The biographical article on Stephen Moses Davis in Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois tells us a few other things about him that are of interest. One is that his father was named Isaac V. Davis, “born in Massachusetts May 10, 1775 and reared in Williamstown.” All it tells us of his father was that he fought in the American Revolution, “spent a memorable winter at Valley Forge,” that he emigrated to the US from Wales, and that at a certain point he basically fell off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again.
Significantly, we do not have a name for this man, which has made tracking him down difficult. There’s a substantial number of people who believe that Isaac’s father was also named Isaac, an immigrant from Wales, married to Lydia Day. And it’s true that an Isaac Davis and Lydia Day were married in Gloucester, Massachusetts on 21 Nov 1772, which would have made their being the parents of our Isaac plausible, at least from a chronological perspective.
But the birth record we have for Isaac and Lydia’s son, Isaac, states that he was born in Gloucester, MA on 21 Mar 1774; not only is this a different date altogether than the one the article gives, but Gloucester and Williamstown look like this on a map:
They’re separated by about 160 miles, and while it’s certainly the case that anyone ending up in Williamstown would have, at one point or another, have to have started out closer to the coast, it’s still a bit of a haul for one lifetime.
Who we do have records for in that area at that time are Benjamin Davis and his wife, Rachel (Rachil), whose named children were (with the exception of one) born in the 1770s:
Of course, there is no mention here of an Isaac, which makes this a tenuous connection at best. Nor have I been able to uncover any evidence that either an Isaac or a Benjamin Davis were awarded land in New York following their Revolutionary War service. There were, as it happens, both Isaac and Benjamin Davises at Valley Forge, but so far I haven’t been able to make any connections between them Issac V.
So, for now, Isaac VanNorman Davis is a dead end.
BUT Isaac’s second wife and the mother of Stephen Moses Davis, Marguerite Robidoux, is anything but. As I mentioned in the previous post, Quebec is home to some serious genealogical record-keeping, and they’ve made a lot of them available online – for a fee, but a particularly reasonable one.
We can connect the Marguerite Robidoux who appears in the Drouin Collection with the wife of Isaac V. Davis first through her gravestone, located next to Isaac’s:
As of her death on 18 Oct 1862, Marguerite was 64 years old, which corresponds with her baptism on 24 Sep 1798:
Marguerite was born in St-Constant, Québec to Touissant Robidoux (b. 11 Oct 1765, St-Constant, Québec; d. 6 May 1826, Châteauguay, Québec) and Marie Josephe Bourdeau (b. 11 Aug 1767, St-Constant, Québec). The Robidoux family played a significant role in the history of ‘New France‘, beginning with André Robidou dit l’Espagnol, born in Galacia, Spain and married to Jeanne Denot(e) on 7 Jun 1667.
And as it happens, we arrive at André and Jeanne from both sides of Marguerite’s parentage: where Touissant descended from Joseph Robidoux (b. 9 Mar 1706, La Prairie, Québec; d. 2 Apr 1779, La Prairie, Québec), son of André and Marie’s younger son, Joseph Robidou dit l’Espagnol (b. 13 Jan 1678, La Prairie, Québec; d. 24 Mar 1728, Montréal, Québec), Marie descended from Joseph Sr.’s daughter, Marie Joseph (b. 24 Sep 1702, Québec; d. 12 Apr 1789, Longueuil, Québec) – a neat example of just how interconnected many early Quebec families were.
The Reeds in fact descend from six Filles du Roi (Jeanne Petit, Marguerite Raisin, Louise Charier, Marie Anne Aubry, Marguerite-Françoise Moreau, Catherine Ducharme) and two Filles à Marier, Jeanne Soldé and Anne Antoinette De Liercourt. We also lay claim to no fewer than 12 “Pionnier” of of New France, including André Robidoux dit l’Espagnol, François Séguin dit Ladéroute, Bernard Deniger dit Sansoussy, Guillaume Barrette dit Courville, Pierre Gagne, Antoine Caille Biscornet, François Brunet Bourbonnais, Pierre Bourdeau, Pierre Peras Lafontaine, Pierre Roy, Mathieu Gervais, and Hugues Picard.
Because Quebec in the early-mid 1600s was a very, very small place.
- Clinton Reed (1900-1975)
- Lula Mae DAVIS (1879-1973)
- James Polk DAVIS (1845-1937)
- Stephen Moses DAVIS (1823-1893)
- Isaac VanNorman DAVIS (1775-1853) m. Marguerite ROBIDOUX (1798-1862)