Major William Davidson

Major William Davidson was born on October 10, 1736, in Lancaster County, PA. He was the son of John and Mary Morrison Davidson. He had a twin brother named Samuel. He moved with his family to Rowan County, NC, which at one time went west all the way to the Mississippi River. Davidson married Margaret McConnell, who was the daughter of John McConnell Sr. and Mary Winsley. Her family was living in a section of Rowan County that is now McDowell County at a place called the Glades, which is on the Catawba River.

Davidson was active during the Revolutionary War. He was a member of the Committee on Safety and Independence and served as a lieutenant in Captain Houston’s Company. He fought in 1781 when Cornwallis invaded North Carolina. He was at the Battle of Kings Mountain and soon rose to the rank of major.

William Davidson moved to Swannanoa after the death of his brother Samuel, who was killed by the Cherokee. William Davidson bought a farm where Bee Tree Creek enters the Swannanoa River. William and his brother James were issued the first land grant in Buncombe County on August 7, 1787, for 600 acres located on the Swannanoa River. In some early Buncombe deeds, the Swannanoa River was called the Savannah River. William and Margaret were charter members of Piney Grove Presbyterian Church.

William Davidson was a well-to-do and prominent member of the Swannanoa community. He and Margaret were buried on their Bee Tree Farm and their bodies were later moved to Piney Grove Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

William and Margaret’s Nine Children

1. Mary Davidson
(1760–1842) married Daniel Smith.

2. John Davidson (1764–?).

3. Hugh Davidson (1768–?).

4. George Davidson

5. Jean Davidson
(1772–1804) married Thomas Davidson.

6. Sallie Davidson
(1774–1838) married Joshua Williams.

7. Ruth B. Davidson
married General Williams.

8. William Mitchell Davidson (1780–1840) married Elizabeth Vance.

9. Samuel Winslow Davidson
was born on April 2, 1781, in Burke (now McDowell) County, NC. He died on October 14, 1858, in Swannanoa, NC. He married Martha McRee (September 11, 1781–?), who was the daughter of Rev. Dr. James McRee and his wife Rachel Cruser McRee. He next married Elizabeth Vance Davidson, who was the widow of his brother, William Mitchell Davidson. Samuel Davidson died on October 14, 1858. He and his first wife are buried at Swannanoa Presbyterian Church Cemetery, which is also known as Piney Grove Cemetery.

Bruce Whitaker documents Fairview-area genealogy. To get in touch with him, contact the Crier at [email protected] or  828-771-6983 (call/text).

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