When and from where did the Davis family come from when first arriving in America?

+7 votes
Our Davis family has been from north Mississippi for about two hundred years...just wondering where they originated from and when did they come to America?
in Genealogy Help by
Can you say what counties and or cities in Northern Mississippi?

Do you have the first names of the early arrivals?
How far back have you been able to go? My davis family branch only goes to a single mother of 3 but one of the grandsons married a hiestand which has originated from germany and switzerland.
I got some help from another Davis researcher. Daniel Davis was born 1734 in Wales and is thought to have emigrated to America in 1759. He married Mary Nin of New York Daniel Davis died in Ferrisburg, Addison, Vermont  on November 30, 1826. The couple had four children. Daniel Davis great grandaughter was Phidelia Davis who is my great great grandmother.

You could look up the single mother of 3 at familysearch.org to possibly find a clue as to where your Davis line originated. I can look it up too, if you want to give her name, birth year, birth location as well as her death year and death location.
I'm looking for the Davis' from Tate County, Mississippi. Delia Davis born Tennessee kids John W Davis, Jeff D David, Ida C . The first census in Tate County was 1880 can anyone help ?

Jessica Freeman


6 Answers

+5 votes

The above will show where Davis is concentrated in the USA. Click on England & Wales to see what counties in England and Wales the Davis surname is located, which appears to be everywhere, and very concentrated in London, England. Click on Scotland and you will see the highest concentration in Lanarkshire and next in Midlothian. Concentrations were further north before the clearances in 1841.

My Davis line came from Wales, but they settled in Vermont at first, and then moved into Pennsylvania.

If you can provide more specifics as requested in the comments, they a more precise answer would be likely.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)
edited by Frank Gill
+5 votes


This distinguished surname, with no less than twenty Coats of Arms, and several notable entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", is a patronymic form of the male given name David, itself coming from the Hebrew "Dodaveha" meaning "Beloved of Jehovah". This name was borne by the greatest of the early kings of Israel, which led to its popularity first among the Jews, and later among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. In Britain, the popularity of the personal name was increased due to the ame of St. David, 6th Century Bishop of Menevia, who became patron saint of Wales, and also as a result of its having been borne by two kings of Scotland: David 1, who reigned from 1124 to 1153, and David 11 (1329 - 1371). One David clericus, recorded in Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire, dated 1150, is one of the earliest recorded bearers of the personal name in England. The patronymic first emerges in the early 14th Century (see below), and in 1402, a Richard Davys was entered in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York. Richard Barrett Davis (1782 - 1852) was animal painter to William 1V, and Sir John Francis Davis, chief superintendent of British trade in China, was made K.C.B. in 1854. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a silver shield with a chevron pean, in base a black lion rampant, a chief indented of the last, and a canton ermines. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dauisse, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2016

Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Davis#ixzz45c1Pe4Wt

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)
+3 votes

Hey Anon,

In my research, and most anyone else who works on Southern Families, I find a pattern. The first of the family arrives along the East coast and settle - Then as the family grows and the family land goes to the older/oldest child, the younger children move south and west as more land opens up - then the process is repeated, they settle somewhere like TN, NC, SC or Georgia and again the older Kids inherit the land and the younger kids move on as land opens up - MS, AL, LA, TX, AR, OH, IN.

If you can find the migrational pattern of your area of MS, you can follow it back.

My Gaulden's started in VA (Possibly MA) moved from VA to NC to SC. Stayed in SC, Then the younger kids and other allied families moved through Georgia to Western MS and LA.

The other way to work this would be using DNA and migration patterns. Once you know the DNA of a Gateway (first in the America's) Ancestor you can infer other groups as they spread out across the US. Find groups in the proposed migration areas and ask some to test to compare to you and what you know about the Gateway Ancestors.

Knowing this pattern you can look for your Davis people in those places.

by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (653k points)
+1 vote

In our case, they started in North Carolina, moved to Delaware and then 3 sons went to West Virginia. 

Robert Davis Birth 1720 • Mispillion Hundred, Kent, Delaware, USA

Death APR 1794 • Mispillion Hundred, Kent, Delaware, USA


Robert Davis Birth 1750 • , Anson, North Carolina, USA

Death 01 AUG 1825 • Morgantown, Monongalia, West Virginia, USA

Mathias Davis  Birth 1751 • , Kent, Delaware, USA

Death 28 FEB 1829 • Monongalia, , Virginia, USA

John Waitman Davis Birth 22 JUL 1751 • Kent, Delaware, United States

Death 1841 • Monongalia, Virginia, United States

Robert DAVIS  Sex: M Death: ABT. APR 1794 in Mispillion Hundred, Kent County, Delaware Will Book. Robert's will mentions wife Susannah, sons Robert, Mathias, John, William, Nathan, and Thomas; also grandaughters Mahala Clifton and Susannah Davis; the latter is the daughter of his son John. 

by Aurora Chancy G2G6 Mach 2 (28.8k points)
+3 votes
There is no single "Davis" ancestor for the American "Davis" families that arrived prior to 1700. I know of at least six unrelated Davis lines in that time frame, arriving from Wales, Ireland, England, and other European sources. Many genealogists have tried to link them together but this isn't even a reasonable thing to do because the "Davis" surname originates from different languages and spellings, from families that have nothing to do with each other. (Davies, David, Daues, etc). Best bet: follow your ancestry backward, being careful about sources and verification. This way you will know the truth about your family origins, and not some other family. Good luck!
by Norm Davis G2G6 (8.0k points)
My Davis family is from Carlton, Alabama.  My great, great grandfather was Jack Davis.  My grandfather once told me he Jack was from Grand Cayman Islands.  I want to know why he settled in Alabama.
Looking at the FamilyTreeDNA Davis surname study, there are over 50(!!) different, totally unrelated Davis family groups/lines in the US.
+2 votes
I am Reginald Hugh Davis, born 1940 in Houston, Mississippi, Chickasaw County.  Parents Robert F. and Lavinia Colette Martin both born in Chickasaw County. Their Parents Richard Davis and Joseph Martin from Chickasaw.   Believe their kin came thru South Carolina to Alabama to Mississippi.

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