Go to Glenn Gohr's Dodson Bibliography Page

Go to Broad Run Baptist Church Minutes, 1762-1872e

Back to Glenn Gohr's Dodson Genealogy Page

Back to Glenn Gohr's Genealogy Page

Many thanks to Alley Blackford who is much more proficient in html than I am. In the spring of 1998 she posted these Dodson puzzle items on her web page with my permission. Since that time she has had to drop some of her responsibilities as they relate to the Dodson family, so she has graciously sent me the html so that I can now post these puzzles on my own Dodson pages. In fact, now Alley has taken on an even bigger project. She is the webmaster for the Shenandoah County Virginia GenWeb site. This is where most of Alley's ancestors are from, although she actually lives in Florida. Alley also has a Hottle line which ties in with one line of my Wolverton/Woolverton family. Alley is a great friend and researcher.

These findings and conclusions on the early Dodsons are all taken from messages that I had originally posted to the Dodson Mailing List in January 1998. I have listed the sources where the original information came from. Hopefully this will help to separate fact from fiction, although when it comes to any Jamestown Dodsons there just is not enough information available at this point in time to connect our Charles Dodson with anyone who was at Jamestown. It is still a small possibility, but the proof does not seem to exist. Much can be learned from reading these items. I could write more on some of these topics, but I have left the wording unchanged. I also may have changed now my own conclusions on some of these topics, depending on what new information has come to light. The information is rather lengthy, but feel free to explore all of these puzzles and come to your own conclusions.--gg



The earliest source that I have found for the seeming mythological ancestors of Charles Dodson of North Farnham Parish in Virginia comes from this book. I have the index and about half of this book:

Ege, Thompson P. Dodson Genealogy, 1600-1907. Philadelphia, PA: Deemer & Jaisohn, 1908.

Page 4 of the above book does have a good clue:

"Colonial Annals of Virginia mention 'Dodson's Plantation' in 1632."

Some say this is a reference to the plantation of a John Dodson, who they list as the grandfather of Charles Dodson (c1649-c1704) of Rappannock County and North Farnham Parish in Richmond Co., VA. I do not see enough evidence at this time to establish Charles Dodson's progenitors--gg

Pages 363-364 lists origins of early Virginia branches of Dodsons. It says:

"The annals of Virginia record the name of a 'Dodson Plantation' in 1632. And the traditional story in a large and ______ widely scattered line of descendants is that their ancestor settled along the James River and was one of the early Jamestown Colony."

"Descendants of the early Jamestown settler, from the various Virginia families of which traces are known, must have in the latter part of the century of their first settlement moved ___wly to the western portions of the State."

"Among the earliest names positively known by descendants of a widely scattered family, as of the James River or Jamestown ancestors, are William and Jesse, and these most probably of the first or second generation from the original settler, as the following genealogical tables will show." (Note: The inside margin is very tight, so a couple of the words I cannot read on the photocopy I have, hence the blanks.--gg)

Page 364 shows "A Jesse Dodson Line" starting with a Jesse Dodson, son of George Dodson, and grandson of Jesse, gt-grandson of the early settler of the Jamestown colony (name not given for the Jamestown settler).

Page 366 lists Leonard Dodson, son of George, gson of Jesse, gt- grandson of the early Virginia settler.

Page 371 lists Thomas Dodson, son of George, gson of Jesse, gt- grandson of the early Virginia ancestor.

Page 392 lists William Dodson, son of George, gson of Jesse, gt- grandson of the early James River, Va. settler. William had a son named Jesse who settled in Warren County, TN. Jesse's children included 1) Jesse, 2) Elisha, 3) William, 4) Nimrod, 5) Sarah, 6) Tabitha. These descendants migrated into the Estanalle Valley in McMinn County, TN where they were active in the Baptist church.

No documentation is given for any of the above. Much more is given on descendants in each of these lines. The do not show Charles Dodson of N. Farnham Parish in the lineage, but some of these names, especially the ones in Estanalle Valley of TN are listed in Rev. S. E. Lucas's 2-vol. book (see Rev. Jesse Dodson, b. 1752 who md. his cousin Ruth Dodson on pp. 42-44 of the 2-vol. book--this appears to be his family, but Rev. Jesse is son of Rev. Thos. Dodson and a gt-grandson of Charles Dodson of N. Farnham Parish, so the lineage in the Ege book does not line up with the lineage in the Lucas book. The connection to Jamestown is interesting, and these lineages may provide some clues for researchers, but they cannot be taken as fact.

The above book also covers Dodsons in Maryland and Dodsons in Pennsylvania, and some unplaced Dodsons. There is also mention of 3 early Dodson settlers (2 brothers and a sister--John Dodson, b. March 1655; Mary Dodson, b. 11 Nov. 1664 md. Richard Boyes; Thomas Dodson, b. 19 Oct. 1669; md. Katharine Savill) who settled in New Jersey and were Quakers and children of a Daniel Dodson, b. ca. 1635 of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England. These appear to be the ancestors of Dodsons in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.


Glenn Gohr



Source: Ancestors of Robert Dodson and His Descendants. Written by Mrs. C. T. Dodson; Illustrated by Miss Oneida Uzzell. Privately published, {1964?] (Note: This book is 115 p. and is located in the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX, call # R929.2 D647d)

I have the table of contents and some of the introductory pages--gg. I will include excerpts here:

The book starts out with information on the Jamestown colony, and Charles Dodson of Richmond Co.., VA on pp. 1-3:


"John (1) Dodson came over to America from England with Capt. John Smith in 1607. There were a hundred and five men in this company that founded the first permanent English Colony in America.

"They reached the capes of Virginia April 1607, and sailed up the broad river, thirty two miles from the river's mouth. They named the river, James and their settlement Jamestown, in honor of their King.

"The colonists soon erected cabins out of poles and branches and some dug caves to live in.

"The site of the colony was unhealthy, and the deaths, especially during the first few years of the colony, were horrifying. From 1606 to 1618, a period of twelve years, eighteen hundred immigrants sailed from England for Virginia. At the end of that time only six hundred were living.

"Attacks by Indians, starvation, and the system of holding property in common added to the difficulties of the colonists. But in 1612 they began to grow tobacco and they fared better.

"The year 1619 brought three important events to Virginia and the colonists. Virginia was permitted to enjoy a measure of self government; a ship load, eighty, of prospective wives arrived from England (probably Jesse (2) Dodson and William (2) Dodson married two of these women). The colonist could secure a wife, with her permission, and by paying her transportation, in the amount of one hundred and twenty pounds of tobacco--about $500 dollars worth; and the first Negro slaves landed in Virginia

"In spite of all the hardships John (1) Dodson survived and was reported to have been a mighty hunter and fur trader and in his dealings with the Indians became the possessor of large bodies of land. He was a good citizen (see Record Chapter).

"We find descendants of this early Jamestown settler in every emigrant western movement. Children:

"a. Jesse (2)  MORE LATER
"b. William (2) no more information on him.


 "Jesse (2) Dodson.  No information on him.  Child:
"a. Charles (3) Dodson, MORE LATER.


"Charles (3) Dodson born about 1649, d. 1705 Richmond Co.., Va., m. Ann Dodson (dau. of Benjamine Dodson, who gave his daughter a legacy of land on the James River in Essex Co., Va., May 1652. This joined John Hill, Sr.'s land.) (This Benjamine probably came from England.) Ann m. before 1680 to Charles Dodson. (2nd) John Hill, Jr., after Charles' (3) death. (See Record Chapter for Charles' (3) will.)

"On July 8 Charles (3) Dodson leased land in old Rappahannock Co. Rappahannock Co. became extinct in 1692 being divided into Essex and Richmond counties. Charles (3) Dodson owned land in both counties but resided in North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., Va., where he became a large land owner.

"The records show that from 1680 to 1692 he was busy acquiring land which he and his sons proceeded to improve, and indicated that he had the confidence of his neighbors. We find him witnessing various documents and on several occasions he is named in wills as Executor. In a will of John Lincoln dictated Dec. 18, 1686, the comment was made in the affidavit of witnesses that the maker of the will 'would have no other but Charles Dodson as his executor although several insisted that he have his wife.'

"Until 1686 the Episcopal Church was the State church in Virginia. All children, regardless of religious affiliation, were required to be baptized by the ministers of the church. Dates of birth and names of their parents were recorded in the parish registers. The same information was taken of marriages and burials. These church records are preserved. They are available in the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Va. (See Record Chapter.)

"In the life time of Charles (3) Dodson there were many new immigrants arriving in Virginia from England. They came in boatloads almost every month in the year. More and more settlements were established. By 1700 there were more than 80,000 persons living in the tidewater region of Virginia.

"During this time the colony was in almost constant trouble with their ruler, the English government and its representatives. Mainly the colonists objected to the arbitrary action of the colony officials and their ruthless demands.

"Children of Charles (3) Dodson and Ann Dodson:

"a. Charles (4) m. Anne, d. Aug. 1, 1715
"b. Thomas (4) MORE LATER
"c. Bartholomew Richard (4) m. Elizabeth
"d. William (4)
"e. John (4) m. Elizabeth
"f. Lambert (4), m. Sarah
"g. Anne (4)
"h. Elizabeth (4)"

That concludes the information through page 3. As you can see, Mrs.C. T. Dodson is a very good writer. The facts about Jamestown can be proven through any Encyclopedia or other good source, and they appear to be correct. And she does try to document her material. You may be the judge on the line of descent down to Charles Dodson.

I will post some more of Mrs. C. T. Dodson's information and sources as I have time.


Glenn Gohr


Ancestors of Robert Dodson and His Descendants. Written by Mrs. C. T. Dodson; Illustrated by Miss Oneida Uzzell. Privately published, {1964?] (Note: This book is 115 p. and is located in the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX, call # R929.2 D647d)

Continuing Mrs. C. T. Dodson's book, pp. 4-5 (All of the following is direct quote from the book, unless otherwise noted.):

THOMAS (4) DODSON: Thomas (4) Dodson, b. May 15, 1681, in Richmond Co., Va., d. Nov. 21, 1740, m. Mary Durham (Dau. of Thomas Durham and Dorothy Smoot). [I can find no reference to prove that Dorothy's maiden name was Smoot--gg] They lived in North Farham Parish in Richmond Co., Va. Records on this family are recorded in the North Farnham Register. There are wills and deeds on record in Richmond Co., Va., on the Durham family and the Smoots family. H. W. Newman makes reference to William Smoot, Sr.., in his book "The Smoots of Maryland and Virginia" (Washington, 1936), pages 5 and 6. (Thomas Durham's will is recorded in WILL BOOK 3, pages 210, 211, 212, Richmond Co., Va.) Mary was b. June 5, 1686, Thomas (4) Dodson's will dated Feb. 17, 1739 proved March 1740 Richmond Co., Va. It is the children of this Thomas who went to Southwest Virginia, settling in Pittsylvania Co., Va., prior to May 1767.

From 1676 (Bacon's Rebellion) until 1776 (Revolutionary War) Virginia had a gradual growth in population and continual quarrels with royal governors. As new immigrants arrived, the frontier was pushed further westward until the settlements reached the mountains. In their quarrel with the governors the people gained more and more privileges and acquired more and more ability to manage their own affairs. A notable event of this period was the establishment of William and Mary College at Williamsburg in 1694. Children:

a. George (5) MORE LATER
b. David (5) possibly eldest child, son of Thomas and Mary Dodson,
m. Amey, surname unknown, settled in Prince William Co. where he
died 1740, prior to the death of his father.  He had an only child, a
daughter born after his death who probably died young since his
estate eventually went to his brothers, all of whom are named in his
will dated April 27, 1740, proved July 28, 1740.
c.  Thomas (5) m. (1) Elizabeth Rose (2) Mrs. Eleanor Sloan, a
widow.  He settled in Pittsylvania Co., Va.
d. Greenham (5) m. Elinor Hightower.
e. Alice (5) m. a Creel.
f. Mary (5) m. an Oldham.
g. Abraham (5) b. April 4, 1923 [should be 1723--gg], m. Barbary,
removed to Farquier Co., Va. where he died; will proved Oct. 25,
h. Joshua (5) b. May 25, 1725, no further record.
i. Elisha (5) b. Feb. 22, 1727, m. an Averett, settled in Pittsylvania
Co., Va.

Some of the above information may be found in Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas's 2-vol. book, and with some updated information. I thought this would be helpful.

More later,

Glenn Gohr



Here is one early source of Dodson information other than Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr.'s 2-vol. work and the earlier books he did.

I have the index and about half of the following book which is located in the St. Louis Public Library and also at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.:

Ege, Thompson P. Dodson Genealogy, 1600-1907. Philadelphia, PA: Deemer & Jaisohn, 1908.

There may be some clues here, but unless documentation is given, I cannot accept anything that is not proven by original documents.

pp. 330-331 lists some early Dodson settlers in Maryland and their wills, etc. Also there is a genealogical listing of a Dodson line in Maryland which runs thus:

John Dodson1 md. Barsheba Hurley.  Issue:
1) John Hurley Dodson2
2) Charles Dodson2
3) Thomas Dodson2
4) Henry Dodson2
5) Walter Dodson2
6) probably daughters2

John Hurley Dodson2 above md. Mary Ann Smoot of Port Tobacco,
Charles Co., MD.  Issue:
1) John Smoot Dodson3
2) Sarah Ann Dodson3
3) Ellen Dodson3 (single)
4) Betsy Dodson3
5) Henry Dodson3

John Smoot Dodson3 above md. Rachel Darnell.  Issue:
1) John Henry Dodson4
2) Amelia Dodson4
3) Sarah Ann Dodson4
4) Mary Ann Dodson4
5) William C. Dodson4
6) Robert Middleton Dodson4
7) Walter Dodson4
8) Elizabeth Dodson4
9) Virginia Dodson4
10) Van Luden Dodson4
11) Isaac Dodson4

John Henry Dodson4 above, b. 7-7-1806, d. 1864, md. 1635 to
Lucinda Boteler, b. 12-28-1813.  Issue:
1) John E. Dodson, b. 1838, d. 1883 (single)
2) Robert F. Dodson, b. 1840, d. 11-24-1906
3) Joseph Henry Dodson, b. 11-26-1842
4) Emma Virginia Dodson
5) Lucinda J. Dodson
6) Mary Eugenia Dodson
7) Martha Columbia Dodson
8) William Thomas Dodson
9) Elizabeth Ellen Dodson
10) Luther Augustus Dodson
11) Annie Smoot Dodson (single)

More is given on this line to carry it down into the 20th century, all of which seems to have originated and mostly stayed in Maryland, although no dates or sources are given other than what is shown here. I thought this interesting because of a Dodson-Smoot marriage.

Glenn Gohr



Mary Gilbert appears to be the mother of Dorothy Durham (and of Alice Chinn-Stretchley, and Tomazin Marshall). She may have been related to William Smoot, Sr. (or William Smute, the immigrant as he is called). Michelle Ule has suggested that Mary Gilbert, the widow, might be a sister of William Smute the immigrant. I am starting to like that possibility more than any other idea I've seen. Note that a William Smoot did witness the indenture that she made to Dorothy and Thomas Durham, her dau. & son-in-law.

Dorothy Durham appears to be too old to be the daughter of William Smoot, Jr. (son of the immigrant), and it seems odd that in William Smoot Sr.'s will he does not mention any of the 3 sisters--Alice, Tomazin, and Dorothy. He does mention daughters in his will, but not these three.

As recorded in:

Supplement to the History of the Dodson-Dotson Family of Southwest Virginia. Compiled and edited by the Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. N.p: the author, 1966., pp. 106-107:

Richmond County, Virginia Deed Book 4, 1705-1708

"This Indenture made the six and twentieth day of April anno Domini 1707 and in sixth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Anne by the Grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland Queene, Defender of the faith Between Mary Gilbert of the parish of North Farnham in the county of Richmond and Dominion of Virginia, Widdow of the one party, and Thomas Durham of North Farnham in the county of Richmond and Dominion aforesaid, Planter and Dorothy his wife of the other party. Witnesseth that the said Mary GIlbert for good and valuable consideration in hand payed the receipt whereof the said Mary doth hereby acknowledge and of every part and parcel thereof doth requitt consrate and discharge the said Thomas Durham and Dorothy his wife and theire heires by these presents do give grant, bargaine sole alienate entaile and confirme unto the said Thomas Durham and Dorothy his wife theire heirs and assignes a certain plantation tract or parcele of land scituate lying and being in the parish of North Ffarnham in the county of Richmond and Dominion of Virginia upon a Branch of Ffarnham in the county of Richmond and Dominion of Virginia upon a Branch of Ffarnham Creeke called and knowne by the name of the Buory Swamp, containing by estimation fifty acres, now in the tanure and occupation of Walter Wright and bounded as followeth: (legal description is omitted in this abstract).... the said Mary Gilbert for her self, her heires, Exors. and Admns. doth covenant promise, grant and assign to the said Thomas Durham and Dorothy his wife and their heires and assignes In manner and form as followeth, That is to say, that the said Mary Gilbert att the time of the ensealing and delivery hereof hath true title, full power and lawful authority to grant and convey the said bargained land and premisses as aforesaid and allso from time to times and att all times hereafter ...... doth hereby grant unto the said Thomas Durham and Dorothy his wife and their heires and assignes with all the rights members and appurtanances thereunto belonging or appurtaining without.....and do Execute and acknowledge any other or further deed or deeds which shall be advised, devised or required by the said Thomas Durham, Dorothy his wife or theire Counsle learned in the law or theire heires or assignes for the better and more sure settlement of all and singular of the premisses hereto granted and every part and parcle of the said land unto the said Thomas Durham and Dorothy his wife and theire heires and assignes forever, In Witness whereof the said Mary Gilbert have hereunto put her hand and seal the day and month and year above written. Signed, sealde and Delivered in the presence of: William Smoot, Mil. Walters

  Mary M. Gilbert (seal)
 Recorded 15 May 1707, Teste:  J. Sherlock"

Also on page 107 of the Dodson book listed above, there is a copy of an indenture made the 10 December 1723 between Thomas Durham and Thomas Dodson, Sr. There is mention of land belonging to Thomas Durham and Mary his wife--this would be Thomas Durham, Jr. and wife Mary (Smoot) Durham I assume--gg. It says this is "a ceratin parcel of the land formerly belonging to Abraham Marshal bearing date ye 25th. of December 1692, the said land containing the just quanitity of one hundred acres lying and being in the county of Richmond...." They conveyed this land to Thomas Dodson, Sr.--I assume this is the Thomas Dodson (b. 1681) who married Mary Durham, sister of Thomas Durham, Jr.--gg.

My thinking is that Abraham Marshal was the husband of Tomazin Marshall mentioned earlier and thus was a brother-in-law of Dorothy Durham and also the uncle of Thomas Durham, Jr. and of Mary Durham Dodson shown here.--gg

Another deed is quoted with the date of 6 May 1724 which mentions Thomas and Mary Durham as signing the deed (but Rev. S. E. Lucas says this refers to Thomas Durham and wife Dorothy--I think he has confused the issue. We need to get the original deed to sort this particular one out--gg) and also refers to land being conveyed to Thomas Dodson, Sr.

Also, the above book, on page 108, lists this reference to Mary Gilbert:

Richmond County, Virginia, Wills & Inventories, 1709-1717.

"In the name of God Amen, I, Thomas Durham of Northfarnham in the County of Richmond being sick in Body but of sound and perfect Memory. Praise be given unto God therefore calling to Mind His Mortallity of my body and that it is appointed for all Men once to Die, Do make and Ordain this my Last Will & Testament, That is to say-- Principally & first of all I Recommend my soul unto the hands of God that gave it and my Body to the Earth to be Buried in Christian and Decent manner at the Discretion of my Executors hereafter named; nothing Doubting but at the generall Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty Power of God; And as touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath Pleased God to Bless me in this Life-----

Item. I give and Bequeath unto my Dear & Loving wife Dorothy Durham the use of my Plantations, together with all my Lands & Tenements with all and Every of their Appurtenances--Proffits and Commoditys __________ Belonging or appertaining for & During the _____________ of her natural Life and after her Decease if my Son Thomas Durham and Mary his wife do by some sufficient Instrument in writing under their hands and seals and affording to due forme of Law Release and acquitt all and singular their Right, Title and Interest in and unto Fifty acres of Land being the same Tract & Plantation which we had conveyed us by Mary Gilbert unto my son John Durham and his heirs or pay him the said: John Durham Eight Thousand Pounds of Tobacco in Lieu of His said Land and also pay unto my Daughter Mary Dodson Fifteen hundred pounds of Tobacco that then and upon this consideration-------aforesaid: I do give and bequeath unto my said son Thomas Durham and his heirs Lawfully Begotten and for want of such issue unto my son John Durham and his heirs Lawfully Begotton and in _______ of such issue unto my GrandSon Thomas Dodson and his heirs, But if my said son Thomas Durham doth refuse and will not release the said fifty acres of Land nor pay the Tobacco aforesaid: I do will and Bequeath the said Plantation whereon I now dwell with all my Lands unto my son John Durham and his heirs---

Item. I give and Bequeath unto my Son John Durham Fifty acres of Land more or less being the Plantation with all the Tract and Parcell of Land that was Conveyed us by Mary Gilbert, to have and to hold the said Tract and Parcell of Land with the appurtainances unto my said son John Durham and his heirs Lawfully begotten and for want of such issue unto my GrandSon Thomas Dodson and his heirs---

Item. I give and bequeath unto my Son John Durham one Feather Bed and Furniture, one Cow and calf, one Mare and Iron Pott, Two ____ Dishes and half a dozen Plates

ITEM I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Dodson Five Thousand Pounds of Tobacco; Fifteen hundred Pounds of the same to be paid by my son Thomas Durham within Nine months after the Decise of my wife and Five hundred the Rest of the said Tobacco to be paid by my Son John Durham at the Decease of my Wife----

Item. I give and Bequeath all the Residue of my Estate, Goods, Cattle and Chattells unto my wife Dorothy Durham for & During her widowhood, but if she doth Marry that _____ off my Personall Estate, Except what is herein given to John Durham shall be Equally Divided between my wife and my three Children, and I do make and Ordain my Dear & well beloved Wife Sole Executrix of this my Last Will & Testament---Rattifying and Confirming this & none other to be my Last Will & Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this Fourth Day of August in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eleven.

Signed, Sealed & Published and Declared in the presence of us--

Joan O Searles her mark, Arthur Kay his mark, Miles Walters
 Thomas Durham his mark (seal)

Att. at a Court held for RIchmond County ye ffirst Day of June 1715

This Will was approved in open Court by the oaths of Arthur Key & Joan Searles ______ of the Witness or tthereto be on admitted to Recored...Tests M: Beckewith C.C.O."

It appears from the mention of Mary Gilbert in these deeds and that the land is passed on to the next generation, that this must be land passed down from an ancestor--Mary Gilbert. She must be the mother of Dorothy Durham.--gg.

Glenn Gohr



People have tried to say that Dorothy Durham's maiden name was SMOOT, but more likely it was GILBERT. Dorothy was the mother of Mary Durham who married Thomas Dodson, Sr. (b. 1681) son of Charles and Ann Dodson of N. Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., VA.

Lancaster Co., VA. Inventories and Wills 1690-1709, Vol. 8, p. 105, 106.

An abstract of this deed is found in:

Dodson Family, ca. 1780-1940. This is a microfilm of ca. 1,000 items all on 1 reel located in the Manuscripts Section of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, and which is available through interlibrary loan

Also in:

The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia: A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants, by Mrs. Sherman Williams and Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989, p. 1411

Here are the highlights:

Alice Stretchley of St. Mary's White Chappel Parish, Lancaster Co., Aug. 29, 1701. Lists daughters Ann Fox & Catherine Heal; sister Dorothy Durham; cousin Mary Dodson; son-in-law Capt. William Fox; Ann Fox's father, Jno. Chin; Ann Fox's father-in-law Jno. Stretchly; son Rawleigh Chin.; sister Tomazin Marshall; sister Dorothy Durham; cousin Mary Dodson [actually Alice's niece & Dorothy Durham's daughter--but this is how colonial people would sometimes refer to this relationship-- not a niece, but "cousin."--gg]

It is obvious that Alice Chinn-Stretchley, Tomazin Marshall, and Dorothy Durham are sisters. But who are their parents and what was their maiden name? Their mother appears to be Mary GILBERT. I don't know if GIlbert is their maiden name or if the mother remarried later in life. I also have a note that Tomazin Marshall's husband was probably Abraham Marshall.--gg

Glenn Gohr



The following is a copy of a letter I sent to Richard C. Owens on Dec. 29, 1989, concerning problems I had noted at that time concerning the Smoot-Durham-Dodson connection.

I still cannot place who Dorothy Durham's parents were. She is NOT the daughter of William Smoot, Jr. & wife Jane. She could be the daughter of William Smoot, Sr. who was the immigrant. But if so, then who is Mary Gilbert??? I have checked in Harry Wright Newman's THE FLOWERING OF THE MARYLAND PALATINATE and other sources, but I cannot find any other references to a Mary Gilbert to try to tie her in to one of these families.



December 29, 1989

From the book, WILLS OF RICHMOND COUNTY, VIRGINIA 1699-1800 by Robert K. Headley, Jr., 1983, p. 29, 32 & 33, there are several references to the Dodson-Smoot-Durham connections.

Now Vol. 2 of the Dodson book has come out. I did notice a few errors in the info. I sent for my line. I am listed at the bottom of p. 351 of Vol. I. Also I have great doubts about any Smoot connection in our family. I believe that someone has gotten confused in interpreting the records. I find no proof anywhere that Dorothy, wife of Thomas Durham, was a Smoot before marriage.

I note in the Dodson book, p. 4 of Vol. I, that it says that she is Dorothy SMOOT Durham, daughter of William and Jane Smoot. No source is given to prove that she was a Smoot. There is mention of two sisters, Alice Chinn Stretchley and Thomazin Marshall. The fact that Dorothy had these two sisters IS proven, BUT there is nowhere that says their maiden name was Smoot.

Now notice on page 1411 of Vol. II, at the top it gives a copy of Alice Stretchley's will. It mentions her sisters, Dorothy Durham and Thomazin Marshall. Still, it does not say what their maiden name was. No brothers are listed (and I assume they had no brothers, or surely one of them would be listed. Also no Smoots are listed in the document, not even as witnesses.)

I have another typed copy of Alice Stretchley's will, but it says about the same as what is in the book.

In Headley's book, on p. 29, it says that Dorothy Durham was PROBABLY related to William Smoot, Sr. No reasoning or proof behind this statement is given.

Now the place where some people get confused is in the Durham-Smoot connection shown on p. 32 of Headley's book. William Smoot and wife Jane had a daughter named MARY Smoot who married Thomas Durham, ca. 1710. THIS Thomas Durham was a son of the Thomas Durham who married Dorothy, and his wife was MARY SMOOT, not Dorothy.

Now I have some records on the Smoot family from a book that was printed many years ago. I only copied pages concerning the early generations of Smoots in this country. There could be more that I should have copied. It is THE SMOOTS OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA by Harry Wright Newman, 1936.

From the Smoot book, only 3 children are listed for William and Jane Smoot. Their births are listed in records of Durham Parish, Richmond Co., VA:

Mary Smoot b. April 7, 1693 (md. Thomas Durham, son of Thomas & Dorothy Durham) Elizabeth Smoot b. March 16, 1696 (twins) Anne Smoot b. March 16, 1698

It is possible that there were other children of William and Jane Smoot, but that is immaterial at this time. Notice that MARY SMOOT b. 1693 above was the wife of Thomas Durham, a son of Thomas and Dorothy Durham. If Dorothy Durham also was a daughter of William and Jane Smoot, then that means that her son, Thomas Durham, was married to her sister! Impossible!!!!

Now there could still be a Smoot connection somewhere, but I haven't been able to pinpoint it. William Smoot above was a son of William Smoot, Sr. who was married probably twice. This William Smoot was the immigrant ancestor from England. Either he could be the father of the 3 sisters in the will, Mary Durham, Thomazin Marshall, and Alice Chinn Stretchley, or else one of his older sons.

Now there is an Alice Smoot listed as daughter of the William Smoot, Sr. No dates or marriage are listed. She could possibly be the Alice Chinn Stretchley. But her sisters are not listed (of course they were women, so there might not be many records on them before their marriage). But it seems odd that Dorothy and Thomazin are not listed in any Smoot records. It also seems odd that no Smoots or Smoot relatives are listed in Alice Stretchley's will.

Now I have noticed in Rev. S. E. Lucas's book, SUPPLEMENT TO THE HISTORY OF THE DODSON-DOTSON FAMILY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, 1966, there is another possible connection for the parentage of Dorothy Durham. On p. 106 and 107 is an indenture to Thomas Durham and wife Dorothy from a Mary M. GILBERT, a widow. It seems like this could very probably be Dorothy's mother. The indenture is made in 1707. (The will of Alice Stretchley was made in 1701, so this still could cause a problem.) On p. 108 of the supplement is the will of Thomas Durham in Richmond County, 1715. In it he gives property to his children that was conveyed to him by MARY GILBERT. It seems she must have been a close relative, a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, or aunt.

Also some pages from BERMUDA SETTLERS OF THE 17TH CENTURY by Julia E. Mercer, 1982, gives further info. on the Durham-Hunt lineage we share. Our Thomas Durham who married Dorothy, was born in 1661, son of Henry Durham and Judith Hunt. Judith is daughter of Governor Richard Hunt of Bermuda and probably his first wife Sarah (maiden name unknown.)


That is the end of my letter to Richard C. Owens. See the earlier posts I made on this list regarding the Dodsons, Durhams, and Smoots for copies of the deeds and wills and other items mentioned above.

--Glenn Gohr



Here follows some of the source materials and documents cited in the following book:

Ancestors of Robert Dodson and His Descendants. Written by Mrs. C. T. Dodson; Illustrated by Miss Oneida Uzzell. Privately published, {1964?] (Note: This book is 115 p. and is located in the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX, call # R929.2 D647d)

Information from that book was quoted by me in two earlier posts to the Dodson List. Here follows information on records to get into Daughters of the Colonists by Lillian E. Dodson--gg.

pp. 72-73 (This is quoted word for word from the book, including mispellings or question marked items--gg):

Copied 9 February, 1966 by Edith Wolf Standhardt from handwritten copy lent by O. H. Schwanderman.

From Records to get into Daughters of Colonists by Lillian Elanine Dodson [I think this should be Daughters of the American Colonists-- gg]

Name of Ancestor - John Dodson of James River or Jamestown. Served in the Council and General Court of Jamestown, 1622 - 1629.

The undersigned have investigated and approve the applicant and her application

Signature of St. Louis Chapter Officers:
 Chapter Regent:  Maude Bryan Jenneinzo (?) (Jennings?
 Chapter Registrar:  Gertrude L. Wingert
 Chapter Sec:  Clara Sizer Nevling
 Date:  Nov. 21, 1949

Signature of Missouri State Officers:
 State Regent:  Mrs. Edwin Lamont Barber
 State Registrar:  Nell Downing Norton
 State Sec:  Acenath M. Booth
 Date:  Nov. 21, 1949

Fee received by National Society:  Mabel S. Stoyer, Nat. Treas. Dec.
15, 1949

Signature of National Officers:
 Natl. President:  Margaret F. Powers
 Natl. Registrar:  Lillian M. Sanford
 Natl. Sec.:  Mabel Puffer Martin
 Date of Acceptance:  Jan. 31, 1950
 Mrs. Clyde Nevling, 4259 Maffit Ave., St. Louis
 Mrs. Joseph Jannuzzo, 8016 Seminole Place, Clyton 5, Mo.

Miss Lillian Elanine Dodson, born 4 Feb. 1901, Wayne Co., KY. herein apply for membership in Society by right of descent from John Dodson, a member of the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, who is mentioned in Va. Mag. Vol. 23, p. 11 in St. Louis Public Library Ref. Room., of Jamestown, Virginia, born in England, died in Virginia, served in Council and General Court of Jamestown 1622-29.

I was born in Steubenville (Wayne Co.) Ky. I am the daughter of John Cornelius Dodson of Steubenville, Ky., born 22 Feb. 1869, died 31 Jan. 1931 - married 22 Feb. 1900 to Nancy Kelly, born 19 Dec. 1869 d. 18 Dec. 1939.

John Cornelius Dodson, son of John Dodson born 23 Nov. 1831, died 11 Aug. 1885, married Sara Phillips, born 23 Nov. 1828

John Dodson is the son of Jesse Dodson born 26 Dec. 1802, died 3 Jan. 1864, married 14 July 1824 Elizabeth Small, born 12 Oct. 1805, d. 12 June 1876.

Jesse Dodson is the son of Thomas Dodson, died prior to 1836. married Jemima Randall.

Thomas Dodson is son of George Dodson of Richmond Co., Va., born 31 Oct. 1737, died 1825 Pittsylvania Co., Va., married twice, Margaret and Elizabeth.

George Dodson is the son of George Dodson, married 30 April 1726 in Richmond Co., Va. to Margaret Dagord.

George Dodson is son of Thomas Dodson born 15 May 1681, died 21 Nov. 1740.

Thomas Dodson is son of Charles Dodson of Richmond Co., Va. born 1649, died 1704.

Charles Dodson is son of Jesse Dodson, Richmond Co., Va. married to Ann.

Jesse Dodson is the son of John Dodson of Jamestown Settlement born in England.

Records to be found: Genealogy traced in "Dodson Genealogy 1600 - 1907" page 364, St. Louis Mo. Library. Will on record in Pittsylvania Co., Courthouse, Va. proved 19 Dec. 1825. Named in father's will proved 2 Mar. 1740 in Richmond Co., Va.

Named in father's will (Charles) in Richmond Co., Va. Courthouse, 1704. Abstracts of Richmond Co., Va. Also "Dodson Genealogy", Ege. Lineage in "Dodson Genealogy 1600-1907" by Rev.. T. P. Ege, Local Library. Mentioned in "Dodson Genealogy", also Virginia Mag. of History.

Children of Ancestor
 Jesse Dodson)
   )  sons of John Dodson
 William Dodson)

Authorities proving services of Ancestor: Virginia Mag. of History, Vol. 23, p. 11; his name given in minutes of the Council and General Court, 1622, 1629, and the fact stated that he was a passenger on ship Ann, that he came to Jamestown in the original settlement. He was called to report in the Council on conditions of the ship and provisions for the voyage. He is reported to have been a hunter of some note, a good citizen, and the father of at least two children, sons William and Jesse, listed above in Dodson Genealogy.

Copied by Oliver H. Schwanderman of Fort Recovery, Ohio, Route 3, 4 Feb. 1964. She is a cousin to me by Dodson lineage from Rutha Mary Dodson Schwanderman, 1870 - 1959, Wayne Co., Ky. Champaign Co., Ill.

* * * * * *

Glenn Gohr



Article in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol.23 (1915), pp. 11-12, as quoted in

Ancestors of Robert Dodson and His Descendants. Written by Mrs. C. T. Dodson; Illustrated by Miss Oneida Uzzell. Privately published, {1964?] (Note: This book is 115 p. and is located in the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX, call # R929.2 D647d), pp. 73-74:

*Note: I am quoting this directly from the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography article--there is more than what is quoted, here, but this is the part that refers to John Dodson.--gg

Minutes of the Council and General Court

[ink folio 105]

Mr. Thomas Edwardes beinge Demanded wt he could sayd concerninge the Accomodatinge of passengers yt cam in the shipp called the Ann said that he wold never Desire to be better vsed Yt is ordered Yt mr Daniell Lacye shall haue four acres of grounde in the Islande adioyne on the grounde of mr Kingsmells, wch is the rather granted for that mr Kingsmell Doth Desire the same Moris Thomsone and John Dodson sworne and Exand sayeth that for ye they were a fortnight or three weeks abourde befor they had any breckfast Drinke allowed them, And after they had Complayned, they had to smale Cans of beere for breckfast to 5 men wch Contynued soe for some six weeks or two moneths And they had a quarter can of beere to a meale for 5 men wch Contynued for the space of sixteen weeks, And after that for the space of Six weeks a three weeks they had three smale cans of beere to A messe. And a pounde and a halfe And that they had three pownd of bred a Daye to A messe for the space of some sixteene weeks. And after till theyr cominge in thre bisketts a meale to A mess. And for A sixteen weeks they had thrree flesh Dyes A week, And after that for about a moneth fortnight they had too flesh Dyes a week and after yt 2 flesh meales a week till theire Cominge in foorther they say that ther beere was well condicioned except a butt or two (ink folio 106) And fovrther they say have harde some of the passengers Complayne but wt cause they had they know nott....

* * * * *

Note: Above information from Ancestors of Robert Dodson and His Descendants. Written by Mrs. C. T. Dodson; Illustrated by Miss Oneida Uzzell. Privately published, {1964?] (Note: This book is 115 p. and is located in the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX, call # R929.2 D647d), pp. 73-74:

Mrs. Dodson does try to list and include sources about the information she has listed, but there is NOTHING besides "family tradition" which definitely links the John with the 2 sons, William and Jesse. Also nothing besides tradition to link Jesse with Charles Dodson of N. Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., VA.

Still it is fascinating reading, hoping that it all could be true and proven true. I, personally don't see enough proof for the links.


Glenn Gohr



Concerning the theories about a John Dodson being at Jamestown and having a son Jesse who was reported to be the father of Charles Dodson, Sr. who married Ann, there are no original or primary sources (wills, deeds, Bible records, etc.) to prove this connection. The same holds true for the theory that Ann, wife of Charles Dodson, Sr. was a Dodson before her married & was the daughter of a Benjamine Dodson of Essex County, VA. Neither can we find any connection to a Gervais Dodson who lived in early Virginia. He appears to not have had any children to survive him from what information I have seen.

Much discussion of these matters has appeared on the Dodson List in the past. It is also covered somewhat on my other web pages at:




I'm not sure, but the LDS church may have this all in their database (The John>Jesse>Charles lineage) & I know it can be found on the Family Tree Maker CD's. But neither of these are primary sources. A number of errors have been found on LDS ancestral files (the information was entered by people & people are infallible & sometimes use faulty sources). And many of the Family Tree Maker CDís do not give sources for the Gedcom files that are included. Quite a bit of the information on the FTM CDís contradicts itself when the same ancestors are listed by more than one person in their family tree.

The definitive work on the Dodson family is:

The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia, by Mrs. Sherman Williams and Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr., published by Southern Historical Press in 1988. This 2-volume reference work does not list any generations prior to old Charles Dodson, Sr. who married Ann (surname unknown).

Rev. Lucas was very much aware of the John, Jesse & Benjamin theories, but he could not accept those connections because proof is lacking. A warning is given in the introductory pages (pages vi & vii) that any connection to Jamestown cannot be proved by standard genealogical data, even though a few lineage societies have accepted people through the Dodson line. Those particular societies must not require as much proof or as well-documented proof as the DAR & other lineage organizations require.


Glenn Gohr

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Last updated July 15, 2005.

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