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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Documenting My Davis Family: Olive Caroline Davis

Olive Caroline Davis
My grandfather, Claude Davis, was born to Bertha Davis when she was 14 years old. His father is not known. I was told that he idolized his grandmother and he spent much time with her. I found the first record of his grandmother's name on Dora Davis Page's (Bertha's sister) social security application  - Olive Caroline Davis.

Olive Caroline was the daughter of Seth H. Davis and Margaret "Peggy" Jones of Edmonson County, Kentucky.

I have Olive Caroline's birthday as April 18, 1847 and every Public Member Tree at Ancestry. com shows the same date. However, she is not listed with her family in 1850. AND, according to that census, she had siblings Garrett, born in 1846, and Virginia, born in 1847. In July 1880, she was cited as being 28 years old and in July 1870, "Oliver C." was listed as 19 years old. This would give her a birth date sometime between 1851 and 1852. Assuming that Olive Caroline was born in 1851 or 1852, the first record would be found on 1860 census, but there is no record of anyone in the Seth H. Davis family in the 1860 census. 

In 1870, Olive Caroline was not present with the Seth H. Davis family, but Oliver C. Davis, a 19 year old male was present. Next to "his" name it was checked that he was married within the year, he attended school within the year, and could not read and write. "He" and all siblings were identified as farm laborers.  I am guessing that Oliver C. is actually Olive Caroline. As I have written in other posts, we are looking at a handwritten copy of the original or even a copy of a copy when we look at a census record. If handwriting was poor or ink smeared on the original, the person copying the record may have had to make an educated guess. 

"Aliff" Davis was recorded as a servant living with a Sanders family in 1880. She was single and her occupation was housekeeper. Also living with Olive Caroline was her son, "Virgia," and daughter, Bertha (spelled Berthia). Bertha was my great-grandmother. She was born May 29, 1879. Seeing a son, born about 1875, was a surprise to me as I only knew of two daughters; Bertha and her sister Dora who was born in 1882.

The fathers of Bertha and Virgia are not known by me. According to family oral history, Dora's father was a Charles Thompson. In 1880, a Charles Thompson, a widower, lived very close to the home where Olive Caroline was a housekeeper in Edmonson County.

Olive Caroline Davis was not found again until 1901 when when she married R. L. Logsdon on December 29, 1901. On the application, her father is named as Seth H. Davis.  According to the marriage record, this was Olive Caroline's first marriage.

I have a death date of May 18, 1909 for Olive Caroline Davis which was passed on to me by another family member. I have never found a record of her death and do not know where she is buried.

There are many questions about Olive Caroline and her family. Here are just a few.

  1. Has anyone found Seth H. Davis and his family in the 1860 census? 
  2. Where was Olive Caroline in 1900?
  3. Where is Olive Caroline buried?  
  4. Somewhere, I read or heard that there was a family bible, documenting the Seth Davis family, and owned by descendants of Seth H. Davis. Does anyone know about this bible? 

© 2013

Photograph of Olive Caroline Davis used with permission. From the collection of Brenda and Mike Parker.

"Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 05 Oct 2013), R.L. Logsdon and Caroline Davis, 29 Dec 1901.

Year: 1850; Census Place:  , Edmonson, Kentucky; Roll: M432_198; Page: 19A; Image: 275.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 4, Edmonson, Kentucky; Roll: M593_459; Page: 417A; Image: 95; Family History Library Film: 545958.

Year: 1880; Census Place:  , Edmonson, Kentucky; Roll: 412; Family History Film: 1254412; Page: 569C; Enumeration District: 042.

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