Davis Stockton

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Davis Stockton (c. 1685 - 1760) was a prominent inhabitant of early Albemarle County. Several geographic features in the region were originally named after him.


1892 U.S. Geological Survey Map showing Davis Stockton's Branch of Mechum's River in Albemarle County. Reproduced from Jerry Stockton.

Stockton was born around 1685 in England. Y-DNA and genealogical research indicates that his male line ancestors may have settled near the town of Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham.[1]

Stockton was reputed to have first landed in Virginia at Williamsburg. A popular story held that he eventually joined Michael Woods Sr.'s group of settlers who migrated to what was then Goochland County in the early 1730's. However, the two men ultimately came to split up, with Woods continuing straight forward to Jarmans Gap while Stockton veered to the left along the foot of the mountains towards Batesville, carving his initials of "D.S." onto a tree as a memorial of the place where he and Woods were separated. This location, known to all simply as D.S., would become a famous landmark in later years.

Stockton eventually settled along both the north and south forks of Mechums River, constructing perhaps the first mill in that section of the county. In 1739 he made his first entry of 400 acres on Ivy Creek, and in 1741 he patented 800 more on both forks of Mechum's. Altogether, the family obtained grants of around 4,000 acres in that section of the county.

An appraisal of Stockton's estate made by William Grayson, James Coffey, and Chas Lambert on January 8, 1762. The appraisal was returned to the Albemarle County Court on January 14, where it was subsequently recorded. Reproduced from Geni.

Stockton died in 1760.

Family and descendants

Stockton was married to Martha and had four children with her named Richard, Samuel, William, and Thomas. After Stockton's passing, Martha eventually remarried to Samuel Arnold, a resident who lived along Ivy Creek.

Samuel and William owned a mill (the same that their father had built) on the south fork of Mechum's close to Batesville, which they sold to James Garland in 1767. Sometime prior to 1780, Samuel and most likely William as well emigrated to Rutherford County in North Carolina.

Richard lived along a fork of Mechum's. In 1751, he and his wife Agnes sold 400 acres to Reverend Samuel Black, who established his house on the land not far from where Richard's place was located. Richard died in 1775. The name of his son John appeared among the list of subscribers to the Albemarle County Declaration of Independence in 1791.


The north fork of Mechum's River is today named Stockton's Creek, while the south fork in earlier times was known as Stockton's Mill Creek. Joseph Kinkead and various members of his family lived along Stockton's Creek for many years.

The first name by which Israel's Gap was known was Stockton's Thoroughfare.[2]


  1. Web. Davis Stockton (abt. 1685 - 1761), WikiTree
  2. Web. Albemarle County in Virginia, C.J. Carrier Company, 1901