Talbot County MD Dodsons

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Talbot County Maryland Dodson Line

For over 100 years, people have cited "Dodson Genealogy 1600 - 1907" by Thompson P. Ege as a source for information about the Talbot County Maryland line.  However, thanks to recent research by Fred Claussen and his wife, in England, we can now see the errors in the information about the Maryland line, as reported by Ege, and repeated by C. Marion Dodson and others.  Information from Ege is reprinted below for informational purposes, but correct information with documentation for Thomas Dodson of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England can be viewed HERE and for Robert Dodson of Talbot Maryland HERE.  

Fred's documented research is important for those who have previously used Ege's family history for family research. Fred invites any suggestions for further research or questions about his reports be sent to Fred Claussen.

In fact, the marriage of Thomas and Catherine Dodson occurred in Yorkshire and instead of New Jersey, and the 2 children attributed to them, Joseph and Thomas, have births recorded in Yorkshire England, not in Maryland as shown in the Quaker records from Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England.

These birth records and the marriage record found in research of the line in England suggest that the information published by Ege and quoted below is in error.  

Also, DNA testing from the Maryland line has shown that they are NOT related to the Dodson branch who settled in Pennsylvania nor from the same line as Rev. Ege..


The following information is from Dodson Genealogy 1600-1907

Explanatory Note. 
Researches in the history of the Dodson family in this country from a common English ancestry, began several years ago, and following natural leadings, first from England to New Jersey, thence into Pennsylvania, and next into Maryland, opened up a wide field of interest. During a very substantial progress in the latter State, the writer came in touch 
with Dr. Charles Marion Dodson, of Baltimore. From that time Dr. Dodson has been mutually interested and a co-laborer in the completion of the Maryland history of the family. He has also contributed the introductory, historical and biographical sketch of the Maryland branch. Following this is the mutually prepared and tabulated line of descent in chronological sequence, family by family, from the head of each to its latest generation.
Rev. T. P. Ege. 

Introduction. 

In the research and preparation of the history of the Maryland Dodson branch, though begun independently by each of the writers whose names are underwritten, the writer of this historical sketch gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to Rev. T. P. Ege, for a great part of the labor in tracing and tabulating the same, and especially for the location and data of the English ancestry of the Maryland branch and their descendants. 

A short time since, after a correspondence of fifteen years, in which mutual exchanges of data were made, we met for the first time. After discussing the results of our labors, it was mutually agreed to incorporate our combined work in one volume, Rev. T. P. Ege assuming the responsibility of the publication, while each receives due recognition therein. 

Authorities of Information. 

Colonial Records at Annapolis, Md., including administrators' accounts; Maryland Historical Library, Baltimore, St. Peter's Church Parish Records, of Talbot Co., Md., Scarf's History of Maryland, Vol. HI, Hemersley's "One Hundred Years' General Register of the United States," Family Documents and Records. 

See reference also in Rev. T. P. Ege's introduction to Pennsylvania Branch, to Quaker Records in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England, and Burlington, New Jersey; Burke's Peerage, Luttrell's Records of Early English State Affairs, Fairbairn's Crests and Coats of Arms, and Pennsylvania Historical Library, Philadelphia. 

It is not our purpose to minutely investigate the various branches of the Dodsons in England before their advent into America. From references quoted it is known that the family figured prominently in different periods of English history. Their crests and coats of arms are still preserved, and a descendant of the Maryland family now residing in England 
has recently been granted with some modification, the arms and crest of his Yorkshire ancestors. 

There is no claim that the Dodsons came to this country boasting of a titled ancestry, but came as settlers, and just such persons as v^ere best fitted for the development of the country's crudeness, and fit it for those who were to succeed them. From the different English branches of the family there came representatives at various times in the early settlement of our country, settling in New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Among such were the descendants of the Yorkshire family, of which Thomas Dodson became the founder of the Maryland branch, and while many of his descendants were men of successful enterprise, wealth and prominence, there generally co-existed in the early generations of those who settled and remained on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, the shipbuilder, the sea captain, and the sailor. 

C. Marion Dodson, M. D. 


Brief Historical and Biographical Sketch of Six Generations OF the Maryland Branch of the Dodson Family from Daniel and Susannah Dodson of 
Knaresborough Yorkshire England.
By C. Marion Dodson, M. D., Baltimore, Md. 

Thomas Dodson, in company with an older brother, John, and sister, Mary, and a small colony of Quakers, came to Burlington, New Jersey, in 1677, and although coming under the 
influence of William Penn, they antedated his coming to Pennsylvania by about five years. John became the head of the Pennsylvania branch. Mary married Richard Boyes in 1683, 
and remained in New Jersey, where descendants of the name still reside. Thomas, born October 19, 1669, was the seventh child and youngest son of Daniel and Susannah Dodson, of 
Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England. He married in Burlington, N. J., July 16, 1698, Katharine Savill, daughter of John Savill, of Snape, England. Some time after his marriage Thomas settled in Talbot County, Md., on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. By this marriage there were said to be three children, John, Robert and Susannah. Burlington records name this John, and a Virginia family record claim this John, as their ancestor from Maryland. 

Records of St. Peter's Parish, Talbot County, show that Robert Dodson married Mary Brumell, August 18th, 1727, and that Susannah married William Clark in 1728. An administrator's account of Talbot County, preserved at Annapolis, shows that this Robert Dodson, for his wife, administered upon the estate of her father, Abraham Brumell, April 15th, 1730. 

A similar record shows that Robert Hall administered on March 19th, 1745, upon the estate of said Robert Dodson, stating also that among other enterprises Robert was a builder 
of sailing vessels. 

The record of John, oldest son of Thomas, who married Lucy Long, and soon after his marriage settled in Virginia, has been traced by Rev. T. P. Ege, and will follow the tabulated genealogical descent of Robert and Mary Brumell Dodson. 

The only child known as resulting from this union of Robert and Mary Brumell Dodson was a son, Thomas, born 1728, and died after 1770. This Thomas, 2nd, married a wife 
whose name was Esther (family name not given). Their children were Elizabeth, James, John, Mary, Robert, 2nd, Joseph and Thomas, 3rd. 

Thomas, 2nd, was a prominent citizen of his county, a gentleman of the "old school," a member of St. Peter's Parish of the English Colonial Church, but liberal in his ideas of religious worship, and when Methodism was introduced into his section, his youngest son, Thomas, became one of its early itinerant ministers. 

Robert Dodson, 2nd, son of Thomas and Esther Dodson, was born December 6th, 1762, and died April loth, 1824. He married Elizabeth Auld January 20th, 1785, from which union 
were born William, Sarah, Eliza, Robert, 3rd, Edward Auld, Edward, Ann Maria, and Emily L. Dodson. He married for his second wife a widow Hutton, but had no issue by this 
marriage. The life of this Robert was a strenuous one, not only preserved as family legend in the memory of his descendants, but at this late period made more evident by the finding of his old ledger of an hundred years ago, portraying in a clear statement the various operations in which he was engaged, his association with events of that period, and the people of the day and generation among whom he lived. He farmed, traded in the general products of his region, dealt in real estate, and took hold of any enterprise that offered an opportunity for a successful return. He engaged largely in merchandising, and the "Dodson Store" was one of the well known institutions oi his town. Later on in life he became interested in education and was largely instrumental in having the children of the community properly educated. Co-existing with his various pursuits he owned several vessels that traded on the Bay, among which was one in which he was specially interested, the schooner "Edward," which was fitted for both freight and passengers, and plied between St. Michael's and Baltimore. The trips of the Edward during 1812-13 are faithfully recorded in the old ledger; what each trip paid, and what were the attending expenses. This account shows that in 1812 the vessel made thirty- four trips to and from Baltimore, starting early in March and ending the last of December, at which time the vessel was under the command of his son William, who made such a good showing that year that the youthful commander bought the half of the vessel on credit, and during the time William was in the U. S. Navy the vessel's profits paid the bill. The "Edward" in 1813, under another captain, made twenty-seven trips from St. Michael's to Baltimore, which, under the circumstances, was truly remarkable, as the British swarmed the Bay, and were especially active on that portion of it over which he sailed, escaping the fate that befell so many others of the same occupation. Yet in spite of such danger and interruption, the vessel began her trips early in March, 1813, and continued them with marked regularity to the close of the following December, with the exception of a 40-day blockade in the harbor of St. Michaels by the enemy, during which time the battle with the British occurred at that place. An interesting item of the "Old Ledger" account is worthy of mention. A freight charge is shown against Lloyd Nichols for pork and fish, July 19, 1813, who is credited in August of the same year with loss of the same. An explanatory note reading, "Spoiled on account of the blockade by the enemy." This Robert Dodson was especially active during this period of the British invasion in aiding his section, distributing arms to the people for their defense in the threatened districts, having also one of his vessels fitted out and armed as a guard boat. 

He died at the age of 62, and was buried in the old Methodist cemetery at St. Michael's. 

William Dodson, previously mentioned in association with his father's sailing and trading interests, was the oldest son of the last-named Robert Dodson, was born at St. Michael's, Md., in 1786, and died in Baltimore in 1833. He married Amelia S. Brown, and by this marriage had eight children, viz., Robert, William, Elizabeth, Helen, Amelia, Leonidas, Julia and Edward. 

He was sent to the best schools which the time and place afforded and was designed for a very different life from the one he subsequently pursued. His father had planned for him 
a liberal education, and for some time kept him diligently at his studies. Soon, however, the sailor spirit developed, and quite early in life he gave up his studies and began the career which his spirit craved. Once he made a voyage across the Atlantic as mate of a ship, but at the urgency of his father he gave up his desire for ocean navigation, and thus at the beginning of his more eventful life we find him in charge of his father's packet schooner "Edward." This vessel, while temporarily under his command, sailing from Baltimore July 26th, 1813, out sailed the British pursuers and escaped into St. Michael's harbor, which was attacked a few days later by the British. 

On this vessel at the same time was his intimate friend, James Martin, and a number of armed associates. When the "Edward" returned from this exciting trip William Dodson at 
once took charge of the "lookout boat" and watched the movements of the British vessels which had assembled off "Kent Point." On their approach to St. Michael's for the attack, 
he sailed his vessel into the harbor and anchored her alongside of other vessels that had taken refuge there. At the request of General Benson, who commanded the militia assembled there for defense, he took command of Parrott's Point Battery in an earthwork erected to guard the town. This battery defeated the British on August loth, 1813, in their attempt to capture St. Michael's and destroy the vessels in refuge there, as well as those on the stocks in process of building. The fire from this battery killed and wounded so many of the British that they were thoroughly defeated and driven off, and the town and shipping saved. 

After the defense of St. Michael's he and his friend Martin, who was with him in that defense, joined the U. S. Navy under Commodore Joshua Barney, whose flotilla, in which he 
and his friend were appointed sailing masters, sailed from Baltimore in May, 1814, and fought furiously with the British on the Bay, till the enemy landed in large force at Benedict on the Patuxent River, and commenced operations against Washington City. 

This flotilla was purposely destroyed on the Patuxent River to prevent its falling into the enemy's hands. 

We next find William and his friend Martin standing side by side with their gallant commodore, trying to stem the British advance at Bladensburg. Here the enemy was successful, Washington was taken, Capitol buildings burned and valuable records destroyed. Martin was desperately wounded in the battle at Bladensburg and during the general confusion at Washington William Dodson took his wounded friend and conveyed him in an open boat across the Chesapeake Bay to St. Michael's and left him in charge of his friends. He then hastened to Baltimore, and with the fragment of Barney's men assisted in its defense, being stationed during the attack in a small battery close to Fort Covington, which assisted in driving the enemy back in their attempt to take Fort McHenry in the rear. 

When peace was declared he left the navy and returned to St. Michael's, where he again resumed his previous occupation and successfully pursued it for many years. On one of 
these trips to Baltimore he died suddenly on his vessel as she laid at her wharf. His remains having been recently disinterred from their first resting place, were taken to his native town and buried in the "Dodson Lot" of Mt. Olivet cemetery, St. Michaels, Md. In this sacred spot may now be seen a granite tablet, with rough rock finish, bearing the following inscription: 

TO THE MEMORY OF 

WILLIAM DODSON. 

Born 1786. Died 1833. 

A Sailing Master in the U. S. Navy. 

''He commanded a private armed vessel furnished by his father in the early part of the war of 1812, that guarded the waters of the Eastern Bay and its tributaries. He was in 
charge of Parrott's Point Battery August loth, 1813, where the British were defeated in their attack upon the town of St. Michael's. He fought under Commodore Barney at Bladens- 
burg, and participated in the defense of Baltimore at Fort McHenry, September, 1814." 


Robert Auld Dodson, son of William and Amelia Brown Dodson, was born at St. Michael's, November 6th, 1808, and died at the old homestead in his native town in 1883 in the 
presence of his family, all of whom were then living. He married Hester Ann Keithley, of Baltimore, January 24th, 1833, and by this union eight children were born, William 
Keithley, Robert Auld, Richard Stearns, Henry Clay, Charles Marion, Amelia Jane, Melancthon, and Hester Eugene. 

Robert A. Dodson began the life of a sailor when quite young. The first vessel he commanded was the "Amelia," owned by his father. For several years he continued with this 
pursuit for his father, who at that time carried on a lucrative business of freight and passenger traffic between St. Michael's and Baltimore. 

In 1832 he went as mate on a vessel trading for some time among- the islands of the Caribbean Sea. On one of these trips from Turk's Island, laden with salt, his vessel encountered a fearful hurricane off Cape Hatteras, and came near being a total loss. Two men were swept overboard and lost. The vessel was saved, though badly damaged. After his marriage he continued to sail from Baltimore until 1836, when he gave up long ocean voyages and became captain of the "Sally of Wye," sailing between Baltimore and Wye, to which latter place he removed and was there employed for three years. In 1839 he returned to St. Michael's, his father having died. He there at once laid the foundation for larger enterprises, and an increased packet business, which continued under his management with great success until 1861. He had built in succession the following named vessels, ''The William Hambleton," "Ann Catharine," "Sea Gull," "B. M. Corner," "Amelia" and the "William K. Dodson." All these were beautiful specimens of sailing craft, the packet boats for passengers in particular, which by their number indicated the measure of their success, and the amount of travel and freight supplied. It was the day before railroads traversed the prosperous peninsula of Eastern Maryland, and very few steamboats plied the Chesapeake waters, and it is worthy of mention that this large enterprise in sailing craft, under his management, was carried on with such a degree of care and regularity that never a passenger 'Was injured or a pound of freight lost. 

The breaking out of the Civil War in 1861, found him in command of the steamer "Star" running between St. Michael's and Baltimore. Steam navigation was by this time crowding 
out the passenger sailing vessel. With foresight he had disposed of most of his sailing vessels and was negotiating to purchase the steamer of which he was in command, when the 
U. S. Government bought her for the Burnside Expedition to Port Royal, South Carolina. In addition to his nautical career, he was also largely engaged in coal and lumber interests in his native town. 

In politics he was an old line Whig, but a strong Union man, and loyally supported President Lincoln in those trying days of the border States. He was present on Pratt street, 
in Baltimore, during the 19th of April riot when the Massachusetts troops were assailed by a mob, and for boldly denouncing this act at the time and scene of its occurrence his life was threatened by the excited mob. He sent two sons to defend the Union cause during- the Civil War, one in the army and one in the navy, while two others of his sons filled civil positions under the government. 

During the enlistment and drafting of troops he was appointed the enrolling officer for the government in Talbot county. He was subsequently appointed postmaster of St. 
Michael's. 

In a brief concluding summary. Robert A. Dodson, both in private and public life, was in every way a prominent and influential citizen. He was closely identified with the people 
of his town and county and few, if any, enterprises for the welfare of his section and people were ever entertained without his co-operation and assistance. Early in life he identified himself with the Methodist church, and to the day of his death was one of its faithful supporters and active workers.
 

Talbot County marriages and other Maryland Marriages

FROM:  Baltimore: Its History and Its People - By Various Contributors, Volume III - Biography.  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New york and Chicago, 1912, pages 659 - 662.
RICHARD S. DODSON 

A descendant of ancestors who had been Marylanders for many generations and whose generous natures and upright lives were an honor to 
the grand old State, the late Richard S. Dodson, in his long and successful career as a business man, worthily maintained the traditions of such a lineage. 

(I) Thomas Dodson. the earhest ancestor in this country, born October 19. 1669. was a son of Daniel and Susannah Dodson, of Knaresborough, 
Yorkshire. Eng-land. In company with his oldest brother, John, and sister, Mary, with a small colony of Quakers, he came to Burlington, New 
Jersey, in 1677. or about four years before Penn settled Pennsylvania. He married in Burlington and shortly afterward settled in Talbot county, Mary- 
land, where his descendants have continued to live from generation to generation to the present day. 

(II) Robert, son of Thomas Dodson, was born in the year 1700, in Talbot county, Maryland. He spent his entire life upon his farm in his 
native county, with the exception of the period during which he led a seafaring life. 

(III) Thomas (2). son of Robert Dodson, was born in the year 1728. He was a prominent citizen of his county, a gentleman of the "old school," 
and a member of St. Peter's Parish of the English Colonial Church. 

(IV) Robert (2), son of Thomas (2) Dodson, was born December 6, 1762. His life was a strenuous one. He not only established his family 
legend in the memory of his descendants, but at this late period an old ledger of a hundred years ago was found, portraying in clear statements 
the various operations in which he was engaged, his association with the events of that period and the people of the day and generation in which he 
lived. He farmed, traded in general products of his region, dealt in real estate, and took hold of any enterprise that offered an opportunity for a 
successful turn. Later on in life he became interested in educational work and was largely instrumental in having the children of his community educated. Together with his various pursuits, he owned several vessels that traded on the Chesapeake Bay, among which was the schooner Edward, which was fitted for both freight and passengers, and plied between Saint ^Michaels and Baltimore. This Robert Dodson was especially active during the period of the War of 1812. at the time of the British invasion, in aiding his section by distributing arms to the people for their defense in the threatened districts, having also one of his vessels fitted out and armed as a guard boat. He was one of the first commissioners of the town of Saint Michaels. He died at the age of sixty-two and was buried in the old Methodist Cemetery at Saint Michaels. 

(V) Captain William Dodson, eldest son of Robert (2) Dodson, was born at Saint Michaels, Maryland, in 1786, died in Baltimore in 1833. He 
attended the best schools which the time and place afforded, and was designed for a very different life from the one he subsequently pursued. His 
father had planned for him a liberal education and for some time kept him diligently at his studies. Soon, however, the sailor spirit developed, and he gave up his studies and began the career which his spirit craved. He made a voyage across the Atlantic as mate of a ship ; but, at the urgency of 
his father, he gave up ocean navigation, and at the beginning of his more eventful life we find him in charge of his father's packet schooner Edward. 
This vessel, while temporarily under his command, sailing from Baltimore July 26, 1813, outsailed the British pursuers and escaped into Saint Michaels 
harbor, which was attacked a few days later by the British. At the request of General Benson, who commanded the militia assembled there for defense, 
he took command of Parrott's Point Battery in an earthwork erected to guard the town. This battery defeated the British on August 10. 1813, 
in their attempt to capture Saint Michaels and destroy the vessels in refuge there, as well as those on the stocks in process of building. After the 
defense of Saint Michaels he joined the United States navy under Commodore Joshua Barney, whose flotilla, in which he was appointed a sailing 
master, sailed from Baltimore in May, 1814, and fought the British on the Chesapeake Bay until the enemy landed in large force at Benedict, on Patuxent river, and commenced operations against the city of Washington. This flotilla was purposely destroyed on the Patuxent river to prevent its falling in the enemy's hands. He also participated in the battle at Bladensburg; and with the fragment of Barney's men assisted in the defense of Baltimore, being stationed during the attack in a small battery close to Fort Covington, which assisted in driving the enemy back in their attempt to take Fort McHenry in the rear. When peace was declared he left the 
navy and returned to Saint Michaels, where he again resumed his old occupation and successfully pursued it for many years. 

(VI) Captain Robert Auld Dodson, son of Captain William Dodson, was born November 6, 1808. He began the life of a sailor when quite young. For several years he continued in this pursuit for his father, who at that time carried on a lucrative business of freight and passenger traffic between Saint Michaels and Baltimore. After his father's death he returned to Saint Michaels, and there at once laid foundations for larger enterprises and an increased packet business, which continued under his management with great success until 1861. He was present on Pratt street in Baltimore during the 19th of April riot, when the Massachusetts troops were assailed 
"by a mob, and for boldly denouncing this act at the time and scene of its occurrence his life was threatened by an excited mob. During the enlistment and drafting of troops for the Civil war he was appointed the enrolling officer for the government in Talbot county. He was subsequently appointed postmaster of Saint Michaels. In addition to his nautical career, he was also largely engaged in coal and lumber interests in his native town. In both private and public life he was in every way a prominent and influential citizen. He was closely identified with the people of his town and county, and few, if any, enterprises for the welfare of his section and people were ever entertained without his cooperation and assistance. He married Hester A. R. Keithley. 

(VII) Richard S., son of Captain Robert Auld and Hester A. R. (Keithley) Dodson, was born April 7, 1838, at Wye, Talbot county, Maryland. When about two years of age his parents moved their family to Saint Michaels. He became a sailor quite early in life on one of his father's vessels, and before he was of age he became captain of the schooner William K. Dodson, which his father had built especially for him. Being ambitious for a wide sphere of activity, he soon gave up sailing, secured a clerkship at the Maltby House, Baltimore, and commenced his career as a hotel manager. About this time he married Maria F. Pfeltz, daughter 
of Gustavu? Adolphus and Martha Ann Pfeltz, of Baltimore county. After several years he went to the Fountain Hotel, a very popular house in Baltimore at that time, first as manager and subsequently co-proprietor. The opening of German street caused the closing of this historical establishment. He then took charge of the Herdic House, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and Minnequa Springs. After two years, in 1870, he went to Norfolk, Virginia, where he leased the Atlantic Hotel. Such was his success here that "before his lease expired he purchased the hotel, enlarged the building and greatlv improved its equipment, making it one of the largest and most 
thoroughly equipped houses in the South. He managed this hotel until the strain of this field of activity forced him to resign in favor of his oldest son, Robert A. Dodson. After retiring from his active life he removed to Baltimore, where he resided during the remainder of his days. Mr. Dodson accumulated a fortune, not only in real estate in Norfolk, but also large holdings in Baltimore and Talbot county. At one time he owned the old Saint Michaels and Miles River Steamboat Company, which was operated between Baltimore and Saint Michaels. He was an active member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Baltimore for many years, and 
a member of the board of stewards of that church and a member of the board of trustees of Goucher College of Baltimore. He died at his home on Charles Street Road, March 22. 1897, and was laid to rest in Greenmount Cemetery. 

Mr. Dodson is survived by the following children: Robert Adolphus Dodson. of Norfolk, Virginia ; Hon. Richard Slicer Dodson, of Saint Michaels, Maryland; William Pfeltz Dodson, of Norfolk, Virginia; Henry Clav Dodson, of Norfolk, Virginia: Mrs. Edward L. Robinson, of Baltimore. Maryland: Leonidas Berry Dodson, of Norfolk, Virginia; Mrs. A. L. McClellan. of Richmond, Virginia; Flora Dodson, of New York City; Herbert Keithley Dodson, of Baltimore, Maryland; Mrs. Archibald D. Brown, of Brooklyn, New York. 

The death of Mr. Dodson deprived the city of Baltimore of a man over the record of whose life there falls no shadow of wrong, nor suspicion of evil. While in his business career he had passed on to a position of wealth and influence, his hand was ever held forth to aid one to whom nature or environment had seemed less kindly. His life was, in large measure, an exemplification of his belief in the brotherhood of mankind. A more honorable man than Richard S. Dodson never trod the streets of Baltimore. "True as steel" is a phrase which aptly describes him, for true, indeed, he was true to his friends, true to the loftiest principles, and true to the 
manly nature transmitted to him by a noble-minded ancestry.