Thomas Dodson (1681-1740), Planter on Totuskey Creek, 52 Ancestors #151

Thomas Dodson’s birth on May 15, 1681 to Charles Dodson and wife, Anne, is recorded in the North Farnham Parish register. At the time of Thomas’s birth, this part of Virginia, now Richmond County, was Old Rappahannock County.

Thomas’s birth was just 74 years after the founding of Jamestown, and Jamestown was still the colonial capital of the colony of Virginia – very early in the history of America.

The part of Virginia where Thomas was born, the Northern Neck began to be settled in about 1735.

In 1692, Old Rappahannock County was dissolved and the portion of Old Rappahannock where the Dodson family lived became Richmond County where Thomas spent his life. Fortunately, the Richmond County records are for the most part, intact.

I must say that these records, especially the court orders, have been key into not just identifying Thomas by his birth and death dates, and maybe marriage and children’s births thrown in for good measure – but by the rhythm of daily life in colonial Virginia. All males attended court which was, other than church, the only entertainment in pre-electronic America. Church every Sunday was mandatory. The regular births of children and deaths of neighbors and family members. The plantations, the tobacco, the spats recorded in those old notes. Life was much richer than those birth and death dates.

I’ve grouped items in a few cases, but mostly, I’ve used these records to walk through Thomas’s life in order, to give us a flavor today for what his life was actually like. Oh, how I wish we had something, anything, that he actually wrote that would shed light on how he thought and what he was like. But Thomas couldn’t write. The closest we can get is to create our vision of Thomas by his actions and those he was closest to.

Thomas’s Mother

Thomas’s mother’s name was Ann or Anne, but her surname is unknown, although I have seen it listed several times as Elmore. However, I have never seen any documentation behind the Elmore surname. Sometimes, surnames attached to trees are copied and pasted so many times that people just assume that they have to be accurate because they are “all over the place,” but copying a tree repeatedly has absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of the fruit of the tree. Copying it 1000 or 2000 times doesn’t make it any truer – just more plentiful.

Because I was bound and determine to end the mystery of Elmore, if it was at all possible, I embarked on a research trip and indeed, I solved the mystery. I’ll tell Ann’s story in her own article, but suffice it to say here that her surname was not Elmore. Thomas Dodson’s mother’s surname remains a mystery.

Nancy the Cow

The first record involving Thomas Dodson occurred when Thomas was 12 years old, which is a bit unusual. However, this recorded deed seems to be a preemptive strike or a reaction perhaps to criticism for the exchange of one cow for another. Yes, a cow.

1692-1694 Richmond County, VA, Deed Book 1; Antient Press: (Page 165)

I Charles Dodson do give & convey unto & with my beloved Son, Tho: Dodson, one brown Cow called by the name of Nancy marked with a crop & swallow forke on the left Eare, & a crop on the right tare, together with all her female increase being in Exchange with him my sd Son, Thomas, for One Cow given him by his Godfather, Peter Elmore, To have & to hold unto him the said Thomas his Executrs: Admstrs: or assignes together was aforesaid from me my heirs forever, And I do hereby warrant the sd Cow together with all her female increase unto him the sd Thomas his Executrs: &c. of & from the claimes of me the sd Charles, my Executrs; &c. & all & every other persons what so ever, In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & seale this 31st day of July Ano: 1693 Sealed & delivered in presence of us Wm Ward, Charles Dodson Wm. Colston Record Richmond Co. 31st die Julii 1693

I do have to wonder why they traded cows, and why the trade was recorded and not just done without fanfare. I’m sure there’s more to this story that we’ll never know. Recording deeds was not free, nor convenient, so there had to be something else.

This deed probably explains where the Elmore surname attached to Anne originated, but Godfather does not mean that Thomas’s mother was an Elmore. Godfather simply means that Peter Elmore, who it turns out, was another neighbor, stood up with Charles and Ann Dodson when baby Thomas was baptized in the North Farnham Parish church in 1681.

How Many Thomas’s Were There?

Seldom do we find records of children in court or land records, unless their parents die or the transaction is unusual, like Nancy the cow.

The early mention of Thomas caused me some concern, because I began to wonder if there was more than one Thomas. Was Thomas really a minor, or were there two Thomas Dodsons?

Two or more Thomas Dodsons in the same records at the same time might become intermixed. I assembled the early records and was greatly relieved to see that in spite of that fact that there were several Charles Dodsons, other than Thomas Dodson Sr.’s son, Thomas Jr., there were no other Thomas Dodsons during this timeframe to muddy the waters. Charles Dodson and Thomas Durham were neighbors, and I do wonder if perhaps Thomas Dodson was named for Thomas Durham. Ironically, if so, Thomas Dodson married Thomas Durham’s daughter, Mary.

Please note that you can click to enlarge any image.

On the pedigree chart above, the individuals in green are my ancestors. The ones in tan are the various Charles Dodsons. Fortunately, there was only one Thomas in the records before his son, Thomas Jr., came of age in about 1725 when he married Elizabeth Rose.

Marriage

Twenty years and three months after his birth, on August 1, 1701, Thomas Dodson married Mary Durham, daughter of Thomas and Dorothy Smoot Durham, their neighbors in what had become Richmond County, VA. Age 20 is on the young side for a male to marry at that time, but perhaps the fact that his father was willing to give him land helped secure the deal.

According to a 1723 deed, the land of Thomas Durham conveyed to Thomas Dodson was marked by the corner tree of Charles Dodson. This tells us that the Dodsons and Durhams were neighbors and Thomas Dodson literally married the girl next door.

The book, “Virginia Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800” found on Ancestry provides us with additional information.

Thomas Received Land From His Father

When Thomas first appears in deed records as an adult, he had recently married and would have been looking to establish a homestead.

Thomas Dodson’s father wrote his will on January 11, 1702/1703 in which he leaves to Thomas “a plantation seated in a neck formerly called the Rich Neck with 150 acres of land to him and the male heires lawfully begotten of his own body forever and if the above said Thomas Dodson should dye without any male that then the land should returned to the next heire of the Dodson.“

Just a few days later, Charles deeded adjacent tracts of land to Thomas and his brother Charles. It might appear that Charles was rushing to get his affairs in order. Was Charles ill, thinking he would die soon?

P 210-212 Feb. 2, 1702 Deed of Gift. Charles Dodson of North Farnham Parish Richmond Co. for natural love and fatherly affection that I have and bear towards my son Thomas Dodson of the same county and parish, and for divers other good causes and to the male heirs of his body lawfully begotten plantation and tract of land whereon he now lives in the same county and parish 150 acres formerly known by the name or called Travers’s Quarter it being the one half of the tract of land purchased by me of the said Capt. Samuel Travers containing 300 acres and bounded by a branch that runs up between the said plantation and track of land known or called by the name Rich Neck that Charles Dodson Jr. now lives on. Grant to Charles Dodson or to any of the heires male of me that the said Charles Dodson or to the lineally descend from him the said Charles Dodson Jr to the heires male that shall be next of kin by consanguinity so that the same and every part thereof may be and remain and endure in the tenure occupation and possession of the relacons and male issue of the Dodson forever. I do by these presents debar and forever make voyd any manner of sale lease mortgage or conveyance that my said son Thomas Dodson or his heires male as aforesaid or the heires male of any or either of them shallmake of any part or parcel of the premises to any person or persons whatsoever (expect it be one of his brothers to whom it shall and maybe lawfull for him to sell and convey the same in case he shall want such issue as it aforesaid) according to the provisions and limitation herein before mentioned and reserved, but to no other use intent of purposes whatsoever. Signed. Wit William Fitzherbert and William Noris by mark Ack Feb. 3, 1703 Book 3 page 105

Court Orders Page 221 Feb. 3, 1702/3 Charles Dodson ack deed of gift of land to Thomas Dodson and ordered recorded.

Sons Born

The first child born to Thomas Dodson and Mary Durham recorded in the parish books, which are known to be incomplete, is George Dodson born in October of 1702. However, it makes more sense that son Thomas Dodson, whose birth is unrecorded, would have been born first and named after his father. If that is true, then Thomas would have been born almost immediately after their marriage, August 1, 1701, for Mary to have gotten pregnant again and had George in October of 1702. The more reasonable scenario is that Thomas was born about 1704, but that begs the question of who George Dodson, firstborn, was named after?

Given that we don’t know who either Charles nor Ann’s father was, George could have been a family name on either side.

Church Non-Attendance

During this time, the court order books are full of people being “presented” to the court for not attending church. The Anglican church was the official church of the crown in Virginia and attendance was mandatory. Non-attendance was prosecuted and fines levied. One would ask themselves why a man would not attend church, knowing the consequences. When you find groups of men, known to be associated, one wonders if their non-attendance was a religious or a political statement, or something else perhaps – but what?

Court Order Book Page 18 December 6, 1704 Charles Dodson Jr. and Thomas Dodson and Thomas Durham summoned to court for not going to church for two months together.

Court Order Book Page 34 February 7, 1704/05 Peter Elmore, Thomas Dodson, Charles Dodson Jr. and Thomas Durham summoned to court to answer presentment of grand jury against them for not going to church for 2 months together and not appearing, ordered they be fined according to law and pay same with costs.

Thomas’s Father Dies

Charles Dodson’s will was proven in court on February 6, 1705/6, two years after he wrote it.

Thomas Can’t Write

Aside from Thomas’s noncompliance with church attendance, his life appears to be very “normal” for the time and place, with Thomas occasionally being summoned, along with other men, for occasional civic duty.

Court Order Book Page 111 February 6, 1705 Petition of Christopher Petty that he might build or erect a mill on a run or water course of Totuskey and having only and on one side it was ordered by the aforesaid court that Peter Elmore and Thomas Dodson and Charles Dodson should layout and value one acre of land on the opposite side which accordingly we the subscribers have done to the best of our judgements and do value said acre to be worth 20 shillings. Signed Peter Elmore, his mark, Charles Dodson his mark and Thomas Dodson his marke,

This record tells us that Thomas Dodson cannot sign his name, and therefore, very likely cannot read. One record extractor recreated the “marks” of the people who signed, and Thomas always signed with a “T.” Thomas’s father, Charles Dodson always signed his name – so probably was literate. The Charles Dodson in this record is Thomas’s brother, Charles, who also signed with a mark.  The Dodson boys never learned to read or write.

Thomas’s Mother Remarries

We know that Thomas’s father died around January of 1705/06, because Charles’ will was probated on February 6th of that year. Generally, wills were probated between 30 and 90 days after the individual died, meaning at the next county court session.

Estates and remarriages are almost always interesting, and thankfully, produce records when conflicts arose. Thomas’s mother, Ann, remarried not long after Charles death, to John Hill, according to court records.

On July 3, 1706, the court ordered that John Hill and his wife Anne, executrix of the last will and testament of Charles Dodson dec’d meet at the house of said John Hill and ordered that John Rankin, William Smoote, John Mills and Richard White inventory and appraise all the estate of the said Charles Dodson. Court Order Book 4-171.

This would suggest one of two things. Either John Hill moved into the home of Charles Dodson and Ann when he married widow Ann Dodson, or someone else is living in the Charles Dodson home and Charles’ remaining estate had been taken with Ann to John Hill’s house. Lambeth Dodson, the son to whom Charles leaves his new plantation would only have been 16, not old enough to work the plantation alone.

Thomas is Ill

Court Order Book Page 198 Oct. 2, 1706 Thomas Dodson summoned to appeare as one of the last grand jury and not appearing was fined according to law and it now appearing to this court that Thomas Dodson was sick at the time when the grand jury made their appearance it is thereupon ordered that the fine be remitted.

Apparently, not long after his father dies, Thomas is ill as well. Charles Dodson died when he was 57 and when Thomas was 25. A sad time with a father gone too soon.

By the spring of 1707, things got interesting.

Ejected

Court Order Book Page 261 April 3 1707 Ejection firma depending in this court between James Greenehead plt and Thomas Dod deft is dismissed plt not prosecuting.

Plt is short for plaintiff and def or deft for defendant.

This record is copied exactly from a transcript, not the original. I believe this is Jeremiah Greenham and Thomas Dodson. There is a John Dodd in Richmond County, but never did I encounter a Thomas Dod.

An ejection firmae, according to “A Law Dictionary” by Henry Campbell Black, is an ejection of ejectment of farm. The name or a writ or action of trespass which lay at common law where lands or tenements were let for a term of years, and afterwards the lessor, reversioner, remainder-man or any stranger ejected or ousted the lessee of his term, terme or farm. In this case the latter might have his writ of ejection, by which he recovered at first damages for the trespass only, but it was afterwards made a remedy to recover back the term itself, or the remainder of it, with damages. It is the foundation of the modern action of ejectment. Ejectment is the action which lay for the recovery of the possession of land and for damages for the unlawful detention of its possession.

This certainly sounds like an adversarial situation. Ironically, Thomas Dodson’s mother-in-law, as a widow in 1715, would marry Jeremiah Greenham.

Thomas Dodson Sues His Step-Father

On April 3rd in 1707, Thomas Dodson was having a particularly bad day, because in addition to the ejectment, above, he files suit against his step-father as executor of his father’s estate after marrying Thomas’s mother, then apparently drops the suit.

Court Order Book Page 262 April 3 1707 Action brought by Thomas Dodson against John Hill marrying the executrix of Charles Dodson is dismissed, plt not prosecuting.

This probably means that there was some issue with Charles Dodson’s will or estate and after filing the suit (although we don’t have the filing itself) the parties came to an agreement. Charles Dodson’s estate was fairly straightforward, as he left land to sons and conveyed that land to Thomas before his death, making this suit very curious. Charles left the rest of his “moveable estate” to his wife and daughters, who did not file suit.

Trespass

On June 2, 1708, Thomas (X) Dodson and Bar’t Rich’d Dodson witnessed a complaint of damages on trespass of land involving James Toone, John Fan and John Miller.

At that time, trespass generally meant that one man was somehow infringing upon the land or resources of another, as in cut down his tree in the forest, not trespass as we think of it today. The men generally disagreed about where the property line was located, which were much less defined then than they are now.

Fornication

Not only was a family squabble occurring in the Dodson family between Thomas and his step-father and maybe his mother, but it appears that Thomas’s wife’s Durham family was having some high drama of their own as well that spilled over to Thomas Dodson. Keep in mind that the Durhams are neighbors of Thomas Dodson, in addition to being his in-laws.

Court Order Book Page 372 July 7, 1708 Anne Kelly, servant to Thomas Durham, bring brought before the court by her master for committing the sin of fornication and having a bastard child and said Anne refusing to confess who was the father of the child, the court have ordered she be committed to the county goale there to remaine until such time as she shall confess who is the true father of her child and it is also ordered that she serve her master or his assignes after he time by indenture custome or otherwise shall be fully expired according to law in compensation for the trouble of his house during the time of her childbirth.

Note that the county goale was how jail was spelled at that time.

Court Order Book Page 372, July 7 1708 This day Dorothy Durham for and on the behalf of her husband Thomas Durham confessed judgement to the church wardens of Northfarnham parish to the use of the parish for 500 pounds tobacco the same being the fine of Anne Kelly for committing the sin of fornication and having a bastard child which is ordered to be paid with costs.

So Anne Kelly won’t tell who the father is, but Dorothy, Thomas Durham’s wife, won’t let her go to jail. Hurray for Dorothy – stepping up. I’d love to have been a mouse in that house.

Anne Kelly was indentured to the Durham family when she was just 14, in June of 1699, and fresh off the boat, literally. She was brought into court to have her age adjudged to determine the length of her indenture.

Nine years later, Anne is still indentured, now with a child, and 23 years old. Generally, servants are required to serve an additional 5 years if they have a child while indentured. Plus they are fined for fornication, even though they are not permitted to marry, and if they or someone can’t pay the fine, they are jailed. She was brave to not tell, but who was she protecting? Or was Anne afraid?

Eight months later, we discover the identity of the father.

Court Order Book Page 4 March 2, 1708/9 Anne Kelly came into court and made oath that Thomas Durham Jr. is the true father of 2 bastard children borne of her body in the time of her service with his father, Thomas Durham the elder. Upon motion of the Queen’s attorney ordered that Thomas Durham Jr. be summoned to next court to enter into bond with security for the indemnification of the parish and what charge may acrew to the parish for or by reason of the children aforesaid.

Thomas has to enter into a bond, but not pay a fine. A bond is only confiscated if the child becomes a financial burden to the church. So, in colonial Virginia, the woman is fined and sentenced for fornication, but the man is not. Apparently the fact that “it took 2” didn’t matter, or perhaps a certain level of morality was expected of women but not men.

Court Order Book Page 5 March 2, 1708/09 Anne Kelly servant to Thomas Dodson being this day brought before this court for committing the sin of fornication and having a bastard child the court have ordered Anne Kelly to serve Thomas Dodson or his assignes according to law after her time by indenture or otherwise is fully expired, in consideration of his paying her fine for committing the offence aforesaid.

Court Order Book Page 5 March 2 1708/09 Thomas Dodson confest judgement to the churchwardens of North Farnham parish for the use of the parish for 500 pounds tobacco being the fine of Anne Kelley for committing the sin of fornication and having a bastard child and it ordered that he pay the same with costs.

I had to read this twice. It appears that while Anne Kelly is indentured to Thomas Durham Sr., she is working for Thomas Dodson going to work additional time for Thomas Dodson after her indenture to Thomas Durham is completed because Thomas Dodson paid her fine.

So, I have to ask, where the Hell is Thomas Durham Jr. in all of this????? Why isn’t he paying the fine? Why isn’t he stepping up?

As it turns out, Thomas was a minor, although that’s clearly not an excuse.

Thomas Durham Jr. was born on June 27, 1690, meaning that in 1708 he was 18 years old. Anne was 5 years older than Thomas Jr. who had been 17 (or younger) when Anne got pregnant, the first time, depending on when she actually had the child. The second time, in March 1709, when Anne had borne 2 children by Thomas, he was just shy of 19 and she was about 24 – and by then she was facing at least 10 more years of servitude to Durham (plus whatever was left of her original time) plus some servitude time to Thomas Dodson as well – probably another 5 years. This means that Anne Kelly would have served at least until she was 39 if not 44, adding in the first fine that Dorothy Durham paid.

Indeed, the crime of fornication was expensive…for the woman. The male involved, as we will see shortly, was free to live his life unencumbered.

Back to Boring Old Land

After all that fornication excitement, these land records are just outright boring!

Court Order Book Page 55 B – In obedience to an order of court dated June 2, 1709 wherein it was ordered that a jury should go upon the land in difference between James Tone by his nearest friend John Fan, plt and John Miller, def, to survey according to the most known and reputed bounds thereof the land aforesaid, we by the named jury underwritten met upon the land and find the def a trespasser and that said deft has committed damage upon the said land to the value of 5 shillings sterling. July 5, 1709 signers include Bar: Richd Dodson, Thomas (T his mark) Dodson

Court Order Book Page 14 April 2, 1712 Christopher Petty and Thomas Dodson, processioners appointed for one of the precincts of Northfarnham Parish have made returns that Robert Downeman has refused to procession the land of William Downeman Sr. and Hugh Cambell being undecided, it is ordered that the sheriff summon a jury of the most able and antient freeholders to lay out and survey the land of William Downeman and Hugh Cambell.

Processioners were men appointed to periodically review the property lines with all parties concerned within the parish. This was to reduce conflicts and gain agreement by all to the location of those lines. Antient is an obsolete spelling of ancient.

I can just see these men tromping around in the swamps.

Thomas’s Dodson’s Father-In-Law Dies

Thomas Durham, Thomas Dodson’s father-in-law, wrote his will in 1711, but did not pass away until 1715, when his will was probated in June.

Will Book page 210 – Thomas Durham, North Farnham Parish, will August 4, 1711, probated June 1 ,1715, wife Dorothy the plantation, after her death to son Thomas and Mary his wife, son John, dau Mary Dodson, grandson Thomas Dodson, ex: wife; no witnesses.

In Thomas Durham’s 1711 will, he specifically mentions his daughter, Mary Dodson and her son, Thomas Dodson, which would be the son of Thomas Dodson and Mary Durham.

Alice Dodson Born

Daughter Alice was probably born about 1712.

Thomas’s Brother and Wife Die

In addition to Thomas Dodson’s father-in-law’s death in May of 1715, Thomas’s brother was ill, apparently for several months, and died as well. Sadly, Charles’s daughter, Anne was born on July 16, 1715, 8 days after Charles wrote his will but before his will was probated in May of 1716 by his widow.  They had a newborn child, a very sick husband and a questionable wife, as she wrote her will in 1718 and died in 1719, leaving several orphans. It appears that daughter Anne died too, because nothing more is known of her and she is not mentioned in her mother’s will.

We don’t know who raised Thomas’s brother’s children, but given that there were several Dodson siblings, they along with the wife’s siblings were the most likely candidates.

Court Order Book Page 250 – Charles Dodson, Farnham Parish, will July 8, 1715, probated May 2, 1716, son Charles all land between spring branch and the branch that parts by land from the land of Thomas Dodson, son Furtunatus all land below by spring branch. Wife Anne, ex: wife; wits Bartholomew R. Dodson, George Petty

The Thomas Dodson family would have been greatly aggrieved and making regular trips to the cemetery, wherever that was.

Mary Dodson Born

Daughter Mary Dodson was born October 5, 1715, in the midst of the Durham and Dodson deaths.

This must have been a terribly emotional time.

Thomas’s Mother-In-Law Remarries

In February 1715/16, Thomas Dodson’s mother-in-law remarries to Jeremiah Greenham.

David and Greenham Dodson Born

Sons David and Greenham Dodson were both probably born between 1715 and 1720. Greenham, probably named for Jeremiah Greenham would have been born sometime after Jeremiah married Dorothy in February of 1715/16.

Thomas as Appraiser

Court Order Book Page 143 Oct. 7, 1719 Ann Ayes formerly Ann Elmore and made oath that Peter Elmore Jr. departed this life without making any will and giving security for her administration of the estate.

John Harris, Hugh Harris, Christopher Petty and Thomas Dodson or any 3 of them to appraise estate of Peter Elmore. All sworn plus Ann Ayres.

Will Book Page 135 Peter Elmore estate appraised and signed by John Harris, Thomas Dodson (T his mark) Hugh Harris Nov. 4, 1719

While all we see here are the court records, keep in mind that Peter Elmore was Thomas Dodson’s godfather and the Dodson neighbor, probably for his entire life.

Ann Elmore, Peter’s daughter had married Robert Ayres, so she is clearly not Ann Dodson, wife of Charles.

John Hill

Court Order Book Page 36 March 7, 1721/22 Frances Hill wife of John Hill relinquished right of dower in piece of land sold by her husband unto Thomas Creele and ack last Jan court.

We have no way of knowing if this John Hill is the same John Hill as Ann Dodson married in 1706, but the Dodson family involvement with this John seems to suggest so. If that is the case, then between 1706 and 1722, Ann Dodson Hill died and John remarried to Frances.

John Hill and Frances Hill, relict of Robert Reynolds, decd came into court and made oath that Robert Reynolds departed this life without making any will so farr as they know or believe and on their petition and giving security for their just and faithful administration of the decds estate, certificate granted them for obtaining probate.

John Hill, Frances Hill, Caron Brannon and James Neale came into court and ack bond for John Hill and Frances Hill admin of estate of Robert Reynolds, decd.

Thomas Dodson, Christopher Petty, Bartholomew Richard Dodson and Thomas Scurlock or any 3 of them to appraise estate of Robert Reynolds decd. All sworn plus John and Frances Hill, the admins.

Jeremiah Greenham

Court Order Book Page 38 – April 4, 1722 George Davenport, John Mills, Jeremiah Greenham and Thomas Dodson or any 3 of them to appraise estate of Thomas Welch. All sworn and also Elizabeth Welch, executrix.

Thomas Dodson and his wife’s step-father Jeremiah Greenham apparently get along well, as they are paired numerous times in various affairs.

Bridle Road

Court Order Book Page 40 April 4, 1722 Upon motion of Thomas Dodson and others ordered that Mr. Travers Downman forthwith cause a sufficient bridle road to be cleared round his plantation into the Ridge Road.

That bridle road is probably a real road today, if we just knew where the Ridge Road was, we might be able to find some candidates along Totuskey Creek.

On the map below, the Ridge Road is marked with the red pin. Downman’s land may have been towards Moratico, at the bottom of this picture, below the red pin. Today, Ridge Road, Richmond Road and History Land Highway are paved, and the rest of the roads are still dirt.

Totuskey Creek is the spider-like structure to the upper left of the red pin on the left side.

There are several small roads intertwined with Totuskey Creek.

This picture is facing Totuskey Creek at its closest point to Ridge Road. I don’t know if this was the Dodson land, but Thomas was assuredly familiar with this land.

More Estates Appraised

As men aged, they were perceived to be wiser, or just perhaps more experienced. When possible, estate appraisers consisted of the deceased person’s largest creditor, a person related to the widow to represent her interests and someone unconnected with the deceased but a county resident familiar with prices of goods. Finding someone “unconnected” in a community where everyone knew everyone well, and many families were intermarried must have been challenging. I suspect that many times the third man was really a respected member of the community. These three men would agree, with their various interests, on the value of the estate, so the process was deemed to be fair to all involved.

Court Order Book Page 202 Robert Reanolds estate inventory signed by Christopher Petty, Thomas Dodson and Thomas Skourlock April 4, 1722

Court Order Book Page 209 Inventory of Thomas Welch signed by Jeremiah Greenham, George Devenport and Thomas Dodson May 2, 1722

Court Order Book Page 124 Nov. 6, 1723 Thomas Dodson sworn on grand jury.

Abraham Born

Son Abraham Dodson was born in April 1723.

Thomas Buys Land From His Brother-in-Law

1720-1733 Richmond Co VA Deed Book 8; Antient Press: (Page 240

This indenture made the Tenth day of December Anno Dm. 1723 Between Thomas Durham of County of Richmond of one part and Thomas Dodson Senr. of County aforesaid of other part; Witnesseth that Thomas Durham in consideration of sum of Five shillings of lawfull money of England to him in hand paid by Thomas Dodson Senr., do by these presents bargaine and sell unto Thomas Dodson Senr. his heirs a parcel! of land containing One hundred acres formerly belonging to Abraham Marshall sitaute in County of Richmond and bounded; Begining at a Spanish Oak corner tree of Charles Dodson, being part of a Pattent formerly granted to Wm: Thatcher by the Maine Branch of Totoskey, and extending thence S. 12 degrees W. 122 perches to a Mulberrie tree, thence S. 54 degrees E. 98 by a red Oak, corner tree, thence E. N. E. 34 perches by a red Oak, thence No, 24 degrees E. 104 perches to a Poplar in said Maine Branch, thence down said Branch its severall courses to the first station; Together with all Timber trees and other trees with all prof itts comodites and priviledges; To have and to hold the hundred acres of land and premises unto Thomas Dodson Senr, his heirs dureing the full term of one year paying therefore the Rent of one Eare of Indian Corn on the Feast Day of the Birth of our Lord God next ensueing if lawfully demanded, to the end that by vertue of these presents and of the Statute for transferring uses into possession, Thomas Dodson Senr, may be in the actuall possession of the land and premises and thereby enabled to take a grant of the inheritance thereof to him and his heirs; In Witness whereof the parties abovesaid to these presents interchangeably have set their hands and seals the day and year first above written

Signed Thomas and Mary Durham, wit John Hill, William Walker and Jeremiah Greenham

Dec 10, 1723 between Thomas Durham to Thomas Dodson Sr of Richmond Co. 5000 pounds tobacco received by Thomas Dodson Sr certain parcel of land formerly belonging to Abraham Marshall bearing date 25th of 9ber, 1692, containing 100 acres bounded (same as lease above). Signed Thomas Durham, Mary Durham, wit John Hill, William Walker, Jeremiah Greenham

This land appears to be the same as above, but the payment amount/method is different. The extractions are taken from two different sources.

Dec. 10, 1723 Mary Dodson appeared in court and released her dower

This deed or deeds provide a lot of information. First, the deed locates the land on Totuskey Creek for Thomas Dodson, Charles Dodson and Thomas Durham Sr. Second, this tells us that Thomas Durham Jr., the man who impregnated the indentured servant, twice, did not marry the servant, but instead married Mary Smoote in about 1710, a year or so after the second child was born of Anne Kelly.

Thomas Durham’s involvement with Anne Kelly and her two children was apparently done. By 1723, Anne might have been raising those children, now teenagers and serving several more years to Thomas Dodson in payment for her “sin” and his payment of HER fine for fornication, but Thomas Durham skated free, married and is living the life of his choice while living very near to Anne Kelly, probably next door, as she suffers the permanent consequences of their “fornication.”

At a Court held for Richmond County the sixth day of May 1724, Thomas Durham came into Court and acknowledged this his Deed unto Thomas Dodson Senr. which was admitted to Record

The mouth of Totuskey Creek is shown above, where it intersects with the Rappahannock River. We know that the Dodsons lived someplace on the main branch of Totuskey Creek. Farnham, to the right down 3 (History Land Highway) is the location of the North Farnham Parish Church.

Much of the area remains low and swampy today.

The photos above and below are Totuskey Creek near its intersection with highway 3, named the History Land Highway. Minus the houses and modern reminders, this area probably didn’t look a lot different then. Swamp where it was too wet for trees, then woods and fields where they could be cleared.

We don’t know exactly where Briery Swamp was located on the Totuskey, but we do know that there was a North Branch. Other family names with deeds reflecting Briery Swamp were Mills, Goad, Headley, Lawson, Downman and Griffin.

Judging Workmanship

It appears that perhaps Thomas Dodson was selected for a peacekeeping role, perhaps reflecting a respected position within the community. At age 43, he had already outlived the average life expectancy for that time of 37 years old.

Court Order Book Page 154 May 7, 1724 In action between Robert Schofield plt and Mary Dalton deft by consent of both parties that Thomas Dodson and William Hanks appointed between now and next court and view the work done by the plt for the deft and report whether in their opinion it be done in a workmanlike manner and the suit continued.

Court Order Book Page 173 Sept 2, 1724 Thomas Dodson Sr and Jeremian Greenham sworn on jury.

Joshua Born

Son Joshua Dodson was born in May 1725.

Stafford County Land

Stafford County, Virginia Deed Book J, 1722 – 1728; {Antient Press}: pp 340-346

This indenture made 13th January and Last day January 1726 between Jeremiah Greenham of County Richmond and Parish of North farnam sawyer of one part and Thomas Dodson and Greenham Dodson, Planters of the above said county Witnesseth Jeremiah Greenham in consideration sum ten shillings of good is lawfull money of great Britain by deeds of lease release hath granted all that tract of land between the Branches of Potomack and Accakeek runs in the Parish Overwharton containing 316 acres being the Moyety of 632 acres of land granted in Joynt Tenancy to one Thomas Leechman and one William Williams and the said 316 acres was also made over by less & reless dated 9th July 1714 unto Jeremiah Greenham the aforesaid 632 acres granted to Leachman & Williams was by a deed from the Proprietors office dated 21st July 1710 and the aforementioned 316 acres is bounded … beginning at a corner marked red oak standing by the Path that leads from the head of Accakeek run to Capt. Mountjoys Mill being one of the corner trees mentioned in the said Deed .. to corner marked gum tree standing by the said Path .. to corner marked Pine standing in the line of land survey’d for James Harvey thence along Harvey’s line .. thence East to the stony lick branch to corner marked black oak standing in the said bank being marked for a Dividing tree between Leechman and Williams by Mr. George Crosby Sr.. & Mr. John Addams persons well acquainted with the said land Indifferently chosen by the said Leechman and Williams to make a division between them in manner may appear by an agreement Division in writeing duly executed dated 13th June last past ..

Presence Thos. Humston, Jere: Greenham

Rawleigh Travers

At Court held for Stafford County 8th February 1726 Jeremiah Greenham acknowledged this deed lease and release’.. admitted to record.

I wonder why Jeremiah Greenham sold this land to the Dodson brothers. Furthermore, I wonder if Dorothy was now deceased, because she did not relinquish her dower right in the land.

I could find no record of children for Jeremiah Greenham.

Stafford County was north of Richmond County, along the Potomac, but not far.

This area appears to be a Nature Preserve today, unless their land was further inland.

The head of Accokeek Creek seems to be in the area just Northwest of Ramoth in the upper left corner of the map below, and the branches of the Potomac are just below that location, so perhaps this is where Thomas’s land fell.  There is no record of what happened to this land.

Back in Richmond County

Clearly, Thomas Dodson never lived on the land in Stafford County, as he continued to function in Richmond County, often serving on the jury or appraising estates for neighbors that have passed away.

Court Order Book Page 272 March 3, 1725/26 Thomas Dodson action of debt against Adam McLeroy dismissed the plt not prosecuting.

This is the only record where Thomas sued for debt, which compared to other planters, was rather amazing.  However, he obviously wasn’t averse when necessary.

Page 308 October 5, 1726 Will of Peter Elmore decd presented by Charity Elmore his executrix who made oath and proved by Bartholomew Richard Dodson and Thomas Dodson, two of the witnesses.

Bartholomew Richard Dodson, Thomas Dodson, John Oldham and James Oldham or any 3 of them to appraise estate of Peter Elmore. All sworn plus Charity Elmore, executrix.

Elisha Born

Elisha Dodson was born in February of 1727.

Another Estate

Court Order Book Page 338 April 5, 1727 Thomas Scurlock, Thomas Dodson, William Everitt and Abraham Goad or any 3 of them to appraise estate of John Petty, decd. All sworn.

This William Everitt is probably the father of Sarah Everett who married Thomas’s son, Elisha. When Thomas’s son, George sold the land in 1756 that his father, Thomas, left to him, it abutted the land of a William Everett.

John Hill Dies

Court Order Book Page 399 April 3, 1728 Last will of John Hill decd presented by Frances Hill, executrix and oath of James Wilson and John Hightower, two witnesses.

Frances Hill, John Hightower and Lambert Dodson came into court and ack bond for Frances Hill’s administration of will of John Hill decd.

Thomas Scurlock, Thomas Dodson, John Hightower and Bartholomew Richard Dodson or any 3 of them to appraise estate of John Hill. Oaths admin to all 3 plus Frances Hill.

Is this the same John Hill that was married to Ann Dodson? Given the family association with Thomas Dodson and two of his brothers, I would guess so. He obviously remarried.

More Jury Duty

Court Order Book Page 599 Sept. 2, 1731 Thomas Dodson and Charles Dodson on jury.

Court Order Book Page 602, 603 Sept. 2, 1731 Thomas Dodson and Charles Dodson on jury to hear case for “tending of second for tobacco.”

I’m not entirely clear was “tending of second” was, but Hening’s Statutes discuss it in 1730 and it seems to be related to practices involving the pruning and care of plants to increase the quality of the tobacco as opposed to the yield. Thomas wasn’t accused of this, but obviously someone was and it wasn’t a trivial offense.

Court Order Book Page 603 September 2, 1731 Thomas Dodson and Charles Dodson on jury, twice.

Court Order Book Page 604 September 2, 1731 John Dodson is security for John and Ann Elmore.

Court Order Book Page 605, 606 September 2, 1731 Thomas Dodson and Charles Dodson on jury, twice.

Court Order Book Page 644 May 3, 1732 Thomas Dodson, Sr, Jeremiah Greenham and John Hill on grand jury.

Family Squabble

Court Order Book Page 625 March 2, 1731/32 Thomas Dodson Jr. pl vs Lambert Dodson deft 2747 pounds tobacco due by account, the def being called and not appearing on the motion of the plt judgement is granted him against the def and John Gibson his security for the aforesaid sum and costs unless def appears at next court and answers the action.

Court Order Book Page 5 Nov. 7, 1732 Thomas Dodson Jr. vs Lambert Dodson continued till next court.

Court Order Book Page 12 Nov. 7, 1732 Thomas Dodson Jr. plt vs Lambert Dodson def for 2747 pounds tobacco due by account being called and not appearing the judgement of the March court is again confirmed.

It looks like the family has another squabble between Thomas Jr. and his uncle. This is the first mention of Thomas Dodson Jr. in the record books. Ironically, it isn’t the uncle claiming his nephew owes him, but the other way around.  Furthermore, Lambert never shows up in court and the case is found for Thomas Jr.  This one is a head scratcher too.  Thomas Jr. would have been about 32 at this time, so clearly old enough to be farming or functioning as a “planter” and conducting business.

Thomas Jr. Buys Land

Deed Book 8, p.660 August 6, 1733 Abraham & Winifred Daile and Ellinor Southorn to Thomas Dodson Jr. 30 acres formerly belonging to Daniel O’Neal. Rec. August 6, 1733

Father and Son Sell Land

Deed Book Page 12 Lease and release Dec 6-7, 1733 from Thomas Dodson Sr and Mary his wife and Thomas Dodson Jr and Eliza his wife all of NFP to John’n Lyell of same in consideration of a negro woman to be delivered to said Dodson as soon as any comes to Virginia to be sold as the said Dodson Jr. wished about 130 acres in NFP and bounded by Charles Dodson by the main swamp of Totuskey. The other 30 acres of land is bounded by old Cone path formerly belonging to Daniel Oneal, a line of trees that divides the land of Mr. Spencer and the land of Thomas Dusin, corner oak formerly belonging to William Matthews, along Matthews line the land formerly belonging to John Henly. Of the 130 acres, 100 acres formerly belonged to Abraham Marshall by a deed dates 25 9ber 1692 and from thence conveyed to Thomas Durham and by the said Durham sold to Thomas Dodson Sr. The other 30 acres was formerly sold by Thomas Dusin to Thomas Southern by deed dated 21 7ber 1687. Signed Thomas Dodson Sr his mark T, Mary her mark M, Thomas Dodson Jr, Elizabeth her mark, wit Robert Reynolds and George Gibson and William Creel Rec April 1, 1734

This hurts my heart. Until now, we had no evidence that Thomas Dodson was participating in the slave trade, but now we do. Raising tobacco was a very labor intensive endeavor. There weren’t enough people to do the work, and indentured servants, if they weren’t worked to death, eventually had to be freed. Not so with Africans, although there weren’t enough slaves arriving either. Native people were being enslaved by this time as well, as evidenced by a 1711 record in Richmond County, although not having to do with the Dodson family.

Court Order Book Page 170 Mary Dodson wife of Thomas Dodson Sr and Eliza Dodson wife of Thomas Dodson Jr both of NFP appoint friend Henry Miskell of same POA to ack 130 acres land which was sold by our husbands to Mr. John’s Lyell of same by deed dated today. Signed Dec. 7 1733 both by mark. Wit Robert Reynolds (Renold) and George Gibson, William Creele Rec April 1, 1734

Court Order Book Page 170 Thomas Dodson and Thomas Dodson Jr. came into court and ack their deeds of lease and release for land unto Jonathan Lyell.

Court Order Book Page 171 April 1, 1734 Henry Miskell by virtue of power of attorney from Mary Dodson and Elizabeth Dodson the wives of Thomas Dodson and Thomas Dodson Jr to him in that behalf made relinquished the said Mary and Elizabeth’s right of dower in the land conveyed in the deeds unto Jonathan Lyell.

Women often did not want to attend court, so they would appoint a male, who was going to attend court anyway, to be their power of attorney and give their word, on their behalf, that they did indeed relinquish their dower right in the land.

There is a Lyell church at Rich Neck in Richmond County, the green area just below Rich Neck on the map below.  A crossroads named Lyells if located about 3.5 miles, as the crow flies, to the northwest of Rich Neck, at the intersection of Oldham’s Road and King’s Highway (History Land Highway.) The Lyell family was certainly located in this area.

Another Neighbor Dies

Court Order Book Page 170 April 1, 1734 John Oldum, Thomas Dodson, Richard Brown and John Flynt or any 3 of them to appraise estate of Robert Mathews. All sworn plus Sarah Mathews and James Oldum, executors.

Every time we see an estate record, we know that one of Thomas’s neighbors, and probably his friends, has died. Thomas Dodson’s daughter, Mary, married an Oldham.

Thomas Buys Brother Bartholomew Richard’s Land

Deed Book 9 Page 21 May 5-6 1734, Bartholomew Richard Dodson and wife Elizabeth of Weecomoce (Wicomico) Parish in Northumberland County to Thomas Dodson of North Farnham Parish (NFP) in Richmond County for 4500 pounds tobacco, 150 acres lying between the Oke neck and Hickory Neck Branch in Richmond county which land (is part of 500 acres that) [part in parenthesis lines out in transcription] was formerly sold by Capt. Samuel Traverse to Charles Dodson, father to the said Bartholomew Richard Dodson. Land is bounded by Daniel Everit. Signed by him, her mark, Wit Thomas Legg, H Miskell, Jeremiah Greenham, Rec May 6, 1734 and Elizabeth Dodson relinquish dower.

Based on the 1702 will of Charles Dodson, Bartholomew inherited the land at Oak Neck and William inherited the land called Hickory Neck, from their father. I wonder if Oak Neck and Hickory Neck are near Rich Neck, the land inherited by son Thomas.

Charles Dodson Sr. obviously felt very strongly about the land that he left his sons. However, he made it very difficult for them to move on, because he stipulated that they could only leave it to heirs of their body, or sell it to their brothers, assuring that it would always stay in the family. The sons attempted to honor his wishes.

Court Order Book Page 181 May 6, 1734 Bartholomew Richard Dodson and Elizabeth wife ack deed for lease and release to Thomas Dodson.

Power of Attorney

Obviously, Thomas Dodson was already in court this day.

Deed Book 9 Page 25 Jane Lawson of Christ Church Parish in Lancaster County, Power of Attorney (POA) to Thomas Dodson to ack in Richmond County court a deed dated today for 450 ac to Robert Mitchell of St. Mary White Chapel in Lancaster County. Deed made my me, John Steptoe Jr and Joanne, his wife. Signed May 4, 1734 wit Tobias Phillips, John Brown rec May 6 1734

Court Order Book Page 182 May 6, 1734 POA from Jean Lawson to Thomas Dodson proved with oath of Tobias Phillips and John Brown, witnesses.

Court Order Book Page 182 Thomas Dodson by virtue of a POA from Jane Lawson to him ack the same Jane Lawson’s deed for land and the livery of seizen thereon until Robert Mitchell and John Steptoe Jr and Johanna his wife.

Court Order Book Page 186 May 6, 1734 Jeremiah Greenham and Thomas Dodson on jury.

Court Order Book Page 393 May 3, 1736 – Henry Miskell, William Deavenport, John Hightower and Thomas Dodson or any 3 of them to appraise estate of John Ogleby decd. Sworn along with Margery Ogleby admin.

Fortunatis Dies

Court Order Book Page 600 May 1, 1738 Thomas Dodson, William Everett, George Glascock and John Hightower or any 3 of them to appraise estate of Fortunatus Dodson, decd. All sworn, plus Alice Dodson admin.

Fortunatus was Thomas Dodson’s nephew, son of his brother Charles who died more than 20 years before.

Thomas must have thought to himself that the next generation was beginning to pass on. By this time, Thomas was 57 years old and Fortunatis would have been about 38, having married Alice Goad a dozen years earlier.

Page 622 July 3, 1738 Thomas Dodson on jury.

Surveyor

Court Order Book Page 632 July 4, 1738 Thomas Dodson appointed surveyor of the highways for this ensuing year of the Coach Road from Richard Oldums to the lower end of the county and ordered he clear the same according to law. A coach road would have had to have been a substantial road in good repair to be able to handle the width of a coach and team of horses without vibrating the passengers to death.

Court Order Book Page 638 July 4 1738 Thomas Dodson on jury.

Court Order Book 1738/1739 – Page 81 – Thomas Dodson, William Everitt, James Tarpley and Richard (B?) or any 3 of them to appraise estate of James Oldham decd. All sworn plus Juney and John Oldham, execs.

Again, we don’t know exactly where the Oldham family lived, but there is a location called Oldhams, just a mile or so from Rich Neck.

If Thomas was responsible for the road from Oldham’s to the southern end of the county, that would mean from Oldham’s on Road 600 to what is now 360, intersecting with Ridge Road, also road 600, and on south. There were only two roads that traversed the county north to south. Given that we know that this road, now 600, was called the Ridge Road, perhaps the Coach Road was the other road, running closer to the Rappahannock that is today called either the King’s Road, a holdover from colonial times, or History Land Highway.  Thomas was responsible for one or the other.

Thomas Dodson’s Will

Thomas Dodson wrote his own will on February 17, 1739/40 when he was only 58 years old. The will was probated on March 2, 1740/41.

In The Name Of God Amen I Thomas Dodson of North Farnham p’ish in Richmond County Being sick and Weak of Body but in Perfect since and Memory do make and ordain this to be my Last Will and Testam.t in manner and forme –

Impri I lend to my Wife Mary Dodson my Plantation whereon I now Live and the Land thereto Blonging with all my Negroes and Moveable Estate dureing her Natural Life –

Item. I give to my Son Thomas Dodson Five Shill’s to be Paid by Ex’rrs

I give to my Son George Dodson and his heirs for Ever one hundred and fifty Acres of Land whereon he ye sd George Dodson is now Liveing

I Give to my Son Greenham Dodson and his heirs for Ever the Whole Tract of Land I bought of Lambarth Dodson –

I give to my Sone Elisha Dodson & his Heirs for Ever the Plantation whereon I now Live and Land Land therto Belonging after my Wife Mary Dodsons Decease –

I Give to my Daughter Alice Creel One Negroe Girl named Sarah –

I give to my Daughter Mary Oldam one New Suit of calica Cloaths –

I Give to my Son Greenham Dodson one Negroe man Named Harry –

I GIve to my Son Abraham Dodson one Negroe Woman named Bess and one Negroe Boy named Joe –

I Give to my Son Josha Dodson one Negroe woman Named Sue and one Negroe Boy named Dick –

I give to my son Elisha Dodson one Negroe Girl Named Nan –

I give to my son Greenham Dodson one feather Bed and furniture –

I give to my son Abraham Dodson one feather Bed and furniture –

I give to my son Joshua Dodson one feather Bed and furniture –

I give to my son Elisha Dodson one feather Bed and furniture –

I Give to Granddaughter ye Daughter of David Dodson Twenty Shill’s

All the Remaining Part of My Estate be the same more or Less I give to be Equally Divided between three of my sons: Vist Abraham Dodson Joshua Dodson & Elisha Dodson

I Likewise ordain and Appoint my Wife Mary Dodson and my son Greenham Dodson to be the true and Lawful Exr.s of the my Last will & Tesatament as Witness my hand and seal this 17th Day of February 1739

(S) Thomas (T his mark) Dodson (Seal)

Wits: H. Miskell, John (X) Hightower, Charles Dodson

Thomas’s will removes all doubt about his participation in the slave trade. He owned at least 7 slaves, and potentially more.  While at the time, owning slaves was clearly a sign of prosperity for the slave owner and “normal” in that society, today, seeing these records causes no small amount of anguish.  All I can say is that I hope he was a kind and generous man.

The death of Thomas Dodson is recorded in the North Farnham Parish Records as November 21, 1740. Typically wills are probated within 90 days, at the next court, so the probate date of March 2, 1740/1741, which is the current year of 1741, makes sense. At that time, the new year did not begin until March 25, March 2 would have been considered 1740 at that time, but is 1741 today.

Richmond County Will Book 5 p.380 – Thomas DODSON, inv; 6 Apr 1741. p.387 – Thomas DODSON, f.inv; 3 Aug 1741.

Will Book 5 has not been transcribed.  I have written for a copy of Thomas’s inventory.  I hope it’s long and detailed! I will add it here when it arrives.

Thomas left multiple tracts of land:

  • To wife Mary, “the plantation whereon I now live and the land thereto belonging” and at the death of Mary, the plantation should go to son Elisha Dodson
  • To son George Dodson, “150 acres of land whereon the said George Dodson is now living
  • To son Greenham Dodson “the whole tract of land I bought of Lambarth Dodson.”

Unfortunately, there is no record of what became of the land Thomas left to Elisha, which would have informed us of where Thomas actually lived at that time.

One of the first two tracts, according to Reverend Silas Lucas, is the Travers land. That land, called Rich Neck, was sold by the heirs of Thomas Dodson to Charles Lovelace, date no specified but apparently in Richmond County. In later years, the heirs of Lovelace sold the land back to James Boothe Dodson, son of Charles.

If today’s Rich Neck is the same Rich Neck as the references on a contemporary map, I’ve found it!!!

It’s surrounded by Marshy Swamp, which could well have been the Briery Swamp of the 1600s and early 1700s. Marsh Swamp has mill ponds and we know that Briery did as well.

There certainly is a north branch of Marshy Swamp, so I’m thinking this fits the bill quite nicely and I don’t see any other candidate waterways that fit all of the criteria, including a location named Rich Neck and Lyell Church.  I do believe these dots are connected!

The satellite view shows that indeed, there is farmland surrounded by the Creek which is a branch of Totuskey.

Unfortunately, 619 does not have Street View, so I can’t “drive down” it remotely.

Here’s Richmond Road where it crosses Marshy Swamp

Thomas’s Estate Didn’t End With the Will

After Thomas’s death, his widow, Mary Durham Dodson married Robert Galbreath on September 29, 1743 and sure enough, lawsuits followed – just 10 months later.

On July 3, 1744, in chancery court, Greenham Dodson files on behalf of himself as executor of the estate of Thomas Dodson, and others, against Robert Galbreath. (Court Record Book 11-406)

On May 7, 1745, the suit was resolved and the court decided that the petitioner, Greenham Dodson, should “take possession of the coverture, according to the intention of the testators will” and that he should use it for the benefit of Mary Galbreath during her coverture. Robert Galbreath refused to give security and was ordered to pay costs. (Court Record Book 11-458)

That doesn’t sound terribly friendly. The term coverture means the legal status of a married woman, considered to be under her husband’s protection and authority. Perhaps the Dodson children felt that Robert Galbreath was utilizing the estate of Thomas Dodson for himself, not for Mary. Mary would have been 57 years old.

I checked the Virginia Chancery Suit index site for Richmond County, and either those records never made it to the State Library, or they aren’t online yet. I would love to see the entire case file for this suit.

Where was Thomas Dodson Buried?

We don’t know where Thomas Dodson was buried, but he may be buried at the North Farnham Parish church.

You can see that there is a cemetery behind the North Farnham Parish Church, built in 1737, just a few years before Thomas died. Thomas may have helped to build this church.

DNA

The Dodson DNA is quite interesting. While I have not been able to find males close to me genealogically to test, I’m quite fortunate that several Dodson males who descend from this line have already tested. And thankfully, their Y DNA matches each other, so we know that the Dodson Y DNA lineage looks like. I’m incredible grateful for projects at Family Tree DNA, because without projects, there would be no avenue to “find” our ancestor’s DNA lineage, at least not without being able to find someone to test. Projects allow us to leverage the combined tests of others for our own genealogy. Hopefully, we’re reciprocating in kind by joining appropriate projects with our own tests.

As it turns out, there is more than one line of Dodsons, genetically speaking. To begin with, there are haplogroup I Dodsons and two haplogroup R Dodson groups, plus additional Dodsons who don’t match anyone. Charles Dodson’s line is haplogroup R, or more specifically, R-M269.

Charles County, Maryland lies directly across the Potomac River from the Northern Neck, but the Dodson family descended from John Dodson who settled there is NOT the same Dodson family. This isn’t what I would have expected.

The Dodson Y DNA project has several members. The DNA project itself can be found at this link, and a description of some of the lineages can be found at this link.

These lineages as listed on the website include two individuals who descend from Charles Dodson (1645-1705) through son Thomas (1681-1740) and his son Thomas (1707-1783), in blue and yellow, above.

Both men descended through Charles’ son Thomas have marker value of 13 at DYS439, in red above, which could be a line marker mutation. What we don’t know is when this mutation occurred in this line. In fact, it could have been anyplace from Thomas Sr. through Isaac.

Kit 17119 – Charles – Thomas – Thomas – Joseph – Caleb – Isaac – William – (plus 3 more generations)

Kit 24573 – Charles – Thomas – Thomas – Joseph – Caleb – Isaac – John – (plus 5 more generations)

Kit 8571 – Charles – Thomas – George – Lazarus – Elisha – (plus several generations)

The one additional individual, kit 8571, who descends through Thomas has only tested to 12 markers. However, we’re in luck because marker 439 is contained within that panel and carries a value of 14.

Therefore, we know that the mutation to 13 occurred someplace below Thomas Sr. and between Thomas Jr. and Isaac. Thomas Sr. did not carry this mutation, because the descendant of his son George does not have the mutation. Therefore 439=13 is NOT a line marker mutation for Thomas Sr.

What Does the Dodson DNA Look Like?

The Dodson DNA project documents that many of Charles Dodson’s descendants have tested and together, form the genetic Y DNA STR signature of the Northern Neck, Richmond County, Virginia line in America.  STRs are short tandem repeat markers, meaning those shown in the results below.

As you can see, in many cases, there is no question about the original marker value, because there are no mutations and all of the descendants match. In other cases, for other markers, there are several mutations. Mutations from the “normal” value for the group of participants is shown by colorized cells.

We can reconstruct the original STR markers of Charles Dodson’s DNA by determining the most common values.

The Dodson project was one of the early projects established, so people have tested at all different levels. The lower levels, such as 12 markers, are less useful. Additionally, few have uploaded Gedcom files, which makes determining who is descended from which of Charles’ sons somewhat difficult.

I have utilized the information listed on the Dodson public project page, shown above, to create the chart below, listing the original Charles Dodson value for each marker, plus the percentage of the time this marker is found in haplogroup R-M343, which is R1b. This will inform us of any unusual or rare marker values for the Dodson lineage – forming in essence a Dodson rare marker genetic signature that should suffice to isolate Dodson men from others. Markers that appear in less than 10% of the people who carry this haplogroup are bolded.

Allele Location Dodson Value % in R-M343 (R1b)
393 13 91
390 24 60
19 15 9
391 11 67
385a 11 87
385b 13 11
426 12 98
388 12 98
439 14 2
389-1 13 71
392 13 86
389-2 29 63
458 16 18
459a 9 95
459b 10 81
455 11 97
454 11 98
447 25 69
437 15 85
448 19 78
449 28 11
464a 15 80
464b 15 71
464c 17 48
464d 17 69
460 10 probably, or 11 19 (10) or 74 (11)
GATA H4 11 71
YCA II a 19 95
YCA II b 23 81
456 16 40
607 15 70
576 18 42
570 17 57
CDY a 36 30
CDY b 39 22
442 11 12
438 12 94
531 11 92
578 9 97
395S1a 15 93
395S1b 16 96
590 8 99
537 10 90
641 10 98
472 8 100
406S1 10 85
511 10 85
425 12 100
413a 22 15
413b 23 89
557 16 73
594 10 96
436 12 99
490 12 97
534 17 8
450 8 97
444 12 73
481 22 60
520 20 85
446 13 76
617 12 91
568 11 95
487 13 92
572 11 88
640 11 95
492 12 73
565 12 88
710 33 16
485 15 84
632 9 98
495 16 87
540 12 85
714 25 31
716 26 93
717 19 88
505 12 80
556 11 94
549 12 33
589 12 92
522 10 52
494 9 98
533 13 22
636 12 91
575 10 100
638 11 97
462 11 95
452 31 9
445 13 6
GATA A10 14 8
463 23 5
441 13 83
GGAAT 1B07 10 92
525 10 85
712 20 31
593 15 98
650 18 33
532 14 23
715 24 62
504 17 56
513 12 72
561 15 87
552 24 77
726 12 99
635 23 80
587 18 92
643 10 83
497 14 92
510 17 71
434 9 96
461 12 80
435 11 98

Summary

Thomas Dodson’s life was probably very typically colonial. Thomas wasn’t aristocracy, wasn’t a Burgess or man representing the government in Virginia, but he wasn’t poor either. He inherited land and bought more, raising tobacco and amassing enough to leave each of his sons a plantation. He was an up-and-comer. He had indentured servants as well as slaves – unfortunately, the norm for a successful planter in Virginia of that time. He was a man making his way in a new land, in rather uncharted territory. Many of his children would continue the legacy and push on to new frontiers.

Thomas wasn’t just a planter. He took an active role in the community.  At various times he was a processioner, a surveyor, a bondsman and many times, a juror and estate appraiser.  Yes, once or twice, he was on the wrong end of the stick as well.  Perhaps he sewed a few wild oats, but apparently not nearly as many as his brother-in-law, young Thomas Durham Jr.

Thomas Dodson would have heard about England, the old country, and the King or Queen, but he was born in the new colony of “Virginny” and probably couldn’t relate to a place and aristocracy he didn’t know. He was part of the first generation of people thoroughly “American.” He was born a generation after the tenuous establishment of Jamestown and almost 40 years after the 1722 Indian raid that nearly destroyed the English settlement.

Thomas died less than a half century before the American Revolution and before the French and Indian War. Thomas and his generation began the foundation of what would, some 40 years after his death, become the United States of America. Thomas became the transition between the fledgling colony clinging to the coast by establishing a thriving tobacco-based economy that would expand and evolve into the foundation for an independent country, something for which his grandchildren stood firm and would fight.

Acknowledgements

Much of the information about the early Dodson lines, including Thomas Dodson, Mary Durham and their children, comes from the wonderful two volume set written by the Reverend Silas Lucas, published originally in 1988, titled The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia – A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants.

I am extremely grateful to Reverend Lucas for the thousands of hours and years he spent compiling not just genealogical information, but searching through county records in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and more. His work from his first publication in 1958 to his two-volume set 30 years later in 1988 stands as a model of what can and should be done for each colonial family – especially given that they were known to move from state to state without leaving any type of “forwarding address” for genealogists seeking them a few hundred years later. Without his books, Dodson researchers would be greatly hindered, if not entirely lost, today.

Sources

  • Richmond County Virginia Marriage References and Family Relationships 1692-1800 by F. Edward Wright
  • Richmond Co., VA Miscellaneous Records, 1699-1724 TLC Genealogy
  • Deed Abstracts of Richmond County 1692-1695 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Deed Abstracts of Richmond County 1695-1701 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Deed Abstracts of Richmond County 1701-1704 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Deed Abstracts of Richmond County 1705-1708 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Abstracts of Land Records of Richmond County, VA 1692-1704 by Mary Marshall Brewer
  • Richmond Co., VA 1714-1715 Deeds by Ruth and Sam Sparicio
  • Deed Abstracts Richmond Co., VA 1715-1718 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond Co., VA 1719-1721 Deeds by Ruth and Sam Sparicio
  • Richmond Co., VA 1721-1725 Deeds by Ruth and Sam Sparicio
  • Richmond County VA Deeds and Bonds 1721 and 1734 by TLC Genealogy
  • Richmond County VA Deeds and Bonds 1734 and 1741 by TLC Genealogy
  • The Registers of North Farnham Parish 1663-1814 and Lunenburg Parish 1783-1800 Richmond County, Virginia Compiled and Published by George Harrison Sanford King 1966
  • Marriages of Richmond County, VA 1668-1853 by George Harrison Sanford King
  • Wills of Richmond Co., Va 1699-1800 by Robert K. Keadley, Jr
  • Richmond Co Will Book 4 1717-1725 by TLC
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1692-1694 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1694-1697 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1698-1699 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1699-1701 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1702-1704 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1704-1708 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1705-1706 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1707-1708 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1708-1709 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1711-1713 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book 1714-1715 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1716-1717 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1718-1719 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1722-1724 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1724-1725 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1726-1727 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1728-1729 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1729-1730 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1731-1732 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1732-1734 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1732-1739 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1735-1736 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County Order Book Abstracts 1737-1738 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio
  • Richmond County, Virginia Court Orders 1721-1752 An Every Name Index by TLC Genealogy

Note that at the Allen County Public Library multiple books were rebound together and sometimes the title did not accurately reflect the contents. I searched all of the Richmond County books available which their catalog reflects includes contiguous dates.

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Genealogy Research

Henry Dagord or Dagod or Maybe Doggett (c 1660/1683 – after 1708), 52 Ancestors #150

Very little is known about Henry Dagod or Dagord except that he was the father of Margaret Dagod or Dagord born in North Farnham Parish in Richmond County, Virginia on April 30, 1708. The North Farnham Parish register record does not tell us who Henry’s wife is, and there are absolutely no other records in Richmond County that can be attributed to Henry Dagord. Not one. Nada.

In fact, we’re not even sure of his surname.

In the document, “The Registers of North Farnham Parish 1663-1814 and Lunenburg Parish 1673-1800, Richmond County, Virginia” compiled by George Harrison and Sanford King and published in 1866, they record Margaret’s surname as Dagod, not Dagord. This is the first and to my knowledge only publication of the North Farnham Parish registers, so we’re just going to have to trust their interpretation.

The publication “Married Well and Often: Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800,” available at Ancestry shows the Dodson/Dagod marriage as well.

dagord-marriage

These folks obviously thought that Dagod was a misspelling of Doggett, and there were Doggett families in the area. They may have been right – and they may have been wrong.

However, for some reason, within the Dodson family, Margaret’s surname has always been listed as Dagord, not Dagod or Doggett, either one. The great irony is that no place in these records or the Richmond County records does Dagord, spelled as such, ever appear.

Speaking of the North Farnham Church Register, the original parish register no longer exists and apparently hasn’t for about 200 years or so. We’re working with a disintegrating (but now preserved) leatherbound alphabetized transcription housed at the Virginia State Archives that includes records from 1663 to 1814. It’s these records, already alphabetized and transcribed once that were transcribed a second time by Harrison and King in 1866.

These records can very effectively be used in conjunction with the existing marriage records from the area which exist beginning in 1668. Neither set of documents appears to be complete. Pages are missing from the North Farnham Parish register. At least three sets of page numbers have been added at different times (pen, ink and crayon) and are not in sync with each other, not to mention that it’s obvious in an alphabetized list when sections or pages are missing.

In 1663, North Farnham Parish was still Farnham Parish which was split between north and south in 1684. North was north of the Rappahannock River, now Richmond County and South was south of the river, now Essex County.

Another challenge is the spelling of the Dagord surname. It may not be Dagord, and whatever it was, it could certainly have been spelled myriad ways. I found variations that included Dagod, Doggett, Doged, Doget, Dogged, Dogett, Doggett, Daggett…you get the idea. So I looked for every somewhat similar record beginning with Da and Do. The good and bad news both is that there really weren’t many records at all.

I thought sure that perhaps researchers hadn’t researched thoroughly, so I undertook that task, perusing not just Richmond County, but also the preceeding counties from which Richmond was formed. I checked Lancaster, York, Old Rappahannock and Richmond County land, probate and court records closely.

I did not check Essex County records since Essex was located across a mile-wide river, which would not have placed Margaret Dagod in close enough proximity to George Dodson to get to know each other well enough to marry, given that the Dodsons lived on or near Totuskey Creek in Richmond County.  A ferry ride would have been the most expedient way to cross the Rappahannock River, and ferries were not free.

Old Rappahannock County, Virginia

northern-neck

Settlement in the Northern Neck of Virginia, shown above as the neck of land that today includes the counties of Westmoreland, Northumberland, Richmond and Lancaster, began about 1635 when the area was part of York County, one of the original counties formed in 1634. St. Mary’s and St. Charles Counties in Maryland are just across the Potomac River, on the north side of the neck.

In 1619, the area which is now York County was included in two of the four incorporations (or “citties”) of the proprietary Virginia Company of London which were known as Elizabeth Cittie and James Cittie.

In 1634, what became York County was formed as Charles River Shire, one of the eight original shires of Virginia.

During the English Civil War, Charles River County and the Charles River (also named for the King) were changed to York County and York River, respectively. The river, county, and town of Yorktown are believed to have been named for York, a city in Northern England.

York County land records and probate began in 1633.

In 1648, Northumberland was formed from York and then in 1652 Lancaster was formed Northumberland and York. Land records in Northumberland began in 1650 and probate in 1652.

Old Rappahannock County (not to be confused with the current Rappahannock County) was formed in 1656 from Lancaster County, VA. Land records begin in 1656 and probate in 1665. In 1692, old Rappahannock was dissolved and divided into Essex and Richmond Counties.

Old Rappahannock County was named for the Native Americans who inhabited the area, Rappahannock reportedly meaning “people of the alternating (i.e., tidal) stream.” The county’s origins lay in the first efforts by English immigrants to “seat” the land along the Rappahannock River in the 1640s. The primitive travel capabilities of the day and the county’s relatively large area contributed to the settlers’ hardship in travel to the county seat to transact business, and became the primary reason for the county’s division by an Act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1691 to form the two smaller counties of Essex and Richmond.

According to the library of Virginia, old Rappahannock wills are with the Essex County wills, although they have been transcribed and published separately.

Richmond County was formed in 1692 from Old Rappahannock, with land records beginning in 1692 and probate in 1699, although many records are lost for unknown reasons.

You would think that at least some Dagord (or similar surname) records would be found in the following locations:

dagord-old-counties

If Margaret Dagod/Dagord was born in 1708, her father would have been living in the parish at that time, and again in 1726 when she married George Dodson. It’s very likely that Margaret’s parents lived nearby the Dodson family in Richmond County that entire time. Let’s see what the records tell us.

Northumberland County

The Northern Neck counties of Virginia are blessed by a series of books, by county, written by F. Edward Wright titled “Marriage References and Family Relationships.” Each county has one of these books, and they do intertwine somewhat. The author has assembled the various records from marriages, wills, deeds and other resources to piece these families together.

In the “Family” book for Northumberland County, we find the following:

  • Benjamin Doggett son of Rev. Benjamin and Jane Gerrard Doggett, married before 1712.
  • John Doggett died by 1740, widow Mary.
  • William Doggett/Dogged married Elizabeth, surname unknown, and had children beginning in 1770. If William didn’t move from someplace else, this family was in the vicinity since the early 1700s but had almost transactions at all in county records.

Interestingly, the Reverand Bejamin Doggett was the rector at the Saint Mary’s Whitechapel Church in present day Lancaster County from 1670-1682 when he died and is buried there, marked by the red pin below, not far from Farnham, where the North Farnham Parish Church is located.

dagord-doggett-white-chapel

The Dodson family lived on Totuskey Creek, between Kennard and 614 in the upper left of the map, probably on or near the main road, “3,” about 18 miles distant from Saint Mary’s.

There was nothing in early York or Lancaster County records, so apparently Reverend Doggett immigrated after that portion of Lancaster had become Old Rappahannock. I did not check later records in those counties.

There is no record of the Reverend Benjamin Doggett having a son Henry, and his sons were too young to have sons having children by 1708.

Richmond County

The North Farnham Parish Registers hold the following records:

  • Isaac Doggett and Elizabeth Churchwell, married in 1729.
  • Ann, daughter of John and Mary Doggitt born October 1725.
  • John Doged son of Isaac Doged born in 1730.
  • Samuel Doged son of Isaac and Elizabeth Doged born June 1733.

Absolutely nothing for Henry or any other births anyplace close to Margaret’s in 1708, nor are there records in the 1600s.

Richmond County is fortunate in that a book has been published that provides an every name index for court orders from 1721-1752. No, that’s not early, but it will help nonetheless and covers the time in 1726 when Margaret Dagord married Charles Dodson.

We find the surname spelled Doged, Doggett, Doggitt and Doghead. First names include Isaac, Ann, Richard and that’s it.

The Richmond County “Family” book provides the following:

  • Isaac Doggett married in December 1729 to Elizabeth Churchwell, children John and Samuel.
  • John Doggitt married Mary, surname unknown, daughter Ann born in 1725.
  • Richard Doggitt/Doged married before October 1727 to Ann, only daughter of Thomas Ascough.

As I checked the extant records for all of the early counties plus Richmond County records, including court order books, there were very few records for any spelling of this surname, and absolutely none for Henry, with one exception.

1649

Henry Dagord, by that spelling, is mentioned in one 1649 record.

I found this tantalizing record at Ancestry, which told me that there was a record, but exactly nothing about the content.

dagord-ancestry

As it turns out, Google is my friend. I found the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography online.

dagord-virginia-magazine

The following will of Walter Walton is the sole mention of Henry Dagord.

Walter Walton. Will 30 November 1649; proved 17 August 1650. Mr. Alexander Ewes and Mr. Richard Lawson to be my executors in the behalf of my mother, Johane Walton, living in Spoford in the parish of Spoford, Yorkshire, England. They to pay all my debts demanded in this my voyage in the adventure now in Verginney bound for Maryland, and I give power to John Underhill and Benjamin Cowell of the said ship to receive what is due me. One servant that I brought over sold for twelve C tobacco. Henry Dagord for one sute and cloke three C tobacco. John Smith, a passenger, 30 lbs tobacco. Simon Asbe 27 ft tobacco. Nathaniel Foord 9 lb tobacco. Mr. Walker 374 lb tobacco. Henry Dagord 9 lb tobacco. Witnesses: Thomas May, Peter Walker, John Addams, Miles Cooke, Richard ?. Proved by Richard Lawson, with power reserved.

Unfortunately, this record doesn’t tell us WHERE Walter Walton’s will was proved, but I found the will in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, in England.

Was Henry Dagord sailing on the same ship, the Adventure, as Walter Walton? Was Henry an indentured servant to Walter Walton?

Is the Henry Dagord in this record the same Henry Dagord who had daughter Margaret in 1708?

If Henry Dagord was age 15 in 1649, he would have been 84 in 1708 when Margaret was born. That’s not very likely.

A child or teen would not have ordered a suit and cloak, so it’s likely that the Henry Dagord in this record was an adult, making him older than 84 in 1708.

This Henry Dagord might have been the grandfather of Margaret Dagord, but it’s very unlikely that he was her father. Furthermore, based on this record, we really don’t know if the Henry Dagord referenced was even in the colonies. Walter may have been referencing a debt incurred by a man in England. We just don’t know.

One online tree shows a Henry Dagord born in 1749 in Cane, Scotland, but no source and I can find no records to suggest this. Furthermore, even if a Henry Dagord was born in Cane, Scotland, connecting the dots and proving that he was the same Henry that immigrated would be required as step one. A newborn would hot have been ordering a suit and cloak, so a Henry born in Scotland in 1749 cannot be the same man mentioned in Walter Walton’s will. Step two would be finding a way to prove Henry DaGord’s connection to Margaret some 59 years later. Unfortunately, there just aren’t any records that connect those dots. That’s why so many brick walls remain in these early colonial genealogies.

Mystery

One of the big mysteries is how a man in Virginia in this timeframe can remain almost entirely non-existent in records. I must admit, given the court order books, deeds, wills and the parish register, Richmond County and its preceding counties are quite record-rich – at least by comparison to other counties. It’s hard to believe that Henry Dagord or Henry by whatever Dag… or Dog… surname, was entirely transparent. The only circumstance I can think that would lend itself to this situation would be if he was an indentured servant. The problem with that, of course, is that indentured servants weren’t married, didn’t have children, and sold themselves into bondage for a few years to earn their passage – delaying the rest of their life until their stint in servitude was complete.

Henry clearly was married, did have children and lived in Farnham Parish from at least 1708 to 1726, assuming Henry was alive that entire time. Daughter Margaret had to live close enough to the Dodson family to court.

Henry clearly didn’t own land, never got subpoenaed to court for anything, went to church every Sunday (or he would have been subpoenaed to court) and never witnessed any document for anyone. In fact, were it not for the North Farnham Parish Church Register and Margaret’s birth and marriage, we wouldn’t even know Henry existed.

Most Virginia families that intermarried had various types of social interactions with one another.  They were neighbors, often, and witnessed deeds for each other, for example.  There is not one record of any Dagod or similar surname associated with any Dodson or closely affiliated family.

The Dodson and Dagod families may have been from different social strata.  It may be very relevant that Margaret married on her 18th birthday and her first child was born 8 months and one day after her marriage to Charles Dodson.  While the Dodson family, who did own land and appeared to be more successful than Henry Dagod would have been very unhappy about their son marrying into a poorer class, they probably would not have forbid it because of the pregnancy. Legally, if Charles was of age, the family couldn’t prevent the marriage. So perhaps this pregnancy was planned as a method for two young lovers to be allowed to marry.  Stranger things have happened! If that was the case, it certainly worked quite effectively.

The other possibility, of course, is that Henry was not entirely white – which would also explain his apparent poverty as well as his absence from court records. However, if Henry was not white, meaning not all white, it would be extremely unlikely that his daughter would be marrying a Dodson male – although the pregnancy might have been a contributing or deciding factor there too. Virginia criminalized marriage between whites and Indians in 1691, but omitted the word “Indian” in similar 1705 legislation, leaving the law to apply only to whites and blacks/mulattoes.

How I wish we could peek back into time and be a fly on the wall. Who was Henry Dagod?  Or Dagord?  Or Doggett?

The Best We Can Do

The very best we can do for Henry is to use his daughter’s birth year as an anchor point and figure his age ranges from that.

I’m going to use the assume word a lot, which I dislike doing, but it’s the only choice we have.

First, I’m going to assume Henry’s wife was about his age or maybe as much as 5 years younger than he was. This would have been typical for the time.

If Henry was newly married when Margaret was born, he would probably have been age 25, which is about the age young men married at that time.

But let’s say he was only 20, to get the fullest range. If that was the case, he would have been born absolutely no later than 1688.

If Henry’s wife was at the end of her childbearing years, age 43 or so, and Henry was the same age, he would have been born about 1665. If he was 5 years older than his wife, he would have been born about 1660.

The range we have for Henry’s birth is 1660-1688 and more likely 1660-1683.

Indentured servants were not allowed to marry. If Henry was an indentured servant in 1708 and had gotten a female pregnant, the child would not have carried his surname. This tells us that by the time Margaret was born, Henry was married to her mother.

This also suggests that Henry could have been an older parent, because if he served an indenture before marrying, he could well have not married until later than normal for unfettered males. Indentured servants after release were often poor, never owning land. There is no evidence that Henry ever owned land, which is somewhat unusual in and of itself in Virginia, the land of opportunity and available land.

We have absolutely no idea when Henry died. All we know positively is that he died sometime after Margaret was conceived, and probably after her birth, but I don’t know if the register would have said if the father was dead by the time the child was born. Many marriages don’t list any parents, but I didn’t see any that mentioned deceased parents.

DNA

Unfortunately, because of the difficulty identifying either Henry Dagod/Dagord himself, or even the surname exactly, DNA identification is quite difficult.

At Family Tree DNA, a feature exists to see if:

  • Anyone by the surname you are searching has tested and…
  • If a surname project exists.

Simply click here, then click on the projects tab in the upper left hand corner.

dagord-project-search

You will then see the above screen, where you can browse alphabetically for surname projects. I generally prefer entering the surname into the search box, at upper right. However, in this case, because I want to look for projects by several spellings, I’ll just look under the Ds for surname projects.

Unfortunately, there is no Dagord or Doggett project or anything similar. However, with so little information about Henry, it would be nearly impossible to confirm that any Dag… or Dog… surname originating from Richmond County, VA is this line.

Next step, I’ll look further to see if anyone by the surnames of Doggett or Daggett has individually tested.

I entered the surname Doggett in the Project Search box in the upper right, because I want to see if any individuals by that surname have tested. This is different than looking for surname projects. Good news, there are 14 people who have tested who currently carry the Doggett surname, although some maybe females.

dagord-surname-search

There are also 15 Daggetts who have tested.

dagord-daggett-search

This looks to be a really good opportunity to start a surname project that includes both surnames, plus Dagord, of course. Anyone interested?

Autosomal DNA

I’d love to see if I share autosomal DNA with anyone descended from any of these lines. If I do, it could indeed confirm that Margaret was really a Doggett or Daggett.

If a Doggett or Daggett surname project existed, I could join that project and search for any matches within that project. If I matched with someone in the Doggett/Daggett project, that would be significant, assuming we don’t share any other genealogy. You just never know what might break down that brick wall. Since there is no project to join, and not everyone joins projects anyway, there are other methodologies to utilize.

Autosomal DNA might, just might, provide the link I need, although the connection is several generations back in time. However, if you don’t look, you’ll never find, so here goes!

dagord-pedigree

In order to discover whether or not I share any DNA with anyone who has Doggett or Daggett lines, I searched for those surnames (and variant spellings) in my match list in Family Finder. The red arrow is the search bar where I entered Doggett.

dagord-match-list-search

Surprisingly, I did find two Doggetts, and glory be, one shows Ann Doggett who is indeed from Lancaster County, Virginia, born in 1700. My match’s tree shows that she married George Reeves.

dagord-ann-daggett

I checked the tree of my match, Jason, and we don’t seem to have any other ancestors in common, at least none that are evident – so maybe our common ancestral surname is Doggett.  But there are more things to check before we can reach that conclusion.

Master DNA Spreadsheet

Next, I checked my Master DNA Match Spreadsheet to see which segments over 5cM where Jason and I match and I also match to other people. There is one larger matching segment at just under 8cM on chromosome 16.

It’s possible that I’ve already triangulated some of the other people who match on that same segment in terms of our common ancestor.

Sure enough, there were 32 other people with whom I match on all or part of that same segment where I match Jason. You can see the example below from my Master DNA Spreadsheet where I match 5 individuals on the exact same segment, including Jason.

dagord-master-matches

Some matches turned out to be from my mother’s side, so I eliminated those. My mother tested, so that was easy to do.

Unfortunately, I have not triangulated this group, meaning worked on discovering and assigning a common ancestor, so now is a good time to work on this exercise.

The first thing I did was to see if any of the people who share any portion this segment with me are on my list of Dodson matches by typing Dodson in to the Family Finder search. They were not.

dagord-surname-list

Next, I checked every single individual that matches me in Family Finder (on the same segment where I match Jason) to view their matching surname list and view their tree, shown above. Surnames, at right, are taken only from surnames entered specifically by the tester, NOT from the direct ancestral line in their tree, so you need to check both their Ancestral Surnames and their tree. It’s a bit tedious, but can pay off big time.

dagord-jemima-dodson

Sure enough, look here. This person does not show up in a Dodson search, because the Dodson surname is not listed in the ancestral surnames list, but viewing their tree reveals….you guessed it, a Dodson.

Now, this doesn’t mean our match is necessarily attributed to Dodson DNA, which could include Doggett DNA of course. But it’s a great first step to build that case.

Of the 26 individuals, I found the following:

  • 10 had no trees and no ancestral surnames listed. Very frustrating.
  • 12 had trees and/or surnames, but I didn’t see any evident family lines.
  • One listed Derham, as opposed to Durham – but their Derham was directly from Ireland and did not immigrate into Virginia. This appears not to be related although the connection can’t be ruled out entirely.
  • Jason was the Doggett match
  • One had Jemima Dodson in their tree.
  • One had a Dobson, consistently spelled in that manner, that immigrated from London. This does not appear to be relevant.

Unfortunately, I could not find any other Dodson or Doggett/Daggett family lines in this match group.

Master Cousin Match List

As a secondary tactic, I turned to the big guns – my master cousin list. I haven’t written about this tool before.

I download the matches of each cousin whose test I’ve paid for (and who have granted permission) and combine them into one humongous spreadsheet file. This allows me to sort by matches to all of the cousins at one time. Therefore, I can see who, of my cousins, also matches Jason, as illustrated in the example below.

dagord-cousin-match-group

While this is just an example, you’ll note that all of these people match Jason on chromosome 2. Some people match Jason on the same segments. While this example shows only small segments, the premise is the same. The next step would be to see if the cousins who match Jason on the same segments also match each other on those segments too. That’s triangulation. However, if I’m not included in the triangulated match group, then it’s not triangulation for me on those segments. It would, however, shows that these families do descend from a common ancestor – especially with larger segments of 5cM or over.

Looking at who one individual (like Jason) matches consistently can be a powerful hint as to which family line they are associated with.

I looked through my master cousin list for all of the 26 people who I match on the same segment with Jason, which means I sorted by matchname and then looked to see which cousins, if any, the individual matches.

I found the following interesting information on the Master Cousin Match List spreadsheet for the 26 matches to Jason:

  • 11 people match me only and none of my cousins on the master cousin list
  • Two match different Crumley family members, which do not include a Dodson. line. However, I did spot Mercers in Richmond County, a name that married into the Crumley line although there is no evidence that it’s the same line. It’s also possible that we have a “buried” Dodson marriage in the Crumley line, as we don’t know the surnames of all the wives.
  • 4 match my Vannoy cousins which do not have a known Dodson or Doggett link. This might suggest that the link between Jason, me and our match group is NOT through Dodson or Doggett. However, the Vannoy line also includes the Crumley line, which is the same issue as discussed above.
  • 5 match cousins who descend from the Dodson line but who also descend through the Vannoy/Crumley line.  Elizabeth Vannoy is my great-grandmother.

Last Resort

As a last resort, I checked my “oldest” cousin, Buster, who is a generation closer to the ancestors than I am. In Family Finder, he too has a Doggett match, Daniel, who descends from Richard Doggett and Ann Ascough, son of Rev. Benjamin Doggett and Jane Garrard. However, Buster’s match, Daniel, also has a Smoot line, as do both Buster and I. The Smoots married into the Durham line which married into the Dodson line. Daniel’s Smoot line is not the same as my and Buster’s Smoot line, but it’s from just across the Potomac River in St. Mary’s County, Maryland in the same timeframe. Clearly, it could actually be the same Smoot line, given that both Smoot lines run into brick walls at the same time. Hey, maybe this is a clue that we weren’t actually looking for! No problem – I’ll take it!

Where Are We?

Buster’s match, Daniel, had not yet tested when I did the cousin match downloads, so I need to do those downloads again to be able to check for him. This takes quite a bit of time because there are several.

I should probably individually search the FTDNA accounts of all of my cousins descended from the Dodson line for Doggett and Daggett.

The master cousin matches to a common individual aren’t definitive proof. They point to common matches between groups of people suggesting family lines, meaning they point the way towards more meaningful research. They provide hints, albeit sometimes very compelling hints.

The matches on the same segments within a match group might be proof – if they also match each other AND have a common ancestor or ancestral line.  We’re not quite there yet.

The only definitive proof would be triangulation – hopefully with people whose lines are complete back to the common ancestor. Otherwise, there can be common DNA from other unknown lines. I have this problem in my own pedigree chart with Lazarus Dodson who married Jane, surname unknown, with Rawleigh Dodson who married Mary, surname unknown, and with Charles Dodson who married Ann, surname unknown. Right there are three opportunities for unknown families and their DNA to enter into my genetic line. It’s likely, of course, that these men married women from the neighborhood, so it’s very likely that Ann, Charles Dodson’s wife, is from the Northern Neck of Virginia, unless he married her before immigrating. It’s likely that anyone who I match from this same time period is also going to have a few brick walls, so it’s very difficult to definitively assign colonial DNA to a specific ancestor.

In cases like this, I don’t like to decide that triangulation has occurred with only 3 people. I think the further back in time, the less solid the pedigree charts, the more proof you need. Of course, the further back in time, the less likely you are to match with descendants and the smaller the matching DNA segments. So while you need more proof, proof is increasingly difficult to garner.

In terms of triangulation, we do have the Jemima Dodson line, me with a Dodson ancestor and Jason with a Doggett ancestor, all matching on the same segment, although the person with Jemima Dodson in their tree does not have a full overlap of the entire segment, making their matching portion smaller – about half the size of the match between me and Jason. Is it a legitmate match? I don’t know.

The bottom line is that we don’t know if Dagord/Doged was Doggett or Daggett or unrelated. The answer seems tantalizingly close. It feels within reach. Daggett or Doggett is not a common surname, so more than one random match seems unlikely. Yet, Buster and I both have a different Doggett match. However, I’ve seen the unlikely happen more than once. Genealogy seems to delight in leading me down the primrose path just to laugh and say, “just kidding” at the end when I’m standing in the brier patch instead, wondering how I got there. Now, I’m justifiably suspicious of anything and everything without proof.

Maybe if I download the cousin matches again the newer matches will provide the answer. Maybe if I check all my cousins for Doggett/Daggett matches. Maybe if someone else tests, the answer will be there tomorrow, or the next day, or next week. My fingers are crossed that Doggett and Daggett descendants from Richmond County that are not related to the Dodson, Durham or Smoot families will test – and that we’ll find some definitive triangulated matches. I’d love to know if Dagod is really Doggett or Daggett.

And while I’m at it, I’d think that those families would want to know if Doggett is Daggett too – or maybe Y DNA testing has already provided that answer. If so, the answer is not at Ysearch today.

If you descend from one of the Dagod, Doggett or Daggett families from close to Richmond County, or a similar surname, and have DNA tested, let me know. Let’s see if we match.

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George Dodson (1702 – after 1756), Disappeared Without a Trace, 52 Ancestors #145

Ancestors born in the early 1700s and earlier in colonial America become increasingly more difficult to trace. The Dodson line is no exception. The Dodson family does have an ace in the hole however, and that’s the compiled research of the Reverend Silas Lucas, published in a 2-volume set titled The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia – A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants.

Reverend Lucas includes information from an earlier manuscript by the Reverend Elias Dodson titled Genealogy of the Dodson Families of Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties in the State of Virginia which was written about 1859. The Reverend Elias may have confused the various Raleighs, unfortunately for my line, but he can be forgiven for doing so 100 years after the fact. He was also somewhat ambiguous about the various Georges. Certainly his manuscript in conjunction with the extracted and transcribed historical records is the only avenue one would ever have to sort through these families today. Dodsons are pretty much like rabbits and all of the cute baby rabbits have the same names, generation after generation.

Much of the information about George Dodson comes from Reverend Lucas.

Between 2000 and 2015, I visited many of the Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee counties involved, including historical societies, courthouses, museums, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina State Archives and Jamestown, and I came away with little that Reverend Lucas had missed. To date, there doesn’t seem to be anything relevant in the Virginia Chancery Suite Index either, except, wouldn’t you know it, Pittsylvania County records aren’t indexed yet. When I visited Pittsylvania County a decade or so ago, their chancery suits were an abysmal mess and they allowed anyone to paw through them, opening bundles with no prayer of ever getting the right documents back in the right packet. It was a horrible and sad state of affairs and I’m positive that their chancery records, if they ever do come online, will be incomplete at best.

North Farnham Parish, The Home of the Dodsons

George Dodson was born on October 31, 1702 in Richmond County, Virginia, according to the North Farnham Parish Records, the son of Thomas Dodson and Mary Durham.

George Dodson married Margaret Dagord, 6 years his junior, daughter of Henry Dagord, on April 20, 1726, also according to the North Farnham Parish Records.

George’s father, Thomas Dodson, wrote his will in 1739 and died either in 1739 or 1740, leaving George “150 acres of land whereon the said George Dodson is now living.” Like many other colonial sons, George had set up housekeeping on some of his father’s land, likely with the anticipation that he would clear it, farm it and one day inherit the fruits of his labor.

In both 1746 and 1751, George Dodson was shown on the Richmond County quit rent rolls, a form of taxation. Thank goodness for taxes!!!

In 1756, George and Margaret Dodson sold their 150 acres to William Forrister and apparently moved on.

Richmond County Deeds 11-421 – Date illegible, 1756. George Dodson and wife Margaret of North Farnham Parish to Robert Forrister of same for 16 pounds and 4000 pounds of a crop of tobacco, 150 acres being a tract of land whereon they now dweleth, beginning at the mouth of William Everett’s spring branch, William Forrister’s line, the Rowling? Branch.. Witnesses: John Hill, Gabriel Smith, Ja. (x) Forrester.

Recorded April 2, 1756 and Margaret Dodson relinquished dower.

Now, if we just knew where William Everett’s spring branch was located, or William Forrister’s land or the Rowling Branch, which is probably Rolling Branch. I have not done this, but utilizing the property records of William Everett and William Forrister and bringing them to current, if that is possible, might well reveal the original location of the Dodson land. Absent that information, let’s take a look at what we can surmise.

The Forrister Property

We do have something of a juicy clue. In 1723, one Dr. William Forrester who lived in the Northern Neck area of Richmond County made a house call to the Glascock Family who lived on Glascock’s Landing on Farnham Creek which connected with the Chesapeake Bay. Something went very wrong, and Dr. Forrester was murdered. However, the subsequent testimony says that, “Gregory Glascock being examined saith that on the 5th of November last about midnight he set off in a boat with his father, Thomas Glascock from their Landing on Farnham Creek…”

George Dodson would have been 21 years old. This murder and the subsequent escape of the Glascock’s had to be the topic of discussion in every family, in church and at every public meeting for months, if not years.

george-dodson-northern-neck

By Ali Zifan – Own work; used a blank map from here., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44344137

The Northern Neck of Virginia is described as the northernmost of the 3 peninsulas on the western short of the Chesapeake Bay, bounded by the Potomac River on the north the Rappahannock River on the south. It encompasses Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland Counties today, as shown on the map above.

dodson-northern-neck

On the bottom right areas of this survey map from 1736/1737, above, you can see Richmond County. On the contemporary map below, you can see Farnham Creek intersecting with the Rappahannock River. Farnham Creek begins in the upper right hand corner and looks to travel about 5 miles or so southeast to the Rappahannock, marked by the red balloon.

george-dodson-farnham-creek

It’s not far across the neck to the Potomac and the Chesapeake.

george-dodson-neck

Another William Forrester testified in his Revolutionary War pension application in 1836 that in 1779 or 1780 the enemy had landed on Indian banks or Glasscock’s warehouse in the Rappahannock River.

george-dodson-indian-banks

Indian Banks Road is shown by the red balloon, above, very close to Farnham Creek.

We encamped at Leeds town where the Companys remained for upwards of 6 weeks – Leeds town is a small village located between the Rappahannock and Potowmac [sic: Potomac] rivers. the object in placing us at that point was that we might aid in repelling any incursion which might be made by the enemy from either river. We remarched from Leeds town to Richmond Courthouse under the Command of Captain Harrison from thence to Farnham Church & from thence to Indian banks Glasscock’s Warehouse. The cause of our returning to the latter point was the information received of the approach of the enemy up the Rappahannock river. We remained for some time precise period not remembered. We marched to Farnham Church from thence & were discharged at the expiration of 3 months the term of our enlistment.

The North Farnham Parish Church on North Farnham Church Road, below, was built in 1737 and has been restored several times.

george-dodson-north-farnham-parish-church

On the map below, we find Indian Banks Road very close to Farnham Creek. The North Farnham Church and Indian Banks are both shown at opposite ends of the blue line on the map below.

george-dodson-church-to-indian-banks

Clearly, the Forrester family lived in this area, and so did the Dodsons who were their neighbors. Based on the two stories about the Forrester family, one from 1723 when Dr. Forrister was murdered, and the second from the Revolutionary War almost 60 years later, the Forrester family didn’t move. They still lived near Glascock’s Lansing on North Farnham Creek and the Rappahannock, and this is likely where George Dodson lived too, given that William Forrister was his neighbor and bought his land.

The French and Indian War

For the most part, Richmond County was spared the brunt of the French and Indian War which lasted for 7 years, beginning in 1754. However, men from Richmond County did belong to militias and furnished supplies to Washington’s army. Unfortunately, none of those militia lists remain today, at least not that I could find, so we don’t know if George Dodsons or his sons, perhaps, were involved.

French and Indian war

By Hoodinski – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30865550

Moving On

In 1756, George and Margaret Dagord Dodson were not youngsters. George would have been 54 and Margaret, 48. Their children ranged in age from Lazarus who was 28 years old and probably already married, to daughter Hannah, about age 9, born about 1747. Hannah may have died by 1756, because nothing is known of her after her birth is recorded in the church records.

George may have decided that moving was a “now or never” proposition, because their older children were of marriage age. Unless they wanted to leave their older children behind, if they were going to move, they should sell now and take them along while they still could – before the children became settled as adults into the area and wouldn’t want to leave.

The problem is that we don’t know where George and Margaret went.

George’s siblings went to Faquier County and joined the Broad Run Baptist Church there, but there is no sign of George on the list of members when the church was constituted in December of 1762, nor in any subsequent records with the exception of a 1770 rent roll.

In 1762, Thomas Dodson of Faquier County, George’s brother, released his right to his claim on the estate of his father, Thomas, to his brothers; Greenham Dodson of Amelia County, Abraham, Joshua and Elisha of Faquier County…but no George. Was this just an oversight?

Where was George, and why wasn’t he mentioned in this list? Was this an omission, or had he passed away? If he passed away, wouldn’t Thomas release his rights to George’s heirs? Or perhaps, just those siblings mentioned purchased Thomas’s portion of their father’s estate and George did not.

Between 1759 and 1761, George’s son, Raleigh was probably living in King William County, as he was noted in one court record, but there is no mention of George. Raleigh is also missing after that until he appears witnessing a deed in Halifax County in 1766 between Thomas Dodson and Joseph Terry. But again, no George.

Many researchers think that George joined his siblings and their children in Pittsylvania and Halifax County, Virginia, after 1766 when many Dodsons from the Broad Run congregation moved south. That’s possible, but there is no George with a wife Margaret before 1777 when George would have been 75 years old, and there were eventually many George Dodsons. George was certainly a popular name in the Dodson family.

Pittsylvania County, Virginia Records

The earliest record we have of a George Dodson in Pittsylvania County is a 1771 land grant for 400 acres to George Dodson, next to John Madding, and on Birches Creek, the location where so many other Dodsons settled. Tracking this land forward in time through deeds would tell us whether this belonged to our George, who likely died not terribly long afterwards, or to another George Dodson.

george-dodson-1777-document

However, there is another tantalizing tidbit. On February 8, 1777, George Dodson, Margaret (X) Dodson and Thomas Wyatt witness a deed of sale from Thomas Dodson to John Creel, for negroes. Seeing this saddened my heart, although we have absolutely no indication that our George owned other humans. Still, it reminds us of the ingrained institution of slavery that George would have witnessed on a daily basis.

Based on earlier transactions, the conveyor would have been “Second Fork Thomas,” either the son, brother or or nephew of George Dodson and Margaret Dagord. If this George was our George Dodson, he was likely a witness because he lived close or was nearby when the sale was consummated. This would suggest that George lived near the Birches Creek land an area gently sloping and partially wooded, shown below.

george-dodson-second-fork-birches-creek

This area falls between Highway 360, known as the Old Richmond Road, and the bottom of the map in the satellite view, below.

george-dodson-second-fork-map

This photo of an old building was taken at the intersection of Oak Level and River Road in Halifax County, an area that would have been very familiar to George if he lived long enough to make it to Halifax County near the Pittsylvania County border.

george-dodson-old-building

George and Margaret Dodson who witnessed that 1777 deed of sale may have been ours.  It was originally thought that this George and Margaret may have been the Reverend George Dodson whose wife’s name was Margaret too and also lived in Pittsylvania County. However, he is married to Eleanor in 1783 and didn’t marry Margaret until after that, according to Rev. Lucas. Therefore, the George and Margaret in 1777 cannot be the Reverend George and his wife, unless the other Reverend George Dodson’s wife was also named Margaret. Little is known about the other Reverend George Dodson.  Does everyone have to be named George and be a Reverend?

The George Dodson who died in 1825 was married to Margaret at the time he died.  She may not have been his first wife.  George’s children were born beginning about 1765 and marrying from the 1780s to 1812. This George and Margaret were not an older couple, so this is not the George Dodson who married Margaret Dagord.

In 1777, George Dodson begins a series of land transactions on Birches Creek which runs near and across the border between Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties. Furthermore, from this time forward, several George, Lazarus, Raleigh and Thomas Dodsons have a long intertwined series of relationships and transactions. We know that the Lazarus and Raleigh in these transactions aren’t ours, because George’s son, Raleigh Dodson left for what would become Hawkins County, Tennessee in 1778 when he sold his land in Caswell County and took his son, Lazarus Dodson, with him. That much, we know for sure!

Sorting Georges and Margarets

Reverend Lucas says that the Rev. Elias Dodson tried to straighten out the George’s apparently, saying the following:

  • Thomas and Elizabeth Rose Dodson were the parents of “Lame George the Preacher.”

The Thomas Dodson married to Elizabeth Rose is the son of Thomas Dodson who was married to Mary Durham and was the brother to George. Thomas, George’s brother’s will was probated in 1783 in Pittsylvania County.

  • Greenham Dodson was the father of “George the Preacher.”

Greenham was the brother of George Dodson and disappeared from Pittsylvania County records after 1777.

  • On page one of his manuscript, the Reverend Elias provides a list of the children of George Dodson and Margaret Dagord, but he only lists three of their children: Lazarus, Fortune (Fortunas) and David.
  • “Peggy married the 1st time Fortune Dodson, son of George on the first page of this book.”

Peggy is a nickname for Margaret. Peggy is the daughter of Elisha and Sarah Averett Dodson. Elisha is our George’s brother, making Peggy and Fortunas 1st cousins. Fortunas appears in the records in 1776 when he writes his will and in 1777 when the will is probated. Nothing is known of Fortunas between his birth in 1740 and his death in 1776, except that he married and was having children by 1766.

Elisha, Peggy’s father, was a member of the Broad Run Baptist Church. In December of 1762, Elisha and wife Sarah were “dismissed to Halifax.” This would suggest that George’s son Fortunas and Elisha’s daughter Peggy were in the same place by 1766 or so in order to have married and be having children. Was our George Dodson in Halifax by 1766, or was Fortunas traveling with his brothers or maybe living with his uncle, Elisha.

The following chart shows the complex intertwining of the various George, Margaret and Raleigh Dodsons, along with a few other twists and curves.  Click to enlarge.

george-dodson-chart-2

  • Lame George the Preacher, son of Thomas Dodson and Eleanor Rose, had wife Eleanor in 1779 and 1783. His known children are not the same as the George who died in 1825.
  • George who died in 1825 had wife Margaret at that time.  He may or may not have been the son of George and Margaret Dagord. The daughter of the George who died in 1825 married a Thomas Madding in 1798. John Madding owned land next to 1771 land grant to George Dodson.
  • Rachel, daughter of Rev. Lazarus Dodson married a Thomas Madding according to Lazarus’s 1799 will.
  • George the Preacher, son of Greenham, and George born in 1737 may have been conflated in the records.  We know that Greenham had a son George who was a preacher.  We don’t know what happened to George Dodson and Margaret Dagord’s son, George.
  • George born in 1737 may not have been the same George that died in 1825.
  • George, either the son of Greenham or the one born 1737, had wife Elizabeth when he lived in Patrick and Henry County in the later 1780s and 1790s. He apparently moved back to Pittsylvania County in the 1790s
  • George the Preacher, if he is not the same person as George born in 1737, could have had a wife named Margaret.
  • A Rolly Dodson has a land grant in 1765 on Smith River near Falls Creek which is in Patrick and Henry Counties (today) on the same river and creek as Lambeth Dodson patented land in 1747.  Lambeth was a brother to Thomas Dodson who married Mary Durham.  The Smith River area is about 20 miles further west than the Birches Creek area of Halifax/Pittsylvania County where the Dodson clan who arrived in the 1766 timeframe would settle.  No further info about this land patented by Rolly has been found in any county. This Rolly may not be directly connected to the Birches Creek group, or he may simply have arrived a year before the rest, sold the patent without registering it as a deed and moved east later when they arrived.
  • The Rolly above may not be Raleigh born in 1730 who bought land in Caswell Co., NC in 1766.
  • We know there is another Raleigh and Lazarus because in 1777 they take an oath of allegiance in Pittsylvania County.  Parts of Pittsylvania would later become Patrick and Henry Counties.
  • There is confusion stating that the wife of Second Fork Thomas was the daughter of Lame George, the Preacher, which is very unlikely as this chart is drawn and as reported by Rev. Lucas.
  • It’s possible that Second Fork Thomas is actually Thomas, the son of Thomas who was married to Elizabeth Rose, who could then have married his first cousin, the daughter of Lame George.
  • Needless to say, the Thomases, Georges, Raleighs and Margarets are confused and confusing in Halifax and Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

I tried to sort through the Peggy/Margaret scenario, but find the recorded facts to be somewhat suspect. If Fortunas died in 1776, he could have had an infant child. Assuming he did, the 3 other children would have been born between 1770 and 1774. That means Peggy would have been born in roughly 1750 at the latest.

If Peggy remarried to Raleigh Dodson Sr.’s son, Raleigh Jr., several years her junior who was born about 1756, and then had an additional 4 (documented by Raleigh’s will) or 6 children (oral history), one as late as 1790, Peggy would have been 40 or older when she had her last child. That’s certainly possible. One fly in this ointment is that Raleigh Jr.’s wife in Hawkins County in 1806 appears to be Sarah, not Peggy.

However, the Raleighs in Hawkins, Giles and Williamson County of the same generation all seem to be confused with conflicting information, so I would not bet any money on the accuracy of which Raleigh Peggy married after Fortunas died. There are at least two, if not 3, Raleighs of the same generation. One died in Giles County, TN in 1815, one in Williamson County, TN in 1836 who was (apparently) married to a Margaret and the Raleigh of Hawkins County who disappears after 1808. Reverend Lucas thinks that the Raleigh who was married to Peggy in Pittsylvania County, and Raleigh who sold land in April of 1806 in Pittsylvania County was the son of Raleigh Sr. However, the Raleigh that is the son of Raleigh Sr. is noted as “of Hawkins County” when he sells land in February of 1806 in Hawkins County, two months before the Raleigh in Pittsylvania County sold his land there.

Did Peggy, who is very clearly married to a Raleigh Dodson in 1791 when she and her siblings sell her father’s land, marry a different Raleigh?

Based on the 1777 loyalty oaths sworn, we do know for sure that there is at least one other Raleigh in Pittsylvania County at that time, because George’s son Raleigh Sr. is living in Caswell County, NC, and Raleigh Jr. would have been living with his father, barring any unusual circumstances. The Reverend Elias Dodson attributes a son “Rolly” to Rev. Lazarus Dodson, brother of Raleigh Sr., but Rev. Lazarus’s will in 1799 does not reflect a son by that name, by any spelling.

By 1766 when the Dodsons migrated en masse from Faquier County to Halifax and Pittsylvania County, our George would have been 64 years old. He had long surpassed his life expectancy at that time of 37 years, and George may simply have sold his land in 1756, at age 54, and died without purchasing additional land elsewhere. Not all records from this timeframe exist. Several counties have burned records between the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War, not to mention courthouse fires. George could have moved to a county whose records don’t survive today, but the most likely place for George to be found, if he was living, was with his siblings and children in Farquhar County and then in Halifax and Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

George’s Children

George’s children are recorded in the records of the North Farnham Parish Church. It’s a good thing, because without a will or estate records for George, we would have no information.

  • Mary born December 21, 1726
  • Lazarus Dodson born October 7, 1728
  • Rawleigh Dodson born February 16, 1730
  • Thomas Dodson born May 25, 1735
  • George Dodson born October 31, 1737
  • Fortunatus Dodson born March 31, 1740
  • Hannah Dodson born May 2, 1747
  • David Dodson probably born after 1740 if he is the son of George as identified by the Reverend Elias Dodson. However, he in not recorded in the North Farnham Parish Church records.

For more information about the children of George Dodson and Margaret Dagord, please see Margaret Dagord’s story.

DNA

I keep hoping that I’ll be included in a DNA Circle at Ancestry for George Dodson. Ancestry Circles are formed somewhat mystically, kind of like when the Circle fairy sprinkles fairy dust on your ancestors, you might receive one.

Ancestry does discuss how Circles are formed, in generalities. Circles are supposed to be formed when you have 3 or more individuals whose DNA matches and you share a common ancestor, but suffice it to say, I’m not included in a George Dodson Circle yet, even though I match or have matched 16 other people who share him as an ancestor. A few of the individuals I have matched in the past are no longer shown on my match list.  However, I still match 13 people who share George with me in our trees, as indicated by those green leaf Ancestor Hints.

The chart below shows my DNA+tree matches to descendants of George Dodson who married Margaret Dagord. I’s interesting, in light of the confusion about George, the son of George Dodson and Margaret Dagord, with absolutely nothing concrete about whether son George even lived, that 9 different people claim him as their ancestor, although their individual trees are highly disparate. One match claims “Second Fork” Thomas, who wasn’t a son of George Dodson and Mary Dagord at all. Still, my DNA matches theirs and we share George Dodson and Mary Dagord in our trees – however accurate or inaccurate those trees might be.

Match Predicted Relationship Relation-ship Child of George Shared cMs Confi-dence At FTDNA or Status
Cindy 4th cousin 7C David 32, 2 segments High
Claude 5-8th cousin 7C George 18.7, 1 segment Good FTDNA largest segment 39.19 cM
Beverly 5th-8th cousin 7C1R George 10.6, 1 segment Mod
DT Lazarus gone
Prince 5th-8th 6C1R George 8.1, 1 segment Mod
GD 5th – 8th 6C1R George 6.2, 1 segment Mod
Lou 5th-8th 7C George 15.8, 1 segment Mod
Lumpy 5th-8th 7C Fortunas 9.6, 1 seg Mod
LW 5th – 8th 7C George 9.1, 1 segment Mod
WT 5th-8th David gone
Erin 5th – 8th 7C George 7.5, 1 segment Mod
Missouri 5th-8th George gone
William 5th – 8th 7C Lazarus 7.3, 1 segment Mod
Brian 5th-8th 7C Lazarus 7.5, 1 segment Mod
Sybil 5th-8th 7C Thomas “Second Fork” 7.5, 1 segment Mod
Jack 5th-8th 7C George 6.5, 1 segment Mod FTDNA largest segment 19.31cM

Note that with the two people who are also found at Family Tree DNA, the largest segment size is very different. Unfortunately, as we all know by now, there is no chromosome browser at Ancestry, so I’ll just have to do the best I can without that tool.

Ancestry is known for stripping out sections of DNA that they feel is “too matchy” utilizing their Timber program, so I wanted to see if any of these matches at Ancestry could be found at Family Tree DNA who has a chromosome browser and provides chromosome matching information. In some cases, Ancestry users utilize their name as their user name, so are readily recognizable when you search at Family Tree DNA within your matches. I found two of my Ancestry matches at Family Tree DNA.

Claude has also tested at Family Tree DNA and his results there shows the single longest segment to be a whopping 39cM. The fact that Ancestry stripped this out made me wonder if perhaps that segment was found in one of the pileup regions, so I took a look.

george-dodson-ftdna-segments

The segment on chromosome 5 is a total of 39.19 cM. The next largest segment is 3.44 cM and found on chromosome 16. There is no pileup region on chromosome 5, so the missing 20.49 cM has nothing to do with a known pileup region. Apparently, there were enough people matching me on this segment that Ancestry felt it was “too matchy,” indicating a segment that they interpreted as either a pileup or an ancestry because we share a common population, and they removed it. That’s unfortunate, because as we’ll see, it’s clearly a relevant Dodson segment.

I moved to my Master DNA spreadsheet where I track my chromosome segments and do triangulation, and sure enough, this same segment has been preserved nearly intact in other Dodson descendants as well. You can see that one individual whose surname today is Durham carries a large part of this segment. Followup may indeed indicate that this segment came from the George Dodson’s mother, Mary Durham.

george-dodson-match-segments

A second individual who matches me at Family Tree DNA is Jack. We share 19.31 cM on chromosome 4 at Family Tree DNA, but the match disappeared entirely at Ancestry for awhile, then returned with only 1 segment of 6.5cM matching. My match to Jack is shown on the Family Tree DNA chromosome browser, below.

george-dodson-jack-segments

We may have lost George after 1756 on paper, but George really isn’t lost. Clearly, identifiable parts of George Dodson’s DNA have been handed down to his descendants. He is us.

Summary

We are fortunate to have any information at all about George. Were it not for the North Farnham Parish Church records, we wouldn’t know the date of his birth, the names of his parents or the name of his wife.

Our only other direct tie to the past is, of course, George’s father’s will where he leaves George land.

I wish we had more than the barest snippets about George’s life. We lose him entirely after 1756 when he sells his land in Richmond County, with the possible exception of that tantalizing February 8, 1777 deed in Pittsylvania County where George and Margaret are witnesses to a sale. Of course, we don’t know if that George and Margaret are married to each other, and we don’t know the name of the wife of at least one of the other George Dodson’s living in that area.  We do know that the George who died in 1825 was married at that time to a Margaret, and if she was his only wife, they were having children beginning in about 1765 and lived in the Halifax/Pittsylvania County area. That couple is not our George and Margaret.  So the 1771 land grant to George and the 1777 George and Margaret pair could well NOT be our George. But then again, it could. If it is, he is a hearty 74 years old in 1777, looking towards his three quarter of a century mark birthday that October 31st.

In my heart of hearts, I suspect that our George died sometime after he sold his Richmond County land in 1756 and before the 1766 Dodson migration to Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties. I think he really did disappear without a trace. No records, no will or estate, no oral history, nothing – except his DNA carried by his descendants today.

Acknowledgements

Much of the information about the early Dodson lines, specifically prior to Raleigh, comes from the wonderful two volume set written by the Reverend Silas Lucas, published originally in 1988, titled The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia – A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants.

I am extremely grateful to Reverend Lucas for the thousands of hours and years he spent compiling not just genealogical information, but searching through county records in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and more. His work from his first publication in 1958 to his two-volume set 30 years later in 1988 stands as a model of what can and should be done for each colonial family – especially given that they were known to move from state to state without leaving any type of “forwarding address” for genealogists seeking them a few hundred years later. Without his books, Dodson researchers would be greatly hindered, if not entirely lost, today.

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Mary, Mary (Dodson Redmon) Quite Contrary, 52 Ancestors #140

This article isn’t about my ancestor, at least not directly, but it’s about the daughter of my ancestor, Lazarus Dodson, who popped up on a census quite unexpectedly. Not only did that mean I had to go looking for her, and she wasn’t particularly easy to find, but I had to try to discern if Mary Dodson really was the daughter of Lazarus – or if she was perhaps the child of his wife, Rebecca, and was just known by the Dodson surname.

Records that should exist don’t, and I found myself calling her Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. But then, given how difficult Lazarus and his father were to track, Mary probably comes by it honestly.

In the process of discovery about Mary, yet another daughter, Sarah, was discovered. For Heaven’s sake, how many more are there?

Through those two families, more information surfaced (Ok, was excavated), and because of all of that, we may just have figured out where Lazarus is buried. Maybe. Mary still isn’t telling all of her secrets, but I’m positive that she knows! After all, she stood by the grave that October day in 1861 as the clods of dirt fell onto Lazarus’s coffin and the grey clouds of misery swept overhead, engulfing everyone in their path.

But before I begin this series of twists and turns in the ancestor labyrinth, I want to give credit where credit is due.

First and foremost, I have to say, I love my friends, family and blog subscribers, because between them, they have found things I missed, found things I never knew existed, and inspired me to dig deeper. They are also indirectly responsible for me getting nothing productive done this week. My Christmas tree isn’t up, gifts aren’t wrapped and I’ve been eating leftovers and canned soup for days. Tonight I’m splurging on pizza. That’s what happens when genealogists get wrapped up in a “mission.”

If you’re laughing, it’s because you’re a genealogist, because our families probably don’t see the humor…

My friend, Tom, sent me the deed shown below, which started everything. Fifteen hours later, I realized I was hungry, and tired, very tired. But wow, what a day “visiting” Pulaski County, Kentucky. And that was just on day one!

You might think there isn’t much here in this one deed, but this was just the launching pad I needed. Come along as we work our way through the records and discover more about Mary Dodson, presumed daughter of Lazarus Dodson, my ancestor.

The Deed

mary-dodson-1861-deed

Between Lazarus Dodson and Rebecca Dodson his wife of Pulaski County KY and Sarah Chumbly and Mary Dodson of the other part. Sum of $4000 paid to Lazarus Dodson in hand – sold to Sarah Chumley and Mary Dodson tract of land the one whereon I now reside together with all of the appertainces hereunto belonging containing 50 acres more or less lying in Pulaski County and bounded as follows to wit. Beginning on a dogwood and sycamore on White Oak Creek and on a branch thereof thence up the same to the mouth of the Grabel Branch thence up the same eastwardly to the old Patten line near said Grabeal’s field then with said line westwardly to C. Chamberlain’s grass lot thence with said Chamberlains line some 30 poles to a maple on William Rainwater’s

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line thence with said line southward to the main branch thence down the same with the meanderings thereof to the beginning and said Lazarus Dodson doth bind himself and heirs to forever warrant…but said lands are not to pass into their possession until after the death of said Lazarus Dodson and Rebecca his wife then they are to have free and full possession thereof. August 9, 1861. Signed by Lazarus with his mark and by Rebecca.

The note in the left margin says “Delivered to? William Redman 24 March 1865”

The clerk registered this deed on the 10th of August, 1865.

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The first thing I thought was how odd that the deed was signed in August 1861 and not recorded until in 1865, but then I realized what had been happening in Kentucky between 1861 and 1865 – the Civil War. No one was interested in registering a deed – if they even could register deeds. They were simply interested in surviving. They would register deeds later if they survived.

In this case, Lazarus signed the deed in August, died in October and the Confederate forces set up camp either near or on his land in November, followed a couple months later by the infamous battle of Mill Springs (Logan’s Crossroads.) This family was busy, distracted and, I’m sure, fearful. This does tell us that the house where the deed resided during the Civil War didn’t burn to the ground. I’m betting that was the home of William Redman and Mary Dodson or perhaps the home of Lazarus’s wife, Rebecca Dodson, if they weren’t all living together during this time.

I can’t help but wonder, did those pioneer women take up arms to guard the homestead from marauding soldiers from both sides?  I bet so.  They probably didn’t have a lot of time to grieve Lazarus’s passing.  But I digress…

This deed description is important for 2 reasons. First, for all the names that it provides. Neighbors are important when trying to bring deeds to current and locate properties.

Second, the description in essence creates a rough image for us of what the land looked like and who lived on which side. I’ve drawn a very rough approximation, below.

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We can see that this land has to be in a location on White Oak Creek where you move north to the mouth of a branch, then east on that branch then west and south to the main White Oak branch.

Topozone shows several cemeteries on White Oak Creek, but no Graebel or Grabel branch, or Graebel anything.

Given the deed to Mary and Sarah who were clearly adults in 1861, I was beginning to suspect that perhaps the marriage year of 1839 was incorrect for Lazarus Dodson and Rebecca Freeman. Lazarus’s first wife, Elizabeth Campbell, died before 1830. But Mary and Sarah, assuming Sarah is his daughter too, were not Elizabeth’s children based on the 1838 death of Elizabeth’s father, John Campbell, and the subsequent estate which individually lists Elizabeth’s children/heirs.

Mary Dodson is found living with Lazarus and Rebecca in 1860 and she was born in the early/mid-1830s, depending on which date you use. Clearly, before 1839.

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Is Mary Dodson the daughter of Rebecca Freeman Dodson?

My friend sent me the original marriage document between Lazarus Dodson and Rebecca Freeman, as I had previously been working with a transcription. I suspected the year might have been incorrectly transcribed, but the transcribed document turned out to be accurate alright.

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You can see on the last entry on the page that Lazarus and Rebecca obtained their marriage license on June 21st 1839 and Thomas Davis married them on June 29th, 1839. (You can click to enlarge any graphic.) I’ve never been so disappointed to confirm that a record was accurate before.

Now, of course, the question is who was the mother of Mary Dodson, and possibly Sarah. And are Mary and Sarah sisters?

1850

I desperately need to find Lazarus and Rebecca in the 1850 census, and I’ve tried every way to Sunday to find them, all to no avail. Either they missed the census or the name is so terribly butchered that it’s unrecognizable – and possibly someplace I’m not looking.

One surprising piece of information is that the deed index tells us that Lazarus bought his land in Pulaski County in 1857, just 4 years before deeding it to Mary and Sarah. I had supposed that Lazarus had been in Pulaski County since about 1833 and had long owned land. Obviously not.

1860

In 1860, we found Lazarus and Rebecca living with Mary Dodson, but the 1861 deed strongly suggests that “they” had another child, Sarah who had married a Chumley, and was perhaps widowed? Why else would Lazarus and Rebecca leave land to her, even under the guise of a purchase? How would a “spinster daughter” and possibly a “widow daughter” come up with $4000 to purchase the family farm from their parents?

My friend Tom sent this the next morning. I think he and I both spent that day “in Pulaski County.”

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Indeed, Sarah Dodson, by another spelling, Datsan, had married William Chumley in 1846 in Claiborne County, which implies that Lazarus himself was probably living in Claiborne in 1846. Huh??? Not at all what I thought, given that he left the state back in 1833 and then faced back taxes, a lawsuit and a judgement between 1835 and 1837.

Lazarus married Rebecca Freeman in Claiborne County in 1839, so maybe Lazarus came back and lived back in Claiborne for some time. The Chumley family lived near Lazarus’s land beneath Cumberland Gap and otherwise intermarried with the Freeman family, so this does make sense.

I checked the 1840 census, again, but there are only two Lazarus Dodsons in the entire country, and both are age 30-39. Lazarus was 45 in 1840, not to mention the rest of the family doesn’t match either.  So Lazarus remains missing in both 1840 and 1850.

Mary’s Marriage

We don’t find Mary Dodson in the 1870 census, but that’s because she married on July 28, 1864 to William Redman in Pulaski County.

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Mary Dodson gives her age as 32, so born in approximately 1832, depending on whether Mary had had her 1864 birthday yet, and her birth location is given as Claiborne County, Tennessee.

So now we know when and where Mary was born. This information probably brackets dates for Lazarus Dodson’s arrival in Pulaski County from sometime between 1846 when Sarah married in Claiborne to sometime before 1857 when he purchases land in Pulaski County.

Lazarus has to have been married a second time between Elizabeth Campbell and Rebecca Freeman, unless Elizabeth didn’t actually die and those children living with her parents in 1830 weren’t the Dodson children. However, neither Mary nor Sarah were mentioned in John Campbell’s 1838 estate record as having been Elizabeth’s heirs, and Lazarus Dodson is stated as Elizabeth’s heir’s father, so we know that neither Mary nor Sarah are Elizabeth’s children.

Therefore, Lazarus had remarried by 1830 or 1831, given Mary’s birth in 1831/1832, but the marriage record is not found in Claiborne County. Why did Lazarus and his second wife not raise his children by Elizabeth Campbell?

1870

In 1870, we do find Rebecca Dodson and Sarah Chumley living with one William Dodson, age 23. William would have been age 13 in 1860, born in 1847 in Tennessee, so a child at home if he were the son of Rebecca and Lazarus. Who is this William Dodson, married to Eliza? How is he tied in, and where did he go?

Also, one David W. Dodson is living with the Dunsmore family next door.  Surely this isn’t just a coincidence.  Who is he?

This isn’t an ancestor labyrinth, it’s a maze!

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This census tells us that Sarah was born in 1833 in Tennessee, the year that Lazarus, according to an 1861 deed filed in Claiborne County, sold land to David C. Cottrell in Claiborne County. It may only be coincidence, or not, that the land Lazarus sold was originally patented to one Robert Chumbley.

Another Twist in the Maze

The 1860 census for Pulaski County, Kentucky solves the riddle of the identity of William Dodson, born in 1846, along with David Dodson, born in 1856.

Both men are the son of John C. Dotson, also Dodson, and Barthenia. This John Dodson is the son of Lazarus Dodson and Elizabeth Campbell, and Barthenia is Barthenia Dobkins.

This census tells us that John Campbell Dodson was living in Kentucky by 1854 when son John was born – although we don’t know that he was living in Pulaski County that early.

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Both John and Barthenia seem to have disappeared by 1870.  There are several John Dodson or Dotsons listed as Civil War soldiers.  It’s certainly possible that he perished in the war, which would explain why his son David is living with another family in 1870 as farm labor.

The fact that John moved to Pulaski County, was living with his father and clearly interacted with that family in a positive fashion tells us that Lazarus did not lose touch entirely with his children in Claiborne County.

I wonder if the fact that Lazarus had children by his first marriage is why he “sold” the land to Mary and Sarah, rather than granting a deed of gift.  A sale can’t be contested, but a deed of gift as the only valueable item of inheritance certainly could be.

The Chumley Connection

In 1850, William Chumley and wife Sarah are living in Pulaski County and are noted as having been married within the year. Sarah’s age of 19 puts her birth year in 1831. It also means that if she indeed was married in 1846, she was age 15. Unusual, but not impossible.

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They are not living among the surnames found in the deeds of Lazarus Dodson later. At first, I thought this might not be the same family, but it is.

In 1860, Sarah and William Chumley are living in Russell County, KY, on the same page with other Chumbley family members. Her age of 30 puts her birth in about 1830.

William and Sarah Chumley still have no children, but living with them is Elizabeth Kissee, age 6. This Elizabeth is probably the Elizabeth that Sarah later remembers in her will.

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Immediately following the 1870 census, we find Sarah’s will executed and probated.

It’s odd for Sarah to have died before the age of 40, and had no children. I wonder if she had some type of disease or disability.

In May of 1870, Sarah makes her will in Russell County. It is filed with the court in September 1870, so Sarah has apparently died by then, just weeks after the census. The actual 1870 census document date is August 11, 1870, but the census is supposed to be taken “as of” June of the census year. It’s possible that Sarah was dead, or quite ill, by August 11, given that she was “week in body” on May 20 when she made her will. There was no occupation listed on the census which is odd for an adult, even if the occupation is “keeping house.”

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Sarah Chumbly week in body but of good sound mind…to Elizabeth Carea (Cazea?) one bed beding and furniture also one cow and calf. Second to my 2 neaces and one neffu the now living children of my sister Mary Redman all the balance of my effects after paying my berrial expenses and debts if any. I appoint William Redman by brotherinlaw my executor with my will annexed. May 20, 1870. Signed by Sarah Chumley with her mark. Witness Linsey Walter (his mark) and John Johnson.

The will was recorded Sept 23, 1870.

Based on her will, it’s very clear that Mary Redmon is Sarah’s sister and she was obviously close to her sister and brother-in-law, both. Who is Elizabeth Carea or Cazea? I suspect she is the same Elizabeth Kissee that is living with Sarah in 1860.

It’s very unusual that Sarah never had any children, given that she was married for 24 years, from 1846 to 1870.

In another odd turn of events, it appears that Sarah’s husband, William, died on May 10, 1870, just 10 days before Sarah wrote her own will and obviously before the effective date of the census.

In the Russell County, KY probate records, William’s estate records begin on page 32, including the inventory and estate sale, and there is not one Dodson or Redmon on the list of purchasers.

At William’s estate sale, Sarah bought several things including farm tools, so she apparently wasn’t planning on dying right away.

Rebecca Dodson in 1880

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In 1880, Rebecca Dodson, Lazarus’s widow is still living and with her is granddaughter Martha Redmon, listed as such. Of course, at that time in the census, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone listed as a step-grandchild. And given that Rebecca Freeman Dodson likely raised both Mary and Sarah after their mother’s death when they were just young girls, Rebecca was the child’s “grandmother” anyway.

Given that there were no other children evident in the deed signed by Lazarus just before his death, it appears that he and Rebecca did not have children either, or at least none that lived, although if Rebecca was 39 when she married, that might have been too late in life.

Unfortunately, we don’t know when Rebecca died, although it was between 1880 and the 1900 census when she would have been right at 100 years of age.  Rebecca’s death is not recorded in the Kentucky death indexes. Nor do we know where she is buried, although it clearly has to be someplace near where she lived and is probably beside Lazarus.

It’s worth noting that Rebecca’s neighbor in 1880 is Charles Chamberlain, mentioned in the 1861 deed as a neighbor whose property lines abut Lazarus’s.

Mary Dodson Redmon’s Burial

After much gnashing of teeth, I finally discovered where Mary Dodson Redmon is buried, and as fate would have it, the Lee Cemetery is right beside a branch of White Oak Creek, the Creek mentioned in the deed that Lazarus conveyed to Mary and Sarah back in 1861.

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Mary’s daughter, Martha, married William Harrison Rainwater (1863-1909). And it just so happens that one William Rainwater owned the land bordering Lazarus’s land in 1861. Given these names, it looks very much like this family in essence stayed right where they were planted in 1857.

Lee Cemetery is located on Lee Cemetery Road, which is not noted on Google maps as such.

According to the 1900 Pulaski County census, Mary Dodson was born in July 1833 in Tennessee.

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Family members report her birthdate to be both June 15th and July 15th, with the year ranging anyplace from 1830 to 1837 in various trees, with no supporting documentation. I suspect that since Mary reported her own birth information in 1900 as July 1833, that is probably most accurate. It would make sense for children to be born approximately 2 years apart as well, so perhaps Sarah in was born in 1831 and Mary in 1833.

Mary Dodson’s husband, William Perry Redmon apparently knew he was going to die, because he made a will in 1887. People of that time and place did not make wills “just in case” but waited until they knew they were going to need a will imminently. Again, another gift from my friend, Tom.

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To wife Mary Redman my home and tract of land lying on the south and west side of the Columbia Road and also the 50 acres on the north east side of said road known as the Owens farm. Also a boundary on the opposite side of the rode from my house beginning at the former of the field at the Marsee line on a black oak at the corner of new ground thence with the cross fence to the James Redman’s spring then down the branch to the Columbia road to have for her lifetime and at her death I want my sons Thomas Redman and Melver Redman to have all the land described above.

To wife, bay horse and sorel mare and cattle and sheep and hogs and all my household and kitchen furniture. My wagon and all my farming tools of any description and bees also my corn and meete on hand.

I want my land divided equally between my two boys giving them equal number of acres dividing it north and south and I give Melver this end where I know live and my clock I give to my daughter Sarah Redman one bed bedding and one side saddle and one chist.

I give Martha A. Rainwater my cubbard at Mary’s death.

I give Melver my dun mule and John the black mule and I give Melver my fan mill I give my son John the land known as the Rha Becka Dodson

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Farm.

I give to Charity Redman the land upon which she now lives to hold during her life on widowhood and at her death I want her children that she has by James Redman to have said land.

I give to my grandson Volantes Dodson two dollars also my two grandchildren Jacob G. Price one collar and Amanda E. Price one dollar. I also furnish Charity Redman my gray mare to have to make her crop this season then the mare is to be returned to Mary to hold as her own and I give to my wife Mary all by debts that coming to me out of these debts my daughter Sarah is to have $65 and if not paid out of these debts out of my hole estate if necessary to pay for that amount of meny that I owe her as guardian.

On testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand this the 9th day of January 1887.

Signed William Redman by his mark and witnessed by D. M. Cooper and A. McWilliams

William’s will was submitted to the January 1887 court.

This will tells us that Lazarus Dodson’s land, phrased as the “Rha Becka Dodson Farm” went to John Redmon in 1887. This also tells us that William Redmon’s lands were on both sides of the Columbia Road. Today, the “Old Columbia Road” remains visible and marked and 80 is now the original old Columbia Road elsewhere.

I would like to see if I can determine what happened to the Rebecca Dodson Farm once John Redmon owned it, but the grantor deed index for Pulaski County for this timeframe has not been imaged online.

According to FindAGrave, the son John would be John Franklin Redmon (1866-1929) who was born and died in Pulaski County, so he may well have kept this land his entire life. In fact, it’s certainly possible that it’s still in the same family.

I have made inquiries to descendants both who posted memorials on FindAGrave which includes a granddaughter, as well as on Ancestry, but no luck yet with replies. I’m hopeful that someone, someplace knows where his land or farm was that John Franklin Redmon inherited from his parents, and that I can locate it today.

Mary Dodson Redmon died on July 2, 1903, but her death is not recorded in the Kentucky Death records, or at least it’s not indexed.

FindAGrave does not indicate if there is a headstone or not, but Mary Dodson’s birth date is given as June 15, 1827, although the 1900 census shows her birth year as 1833. I suspect 1832 in her marriage record or 1833 is accurate, especially given that Lazarus Dodson’s first wife, Elizabeth Campbell Dodson’s last child was born in 1827.

Volantus Dodson, age 9, is shown as the son of William Dodson, living just 2 houses away from Rebecca Dodson in 1880. Volantus is the son of William, age 38, who has apparently remarried to a 19 year old Mary since the 1870 census when William was newly married to Eliza.

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If you’re scratching your head, so was I.

The only way Volantus being William Redmon’s grandson makes any sense at all is that William Redmon’s daughter from his first marriage was the Eliza who married William Dodson and had son Volantus before she passed away. Checking Pulaski County marriage records, this is indeed the case. Eliza Caroline Redmon married William Dodson in December of 1868.

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Eliza Redman, age 24 in 1870, so born in 1846, had to be William Redman’s daughter from his first marriage, because William Redman didn’t marry Mary Dodson until 1864.

Therefore, Mary Dodson’s step-daughter married her half-brother’s son, William, who was Mary’s half-nephew. No blood relation, but I had to draw this out on paper to be sure.

These families are incredibly intermarried and interconnected.

Volantus is later shown as William V. Dodson and he also marries a Mary who becomes Mary Dodson. Too many Mary Dodson’s!!!

Cemetery Triangulation

Out of other options at this point, I decided to “borrow” a genetic genealogy technique and resort to “cemetery triangulation.”

I know this sounds odd, but hear me out on this one.

We have the following information:

  • We know the names of adjacent property owners for Lazarus Dodson in 1861.
  • We know that Mary Dodson married William Redman/Redmon and where she is buried.
  • We can also find neighbors in the census in 1860, 1870 and 1880 when Lazarus and then Rebecca are still living.
  • Rebecca retained right to the land for the duration of her life, so she was likely still living on this land in 1880.
  • We can track some individuals forward and backward in time through both deed and probate records
  • We have burial records at FindAGrave.
  • We have Google maps to look at the current location both in terms of maps, satellite images and for some roads, street view.

Unfortunately, not all of the deed records are imaged online at Family Search for Pulaski County. Some indexes are, and some deed books are, but not all. So, we will use what we can, then we’ll resort to FindAGrave and Google maps.

Do I sound like a desperate genealogist? Well, I am. And I want credit for this new term too, “cemetery triangulation,” born of desperation.

First let’s look at the deeds.

The Deeds

In 1857, John McWilliams sold the land to Lazarus Dotson that was subsequently conveyed to Mary Dodson and Sarah Chumley in 1861, effective after Rebecca Freeman Dodson’s death.

Sarah Dodson Chumley died in 1870, before Rebecca Freeman Dodson, which would leave the land to her sister, Mary Dodson Redmon. Mary’s husband, William Redmon, left the Rebecca Dodson farm to his son John Franklin Redmon.

The balance of the deeds below represent my attempts to trace this land, and failing that, the land of the neighbors, forward or backward in time, hoping to find additional descriptions with landmarks are locatable today. Tracking the neighbors land, especially when you know which side the land lays on directionally from your ancestor’s land is extremely useful and has been responsible for me being able to actually locate my ancestor’s land several times. Let’s see if this works in Pulaski County.

The lines mentioned in the Lazarus Dodson deed were:

  • White Oak Creek
  • William Rainwater
  • C. Cornelius line and grass lot
  • Graebel, Grabel’s field and Graebel’s branch

We find the following information about individuals whose purchase or sale of land falls on the right side of 1861, and who either are or may be the neighbors in question. In some cases, I’ve moved a generation forward in time to attempt to determine the location of family land or when I noticed a sale between two of the families mentioned (Rainwater to Graebel for example).

Year Grantor (seller) Grantee (buyer) Book Location Imaged Online Cemetery
1857 John McWilliams et al Lazarus Dotson 17-609 No Unmarked burials
1850* Nelson McWilliams John and Benjamin McWilliams, sons of Nelson 14-158 On White Oak Creek purchased from William N. McWilliams Yes Unmarked grave, lives one house from Lazarus
1854 Nelson McWilliams John McWilliams 17-9 No
1844 Charles Chamberlain John M. Weddle 12-339 mtg No No Chamberlains
1857 C. Chamberlain A. J. James 17-561 No
1857 Charles Chamberlain Fontain T. Fox 17-672 No Foxs in White Oak, quite a bit south
1853 Charles and Elizabeth Chamberlain Solomon Weddle 18-72 40 acres, Pucket Place, White Oak, west side Weddle Spring branch, Daws corner, Daniel McDaniel line, Charles & Elizabeth Chamberlain quitclaim Yes Solomon Weddle in Chesterview, Daws are in Science Hill
1880 C. Chamberlin Charles F. Poff 30-483 No No Chamberlain or Poff
1873 Charles and Elizabeth Chamberlain Jacob Castle 25-350 No Castles in Science Hill, distant
1873 Jacob and Rhoda Grabeel Rhoda Adams 25-485 No Grabeels in Grabeel Cemetery, Rhoda in Collins Cemetery
1885 Jacob and Rhoda Grabel William H. Neece 35-69 No Grabeels in Grabeel Cemetery, William H. Meece in Lee Cemetery
1889 LB and Rosetta Rainwater William P. Grabeel 38-289 No, pg 759 of index Wm Patterson Grabeel buried Science Hill, Rainwaters in New Hope

*Earliest McWilliams Grantee Deed – He says be purchased of William N.? McWilliams, but there is no deed in the index.

The earliest McWilliams graves, which are in the 1890s, are in the Woodstock Cemetery, near Woodstock, northeast of Somerset, not near Lazarus’s land. The early McWilliams must have been buried elsewhere, probably in unmarked graves.

Cemetery Sleuthing

Now that we know who we are looking for, let’s check the cemeteries for the following information:

  • Burials of individuals listed
  • Burials of other early family members of the surnames listed, especially if the individuals listed can’t be found
  • Oldest marked burial in the cemetery, indicating which cemeteries are older versus newer
  • Patterns relative to burials from the oldest census records of neighbors
  • Family cemeteries
  • Locations

Refer to the chart above for the relevance of the individuals mentioned and the cemetery name, if known.

Lee Cemetery

Lazarus’s daughter, Mary Dodson Redmon, other Redman/Redmons and William H. Meece (died 1924) are buried in the Lee Cemetery. The earliest death date on a marker in this cemetery is 1874 for a Redmon, but there is reportedly an Ann Poor Lee who died in 1809 buried there, wife of a Revolutionary War soldier, with no marker. There are some other obviously early burials in this cemetery and several stones with no date, so it’s certainly possible that Lazarus Dodson is buried there as well. This cemetery seems to be a small community cemetery, still in use, based on the number of families and surnames buried there, especially early and when compared with the census.

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Kentucky 80 looking down Amy Lane towards the cemetery.

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The 1860 census shows several neighbors of Lazarus Dodson. Interestingly enough, William Rainwaters is shown 4 census pages away, so not terribly far, but that may indicate that he lived on another road. We don’t know the order the census taker took. However, other neighbors whose families are buried the Lee Cemetery are shown adjacent to Lazarus.

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Nelson McWilliams, whose son sold Lazarus his land and who lives two houses from Lazarus in 1860, lies someplace in an unmarked grave. I suspect Nelson’s grave is in this cemetery.

Thomas Lay, Lazarus’s neighbor, unknown birth and death dates on the stone, but according to the census, born in 1836, is buried in the Lee Cemetery.

If John Campbell Dodson and wife Barthenia died in Pulaski County between 1860 and 1870, they are probably buried here too.

Andersons and Weddles are found in Lee Cemetery as well. Most of the early neighbor families are not found with markers in any cemetery, not until after the Civil War and often not until the 1890s and after 1900.

Hopeful Baptist Church Cemetery

William H. Rainwaters, born in 1831 and died in 1871, likely the William Rainwater whose land abuts Lazarus, is buried in Hopeful Baptist Church Cemetery. Some Chumbleys are buried here too. In 1870, William H. Rainwater is living among the Comptons, Gassitts, Meeces, McWilliams, Dunsmores and Andersons, the same families who are buried in the Lee Cemetery.

Maybe even more importantly, William Rainwater is living 4 houses from William Dodson where Rebecca Freeman and Sarah Chumley are living.

William’s son Lubantus B. sold land to the Graebel family. Lubantus is buried in New Hope, not far from Hopeful.

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New Hope

William Harrison Rainwater and wife Martha Ann Redmond (Redman, Redmon) Rainwater are buried in the New Hope Cemetery. So are L.B. and Rosetta Rainwater who sold land to William P. Grabeel.

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Weddle

John M. Weddle is buried in the Weddle cemetery.

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Mt. Zion

The earliest Daws are in Mount Zion Cemetery in Science Hill and they died after 1900.  Early family members are clearly buried elsewhere. Castles are at Science Hill as well.

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Chesterview

Solomon Weddle 1822-1890 is buried in the Chesterview Cemetery

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Collins

Rhoda Adams died in 1878 and is buried in Collins Cemetery.

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Rainwater

The oldest Rainwater burials are at the Rainwater Cemetery near Roberts and Wolf Creek Road.  The oldest burial in this cemetery is 1825.

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Grabeel

Grabeel Family Cemetery is a small family cemetery with 3 marked burials east of 80 just slightly, and close to Lee Cemetery.

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Jacob is likely whose land abutted Lazarus Dodson’s.

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Cemetery Triangulation

Now that we know where the various players are buried, or where their family members are buried, let’s see how these cemeteries look connected together on a map. I’ve omitted the most distant cemeteries where the most distantly connected burials are found. This sort of reminds me of the 3 legged shape of the triskelion.

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You can see here that these cemeteries are all in an area about 2 miles north to south and about 3 miles east to west.  On the map below, you can also see all of the branches of White Oak Creek.

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The cemetery with the most closely related burials, both in terms of Mary Dodson Redman being buried there, and in terms of neighbors, is the Lee Cemetery, located at the lower right end of the blue cemetery trail. The second most meaningful is probably the Graebel family cemetery, located just north of the Lee Cemetery, because Graebel is noted as a neighbor of Lazarus with abutting property lines.

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It’s probably also worth nothing that most of the time, people live on what were “main roads” at the time, which are generally still main roads today. Columbia Road is mentioned in William Redmon’s will, which is 80 today, and is likely the road where Lazarus lived.

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The next cemetery north at the crossroads of 80 and the Cumberland Parkway today is where Solomon Weddle is buried who bought land from the Chamberlains in 1853. The Chamberlain land abutted Lazarus’s land in 1861, although obviously not the land they sold in 1853. This provides a general location of where these families lived.

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The other cemeteries are too far north and too far west to fit well with the White Oak Creek land description.

Current Map Stream Plus Deed Description

Utilizing two different tools, let’s compare the deed description from Lazarus Dodson’s 1861 sale to the current day map of the streams. The current town of Nancy is marked below and the various branches of White Oak Creek can be seen to the left of Nancy, along with the entire area covered by the cemeteries and other geographic locations we’ve discussed above and will be discussing, below.

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Based on the cemetery geographic configuration and the number of burials, the burials would strongly suggest that Lazarus’s land was very near, or perhaps even under, the Lee Cemetery.

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Looking again at the deed description, we see that Lazarus’s line moves north to the mouth of a branch of White Oak Creek owned by Graebel, then east, then west to Chamberlain, then south to the main branch.

So there has to be an intersection of a branch on the north side of Lazarus’s land.

Unfortunately, there are two distinct branches of White Oak Creek, both with intersections, shown on the map below.

mary-white-oak-intersections

Both intersecting Ys of those branches are found south of present day Nancy, which based on the cemeteries and burials, seems to be too far south.

The Lee Cemetery is located on Amy Road, red arrow below. The cemetery is located on an extension of the right branch of White Oak Creek, roughly half a mile north of Nancy.

mary-lee-arrow

However, there is no branch to the right of this branch that would allow for the Graebel branch, at least no branch that is showing today.

However, moving north up the western branch of White Oak Creek, we see that there is indeed a branch that extends to the east, crossing 80 and ending by E. Waterloo. If indeed Lazarus’s land was on south of this branch, it would his land would be bordered roughly by Warner Road on the south, White Oak Creek to the west and the unnamed branch on the north, shown with blue arrows. The area of 50 acres that Lazarus owned, if it were square, is roughly 1,500 feet by 1,500 feet, the area shown inside the blue arrows. Of course, Lazarus’s land was clearly anything but square – but at least this gives us an idea of size.

mary-lazarus-approximate-land

How does the land approximated by the blue arrows line up with cemeteries?

The Lee Cemetery is the red arrow in the lower right corner.

The Grabeel family cemetery is the red arrow in the center between Warner and Old Columbia Road east of 80.

The Chesterview (Weddle burial) cemetery is the red arrow at top left at the interchange of 80 and Cumberland Parkway.

There are three cemeteries about equally far north of the 80/Cumberland Parkway exchange, but the earliest and closest burials of neighbors are represented by the Grabeel and Lee Cemeteries.

The cemetery, census and deed triangulation shows the best fit for Lazarus’s land is someplace between the Lee Cemetery and the blue arrows. This technique has narrowed the location of Lazarus’s land to roughly a mile northwest to southeast, roughly along 80 (Old Columbia Road) and roughly half a mile from 80 to the southwest.

mary-mile-by-mile

Taking a Drive

Let’s take a drive using Google Street View and see what this area looks like. We are surely on Lazarus’s land, we just don’t know exactly where. This area would have been familiar to Lazarus and his family.

Let’s start on what is today 80, just north of Nancy, where the Old Columbia Road separates from the current road to the right. Of course, the old road is the original road, and the newer road used to be the original road too. Unfortunately, we can’t “drive down” the smaller roads, including Old Columbia Road, because the Google cars don’t travel on dirt, gravel or roads without center line markings. Sadly, that means we can’t visit the Lee Cemetery.

Below – 80 north of Nancy where the old road separates to the right.

mary-old-columbia-road

This part of Kentucky is pretty flat, flatter than the land on Tiprell Road in Claiborne County, perhaps giving us some idea of what attracted so many Claiborne County families to Pulaski County.

Below, just south of Amy Lane. The Lee Cemetery is probably behind that clump of trees.

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Below, looking left (west) off of 80 just south of Warner Road.

mary-warner-road

Below, looking west on Warner Road. This could well be Lazarus’s land.

mary-warner-road-intersection

On 80, north of Warner Road where the road crosses one of the branches of White Oak Creek at the source. This could be one of the eastern branches in Lazarus’s deed.

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The very northern tip of White Oak Creek where Fawbush Road crosses the source. This is probably north of Lazarus’s land based on the description.

mary-white-oak-fawbush

The Battle of Mill Springs

I cannot leave Pulaski County without at least touching on the Battle of Mill Springs, also known as the Battle of Logan’s Crossroads.

Lazarus Dodson died in October of 1861, and in a way, it was just in time. Major battles of the Civil War were fought on both of the pieces of property he owned in his lifetime.

mary-cumberland-to-lee-cem

His land just beneath the Cumberland Gap was the site of fighting and the Cottrell soldier’s encampment at Butcher Springs. In fact, a Civil War map is how we located the homestead, exactly. The house and two barns were drawn on the map. Battles raged for the Gap itself, and Lazarus’s former land was repeatedly devastated by the warfare. The Gap changed hands three times during the war. Lazarus probably never knew about any of this since he died early in the war.

As irony would have it, Lazarus’s son-in-law, John Y. Estes fought on this land, for the Confederates. It’s unclear whether Lazarus maintained any connection with his children living in Claiborne County.  His daughter’s step-son fought and died for the Union, and his own son, John Campbell Dodson is reported to have fought in the Civil War as well, but I have been unable to find documentation.

Lazarus’s land in Pulaski County, Kentucky didn’t fare much better with Confederate General Zollicoffer setting up his winter camp near Nancy in Pulaski County in November 1861, a month after Lazarus’s death. The battle of Mill Springs took place on January 19, 1862, with union forces appearing to have advanced across Lazarus’s land.

mary-civil-war-union-advance

By Hal Jespersen – http://www.posix.com/CWmaps/, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29313754

Lazarus had only been buried for 3 months and his family certainly would have been involved, whether by choice or not.

At least 671 soldiers from both sides died that day, most being buried on the battlefield in what is now the Mill Springs National Cemetery, located on the battlefield. Looking at those burials on FindAGrave, almost every local surname is represented. It’s hard not to fight when the battle is in your back yard.

Mary Dodson Redmon’s step-son’s stone is found in the Mill Springs Cemetery, having died fighting as a Union soldier. Truly families were irreconcilably torn apart by this war.

mary-battle-of-spring-mill

The town of Nancy, today, was then called Logan’s Crossroads. The Battle of Mill Springs is also called the Battle of Logan’s Crossroads. The map below is a Civil War era map showing the Union (blue) and Confederate forces (red).  It’s surprising to me how much of the area was still wooded.

mary-battle-of-spring-mill-map

Looking at a contemporary map, with the battle field located by the red balloon, you can see that Old Robert Port Road is still listed by the same name. What is today 235 is the old Mill Springs Road. What is today 80 is the old Somerset Road.

mary-battle-of-spring-mill-locatoin

The Battlefield itself is located just half a mile or so south southeast of Nancy. In this wider perspective, you can see the landmarks discussed earlier.

mary-battle-of-spring-mill-nancy

The battlefield includes the National Cemetery where the war dead are interred.

mary-battlefield-of-spring-mill

mary-battlefield-of-spring-mill-satellite

Many names of local people are included in the National Cemetery. Almost every family is represented. William Redmon’s son, William Perry Redmon(d), from his first marriage is one of the casualties. He died March 17, 1864. His memorial marker resides in Mill Springs today, but where his body rests is unknown. Probably near where he fell in battle.

mary-w-p-redmond-stone

Another of William Redmon’s sons fought as well, but wasn’t killed in Battle.  William fought as well, for a Kentucky Confederate unit. Wars not only devastated the countryside, they devastated families. This would have been a sorrowful and terrifying time for these families.

mary-mill-springs-national-cemetery

DNA

Remember, as much as we think Mary Dodson is Lazarus Dodson’s daughter, we really don’t have confirmation. How I wish that 1861 deed from Lazarus had said, “my daughters,” but it didn’t.

It will take autosomal DNA testing of Mary’s descendants and having them match to Lazarus’s proven descendants to confirm or at least lend credence to the fact that Mary is Lazarus’s daughter. Let’s hope that someday, someone from Mary’s line tests at Family Tree DNA where we have autosomal data from several of Ruthy’s descendants to compare as well as DNA through Lazarus’s son, Lazarus.

mary-dodson-kin2

Mary Dodson’s great-grandchildren would be half third cousins to Buster and Mary, who have DNA tested, and they would be related more distantly to several other descendants who have also DNA tested. However, 90% of third cousins match, so the odds are very good that if Mary Dodson was the half-sister to Ruthy Dodson or her full brother, Lazarus Dodson, Mary descendants would match some of the descendants from Lazarus’s first marriage to Elizabeth Campbell.

In Summary

mary-lazarus-someplace

We will likely never find Lazarus’s grave, but we know he has to be someplace in this picture, and if I had to make an educated guess, I would suggest that he is buried in the Lee Cemetery, someplace near his daughter, Mary Dodson Redman/Redmon.

mary-lee-cemetery

Photo by Terry Hail.

And speaking of Mary, someone was kind enough to send me a photo.

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Mary Dodson Redmon, above.

This is particularly interesting to me, because while I don’t have a picture of Lazarus Dodson, I do have a picture that we believe is Ruthy Dodson Estes, proven to be Lazarus’s daughter and presumably Mary Dodson’s half sister.

We are not positive that this photo, below, is Ruthy Dodson Estes, but the photo was found in Uncle Buster’s picture box, along with that of John Y. Estes, her husband, and their son, Lazarus Estes. Uncle Buster, Ruthy’s great-grandson, said that he believed this was Ruthy and that he had been told she had red hair.  Ruthy suffered from debilitating arthritis, and you can see that this woman’s hand is disfigured.

mary-ruthy-dodson-estes-original

A friend was kind enough to clean this picture up for me.

mary-ruthy-dodson-estes-restored

Comparing the photos of Ruthy Dodson Estes to the photo of Mary Dodson Redmon below, do these women look like they could be half-sisters?

mary-and-ruthy

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Lazarus Dodson (1795-1861), Under the Radar?, 52 Ancestors #139

Lazarus Dodson was born in 1795, probably in what is now Hawkins County, Tennessee, to Lazarus Dodson Sr. and his wife, Jane, whose name we don’t know.

The Dodson family had settled on land on what is now Dodson Creek in Hawkins County by 1787, before Tennessee was even a state. Hawkins County was formed in 1787 in what was then North Carolina from Sullivan and Greene Counties, although the boundary between North Carolina and Virginia, on Hawkins County’s north border, remained in dispute for years. Dodson Creek was on the south side of the Holston River, so safely in North Carolina.

Dodson Creek

Beautiful pool at the bend in Dodson Creek where it leaves the road.

Charles Campbell and his sons, John and George also lived on Dodson Creek. John Campbell, born about 1782, married Jane “Jenny” Dobkins, the daughter of Jacob Dobkins who lived just down the road near White Horn.

dodson-ford-to-white-horn

The Campbell and Dodson families lived near Dodson’s Ford, located at the mouth of Dodson Creek near the power plant today.  The Dodson homestead would have been on the high ground, approximately at the location of 621 Old Tennessee 70, while the ford itself crossed the river, just above that location.  The land between the homestead and the river was low and prone to flooding.

This beautiful scene overlooks both the Campbell and Dodson lands from a vantage point across the Holston River.  Their lands are directly behind, beneath and beside the power plant.  This is beautiful country.

Hawkins view of Campbell land

Raleigh Dodson, the father of Lazarus Dodson Sr. manned and owned the ferry crossing the Holston River at Dodson Ford.

Indian war path

The road from Old Prussia Road to where the ferry crossed no longer exists today, but if you extend the line along Dodson Creek from the intersection of Old Tennessee 70 and Old Prussia Road along the west side of Dodson’s Creek, crossing the river near Arnott’s Island, that’s the general path.

dodson-ford-location

According to local history, this was also the Great War Path, and the Indians used to camp at the mouth of Dodson’s Creek, in the area not plowed today. Locals find artifacts and firepits there.

dodson-ford-indian-encampment

It probably looks much the same today as it did then, except for the fields.

holston river at dodson ford

Bull’s Gap was the next major stop and it was about 12 miles on south, just past White Horn. Everyone traveled these main roads, and everyone, including Jacob Dobkins and his daughters would stop at Raleigh Dodson’s house (and probably tavern/store) after crossing the river.

In 1797, Lazarus Dodson Sr. moved to the White Horn branch of Bent Creek, very near Jacob Dobkins.

Claiborne County, Tennessee

Around 1800, this entire group of families moved from Hawkins County to what would become Claiborne County in 1801, including Jacob Dobkins, John and George Campbell along with their Dobkins wives and Lazarus Dodson and his wife, Jane. John Campbell would have married Jane “Jenny” Dobkins about 1795 and George’s brother, married Jane’s sister, Elizabeth Dobkins, about the same time – both daughters of Jacob Dobkins. Lazarus Dodson Sr. was a neighbor. He could have been otherwise related, by virtue of his wife, Jane, whose surname is unknown. We also don’t know the surname of Raleigh Dodson’s wife. There seems to be some connection to the Lea family, both in Virginia and in Tennessee. These early pioneer families could well have been related before moving to Dodson Creek.

Lazarus Dodson Jr. would have been about 5 years old when his parents moved to Claiborne County. Lazarus probably attended school in the same one room building that also functioned as a church on his father’s land.

gap-creek-church-cropped

That church still exists today, on the banks of Gap Creek, on land owned by Lazarus.

gap-creek

In Claiborne County, Jacob Dobkins, John Campbell and George Campbell settled not terribly far from each other, but Lazarus Dodson settled several miles away, just below the Cumberland Gap at Butcher Springs, shown on the Civil War map, below. The location of Cotterell is the farm sold to David C. Cotrell by Lazarus Dodson in 1833 and confirmed in 1861. Present day Tiprell Road was called Gap Creek Road at that time, and Back Valley Road runs southwest from Patterson’s Smith Shops which is the intersection of 25E and Back Valley Road Today

camp cottrell civil war map

In the photo below, I’m standing in the Cottrell Cemetery located on the road just above the Cottrell home. In the photo, looking southeast, you can see the church standing today in the location of Patterson’s Smith Shops.

Me in Cottrell Cemetery

Below, the same cemetery, but looking west over Lazarus’s land.

cottrell cemetery

Today, Lincoln Memorial University, in the background below, owns the cemetery as well as part of the original Dodson land.

dodson-cottrell-cemetery-lmu

Does one of the many fieldstones mark the grave of Elizabeth Campbell, the wife of Lazarus Dodson, Jr.? Did he have children that died and were buried here – children that never lived long enough to be recorded in their grandfather, John Campbell’s estate settlement papers in 1841?

dodson-cottrell-unmarked-graves

As I stood in the cemetery the sweltering June day that we set Lazarus Dodson Sr.’s DAR marker, honoring his Revolutionary War Service, I couldn’t help but wonder if this old tree had been young when Lazarus Dodson Jr. was a young boy, scampering through the fields here too.

dodson-cottrell-old-tree

On the map below, Lazarus Dodson Sr.’s land was located at 1595 Tiprell Road on the upper left, Jacob Dobkins lived on what is now Al Campbell Lane (ironically) and John Campbell’s land was at the location with the red balloon on Little Sycamore Road. George Campbell’s land was located near Jacob Dobkins’, just slightly to the west.

dodson-cumberland-map

Both Lazarus Dodson Jr. and Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of John Campbell and Jane “Jennie” Dobkins, would have grown up in Claiborne County, but how they managed to “court” at that distance is unknown. The identity of Jane, the wife of Lazarus Dodson Sr. might be a clue, but we don’t know who she was. A church affiliation might be another clue, although Lazarus helped found Gap Creek Church near his home and Jacob Dobkins and John Campbell likely attended church at Big Springs in Tazewell or a smaller congregation closer to their home, if the now defunct church on Little Ridge behind John Campbell’s house had yet been established at that time.

Regardless of how, Elizabeth Campbell and Lazarus Dodson Jr. did court, and did marry about 1818 or 1819, based on the birth date of March 1, 1820 for their oldest child.

Unfortunately, Lazarus Dodson Sr. and Lazarus Dodson Jr. are both functioning as adults in Claiborne County and they are difficult to tell apart. In 1819, Lazarus Dodson, presumably Sr., sells his land near the Cumberland Gap, but in 1826, Lazarus Dodson, presumably Jr., repurchases the same land. Families, family dynamics and politics have never been simple!

In May 1819 Lazarus Dotson and Abner Lea, both of Claiborne Co., sold to William Hogan of Lee Co., VA by $5000 bond a tract of 640 acres. This deed was witnessed by Martin Beaty, William Jones and David Dodson (Claiborne deed E-366). The deed does not say Lazarus Sr. or Jr., but there is no indication that Lazarus Jr. had purchased this land, so the presumption has to be that Lazarus Sr. sold the land he obtained in 1810. The witness David Dodson may be the one who moved to McMinn Co TN and was likely another son of Lazarus Sr.

Alabama Indian Trader

At one point in time, about 1819 or 1820, Lazarus and his wife, Elizabeth Campbell, went to Alabama. This was a somewhat confounding turn of events, until you consider the multiple pieces of evidence that indicate the involvement of the Dodson family with Indians.

The first piece of evidence is that Lazarus Dodson’s father, Lazarus Sr., is reported in a later land survey to have been encamped with the Indians in what was then Sullivan and became Hawkins County, at the mouth of Richland Creek in the winter of 1781/1782.

dodson-richland-creek

The mouth of Richland Creek was located just above an island, as seen above. You can see, on the map below, that in 1787, Richland Creek was located deep in Indian Territory, about 50 miles east of Rogersville and another 40 or so south of Arthur which is located on the south end of Tiprell Road where Lazarus Dodson eventually settled.

Elisha Wallen, the longhunter and first white man to settle in this country, built a cabin near the mouth of Richland Creek in 1775, before he pulled up stakes and moved to Cumberland Gap, near where Lazarus settled about 1800.

dodson-richland-rogersville-gap

There is no trace of the Indians or their encampment today. Lazarus wouldn’t recognize it. I bet that island at the mouth of Richland Creek is full of artifacts, some of which could have been left by Lazarus Dodson.

dodson-richland-encampment

Second, we find Lazarus’s father, Raleigh settling on the Great War Path, in Hawkins County, where the Indians traveled and camped.  Clearly, Lazarus Sr. know the Indians well.  Keep in mind that we don’t know who either Raleigh or Lazarus Sr.’s wives were.

The third piece of evidence is that Jesse Dodson, probably Lazarus’s brother, is living inside the Indian boundary just beneath the Cumberland Gap in 1797.  He was assessed for 1 white poll, but was then excused from tax when the Grainger Court released the Sheriff from the collection of taxes. At this time, the only people excused from taxes were Native people. This begs the question of whether Jesse was part Native and/or whether his wife was Native as well.

However, the failure to collect taxes may have been an issue of jurisdiction instead of heritage. Apparently these people were living beyond the treaty line on Indian land and were not within the jurisdiction of Grainger County. Claiborne County was not formed until 1801.

On the 1795 map below, you can see the Indian boundary line, just west of the Kentucky Road where it intersects with Cumberland Gap. This same Indian Boundary line is referenced in Lazarus Dodson’s deeds. 560 of the 640 acres Lazarus owned of this land was conveyed to him in 1810 by Abner Lea, thought (but unproven) to be Lazarus’s brother-in-law. The acreage amounts don’t match, but keep in mind that two Claiborne County deed books, H and L, from this timeframe are entirely missing.

1795 map claiborne co

If this Jesse Dodson living beyond the Indian Boundary Line in 1797 is the son of Lazarus Sr., then he preceded his father to Claiborne County by a couple of years and may well have settled on the land where Lazarus eventually lived, which was indeed, just inside the Indian Boundary line and was originally Cherokee land. This might well explain why Lazarus selected the land that he did, given that the rest of the people he moved with settled several miles to the southeast in a group.

Jesse Dodson and Mary Stubblefield Dodson joined the Big Spring Baptist church in Tazewell “by experience” in March 1802. They received letters of dismissal from the church in Nov. 1805, but Jesse returned his letter in May 1806, indicating he had returned. Apparently in early 1807 Jesse got into a dispute with the church over a theological question which continued through Sept. 1807 when the question was dismissed. In Aug. 1808, Jesse was “excluded” from the church for “withholding from the Church”. He is not again found in the records of Claiborne County. We know this Jesse Dodson is not the son of the Reverend Jesse Dodson whose son, Jesse Jr. was born in 1791. We otherwise don’t know who this Jesse is, other than perhaps the Jesse who was living beyond the Indian Boundary Line in 1797 who was possibly the Jesse who was subsequently licenses to trade with the Indians.  Yes, I know there are works like perhaps and possibly here, but this is the best we can do.

On June 20, 1811, Jesse Dodson was licensed to trade with Indian tribes in Madison Co., Alabama. Descendants of this man have the oral tradition that he was an Indian Trader. He was said to be the oldest son of a large family of boys. Once when the Indian trader returned from one trip and was preparing to leave on another, the father implored his older son to take along his younger brother. The trader refused, saying the boy was so inexperienced that he would be killed by Indians. The father was adamant and insisted, so the trader relented and took the boy along. He has killed by Indians before the trader’s eyes. From then on there were hard feelings between the Indian Trader and his father. This is a tradition which may have grown with the telling over the generations, but there could be some grains of truth in the tale. If would certainly be interesting to know for sure if Jesse the Indian Trader is the son of Lazarus Dodson Sr.

Jackson County, Alabama

The land that became Jackson Co., Alabama was originally part of the Mississippi Territory and was occupied by the Cherokee until they gave it up by treaty on Feb. 27, 1819. It is certainly possible that Jesse Dodson, Indian Trader of the Mississippi Territory, was a son of Lazarus Dodson, Sr., who, himself was camping with the Indians in the winter of 1781/1782. Indeed, Lazarus Sr. did appear to have a family of mostly boys and the name Raleigh is conspicuously absent from a list of descendants, perhaps indicating a death.

1819 is also the year that Lazarus Dodson Sr. sold his Claiborne County land and when several of his children apparently went to Alabama.

I don’t know if this has anything to do with why Lazarus went to Alabama, but it can’t be ignored either.

Andrew Jackson was Major General in the Tennessee Militia. He was ordered to New Orleans to fight the British in January 1813. He was ordered to disband his troops (2500) and return to Tennessee when he reached present day Natchez, Mississippi. No pay or provisions for his men and they had to forage their way back 500 miles to Tennessee. Some people stayed in Alabama. Jackson returned and defeated the Creek Indians (Red Sticks) at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on May 27, 1814. The Indians were forced to cede 23,000,000 acres to the Federal Government. Mississippi became a State in 1817 and Alabama in 1819. Many of the militia from Tennessee returned to Tennessee, packed up their belonging, and returned with their families in two wheel carts to “Squat” on the Indian Lands in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. The squatters were given title to the lands by the States. Some of the “Civilized” Creeks were also allowed to “keep” their lands.

I checked land records maintained by the state and the BLM and find no Lazarus Dodson. However, there are many entries for Dodson men during and after this time.

I initially discounted the oral history that Lazarus had gone to Jackson County, Alabama, but his son, John Campbell Dodson shows that he was born in Alabama repeatedly – in the 1850 census, in the 1860 census and on his Civil War papers.

Lazarus Dodson Jr. was just slightly too young to be involved in the War of 1812, having been born in 1795, and his father Lazarus Sr., probably slightly too old, having been born about 1760. I did check Kentucky’s War of 1812 veterans, just to be sure, given that Lazarus Jr. lived there from about 1833 until his death in 1861 – and there is no listing for Lazarus Dodson by any spelling.

Return From Alabama

Elizabeth Campbell Dodson died sometime between 1827 when the last child was born and 1830 when the Dodson children are living with their Campbell grandparents.

Lazarus Dodson is once again active in Claiborne County, beginning in 1826 (according to an 1826 deed that may have been “doctored” and wasn’t registered until 1829) but consistently from mid-1827 through 1833 when Lazarus sells his land to David Cotterell and apparently moves to Pulaski County, Kentucky. By this time, Lazarus Dodson Sr. has died, so we know the Lazarus after 1826 is Lazarus Dodson Jr. who had married Elizabeth Campbell and later, Rebecca Freeman.

If Elizabeth died in Alabama, the reason for Lazarus’s return is evident. What was Lazarus to do with 4 children under the age of 7 or 8? Elizabeth may have died after returning to McMinn or Claiborne County. If so, she died before 1830 when the children were living with their grandparents.

Truthfully, I suspect that Elizabeth died after Lazarus returned to Tennessee. Otherwise, if Elizabeth had born a child in 1827 and died shortly thereafter, I suspect the child would have died too. Who would have nursed that child during the 200 mile, or minimum 10 day trip, from Alabama to Claiborne County, TN? Lazarus obviously couldn’t.

Cumberland Gap, Again

In 1826 Lazarus Dodson Sr.’s estate is being referenced in the September McMinn County court notes where Lazarus (Jr.) is one of several “gardeans of the estate” of Lazarous Dodson, deceased.

Abner Lea and Others Obligation to William Dodson: State of Tennessee McMinn County. Know all men by these presents that the Abner Lea and Oliver Dodson and Eligha (sic) Dodson and William Dodson and Jessee Dodson and Lazrus Dodson and held and firmly bound in the penal sum of two thousand dollars which payment will and freely to be maid now(?) and each of us do bind our selves our heirs executor and administrators to the abounded signed sealed and delivered this day and date above written. This is our obligation is as such that has the above abound to appoint Abner Lea and Oliver Dodson to be the gardeans [guardians] of the estate of Lazarous Dodson dc’d also we authorize the said Abner Lea and Oliver Dodson to make to William Dodson a deed of Conveyeance to the part of land granted to the said William Dodson North East Quarter of Section 11 Township 5 Range first east of the meridian. Also that we confirm the sale made on the 13 day of May 1826 we also agree to give unto the heirs of David Dodson a certain piece or parcel of land designated to David Dodson by Lazarus Dodson dec’d be it further understood that this is to be there part and all that they are entitiled to by us, where unto we have set our hand and quill this 11 day of September 1826. Abner Lea, Oliver Dodson, Eligha Dodson, Lazarous Dodson, Jesse Dodson

Witnesses: Landford and Rhodes William Dodson

In Sept. 1826, William Hogan living in McMinn Co., TN. sold to Lazarus Dodson and John Pace of Claiborne Co., for $3500, a tract of 640 acres adjoining Peter Huffakers field, a compromise line between Hogan, Aaron Davis and William Jones, excepting four acres heretofore conveyed to the said Huffaker and two acres donated by Hogan to the Baptist Church, including the meeting house and also a donation to the Trustees of the Washington School, including the schoolhouse. This deed was not certified by oath in Claiborne County court until April term of 1829 and not registered until October 20, 1829. This is registered in Claiborne County on pages 285 and 286.

dodson-1826-deed

dodson-1826-deed-2

This has to be Lazarus Jr. since Lazarus Sr. is dead and this land appears, based on earlier and later deeds, to be the original land that Lazarus Sr. owned. Did Lazarus Jr. repurchase his father’s land because of sentimental reasons, or because it was a great deal? Maybe some of both? Was this land still in the family. Was Hogan related? If so, how? So many questions!

On June 4, 1827, Lazerus Dodson made a deed of mortgage to Augustine P. Face (Pace) in McMinn County, but the land was located in Claiborne County, TN. (McMinn County Court Minutes, B/124)

At the October Claiborne County court session in 1829, the Sheriff, John Hunt, and Luke Tierman, a merchant from Baltimore, Maryland registered a judgement recovered by Daniel Rogers against Willliam Hogan. This judgment went up for auction and was specifically stated to be “the very tract of land William Hogan then lived on and the same he bought of Lazarus Dodson.” This was sold at auction with Tierman winning the land for $5 and then Sheriff Hunt conveys the 540 acres to John Tierman.

dodson-1829-tierman

dodson-1829-tierman-2

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This photo is taken on Tiprell Road looking north towards the mountain on the land that was owned by Lazarus.

dodson land tipprell road

This land is quite beautiful on up the mountain a bit.  Gap Creek runs alongside the road.

tipprell-road

Older Cottrell descendants indicate that Lazarus’s barn and perhaps a log structure (home?) was located in what is now this clump of trees, in the clearing to the right, just beneath the location of the Cottrell home on the Civil War map. The cemetery, as the crow flies, is just on the other side of the trees on the top of the hill, but you can’t get there from Tiprell Road today.

Given where the Civil War fighting occurred, this scene looks bucolic today, but it certainly wasn’t then. Lazarus didn’t live long enough to know about the fighting that would take place during the Civil War on the land he and his father once owned, but his daughter Rutha Dodson’s husband, John Y. Estes, would fight on these very grounds.

dodson-barn-land

I don’t know, but I’m guessing that somehow Lazarus Dodson is connected to William Hogan, given the multiple appearances of Hogan and Lazarus Dodson Sr. and Jr. together. Furthermore, it looks like there may have been something “funny” going on with this 1826 Dodson/Hogan land transaction that was not registered until 1829 at the same court session where Rogers judgment and Tierman’s auction winning of the land, somehow intertwined, are also registered.

How was this ever resolved, with two men, Tierman and Lazarus Dodson both appearing to own the exact same land? I’ll never know, but it does not appear to have gone to court again. Given the agrarian economy where almost everything seems to have been litigated, that in and of itself is amazing.

In 1827 Lazarus appears in the Claiborne County court minutes for the June session as the security for Andrew Chumbly in the case the State vs Andrew Chumbly. Thereafter Lazarus appears in the court minutes, serving as juror in September 1827, sued for debt by Moses Ball in March 1828 (Ball was awarded damages in Sept. 1828), ordered to a road jury in Dec 1829, serving as juror in March 1830, as constable in March 1831, after which Lazarus Dodson’s name disappears from court records until March 16, 1835 when John Hunt, sheriff and collector of public taxes lists Lazarus Dodson on his list of “persons being removed out of my county or insolvent so their poll tax cannot be collected for the year 1833 or 1834”.

Based on an 1861 deed, we know that Lazarus Dodson sold the land on present day Tiprell Road to David C. Cotterell in 1833.

1861, May 6 – Lazrous (sic) Dodson formerly of Claiborne Co, TN but now of Pulasky Co. KY to David C. Cotterell for $100 “to me the said Lazarous Dodson paid in the year 1833 having then sold to David Cotterell a tract of land on Gap Creek known as the Robert Chumbley land who had entered said land and sold and assigned said entry over to me and when the grant issued it came out in said Chumley’s name and afterwards was assigned by my request to said Cotterell”…beginning at a white oak two poles below Walker’s line, crossing Gap Creek, etc…his mark Lazarus Dodson. Wit Lewis Chumbley, Andrew Chumbley   Ack May 6, 1861 by Lazarus Dodson by appearance before James Allcorn, clerk of Court in Pulaksi Co., KY. Registered Oct 13 1870 Claiborne Co., TN

Note that the above item took place just 5 months before Lazarus died.

If Lazarus Jr. bought the land in 1826 for $3500, why did he sell it for $100 in 1833?  Or was this only a portion of what was sold?  Where is the deed for the rest?  Is that deed in the lost deed books?  The indexes remain, but they don’t show this land sale.

This survey shows Robert Chumley’s 100 acres of land.

robert-chumley-survey

The name of Lazarus Dodson is on a list of free male inhabitants, 21 and upwards, of Claiborne County in 1833.

The foregoing records suggest that Lazarus was living in Claiborne Co., in 1830, though he is not found there on census records for that year, or anyplace else for that matter. It is possible he lived in the household of another family, although at that time one could not serve on a jury if you weren’t a while male landholder over the age of 21.  If Lazarus owned his own land, and we know he did, then why wasn’t he listed on the census?

The following records indicate that Lazarus left the county again for a few years beginning in 1833, returning to marry his second wife, Rebecca Freeman, on June 29, 1839.

On to Kentucky

In 1835, we find a Hawkins County record that states that Lazarus is not a resident of the State of Tennessee.

May 7, 1835 – John A. McKinney vs David C. Cotterall, John Pace and Lazarus Dodson – the def John Pace and Lazarus Dodson are not residents of this state…ordered that they make appearance at Rogersville on the first Monday of Nov next term or complaintants bill will be taken pro confesso and a copy of order to be published in the Abington newspaper and on motion of said complainant leave is given him to take depositions of the def, Dodson subject however to all just exceptions.

Nov. 3, 1835 – they failed to appear.

Sept. 18, 1837 – ord by court that the clerk and master ascertain the amount if interest due on $87.50 being half the amount of the obligation executed by the def John Pace and Lazarus Dodson to the complainant.

Sept. 1837 – cause came for final hearing by responses made that Cottrell by an agreement made with the compl pending this suit has assumed to pay the sum of $100 which at that time was half of the obligation and he was bound to do with as the foot of the agreement with Pace and further that Dodson is liable to pay the complainant the remaining half of said obligation with interest in the amount of $118.56 with interest from this date until paid.

In 1839, Lazarus Dodson married Rebecca Freeman in Claiborne County. I wonder if he married someone else in-between Elizabeth Campbell and Rebecca Freeman. In that time and place, being single for several years is indeed unusual.

Lazarus Dodson and Rebecca Freeman Dodson have not been located on the 1850 census. They are not on the census of Pulaski Co., KY that year. The children of Lazarus and Elizabeth Campbell Dodson appear to have been raised after Elizabeth’s death by their Campbell grandparents. Lazarus, their father, left the area by about 1833, when the youngest child was only 6 years old, but these children were clearly raised in Claiborne County, married there and established homes.

I wonder what prompted Lazarus to move to Pulaski County, Kentucky, and if it had anything to do with the Hawkins County suit and the two years back taxes owed? Was Lazarus flying below the radar, as best one could in that time and place?

If he was living in Kentucky, how did he meet and marry Rebecca Freeman in 1839 in Claiborne County? There are far more questions about Lazarus’s life than we have answers.

John Campbell’s Death

In 1838, Lazarus Dodson’s former father-in-law died. Since Elizabeth Campbell, Lazarus’s first wife was also deceased, her portion fell to Lazarus and Elizabeth’s children.

In 1839, Lazarus is listed as receiving settlement from the estate of his father-in-law John Campbell.

In 1841 Wiley Huffaker was appointed by the court of Claiborne Co. as guardian of the minor heirs of Lazarus Dodson and of Elizabeth Dodson, decd. This was relative to the settlement of the estate of Elizabeth’s father, John Campbell, who died in 1838. The children received land, slaves and cash from their grandfather’s estate which was first rented and then sold for their benefit. The guardianship records continue until Dec. 1845 when the final settlement was made with Lasrus Dotson, the youngest heir, who would be Lazarus the third. This also confirms the birth year of Lazarus (the third) as 1827, given that he would have turned 18 in 1845.

Lazarus and Elizabeth’s children’s names were taken from the records relative to the estate of John Campbell, their grandfather, when a guardian was appointed for them relative to their inheritance. The children of Lazarus Dodson Jr. and Elizabeth Campbell were:

  • Ruthy Dodson, born March 1, 1820 who married John Y. Estes in 1841 in Claiborne County, died in 1903 and is buried in the Venable Cemetery in Little Sycamore.
  • John Campbell Dodson, born 1820-1821 in Alabama, married Barthenia Dobkins in 1839 in Claiborne County and died after 1860.
  • Nancy Ann Dodson born about 1821, married James S. Bray in 1840 in Claiborne County and died between 1852 and 1860.
  • Lazarus Dobkins Dodson was born in 1827 (between 1822-1828 according to the census,) married Elizabeth H. Carpenter in 1845 in Claiborne County and died in 1885 in New Madrid County, Missouri.

One More Child?

Mary Dodson was living with Lazarus and Rebecca in the 1860 census. Her birth predates Lazarus’s marriage to Rebecca by 8 years. Was she a child of a wife between Elizabeth Campbell and Rebecca Freeman? Did Lazarus have a second wife we know nothing about?

dodson-1860-pulaski-census

Mary Dodson died sometime after 1860 and is not found in the Kentucky death records.

While Mary’s birth in 1831 is before Lazarus’s marriage to Rebecca in 1839, Mary is not listed in the estate settlement for Elizabeth Campbell, so she is clearly not Elizabeth’s child. It’s possible that Mary is not Lazarus’s child at all. We have no further information about Mary, and she remains a mystery.

Lazarus’s Death

Kentucky implemented very early death records, although they are fragmented and often incomplete.

lazarus-1861-pulaski-co-ky-death

However, we are fortunate that Lazarus is listed (last row, above), and his death record provides both his birth year AND his parents’ names! Well, except for his mother’s surname, of course.  We’re not THAT lucky!

dodson-lazarus-1861-death

dodson-lazarus-1861-death-2

Lazarus Dotson or Dodson is listed as white, age 66, male, married, a farmer and died on October 5, 1861 of “breast disease.” He was born in 1795 in Virginia and both resided and died in Pulaski County, Kentucky. His parents were Lazarus Dodson and Jane, both born in Virginia.

In a female, I would presume breast disease to be breast cancer, but in a male, breast disease is a bit of a mystery.

What Needs to be Done?

We don’t know where Lazarus is buried, nor do we know where he lived. Deed work, which might identify where Lazarus lived, has not been done in Pulaski County. We also don’t know if he had a will, probate or inventory records.

I contacted the Pulaski County Historical Society, hoping I could hire a researcher to do the deed work for me, with no luck. If anyone has any Pulaski County genealogy resources, either books or feet on the ground, please let me know.

DNA

Deed and records research in Pulaski County isn’t the only missing piece of the puzzle.

To date, no male Dodson from this line has Y DNA tested. If you’re a male Dodson from this line, please get in touch with me. I have a DNA testing scholarship for you!

However, just because we don’t have the Dodson Y DNA doesn’t mean we are dead in the water entirely. Let’s see what autosomal DNA can tell us about Lazarus.

I have one cousin who descends from this line, through one of Lazarus Jr.’s children. She is my only known cousin who descends through another child of Lazarus Jr.. I have several cousins who descend from the same child that I do.

One of the challenges faced in this particular line is that Jacob Dobkin’s daughters, Jennie and Elizabeth, married Campbell brothers, John and George, respectively.

dodson-dobkins-campbell-marriages

At least’s it’s widely accepted that John Campbell and George Campbell were brothers, both sons of Charles Campbell, from a variety of relatively convincing but less than cast-in-concrete evidence. What we don’t have, and probably never will have, is exact proof that John and George were brothers.

John and George Campbell’s Y DNA matches, but that’s not proof they were brothers, only that they share a common ancestor someplace back in time. Since they married sisters, one could expect the descendants of both men (and their Dobkins wives) to share at least some DNA.

This happens to be important because we have autosomal DNA from descendants of George Campbell and Elizabeth Dobkins as well, but because brothers married sisters, we can’t use the DNA from the George Campbell line to differentiate the DNA of the John Campbell descendants.  Nor can we use the fact that these descendants match to prove that George and John were brothers, because we know they married sisters, which could be why the DNA from descendants of both lines matches.

Nothing frustrating about this, right???

The cousin, Mary, that descends from Lazarus Dodson Jr. and Elizabeth Campbell through their youngest child, Lazarus, matches me on four locations of 5 cM or greater.

dodson-mary-me

This is pretty exciting.  You can see the orange segments on the chromosome browser below.

dodson-mary-chr-browser

Given that we match on 4 segments, I was very hopeful that some of my DNA and Mary’s would triangulate with another known cousin, but it didn’t, except for my half-sister’s granddaughter, which is a relative too close for meaningful triangulation.

Triangulation, of course, is when three different cousins who descend from the same ancestor have DNA in common, meaning that all three match each other on the same segment. This indicates that the DNA segment descends from that common ancestor.

Since my DNA doesn’t triangulate, are there perhaps other pieces of Campbell and Dobkins DNA that still exist in descendants and can be proven to come from these ancestors?

The Power of Cousins

While Mary is the only cousin descended from Lazarus Dodson and Elizabeth Campbell, through another child, there are LOTS of other cousins who are descended  through the same child of Lazarus Dodson and Elizabeth Campbell that I descend from through daughter Ruthy Dodson.  Additionally, one cousin, William P. descends through George Campbell and Elizabeth Dobkins.

I manage a number of kits for cousins. I’ve downloaded their matches and sorted to see which of the various cousins might match Mary.

Lo and behold, look at this!  Jackpot!

dodson-cousin-mary-matches

Several cousins match Mary, and look, several segments in the red squares, triangulate between cousins, and Mary, as well. We know this is either Campbell, Dodson or Dobkins DNA, we just don’t know which. Even removing the Dodson DNA, hypothetically, without people who descend from either the Dobkins line, but not the Campbell line, or vice versa, there is no way to tell which is which.

Of the cousins above, William P. descends from George Campbell and Elizabeth Dobkins, while the balance all descend from Ruthy Dodson Estes. Those segments that triangulate between William P. and anyone else MUST be from the Campbell/Dobkins lineage, and not the Dodson line, because William P. does not descend from the Dodson line.

dodson-dobkins-campbell-line-2

Therefore, the triangulated match on chromosome 2 between Mary, Iona and William P. descends through the Campbell/Dobkins line and not Lazarus Dodson.  Not only that, but it’s a huge segment of 44 cM for double 4th cousins that has descended for five generations. Unfortunately, we just proved that this isn’t Lazarus’s DNA, but the rest could be.

Stacy’s match to Mary, Carol and Charlene on chromosome 12 is quite interesting. Let’s take a look.

Stacy is my half-sister’s granddaughter, so the common ancestor between Stacy and me is my father. In this case, we know unquestionably that my father carried the portion of chromosome 12 that Stacy carries, but that I did not inherit that segment.  This tells me that I inherited DNA from my father’s mother’s side on that segment.  That’s useful to know, even if it is via the back door through process of elimination.

Obviously, Carol, Mary and Charlene inherited that segment from their common ancestor(s).  Both Carol and Charlene descend from Ruthy Dodson Estes through her son, Lazarus Estes. Carol and Charlene’s lines diverge at Lazarus, but Charlene descends from my father’s brother.

dodson-cousin-mary-pedigree

While the chart above shows that Mary, Stacy, Charlene and Carol all 4 received the same segment of Elizabeth Campbell or Lazarus Dodson’s green DNA on chromosome 12, it doesn’t really show the full effect.

dodson-cousin-mary-green-pedigree

We know that all of these family members in green inherited this exact same DNA segment, and passed it along to the bottom generation. In this group, I’m the odd person out – having not received the green DNA from my father, while my sister did.

While these are not my matches that happen to triangulate, they are indeed my cousins and this triangulated DNA is that of my ancestors that I just don’t happen to carry.

Thank goodness for the power of cousins and the staying power of DNA for 7 proven generations!!!

A Mystery Man

Despite being able to piece some of Lazarus Dodson’s life together, we have gaping holes and many unanswered questions.  I just have the feeling that there is a very big piece of Lazarus’s life missing, some key event or cornerstone element – possibly surrounding the property beneath Cumberland Gap at Butcher Springs.  If we had that piece of information, perhaps the rest would fall into place and make sense.

Was his marriage license to Elizabeth Campbell lost in Claiborne County? That’s certainly possible.

When did Lazarus go to Alabama, and why? How long did he stay?

Did Elizabeth die in Alabama or back in Tennessee?  In McMinn County or Claiborne?

Why did Lazarus repurchase his father’s land in 1826, or 1829?

What was going on with that land transaction? There are certainly some oddities.

What relationship did Lazarus have with the Pace, Hogan and Lea families?

What about that lawsuit in Hawkins County he never showed for?

If he sold his land when he left, in 1833, why did he have unpaid taxes in 1835 for 1833 and 1834?

Why did Lazarus leave his children in Tennessee with their grandparents when he left for Kentucky about 1833? His oldest would have been 13 and his youngest about 6.

For that matter, why did he leave his children with their Campbell grandparents by 1830, and where was he in 1830?

Who is Mary Dodson born in 1831?  Who was her mother?

Did Lazarus have a second wife between Elizabeth Campbell and Rebecca Freeman that we know nothing about?

Did Lazarus ever pay what was owed according to the court in 1837, or is that perhaps part of the reason he went to Kentucky in the first place?

If Lazarus was living in Kentucky in 1839, how did he meet and marry Rebecca Freeman in Claiborne County, TN?

Where was Lazarus Dodson in the 1840 and 1850 census?

Why did Lazarus actually sign the deed in 1861? Was this a remnant of the “odd” land transactions surrounding that piece of ground on Tiprell Road that remained since 1826 or maybe even earlier, with his father in 1810 and 1819?

This leaves me with a feeling that there was something odd going on, and perhaps Lazarus Dodson was flying a bit beneath the radar. Perhaps Pulaksi County, Kentucky Records would be enlightening.

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Elizabeth Campbell (c1802-1827/1830) and the Alabama Frontier, 52 Ancestors #138

Elizabeth Campbell’s birth year is known only through the ages of her children. Daughter Ruthy Dodson was born on March 1, 1820. It’s believed that Elizabeth married shortly before that time to Lazarus Dodson who was born in 1795. Therefore Elizabeth was probably born sometime between 1795 and 1802.

Elizabeth was raised on Little Sycamore Road in Claiborne County, Tennessee by her parents, John Campbell and Jane “Jenny” Dobkins.

Elizabeth’s father, John Campbell, purchased this land in 1802 when the family moved from near Dodson Creek in Hawkins County.  Elizabeth could have been born in Hawkins County and moved to Claiborne as a toddler, or born right here in this house.

Campbell house

The Campbell house still stands today beside Liberty Baptist Church and beneath Liberty Cemetery where John Campbell and Jenny Dobkins are probably buried.

Liberty cemetery

Looking down from the cemetery, which is on the top of the “hill” behind the house, which is really a mountain, you can see the top of the Campell home.

Campbell house from cemetery

The current owners told me about the secret room under the foundation. Did Elizabeth play there as a child?

Campbell foundation

Elizabeth assuredly carried water from the spring.

Campbell spring

A natural spring provided clean drinking water for the family and would have been one of the primary reasons John Campbell selected this location. It would have been the children’s job to fetch water in a bucket. These old trees were likely standing when Elizabeth dipped into the fresh cool water emanating from the stones that mark the spring, even yet today.

Campbell spring 2

Viewed from a different direction, you can see that it wasn’t far from the spring to the house. The spring, here, is the ditch at the base of the trees.

Campbell property

The original steps that Elizabeth climbed still remain, as does the original doorway. The cabin underneath is made of logs.

Campbell step

We also know that Elizabeth’s children visited the same spring, trod the same land and probably jumped off of this same step, following in their mother’s absent footsteps.

Elizabeth may have married in this house as well.  Elizabeth probably married Lazarus Dodson in about 1818 or 1819, because their child Martha “Ruthy” was born on March 1, 1820, with another child following shortly thereafter.  Ruthy consistently shows her birth in Tennessee in every census from 1850 through 1910, as do her children.

We know very little of Elizabeth’s life between her birth and death. What we do know is quite interesting, albeit less than concrete.

The family lore from several lines includes the persistent story that Elizabeth and Lazarus went to Jackson County, Alabama after their marriage. I’ve always been skeptical of this story, because their children are found in Claiborne County, Tennessee, exactly where both Lazarus and Elizabeth are found as children. But, as it turns out, I was wrong.

The land that became Jackson Co., Alabama was originally part of the Mississippi Territory and was occupied by the Cherokee until they gave it up by treaty on Feb. 27, 1819. It’s known that the Dodson family had been involved with trading with the Indians since at least 1797 and that one Jesse Dodson was an Indian trader, licensed in 1811. It is certainly possible that Jesse Dodson, Indian Trader of the Mississippi territory, was a son of Lazarus Dodson, Sr., meaning a brother to Lazarus Dodson Jr., who married Elizabeth Campbell. Lazarus Dodson Sr. was himself camping with the Indians in Sullivan County in the winter of 1781/1782.  You can read more about the Indian trader story in the article about Lazarus Dodson, Sr.

The area on the map below labeled 101 is the Jackson County, Alabama land ceded by the Cherokee in 1819, bordering Tennessee, about 200 miles from Claiborne County. The area marked 203 was not ceded until the Indian removal in 1835. Additional maps and cessations can be viewed here.

1819-alabama-ceded-land

Given that at least one of Elizabeth’s children was born in Alabama in 1820 or 1821, and possibly more were born there, Elizabeth was actually living on a frontier. Alabama was made a territory in 1817 and became a state in 1819.

The Cherokee ceded land in 1816 and 1819 but retained the land just to the east of Jackson County. The Cherokee were their neighbors, and if the Dodson family was trading with the tribe, they were working among them on a daily basis.

The next hint that we have about Elizabeth is that Lazarus reappears in the Claiborne County Court notes in June of 1827. We know that his father, Lazarus Sr., died in 1826, so this 1827 appearance is most likely Lazarus, husband of Elizabeth. If this is the case, it’s possible that Lazarus and Elizabeth returned to Tennessee together and she died in Tennessee between 1826 and 1830.

It’s also possible that Elizabeth died in Alabama in 1827, prompting Lazarus’s return.

Thankfully, Elizabeth inherited from her father, John Campbell’s estate and because she was already deceased, her heirs are listed and inherit her portion. John Campbell died in 1838 and Elizabeth’s children are listed as minor heirs in 1840, 1841 and 1842.

          State of Tennessee, Claiborne County Court, October term 1842. page 280.

            GUARDEAN SETTLEMENT MINOR HEIRS, ELIZABETH DODSON, DECEASED.

            I, Wiley Huffacker, Guardean to John C., Nancy, Ruthy, and Lazarous Dodson minor orphans of Elizabeth Dodson, deceased, do make and present to your worships the following report, or settlement, to wit.

            To amount in my hands as reported to your worships at July term 1841, $120.08 3/4. Interest on same from July 1841 to September 1842, $7.81. Recd. of George Campbell rents for 1839 & 1840, $5.50. Interest recd. on G. Campbells note, date above, $0.27. Rents recd. of Wm. Fugate for the 1841, $3.00. Do – Do of Wm. Campbell for the year 1841, $3.00. Do – Do of Jacob Campbell for the year 1841, $2.12 1/4. Total: $141.79 1/4.

            Notes taken for sale of land as per decree of the Circuit Court, to wit. :

One note on Jacob Campbell due 1st. July 1843, $27.54. Due on 1st January 1844, $27.54. do on Wm. Campbell, due 1st January 1843, $78.44. Do on same due 1st January 1844, $78.44. sub total: $211.96, Total: $353.75 1/4.

            September 1842 recd. as administrator on auction sales of negroes by order of Circuit Court, $116.04. Total Amount: $469.79 1/4.

            Paid attorney Sawyers for advice, $5.00. Guardian bond to clerk Neil, $0.75. For attending to the whole business as Guardian, making and recording this settlement & &. $14.25. total: $20.00., yet due: $449.79 1/4.

            Guardian entitled to credits as follows, to wit: Paid Gray Garret my part expenses selling land, $1.00.

            John C. Dotsons rect. 26th Sept. 1842, in full his share $112.46.

            James S. Brays rect. 31st Dec. 1841 $63.90. Do – do for rents for 1841, $1.50. Due 3rd Oct. 1842 for balance in full, or his wife’s share in my hands as guardian, $47.06.

            John Y. Estes rect. dated 5th Sept. 1842, $54.35. Do – do rents for the year 1841, $1.50. Do – do order for what ballence may be in my hands as guardian, amt. $56.61.

            Total amount due the heirs, after expenses, $449.79 1/4.

            Vouchers filed to the amount of $338.38. balance, $111.41 1/4.

            Leaving yet in my hands, one hundred eleven dollars & fourty one cents which is each heirs share & which is due & owing to Lazarous Dotson, the youngest heir. The other three having received their whole share as appears from the vouchers on file. Which settlement was presented to the court at October term 1842 & by the court examined & ordered to be filed and recorded, being received by the court. Wiley Huffacker, Guardean.

Elizabeth apparently died sometime between the birth of her last child in 1827 and 1830 when her 4 children appear to be living with her parents in Claiborne County, TN.  Her father, John Campbell is show on the 1830 census, below.

1830-claiborne-county-campbell-census

John Campbell’s household has 4 small children living with he and his wife.

I do not find Lazarus Dodson, Elizabeth’s husband, in 1830, although there is a Lazarus Dotson in Pickens Co., Alabama but he is 40-50 years of age, along with his wife, and they have 6 children, 4 males and 2 females, which does not match our Lazarus and his known children.

Lazarus Dodson served on a jury in Claiborne County in March of 1830, so we know he was living there at that time and serves in both 1829 and 1831 as well. Perhaps he was living with another family in 1830.

I suspect that these are the Dodson children living with John Campbell, and that Elizabeth had passed over by then. Lazarus probably brought them back from Alabama and left them with their grandparents because he couldn’t farm and watch 4 small children too – all 4 being under the age of 10. If Elizabeth died in 1827 or 1828, those children would have all been under the age of 7 or 8.  The youngest children probably had no memory of their mother.  If Elizabeth knew she was dying, it must have broken her heart to leave her young children.

I would wager that wagon ride from Alabama to Tennessee was one long, sorrowful, journey. The children would not have known their grandparents and their mother had died. It’s possible that the first John Campbell and his wife, Jane “Jenny” Dobkins knew of their daughter’s death was when Lazarus showed up in a wagon, without their daughter and with 4 children. For that matter, they may not have known that Elizabeth had borne 4 children.

What a terribly bittersweet homecoming. The excitement of seeing the wagon, and who was driving, and then the agony of discovering that their daughter was not inside.

Snippets of confirming information about Elizabeth and Lazarus living in Alabama come from their children.

Elizabeth’s son, John Campbell Dodson, born in 1820 or 1821 shows himself to have been born in Alabama in the 1850 Claiborne County, TN census and 1860 Pulaksi County, KY census. His Civil War military records confirm that was well.

john-dodson-1850-claiborne-census

However, Elizabeth’s daughter, Nancy Ann was born in 1824 in Tennessee according to the 1850 Claiborne County, TN census.  She died before the 1860 census, but her son, Thomas Bray, in 1900, shows his mother as born in Tennessee.

Elizabeth’s son Lazarus is shown living beside his sister Nancy Bray in 1850, also born in Tennessee.  The 1860 census in Pulaski County, Kentucky and the 1880 census in Madrid Bend, Fulton County, KY also show that he was born in Tennessee.

Nancy Ann and Lazarus, the youngest children, may not remember living in Alabama, if, in fact, they did.

1850-bray-dodson-census

One thing we know for sure, Lazarus Dodson was absent from Claiborne County between 1819 and at least 1826 when either he or his father repurchased the land beneath Cumberland Gap.  He was back for sure in mid-1827 when he appears in the court notes.  Lazarus’s wife, Elizabeth would have been with him, wherever he was.

I believe that Lazarus Jr. purchased the land on Tiprell Road in 1826, previously sold by his father in 1819, given that the land was not mentioned in nor sold from his father’s estate and Lazarus subsequently swears that he sold that land in 1833.  Lazarus may have purchased the land, then gone back to Alabama to retrieve his family, returning by the summer of 1827.

If Elizabeth died in Alabama, the location of her grave is unknown to us.

If Elizabeth died in Claiborne County, she would be buried either in the cemetery on Lazarus’s land, known as the Cottrell Cemetery today, or in Liberty Cemetery above her father’s house (if the cemetery was in use that early), or possibly in the Campbell cemetery on Jacob Dobkins’ original land.  Regardless, I’ve visited her grave one time or another, and she was assuredly buried among family, regardless of which cemetery was her final resting place.

Elizabeth’s known children were:

  • Martha “Ruthy” Dodson (1820-1903) who married John Y. Estes
  • John Campbell Dodson (1820/1821-after 1860) who married Barthena Dobkins in 1839
  • Nancy Ann Dodson (c1824-1852/1860) married James S. Bray
  • Lazarus Dobkins Dodson (1827-1885) married Elizabeth Carpenter

DNA

Elizabeth’s mitochondrial DNA would be passed down from her mother to her, unmixed with any DNA from her father. Women pass their mitochondrial DNA to all of their children, but only females pass it on. That means that anyone who descends from Elizabeth, her mother, or her mother’s sisters, through all females to the current generation, carry her mitochondrial DNA. In the current generation, the testers can be either males or females.

Mitochondrial DNA is particularly important in these old families, because we really don’t know much about the female lines quite often. We may think they are of European origin, but sometimes they are Native, and vice versa. Mitochondrial DNA testing removes all question. Because it’s always passed intact, meaning never mixed with the father’s DNA, it remains clear for many generations, showing us the history of that one single line back into distant times.

Elizabeth had only two daughters, who had the following daughters who would be candidates to provide descendants who could test today for Elizabeth’s mitochondrial DNA.

Ruthy Dodson (1820-1903) married John Y. Estes – daughters:

Elizabeth Ann Estes (1851-1946) married William George Vannoy and lived in Montague Co., Texas. She had daughters

Doshia Phoebe Vannoy (1875-1972) married James Hutson and had daughters:

Audrey Lee Hutson (1917->2006) married Alfred Long

Opal Hutson (1900-197?) married Grady Murphy

Lizzie Lucille Hutson (1907-?) married a Luttrell

Eliza Vannoy (1871-1925) married Joe Robert Miller and had daughter:

Nell Miller (1902-1991) married William Jackson, daughter:

Reba Jackson (1926-2010) married John Webb

Nancy Ann Dodson (1821-1852/1860) married James S. Bray – daughters:

Mary Bray born circa 1848

       Rhoda Bray born (1852-1921) married William Hunter Wood, daughters:

Nannie Harger Wood (1883-1975) married Harry Barr Ross

Bertha L. Wood

      Carline Bray born circa 1838

If you descend from Elizabeth Campbell through all females (bolded above) to the current generation and are the first person who steps forward willing to DNA test, I have a DNA testing scholarship for you.  In the current generation, you can be either male or female, so long as you descend through all females.

______________________________________________________________

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Genealogy Research

Stephen Ulrich Sr., (born c1690), The Conewago Settlement and the Border War, 52 Ancestors #136

Unfortunately, we have very few records on Stephen Ulrich Sr., and those we do have often introduce more questions than they provide answers.

The Ulrich, Miller and Stutzman families reach back into Germany together. We first find records for Johann Michael Mueller, Jacob Stutzman and the Ulrich family in Lambsheim, Germany.

If you research these families and this is the first time you’ve heard of Lambsheim, you can thank our trusty retired genealogist who specializes in German records, Tom – he found this treasure trove.  This is the first time this information has ever hit the airwaves!

lambsheim-1645

This early drawing of Lambsheim in 1645 is likely what the town looked like when Michael Miller, Jacob Stutzman and Stephen Ulrich lived there. You can see what looks to be the same church tower in the photo below. Also note the watch tower in the city wall.  You can see the gate into the city, at left and the fields outside the walls where the farmers would go to work each day.  Below, the city today.

ulrich-lambsheim

By The original uploader was Romantiker at German Wikipedia – Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1955104

In 2002, John and Eleanor Blankenbaker traveled to Lambsheim to visit where their ancestors lived and they have made two photos, below, available for genealogy usage.

ulrich-lambsheim-church

Clearly, the tower is the old part of the church.

ulrich-lambsheim-tower

This photo shows the watch tower which is depicted in the 1645 drawing. The Blankenbakers indicated that the date in the stone wall was from the 1500s.  Stephen Ulrich, Jacob Stutzman and Michael Miller would have seen and maybe stood watch in this tower. The town is even older, dating from at least the 1300s when the first reference is found, but the Millers, Stutzmans and Ulrich families came from elsewhere in the early 1720s, roughly 1721. I have to wonder what drew people to this town at that time.

We don’t have proof positive, yet, that this is the same Ulrich family – but it’s very likely, given various pieces of evidence. What evidence, you ask? Let’s take a look.

Associated Families

We find Johann Michael Mueller, called Michael Miller in this document, as he is referenced by his descendants today, in Lambsheim beginning in 1721 and until 1726 where the Lambsheim records indicate that both he and Jacob Stutzman immigrate. In addition, the same records indicate that both a Johannes and Christian Ulrich immigrate on the ship, Adventure, in 1727. Unfortunately, the Family History of Lambsheim is in German, but Tom helped sort through that.

Indeed, on the same ship roster where Johann Michael Miller and Johann Jacob Stutzman are found, we also find Johannes Ulrich and Christopher Ulrich. The ship’s name is Adventure and the list made upon arrival is dated October 2, 1727.  These 5 men and their families embarked on a journey that would change their lives forever, as well as all of their descendants.

1727 adventure passenger list

In Pennsylvania, ship rosters weren’t kept until 1727 when a law went into effect that all Germans, age 16 or over, were required to take an oath of allegiance upon arrival. No oath, and you didn’t get to get off the boat – except to march to the courthouse or the magistrates to take the oath.  From volume I of the series, “Pennsylvania German Pioneers” by Strassberger and Hinke:

oath

Oath 2

Lambsheim Records

Once again, my friend, Tom, comes to my rescue, because Heaven knows, I’m way, WAY out of my league here.

In the Lambsheim city history, I found these records, and asked Tom what they meant.

Ulrich Christoph der Alt,oo Agnes NN;beide 2.3.1723‚20.

3.1724;”wei1and Christoph U.des Alten Erben u.

Kdr”:1.Gg.Phil.,oo Marg.(lebt 1725),(1991);2.M.

Marg.oo Deschler (2282);3.Stefan (1995);4.Jo— hannes (1994)‚3o.11.1725.

Ulrich Stefan;20.3.1724‚50.11.1725,(1995).

2388 Ulrich Joh.,oo Susanne NN‚verkaufen Haus,15.2.27.

(1996?) ““ ‘”

2389 Ulrich Joh.‚oo Kath.NN,beide 12.11.172}‚(1997?)‚

This is from page 264, above, and on page 22, we see

Ullrich Johannes, Taglöhner‚ ebenfalls 1727 auf “Adventure” aus— gewandert; Ullrich Christoph, Taglöhner‚ ebenfalls 1727 auf “Adventure”

Tom replies:

Christoph Ulrich, Sr. and Agnes NN of Schriesheim, Heidelberg, Baden are the parents of Johannes and Christoph, Jr. who came to America with Michael Miller and Jacob Stutzman. Stephen is their brother.

The records seem to indicate that Stephen became a citizen of Lambsheim in 1721. It also indicates there are documents related to him for the period 1664-1712.

It further indicates that Christoph Ulrich, Sr. died in 1724 and his heirs were Georg Philip married to Margaretha (left in 1725); M. Marg. married to Deschler; Stefan and Johannes. No mention of Christoph Jr.

Also states:

Ulrich Stefan: 20.3.1724; 30.11.1725

Additional information from the “Purchase Protocol of the Municipality of Lambsheim:”

(C 49) for the years 1719-49. Numbers in brackets refer to the Numbers in Part D.

The sale of fields and houses. The purchases had to be done at the town hall. The corresponding data have been collected, respectively.

The above paragraph is translated by Google from German. It is the prefatory material prior to the listing of buying and selling of land in Lambsheim.

It definitely mentions Johannes Ullrich and Christoph Ullrich sailing on the Adventure.

I find nothing definitive about Stephen Ulrich departing unfortunately.

From page 22:

  • Ullrich, Johannes, daylaborer, likewise 1727 on the ?Adventure? emigrated.
  • Ullrich, Christoph, daylaborer, likewise 1726 on the ?Adventure) emigrated.

These lists evidently are from documents in the Lambsheim City Hall that concern the buying and selling of land. Emigrants would be usually selling land and disposing of property before emigrating if they had anything to sell.

Your crew is definitely “interesting.”

Tom, you’ve surely got that right!!!

So it looks like Stefan is the son of Christopher who died in 1724 and his wife Agnes. This is a great day!!!

Then Tom started digging a bit deeper and found the following:

According to the Lambsheim yome, noting that the bracketed numbers are reference numbers, not years:

Christoph Ullrich Sr. married Agness NN, children:

  • Johann (1994)
  • Stefan (1995)
  • Christoph (1993)

Christoph (1993), Jr. was married to Anna Margaretha Miller:

  • Children: Peter born 1720 who was a soldier in 1744
  • Georg who married in 1751 to Dorothea Haack:
  1. Childre Elis. born 1752
  2. Johann Heinrich 1752
  3. Georg Friedrich 1758

Stefan (1995) married NN in 1716

Johann (1994) the middle one) who became a citizen in 1712, born in Schriesheim, apparently the one who came to America??

Christoph Ullrich who came to America in 1727 is obviously not Christoph Sr. who died in 1724. I would think it not probable that Christoph Jr. (1993) would appear not to be the one who came to American as he has kids who were born in 1720’s and stayed in Lambsheim.

Who were the Ullrichs who came to PA on the Adventure? Pretty complicated at best. Will be hard to determine without some better records. Schriesheim records might shed some light.

Oh NOOOooooo, this might not be our Stephen after all?  Why do the records say nothing about Stephen immigrating?  Was this information just omitted? And why, oh why, oh why couldn’t they have listed Stephen’s wife’s name???  The lack of a few pen strokes in 1716 means this information is forever lost to us because the church records in Lambsheim don’t exist for this period.

These Lambsheim records are so confusing and frustrating and to some extent, contradict themselves, if not directly, then by virtue of omission. I’m sure, at the time, everyone knew everyone and there was no question about who stayed and left and did what to whom and when. But nearly 300 years later, we don’t have the luxury of personal insight.

But if this isn’t the right family, then who was Christopher Ulrich who immigrated on the adventure with Johannes Ulrich in 1727? Were there three Christophers, one who immigrated in 1726 and another one in 1727 and one who remained in Lambsheim? Clearly the Christopher who immigrated didn’t leave his small children behind, did he???

If this is our Stephen, he must have taken another ship, because he is not listed on the roster of the Adventure in October 1727, nor any other ship that year or in future years. My bet, at this point, is that if this is our Stephen, and I do believe it is, then he left in 1726 with the Christopher who immigrated.

If this is our Stephen, his 1716 marriage is dually frustrating because his wife’s name isn’t mentioned. However, if he immigrated 10 years later, in 1726, with 6 children born before arrival, that means that either they had 6 children in 10 years or this wasn’t his first marriage. Six children in 10 years is one child every 20 months, which is certainly possible. That does assume that all of those children lived, which would be unusual, but again, not impossible.

It’s certainly feasible that if Stephen sold his land in 1724 and 1725, that he immigrated in 1726, before the lists of immigrants were required, or recorded. The fact that he did not take an oath of fidelity might explain why he was naturalized in 1738 and Michael Miller and Jacob Stutzman were not. They had taken those oaths in 1727.

Per the records, George Philip Ulrich left two years earlier. I wonder what happened to Georg Philip and his wife, Margaretha.

It is of note that one of the persistent family oral history stories is that Stephen immigrated with (or had, in America) two brothers, one named John and the other name not recalled.

If this is the case, then those two brothers were likely Johannes and either Christopher or Georg Philip.

Given that we do find these families co-located in Germany, and members of all three families sailed on the same ship for the colonies, I’m going to make the leap of faith here that the Ulrich family in Lambsheim is one and the same with the Ulrich family later found in Lancaster, which becomes York, County, Pennsylvania with Jacob Stutzman and Michael Miller.

Just keep in mind that this may not be an accurate leap of faith, but given the evidence, I feel that it is certainly reasonable, at least until those Schreisheim records totally upset my apple cart.

Tom has made inquiry to the City of Lambsheim for additional information, but to date, no reply has been received.

Naturalization

The first glimpse we have of Stephen Ulrich in the colonies is his naturalization in 1738, in Baltimore County, Maryland. Typically, Brethren declined to be naturalized, although several were naturalized in 1767, probably in order to protect their land. This could well tell us that in 1738, Stephen had not yet become Brethren, or he bent the rules because he had never taken the original oath. If he was already Brethren, perhaps he too was attempting to protect land. For whatever reason, thank goodness for this rule bending.

On page 57 of the Council of Maryland, “Commission Book No. 82,” which contains miscellaneous entries from 1733 to 1773, we find an entry that says: “Ulderey, Stephen, Planter of Baltimore county, native of High Germany, naturalized 4 June, 1738; and his children Stephen, George, Daniel, John, Elizabeth and Susanna.” (provided by Dwayne Wrightsman)

If you’re wondering why Stephen would have been naturalized in Maryland and not Pennsylvania, that’s a great question. The area of Pennsylvania where Stephen lived was disputed between Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the residents in 1738 believed they were living in Maryland.

The absolutely wonderful thing about this naturalization document is that it lists his children born in Germany. If the children had not been born in Germany, there would have been no need for them to be naturalized. It’s worth noting that additional children could have been and probably were born after arrival, especially if Stephen was around the age of 20-25 in 1716, as was his bride.

  • Stephen
  • George
  • Daniel
  • John
  • Elizabeth
  • Susanna

Thank goodness for this list!

We don’t know and have never discovered Stephen’s wife’s name, although family trees are full of the first name of Elizabeth and various surnames, one of which is Waggoner. No proof has ever been found of any wife’s name, to the best of my knowledge, although perhaps the Lambsheim or Schriesheim records might give up some gems with further mining.

I suspect that the genesis of the name Elizabeth Waggoner is that the Waggoner family was a neighbor to the Ulrich family both in Lancaster County (1743 land grant on Conewago) and in Frederick County in 1751. However, for Stephen’s wife to be Elizabeth Waggoner, the Waggoner family would have to be found with the Ulrich family in or near Lambsheim, Germany before immigration.

We don’t know when Stephen immigrated, but we know it’s not before 1725 and not after 1738. I would hazard a speculative guess that it was about 1726, because that’s the year that the other Ulrich men who were selling property in Lambsheim began immigrating, along with Michael Miller and Jacob Stutzman.  1726, as opposed to 1727 or after would also explain why Stephen Ulrich’s name is not found on any ship’s passenger list from 1727 forward when oaths of allegiance were required.

The Land at Conewago

We believe Stephen Jr. was born no later than 1720 based on the fact that be obtained land in 1742 in Lancaster County, PA, adjacent land of Stephen Sr.

We know that indeed, Stephen Sr. did own land before 1742, although we don’t have a land grant.

Based on secondary information, Stephen Ulrich Sr. purchased his original tract directly from John Digges, who originally settled “Digges Choice in the Back Woods,” a supposed 10,000 acre parcel near present day Hanover, PA under a Maryland land grant. Today Digges Choice includes all of Penn Township and most of Heidelberg Township in York County, along with part of Conewago, Germany and Union Townships in Adams County. This land was surveyed in 1732 but a patent was not issued until October 11, 1735.

Some of the “squatters” that had originally settled west of the Susquehanna on what were still Indian lands were attracted to Digges Choice. Digges was advertising these lands as early as 1731. The first land record given by Digges was to Adam Forney in October of 1731, but clear title couldn’t have passed at that time, so Digges gave Forney his bond upon which he identifies himself as “of Prince George’s County, Maryland,” clearly indicating that he believed this land to be located in Maryland, not in Pennsylvania. Note that Adam Furney is one of the men naturalized along with Stephen Ulrich in 1738.

The Conewago Settlement, where Stephen Ulrich Sr. lived, was also on Digges’ Choice and is now located in Adams County.

On Feb. 16, 1742, Lancaster County, PA issued warrants 7-U and 8-U for Stephen Ulrick, Junr. to take up lands west of the Susquehanna. He staked out adjoining tracts in what was then a dense wilderness on Little Conewago Creek on land adjoining that of his father according to the warrant descriptions. We know that Stephen lived there as early as 1738 when the family surname is listed retrospectively in 1770 as a founder of Little Conewago Church.

Stephen Ulrich Sr. and Stephen Ulrich Jr. both owned land in or near Digges Choice in York, now Adams County. Hanover was at the center of Digges Choice, which was laid out about 1739.

Stephen Jr.’s warrant tells us where Stephen Sr.’s land is, approximately.

Stephen Ulrich Junior of Lancaster County, 100 acres of land situate on Little Conewago Creek adjoining his father Stephen Ulrich’s land and William Hoolerd? On the west side of Susquehanne River for 15 pounds 10 shillings and yearly quit rent of one half penny sterling for every acre thereof.

Stephen Jr.’s second warrant mentions Little Conewago and Indian Run, locations we can identify today.

I’m unclear about the exact location of Stephen Ulrich Sr.’s land that he purchased from Digges. There is no warrant and no deed, but original records do need to be checked. However, we do have hints from other sources.

In addition to Stephen Jr.’s 1742 warrant, we’re very fortunate to have a 1783 deed that provides us with a little more information about Stephen Sr.’s land.

This 1783 record further clarifies that Stephen Sr. lived on the main road in York County, which would have been present day Hanover Pike.

1783 – Deed – May 17th – George Adam Stum of Heidelberg Twp, York County yeoman and Mary Apelone his wife for better securing the payment of….sold to Sebastian Opold a 150 ac tract of land in Heidelberg Twp part of larger tract called Diges’ Choice adj the Conestoga Old Road which tract of land John Digges conveyed unto Stephen Ullery and the said Ullery conveyed unto Peter Neffziger….

Land Records of York Co, Pa 1775-1793 by Mary Marshall Brewer, p 70-71

Interestingly enough, there is a 1754 will for one Ulrich Naftsiger in Lancaster County, which surely makes me wonder – although Ulrich seems to be a much more popular first name at that time than as a surname.

Unfortunately, the location of this deed seems to introduce some ambiguity and discrepancy in terms of the location of the land of Stephen Ulrich Sr.  The land of Stephen Ulrich Jr. is unquestionably in Conewago Township in what is now Adams County, not Heidelberg in York County.  The mention of Heidelberg Township really threw men for a loop for awhile.

However, additional research in “Conewago: A Collection of Catholic Local History,” page 25, states that the area that is now Conewago Township in Adams County was previously Heidelberg Township.

I’m beginning to suspect that Stephen Ulrich Sr. may have owned more land than we know about today. Finding John Digges conveyances might answer a lot of questions.

Locating Stephen’s Land

As luck would have it, the area in York (now Adams) County owned by Stephen Ulrich and his son includes a section of the old road, laid out in 1740 and 1741, that was bypassed by the current Hanover Pike.

ulrich-hanover-shoe

On the map above, you can see the short stretch of the old road just below Hanover Shoe Farms. Below, the aerial view satellite view. It just does my heart good to know that I’m looking at Stephen’s land, even if I don’t know the exact location. However, we can get pretty close utilizing several pieces of information.

ulrich-conewago-crosses-road

The arrow above shows where Little Conewago Creek crosses the road. Little Conewago can be followed visually by following the treed area.

Apparently, the bypassing of the old road occurred long ago, because the old road appears to be very narrow, probably one lane or two if moving very slowly.

ulrich-old-road-south

Today, utilizing Google Maps Street View, we can see the current Hanover Pike at the location where it intersects with Old Hanover Road, now privately owned. Above, the southern end of the old road. It just looks like a driveway today and you’d never know the difference without satellite view.

Below, driving on down Hanover Pike to the northewast, we can see the location of the south branch of Little Conewago Creek. This is the only intersection of Little Conewago Creek and what was then the main, and only, road.

ulrich-little-conewago

Below, we can see the field beside the creek, at left, between the current road and the remnants of the old road.

ulrich-viewing-old-road

You can see the “old road” in the distance if you look closely through the trees.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t “drive” privately owned roads, so we can’t drive down this one lane old road today, sadly.

Here’s another peek at the old road that Stephen Ulrich lived along and certainly traveled often, from the north end of the Old Hanover Road.

ulrich-old-road-north

The new road, Hanover Pike, is to the left and you’re looking directly down the old road. Only about half a mile of the old road is preserved today.

Here’s an aerial of just this area. The intersection above is at the top right beside the 194 road marker. There had to be a cemetery and an original homestead. Death was a constant, and both Stephen and his wife likely died while living here. I wonder where the homestead and cemetery were located. Sometimes you can see a very old structure, but that’s not the case here. There has been significant development today, so they could have been obliterated. If the graves were not marked with more than wooden crosses, they could simply have been overtaken by nature after the children moved on to the next frontier. It doesn’t seem that any of Stephen’s children remained in this area, at least none that we know of. There was no one to visit or maintain graves.

ulrich-old-road-close

I’ll look more closely to see if I can spy anything that could possibly be an old cemetery. Oh look, there’s a quilt shop! Now I HAVE to visit.  (Note that you can click to enlarge any of these images.)

ulrich-quilt-shop

The only way this could get better is if I walked into the quilt shop to find a deed from Stephen framed on their wall, and they tell me that the old family cemetery is just out back. I dream about things like this.

Pardon my little fantasy flight of fancy there…back to reality!

John Hale Stutzman, when writing his book, Jacob Stutzman (?-1775), was apparently able to locate the land of Stephen Ulrich, Jr.

On the document below, the outlines of tracts A and B from John Hale Stutzman’s book are based on official survey, patent and deed records. This land was purchased by Jacob Stutzman from Stephen Ulrich Jr., and one of Stephen’s two land warants was described as adjoining his father, Stephen Sr.’s, tract.

ulrich-stutzman-book-page-6

Page 6, Jacob Stutzman (?-1775) by John Hale Stutzman, Jr. (JHS)

The Old Monacacy Road is today’s Hanover Pike and was referenced in a later deed as the “Conestoga Old Road.”

Tract C was purchased in 1759 from John Digges by Jacob Stutzman, according to JHS.  Jacob also owned tracts A and B which he purchased from Stephen Ulrich (Jr.). This suggests strongly that the boundary of Digges Choice was between tracts A and B which were obtained in Warrants from Pennsylvania and tract C which was obtained by purchase from John Digges.  This also suggests that tracts A and B were very likely in the area contested by Digges as lawfully his, which means that life likely became a living hell for Stephen Ulrich because the contested lands were the central flash points in the “Border War.”

Interestingly, based on the map above and the Google map today, it’s possible that Stephen Sr. owned the land roughly bracketed by Schiebert Road today (top left arrow, below), which crosses both old Hanover Road and Hanover Pike, then continues southeast to intersect with Sheppard Road (bottom arrow) which turns north to intersect with Narrow Drive (right arrow). Narrow Drive, just to the right of the intersection where Lovers Drive and Narrow Drive intersect, where the woods is seen on both sides of Narrow Drive (bottom right arrow), is the location indicated by Stephen Ulrich Jr.’s land grant. That area of foliage is Indian Creek and it intersects Little Conewago between Narrow Drive and Sheppard Road. This area between the arrows forms roughly an oval.

This would be a very logical location for Stephen Ulrich Sr.’s land and it meets all of the criteria – adjacent to Stephens Jr.’s, the old road and Little Conewago Creek.

ulrich-land-oval

Here’s the exact same image without the foliage so you can see the creek locations. Indian run, owned by Stephen Jr. crosses Narrow Drive and dumps into Little Conewago just below Narrow Drive, at right. At left, we can see where Little Conewago Creek runs between the old Hanover Road and today’s Hanover Pike (194).

ulrich-map

Aha – We can’t drive down Sheppard Road, as it’s privately owned too.

ulrich-sheppard-road

Below, we can see Sheppard Road across the field, from Narrow Drive.

ulrich-stephens-land

The intersection of Lovers Drive, Sheppard Road and Narrow Drive is closed too. It looks like many of the old roads are privately owned now. I bet that field that we’re looking at from this interesection was Stephen’s.

ulrich-sheppard-at-lovers-lane

Given that John Digges did not convey land to Stephen Ulrich Jr., the 150 acres described in the 1783 transaction has to be that of Stephen Sr. and is likely his original land. Given that we have the owners name in 1783, it might well be possible to bring this deed to current and locate the land, exactly, today.

I did not find a deed to Peter Neffziger, but I also have not viewed the original deed books for Lancaster County, where this transaction would have taken place before 1749 when York was formed. If the transaction took place in 1749 or later, then it would have been in York County. Variant spellings for both Ulrich and Neffziger also need to be considered and researched.

It is believed that in 1738, during the time Stephen Ulrich lived here, he and his friend Jacob Stutzman organized the Conewago Congregation of the German Baptist in Conewago Twp. near Hanover, Pennsylvania. Notice I didn’t say church, because at that time, Brethren met in their homes and barns and didn’t build church buildings until much later. Even then, many were against building church buildings, fearing it would destroy the camaraderie of staying with other Brethren families who were hosting “church” on Sunday. Eventually, the Black Rock Church of the Brethren was established in 1876, about 10 miles distant from the area near Narrow Drive, shown below.

ulrich-to-black-rock

Given that the Millers, Stutzman’s and Ulrich’s lived near Hanover, they likely had church in their homes in that vicinity.

Michael Miller lived near or at the location of Bair’s Mennonite Church today, shown on the map below, in Heidelberg Township.

ulrich-to-miller

Brethren descendant and researcher, Dwayne Wrightsman says:

According to Morgan Edwards, writing in 1770, the Little Conewago congregation of Brethren was started in 1738, by “Eldrick, Dierdorff, Bigler, Gripe, Studsman and others under the leadership of Daniel Leatherman.” It is commonly thought that Eldrick was Ulrich, Gripe was Greib/Cripe, and Studsman was Stutzman. All were Brethren, friends, neighbors, and related by marriage. It is also commonly thought that Eldrick and Ulderey were one and the same.

That “all related by marriage” comment bothers me a bit. I hope he was referring to 1770 and not 1738, because if they were related by marriage in 1738, which means in Germany, we’ll never get this figured out.

We know that Stephen Ulrich Sr. was in Lancaster County, near present day Hanover, before 1742 and that he was naturalized in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1738.

The land where he lived was in a border area claimed by both Pennsylvania and Maryland, and was embroiled in what become known as the Border War until 1767 when the Mason-Dixon line was finalized.

PA-MD boundary issue

—“Cresapwarmap” by Kmusser – self-made, based primarily on the description at http://cip.cornell.edu/DPubS/Repository/1.0/Disseminate/psu.ph/1129771136/body/pdf. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons

Stephen Ulrich Sr., was actually probably one of the more fortunate souls, because he purchased at least some land directly from Digges, himself. That land did not seem to be in dispute, other than the fact that Digges sold some 4,000 acres more than he actually owned. The land that Digges sold that he didn’t legally own is he same land that Pennsylvania issued land warrants for.  Since the 1783 deed says that Stephen Ulrich purchased the land from Digges, and not that he obtained it by warrant, this suggests that Stephen’s land purchase from Digges was deemed to be legitimate and was not in the contested area.  However, his 1743 land warrant and those in 1742 of his son, Stephen Jr. abutted the original Digges Choice grant and were assuredly in the contested area.  In fact, the “war” with Digges erupted at their neighbor, Martin Kitzmiller’s home.

Digges attempted to file a modified survey for his Maryland patent, to extend it to the full 10,000 acres, but in the interim, several men, likely including Stephen Ulrich Jr. in 1742, and Stephen Sr. in 1743 had already been granted warrants by Pennsylvania on this same land. Stephen Sr.’s 1743 grant is shown below.

ulrich-1743-warrant

ulrich-1743-warrant-2

Stephen Ulrich of Lancaster County, 100 acres of land situate on the west side of Susquehanna River adjoining the land of George Wagoner on great Conewago. The closest portion of “Great Conewago,” known simply today as Conewago, was 7 or 8 miles, as the crow flies, north of the land at McSherrytown where Stephen Sr.’s original land abutted that of Stephen Jr. Stephen Sr. likely did not live on this land on Conewago patented in 1743..

ulrich-1743-warrant-map

On the map above, Stephen Jr. and Sr.’s land was just south of Pennville on 194 (bottom arrow).  Conewago Creek, known as “Great Conewago” to differentiate it from Little Conewago, is the blue ribbon at the top of the image, running left to right between 15, 394, 94 south of Hampton and then to East Berlin at 234 (top arrows).

The great irony in this is that mother and I visited the Gettysburg National Battlefield years ago, located just slightly to the west, and while we appreciated the history at the historic site, we had absolutely no idea that we had our own history within ten miles or so. It makes me heartsick to think we were so close, but didn’t know, and now it’s too late to take Mom back again.

One Hot Mess – The Border War

This 1743 patent by Stephen Ulrich does not say “Jr.” so I’m presuming the patent is to Stephen Sr. If so, this land would likely have been in the contested area where Pennsylvania granted land to settlers and Digges thought the land fell within his patent. That may have been solely wishful and opportunistic thinking on Digges part.

Digges subsequently attempted to bully the men who had obtained grants from Pennsylvania into releasing their land in the disputed area to him. When that didn’t work, he tried intimidation and wanted them to repurchase their land, from him. That didn’t work either, and emotions escalated until the situation exploded like a tender box at the neighbor, Martin Kitzmiller’s, mill, shown below.  Kitzmiller’s land abutted that of Stephen Ulrich Jr.

ulrich-kitzmillers-mill

According to an 1886 edition of the Gettyburg Compiler, quoted in the book “The Murder of Dudley Digges – 1752,” this mill had the year 1738 inscribed on a log in the gable 14 feet from the ground. So this building is the very structure that Stephen Ulrich saw and assuredly visited, standing inside, probably chatting, in German, of course, with Martin Kitzmiller as his grain was ground. The brick portion of the structure above was added in 1755 and in 1886, the article states that the older folks still remembered a house standing beside the mill. The article further states that the mill was located near the headwaters of Little Conewago, in Conewago Township and was a major hostelry stop on the main road. Locating this land would also give us a boundary on Stephen Ulrich’s land, because Kitzmiller owned the land adjoining Stephen Ulrich Jr.

John Digges’ son, Dudley, was shot and killed at the mill in 1752, and the situation became an untenable tenderbox. Most of the Brethren left at this time or had already fled for Frederick County, Maryland.

This wasn’t the first time that violence had erupted in the area known as Digges Choice, nicknamed Rogue’s Resort, reflecting on the general perception of Digges.

Another rabble-rouser, Thomas Cresap who became somewhat of a spokesman for the German community had killed a man in the 1730s as well, before returning to Frederick County, Maryland, becoming a Brethren and selling land to Michael Miller.

It seems that the group sympathetic to Maryland left for Maryland and the Pennsylvania contingent tried to tough it out in York County. For the Brethren, who wouldn’t take up arms, even to protect themselves and their families, it must have seemed like a good time to consider other options. There wasn’t an option without risk though, so the options boiled down to the one that seemed “less bad” at the moment.

Needless to say, it was one hot mess on the frontier in York County. It was also about this time, or a few years earlier as the situation began to escalate, that many of the Brethren began purchasing land in Frederick County, Maryland, about 50 or 60 miles due west, believing that this land was not involved in the border dispute. They began moving about 1751 and many relocated together. While we know that Stephen Ulrich Jr. moved in 1751, there is nothing to suggest that Stephen Ulrich Sr. did so. He may have passed on by then. It’s hard to believe his sons would leave an elderly parent behind in that volatile and hostile environment.

Stephen’s Death

What we don’t know is when Stephen died. Some descendants report his death in 1749, but there are no sources listed. I found no will or estate in either Lancaster or York County, although I have not looked at the books personally.  Indexes are listed online. Unfortunately, unless you can browse the index, it’s hard to find misspelled surnames. If we could find the deeds where Stephen Sr. sold his land, that would be helpful, as it would at least bracket the date of his demise. More effort should be expended in this regard.

If Stephen had 6 children when he immigrated, in roughly 1726/1727, and they were born every two years, and one was an infant, and none died, then Stephen would have married about 1714. Of course, he could have married significantly earlier or the children could have been born closer together, as we already discussed.

If Stephen married in about 1714, he was born no later than 1694, and possibly significantly earlier.

I don’t know if his children would have had to be naturalized under their own names if they were of age or not, or if they could still be covered by their father regardless of age, so long as they immigrated with him when they were children.

If those children were listed in birth order on the naturalization document, Stephen Jr. was born between 1716 and 1720, assuming it was our Stephen Sr. who married in 1716, the younger children would have been born every year and a half to two years, so possibly before 1726 or 1727, or perhaps as late as 1732.

If Stephen Ulrich Sr. was born in 1694, he would have been 49 years old in 1743 when he applied for his land grant in Pennsylvania. If he was born earlier, he would have been older.

Stephen Sr.’s Children

We do know something about some of Stephen Sr.’s children.

  • Stephen Ulrich Jr. was born about 1720, or possibly somewhat earlier. If the Stephen who married in Lambsheim in 1716 is his father, and assuming our Stephen was the eldest, he was likely born in either 1716 or 1717. Stephen Jr. died about 1785 in Frederick County, Maryland. He married Elizabeth whose surname is unknown, probably around 1742. His children are documented by the sale of his land following his death.
  • George Ulrich died in Frederick County before August 1753, his estate being administered by Stephen Ulrich and Nicholas Martin who were listed in the court document as “Protestant dissenters.”
  • Daniel Ulrich moved first to Frederick County, Maryland and then to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, owning the mill at Roaring Springs. This Daniel is often attributed to Stephen Ulrich Jr., but there is no Daniel shown as the heir of Stephen Ulrich Jr. in 1785, nor would one of Stephen Jr.’s children be old enough to have purchased land and built a mill prior to 1775. Therefore, the Daniel in Bedford County must be the son of Stephen Ulrich, Sr., not Jr. This Daniel is also not the Daniel Ulrich who married Susanna Miller, born in 1759, the daughter of Philip Jacob Miller.
  • John Ulrich lived on his home place in Frederick County and had 300 acres, 4 horses, 8 cows and two negroes (I believe this is from a 1782 or 1788 tax list.). John had started accumulating land years before with 50 acres. In 1802 he bought 2252 acres on the middle branch of Frankstown Creek (Bedford County, PA) about 2 miles west of Hollidaysburg, a town that came into being about 5 years later. He was 82 when he bought this land and he died the next year. Justin Replogle, Ancestors on the Frontier, pages 163-164. If this is accurate, it places John’s birth in 1719. The “negroes” who I presume were slaves surprise me, as the 1782 Brethren annual meeting spoke against slavery, according to Brethren church historian, Reverend Merle Rummel.
  • Elizabeth Ulrich is probably the Elizabeth to whom Stephen Ulrich and Nicholas Martin deeded land in Frederick County, Maryland in 1766. Elizabeth had apparently married by 1768 when this land was sold by Jacob Snively. The only explanation set forth by researchers for why Stephen Ulrich and Nicholas Martin would have been deeding Elizabeth land is as part of her estate settlement from her father, although that could explain Stephen but not Nicholas unless they were both administrators. If this is the case, Elizabeth was at least age 28 given that she was listed in her father’s naturalization in 1738. She may well have been significantly older. However, this calls the 1749 date for Stephen Ulrich’s death into serious question. If he died in 1749, his estate would have been distributed to his children, at the latest, when they came of age, which for Elizabeth would have been no later than 1759.  Furthermore, if this deed was as a part of her father’s estate settlement, why was Elizabeth the only Ulrich to who a transaction was made? Elizabeth has also been rumored to be the wife of Nicholas Martin, but given that we know, from the 1766 deed that she was an Ulrich in 1766 and a Snively in 1768, she clearly was not married to Nicholas Martin at this time.
  • Susanna Ulrich, about whom nothing more is known. Mary Kay Coker, a descendant of Nicholas Martin reports that his wife was named Susanna. Susanna Martin did not sign the 1766 deeds to Elizabeth Ulrich, but she did sign a 1794 deed with Nicholas. Susanna Ulrich could have been the wife of Nicholas Martin, but there is no proof. Finding any estate or land sale information about Stephen Sr. could go a long way in resolving the identity of his children.

Additional Research

Based on multiple land records, of Stephen Ulrich Jr. and others, it appears that Stephen Ulrich Sr. owned at least two and possibly three parcels of land, as follows:

  1. 1743 Pennsylvania land grant on Conewago
  2. Land abutting Stephen Jr.’s 1742 grant
  3. Land purchased from Digges, date unknown, but in 1783 located in Heidelberg Township, York County (now Conewago in Adams County) along the old conestoga road.

Items 2 and 3 could be, and probably were, the same land, given that Stephen’s land is referenced in Stephen Jr.’s grant.

Finding these deed conveyances from Digges to Stephen Ulrich and from Stephen Ulrich to the subsequent owners would be extremely useful. Of course, Brethren often times did not register deeds, but in the case of Digges, these deeds may not exist. Quoting from research about John Digges and Digges Choice, we find:

John Digges…settled on Digges’ Choice with his wife and children. His financial position can be gleaned from surviving information. He was heavily in debt in 1743 to Charles Carroll and Daniel Dulaney of Annapolis, Maryland. Digges was unable legally to deed land to settlers until after repaying these debts. A number of deeds were issued by Charles Carroll in the early 1750s to various settlers of Digges’ Choice. There is never a cost mentioned in these deeds. They appear merely to give clear legal title to the settlers for land for which they had already paid Digges.

These debts may be the reason for a resurvey of Digges’ Choice in 1745. There is evidence that Digges traveled east of the Susquehanna River to recruit settlers for Digges’ Choice, and by the 1740s he may be attracted an appreciable number of them. There was only one problem: many of these settlers were buying patents from the Pennsylvania authorities and settling on the borders of Digges’ Choice, rather than paying Digges for land inside of it. Consequently, by 1743, Digges realized little profit from land sales in Digges’ Choice. This, coupled with the fact that between 1735 and 1743 Digges may have had financial difficulties, might explain the resurvey of 1745.

It should be remembered that the original warrant to Digges was for 10,000 acres, but that the survey in 1735 was returned for only 6,822 acres. In 1743, Digges applied to the Pennsylvania authorities for a resurvey of the full acreage, blaming the error on the surveyor of 1735. Take notice of the year of this request. We know that Digges was in debt by this time. The application was refused. In 1745, he applied for, and obtained, a resurvey for 10,501 acres from the Maryland authorities.

The resurvey was illegal. It was in direct opposition to the terms agreed to in the Royal Order of 21 May 1738, which authorized the survey of the Temporary Line of 1739. That Order guaranteed legal rights to original tracts in Pennsylvania warranted and surveyed by Marylanders, and vice versa. However, it prohibited the owners of these tracts authority over land contiguous to the tracts, and also forbade resurveys of the original tracts. Because of these terms, the resurvey of Digges’ Choice was illegal.

In many instances, individuals tended to settle a tract and set up farming before buying a warrant for the tract. In some cases, a son of the original settler paid for a tract of land a generation after the fact. For settlers inside Digges’ Choice, pinpointing settlement dates can be no more accurate. As mentioned earlier, John Digges was unable to deed land to settlers until after 1750. Because of this unfortunate situation, some of the earliest settlers escape our notice entirely. We can discover cases of settlers moving into the area, settling for several years, and then moving west or south, all without leaving a record in official deeds, warrants or patents.

In the case of Stephen Ulrich, if we could find the land conveyance to Peter Neffziger or from Neffziger to Adam Stum, even that could potentially be helpful.

Additional research into estate records, inventories, administrations, court or any other records that may not be quite as popular as actual will records might yield some clue as to the death of Stephen Ulrich Sr. Even land records, if we could find them, might help narrow those dates.

Access to original records for both Lancaster and York Counties could prove very useful, as could every name indexes. It’s also possible that Baltimore or Prince George’s County, Maryland could hold early records as well, since that’s where Stephen believed that he lived.

I don’t believe every stone has yet been turned. I hope that other researchers, if they have researched these records will step forth so we can eliminate them as possibilities, and that future researchers will finish the due diligence in the early records that Stephen Ulrich Sr. so richly deserves.

I will post updates if they are forthcoming. 

DNA?

We certainly could benefit from some types of DNA testing.

If a male Ulrich who descends from any of Stephen Sr.’s sons takes a Y DNA test, we can obtain useful information about our Ulrich ancestors via the Y DNA results. There are several Ulrich males that have tested whose ancestors are from Germany, and it would be very useful to know if we match any of those Ulrich men.

I have a DNA testing scholarship for the first male Ulrich who steps forth who descends from this line.

Unfortunately, the mitochondrial DNA line of Stephen’s wife seems to be dead to us. We know nothing of daughter Susanna. If daughter Elizabeth is the same Elizabeth who married Jacob Snively, there is only one reported child, a son, Jacob – although that doesn’t mean additional children didn’t exist. If Elizabeth was born in 1726, just before leaving Germany, then she would have been 40 years old in 1766 when the land was deeded to her. There are a lot of assumptions here, some of which may be incorrect, because she apparently did have one child, so she may not have been quite 40 when she married.

Mitochondrial DNA is inherited by all children from their mother, but is only passed on by the daughters. Therefore, to obtain Stephen Ulrich’s wife’s mitochondrial DNA, we would need to find someone who descends through her daughters through all females to the current generation. It appears that we have no candidates unless someone discovers what happened to Susanna or that Elizabeth had a previously unknown daughter.

Autosomal DNA, passed to all descendants, but divided in (roughtly) have in each subsequent generation might be interesting if descendants of Stephen Sr. match each other AND don’t also share other lines in common. One of the great challenges of Brethren genealogy and endogamous groups is that these lines are often so intermarried after generations of living together and migrating in communities that the DNA is extremely difficult to sort through and assign to specific ancestors. However, if any of Stephen Sr.’s descendants have taken autosomal DNA tests, please do let me know and let’s see if we share any of his segments.

In Summary

We don’t have Stephen’s signature or even know exactly where his land was located, nor can we visit his grave.  Perhaps if we can identify a segment of Stephen’s DNA that would be something very personal of his that still remains, intact and viable more than 300 years after his birth in Germany – in us, his descendants.

ulrich-world

It’s amazing to think, in world so large, through an Atlantic crossing so perilous, and amid constant warfare on the frontier for all of Stephen’s adult life – that he survived and gave part of his DNA to me. I am the carrier of the torch, Stephen Ulrich’s torch, through many generations. But it’s only through the comparison of my DNA to other descendants who are also torch carriers and have tested their DNA that we can discover, collaboratively, which pieces of Stephen still exist.  Assuredly, something of Stephen remains.

Finding the DNA that exists from Stephen must be a “we” and not a “me” endeavor, bringing the descendants of Stephen together one more time…to find what remains of Stephen today.

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Another Daniel Miller – A Y DNA Tale – 52 Ancestors #135

Just when you think you have the family all straightened out, a left hook comes along, sneaks up and sucker-punches you.

Indeed, as if there wasn’t enough confusion about the various Daniel Millers, we now have yet another very interesting twist in the Daniel Miller saga, thanks to DNA.

And a conundrum it is too.

In the article, “Daniel Miller (1755-1822), Musical Graves, 52 Ancestors #130” I provided this summary of the various Daniel Miller’s that we know existed in Montgomery County, Ohio at or about the same time that my Daniel Miller (1755-1822) lived there, or subsequent generations. Below is the summary from that article.

Daniel (1) is my ancestor and was born to Philip Jacob Miller and his wife, Magdalena, whose last name is unknown, on April 8, 1755 in Frederick County, Maryland. Daniel was married to Elizabeth Ulrich and died in Montgomery County, Ohio on August 26, 1822. Those are the easy dates. The rest are difficult.

Daniel (2) arrived in Montgomery County from Huntington County, PA. Daniel (2)’s wife was Susanna Bowman and Daniel (2) lived in what would become the City of Dayton proper where he settled on Wolf Creek in November of 1802, according to the History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, Volume 1.   For those specifically interested in this line, the Brethren Heritage Center has an article available written by Gale Honeyman.

Daniel (3) is the son of Daniel (1). According to the family Bible he was born on March 30, 1779 and he died on June 25, 1812. He would have been 33 years old, and unless he was disabled in some way, he was likely married and may well have had children. He would only have been about 20 when his father Daniel floated down the Ohio on a raft, probably in 1799. Daniel (3) could have remained in Clermont County when his father and uncle, David Miller, left for Montgomery County sometimes around 1802. There is no mention of an estate for Daniel (3) in Montgomery County.

Daniel (4) is the grandson of Daniel (1) through his son Stephen Miller. Daniel (4) was born in 1797 in Bedford County, PA and died in 1879 in Preble County, Ohio.

Daniel (5) is the son of Michael Miller and Salome Cramer of Montgomery County. Michael is the son of David Miller who died in 1845. David was the brother of Daniel (1). Michael obtained and farmed his father’s farm in Randolph Township. Daniel (5) was born in 1822, died in 1903 and was married to Isabella Cook.

Daniel (6) is the grandson of Daniel (1) through son Jacob A. Miller born in 1776 who married first to Elizabeth Metzger and second to Catherine Zimmerman. Jacob farmed his father’s land in Randolph Township past 1851 and likely until his death in 1858. Jacob’s son Daniel (6) by his first wife was born about 1800, married Susanna Hardman on November 1, 1819 and died about 1835 in Montgomery County.

Daniel (7) born in 1815 is the son of Isaac Miller, son of Daniel (1) and his wife Elizabeth Miller who is the daughter of David Miller, brother of Daniel (1). I know nothing more about Daniel (7).

Daniel Y. (8) born in 1808 is the son of John Miller, son of Daniel (1).  John’s wife Esther Miller, daughter of David Miller, brother of Daniel (1). Daniel Y. (8) married Margaret Bainter and died in 1833.

Daniel (9) is the son of Daniel (2) and his wife, Susan Bowman. Daniel (9) was born about 1808 and died about 1863 in Montgomery County, marrying Susan Oliver.

Daniel (10) is the son of the Elder Jacob Miller by either his first or second wife, who are unknown. This Daniel was born on September 6, 1780 and died on November 15, 1858 in Monroe County, Iowa. Daniel (10) married Elizabeth Shidler or Shideler on April, 13, 1808 in Montgomery County, Ohio, but by 1813, it appears that they had moved on to Union County, Indiana. When Daniel lived in Montgomery County, he owned land near the 4 Mile Church, east of Cottage Creek, about one and one half miles west of the Lower 4 Mile Church.

Today’s article specifically deals with Daniel (2), referred to in this article as Dayton Daniel to keep him separate from Daniel (1) who lived in Montgomery County at the same time as Dayton Daniel (2).

To this group, we need to add two more Daniels. It’s OK to groan now. I’ve been groaning all week!

Daniel (11) who is the son of Lodowich Miller, brother of Philip Jacob Miller. Daniel (11) was born about 1752, probably in Frederick County, Maryland and moved with Lodowich’s family to the Shenandoah Valley about the time of the Revolutionary War. Daniel (11) died in Rockingham County, Virginia in 1819.

Daniel (12), the son of John Miller, also a brother to Philip Jacob Miller. This Daniel was probably John’s eldest son and was one of the executors of his father’s estate in 1794 through 1799 when the estate paid the heirs.

Therefore, Daniel (1), Daniel (11) and Daniel (12) were all first cousins to each other – and Daniel (2), Dayton Daniel, we’ve discovered this week, was also somehow related as well.

The question is, who is Dayton Daniel and how is he related?  And how do we know he’s related?

Michael Miller’s Sons

As a short review, let’s take a look at the immigrant Michael Miller’s sons. He has three proven sons, and only three; Philip Jacob, Lodowick (Lodowich) and John, parents of Daniel (1), Daniel (11) and Daniel (12), respectively.

For many years, every stray Miller male in a several-hundred-mile radius around Frederick County, Maryland was pinned to Michael Miller like tails on the proverbial donkey. To date, we have disproved every line that has tested utilizing Y DNA. In fact, that’s the purpose of the Miller Brethren DNA Project – to sort out the various Brethren Miller lines.  I expected several lines to match Michael’s descendants, but surprisingly, they haven’t – until now.

Before this week, not one line that was not from Michael Miller’s proven sons has ever matched Michael’s line utilizing Y DNA. But then came today and all that changed.

And of course, the end of line oldest ancestor for the new Miller Y DNA participant was none other than Daniel Miller (2), Dayton Daniel, found originally in what would become the City of Dayton, in Montgomery County, Ohio, very early – his arrival date stated variously as either 1802 or 1804 and having come from Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

If you recall from the article about “my” Daniel Miller, the son of Philip Jacob Miller, the son of Michael Miller, the immigrant, Daniel lived in Bedford County from sometime in the 1780s until around 1800 when he floated down the Ohio River and joined his father and siblings in Clermont and Warren Counties in Ohio. My Daniel migrated on to Montgomery County by 1805, about the same time as Dayton Daniel. In fact, when I first began researching Daniel Miller in Montgomery County, I found the information about the Daniel in Dayton and thought for some time that he WAS my Daniel, until I found additional information and pieces of the puzzle began not fitting. I figured out that there were indeed two Daniel’s living in Montgomery County at the same time, thanks to tax lists and other information. Actually, there were three Daniels until 1813 when Daniel (10), who is not descended from the Michael Miller line, did us the huge favor of moving on.

Dayton Daniel was also Brethren, but that alone does not mean he is related to my Daniel. Another man was Brethren too – the Elder Jacob Miller, who everyone thought surely WAS related to Michael Miller, but who, it turns out, is not – at least not through the paternal line. So just being a Miller male, a Brethren and being found in Frederick County, Maryland, then Montgomery County, Ohio does not guarantee a kinship relationship – as unlikely as that seems. I can see why people reached those earlier conclusions, before Y DNA testing, but they were wrong.

Michael Miller, the immigrant, had three proven sons – and only 3, who were:

  • John Miller who died in 1794 in Washington County, Maryland, formerly Frederick County, with a will which listed his children. This John had a son Daniel (12).
  • Lodowich Miller who died about 1782 and whose children (if not Lodowich too) moved south to the Shenandoah Valley about this same time also had a son Daniel (11) who died in Rockingham County, Virginia in 1819.
  • Philip Jacob Miller also had a son Daniel (1) who married Elizabeth Ulrich, moved to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, then on to Ohio where he was the Daniel who wound up in Montgomery County but did NOT live in Dayton. This is my Daniel.

After I published my article about Daniel, sorting through the various Daniel Millers in Montgomery County, a cousin, Doug, contacted me and was confused. Doug descended from Dayton Daniel (2), born in 1765, and he wondered, if his Daniel was not descended from Johann Michael Miller, why did Doug’s autosomal DNA so strongly match my mother and cousins. Obviously, I couldn’t answer that question, so Doug set about finding a male Miller, his second cousin, who descended from Dayton Daniel, to test. That participant is referred to as TM in this article.

Obviously, if TM’s DNA representing Dayton Daniel’s Y DNA had not matched my Daniel’s Y DNA, you either would not be reading this article right now, or it would be a very different story. But Dayton Daniel’s Y DNA does match the Michael Miller line.

Um….so now what? Who is Dayton Daniel (2) and who are his parents?  They can’t be the only three proven sons of Michael Miller – because all 3 of them had sons named Daniel and all 3 are accounted for.  So, who were Dayton Daniel’s parents?  Let’s walk through the possibilities and look a the DNA results.

The Y DNA

Looking at the Miller Brethren project, we can see 5 men descend from Michael Miller. There are also two additional men, but they are not project members.   One is private, so I can’t even e-mail him.

robertas-view

The first thing I noticed was that marker 449 has two different values, shown at far right, in purple, above. I mapped them to the participants, with the hope that TM’s marker 449 would tell us which line he was from. In other words, I was hoping that 449 was a line marker mutation.

michael-miller-desc-pedigree

TM, shown at far left, has a value at marker 449 of 30. One of Philip Jacob’s descendants, RM as well as both of Lodowich’s descendants carry the same value. So no, marker 449 does not indicate a specific son’s line of Johann Michael Miller.

How can this same marker show up in two of Daniel’s sons’ lines, represented by HAM and RWM, but not in the third son’s line, represented by RM? Apparently this marker value has mutated in both Isaac and John’s lines, sons of Daniel, independently, someplace between Daniel and the testers, HAM and RWM today. We know that the original marker value is 30 because it is found independently in the lines of two different sons, Daniel and Lodowich, and probably a third son now with TM.

Ok, we know that marker 449 doesn’t help us, so where do we look next?  Let’s take a look at the genealogy.

Candidates for Dayton Daniel’s Father

Obviously, the first place to look for this Daniel is among the grandchildren of Michael Miller.

Dayton Daniel’s wife is Susanna Bowman who was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. They are both buried with tombstones that give their age at death, so we can extrapolate that information to obtain a birth date and year.  Thanks to the tombstone, we know that Daniel was born in 1765 and because he married Susanna who was born in the next county, we know that they were living there about 1785, marriage age.

Knowing Daniel’s birth year helps us rule out various grandchildren of Michael Miller.

We have already ruled out Philip Jacob Miller as Dayton Daniel’s parent, because his son was my Daniel (1), according to the family Bible.

Two of our other Y DNA testers descend from Lodowick’s son, Daniel (11), who was born in 1752 and died in 1819 in Rockingham County, Virginia. Clearly, this is not the Daniel living in Montgomery County, Ohio who died in 1849.

That leaves Michael Miller’s son, John, who also had a son Daniel (12).  Could Daniel (12) actually be Dayton Daniel?  Let’s see.

John Miller, Michael’s third son did us the favor of executing a will just days before his death listing his children.

john-miller-will

Children named:

  • Daniel
  • John
  • Jacob
  • Abraham
  • Ludwick
  • David
  • Michael
  • Catherine
  • Susanna
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Underage sons were Ludwick, David and Michael.

Son Daniel Miller and son-in-law John Fisher were executors.

The will was made Dec 13, 1794 and recorded Dec. 20, 1794. Clearly John was literally on his death bed when he made his will.

On April 9, 1799, Daniel Miller and John Fisher, executors of John Miller’s estate made a distribution of 2010 pounds, 5 shillings and 9 pence, in equal parts to the 10 remaining children, all apparently now 21 years of age. The order of the named heirs is: Daniel Miller, John Fisher, Susanna Wissinger, Mary Studanbaker, Elizabeth Cameron, Jacob Miller, Abraham Miller, Lodwick Miller and David Miller. Michael is missing in the distribution list so he apparently died sometime between 1794 and 1799. Washington County Distribution Liber I, folio 80.

In 1799, when the estate was paid, all children would have reached the age of 21. The youngest child, Michael, apparently did not survive, so if we can presume he wouldn’t have become 21 until 1801, that means that he was born in about 1780. There were a total of 11 children, so a child was born every two years, with no deaths, then the oldest child, presumably Daniel, would have been born about 22 years before the youngest, or about 1758.

There is some confusion about John Miller’s name, because while most deeds and documents, such as his will, refer to him clearly as John, which would mean his German name was Johannes, with no middle name, one deed refers to him as Peter, not Johann Peter, just Peter. Was the deed in error, or was John really Johann Peter? We don’t know.

Did Michael Miller Have Other Sons?

The answer to this question is yes, he did, according to German church records. What we don’t know is if they lived, how many he might have had that are unrecorded, and if he had children after he arrived in Pennsylvania. Yes, there are a lot of unknowns.

In Frederick County, Maryland in the 1760s, there is a Michael Miller Jr. and a Hans Michael Miller, both of whom are involved with Michael Miller, the immigrant. It would be very unlikely for Michael to have two sons named so closely, but then again, stranger things have happened. One or both could also be grandsons. Or the two men could be one and the same.

In the Michael Miller article, I introduce both of these men. I did not follow either one forward in time, but it might well behoove the descendants of Dayton Daniel to pick up the trail where I left off.

Birth Records in Germany

My retired German genealogist friend, Tom, has found records of the births of several of Michael Miller’s children, in Germany. Unfortunately, the church records are missing for a time period, so we don’t know if all of the children lived, or how many more children might have been born. Tom is reading every single entry on every single page, just to be sure we don’t miss something.

Yes. Every. Single. Entry. On. Every. Single. Page.

Tom is my super-hero!

Michael Miller married Susanna Berchtol in 1714, who was born in 1688, in Konken, Germany. Their first child was born the following year, also in Konken.

  • Hans Peter Miller born January 19, 1715 (This might be John.)

The next children were born in Kallstadt.

  • Johann Jacob Miller baptized May 26, 1716
  • Regina Maria Elisabetha born August 30, 1717
  • Johannes Michael Miller born April 24, 1719 (This could be Hans Michael or Michael Jr.)
  • Johann Ludwig born April 10, 1721. (This would be Lodowich.)

Very unfortunately, by 1722, Johann Michael Miller and Susanna Berchtol had moved to Lambscheim where they live until 1726 where the records indicate they immigrated. I will be documenting these movements in a special update article about Michael Miller and Jacob Stutzman soon, but for today, we just needed the names of Michael’s sons.

We next find Michael’s immigration record, along with Jacob Stutzman, in 1727.

We know that Philip Jacob Miller was born about 1726, so he was probably a babe in arms on the boat.

If Michael Miller and Susanna Berchtol continued having children in the same pattern, they would have had another child in 1723.

Susanna would have probably had children until she was in her early 40s, so until about 1730. Therefore, in addition to Philip Jacob in about 1726, they could have had another child in 1727, 1729 and perhaps even 1731.

This gives us the opportunity for 4 additional sons (besides Philip Jacob) not recorded in existant church records. Of course, additional children may not have been male, and may not have survived.

Is John the Same Person as Hans Peter?

If John who died in 1794 is the same child as Hans Peter born in 1715, then he would have been age 43 in 1758 when his first child was born. That’s actually quite unusual for a man in that timeframe, so one of a number of situations have to be the case.

  1. The John Miller who died in 1794, brother to Philip Jacob is not the same Hans Peter who was born in 1715.
  2. The John Miller, brother to Philip Jacob who died in 1794 had more than one wife, and had children before 1758 who are all omitted from the will.
  3. The Hans Peter born in 1715 died and Johann Michael Miller had another son by the same or a similar name either in 1723, 1727, 1729 or 1731. This would make John between the ages of 27-35 in 1758, which is still on the older side for a Brethren man to be marrying, but more believable than age 43 for a first marriage.

However, even allowing for these possibilities, it still doesn’t seem reasonable that Dayton Daniel Miller who died in 1849 in Montgomery County, Ohio and was born in 1765 is the oldest child of John Miller. That would mean that the next 10 children were born beginning in 1767 and continue being born until 1787. However, we know that all of John’s surviving children were of age by 1799. Therefore, Dayton Daniel simply cannot be the son of John.

It’s also possible that John’s son Daniel was not the eldest, but the children seem to be listed in order, twice – once in the will and once in the distribution.  Daniel is listed first in both documents. It’s typical for the eldest son to be the executor.

Therefore, for all these reasons, I don’t think it’s feasible that Daniel Miller of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania who was born in 1765 is the son of John Miller who died in 1794.

However, Dayton Daniel’s descendant matches the Y DNA of Johann Michael Miller. Furthermore, Dayton Daniel’s descendants match several of Johann Michael Miller’s proven descendants utilizing autosomal DNA, so he has to be related in a reasonable timeframe. Autosomal DNA becomes less and less likely to match with each passing generation beyond third cousins.

Other Candidates?

Our next best candidate as the father of Dayton Daniel is Michael Miller Jr. and/or Hans Michael Miller.

I did not track them forward in time, but other researchers have spent some time on this endeavor. It is reported that Hans Michael Miller lived in Franklin County, PA and what is now Mineral County, West Virginia, and had a will. He reportedly paid taxes in Antrim Township in Franklin County and New Creek, now in Mineral County, WV, according to the 1772 Frederick County Tax list. He was given money by Michael Miller to purchase land called Pleasant Gardens, which could be Garden’s Delight and Add Garden’s Delight on the 1772 tax list as well.  This information is detailed in the Michael Miller article.

Michael Miller could have had other sons that did not accompany him to Frederick County in about 1750 from York County, Pennsylvania, or who do not appear recognizably as his sons in the Frederick County records. Those sons would have been 20 or slightly older by the time that Michael left Pennsylvania and moved to Maryland. It’s certainly possible that one of Michael’s sons survived infancy, the voyage overseas and the frontier, married, and did not elect to move to yet another frontier – instead, remaining in York County or striking out on his own.  Possible, but not terribly likely.  There was safety and help in groups, especially for a small religious denomination who were known as “dissenters” and not terribly well liked because they would not defend themselves, or the neighborhood where they lived.  Brethren tended to stick together, moving in groups.  Young families would not be inclined to stay behind, especially not if the rest of the family moved on.

If Michael Miller’s son, Johann Michael Mueller, born in 1719 is the father of Dayton Daniel, he would have married sometime around 1740 and could still have been having children in 1765. It’s also possible that Dayton Daniel was the grandson of Johann Michael born in 1719, but to do so, both Johann Michael and his firstborn son would have bad to have married young.

DNA Findings

When Doug and I first realized we were cousins, and I mean via DNA, we didn’t know exactly how. Doug had always assumed that Dayton Daniel was indeed a descendant of Michael Miller, the immigrant. However, as the documentation surrounding Michael Miller’s life unfolded, we realized that we needed more information and documentation. Doug and I discovered additionally that we are also both descended through the Stephen Ulrich line, so Doug and I could have been matching through that line and not the Miller line. That’s when Doug reached out to Dayton Daniel’s Miller descendant, TM.

Unlike Doug, TM does not descend through the Ulrich line, so any of the known Michael Miller descendants that TM matches should be matching through the Miller line only.

michael-miller-autosomal-pedigree

TM’s matches are shown above, in red. Of course, he matches his second cousin, Doug, as expected. But aside from that, he matches four of Philip Jacob’s descendants, and none of Lodowich’s, as shown above and below on the chromosome browser.

tm-mtches

It’s exciting to think that the segment on chromosome 14 is shared by four of Michael Miller’s descendants. A piece of Michael or his wife that still exists today and is identifiable. That’s just amazing for a man and his wife who were born before 1700.

Is this Michael Miller or Susanna Berchtol’s DNA?

I have access to the kits that TM matches, and the DNA segments that match the other Miller descendants do triangulate, so we know for sure that these segments do indeed belong to the Miller line, descended from Michael Miller or his wife, Susannah Berchtol.  We can’t tell which, of course, without matching someone from another Miller, like Michael’s brother, or a Berchtol.  So now, we can simply say this matching DNA comes from this couple.

I know what you’re going to ask next? Did Michael have a brother that could have also immigrated and father’s children who, in turn, had Dayton Daniel in 1765?  Great question.

There is absolutely no evidence that Michael had a Miller brother who immigrated. In fact, according to the church records in Steinwinden, Germany, no other children born to Michael’s parents survived. Michael was the last child born before his father’s death.

Autosomal Messages

Let’s look at what the autosomal DNA suggests in terms of how closely related TM and these 4 matching individuals might be. The table below shows TM’s matches to the 4 Miller descendants, except for Doug.  We already know how TM and Doug are related.

Shared cM Longest block Segments >5cM *Estimated Relationship **Shared DNA Range ***Predicted Relationship Average DNA****
Barbara 98 27 5 6C 0-21 2-4C 2C1r-2C2r
Donald 87 29 4 6C 0-21 2-4C 2C2r
HAM 77 35 2 5C1r 0-41 2-4C 3C
Cheryl 57 29 3 6C 0-21 2-4C 3C1r

*Estimated relationship presumes (I know, bad word) that Dayton Daniel is Michael Miller, the immigrant’s grandson. Dayton Daniel cannot be Michael’s son, because Michael married a widow woman about his same age by 1754, after his wife died. In 1765, Michael would have been 73.

** Shared DNA Range is the range of the lowest and highest amounts of DNA found for the estimated relationship in the Shared cM Project.  In other words, this is how much DNA someone of that Estimated Relationship is found to share.  6th cousins share a range of 0-21 cM DNA, not 98cM like TM and Barbara share.

***Predicted Relationship is the relationship level predicted by Family Tree DNA based on the amount of shared DNA.

****Average DNA is the best fit from the chart I compiled in the article, “Concepts – Relationship Predictions” that combines information from several sources on the expected, actual average and ranges of DNA for each relationship type. The average DNA is taken from the column titled “Blaine’s Shared cM Average” which are results from a crowd sourced project indicating the actual amount of shared centiMorgans from various relationships.  In this case, the best fit for Barbara and TM would be between second cousins once removed (2C1r) and second cousins twice removed (2C2r).

Even though the average DNA suggests that these people are some flavor of second or third cousins, we know from the proven genealogy that these relationships cannot be in the second or third cousin range, because we know beyond a doubt that Dayton Daniel born in 1765 cannot be more closely related to Barbara, Donald, HAM and Cheryl than the nephew of Philip Jacob Miller, their common ancestor.  In fact, they cannot be related more closely than the 5th or 6th cousin level, as shown in the Estimated Relationship column.

Clearly, the amount of shared DNA exceeds the expected average for 6th cousins or 5th cousins once removed, significantly, for all 4 matches – comparing the value in the Shared cM column with the Shared DNA Range column. The amount of shared DNA also exceeds the maximum amount of shared cMs in the range, by at least double. In the case of Barbara and Donald, they exceed the maximum DNA for 6th cousins by 400%.  That’s not a slight deviation.   What could cause this?

There can be three possible causes for the amount of shared DNA to so dramatically exceed the maximum amount found for the estimated relationships.  I’ve listed these in the order of probability.

  • TM is related to Barbara, Donald, HAM and Cheryl through a secondary line. However, TMs mother is English and his paternal line is well researched back through Dayton Daniel. If TM and Barbara, Donald, HAM and Cheryl share more than one line, that occurred in or before Dayton Daniel’s father’s generation and Philip Jacob Miller’s generation. We do not know the surname of Philip Jacob Miller’s wife, Magdalena, nor have we identified the parents of Dayton Daniel. This shared secondary line is the most likely scenario for why TM shares so much DNA with Barbara, Donald, HAM and Cheryl.
  • For some reason, a very large amount of common DNA has been passed to TM and Philip Jacob Miller’s descendants. This is not one “sticky segment” but multiple segments, which makes this scenario less likely.
  • All 4 matches, meaning TM to Barbara, TM to Cheryl, TM to Donald and TM to HAM are extreme outliers in the relationship range shared centiMorgans. This is the least likely scenario and it would have had to have happened independently four different times.

If Philip Jacob Miller and the father of Dayton Daniel married women who were related, that would cause a higher amount of matching DNA in the descendants of both lines – but not to people the Lodowich line, which is exactly what we are seeing.

It’s also possible that in addition to being related to each other, both of their wives were also related to or descended from the Berchtol line, which would also drive up the shared amount of DNA in the descendants. We know during that timeframe it was not unusual for people to marry their first cousins and there were not a lot of Brethren brides to choose from on the frontier.

What Have We Learned?

This exercise has been very interesting and we have learned a number of things.

  • Via DNA and genealogy combined, we have probably confirmed that the immigrant Michael Miller did in fact have another son that survived and had offspring. Based on records alone, that son may be Michael Jr., or Hans Michael Miller. Additional genealogy work needs to be done to follow the records for these men from Frederick County, Maryland forward in time.
  • Via Y DNA, we know that Dayton Daniel does positively share a common ancestor with the descendants of Philip Jacob Miller and Lodowich Miller, both sons of Johann Michael Miller, the immigrant.
  • Via genealogy records, we have proven that Dayton Daniel cannot be the son of Philip Jacob Miller, Lodowich Miller or John Miller, the three proven sons of  Michael Miller, the immigrant.  All three of Michael Miller’s sons had sons named Daniel, but all three Daniels are accounted for and eliminated as being Dayton Daniel born in 1765 by other records.
  • Via autosomal DNA, we confirm that the relationship between TM and the Miller descendants he matches is in a genealogical timeframe, not back in Germany several generations. Due to the fact that Michael had no Miller siblings that survived, if the relationship was further back in time, it would have to be at least two generations before Michael Miller, the immigrant, making DNA matching between TM and Michael’s descendants unlikely at all, and certainly not at the level they match, as they would be at least 8th cousins.
  • Via autosomal DNA, we suspect that there may be a secondary matching line, and the best candidates for secondary lines would be Magdalena, the wife of Philip Jacob Miller along with the mother of Dayton Daniel.
  • Given the very high amount of shared DNA, more than double the expected maximum amount, it’s also suggestive that in addition to being related to each other, than the wives of Dayton Daniel’s mother and Philip Jacob’s wife, Magdalena Miller, may also have been related to Michael Miller and Susanna Berchtol. We know that Susanna Berchtol had relatives in York County. Michael Miller did not, except for his step or half-brother, Jacob Stutzman, whose will we have and who did not have a daughter Magdalena who married a Miller, nor another unknown daughter who also married a Miller.
  • Because of the Brethren Miller DNA Project, we have gathered together the descendants of several Brethren Miller lines which allows us to compare the Y and autosomal DNA and work together to solve this ongoing mystery.
  • Doug and I have now confirmed that we are related on both the Miller and Ulrich lines – and now perhaps a third mystery line as well.

As with all genealogy, every question answered produces several new ones. What a wonderful puzzle to unravel and how lucky we are to have DNA tools in our genealogy toolbox today!!!

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Stephen Ulrich (c1720–1783/1785), Twice Naturalized Brethren, 52 Ancestors #133

There is a lot of unsourced information about Stephen Ulrich (Jr.) on the web. As Dwayne Wrightsman, another of Stephen’s many descendants, said about Stephen, “so much has been said and so little is known.”

One of the documented but unproven items about Stephen is this “Oral History of Ulrick Family” from a private letter documented in Kinsey’s My Family Tree, which states:

Stephen Ulrick was born about 1680 near the German and Swiss border. Some records give His birthplace as Swebeland, Germany….He had two brothers, John and another whose name is unknown…all members of the German Baptist Church. Early in the eighteenth century they left their European home to escape religious persecution and came to the New World. They settled east of the mountains–probably first in northern Maryland and later removing to Huntingdon Co. Pa. near Hollidaysburg…Now Blair Co. These three brothers were all short and heavy set. They married three very tall sisters. Stephen (our ancestor) also had three sons, David, Samuel, and Stephen. They were all German Baptist preachers.

How much of the above letter is true? At least some.

We know that Stephen Ulrich (Sr.), the father of Stephen Ulrich (Jr.) born in about 1720 could well have been born in 1680. We also know there was a Mathias Ulrich in in York County, Pennsylvania living in the same group of Germans where Stephen Ulrich (Sr.) and (Jr.) were both living.

Holidaysburg is in Morrison’s Cove, just north of Bedford County where indeed, several of the children of Stephen Ulrich (Jr.), including Stephen (the third) settled – along with Stephen Jr.’s brother, John and probably his brother Daniel. And yes, Stephen Jr. did settle in northern Maryland, having moved from Pennsylvania and he did have three sons named David, Samuel and Stephen. So, we know that there is quite a bit of truth to this family letter. As for the rest, we don’t know, but given that there are some accurate items, it’s not unlikely that there are more.  There is, however, some generational intermixing of at least three generations.  Of course, in all fairness, there were (at least) three generations of Stephen Ulrichs.

I must admit, I’m fascinated by the physical description of these men and their wives.  That’s information that could only ever be forthcoming from a source like this.  Did the original Ulrich men marry sisters?  Would that have been Stephen Sr. the immigrant and two unknown brothers, or would this commentary have been referring perhaps to Stephen Jr. and two of his brothers?  Stephen Jr.’s brothers John, George and Daniel all moved with him to Frederick County, so it’s certainly possible that they could have married sisters and remained close.  There clearly weren’t a lot of Brethren females to choose from in the 1740 timeframe on the Pennsylvania frontier.

If anyone has documented information not included in this article, please do me the favor of sending it my way and I’ll be glad to update the article. I don’t however, want to be a party to spreading speculation or misinformation, so if it’s not documented, it’s not here, other than the above letter which I feel could provide important clues to the genesis of the Ulrich family.

I should probably explain, by virtue of introduction, that the Johann Michael Miller, Jacob Stutzman, Stephen Ulrich (Sr. and Jr.) families were all intertwined very early, certainly in the US if not in Germany previously. In fact, we do find the Miller and Stutzman families together in Germany, and possibly also the Ulrich family, but more on that in another article. In Lancaster, then York County, Pennsylvania, the Greib/Cripe family joins this group of Brethren families. In the US, the way to find any one of these families is to find any of these other families, because it seemed they were always together. They also intermarried, a lot, so sorting them out has proven challenging at best.

The Brethren Encyclopedia

For a Brethren family, a good place to check first is the Brethren Encyclopedia. It’s certainly not infallible, but often has valid information and equally as important, sources.

The Brethren Encyclopedia, The Brethren Press, 1983, p. 1285: Ulrich (Ullery, Ulery) Family

Families of this name of German/Swiss origins appear early in Pennsylvania records, but the first identifiable with Brethren communities (George, Matthew, Stephen, relationship unknown) settled in the Little Conewago valley (now Adams and York Cos., PA) ca. 1740. They were probably the Eldrick identified by Morgan Edwards among the founders of the Little Conewago congregation.

Stephen Ulrich, born abroad prior to 1725, took up land in 1742 adjoining his father Stephen Ulrich south of present McSherrystown, Adams Co., PA. In 1752 he moved to the Conococheague valley of Maryland (near Clear Spring), where he was active in Brethren affairs.

In 1767 Stephen Ulrick of Frederick Co., MD, was naturalized in Pennsylvania, an act which troubled his conscience as reported by Nicholas Martin to Alexander Mack, Jr., in 1772. His wife, Elizabeth Cripe (?) having died, he married in 1782 the widow of neighbor Jacob Stutzman. The children of the first marriage were three sons: David, Stephen, Samuel; and five daughters: Christina (m. Jacob Stutzman, Jr.), Elizabeth (m. Daniel Miller), Mary (m. George Puterbaugh), Hannah (m. Henry Puterbaugh), and Lydia (m. Jacob Lear). Daniel Ulrich, probably related, bought land from Stephen in 1754, then moved to Bedford Co., PA, where he died in 1792. John Ulrich, probably related, settled near Stephen in 1758, then moved west and died in Huntingdon Co., PA, in 1804. Numerous descendants of these pioneers, committed Brethren, including several eminent ministers, educators, and missionaries, spread along the frontiers of Pennsylvania, Ohio (by 1803), Indiana (by 1837), and west across the continent. In 1855 Jacob Ulrich was among the first Brethren settlers in Breckenridge Co., KS, where he knew John Brown and where his house and barn were burned by Quantrills raiders in 1863. JHS (John Hale Stutzman)

PA Land Records, Lancaster Co. Warrants 7 (U) and 8 (U), Feb. 16, 1742; Frederick Co., MD, Land Records Book E., 57-59; J. H. Stutesman, Jr., Jacob Stutzman (1982) index; Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Series, 11:399; Washington Co., MD, Deed Book Co, 180-81; Washington Co., MD, Land Records Book D., 588-91; Colonial America (1967) 148, 184, 255, 266, 601; E. Pennsylvania (1915) index; Kansas (1922) esp. 13-26, 153-55.

Researcher Carol Henson tells us more:

Like other families, the Ulrich name changed quite a bit — especially in the first couple of generations in America. The family name generally appears as Ulrich or Ulrick — and then some of the Ulrich family members began using Ullery.

Ulrich and Ulrick has the same meaning as the old Germanic name “Uodalrich” or “Odalrik”. “Odal” means inheritance, and “rik” or “rich” means mighty or ruler, sovereign. Ulrich was the name of two German saints. There appear to be Ulrichs that were located in Baden Germany and Switzerland about the time of our first ancestor, Stephen Ulrich, Sr.

Ulrich family of Frebershausen in the Principality of Waldeck (is the first known Ulrich family), whose known roots first began in the 1500s. The earliest known Ulrich was Georg, a man whose story is clouded and whose parentage is uncertain. Waldeck in German means the corner of the woods. The area occupied by the former principality of Waldeck, even at this time, is a beautiful wooded region to which Germans and other Europeans come to vacation because of its beautiful woods, lakes, rivers, streams and spas.

ulrich-castle-waldeck

Castle Waldeck, Hesse, By Christian Bickel – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7854387

Is this Ulrich family ours? We don’t know, but with Y DNA testing, we may one day be able to answer that question.

Being A Pietist Was Dangerous

The ongoing warfare in Europe, and in particular in Germany for centuries created a group of small fiefdoms where the ruler owned all of the land and dictated the religion of everyone who inhabited his fiefdom – generally meaning Protestant (Lutheran) or Catholic. This was legitimized by the Treaty of Augsburg on September 25, 1555.

If that ruler died, or was overrun, the new ruler, who might have entirely different views, took over – along with his religious preference, which became a mandate. The penalty for noncompliance was death, and people would run like rats from a sinking ship to escape into a friendlier fiefdom, often just a few miles down the road. However, with no land ownership and vacillating religious rules and policies, there was no reason for any peasant to develop much loyalty to any one place – other than family. And the family was also peasantry, so they weren’t tied either. More often than not, they moved together – sometimes leaving one or a few behind, like bread crumbs, along with the dead whose records might be found in church books, of course.

In the early 1600s, itinerant preachers roamed the German countryside preaching “unofficial doctrines” and working the populace into a lather. Local rulers tried to get rid of them, because social unrest of any kind was not a good thing to a landowner.

While all these groups are lumped together and called pietists, they often fought bitterly among themselves, but they were all united in their rejection of bureaucracy that could and did tell them what to do, and how. They each felt that they held the “only key” to salvation and grace. The church, both Catholic and Lutheran, dictated “correct” beliefs, but the pietist sects believed in a personal relationship with God and rejected all intermediaries.

To the pietists, the Bible was the doctrine, period, and all one needed to do personally was to read and follow the Bible. No interpretation necessary by churches, ministers or rulers…thank you very much.

Many of these groups also were opposed to infant baptism because they did not believe one could be “saved” before one had the capacity to choose salvation for oneself. The official churches condemned unbaptized babies to hell. The pietists sects began baptizing, or rebaptizing adults, an act punishable by death.

These groups were called Anabaptists, or rebaptizers, and the Moravians, Brethren, Mennonites, Amish and others fell into this general group.

The first recorded adult baptism happened in Zurich in 1525 and by 1574, more than 2500 Anabaptists had been put to death for adult baptism – the unrepentant being burned at the stake. If you repented, the men were beheaded and the women drowned. A quicker terrible fate, although all three just make me shudder.  And to think they were performed in the name of religion.

The official state religion kept changing too, first to Reformed, then to Lutheran, and each change caused more upheaval and more underground worshipers. Amazing that something that is supposed to be bring peace and comfort, like religion, caused so much pain and death.

By 1644, the foundation for immigration to Pennsylvania where William Penn openly recruited the downtrodden refugees and weary worshipers, specifically targeting the Quakers, Mennonites and other pietists and eventually, the Scots-Irish. Maryland welcomed Catholics, where Virginia was an English colony requiring membership in the Anglican church with stiff penalties otherwise.

In 1683, William Penn founded Philadelphia with 300 houses and negotiated his Great Treaty with the Indians. Later that year, the first German Mennonites arrived and established Germantown. The wave of German immigration had begun. On that wave, a few years later, would ride Stephen Ulrich.

Stephen’s Immigration

I have to wonder what would motivate someone to undertake an adventure into the completely unknown. What they were leaving must have been perceived to be worse than anything they could encounter where they were headed. Warfare was not unfamiliar to the pietists in Europe, and they had feared for their lives and property there as well. They must have felt like their entire existence was going from one conflict to the next. Maybe they felt these trials were sent by God to test their faith.

One big difference, and it may have made all the difference, is that in Germany, the rulers owned the land. In the colonies, the settlers had the opportunity to own land – something that would never happen in Europe. Indeed, even with its problems, America was the land of opportunity. That is, if you survived the voyage.

The voyage itself was dangerous and you could expect to lose part of your family. On some voyages, half the people perished. On some, more than half, two thirds, 80%. These were not anomalies. And the voyage took weeks. God forbid you were pregnant. I suspect that was a death sentence. What could have been so bad that one would choose uncertainly and a very, very high risk endeavor?

Justin Replogle in his book recounts both the 30 Years War that ended, finally, in 1648, only to be followed by the War of Spanish Succession from 1684 to 1713. Villages and farms were plundered and ruined and legions of people killed. From 1688 to 1697, every big city north of Cologne was plundered. On a single day, the Elector of Mannheim wrote that from the city walls he could see 23 villages burning. During this time, many Germans fled to Switzerland. A few years later, many Swiss would migrate to Germany for religious freedom and toleration – the price of resettling the naked German landscape. However, for the pietist sects in Switzerland, these were magical words.

So this landscape of warfare was sadly familiar to the German immigrants. They had lived with it, endured and survived for their entire lifetimes and the lifetimes of their parents and grandparents. Frightening? Certainly. But nothing terribly new. However, for a sect that refused to fight, even to protect themselves, they must have been sitting ducks. It’s amazing that any survived.

Many of the Pietist sects, meaning Mennonites and Brethren, immigrated between 1719 and 1729. We don’t know exactly when Stephen immigrated. We also have no information to suggest that he, or the families associated with Stephen, were pietist before immigration. What we do know is when he was naturalized.

Naturalization

The first actual piece of documented information we have about Stephen Ulrich is that he was born in Germany, because he, along with his father, also named Stephen, was naturalized in 1738, which would not have been necessary if he were born in the colonies.

On page 57 of the Council of Maryland, “Commission Book No. 82,” which contains miscellaneous entries from 1733 to 1773, we find an entry that says: “Ulderey, Stephen, Planter of Baltimore county, native of High Germany, naturalized 4 June, 1738; and his children Stephen, George, Daniel, John, Elizabeth and Susanna.” (Dwayne Wrightsman)

This could imply that Stephen Sr.’s wife had died, although at that time, wives were not individually listed and were simply included in their husband’s naturalization.

I have to ask why, if Stephen was living in Pennsylvania in 1738, near Hanover, was he being Naturalized in Baltimore County, Maryland. The answer to that question is  that the state border was in dispute and Stephen believed that his land was indeed in Maryland, not Pennsylvania. If Stephen’s land was in Maryland, Baltimore County would have been where it was located. Frederick County, Maryland was later formed from parts of Baltimore and Prince George Counties. As it turned out, Stephen was wrong and his land wound up being in Lancaster County (subsequently York County, now Adams County) in Pennsylvania, a few miles north of the Maryland/Pennsylvania state line, or where it would eventually be.

Also listed on pages 57-58 of “Commission Book No. 82” were six of Stephen Ulderey’s neighbors, all of whom were known to reside at or near Digges Choice on Little Conewago Creek in what turned out to be Lancaster County, PA. Stephen Sr. had purchased his initial land from Digges, so we know positively that’s where he lived.

People naturalized on this date – all ‘natives of High Germany now planters of Baltimore County’ were:

  • John Morningstar and his children Philip, Elizabeth and Joanna
  • John Martin Ungefare and his children George, Francis and Catherine.
  • Adam Furney and his children Mark, Nicholas, Philip, Charlott, Mary and Clara
  • George Coontz and his children John, Eva and Catherine
  • Stephen Uldery and his children Stephen, George, Daniel, John, Elizabeth and Susannah
  • John Lammon (of Prince George County, Maryland) and his children John, George, Louisa, Lenora, Catherine and Margaret.

Where is “High Germany?” According to Wikipedia, “High Germany is a geographical term referring to the mountainous southern part of Germany.” They also report that is was a common reference to Alpine Germany in the 16th century, but had fallen out of use by the 19th. When referring to language, it means the German spoken south of the Benrath line.

ulrich-benrath-line

By Hardcore-Mike – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11681300

Dwayne Wrightsman says:

According to Morgan Edwards, writing in 1770, the Little Conewago congregation of Brethren was started in 1738, by “Eldrick, Dierdorff, Bigler, Gripe, Studsman and others under the leadership of Daniel Leatherman.” It is commonly thought that Eldrick was Ulrich, Gripe was Greib/Cripe, and Studsman was Stutzman. All were Brethren, friends, neighbors, and related by marriage. It is also commonly thought that Eldrick and Ulderey were one and the same.

Little Conewago is near Hanover, PA, in present day Adams County, about 100 miles from Philadelphia. At that time, this area was still very much unsettled frontier. Just 20 years earlier, Conestoga, 20 miles west of Philadelphia, had been described as wilderness.

Researchers report that there is another Naturalization for Stephen Ulrick in Philadelphia County on April 5, 1741. However, that’s actually incorrect. He was naturalized a second time, but the document actually says that the naturalization was pursuant to an act in the general assembly in 1742. It’s easy to understand how the confusion arose, looking at the following page.

Miller Naturalization

Stephen Ulrick from Frederick County, Maryland was naturalized with Michael Miller from the same place, his son Philip Jacob Miller, and Jacob Stutzman from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, just across the border from Frederick County, Maryland.

Ordering the actual document from the Pennsylvania Archives made a world of difference, because the month and year, April 1767, is right on the outside of the document packet.

Philip Jacob Miller naturalization 1

Philip Jacob Miller naturalization 2

Philip Jacob Miller naturalization 3

Philip Jacob Miller naturalization 4

The 1738 original naturalization date tells us that Stephen Ulrich Sr. immigrated before that date and possibly in or before 1731. I’m unclear on the Maryland requirements for naturalization in 1738, and each colony was different, but in some locations, naturalization required residence for 7 years.

We don’t know exactly when Stephen Jr., along with his father, immigrated, or exactly when he was born, but it was surely before 1720 because in 1742, we find Stephen Jr. obtaining land and he would surely not have been any younger than age 22 or so.

Land at Little Conewago

One of the issues with records from early Pennsylvania is that the counties changed.

The earliest records of what is now Adams County, PA are found in what was originally Chester Co., PA. which successively changed to Lancaster Co. in 1728, to York County in 1748 and to Adams Co., PA in 1800.

And it wasn’t just counties that changed, but the state line itself was in dispute, as was the actual land ownership – meaning that the Indians still felt they owned at least the frontier and borderlands, exactly where the Brethren families were living, until at least 1736.

Ironically, these people who eschewed all forms of conflict wound up right dab smack in the center of a protracted heated battle.

Both Maryland and Pennsylvania claimed the land where Chester (then Lancaster/York/Adams) County lay. Initially the Pennsylvania government complained when Marylanders settled this area, but since no one else, except the Indians, was complaining, nothing was done until 1728 when Pennsylvania ran the settlers off and burned their homes. By 1732, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia were all three competing for settlers on the frontier to stabilize the region and provide a buffer between the settled portions and the “savages.”

In 1732, Pennsylvania began giving out “licenses” to settle west of the Susquehanna with the idea that the licenses could later be turned into warrants when the colony actually bought the land from the Indians. No wonder the Indians were unhappy.

Note on this present day map that all of the area near Hanover was significantly west of the Susquehanna, shown to the right, by about 20-30 miles.

ulrich-hanover-and-susquehanna

Between 1733 and 1736, 52 licenses were issued, mostly to German families, although the original list created by Samuel Blunston later disappeared. Presumably some went to the group who settled in the Conewego area where the Ulrich and Cripe families were living at that time. These licenses were confirmed in 1736 when the land was purchased from the Five Nations and an order for a resurvey was issued in 1762. It could have been at this time that the list was lost.

This same land had been issued under Maryland grants as early as 1731, according to “The Beginnings of the German Element in York County Pennsylvania,” a wonderful paper written in 1916 by Abdel Ross Wentz, PhD, Professor of History at Pennsylvania College. Thomas Cresap had built a cabin west of the Susquehanna as early as 1728. Dr. Wentz’s document includes a great deal of historical detail that provides enlightenment about how our ancestors who settled in that area lived, and the conditions they were subject to.

Maryland still claimed this land and by 1730, things were getting ugly. Maryland granted the same land, much of it to Thomas Cresap, a very early pioneer and Indian trader. Pennsylvanians tended to paint Cresap as an aggressive villain who terrorized the region and Marylanders viewed him as a hero who saved the day. One thing is for sure, he became the spokesperson for the Maryland faction of the German community, joined the Brethren Church, and ultimately bought the land Michael Miller would purchase from him called Miller’s Choice on Antietam Creek near Hagerstown, MD.

Living on the west side of the Susquehanna River, in the disputed land were 40 Germans, Michael Miller listed among them in 1736, just before the “Revolt of the Germans” ensued.

Because of the uncertainty of boundaries and the questionable legality of the Digges Choice land transactions, the area was often referred to as ‘the disputed land” and later, the community was referred to as “Rogue’s Resort.” This didn’t reflect upon the settlers, but upon Digges himself who was selling land he didn’t have clear title to.

In the 1730s, local warfare ensued with both Maryland and Pennsylvania jailing people. At one point, Cresap got thrown off of his own ferry mid-river, but survived. In 1734, Cresap shot a Pennsylvania sheriff’s ranger who came to arrest him. I’m suspecting that perhaps he wasn’t yet Brethren at this time.

Some settlers returned back east at this point, having had enough – but turning back never seemed to be an option for the Brethren who also wouldn’t fight.

As militias on both sides became involved, the frustrated Brethren and German settlers must have become quite desperate because in 1736 they sent a resolution to the Governors of both states pledging their loyalty. However, when the duplicate loyalty was discovered, Governor Oglethorpe of Maryland offered rewards for the apprehension and arrest of nearly 40 men. John Wright was apparently the ringleader, because the bounty on his head was 40 pounds. However, Michael Miller was included but his bounty, and that of most of the other men, was only 2 pounds. We don’t know if this was the Michael Miller of the Ulrich/Cripe/Stutzman group, but it could have been. Cripe, Stutzman and Ulrich were certainly there by 1738, according to Brethren historical church records, but Michael Miller may have still been living in Chester Co., PA. His tax records don’t begin in this area until 1744. Certainly this regional war affected everyone.

Pennsylvania did purchase the land from the Indians in 1736 and land warrants were issued in 1738 – but given the uncertainty about who owned what and which state it would actually fall into, it was no wonder nothing much was done.

In 1738, a temporary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland was established, and the Digges Choice lands fell 4 miles north of that line.

In 1743, the German families had Digges Choice surveyed and exposed that Digges didn’t own all of the land he had sold.  In fact, he was about 4000 acres short.

In 1745, Digges attempted to obtain additional lands, in Pennsylvania, through his Maryland patent, claiming this was simply a resurvey and adjustment of his original survey. Unfortunately, this new Maryland patent and survey included some lands that had already been granted to German families from Pennsylvania. Needless to say, a great deal of consternation and hard feelings, to put it mildly, ensued, causing years of conflict.

In 1746, several German families petitioned Pennsylvania to protect their rights against Digges aggressions. Violence followed, and in April 1746 Matthias Ulrich and Nicholas Forney (son of Adam Forney), both men living on the disputed lands and refusing to surrender their patents to Digges, were arrested.

Digges attempted to continue to press the issue, trying to force these families to either surrender their land or repurchase it from him, but he soon learned just how stubborn and tenacious Germans can be. John Lemon, Lammon in the 1738 naturalization was one of the German men involved whose land lay outside of Digges original survey but inside the resurvey bounds.

Maybe this settlement should have been called “Digges Sorrow,” because certainly everyone who lived there was sorry about something!

Eventually, we find our Brethren families in the records, but things really didn’t improve. In fact, this conflict wasn’t settled for another 30 years with the running of the Mason-Dixon line, which, ironically cut right through Jacob Stutzman’s land – even after the Brethren had finally had enough and left Hanover in Pennsylvania for Frederick County in Maryland where they thought they would be immune to these issues.  They weren’t.

PA-MD boundary issue

“Cresapwarmap” by Kmusser – self-made, based primarily on the description at http://cip.cornell.edu/DPubS/Repository/1.0/Disseminate/psu.ph/1129771136/body/pdf. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons

By the time the Mason-Dixon line was run, these families had been embroiled in this  mess for 30 years, or more.

Based on the location of Stephen Ulrich’s land, and the secondary information that Stephen Sr. purchased his original tract directly from John Digges, who originally settled “Digges Choice in the Back Woods,” a supposed 10,000 acre parcel near present day Hanover, PA under a Maryland land grant. Today Digges Choice includes all of Penn Township, most of Heidelberg Township in York County and part of Conewago, Germany and Union Townships in Adams County. This land was surveyed in 1732 but a patent was not issued until October 11, 1735. Some of the “squatters” that had originally settled west of the Susquehanna were attracted to Digges Choice. Digges was advertising these lands as early as 1731. The first land record given by Digges was to Adam Forney in October of 1731, but clear title couldn’t have passed at that time, so Digges gave Forney his bond upon which he identifies himself as “of Prince George’s County, Maryland,” clearly indicating that he believed this land to be located in Maryland, not in Pennsylvania. Note that Adam Furney is one of the men naturalized along with Stephen Ulrich in 1738.

The Conewago Settlement, where Stephen Ulrich Sr. lived, was also on Digges’ Choice and is now located in Adams County.

On Feb. 16, 1742, Lancaster County, PA issued warrants 7-U and 8-U for Stephen Ulrick, Junr. to take up lands west of the Susquehanna. He staked out adjoining tracts in what was then a dense wilderness on Little Conewago Creek on land adjoining that of his father. We know that Stephen lived there as early as 1738 when he is listed as a founder of Little Conewago Church.

Stephen Ulrich Sr and Stephen Ulrich Jr. both owned land in or near Digges Choice in York, now Adams County. Hanover was at the center of Digges Choice, which was laid out about 1739.

ulrich-lancaster-warrant-register

It’s interesting to note on this page of Lancaster County Warrant Register that Stephen Jr. obtained two tracts of land and neither warrant was returned until in the early 1800s.

The Pennsylvania Land Warrants and Applications 1733-1952 data base on Ancestry shows the following:

ulrich-1742-warrant

ulrich-1742-warrant-2

Stephen Ulrich Junior, Lancaster County, 100 acres situate on Indian Creek a branch of Little Conewago adjoining Henry Eastle? (Castle?) land on the west side of Susquehanna River, 15 pounds 10 shillings and yearly quit-rent of one half penny sterling for every acre thereof.

ulrich-1742-second-warrant

ulrich-1742-second-warrant-2

Stephen Ulrich Junior of Lancaster County 100 acres of land situate on Little Conewago Creek adjoining his father Stephen Ulrich’s land and William Hoolerd? On the west side of Susquehanne River for 15 pounds 10 shillings and yearly quit rent of one half penny sterling for every acre thereof

I’m unclear about where Stephen Ulrich Sr.’s land is located. There is no warrant and no deed.

There is also a Lancaster Co. Warrant to Ansted Ulrick on Nov. 4, 1743 for 200 acres in Lebanon Twp, Lancaster County, although we don’t know who Ansted is and he may or may not be related.  The name Ansted does not repeat in the Stephen Ulrich family that I’m aware of.

John Hale Stutzman was apparently able to locate the land of Stephen Ulrich, Jr.

On the document below, the outlines of tracts A and B from John Hale Stutzman’s book are based on official survey, patent and deed records. Stephen’s land was described as adjoining his father, Stephen’s, tract.

ulrich-stutzman-book-page-6

Page 6, Jacob Stutzman (?-1775) by John Hale Stutzman, Jr.

Tract C was purchased in 1759 from John Digges by Jacob Stutzman.  Jacob also bought tracts A and B from Stephen Ulrich. This suggests strongly that the boundard of Digges Choice was between tracts A and B which were obtained in Warrants from Pennsylvania and tract C which was obtained by purchase from John Digges.

This land was located about one mile south of McSherrytown, shown below in Adams Co., PA but was in Lancaster County originally, then in York in 1749 when it was formed, then in Adams beginning in 1800.

Hanover PA

You can see Stutzman’s drawing above on the map below from Google Maps. Indian Creek intersects with Little Conewago just below Narrow Drive and Hanover Pike is the old road.

ulrich-indian-creek-and-little-conewago

If this drawing is accurate, Stephen Ulrich would have owned the land between the two 194 markers on Hanover Pike, meaning roughly between Race Horse Road and Pennville.

Here’s a satellite of the same area.  This is certainly nice farmland.

ulrich-york-land-satellite

The photo below from Google Street View shows Indian Run Creek today from Narrow’s road. If the warrant is accurate, this would have been Stephen’s land although that’s not reflected in Stutzman’s drawing.   Indian Run is not very large.

ulrich-york-indian-run

Let’s drive down the road towards Hanover Pike.

This picture is just north of the intersection of Narrows Road and Hanover Pike. Stutzman’s drawing shows that this would have been Stephen’s land.

ulrich-york-hanover-pike

When Stephen first rode in his wagon on what would one day become this road, it would have been entirely wooded.  This flat farmland is just south of the same intersection.

ulrich-york-hanover-pike-2

If you are a farmer, flat is good.

ulrich-york-hanover-pike-3

This 1783 record further clarified that Stephen lived on the main road in York County, which would have been Hanover Pike.

1783 – Deed – May 17th – George Adam Stum of Heidelberg Twp, York County yeoman and Mary Apelone his wife for better securing the payment of….sold to Sebastian Opold a 150 ac tract of land in Heidelberg Twp part of larger tract called Diges’ Choice adj the Conestoga Old Road which tract of land John Digges conveyed unto Stephen Ullery and the said Ullery conveyed unto Peter Neffziger….

Land Records of York Co, Pa 1775-1793 by Mary Marshall Brewer, p 70-71

Given that John Digges did not convey land to Stephen Ulrich Jr., this land, above, has to be that of Stephen Sr.

It is believed that in 1738, during the time Stephen Ulrich lived here, he and his friend Jacob Stutzman organized the Conewago Congregation of the German Baptist in Conewago Twp. near Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Stephen Ulrich (Jr.) was reported to be a German Baptist minister based on Nicholas Martin’s notes. Stephen is believed to be the son of the immigrant Stephan Ulrich, given that their land was adjacent and they were referred to as Sr. and Jr, and Stephen Sr.’s 1738 naturalization record includes Stephen Jr.

About 1740, Stephen Jr. married his wife, reported, but not documented, to be Elizabeth Cripe. I sincerely believe that her surname was not Cripe, but I will delve into that topic in Elizabeth’s article.

Stephen Ulrich sold his Lancaster/York County land to his friend, Jacob Stutzman. This transaction is described in John Hale Stutzman’s book, “Jacob Stutzman, His Children and Grandchildren.” Unhappily for us, these two devout Dunkers, under the strictures of their church doctrine, avoided engagement with government authorities and did not record the deed of sale. “Heaven perhaps for the Dunkers but Hell for the genealogist,” as quoted by John Hale Stutzman. I’m glad I’m not the only Brethren researcher that feels that way!

We only know about this land sale because of a subsequent sale by Jacob Stutzman to George Wine. The Wine family intermarried with the Miller family through son Lodowich (Ludwig.). And around and around we go…

In 1743, another battle broke out and Stephen Ulrich was certainly in the middle of it, although his name is not specifically recorded. We know he was, though, because of John Digges and an unnamed Mathias Ulrich, possibly a relative.

In a deposition given August 29, 1746, Matthias Ulrich stated that he arrived in 1738 but he did not settle on Digges’ Choice until 1742 just before visiting Germany. So Mathias arrives at Digges Choice at least 4 years after Stephen Ulrich.

In 1743, the Germans sent one Martin Updegraf to Annapolis, Maryland to check on John Digges grant. It was found that Digges had sold some land he didn’t own, so he obtained a new grant from Maryland which included farms of 14 Germans under warrant from Pennsylvania. Both sides tried to intimidate the German farmers. The Pennsylvania surveyor warned them against violating royal orders. Mathias Ulrich apparently told the sheriff “to go to the devil,” an action very out of character for a Brethren. Eventually Digges son was killed but Pennsylvania would not surrender the killers to Maryland to be tried. It was clearly one hot mess on the frontier, and petitions and requests for help went unheard and unanswered by those back east who cared little if a bunch of Germans killed each other.

The Brethren tried to stick it out for a few more years, but in 1745, Michael Miller began buying land in Frederick County, MD, near present day Hagerstown and not long thereafter, the entire group of Brethren would sell out and remove themselves to what they hoped would be a more peaceful and secure, undisputed area.

The final straw, perhaps, came in 1748 when the sheriffs from both states insisted on collecting quick rent, which in this case, was in essence extortion money for being left alone. A 1748 deposition complaining to the Maryland governor said that “a great number of the Germans and some others were so much alarmed by the sheriff’s proceedings that several of them have already left the province and others have declaired they would go.” Many of the German families held land authorized by Pennsylvania.

In 1748, Frederick County, Maryland was formed from Baltimore and Prince George’s County.

On November 15, 1749, Stephen Ullery bought 150 acres in “Digges Choice” from John Digges and on June 3, 1758, “Stephen and Elizabeth Wollery of Frederick County, Maryland sold this land, according to Baltimore County, Maryland land records listed by John Hale Stutzman.  This land purchase from Digges is a bit confounding, knowing that Stephen Ulrich held land patented by Pennsylvania adjacent Digges land, so assuredly in the midst of the land that Digges tried to extort from the Germans by bullying them into either giving him their patents or making them repurchase their land from him.  This is also about the time Stephen Sr. is reported to have died.  Did Stephen repurchase his own land?  His father already had purchased land directly from Digges.  Would Stephen Jr. have purchased land in 1749, just before moving to Frederick County from the despised Digges?  We will likely never know “the rest of the story,” but surely there is more to the story than is readily apparent.

“Stephen Ullery” appears in the official records of York Co., Pennsylvania in 1749 in the Little Conewago area.

Frederick County, Maryland

However, by 1750, Stephen had had enough. Both Maryland and Pennsylvania tried to tax Heidelberg Township in the Conewago area. Stephen Ullery was taxed 7 shillings and Mathias Ullery, 2 shillings. It’s unclear whether this was Maryland or Pennsylvania tax, but regardless, Stephen sold his land and moved. Mathias apparently does as well, but I can’t find a deed.  Many of the Brethren simply passed the deed to the new owner and if they didn’t register the deed, it didn’t matter to the person who sold the land. In many cases, the deeds passed hand to hand several times and were never registered. Unfortunately, this plays havoc with any historical continuity.

By 1752 Stephen Ulrich Jr. had moved about 60 miles almost due west to Frederick County, Maryland, near today’s Hagerstown, but then it was the edge of the frontier. The closest village in 1752 was Conococheague where the creek of that name empties into the Potomac River. This is the area where Stephen would spend the rest of his life after purchasing land from one Hance (Hans) Waggoner in 1751.

ulrich-hanover-to-frederick

To illustrate life on the frontier, Evan Shelby, who had sold Stephen’s eventual land to Waggoner also sold land to Indian trader, John Hager, 5 years after Shelby initially acquired the land. When Shelby sold the land to Hager, it had been improved with “two sorry houses” and “3 acres of cornfield, fenced in.” That was it – 5 years worth of improvements on the frontier.  According to land surveys in Frederick County, this was the rule, not the exception.

Most land in this area was entirely unimproved, but Stephen’s land that he purchased from Waggoner may have been. Another man purchased the other half of Waggoner’s land, and one of the two men received these improvements:

One dwelling house 20 by 16 feet made of hewd logs and covered with lap shingles, a stone chimney, one dwelling house 27 by 22 feet of hewd logs and covered with lap shingles, plankd above and below, a stone chimney, a new barn of hewd logs covered with lap shingles, 49 feet by 27, 69 apple trees, 72 peach trees and 6 acres of cultivated land well fenced.

In 1750 on the frontier, this was a palace. I do have to laugh, because true to form, the barn is much, much larger than the house, more than twice as big.

On September 25, 1752, Stephen Ulrich (Jr.), “of Frederick County, Maryland” bought 235 acres from a very early settler in the region, Hans Waggoner. The same day, Hance Waggoner sold another 200 acres of Germania to Walter Friendesburgh. The Waggoner family had lived adjacent the Ulrich family in York County as well.

ulrich-stutzman-book-page-12

Page 12, “Jacob Stutzman (?-1775)” by John Hale Stutzman, Jr.

The Ulrich’s settled right at the base of the first mountain range, about 8 or 9 miles northwest of today’s Hagerstown. John Hale Stutesman’s map has Stephen Ulrich’s original farm just below today’s Mason-Dixon line which forms the state line . This would be on Maryland 494 just below the state line where 494 becomes 75 in Pennsylvania.

ulrich-frederick-satellite

Stutzman states that the X is near where highway 57 intersects 75, which would today be 494, although that appears to be about half a mile south of the state line.  Stutzman didn’t have the benefit of Google satellite when he wrote his book in 1982.

ulrich-frederick-57-and-494

This picture above is taken just north of the intersection of 57 and 494.

ulrich-frederick-st-paul-road

Based on that description, this land should be Stephen’s, and there are the mountains in the distance.

You can drive for miles seeing nothing but farms and cornfields, punctuated from time to time by a very old house that is located very near the road. I always wonder if these houses stood when our ancestors passed by in horse and wagon.  This house may have been located on Stephen’s land.

ulrich-frederick-old-home-on-stephens-land

This end of the house, which is the original portion, looks like it might have been fortified at one time. Other similar homes on the Tennessee frontier have these same strategically placed windows at the highest portion of the end of the home so that the men can gain a height advantage when shooting at their foes.  Note the two windows on either side of the chimney in the highest portion of the home.

ulrich-fortified-house

Even the trees are ancient, as are the barns to the right of the house above.

ulrich-frederick-old-barns

Adjoining Stephen Ulrich’s land is the Jacob Stutesman place, purchased in 1761, straddling the state line and ultimately the Butterbaugh holdings were right here on both sides too, according to Stutzman. Jacob Cripe lived somewhere in this region too, northwest of John Hager’s house. The relationship between the Cripe and Ulrich families is unclear, but some individuals suggest that Jacob Cripe’s wife was the sister of Stephen Ulrich Jr. I have never seen documentation to this effect, but given the lack of Brethren records, it’s possible.

Stephen Ulrich and his wife raised a large family of nine children. Their daughter Christina married Jacob Stutzman, Jr., the son of their neighbor.

Frederick County Maryland Land Records Liber B Abstracts 1748-1752 by Patricia Abelard Andersen, p 4:

Stephen Ulary recorded Jan. 6, 1753, made Sept 5, Hans Willaree Waggoner of Frederick Co., farmer, for 340 pcm, tract called Garmina at first line of tract called Maidins Choice, m&b for 235 acres. Signed Hans Willarae Waggoner before Thomas Prather. Ack. Elizabeth Waggoner, his wife released dower. Receipt AF paid.

On February 19, 1753, Stephen and Elizabeth Ulrich sold 25 acres to Lodowick Miller, the son of Michael Miller. Michael Miller’s grandson, Daniel, through son Philip Jacob Miller would marry Stephen Ulrich’s daughter, Elizabeth some 20 years later. Also on February 19, 1753, Walter Friendesburgh sold 100 acres to Lodowich Miller.

Given this close connection with the Miller family, it’s also possible that either Stephen Ulrich’s wife or Jacob Cripe’s wife was Lodowich Miller’s sister.  I do need to state that this is purely speculative, and I almost hate to even mention it because they is no proof, in either direction.  There is only the possibility given the limited number of Brethren in York County at an early day when those men would have been marrying.

Jacob Stutzman was thought to have been the step-brother of Michael Miller, the immigrant and father of Lodowick Miller, but recent information that has come to light strongly suggests Jacob Stutzman was actually Michael Miller’s half-brother.

In 1753, Stephen Ulrich’s brother George had apparently also moved to Frederick County, and subsequently died.

ulrich-1753-george-ulrich-estate

Nicholas Martin and Stephen Willarick (Ulrich) as administrators of George Willarick (Ulrich) deceased late of Frederick County MD reported the value of the deceased property to the court on August 27, 1753.

1754 – 483-484 – Lodewick Miller recorded July 7, 1754 and made Feb 19 same year between Stephen Ulrich of Frederick County for 25 acres, Pennsylvania current money tract called Garminia (Germania) in Frederick County in his actual possession, metes and bounds given, signed Stephen Ulrich before Thomas Prather, Walter Tenderback, Elizabeth wife of Stephen Ulrich released dower right. Receipt. AF paid.

484–485 – Lodewick Miller recorded July 7, 1754, made Feb 19, 1754 between Walter Fundenberg farmer, for 100pcm, tract part of land called Garminia, m&b given. Signed Walter Gondeback, before Thomas Prather, Stephen Ulrich. Katern wife of the said Walter released dower right. Receipt. AF paid.

1754 – 590-591- Daniel Ularick recorded November 20, 1745 made May 31, 1754, between Steven Ularick of Frederick Co., farmer for 100 pcm MD, part of a tract called Garminia (Germania) beginning on the 10th line, m&b given for 86 acres, signed Stephen Ularick before Thomas Prather, Joseph Smith. Elizabeth wife of Stephen Ularick released dower right. Receipt AF paid.

In August of 1754, Stephen Ulrich was appointed overseer of roads in Conococheague Hundred in Frederick County for 1755.

Stephen’s Maryland lands butted up against the first rampart of the Alleghenies, called in whole “The Endless Mountains.” This particular mountain was called “The North Mountain” and his land was on the eastern flank.

The years of 1754 and 1755 signaled the beginning of the French and Indian war.

All was not tranquil on Conococheaque and the worst was yet to come. In 1755, the French and Indians smashed General Braddock’s column a few miles to the west, killed Braddock himself, and set the frontier aflame. In 1756, Gov. Sharpe of Maryland wrote, “The fine settlement of Conococheaque is quite deserted”.

Stephen Ulrich and family had hurredly abandoned ship, but where did they go?

The War Years

This land looks beautiful, idyllic and serene today, but it wasn’t always this way.

Philip Jacob Miller land Allegheny Mountains

During the time that the Brethren were settling, first near Hanover, PA, then Maryland, they weren’t the only people who felt they had a right to this land.

The Native tribes had good relations for decades with both Pennsylvania and Maryland. Both colonies bought land from the tribes. The problem was twofold.

First, the Native idea of land use and ownership was different from that of Europeans. While the Europeans “bought” the land from the Indians whose villages were physically on the land, those weren’t the only Indians with an interest in the land. Other tribes could well feel an ownership towards the land in terms of using it for hunting, or for travel. Once the Europeans owned it, they felt they owned it exclusively and anyone else that infringed in any way was trespassing. The worldview of the Indians and the Europeans was quite different, which put them squarely at odds with each other.

While Pennsylvania and Maryland were negotiating in good faith, others were not. For example, the Indians were promised land in the Ohio Valley, undisturbed, and that settlers would not cross the Proclamation line in 1763, promises which were immediately broken.  There was a long history of European misrepresentation, mis-set expectations, broken promises and treaties.

1763-proclamation-line

Secondly, both the French and English in the northern part of the colonies, and the Spanish in the southern tier were trying to do two things at once. They were trying to displace the Indians and at the same time, trying to win them over to their side in terms of warfare. This means that the Indians were in conflict with the French, English and Spanish and having internal conflicts between tribes as well. Old conflicts were not forgotten, and new injuries added to the list as the Indians sided with the French and raided the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland, for example.

The Braddock expedition, also called Braddock’s campaign or, more commonly, Braddock’s Defeat, was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne (modern-day downtown Pittsburgh) in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. Braddock was defeated at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, and the survivors retreated. The expedition takes its name from General Edward Braddock, who led the British forces and died in the effort. Braddock’s defeat was a major setback for the British in the early stages of the war with France and has been described as one of the most disastrous defeats for the British in the 18th century.

Before setting out on this expedition, Braddock had been warned about the Indians and their ambush style of attacks, which he poopooed. A decision he would regret, but did not live to regret. The families in Frederick County, Maryland would watch more than 200 of Braddock’s men move between the Potomac River and Antietam Creek on land owned by Brethren Johann Michael Mueller.

Braddock’s men marched through the woods in their red coats, in formation, in columns, drums and pipers playing and flags flying. They made one fine target of themselves. The Indians must have thought them insane.

General Braddock’s defeat in 1755 left the entire frontier at the mercy of the French and their Indian allies, who were both trying to displace the settlers in Pennsylvania, Maryland and part of Virginia against the “Endless Mountains,” the Blue Ridge and Alleghenies. Attacks on the settlements began at once with Braddock’s defeat.

There were plenty of British and German settlers who had moved to the frontier who were sitting ducks, and the Indians descended upon them.

By June 28th of 1755, Governor Sharpe of Maryland sent a document to the lower house: “a party of French Indians last Monday morning (June 23) fell on the inhabitants of this province and killed two men and one woman…eight other persons they have taken prisoners and carried off…”

In general, with some exceptions, you were far better off to be killed quickly than taken captive. The horrors that captives were subjected to are simply too gruesome to describe.

A French Captain wrote shortly after Braddock’s defeat that they had succeeded in “ruining the three adjacent provinces of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, driving off the inhabitants and totally destroying settlements over a tract of country thirty leagues reckoning from the line of Fort Cumberland.”  Thirty leagues is about 103 miles.  Fort Cumberland is at the right upper end of the map below.

braddocks-military-road

Col. Adam Smith reported from Fort Cumberland that “the smoak of burning plantations darkens the day and hides the neighboring mountains from out of sight.”

“They kill all they meet…” wrote Claude Godfrey, a priest. Women and maidens were reported to be abused, then slaughtered or burned.

Fort Cumberland was about 65 miles west of the area near Hagerstown where the Brethren lived, and the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Stephen’s land was well within the circle of destruction – and he would have had to go at least 40 miles east to be even remotely safe.

ulrich-frederick-to-fort-cumberland

On October 9, 1755, the Maryland Gazette ran this story:

Last Wednesday morning the Indians carried off a woman from Frazier’s plantation…killed Benjamin Rogers, his wife and 7 children, and Edmund Marle, one family of 12 persons, besides 15 others, all in Frederick County. On Patterson Creek many families have within this month been murdered, carried away or burnt in their houses.” It goes on to say that “near Town Creek…a few miles this side of Cresaps more settlers were killed or carried away.

Patterson’s Creek is near Fort Cumberland and Town Creeks is west of Stephen Ulrich’s land.

By 1756, the territory around Cumberland was almost entirely deserted and George Washington wrote on April 22 that stories of the “butchering enemy melt me into such deadly sorrow that I would willingly offer myself a willing sacrifice…provided that would contribute to the people’s ease.”

And then on March 11, 1756, the Maryland Gazette reports this incident very close to where the Brethren families lived:

On the 26th instant…we found John Meyers house in flames and 9 or 10 head of large cattle killed. About three miles further up the road we found one Hynes killed and scalped with one arm cut off and several arrows sticking out of him. Further on they found a fortified house full of 40 women who told them they had been surrounded by Indians. But when the attackers tried to burn the house, the women extinguished it with ‘soapsuds’.

Never, never underestimate the ingenuity of a group of desperate women.

Those who didn’t leave were virtual captives in their home. Going to the fields to work or the creek for water was a life-threatening adventure. Many entire families lost their lives. Most families lost someone.

Near the close of the Revolutionary War, one Mr. Butterfield reported, “From Pittsburgh south…there are few families who have not lived therein any considerable length of time that had not lost some of their number by the merciless Indians.” (Replogle)

Living on the frontier was not for the faint of heart or spirit. But then again, being of a dissenting religion in Europe hadn’t been safe either.

On November 15, 1749, Stephen Ullery had purchased 150 acres in “Digges Choice” from John Digges and on June 3, 1758, “Stephen and Elizabeth Wollery of Frederick County, Maryland sold this land, according to Baltimore County, Maryland land records listed by John Hale Stutzman.

This 1758 record in Baltimore County may provide us with a very important clue. Stephen Ulrich claims he is from Frederick County, but this deed is filed in Baltimore County, where he may have taken refuge during the time the family was seeking shelter from the Indian raids. My assumption had always been that Stephen, and indeed the entire Brethren group had returned to Pennsylvania, but that appears to be incorrect – at least relative to Stephen.

Eventually things quieted down and the survivors returned to their homes. Just what became of the Ulrich family during this time is not known. But when he returned, Stephen Ulrich Jr. had his land resurveyed and named it “Good Neighbor” and was able to persuade his old friend Jacob Stutsman to buy land adjoining his in 1761.

On March 9th, 1761, Jacob Stutzman of the Province of Pennsylvania, farmer, paid 300 pounds to Bernard Stuller for 245 acres called “Good Luck,” with 24 acres of Flaggy Meadow lying on the northeast border of “Good Neighbor.”

On April 21, 1761, Stephen and Elizabeth Wollery of Frederick Co., Maryland sold 150 acres in “Digges Choice” to George Wain or Wine. The surname is likely Wine, because the Wine family married into the Johann Michael Miller family. One tract had been sold to Jacob Stutzman by 1759 and Stutzman sold his land to Wine as well, probably when Stutzman moved to Frederick County and purchased “Good Luck.” Deeds were made to clear the record.

1761 – April 21 – Deed – Stephen Ulrich of Manham Twp York Co for 10 pounds sold to George Wain of same place 200 acre tract of land whereon the said George Wain now dwells in Manheim Twp which was granted unto me by warrant dated Feb 17 1742…wit Jacob Danner, Ludwig Miller. Ackn April 21 1761 before Michael Danner . (B: pg 179)

Please note that Lodowick’s name is recorded as Ludwig here.

1761 – June 2, 1763, Deed George Wain of Manham Twp, York Co yeoman sold to Conrad Keefaver of same place yeoman one half of a 200 acre tract of land being part adj Martin Kitsmiller Digges and the same Conrad Keefaver…whereas in pursuance of a warrant dated Feb. 16, 1742 there was surveyed and laid out unto Stephen Ullrick a 200 ac tract of land in Manhiem Twp. and the said Stephen Ullerick on April 21, 1761 did convey the tract of land unto the said George Wain. Wit John Wagner, Henery Harris ackn June 12, 1763 before John Pope esqr justice (B: pg 183)

Land Records of York County, pa 1746-1764 by Mary Marshall Brewer p 177

The fact that this land, previously owned by Stephen Ulrich is adjacent the tract owned by Martin Kitsmiller is quite interesting. Martin Kitsmiller was a miller whose land was part of the “disputed land” caught up in the Digges resurvey. A cornerstone in the former mill is dated 1738 and the mill was located near the headwaters of the Little Conewago Creek. He bought his 100 acres on Conewago Creek which was contiguous to Digges Choice from John Lemmon in 1736. It was at Kitzmiller’s Mill in 1752 that John Digges’ son, Dudley was killed when the Baltimore County sheriff attempted to arrest Martin Kitzmiller when Digges tried to force him to repurchase his land. Kitzmiller’s son, Jacob, killed Dudley, but it may well have been accidental during the scuffle. Ironically, it was during this trial that it was determined that Kitzmiller’s Pennsylvania warrants were valid and Maryland, where Jacob Kitzmiller was being tried, had no jurisdiction to do anything at all, including collect taxes or arrest anyone, for anything, in Pennsylvania.

On September 29, 1761, Stephen Ulrick and Nicholas Martin of Frederick County, Maryland received a patent for 425 acres for which they obtained a warrant on August 27, 1759. This tract was called “Stephen’s Hope” and included a former survey, “Much Grumbling,” which had not been taken up by Jacob Funk.

Stephen Ulrick recorded a release September 24, 1762.

I, Charles Carrol of Annapolis, barrister, heir and executor of Charles Carroll the mortgage for 193 pounds 19 shillings paid by Stephen Ulrich, farmer and interest. Signed Chas Carroll. Duty paid.

Frederick County Land Records, Liber G and H Abstracts, 1761-1763, Abstracted by Patricia Abelard Andersen, p 56

More Warfare – Pontiac’s Revolt

However, in 1763, this area would see a repeat of the warfare that occurred in 1754-1756 in the French and Indian War – except even worse, if that can be imagined.

From Francis Parkman’s book, “History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac,” we learn frightening details about Pontiac’s Revolt. In May of 1763, with Indians from as far away as the Mississippi, Pontiac descended on the English settlers and garrisons from Detroit to the Carolinas in a concerted warfare effort.

Parkman tells us:

It was upon the borders that the storm of Indian war descended with appalling fury, a fury unparalleled through all the past and succeeding years. For hundreds of miles from north to south, the country was wasted with fire and steel…the ranging parties who visited the scene of devastation beheld, among the ruined farms and plantations, sights of unspeakable horrors; and discovered in the depths of the forest, the half-consumed bodies of men and women, still bound fast to the trees where they had perished in the fiery torture.

Somehow both Stephen Ulrich and Jacob Stutzman survived. We don’t know if they went back east and stayed with families there, or perhaps they took shelter in Fort Frederick, located 8 or 10 miles distant, as the crow flies. On the map below, the Ulrich property is just below Maryland/Pennsylvania border at Dry Run. Fort Frederick is on the Potomac River.

ulrich-to-fort-frederick

Today the fort is restored.

fort-frederick

“Fort Frederick walls” by Acroterion – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fort_Frederick_walls.jpg#/media/File:Fort_Frederick_walls.jpg

Here is an artist’s rendering of how the fort would likely have looked when these families would have been living in the vicinity – and perhaps taking shelter here.

fort-frederick-rendering

“Fort Frederick, Hagerstown vicinity (Washington County, Maryland)” by Albert S. Burns, Photographer – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID hhh.md0835.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fort_Frederick,_Hagerstown_vicinity_(Washington_County,_Maryland).jpg#/media/File:Fort_Frederick,_Hagerstown_vicinity_(Washington_County,_Maryland).jpg

There were other, smaller forts as well – basically fortified homes – probably similar to the home found on the land that may have been Stephen’s. We know at least one of these, the Philip Davis home wasn’t far from Stephen’s land, because Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, of the Mason-Dixon line fame stayed at his home while surveying the line that would eventually dissect Jacob Stutzman’s land into two states. On October 4th, 1763 the surveyors crossed a spring at the foot of the North Mountain. It’s quite surprising that the surveyors and homesteaders were still in this area.  Perhaps the warfare had not spread this far east yet.

I’m sure the families of Jacob and Stephen watched this surveying process with great curiosity and perhaps some trepidation, uncertain of what the results would mean.  I wonder if they were more frightened of the Indians or what the surveys could mean to them if they found themselves in the “wrong” state.  And as for Stephen, he had to worry regardless, given that it appears his land was in both states.

One thing is certain, the Brethren, including Stephen Ulrich, didn’t remain in their homes as warfare descended upon them once again. We have historical records stating that all of this area of Maryland was abandoned. We know that some of the area families took shelter in the Fort – although I would think the men in the fort would have been expected to defend it, were it to be attacked. Under those circumstances, the Brethren families were probably more likely to have taken their families back east and found refuge among family or church members. Perhaps Stephen went back to Baltimore County, again.

However, we do know where Stephen was on May 28, 1763. In 1763, in the midst of all of the wartime upheaval, which included vacating their land in Frederick County for several years, we find Stephen Ulrich and Nicholas Martin attending the Great Council of the Brethren in 1763 in Conestoga.

Conewago, in the book, “A History of the Church of the Brethren in Southern District Pennsylvania” is noted as being near current Ephrata, PA and also as being the current congregation of White Oak in Lancaster County.

ephrata-to-hagerstown

Stephen’s name appears on an annual report with that of Nicholas Martin, Jacob Stutzman and both Nicholas and Daniel Leatherman in the Conestoga area, near Germantown, where the annual Brethren meeting was held. Does this imply that this is perhaps where the Brethren families on the frontier retreated to when their homes were in danger? Stephen may have been unwilling to fight, but he surely would not have left his family in danger to attend the meeting in Germantown.  Had the warfare not yet reached Frederick County?  Did they go back home to their families, only to have to vacate shortly?

We don’t know where these Brethren families lived from late 1763 until about 1765 when they returned to Frederick County, but it’s likely this entire area evacuated eastward and joined other Brethren families.

It was also about this time that these two families became even more intertwined. About 1765 Christina Ulrich married Jacob Stutzman Jr.

Stephen’s Hope

In 1766, an unusual transaction takes place, that upon analysis, is most likely a deed to Elizabeth Ulrich, sister of Stephen Ulrich (Jr.). We know that Stephen Ulrich Jr.’s daughter Elizabeth married Daniel Miller about 1774, so the only other known Elizabeth that this could be in Stephen Jr.’s sister – and the only reason that seems logical for a deed to be conveyed to Elizabeth, yet unmarried, is as an estate settlement.

On November, 18,1766, Elizabeth Ulrich is deeded part of the land called “Stephen’s Hope”, which was then sold to Anthony Hartman, 17 Nov. 1768, (Frederick County, MD deed Book L, page 559, 560) in consideration of the sum of “sixty pounds current money of Pennsylvania.”

Elizabeth was deeded this property by Stephen Ulrich, Jr.  and Nicholas Martin who had patented this land together in 1761, obtained originally in 1759. Elizabeth was not yet married to Jacob Snively in 1766. The “Stephen’s Hope” tract was located in the Middle Creek Valley in Frederick Co. some miles distant from the Ulrich and Shively homesteads.

On the map below, you can see Stephen’s “Good Neighbor” land near North Mountain at the state line in the upper left hand corner of this map, and the Middle Valley lies just north of Ellerton, in the south corner of this map.  As the crow flies, this land is at least 15 or 16 miles distant, and further as the wagon travels.

ulrich-middle-valley

1766 – P 851-853 – Stephen Ulrick Jr recorded Dec. 8, 1786 made Nov 18 between Nicholas Martin and Stephen Ulrick for 48 pounds sells part of a track called Stephen’s Hope. M&b given for 141 acres. Signed in German Script by Stephen Ulrich, Nicolays Martin before Joseph Smith, Peter Bainfridge, receipt ack by partied and AF paid.

Pg 153-155 Stephen Ulrick Jr recorded Dec. 8, 1766 made Nov 18th between Nicholas Martin and Stephen Ulrick for 3 pounds part of a tract called Much Grumbling, m&b given for 21 acres. Signed same as before.

Pg 855 Elizabeth Ulrick recorded Dec. 8, 1766 made Nov 18 between Stephen Ulrick and Nichlas Martin of FC for 4 pounds sells part of tract called Stephen’s Hope.

Pages 856-858 are missing.  We have no idea what might have been held on these pages.  One this is certain, it likely had to do with this land because pages 859 and 860 still regard these transactions.

Pages 859-860 – m&b for 133 acres signed in German script by Stephen Ulrick, Nicholas Martin, Receipt from Elizabeth Ulrick for 48#. Ack and AF paid.

Frederick Co. Md Land Records Liber K Abstracts, 1765-1768 abstracted by Patricia Abelard Andersen, pg 71

Pages 922 – 924 – Daniel Gaver recorded January 9, 1767 (or 1761) made Dec 18 between Stephen Ulrick and Nicholas Martin for 48 pounds sells tract Stephen’s Hope m&b given adj to Much Grumbling containing 80 acres. Signed in german script by Stephen Ulrick and Nicollaus Martin before Thomas Price, P. Bainbridge. Receipt of deed. AF paid

Frederick Co. Md Land Records Liber K Abstracts, 1765-1768 abstracted by Patricia Abelard Andersen, p 76

When you read the survey narrative for Stephen’s Hope, it states:

30 day March 1753.  Surveyed for a certain John Leatherman added by a resurvey to a tract of land called Much Grumbling as any other vacant land thereto contiguous.

The patent info shows Leatherman’s tract ‘Much Grumbling’ is dated 1743, and was for 30 acres. It is hard to read, but the narrative lists a stream that runs into what looks like Kittowakin Creek. However, there is no stream that carries that name today in either Washington or Frederick County, MD. (Bill Thomas)

When Anthony Hardman bought this Frederick Co. MD farm in 1768, he paid in cash with Pennsylvania money.

Frederick Co., MD Land Record, Liber L, folio 559 dated 17 Nov. 1768, Anthony Hardman from Jacob Snively, sell tract, part of “Stephens Hope” for 133 acres.

Obviously Elizabeth had married “Jacob Snively” by this time.

ulrich-stephens-hope-survey

ulrich-stephens-hope-survey-1

ulrich-stephens-hope-survey-2

ulrich-stephens-hope-survey-3

This 425 acres wasn’t developed land.  The note on the survey says that there are about 4 acres of cultivated ground and about 500 “old fense logges.”

Stephen’s Second Naturalization

1767 – The division of Jacob Stutzman’s land between Maryland and Pennsylvania may ultimately have caused him to have to be naturalized in Pennsylvania, an act that went directly against his Brethren beliefs. The survey that established the Mason-Dixon line was begun in 1763 and completed in 1767, and the crew would have worked directly through Jacob’s land.  If indeed, part of Stephen Ulrich’s land was also bisected by this line, the same logic would apply as to why he would be naturalized a second time.

ulrich-mason-dixon-3

In the actual survey map of the Mason-Dixon line above, you can see this area just to the right of North Mountain which is located above the V.  Coneccocheague is the river between the I and the N in Province, below the drawing.  Little Conococheague Creek runs between North Mountain and the mountain range shown between North Mountain and Conecocheague Creek, right above the I.  It’s possible that Jacob Stutzman’s house is shown beside the mountain on the Pennsylvania side – which would be Cumberland County.  Both Stephen Ulrich’s and Jacob Stutzman’s land would have fallen between these two landmarks – the first row of mountains and Conecocheague Creek.

Jacob and Stephen’s naturalization record on April 10, 1767 says that Jacob Stutzman of Cumberland County, PA appeared before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia to be naturalized. Stephen Ulrich of Frederick Co. Maryland was naturalized as well as several other “foreigners…who conscientiously scruple to take an oath…but took the affirmation and made and repeated the Declaration according to the Directions of the Act of King George the Second.”

The only Stephen Ulrich that could be being naturalized in 1767 would be Stephen Jr., who we know was born in Germany due to the 1738 Maryland naturalization. His father was presumed dead by this time, and Stephen Ulrich (the third) would have been born in the colonies, so wouldn’t need to be naturalized.

I can just see this group of reluctant Brethren men, standing there uncomfortably shuffling and probably staring at their feet. There were at least two other Brethren too, Michael Miller and his son, Philip Jacob Miller. There were also a few other men from Frederick County who were also “affirmers” so likely Brethren as well. It’s no trivial feat to get from Hagerstown to Philadelphia, so this must have been important, regardless of the reason.  And for Stephen, he got to be “shamed” twice.  Being naturalized once wasn’t enough.  Perhaps he wasn’t yet Brethren the first time.

Map Frederick co to Philly

Good Neighbor

In 1767, Stephen Ulrich resurveys his existing Germania, along with two other tracts that are “vacant,” into a 694 acre tract called “Good Neighbor.”  Stephen lived on Germania (also spelled Germony) from 1751 until he died. His brother John lived nearby, reportedly (but no confirming deed) next to the mountains.  John could well have lived on some of Stephen’s land.

Stephen’s Good Neighbor survey, amended, is shown below.

ulrich-good-neighbor-survey

ulrich-good-neighbor-survey-1

ulrich-good-neighbor-survey-2

ulrich-good-neighbor-survey-3

This survey combines the original Germania property with two more and is now called Good Neighbor.  The improvements are listed as a quarter acre cleared and 230 old fence posts.  The survey says that Germania was originally purchased from Hance Waggoner on May 24, 1751 and that Hance held the original warrant for 435 acres.

1768 – Stephen Ulrich sells 60 acres to George Butterbaugh, 139 to Daniel Ulrich, 106 to John Snider and 40 to John Metzger. Elizabeth is no longer mentioned, so she may have died by this time. Replogle 117

This sale totals 345 of the total 445 acres.  Did Stephen retain 100 acres for himself?

A Butterbaugh descendant’s map of George Butterbaugh’s holdings places this 60 acre tract just slightly above the Mason-Dixon line. If correct, this means that in 1765 the Mason-Dixon line crossed the very top of “Good Neighbor.”

On May 24, 1772, Nicholas Martin, the Brethren minister in Frederick County wrote a letter to Alexander Mack Jr. in which he says, “as regards Brother Stephen…has now become more reluctant (to be ordained) because he thinks he has become estranged to the brethren throughout the country because he became naturalized…” This is supposed to refer to “Stephen Woller,” Martin’s assistant. This letter also said that brother Stephen’s brother John moved away, which is accurate, given that John Ulrich moved to Bedford County, PA prior to 1772. (Olds referencing Donald Durnbaugh in “The Brethren in Colonial America.”)

1773 – Jacob Stutzman wrote his will and Stephen Ulrich signed as a witness in German script. The Stutzman book says this will still survives in the archives of Cumberland County, PA probate court records, will Number 28. I’d love to obtain a copy of Stephen’s signature.    Jacob Stutzman’s will was probated February 3, 1775.

I wrote to Cumberland County, PA and Diane from the Clerk’s office was kind enough to call me, but the news wasn’t good.  Jacob Stutzman’s will had been “reinforced” with Scotch tape years ago, and is now so hard and fragile they were afraid to handle he document.  She told me they would have an archivist “look at it” which I figured was the kiss of death in terms of ever hearing anything.  But fortunately, I was wrong.

A couple weeks later, I received high quality photographs in the mail, printed on full size paper.  The archivist had managed to open the document, and insert the document into an archival quality plastic sleeve.  Diane then took photos for me.  I’m telling you this so that you will appreciate the effort that Diane and Cumberland County went to, and the photos below are the best we can do.

Diana also sent a copy of Jacob Stutzman’s will as it is written into the will book.  This helps decipher words and names, because the person who copied that will into the official will book knew the players.  Plus, it suggests that the original way Ulery or Ullery was pronounced probably sounded like Woolery to an English-speaker.

jacob-stutzman-will-7

jacob-stutzman-will-8

From these documents, we can see that the witnesses to the will were David Davis, Stephen Woolery (Ulery) and Daniel Woolery (Ulery).  Stephen Woolery (Ulery) also swore an oath when the will was probated, but this signature is partially obscured in the photos.

Now, let’s look at the original document.

The back of the document is shown below.

jacob-stutzman-will-2

The back of this document holds something not recorded in the will book.  Hannah’s statement saying that she is fully satisfied.  Additionally, we find the signature of Stephen Ulrich witnessing her statement, in German script.

jacob-stutzman-will-3

How do we know that the signature above David Davis is Stephen Ulrich’s signature?  By looking at the rest of the document compared to what is recorded.

jacob-stutzman-will-4

Here’s the entire main page of Jacob Stutzman’s will.  It’s very difficult to see the signatures of the witnesses due to the glare.

jacob-stutzman-will-5

Take a look at just the top half, above.  You can see that the translated version says there are three witnesses with the third being David Woolery and the second being Stephen Woolery and the first, obscured under the tape here, being David Davis.

Here’s just the witness signature section.

jacob-stutzman-will-5-cropped

Even though there is glare, you can see the pattern of the signature pretty well.  Now, compare it to the top signature witnessing Hannah’s statement, below.

jacob-stutzman-will-3-cropped

Furthermore, the second half of the main page shows part of Stephen Woolery’s signature under David Davis again.

jacob-stutzman-will-6-cropped

The pattern of the two signatures identified in the clerk’s book as Stephen Woolery match the signature we can see best under Hannah’s statement.

This confirmed that indeed, we do have Stephen’s signature – not once, not twice, but three times. It’s a good thing, because it took all 3 to confirm it actually is his.

1776 – Deed. Joseph Rentch of Frederick Co Md and William Duffield of Peters Twp, Cumberland Co, Pennsylvania, executors to the will of Jacob Stutzman late of Cumberland Co, PA, decd in consideration of the premises and also 5 shillings sold to George Wine of Heidelberg Twp, York Co, yeoman a 55 acre tract of land in Heidelberg Twp….whereas on Nov 19, 1759 John Digges of Baltimore Co., MD sold to the said Jacob Stutzman then of Baltimore Co MD a 55 ac tract called Digges’ Choice then in Baltimore County but now in Heidelberg Twp, York Co adjacent Stephen Ullery (Book 4 fol 53 and 54 in Maryland) and the said Jacob Stutzman in 1761 sold the tract of land unto the said George Wine for which he hath been since fully paid and whereas the said Stutzman by a bond dated April 18, 1770 became bound unto the said George Wine of 200 pounds conditioned that they should execute unto the said George Wine a deed of conveyance for the 55 acre tract within 7 years, and he said Stutzman on March 15 1773 made his will and did appoint the said Joseph Rentch and he said William Duffield executors and shortly after died without having conveyed the tract of land unto the said George Wine….Wit. James Stevenson, David Moreland, Ack April 24 1776 before William McClean Justice (G:P 217)

This 1776 document confirms that Digges Choice was originally considered to be in Maryland, and that Stephen Ullery (Ulrich) at one time owned this land.

Remarriage and a Prenuptial Agreement

After Stephen’s wife, Elizabeth, died, he married Hannah Stutzman, widow of his devout German Baptist friend and neighbor Jacob Stutzman, Sr. and mother-in-law of his daughter Christina Ulrich Stutzman.

Stephen’s wife, Elizabeth Ulrich probably died between 1761 and 1768 and assuredly before March of 1782, for what now would be called a “Pre-Nuptial Agreement” was signed March 25, 1782 and recorded in the deed records, book C. P. 180 in Washington Co. MD. by “Stephen Ulrich and Hannah Stootsman,” both of Washington Co., Md. Hannah was the widow of Jacob Stutzman who died in 1775. The agreement stipulated that their individual heirs would have no claim to the estates of the other spouse.

This would be a case of Christina Ulrich Stutzman’s father, Stephen Ulrich, marrying Christina’s mother-in-law, Hannah Stutzman – so Christina became her own step-sister-in-law. Her mother-in-law was now her step-mother as well. Stephen was 70 – 72 years old at the time of this marriage and unfortunately, died sometime between 1783 and June of 1785.

Stephen’s Estate

The 1783 tax list of Washington County, Maryland which had been formed from Frederick County lists Stephen Wolery with 324 acres, 3 horses and 3 cattle.

Stephen Ulrich’s “Good Neighbor” consisted of 324 acres, 10 acres of “meadow”, 70 acres of ‘arable’ and 244 acres of ‘wood’. In 1785 his heirs sold this tract. Replogle 118

Jacob Replogle, whose research has been impeccable, tells us that the 324 acres is “Good Neighbor.”  I don’t know whether the tax list says this, or Replogle surmised this, but from the sale calculations, Stephen should only have 100 acres of “Good Neighbor” left.  Because of the missing pages, we don’t know how much, if any, of “Stephen’s Hope” Stephen retained in joint ownership with Nicholas Martin.

We are very fortunate indeed that Stephen Ulrich’s heirs sold his land, as follows:

This indenture made June 17, 1785…between David Ulrick, Stephen Ulrick, Samuel Ulrich, Jacob Stutsman, Christina Stutsman, Daniel Miller, Elizabeth Miller, George Butterbaugh, Jacob Liear, Lidia Liear, all of Washington County, Maryland, for 1510 pounds sold to John Cushwa…tract of land called Good Neighbour which contained 322 acres.

Without this important transaction, we would have no comprehensive record of Stephen’s children, nor who they married.  This record also seems to confirm that the land that Stephen retained at the end of his life was indeed, Good Neighbor.  Perhaps some of the 1768 land sold was Stephen’s Hope.

I can’t help but wonder if there is really a 2 acre discrepancy, of if this is a transcription issue.  Or, was part of Stephen’s land a cemetery?  He had to have buried Elizabeth someplace – as well as be buried someplace himself.

Where was Stephen buried? There was no Brethren church building in 1785, so no official Brethren cemetery. I wonder if he was buried on his farm, along with Elizabeth, in a now-lost cemetery.  Is that the 2 missing acres?  Two acres would be awfully large for a cemetery. 

A Visit to Frederick County, Maryland

When I set out to find Johann Michael Miller’s land in Washington County, Maryland near Hagerstown, in the fall of 2015, I’m ashamed to admit that never thought about the Ulrich land – probably because I didn’t think I could find it. The locations are vague at best.

Michael Miller’s son, Philip Jacob Miller, would marry a woman named Magdalena whose surname is unknown. By the time Philip Jacob’s son, Daniel would marry Elizabeth Ulrich, about 1774, I was under the assumption that they were already in Bedford County, PA…but they weren’t. I hate the word assume. Or more specifically, I hate it when I assume anything because it almost always turns out to be incorrect.

Daniel Miller and Elizabeth Ulrich were likely married in Frederick County about 1774. In reality, we don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that the Ulrich family was living in the area as part of the Brethren group that formed and continued to move together to new lands, eventually finding their way to Bedford County, PA, Dayton, Ohio, Elkhart County, Indiana and some on to points further west.  They generally established Brethren Churches along the way.

We also know that Daniel and Elizabeth Ulrich Miller were still (or again) living in Washington County in 1785 when Elizabeth Ulrich and Daniel Miller sold her father’s property.

After I was already on the road, I read in my Miller notes that John Hale Stutzman had placed the Ulrich family, by using deeds, west of Conococheague Creek, right on or maybe even spanning between the Maryland/Pennsylvania line, and near Fairview Road.

I looked on Google maps, and that’s all I needed. I was off!!!

ulrich-land-frederick-satellite

I figured the best chance I had at actually driving across the Ulrich land is to drive across Wishland Road (unlabeled above) which runs from just north of Conococheague Creek, parallel with the Creek for a ways, then intersecting at the state line on Cearfoss Pike. I did just that.  I might have been a bit off in terms of location, slightly east, but come along anyway.  Certainly this land has not changed much, other than clearing trees.

Below, Conococheague Creek from the bridge.  Stephen would have been quite familiar with this waterway.  He probably forded this “creek” here, at least when the water was low.

ulrich-conococheague-creek

Beautiful farm land.

ulrich-field

The “Endless Mountains” are quite close here. It is reported that Stephen’s brother John lived near the mountains as well, before he moved to Bedford County prior to 1772. Stephen’s brother, Daniel, would have lived in the area too, buying land from Stephen, before he too moved to Bedford County.

ulrich-mountains

This probably is not the actual Ulrich land, but this home is just stunning, as is the barn. I can see Stephen Ulrich here, can’t you? Hardly the “quarter acre cleared and 230 old fence posts“ anymore!

ulrich-farm

Looking close, you can see the satellite dish.  Times have changed, but not terribly visibly otherwise.

ulrich-farm-house

While much of Virginia and West Virginia are reforested, Maryland is not, and flat land here is farmed.

ulrich-fall-field

John Stutzman’s book provides a map and tells us that Stutzman’s land was where Pennsylvania 75 intersects Maryland 57 which is today’s 494, Fairview Road in Maryland and Fort Loudon Road in Maryland.  The road that continues to the west become 57 in Maryland.

On the map below, you can see all of the landmarks, North Mountain to the west, the three roads mentioned above, Cearfoss Pike and Conocheague Creek.  The total distance, as the crow flies, between Cearfoss Pike at the state line to North Mountain in about 4 miles.  Stephen lived here for about 34 years and probably knew these roads, which were no more than wagon trails at that time, like the back of his hand.  Someplace, both he and his wife are buried here.

ulrich-land-frederick-satellite-2

Here’s the state line today, about where the barn stands, and the old road running beside the modern one.

ulrich-state-line

Stephen’s Wife

Stephen’s wife’s name was Elizabeth, according to several deeds, who is reported to be Elizabeth Cripe, but with absolutely no documentation of any surname. It stands to reason that if Stephen bought land in 1742, he was probably recently married and he assuredly married within the Brethren community if he and/or his father were Brethren church founders in 1738. 

Stephen’s Children

Much has been written about the children of Stephen Ulrich, and much confusion exists between generations, mostly because the same first names were used over and over again.

I’m using the document written by Dan Olds in 2003, because his research is impeccable and he does not “add” children who are not present in Stephen’s estate settlement.

I should probably mention here that Daniel Ulrich of Bedford County is often attributed to Stephen (Jr.) but there is no Daniel mentioned in the 1785 estate distribution, and since there was no will, all of Stephen’s children would have been included in that distribution. We know that one Daniel Ulrich was the brother of Stephen (Jr.) The Daniel appearing in Bedford County seems to be too old to be a son of Stephen Jr. If he was Stephen’s son, he would have already purchased and been running a mill when he was about 20 years old, and that’s pretty much unheard of.

Stephen Ulrich Jr.’s children were:

  • David Ulrich born about 1746 and died in 1823, married Barbara and had 7 children. They lived in Montgomery County, Ohio.
  • Stephen Ullery born about 1750 and died in 1835. He married Susan Rench and they lived in Morrison’s Cove in Bedford County, PA and then in Montgomery County, Ohio.
  • Christina Ulrich born about 1752 and died about 1810. She married Jacob Stutzman (Jr.) who later became her step-brother when their widowed parents married. They eventually moved to Montgomery County, Ohio.
  • Samuel Ulrich born about 1754 and died in 1822. He married Mary Brumbaugh and they lived in Bedford County, PA.
  • Elizabeth Ulrich born about 1757 and died in 1832. She married Daniel Miller and they moved first to Bedford County, PA, then to Clermont County Ohio, then to Montgomery County, Ohio.
  • Mary Ulrich born about 1760 and died about 1842. She married George Butterbaugh and they lived in Bedford County, PA.
  • Hannah Ulrich born about 1762 and died in 1798. She married Henry Butterbaugh and they lived in Washington County, Maryland.
  • Lydia Ulrich born about 1764 and died about 1810. She married Jacob Lear, Jr and they lived in Cambria County, PA.

Stephen’s Y DNA

Unfortunately, no directly descended Ulrich males from either Stephen Jr. or Stephen Sr. have taken the Y DNA test. That’s hard to believe, I know, given how many children these Brethren families had. Stephen’s male children, whose direct male line descendants are eligible to take a Y DNA test are bolded above.  The test requires a male who descends from one of the Ulrich male ancestors and carries the Ulrich (by any spelling) surname.

The Y chromosome is passed from father to son, without any of the mother’s DNA, and the Y chromosome lineage follows the surname line of descent.

By testing a male Ulrich that descends from this line, we can determine Stephen’s deep heritage, his clan, for lack of a better word. In addition, we may match a male Ulrich from Germany who has tested – and there are some – which will help us determine where our Ulrich line is from.

If you are a male Ulrich who descends from this line, I have a DNA testing scholarship for the first male Ulrich to come forth.

If not you, do you know an Ulrich male who might be interested?

Sources and Acknowledgements:

  • Replogle – “Ancestors on the Frontier” by Justin Replogle (1998), self published and out of print
  • Wrightsman – “The Elusive Stephen Ulrich” (Dec 2004) Dwayne Wrightsman
  • Olds – “Ulrich Line” by Dan W. Olds (January 26, 2003)

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Radegonde Lambert (1621/1629-1686/1693), European, Not Native, 52 Ancestors #132

The first Acadians began arriving on the island of Nova Scotia in eastern maritime Canada in 1604, settling in 1605 near to what is today Annapolis Royal.

acadian-map

By Mikmaq – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1351882

Today, the original location of Port Royal is a national historic site known as the Habitation at Port-Royal. After it’s destruction in 1613, Port Royal was re-established about 6 miles away as Annapolis Royal (Fort Anne), shown below, but was still called Port Royal at that time.

acadian-fort-anne-port-royal

By paulhami – http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulhami/3455802235/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7920932

This drawing shows Port Royal in 1753. Even half a century after Radegonde Lambert’s death, this village is still very small.

acadian-port-royal-1753

The first decade in “New France” was difficult, at best, with many false starts. Most of the men that settled in this region were interested in fishing and fur trading, not farming. Politically, the land in Canada was subject to the political winds in Europe, so the “ownership” of the region was not only disputed, but changed hands, being ruled by the French, the Scots and the British.

Ships came and went. Many settlers died. Those settlers that lived, male or mostly male, intermarried with the Micmac Indians.

Beginning in about 1610, some French women may have arrived with their husbands, but the dates are uncertain, as are the number of woman.

Because of this, most of the early births are presumed to be a result of a marriage, “legal,” meaning Catholic and blessed by the church, or not. I’m guessing that young men with no available European women, not to mention no priests for many years, didn’t much care about the sacraments nearly as much as they cared about female company.

Radegonde’s Birth

Radegonde Lambert was probably born between 1621 and 1629.

It’s believed by some that she was born in Cap-du-Sable, according to the compiled records of professional genealogist, Karen Theroit Reader, assuming Radegonde is the daughter of Jean Lambert, which may not be a safe assumption at all.

However, Jean Lambert is the only Lambert male in Acadia at that time, so if Radegonde was born in Acadia, it would have been to Jean.

Cap-du-Sable, meaning Sandy Cape, is an island off the far southern tip of Nova Scotia that was settled by Acadians who migrated from Port Royal in 1620. The men who lived on this island specialized in the fur trade.

Radegonde in the Records

The first actual peek we get of Radegonde Lambert is in the 1671 Census, in Port Royal. Thankfully, the women are listed by their birth surnames. Thank you, Acadians! Without this information, we would surely be lost.

You can see the original script of the entire 1671 census at this link.

acadians-1671-census

In case you can’t read the entry for Radegonde’s husband, Jean Blanchard, it says that he is a laborer, living in Port Royal, Acadia, age 60. His name is spelled Jehan and his wife is Radegonde Lambert, age 42. They have 6 children and 3 are married. They have 5 arpens of land under cultivation, 12 cattle and 9 sheep. An arpent of land is about .84 acres.

From this census, we see that Radegonde is born in 1629.

However, and in genealogy, it seems like there is always a “however,” in the 1686 census, Radegonde’s age is given as 65, which would put her birth year as 1621.

In the 1693 census, she no longer appears, so she died sometime between 1686 and 1693, between the ages of 57 and 72, depending on what year she was actually born and in which year she died.

Radegonde’s Mother

Many of researchers believe that Radegonde Lambert’s mother was Micmak (Mi’kmaq). Why?

Primarily because if she was the daughter of Jean Lambert, one of the earliest settlers, it was believed that his wife had to be Indian because there were no French women in Acadia at that time.

Several researchers have reported variations on the story for many years, causing significant controversy.

Adding fuel to the fire for Radegonde to be Native, genealogist Alexandre Alemann, the ex-director of the Drouin Institut, assembled a list of those he believed to be Native – and Radegonde was on that list.

A second story about the origins of Radegonde Lambert claims that she was French, and came to Acadia with her husband, Jean Blanchard.

The following excerpt is from “The Origins of the Pioneers of Acadia” by Stephen A. White in relation to depositions taken in France after the deportment of the Acadians from Canada in 1755:

It is well known that there is very little original documentation that provides data regarding the places of origin of the earliest settlers of the French colony of Acadia. None of the colony’s parish registers for the seventeenth century survive, except one slim record book containing the sacramental entries for Beaubassin from 1679 to 1686. Additionally, there are but a couple of extant notarial records from the same period. And, unfortunately, the various Acadian censuses, beginning in 1671, make no mention of places of origin, unlike the detailed enumeration made in the small neighbouring colony of Plaisance in Newfoundland in 1698. (For more information about the early records of Acadia and Plaisance, see the bibliography of the present writer’s Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes, Première partie, 1636 à 1714 [hereinafter DGFA-1] [Moncton: Centre d’études acadiennes, 1999], Vol. I, pp. xvii-xxv, xxxix-xl, xlv-l.)

On the level of racial origins, there is a source that provides a considerable amount of information. This is the series of fifty-eight depositions of the heads of the Acadian families that were taken down on Belle-Île-en-Mer between February 15th and March 12th, 1767, pursuant to an order from the parliament of Brittany at Vannes. The deponents were required to provide under oath, in the presence of witnesses including other Acadians, the local parish priests, and the Abbé Jean-Louis LeLoutre, former Vicar General of the diocese of Québec and “director” of the Acadian families settled on Belle-Île, all the details they could regarding their own civil status and that of their immediate families, plus their direct-line genealogies back to their first ancestors who came from Europe, “with indication of the places and dates as much as they can remember.” The depositions were intended to take the place of the registers of the parishes in Acadia that had been lost “during the persecution by the British.” In practical terms, they would also furnish the French authorities a means of identifying those who, as refugees from said persecution, were entitled to the King’s bounty and protection.

Two sets of the depositions were made up in 1767. One set of copies was left on Belle-Île, and the other was sent to the district court at Auray. Both sets have been carefully preserved, the latter of the two being now housed in the departmental archives at Rennes.

LAMBERT, Radegonde, came from France with her husband Jean Blanchard, according to Jean LeBlanc, husband of her great-granddaughter Françoise Blanchard (Doc. inéd., Vol. III, p. 43). The deposition of Françoise’s nephews Joseph and Simon-Pierre Trahan is to the same effect (ibid., p. 123). Both depositions mistakenly give Guillaume as the ancestor’s given name. Jean LeBlanc’s makes an additional error regarding the name of Jean Blanchard’s wife, calling her Huguette Poirier. The censuses of 1671 and 1686 meanwhile clearly show that she was named Radegonde Lambert (see DGFA-1, pp. 143-144). The source of these errors is probably a simple confusion arising from the fact that Jean LeBlanc’s wife’s grandfather Martin Blanchard had a brother Guillaume who was married to a woman named Huguette, as this writer explained in an article published in 1984 (SHA, Vol. XV, pp. 116-117). This Huguette was not named Poirier, however, but Gougeon, although her mother, Jeanne Chebrat, had married a man named Jean Poirier before she wed Huguette’s father Antoine Gougeon, and all her male-line descendants in Acadia were Poiriers. Unfortunately, we do not know just what questions Jean LeBlanc asked in trying to establish the Blanchard lineage, but he might certainly have had the impression that Huguette was a Poirier from the fact that so many of her relatives were Poiriers, including her grandnephew Joseph, who was also on Belle-Île in 1767 (see Doc. inéd., Vol. III, pp. 13-15).

It’s not surprising that the husband and nephews of Radegonde Lambert’s great-granddaughter were confused, three generations by marriage (the husband) and 4 generations by birth (nephews) later.  Most people today who aren’t genealogists can’t tell you their grandmothers’ maiden names. Did they perhaps have at least part of that story correct? Did Radegonde come to Acadia with her husband instead of being born there to Jean Lambert and his wife, either Micmac or European?

The quick answer is that we don’t know the exact circumstances of when or how Radegonde arrived, and probably never will. But we do have a very important clue about where she was born.

Radegonde’s DNA

Several descendants of Radegonde Lambert through all females have had their mitochondrial DNA tested. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from the mother to both genders of their children, but only females pass it on.

In Radegonde’s case, her DNA, for several years, also proved as puzzling as the records regarding her birth and mother’s ethnicity. No one but Radegonde’s descendants seems to match her DNA. It’s like Radegonde wanted to play a joke on all of her descendants. And a fine job she did too!

Fortunately, that question has now been resolved, and Radegonde’s DNA, haplogroup X2b4, which is exceedingly rare – as in chicken’s teeth rare – is found only in Europeans, to date, and not in any Native people.

Haplogroup X2b4 was born sometime around 5,500 years ago, in Europe, and given that the Native people migrated to the Americas sometime between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago across the land bridge from Asia into what is now Alaska, it would be impossible for X2b4, born in Europe, to be found among the Micmac women in 1621-1629. There were no European women in Canada in the early 1600s, early enough to be considered Micmac and be bearing children with French men by 1621.

I wrote an article recently about the evidence supporting the fact that Radegonde was indeed European, based on her mitochondrial DNA.

However, the question of whether Jean Lambert is her father, or if she came to Acadia with her husband still remains.

Radegonde’s Children

Karen Theroit Reader provides Radegonde’s children, as shown below. In two census records, in both 1671 and 1678, Radegonde and her husband, Jean Blanchard, are living next door to their son, Guilliame Blanchard who was age 35 in 1686.

  • Madeleine Blanchard born about 1643, probably in Port Royal, died 1678-1684 and married Michel Richard. She had 10 children.
  • Anne Blanchard was born about 1645, probably in Port Royal, died after 1714 in Beaubassin and married first to Francois Guerin, having 5 children, then to Pierre l’aine Gaudet, having 9 children.
  • Martin Blanchard was born about 1647, probably in Port Royal and died after July 4, 1718 in Cobeguit. He married first to Marie Francoise Le Blanc having 3 children, then to Marguerite Guilbeau having 8 children.

The three children, above, would have been the three that were married by 1671. The three below would have been the children still at home.

  • Guillaume Blanchard, born about 1650, probably in Port Royal, died before October 18, 1717 and married Huguette Gougeon, having 12 children.
  • Bernard Blanchard born about 1653, probably in Port Royal and died after the 1671 census but before the 1686 census.
  • Marie Blanchard born about 1656, probably in Port Royal, died after 1701, married to Pierre le jeune Gaudet, having 10 children.

Sadly, at least one and probably two of Radegonde’s children died before her, but as adults. She probably stood in the Garrison Cemetery overlooking the bay and buried these adult children, just as she buried the babies that had probably died decades earlier.

The youngest child of Radegonde was born in 1656, according to the 1671 census, in which Radegonde was shown to be age 42. This certainly makes me wonder why Radegonde had no children in her last 15 years of fertility.

The most likely explanation is twofold. First, this suggests that perhaps she was born closer to the 1621 date, which would make her 50 in 1671. If that was the case, then that would only leave 7 or 8 years of infertility to explain, not 15.

Jean Blanchard was age 60 in 1671. It’s possible that Radegonde was actually 60 instead of 42, although that’s a stretch in terms of the census taker not realizing that her age was in error. There’s a pretty big difference between 42 and 60. After all, there were only 392 people in total in that census, in all locations, including children, so about 65 families. Clearly, the census taker knew Radegonde and was unlikely to make an 18 year error.

More likely Radegonde had several children that died, some of which were probably born after Marie.

If Radegonde’s first child actually was Madeleine, and her first child did not die, then Radegonde’s marriage date would have been roughly 1642 which would suggest her birth year was closer to the earlier 1621 as opposed to 1629.

If Radegonde lost any children before Madeleine’s birth, that would push her marriage year back further, and possibly her birth year as well.

Radegonde’s Burial

The early burials in Port Royal took place in Fort Anne where an Acadian and English garrison cemetery are located. You can visit both on St. George Street at the Fort Anne National Historic Site, today.

acadians-garrison-graveyard-port-royal

Garrison Graveyard location courtesy of FindAGrave.

Radegonde’s daughter-in-law, Huguete Gougeon Blanchard, wife of Guilliame Blanchard is shown at FindAGrave as being buried in this Garrison cemetery which was established in 1632. She died in 1717. Guilliame Blanchard is reportedly buried at Amherst, but this makes little sense since he and his wife died the same year and presumably lived together in the same place prior to death. Amherst is not close to Port Royal, located just south of Moncton on the connecting peninsula to the mainland. Therefore, it’s more likely that the family is buried in the Garrison Cemetery known then as the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cemetery.

acadians-saint-jean-baptiste-cemetery

Before the cemetery in Port Royal became the British garrison graveyard in 1710, it was the Saint-Jean-Baptiste parish cemetery and was used by the Acadian community of Port Royal and by the French Garrison.

acadians-cemeteries-at-port-royal

When the British took the fort in 1710, they destroyed all of the headstones, except for 2, which are still standing today. Unfortunately, neither is for Radegonde.

acadians-garrison-graveyard

I hope to visit Radegonde in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Parish Cemetery, aka the Garrison cemetery, someday soon. I know she is there, even though her grave is no longer marked, and was probably originally only marked with a wooden cross.

Acknowledgements:

I would like to thank cousin Paul LeBlanc for pointing me in the right direction with my Acadian research, for hosting the Acadian Rootsweb list, and for telling me that, “If you’re related to one Acadian, you’re related to all Acadians.”

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Services

Genealogy Research