Frederick County MD Dodsons

Frederick County Maryland Dodsons with Pennsylvania Connections

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Frederick County Maryland was formed in 1748 with land taken from Prince George's County.  In 1776 Montgomery and Washington Counties were created from Frederick County.

It is believed that the Dodsons found in Frederick County Maryland before 1800 were descendants of the  Chester County Pennsylvania Dodson line.
Read about the Chester County PA Dodson Line Here  Michael and Joseph Dodson, believed to be brothers, migrated from Chester County, Pennsylvania to Frederick County, Maryland. Michael came earlier, before 1757 and Joseph came later, around 1765. It is believed that descendants of Michael Dodson and Joseph Dodson were early settlers in Bedford, Huntingdon and Fayette Counties in Pennsylvania sometime before 1800.  Joseph Dodson also migrated to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, but it is not known if Michael came to Pennsylvania or died in Maryland.

Read about the Bedford County PA Dodson Line Here  

The first Dodson of record in Frederick County appears to be Michael Dodson.  By the time of the Revolutionary War, we find records of a second Michael, and Thomas, John and William.

1758  Michael Dodson and others to appear in March Court to answer complaint of Captain Thomas Norris.

1760 16 February Michael Dotson witnessed a bill of sale from Samuel Lewis of Pipe Creek Hundred to John Brazelton.

1775 December 27 Michael Dodson, John Dodson Associators signed the following: 

At a meeting of the Committee the 27th December 1775 - The Remonstrance, ordered to be drawn up by a Committee appointed for that purpose was produced and unanimously approved of, was signed by all the members present, and ordered to be transmitted to the Honorable Convention forthwith by the Chairman. It was as follows:  To the Honorable Maryland Convention. We the Committee of Observation for the middle district of Frederick County being informed that your Honours have appropriated a sum of public money for the building a Jail in Frederick Town for the reception and confinement of such Persons who are or may be proved to be Enemies to the Rights and Liberties of America, and that you have contracted with certain Individuals to have the said Jail built on private Property.

1776 & 1777 Michael Dodson enlisted in under Captain Jacob Good in Frederick County. Later received a Revolutionary War pension in Bedford County, PA.

1778 March Thomas Dodson signed an Oath of Allegiance

1778  John Dodson signed an Oath of allegiance 

1778 June 13  William Dodson was a Militia Substitute.

1782 July  Michael Dodson provided wheat for the military

1784 7 January John Dotson married Eliza Stinett

1784 31 December Marriage Mary Dodson to John Brightwell

1787 May Petition of Beaver Dam Settlement to open original road signed by John Dodson.

1788 30 May William Dodson and others to clarify bounds of Resurvey on Locust Neck.

1789 12 May Marriage Esther Dodson to Robert Farquhar

1789 1 September Elijah Dodson married Mary Karr

1790 US Federal Census  John Dodson, John Dodson and Michael Dodson.

1796 Frederick County, MD - A poll taken at court House in Frederick Town to elect an elector for President and Vice President of the United States. George Murdock was running as an elector for the Democrat/Republican party and William Dodson voted for him.


Michael Dodson (ca. 1722 - ca. 1783) is believed to be a son of Thomas and Mary Prigg Dodson and the same Michael who migrated from Chester County, PA to Frederick County Maryland.   A Michal Dodson was baptized 29 July 1722 in Philadelphia, PA but no date of birth nor the surnames of the parents are recorded. Michael's wife's name, Ann Evans, is obtained from the three wills for her father, mother and brother. These wills also establish her relationship as a sister to Eleanor Evans, wife of John Dodson, believed to be another brother to Michael who remained in Chester County, PA. 

Michael lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania for about 30 years and then lived in Frederick County Maryland for another 30 or more years. 

Michael Dodson is referenced the day book of Coventry Forge in Chester County, "April 24th. 1752, Carried a letter to George Taylor from Anna Nutt and Robert Grace to discharge the sd Geo. Taylor as manager for the sd Nutt and Grace as their manager at Coventry Forge and the sd Taylor took the letter from me and said he would write an answer as soon as he had time to do so. (Signed) Michael X Dodson. Witness, Jno. Hunt.

Michael Dodson is found in the 1750 and 1753 tax lists for Chester County, Vincent Township, but he moved to Frederick County, Maryland sometime between 1753 and 1757. 

In October 1757 in Frederick County Maryland Court Papers: Michael Dodson and others to appear in March 1758 Court  to answer complaint of Capt. Thomas Norris.  

Michael Dotson witnessed a bill of sale dated 16 February 1760 from Samuel Lewis of Pipe Creek Hundred to John Brazilton. Family records show that John Braselton immigrated to America about 1730 and settled about 10 miles east of Frederick Town on Pipe Creek, where he purchased land which was surveyed in 1746.  His land was on Hans or Hand Branch of Little Pipe Creek and was called Level Springs. Michael Dodson was residing on his brother-in-law's land in this immediate vicinity. There may also be a connection of the Dodson and Justice and Brazelton families, since a son of John Brazelton married a Sarah Justice and members of the Justice family intermarried with the Dodson family of Maryland. I

n July 1760, Michael Doddson, son-in-law of John Evans, was living in Maryland as stated by the will of John Evans. 

In July of 1782 in Frederick County of a wheat certificate issued to a Michael Dodson. By this date there are two other Michael Dodsons in Maryland who would be adults, one born in 1751 and the other born in 1759, so it's not clear as to which Michael is referenced.  

In June of 1783 Michael, formerly of Chester County, Pennsylvania, is still living in Frederick county Maryland, according to the will of William Evans, brother-in-law of Michael.  William Evans  references "my plantation in Frederick County, Maryland known as Pleasant Meadows whereon Michael Dodson now lives"  No record has been found for the death of Michael or Ann Evans Dodson. There is a Michael Dodson in the 1790 census of Frederick County Maryland with two males over age 16, but it's not clear which of the three Michaels this would be.  

Many believe that this Michael Dodson born about 1722 was the progenitor of the Dodson branch that migrated to Bedford and Huntingdon Counties, Pennsylvania.  Children claimed to be those of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson are: Thomas Dodson (ca 1746 - 1831), John Dodson (ca 1755 - 1816), Michael Dodson (1759 - 1828), William Dodson (1760 - 1813), Joseph Dodson (1763 - 1858) and Elizabeth Dodson Justice (1767 - ?). All of those claimed to be Michael's descendants were born in Maryland, and relocated to Bedford County Pennsylvania in the late 1790s.The parent-child relationships have not been documented, but from census records showing birth locations, families intermarrying with the Dodsons of the Frederick branch, as well as county and family histories, it appears that the pioneer Dodson settlers to this new Pennsylvania frontier came from the Frederick County area of Maryland. 

What We Know about Possible Children of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson:

Thomas Dodson (1741 - 1831) of Bedford County Pennsylvania has been said to be the son of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson. As with many of the names, there is confusion about which Thomas was a son of Michael and Ann, or if they had a son Thomas. Thompson P Ege reported in his book in 1907 that Michael had a son Thomas, but there is no known documentation of a relationship. This Thomas has been claimed to be the Thomas who received a Revolutionary War pension for his service in the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment, but that is incorrect.  That Thomas was born 1748 and died 1825 in Shenandoah County Virginia, as documented by his Revolutionary War pension records. This Bedford/Blair PA Thomas was born 1741 and died in 1831 and is buried in the Dodson Cemetery, Greenfield Township, Blair County, Pennsylvania.  No record has been found that this Thomas Dodson filed for a pension or that he served in the Revolutionary War.  

Thomas Dodson is first named in the tax list of Bedford County in 1798 along with John and Michael Dodson in Woodbury Township. He is showing as a miller, owns his home and 150 acres. He is in the 1800 census in Bedford - Hopewell and Woodberry Township and is listed as born before 1755. He is listed in an 1814 listing for Greenfield Township as age 68, a farmer and cooper. He is showing in the 1830 census in Greenfield Township, Bedford County as age 80 thru 89. His age at burial is said to be 90 years, 13 days and death date as 24 May 1831. 

John Dodson (ca. 1755 - 1816) is said to be another son of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson. Again, no documentation of the relationship. There are records of John's children being born in Maryland and records of John in Bedford County PA, so he did live in both places. Maryland Archives shows a John Dodson, private, serving in the Revolutionary War 5 Feb 1778 to 11 June 78 discharged; and 25 April 1778 to 1 Nov 1780 listed as 'present'. It is not known if this is the same John Dodson. In 1790 there is a John Dodson family in Frederick county MD with 3 males under 16, 1 male over 16 and 1 white female. He is believed to be the John Dodson on the Bedford County tax lists of 1793 in Greenfield Township. John Dodson is also on the 1796, 1798, 1799, 1802, 1805, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811 lists. In 1814 there is a census for Greenfield Township with a John showing as a farmer, age 57, which would make his birth date around 1756 or 1757. A John Dodson is showing in the 1800 and 1810 census of Hopewell & Woodberry Townships of Bedford County and was born before 1755 He wrote his will in 1815 and he apparently died in April 1816. He mentions his daughters Elizabeth Bridendoll, Mary Cassidy, and Susannah Potter and his sons William, John, Elijah and Michael. He mentions his wife but does not name her. He mentioned his 104-acre plantation on which he was living. Source: Bedford Co., Pa. Will Book #1, p. 459. 

Michael Dodson (1759 - 1828) is another possible son of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson. There has been a lot of confusion between him and a 2nd Michael Dodson (1751 - 1830) who was from Frederick Maryland and who lived in Bedford County also. And then there is a 3rd Michael born about 1777, son of John Dodson, who also came from Maryland to Bedford County. From the information available, it is believed that the Michael born 1759 came to Bedford County Pennsylvania about the same time that the other Dodsons came. But there is no proof of the relationships. A Michael appears on the 1790 Frederick County, Maryland census list, but it is not known if this is the same Michael. Michael first appears on a tax list in Woodbury Township in Bedford County PA with a John Dodson. From 1798 on there are 2 Michaels, a Junior and Senior. It is believed that the elder is the Michael born 1759 and the younger is John's son born about 1775. It is believed that the Michael who appears on the 1800 census list in Hopewell and Woodberry Township in Bedford County, is the elder Michael, born between 1756 and 1774. By 1814 Michael Senior is showing as age 53, making his birth year around 1760. Michael Senior (born 1759) was taxed for 100 acres in 1808. It is thought he is the one who is later referred to in other lists as Capt Michael, probably as a captain of the local militia. It is believed that this Michael later moved to Ohio where he died.

There is also a non-resident Michael who show shows up in some of the tax lists. It is thought this might be the Revolutionary War soldier Michael from MD who later appears in Bedford, applying for and receiving a pension and who also testified in the pension application of another soldier. Very little is known about him except his date of birth (1751) and death (1830) and his military record. It is felt that he is connected to this Dodson family, but it is not known the exact relationship. 

William Dodson (ca. 1755 - 1813) This William is claimed to be a son of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson, but again, there is no documentation of this relationship, but he is another William who migrated from Maryland to Pennsylvania. There are records of a William Dodson who served in the 7th Maryland Regiment in the Revolutionary War, but unknown if this is the same William. There is also a William in the 1790 Washington County Maryland census and also a William Dodson in the 1790 Huntingdon County Pennsylvania census. There is a record that a Michael McGuire settled in what is now Cambria County in 1788, and that William Dodson was an early settler with him. Michael McGuire was in the 7th Regiment and came from the the same area of Frederick Maryland where the Michael and Joseph Dodson families lived. There is a William Dodson born between 1755 and 1774 in the census of the Cambria District of Somerset County in 1800. Cambria County was formed in 1804. 

In the "History of Cambria County" page 98, it mentions a petition for a road with William Dodson signing. On page 544 "Dodson, William. He was one of the early settlers at Loretto, prior to the arrival of Father Gallitzin in 1799; he died in March, 1813."  William and Sara Dodson had five known children: Elizabeth Dodson-Deckert, born about 1784); Richard (1790 - 1845)  married Eleanor Grove; William (1793-1831) married Elizabeth Short; Andrew (1797 - 1876)  married Ann Mageehan;  Anna Dodson - Butler (1800 - 1873).  The last four children were born and died in Cambria County.  Some were married at St Michael's Church in Loretto and some are buried at the church cemetery.  From Cambria Co. Will Book, Vol. I, pp. 10-11:  William Dodson, late of Allegheny Twp. 14 Mar 1813; probated 20 Mar 1813. Ch: Elizabeth Deckert, Richard Dodson, William Dodson and Andrew Dodson and youngest daugher, Anne Dodson. Executors: Richard Dotson and James Meloy. Witnesses: Samuel McMullen, Andrew Anderson, Richard Ashcraft.

Joseph Dodson (ca. 1763 - ca. 1858) This Joseph Dodson is also said to be a son of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson, but there is no documentation. We first find him in the 1800 census of Hopewell & Woodberry Township of Bedford County, Pennsylvania born between 1756 and 1774. He is on a tax list of 1811 and in 1814 is listed as a farmer and shoemaker, age 48. From 1827 to 1833 he is listed with some livestock but no land. In 1848 he is showing occupation as "old Man". He is listed in the 1850 census living with his son in Armstrong Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. He is showing as age 81 and born in Maryland. 11 March 1856 Joseph's wife, Mary's death is recorded: "Died-In Washington township, on Tuesday the 4th inst., Mrs. Mary Dodson, consort of Joseph Dodson, aged about 86 years. Her surviving husband is aged 93 years." Their children are said to be Nicholas, William, Catherine and Thomas. 

Elizabeth Dodson was born around 1767, and she married Nicholas Justice in Frederick County, MD 27 Jan 1787.  They migrated to Bedford County, Pennsylvania with the Dodsons.  It is said that she was a daughter of Michael and Ann Evans Dodson, but again no proof.  A history of Bedford County reports "there were few other residents until after the Revolution. Even then there were not many, but they included Henry Bennett, John Barnhart, Adam Black, the Dodson and Justice families, Henry, David, John and Joseph Walter."  


Joseph Dodson (ca 1737 - after 1820) is probably a brother of Michael (born about 1722) and also a son of Thomas Dodson of Chester County, PA.  A Joseph is showing in Chester County records between 1765 to 1769.  He is first showing with 20 acres in East Nantmeal Township in 1765 and 1766 and is a shoemaker.  In 1769 he is showing in Coventry township with 100 acres, but that same year he is listed as "absconded".  He cannot be the same Joseph who is found later in Bedford County, said to be a son of Michael, due to the large difference in ages.  This Joseph was born about 1737 and married a Catherine Plain said to have been born in Coventry Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Their relationship is shown in a will of Catherine's brother William Plain, written 4 June 1788 and recorded 16 Aug 1788, which he names his sister Catherine Plain,  married to Joseph Dodson.  He also names three of her children:   Mary, Daniel and Rebecca Dodson.  The Joseph Dodson family also lived about 10 miles east of Frederick Maryland, about 10 miles south of Taneytown, and about 5 miles southwest of Union Bridge, Maryland.  It appears that the Plain and Dodson land adjoined each other.  This was also the area where Michael Dodson lived.

Joseph and Catherine's children are said to be Mary, Anna, Esther, William, Daniel, Rebecca and Hannah Dodson, probably born between about 1769 and 1782, probably all born in Maryland.  There is a record of a marriage license for Mary Dodson and John Brightwell recorded 31 December 1784 in Frederick County, Maryland.  Anna Dodson is said to have married Phillip Price.  Esther  Dodson married Robert Farquhar 12 May 1789 (Pipe Creek Monthly Meeting Notes).  Robert is named in his father's will in Fayette County, Pennsyvania. The Farquhars were early settlers of the Union Bridge area of Maryland, about 5 miles from the Dodsons.  There is a William Dodson listed on the Washington County MD census in 1790. Washington County was formed from Frederick. A William Dodson is also showing in Frederick County in Frederick Town in a 1796 census index and the same year regarding an election.   Many family members migrated to Fayette County before 1800.   There is a William Dodson in Fayette County PA tax list in Dunbar Township in 1799.  Daniel Dodson is mentioned in a write-up about his son David who was born in Fayette County, PA noting that David is "a son of Daniel and Mary (Sutton) Dotson. the father a native of Maryland, and the mother of New Jersey. In their younger years the parents removed to Pennsylvania, where they were married, and eight children were born to them, six of whom lived to be adults, and two are yet living".  Rebecca Dodson married a Henry Shingle and they were parents of 9 children.  Hannah Dodson married Nathaniel S Stephens April 1799 in Washington Township, Fayette County PA.

Census Records:

1800 Joseph Dodson is listed on the Fayette County Pennsylvania, Washington Township census and is over 45. Robert Farquhar is also there. A William Dodson shows on the 1799 tax list for Dunbar Township with no acres and no livestock, and also as over age 45 (born 1755 or before) in the 1800 census for Fayette County in Dunbar Township.   There are records of several William Dodsons who migrated from Maryland to Pennsylvania, so it's hard to determine their relationships to other Dodsons.  There is a William Dodson in the 1790 census of Huntingdon County PA with 2 males 0 to 16 and 1 male over 16 and 2 females. And a William Dodson in the 1800 Census in Somerset County in Cambria Township born 1755 to 1774. In 1814 a William Dodson is listed as a farmer, age 37, in Greenfield Township in Bedford County, PA. More research needs to be done to correctly identify the William Dodsons who have Maryland and Pennsylvania connections. 

1810 Fayette County Census Washington Township
Joseph Dodson - over 45
John Brightwell - over 45 married to Mary Dodson
Robert Farquhar - over 45 married to Esther Dodson
Nathaniel Stephens - over 45 married to Hannah Dodson
Daniel Dodson age 26 to 44 - Joseph and Catherine Dodson's son

1820 Fayette County Census Washington Township
Joseph Dodson over 45
John Brightwell over 45
Nathaniel Stephens over 45
Robert Farquhar over 45 - weaver

1830 Fayette County Census Washington Township
Joseph Dodson is NOT there, 
John Brightwell age 70 to 80 
Nathaniel Stephens age 40 to 50
Robert Farquhar (son of Robert and Esther Dodson Farquhar) - Robert Sr died 1822

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