Colonel Samuel Winslow Davidson

Samuel Winslow Davidson was born on April 2, 1781, in Burke (now McDowell) County, NC. He was the son of Major William D. Davidson and Margaret McConnell. Samuel Davidson married Martha McRee, who was the daughter of Rev. Dr. James McRee and Rachel Cruser McRee of Rowan County, NC. She was born in Mecklenburg County, NC, on September 11, 1781. Martha’s mother was from Staten Island, New York. Her father was a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey and a Presbyterian minister. After his retirement in 1830, Samuel Dr. McRee moved to Swannanoa and lived with his daughters, who were married to a Gudger and Davidson. He preached at many Presbyterian churches, including Steel Creek Presbyterian Church and Centre Church, both in Iredell County, NC. Martha’s father died in 1840.

Samuel Davidson was a colonel and served in the War of 1812. He owned a large amount of property in Swannanoa that he inherited from his father. It stretched all the way to the present site of Warren Wilson College. He made his living from farming and selling lumber from his property.

When Samuel’s first wife died, he married the widow of his brother, William Mitchell Davidson. She was named Elizabeth Vance. Samuel died on October 14, 1858, at 77 years old. He is buried next to his first wife in Swannanoa Presbyterian Church Cemetery (often called Piney Grove).

Samuel and his first wife Martha had eight children.

1. Martha Eliza Davidson was born in Swannanoa in 1805. She married John Erwin Patton.

2. Joseph Cruser Davidson was born in Swannanoa on December 2, 1806, and died on March 5, 1891. He married Sarah S. Foster, who was born on January 21, 1812. She was the daughter of Captain Thomas Foster and Ora Sams. Sarah died on December 15, 1890. They lived on her father’s land in Biltmore. Sarah conducted a Sunday school there before the establishment of Gashes Creek Baptist Church. They are buried in Swannanoa Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

3. Adeline Davidson married Alfred B. Fortune.

4. Harriet Davidson married Robert Penland.

5. William Franklin Davidson (September 23, 1812–August 19, 1902) married Minerva Elizabeth Foster (April 14, 1820–July 2, 1890) on January 13, 1839. She was the daughter of William Foster III and Fannie Lucinda Ballew. They are buried at Berea Baptist Church Cemetery in Swannanoa.

6. Mary E. Davidson was born in 1813 and married Olney Burgin.

7. Albert Cruser Davidson (1815–1850) married Sophronia Burgin (1817–1864).

8. Samuel Winslow Davidson Jr. (1819-?).

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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