A good place to begin is with Stephen Moses Davis (b. 18 Feb 1823, Godmanchester, Québec; d. 5 Feb 1893, El Dara Township, Pike County, Illinois), the father of James Polk Davis (b. 5 May 1845, Derry, Pike County, Illinois; d. 20 May 1937, Derden, Hill County, Texas). Stephen comes with a satisfyingly extensive biography, courtesy of both church documentation and the notes of historian Robert Sellars,
as well as a (sometimes factually spotty) section of the 1891 book, Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois.
In particular, it’s here that we learn that Stephen’s first wife was Harriet Young; or, as the book so delicately puts it:
On March 16, 1841, Mr. Davis led to the hymneal altar Miss Harriet Young, a native of Canada, who was spared to him but a few years.
I mean, on the one hand, that’s quite tragic. On the other hand, hymneal altar.
So, who was Miss Harriet Young? A baptismal document from Quebec’s Drouin Collection (Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records, 1621-1968; Anglican Cathedral Holy Trinity Church, 1824) offers one possibility: Heriot Young, daughter of Henry Young and Mary, born at sea between Ireland and Canada on 16 May 1824.
UPDATE: Sadly, it turns out that this Heriot Young was very likely NOT the wife of Stephen Davis, based on dates found on GeneaologieQuebec.com.
- Clinton REED (1900-1975)
- Lula Mae DAVIS (1879-1972)
- James Polk DAVIS (1845-1937)
- Stephen Moses DAVIS (1823-1893) m. Harriet YOUNG (1824-1846)
- Henry YOUNG (unknown)
*cool for those of us reading it retrospectively; decidedly UNcool for poor Mary delivering a baby on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean