The following information was taken from handwritten pages passed down from my aunt, Phyllis Davis
"According to family legend, our
ancestors migrated from Scotland to Wales many centuries ago. The name
originally was Davidson and there is a very ancient Scottish clan of that name.
Anyhow, Davis is a very common Welsh name, and we are told that three brothers came from Wales; one settling in Maine, one in New York State, and one in Eastern Massachusetts. We are told that all the old (Northern?) Davis families are descendants of these brothers.
This is all family legend but probably with more truth than fiction as I have heard the same story from many different sources.
Very little is known of Nathaniel Davis (Sr.) as he said that he was an orphan and knew nothing about his parents, or even where he was born. This was told me by my father's cousin, Charlotte Hunt Davis, who also said that Nathaniel was a soldier in the Revolution at the age of sixteen. He was captured by the British and taken to Canada, where he "escaped by water."
As the story goes, his daughter Rebecca married Robert Perkins when she was seventeen or eighteen years old and her older brother, William, was so angry that he went to Lynn (Mass.) and "drowned himself in the Atlantic Ocean."
My great, great grandfather Joseph Newhall Davis) was a stone cutter by trade, and apparently a very expert one. He cut part of the stone that went into the Minota Ledge light house in Boston Harbor and also cut the stone for the Lexington Monument in Peabody (formerly So. Danvers and originally part of Salem. It stood on the best corner of the city.
His wife, Hannah Hunt, came from an old and esteemed family; originally of Weymouth, Mass. (See Weymouth Town History). Her mother, Mary Ogden, was first cousin to John Adams.
My great grandfather, Benjamin King Davis, was born in the old Davis home (probably built by the first Nathaniel) in South Peabody, as were his children.
When my great grandfather was quite young he saved quite a bit of money and, uncommon in that day, took a trip to Europe. He met my great grandmother Davis (Caroline Block) on a steamer crossing the English channel. She came to the United States where they carried on correspondence and were married a few years later. Her maiden name was Block (originally Von Block).
Caroline Block was an exceptionally talented woman, both in art and music, and from a fine old German family. Her full name was Caroline Elizabeth Juliet Matilda, and she was born in Grund, Hartz Mountains, in 1849."