Posted By:Joseph Reed Williams
Subject:Abel & Sarah (Griffith) Davis of Newark
Post Date:March 25, 2008 at 10:55:17
Message URL:
Forum:New Castle County, DE Genealogy Forum
Forum URL:

My ancestor, Abel Davis was b. between 1760 & 1770 in MD based on census records and data input to the 1880 Census by his son, John Davis of White Co., IN noting Abel's birth in MD. The border conflict between PA & MD was not settled at the time of Abel's birth so he may have been b. in either PA or MD. Abel was trained as a cooper and practiced his trade in Monongalia Co., VA and Champaign Co., OH from about 1788 onward. The Davis famly moved to White Co., IN between 1830 & 1835.

In search for Abel DAvis I found an Abel Davis in East Nantmel Twp.,Chester Co., PA who in 1751 accepted the apprenticeship of Benjamin Mathews to learn the Cooper trade. Following these clues I learned through the help of Sandra Ferguson that an Abel Davis in 1770 became a member of the London Tract Baptist Church located in London Britain Township in the extreme south east part on Chester Co. By consulting a twonship map I found the church a short distance SW of White Clay Creek. I also learned the more modern location of the church is within a short distance of Strickerville in Chester Co. on London Tract Road and Sharpless Road.

It is possible that the Abel Davis who joined the London Tract Church was the same Abel who was in East Nantmel Twp. I next discovered an Abel Davis [ca1725-1790. This man was Bucks Co., PA to Daniel & Mary (Mann)Davis who had migrated to Bucks Co from Piscataway, NJ before 1721. Abel's siblings include brothers, Rev. John Davis of Jarettsville, m. who m. Jane Van Voorst and David Davis of Bucks Co. Abel m. Sarah Griffith 15 Feb 1752. She was the d/o Rev Timothy Griffith, a Presbyterian minister who had acquired deed for 250 acres of land that embraced IRON HILL in Pencader Hundred, New Castle Co., DE. The property was purchased from Sarah Griffith the widow and executor of Rev. Timothy by Abel & Sarah (Griffith) Davis/Davies 19 Feb 1755.

Abel d. testate in 1790. Sarah followed him in 1796. She too d. testate naming her heirs, John, and daughters, Rachel Perry, Mary and Hannah, her grandchildren Abel, Sarah and Hannah Davis children of her son Benjamin.

Abel Davis was baptized into the Welsh Tract Baptist Church on Aug 3, 1755. Records show that Abel Davis paid taxes on property in Pencader Hundred and in White Clay Hundred.

Futher research indicates Mary Ann Davis, m. Alexander McDonald; Hannah Davis m. Benjamin King; John Davis, m. Sarah ___; Rachel Davis m. Joshua Perry and Benjamin's wife is not identified. Benjamin was the youngest child and may have been killed during the Revolutionary War. However, Morgan Jones was appointed guardian of Sarah, , Hannah and Abel DAvis minor children Benjamin Davis. The will of Sarah Davis suggests that Benjamin was deceased at the time of execution.

Henry C. Peden in his, "Revolutionary Patriots of Delaware 1775-1782" includes mention of Abel Davis.

Members of the Van Voorst family relatives of Jane (Van Voorst) Davis settled in White Co., IN. One of many Davis children of White Co., IN was named James King Davis. These subtile clues are good but proof is still not clear.

Carol Brannon in her Davis GenForum message #37634 of 29 Aug 2007 notes, "John Davis-all estate to wife Margaret of White Clay Creek Hundred . . . testees Abel Davis, Joseph Osborn, Thomas Watson, 20 April 1773". Not sure of the meaning of this notation.

Can any reader identify any of the people mentioned above?

Joseph Reed Williams