin5 DAVIS (born 1776 CT),  the one with the “22 sons” [only 12, really]. Benjamin5 DAVIS was the son of William Thomas4 DAVIS (born 1752 RI).

Olin’s maternal grandmother was also a DAVIS. Olin’s mother was Ruth Scholtz and Ruth’s mother, Effie DAVIS, was the daughter of Thomas Clayton7 DAVIS, the genealogist who collected much of the history of the DAVIS families. Thomas Clayton DAVIS descended from Annanias5 DAVIS, born 1784 NJ, son of Rev. Nathan4 DAVIS.

When explaining the two DAVIS lines and adding that he was also a double descendant of Roger WILLIAMS, Olin said, “I think that I’m my own grandpaw!”

See Olin’s two DAVIS  lines, on the Proven Lines chart.



Over the years, you learn  a lot from Olin’s emails but after reading his book, “Flashbacks,” you feel like you really knew him. It is a testimony to the value of writing a diary or autobiography to pass down to your descendants, to let them know who you really were.

Some excerpts from emails with Olin between 2009 and 2013

” I have published a book, FLASHBACKS, which contains many pictures and my stories about my growing up years during the Great Depression and World War II in the 30s, 40, and 50s.  It is now in the second printing.  I am still accumulating more true life stories which may or not be published in another volume of flashback memories.”

“FLASHBACKS… is a collection of my personal true life-story memoirs, with anecdotes about family and country living in the days of the Great Depression and World War II.  I was pleased the other day when I received a letter from someone I have never met.  She said in part,  ‘We enjoyed reading your Flashbacks book so much.  The stories were so meaningful and memorable. We laughed and we cried.’   Those were humbling words to an author!”

“I am 83 years old [in 2009] and live alone.  I grew up on a dairy farm here in NYS. Most of my working life was involved in sales of farm equipment both at the retail and the wholesale level.  In retirement I enjoy gardening with several large flower gardens decorating my five acre lawn which surrounds the old country home.  I also enjoy reading and writing. ”

Olin said of his Benjamin Davis ancestor:

“Our family has always told that this Benjamin had two wives and twenty-one sons, no daughters.”

Olin was referring to Benjamin5 Davis, born 1776, in Farmington, Connecticut, son of Thomas  and Polly West. Benjamin DAVIS died in Watson, Lewis, New York and actually had 12 sons. Including his daughters, his total number of children was 19. Perhaps there were 3 other children who died as infants and the number 22 was accurate.

Says Olin: “I have never ventured up to Watson where family info says that  GGgrandfather Benjamin is buried. He DID have a first and a second wife to mother all those sons!!” [And a third wife, actually.]

“I know that in that time frame there was a Seventh Day Baptist Church (now defunct) in the hamlet.  That location in New York State is still covered with snow at this time of the year.  I’ll try to get my daughter to take me there in summer.  It would be nice to clear up that mystery for all concerned.”

“My Great Grandfather on my mother’s side, Thomas Clayton Davis, was an old man I remember seeing as he sat at an old Underwood typewriter working on his genealogy.  Of course, I suppose that is what he was doing.  I can’t remember him anywhere except at the clattering old machine.  Wouldn’t he have enjoyed computers?”

“Ancestors of Olin C. Davis” posted on the
William Davis DNA Project Ancestor Photos Page

image009Olin and Marilyn (Osborn) Davis, July 1958

image001Olin’s parents: La Verne and Ruth (Sholtz) Davis, 1958

Olin'sFamilyThe La Verne and Ruth Davis family in 1948
Back: Duane, Ruth, LaVerne, Olin
Front: Willis, Kenneth, Roger


Olin’s father: LaVerne William Davis, 1903-1977

LaVerne’s father: Henry Eugene Davis, 1856- 1920

image011Olin and his pony, Silky, abt 1938

Olin standing, and (L to R) Kenneth, Roger, Duane

Ruth (Sholtz) Davis and son, Olin, abt 1929

Grandmother Effie, mother Ruth, baby Olin
and great-grandfather, Thomas Clayton Davis, abt 1926

Olin’s great grandfather, Thomas Clayton Davis, great grandmother Eliza Babcock, with Olin’s grandmother, Effie Davis (back row, second from left), and siblings, Ruby, Pearl, Iva, Lola, Bert, abt 1890

Obituary from Legacy.com

Published in The Oneida Daily Dispatch,  June 2, 2013

Olin C. Davis(1926 – 2013)

ONEIDA >> Olin C. Davis, 87, Randel Road, died Wednesday evening, May 29, 2013, in the Oneida Healthcare Center, from injuries sustained when a tree fell on him at his home. Born in Verona on March 28, 1926, he was the son of LaVerne and Ruth Sholtz Davis. A lifelong resident of the Town of Verona, he was a graduate of the Verona High School, Class of 1943, and was the salutatorian. He married Marilyn Osborn on July 27, 1958 in the Verona Seventh Day Baptist Church. Mrs. Davis died on Oct. 23, 1997.
Prior to his retirement in 2000, he was employed with Cummings and Bricker. He owned and operated his own farm and Davis Equipment Center. Mr. Davis was a graduate of Reisch American School of Auctioneering in 1947 and was an independent auctioneer.
Olin was a member of the Seventh Day Baptist Church, where he served as the church clerk for over 20 years, Sabbath School teacher for over 60 years, served as church treasurer and served on the National Board of Christian Education. He was a member of the Oneida Area Civic Chorale for over 40 years and served on the board for 29 years.
Mr. Davis authored two books, collections of True Lifestories and Flashbacks and Recollections and was a member of the Canastota Writers Group. He also enjoyed gardening.
Surviving are two daughters, Lois S. Davis of Rome and Joan C. Davis of Ashburn, Va.; one son and daughter-in-law, Dwight W. and Monica Davis of Durhamville; three grandchildren, Dylan Davis, Quinn Davis and Riley Davis; special sister-in-law, Della Fern Davis of Verona, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by five brothers, Donald Davis, Willis Davis, Kenneth Davis, Rev. Duane Davis and Roger Davis.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Monday at the Verona Seventh Day Baptist Church, with the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chroniger, officiating. Interment will be made in New Union Cemetery. Friends may call at the Campbell-Dean Funeral Home, Inc., 260 Main St., Oneida, 1-5 p.m., Sunday.
Contributions, in his memory, may be made to the Verona Seventh Day Baptist Church Memorial Fund, 6754 Blackmans Corners Road, Verona, N.Y. 13478. To leave a message of condolence, please visit www.campbell-dean.com
Pedigree of Olin Cecil Davis
(See extended pedigree, with Roger Williams lines,  at William Davis DNA Project Members’ Tree)