The rich, colorful history of the lawless borderlands of Scotland and England is closely entwined with the stories of the old “borderland” clans, to whom the bearers of the name Davidson belong.
By consulting some of the most ancient manuscripts of Scotland, researchers found
the first record of the name Davidson in Perth, Scotland, where, in 1219, Johnannes
fillus Davidis, a merchant of Perth, is mentioned. Some accounts suggest that around
1000 AD the Catti (Chattan) Clan, from whom the Davidson Clan descends, broke into
two distinct factions, the Mackintosh and the MacPherson Clans. The Davidson Clan
was part of the MacPherson element, but always considered itself to be the senior
Clan of the Chattan group. Records from the Ragman Rolls show Adami fiz Dauld of
Forfarshire and Johan le fiz David of Berwickshire rendering homage to King Edward
I of England in 1296. Bearers of Davidson were found on both sides of the Scotish-
Bearers of the family name Davidson come from a region once inhabited by the Strathclyde
Britons in the West, and the ancient Bernicia Kingdom (Boernicians) in the East.
From this historic region come the ancestors of the Davidson family, the earliest
records of whom were fond in Yorkshire, where Thomas Davyson was on record in the
Subsidy Rolls for the country in 1327. Also, in England, a John Daviedson was listed
in 1350 in Warwickshire, and a William Daveson listed in 1500 as one of the “Freemen
of York.” However, most of the name were found in Scotland. Rivalries continued
within the Clan Chattan, over which Clan had the most seniority, and would be next
in line for the Chieftainship. The Davidsons were involved in The Battle of Invernahoven
in the mid-
Despite the division of their ancient territories between the Scottish and English Marches, the clan continued to be united powers unto themselves. They swore allegiance to neither Scotland nor England. Conflict and feuding between the families of this region was legendary. Neither England nor Scotland usually tried to enforce the order of law. Thus the problems had become so great by 1246 A.D. that six Chiefs from each side met at Carlisle and produced a law code unlike any other. It placed a greater emphasis on assisting a neighbor in recovering his property, than not stealing it in the first place. In 1587, the Scottish Parliament condemned certain border families for lawlessness and began breaking up the old “border code.” Shortly after 1603, and the unification of the Crown of England and Scotland, it was decreed that the “unruly border clans” were to be dispersed. The Clans and Families of the Border Marches were dispersed to England, northern Scotland and Ireland. Some were banished directly to the Colonies. 1
1 House of Names.com
Our direct line of Davidsons were forced from Scotland to Ireland during this period of disbursement.
While the factual evidence of the Davison (Davidson) brothers, George and John, arrival in America from Ireland has been well established, there is still some confusion regarding their father.
The following are excerpts from an e-
Davidson family historian John Lisle (Davidson Family History and Ancestry) in an
We have recent DNA evidence that shows that descendants from the family
of Robert Davidson and Major John Davidson of Rural Hill are biologically unrelated. As this evidence is still from a single descendant, I cannot be as definitive in my assessment but a second descendant, descended from a different son of Major John has recently agreed to join the project.
Click here for information regarding the first generation “Descendants of George Davison,” notes and research provided by Davidson family historian John Lisle.
Click here for information regarding the Davidson (Davison) immigration to the colonies
and migration to North Carolina taken from Margaret Gardner Cannefax’s: Cannefax-
Click here for information regarding William Lee Davidson and the Battle of Cowan’s Ford.