Scientist Dr. David Resnik discusses the concept of consilience of evidence with his students. In essence, consilience of evidence isn’t a brick wall falling in one fell swoop, but chipping away at that wall with all sorts of different types of evidentiary tools. That’s what we’re going to do.
This article provides the next chapter in the life of John Dobkins Sr. and his son by the same name. Or maybe I should say it’s an earlier chapter, because we are stepping back in time. I said stepping, but it’s more like mountain climbing, except you’re not even sure you’re on the right mountain.
After the last few articles about the Dobkins family, I’ve received several inquiries asking, “How do you do this?” Today, I’m sharing the methodology with you in this article, but every question has different types of evidence, in different places. Those pieces will, cumulatively, inform our conclusion – which – by the way, may need to be reevaluated at any time due to new evidence emerging.
I should probably state the obvious. Genealogy is a series of moving from one roadblock to the next – after doing the happy dance, of course.
One of the most difficult tasks in (American) genealogy is to advance an ancestor back in time and space when you have no idea where they came from. For example, we found John Dobkins Sr., wife Mary, and their son, John Dobkins Jr. with his wife Elizabeth, in Shenandoah Valley on the Virginia frontier in 1735. Just one of 49 settlers. That’s it. John, 49 other people, and that’s all we knew.
Unless there’s some type of record, how do you figure out where they came from?
In our case, not only do we have that issue, we also have the problem of an uncertain surname.
It’s written variously as:
- Dobkins and Dobkin in Virginia and on into Tennessee
- Dobikins and Dobekins, with and without the s, in Virginia, but that “i” or “e” between the b and k may be an early handwriting artifact
- Dobbin and Dobbins in Virginia and into Tennessee
- Dobin and Dobins
- Dawbin and Dawbins in Virginia
Neither John Sr. nor John Jr. could write, so their names were written by those who could. English spellings weren’t standardized, but when you add in the fact that the person doing the writing might have been German or Scots-Irish or Welsh, or something else, they would have written that name the way they heard it, filtered by the language their ears were used to.
I have found our Dobkins men, and guess what, their surname where I found them was spelled Dobbins. Now that doesn’t mean it was actually Dobbins, it just means that I found them and that’s how it happened to be spelled this time.
Hopefully, there will be more records to unearth. Unfortunately, VERY little is online, and much no longer exists, or never did.
This chapter in their lives is the story of how I found them. Make yourself a cup of tea!
That Danged FAN Club
I accidentally discovered the power of the “fan club” about 30 years ago when I compiled an “everything” document about my Halifax County, Virginia families, then entered it into a spreadsheet, and looked for patterns of people associated with various Estes men. I “knew,” or thought I knew that my John R. Estes and his wife, Nancy Ann Moore were from Halifax County, VA, but I needed more. I needed proof, but first, I needed evidence. I visited Halifax County, in person, three different times.
I did find my evidence, and then my proof, confirmed by deeply buried dusty documents in the courthouse basement, then by DNA connections.
FAN, friends, and neighbors, was named as such by Elizabeth Shown Mills. She provides an example, here
In essence, it’s spreading the net in an ever-broader circle to evaluate everyone around your ancestor.
- Who did they marry?
- What church did they attend?
- Who were their neighbors on census and tax lists?
- Who signed as their deed witnesses?
- Who witnessed their wills?
- Who provided bond for them?
- Where did they live, down to the plot?
- What was the history of the area when they lived there?
Let me translate. You can’t find this stuff in any quick search. If you’re lucky, VERY lucky, someone will have thoroughly researched your line and documented it, with sources. You’ll also find some of this research electronically, but most of it is still in courthouse basements and libraries. I use the FamilySearch catalog for county resources religiously.
If you’re unlucky, you’ll find hundreds of wrong trees that have been copied and copied and copied, perpetuating inaccuracies and bad information. Look for sources, and verify.
Look for what’s not there too. What records aren’t mentioned? What does your ancestor’s absence in records indicate or suggest? Why are they NOT on a tax list, or in a census?
Reread records you already have. Let me say that again. Reread records you already have. You may see with new eyes what you missed before, or understand something differently.
Furthermore, read histories and journals of the area you are researching.
Look for obscure resources, such as petitions in state archives, etc.
Write what you know, or think you know, in chronological order. You’ll spot holes, inaccuracies, and conflicts. You’ll wind up asking yourself those tough questions. Write this like you’re explaining the situation to a novice, because someday, you’ll be gone and the person reading it will be a novice.
Let’s begin where I was stuck.
Shenandoah Valley History
I was stuck. I “think” I’m at the end of the available records, although I do still need to peruse Orange County Court notes. During the process of writing this article (which is why I tell people to write everything down, in order), I also discovered that I need to read about 40 years of Frederick County, VA records too. That’s great because they hold possibilities.
An earlier researcher who provided a great deal of information about John Dobkins included many original sources. Cecil Smyth reported that “John was a Scotch-Irishman from Ulster, Northern Ireland. We do not know the year he emigrated or anything about his wife. They settled in what was Orange County, VA in 1731 or 1732.”
Unfortunately, Cecil did not explain where he obtained that information. Over time, I came to believe that he surmised that information based on several factors:
- John Dobkins had two children baptized by the Presbyterian minister in 1741. Cecil missed the fact that he also had one child baptized by the Lutheran minister, Reverend John Stoever in 1737. Those records were probably unknown back then.
- The first settlers arrived with Jost Hite in 1731. Cecil reported John’s arrival as “1731 or 1732.” What evidence is there that John Dobkins was there this early?
- Cecil found and reported that “John Dobikin Sr. (b c 1685) received a bond from Benjamin Borden on 24 September 1735 for “150 pounds Sterling to make patent in full and ample manner as the King gives me” on 150 acres, part of Benjamin Borden’s 3,300 acre tract. The 6 January 1735/36 Morgan Morgan/Peter Woolf census listed John Sr. as a settler on the McKay, Hite, Duff and Green 100,000 acre Colony of Virginia grant land.” The Bordon Grant was primarily settled by the Scots-Irish.
Initially, I didn’t realize this 1735 transaction was a bond, not a grant. In essence, Borden promised John that he could get a patent on that land.
Because the two men, John Dobkins Jr. and Sr. had the exact same name, their records were intermixed and I’m not clear that other researchers understand or understood there were two men. One would have to analyze the records closely.
I came to be suspicious of Cecil’s Scots-Irish statement, as well as the date, as I found conflicting information.
John Dobkins was VERY CONFUSING!!!
If it feels like I’m shouting that, I am.
My first problem, as I assembled the big picture involving land and neighbors, was that I realized that the FAN Club didn’t seem to be Scots Irish.
Then, I found this:
Van Meter, a trapper, held a 10,000-acre tract in the Shenandoah Valley which he had acquired from Lord Fairfax. A condition of this sale was that one hundred German families were to settle in the Valley. Van Meter sold this land to Joist Hite of eastern Pennsylvania in 1727. Hite proceeded to search for one hundred German families, and, in 1731, the group headed for the Valley.
Aha, maybe this is where Cecil got the 1731 date, but John Dobkins Sr. did not seem to be among the Germans.
Was John Dobkins German?
John Dobkins Jr. on the other hand, eventually lived right in the middle of the German families on Holman Creek. But that wasn’t until the mid-1740s.
These men are getting even more confusing.
But wait, there’s more:
Enroute, they encountered Robert McKay and his group of Scotch-Irish settlers from the coast. They perfected a plan to pool land and money so that they could eventually obtain more land from Lord Fairfax. They purchased 70,000 more acres over the next two years and determined a plan for dividing it. The Scotch-Irish were to settle the eastern half from Winchester to Luray and Hite’s Germans would occupy the western portion from Winchester to beyond what is now Strasburg. Hite erected a house five miles south of Winchester along what was to become the “Valley Pike” (U.S. Route 11).
Other settlers were soon to follow. Benjamin Allen, Riley Moore and William White arrived from the Monocacy Valley in Maryland and settled in the area of what is now Mt. Jackson.
And there’s more.
Henry Scarborough in an article about Quaker Pioneers of Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties reported that he had discovered the original Quaker Meeting House on the land of Jacob Neff, near Holman’s Creek near where it flows into the North Branch of the Shenandoah River. That’s exactly where the Holman and Moore lands were located. In the 1800s, Samuel Moore still owned the adjacent land.
Today, the Corhaven Cemetery is a cemetery of enslaved people on the land of Sam Moore, maybe 1000 feet from the present day Liberty Church.
Based on the Cemetery photos this is on the border of the Jacob Holeman and Daniel Holeman 1749 land grants, and it’s on the Fairfax Survey line. So was John Dobkins Jr.’s land, just slightly further west. In the 1770s, John Dobkins Jr.’s son, Reuben, married Elizabeth Holman, daughter of Jacob Holman.
Elizabeth Holman’s father, Jacob, owned slaves, which pretty much precludes Quaker, Mennonnite and Brethren. Reuben Dobkins inherited some of his slaves, which probably excludes those religions for the Dobkins family too.
According to the Holman Y DNA project, Holman appears to be English. Rev. Stoever said he married two English couples in his journal when he visited the Shenandoah Valley and he married Thomas Holman, so this makes sense.
Liberty church replaced the original Quaker church that was located a mile or so closer to the Shenandoah River, adjacent an old cemetery. Neither the church nor the cemetery exists today, but it was between the Neff Mill (Neff’s were Swiss) on the Shenandoah River on the road that is now Quicksburg Road. Early residents stated that people came on horseback from Mt. Jackson to New Market, on horseback, to attend the Quaker Church that was on Neff’s land.
John Dobkins Sr.’s land was 4 or 5 miles southeast of the church, and John Dobkins Jr.’s land was about the same distance northwest. Additionally, rumors of other meeting houses, especially in connection with the Allen family, have never been confirmed, but they assuredly could have existed. So, there were Quakers living in close proximity to John Dobkins.
Scarborough also mentioned that early Shenandoah Valley settlers followed the practice of some of the early settlers in Pennsylvania of not securing patents for their lands, but assigning their warrants and surveys from the pioneers to those who wished to purchase land from them. This may explain, in part, what happened to the original land of John Dobkins Sr. just south of the Fairfax line. It is what happened to the land of John Jr.
The author closes with this paragraph which will assuredly send me down a very deep rathole for days. This is exactly why I never seem to finish anything!
Ok, so we have Quakers, Lutherans, Mennonite, Brethren and the Scots-Irish Presbyterians all mixing it up in the valley. But they assuredly did not arrive all together and they established their own communities.
People almost NEVER traveled alone. Most often, a group of family members, or at least community members traveled together. Given that this valley was unsettled at the time they arrived, they had full agency in terms of picking their neighbors, meaning where someone lived and who their neighbors were might well be a clue as to who they arrived with. Which, in turn, might tell us more about them.
However, I can’t tell who John Dobkins arrived with.
Who did he settle near? Who were his neighbors?
Who did he have direct contact with?
Oh, and there’s one more thing too.
The Moore Family
John Dobkins Jr.’s wife has been reported to be Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Thomas Moore – but once again, I’ve found NOTHING to support this. That doesn’t mean it’s not true though, especially since we have no factual idea of where that family came from.
There is one clue.
In 1751, John Dobkins Jr. sold his land on Holman Creek to Thomas Moore.
That’s it – the sole contact between those two men. Well, at least on the surface. Let’s dig deeper and spread our net wider. It’s always about this time that I’m VERY irritated with Elizabeth Shown Mills – probably also because it’s generally about 2 AM and I’m beyond exhausted and frustrated.
Why do these ancestors have to hide?????
The Lawsuit and Peter Wolf’s List
Thankfully, we have a 22-year-long lawsuit, Hite vs Fairfax, a deposition and a list.
Peter Wolf’s deposition in the lawsuit taken 6th March 1754 and witnessed by Isaac Parkins, Ger’m Keys and Thomas——–(?).
Peter Wolf being first sworn…Deposeth as followeth, That he is now in the fifty fourth year of his age that he came into this Colony from the Jerseys some time in the year 1733, and that he settled upon a tract of Land which was supposed to belong to Joist Hite and as this Deponent believe the same was in Dispute That sometime in the year of our Lord 1736 this Deponent was sent for by the Lord Fairfax who was then as Samuel Timmands’s to Pilot him up to Joist Hite’s which accordingly he did.
There are also a couple of references to Peter Wolf’s list that he took known as “the number of Settlements upon the Grant granted to Robert McCay Jost Hyte and their Partners in the forks of Shannando and the several Branches thereof.”
This is the 100,000-acre grant given to Jost Hite and his Quaker partner Robert McKay. They needed to seat 100 families to fulfill their obligation under that conditional grant to seat 1 family per 1000 acres.
Note that some historians state that McCay is Quaker, not Scots-Irish.
They list the 49 names, as follows:
- Robert McCay Senr.
- John Funk
- Henry Johnston
- Thomas Parmer
- John Denton
- Jonah Denton
- Henry Falkenburg
- Edward Wormwood
- Andrew Falkenburg
- Jacob Falkenburg
- David Carlock
- Benjamin Allen
- Reiley More
- John Lewis
- William White
- John Dobikin Senr.
- James Gill
- Andrew Bird (Burd in 1770)
- John Nichols
- William Bridges
- Charles Smith
- Daniel Holeman
- Charles Robinson
- William Linviel
- John Gorden
- John Wood
- John Cannaday
- Robert McCay Jr.
- Joseph Whites
- William Oldham
- William Barke
- William Anns (?)
- Barnel Hegin
- Samuel White
- Joshua Jobe
- George Robinson
- James Sickles
- William Barnett
- James Leeth
- John Calbreth
- John Edmondson
- Isaac Howell (Houser in 1770)
- John Read
- Joseph Tindell
- Michael Brook
- Joseph Read
- David Keath
- William Goodwin
- George Leeth
Whereas the said Robert McCay, Jost Hyte and their Partners have requested of us George Hobson and Morgan Morgan two of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace at Opeckon in the County of Orange to view the Settlements within their said Grant and that Mr. George Hobson went part of the Way with me in order to view the same the weather proving bad he returned and there being no other Magistrate over the Ridge Mr. Jost Hight appointed Peter Wolfe in his room to go with me to view the said Settlements within the said Grant.
I the said Morgan Morgan do hereby certify that the said Peter Wolfe and myself have viewed and that we seen the above Settlement being in number forty-nine and that the same are now improving by the above named persons within the said Grant Given under my hand this 26 day of January A:Dom: 1735/6.
This is followed by Peter Wolf, on January 26th, 1735/36, stating that he “had in fact viewed the settlements in the Fork of Shannando and the several Branches thereof and that he did see forty-nine Settlements in number and that the same were now improving by the Persons named in the list.”
The red names are the original plats, and the blue names are 1770 landowners. What happened to the rest of those people???
I can’t help but notice that the name Morgan Morgan looks Welsh to me. Hmmm.
Welsh, tuck that away in some corner of my mind.
The Neighborhood is Established
This list establishes the earliest neighborhood.
I noticed James Gill on that list. He is the person who, with his wife, in 1737, John and Elizabeth Dobkins stood up with each other when their babies were baptized. Note that James Gill was killed by Indians 22 years later on April 24, 1758. This must have struck terror into the hearts of the Dobkins family members. James was their neighbor and friend.
Is the proximity of James Gill to John Dobkins on that list circumstantial? Did they stand up for each other just because they were neighbors? Were they actual neighbors? Was there something else? Were they related?
Using the maps provided in the Smyth book, above, and the accompanying names from the location where we believe that John Dobkins Sr. lived, just beneath the Fairfax line in what would become Augusta County, then proceeding north, I’ve combined the information by plat, as best I could. The properties between the two maps aren’t the same shape and don’t exactly fit, but I’ve come close. The people are listed in the “closest to furthest” proximity to John Dobkins.
Note that the date is the patent date, NOT the date the families settled on the land.
|98-873 Z||Burd, Andrew||210||Chester Co, PA|
|45-870 Y||Hodge, John||210||Poss PA|
|Neighbor to Y, drawn but not listed||Dobkins, John Sr.||Not shown||150|
|X||Harrison, Burr||3||Poss Long Island, NY|
|G-228 Q||July 21, 1749||Hodge, John||Hodge, John||126|
|G-229 P||July 21, 1749||Scholl, Peter||Schell, Peter||420 in 1749, 110 in 1770||NY or NJ|
|G-230||July 21, 1749||Schene, Jane (widow of Matthew Skeen)||On map but no name||301||Midlothian, Scotland|
|G-231 M||July 21, 1749||Looker, Thomas||Looker, Thomas||431 in 1749, 182 in 1770|
|N||Cutlip, George and Skeen, Matthews||64 + 108 in 1770|
|G-232||July 21, 1749||Sevier, Valentine||Includes New Market, long tract, no 1770 designation||370 in 1749||London, England|
|G-237||July 21, 1749||Seahorn, Nicholas||Above Valentines, not shown in 1770||399 in 1749||Germany|
|G-234 K, L||July 21, 1749||Newman, Mary (widow of Samuel)||John and Walter Newman||216 in 1749, 26 and 66 in 1770||St. Stephen Parish, Cecil Co., MD|
|G-235 I||July 21, 1749||Carroll, William||Carroll, Joseph||600 in 1749, 300 in 1770||Prob MD|
|G-244||July 21, 1749||Carroll, William||143||Chester Co., PA|
|G-236||July 21, 1749||Newman, Samuel||Houser, Henry||400 in 1749, 140 in 1770|
|G-233 F, G||July 21, 1749||Lusk, Samuel Chester Co., PA||Alderson, Curtis & John||404 in 1749, 74 & 80 in 1770||Alderson – Yorkshire, England to NJ to PA|
|G-393 99||July 10, 1735||Holman, Daniel||Holman, Daniel||891 in 1749, 395 in 1770 see G395||England or VA|
|G-395||Aug 2, 1750||Holman, Daniel||Holman, Daniel||130 in 1770, can’t determine 1749 lines||Poss Kent Co., MD|
|G-394||Aug 2 1750||Holman, John||Holman?,||420|
|G-238 lower E||July 21, 1749||James, William||Kagey, Henry||315 in 1749, 309 in 1770|
|G-238 upper D||July 21, 1749||James, William||James, Thomas & Joseph||Can’t tell in 1749, 184 in 1770|
|G-239 B, C||July 21, 1749||Ruddle, John||Ruddle, George & Harrison, George||412 in 1749, 174 & 35 in 1770||Chester Co., PA|
|G-390 99||Aug 2, 1750||Naffe, John Henry||Sherill, Adams, Neave, J.H.||470 in 1749, 200 in 1770||Neff – Bonfield, Germany|
|N-96||Aug 5, 1766||Harrison, Burr||Not drawn||200|
|G-241 A||July 21, 1749||Ruddle, Cornelius||Kingree, Daniel||393 in 1649, 197 in 1770|
|H-710||Oct 20, 1756||Neff, John Henry||Not marked||404|
|M-94||Dec 18, 1762||Clark, William||Not marked||187|
|G-240||July 21, 1749||White, William||Not marked||410||Monocacy, Maryland|
|158||June 29, 1739||White, William||Not marked||400|
|G-269||Aug 12, 1749||Clark, William||Clark, William & Carleck, David||462 in 1749, 400 in 1770, shown as pat in 1737||Carleck- Germany|
|157||June 29, 1739||Allen, Benjamin (Barnstable, Mass) (Reuben’s uncle)||Not shown||400||Reuben Allen, Cecil Co., MD (Quaker)|
|Forestville on Holman Creek|
|H-135||1752||Brock, Henry||Not shown||268||NY|
|G-367||1749||Brock, George||Not shown||224|
|H-113||1752||Funkhauser, Christian||Not shown||444|
It’s clear that these maps and land plats are not equivalent. It’s also worth noting that this is not a list of all the settlers, especially not in 1770. It’s a history of these specific land plats. We know that this isn’t a complete list, because John Dobkins Jr. owned land west of Forestville by 1751 and the Fairfax Line surveyors found him already there and farming in 1746.
This is only Benjamin Bordon’s 3300-acre tract. We also know that many of these men, if not all, had settled here in the 1730s. Their land just wasn’t granted until years later.
The early settlers’ plots and plats are shown in approximate order, south to north. I wish John’s land had been shown and labeled, but it wasn’t. However we know, based on the size of the original 3300 acres, and the fact that exactly 150 acres are missing, and there’s one plat drawn but not identified that it’s probably his. We can probably find some confirmation based on other documents – and who he interacts with. Plus, his will was probated in 1746 in Augusta County, not Frederick, which tells us he HAS to be one of the three plots below the Fairfield Line.
We also know that the Hite-Fairfax dispute delayed or caused land to be granted without being resurveyed. The grants were passed and assigned hand to hand, and the ownership was questionable for the next 35 years. This probably explains why there is no record of John Dobkins Sr.’s land being disposed of by his widow, Mary.
What else do we have?
Besides John Dobkins and James Gill, who else had children baptized in 1737 by the German, Lutheran Rev. Stoever?
- Andrew Bird father of Rebecca Bird born in 1732, witnesses James Gill and Sarah Moor.
- William Breedyes, father of James born 1733 and Hanna born 1734
- Rilie Moor father of Terkis Moore born 1731, witness Catharine Gerlach
- Rilie Moor father of Thomas Moor born 1732, witness Theobaldt Gerlach and wife
- Rilie Moor father of Jacob born 1734 witness Andrew Bird
- Rilie Moor father of John born 1736 witness Charles Ehrhardt and wife Clara
- John Hodge’s 3 children
- William White’s 3 children
- Daniel Hoolman’s (Holman) son Isaac, witness James Guill (Gill)
- John Leenwill’s son Lewis, witness Stephen Lewis
- Frederich Gebert father of Susanna baptized in 1736, witness Clara Strubel
- Nicolaus Brintzler, sponsor John Frederick Strubel.
By 1738 and 1739, Stoever was baptizing German children in the Valley, so Germans had clearly arrived by then.
In a different portion of Stoever’s book, we find what look to be marriages. Based on the reference to Orange County, we know it was before 1743.
- June 8 – John Hodge and Elisabeth Windseeth, Jacob Thigh and Mary White, Daniel Hoolman and Elizabeth Cartlay, North River, Shenandoah, vulgo, Cockel Town in Orange County, in the Colony of Virginia.
I also noticed that Stoever had several Monocacy baptisms too. Some of those surnames are the same as those found in the Shenandoah Valley, including Gerlach. Hmmm…
Did Stoever travel to the Valley to service some of the same families he knew in the Monocacy area?
Sometimes first names matter.
We know that John Dobkins Jr. had children with the first names of:
Fortunately, at least two of these children had rather unusual names – Evan and Reuben. Jacob isn’t terribly common either. I need to keep my eyes open for families with these names, especially in one family.
I searched for Evan in the early books and found Evan Jones who lived in the Shenandoah Valley. Evan Jones was said to be Welsh. He lived near the county line on Back Road, formerly known as Zane’s Road.
Ok, now I’m off to my spreadsheet. I have a love/hate relationship with spreadsheets. The data entry feels like wasted time and is mind-numbing, but the results are often quite fruitful because you can see relationships in ways that don’t require you to remember things.
Plus, when you are forced to go back through original documents, you find things you missed.
I couldn’t figure out what happened to the land belonging to John Dobkins Jr., which would bracket his death for me – and might give me a clue whether or not he actually did go to the western waters, Washington County, in what would become Tennessee after it struggled, then died on the vine as the rebel State of Franklin.
Did he actually homestead two frontiers? One when he was maybe 30 or 35, and another when he was 70, or older?
I entered all of the data I have for John Dobkins Sr, John Dobkins Jr. and their children into the spreadsheet. I went back to sources, such as Chalkley’s Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia series and the Northern Neck Virginia Land Patent books. No, you wouldn’t think of Shenandoah Valley as the Northern Neck, but there we are.
I’m showing the first 7 rows of my spreadsheet as an example. I have a total of 362 rows, and 77 items. An item is not equivalent to a row.
You can see items 1 and 2, above. I create a separate row for every person named in the item.
In item 1, which is John Dobkins’ Sr.’s land grant, which was actually a bond, so I need to fix that, two people were mentioned. Both John and Benjamin Borden have a row. I neglected to add that William White stated that he saw the transaction.
Giving everyone their own row allows me to filter for all occurrences of Benjamin Borden, for example.
Assigning an item number lets me select all people mentioned in item 1.
Using filters, I can select any surname(s) and see the various people who interacted with John Dobkins by that surname.
For example, here’s Moore.
In the last book I rechecked, I found something in the index which led me to an entry that, somehow, I had missed previously.
Here’s the answer to what happened to John Dobkins Jr.’s land, and when. Glory be!!!!
Name spelling is not standardized, AND, the search feature does not always work correctly. I actually consult the index, then look on each page. That’s how I found this entry which answered this perplexing question.
John did not have an estate in Augusta County, Virginia, so apparently when he assigned his survey, S-374, he was living, which increases the probability of the man in Washington County in November of 1787 being our John Dobkins. April 1, 1788 is when this was recorded. Not surprising given winter roads and weather.
However, now I need to check the Frederick County,VA records for John, because until I saw this, I didn’t realize he had moved across the county line from the part of Augusta which became Shenandoah. It’s VERY obvious now.
However, this still is a bit confusing because the acreage doesn’t agree. This is 200 different acres than we previously knew about on Stoney Creek.
I asked Cousin Carol to check and see what she could find. Carol and I have been researching our family for decades together, and she often finds things that I haven’t.
Cousin Carol found something more.
John’s original survey on Stoney Creek that was assigned to William Bean. This is the land documented earlier by Jeffrey LaFavre, here and here.
Carol found John Dobekin’s 400 acre survey. Thomas Gill is his chainer, providing one more connection to the Gill family. In fact, this Thomas Gill is the child whose baptism John Dobkins witnessed in 1737, the same day as Thomas’s father, James Gill witnessed the baptism of John’s son, Thomas Dobkins.
Both men had sons named Thomas baptized the same day, and stood up for each other’s baptisms. Hmmm…
The front of the survey shows that the survey was done for John Dobekins, but I can’t read the word after his name. Then William Bean is written in.
Then, “assigned to Cap. Cornelias Ruddle in presence of William White and John Ruddle, deed to issue inthe name of William Bean by desire of Cornelias Ruddle.”
The survey jacket confirms the chain of ownership.
No wonder the titles to these lands are confused and were for decades. This land wasn’t conveyed and recorded, the warrant and survey were just assigned. Not surprising since it was a long ride to the courthouse.
I swear, John is playing hide and seek with me.
I’m a big fan of “History of” books, especially ones that were written quite early. Some of those books include the memories of people born in the early 1800s, and they tell us what their grandparents, born in the 1700s, told them.
Those are absolute goldmines.
The History of Shenandoah County is searchable, including by first name only.
I searched for Reuben, and among others, discovered both Reuben and Jacob Moore. Hmmm…
“About the year 1734, as noted in the preceding chapter, Benjamin Allen, Riley Moore and William White settled in this neighborhood,” referring to the Smith Creek corridor.
Then, “In 1734, Benjamin Allen, Riley Moore and William White came from the Monocacy Valley in Maryland and took up some of the fertile lands at or near the site of Mt. Jackson.”
“Fertile lands” might be a clue as to why they settled in that specific location.
It appears, based on a 1782 journal of a Quaker minister that Grifith Dawbin (Dobbin), Thomas Moore and the Allens were Quakers. It’s interesting to note that the women from the Hopewell Friends church accompanied the minister to Shenandoah, 55 miles distant. On the road, they met a contingent of Friends from York County, PA.
Searching for Evan produced references to Evan Jones and a few others.
Why is John Dobkins never mentioned anyplace in these histories? I’m going to assume it was because he was a simple, quiet, yeoman farmer, just plowing his fields and harvesting his produce.
There are also other resources that I use as well.
One is WikiTree and another is WeRelate. WeRelate has profiles of ancestors grouped usefully. Here’s the list of Early Settlers on the North Branch of the Shenandoah River.
I also have a friend, Maree, who is relentless in digging through obscure resources. I think she views these missing folks as a personal challenge to uncover the truth. Most of what she finds doesn’t hit that mark, but that’s the price one pays for the ONE that does. Bless her patient heart!
This time, I had to laugh because Maree kept finding my Dodsons out of Virginia. DNA confirms that they are not the same family, but those names do sound alike. Too much alike.
In any event, between my research, Maree, and my cousin, Carol, we are making halting progress. I probably ran down 200 blind alleys. Did I mention we were having, literally, a hurricane during this research adventure too?
I’m not going to bore you with every alley, but I do want to share relevant information from my “everything” document. .
Riley Moore, a near neighbor of John Dobkins Sr., is listed in the Register of Old Augusta Families at WeRelate.
Remember the unsourced rumor that John Dobkins Jr.’s wife was the daughter of Thomas Moore. For that to be true, she would have been born around 1710, which means Thomas Moore would have been born in the 1680s or earlier.
She cannot be the daughter of Riley’s son, Thomas, who married Phebe Harrison, the granddaughter of an entirely different ancestor of mine, Isaiah Harrison that I didn’t expect to find here. What this means, though, is that if I match descendants of this Thomas Moore, it could be through my Harrison line, not because of Dobkins/Moore DNA.
We are at least one generation offset, because this Thomas Moore would be the same age as John Dobkins Jr, not a generation older. The older generation was Riley Moore. If he had a daughter, Elizabeth, she’s not mentioned in his will, and the other children are.
However, Riley Moore had a brother or half-brother named Thomas Moore as well, who also immigrated to Shenandoah from Monocacy Hundred in 1733. Born about 1717, he married Mary Allen, whose father was Reuben Allen, which connects the Allen and Moore families.
Reuben is not a common name. Now it’s in two families who are found with our Dobkins folks.
This Thomas Moore died in 1790 and did have a daughter Elizabeth, but apparently did not mention his daughter, Elizabeth’s married name in his will. I think I need to review his estate documents, in particular, the settlement if there is one. If indeed, Elizabeth is Thomas’s daughter, she would have married John Dobkins before he arrived in Shenandoah Valley, or at least by 1735, the birth year of their first child baptized in Orange County. This means Elizabeth would have been born 1710ish.
Given that Thomas Moore’s birth date is given as “after 1717,” this seems to eliminate this connection too, or maybe his birth date is simply wrong.
However, given the common first names, such as Reuben and Jacob, not to mention Thomas, there easily could be some connection, someplace. Or, maybe it’s further back a generation.
Riley Moore died in 1760 on his land in the Shenandoah Valley which then fell into Frederick County, VA. He only named his wife and sons James and Reuben. Witnesses to the will were Evan Jones, Amos Lewis and Susan Lewis. There’s the name Evan. Evan is the Welsh name for John.
Riley Moore was clearly English, given that his children were born and baptized at St. Barnabas Church, Queen Anne’s Parish, Prince George Co., MD between 1700 and 1712. There was no child named Elizabeth.
There seems to be a connection before Shenandoah Valley, and there assuredly is one after arrival.
In the road orders, on May 22, 1750, “Thomas Moore and Riley Moore are hereby Appointed Surveyors of the High Way in the room of Daniel Holdman and it is Ordered that they set up posts of Directions and Clear & keep the same in repair According to Law.”
Posts of direction. The earliest road signs. Clearly, more settlers were passing through on their way south and, eventually, on into the Carolinas.
Benjamin and Reuben Allen
Benjamin Allen never married. Reuben Allen was his brother. The following information is provided by Mike, here.
Reuben Allen I – Although there is no record of surveys or patents for land near Mt. Jackson owned by Benjamin Allen’s brother Reuben, Reuben Allen I appears to have been by far the larger landowner of the two. Reuben Allen I died in 1741. As his sons were too young to have acquired much wealth on their own, the various Fairfax Grants in 1749, issued to Reuben Allen I’s widow Mary and her sons Reuben II, Jackson and Joseph, appear to be for lands previously owned by their father. These Fairfax Grants of 625, 400, 270, and 202 acres, all four of which joined Benjamin Allen’s land, were no doubt for lands once owned by Reuben Allen I, brother of Benjamin.
Dr. Wayland in writing his “History of Shenandoah County, Virginia” makes no mention of Reuben Allen I, brother of Benjamin. However, Reuben evidently followed Benjamin to the Valley, as he had in Cecil County, Md. Reuben Allen I died intestate in 1741 and records of his estate are found in Orange County, Va. The deed in Dartmouth in 1721 shows he had a wife Mary at that time. No marriage has been found in either Quaker or Civil records. The Carleton Genealogy states Mary was Mary Jackson, dau of Samuel Jackson of Baltimore Co., Md, but this has been proved incorrect. Samuel Jackson died in Baltimore County in 1719 and his dau Mary was willed 90 acres of “Carter’s Rest” and 100 acres of “Jackson’s Outlet” (Md. Calendar of WiUs, Vol. 5, p 2). This same 100 acres of Jackson’s Outlet was leased to James Taylor by Mary Forster. Taylor, in turn leased the land to Mary Forster’s brother-in-law, Rowland Kemble. No record of Reuben Allen is found in Deed Records and Rent Rolls in Baltimore County, which at this time period bordered on Cecil Co., Md. However, the possibilities are good that Mary’s maiden name was Jackson as this name appears many times among the descendants. Reuben and Mary may have married before he left N. J. to move to Cecil Co., Md. in 1719.
Mary survived Reuben Allen I, as did five known children. Reuben and Mary had been married over twenty years and there were undoubtedly other children, some of them minors when Reuben died in 1741, but no Guardianship records were found, nor dower rights for his widow. With the distance to the Courthouse it is not surprising that none of these records exist. In fact, it is a sign of the hardiness of these Allens that we do have in Orange County, the petition for letters of Administration, made by Reuben Allen II, shown in the Court Order Book as “eldest son”; the Administration Bond of Reuben Allen II, made with Benjamin Allen and Thomas Moore as Sureties; and a full and complete inventory of his goods and chattels made by Peter Scholl, William White and Abraham Collett. The inventory shows it was made February 2, 1741/42 and was filed for record the 27th day of May 1742. The Administration Bond is dated November 26, 1741, and the record shows Reuben Allen II, Thomas Moore, and Benjamin Allen acknowledged this Bond in Court. Reuben Allen II was a Quaker, as evidenced by his affirmation in lieu of the oath of Administration (Orange County Va. Will Bk 1, pp 179, 180, 219, 221). Thomas Moore, one of the sureties for the Bond, was the son-in law, husband of Mary Allen.
A comparison of household articles in the inventories of both Reuben Allen I and Mary Allen shows many items still in the possession of Mary when she died in 1751 (Aug. Co. Will Bk 1 p 423). Jackson and Joseph Allen were named Administrators of the Estate of Mary Allen, deceased on the 29th of May 1751 (Aug. Co. Will Bk 1 pp 336 337). Thomas Moore and John Dobekin were sureties for Jackson and Joseph Allen’s Administration Bond (Aug. Co. Will Bk 1 p 356). Reuben Allen II, son of Reuben and Mary Allen died within a day or two of his mother. Whether their deaths were the result of an Indian raid, or perhaps an epidemic is not known. Ingaborg Allen, widow of Reuben II was granted letters of Administration on 28 May 1751, with Cornelius Ruddell and John Dobiken as Sureties (Aug. Co. Will Bk I p 335).
It’s very clear that these families were close, and likely intertwined.
From the VAGenweb site:
In 1791, Evan Jones was high sheriff of Shenandoah County. In 1785 he had been one of the census enumerators, and he was prominent as a magistrate and otherwise. His home was on the Back Road (Zane’s Road?) in the southwest part of the county, one mile from the Fairfax (Rockingham) Line. It is probable that in every generation of his descendants there has been an Evan Jones. The old homestead today (1927) is owned by one of them, Evan Jones, and his brother, J.A. Jones. The old farm has never been out of the hands of the Jones family. The present Evan Jones is one of the men prominent in county affairs.
I have been unable to determine where Evan Jones came from.
Backtracking Up the Great Wagon Road
The Dobkins family seems very connected to the Moore family. Furthermore, John Dobkins arrives at the same time, and lives close to the Monocacy men – Benjamin Allen, Riley Moore and William White.
I think it’s time to look in the Monocacy and see what I can find. Based on Riley Moore’s information, it looks like Prince George’s County, Maryland might be a good beginning.
This also makes sense on another level too.
In the book about Life on Holman Creek, I find my Millers, Zirkles, Garbers, Wines and a very large number of my Brethren family members literally surrounding John Dobkins land. Where did they come from? Frederick County, Maryland, near Hagerstown, land that was once part of Prince George’s County. In other words, the Monocacy.
The Monocacy River runs south out of Adams County, PA into Frederick County, MD, above, where it dumps into the Potomac River, below.
An old Indian trail, probably the first “highway,” was found along the river.
The Great Wagon Road eventually connected these places. Of course, what began with a trickle when those first 49 settlers arrived on horseback or walking, became a steady stream of wagons carrying families with dreams, especially after the Revolutionary War.
What does Maryland have to offer?
The book, Pioneers of Old Monocacy is chocked full of historical information, including an index entry for both John Dobbins Sr, and John Dobbins Jr.
Doggone, there he is, plus his son in 1733 and 1734. This means that John Dobkins Jr. would have been married by this time, and probably pushes his birth year back to about 1708 or earlier.
Clearly, based on this document, I need to find the Maryland State Papers and see what else is there.
The second list, in 1734, tells us that John Dobbin got into a bit of trouble. Poor quality tobacco plants were to be burned in order to preserve the quality of the cured and finished tobacco product. If a man didn’t have some tobacco to be burned, generally in a central location, witnessed by others, that simply meant he had failed to comply with the order. This transgression, of course, could affect the price that all the farmers could command for their combined tobacco crop.
This event could have had something to do with why the two Dobkins men decided to pack up and strike out for the frontier. No one could tell them what to plant and grow there, or how to do it. Wheat, corn, and, eventually, apples were the primary crops in the Shenandoah Valley. Not all fields had to be cleared either. Some were already open prairie, the Indian “old fields,” now abandoned, but ready to be utilized again with much less effort than felling mature trees across an entire forest.
Prince George’s County is where the Van Meters were from too. They were involved in the earliest settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, so John Dobkins likely knew them and had heard the tales.
Thomas Cresap was living in Prince George’s County as well. Cresap was a land speculator, Indian trader, and explorer. His questionable methods and “loose” transactions caused so much angst between Pennsylvania and Maryland settlers, and governments, that he literally started Cresap’s War, named not in honor of him, but because of him.
All I can say is that John Dobkins, or Dobbins, needed to be very grateful he teamed up with Van Meter and not Cresap.
It’s hard to think of Maryland as the wild west, but at one time, it clearly was.
Maryland in the 1730s
I don’t exactly know where John Dobbins and his son lived, but it’s likely someplace in this region.
We know that they were in the “Monoccosea Hundred,” shown below, in the Catoctin Valley in western Frederick County. Cacoctin Mountain, the eastern-most reach of the Blue Ridge, about 15 miles east of Hagerstown, is where Camp David is located today.
Many of the surnames, such as Friend, found in this area when John Dobkins lived there are also found in the early Shenandoah Valley settlement.
The settlers likely congregated, perhaps at Richard Touchstones, in preparation for beginning the journey “from Monocacy to Shenandoah Mountain,” today’s South Mountain.
The Valley led directly from Maryland, across the mountains and into the Shenandoah valley, further south.
Many of the Quakers at Hopewell in Fredrick County, VA came from Monocacy, as did Benjamin Borden – the man who initially gave bond to John Dobkins in 1735, promising that John could patent his land. A list of early Frederick County wills can be found here.
I don’t know what kind of thought and preparation went into the decision to leave Maryland and embark not only on a journey, but a journey into the complete unknown. The Shawnee Indians had all been massacred by the Catawbas in that very valley, probably between 1650 and 1700, so the Shenandoah Valley was at that point, uninhabited. The Warrior path that would become the settlers’ trail, then the Wagon Road, and now Highway 11 ran directly along the North Fork of the Shenandoah and Smith Creek.
John Dobkins was a farmer. He and his son wouldn’t have left Maryland until after the crops were harvested. They would have planned to arrive in the springtime in time to, hopefully, prepare the land for even a small first-year crop in the Shenandoah Valley.
Fall was a preferred time to migrate anyway. Not wet like the spring. Not the heat and humidity of the summer, and not frozen and slippery in the winter.
Perhaps the hardest part was leaving family behind.
John Dobkins the elder, and Mary, his wife, were clearly old enough to have adult children. Did some of those children stay behind? Daughters maybe, who married, and we will never know who they are?
Did they have siblings, or parents, that they would never see again? What and who were they leaving behind?
Did they visit tiny graves, taking flowers and explaining that they would see those children in Heaven one day?
If they didn’t leave living children behind, they surely wept as they said goodbye beside those graves one last time.
If they left living children behind, what became of them? Did John and Mary also leave weeping grandchildren behind?
Did they give them mementos to remember them by? Would they ever see any of them again?
The Trail to Shenandoah
This map shows the old Philadelphia Waggon Road at its beginning near Opequon Creek and Antietam Creek on the Potomac River.
Opequon Creek, shown above at the red arrow, at the Potomac where the wagon road to Shenandoah Valley left from.
This journey would take them about an hour and a half, maybe two, today. Just an afternoon drive – down and back in one day. It would have taken at least two weeks, and probably more since many people were probably on foot, and the terrain was rugged.
It was “only” 80-100 miles. Only. A paradigm shift away from anything resembling safety or life as they knew it.
Crossing the Potomac from the border between Maryland and West Virginia. Of course, they would have had to ford the river or take a rope ferry.
You can see the Blue Ridge in the distance.
About 10 miles later, the Shenandoah River empties into the Potomac River. Our pioneers turn left and head upstream, into the mountains.
The Valley from above shows the mountains on both sides. John and the other families continue to follow the river, between the mountain ranges. Maybe the wives said to each other, when the men were out of hearing, that they could go back if they wanted. Several would have been pregnant.
Crossing from present-day West Virginia, into Virginia, directly into Frederick County. These buildings wear the patina of age. John passed here, but of course, there was nothing more than a path.
Mountains rise on both sides of the road.
If they traveled in the late fall, it would have been stunningly beautiful as they, day by day, approached the land where they would stake out their claims and build the cabins that would be their new homes.
A little further south, the valley widens a bit, offering more tillable land, and the Shenandoah River splits into the North and South Branches at present-day Front Royal.
Our group of settlers continue down the North Fork. They were halfway by now. Without Hite or Van Meter, someone who could “pilot” the way, they would have been entirely lost.
The group would have passed and made note of occasional Indian mounds, sad sentries to the villages that were destroyed, with all their inhabitants, a generation earlier. Ghost villages.
Today, the Old Valley Pike is marked by sleepy villages with beautiful homes built before automobiles, standing close to the present-day roads.
The settlers’ path brought them closer to the Blue Ridge to the east, paralleling the North Fork of the Shenandoah.
South of Mt. Jackson, the caravan would have forded the Shenandoah one last time, trying to keep at least some things dry. Just east of that location, the mouth of Smith Creek deposits its water into the North Fork of the Shenandoah, dividing the waterway once again.
The horse train continued its path south, on to the Borden grant. They would have wanted to find headwaters of creeks to assure clean water for people and livestock.
The settlers are now threading the needle, with the North Fork of the Shenandoah behind the tree line at right, and Smith Creek behind the trees below the escarpment at left. This valley looks relatively flat, beautiful, and fertile.
Better yet, it was uninhabited, theirs for the taking and working the land.
One of the settlers would, unwittingly, settle on the land where the Shenandoah Caverns would be discovered on Neff land in 1884. Endless Caverns, the longest cave system in Virginia, was discovered about a mile from John Dobkins Sr.’s land in 1879. For all we know, and John never knew, that cave labyrinth might run right under his land.
Questions – So Many Questions
Indeed, we managed to push the needle about 100 miles, back into Maryland. That seems so much further than 100 miles. It seems like a lifetime, a different world. It assuredly was for those brave settlers.
Why did the Monocacy men continue to travel beyond the other settlers? As each of the other families stopped and claimed land, why did they settle, together, so far south on Smith Creek? Was that considered the best land? Were they late arrivals? Did it cost less, to Borden, because it was more remote and therefore, more dangerous?
We know that Daniel Holman built a fort house at the entrance of Holman Creek where it intersects with the Shenandoah River for the protection of his family and nearby settlers, probably in the red area above, about 200 X 300 feet. Three sides would have been protected by water. Holman’s Fort would have been about 5 miles north of where John Dobkins settled.
What records can be found in Prince George’s County, Maryland?
Is the original name Dobbins, Dobkins, Dobikins, or something else?
Did John arrive in Maryland from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York like some of the other Prince George’s County families?
Was John Dobkins or Dobbins an immigrant? If so, when did he arrive, and from where?
Was he married when he arrived?
Who was his wife, Mary?
Is John, his wife, Mary, or his son John’s wife, Elizabeth, related to the Allen and Moore families? My bet is yes.
Is the Dobkins family related to the other Monocacy families?
What about James Gill and the two sons named Thomas? Is that significant?
What does Y DNA tell us?
Dobkins Y DNA – What Does It Say?
We have two men descended from Evan’s son, Thomas Dobkins, who was born in 1781 in East Tennessee and died in 1822 in Missouri.
The high-level haplogroup of these two men is I-M253, but unfortunately, they don’t match any other men of the same surname.
At 37 markers, the highest they tested, they do match one man who is from Scotland, and one man living in Sweden. That’s it!
Unfortunately, haplogroup I-M253 is about 4500 years old and most frequently found in Scandinavia and Northwest Europe.
Of course, with sea travel and Vikings, it could have traveled anyplace in that region.
I am attempting to find another male to take a Big Y test, as the DNA of the original tester was not sufficient to process.
Viewing the Dobkins 12-marker matches, the correlation with the British Isles, northwest Europe, and Scandinavia is reinforced/
All I can really say with a high degree of confidence is that the Y DNA of the Dobkins line is rare. That’s much better than being common, but we need more markers and the Big Y test.
If you are a Dobkins male descended from this line, please reach out. I’d love to provide a Y DNA testing scholarship for you.
We still need more evidence.
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I find the variations of the spelling of the surname so interesting. I found a John “Dobikin” left a will in Augusta County in 1746……a John “Dobbins” left a will in Brunswick Co. in 1785…….a William “Dobbyns” left a will in Lunenburg Co. in 1761. The variations are very challenging. Thanks for a great article.
Was John Dobkin Sr. or Jr. a Captain? I assume this listing is for Jr.
Capt. John Dobkin, 32 May 1749-20 June 1749; 400 a. on Holemans Crk. where he now lives; adj. Archibald Ruddles survey. CC-James Hart & Isaac Johnson. Marker – Collins Butts. Pilot -John Dobkin. Surv. George Byrne.
I believe I saw a ‘”Cornelius” Ruddles earlier.
I wonder if “Captain” is honorary, or military., but interesting
It’s military. Militia. I wrote about him a couple weeks ago. Before I discovered this.
Geez, Roberta, you put many of us to shame with the depth of your research! So impressive.
Quite agree. This stuff can be daunting, but also rewarding.
I have been so lucky with some of my people who established themselves about 100 years later here in Australia. Some made maps of their settlement or and a couple of generations later the local pastor for a few of these locations drew on these to write something about the founding of the area. These have then been used in family histories to become more accessible.
There are always difficult puzzles, but this made far fewer of them for me.
Some later trecked hundreds of miles to new settlements. There are several accounts, but some do not align with other evidence. Contemporary accounts did not quite know where they had been and some places have been re-named since.
Late life memoirs were often less reliable, but at least mentioned other people and sources that could be checked.
I’ve been in New Jersey in the late 18th c (in my mind) these last few weeks and I’m seeing a lot of vaguely familiar names here. Congrats on your sleuthing successes and best of luck in finding some more records now that you’ve opened up some new vistas! 😀
A lot of those Quaker families seem to come from NY and NJ.
Congratulations! It’s not exactly a brickwall falling, if I understand well (you need to get a new generation’s name, right), but that’s moving backwards decades into that ancestors live and opening a whole new region worth of records. Turning a brick wall into a brick road then?
Thanks for this newsy sleuthing! Thanks to you and the reference you provided I found my 6th great uncle Thomas Marquis also had his tobacco burned in Monocosie August 1734. Also, the Bordens are of interest with their connection to Captain William Kidd (who likely wasn’t born in Scotland, his testimony to that effect, but was born in Soham inn 1654–we believe Kidd’s parents converted to Quakerism around the preaching of James Parnell, Quaker martyr, who preached in the Soham churchyard. They fled to Scotland to escape persecution in Soham, then to America.
Another great read and a whole bunch of research! I really enjoyed reading all this information. I’m retired from work now and trying to be a full-time grandfather!
What a wonderful “job.”
Might the word after John Dobekin’s name on the survey be Plan? The semicircle of the “P” is not closed and joined with the “l” which appears as a stylized “M.” Deciphering old script is somewhat like a miniature of construing ancestors’ particulars.
Two of my Brocks appear on Holman Creek in the Map 15. George entry G-367 and Henry H-135. I have access to the Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775. Vol. II abstracts. However, I would like to obtain a copy of the filing on these in order create the plats on these two. I found a copy of my Beeler, John Valentine Beeler N-281 on line, which includes the M&B of course, but do not know where it came from. I am also looking for the same on John V Beeler’s father, Ulrick Beeler N-271 and N-278. Thank you for your help, great site.
Have you tried FamilySearch?
Thank you, I’ll try.
Also check DeedMapper to see if someone else already has.
Probably not relevant for you (maybe for other future readers) but the Burr Harrison on the 1770 list of Mt Jackson area landholders was likely Burr Harrison from Prince William County Virginia. He was a surveyor in the area in the mid-1750s and lived there until the 1770s. His family has been very well researched (there is a published book with sources noted) – I wish other families were as well researched!
I didn’t mean to read this article, but I could not stop myself 🙂 Great Job!
This FAN method interests me. While my research looks for similar patterns, this seems much more organized.
RE: the survey; there is a typo. The survey S-374 was recorded 1 April 1788.
‘John did not have an estate in Augusta County, Virginia, so apparently when he assigned this survey, he was living, which increases the probability of the man in Washington County in November of 1777 being our John Dobkins. April 1, 1778 is when this was recorded. Not surprising given winter roads and weather.’
So John gets another decade.
I just noticed that George Byrne, the surveyor of G-367 for George Brock on Holman Creek, has your Capt. John Dobkin listed in the survey crew on his 22 June 1749 survey. Isaac Johnston and James Hast (?) are chain carriers. It’s in the survey folder if it helps.
Thank you, I did find the Virginia Northern Neck material.
The survey folders have considerable material in them. My John Valentine Beeler, N-281, was listed as a chain carrier on a Robert Rutherford survey for one of my Turney relatives when he was 16 years old on 10 December of 1753.
That’s particularly interesting because Isaac Johnson shows up again.
Thank you for all of your extensive research on John Dobkins. My GGGG grandfather was Patrick Shields, married to Rebecca Dobbins. I have been researching for almost two years and couldn’t seem to go back any farther in history. Now I have information about her father and grandfather. Now if I could just find who my GGGG grandfather’s parents were. The information you wrote is so interesting! My husband and I are visiting Ireland next year, and I want to trace my ancestry back there before we leave on our trip.
Ireland is amazing!!!