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”.

Family history through the alphabet – D is for Deceased

Family History Through the Alphabet - Picture from Gould GenealogyD is for Deceased

I get many comments that it is strange to have a hobby that has so much focus on the dead, but genealogy has also given me several new living relatives, several of whom I have regular correspondence with. As far as the deceased are concerned I see this as an opportunity to document their lives and their fates, which are many and varied. A chance for some of them to be remembered before everyone who may interested in their stories joins them on the list of those who are gone. Among causes of death that I have found are fire, drowning, roof falls, crushed by a pit tub, run over by a steam traction engine, manslaughter, consumption, unsuccessful surgery on a brain tumour and many more. A lot of the fun in this hobby comes from finding out more about these people than just their names and dates. Fascinating to see what kind of lives they led and reflect on the influence that has had on subsequent generations including mine.

D is for Davis

D is also for Davis. My great grandmother, Mary Davis, was born at Whitwood Mere in Yorkshire on Christmas Eve 1868. Great great grandfather George Davis is from Madeley Wood in Shropshire, but came to Northumberland to work in the mines.

D is for deadline

Tonight I am also going to have to admit that D is for deadline. I have just a couple of minutes to get this published as my postaday before Cindarella’s coach turns back into a pumpkin pulled by little white mice.

If you would like to know more about this challenge take a look at Family History the Alphabet.