Archiver > VAPWILLI > 1998-11 > 0911445082

From: <>
Subject: [VAPWILLI-L] Presley Davis
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 22:11:22 -0500

Hi Byron -

Well, I sat down and reread your several messages tonight. The
two messages on 11/6 and 11/7 pose a basic query, then the
message of 11/10 makes reference to a message I had sent back in
4/97 that provided some of the answers you were looking for.
That message, as you'll recall, described two 'sets' of two
Presleys each: one set was my line, and the other set was yours.

I've never yet connected these lines as yet, though I'm getting
closer. But in searching my Davis folks as well as the single
name Presley Davis, I've collected some facts that may be of help
to you:

1. All of the data I have on your Presley and his relatives I
gleaned from a 350-page bound manuscript I found in the Bull Run
Library in Prince William County entitled "History of the
Dawson-Davis and Related Families of Fairfax and Prince William
Counties, Virginia" (1984 Revised Edition), copyright 1984 by
Leslie Davis Dawson, 1664 Forest Hill, Plainfield, New Jersey.
Pages 146-176 of this manuscript address the Davis family of
which your Presley is a part. The lineage, working backwards is
as follows:
Presley Davis m Ann Milton
Jesse Davis (1755-1818) m Nancy Melton(1759-?)
Isaac Davis (?-1771) m Elizabeth Kincheloe
William Davis (c1695-1755) m Ellen Bland
I think the best thing would be for me to send you a copy of the
excerpt I have so you can explore it as you see fit.

2. I note that in your message of 11/18, you refer to Capt Jesse
Davis as Presley's brother. The manuscript shows Jesse as the
father. You had this relationship correctly described in your
11/10 message.

3. You list Jesse's wife as "Nancy Milton." The manuscript
shows "Melton". And there is this supporting information in the
text that "Melton" is the correct spelling:
"In 1837 Hugh Davis, then apparently living in Nelson County KY,
signed an affidavit in support of a pension claim by Jesse's
widow Nancy. The pension records show that Jesse was born in
Prince William, and was Hugh's first cousin and also his
brother-in-law and that Jesse married Nancy Melton of Prince
William on February 8 1780. She was doubtless related to Moses
Melton and his wife Mary and Richard Melton and his wife
Margaret, all of whom were in Prince William in 1789 (Prince
William Deed Book X, pages 63 and 309)."
But I wonder if you have other data to indicate that Jesse's and
Presley's wives were actually from the same family?

4. You ask about the relation ship of Jesse to the Cornelius
mentioned in the story of the Indian raid (first time I had seen
this - many thanks!). The manuscript shows a brother Cornelius
married to Eleanor ? - no dates for either of them.

5. You ask for the names of Jesse's children. They are:
Presley m Ann Milton
Wilson L.
Jesse, Jr m Sally
Nancy m (1) Jesse Davis (2) James Reynolds
Elizabeth m Robert Mosley
Harriet M m Harrison Williams
William L.

6. You ask for information about Melissa Davis. I have none, but
I do see a Melissa Davis listed in the manuscript index as being
referred to on page 256 (not the Davis section). Interestingly,
Cornelius Davis is also mentioned nearby on pages 249 and 251.
This will take a trip to the library to explore.

7. You ask about my interest in the Purcells. As you noted, one
of 'my' Presley's sons, Kellestus (later went by Thomas), married
Martha Ann Purcell, daughter of James Purcell and his wife
Catherine ?. This is my direct line; Martha Purcell is my gggm.
The rest of this family:
1. James PURCELL (About 1803 - 27 Jan 1867) & Catherine (WIFE OF
JAMES PURCELL) (About 1800 - 28 Aug 1869)
|1.1 Martha Ann PURCELL (About 1828 - 5 May 1882) & Thomas
Kellestus DAVIS (About 1818 - 10 Feb 1891)
|1.2 Lucien E. PURCELL (About 1835 - 6 Apr 1867)
|1.3 James R. PURCELL (1 Oct 1838 - 29 Jan 1916) & Maggie E.
(WIFE OF JAMES PURCELL) (About 1844 - )
|1.4 Emma L. PURCELL (About 1840 - )
I don't know anything more on this family, though I do have quite
a stack of as yet unexplored raw data that I've collected for
future work on this line. If you think your Purcell folks might
have Prince William roots, send along what you have and I'll add
it to the rest. Maybe one day ...

8. Item 3 above makes reference to a pension application related
to the service of Capt Jesse Davis. I have seen an abstract of
the pension application at the Bull Run library, and it seems
quite elaborate and detailed -- though I have only sparse basis
for comparison. As I recall, Presley Davis was also among those
who submitted an affidavit. In the Dawson-Davis manuscript,
there are several references to Jesse's service, among them this
well-referenced summary:
"Jesse Davis was a Captain in the Revolution and served under the
immediate command of General Washington, who in general orders
commended him for bravery (Virginia Gazette Jan 23 1778)....
Jesse's widow Nancy Melton was allowed a pension (W8652) and a
Bounty Land Warrant (#2325) for 300 acres. Jesse also received
lands grants of 5100 acres in Jefferson County and grants of 1700
acres in Nelson County, Kentucky (Virginia land grant books
A:128; 4:536, 537, 608; 7:279; and 10:489)"

I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I hope what
I've provided above will be of assistance. My library time has
been less than hoped for lately, but if you want the pension
abstract or the lookup on Melissa, please let me know and I'll
put this in my 'to do' folder.

I know that at least a couple of your notes have been posted to
VA-PWILLI, so I'm going to post this reply there as well for the
perusal of others who may also be interested in this Davis /
Milton line.

Dick Lowe

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