Monday, July 9, 2018

2018 Prompt - Independence - Isaac Davis

Isaac DAVIS - 1761-1822
 - 5th great grandfather

In the 21st century, independence is what most 17-year-old boys are trying to grasp as they finish high school but in 1779 Independence meant taking a knee. Yes, taking a knee to the powers that governed the British colonies.  The colonists were tired of taxation without representation along with many other grievances outlined by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Isaac Davis, a boy of seventeen, mustered into the New Hampshire 2nd Regiment on May 10, 1779[i] to tell the British we have had enough!

Isaac Davis, my 5th great grandfather, was the fifth child born to Isaac and Luce Osborn Davis July 21, 1761 in Quabbin, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.[ii] He was born a twin and his twin brother, Samuel Davis, died January 3, 1762 at 5 months.[iii] His mother Luce (Lucy) died August 26, 1761,[iv] a month after the twins were born. His father remarried February 16, 1762 to Elizabeth Power[v] and they had nine children.
Samuel & Isaac Davis sons of Isaac Davis were born by Luci his wife
were born July 27, 1761

During the 1760's England was trying to recover from the French and Indian War that had just been fought in the British colonies; thus, the effort to tax the colonist to repay the debt of war was the source of contention.  As the colonist tried to negotiate with King George all efforts failed, and on the morning of April 19, 1775 guns were fired in Lexington, Massachusetts between the British and the colonist. The following summer a formal declaration claiming Independence was written and signed by the colonist.

Isaac's father, Isaac Davis Sr., signed the "Association Test" in Chesterfield, New Hampshire in 1776 making an oath of allegiance[vi] to the patriot cause and commanded a company in Col. Samuel Ashley's regiment which went to reinforce the American army at Fort Ticonderoga from October 21st to November 16, 1776.[vii] He died in Chesterfield on November 28, 1776,[viii] only twelve days after the end of his service in the army due to injuries incurred in service.
New Hampshire 2nd Regiment Flag

Isaac Davis junior, my 5th great grandfather, was 15 years old when his father died, and this had to have a great impact on young Isaac because on May 10, 1779, just two months shy of his 18th birthday, he mustered into the New Hampshire 2nd Regiment and later re-enlist in Danbury, Connecticut.[ix]  The young Isaac was engaged in the Sullivan Expedition under command of Col George Reid and the Battle of Yorktown under command of Capt. Cherry and Capt. Thompson.[x]  Isaac was honorable discharged June 7, 1783.[xi]

After the war, Isaac married Elizabeth “Fanny” about 1784. By 1820 Isaac and family have moved to Wales, Erie Co., New York and in the 1820 Federal census he has two sons and a daughter. One son is, Joel Holmes Davis, my 4th great grandfather, born about 1792. 

The information I have on Isaac is extracted from his Revolutionary War pension file. He applied for a pension April 14, 1818 in Niagara County, New York and received $8.00 a month for his service. 
Isaac Davis' Revolutionary War Claim

In 1820 Isaac submits a deposition where he explains his health and financial situation. This document stated that Isaac is 59 and lives in Wales. He stated he is a farmer but due to poor health cannot work full time. He stated his wife is Fanny and she is 56 years old and they resided in the home of his son, Joel Davis.
Deposition showing need for pension
Isaac states he lives with his son, Joel Davis

I don’t know the exact date of Isaac’s death but according to Erie County Surrogate’s Records, Elizabeth was appointed administrator of Isaac’s estate on May 10, 1822. [xii] Isaac would have been 60 years old at his death and though we don’t know many details about his life we do know that a young seventeen-year-old boy volunteered to fight for independence against the British and helped create the United States of America.

Permission of forlough for Isaac davis

[i] Randall, Oran Edmund, History of Chesterfield, Cheshire County, N.H., Chesterfield Historical Society, 1977, p.52
[ii] FamilySearch, Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915, Isaac Davis, accessed 09 Dec 2013.
[iii] Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, Samuel Davis, accessed 15 Dec 2013.
[iv] Ibid
[v] FamilySearch, Church records, 1760-1935 [Greenwich, Massachusetts], Film # 1871030, Isaac Davis to Elizabeth Powers, accessed June 7, 2018.
[vi] Derby, Samuel Carroll, A list of The Revolutionary War Soldiers of Dublin, N. H., Press of Spahr & Glenn, Columbus, Ohio, 1901, p. 25& 26
[vii] Ibid
[viii] Randall, p.272-273
[ix] White, Virgil D., Revolutionary War Pension Abstracts Vol 1 A-E, Waynesboro, TN : National Historical Publishing, 1990-92, p. 896
[x] Fold3, Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, NARA, Isaac davis, New Hampshire, S.43442.
[xi] Ibid
[xii] FamilySearch, Erie County, New York Surrogate’s records, Isaac Davis, case #4940, image 458 of 525.

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