1829 - 1919

Lazarus Dowling

My Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Lazarus Dowling was born in Wayne County, Georgia on February 27, 1829. The Dowling family had come to America in the late 1600's from Ireland and at first lived in Virginia. By 1770 they had relocated to Darlington District, South Carolina. In the early 1800's the Dowlings were living in Barnwell District, South Carolina and in 1820 they moved to Wayne County, Georgia.


The Dowlings were very much involved in every war that this country has ever engaged. Indeed, Lazarus' father, Darling Dowling, had fought in the Seminole Indian Wars. His Grandfather, Jabez, fought in the War of 1812 and his Great Grandfather, William Dowling, served in the Revolutionary War as a Private under the command of the famous Francis Marion, "Swamp Fox".


The Dowlings had fought the British in Ireland and the tradition seemed to follow them to this country. They fought to preserve their honor and to protect their homeland so it is no surprise that the Dowling boys took up arms against the Yankees when they invaded the South and the War of Northern Aggression began.


Lazarus Dowling was 33 years old when he joined the Confederate Army. He enlisted on March 04, 1862 in Blackshear, Georgia. He served with the 50th Georgia Infantry, Drayton's Brigade. Lazarus was a 4th Corporal in Company A and served with distinction until he was severely wounded at the Battle of Antietam. At Harper's Ferry, September 17, 1862, he and others were attempting to destroy a railroad bridge and he was injured in the left leg. Lazarus was sent to a hospital in Richmond, Virginia where it was determined a discharge was pertinent. It was a long way back to Georgia but he managed to make it back home.


Six years before the War Between the States began, Lazarus Dowling, son of Darling Dowling and Sophie Davis Dowling, was married to Mary Ann Guy on February 22, 1855. Mary Ann Guy was born October 01, 1837 in Georgia and was the daughter of William Guy and Bathsheba Thomas Guy. When Lazarus was discharged from the hospital in Virginia and released from duty due to his injury, his wife and their five children greeted him. In the coming years they had eight more children bringing the total to thirteen.


Lazarus Dowling was a member of the High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church and one of the earliest known Sacred Harp Song leaders and a deacon. He taught many people the old way of singing Sacred Harp or Fa So La singing and the church to this day still sings in the manner he taught.


Lazarus' wife, Mary, died giving birth to their last child on October 08, 1874. Lazarus never remarried but raised all thirteen children alone. I have heard stories of him going to the river and washing clothes all day long. He died February 17, 1919 and is buried near his father in the cemetery at High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church. He was a good soldier and a wonderful father and Christian man.


Lazarus Dowling and Mary Ann Guy Dowling had the following children:


1. William M. Dowling was born 1855 died in boyhood.


2. Mary M. Dowling was born 1857 and married Josiah Mills Warren.


3. Lazarus E. Dowling, Jr was born 1859 and married Elizabeth Warren on January 13, 1878.


4. Melissa Dowling was born on Nov. 29, 1860 and married Jasper John Winn on Feb. 13, 1879. She died July 03, 1939.


5. Alonzo Dowling was born June 11, 1862, died November 05, 1921 and married Vannis I. "Vannie" White, born June 13, 1871, died December 29, 1938. Buried in High Bluff Cemetery.


6. John Darling Dowling was born February 09,1864 and died October 01, 1947, He married Prussia Malinda Sapp, December 24, 1883 in Pierce Co, Ga.


7. Perry Franklin Dowling was born December 04, 1866 and died October 01, 1946, married Susan Dryden December 15, 1887 in Pierce County, Ga. She was born July 10, 1868, daughter of Nathan and Martha (Harris) Dryden. She died March 31, 1949.


8. Joel/Joseph R. Dowling was born 1868 and married Rhoda Crews, of Florida.


9. Bethany Courtney Dowling was born March 27, 1869 and married James Allen Dixon, November 18, 1891, son of Griffin "Soddy" and Elizabeth Dickson/Dixon. He was born January 19, 1863 and died November 27, 1949 .


10. Martin Edgar Dowling was born on October 08, 1870 and married Nancy Dryden, November 19, 1891, Pierce County, Ga. daughter of Nathan and Martha (Harris) Dryden. She was born February 23, 1873 and died February 14, 1942. He died Sept. 15, 1937.


11. Kateny/Catherine Dowling was born 1872 and married to Bryant M. Riggins, January 25, 1888 in Pierce County, Ga.


12. Ettie Dowling (twin) was born Oct. 07, 1874 and married John T. Riggins, January 12, 1891 Pierce County, Ga.


13. Rosetta Dowling (twin) was born Oct. 07, 1874 and married Riley Dixon July 12, 1894 Pierce County, Ga. Riley was born March 12, 1874 died May 22, 1949. Rosetta died November 12, 1937. Riley was the son of Griffin "Soddy" and Elizabeth Dickson/Dixon.


Submitted by: David Loper, TP: 903-791-0653; E-mail:


Resources: "History of Pierce County" Vol. II by Janie Kate Hice Broome; "Miscellany of Wayne County" by Margaret C. Jordan; Jerry Van Herrin's notes; Edited and corrected by Jerry Van Herrin.


Military service was researched and a grave stone was ordered by Gaynell H. Sasser on July 17, 2004, and installed by Art Keene on September 20, 2004. The new grave marker was dedicated with the new marker on February 26, 2005, with approximately 150 people in attendance.


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