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James Davis of Marshall County Tennessee and his descendants

This article was submitted by Kristina Ahuja to the Marshall County Heritage Book April 2008, expected to be printed Fall 2008

James Davis and Descendants

James Davis1 born circa 1823 in North Carolina apparently came to Marshall County in his youth. His signature first appears in county records on October 29, 1849 when he signed Petition Number 11 to Incorporate Chapel Hill. James Davis had 14 children, all born and raised in Marshall County, Tennessee. James Davis married his first wife, Elizabeth Smith 20 June 1842 in Williamson County. They had six children: William Henry, (1843-1908) married Lemiza Lucina Rickman. Lemiza was the daughter of Lawson Rickman and Mary Catherine Burns, they settled in Mississippi where they had 9 children; James B., (circa1844-circa 1914) married Martha Jane Ball; Rebecca Ann, (1847-1928) married Andrew Jackson Cole and had 6 children; Mary Jane, (1849-1923) married William L. Daugherty, no children; John born circa1850; Joseph born circa 1851.

Elizabeth Smith Davis probably died in childbirth 9 August 1853. On 14 August 1856 James Davis married Martha Elizabeth Haddock in Marshall County. James and Martha had eight children: Thomas J, born circa 1857; George, born circa 1859; Lemuel Watson “Watts” (1861-1945) married (2)Emma Miller and had eight children; Samuel Andrew “Dutch” (1863-1931) married Matilda Buckingham and had five children; Sarah Elizabeth (1868-1938) married George Neese and had at least 2 children, and was the second wife of James Ambrose Crowell and had 6 children; a daughter NB, born circa1871; Ida (1870- 1955) married William Griffin, no children; and Robert (Dec 1879- aft 1930) who married Jennie Wortham, and had a daughter named Annie Mae.

Although James Davis and Martha Elizabeth Haddock Davis are listed in the 1880 federal census, they are gone from county records by the 1900 enumeration. Their date of death and place of burial are unknown.

James B. Davis2 , second son of James1 was the patriarch of my line. During the Civil War, James B. enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving in the 11th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry (Holman’s) with his brother William Henry. He married late in life, 2 May 1902, Martha Jane Ball, a young woman almost thirty years his junior (See James Ball and his descendants). They had 4 children: James Richardson Davis, (1903-1978), my great grandfather; Robinson Morton Davis (circa1906-1965), married Margie Snell, no children; Sarah Elizabeth (June 1908-circa 1924); and Gracie Mae (August 1914 - Feb 1995), never married. James B. Davis died shortly after Gracie was born. About 1915, his widow, Martha Ball Davis married (2)William Riley Bowlin (born Jan 1872-1927). They had one daughter, Mary Rebecca Bowling, who was born 30 October 1917. Mary, who just celebrated her 90th Birthday, married 21 June 1943, Farris Douglas Vincent (1913-1984). Farris was the son of Lorenzo Dow Vincent and Martha Jane Ghee.

Martha Jane Ball Davis Bowling died 28 Apr 1949 and is buried at Swanson Cemetery; along side her sister, Sally Ball Hopkins, and her son, James Richardson Davis. Also buried at Swanson are her daughters, Sarah Elizabeth and Gracie Mae.

James Richardson Davis3, the oldest child of James2 and Martha, was born 2 June 1903 in Marshall County. In 1923, he married Sarah Virginia Bowling, who was born 30 Sep 1906 in Murfreesboro. James and Sarah had ten children: Ruby Elizabeth Medlin (1923-2002); Martha Margaret Barrow (1925); Maggie Curry (1926-2002); James Wiley (1928-1983); Catherine Louise Baird (1930-2005); Eunice Virginia Coons (1932-1995), my grandmother; Rebecca Mae Mears (1934); John Billy (1937-1943); Albert Richard (1939); and Charles William (1942); James enlisted in the United States Army when he was 18 years old and served for 2 years. During World War II, he reenlisted, this time serving in the United States Navy. He died in Nashville, 3 October 1978, and is buried at Swanson Cemetery in Marshall County. Sarah and James were divorced and Sarah married (2) Ellis Underwood. She died in January 1968 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro next to her second husband. Her son, James Wiley Davis, who was a Private in the United States Army and served in Korea, is also buried at Evergreen. Ruby, Maggie, Eunice, and John Billy are all buried at Swanson Cemetery in Marshall County.

Sarah Virginia Bowling was the daughter of James Wiley Bowling and Margaret “Maggie” Lovvorn. James Wiley Bowling was the twin brother of William Riley Bowling who married Martha Jane Ball Davis. James and William Riley Bowling were the sons of James Bowling and Sarah Jane Lovvorn.

Linked toFamily: Davis/Bowlin (F29); James Davis; James B Davis

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