My Pioneer Families
Richard and Samuel Dodson
from Chester to Northampton County
and descendants to Luzerne County in Pennsylvania
Richard and Samuel Dodson appear to be brothers, and both were probably both born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The baptism on 3 December 1731 of Richard Dodson is recorded along with his date of birth 26 Jun 1731. Sponsors at the baptism were Peter Richter and Richard's parents. His mother is not named, but his father is named Thomas. Although there is no confirmation of the relationship of Samuel to Richard, they married sisters and traveled together to the same areas, so their relationship was close. It has been said that Samuel was born about 7 years after Richard.
Other than Richard's baptism, there is no further record of Richard in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Richard doesn't appear on any tax lists found for Chester County, but Samuel shows on one tax listing in 1764.
In months of March and April 1758, a muster roll of men who enlisted for three years in the company commanded by Captain John Weatherholt, stationed in Heyldelburg township, Northampton County, shows a Richard Dadson age 25, born in Pennsylvania with an enlistment date of 28 November 1757. In January 1760 there is a record of a Richard Dodson in Captain Wetherholdt’s Company serving at Ft Bedford under Lt. Colonel Joseph Shippen.
Samuel and Richard may have acquired land in Northampton County before they settled there in what became Penn Township. The area where they settled is now Carbon County, Pennsylvania. These brothers who married sisters were the first and probably the only pioneer Dodsons who settled in this area. From a write-up about this area of Northampton County: "In the year 1762 there were but thirty-three persons in the territory then embracing what, in 1768, became Towamensing and Penn townships."
John and Judith Rhodes were parents to Susannah Rhodes said to be born 8 February 1740/41 and Elizabeth Rhodes born 11 January 1744/45. Richard Dodson married Susannah Rhodes, but the date and location of the marriage is unknown; Samuel Dodson married Elizabeth Rhodes, but again, the date of marriage and location is unknown.
Thompson P Ege published "Dodson Genealogy 1600 to 1907" in 1908. He, his wife and his son-in-law were descendants of Richard Dodson. Portions of his writings about Richard:
Richard removed about the time or soon after his marriage to Penn Township, Northampton County, Pa., where he purchased and owned land near some other brothers and members of the Rhodes family, relatives of his wife, Susannah Rhodes, granddaughter of John Rhodes, of Derbyshire, England, who came to Pennsylvania in 1682 . . . During the war of the Revolution, Richard Dodson raised a company of militia in Penn Township, Northampton County, Pa., of which he was commissioned as captain, May 22nd, 1775. (Penna. Archives, 2nd Series, Vo'l. XIV. Page 555.) About 1780 he removed from Northampton County to Salem Township (Beach Haven), Luzerne County, Pa., and by warrant took up two hundred acres of land, fronting on the Susquehanna River. There he built his home of hewn logs from the forest, and began to farm anew. Among his first troubles incident to his new home were those of disputed boundaries and claims between the Connecticut and Pennsylvania settlers, which were finally settled by the Colonial Assembly surveying and defining boundaries and giving each landholder a river frontage of a thousand feet, and so running back from the same. 'Indian raids were frequent, and their depredations were severe. In one of these raids their oldest son, John, of about eighteen years, was killed. He was buried on the Beach Haven farm, near the river. In the late fall of 1784, in another Indian incursion, they were driven from their home and their house was burned, with all its contents, family records, deeds and papers. The father was breaking up some new ground for spring planting, some distance from the house. The mother noticed a skulking Indian near. She at once sent one of the young children to warn the father. He sent the child back to have the mother send the children one by one to the spring, as if to get water, and last of all, she herself followed with infant in arms. (Said infant became the grandmother of the author.) Meanwhile the father hid his horses in a thicket of bushes, joined them and hastened to their boat at the river, wherein to make their escape. When about the middle of the river they saw their home in flames, the Indians dancing around it, and hurling feather beds in the air. They crossed to Wapwallopen, where they found such shelter as best they could, and with but their scanty clothing for a protection, passed the night. In the morning the father ventured back, found his horses, and recrossing the river with them, began their refuge journey through the Wapwallopen Gap, and over the mountains to relatives and friends in Northampton County. From the hardships and exposure of the war and the recent toil and experience of loss and journey Richard sickened and died in the next year. The mother was left with quite a family of young children. These were compelled to find homes with friends and strangers. The widow's main dependence being her oldest son, Joseph, then about nineteen years of age, who became the practical head of the family, and with whom the mother made her home, surviving her husband until 1815. As soon as they could, when Joseph became of age, they returned to Salem Township and took up their claim. They found other claimants for it, and a dispute between two such for its unlawful possession. The court finally awarded it to one "Lockhard" on condition of his paying the widow Dodson's claim, a large portion of which land is still in the Lockhard possession (Case of Lockhard vs. Kuhn and Kern (Bound Mss. Proprietaries, Pg. 579) July, 1790). Joseph then finally took up a large tract of eight hundred acres in Union Township, Luzerne County, about 1796, having then married.
The following is from a write-up about the Mahoning Township of Northampton County
The family of Samuel Dodson came to the valley about the same time the Gilberts came in. They settled about a mile distant, on a farm now owned by David D. Kistler, near Pleasant Corner. He (Samuel) was a native of Chester County, where he was married, and where his children were born. Abigail, when fourteen years of age, was sent by her father to the mill of Benjamin Gilbert, on the Mahoning Creek, early on the morning of the 25th of April, 1780. She was captured with the Gilbert family by the Indians. She was separated from the others, and adopted first by a tribe of the Cayugas and later by others. The family of Dodsons remained upon their plantation, and did not, like many others, abandon their settlement. . . . The family of Samuel Dodson lived at the place where they settled in 1775 until 1797. Samuel Dodson, the father, died in 1795, and was buried at Lizard Creek. His children were John, Thomas, Samuel, Joseph, Hannah, Elizabeth, Polly, Abigail, and Sally. John, the eldest son, after the death of his father, took the management of the farm, and in 1797 sold it, and the family all moved to Shamokin. The children of Samuel had all reached maturity, and several of them were married and settled on the homestead farm in Mahoning Valley. Joseph was married before the death of the father; and Isaac T. Dodson, so well known to old citizens of the county of Carbon, was born on the homestead farm in 1796. His father, Joseph, moved with the rest of the family to Shamokin. After a few years most of the family of Samuel removed to Huntington township, Luzerne Co., where their descendants are numerous.
Northampton County Records of Richard and Samuel Dodson - from 1766 to 1795
17 December 1766 there is a record of a warrant for Samuel Dodson for 72 acres in Northampton County; name of tract was Galicia.
12 June 1767, there is a land record for Samuel Dodson in the Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Vol. 26 in Northampton County, Pennsylvania - appears to be same 72 acres as listed above
1769 Land records in Northampton County recorded for both Richard and Samuel Dodson and also for John Rhoads, father in law to both Richard and Samuel.
3 April 1769 John Rhoads Senior - About 7 miles up a Creek called Rob't Peters Creek that empties into ye East Branch of Susqu'a about 17 miles above Shamokin.
3 April 1769 Rich'd Dodson 200 acres - On the East side of the East Branch of Susqu'a opposite the mouth of Rob't Peters Creek adjoin'g Jno Rhoads tract.
3 April 1769 Samuel Dodson - On the East side of the (of the) East Branch of Susau'a about 7 miles below Nesopeck at the mouth of a small Creek called Wecoghehueck.
1770 March 5 Penn Twp Northampton County George Gilbert Tax Collector:
Doudson Samuel 4 acres of clear land, 46 acres of wood land, tax £0-0-11
Doudson Richard poor
1772 PennsylvaniaArchives, Third Series, Volume XIX
Doutchon Richard poor
Doutchon Samueal Labr., tax £0-6-0
1773 October 6 Elisabeth Rhoads, wife of Samuel Dodson, she had been a Quaker, born Jan. 11, 1745, baptized by Edward Thorp
1773 Penn Township Dodson Richard 1 cattle, tax £0-0-6
1775 May 22 Richard Dodson raised a company of militia in Penn Township, Northampton County, Pa., of which he was commissioned as captain
1775 Translated from Northampton Penn Twp tax lists:
1776 January 16 Penn Township, Northampton County Jacob Smethers, Assessor, Daniel Warner Senr., Collector
Dodson Samuel 6 acres of clear land, 50 acres of wood land, 1 horse, 1 cattle, tax £0-2-5
1776 June 21 Thomas Dodson born in Penn Township, baptized Sep. 1, by Francis Böhler Sponsors: John Holder, the aged, George Biwighouse, Maha Warner, Anna Catharine Böhler
Parents: Samuel Dodson & Elisabeth
1779 Penn Township George Taubenspeck, Collector
Dodson Samuel 50 acres, 2 horses, 4 cattle, tax £3-12-0
1779 June 2 Mary Dodson born; baptized July 18 by E Thorp, parents Samuel Dodson and Elisabeth
1780 April 25 Abigail Dodson, daughter of Samuel Dodson, was captured by Indians, along with the family of Benjamin Gilbert.
1780 Jun 22 Northampton County - Penn Twp PA Archives To The County Lieuts. Northampton, Pennsylvania
The Pettition of the inhabitants of Penn, Tomension & Chesnut Hill townships, Humbly Sheweth :
That Whereas the Melittia that was granted by order of the Honnourable the President aud Councill, for the Protection of the fronteers against the Indians, under the command of Cor'nl Karn, & as their times is nearly exspired we begin To Dread the Consequences of a creuel savage enemy, which will have it in their Power, not only to Kill, Captivate and drive the Poor inhabitants, But totally destroy our Harvest, Which, added to our other Distresses, will not only hurt the Commonwelth but encourage them. We find by experience, the Meathod & Activity of our Melittia officers has repulsed the enemy twice at Diferent Posts, though very weak, & saved the people from Death & Captivity, and other distraction to the publick. Now we Earnestly emplore & humbly Besetch, that we may have other Gards Stationed on our fronteers before or emediately when the present ones times does expire, as it is impossible for any person to look upon Himself only to Stand as a Candidate who shall be taken first: after Our Posts is broke up; & as for the seven months men that is now raised To Garde a fronteer upwards of one hundred miles, must be certainly Enefectual to the Security of the good people of these townships; it is Now our earnest desire you may take the primices into a Seriouse consideration, & grant us such relievf as is consistent to justis & in your power; But if you cannot answer our Prayer, We Desire this Pettition to be laid before his Excellency the President & Couucill, as we are in duty Bound, shall ever Pray. William Myers, Capt. - Among other names on listing are James Dodson, Richard Dodson and Thomas Dodson
1781 December 27 assessment-roll made by the commissioners of Northampton County list both Richard and Samuel Dodson
1783 September 24 Elisabeth Dodson born; Parents: Samuel Dodson & Elisabeth. Baptized Nov. 30, by Francis Böhler; Sponsors: Catharina Warner, widow
1784 Penn Twp Northampton County Tax records Saml Datson
1785 Penn Twp Northampton County: Dodson Samuel 72 acres, 1 horse, 1 cow, tax £0-5-4
Another list shows: Dotsen Samuel 70 acres, 1 horse, 2 cattle, tax £0-5-0
1785 Richard died according to Thompson P Ege.
1786 Penn Twp Northampton County Samuel Dodson and Thomas Dodson
Thomas might be the son of Richard - said to born about 1767 - who would have turned 21 in 1786.
1786 April 17 Monday, Abigail Dodson, single, rec'd into church membership Moravian Church Records
1786 July 21 Birth of Samuel Dodson. Baptized August 27 by Frederic Möhring; Parents Samuel Dodson and Elisabeth; Sponsors: Paul Greer, Jonathan & Sarah Warner
1787 Penn twp Northampton County Tax records: Dodson Samuel 72 acres, 1 horse, 1 cattle, tax £0-6-0
1788 Penn Twp Northampton:
Dotsen Samuel 0-2-7
Dotsen Thomas 0-1-9
Dotzen Samuel 70 acres, 1 horse, 2 cattle, tax £0-5-2
Dotson Thomas 50 acres, 1 horse, 2 cattle, tax £0-3-6
1788 November 14 Birth of Sarah Dodson in Penn Township; Parents Samuel and Elisabeth Dodson
1789 February 8 Baptism of Sarah Dodson, d/o Samuel and Elisabeth by George Smith. Sponsors: Paul & Hannah Greer and Mary Warner.
1789 Penn Twp, Northampton:
Dawsen Samuel 0-1-8 50 acres, 1 horse, 2 cattle, tax 0-4-10
Dawsen Thomas 0-1-4
1790 Samuel and Thomas listed as Dawson again.
1791 April 17 from church records "John Rhodes, age about 80 years, buried by Brother Smith, on their own burying place at Lizard Creek." This would be the father in law of Richard and Samuel Dodson.
1793: Dotson Samuel 72 acres, 1 horse, 1 cattle, tax £0-2-6
1793 Dotson Joseph tax £0-1-0
1795 Said to be date of Samuel's death, and it is said he was buried on Lizard Creek, possibly at the church or his residence.
1797 May 12 Joseph Dodson warrant of land Penn Township 8 acres
Descendants of Samuel Dodson
In the Gnadenhutten Moravian church records in now Carbon County, Pennsylvania are baptism records for some of Elisabeth & Samuel Dodson's children:
Thomas born 21 Jun 1776
Mary born 2 Jun 1779
Elisabeth born 24 Sep 1783
Samuel born 21 Jul 1786
Sarah born 14 Nov 1788
Other children said to be those of Samuel and Elisabeth were:
Hannah born 6 Sept 1764
Abigail born 15 May 1767
Jeremiah born 10 Jan 1768
John born 26 Feb 1771
Joseph born 21 May 1773
From: History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, Bradsby, 1893
John Dodson was born in Northampton county, Pa., February 26, 1771, and located in Huntington (township of Luzerne County) in 1796. He was the first Pennsylvanian who settled in this township, all other settlers having come from States east of this. He was a prominent and enterprising farmer, and died May 9, 1859, leaving a widow and eighteen children. Joseph Dodson located in Huntington township in 1806, on the farm where he died in 1851. He was prominently identified with all the progressive interests of his adopted township. He was a father of twelve children.
From Biographical Sketches about John Dodson:
A Mr. Tubbs moved to Huntington Valley PA and settled on Lot 29 of the first Division in Huntington which his father had deeded to him. On 20 April 1796 he sold it to John Dodson of Penn Twp of Northampton County, PA for 345 pounds. This lot became the John Dodson homestead lying between Huntington Mills and the Watertown Cemetery.
JOHN DODSON, the subject of this sketch, was the son of Samuel Dodson and Elizabeth (Rhoades) Dodson, and was born in Mahoning Valley, Penn township, then Northampton county, Pa., on the 26th day of February, A.D. 1771, being the fourth child and the second son in a family of ten children. After attaining the age of twenty-one years he left his father's house and moved to Huntington township, Luzerne county, and purchased and settled upon a farm, which he continued to occupy during his long life, dying May 9, 1859. In 1796 he was married to Miss Clarissa Harrison, a daughter of Stephen Harrison, who had recently emigrated to this vicinity from Canaan, Litchfield county, Conn. She died in 1820, leaving eight children, and he afterward married Miss Sophronia Monroe, a native of the same town, county and State as his former wife; she died in the year 1841, leaving him nine children. He was an active, energetic, industrious man, greatly valued and admired by his neighbors, friends and acquaintances for his sterling honesty and strict integrity. He took a special interest in public affairs, and in promoting the welfare of that section of the county, aiding greatly in securing and maintaining public and private schools, the opening, extension and improvement of public roads, and the encouragement of local industries. For many years, he held office of justice of peace by appointment of several governors, irrespective of politics. After this office became an elective one, he continued by almost unanimous choice of the citizens of the township, to hold it until advancing years rendered it necessary for him to decline further services. In politics, he was an ardent Old-line Whig until the organization of the Republican party when he joined its forces. His wise council and advice were eagerly sought by his neighbor and acquaintances. His hospitality became proverbial, while his unbounded charity to the poor and the unfortunate was limited only by his means. Indeed, no applicant left his presence without substantial assistance.
Descendants of Richard Dodson
There is no known documentation of Richard and Susanna's children, other than family tradition.
It is said his children were John (said to be killed by Indians), Joseph born about 1771 died 9 Sept 1827 in Luzerne County, PA, Thomas, Hannah, Elizabeth, Abigail and Nancy Ann
History of Luzerne County, PA Volume I Hunlock Township
In 1797 Joseph Dodson moved into the settlement, from the adjoining Plymouth settlement. He had married Susanna Bennet, daughter of Joshua Bennet. His son Joseph B. Dodson, was born on the old place where he resided all his long life—an aged and respected citizen and the survivor of his family. Samuel Dodson and his brother-in-law Isaac Van Horn were pioneers and good citizens.
From a Luzerne County, PA Biography:
He (Joseph) removed to this County about 1797. He was married in Plymouth but located in Union Twp. He owned about eight hundred acres of land and was extensively engaged in the manufacture of lumber. . . He was a conscientious Christian, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His property, which consisted largely of land, he kept until his death, which occurred in 1827, after which it was divided between his family of ten children, Joseph B. getting a title to one half of it. Joseph Dodson lived to be only fifty-six years of age; his wife died at the age of eighty-four . . . His father, Richard, was a descendant of English parents, and was an early pioneer in Salem, but was so annoyed by the Indians that he was compelled to go to Northampton to evade their savage attacks. When Richard died his son Joseph was a very small lad, who had to live with strangers and suffer the hardships incident to an orphan’s life. But he survived all hardships and privations, succeeded in accumulating a large tract of land, rearing an interesting family, and handing his name down through the pages of history to a long line of descendants, who shall call his name blessed.
Nancy "Ann" Dodson born 7 Oct 1784 (this is Thompson P Ege's direct ancestor)
From: Historical and biographical annals of Columbia and Montour counties
Hugh Thompson, eldest of the family of Paul Thompson, was born in 1780 in Ireland, and was therefore a boy when the family came to America. He worked with his father, learned the trade, and eventually inherited the business, in which he prospered to such an extent that he was able to add a farm to his possessions; part of it is now included in the town of Berwick. During the war of 1812 he was one of the emergency men. He joined the Methodist Church, and was one of the zealous members of the denomination in this region, its ministers who occasionally visited Berwick making his home their stopping place. To him and his wife Ann (Dodson) were born the following children: Paul died in infancy; Richard, born June 14, 1811, a farmer and potter, died May 25, 1895; Alexander, born Oct. 6, 1813, a potter and foundryman at Tunkhannock, Luzerne Co., Pa., where he also served as justice of the peace, died Dec. 12, 1881; Susan, born Feb. 22, 1816, married Rev. Mr. Ege, a Methodist minister, of Baltimore, Md., and died Dec. 27, 1895 ; Jane, born Dec. 5, 1818, became the wife of Dr. Burkett; Joseph D. was the father of Hugh Thompson; Elizabeth Ann, born March 5, 1828, married P. C. Wadsworth, justice, of Townhill, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania. . . . Oliver Ege - On February 7th, 1833, he was united in marriage to Susannah P. Thompson, daughter of Hugh and Ann Dodson Thompson of Berwick, Pa. This is the father of Thompson Perryman Ege, author of the Dodson Genealogy book. Thompson P. Ege, oldest son of Rev. Oliver Ege, and compiler and publisher of this family history, was born at the farm of his grandfather, Hugh Thompson, in Berwick, Pa. 12 Oct 1835.
Although a lot of information is available on later Dodson descendants, there is not much documentation, other than family history, tying the descendants of Samuel and Richard back to their ancestors in Northampton or Chester Counties.