My grandfather James Whaley “Jim” Davidson captures the two distinct branches of the Davidson family in his name. The Davidsons are Scottish in origin, their American lines beginning with the immigration of three Davidson brothers to Minnesota in the 1880s. The Whaley line has deep American roots, one branch (Whaley) tracing back to seventeenth century New England with the other (Fisher) going back to late eighteenth century eastern Tennessee and various parts of the pre-Revolutionary British colonies before that.

The Davidsons come from two parts of Scotland. As far back as records report, one branch was rooted in Angus and Perthshire while a second was rooted in Caithness. In the 1880s, three Davidson brothers left Angus for Edinburgh and then for the United States, settling initially in St. Paul, Minnesota. This diverse American branch of the Davidsons has descendants located throughout the United States.

Jim Davidson’s mother was a Whaley. Her father’s family (Whaley) came from Upstate New York and New England before that. This is a real Yankee pedigree with multiple branches tracing back to seventeenth century Massachusetts and Connecticut. It also includes a Hessian soldier who defected from the British side during the American Revolution as well as an American Loyalist forced to flee to Canada. James’s mother’s mother’s family (Fisher) were early settlers of eastern Tennessee having branches before that in the Middle Atlantic colonies and the Carolinas.

While the Davidsons have a relatively recent American origin, the Whaley and Fisher lines have been in America for at least three hundred years and some for nearly four hundred. The Davidson Family pages try to do justice to them all.






L-R: David R. Davidson, William B. Davidson, James W. Davidson.