October 21, 2020

Jonathan F. Davis: An Enigma

Jonathan F. Davis: Who was he, really?

My great great grandfather is such a mystery to me. Of course, having a name like "John Davis" is a problem on many levels. Davis is the 7th most common surname in the world and there has been an unbelievable number of Davis men in Granville and Franklin counties since the late 1600s.  Just my luck. 

I've been working on Jonathan for many years. Here's what I am sure of:

  • He married Cornelia DILLARD on 24 January 1861 in Granville County, NC.
  • He shows up on the 1850 and 1870 census in southern Granville County, but not in 1860.
  • He is buried in the DAVIS family cemetery on Woodland Church Road in Granville County. 
  • He fathered at least 12 children between 1861 and 1899.
  • He was a Freemason.
  • He left a brief will where he names 7 of his children and owned about 200 acres of land. 
  • He was a slave owner.

Here's what I'd like to know:
  • He was 32 when he married Cornelia. Was he married previously?
  • His first child with Cornelia was born in 1861. The next one in 1865. Which might suggest that he served in the US Civil War, but I can find no solid evidence. He also could have served in the Mexican War, per his age.
  • I'm told "someone" in a "nearby county" has a tintype of Jonathan. What I wouldn't give to get a good look at it! 
  • According to the will, the family was fairly well to do at one time. But the next generation was dirt poor. What happened? Reconstruction?
If you have any news of Jonathan, I'd love to hear it!  In the meantime, I'll keep diggin. I'm certain there is a lot more to his story!

No comments:

Post a Comment