Saturday, February 25, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ Davenport of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

My earliest known Davenport ancestor is Thomas Davenport, who was in Dorchester, Massachusetts, by 1640, when he became a church member. He was married by 1643, as his oldest child was born in December of that year. His wife's name was Mary, but I have not found confirmation of her surname.

According to the Dawes-Gates genealogy, Thomas Davenport appears in plenty of early records, including several land purchases, in 1653, 1659, and 1665. Records also indicate that he served as a fence viewer, assisted in laying out a "highway" in 1677, and served as a constable for a few years.

His property was near Mount Bowdoin, seen in the middle of the map at right (courtesy of Wikipedia).

Thomas Davenport and his wife Mary had ten children: Sarah, Thomas, Mary, Anna, Charles, Abigail, Mehitable, Jonathan, Ebenezer, and John. His oldest son Thomas died on December 19, 1675 fighting in King Philip's War.

He died on November 9, 1685. His will was proved on February 4, 1685/86, but his estate wasn't settled for another 35 years, after the death of his administrator, his son, Charles.

I descend from his eighth child and third son, Jonathan.

Generation 2: Jonathan Davenport was born on March 6, 1658/59, and baptized on March 13, 1658/59, in Dorchester. The Dawes-Gates genealogy claims that he married Hannah Maynard in Dorchester; the Rhode Island Vital Records states that he married Hannah Warren in Little Compton, Rhode Island - both marriages on December 1, 1680. See Tuesday's Tip for my analysis of this record; I believe it's Hannah Warren.

The couple married in Dorchester, but soon moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island, where the family was recorded in the vital records, even though his marriage and the birth of the oldest child occurred in Dorchester. The second child's birth is recorded in Little Compton.

The image at right (courtesy Wikipedia) shows Rhode Island, the county of Newport in pink and the town of Little Compton in red.

Jonathan died in Little Compton in 1729 and is buried in the Old Commons Cemetery there. His will was recorded in Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, about 30-35 miles north of Little Compton. He and wife Hannah had nine children: Thomas, Jonathan, Hannah, Simon, Ebenezer, John, Joseph, Benjamin, and Sarah. I descend from his oldest son, Thomas.

Generation 3: Thomas Davenport was born in Dorchester on December 10, 1681. He married Catherine Woodworth in Little Compton on July 20, 1704. They had six children: Eliphalet, Mary, Ephraim, Deborah, Hannah, and Oliver. Catherine died in 1729 and he married Mary Pitman in Newport, Rhode Island, and fathered two more children: Gideon and Susanna, before dying in 1751 in Little Compton.

I descend from his son Oliver.

Generation 4: Oliver Davenport was born on February 5, 1714, in Little Compton, Rhode Island. He married his first wife Sarah Macumber there in 1741, and fathered one son with her. His second wife, Mary fathered his remaining children: Noah, Oliver, Sarah, Freelove, Catherine, and Benjamin.

I have found no primary source yet to confirm her surname, though several secondary sources have Devol.

This Oliver Davenport possibly died in Connecticut; there is a short probate packet at Connecticut Wills and Probate Records, for the receipts on an estate of Oliver Davenport in June 1781, with Mary Davenport, executrix. I have tried exploring other sections of this database for Oliver, but have had no luck. This list of receipts doesn't help me confirm that this is the right Oliver Davenport.

I descend from Oliver's son Noah.

Generation 5: Noah Davenport, Revolutionary War soldier (1758-1840) married Lydia Metcalf.
Generation 6: Frances (Fanny) Davenport (1785-1871) married Leonard Adsit.
Generation 7: James Monroe Adsit (1809-1894)
Generation 8: Charles Chapin Adsit (1853-1931)
Generation 9: Elizabeth Adsit (1897-1983)
Generation 10: Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. (1924-1993)
Generation 11: Me

Sources include:
The Davenport Family by Bennett F. Davenport, M.D., in The New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 33, pp. 25-34 (January 1879)
Little Compton Families compiled by Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, published by the Little Compton Historical Society (1967)
Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines, Vol. 1, by Mary Walton Ferris, published by Cuneo Press of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1943)
Dorchester Church Records
Massachusetts Town and Vital Records


  1. Howdy, cousin! It looks like we are 7th cousins, twice removed. I too am from the Davenport line, although we diverge after Thomas D and Catherine Woodworth. I am descended from their son Ephraim, rather than Oliver.
    And perhaps not coincidentally, I also have a genealogy blog, although I have not been keeping up with mine as well as you. You can find a post on one of my Davenport ancestors here:

    Looking forward to reading more! Robert

    1. Thanks for the comment. We probably have lots of cousins with this common ancestor with all of those large families in the early generations! I read your blog post - it's a particular challenge when ancestors in a line move to a new location every generation - you found some great information.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.