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  • ID: I00078
  • Name: John Goolman "Cooper" DAVIDSON 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1729 in Drumbo, County Down, Ireland 1
  • Death: 8 MAR 1793 in Laurel Fork of Rocky Gap, Wythe (now Bland) County, Virginia 1
  • Burial: MAR 1793 Laurel Fork of Rocky Gap, Wythe (lnow Bland) County, Virginia 1
  • Note:

    According to a Dicksie Knight May Family History, John Goolman Davidson was born in the Loch Ness country of Scotland, then went to Ireland to both County Down, North Ireland and then to Dublin, South Ireland. In Ireland he married Martha Draper. Their son William was born in Ireland in 1759. From there, he came to the Conococheague in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, then to Dry River on the Shenandoah, Augusta County, then to Jackson's River and from there to the Crab Creek settlement on New River. Since this settlement was only five miles from the Draper's Meadows settlement Martha Draper Davidson may have been related to the John Draper of Draper's Meadows. The Davidsons lived at Crab Creek until 1776 when they went to Cove Spring Creek (Beaver Pond) of the Bluestone, where he and Richard Bailey built what came to be known as the Davidson-Bailey Fort. The fort was located not far from the present site of Bluefield College just inside the Tazewell County line. Davidson's nearest neighbors were Captain James Moore in Abbs Valley, 12 miles; Mitchel Clay on Clover Bottom, 12 miles; Compton on Clear Fork, 8 miles; and Wright on the head of Bluestone at Springville, 8 miles away. Although the family spent the major portion of their lives defending the frontier for their families and neighbors, neither William nor Joseph, two of his sons received a pension from the Revolutionary War. He owned several tracts of land in and around Wright's Valley between Stony Ridge and Valley Ridge, stretching frm Graham 3 or 4 miles eastward. The city of Bluefield, West Virginia is built on land patented by Davidson in 1774. A home, built by his son Joseph in 1811, still stands. The two-story cabin was moved from its original site in 1939 to make room for the Park Central School. It is now located in the city park near Bluefield College.

    John Goolman Davidson had, with his family, resided for some time preceding his removal to the Beaver Pond spring with Richard Bailey in 1780, at Smithfield (Draper's Meadow). While living there, a man by the name of Rice had stolen a hog from him, for which he was apprehended, convicted and sentenced to receive and did receive on his bare back well laid on forty lashes, save one. Rice was so enraged at Davidson, that he vowed he would have revenge, if he had to bring the Indians upon him.

    Mr. Davidson having some unfinished business at his former home in the valley of Virginia, Rockbridge County, among others, the collection of some eight hundred dollars due him, determined upon a visit to the valley to close up his business and get his money. As was not unusual when some one was going from the frontier into the settlements, it was noised throughout the neighborhood, that Mr. Davidson was going to make the journey. In the Month of February, 1793, Mr. Davidson set out on horseback, reached his destination safely, settled his business, collected his money, and started on his way homeward, having with him an extra horse which he was leading. He came over the usual route of travel to Rocky Gap, was seen to pass south of that point by a family residing near the pathway.

    Richard Bailey had given to his youngest son, Henry, a small calf, which had been turned out with the other cattle in the range. The calf failing to come up to the fort with the other cattle on the evening of March 8, Mr. Bailey told his son that it might have gotten mired in some swampy land down the creek, and that he must get up very early the next morning, and go look for it. The boy rose early, called his bear dogs, and set off down the Beaver Pond Creek in the direction of where Graham, Virginia, is now located. Not finding the calf on his outward trip, he left the Buffalo trail on his way back and was passing up through the swampy bottom land when his dogs suddenly raised their bristles; the boy supposing it was probably a wolf, rushed forward to see the fight, and looking along the path he saw a body of men and horses, which so alarmed him, that he fled to the fort and reported what he had seen. An older brother Micajah, gathered his rifle and followed the party far enough to discover that it was a body of Indians. He immediately returned to the fort, spread the alarm, and major Robert Crockett, then on the head of the Clinch, gathered a party of men, and followed the Indians whose camp late one evening he discovered on the large island at the mouth of Island Creek, just across the river from where now stands Logan Court House, West Virginia.

    After carefully reconnoitering the position, Major Crockett decided to have the men lay on their arms that night, and make the attack at break of day. He had observed that the Indians had hobbled their horses and turned them out on the island to graze. On the morning of the 15th of March, Major Crockett had his men up and arranged for the attack by the time it was light enough to see. He told his men that the Indians would be stiring early, that while some were preparing breakfast, one or more would come out to roundup the horses and drive them into camp. His instructions were for his men to wait for the horse drivers to start them toward the camp, and to then quietly follow them into camp and make the attack. Crockett had with him a man by the name of Gid Wright, who when the advance began, was thrown close to one of the Indians engaged in driving the horses, and who took a severe Buck Ague as the back-woodsmen term it (extreme case of nervousness), and he fired at the Indian missing him, but alarming the camp, so that the whole Indian party took flight. John Bailey ran close enough as the Indians were leaving to kill one of them, but the rest escaped. Among the number of horses captured was one recognized as belonging to Mr. Davidson, and the one which he had ridden from home, and on which was his saddle, with one brass stirrup missing. The party immediately determined that Mr. Davidson had been killed by this gang.

    As soon asd the party reached the settlement, they sent out men along the path leading through Bailey's Gap in East River Mountain, and on to the Laurel Fork of Clear Fork of Wolf Creek, and through Rocky Gap, finding on the path on the mountain a hat band recognized as belonging to Mr. Davidson's hat. On inquiry it was found that Mr. Davidson had passed the settlements south of Rocky Gap before noon onthe 8th and it ws discovered at an old waste place at the mouth of Clear Fork, that he had there fed his horses. Further investigation at the point where the path left the Laurel Fork starting up the mountain, evidence appeared of the blade of a hatchet having been struck into a white oak tree, and that a gun had rested on the hatchet, and nearby on the bark of a beech tree was freshly cut the name of "Rice", and under the root of the tree on the side of the creek, where the water had washed away the earth, the nude body of Mr. Davidson was found, so far advanced in decomposition it could not be removed to his home, and was buried near by where it was found and where it still remains.

    The searching party for Mr. Davidson's body found evidence on the ground that satisfied them that Mr. Davidson, had upon being shot from the tree where the blade of the hatchet had been buried, fallen from his horse which took fright and ran out into the brush and vines on the creek bottom, by which one of the brass stirrups had been pulled off. No doubt remains but that Rice and his party got the $800 which Mr. Davidson had with him when killed.

    Several years after the killing, Captain Willim Stoweres, then a lad of some fifteen years, while plowing in the bottom where Mr. Davidson was killed, found a brass stirrup which was recognized by the family of Mr. Davidson as one belonging to his saddle, and missing therefrom when his horse and saddle were recovered by Major Crockett and his men on March 15, 1793.

    Davidson's were on Dry River the same time the David McComas family and Thomas Burk were near at Peaked Mountain of Shenandoah, present Rockingham County. The Burks may have become acquainted with them there. Several Burk children would marry Davidsons. Thomas's daughter, Rebecca Burk Davidson, went to the Bluefield area and suffered tragic consequences.

    Though Davidson is Scot, Goolman is a prominent Irish name as is Burk. The Goolman name reveals an Irish connection for these Davidsons. McComas is also Irish judging from the spelling "Mc" which is Irish, rather than Mac" which is Scottish. The Scottish Davidsons were Royalists during the Civil War in Scotland and some fought with Montrose. The Shells, Pepers and Davidsons had one thing in common - all had lived on the Conococheague Creek in present Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

    Will of John Goolman Davidson:

    "In the name of god, Amen. July 1791. I John Davidson of Wythe County and state of Virginia being very sick and weak in body but in and of perfect mind and memory thanks be given god calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my sole unto the hand of almighty god that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and a touching such world by estate wherewith it hath pleased god to bless me in this life I give and devise & dispose of the same in the following manner and from first I give and bequeath to my sons Andrew John and George Davidson my land at the mouth of Absolam Wells counting 400 akers to be devided betwixt them as follows George Corner to stand at the medow and run ther a long the old line to the corner at the pounding Mill brench and then to the creek to be the line from that through and the remainder part of said land to be divided betixt andr/and/John in quantity and quantity likewise I bequeath a tract of myne lying on the brushey Fork kknown by the nam of the quekers Cabans to John Burk Likewise I bequeth to my dought Betse a tract of myne lying of the head waters of Lortons lick creek likewise I do bequeath to Marthew my beloved wife the plantation on which I now reside which I bought of my son William Davidson to be for her seport if shee thinks proper to keep house upon it if not to disspose of the same to George Peery or John Bele for or at its vallue and to take his mentanens out of the same land likewise I do bequeth my tow sons John & George my still and my wife the thirds of the profits maid by hir while shee lives Likewise I bequeth to my sons Wm & Jossph Davidson one Englis Crown Starling apees to George Preery, Lo Brown and John Belle to eatch of them I bequeath one Crown Starling to be leved out of my astat and I dow hair by utterly disallow revoke and disavowel all and every other other former testaments will Legacies bequest and executors by me in any wise before naimed weill and bequethed Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament in witness thereof I have hair unto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of July inthe year of our Lord 1791
    (signed) John Davidson

    Signed Sealed pblished pronounced and declared by the sd John Davidson as his last will and testament inthe presents of us who in his presents and the presence of each other have hair until subscribed our names.
    Robert Wallace, David Wallace

    At a Court held for the County of Wythe on tuesday the 3rd day of June 1795. This the last will and Testament of John Davidson Dec'd was exhibited in Court & proven by the oaths of Robert Wallace and David Wallace the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. Testee:
    Samuel Crockett, D.C."

    Father: William DAVIDSON b: UNKNOWN in Scotland
    Mother: UNKNOWN

    Marriage 1 Martha (DRAPER)? b: ABT 1737 in Ireland?
    • Married: ABT 1751 in Ireland 1
    1. Has No Children John DAVIDSON b: 15 MAR 1751/52 in County Down, Ireland
    2. Has No Children George DAVIDSON b: 1756 in County Down, Ireland
    3. Has Children Martha DAVIDSON b: MAR 1757 in County Down, Ireland
    4. Has Children William DAVIDSON b: 17 MAR 1759 in County Down, Ireland
    5. Has Children Col. Joseph DAVIDSON b: ABT 1762 in Pennsylvania
    6. Has Children Phoebe DAVIDSON b: ABT 1762 in Tazewell County, Virginia
    7. Has Children Ann "Nancy" DAVIDSON b: ABT 1764 in Montgomery (now Tazewell) County, Virginia
    8. Has Children Mary Jane DAVIDSON b: ABT 1765 in Montgomery County, Virginia
    9. Has Children Margaret DAVIDSON b: ABT 1766 in Montgomery (now Tazewell) County, Virginia
    10. Has Children Andrew DAVIDSON b: ABT 1768 in Montgomery (now Tazewell) County, Virginia
    11. Has No Children Elizabeth "Betsy" DAVIDSON b: 1771 in Montgomery (now Tazewell) County, Virginia

    1. Title: baileytest.FTW
      Media: Other
      Text: Date of Import: Dec 22, 2002
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