Samuel Emory DAVIS Sarah Knox TAYLOR Varina Banks HOWELL Jane Simpson COOK Mini tree diagram
Jefferson Finis DAVIS

Jefferson Finis DAVIS5,1,2,4,3

3rd Jun 18081,2,3 - 6th Dec 18892,4,3

Life History

3rd Jun 1808

Born in Fairview, Christian, Kentucky.1,2,3

17th Jun 1835

Married Sarah Knox TAYLOR in Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky.2

15th Sep 1835

Death of Sarah Knox TAYLOR in Locust Grove, West Feliciana, Louisiana.6

26th Feb 1845

Married Varina Banks HOWELL in Adams County, Mississippi.7

6th Dec 1889

Died in New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana.2,4,3


after 6th Dec 1889

Buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.3


  • American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI)
    Jefferson Davis
    Birth 1808 Kentucky
    Volume 40, Page 423
    Biographical Info:
    Graduate of West Point, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, Secretary ofWar, President of the Cofederate States of America
    Source:  Of the southern states of America By Stella Pickett Hardy.Baltimore. 1958. (643p.):509-10

    One source has these notes on the middle name of Jefferson Davis:

    There is some question as to whether Jefferson Davis had a middleinitial. Jefferson did not use a middle name or initial himself, andit appears that the middle initial "F" may have arisen by traditionafter his death. This tradition alleges that the "F" stands for"Finis," meaning "end" or final child. Consider that unless Samuel andJane had agreed to end their sexual relations at that point or unlessa physician had pronounced Jane unable to bear further children, theycould not possibly have known at the time they named Jefferson that hewas to be their last child.

    However, there are other families that have children with Finis as aname, and it seems to be unrelated to their order of birth. Forinstance Finis Arnold Epperson in this genealogy is the first son ofhis father Finis Jerome Epperson, who does appear to be the lastsibling in his family.

    Notes on Place of birth:
    A source reports Fairview as the town, and indicates it is located inChristian County, which is now Todd County. Christian County is in thesouth, on the border with Tennessee.  It was divided at one point intoChristian and Todd.  County information indicates, however, thatFairview is in the north, near the Ohio border, in neither Christiannor Todd County. Fairview is apparently located in Kenton County, inthe Cincinnati area.
    --  ePodunk,

    But these city-county lists may be wrong.  However, in Wikipedia, theyidentify Fairview, and on Google Maps it does show up in ChristianCounty.  Wikipedia explains that Fairview is on the border between thetwo counties Todd and Christian, which all used to be ChristianCounty.  This Fairview is in the southwestern section of Kentucky.The questoin about the Fairview in the north of the State is unclear.

    Family Tree Maker map data checker reports (requires) Fairview to bein Fleming County, in the north, but several counties east of KentonCounty.

    Family Data Collection - Individual Records
    Jefferson Finis Davis
    Parents Samuel Emory Davis, Jane Cook
    Spouse Sarah Knox Taylor
    Birth 3 Jun 1808 Christian Now Todd County, Hopkinsville, KY
    17 Jun 1835 Beechland Lexington, KY
    Death 6 Dec 1889 New Orleans, LA

    Alabama, Marriages, Deaths, Wills, Court, and Other Records, 1784-1920
    Honorable Jefferson Davis
    Death 6 Dec 1889 Alabama
    Note card on telegram in Gov Seay's correspondence, from Joseph AShakespeare, Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana) notifying the Alabamagovernor of the death of Jefferson Davis, former President of theCOnfederate States of America.  Telegram sent the day of the death.

    There are three memorials for Jefferson Davis on Find a Grave.  Thefolloiwng, maintained by the FAG staff, has an extensive biography.

    Jefferson Finis Davis
    Birth Jun 3, 1808 Fairview, Christian County, Kentucky
    Death Dec 6, 1889 New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

    Confederate States of America President, Author. Jefferson Davis wasthe unrepentant highest ranking confederate leader of the South. Theonly Southern leader shackled in a dungeon and sacrificed as atonementfor the sins of many. He refused to apply for a pardon because, hesaid, "I have not repented." In 1978, the United States Congressposthumously restored Davis's citizenship. By the time his peacefuldeath occurred while visiting New Orleans, he was the symbol of theLost Cause and the most revered man in the South. Eighteen monthsafter his death and temporary burial in New Orleans Metaire [Metairie]Cemetery,

    Davis's widow, Varina, decided the final burial place was to beRichmond's Hollywood Cemetery considered the National Cemetery of theConfederacy. His remains, were removed from the vault in New Orleansand placed on a flag-draped caisson escorted by honor guards composedof his old soldiers to Memorial Hall, where he lay in state. The nextday, as thousands of people silently watched from the sidewalks andbalconies, the caisson bore his body to a waiting funeral train. Onthe way, bonfires beside the tracks lit up ranks of Davis's oldsoldiers standing at attention beside stacked arms. In Richmond, Grayhaired veterans escorted him to the Virginia statehouse wherethousands filed past in respect before interment.

    The farm born Christian County, Kentucky, Jefferson Finis Davis hadyears of political service in Washington before secession propelledhim into hapless leadership as President of the Confederacy.

    He served in both houses of the U.S. Congress as a Representative anda Senator and was United States Secretary of War during theadministration of Franklin Pierce. His military career was bothextensive and honorable starting with a completed four year term as aWest Point cadet. During the Mexican-American War, Davis serving as acolonel, raised a volunteer regiment which saw extensive service inMexico where he was wounded. His leadership of the South during theCivil War was froth with suspect decisions.

    They were instrumental in leading to the lose of the war and allowingit to continue when all was lost. Finally Lee ended the bloodshed witha surrender at Appomattox. Rather than turning himself in to Unionforces, he fled aboard a train with his cabinet and the remaining goldfrom the treasury in an attempt to prolong the conflict. Davis wascaptured at Irwinville, Georgia without a fight and placed underarrest. Union officials were in a quandary as to his fate. He wasconfined to an open unheated artillery gun emplacement in the rampartsof Fortress Monroe in Virginia under deplorable condition, shackledfor a time probably with the intention that his captivity would belethal.

    Although under indictment for treason, he was released after two yearsin poor health. The federal government dropped charges because ofconstitutional concerns. However, he was stripped of his citizenshipand his remaining property confiscated. Jefferson Davis was nowpoverty strickend [sic]. He attempted with investors to start aninsurance company but it was unsuccessful. Still defiant, he presidedover a memorial service in Richmond for Robert E. Lee upon his death.

    Davis was elected to the U.S. Senate but could not serve because ofloss of citizenship. He spent his last twelve years in retirement athis Beauvoir Estate located between Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi.He turned to the pen and wrote the two volume book, "The Rise and Fallof the Confederate Government" and then only two months before hisdeath in New Orleans at age eighty-one completed "A Short History ofthe Confederate States of America."

    Legacy...Upon his death, the south endlessly constructed memorials toDavis trying to rival the Lincoln honors in the north. A few of themore important and imposing: The Jefferson Davis Monument StateHistoric Site is a Kentucky State Park in Fairview which preserves hisbirthplace. The focal point is a 351 foot tall concrete obelisk. TheBeauvoir estate in Mississippi, was the retirement home of Davis. The51 acre property consists of five main buildings, The Davis home andthe presidential library which houses collections of the ConfederateSoldiers Museum and presidential artifacts, papers and memorabilia.Jefferson Davis State Park located in Irwinville, Georgia has anelaborate monument on the spot where Davis was captured.

    Statues are in abundance: Monument Avenue, Richmond, Confederate Park,Memphis, University of Texas, concourse and the city park, Fitzgerald,Georgia. The controversial Jefferson Davis Highway originally was acoast to coast affair until most parts were eliminated. Today it isonly an interstate among the southern states. Finally in a note ofspecial interest, you can view the memorial page on Findagrave ofTraveler, his special pet and companion during the last years of hislife.

    (bio by: Donald Greyfield)

    Samuel Emory Davis (1756 - 1824)
    Jane Simpson Cook Davis (1759 - 1845)

    Joseph Emory Davis (1784 - 1870)
    Benjamin Davis (1786 - 1827)
    Samuel A. Davis (1789 - 1831)
    Anna Eliza Davis Smith (1791 - 1870)
    Isaac Williams Davis (1792 - 1834)
    Lucinda Farrar Davis Stamps (1797 - 1873)
    Amanda Jane Davis Bradford (1800 - 1881)
    Matilda Davis Vaughn (1801 - 1834)
    Mary Ellen Davis Davis (1805 - 1824)

    Burial Jefferson Davis Highway Monument, Ridgefield, Clark County,Washington
    [Note, this is a memorial site, not his actual place of burial.Actual burial is in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA, as noted abovein the obituary]

    Maintained by Find A Grave, Originally Created by Kay and DuaneDouglass Nov 27, 2011
    --  Find A Grave Memorial #81092545,


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