Saturday, November 12, 2011

Surname Saturday – DAVIS

According to, Davis is a Welsh surname, and the family is among the most numerous in England and Wales.  This is due to the fact that there are so many varia­tions of the name.  The original name was David which signifies well-beloved - popular in Biblical days and a favorite among the Scottish kings.

Though of ancient standing in Wales, David scarcely appears in England before the Norman Conquest.  Modified in various forms, it has produced many family names such as Davis, Davidson, Davies, Daves, Dawson, Dawes, Day, Dakin, etc.  The Irish form is M´Daid; the French, Devis.

Our confirmed family history begins February 1851 in Jackson, Indiana when Nathan and Nancy’s second son Samuel Davidson DAVIS (my husband’s great-grandfather) was born.  Nathan was born in Ohio in 1823 and his wife Nancy was born in Indiana in 1824.  In the course of 18 years, Nancy would give birth to at least eight children, six in Indiana and two more when the family removes to Iowa.

The following obituary of Nathan Davis was posted on Rootsweb as follows:
Obituary of Nathan Davis from "The Sabbath Recorder", Vol 60, No 18, p 285, May 2, 1904.
Nathan Davis was born in Warren county, O., Dec 20, 1823, and died at Welton, Iowa, April 9, 1904.
In 1837, his parents moved from Ohio to Indiana, where he continued to reside until 1865. June 29th, 1844, he was married to Nancy Doty, who survives him. Eight of the twelve children born to them still live in eastern Iowa. In 1865, he settled in Clinton county, Iowa, since which time he has made his home in the vicinity of Welton. In early life he joined the Disciple’s church, but after settling in Iowa he became an observer of the Sabbath, and identified himself with the Adventists, the branch known as The Church of God Adventists. The funeral services were held at his late residence, conducted by the writer of this notice. G. W. B.

Sam continued in the occupation of his father becoming a laborer and farmer.  He met and married Sarah Jane MOREHEAD of Iowa in 1874.  Her parents had moved westward from Virginia.
The DAVIS Family
 Sarah, Samuel, and Effie
Photo taken in 1896, Davenport, Iowa
In Welton, Iowa on the 16th of April 1879, Sarah gave birth to the couple’s only child, a baby girl. Sarah’s mother, Sara O’FLYNN MOREHEAD, acted as midwife when Effie Adele DAVIS was born.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved


  1. Although we're not related, since I have Davises in my family line, too, it was interesting to read what you had found out about that surname.

  2. Thanks Jacqui!
    I really enjoy the prompts from forces me to get something posted. I'm now trying to link the applicable surnames on my "Our Tree" page to the surname origins once I've posted them. So far I have three!