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15 Nov. 2015.

Two days ago I sent out 39  8×10 envelopes with “do not bend” stamped all over them.
They were going out to our current members of the William Davis DNA Project.

Enclosed in those envelopes is (finally) a certificate of membership to our William Davis DNA Project. Please check your mail (Your real mail. Look for a box outside your house someplace) for it. If you don’t receive one in the next few days, please let me know.
If you have moved in the last year, your certificate might go to post office limbo and I will endeavor to get another to you if you let me know where to send it. If you feel that you should be a member by virtue of a relationship to someone who has tested but you have not received any certificate, please contact me.


These 39 envelopes represent 27 testers and 17 of their family members, with some envelopes carrying two certificates going to two family members.


Our Davis group appears to be spread out from the East coast to the West coast. (There were no WDDP members in Hawaii or Alaska and none in foreign countries.)

Among our group, which zip code do you think had the highest number of Davis family descendants?
For the counters among us, here’s the break down:

[1st number of zip code/ = number envelopes mailed there]

0. zip code 0xxxx=3 envelopes mailed
Massachusetts: 1
Vermont: 1
New Jersey: 1
1. zip code 1xxxx = 6 envelopes mailed
NYC: 1
New York State: 5
2.  zip code 2xxxx= 6 envelopes mailed
Maryland: 3
West Virginia: 2
North Carolina: 1
3. zip code 3xxxx= 2 envelopes mailed
Georgia: 1
Florida: 1
4. zip code 4xxxx= 7 envelopes mailed
Ohio: 4
Michigan: 2
Indiana: 1
5. zip code 5xxxx=6 envelopes mailed
Wisconsin: 3
Minnesota: 2
North Dakota: 1
6. zip code 6xxxx=3 envelopes mailed
Kansas: 2
Missouri: 1
7. zip code 7xxxx= 1  envelope mailed
Texas: 1
8. zip code 8xxxx=1  envelope mailed
Arizona: 1
9. zip code 9xxxx=4  envelopes mailed
California: 3
Washington: 1

It looks like the state with the most William Davis DNA Project members or family is New York state with 6 members. Ohio comes in second with 4 members. I’m not sure that we can extrapolate any conclusions from such a small cross-section of Davis descendants, but it would be interesting to do a larger study to see if any one state has more Davis descendants than another and see if the states where Davis ancestors originally settled correlate to how many live there now.

I hope you enjoy this attempt to create an “official” recognition of your descent from Seventh Day Baptist Reverend William Davis. I hope you have fun sharing it with other family members at Thanksgiving.
Have a wonderful holiday.

Best wishes,
Jan Davis Markle


Gil Markle, Jr. abt 1977
Dr. Gilbert Scott Markle 7 July 1940- 20 March 2015

It is with great sadness that I share the news that we have lost another of our William Davis DNA Project members, this one close to my heart. My oldest brother, Dr. Gilbert Scott Markle, a legend in his own time, has passed away. He died March 20, after a brief illness, at the age of 74.

Gil had that undefinable quality of charisma that attracted everyone, each person feeling that he or she was the special one in the spot light of Gil’s attention. As a result, Gil had scores of people, from all walks of life, who revered him. (See the many Legacy guest book posts and Gil Markle Facebook posts.)

Gilbert Scott Markle was the oldest of three children, all born in New Jersey in the 1940’s, but he was was actually a Davis by blood. The name change came about innocuously, an undocumented adoption. Gilbert Scott Markle’s father, also Gilbert, was born a “Davis” on his Manhattan, New York birth certificate. But Gilbert Sr.’s father, Charles Davis, died shortly after the birth, and, as was the custom at that time, Gilbert Sr. was unofficially adopted by his mother’s second husband, Willis Markle. From then on, Gilbert Sr. carried the surname Markle, passing it down to his children.

The name Davis wasn’t the only thing lost when Charles died. Gone too was any documentation proving who Charles was or where he was from. So in early 2007, Gilbert Scott Markle became the first tester for the William Davis DNA Project. Gil was genetically proven a DAVIS, and a descendant of Rev. William Davis, by his Y-DNA tests that matched the many Davis testers with documented Davis ancestries. All the testers showed the same haplogroup, first I2a, which later became I2a1b, and now is known as I-L160. After 7 years of Y matches, and meeting many interesting Davis cousins, the search for Gil’s grandfather, Charles Davis, turned to autosomal testing.

Through autosomal testing and using adoption search methodology of the group to search for this Davis ancestor, several clusters of autosomal matches have been discovered which are all related to the Davis family tree.

One cluster of over 20 separate match lines descends from a single ancestral Davis couple, born in 1740 in NJ. Another large cluster of matches centers around the ancestral surname MAXSON, which is a common Davis family surname. A third cluster of matches centers around Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, about 5 miles from Shrewsbury, NJ, which, if you know the William Davis history, is the area where the Davis clan moved to in 1744 from Rhode Island. Another cluster of matches also centers around Fayette County, PA, which is the area where the Davis clan settled for a year or so, on their way from NJ to Salem, West Virginia in 1789. And, as expected, another cluster of matches, surprisingly a small one, stems from West Virginia where we know a good portion of the Davis family finally settled.

Any of these clusters of matches may eventually lead back to the one ancestral Davis couple whose child was Charles Davis, born in 1870. We have great hope that future, and hopefully closer, autosomal matches will lead to these unknown Davis ancestors, and ultimately to Charles, himself.

Carrying the name Markle instead of Davis seemed to have made no difference to Gil’s life trajectory. Gil’s life was so full of accomplishments, it was enough for several lives. He was Valedictorian of his high school class, despite graduating a year before his own age group. He was a Fulbright scholar and attended the Sorbonne. He was a PhD in Philosophy from Yale, a tenured professor of philosophy at Clark U., the founder and head of two educational travel companies, ALSG (American Leadership Study Groups) and Passports, and founder of Long view Farm, a recording studio in North Brookfield, MA. You can read about his life’s accomplishments and escapades in the two obituaries below and in the writings that he left behind on his websites.

My oldest brother, Gilbert Scott, entrepreneur, visionary, icon, philosopher, engineer and writer, may have passed on, leaving loved ones behind to miss him, but his DNA still resides at the testing company and its pattern is still generating matches, from both Y and now autosomal tests. Considering all that he accomplished in his life, it is fitting that his DNA would continue to accomplish results after he is gone. RIP, dear brother, knowing that the ancestral secrets lying patiently within your chromosomes will eventually be unveiled.

~Jan Davis Markle

See Diary Of a Studiowner ( for Gil’s autobiographical and academic writings.

See Legacy Guest Book (76 posts) and Gil Markle on Facebook.

Obituary, Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Mar. 21 to Mar. 22, 2015,

Dr. Gilbert Scott Markle
SPENCER – Gil Markle passed away on March 20th at his home in Spencer after a brief illness. He was 74.Gil enjoyed a distinguished and unusually multi-faceted career in academia, in educational travel and in the recording industry. He was a Fulbright scholar, a tenured professor of philosophy at Clark University, founder of the American Leadership Study Groups (ASLG) and creator of Long View Farm recording studio in North Brookfield, Mass.Gilbert Scott Markle was born in Jersey City, N.J. [ed’s note: should say: Englewood, NJ], on July 7, 1940, son of the late Gilbert J. Markle and Constance Gates Markle. Gil is survived by his loving companion of more than 30 years, Kathy Mueller; his daughter, Abigail Stayart, and her husband, Andrew, of Chicago, IL; his son, David Markle, and his wife, Karolina Markle, of Shrewsbury, Mass.; two grandsons, Benjamin and Roark Markle, also of Shrewsbury; and two grandchildren soon to be born to Abigail, whom he was looking forward to meeting. He is also survived by his ex-partner, Nancy Wilcox, mother of his two children; by his brother, William Markle, and his wife, Viki, of High Falls, NY; and by his sister, Janet Markle, and her partner Bryce, of Petaluma, Calif.After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1961 with a degree in physics, Gil went to France as a Fulbright Scholar to receive the first of two doctoral degrees, a Doctorat d’ Universite from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He later received his second PhD in the philosophy of science from Yale University in 1968.To earn extra money in Paris, Gil took American students on tours through France. This experience convinced him that leading American high school students on educational tours of Europe might be a good business model.Soon after his return to the US in 1965, Gil founded ALSG, which grew to become one of the leaders in the American educational travel industry. From the late ’60s through the late ’80s, ALSG’s headquarters were at Worcester Airport, where over 50 people worked day and night to ensure the company’s success. In the early ’90s, Gil founded Passports, ALSG’s successor company in the same industry. Passports continues to be a highly successful and innovative sponsor of educational trips overseas.As a professor of philosophy at Clark University from 1966 through the mid-70s, Gil became famous for the size of his classes. This was a testament to his popularity and teaching skills, and, as was written at the time, to his “exciting and compelling approach to teaching academic subjects utilizing a mixed media compilation of tape recorders, slide projectors, live actors and a miniature computer.” Gil was clearly ahead of his time. Several of his students, who later became well-established in the field of film and video production, remarked recently that they owe their careers to Gil Markle.

Perhaps the accomplishment of which Gil was the most proud, and for which he is best known, was his creation of the world-renowned Long View Farm recording studio. Gil purchased the 150-acre horse farm in North Brookfield as a residence in 1973. The recording studio began as a hobby, Gil remarked, “but then the hobby got out of hand.” Surveying his newly-created, state-of-the-art recording facility, located on one the most beautiful pieces of real estate in central Massachusetts, Gil decided to make it available professionally. The rest is history.

Starting in 1974, many of the top recording artists in the world came to call Long View their home, including The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens, Arlo Guthrie, Aerosmith, Stuff, The J. Geils Band, Don McClean, Pat Metheny, Graham Nash and John Belushi. More at

Gil loved the beaches of Tobago and Cape Cod; his many dogs and cats; black & white movies, and most especially, reading. At 74, Gil continued to be involved in his student travel business, and enjoyed re-mastering recordings for his many musician friends. Upon learning of Gil’s passing, many of his friends have remarked that they had rarely known a more kind and generous man.

A few years ago, reflecting on why a hugely popular teacher would leave a tenured position at Clark University, Gil confessed to having become bored with teaching. “My career took a decided left turn after I bought Long View Farm,” he reflected. “I rejected the warm, comfortable career offered by a tenured faculty position and hit the sidewalks again. Besides,” he added, “ALSG was exploding into a multi-million-dollar company, and I was tearing apart a 100-year-old farmhouse called Long View. I felt I didn’t stand to better my record by continuing, so I stepped off at the top of the curve.”
Just as he did on March, 20, 2015.

There are no calling hours. Burial will be private, at the convenience of the family. A celebration of Gil’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Castle Restaurant in Leicester, Mass.

Obituary, Bergen Record, NJ (

Gil Markle, who grew up in Tenafly and made mark in rock and roll, dies at 74

April 7, 2015    Last updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 6:48 AM

But Mr. Markle, who died March 20 at age 74, would make a mark in the recording industry. While teaching philosophy at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in the early ’70s, he bought a 150-acre horse farm in nearby North Brookfield and turned its red-painted, century-old barn into a recording studio.

“It started as a hobby,” said his brother, William, adding that Gil had become intrigued after recording a James Taylor concert on the Clark campus. “But he soon realized he could rent out the studio.”

That he did. Mr. Markle — already financially successful from an educational travel company, American Leadership Study Groups, that he founded — made his secluded Long View Farm available to some of the biggest names in rock: Cat Stevens, Arlo Guthrie, the J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, Don McLean and, most famously, the Rolling Stones.

The Stones considered Long View Farm a home away from home after they stayed there for six weeks in 1981 to rehearse for a 40-city American tour promoting their No. 1 album “Tattoo You.”

“Before the Stones would come to North Brookfield, we had to build them a full concert stage, one that would allow Mick Jagger to jump and leap about,” Mr. Markle told At Rensselaer, his alma mater’s magazine. “We had only three weeks to build it, including installing all the wiring for the sound equipment and lights. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.”

The Boston Globe reported Mr. Markle hired guards to keep a lid on the groupies who gathered around the farm’s picket fence at all hours. The Stones were appreciative of his efforts and touched by the hospitality. As a thank you, they previewed their tour with a secret show at a club in Worcester; they billed themselves as the Cockroaches and invited Mr. Markle and his staff.

Gilbert S. Markle’s family history may have foreshadowed his niche in the recording industry. His father, Gilbert J. Markle, was an NBC Radio engineer; his mother, Connie Gates, was a radio singer who performed with Benny Goodman’s band.

Yet Mr. Markle initially chose a scholarly path. He obtained a pair of doctoral degrees — in history and the philosophy of physics from the Sorbonne, and in philosophy from Yale — and was a professor at Clark for six years.

Then he bought a horse farm and befriended the Stones. He owned Long View Farm until the early ’90s.

Mr. Markle died of cancer at home in Spencer, Mass., said his brother, of High Falls, N.Y. He also is survived by his longtime partner, Kathy Mueller; two children, Abigail Stayart of Chicago and David Markle of Shrewsbury, Mass.; a sister, Janet Markle of Petaluma, Calif., and two grandchildren. A celebration of life is planned for May 16 at Castle Restaurant in Leicester, Mass.

More on LongView Farm and Gil’s transition from academia to recording industry in this interview by Wanda F. Fischer, “Gil Markle ’61: A Live-Wire Ph.D.”, The Rensselaer Alumni Bulletin, April 1982, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Search for Davises through Y-DNA. Family, or not?

by Timothy W. Davis

In the Fall of 2009, we discovered four potential cousins, each with an intriguing possibility.

1. DDJ traced his oldest known ancestor to William Davis, b. 1617 in Wales. Where he was born in Wales is unknown; however he immigrated to the Roxbury area of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1635. Could he be a cousin of our William Davis, the immigrant, born about 1663 in Llanstephan, Radnor (Powys), Wales? Our paper-trail does not extend beyond our immigrant’s father, also a William, born in about 1640. Do we have a common ancestor and finally are able to find our family further back in history? The Y-DNA results will tell us, if DDJ agrees to participate in our project.

2. DSM has a paper-trail to his oldest known ancestor Henry Davis, b. 1759 in New Jersey. We, on the other hand, have a descendant from our William Davis, the immigrant, through William’s son, Rev. John F. Davis, to his grandson Henry Davis, born about 1759 in Shrewsbury, Monmouth, New Jersey…but there our Henry’s line stops. Could the two Henry’s be the same individual? Would a matching Y-DNA indicate that DSM has provided us with the extension of our Henry Davis’s line?

3. DRLJ’s oldest known ancestor was Thomas Davis, born 1702 in Wales…or New Jersey. Could Thomas be an unknown son of William Davis and his first spouse Elizabeth Brisley/Brinley? They were known to be living in the Chester, PA area, very close to New Jersey, or could he be another “William Davis” family line from Wales? The Y-DNA will tell us if DRLJ is family.

4. DPD has a paper-trail to a Robert Davis, born 1591 in Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England, his oldest known relative. It is very possible that Robert Davis could have immigrated to Wales and fathered William Davis, b. 1617 (see DDJ above), or another son, producing our family “patriarch” William Davis, b. 1640 in Wales. The Y-DNA results will tell us if DPD is a member of our family.

Fortunately, each of the individuals agreed to participate in our family project and had a natural, male descendant in their line be Y-DNA tested. Being a “natural” male descendant means that to the individual’s knowledge, he is a direct descendant from the ancestor, without his lineage being the result of adoption or from a father outside the family.

The Results in reverse order

4. DPD agreed to the Y-DNA67-marker test and discovered that his haplogroup is R1b1b2, an extremely common haplogroup for Davises. However, he found one exact match and another match which was 6 markers off at 37 DYS markers in the Davis Surname Project database.

3. DRLJ also agreed to the Y-DNA67-marker test and also was haplogroup R1b1b2. However, he had no close matches, including DPD.

2. DSM took six months of agonizing thought (and emotion) before agreeing to test. Curiosity finally pushed them (brother and sister) to take the plunge and do the Y-DNA67-marker test. Their (his) results have opened a new world for them. His result was haplogroup I1, almost as rare a haplogroup for Davises as our I2a. They found several matches that have extended their known family into England. Our Henry Davis, born about 1759, however, remains without known descendants.

1. DDJ was our final chance for a match, and in many ways, was the most intriguing possibility: William Davis, born 1617 in Wales…cousin, uncle, or bust? DDJ is a descendant from William with his first spouse through their son John. Additionally, we found, through research and extending a line to the present, a cousin of DDJ who descended from John’s brother Joseph. If we have a match, we open our family to a more distant ancestor in Wales, we identify a new branch of the family and welcome two new living cousins to our group.

Answer: haplogroup R1b1b2a1b. But, although disappointed that we did not have a match, DDJ had his own match, and added a branch to another major Davis family: Foulke Davis, born about 1610 in Wales. DDJ had three exact matches at 67 markers within this family of about 10 participants, all three of whom have different branches which do not have an identified common ancestor in the paper-trail.

However, through Y-DNA we know they are all part of the same family. The knowledge of their match means they can use the paper-trail and other written information from the various branches of the family to research the historical record to find missing ancestors.

And our tale is not done. As we identify potential, or paper-trail, cousins who agree to test, we will be meeting cousins and extending the known members of our family.

Current Searches

DAW, a paper-trail cousin, descendant from Joseph, son of Rev. John F. Davis (son of William Davis with first spouse, Elizabeth Brisley) has agreed to the Y-DNA67-marker test. We do not have a descendant from Joseph in our test group, so DAW’s results will give us a first look at the common markers and mutations (differences from the common markers in the family) on this line. Results for the first 12 markers should be completed by April 2 and all of the 67-marker results by the end of April 2010.

Hopefully, by late March 2010, we will have extended the line from Thomas “William” Davis, son of William Davis with his second spouse, Elizabeth Pavior, to living cousins. If successful, this will be the first time a son, other than James, of William Davis with his second spouse, Elizabeth Pavior, will have been extended to living descendants.

The living cousins who agree to do the Y-DNA67-marker test will be breaking new ground for us. Not only will they give us our first look at a new line, but they will answer (hopefully) the question of which brother, Rev. John F. Davis (from William and Elizabeth Brisley) or James (from William with Elizabeth Pavior) has specific mutations.

Strangely, because William’s spouses should not have an influence on a Y-DNA Marker number, all of the descendants from Rev. John F. Davis have the number 22 at DYS Marker YCA IIb, and all of the descendants from James have number 20 at DYS marker YCA IIb.

Since Rev. John F. Davis is the only brother who survived to adulthood from William and Elizabeth Brisley, the only way we will be able to determine who originated that mutation is through one of the five sons from William and Elizabeth Pavior: Thomas “William” Davis (1712-1786), Edward Davis (1716-1794), William Davis III (1724-1795), Joseph Davis (1728-1797), or James (1720-1777).

As of this writing, the only branch we have extended to living cousins is James. Will our new found cousin(s), descendants from Thomas “William” Davis, match the DYS YCA IIb marker from John or James? The Y-DNA67-marker results will tell.

See chart: “New Lines To Prove and Non-matching Lines, ” on Proven Lines page. The four lines referred to above are listed on the chart by their oldest ancestors: Thomas b 1702, Henry b 1759, Robert b 1591 and William b 1617.

Posted March 12, 2010

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