Archiver > DAVIDSON > 2011-09 > 1316386626

From: John Lisle <>
Subject: [DAVIDSON] John Davidson, died 1780, Battle of Hanging Rock
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 18:57:06 -0400
References: <914A4F9ACE304E5EBF19CF27AC42D271@OwnerPC><>
In-Reply-To: <>


As many of you know I research the members of DNA Family 1 and their
allied families. Recently, I began to document more fully the
descendants of Samuel Davidson of Augusta Co., VA, and SC. He is the
probable brother of John and George of Iredell county, NC, and his
family is the least well documented.

I recently posted a part of the research I have done on James, s/o
Samuel. In the course of that research, I uncovered a conflict with
the accepted genealogy of the man reputed to be John, s/o Samuel, bp. 1744.

Standard genealogies of John show him having a daughter Sarah who
married a William Loury Lusk and moving to Warren county, TN, where
they died in the mid-1800s.

The problem is that James Davidson left a Will in 1816 which named
his children and one that was mentioned was Sara Lusk. I find it a
bit too much of a coincidence that two cousins named Sarah would both
marry men named Lusk. Of course, it is possible.

So, I went back to look for the evidence about John Davidson. And
found almost no direct evidence. I would like to think that the
extensive genealogies of his family were not created out of
supposition, but I can find little of substance to back them up and
hope that some people on this list, can provide true evidence about his family.

Here are some of the things said.


Capt. John Davidson died 6 August 1780 at the Battle of Hanging Rock
in South Carolina. He served in Col. Thomas Brandon's unit. Annuitant
claims tell us his wife's name was Sarah. It is said he was buried at
the site of the Battle.


I can find evidence that a John Davidson was killed at the Battle.
However, I cannot find evidence that he was a Captain.

Supposedly, his wife Sarah made a pension claim in 1785, but I have
not found that claim with any documentation that it might have had.

However, I have seen a listing of SC Rev War soldiers that does give
the name Sarah to the widow of the John Davidson who died at Hanging Rock.

Another reference says that Sarah Davidson filed for her husband's
pension in 1785 and that Robert Lusk signed the receipts. (Robert
Lusk might be the Robert Lusk (1730-1804) who married Mary Vance and
was father of Jane/Jennet Lusk who married George Davidson (1772-aft
1850) who is said to be a son of John Davidson and Sarah Gillham. he
was listed in the 1790 census of York Co., SC)

Further, an index from the SC Archives of Rev War Pensioners from
1820 lists a Sarah Davidson.


Conventional wisdom on the John who died at Hanging Rock is that he
was the son of Samuel Davidson who was baptized at Tinkling Springs
Church in 1744.


A baptismal record exists that a John Davidson, s/o Samuel, was
baptized on 25 November 1744 at Tinkling Springs Presbyterian Church
in Beverley Manor, Augusta Co., VA.

The Jennings-Davidson genealogy (1944) mentions that John (along with
brothers George & James and an unnamed brother) were in military
service in 1757 during the French & Indian War. Samuel signed a
receipt for military wages in 1757 for George, James, and John.

I can find no direct evidence that connects the John who died at
Hanging Rock to this John Davidson. The only DNA evidence that we
have that could possibly be this John Davidson does not match Family 1.


John Davidson married Sarah/Sally Gillham, d/o Thomas Gillham and
Margaret Campbell.

She is believed to be the Sarah Davidson buried in Bullocks Creek
Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in York Co., SC. The inscription on her
headstone is (see FindaGrave)

Sarah Davidson
Decr 5th 1827
in the 84th year
of her age.


We know from that the wife of John Davidson who died at Hanging Rock
was named Sarah. I have not found any marriage record to prove that
she was born Gillham although a wealth of Gillham family research
seems to support that claim.

A Sarah Davison was found in the 1790 census for Union Co., SC:

Sarah Davison 2-2-5-0-0

This would suggest that her family consisted of 2 males over 16, 2
males under 16, and 5 females, including herself. This is somewhat
consistent with known genealogies which would suggest 3 sons over 16,
1 son under 16, and 3 daughters.

Sarah has not listed in the 1800 census; however, an 1800 Union Co.,
SC, census for Samuel Davidson (b. 1765 in VA, according to 1850
census), who could be her first son, did list a female over 45. As he
did not marry until later in 1800, this could fit.

Sarah was not listed in the 1810 census. Again, it looks like she
could have been listed with Samuel.

Neither Sarah not Samuel were located in the 1820 census. (There is a
Samuel, but his listing is not consistent with what we know of him.)

Based on this evidence, it is likely that the Sarah Davidson buried
in Bullocks Creek in 1827 was the wife of the John Davidson who died
at Hanging Rock and that Samuel Davidson, b. 1765 in Virginia was their son.

This would John and Sarah's marriage in Virginia before 1765 and
Gillham family information puts them in Augusta County, Virginia, we
have circumstantial evidence that the John Davidson who could have
married Sarah Gillham was the son of Samuel. And, based on Scottish
naming patterns, you would expect John to name his first son after
his father, having his first son named Samuel is further evidence,
but not proof.


Based on this information, we have reason to believe that the John
Davidson who died in the Battle of Hanging Rock was likely the son of
Samuel Davidson of Beverley Manor.

I would like to hear from list members who might have further
evidence about him and his family. Based on what I have shared, the
only child of his that we have more or less identified is Samuel. At
this point, I would normally ask for DNA evidence; however, based on
other research on Samuel's family, I do not believe that he left any
male grandsons who had families.

I should mention that the only member of the DNA project who claims
to be descendant from this John Davidson does not have DNA matching Family 1.

I will follow up later with information on his suggested children.


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