Maj. Thomas Davis, of Nansemond

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Maj. Thomas Davis, of Nansemond

Also Known As: "Major Thomas Davis of Nansemond"
Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Jamestown, Nansemond County, Province of Virginia, Colonial America
Death: September 20, 1683 (70-71)
Henrico County, Province of Virginia, Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain James Davies, of the "Virginia" and Rachel Keyes
Husband of Mary Davis, of Nansemond and Rebecca Davis, of Nansemond
Father of James Davis, of Nansemond; Thomas Davis, 2nd, of Nansemond; Richard Davis, of Nansemond & Maryland; William Davis, of Nansemond; NN Sanders | Saunders and 4 others

Occupation: Owned Land in Isle of Wight Co., Virginia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maj. Thomas Davis, of Nansemond

Major Thomas Davis was born in 1612/13 in Jamestown (Chuckatuck), Nansemond County, Virginia. Thomas Davis died before 20 September 1683 in Nansemond County, Virginia.

  • parents: son of Captain James Davis and Rachell Keyes. "As of April 2016, The only child we seem sure of is Maj. Thomas Davis, who took the patent of the property of James Davis, Ancient Planter, deceased in 1633, when he came of age. Similarly, there is no known ancestry besides the notes that he came from a family of mariners of Devon."


Married [names uncertain]

  1. Mary Bowers. (One account says James was the son of Mary Bowers.)
  2. Rebecca or Elizabeth Christian ca. 1635 and they had children James, Thomas, Richard, William and Mary Davis;

the Miles Files name no wife and only these five children:

  • 1. James (3) Davis+ b. c 1636
  • 2. Thomas (4) Davis b. c 1638, d. b 26 Oct 1694
  • 3. Richard (5) Davis+ b. c 1640, d. b 20 Feb 1696/97
  • 4. William (6) Davis+ b. c 1642, d. b 24 Nov 1684
  • 5. (d/o Thos) (7) Davis+ b. c 1644


Notes: The Davis family, James, Rachell and young Thomas who must have been about 4 at the time, appear to have made a trip to England and are shown on Passenger and Immigration Lists returning to Virginia in 1617 on the "George." This appears to be when they brought with them and paid transport for George Cooke and Alice Mulleines.4,5

Thomas was shown to be the son of Captain James Davis based on the following grant to him of land in Isle of Wight:

Granted by the Governor and Captain General of Virginia, Sir John Harvey, Kt., to "Thomas Davis, Planter, of Warwicksqueick, sonn & heir apparant to James Davis, Gent., late of Henerico in Va., dec'd., 300 acs. abutting Ely. on Warwicksqueicke Cr. about 2 mi. from the mouth, beg. at a point of land called the redd point, extending Wly. up the Cr. &c. 6 Mar. 1633, p. 128. In right of his father, an Ancient Planter for his per. devdt; 100 acs. for trans. of 2 servts.: Georg Cooke, Alice Mulleines whoe came in the George 1617 & 100 acs. in right or Rachell Davis, Mother to sd. Thomas, for her per. devdt., whoe was an Ancient Planter." (Nugent)

The Virginia Asssembly had decreed that planters who came at their own cost before the coming away of Sir Thomas Dale, that is prior to April 1616, should have on the first division of land, 100 acres for their own personal adventure and also the same for every single share, amounting to the sum of 12-10-0 paid into the London Company of Virginia. This was the reason that Captain Thomas Davis received this grant of land, as the heir of his father. His mother Rachell Davis was probably dead long before 1633.6,7,8

Purse & Person further states that Thomas sold 50 acres of this tract on 13 July 1636 to Ambrose Meador and John White and on 23 Sept. 1648 sold 200 acres of the same to John Moone, the consideration for the latter being 2000 pounds of tobacco and the deed reciting that Thomas Davis was "of Nansemond." (Isle of Wight Wills & Patent Bk.) Thomas Davis had many other land grants, deeds and patents which can be viewed by clicking here.9

In 1637, Thomas appears to have settled in the area which became the Upper County of New Norfolk in 1637 and Nansemond in 1642, as evidenced by two patents, one of May 22nd and the other dated November 23rd of 1637 in which he was given 400 acres. And 7 years later, on August 10th 1644, he was granted 300 acres which adjoined the land of Thomas Jordan, deceased. "The latter grant included his original 100 acres in the Upper County of New Norfolk assigned to him 22 May 1637."10

An affidavit in the Admiralty Court in London in 1639 was made by Thomas Davis, born 1613, son of Captain James Davis, in which he stated he was "A Merchant of Chuckatuck in Virginia, aged 26 years" (Bodie).11,12

In 1654 he was a Justice of Nansemond but "at his request on October 11, 1660 he was dismissed from the county commision by the General Assembly."13

According to Purse & Person, this Major Thomas Davis should not be confused with another Thomas Davis or Captain Thomas Davis of Warwick River "who in the muster of 1624/5 gave his age as 40 years, stating he came in the John & Francis in 1623. This Capt. Thomas Davis of the muster owned land in Elizabeth City, 1624, in that part which became Warwick River County. He was Burgess for Warwick in 1655-56 and sheriff, 1663-64, and died by 2 Nov. 1671 when land formerly owned by him was regranted" (See MCGC, Leonard & Bodie). There seems to have been a question of whether this Captain Thomas Davis of Warwick and Major Thomas Davis of Nansemond are one and the same and it seems they are not.14,15

In 1662, Warfield notes that Thomas acquired lands in Somerset County, Maryland and probably resided in Maryland for several years thereafter but returned to Virginia prior to his death.1

In 1674, Major Thomas Davis and Mr. Barneby Kearney were summonded to the grand jury and paid 200 pounds of tobacco as a fine for not appearing.16 Children of Major Thomas Davis and Elizabeth Davis Mistress Davis+ b. a 1640 James Davis+ b. 1641/42, d. a 1687/88 William Davis+17 b. c 1643, d. b 24 Nov 1684 Thomas Davis+ b. c 1642/43, d. b 26 Oct 1694 Richard Davis18,19 b. c 1645, d. bt 15 Nov 1696 - 20 Feb 1697 Citations [S19] J. D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland, published by Kohn & Pollock, Baltimore, MD, 1905, hereafter shown as Founders of Anne Arundel & Howard Counties, Maryland. [S145] Davis Families of Montgomery County, Maryland by William Neal Hurley, Jr., Heritage Books, Inc., Maryland, 2001 (Our Maryland Heritage, Book 22), "married Elizabeth, whose surname is lost in time," p. 37. [S13] Conclusions Drawn: Since we seem to have a birthdate for their son James of 1642, I would assume Thomas and Elizabeth probably married circa 1640. [S70] Nell Marion Nugent, compiler, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents, Vol I 1623-1666 (Richmond, VA: Dietz Printing Co., 1934), Vol. 1, p. 17: this references the land patent in 1633 of Thomas and the fact they transported two people with them on the George in 1617.. Hereinafter cited as Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts. [S171], Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s Record, source 6220, citing Nugent and Research Passenger and Imigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2005. Original data: Filby, P. William, editor, Passenger and Immigration Lsits Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Research 2003. [S70] Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts, p. 17 (with reference to Virginia Land Patents & Grants, p. 128). [S22] Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, Fourth Edition, Volume One, Families A-F (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD (2004)), pp. 805-806. [S63] Alexander Brown, The First Republic in America (Boston & New York, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1898), pp. 128, 318. [S22] Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, pp. 806. [S22] Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, pp. 806, referencing Patent Bk. 1, p. 128. [S22] Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, this helps to confirm his birth year of 1613, p. 805. [S64] 17th Century Isle of Wight County, VA, by John Bennett Boddie, 1938, p. 445; Peter Wilson Coldham, English Adventurers and Emigrants, 1609-1660 (Baltimore, 1984), p. 85. [S22] Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, pp. 806, see Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619-1776 (Richmond, 1905-15), 13 v., ed. by H. R. McIlwaine, p. 9. [S72] MCGC: Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 2nd ed. (Richmond 1979), ed. by H. R. McIlwaine, p. 508. [S161] Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619 - January 11, 1978, A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978, p. 33. [S71] Burgess Journals, Vol. II, 1659-95, p. 9. [S22] Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, p. 242. [S20] Fenton Garnett Davis Avant, The Davis-Wood Family of Gadsden County, Florida and Their Forebears (Box 738, Easley, South Carolina 29640: Southern Historical Press, 1979), lists Richard born in Virginia. Hereinafter cited as The Davis-Wood Family. [S26] Jane Baldwin, The Maryland Calender of Wills, Volume II. Hereinafter cited as The Maryland Calender of Wills.

Thomas' wifes name is Rebecca Christian born 1615 England / died 7 Apr 1668

Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts. They were married in Virginia in 1635.

view all 13

Maj. Thomas Davis, of Nansemond's Timeline

Jamestown, Nansemond County, Province of Virginia, Colonial America
Age 24
Nansemond County , Virginia, Colonial America
Age 26
Nansemond County , Virginia, Colonial America
Age 28
Nansemond, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 30
Nansemond, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 32
Suffolk, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 33
Age 35
Age 35