Posted by: Beth | July 31, 2012

The Davis Family of Kentucky

Please note that this is a transcription of 3 pages of a book about the Davis Family. These pages were scanned and shared on The person who shared them stated the following: “This information is from a book about “Davis Families of Kentucky” in the Kansas Historical Library in Topeka, KS. I was just starting into genealogy in the 70’s and failed to make a note of the exact name of the book, date of issue, etc.”

I have transcribed and shared them here for research purposes only. I do not know the name of the book, who wrote it, when it was written, when it was published or what their sources were for this information. This is for references to use for research only since it gives names, dates and locations to look for documented sources. Do not take any of this as fact until it can be verified.

The Davis Family, pages 55-57

JOHN DAVIS was of Welsh parents. He married Mrs. Jemima Collins, whose maiden name was Jefferson and was a relative of President Jefferson.

They had 7 children

  1. ROBERT DAVIS (1754-1843)
  2. Thomas Davis served in Revolutionary War
  3. William Davis
  4. James Davis
  5. John Davis was born 12 Dec 1758; died 30 Sept 1841; he served in the Revolutionary War and was at the Siege of Yorktown and at the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis; married Mourning Guffey.
  6. Mary Davis
  7. Jemima Davis

ROBERT DAVIS was born 18 Apr 1754 in Amherst Co., Va; died 22 Mar 1843; married in August 1772 in Virginia to Ararilla (Air-a-rilla) Wood, daughter of Henry and Judith Wood. Robert was a cripple and was not in the war (?). He and Ararilla both lived through the Revolutionary War against England. They moved from Virginia to North Carolina, then back to Virginia again, leaving there for Sevier Co., Tennessee and in 1804 was in Wayne County, Ky. Ararilla survived Robert but just a day or two and they are buried together, in the same grave. They lived in that part of Wayne which became Clinton County, Their son was

REV ABSALOM DAVIS who was born 3 June 1797 in Sevier Co., Tenn; died 30 Sept 1858 in Clinton Co., Ky. and buried at the Davis Chapel Methodist Cemetery; when 23 years old, Absalom married Miss Allie Fair Guffey in 1820 in Wayne Co. She was daughter fo Ephraim Guffey and Sarah “Sally” Denny, daughter of Samuel Denny. In 1829, Absalom joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and began preaching in 1836 and continued preaching until his death. He traveled and preached over the counties of Wayne, Clinton, Monroe and Casey. On the 22nd of September, 1858, just eight days before his death, in the Davis meeting house, or chapel, as it was called, he delivered his last sermon from the text: “Therefore be ye (illegible) ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh.” His funeral was preached by Rev, Robert Fisk in the same chapel where just a week before he had stood expounding the Scriptures with force and eloquence such as seldom witnessed there. For may years he was a contributor to the Christian Advocate. He was a member of the Louisville Con…(illegible). Rev.

Davis and Allie Fair had 14 children:

  1.  William F. Davis was born 12 Dec 1820 in Clinton Co., Ky; died 23 June 1882 in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Ky; married 24 Dept to Emily Guffey.
  2. Sally Ann Davis was born 22 June 1822 in Clinton Co., KY; died 1863 in Fannin Co., Texas; married John Shelly.
  3. CEBURN J. DAVIS (1823- )
  4. Miles H. Davis was born 18 Mar 1826; died 22 Aug 1859
  5. John R. Davis was born 17 Nov 1828; still living in 1901; married Sarah _____.
  6. Allie Fair Davis was born 9 Oct 1829; died 27 Oct 1910; married Pleasant Marcum who was born 1 Nov 1823; died 25 Feb 1906
  7. Avarilla (Ararilla) C. Davis was born 20 Feb 1831; still living in 1901
  8. Thomas C. Davis was born 10 Feb 1833 in Wayne Co., Ky; still living in 1901; married 7 Dept 1854 to Nancy Huffaker, daughter of Just…(illegible) Huffaker. They lived in Unionville, Missouri in 1901
  9. Patsy E. Davis was born 14 Mar 1835; died 6 May 1881 in Alpha, Ky
  10. Constat E.W. Davis was born 18 Dec 1836; living in Texas in 1901.
  11. Margaret M. Davis was born 8 Apr 1839; died 15 Jan 1891
  12. Absalom B. Davis was born 2 May 1841; died 29 Dec 1923 in Alpha, Ky.; married Margaret ______ who was born 7 Nov 1843; died 12 Mar (illegible)
  13. Mary E. Davis was born 16 Jan 1846; still living in 1901
  14. Nancy M. Davis was still living in Ky. in 1901

CEBURN J. DAVIS was born in what is now Clinton Co., Ky on 29 Dec 1825. He never went to a public school. He and his family lived in log house. In October, 1843 he married Miss Virginia Young. With five children, Parker, George, Haywood, Melvina and Evaline, they left Kentucky on 8th of May 1856, leaving one child Alice, a little over a year old, there (Beth’s note: Alice died in 1849 at 1 year and 13 days old, which is why they didn’t bring her with them. I’m not sure why the author didn’t state that instead of suggesting that they left her behind). They went to Knox County, Illinois, reaching there May 29, 1856. They lived there two years, leaving there Aril 9, 1858 for Putnam Co., Missouri, landing there 22 Apr 1858. They settled on the Mark Crabtree place, on the northwest corner of which the Davis Schoolhouse was built, now called Victory. During the first year in Putnam, Ceburn gave one acre of his land for a school house site to belong to the district as long as it was used for that purpose. For this 80 acres and 10 acres timber disconnected, he gave a horse and wagon and a small amount of money, all valued at $200. They lived there till the fall of 1865. In (illegible), they bought 40 acres where Benton Spaw lived and 40 acres south of the 80 acres on which they lived. In the fall of 1865, they moved to the place where Mr. Spaw lived and for those two forties he gave $300, all in trade. They lived there till 1872, when he bought the place where a man by the name of Jones lived, for $1200. The rest of Ceburn and Virginia’s children were born here; Sarah, Ben, Arthur, Lizzie and Absalom. Ceburn was still living in 1901.

[goes into a paragraph about the wild game in the area – nothing specific and nothing to do with family history]

Ceburn J. Davis enlisted under Capt. Green Maize in Co. E, 4th Regt, E.M.M. He was in the Battle at Lancaster where a negro non-combatant and a few bush-whackers were killed. Later he was in Capt. George W. Ledford’s Company, under Col. W.A. Shelton. They were stationed at Macon County and points along the Missouri River. They guarded towns and railroads, but were in no actual battle.

THOMAS HUTCHISON came into Court and complains against WISEMAN LOVING, Administrator of the Estate of WILLIAM DAVIS, deceased who died Intestate. Thomas states in his Bill that was filed in October 1833 Term of Court, that William Davis on the 8 day 1830 in Wayne, William did promise to pay by the 1st of May 1833 to Thomas Hutchison, $200, which might have been paid in Good Merchatable Whiskey in good tight single barrels, at 20 cents per Gallon delivered at the Still House, where Davis then lived on the 8th May 1830, for value received of Hutchison. However only $48.25 of the $200 has been paid by Wiseman Loving.

Whereas, Thomas Hutchison sold to William Davis a tract of land near Monticello, containing a Mill and a Distrillery. And whereas William Davis has died and his Widow, Sarina Davis and his children and Heirs, Jobe M. Davis, William H. Davis, Polly Davis and George Davis, are now and have enjoyed possession of the land since William died. Wiseman Loving, the Administrator of William, has paid off debts with William’s personal estate and has entirely existed the sum, leaving not one cent to pay Hutchison for the land, Mill and Distrillery. Thomas states that he has recently been on the land and the Mill is in a ruinous state. Also, the said Davis in his lifetime, was indebted to the firm of Thomas to Elijah Hutchison for much goods delivered to Davis, and since that time I have purchased the interest of Elijah Hutchison, my former partner.



  1. My families last name is Davis and I love looking into past history about our name

  2. Beth, if you read this , let me know. I am Ronald Davis , age 83. I am a direct descendent of the line above. I am a great grandson of CEW Davis.
    The information above was recorded by CEW –Constance Elijah Watson Davis as I have in my family records. I have a family website. If you contact me, I will send you the site address. My Email address

    • Hi Ronald, I just sent you an e-mail

    • To Ronald Davis,
      Is there a chance you, or one of your sons, has taken a Y-DNA test?
      I believe my Davis line connects to John & Jamima Jefferson Davis. My cousin, a male Davis, has taken the test and we are searching for documented linage back to them. You would be a great asset in this search.
      You can reach me at:
      Thank you,

  3. My great grandmother was Tommie Juanita Davis born in Union Parish Louisiana in 1886. Her father, William Thomas Davis was born around 1865 in Louisiana and married a Boatright. This as fat as I can get. Do any of you have any Davis ancestors that came to Louisiana?
    Tonya Kelley Johanson

  4. high my name is elizabeth flores burton ,my grandpa was george davis and eve burton,george dad was john davis who marry amanda bibby,this is all i got im trying to search davis tree can you help

  5. My name is Patrick Davis. I’m 31 and I was just kind of curious to find out my family history my grandparents came from the mountains in Eastern Kentucky my grandfather’s name is Clarence Davis. His fathers name is Roland Davis. I don’t suppose you could find any history with the name Roland Davis? Because that is such an unusual name I’m quite certain if you could find a family tree history document with that name in it it would more than likely be the family tree that I am looking for. Please let me know if you can help me if not no worries thank you.

    • Hi Patrick, I don’t have a Roland Davis in my tree, but I did a quick search on and found at least 6 different Roland Davis’ from KY in the 1940 census alone. I didn’t find a son named Clarence in any of them. Do you have anymore information to help pin down which one he is? Birth dates, death dates, names of spouses or siblings?

  6. My Great Grand Father George Jefferson Davis b. Abt 1831 Ohio lived Ky I’ll and Missouri He married twice first wife Lucretia Cobb in 1850 Ohio they went to Missouri two children born there he had two in ill and enlisted 1861 at Lewistown Illonis he was widowed he remarried to Nancy Kemplin they lived in Ky and had a large family he died 1889. He was always going to Illinois an Missouri. We don’t know why till he got sick. We have no Idea who his parents are. I am at bonnie_applegate@yahoo. Com

  7. My grandfather is Marion Davis from KY, born on Feb 22, 1891, I think. From the best I can tell, I think his dad’s name was Harvey. Marion married Cordelia Brewer in 1907, had three children and died in Florida in 1968. Does anyone have any information on this line of Davises? Please contact me if you can help……thank you

  8. I am beginning to think that someone, somewhere along the line, grabbed a name out of the clouds and that just happened to be Davis!….Either my grandfather was a figment of imagination, or he was a “bastard” child born out of wedlock, (and I use that term as it would have been used in the 1800’s and even 1900″s…..not so much these days), orrrrr he was really an Alien that dropped out of the same cloud that the name was pulled from! SO DANG FRUSTRATING! I just can’t seem to solidify that last connection……..Ugh

  9. Hi, John Davis and Mourning Guffey were my 3x great grandparents. I have had DNA done, and so has one of my brothers, my brother would be a male direct line, of all males, in our line. I am fairly new with the DNA and would like to figure out more about how to tell who is related via the Davis line.

    • Hi Connie, I ran both the kit numbers you gave through GEDmatch and found no match to any of the kits that I match. That’s not surprising given the distance of the relationship. My suggestion is to use a paper trail to build your tree out as best you can. Follow the lines of all the children of your direct line ancestors. When you do find a DNA match and can confirm your shared Davis line, I always look to the shared matches between the 2 kits and try to build from there. If you’re on Facebook, there are some really great groups on there dedicated to helping each other learn how to research using genetic genealogy. There are some very knowledgeable people there that have been extremely helpful to me. I can suggest a few of the sites if you’re interested

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