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February 20, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: William Diuguid, Jr.

What does Patrick Henry have to do with Buckingham County?

His connection to the Diuguid family is an excellent answer.  Henry and William Diuguid, Jr., founder of Diuguidsville, were first cousins.William Diuguid and Jean Henry, of Aberdeen Scotland, were the parents of Buckingham’s William Diuguid (1717-1764). Jean was a sister of Col. John Henry of Virginia, aunt to Patrick Henry, Patriot, Attorney, and Governor of Virginia.  In 1790, William’s half sister, Margaret Donald of Aberdeen, wrote to Patrick Henry giving an account of the connections between the Henry and Diuguid families.

Today, the letter is housed at the Library of Congress in the Personal Correspondence of Patrick Henry.  A transcription is included in William Diuguid of Buckingham County, Virginia by Eleanor Harris MacRae.

Karen Lucas, a descendant of William Diuguid, Jr. has written a thorough analysis of the letter.  For more about the Henry-Diuguid connection, please visit her site:


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  1. Bill Davidson / Feb 21 2013 9:38 am

    It may be of interest to some readers that Paulina A. Davidson married George Alexander Diuguid on 28 Feb 1844….and they were apparently in a “double wedding” with Paulina’s sister Elizabeth A. Davidson and John W. Bagby (a son of William Bagby and Elizabeth Murray; maybe this was part of the same overall Bagby family that has been the subject of an earlier topic on this blog).

    The above two Davidson sisters were daughters of Samuel Davidson (died about 1848 in Appomattox Co., VA, as I recall) and Elizabeth Thornhill, and they were granddaughters of Alexander Davidson and Elizabeth (apparently Elizabeth Steel/Steele). Alexander Davidson was on the 1764 Buckingham Co., VA tithe list, but by the 1770s, Alexander had moved to the part of Bedford Co., VA that became Campbell Co. VA in 1782. It does not appear that Alexander Davidson was related to my Davidson family that was also on the 1764 Buckingham tithe list. There seems to have been at least three unrelated Davidson/Davison/Davisson families in just Buckingham Co., VA alone in the 1700s/1800s…..and about a DOZEN (!!!) such unrelated families with that same general surname were in all of Virginia. DNA testing on living male Davidson/Davison/Davisson descendants continues to support this conclusion.

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 21 2013 12:30 pm

      Thanks, Bill. Your information about the Davidson DNA project is particularly interesting. I know of Chambers and Harris DNA projects that connect to Buckingham families. Please comment if you are involved in Buckingham-related DNA projects.

      • Bill Davidson / Feb 21 2013 6:02 pm

        The six or seven members of my overall Davidson family who have taken the Y chromosome DNA test have been “combined” into DNA “Family 10” at (which uses Family Tree DNA to do the actual testing). My family included the Edward (who was once a constable in Buckingham Co., VA), David, William (William, Senior, but perhaps not William, Junior….see more below) and Charles Davidson (who was a son of Edward) who all appeared on the 1764 Buckingham tithe list. There was also yet a third William Davidson on that tithe list, and he was shown in the home of David Davidson….and I suspect that he was an adult son of David Davidson.

        DNA testing shows, however, that some members of the unrelated DNA “Family 7” Davidson/Davison family also eventually lived in Buckingham (apparently by around 1793). The John Davidson who appeared on the 1810 Buckingham census was an apparent member of DNA “Family 7,” as was the Stephen Davidson who married Lucy Neighbours, and the Josiah Davidson who married “Sukey” Hughes. DNA “Family 7” had come to Bedford Co., VA from PA by the 1770s, and they “spread-out” from there. In addition, the Alexander Davidson who was also on the 1764 Buckingham tithe list was apparently a member of yet a third/unrelated Davidson family (though we currently have no DNA who can truly prove his lineage back to that Alexander Davidson…..but he may very well have been a member of DNA “Family 12”).

        A woman named Martha Baker (born circa-1750) lived in “next-door” Prince Edward Co., VA (PECo), and she married a William Davidson around 1768/1769. Despite many clues that suggest that Martha’s husband William Davidson was probably the above William Davidson who was in the home of his apparent father David Davidson, a recent DNA test showed that the William Davidson who married Martha Baker was a member of DNA “Family 16,” versus my DNA “Family 10.” As such, we now believe that it is possible that the above William Davidson, Junior on the 1764 tithe list was not a member of my DNA “Family 10” after all….and that he was a member of DNA “Family 16” (and the husband of Martha Baker). Like DNA “Family 7,” DNA “Family 16” had also come to VA from PA.

        I know that “Senior” and “Junior” were sometimes used on old records simply to properly segregate/define two men with the same names….and those terms often did not mean that there was a “father and son relationship” (or even any “blood relationship”). That appears to have been the case here….unless Martha Baker’s husband William Davidson “swooped-in” like Attila the Hun from some other area to marry her. After they married, William and Martha (Baker) Davidson moved to Botetourt Co., VA (where another “contemporary” William Davidson in DNA “Family 16″….and from PA….also lived). A grandson of William and Martha (Baker) Davidson named Baker W. Davidson settled in Buckingham Co., VA with his family by the 1830 census,, and he died in Buckingham around 1869, leaving a Will.

        There was yet another Davidson/Davison family that lived over in “next-door” PECo, and that family had come into PECo from the Spotsylvania/Orange Co., VA area around 1743. The many DNA donors who are from that family are in DNA “Family 5.” I do not believe that any members of that Davidson/Davison family lived in Buckingham Co., VA….at least not in the 1700s or early-1800s.

        So….the above are just some of the dozen or so unrelated Davidson/Davison/Davisson families that were in all of Virginia in the 1700s and 1800s. Without DNA testing, much of the above would not be known with any certainty (if known at all). I cannot imagine anyone who is truly interested in genealogy not taking advantage of DNA testing, where possible. Such testing will certainly not provide “all of the answers”….and it is essentially useless if not combined with excellent “conventional research”….but it has already done a tremendous job at disclosing many errors and “wrong guesses.” I am even aware of an approved DAR application (from the 1950s) where the father of the patriot….as presented/listed by the DAR applicant….was not even a member of the same biological family as the patriot, as now proven by DNA testing (the applicant confused two unrelated men who had the same first and last names).

      • Joanne Yeck / Feb 21 2013 6:46 pm

        Bill, thanks for sharing this about your Davidson line. I agree, DNA testing has become a great tool. While it doesn’t supply all the answers, it is very useful for clarifying confused lines. It is most helpful for the common names, with multiple immigrants, such as Davidson and Harris.

  2. Joanne Yeck / Feb 20 2013 4:23 pm

    Thank you, Harry. It is delightful to recall that we are all Cloptons. George Chambers had a brother named Clopton. Indeed, Patrick Henry had various connections to Buckingham County as we will see in future posts.

  3. Harry Stuart Holman / Feb 20 2013 4:05 pm

    Dear Reader:

    The connection for Patrick Henry’s family and Buckingham would include Diuguids and Elcans. Please recall the Diuguids are connected to the family of George Chambers of Chambers Mills on Slate RIver and the family of Mrs. Ann Bradley Holman of “Whitehall, ” Buckingham County. They all descend from the Cloptons. The son of Patrick Henry–Fayette–married in 1807 in Buckingham County to Anne Elcan, daughter of Lionel and Elizabeth Hooper Elcan. She was the daughter of Col. George Hooper who commanded the Buckingham County Militia during the American Revolution. Anne Elcan Henry died at “Red Hill,” the old home of Patrick Henry in Charlotte County; she has left no living descendants. Her mother’s child who was born after her death was named Patrick Henry Elcan. He was Dr. Patrick Henry Elcan (d, 1841) of Buckingham County, Virginia.


  1. DNA & Buckingham County Surnames | slate river ramblings . . . .

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