The romantic origin of Sir William Davison's Title The Baron Broughshane (pronounced Broshane) of Kensington. Sir William Davison's family are of Scottish origin coming originally to the North of Ireland from Dundee & spelling their name Davidson in the Scottish fashion with the second "D". They settled on Co. Tyrone where they were not wewlcome by the O'Neils who were the local magnets & Davidson it is said was challenged to a duel by the O'Neil of the day. His family were very concerned at the possibility of his being killed in the duel & of their being left to fend for themselves in a strange land so it was arranged that the O'Neil & The Davidson should put up their names on a tree & should have 3 shots with a cross bow to decide whether the Davidson's should stay where they were or move elsewhere in Ireland. The O'Neil with his second shot pierced the Davidson scroll, shooting the second "D" out of Davidson. As of the results in accordance with the pre-arranged pact the Davidson's left Tyrone & went & settled in Co. Antrim near Broughshane, but in future spelt their name DAvison without the second "D". There they lived for many generations. The family burying ground in Broughshane is immediatley adjoining that of the late field Marshall Sir George White the hero of Ladysmith who also came from Broughshane. Sir William Davison's GGuncle was Mr. Richard who represented Belfast the a 2 member constituency in the Imperial PArliment with Mr. Hugh Cairn's who later became Lord Cairns, from 1852 to 1960.
The Davison's of Knockboy, broughshane, Co. Antrim "The following is a brief history of the Davison's. This information was from an article in the Linen Trade Journal by Henry Lawler, Esq., November 1941" This family ranks with the Browns, Kers & Dickeys among the earliest pioneers of the Linen Trade in Co. Antrim. FAmily papers record that the first of the family in Ireland was John Davison who came from near Dundee & settled first in Co. Tyrone moving shortly afterward to Knockboy near Broughshane, which continued as the main family seat for quite 250 yrs. By 1669 there were three Davison houses in the neighbourhood of Broughshane occupied respectively by James, John & John Jr.. Shortly after this date some of the family built Carnstrone House at the foot of Blemis Mountain, the picturesque ruin of which still remains. After the invention of the power loom to the bleaching process, Davison harnessed the river flowing through Knockboy & erected a bleach-green; Samuel Davison was the owner in 1780, & about this date his brother John Acquired the Drumnasole property near Carnlough; his daughter Grace married Alexander Brown of Glencairn in 1783 & was the mother of Sir Alexander Brown, 1st Baronet, of Liverpool. In 1810 his son Alexander adapted the availabe water power to drive the flax dry-spinning Mill, the bleaching business of Knockboy being transfered to Raceview, where michael Harrison had erected a bleachworks in 1806, on a lease of ground necessay for the works, mill race & water rights fron the O'Neill estate. HArrison converted the bleach works into a wet spinning mill about the year1832, but desiring to retire from active business let the mills to his nephews Alexander & John Davison who traded ther as A.& J. Davison. They has two other brothers, Richard & henry, the former of whom, Richard, migrated to Belfast residing at the Abbey, Whiteabbey. He was a promenent politician & was member of Parliment for the city of his adoption with Sir Hugh McCamont Cairns ( who subsequently became Earl Crains) fro 1852 to 1860. Alexander Davison continued to live at Knockboy & John at Raceview. Of the four brothers only one, Alexander of Knockboy, had a son, the late Richar Davison of Beechfield, Ballymena, who married Annie Patrick, the daughter of John Patrick of Dunminning. The Present representative of the family is his son, Sir William H. Davison. K.B.E.,D.L.,M.P.,M.A., (Oxen) who has represented Kensington in the Imperial Parliment since 1918. Angie, I hope this give u a little more insight into the origins of the Davison name. I am researching my family connection in the Belfast, Broughshane & Bellymena area where my family came from. Any questions u can email me at R.E.D.@sympatico.ca att:Steve Davison.