The illustration of Grand Passage shows Long Island (on the left), where Ethel Davis had owned a home lot, and Brier Island (on the right), where he lived and is buried. Ethel had been raised in Derby township, New Haven county, Connecticut, U.S.A., where his great-grandfather, John Davis, had lived in 1690. Ethel Davis came here with his Loyalist German in-laws and his Loyalist military associates.

Ethel Davis’ widow walked to Halifax for a deed to land on Long Island. Their grandson, Samuel Davis, saved shipwrecked men by believing his “vision of the night”. Capt. Sam Davis resettled his family in Yarmouth, and helped his sons, Ralph and Oscar, establish the R.H. Davis & Co. Ltd. business there. The business celebrated 100 years in 1997. This narrative, collected by Ralph’s grandson, Ralph Harold Davis, follows the family history through to 1997.


Etching of “Grand Passage in the Bay of Fundy on the Western Shore of Nova Scotia” [1779] by J.F.W. Des Barres.

Long Island (left) and Brier Island (right), are depicted nine years before Ethel Davis and his family moved to Brier Island in 1788 (in R.L. Raymond, J.F.W. Des Barres: Views and Profiles, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S., 1982. ISBN-O-7703-0198-3).


Researched by: William Burrell Davis and Frank Bancroft Davis.
Researched and written by: Ralph Harold Davis.
Editorial assistance from: Suzy Waldman.
Platemaking by: Roderick Alexander Davis.
Pagination and printing by: William Richard Davis,

Sentinel Printing, 14 Kirk Street, Yarmouth N.S., B5A_1S7 Canada.

Inquiries: Ralph Harold Davis, 1093 Belmont on the Arm, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H_1J2 Canada.


On the occasion of the Anniversary

of the founding of

R.H. Davis & Company Limited

Yarmouth, N.S., Canada

this book is dedicated to

Ralph Harold Davis, 1877 – 1933,
Founder and President, 1897 – 1933

Ralph Harold Davis and Margaret Burrell Davis

and their son

Samuel Bancroft Davis, 1907 – 1965,
President,: 1933 – 1965

Orris Fillmore Davis and Samuel Bancroft Davis

Preface to the WorldWideWeb Edition

Additional data and required revisions have been made to the booklet in the following web publication.

Thanks to Mark Lake Davis for easing us into the web. 2014,Dec. =; “”

The first edition was printed in soft cover and distributed to family that had gathered in Yarmouth in 1997. The booklets were also given to libraries and museums.

The family gathering included: lobster dinner at Bonda Textiles in Yarmouth, Whale watching and dinner at Brier Island, service at Zion United Baptist Church in Yarmouth, and food at Sherora cottage on Perry Road in Carleton.

Ralph 2007. e-mail = “”
Ralph 2014 e.Mail = “”

Yarmouth Light, Cape Forchu – Photo by Bob Brooks

PREFACE to the First Edition

Our family has always told us of the gold watch that our great-grandfather was awarded, for saving shipwrecked seamen, through, what he learned in a dream. We were also told of a lady ancestor who walked to Halifax from Brier Island, for a deed to her land. These stories were told differently by various sources.

Collecting information to support these stories has been interesting. A lot of the data had been collected by Uncle Bill and brother Frank Davis. The statement of Christiana Margaret Davis, her mother’s claim for their lost farm, the story of her walk to Halifax, and the deed she obtained, are some of the data. Frank found the origins of the Davis family back to Derby in New Haven County, Connecticut. The story of the Sea Captain’s dream was in an old magazine that got lost, but the story was in a book from cousin Margaret Archibald.

Below records the information and tries to sort out what was going on. The genealogy contains the siblings, wives, forebears, and descendants. Most of it has not been proven.

Frank and I have visited historical societies and libraries in Connecticut and New York, as well as consulting Nova Scotia relatives and residents of Brier Island in search of information about the family.

Suzy Waldman is to be commended for her help in organizing and editing all the information in the manuscript. Dick Davis has helped with final editing and pagination.

The printing and distribution were encouraged by my wife Cynthia.

Ralph Davis
June 25, 1997


Part Chap. Location First (Gen.) Yr.of
# # Name Name ( # ) Death
___ ___ __________ _______ ___ ___
I 1 New Haven John Sr. (9) 1712
  2   John Jr. (8) 1767
  3   Dan (7) 1789
___ ___ __________ _______ ___ ___
II 4 New Haven Ethel (6)  
  5 Brier Island     1801
___ ___ __________ _______ ___ ___
III 6 Brier Is. Hubbard (5) 1888
  7   Capt.Sam (4)  
    Yarmouth   (4) 1917
  8   Ralph (3) 1933
  9   Banny (2) 1965
___ ___ __________ _______ ___ ___

Of the seven church steeples in this drawing of New York City (pre 1776), one belonged to the German Lutheran Church where Margaret Hubbard and her sisters were likely christened (Public Archives of Nova Scotia).


The paternal ancestors of Ralph Davis (II) make up the skeleton of this genealogy. The ancestors have been numbered by generation, from #1 Ralph Davis (born 1940) on back to #9 John Davis Sr. (ca. 1660-1712).

This book is divided into three parts. In Part I, each generation’s story is a chapter covering the settling and land acquisitions of Generations 9, 8 and 7 in New Haven Colony, Connecticut.

Part II is concerned with #6 Ethel Davis in the American Revolutionary War, and his relocation to Canada.

In Part III, each generation’s story is a chapter. This part summarizes the histories of Generation #s 5,4,3,2 and 1 as they established themselves in Nova Scotia, and includes the founding and rise of R.H. Davis & Co., Ltd.

Each chapter includes: background to the time and place; biographies of individuals about whom information is known, descriptions of: early life; with marriage(s), and families associated by marriage; children; livelihood; land acquisitions; civic life; and death and legacy.

Each chapter is followed by genealogical charts of the generation of Davises, including known descendants who are not covered in a later chapter, and of the antecedents of women who married into the Davis family in that generation. Each genealogical chart is numbered from which Davis generation in which it starts, with the older generations receiving the higher numbers.

Illustration of Old Hawkins House, Derby, Conn. located on the Homesite of Joseph Hawkins; built 1675, standing in 1939. (Illustration from: Hawkes, R.C. A Hawkins Genealogy, 1635 – 1939; Hawkes Assn. Publ. 1939.)

Ethel Davis’ mother, Ruth Wooster Davis, was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hawkins Wooster. Sarah was born in this house, built by her grandfather.

In 2007, August, the house exists at 231 Hawkins St., Derby, CT 06418.
For a description see:


New England Settlement

Chapter 1

- Homesteading in Derby

Chapter 2

- Derby and Environs

Chapter 3

- Stirrings of Conflict

Map- Derby AREA in New Haven County, CT, USA