Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Van Davis land, 1764, Newberry District

During the recent trip to South Carolina, I came across some maps that had been created using descriptions contained within early settlers' land grants. These maps are great tools for determining exactly where in present-day South Carolina your ancestor's land was located. Not all land grants have been mapped, but luckily for Itawamba descendants of Jesse Davis (died 1890, buried Providence Cemetery in eastern Itawamba County), the lands granted to Van Davis (Jesse's grandfather) are included in Map 6 of this series.

Van Davis owned land just northwest of present-day Newberry County in South Carolina. This area has been highlighted in the second map. The first map shows the tract of land owned by Van Davis (spelled Davies on the map) in relation to fellow landowners, churches and bodies of water. Since landowners by necessity had to have a source for their water, every land plat or record referenced such water sources and Van Davis's record was no exception. His land grant, obtained below from the South Carolina Archives website, indicates that in 1764 Van Davis received 200 acres of land in the fork of the Broad and Saludy (Saluda) Rivers, lying on a small branch of Indian Creek called Davies Creek. The grant references Berkley County of South Carolina which was one of the official "first counties" of South Carolina. Ninety-six District was formed in 1769 and included the part of Berkley County that held Van Davis's land. Later, Newberry District was formed out of the old Ninety-six District and later still, counties were carved out of the districts. Today, Van Davis's land is in Newberry County.

Van Davis lived here until around 1800 when he and several of his sons moved to present-day Anderson County in what was then Pendleton District, South Carolina. Van was a Baptist in his religious faith and has been credited with being one of the founders of the Bush River Baptist Church in Newberry District. Early church records indicate that it was a Primitive Baptist church. After his move to Pendleton District, Van joined Mountain Creek Baptist Church where church minutes indicate he was ordained as a deacon in 1801. It is believed that he was buried in the cemetery of that church at his death in 1810. His son Jesse Davis, Sr. moved to Gwinett County, Georgia after 1820. Van's grandson, Jesse Davis, Jr., moved to Itawamba County sometime between 1860 and 1870 along with sons James William Anderson Davis, General Lawrence Davis and Samuel McGee Davis.

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