You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Davis’ tag.

Racine, Wisconsin, 1860, 12 miles from Caledonia, home of Job Greene Davis -Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society

Hello Davis descendants, cousins, family, researchers and interested followers,

We have received two new Y-test matches for our William Davis DNA Project since the last post. One a 67-marker test and the other a 12-marker test- they both match the standard signature of our William Davis DNA results, that of I-L160, known in old vernacular as I2a1b. This brings us to 26 Y-testing members who all match each other. Each of these 2 testers has a sister who is managing the test, so that means we have four new cousins!

Ancestors of the new matches

Both our new matches are descendants of a common ancestor, Job Greene Davis, who was born in 1799 in NY.

Job and his wife, Susan Money had 8 children and our two new matches are descendants of two of their sons: Samuel Parker Davis, born 1841 New York and Jerome Ahira Davis, born 1843 New York.

Around 1855, Job Greene and Susan Davis traveled 719 miles from Otselic, Chenango County, NY to Caledonia, Waupaca County, Wisconsin, a village 20 miles south of Milwaukee on the west coast of Lake Michigan, showing up enumerated on the 1860 census with their three youngest children. The Davis and Allied Families (Descendants of Seventh Day Baptist, William Davis) web site says that they made the trip in a covered wagon.

schooner1Might they have traveled in something like this?

In 1860, Samuel Parker Davis would have been 19 and, at the time of the 1860 Caledonia, Waupaca, Wisconsin census, his younger brother Jerome Ahira was 16, Eugene 14 and the youngest, Mary Ann “Amy,” was 12.  The four older siblings, 3 daughters and Nathan, were married by 1860. One older daughter, Julia, married in 1854 and stayed behind in Otselic, NY, but the rest all relocated to Wisconsin with their families.

Nathan Rogers Davis, older brother of Samuel Parker and Jerome Ahira, was listed on the same 1860 census in a separate household next door to the Job Green Davis family, also next to the Babcocks (Nathan’s wife’s parents), next to the Moneys (his mother’s family) and other extended family. Apparently they came as a group, probably all looking for the fertile farm land that Wisconsin was promoting to encourage new settlers.

Between 1860 and 1875, older brother Nathan died in 1863, leaving a widow and three children, younger brother Jerome Ahira served in the Civil War and returned to marry Eunice Dickinson and have 3 children (and later remarried Charlotte Butler and had four more children) and parents Job Green and Susan died in 1869 and 1873.

According to the Davis and Allied Families web site, Job and Susan died of black small pox and, for fear of contamination during the epidemic, their house was burned to the ground and they were buried away from the local cemetery. Their grave stones were found covered with dirt in a cornfield (“…literally dug up”) by Glenna Maria Davis Johnson and her family.

          S-Job Davis4     S-Susan Davis
Gravestones of Job Greene Davis, died 1869 and Susan Money Davis, died 1873
-Courtesy Davis and Allied Families

From Samuel Parker Davis to Samuel Peter Davis to Stuart Edward Davis

But where is our other Y-tester’s ancestor, Samuel Parker Davis, in 1860? Not to be found until he shows up on the 1870 census with his wife Eliza Garrow, and the first two of their three children, 137 miles north, in Mukwa, Waupaca County. This was the New London area of Wisconsin, named so by the first settlers who came from New London, CT.


By 1880, Samuel Parker Davis has relocated back south to Dayton, just West of Milwaukee, and is listed as a farmer, with 3 children, one of which is our tester’s ancestor, Samuel Peter Davis, 2 years old.

Four years later, Samuel Parker Davis, who had been a farmer, died early, at age 43. His son, Samuel Peter, was only six years old. Samuel Peter Davis later married Inez Schachte and they moved to Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin, 389 miles north of Dayton where he made his living as a plumber.

SamuelPeterDavis1878WI-1962WISamuel Peter Davis, Marjorie and Inez Hildegarde 001crop
Samuel Peter Davis, Inez Hildegarde Schachte, and daughter Marjorie
Courtesy Mary Lee Davis La Blanc

Samuel Peter Davis and Inez had two daughters and a son, Stuart Edward Davis.

Stuart Davis with sisters Dorothy and MargeCROPStuart Davis with sisters, Dorothy and Marge
Courtesy Mary Lee Davis La Blanc

Perhaps because Stuart grew up in the Great Lakes coastal town of Superior, as an adult he chose to work on the Great Lakes for the Interlake Steamship Company. He worked on the lakes from March through much of December and, according to his daughter, loved his job. Stuart Edward and his wife Margaret McDonald, also had 3 children, one of whom was our tester.

StuartEdwardDavisCropped1911-1981Stuart Edward Davis, 1911-1981
-Courtesy Mary Lee Davis La Blanc

-Courtesy of the Interlake Steamship Company

From Jerome Ahira Davis to Orson Jerome Davis to Walter Orson Davis to Glenn George Davis

JeromeDavis AfterCivilWar
Jerome Ahira Davis, after the Civil Wall, New London, Wisconsin
-Courtesy Davis and Allied Families

The oldest son of Jerome Ahira Davis, Orson Jerome Davis,  married Stella Kent and had 6 children. They lived in Caledonia and then Mukwa, Wisconsin. Orson’s occupation is listed in 1930 as a farmer on a general farm at home. Orson Jerome Davis and Samuel Peter Davis were first cousins. Did the 307 miles between Superior and Mukwa affect how much they stayed in contact?

Orson Davis StellaKentFamily
Orson Jerome Davis, Stella (Kent) Davis and children: Chester, George, Jennie, Walter, Hazel and Doris about 1906. -Courtesy Davis and Allied Families

Walter Orson Davis, Orson Jerome’s first son, was born in 1891 in New London, Wisconsin and he died there in 1954. On the 1930 census, Walter was listed as a dairy farm laborer and in 1942 he was self-employed. In 1940, he and his family are living in Royalton, Wisconsin, only 12 miles from Mukwa, where Walter’s father, Orson Jerome, had moved in 1895.

WalterDAVIS&FannieHENRYWedding1917Walter Orson Davis and Frances (Henry) Davis,
wedding photo, 1917
-Courtesy Davis and Allied Families

Walter Orson married Frances (Henry) Davis and they had 6 children, one of which was our tester’s father, Glenn George Davis, born in 1929.

Glenn Davis familyGlenn and Nancy (Eckstrom) Davis family, Sugar Bush, WI, abt 1959 with tester and tester’s sister
-Courtesy Davis and Allied Families

If this line is sounding familiar, it’s because we had a tester early on in our project history who also descended from Walter and Frances (Henry) Davis. This early tester was the son of Ward Rexford Davis. Ward was the older brother of Glenn George Davis, so our current 67-marker tester is a first cousin to our earlier tester. The father of our current tester and the father of our earlier tester stand next to their sister in this family photo.

Walter Davis family, abt 1942. Front: Walter Davis, Lois, Fannie (Henry) Davis. Back: Kenneth, Ward, Verna, Glenn, Donald

-Courtesy Davis and Allied Families

Comparison of Results

Both our new testers’ results match the results of all our previous members of the William Davis DNA Project, indicating that they are both descendants of the original William Davis. See how the markers match up in our William Davis K87577 subgroup on the Davis Surname Project website.

Unfortunately for our analysis attempts, one of our new matches, the descendant of Samuel Parker Davis, is a 12-marker-only tester so we won’t be able to make any astute comparisons between them. Actually, the 12-marker tester also tested two additional markers as part of the advanced testing process, so it was more accurately a 14-marker test.

One interesting aspect of the results was that the 67-marker tester, the descendant of Jerome Ahira Davis, showed double values for his DYS #385, an unusual occurrence, which our Davis Surname Project Administrator says, is not unknown and “happens sometimes.” What are double values? Simply that the tester shows 4 results instead of 2 results on the marker DYS #385 (“10-11-12-12” instead of “11-12”). Its significance is that this tester is, according to the testing company, probably “genetically unique,” unless another male on his line has the same mutation.

Both new testers show the exact same values on the 14 markers that they both tested, except for the double marker values. This was fairly expected since the testers are “third cousins, once removed.”
That means, three generations ago, their ancestors were siblings. (The “once removed” means one line is separated by four generations.)

If third cousins test almost the same, you’d expect the tests of the two first cousins to be exact duplicates, wouldn’t you? But our 67-marker tester is 2 steps of genetic distance off from his first cousin, the earlier tester. The double marker values at DYS 385 counted as one step off and they also had another marker with one step genetic distance.

So our 67-marker tester matches closer to Hank Raymond Davis, kit #151841 (and Hank’s two identical matches), with only 1 step off (that step being his double markers). Our tester is closer to Hank, at least a fifth cousin, than to his own first cousin. Will there ever be a rational pattern to these results?

See the chart below of simplified results that lists only markers that show differences among our testers, omitting duplicate tests. See proven lines chart to see the ancestor lines for each tester.

[Chart being updated]
“Simplified” comparison chart listing
just markers that differ among the testers
(click 2x to enlarge, back button to return)

So, welcome new William Davis descendants, brothers and sisters!

For more Davis photos, check the Ancestor Photos page.

 Autosomal Tests

If it seems like it’s been a while since the last post, that’s because I’ve been busy studying how to apply autosomal testing to our project. Autosomal tests, or “A-T” tests, are the latest kind of DNA tests. The Y-tests track the father’s line, from son to father to grandfather and on up the paternal line; the Mitachondrial tests track the mother’s line, from daughter (or son) to their mother, to grandmother and on up the maternal line. But the AT test tracks all the lines, and a woman can take the test! Finally! The females can start finding their own matches.

-Creative Commons License, Angela Cone

I’ve been learning how adoptees use autosomal testing to find their birth parents and have been applying their methodology for solving genealogical blocks. The method is: find the ancestors of the people who match your DNA, then, when you hit an ancestor in common for two or more of your matches, you track their lines down (towards the present), and sideways (siblings), until you find a person, in about the correct year and place, who fits the description of who you’re searching for.

The DNA doesn’t lie. If two people match your DNA on the same chromosome, and they match each other, then you know you three have an ancestor in common, somewhere. When you exchange family trees, you’re looking for who that might be. This isn’t breaking down brick walls, it’s leapfrogging over them!

What’s exciting is how many different people carry bits of the same DNA that you carry. If one match doesn’t lead to the family you’re looking for, there are many other matches to that same segment who might have the answer.

I urge any of you Davis or non-Davis surname Y-testers who have questions about how your line fits into the larger Davis family tree to take the AT test. It costs $99 at FTDNA and there is often a sale of half price during the next two holidays, so keep an eye out for it.

Even if you don’t have questions about your line, it is a lot of fun to meet people whose DNA matches yours. It’s like a genealogical social media network. You’d be surprised how far-flung our Davis cousins are. Because the Davis family migrated to several places, the Davis DNA is turning up in descendants in all those places.

We already have a few people in our project who have taken the AT test and are comparing results. Much fun! If you’ve taken the AT test, please let me know your kit number and testing company so we can compare results.

The more cousins who take the test who are known Davis matches on the Y-test or AT test, the easier it is to sort the results of the ones who need placement. If all the members tested, we might even be able to eventually anticipate the DNA of William Davis, our patriarch. (See Ancestor Reconstruction.)


Old-mail-serviceI’m still waiting for a couple of stragglers who haven’t sent me their address before I can send out something in the mail (you know, that thing that isn’t on the computer) to you all. If you’re one of those who hasn’t sent me your current address (you know who you are!), please send your physical mailing address to: jrmarkle at g mail dot com. Thank you.

Until the next post or the next cousin,

best wishes,

Jan Davis Markle, Director
William Davis DNA Project

Additions, corrections or comments gratefully received in comment section.

“William Davis Pvt NJ Militia Rev War Mar 21 1758 Jan 6 1845”
Known as “Greenbrier Billy.”

Hello Davis descendants, researchers and interested followers,

We’ve got two new matches at the 67-marker level to consider and just got notice that we have another new match at the 37- marker level who we will look at in the next post, when we get all the details.

For now, we have two new matches to think about and they are both in the same neighborhood on the Brisley side of the Davis family tree. The “Brisley side” means that both testers descend from William1 Davis and his first wife, Elizabeth Brisley, via their first son, John2.

William had 4 more sons via second wife, Elizabeth Pavior, who are on the “Pavior side” of the family tree, but we have tested descendants of only 1 of those 4 sons, James2.

The ancestor in common for both new matches is Thomas “William”3 Davis, son of John2, who was born in 1719 in Rhode Island and migrated to Shrewsbury, New Jersey. He migrated again with his adult children and other Seventh Baptist families in 1789, only to die in White Day Creek, Monongalia County, Virginia, in 1791, having not yet reached Salem, (West) Virginia.

Two of Thomas William3’s 3 sons: William “Greenbrier Billy”4 and Rev. Nathan4, head up the separate lines of our two new matches.

About our first match- the green line on the chart

At the last post, we had just received news of a new match, at the 67-marker level. He is kit #219 (kit numbers are shortened to the first three numbers) and is a descendant of William “Greenbrier Billy”4 Davis.

This match’s grandfather was Deuron Clifford8 Davis and Deuron’s father was Sylvanis7 Davis, both coal miners from Coal township, Harrison County, WV.

Sylvanis Davis Civil War 001Sylvanis Davis, 1846 WV- 1929 Clarksburg, WV
Courtesy Sharon Sprouse Bramhall

If we follow Deuron’s line up, we find Sylvanis7 was the son of Absalom6 Davis who was, in 1850, a farmer living in Doddridge County, West Virginia. His wife, Polina S.W.5, was also a Davis, a descendant of William “Bottom Billy”3 Davis. They had 14 children and adopted a fifteenth.

absalomdavisBirthsAbsalom Davis Bible, Births, Courtesy Sharon Sprouse Bramhall

Absalom’s father was Rev. Peter5 Davis, a Seventh Day Baptist minister in New Salem, Harrison Co., WV and Rev. Peter’s father was William “Greenbrier Billy”4.

(See Ancestor Photos page for images of birth, death and marriage pages from Absalom’s and Sylvanis’ Bibles.)

Rev2PeterDavis1783-1873“Rev. Peter Davis, Died Mch. 4 1873, Aged 89 Ys, 5Ms 16Ds”

Susie Nicholson says: “Peter Davis was about six years old when his parents [Greenbrier Billy4 Davis and Elizabeth Johnston] joined in the 1789 migration with the Seventh Day Baptist group from Shrewsbury, New Jersey to Western Virginia… He outlived both wives [Sarah Davis and Sarah Fitz-Randolph] and was cared for by his daughter, Jemima, wife of Rev. Jacob Davis.” -excerpted from Davis, The Settlers of Salem, West Virginia, by Susie Davis Nicholson, 1979, pg 32.

About our second match- the aqua line on the chart

DavisStephenC.Tombstone“Stephen C. Davis,
Born Sept. 30, 1781, Died Aug 16, 1869, Aged 87 Ys 10 Mos. 16 Ds”
Son of Rev. Nathan Sr. Davis

Our second new match, also matching on the 67-marker test, is kit #320. He is a descendant of Rev. Nathan4 Davis, Greenbrier Billy4’s older brother. Our second match’s grandfather was Howard Lee9 Davis, born in Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia.

HowardLeeDavis1910-1971Howard Lee Davis, abt 1918

Track this line back, all in West Virginia (“Virginia,” before 1863), and you find Howard’s father was Mingo H. 8. Mingo’s wife was Jean7, also a Davis, grand-daughter of William “Buckeye Billy”5 Davis, who was the grandson of William “Bottom Billy”3 Davis.

It’s easy to wonder where the name “Mingo” came from since it is such an unusual name, especially in 1871 when Mingo H. was born. With no stories handed down in the Davis family about its origin, a bit of research finds that there is a county in West Virginia named “Mingo” but it was formed in 1895. Mingo H. Davis was already 24 years old in 1895.


The other mention of the name Mingo is that of an unincorporated area in West Virginia called “Mingo,” or “Mingo Flats,” which was named after the historic Iroquoian Mingo people who migrated west to Ohio around 1750. Mingo Flats had apparently been the site of one of their villages. The migrants were called “Mingos,” a corruption of “mingwe,” originally meaning “chief” or “greatest,” later meaning “colonial,” referring to their Iroquoian outpost in WV.

Descendants of the settlers of Mingo Flats had stories handed down from their ancestors about the ancient Mingo village and, in 1920, wanted to honor its existence by erecting a statue.

MingoIndianStatue,Mingo,WVBeing that Mingo Flats was not very far from Clarksburg, Harrison County, might it be that those same stories, much more vibrant in 1871, were the inspiration for the name “Mingo H.?”

Going further up the line, we find Mingo’s father was Mark7. During the Civil War, Mark Davis was in the Confederate Cavalry while his brothers served in the West Virginia Militia and Union Army.  And after the war, they went back to being neighbors. Mark’s father was David D.6. On the 1850 Doddridge County, Virginia census, David D. Davis’ occupation is listed as “Toll Gate No. 10.”

David D. and Absalom, ancestors of these two lines, were 2nd cousins, born within 5 years of each other and both lived in Doddridge County, VA in 1850. They probably knew each other well.

David’s wife was Anna5 Davis, also a descendant of William “Bottom Billy”3 Davis, leading us to Stephen C.5 .

Stephen C.5 is the ancestor in common for lines #2 and #3. He was the son of Rev. Nathan4, Greenbrier Billy4’s older brother.

That’s a lot of Davis ancestry in one line!

Follow the lines on a chart

On the chart below, the new tests are lines 2 (aqua) and 5 (green), highlighted with red shadow.

Testers on this chart have been placed in sequence of oldest to youngest, left to right. At each generation, the oldest son and his descendants are listed first, on the far left of tree, and the youngest son and his descendants are listed last, on the far right of tree. This places testers descending from the same ancestor in common next to each other.

Who do you think will match?

1. We would expect new tester #320, line 2, to match closely to previous tester #275, line 3 (aqua lines) because they descend from brothers at gen 6 (Brothers are David D.6 and Nathan G.6.)

2. We would also expect new tester #278, line 5, to match closely to previous tester #219, line 6 (green lines) because they descend from brothers at gen5 (Brothers are Rev. Peter5 and George Johnston5).

Lineage chart of 2 new matches  (shadowed red)

[Chart being updated]

(Click 2x to enlarge, back button to return)

 Comparison of results
and some questions to ask

Now that we have the lines, let’s compare the DYS values, possibly answering some questions:

1. How close will the lines match?

2. Are there any markers or combination of markers that distinguish any lines from each other?

3. Do the markers display the relationships that we already know?

That is, if you didn’t know who the new matches descended from, could you predict their probable lines from their DYS results?

DYS Marker Comparison

As we gain more testers, our test comparisons get more complex, so this bit of analysis may take some patience.  (Not the usual webpage sound bites here).

A chart is the best way to compare markers but it’s hard to see patterns in a large chart with 67 markers. So, to simplify the results, the following is a smaller chart of our group’s 12 changing markers only.

  • The marker results that all testers had in common were omitted, duplicate tests were omitted, less than 67-marker tests were omitted and non-Davis tests with many mismatches were omitted.
  • The testers were sorted by line and color-coded by ancestor in common (matching colors of the lineage chart). Marker results were colored by type: anomaly results (only one or two testers show that marker result) were colored yellow, unusual results colored green, variations in marker values colored shades of blue and identical marker values colored pink.
  • The order of DYS columns was changed to line up same-value markers together. Fast-changing DYS names are in red text.

[Chart being updated]
(Click 2x to enlarge, back button to return)

  • Rev. Nathan4’s  four lines, are the first four rows. (The first two rows, colored blue and light blue, are lines 1 and 4, both previous testers.)
  • The 3rd and 4th rows, colored aqua and light aqua, are line 2 (with new tester #320) and line 3.
  • The 5th and 6th rows, colored green and light green, are Wm Greenbrier Billy4’s two lines, line 5 (with new tester #278) and line 6.
  • The other rows, purples, pinks and golds, are other previous testers‘ lines.

Move back and forth between the lineage chart of new lines and this DYS marker chart to get a feel for how the markers reflect the lines that they represent.

Analysis of Results


So what do we find?

1. How close do the new lines match?

New tester, kit #320 on line 2 (aqua), does match kit #275, on line 3, but with 2  steps off, a bit more genetic distance than expected.

In 6 generations, there were 2 mutations.

New tester, kit #278 on line 5 (green), does match kit #219, on line 6, with 1 step off, as expected.

In  6 generations, there was 1 mutation.

2.  Can the lines be distinguished by their DYS results?

  • Yes. On new line 2, (kit #320, aqua), DYS 481=22 appears to be an anomaly. No other tester shows this result. This temporarily does distinguish line 2, kit #320 (until it shows up later in another line). All other testers show DYS 481=23.
  • And no. On new line 5, (kit #278, green), shows a combination of  three values: DYS 391=11, CDY=34-34 and 576=21.
    But that same combination, 11, 34-34 and 21, shows up in an exact match from another previous tester, kit #151, on the Archie E. Davis line, (first dark purple row on the DYS comparison chart), proving that the 3 DYS combo does not distinguish line #5 (kit #278) from the other lines.

3. Do the markers predict known relationships?

No. If you didn’t know where to place kit #278, you might look for an ancestor of that previous tester, kit #151, on the Archie E. line, because #151 is an exact match to kit #278.

This exact match implies that #151 would be closer to #278 on the paper tree than #219 would be, since #219 is one step off.

But we know that, on the paper tree, kit#219’s line is closer to kit #278’s line and we see kit#151, Archie E.’s line, would be a very wrong direction to research because kit #151’s line descends from David Rogers Jr.4, an entirely different line of the tree than the William Greenbrier Billy4 line from which kit #278 actually descends. (See kits # 278, 219 and 151 on the Proven Lines, Brisley Branch chart below.)

So the exact match would give researchers a bum steer.

All Davis descendants on the Davis family tree are related, so we could phrase this odd observation as:

Fifth cousins, kit#278 (line 5) and kit #219 (line 6), who are close to each other on the paper tree, match one step off;

but sixth cousins, kit #278 (line 5) and kit #151 (Archie E.7 line), who are farther away from each other on the paper tree, match exactly.


4. As to placing kit#320 (line 2, the aqua line, on the lineage chart), if you looked at just the first two changing markers, DYS 391=11, CDY=35-35 (the “almost anomaly”),  you might look (correctly) to kit #275, on line 3 (light aqua line) because kit #275 also has the same first two markers. If so, you’d have kit #320 placed pretty close to where he belonged.

But, because kit #275’s 3rd and 4th changing markers are each one step off from kit#320, you might continue to look elsewhere.

You might have chanced to see that previous tester, kit #152, on the William6, b 1810, NY line, also matches with 391=11, CDY=35-35 ,with an additional third marker match at 576=21 (See Proven Lines, Brisley Branch, chart).

Those first 3 matching markers might have sent you off searching for ancestors on kit #152’s line. That choice would take you off in a very wrong direction because kit#152, descends from Thomas William4, along an entirely different line than kit#320’s actual line from Rev. Nathan4.

So, do the markers display the relationships we already know?

With this particular grouping of results for kit #320, the answer is: not really. The results partially point to a correct line but point more so to an incorrect line.

What’s a genetic genealogist to do?

ladybugCROPPEDObservations and conclusions

1. The 2 new lines show only 4 changing markers while there are 12 possible changing markers amongst all testers to date. With such a small pool of changing markers, we might need many more tests before we can make predictive sense of the marker values.

2. In general, an anomaly should be a good designator of a unique line. But when an anomaly starts showing up in more than 1 (or 2?) tests, it ceases to be an anomaly and becomes just another marker variation.

3. Is it a significant observation that, besides #278, we have two other kits, #141 and #204, both with unknown links to the William Davis tree, who are also exact matches to #151, the Archie E. line?

Kit #141’s oldest ancestor is Benjamin West Davis, born 1786 Chautauqua County, New York and kit #204’s oldest ancestor is William Burnett, born 1771 Sussex County, New Jersey. Kit #151, Archie E.’s line, originates in Rhode Island, then moves to Lincklaen, NY and then to Wisconsin. They don’t seem to have places of origin in common.

Might kit #151, the Archie E. line, possibly be our patriarch, William Davis’, original DNA signature and that’s why we have four exact matches to it?

4. Observations as to matching: a close relative on paper may show more genetic distance than a further relative on paper.

5. An exact or close match, by itself, does not necessarily designate the line from which an unknown tester descends.

For those who don’t know where to place themselves on the Davis family tree, these last two observations can be daunting.

As a result, it makes sense to get as much information as possible from many tests before spending inordinate time researching lines that might be leading in the wrong direction. There are a lot of ancestors, along a lot of lines, in the 10 generations leading back to William1.

Flanders_Family_Tree(Click 2x to enlarge, back button to return)

Directions for future testing?

We may have to begin to look to the 111-marker tests to see if they show any further ability to distinguish results.

We may have to compare results in more than one way: perhaps comparing fast-changing markers and slow-changing markers separately and then combining the comparisons.

Tests on more lines might tell us if discord between the results and the paper family tree is the norm or the exception. Are all the Davis genes highly active or just some lines?

And we may have to just continue mapping the Davis family tree, trying to test one descendant of each major line. We may yet find a pattern emerges if we continue to study marker changes on lines whose relationships we already know.

More cousins

Whether or not we know where we fit on the tree, each test introduces us to yet another Davis cousin, another descendant of our original immigrant ancestor. We may feel like just virtual friends, but DNA doesn’t lie. We are all connected as family, even if it is a very large family.

We currently have 25 members in the WDD Project (26 with latest match) who live all across the U.S. and we have many interested potential Davis cousins planning to test.  One day in the future, we might take on the task of figuring out just how many Davis descendants William Davis has produced altogether in this clan. Of course, we might need a statistician to help.

Thanks to all of you who have queried this website and who have been so gracious to share your family information. And thanks to the contributions of Tim Davis who finds and helps fund testers for the FTdna Davis Surname Project.

If you have any questions, additional perspectives or corrections, please add them in the comment section or email me. And if you have any other Davis family information, please let me know and I will add yours to our growing collection.

Don’t forget to check the Ancestor Photos page for more Davis historical photos related to these two lines.

Until the next post, or next cousin, whichever comes first.

Best wishes,

-Jan Davis Markle, Director
William Davis DNA Project (
jrmarkle at g mail dot com

Proven lines, Brisley Branch, April 2014
(Click 2x to enlarge, back button to return)

 Proven lines, Pavior branch, April 2014
(Click 2x to enlarge, back button to return)

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

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
Pedigree of Olin Cecil Davis
(See extended pedigree, with Roger Williams lines,  at William Davis DNA Project Members’ Tree)

11 February 2010

Hi all Davis aficionados.

We have gotten the results of our latest Davis tester and he, as we suspected, is one of us!

As of February 2010, we are now 13 members, all of us cousins. All of our DNA tests match closely over 67 markers!

Our new member’s line is:
William1 (and Eliz Brisley)> Rev John2>  John3> Rev David Rogers4> David Rogers Jr.5> Jesse L.6> Jesse7>  George A.8> Russell DeForest9> Living10> Living11. See Lineage chart below. (To enlarge, click image twice.)

Jesse L.6 Davis was from NY and his son, Jesse7, moved to PA. Jesse7’s son, George A.8, moved from PA to Michigan. George’s son, Russell DeForest9, moved from Michigan to Indiana in abt 1927 and had a son and a daughter. We are grateful that his descendants, his son, and his grand-daughter, who is the genealogist, agreed to take part in our project.

Proven Lines Lineage Chart, February, 2010

[Chart being updated]

Our new tester matches 3 of our present members to 2 steps off, 5 of our members 3 steps off, three of our members 4 steps off and one member 5 steps off. See chart of just DYS Differences below. (To enlarge, click on image twice.)

Since the rest of the 67 markers all match exactly, we have left them out of the chart of DYS Differences. DYS numbers in red, top row of table, means they are fast-changers, more likely to mutate than the slow-changers.

Results highlighted in yellow means that particular result appears to be an anomaly, unique to that tester. Highlighting the results in red or blue was our old method of differentiating our members. It just so happened that “B-1,” or Branch 1 men who descended from William1/Elizabeth Brisley, had matching results, so they were shaded red. And “B-2”, Branch 2 men who descended from William1/Elizabeth Pavior, matched each other, so they were shaded blue.

Our most recent match, kit #166819, who is from the “B-1” branch, shows one result from B-1 (“red”) but also one result from the B-2 group (“blue”), so there goes that method of distinguishing who is on which branch!

DYS Differences

George Davis, wife Florence Ives, son Glen and 3 daughters, abt 1911
Courtesy of “Many Branches” Family Tree

For more photos, see our Ancestor Photos page.

Recent Comments

Stanton W Davis on New Davis Match
Dorothy J. (Moss) Sm… on New Davis Match
Dot Smith on New Davis Match
Michalean on New Davis Match
Chuck Davis on It’s In The Mail
Dorothy J. (Moss) Sm… on It’s In The Mail
Chuck Davis on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
Susan Burnett Baum on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
Barbara Gates Horrig… on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
jrm24 on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
Lizbeth and Edgar Ph… on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
Sharon Bramhall on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
k2k9dogs on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
John Davis on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…
Ann Davis McCay on In Memory of Dr. Gilbert Scott…