Person:Jemima Jefferson (1)

Jemima Jefferson
  1. Jemima JeffersonBef 1730 - Aft 1770
m. Est 1747
  1. William Davis, Sr.Abt 1747 - 1842
  2. Robert Davis1754 - 1843
  3. Thomas Davis, of Logan County, VA1755 - 1825
  4. John Davis, Jr.1758 - 1841
  5. Mary Davis1759 -
  6. Jemima Davis1761 -
  7. James Davis1763 - 1831
  8. Elizabeth "Betty" Davis1770 - Aft 1870
Facts and Events
Name Jemima Jefferson
Married Name Jemima Collins
Married Name Jemima Davis
Gender Female
Birth[1] Bef 1730 Goochland County, Virginia
Marriage Est 1747 Virginiato John Davis, of Goochland, Albemarle & Amherst County, Virginia
Death[1] Aft 1770 Colony of Virginia, British America


Jemima Jefferson was supposedly a near-relative of President Thomas Jefferson and sources suggest she was the President's aunt. According to the source "The History of Logan Co., WV" written in 1896 by Henry Ragland, her children claimed to be first cousins of President Thomas Jefferson, which suggests she had to be the President's aunt which means she was the daughter of the President's grandfather Capt. Thomas Jefferson, II by an unknown spouse or consort. His second wife died when he was only about 47 years old. Since he was still in the prime of his life following the death of his second wife, it is possible he may have married again or at least had a companion who was his consort and together they had Jemima and he was only about fifty years old at the time of Jemima's birth. Before 1745 Jemima married a Mr. Collins and had children with him prior to her 2nd marriage to John Davis before 1750. When Jemima married Mr. Collins and began having children by her first husband, she had to be of child bearing age or about 15 years old at the time of her first marriage about 1745 which means she was born about 1730. Jemima's second marriage was to John Davis about 1750 who was of supposed Welsh ancestry and who is said to have lived in a part of Goochland County, Virginia which became Albemarle County in 1744 and later became Amherst County in 1761. According to the manuscript "The Davis Family" written by Constant Elisha Watson Davis in 1892, Jemima and John's son Robert Davis was born in 1754 in the area that became Amherst Co., VA. Jemima died after 1770 since her last child Elizabeth who was also known as "Betty" was born in 1770. Betty married Adam Runyon(s) and according to the 1870 Logan Co., WV census, she was listed as "Elizabeth Runyans" and was 100 years old indicating she was born in 1770. So, her mother Jemima had to die after 1770. As mentioned, one of the sources that identified Jemima (Jefferson) Collins-Davis included a manuscript "The Davis Family" written by Constant Elisha Watson Davis in 1892. This source specifically stated his grandfather Robert's mother was Jemima (Jefferson) Collins-Davis and was related to President Thomas Jefferson. However, unlike Mr. Ragland's source, this resource did not specify exactly how Jemima was related to the family of President Thomas Jefferson. An article on C. E. W. Davis' work was also published in August 25, 1892 in the Albany Banner. C. E. W. Davis' father was Reverend Absalom Davis who was a minister for the last twenty five years of his life. Absalom was 46 years old when his father Robert died. Consequently, Absalom obviously knew who his Davis grandparents were and passed that knowledge along to his son C. E. W. Davis. Another source "The History of Logan Co., WV" written four years later in 1896 by Henry Ragland also stated that William Davis and his brother Thomas Davis came from Albemarle County and claimed to be first cousins of President Thomas Jefferson. Robert Davis had a daughter named Jemima. Robert's brother Thomas Davis also had a daughter named Jemima, who was also known as "Mimy" who married Daniel Hensley. Since both brothers named their daughters the same name, they were obviously named after their grandmother Jemima (Jefferson). Additional research and records are necessary.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Public Member Trees: (Note: not considered a reliable primary source).

    From PBS – Finding Your Roots – April 19, 2012

    By Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    The Mysterious Jefferson Connection

    Family legend has said that a great grandmother from Virginia, named Jemima Jefferson Collins Davis, was a first cousin of Thomas Jefferson himself.

    Unfortunately, no one has been able to find out the truth about Jemima and if she really was a Jefferson. Dozens of family historians on various family branches have tried, to no avail. There is no record of a Jemima in official Jefferson genealogy. Which leads to much speculation, of course.

    Was she truly a Jefferson or was it something that was added on generations later? Records have her children stating that she said she was a first cousin of Thomas Jefferson. If so, why isn’t there any record of it anywhere?

    Perhaps she lived nearby the Jefferson plantation in Virginia. Maybe she was a servant there, of Melungeon roots. It is doubtful she was a slave, as the man she married was John Davis, a man of Caucasian descent, not to mention laws then prohibited such a union (at least legally).

    And then of course, maybe there’s some sort of dramatic twist. Perhaps she was a Jefferson and fell in love with the wrong person, and she was subsequently disowned and erased from record.