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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.

Davis pic 1951
Latest DAVIS match!
Seen here abt 1951 with his mother,
Josephine (Sherman) Davis

To all members of the Davis Family and interested DAVIS researchers: we have three new Davis matches! Let’s call that four, since we have a last minute update.

It appears that we have yet another new match, a fourth one, whose 12-marker test has just come in and who descends from the Greenbriar Billy/ Rev. Peter Davis line. More on him in a later post after the rest of his markers are posted.

Our latest 67-marker match is the son of Orin Thomas Davis, b 1875 Carlston, Minnesota. He is the grandson of Stanton Henry Davis, born 1844, New York. And he is the great-grandson of the famous, (in our tree), Benjamin Davis, the one with 19 children, with his third wife, Anna Lowing.

Stanton Henry Davis was the youngest of all 19 sons and daughters of Benjamin Davis5, who had three wives, Lydia Burdick, Sally Burdick and Anna Lowing. Stanton was 10 years old when his father died in 1854 in Watson, Lewis, New York. Eleven years later, Stanton is found on the 1865 Carlston, Freeborn County, Minnesota census at age 21, and then, a year later, he married Emaline Julia Bowen.

Stanton Henry Davis and Emaline had 7 children, including one set of twins. Our current tester’s father, Orin Thomas Davis, was one of those twins and Orson Truman Davis was the other. They were born fourth and fifth.

But what was it in 1865 that attracted young Stanton Henry Davis from Watson, New York , some 1,173 miles away, along the Great Lakes, through Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Wisconsin to Carlston, Minnesota?

Did it have to do with the civil war? Was it because Carlston Township was called “Stanton” township until 1858 in honor of an earlier settler named Elias Stanton? Did it have to do with the fertile soil that beckoned all farmers with a promise of bountiful crops?

It also might possibly have been love. One interesting fact is that Stanton Henry Davis’ wife, Emaline Julia Bowen, had a sister, Sarah Arvilla Bowen. Sarah married Stanton Henry’s nephew, Orville Elverton Davis, in Carlston, Minnesota, 6 months after Stanton married Emaline. Maybe it was something about those Bowen girls!

Orville and Stanton were more like contemporaries, rather than uncle and nephew, since Orville was only 5 years younger than Stanton. Orville was Benjamin Jr’s son. That is, Benjamin5, with the 19 children, had a son, Benjamin, Jr.6, and Benjamin Jr.’s son was Orville.

Opera Block, Ellendale, North Dakota, abt 1910

And what was it about Ellendale, North Dakota, that attracted Stanton’s son, Orin Thomas Davis, to move further west in 1914 or so? Ellendale was 225 miles due west of Orin’s home in Little Falls, Minnesota. Was it because Orin’s father, Stanton Henry Davis, had just died in 1914 in Minnesota?

Being that the town was named after Mary “Ellen Dale” Merrill, (the wife of S.S. Merrill, superintendent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad), perhaps it was also the railroad stop in Ellendale, the first town to have a railroad in the entire region in 1882, that enticed this branch of the Davis family west.

Perhaps it was the rich, black soil and the Red River Valley “boom” that began in the 1880’s and established Fargo, North Dakota, an area 160 miles NE of Ellendale, straddling the Minnesota-North Dakota border along the north-flowing Red River, as a center for farmers.

Whatever reason brought them there,  Orin Thomas Davis and his wife, Josephine Sherman, had  8 of their 10 children born in Ellendale, North Dakota, and Orin lived there until his death in 1951.

Orin Thomas Davis, 1875-1951
Ellendale City Cemetery
Ellendale, Dickey, North Dakota

Update: photo of 10 of Orin and Josephine Davis’ 10 adult children, abt 1982.

10 Davis'sAll 10 of adult children of Orin T. and Josephine Davis, about 1982

Davis Pic 7
9 of 10 adult children of Orin T. and Josephine Davis, about 1986.

Our current tester, son of Orin Thomas Davis, left home at age 13 to live with his older sister in Forbes, ND. He went into the army in 1950 and served in the Korean War. When he returned, he married and bought his other sister’s farm and turned it into a dairy farm. In 1975, he sold the farm and bought the Circle Bar. He renamed it “Dale’s Corner Corral” and it became very successful. He was responsible for bringing the PRCA Rodeo to Ellendale until the city stopped sponsoring it. He sold the bar in 1997 and finally retired a few years ago. See more about his line at the William Davis DNA Project members’ tree. See more photos at the Ancestor Photos page.

CourtesyHock_venomAsh tray from Dale’s Corner Corral
Courtesy Hock_venom,

Other Matches- only 12 markers

Our other two new matches are only 12-marker matches so, without further markers, they won’t give us much genealogical information except to verify their lines.

1. The first 12-marker match, Living Davis, is the son of Stuart Edward Davis, 1911 WI-1981. His line is Stuart Edward9> Samuel Peter8>Samuel Parker7>Job Greene6>Joshua5 Davis.

Congratulations all you descendants of Stuart Edward Davis! You’re in the Davis clan!

This new tester’s ancestor, Samuel Parker Davis7, was the brother of Jerome Ahira7. Their ancestor in common, 4 generations back, was Job Greene Davis, born 1799 NY,  so we’d expect that #xxx088’s later markers, DYS 13-67, to closely match that of previous tester #xxx037, son of Ward Rexford10 Davis, who descended from Jerome Ahira7 Davis. We’ll have to wait and see.

2. The second 12-marker match is a brother of an already tested Davis member, #xx577,  who is tentatively placed on the line next to #xxx841, Hank Davis’ ancestor, Archie Eugene7 Davis. That line is : Charles7 (brother of Archie Eugene7)>Richard Robert6>David Rogers Jr5 Davis.

No real further information there except to verify, as expected, that the test results of the brothers, #xx577 and # xxx049, descendants of Gilbert Charles Davis, are exact duplicates.

Analysis of results

The Orin Thomas7/Stanton Henry6 Davis line stems from Benjamin5 Davis, b 1772 CT. Because Olin Cecil9 Davis also descended from Benjamin 5, that makes Benjamin5 an ancestor-in-common to both their lines.

Olin’s ancestor, William6, b 1810 NY, was the third son of Benjamin5 Davis (and first wife, Lydia Burdick). Stanton Henry6 Davis, b 1844, NY., was the twelfth and last son of Benjamin5 Davis (and third wife, Anna Lowing).

Even though they had 34 years between them and had different mothers, Olin’s ancestor, William6, was actually the older half brother of Orin Thomas’ ancestor, Stanton Henry6 Davis.  Being that both these testers, Olin Cecil Davis and Orin Thomas Davis’ son, had an ancestor in common in four generations on one side and three generations on the other side, you would think that their test results would be quite close to each other, wouldn’t you?

WRONG! Just to show how variable the DNA can be, Olin Cecil’s test, which should be genetically close to Orin Thomas Davis’ line, is instead measured as being five steps away in genetic distance. Yet another Davis member, #xxx037, who descended from a more distant relationship, is shown as being only three steps away, supposedly “closer” genetically.  This other line is descended from Benjamin’s uncle, Rev. David Rogers Davis, Sr. and they do not have an ancestor in common for eight generations! You would expect 8 generations would be further away genetically and show more change in markers than four generations, but not so in this case.

Take a look at the updated Proven Lines Chart on the William Davis DNA Project site to see a diagram of Olin’s and Orin’s lines, older proven lines and the relationships between them.

Lucky we usually know where to place these testers on the family tree without having to deduce it from the marker results.

Possibly, with more tests, a larger explanatory pattern, that we can’t discern at the moment, will emerge.

Analysis chart

This Analysis chart is an attempt to simplify the understanding of our testers’ differences. It tracks only the changing markers. The rest of the 67 markers are not listed because, at this point in comparison, they are the same for each tester on this chart. Duplicate testers or non-Davis surnames have been omitted. (Benjamin West DAVIS and Peter H. BURNETT lines are duplicates to #xxx841.)

Testers on this chart have been reordered in the sequence of when they occur on the family tree: oldest son and his descendants (far left of tree) are listed first; youngest son and his descendants (far right of tree), last. This allows testers descending from the same ancestor in common to be placed next to each other.

See on the Proven Lines chart how the lines descended from the first son are on the left of the chart and move to the right with the later sons.

Testers with common ancestors are shaded the same color. We would expect them to have identical or closely matching results.  Theory says that the less generations between a tester and an ancestor in common, the less time for marker mutations. So testers three generations from a common ancestor  probably, statistically, would have less marker changes than testers seven generations away.

Does that premise hold for our Davis testers so far? Look at the testers shaded the same colors and see the number of generations to their common ancestor. Count the number of markers that are different between them. Do those with smaller number of generations to an ancestor in common have less marker differences than those with a larger number of generations? Do you see any pattern in their results? Share your observations with a comment on this page if you’re inspired. (click on chart for larger view).


Summary of 2013 William Davis DNA Project Membership

We currently have 23 members of the William Davis DNA Project with matching tests (soon 24 members). This represents 18 distinct lines, two of which have different surnames and four of which are not positively placed on the William Davis family tree yet. Fourteen of these lines are descended from William Davis and his first wife, Elizabeth Brisley. Three of these lines are descended from William and his second wife, Elizabeth Pavior.

Thank you all for your cooperation with testing and sharing information about your lines. Hopefully we will begin to see clearer patterns with a larger number of testers.

To all you William Davis DNA Project members: if you have moved since you became a member, please contact me with your physical mailing address and look for some non-virtual (snail) mail to reach you soon.  Send any change of address to: jrmarkle at g mail dot com. Don’t miss out! 🙂

Best wishes to all you Davis cousins,

Jan Davis Markle, Director
William Davis DNA Project

More History: Anna Lowing, 1802-1889

Daughter of William Lowing and Anna Haight, step-daughter of William Vaughn, married first to Eusebius Sweet and married second to Benjamin Davis.


“Written on back of photo: ‘Grandma Davis, Grandma Maxson’s Mother.’ That would be Anna Lowing-Vaughn Sweet Davis 3rd wife of Benjamin Davis and her second marriage. Child of William Lowing & Anna Haight. Step-daughter of William Vaughn & Anna Haight.”
                                       –Courtesy of “My Family Story” by Weid427 and “Covel Family Tree” by jlrmvocel72 on

Anna Lowing was the youngest of 9 children of William Lowing and Anna Haight.  “Grandma Maxson” would be her daughter,  Susan Belle Davis who married S. S. Maxson.

According to the story “Lowing Genealogy,” William Lowing was by born James William McLaughlin in Kingston, Jamaica in 1758 but went by the names of”MacLaughn,” “Laugh,” and”Lowing.”

James’ father, a shipping captain, died when James  was 15 years old and James found himself apprenticed to a harsh captain. In running away, James, now going by William, found himself fighting indentureship of “orphans,” hence the creative invention of alternative names. After marrying, William and his wife, Anna Haight, and children lived in Vermont until they moved to Peru, New York where William died early at the age of 45. Anna Lowing, the youngest, was only 6 months old. Anna Lowing moved to Minnesota with her son, Stanton Henry Davis, and died there in 1889.

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