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 • John Goolman Davidson Plot
 • Bland County
 • Virginia
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John Goolman Davidson
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Birth: unknown, Scotland
Death: Mar. 8, 1793
Rocky Gap
Bland County
Virginia, USA

According to various sources, John Goolman Davidson was born before 1724, possibly the son of Samuel Davidson, in the Loch Ness area of Scotland, and, like so many, migrated to County Down, Ireland. He and his family may have imported from Ireland to Orange Co., VA around 1740. The family first went to Pennsylvania, then on to the Conochocheague Settlement in Maryland. They subsequently removed to Beverly Manor, Augusta [now Rockingham] County. Their next home was the Draper Meadow's (Smithfield) Settlement, the first white settlement on the New River. On November 6, 1767, Davidson registered a patent for 225 acres on Dry River. With Jacob Shell, they headed to Jackson's River to establish a community on Crab Creek of the New River. In 1774, he patented 124 acres in Wright's Valley on Bluestone Creek, Montgomery [now Tazewell] Co.

Around 1776, Davidson homesteaded just below the head of Beaver Pond Springs, located where Bluefield, West Virginia, now stands, and was joined by Richard Bailey, with whom he erected a log fort to protect their families from Shawnee Indian raids. It is known as "Davidson's Garrison" or the "Davidson-Bailey Fort." John Davidson was a cooper by trade and farmed as well. The Davidson's are known as Bluefield's "First Family."

..."In his pension statement filed in Tazewell County, VA, [son William Davidson] states: 'The company, stationed in Davidson's Fort in the spring of 1777, was divided into three or four companies, and when the spys would come in and report Indian signs, it was the duty of the companies to go in turn in pursuit of them"...(From 1777-1786, it was under the command of Capt. James Moore.) ("Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia," 1968)

John and his wife Martha (Draper?) were the parents of George (md. Rebecca, Jenny Pepper), Martha (md. George Perry), William, (md. Mary Stinson, Phebe Harman), Col. Joseph (md. Matilda Patton), Jane G. (md. Lowe Brown), Margaret, (md. John Burke), Nancy "Annie", (md. John Bailey), Andrew (md. Rebecca Burke, Sally Muse), John, (md. Margaret ___), and Elizabeth (md. Jesse Farley).

The story goes that a man by the name of Rice (William?) stole a hog from Davidson. He was apprehended and sentenced to 40 lashes. Rice became so enraged and humiliated that he swore revenge. Ten years later, Davidson traveled to Rockbridge County, Virginia to collect $800 on a debt. When he reached Rocky Gap on his return, he was set upon by Rice and a party of Indians who murdered him and absconed with the $800 and his horses.

Davidson's will was proved in Wythe County, Virginia, on June 3, 1795. A historical marker stands in Bluefield, West Virginia which reads: "Bluefield is on land which John Davidson patented in 1774. With Richard Bailey, he built a fort about 1777. Later he was killed by the Indians. The home built by Joseph Davidson [son] in 1811 is still standing."

Sources: "Augusta County, Virginia History;" "Richard Bailey,"1984, by Mary Ellen Howe; "History of Mercer County [WV]," 1940; "Mercer County History," 1984; "Archives of the Pioneers of Tazewell Co., VA," pp. 302-310, by Netti Schreiner-Yantis; "History of Bland Co. [VA]," 1961; "A History of The Middle New River Settlements," 1906, by David E. Johnston; "Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia," 1968; Patricia Rice Records, 2006.

Grave marker inscription: "JOHN GOOLMAN DAVIDSON, SCOTCH-IRISH PIONEER, KILLED HERE BY INDIANS, MAR. 8, 1793."

Please see: http://www.newrivernotes.com/wythe_documents_1793_petitionfromcitizens.htm 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Nancy Ann Davidson Bailey (1764 - 1806)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
John Goolman Davidson Plot
Bland County
Virginia, USA
 
Created by: Judy Llamas
Record added: Jul 27, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15054737
John Goolman Davidson
Added by: Judy Llamas
 
John Goolman Davidson
Added by: Judy Llamas
 
John Goolman Davidson
Added by: Judy Llamas
 
 
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My7th great grandfather.
- Lorna Dunham DiRe
 Added: Apr. 3, 2014
6th Great Grandfather
- ahmurphy
 Added: Feb. 2, 2014
In memory of my 5th great-grandfather, a great pioneer.
- Susan Caldwell Stiltner
 Added: Oct. 2, 2013
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