Six Generations of Davisson Family
Submitted by Diane Zimmerman
MY LAST DAVISSON CONNECTION
(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
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
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
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
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
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 ANNUAL SMITH REUNION AT ROCK CAMP
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.
A CELEBRATION AT ROCK CAMP
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
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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