Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Note:  I found the following two articles concerning the Davis family from Ohio County on a genealogy blog owned by Lori Jo Humphrey-Basting, which is called the Western Kentucky Tree Climber, and with her permission I post them below. Her blog has information from several counties; it can be found at the following linkhttp://treeclimber1965.blogspot.com/2016/04/spring-graveyard-lurking.html


Richard Davis, Jr. Family Skeletons and other stories your Grandmother did not tell

By: Lori Jo Humphreys Basting; originally posted March 13, 2013

One of the most elusive Davis ancestors has been Nicholas Phipps Davis who was killed in 1886 on the railroad tracks in Central City, Kentucky. I must caution the newspaper article is a gruesome account of what happened to Phipps and his young son James Davis. Our Grand Uncle Dan Davis called him Phipps Davis so I spent many hours deep in census records and published records prior to the evolvement of Ancestry.com and other websites searching for Phipps. In Official records he stated his name as N. Phipps Davis. The N was the problem!

Uncle Dan told me his name was Phipps Monroe Davis. That has proven to be incorrect. I also suspect he was unaware of his Uncle and Grandfathers fate since this tragic story was one he would have shared with me I have no doubt. I have still been unable to locate their place of burial and I suspect the family was poor and could not afford markers for them. So their graves have been lost to the ages and are somewhere in Ohio County, Kentucky. Perhaps yet to be found I will keep looking. After reading in the article about Grandfather Phipps' tendency to be a drunkard I would imagine his death was of no great occasion in the community. Regardless of the man it was a victory for me to receive a copy of this article by posting an appeal to locate information on him on the Ohio County, Kentucky message board on Ancestry.com. A very nice lady looked him up in the newspaper archives she had access to and sent this to me within 24 hours! For those of you who know how long I have been researching this family you know what a find this was!

So tonight I introduce you to...

Nicholas Phipps Davis, born 1848 in Rosine, Ohio County, Kentucky to:

Garrett L. Davis (1805-1870) & Mary Ann Polly Elms (1804-1877)

Mary Ann Elms was the Granddaughter of the well documented:

Christopher Elms (1743-1807). Christopher was born in 1743 in Conococheague, then Cumberland now Franklin County, Pennsylvania. His parents John and Catherine Elms were immigrants from Ulster, Ireland and were Scotch-Irish who were fleeing the persecution of the Scottish people who were forced by England to relocate in Ireland (Hence, creating the Scotch-Irish people) the family immigrated sometime around 1730. Christopher enlisted with Capt. McClughan's Company of Delaware May 6 1758 as a Drummer Boy. He was described as having a Brown Complexion, Age 15, and 5' 3 ½” in height. He is recorded in 1777 at the Courthouse, Montgomery County, Maryland as having given his **Oath of Fidelity.

This documented act by Christopher Elms qualifies all descendants to enter the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. If you are interested you are welcome to use my documentation to make your application with your local DAR or SAR Chapter.

**The Oath of Fidelity and Support was an oath swearing allegiance to the state of Maryland and denying allegiance and obedience to Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. As enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in 1777, all persons holding any office of profit or trust, including attorneys at law, and all voters were required to take the oath no later than March 1, 1778. It was signed by 3136 residents of Montgomery and Washington counties. Being a direct female descendant of a signer of the oath is sufficient condition to join the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Returning to my original subject:

Phipps Davis was born in 1848 in Rosine. It was said by Uncle Davis the Faughts' and Davis' were kin to the family of Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass music. I have not discovered any ties but I have not looked for them either so it is possible considering how tightly woven the farming families were in the days during slavery and the years following the Civil War.

In genealogy we have what is called a collapse in the tree, meaning we have a portion of the tree where a set of parents will appear twice - to explain this for the Davis' of Ohio County I will attempt it here in hopes of as little confusion as possible.

Phipps married his niece who was the Granddaughter of his parents, daughter of his sister, my 4th Great-Grand Mother Rebecca K. Davis Minton.

Phipps married niece Mary Polly Minton (1855-1879). In those days an Uncle marrying his niece must have been approved by the community due to limited access to non-related neighbors. Unbelievable, none of us would be here if the law was such as it is today. Uncle Phipps, er... I mean Grandpa Phipps would be in the state pen!

Phipps was a husband, widower, father, farmer, laborer, and coal miner.
Phipps & Polly Davis had 4 children that we can document:

Thomas Jefferson Davis 1871 – 1917
Mary Caroline Davis Hill Miller 1874 – 1965
James Davis 1876 – 1886
Sarah A Davis Gattis 1878 – 1967

Polly died in 1879 and in 1880  at Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, Phipps married Lucinda Robertson.

We descend from Thomas Jefferson Davis who was murdered in 1917 in Baskett, Henderson County, Kentucky; he was the father of  Richard Anderson Davis (1895-1966) who was also reported in the Gleaner as mortally wounded& slashed with a knife in the neck by the attacker of his Father.

Thank Goodness he recovered from his wounds or we would not be here. Once again fate steps in and allows him to live to an old age. Momma told me Mom (Marge) would throw a fit when he would come over drunk to eat family supper, she would make Grandpa take him back home before anyone could eat. Richard Anderson died in 1966 at the home of his daughter Rose Horn at 18 N Wabash in Evansville. He was the father of Richard Davis "Jr."(1924-2009).


By: Lori Jo Humphreys Basting; originally posted April 20, 2013

What we know for sure:

Nicholas Phipps Davis was born in 1848 in the community of Rosine (ohio County) to Garrett L. Davis (1805-1870) and Mary Ann "Polly" Elms (1804-Aft 1880).

Phipps married Mary Polly Ann Minton in 1871, who was his niece & the granddaughter of his parents and the daughter of his sister Rebecca K. Davis Minton (1839-1868) and Nehemiah Minton, Sr. (1818-1905)

Writers Note: By the time Phipps and Polly married her Mother Rebecca was dead and in those days this marriage was acceptable. In order to understand the family genealogy you must take a lesson in the social life of people in rural communities during the times of our ancestors.

In 1861, many of our Davis, Faught, and Minton ancestors enlisted in the Union Army at Hartford, Kentucky serving with the 17th Kentucky Infantry Regiment Company D, F, & I.

Most of Phipps brothers, cousins and Uncles went off to war but 13 year old Phipps and the other boys too young, the lame, simple-minded, crippled, deformed or men too old were left to care for their families, farming there in Ohio County, Kentucky. All three of Phipps brothers marched away from home to Calhoun, Kentucky.  The three brothers were:

**James Garrett Davis born 1834, died at Calhoun Military Hospital Dec 15th 1861. James died before the unit organized to March into Clarksville, Tennessee. Leaving two of his brothers to continue on to fight for the Union.

**McHenry Hardin "Mack" Davis born 1837, served until he was listed in Hospital at Louisville Dec 1863 with Variobola, a mild form of Smallpox - it is noted he was vaccinated as a child...by March and April of 1864 he is cured and continues on at the hospital nursing other soldiers of the 17th Inf. In April 1864 he is released to return to duty.

**John Wesley Davis born 1838 has a well documented service record as a Provost Guard in Co. I and was detached to Stevenson, Alabama where he was part of the Guard to oversee the occupation of confederate territory and to ensure the soldiers did not plunder, rape, or participate in any misdeeds to the community. His job was to maintain order and the respect of the people as ordered by President Lincoln. John was mustered out of service in Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 23 1865 when he then returned home to Ohio County.

Writers Note: Imagine reporting for duty in 1861, three brothers together to take care of each other, which I am sure Mother Davis prayed. The eldest dies before they leave Calhoun. Many troops suffered from Typhoid Fever, Dysentery, Smallpox, and every imaginable disease due to the poor conditions. Penicillin was undiscovered during the war so at this time antibiotics were unknown, germs were unknown, simply washing their hands could have saved thousands. A sad note indeed.  

John Wesley Davis returned home to his wife Mary Jane Shroader (Family also intermingled in our tree). The couple had a large family and John lived until the age of 66 in 1904. I would think he was one of the old soldiers who attended the reunions-I am looking for his photo and will post when one is located, if it exists I will find it! [See note below by Charles Leach]

McHenry Davis married twice. 1st 1860 to Lucinda Keller & they had 7 daughters and moved to Bremen, Muhlenberg County and lived on Main Street. McHenry was a Laborer leaving the farm life when he left Ohio County. I have not found their graves. 2nd he married Francis N. in 1894 they had no children and are last listed in 1910 in Bremen.

Now take into account the newspaper article about Phipps and sons death. Phipps was a known drunkard and in a stupor passed out on the tracks and his young son probably was killed trying to move Phipps off the tracks. We will never know, only God and the Angels and the poor Railroad Engineer that witnessed the gruesome incident. Phipps left a wife and the children of his Niece 1st wife Mary. One of which was Thomas Jefferson Davis who also was killed tragically in 1917 at Baskett Station in Henderson County.


            Added by Charles Leach:  John Wesley Davis, mentioned above, is found in my personal tree.  I think his name was Jonathan Wesley Davis and that he might have been born June 1840 in Ohio County and died 7 June 1904 in Ohio County. He married Mary Jane Shroader (Aug 1847-1 Oct 1918) on March 15, 1865.  They had eight children. One of his children, daughter Amanda, married Jacob Herman Leach 2 May 1898, and they had two children, Effie Ann and Amanda Pearl. It is thought that Amanda died at or near the birth of her second child.  After Amanda’s death, Jacob Herman, being left with two young children, next married Olivia Davis, the sister of his deceased wife, Amanda. Jacob Henry and Olivia married 31 December 1902 in Ohio County, and they had eight children.  As for my connection, Jacob Henry was a nephew of my grandfather, Samuel William Leach. 

            When John Wesley Davis died in 1904 he was buried in the Leach family graveyard located on the farm of my grandfather, Samuel William Leach. John Wesley had served in the Civil war with Co. I, 17th KY Inf. and he actually died in St. Louis, according to the book, Torn Asunder, page 208.  Therefore he qualified for a military headstone, pictured below:

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