James Davis

Started by James Edward HAYS on Monday, May 30, 2011


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5/30/2011 at 4:25 PM

My great grandfather was James Davis not Henry James Davis or James Henry Davis. There as another man, unrelated, named Henry James Davis or James Henry Davis in the Salt Lake Valley when my great grandfather, James Davis arrived in the valley in 1861. James Davis presented himself to Brigham Young who said that there were too many men in the valley named James Davis and stated that my great Grandfather was to be known thereafter as Jame "Lionel" Davis. James Davis' name was never officially or legally changed. There are some records from the pioneer days that referred to my great grandfather as Henry James Davis. However, they are incorrect in spite of the efforts of Brigham Young. I have possession of copies of the autobiographies of both James Davis and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Fretwell and there is no reference to the alleged "Henry" name.

There is another matter of history which should be understood about James Davis and Mary Elizabeth Fretwell. Before Mary came to the Salt Lake Valley from England she had lost two older sisters who had died unmarried in their late teen years. As a condition of Mary Elizabeth agreeing to marry James Davis, he had to agree to have these two unmarried sisters, whom he had never met, sealed to him. After he and Mary Elizabeth were sealed in the Endowment House, James Davis was in fact sealed to the two deceased sisters.

5/30/2011 at 8:02 PM

James Edward HAYS

Hi, I've just added a profile picture and some history about your great grandfather James Davis. Thanks for the clarification on his name.

As someone who is more familiar with this family than I am could you please double check the accuracy of the attached picture and the info in his "about me" section? The main biography I took form the book "Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah."

If there are any changes needed just let me know.


Private User
5/30/2011 at 9:42 PM

James, thank you for your message.

Randy, thank you for following up.

I love it when collaboration works!

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