Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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DAVIDSON, ALLAN ALEXANDER SR, lawyer, registrar of deeds, 1843-57, MLA, and MLC; b. Nelson, 12 Nov 1818, s/o Alexander Davidson and Ann Saunders; m. 1st, 1845, Margaret Jane Hamill, d/o Hugh Hamill and Charity (Oulton) McCullam, and 2nd, 1852, Mary Jane Travis, of Gagetown, N.B.; d. Newcastle, 13 Nov 1889.

After attending the County Grammar School when it was conducted by Archibald Gray, Allan A. Davidson Sr engaged in the study of law in the office of John Ambrose Street. Admitted to the bar in 1842, he practiced at first as Street's junior partner. For fourteen years he held the part-time post of county registrar of deeds, and he was appointed a coroner in 1852, following the death of the veteran Newcastle coroner James Wright. He was also county auditor for a time, and like most other lawyers in that period, he sold insurance. In 1883 he was a director of the Northern and Western Railway Co.

Davidson was outspoken in his opposition to Confederation, which aroused political feeling against him and was thought to have caused his defeat when he ran in the provincial election of 1870. He was successful in entering the Assembly in 1874, however, as a supporter of free, non-sectarian schools, and he was re-elected in 1878 to a second four-year term. In 1882 he was appointed to the Legislative Council, and he held his seat until his death in 1889.

Davidson was a trustee of St James Presbyterian Church for nearly forty years and secretary-treasurer for much of that time. He was an officer in the militia in an earlier period and a member of the Miramichi Religious Tract Society in the 1860s. He was made provincial QC in 1875 and federal QC in 1880. In 1879 he was named to the senate of the University of New Brunswick.

There were at least two children born of Davidson's marriage to Margaret J. Hamill, who died in 1850, and seven of his marriage to Mary J. Travis, who died in 1886. Besides Allan A. Davidson Jr the latter included James W. Davidson, a Newcastle insurance agent, and John M. Davidson, a graduate of the University of New Brunswick who was advancing in the banking field prior to his death in 1900, at age thirty-eight.


[b] Davidson Collection (Boxes 18 and 21) [m] official records; Gleaner 12 Jul 1852 [d] Advocate 20 Nov 1889 / Advocate 27 Jan 1886, 24 Oct 1900; Barnes's; Bell/Rosevear #15; Can. Parl. Comp., 1877, 1885; Gleaner 4 Feb 1854, 2 Feb 1857, 31 Oct 1857, 26 Nov 1859; Graves; NB Almanac & Reg.; Royal Gazette 25 Jun 1879; World 27 May 1882, 4 Aug 1883