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Samuel Emory Davis (1756 - 1824)

Major Samuel Emory Davis
Born in Augusta, Richmond, Georgiamap
Husband of — married about 1783 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 68 in Woodville, Wilkinson, Mississippi, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 17 Nov 2008
This page has been accessed 8,323 times.


This profile is part of the Davis Name Study.

Maj Samuel Emory Davis BIRTH 1756 Bladen County, North Carolina, USA DEATH 4 Jul 1824 (aged 67–68) Mississippi, USA BURIAL Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi, USA Find A Grave: Memorial #9565034

'Samuel Emory Davis, the father of Jefferson Davis, was born in Georgia around 1755-58. His father, Evan Davis, died soon after Samuel's birth, leaving his mother, Mary Emory Davis, to care for him and his two half brothers. Little is known of his formative years, but he was literate, indicating at least some formal education.


Apparently following the lead of his half brothers, Samuel enlisted with the American forces soon after the beginning of the Revolution. He may have briefly been a member of a Georgia regiment, but the majority of his service was with South Carolina troops. One account states that he was a private in a company of "mounted gunmen"; in 1779 he organized his own company, probably of mounted infantry. Various accounts place him at the Battle of Kettle Creek, Georgia (Feb. 14, 1779) and the sieges of Savannah (Sept.-Oct. 1779) and Augusta (Apr.-June 1781).[2] Claims that he fought at Battle of Kettle Creek are false. [3]

According to Joseph E. Davis, Samuel was wounded twice during the conflict. [citation needed] The DAR has no proof of his service. [4] (

After the war Davis returned to Georgia and was appointed clerk of the courts. He married Jane Cook, whom he had met in South Carolina during the war, in 1783, and the first of their ten children was born the following year. They remained in Georgia until about 1797 when they moved to Kentucky, perhaps with a short period in South Carolina in between.

Shortly after Jefferson's birth, the family left Kentucky for Louisiana and then Mississippi, settling in Woodville, in Wilkinson County, where they built Rosemont Plantation.[5] Samuel Davis died while visiting eldest son Joseph in 1824. Jefferson Davis named his first son after his father.

For more information, see Volume 1 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis. Much of the correspondence between Davis and his parents were destroyed by Union troops in 1863.[2]

In 1820 Samuel Davis is listed on the census in Wilkinson Co, MS.[6]

Samuel Emory Davis died on 4 Jul 1824. He is buried in Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery.[7]


In the 1820 census Samuel held 17 enslaved people in Wilkinson, Mississippi.[8]


  1. Harry Alexander Davis, , published in "The Davis family (Davies and David) in Wales and America; genealogy of Morgan David of Pennsylvania" by Harry Alexander; Publication date 1927; Topics Davis family, Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889; Publisher Washington, D. C., H. A. Davis, 1927; Collection allen_county; americana; Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive; Contributor Allen County Public Library Genealogy; 930 pages ( Page 102 (document page 37)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Papers of Jefferson Davis
  3. List of verified soldiers that fought at Battle of Kettle Creek
  4. Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Genealogical Research Databases, database online, ( : accessed 19 Mar 2018), "Record of Samuel Davis", Ancestor # A030623.
  6. United States Census, 1820: "United States Census, 1820"
    Image path: United States Census, 1820 > Mississippi > Wilkinson > Not Stated > image 16 of 30; Citing NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
    FamilySearch Image: 33SQ-GYY8-SXFY (accessed 9 June 2022)
    • 1820 census
  7. Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 15 May 2023), memorial page for Maj Samuel Emory Davis (1756–4 Jul 1824), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9565034, citing Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi, USA; Maintained by Bruce (contributor 46602183).
  8. 1820 Census: "1820 United States Federal Census"
    1820 U S Census; Census Place: Wilkinson, Mississippi; NARA Roll: M33_58; Image: 171
    Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 7734 #1319450 (accessed 15 May 2023)
    Samuel Davis in Wilkinson, Mississippi.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Samuel by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Samuel:

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As a member of the US Black Heritage Project, I have added categories and a list of the slaves owned by Samuel Emory Davis on this profile with categories using the standards of the US Black Heritage Exchange Program. This helps us connect enslaved ancestors to their descendants. See US Black Heritage: Heritage Exchange Program for more information.
posted by Gina (Pocock) Jarvi
Davis-6642 and Davis-11 appear to represent the same person because: same parents (merges proposed), same dates, please merge
posted by Robin Lee
Davis-31230 and Davis-11 appear to represent the same person because: There will be 1 more merge with Davis-6642.
posted by Milton Davis III
Davis-14536 and Davis-11 appear to represent the same person because: These match and should be merged. Same names, same spouse.
posted by AJ Jacobs Junior