Six Generations of Davisson Family
Part VI
Submitted by Diane Zimmerman


      (Captain) Isaac Smith and Mary or Polly Davisson Isaac Smith was b. 15 Jan 1796 on Smith’s Run, Harrison, (now West) Virginia, son of James Allen Smith and Sarah Cutright. He d. 23 Jan 1884 at Rock Camp Run, Harrison, West Virginia.

      He md. Mary ‘Polly’ Davisson on 16 Jan 1818. She was b. 22 Dec 1799, dau. Of Josiah ‘Long Si’ Davisson and Lucretia ‘Annie’ Shinn. She d. in 1855 at Rock Creek Run, Harrison, (now West) Virginia.
Children: Edith Ann, Samuel Davisson, Lucretia, Josiah Parker, Sarah, Mary Etta, Harriet, Leonidas, Leander, and Elias Elbert.

      Mary ‘Polly’ Davisson married Isaac Smith and they became my 3 gr. rd grandparents. Other than a brief foray into Indiana and dwelling on Smith Run (a branch of Aaron Smith Run along Simpson’s Creek near Bridgeport) for awhile, they lived out their years on Rock Camp Run where their son, Samuel Davisson Smith, met and married Charlotte Marsh, daughter of other early Harrison County pioneers, Elijah and Atha Hurst Marsh of Brown.

      These worthy citizens play a large part in the communities of Brown, Olive and Sardis. Very little is ever written about female ancestors so Mary’s life experiences will be inferred from Isaac’s. Isaac was called ‘Captain’ so he probably was a captain in the militia. Evidence of this is found in the article, “Celebration at Rock Camp” on page 25. He was always called, “Captain Isaac.” He served in the War of 1812 as a private, though only for a few days.

      According to his descendants: “Isaac and family attempted to make a new start in Indiana. He built a flatboat on Simpsons Creek and floated down river to Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana, perhaps near his Uncle John and Aunt Susannah or Great-Uncle Moses. A grandson, Eli S. Smith, said that his grandfather Isaac Smith, in 1820, built a houseboat at the mouth of Simpson Creek, and took his wife Mary and one child Edith, and settled down in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then went over to Vincennes, Indiana, and lived there until after his first son was born 1 Nov 1820." Another source said that Isaac moved back to the Fairmont area of West Virginia from Indiana when Samuel D. was six years old, then up to Ziesing and then to Simpsons Creek. From there he ‘laid a warrant’ on Little Rock Camp (2/3 of it) and part of Big Rock Camp. He owned over a thousand acres but sold some of it during his lifetime.

      He donated the land for Olive cemetery where he is buried. Recorded in Deed Book 50, p. 36: On 28 Mar 1867 Isaac Smith and Mary, his wife, conveyed 239 acres and 20 poles on Rock Camp to William J. Newlon. Isaac and his wife reserved "their title to the graveyard lot, as now enclosed, with the privilege of passing to and from it, from the highway and all persons who wish to bury their friends thare [sic]." I found his pension records on a research visit to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. From Isaac Smith’s War of 1812 Survivor's Brief, Claim No. 31.650 Act of March 9, 1878. Original Case. There was a handwritten application for a pension dated March 9, 1878, excerpts following: Isaac Smith, aged 82 years, a resident of Rock Camp Creek swears he was a private in the company commanded by Capt. Jacob Israel in the 111 Regiment of Virginia Militia commanded by Isaac Booth in the War of 1812. That he was ordered into service with his company, it being a Volunteer Rifle Company on or about the 13th day of February AD 1815 for the term of three months and was continued in actual service in said War of 1812 for the term of twenty four days and was honorably discharged at Bridgeport in the County of Harrison and State of Virginia on the 8th day of March AD 1815. That since his discharge from said service he has resided as follows. Viz. on Smith's Run in the County and State aforesaid for about four years and removed to Knox County in the State of Indiana where he lived four years or upwards and returned in the year 1824 to Simpsons Creek near his former residence on Smith's Run in the County of Harrison, Virginia where he remained about one Lowell Smith, Lois Smith Arbogast * Diane Hill Zimmerman at Olive Cemetery. year and then removed to his present residence on Rock Camp Creek where he has remained ever since. Description at time of his enlistment: Age 19 years, Occupation; farmer, Birthplace; Smith's Run, Harrison, Virginia. Height; fivefeet, eleven inches, Hair; Black, Eyes; Grey, Completion, Dark. He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the pension to which he is entitled under the provision of section 4736 to 1740 inclusive, Revised Statues, and the Act of the 9th of March 18-8 and hereby appoints John H. Shuttlesworth of Clarksburg WV his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. Isaac Smith, Claimant. Witnesses W. P. Goff and ----- Goff. He served from 13 Feb 1815 to 8 Mar 1815. Rejected July 11 1878 to a pension of eight Dollars per month. Rejected on the grounds of insufficient service. Bounty Land Claim 21227 - 160 - 1855 issued. Rejection July 15, 1878.

      He was later approved for a pension on January 2, 1884 of $8.00 a month and also received a bounty of land.

In Dyer's Index for Harrison County Isaac Smith was granted 185 acres on Grass Run in 1843, b. 7, p. 417.
Granted 300 acres on Right Fork Grass Run in 1846, book 7, p. 507.
Granted 38 acres on Rock Camp Run in 1847 book 7, p. 521.
Granted 57 acres on Rock Camp Run in 1847, book 7, p. 522.
Granted 485 acres on Big Rock Camp Run in 1835, book 7, p. 87.
On 8 Dec 1848 Isaac Smith sold Eli H. Estlack 300 acres on Grass Run.
On 5 Aug 1852, by a decree of Harrison Circuit Court, John B. Denham, commissioner for the estate of Jesse Marsh, sold Isaac Smith 114 acres, Grass Run (DB 38, p. 89).

      On 26 Jan 1853 Isaac Smith, Mary, his wife, and Edith Ann Marsh sold Eli H. Estlack the 114 acres, Grass Run (DB 38, p. 290). Edith Ann was entitled to dower as the wife of Jesse Marsh. She and Isaac received $300.

      On 20 Jun 1851 the Commonwealth of Virginia granted Isaac Smith and John Hannah 55 acres on Falling Timber, a drain of Little Rock Camp Run (Survey Book 6, p.300).


      The Smith reunion held on the Samuel Davisson Smith place was the biggest annual occasion in the area. It was described for me by my Uncle Lowell Smith. Though it was called the Smith reunion, it was actually a get together for anyone with relatives or ties to the area or family. After Isaac’s death, it was held on the farm of his son, Samuel Davisson. Until the 1930s, everyone dressed up for the occasion, including the children in mostly white clothes. They all brought lots of delicious food. Ball games and other games were planned and pictures taken. Tables were built that stretched out 30- 40 feet and were loaded with food laden dishes and bowls. Children ate themselves sick and played till they dropped. Grown-ups caught up on all the news everyone had to share. Engagements were announced and new babies introduced. It was a grand occasion and was held every year until WW II.


      Recorded in the West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia is an article Entitled, “A Celebration at Rock Camp, July 4, 1846.” At an early hour a number of ladies and gentlemen assembled at the sugar orchard of Captain Isaac Smith near the mouth of Little Rock Camp Creek, numbering three hundred and fifty. The meeting was called to order by Samuel D. Smith, Andrew Davisson was chosen President, Felix R. Coffman, Vice President, John B. Davisson Secretary and John W. Stout Marshall, assisted by Captain Isaac Smith.

      The gentlemen were then paraded and marched to a convenient shade where they were arranged in Military order, the rifle men in front. The ladies were then paraded and escorted by the Marshall and brought in front of the first platoon, when by order of the Captain the rifles were discharged in regular order amid the cheers of the Company.

      The procession was marched to the stand and the Declaration of Independence was read by Samuel D. Smith. The orators of the occasion were James L. Smith, Matthew J. Orr and Allen Martin. Dinner being announced and the procession being formed with the Military Company in front, next the ladies, with the music at their head and the rest of the audience marched in regular order to the tables.

      The President took his seat at the head of the table, the ladies occupying one side and the gentlemen the other, the tables being loaded with an abundance of provisions. After dinner a number of toasts were offered and received with applause, some of them being proposed by the ladies, which were very appropriate. Then followed frames, music, dancing, social converse and thus ended a glorious happy day. And this glorious day brings to an end about all I know of the Davissons of Harrison County.

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