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Common VetchDavid/Davies/Davis Common Vetch

John David to Sybilla Davies/Davis

compiled and copyright by MJP Grundy, 2006
Common Vetch, by Anne E. G. Nydam, copyright 1996, used with permission



Welsh Ancestors

                There is some confusion about the spelling of this name, and it appears in the records as David, Davies, and Davis. When they emigrated to Pennsylvania most Welsh people adopted the English style of last names, keeping the first name of their father as their new and permanent last name.[1] Therefore there are random assortments of Welsh people with the same last name, who may or may not be related to each other. Davies is usually assumed to be Welsh while Davis is English. But the people who wrote most of the records in colonial Pennsylvania were English, rather than Welsh, and consistent spelling was not considered a virtue, let alone a necessity, so these guidelines are not always reliable. Over time many families morphed, either consciously or unthinkingly, to English spelling.

                If a reader has corrections or additional information, I would be very glad to hear via e mail,


Welsh Ancestors


                RichardA and Ann Davies were "of Rhieddallt, in ye parish of Ruabon and County of Denby in Wales (who are a family of good Repute amongst friends and others)." As a Friend, in 1697 Richard was jailed for not paying the Church Rates. He languished there for "above two years".[1a] He was finally released through the intervention of Richard Davies, Friends minister and hatter of Welsh-pool, with the chancellor, Dr. Wynne.[1b]

Richard and Ann had at least two sons, both of whom emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1712/3:

  1. John Davies1

  2. David Davies

Immigrant Generation


                John David1 immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1712/3. In about 1715 he married Elizabeth Harry or HARRIS, the daughter of Daniel and Sybil (PRICE) Harry/Harris. That same year he purchased 100 acres in Uwchlan, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and settled there.[2] [See an explanation of the National Genealogical Society's Numbering System used on this web page.] Uwchlan means "upland" or "higher than or above the valley". Its old spelling was Ywchlan. It began to be settled about 1712, after the older eastern parts of Chester County had been populated. John CADWALLADER bought 250 acres in Uwchlan 2 June 1715 and gave a small piece for a meeting house and burial ground. A meeting house was built, in what later became the village of Lionville. Early settlers included the brothers Griffith JOHN and Samuel JOHN, both said to be Friends ministers, the sons of John ap Philip and his wife Ellen.[3] However, it is likely that there has been confusion between two Griffith Johns, and the other one was the Friends minister. Other early Welsh settlers in Uwchlan were David CADWALLADER and our John DAVID.[4]

                The 1715 tax list for Uwchlan included Samuel JONES, 6d, Griffith JOHN, 6d, John DAVID 3d. The entire town revenue amounted to only 14 shillings. [For readers too young to remember, "d" is the symbol for a penny or pence, and 12 pence equaled one shilling. The symbol for shilling was "/".] The only wealthy people were absentee landowner David Lloyd of Chester charged 2/ and Joseph Phipps at 5/2d.[5]

                A case at the Quarter Session court in Chester 19 June 1728 included in its jury George ASHBRIDGE, George WOOD, Abraham LEWIS, John Davis, and eight others. John WINTER and Walter Winter were being tried for murder. Believing that the only good Indian was a dead one, they had shot an innocent friendly old Indian man known as Toka COLLIE, and beat the brains out of two Indian women, leaving their bodies on the road. They captured two young girls. The jury found them guilty as charged and they were hung.[6] There is no way I have been able to ascertain if this John Davis was our ancestor, but because "white on red" violence has been too often ignored or condoned in Anglo-American history I wanted to include this account and hope that our ancestor took part in serving rough justice.

                A road was laid out 17 June 1736, stretching 68.5 miles from the Susquehanna River near the house of John HARRIS in Pextan Township into the old Conestoga Road near Edward KINNISON's in Whiteland, passing near the Uwchlan meeting house. Names of the men on the committee which laid it out represented the ethnic groups moving into what had originally been intended as a Welsh Tract. They included German and English as well as Welsh names. There was a John Davies among them, although I cannot prove that he was our ancestor. The route of the road was confirmed 24 First Month [March] 1736/7.[7] [See an explanation of Friends' Dates.]

                Our John died in 1736 leaving his widow Elizabeth and children. I have not been able to locate a will or administration for him.

                Children of John and Elizabeth (Harris) Davis:[8]

  1. Daniel Davis2, d. in Uwchlan 1784; probably unmarried as his will, signed 29/4/1783 and pr. 6 Aug. 1784 left everything to his siblings: John David, his 6 sisters who received 20 shillings each, Benjamin got 1 sterling shilling; brother-in-law David JOHN was named executor.[9]

  2. Hannah Davis, m. 10/9m/1743 David CADWALLADER; d. before 4/1783;

  3. Mary Davis, m. 28/9m/1740 David JOHN, who was named executor for her older brother and for her sister Sybilla's husband;

  4. Rachel Davis, b. 10/2m/1720; m. 10/3m/1745 Joshua JOHN, the brother of Hannah John who married Rachel's brother John Davis;

  5. Elizabeth Davis, m. Jonathan WORRALL;

  6. Sybilla Davis, b. 1/1m/1726; m(1) 13/4m/1746 Edward WILLIAMS; m(2) 27/3m/1754 William KIRK;

  7. Amos Davis, b. 1/3m/1728; d. 23/2m/1782; m(1) 5/5/1757 Elizabeth, daughter of John and Grace MEREDITH of Vincent; m(2) 7/6m/1771 Agnes, widow of William BROWN, daughter of Evan and Susanna JONES; d. before 4/1783.

  8. Abigail Davis, probably d. unmarried.

  9. John Davis, m. Hannah JOHN, daughter of Griffith and Ann JOHN, and sister of Joshua John who married John's sister Rachel Davis;

  10. Ruth Davis, b. 27/3m/1733; m. Jacob WILLIAMS, the brother of Edward Williams, the first husband of Ruth's sister Sybilla;

  11. Benjamin Davis, b. 27/7m/1736; d. 9/10m/1809; m. 31/10m/1771 Hannah, daughter of John DAVIES of Radnor; 11 children.[10]
    a) John Davis
    b) Mary Davis
    c) Elizabeth Davis
    d) Hannah Davis
    e) Benjamin Davis
    f) Amos Davis
    g) Tacy Davis, m. to Thomas Woodward, of Thornbury
    h) Samuel Davis
    i) Sibbilla Davis
    j) Sarah Davis
    k) Ruth Davis, b. 3m 30, 1797; d. 11m 13, 1863 in West Whiteland Twp.; m. 10m 16, 1824 at West Chester Samuel Smedley

Second Generation


                Sibilla Davis2, with a variety of spellings for her first and last names, was born 1 March 1726. She married Edward WILLIAMS 13 June 1746. Their son, Daniel Williams, was born 17 July 1747, and his birth was entered in what became the Uwchlan Meeting records.[11] They lived in Pikeland. Edward died in the spring of 1748. He left a non cupative (oral) will giving his entire estate to his wife for the maintenance of her and their child. Sibilla and her brother-in-law David John were named executors.[12]

                Sibilla married William KIRK at Uwchlan Meeting on 27 March 1754. William Kirk was a widower with seven children. He and Sibilla had nine more children.

                In 1777 Sibilla's son Daniel Williams and his wife Mary and their two daughters, with Mary's twin sister Sarah, Sarah's husband John Williams (no relation), and daughter, moved to North Carolina.[13]

                After the death of William Kirk, Sibilla lived with her son Isaiah, who inherited the family farm.[14]

                Sibilla's daughter Rachel married Philip PRICE, Jr. and the couple lived with his parents for three years. Then the Price parents bought them a small farm at West Nantmeal, seven miles from the meeting. It was pleasant, but too far from the meeting and other Friends. When Philip heard of another place for sale in East Bradford, he took his father to look it over. For the week they expected to be gone, Rachel brought her mother, Sibilla, to stay. About 9:00 p.m. one evening Sibilla got a severe pain in her arm that travelled to her chest, in what sounds like a heart attack. She insisted if she was going to die she wanted to be in her own home. Someone was sent to bring Isaiah, who arrived shortly before Sibilla died.[15]

                Child of Sibilla and her first husband, Edward Williams:

  1. Daniel Williams3, b. 17/5m/1747; d. ; m. Mary __ ; rem. to NC 1777; 2 daughters.

Children of Sibilla (Davis) Williams Kirk and her second husband, William Kirk:[16]

  1. Isaiah Kirk3, b. 9/12m/1754; d. 19 Dec. 1835, bur. the next day at Nantmeal. He inherited his father's farm and lived there until his death at age 82. He was bedridden his last year, with cancer on the lip and a paralytic affliction that apparently numbed the pain. He bequeathed the family farm to his two sons, Samuel and William.[17]

  2. Elizabeth Kirk, b. 24 Nov. 1756;

  3. Rebecca Kirk, b. 3 Feb. 1758;

  4. Joshua Kirk, b. 12 Dec. 1759;

  5. Ruth Kirk, b. 16 Apr. 1761; m. Benjamin PRICE;

  6. Rachel Kirk, b. 18 Apr. 1763; m. 20 Oct. 1784 Philip Price, Jr.

  7. Adam Kirk, b. 12 May 1766;

  8. William Kirk, b. 23 Jan. 1769;

  9. Sibilla Kirk, b. 23 Oct. 1771;

Common Vetch


To continue the story of this family, go to the Kirk page.

                This Davies family is part of a larger Price line, which, with all its collateral lines, including this Davies branch, has been expanded with considerable historical context into a hard copy book. To learn more about the times in which these family members lived, you might want to read The Price Family in History. It gives a lot of social, religious, economic, and political context for the lives of these ancestors. The book includes John's parents, Richard and Ann Davies of Rhieddallt, in the parish of Ruabon, Denbyshire, Wales, as well as their son immigrant John, and his daughter Sybilla.

                The larger Price line includes these collateral lines: Ashbridge, Bonsall, Borton, Cox, this Davis, other (Ellis) Davies, England, Fisher, Haines, Harry/Harris, Holliday, John, Jones, Kirk, one Lewis (Henry), the other Lewis (Thomas), Malin, Morgan, Orbell, Paxton, the main Price, another Price (Richard), a third Price (David), Roessen, Sharpley, Schumacher/Shoemaker, Taylor, Thomas, Townsend, Warner, White, Williams, Wood, and Wooderson. In time others may be posted, too. Some of them are very short, as I do not follow them after "my" ancestor married into another surname family.


                If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail at .

Go to the index of other lines that are included in this website (not all of them have been posted yet).

Go to the Paxson home page.

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This page was posted 2m/28/2006, and updated most recently on 1m/5/2012.


Common Vetch

Notes and Sources

                The full bibliographical citation is given the first time a source is mentioned, but is not repeated each time that source is cited. Scroll up until you find the first mention and there you will find the complete citation.


  1. For a more complete explanation of Welsh nomenclature and the geographical areas from which the most common names are likely to have come, see John and Sheila Rowlands, The Surnames of Wales for Family Historians and Others (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1996).


        1a. Joseph Besse, A Brief Account of Many of the Prosecutions of the People Call'd Quakers in the Exchequer, ecclesiastical, and other courts for demands recoverable by the Acts made in the 7th and 8th years of the reign of King William the Third, for the more easie recovery of tithes, church-rates, &c. . . . (London, 1736), 175. Digital facsimile image on Eighteenth Century Collections Online.


        1b. Richard Davies, An Account of the Convincement, Exercises, Services, and Travels of Richard Davies, with Some Information Relative to the Spreading of the Truth in North Wales (Philadelphia: Friends' Book Store, 1877), 171.


  2.        
  3. J. Smith Futhey & Gilbert Cope, The History of Chester County, with genealogical and biographical sketches (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1881), 516.


  4. Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 207.


  5. Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 207.


  6. Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 208.


  7. Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 407; see also Pennsylvania Archives, Series _, 1:218.


  8. Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 353.


  9. Uwchlan Monthly Meeting records as transcribed in John T. Humphrey, Pennsylvania Births: Chester County, 1682-1800 (Washington, DC: Humphrey Publications, 1994), 44; Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 516.


  10. Abstract of Wills of Chester Co., 3:201.


  11. Benjamin's line is given in Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., 516.


  12. Uwchlan Monthly Meeting records, transcribed in Humphrey, Pennsylvania Births, 219.


  13. Abstract of Wills of Chester Co., 1:514.


  14. Rachel Price, "A History of the Early Settlers by the Name of Kirk" in Charles H. Stubbs, Historic-Genealogy of the Kirk Family, as Established by Roger Kirk . . . (Lancaster, Pa.: Wylie & Griest, Inquirer Printing House, 1872), 226.


  15. Price, "A History of the Early Settlers by the Name of Kirk", 230.


  16. Price, "A History of the Early Settlers by the Name of Kirk", 230-31.


  17. Uwchlan MM rec. as transcribed in Humphrey, Pennsylvania Births: Chester County, .


  18. Price, "A History of the Early Settlers by the Name of Kirk", 222, 228.


  19. As quoted by Jane W. T. Brey, A Quaker Saga:The Watsons of Strawberryhowe, the Wildmans, and Other Allied Framilies from England's Northern Counties and Lower Bucks County in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Dorrance & Co., 1967), 453.


  20. Charles H. Browning, Welsh Settlement of Pensylvania [sic] (Philadelphia: 1912), 115, 152, 532.


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                If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail at .





Common Vetch