Letter written by G. W. Dodson

to Mr. John W. Taylor, of Summerville, GA.

Source: Dodson file, Herman Brown Free Library

 
2103 Oldham Street
Austin, Texas
October 19, 1915
 
Dear Nephew,
 
I have just received your letter of recent date, and will do the best that I can to give you the information that you ask for. I think that it was in 1876 that I visited my Uncles, William and Isaiah Dodson, in Henry and DeKalb Counties and copied some records that I found with them in an old Bible, and learned some other things about the Dodson family that I did not know; also I have lately seen a book belonging to a minister here (Mr. Minter), which is intended to be a genealogy of the Dodsons. I also remember a few things that my Father and Mother told me, but it is more difficult to trace the Mother's than the Father's line -- in fact, I cannot go beyond my maternal grandfather.
 
I learn from the book that I mentioned that there were three families of Dodsons, who all came from England at a very early date, and seemingly from the same place. One family settled in Maryland, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Virginia. We are descended from the Virginia branch, and there is mentioned in the Colonial Records in 1632 a Dodson farm on the James River, which was only 25 years after the first settlement at Jamestown. This all agrees with the traditions that I have, and the book says that the Virginia Dodsons Claim that they were there from the first.
 
My name is English, but we are at least half Irish or Scotch. Uncle Isaiah told me that the English was all gone but the name. I cannot go beyond my great grandfather, Joshua Dodson, who was about contemporary with Washington, and was a Baptist preacher. My Father told me that he remembered him.
 
Now, from the records, my grandfather, Joshua, was born in 1764, and was the fourth son of Joshua, Sr. The older brothers were Charles, Elijah and Elisha. I think all these went to Kentucky soon after the Revolutionary War. The younger brothers were Isaac and Daniel. Joshua Dodson, Jr., and Sarah Warnick (or Wirnick) were married in Virginia and went to Georgia previous to November 1785, and Daniel also went to Georgia. I do not know as to Isaac, but Joshua, Sr., visited Georgia when my Father was a child.
 
Two of my grandfather's sisters married Creels, and one a Ballinger, and one a Stamps. If I have been correctly informed, one of Ida Autrey's boys married a Miss Robertson, who is descended from Stamps. The children of Joshua, Jr., were
Elijah, born November 20, 1785;
Samuel (my father), November 21, 1788;
William, March 22, 1791;
Dicy, April 6, 1796;
Ruth, December 12, 1801;
Isaiah, June 9, 1804;
Daniel, December 9, 1806.
 
Of these brothers of my father, Elijah married a Miss Rowden, and raised a large family, but I know very little about them. My father was the second son. William, the next one, lived and died in Henry County. Only one of his sons raised a family. This one was named Newton. Frank was a Captain, I think in Gobbs Legion, and was killed at Fredericksburg. The others, Marion and Green, died unmarried. I know scarcely anything about Uncle William's daughters. One of them married a man who owned a mill on South river, but I have forgotten his name. I heard once that she was a widow living in Atlanta. Uncle Isaiah married a Miss Brabin, and had one son, Jasper, who was living about Gadsen, Alabama the last that I ever heard of him. Uncle Daniel was a Captain in some of the Indian Wars. He was never married. Aunt Dicy married Mr. Hulsey. She lived at Lithonia and raised one son and two daughters. Marion was killed, I think, and left a widow, but no child, in Atlanta. Aunt Dicy had a daughter who lived at Lithonia, but I have forgotten who she married. Another one married Dr. Clark, and came to Texas before the war. Aunt Ruth married Mr. Hollis, died young, and left one son, Andrew D. This is about all I can inform you about my father's family and I will turn to my mother's side of the house.
 
My grandfather, Christopher Gardner, was born in Ireland in 1754. He came to America when a boy, served in Washington's army from Pennsylvania, was twice wounded, married after the war and moved with a colony to Georgia. His wife died, leaving him a daughter, who afterwards married Dick Saye, and lived in Cherokee County. Some of the grandchildren may be there yet. Grandfather afterwards married Sarah Simmons, from whom we descended. I know nothing of her except the name. I think she was Irish. She was the mother of three sons and six or seven daughters, but I don't remember their names. I know who most of them married. The sons, Asa and John, moved to Mississippi and I presume their descendants are there yet. Thomas lived and died in Henry or DeKalb County, and I am sure that some of his children are still there. Mother's sisters married men of the following names: Rowden, Underwood, Caruthers, Drumners, Trisar, and Gillespie. The last named lived in Banks County, and the Drumners went to Mississippi, and the Caruthers did live near Chicamauga. None of them ever married except Jack, and they are all dead except Julie, I mean of my Aunt's children, but Jack left a family, and I am now going to write of my own family. I hope you will preserve the main facts for the younger generation. I like to see people pay some attention to the history of their ancestry.
 
In looking over this, I find that I might say more about my father's mother. She was an Irish Presbyterian, as was also my mother's father, and whom, I suppose, were Scotch Irish. My parents were married, I think, in 1816. their children were:
 
James Warnick, born January 3, 1818, died 1894
Jefferson Monroe, Don't know when born, died 1882
Areissa Wilshire, your mother, born Oct. 10, 1894, died 1914
Sarah Ann, born in 1827, died 1890
Caroline Margaret, born Feb. 1889--still living
Samuel Putnam, born 1832, died 1853 [date not clear]
Elijah Mosely, born 1835, died 1904
John Lafayette, born 1837, died 1911
George Washington, born January 26, 1840 [died 1916]
 
Columbus and Sarah never married, and Putnam left no children; neither did John. James married Miss ____ and came to Texas in 1840. They are both dead. They left two sons and five daughters, and many grandchildren. Monroe married Miss Clem Flint in Texas--both dead. They left one son and four daughters. The girls all married well--the son is in California, not married. I leave out your mother, and ask you to get Bernard to tell you about the Beatty family.
 
Areissa married John Taylor, and lived and died at Summerville. I think he, John Jr.,, is doing well. Sallie (Taylor) Hassell lives at Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has two sons missionaries in Japan. Areissa had a son, Samuel Fleming, who died in Atlanta, and left a widow and one son. I don't know whether they are still living or not.
 
Brother Mosely married Miss Fannie Germany. They are both dead--left two sons and four daughters. The boys went off before Mosely died. I don't think it is know where they are. Two of the daughters lived in Chattanooga--one is a widow, and I expect a good woman--her name is Samuels. One of the other girls, I think, lives in Savannah, and the other somewhere in the North. I know but little about them--not even their names.
 
We have five girls and three boys. the girls are Mattie, Mary, Amy, Sarah, and Carrie; and the boys are Edwin, Sam and William. Mattie and Sarah are teaching here--have a home--and wife and I live with them. Mary and Samuel are missionaries in Korea. Edwin is a lawyer at Rosebud, Texas. Amy is married to Dr. Garrett, and lives at Bertram, Texas. Carrie is teaching at Port Arthur, William at Llano, Texas.
 
(signed) G.W. Dodson
 
 
Records copied from the Dodson Family Bible
 
BIRTHS:
 
Samuel Putnam Dodson, Jr., son of Samuel Putnam and Martha J. Dodson, was born March 3, 1854.
 
MARRIAGES:
 
R. G. Dodson was married May 17, 1854
 
Elijah Mosely Dodson and Frances Germany were married June 21st 1856
 
George W. Dodson and Sallie J. Huie were married December 20, 1870
 
George Washington Dodson and Naomi S. Kendrick were married Feb ruary 12, 1879.
 
DEATHS:
 
Samuel Putnam Dodson, son of Samuel and Rebecca Dodson, died 6th of September 1853 in Anderson County Texas.
 
Rebecca Dodson, wife of Samuel Dodson, died January 4th, 1872, aged 76 years, 9 months and 26 days.
 
Sallie Jane Dodson, wife of George W. Dodson, died February 22nd, 1872, aged twenty years, three months and eight days.
 
Samuel Dodson died September 4th, 1879, aged 83 years, 9 months and 17 days.
 
George Washington Dodson, youngest son of Samuel and Rebecca Dodson, died July 21, 1916.
 
 

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