When Colonel James W. Davis III was born on 1 January 1819, in Blount, Tennessee, United States, his father, James R. Davis, was 27 and his mother, Elizabeth Reece, was 32. He married Rachel Calvert McMahan about 1842, in Blount, Tennessee, United States. They were the parents of at least 7 sons and 2 daughters. He lived in District 14, Grainger, Tennessee, United States in 1880 and Kilfoil Township, Custer, Nebraska, United States in 1885. He died on 15 July 1898, in Blount, Tennessee, United States, at the age of 79, and was buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Maryville, Blount, Tennessee, United States.
English and Welsh: patronymic meaning ‘Dafydd's (son)’, equivalent to Welsh ap Dafydd, the Welsh form of David . The spelling Davis is more typical in southwestern England northwards as far as Lancashire, where the frequency of the surname largely reflects Welsh migration, but may sometimes represent a native English surname based on Davy (compare Davies ). Davis (including in the sense 2 below) is the eighth most frequent surname in the US. It is also very common among African Americans.
Irish and Scottish: adopted for Gaelic Mac Daibhéid ‘son of David’; see McDevitt . Compare Davies .
History: John Davis or Davys (c. 1550–1605) was an English navigator who searched for the Northwest Passage. — By the 18th century there were numerous persons named Davis in America, including the jurist John Davis, born in 1761 in Plymouth, MA, and Henry Davis, a clergyman and college president, who was born in 1771 in East Hampton, NY. — Jefferson Davis, born in 1808 in KY, was president of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865.