Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Brick Wall - Nathaniel Davidson

I have a brick wall that is more like steel reinforced concrete. His name is Nathaniel Davidson and he is my great-great-great grandfather.

I first found Nathaniel back in the letters my Uncle John Percival had put in a scrapbook. Dad and I meticulously photocopied each and every letter and then I went home and transcribed them.

This is the first I heard of Nathaniel:
This indenture made and entered into this 16th day of July in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and thirty eight between Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife on the one part and Nath'l (sic) Davidson of the other part all of the county of Lafayette and State of Missouri Witnesseth that the said Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife for and in consideration of the sum of sixty dollars in hand paid them, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. Hath this day bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant, bargain, and sell unto the said Nath'l Davidson his heirs and assigns the following lot or parcel of ground lying and being in the town of Dover and known on said Town plat as lot no. twenty seven and running parallel with Walnut Street and containing one eighth of an acre to have and to hold the above described lot with all and or singular the appurtenances thereunto all ongoing or in anywise appertaining unto the said Nath'l Davidson and his heirs forever.
And the said Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators do warrant and forever defend the title to the above described lot free from claim or claims of all and any person or person claiming by through or under therein.  Or any other person or persons whatsoever.  In testimony whereof all the said Bryan Wright and Nancy have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals this day and year before witnesses.

                      Bryan    x   Wright    seal
                       Nancy B. Wright       seal

State of Missouri
County of Lafayette

Be it remembered that on the 16th day of July 1838 before me, Ben F. Yantis am of the Justices of the County court for said county personally came the above named Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife, both personally known to me to be the persons whose names are sub to the foregoing instrument of writing as having executed the same and severally acknowledged the same to be their acts and deed for the purposes therein mentioned.  The said Nancy being by me first made acquainted with the contents thereof and examined separate and apart from her husband whither she executed the said deed and relinquished her dower in the said land and tenements therein mentioned voluntarily, freely and without compulsion or undue influence of her husband when she acknowledged and declared that she executed the said deed and tenements therein mentioned voluntarily, freely and without compulsion or undue influence of her husband.

Witnessed and certified the day and year first mentioned.

                      Ben F. Yantis, Justice.


Who was this mysterious man? A search through my database at the time - 1990 - produced one Davidson, Susan E. Davidson, who married my great-great grandfather John Stearns Percival. I surmised at the time that this could be her father. A search through the 1850 census in Lafayette county, Missouri, did indeed prove my hypothesis. This was the day when you had to do page by page searches if you didn't have access to an index. And I either had to order in the 1850 census at our local LDS Family History Library and wait for it to come in, or order it at my local library.

It would not be for several years that I would actually locate a marriage notice in a Lafayette county newspaper that Nathaniel Davidson had married Anne Eastis (Estes).

From family letters, I discovered he died April 10, 1854 in Lafayette county, Missouri. From other letters, I discovered they used native stone to mark the graves, not gravestones. So the site is lost. From the 1850 census, his age is 53, born circa 1797 in Kentucky.

I know his name, his origin, his marriage, children and death. And that sums up what I know about Nathaniel Davidson.

A couple nights ago, I did a search for him and occasionally the name Alex/Alexander Davidson comes up. Also in Lafayette county. I did a search in Ancestry Family Trees and came up with a marriage between a Davidson and a Demoss. Now, I do have a Davidson married to a Demoss, but it is Mary Davidson married to John Pool Demoss. This one I found is John Davidson married to a Mary Demoss. Again, frustratingly, I can not find a link to either my Davidson line or my Demoss line.

The brick wall seems almost insurmountable at present.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 23, 2018

Tradition on Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving celebrations have been our own brand of traditional since we moved to Tennessee. For the last several years, it's been pretty routine. And it's a mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving is the day I break out the Christmas dishes. I always say we are going to use them until New Year's day. That doesn't usually happen. With just the four of us (hubby, older daughter & younger daughter) usually after the dishwasher runs, the plates get put away.

This year we had turkey, dressing (my mom's recipe) green bean casserole, baked beans, mashed sweet potatoes and crescent rolls. My mom's dressing (or stuffing) was always made in great quantities at our house when I was a kid. Sometimes mine approaches the stuffing my mom made. Other times, it's ok. This year, I added the napkins my mother-in-law gave me. They came from the bar that they owned in the 1950s - Lefty's Sportsman's Bar on Warren and Livernois in Detroit. I suspect my mother-in-law made them. Hubby did a fine job of carving the turkey and with a lot less noise on his part.

Another tradition in our family was usually my dad getting sick around a holiday. Later, hubby's mother gained that dubious honor. This year, our dog required an emergency trip to the vet. We're still not sure what made him sick, since he ate no people food. A full 24 hours later and he is starting to bounce back to his normal self.

Our final tradition is whatever turkey is left over after Black Friday becomes turkey pot pies. One will be shared with our daughters the day I put them together. The other one usually becomes Christmas Eve dinner.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes