Category Archives: Exhibits

A Splendid Decennium: Victorian to Vanguard

Join MartyO for workshops and lectures! Registration required. Find out more here.    Space is limited. Grab your tickets today!    April 20, 2024             At The Villa Montezuma     Bustle Up! Love Victorian bustled clothing? Learn to sew your own bum roll.   April 27, 2024             At The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House                                     […]


William Heath Davis, Sr. came from a prominent New England family. His maternal grandfather, General William Heath, was the last surviving major general from the American Revolution.  This is one reason that the name “Heath” figures prominently in descendant’s names, such as William Heath Davis, Jr.  His paternal grandfather, Robert Davis, participated in the Boston […]

John Coffin Jones, Jr

THE ONLY FATHER Wm. HEATH DAVIS EVER KNEW: JOHN COFFIN JONES, Jr. William Heath Davis’s natural father, William Heath Davis, Sr., died in 1822, the same year in which Davis, Jr. was born. In 1826 Davis’s mother, Hannah (who stopped using the Davis surname as a widow and resumed her maiden name of Holmes), became […]


William Heath Davis’s older brother, Robert, was three years William’s senior.  Robert was educated in private schools in the eastern United States and became the scholar that William was not.  Robert’s life and career were centered in the Sandwich Islands, and he became a driving force in the intellectual, judicial and political community of Honolulu. […]


Wm. HEATH DAVIS’S ENIGMATIC MOTHER, HANNAH HOLMES Hannah Holmes Davis Jones was born in 1800 to former Bostonian Oliver Holmes and Mahikalanihooulumokuikekai (last name unknown), a Polynesian princess with whom he had six children.  Hannah, Holmes’ eldest daughter, married William Heath Davis, Sr. in 1817 and became a widow just five years later.  Hannah’s father […]

Maria Estudillo

  Maria Estudillo, as the wife of William Heath Davis, was the link between Old Town San Diego and New Town built on the bay.  Dona Maria de Jesus Telesfora de los Santos Reyes Estudillo was born in Santa Barbara, California on January 5,1829. Her parents were Juana Martinez and Don Jose Joaquin Estudillo.  In 1834, her father was elected the first alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena (San Francisco) where the family had moved, […]

A Secret Wife?

The Sandwich Islands Gazette January 27, 1838 “ Married on Friday evening, January 21st by Reverend Lowell Smith, Mr. William Heath Davis to Kaimiaina.” This short newspaper notice appeared just before William Heath Davis received a letter from his stepfather, John Coffin Jones. Mr. Jones, who was in Santa Barbara, California at the time, reiterated […]