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Second Generation of Davidsons

Taken as an excerpt from a letter compiled by Robert Kenneth Davidson in 1933.


     The unreliable History of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, states 
that in 1791, Robert and John Davidson, the two oldest sons of the 
second wife, Mary Dunlap Davidson, left Ireland and came to America.  
They must have been in their early twenties at that time.  They 
drifted through the west.  Robert perhaps going as far as Cincinnati, 
Ohio, but do not seem to have settled down permanently.  Mr. Fred 
Davidson, who has done some independent research on the Family History, 
says that Robert and John Davidson came to this country in 1793 with 
their mother.

    Fred Davidson and the History of Lawrence County agree that in 
1793 Mary Dunlap Davidson came to this country, bringing with her all 
of her children who were then in Ireland.  She stopped temporarily in 
Eastern Pennsylvania.  if John and Robert had come earlier, they 
learned of their mother's arrival, joined her, and in 1796 the whole 
family moved westward to the new, unsettled country along the Big 
Beaver River.  On February 23, 1798 Mary Dunlap Davidson made a 
contract with the Pennsylvania Population Company, a corporation 
organized to sell western land, to buy a farm in Beaver county (now 
Lawrence County), and to this farm she and her children removed.  In 
the family this farm is know as the Robert James Davidson Farm.  It 
was in the possession of descendants of Andrew Davidson for over 100 
years, being sold some time since 1900.

     It is said that the Davidsons were the first settlers in Big 
Beaver Township, and that the settlement which grew up near their farms
was called Irish Ripple, because the Davidsons and their neighbors all 
came from Ireland.  Irish Ripple has disappeared; its place was taken 
by Wampum.  The country was still unsettled that as the older boys 
left home they could take up farms close to their mother's place, so 
that there grew up a little string of Davidson farms on the west side 
of Big Beaver River.

     Thomas Davidson, youngest son of the first John Davidson by his 
first wife, came to America a little later.  He was born probably 
about 1765, left his father's home before the others, went to Belfast 
and became a linen weaver.  He married in Ireland and had two children,
both bore there: Nancy, about 1790, and John, born in 1792.  Some time 
later Thomas Davidson determined to come to America also.  He went to 
Cincinnati and bought a farm which, according to family tradition, was 
located in what is now downtown Cincinnati.  But Thomas became 
desperately homesick and, learning by chance that his step mother and 
her children were in Western Pennsylvania, he abandoned his farm and 
came to join them, buying a farm near theirs, which is known in the 
family as the Hoyt Farm, a few miles southwest of Wampum.  We know 
that Thomas Davidson was in Beaver County before 1803, as his name is 
given in a list of taxpayers of that county.

     The names of two other Davidsons are found in that name list of 
taxpayers, William Davidson and Robert William Davidson.  They 
apparently did not belong to our family, although they might have been 
cousins whose relationship is now forgotten.  William Davidson's 
father was a James Davidson, who died in Ireland some time after 1780, 
and his mother was Mary Ramsey Davidson, who came to this country when 
a widow like our ancestor, Mary Dunlap Davidson.

     The members of our family who came to this country were: Mary 
Dunlap Davidson: her six children Robert, John, Charles, Elizabeth, 
and Andrew; her stepson, Thomas Davidson, and his two children, Nancy 
and John.  We do not know whether Mrs. Thomas Davidson died in Ireland 
or whether she came also.

Back To:

The Ahnentafel of Heath Vogel
Heath's Davidson Page
First Generation of Davidsons
Third Generation of Davidsons