When I first came across the name of Mary Ann, I did not have a clue who she was. All I knew was that my gggreat Uncle Marriott or Merritt Freeman Davis had a wife named Mary A. after he lost his wife Elizabeth Turner, who was also the aunt of my great-grandmother Penny Wayne Turner Davis. Elizabeth and her small daughter both died, leaving M. F. with a small son, Millard and in need of a wife. In the 1860 census, Mary A. shows up.
|Name:||Merit F Davis|
|Age in 1860:||45|
|Birth Year:||abt 1815|
|Home in 1860:||Stanly, North Carolina|
|Value of real estate:||View image|
|Birth Year:||abt 1808|
|Home in 1850:||Ridenhours, Stanly, North Carolina|
Edward Winfield Davis (or E. W.) was the administrator of Milton Winfield's estate, and they were first cousins. Milton had estates in both Stanly and Anson Counties, which was common for the Winfields, Nashes, Howells, and Davis's all descendants of Peter Winfield. They owned property on both sides of the Rocky River.
Attached to the 1854 estate papers from Stanly County, NC is a lawsuit filed by E. W. Davis against M. F. Davis, his wife Mary Ann Davis and her brother R. D. G. Pickler. In this lawsuit, it names Mary Ann Pickler Davis as the widow of Milton Winfield.
M. F. and Mary became widow and widower at approximately the same time, and married quite soon. Apparently Mary forfeited certain properties allowed her as a widow, but when she remarried, her husband and brother continued to farm the lands that fell back into Milton's estate and Neddy Davis needed them to pay off debts on the estate, and his own administrative fees.
Mary Ann Pickler Winfield Davis did not have any children. She must have been barren in a time when large families of 10 to 20 children were being born. Milton died childless, but Marriott Davis was survived by one son Millard F. Davis who went west to work in the stockyards of Chicago, then migrated to Oklahoma, where the Cowboy Davis married before fianally settling down in Montague, Texas and starting a family.
If I had not looked, Mary Ann would have remained anonymous, just a mention in a census and a tombstone in the Pickler graveyard at the intersection of Poplin Road and Kendall Valley in North Stanly. The Picklers settled in the Kendall Valley and many Pickler families remain there today.