"The ancestor in the early part of the 17th century passed from Scotland and settled
in the North of Ireland. The father and mother of the emigrant, William Davidson,
had taken a small Irish boy and brought him up from boyhood to manhood. His
name was McGraw(?). He left when a young man, but afterwards returned for a
visit with a companion. The rest of the family were away, and the old people were
alone, and they were invited to stay overnight, which invitation was accepted. In
the silent night-watches these men arose from their bed, an with an axe killed their
entertainers, robbed the house of money and valuables, set it on fire, and decamped.
But justice slumbered not in the case of one of the assassins. When William Davidson
returned the next day, saw his house, and the charred remains of his parents, and
McGraw and his companion gone, search was instituted and McGraw captured. He
confessed the whole, was tried, convicted, and publicly gibbeted."
After this incident Davidson, "fearing more trouble from the revengeful people by whom he was surrounded", left for America with his family soon after.
Nathaniel Davidson was the first member of the family who came to WIndham. After marrying Mary Walker and settling in Billerica, MA, he came to Windham, and afterwards removed again to Londonderry. Since the 1740s several members of the Davidson family have left their mark on Windham. In 1796, George Davidson, who lived near Beaver Brook, was killed in Methuen, MA after falling under the wheels of his wagon; Davidson was on his way to Salem to sell grain. His body was found the next morning, lying face down in the road with one of the wagon's wheels still on him. Another prominent member of the family was Reverend John Davidson who left his home with his family for Windham at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. They made their way to Haverhill, MA where they were fortunate enough to find John Dinsmoor who brought them to Windham where they would start their lives over. He became a farmer, but lived most of his life in poverty.