Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mr. Kin Davis' Family Photo Mystery Solved!

Some time ago, I posted a photo which I had found in Aunt Lula's album. The picture seemed to be taken in the 1850s or 60s (possibly in Texas as all the other photos in the album) and it was labeled by the aunt in two ways: Mr. Kin Davis family and Mr. Ben Davis family. Since the first one was written with ink and the latter one with a pencil, I assumed, the ink version was the right one. However, I had no idea who  Mr. Kin Davis could be. Besides, Kin could have been a short form of a first or a middle name. The person had to have some connection to Texas. It was important - aunt Lula + family lived in the state and all other photos of Lula's album were taken in Texas too. Quite a puzzle it was, anyway.

The name Davis appears in the family tree many times but I had not come across any man of such first name: Kin. I tried to trace that given name and surname on the Internet. There was the Kincheloe surname in a distant family tree branch, so at first, I thought 'Kin' could stand for a short form of 'Kincheloe'. On the other hand, most Kincheloe and Davis persons in the family tree which I had found were from Virginia. To make the story short, going gradually from a person to a person in that distant branch + searching the net, I discovered Jesse Kincheloe Davis. He moved with his parents (Warren Davis and Mary Kincheloe) from Alabama to Texas. However, it could not be the Mr. Kin Davis. Jesse Kincheloe Davis (1802-1869) had quite a few sons but not a surviving daughter. In the picture you can see clearly there are at least two girls (the baby might be a boy or a girl) and a few year old boy.

So I kept on searching. And........... finally, I found something! Jesse's wife Eliza (1819-1875) - her maiden name was Davis too. Her brother was William Kinchen Davis. According to my discoveries, Eliza Davis and William Kinchen Davis were children of Mr. Kincheon William Davis and Miss Frances Pleasants.

I studied the information on Mr. William Kinchen Davis life story (which I found on the Internet), the number of children which he had, how old they all would have been when the picture was taken and all matched! I found our Mr. Kin! Strange but I felt peace then. The unknown and forgotten was no longer an anonymous person whose name had faded away.

William Kinchen Davis was born on November 11, 1822, in Morgan, Alabama. When he was 8, (in February 1830), he came with his family to Texas. The Davis family settled in the area of the nowadays Fort Bend County. At the age of 14, William Kinchen helped to build a fort by the Brazos River. Except of other campaigns, William Kinchen took part in Somervell expedition in 1842 and was badly wounded at Ciudad Mier (Mier expedition). He was one of the Texans captured by the Mexican troops and one of the prisoners who marched to Salado. At some point, he managed to escape. Unfortunately, then was captured again. When in Salado, Mr. Kin and other Texan prisoners were forced to draw beans - their lives were on stake. Luckily, William Kinchen drew a white bean - so he was not shot. Together with other men who happened to draw a white bean, he was made march to Mexico City. Then they were put in Perote Prison. Mr. Kin worked in a chain gang there till the day when he was released - it was on September 16, 1844. William Kinchen (and all other Texans who managed to survive the imprisonment) was given a dollar which was supposed to help him get back home (1500 miles from the place where the prison was). I do not know how he did that, but he finally arrived in Richmond in Texas.

On July 19,1848, Mr. Kin married Miss Eloniza (?) Jane Pickens (born in Kentucky around 1838). She was a daughter of John Harris Pickens and Eleanor Elizabeth Cooper. The marriage took place in Fort Bend, Texas.

Kin and Jane had five children.
  • Frances 'Fannie' - born circa 1849 - passed away at the age of three.
  • John Harris Pickens - born on February 11, 1951,
  • Eleanor (called Nola) - born in 1952,
  • Kinchen William - born in (circa) 1855,
  • Archietta - born on June 15, 1857.

The first from the left possibly is John, then Kinchen, Mr. Kin (William Kinchen) Davis - the father, Miss Jane Davis (the mother), baby Archietta, and the oldest daughter Nola.

It seems that (in the photo) Nola is older than John, and in somebody's online records it was stated that her year of birth was 1846. Considering the year given on Nola's gravestone (1852) and the date of marriage of Mr. Kin and Jane's, 1846 seems doubtful.  The picture was taken at the end of 1857 or the beginning of 1858.

Mrs. Jane Davis died in 1960.  Five years later, on March 5, 1865, Mr. Kinchen married S. Jane Green. The Census record of 1960 shows that Miss S. Jane Green lived in Kinchen and Jane's household then. However, I have not come across any other information on that lady.

Kinchen William Davis (captain) passed away at his home in Richmond on August 2, 1891. In the obituary (sources-link no.6) he was described as a good and noble husband, father and citizen, a kind, generous and quiet man. According to that magazine piece, Mr. Kinchen was also a successful, respected and trusted businessman.

What about the children?

John Harris Pickens was involved in cattle endeavours and banking. He became a judge - a most prominent citizen of Fort Bend. John married Susan Elizabeth Ryon (born December 10, 1855 in Texas)  on February 10, 1875.

They had three children:
  • Daisy Belle (Nov.22,1875 - June 15,1878).
  • Mary Elizabeth (Sept.13,1877 - d. May 27,1971 in Richmond, Fort Bend, Texas) - she married Albert Payton George (b. Oct.7, 1873 Hungerford, Wharton, Texas - d. April 5, 1955, Houston, Harris, Texas). They had a son Davis who died when he was little (b. Sept.19,1897- d.July 19,1899).
  • Thomas Walter (Sept.7, 1879- May 31,1922)  - born and died in Fort Bend, TX.
John's first wife Elizabeth died on October 30,1844. After a few years, he remarried. The second wife was Belle Ryon. The marriage ceremony took place on  Nov.22, 1888.

Eleanora married Bartlet Abner Hinson (born in Georgia 1845, d.1909) on October 8, 1879. In a newspaper article extract (obituary of John's), I have found some information on their sons Walter and Gus. Eleanora passed away in 1921.

Kinchen William married Rachel Eliza Glassock (b. Sept. 18. 1854 in Texas, died in October 1944) in 1875. Rachel's father was Benjamin Glassock of Louisiana. Kinchen was also in the cattle business.

On Saturday, July 17, he left his cattle at Rosenberg to visit family in the town. Kinchen missed the last train and was not able to get back to his cattle. The man tried to stop the train, when it did not work, he made an attempt to get on the running train. Unfortunately, Kinchen William missed it and the train dragged him under a carriage, on the railway track. Both of his legs were crushed, his had  was badly wounded. Next, day, on Sunday, August 18,1888, around three o'clock, Mr. Kinchen William Davis passed away.

Kinchen William and Rachel had one daughter (Edna) and four sons William Harris, Thomas McGee, Eugene Wheat, and John Mitchell).

Archietta (Archetto ?) married Walter Little Jones (b. Jan. 12, 1850, Texas-d. Nov.20,1885, Fort Bend, TX). The couple had three daughters (Jennie Ryon, Hattie E., Abbie) and four sons (Thomas Harris Little, William Eugene, Joe A., and Walter Little Jr.).

Although Mr. Kinchen William Davis was a distant relative of our family, him and aunt Lula's folks must have been in touch (since she had that photograph in her family album). Well, they all lived in Texas. I am glad she kept the photograph. Quite a person Mr. Kin was. I have not only learned about a relative and his life story but also something else I had not known either. Meaning interesting facts connected with the history of Texas.

1. Find A Grave
2. "Texas Marriages, 1837-1973," database, FamilySearch ( : 5 December 2014), William K. Davis and E. Jane Pickens, 19 Jul 1848; citing , Fort Bend, Texas, , reference ; FHL microfilm 1,007,996.
3. United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), William Danis, Fort Bend county, part of, Fort Bend, Texas, United States; citing family 89, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
4. United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 26 July 2017), S J Green in entry for Wm R Davis, 1860.
5. United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), William K Davis, Texas, United States; citing p. 16, family 115, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,084.
7. Texas State Historical Association
8. History of Fort Bend County

1 comment :

  1. Kinchen W.(Kinch)Davis was my Great Grandfather. He and Rachael Glasscock had five children. Edna (1876-77), Wm Harris (My grandfather)1878-1943), Thos M (1880-1936), Eugene W (1882-1938), and John Mitchell (1884-1935). I believe this photo to be of Kinch and his wife Rachael, taken at the JHP Davis (his brother's) home in Richmond around 1883...may possibly have been taken at his father's (Wm Kinchen) home. You may contact me at: