Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William "Billie" Davis

Male 1776 - Bef 1864  (< 88 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name William "Billie" Davis 
    Born 1776  North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died Bef 3 Dec 1864  Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I1942  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of PNH
    Last Modified 31 May 2016 

    Family Sarah Rapier,   b. 1777,   d. Bef 1870, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 92 years) 
    Married Between 1795 and 1800  North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Children 
     1. Nancy Davis,   b. 8 Dec 1796, Cole Creek, Carroll, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1864, Williamsburg, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     2. Matilda Davis,   b. 1798, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1870, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     3. James Madison Davis,   b. 23 Jun 1798, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1860, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
    +4. Sarah "Sally" Elizabeth Davis,   b. 8 Sep 1801,   d. 2 Jun 1868, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
     5. Henry Davis,   b. 1802, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Mary Polly Davis,   b. 1 Mar 1804, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Rebecca Davis,   b. 1805, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Jimmy Davis,   b. 1809
     9. Eleanor Davis,   b. 1810, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1861, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)
     10. William Davis,   b. 2 Aug 1811, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Nov 1879, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     11. Elizabeth Davis,   b. 1812, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     12. Jesse B Davis,   b. 25 Oct 1814, Guilford, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Sep 1848, Mexico, Distrito Federal, Mexico Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
     13. Lucinda Davis,   b. 5 Jun 1817, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1862, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years)
     14. Jane G Davis,   b. 1820, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Feb 1876, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
    +15. Rev. Melton Lewis Davis,   b. 3 Feb 1822, Williamsburg, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jun 1895, Williamsburg, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     16. William B Davis,   b. 22 Jan 1823, Whitley, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1901  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 28 May 2016 
    Family ID F2717  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • [The paragraph below is from http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kmparker, evidently from info provided by Patrick's late aunt Nancy Jonckheere.]

      "Born in 1776 in North Carolina, Billie Davis was famous as a trapper, guide and explorer. He had a disagreement with a bear and lost his arm as a result, but it was the bear who lost the fight. Later, one-armed Billie became sheriff of Whitley County, an office he held for many years. He had considerable presence and could handle just about any problem with words alone. Nancy Jonckheere once found online a copy of an old North Carolina election handout from about 1850, which said was that the candidate was endorsed by 'Billie Davis, the famous one-armed sheriff of Whitley County, Kentucky.' By 1795, when Billie was 19, he was already married to Sarah Rapier, who was born about 1779 in North Carolina. Her brother Jesse moved to Whitley County, Kentucky, as well. Billie and Sarah both lived to a ripe old age and died in Whitley County: Sarah between 1860 and 1870, when she was at least 81 years old; and Billie in 1864 at the age of 88."

      *****

      We wonder if he wasn't born significantly later than 1776. According to the records of the Kentucky Assembly, William Davis was sheriff of Whitley County in 1848 and 1849, at which time he would have been 72 and 73 years old if he was in fact born in 1776. Memory and oral traditions often exaggerate the age-at-death of particularly colorful individuals.

      More absurdly, multiple Ancestry.com trees claim that this William Davis is the Union soldier who died on 6 October 1864 and is buried at Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. We have no idea how they imagine that an 82-year-old man was serving as a Union private.

      *****

      Michele Brooks reproduces a bill of sale for his estate, executed by his son Melton Lewis Davis, which may provide some clues to his ancestry:

      Sale Bill Dated 3 December 1864
      Son - M.L. Davis 1 pistol $5.50
      Son - William R. Davis 3 books 1.60
      William Patrick 4 books .50
      William Patrick 5 books .60
      Dau - Matilda 1 book 1.90
      son-in-law Sampson Parker 2 razors 1.40
      Son - M. L. Davis 1/2 bushel ?
      Seth Freeman
      Cousin - James E. White 1 board 1.00
      Cousin-in-law - Melton E. White 2 boxes 4.00
      Son - M. L. Davis Furniture 55.00
      M. L. Davis 1 saddle 1.00
      M. L. Davis 1 satchel 3.00
      Dau - Matilda Cattle .50

  • Sources 
    1. [S293] Parker's Genealogy & History Establishment.

    2. [S293] Parker's Genealogy & History Establishment., year and place only.

    3. [S1301] Michele Brooks, 22 Feb 1999, post to CUMBERLAND-RIVER-L.