DNA: John Davis and Mary

DNA match iconThis is my first DNA success story from my brother’s kit on AncestryDNA. I am very pleased about this one as it gives extra assurance that my paper trail is valid for the very common surname Davis. It clearly shows the benefits of testing siblings, as this match did not appear for my own kit.

It also demonstrates how families spread around the world can find their common roots through the versatility of DNA analysis. I was born in Northumberland, England and now live in Norway. The two kits that matched belong to people in Italy and Australia. The probable common ancestors lived in Shropshire, England.

If you would like to know more about our DNA and paper trail links to John Davis and his wife Mary take a look at the article: “MRCA: John Davis and/or Mary ??” on my page DNA plus paper.

Davis Decisions

Snip Morrell lodgerSince Davis is such a common name I got off to a slow start in pinning down my Davis line, but they were kind enough to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for me. Fortunately, they took in other family members in need of a place to live. I have several census records where an additional member of the household has helped me to verify that I have the correct family:

  • In 1881 Charles Morrall (transcribed Morrell) is a lodger with my great great grandfather George Davis and his two daughters in Choppington, Northumberland. Charles turned out to be George’s nephew.
  • In 1861 John Davis (transcribed Davies) is a boarder with Mary Morrall (mother of Charles) at Dudley in Worcestershire. John is brother to Mary Morrall and to my great great grandfather George Davis.
  • In 1841 my 3rd great grandparents John Davis and Mary are living in Madeley, Shropshire with their 4 children: Sarah Ann, George, Mary and John.
  • In 1871 John Davis senior is living with his daughter Sarah Edge in Ironbridge, Shropshire.

This all gives an extra degree of assurance that the George Davis, with parents John and Mary, in the 1841 census really belongs to me.

Corbet Complications and Davis Doubts

Mary base CorbetMy great great grandparents, George Davis and Sarah Ann Corbett, have kept me out of mischief for years trying to get to the bottom of their interesting tales. It now looks as though I may be about to meet another Davis/Corbet combination that is going to tie me in knots. This current idea is still very much at the exploratory stage as I have not ruled out all other possibilities.

My 3rd great grandfather, John Davis, baptized four children in Madeley, Shropshire. The baptismal records indicate that their mother was called Mary. There are a few possible marriages between a John Davis and a Mary, but one of those looking most likely is in 1821 at Much Wenlock. Unfortunately, the indexes just give her name as Mary C and there is no image available online.

If this is correct, then one of the promising possibilities for a Mary C born in Much Wenlock is a Mary Corbet. I am now looking to see if I can prove this connection from other sources. However, if I do manage to prove it, then I will be facing yet another brick wall, as her baptismal record from February 1799 states: “Mary (base) daughter of Anne Corbet”.

139 years ago today

My great grand aunt Emma Davis was born on 9 July 1873 at Guidepost, Bedlington in Northumberland. She is the younger sister of my great grandmother Mary Webb (née Davis). It is thanks to Emma’s birth certificate that I got the first clue that my 2 great grandfather George Davis has an Ann Corbett as the mother of his girls. I have still not confirmed a marriage between George and Ann. Emma married Allan Young in 1891 and had 4 children.

Disentangling Doleman

Much of today’s effort has been devoted to trying to tie down my connection to the Doleman family. My grandfather Jonathan Doleman Webb had several Doleman “cousins” in Amble in Northumberland, but I have been unable to work out exactly where the relationship lies. I cannot find any appropriate Webb-Doleman marriages to tie the connection to his paternal line or Davis-Doleman marriages to tie it to his maternal line. I have now traced the Amble Doleman line back to Bilston in Staffordshire in the hope that this may shed some light.

More about Bainbridge, Davis and Murray

Tonight’s additions under My family start to describe my Bainbridge, Davis and Murray connections. The Bainbridges remain Northumbrian, but the Davis line takes me south to Yorkshire and Staffordshire and the Murray line takes me first up to Coldstream then firmly placed in Aberdeenshire.

Approaching Christmas

Christmas 2010

Since creating this blog late October I have had very little time either to pursue my research or write blog articles. Yesterday I released the blog link to my brother and cousin to see if the structure makes sense before I add more content. Will try to add more in the Christmas hols and make a New Year resolution to make regular short updates. The family gathering at Christmas will give me an opportunity to dig further into the Webb and Henderson lines and tell my aunt more about her Thornton, Davis, Stavers and Corbett ancestors.