The Davenport name first made it's way across the Atlantic with Lancelot Davenport's arrival in Virginia in 1620. If he married or had children, we don't know. Eight years later in 1628, Captain Richard Davenport made his home in Salem, Massachusetts, followed by the Rev John Davenport, also in Salem in 1637, and Thomas Davenport who settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts about 1639. These three New England pioneers are responsible for thousands of descendants living today, and that is just the beginning.
By the 1650's, new Davenport lines started sprouting up in the southern states, some of which we know their ancestry, but others are still a mystery. First along the tidewaters of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, and then later Davis Davenport (parentage unknown) was born about 1660 also in Virginia. Richard Davenport, arrived in Virginia from England about 1660 and settled in the Albemarle Sound area of North Carolina. Back in the north, Humphrey arrived in Massachusetts from Barbados about 1662. William Davenport, of England, was already living in Flushing, New York by 1675, and Francis Davenport, of England arrived in the Colonies about 1678 with his family and settled in New Jersey. So there were at least nine distinct Davenport lines in the Colonies before the 1700's. Over the next century, several more would make their appearance in the States.
Below is a list of the most "popular" Davenport lines in North America. Included is a brief bio and a link to a web page dedicated to that line. On that page will be additional information, with links to documents, pertinent web sites, and interested researchers. Some of the lines have been genetically tied to the Cheshire Davenports, so that information may also be included.
North American Davenports - Northern
The Rev. John Davenport was born in Coventry, England in 1597, the grandson of Edward Davenport of Coventry. He left his homeland due to a dispute with the church and arrived in Salem, Massachusetts aboard the Hector in 1637. He was one of the founders of of New Haven, Connecticut and Yale University. He married Elizabeth Wooley and had a son John. The Rev. John died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1670. Many of his descendants settled in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. There is very good documentation linking this line to Edward Davenport of Coventry and through him the Davenports of Henbury.
Humphrey Davenport was born before 1640, possibly in Devonshire, England. He married (1st) Ann Collinson and had children Paramoog and Humphrey. His second marriage produced four more children - Rachel, born in Barbados, Richard, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, William, and John. Humphrey died about 1680 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
William Davenport of Fordham(formerly the Thomas the Pioneer line). William was born, probably in England, prior to 1654. He spent much of his life in Westchester County, New York. William had two children by his first wife - John and William, and four by his second wife - Thomas "the Pioneer", Robert, Samuel, and Rachel. William died in or after 1715.
Captain Richard Davenport born about 1606 in Weymouth, England. Arrived in New England aboard the ship Abigail in 1628 with Governor John Endicott. Admitted a freeman in 1634 and moved to Boston in 1642. He married Elizabeth Hathorne and had nine children -Truecross, Experience, Nathaniel, John, Eleazer, Samuel, Sarah, Elizabeth, and William. Richard was was commander of the fort at Castle Island in Boston Harbor in 1665 when he was struck by lightning and killed. Most of his descendants lived in Massachusetts and the general New England area.
Colonel George Davenport was born, as George King, in 1783 in Louth, Lincolnshire, England. He went to sea on his uncle's ship at 18 years old and settled in New York City in 1805. Shortly afterwards, he adopted the Davenport surname. George joined the army for ten years and then traveled up and down the Mississippi River establishing trading posts and becoming friends to the local natives. In 1835 he helped lay out the city named after him - Davenport, Iowa. George married Margaret Lewis and had two sons by her daughter Susan - George L'oste Davenport and Bailey. He also had a daughter Elizabeth by Catharine Pouitt. George was murdered by robbers in his house in 1845.
Thomas Davenport born about 1615 in England. He arrived in Dorchester (Boston), Massachusetts prior to 1639 becoming a freeman in 1642. He is believed to have married Mary Pitman. They had nine children - Sarah, Thomas, Mary, Charles, Abigail, Mehitable, Jonathan, Ebenezer, and John. Thomas died in Boston in 1685. His descendants settled in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island.
Ambrose R. Davenport was born in Virginia in 1771. He joined the army under General (Mad Anthony) Wayne and arrived in Mackinaw, Michigan in 1796. He married Elizabeth and they had six (?) children - Ambrose, William, Henry, Nancy, Caroline, and Susan. In 1812 after the British took over Fort Michilimackinac, Ambrose was deported to Detroit for refusing to renounce his American citizenship. Ambrose returned to Mackinaw in 1815 where he remained until he died in 1858. His many descendents settled in Mackinaw, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Known as the Mackinaw Davenports.
North American Davenports - Southern
Lancelot Davenport was born about 1594. He emigrated to Virginia aboard the ship Duty in 1620. He was a servant of Edward Blaney until he gained his freedom in 1638. Lancelot and other Davenports in the area are know as the James River Davenports. Whether Lancelot married or had children is not known. Collectively known as the Jame River Davenports.
Davis Davenport born about 1660 in Virginia. He had six children - Martin, Richard, Thomas, Ann, Elias, and John. Davis died before 1735 in Virginia. His descendants settled in the Virginia, South Carolina, and Kentucky areas. Known as the Pamunkey Davenports.
Tidewater Davenports were those Davenports who settled in the Peninsula or Neck between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers in the 1650s. They paid for their own passages, i.e., claimed no headrights, and were sufficiently wealthy to buy already patented land, i.e., they did no surveys, were not involved in the patent process. They were clearly of higher social status than the Pamunkeys, were planters and artisans of substance from the beginning, were involved with both Government and the Church. Prior to the Revolution, these Davenports located close to Atlantic waters, were to be found in counties affected by tides, hence the label "Tidewater"
Isaac Davenport of South Carolina. He had four children - Francis, William, Isaac, and Joseph. He died in 1749 in Granville County, North Carolina. Isaac's descendants are known as the Newberry Davenports.
William Davenport was born, probably in England, about 1748. He married Comfort Fisher in Accomack County, Virginia and together had eight children - John, Mary, Agnes, Thomas, Sarah, George, William, and Margaret. The family resided in Surry County, North Carolina and eventually in what is now Casey County, Kentucky. Since William and Comfort first appeared in the historical records in Accomack County, which is off the eastern coast of Virginia, his line is called the Eastern Shore Davenports
Richard Davenport was born about 1714, New Kent County, Virginia, possible grandson of Richard Davenport, listed as a headright in Virginia in 1677, and son of West Davenport, listed in the New Kent County Quit Rent Rolls in 1704. Children include Joseph, Charles, John, Richard Jr., Mary, Martin, William, Sarah, and Martin. Known as the New Kent / Hanover Davenports.
Richard Davenport born 1642 in England, first settled in Virginia before moving on to North Carolina about 1660. He married Johanna and had six children - Richard Jr., Elizabeth, John, Sarah, Isaac, and Susannah. Richard died in 1714. His descendants settled in the Albemarle Sound area of North Carolina where many still live today. Known as the Albemarle Davenports.
Abraham Davenport was born in England in 1714. He migrated to America between 1735-1745 and settled in St. Mary's County, Maryland. He married Mary Simms about 1745 and had 11 children - Elizabeth, Stephen, Abraham, John, Marmaduke, Anthony, Adrian, Mary, Samuel, Catherine, and Nancy. During the Revolutionary War, Abraham and his family moved to a farm in what is now Jefferson County, West Virginia. Today the farm is called Altona Farm and his descendents still reside there. Abraham died there in 1789. Known as the Altona Davenports