This information also includes some references to Humphreys, Lawrence, Marshall, Maury and Williamson Counties.


So far as is known, all the Dodson/Dotson families of early Williamson County (the parent county of Maury, from which Giles was established in 1809/1810) were descended from the Dodsons of Richmond County, Virginia, although this report concentrates most heavily on the family of Thomas Greenham and Sarah DODSON Dodson of Robertson Creek and Elisha and Rachel HENRY Dodson of Pigeon Roost Creek. Primary sources were the two-volume “Dodson/Dotson Family of Northfarnum Parish, Richmond County, Virginia,” compiled and edited by Mrs. Sherrill Williams and published by Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr., Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC (hereinafter DNFP) and the works of Giles County researcher Janell McCann, much of whose data is online at the Giles County, Tennessee Genealogical Records Repository. We thank them.

Excerpted from DNFP, Vol II, pp. 1461-1466, “The Rev. Elias Dodson, Genealogy of the Dodson Families of Pittsylavania and Halifax Counties in the State of Virginia:”

(Page 1) “Thomas Dodson father of my grandfather Joseph Dodson had 8 brothers with himself viz; David, George, Abraham, Lambert, Greenham, Joshua & Elisha. Thomas married a Rose the first time and the second time a widow Sloan.” (Page 2) “… Greenham married a Hightower. Elisha married an Averett. The sons of Greenham were Greenham, Thomas, Hightower, Rolly your grandfather.” (Page 3) “William and George the preacher. Elisha Dodsons children were Eleanor, Peggy your grandmother, Lydia, Ruth, Sally, Mima, Tabitha, Elisha, Pressley, William.” (Page 4) “…Marriages of Elisha Dodson’s children… Peggy married the 1st time Fortune Dodson son of George on the first page of this book…. After his death she married Rolly Dodson son of Greenham Dodson on the 2nd page…” (Page 6) “…Sally married Thomas Dodson son of Greenham of the 1st page and brother to your grandfather…” (Page 24) “…Greenham Dodson’s children were Thomas, Hightower, Rolly your grandfather, William, George the preacher.” Thomas married Sally Dodson daughter of Elisha Dodson and sister of Aunt Peggy. I have mentioned Uncle Rolly’s marriage.”

Note: According to DNFP, this ms. was probably written about 1859. It includes reference by Rev. Elias to a trip taken by him and his mother to Tennessee in 1831, but not apparently to middle Tennessee. It is also believed that Rev. Dodson may have confused the Raleigh (Rolly) Dodson lines.

The Ancestry of the Dodson Families of Giles County, Tennessee

Charles DODSON, Sr., b ca 1649 (per Old Rappa deposition 6 Mar 1699/1700), resided in Old Rappahannock Co, VA by 8 Jul 1680 when he is first found in the records as having leased land, d in Richmond Co, VA (formed from Old Rappa) in 1704/5, his will named wife, Ann (who later m John HILL) and eight children: Charles, Jr.; Thomas, Bartholomew Richard, William, John, Lambeth, Ann, Eliabeth (the sons received land, the daughters “moveable estate”).

Thomas DODSON, Sr. (s/of Charles and Ann DODSON) was b 15 May 1681, Northfarnum Parish, Old Rappahannock Co, VA (parish register); d ca 1739-40, Richmond Co, VA; m by 1701, Mary DURHAM, b 5 Jun 1686, North Farnum Parish, Old Rappa, d/o Thomas DURHAM (parish register) who d 1715, Richmond Co, VA (will dated 4 Aug 1711, prob. 1 Jun 1715, naming children, Thomas John DURHAM and Mary DURHAM) and Dorothy SMOOT, d/o William and Jane SMOOT, Sr. In his Richmond will, dated 17 Feb 1739, he named sons, Elisha, George and Greenham (“the whole tract of land I bought of Lambarth DODSON”). By 1744, their mother, Mary DURHAM Dodson, had m Robert GALBREATH.

Greenham DODSON (s/of Thomas and Mary DURHAM Dodson), b bef 1720, Richmond Co, VA, m by 1740, Elinor, d/o John HIGHTOWER, sold his land in Richmond by 1746, the same year, he purchased land in Raleigh Parish, Amelia Co, VA, John and William HIGHTOWER, witnesses. They resided in Amelia for ca 17 years, and in 1763, sold their land to John HIGHTOWER, Jr. No more is known of either Greenham or his wife after that time, although one family story states they removed to Halifax Co, NC. Rev. Elias DODSON’s manuscript named their children as Hightower, Thomas, George, William, and Elinor (m Chatham Co, NC, Col. Thomas TAYLOR). Another child, Judith, b 6 Jan 1741, is listed in the Northfarnum Parish Register.

Thomas Greenham DODSON (s/o Greenham and Elinor HIGHTOWER Dodson), b by ?, married Sarah DODSON (d/o Elisha and Sarah AVERITT Dodson and also a gd/o Thomas and Mary DURHAN Dodson) according to Rev. Elias DODSON, but no marriage record has been found for them in either Halifax or Pittsylvania Co, VA). Thomas was on the Halifax Co, VA tax lists from 1788 to 1794, often listed as Thomas G. or Thomas Greenham, and resided near his wife’s parents.

In Aug 1807, Elisha, George, Greenham, Hightower, Thomas and Willis DODSON were among the signers on a petition “from citizens of Duck River” to form Maury County, which was presented to the General Assembly of Tennessee. (Maury Co, TNGenWeb – 1807 Signers) Note: This source also identifies Elisha DODSON as a Revolutionary War soldier who once resided in Maury Co, TN (July 3, 1976 Bicentennial edition of The Daily Herald), their source not known.

It is not known when or where Thomas Greenham DODSON died (no estate settlement has been located), but his wife, Sarah, b ca 1760, d 21 Sep 1835 in Giles and is buried in the Dodson Cemetery at Dodson’s Gap in Giles (abt one mile from Maury line and aka the Dodson/Cannon Cemetery). Their son, Greenham, and some of his family are also buried there, and Thomas is possibly also there without a tombstone.

The 1808 Williamson Co, TN Tax List included only Hightower DODSON [land on West Harpeth and William DODSON (no poll tax, over 50) [land on Murphree’s Fork].

DNFP: In 1809 the section of Williamson where the Dodson’s owned land became a part of Giles County.

The 1812 Giles tax list included only Raleigh DODSON, believed to have been the same who was deceased by 7 Sep 1815 according to Giles Co, TN Court minutes which state that Mary DODSON, widow, was appointed admin of the estate of Raleigh DODSTON. This is thought to have been Raleigh DODSON, Sr. of Hawkins Co, TN, s/o George and Margaret DAGORD Dodson and gs/o Thomas and Mary DURHAM Dodson.

A 5 Oct 1819 Giles Co, TN Petition was signed by Elijah DODSON and Samuel H. DOTSON. DNFP does not identifies Elijah, but this may have actually been Elisha, father of Samuel H. DODSON of Pigeon Roost, Giles, and son of Lazarus DODSON, s/o George and Margaret DAGORD Dodson (s/o Thomas and Mary DURHAM Dodson) and Alice DODSON, d/o Thomas & Elizabeth ROSE Dodson (s/o Thomas and Mary DURHAM Dodson).

Elisha and Samuel H. were not on the 1820 Giles county census which included, all with families: Elisha DODSON, 26-45; Greenham DODSON, 26-45; Jordan DODSON, 26-45 and George DODSON, over 45.

The Possible and probable children of Thomas Greenham and Sarah DODSON Dodson (deduced from the records) were:

George DODSON, over 45 (b bef 1775), was on the 1820 Williamson census, but is not found in 1830 (perhaps in the household of another family?).

7 Sep 1824 Giles Co, TN Survey (dated) 59 – Entry 57 for Nancy BEALE, 45 A on waters of Robertson Fork of Richland Creek; adj. George DOTSON tract on which he now lives; 3000 A tract granted to Thomas POLK; Andrew KEITH. Surv. 7 Sep 1824. Basil COMPTON & Robert GUTHRIE, C.C.

8 Sep 1824 Giles Survey. 57 – Entry 83 for Pressley BEALE, 50 A on waters of Blue Creek; adj. George DOTSON; Goodhope THARP; James LEITCH; S boundary line of Martin ARMSTRONG; 5000 A tract. Surv. Basil COMPTON & Robert GUTHRIE, C.C.

17 Nov 1826 Gilies Co, TN Deed Bk G, p 383/5. Deed of Trust to Jacob COCHRAN & Archibald CROCKETT, trustees, for benefit of Nancy BRIDGES, wife of Reubin BRIDGES, Nancy BRIDGES, wife of Reubin BRIDGES. Reg. 27 Feb 1828. “they have mutually agreed to live separate and apart from each other” certain tract of land on which he now lives lying in the county of Giles, on waters of Blue Creek of Richland containing 56 A. and 140 poles. Wit. James LEITCH and George DODSON. Reubin (X his mark) BRIDGES. Gi. Co., TN.

Janell McCann Notes: In 1828 Reubin BRIDGES sold this land and the deed said he was of Humphries Co., TN. I presume he and Nancy reconciled and moved to other parts. This deed was so detailed and wordy I could not believe it! It is believed by the compiler and a local descendant of the CROCKETTS of Gi. Co. that there is some family connection due to the fact that we have found the COCHRANs, CROCKETTS, MARTINS and MILLICANS were usually involved in deeds with relatives. Archibald CROCKETT and Jacob COCHRAN were witnesses when Reubin bought this land. Any further information on BRIDGES family will be appreciated.)

The 1836 Giles Co, TN Tax List, District 16, included:

DODSON, Geo. W 300 acres 1 white poll

DODSON, George Sr 75 acres 0 polls

DODSON, Isaiah 0 acres 1 white poll

DODSON, Willis 100 acres 1 white poll

DODSON, Jordan 0 acres 1 white poll

1840 Giles County Census (partial) 

Page 131

G. W. DODSON 1m 0-5 1m 30-40 1f 0-5 1f 20-30

George DODSON 1m 0-5 1m 20-30 1m 70-80 [b 1760-1770] 1f 0-5 1f 20-30 1f 60-70

J. DODSON 1m 40-50 2f 15-20 2f 20-30 1f 40-50

1844-11-8 Joseph B. MOORE by his Atty. Robert GORDON and William J. COMPTON and wife Rosemary to Matthew JOHNSON. Nov 7 1842 Samuel S. SMITH and Rees W. PORTER obtained judgment against William COMPTON, property sold to highest bidder being Matthew JOHNSON for 175A on Blue Creek, adj. DODSON, ….. other properties involved. Wit. A. WRIGHT and Thos. D. ELDRIDGE. GI Cty. D.B. R, p. 241.

Elisha DODSON, b ca 1780, probably in VA, d of cancer May 1850, Giles Co, TN [Mortality Schedule], m 19 May 1808, Maury Co, TN, Ann DODSON, b ca 1792, Greenham DODSON, bondsman, her ancestry not determined.

19 Jul 1823 Giles Co, TN DBF:8. Samuel MONTGOMERY of GI Cty. to Elisha DODSON of same 3 tracts on Robertsons Fork for $700.00, adj. SW corner of Samuel SHIELDS 112 A survey, 2nd tract adj. Samuel KING survey, Wm. T. LEWIS 5,000 A survey. Wit. Jordan DODSON & Moses PATTESON.

9 Sep 1824 Giles Co, TN Survey (dated) 46 – Entry 18 for Elisha DODSON, 25 A & 50 P on Robertson Fork of Richland Creek; adj. Samuel KING; ARMSTRONG’S 5000 A tract; James COCHRON; Samuel SHIELDS; DODSON. Surv. 9 Sep 1824. Charles BEALE & Archibald McDONALD, C.C.

25 Apr 1826 Giles Co, TN Survey (dated) 102 – Entry 141 for John J. MONTGOMERY, 4 A & 88 P on Robertson Fork of Richland Creek; adj. DODSON; BRADEN. Surv. 25 Apr 1826. William BRADEN & Sam S. MONTGOMERY, C.C.

According to McCallum’s History, John and Sam MONTGOMERY settled on Robertson’s Fork near Elk Ridge Church early in 1808, crossing the ridge at what was first called Sam Montgmery gap, and afterwards known as the Dodson Gap.

1830 Giles Co, TN Census, p. 202:

Elisha DOTSON 1 m 0-5 1 m 5-10 1 m 15-20 1 m 50-60 [b 1770-1780]

1 f 0-5 1 f 5-10 1 f 10-15 1 f 30-40

0 slaves

1850 Giles Co, TN Census District 16 

p. 419:

180 Elisha DODSON 35 M Farmer 1000 Tenn

Elizabeth 35 F Tenn

Leonidus 12 M Tenn X

Asa D. 10 M Tenn X

Elisha T. 8 M Tenn X

Elizabeth A. 6 F Tenn X

Malissa C. 4 F Tenn

District 15, p. 423:

238 Thomas DODSON 21 M Farmer 336 Tenn x

Ann Dodson 36 F NC x

Sarah Dodson 26 F Tenn x

Elizabeth A. Dodson 18 F Tenn

District 15, p. 424:

HH 250 Willis G DODSON 33 M Farmer 700 Tenn

Patsy Dodson 30 F Tenn

Mary Dodson 5 F Tenn

Irvin T Dodson 3 M Tenn

Rosanna Dodson 4\12 F Tenn

19 Nov 1834 Giles Co, TN DBR:415. Wm. M. SHIELDS to Henry SPIVY, adj Eli DODSON, south bank of Robertsons fork, 78 A. Wit. John N. SHIELDS & Hardin THARP.

19 Mar 1840 Giles Co, TN Marriages. Willis G. DODSON and M. C. SPIVEY (DNFP)

John D. Levesque ( Willis G. Dodson, born 1820 in Giles, his wife Marth “Patsy” BLACK or SPIVY born 11 Jun 1823, married 19 Mar 1840 in Giles Tn. Children: Mary Dodson born 1845 Giles Tn, Irvin Taylor Dodson 1847 Giles Tn, Thursa Jane Dodson 1 Jul 1850, William Thomas Dodson 9 Jun 1853, Serena Dodson 1855 Giles Tn, Judge Willis Uriah Dodson Born Oct 1859 in Dale Mo.

Greenham DODSON (aka Green H. DODSON), b 1 Oct 1783, VA, d 3 Oct 1866, Giles Co, TN per his gravestone; m 9 Jan 1808, Maury Co, TN, Marcy (aka Massey, Mary) BROOKS (b 1793, d 26 Feb 1874), Samuel BROOKS, Bondsman.

Both are buried in a small cemetery by the side of the railroad just out of Lynville. This is where they settled in the upper part of Giles, later called Dodson’s Gap, near Lynville. Greenham enlisted 28 Jan 1814 as a private in Capt. Reed’s Company of Tennessee Militia, was discharged on 28 Apr 1814. His widow [Marcy] received a pension based on his service, and stated in her application that they married at Carter Creek, Maury Co. (War of 1812 Pension WP5580; WC 3374). On 20 Apr 1871 Marcy DODSON was listed as a War of 1812 pensioner widow in the Pulaski Citizen (newspaper).

1 Jul 1823 Giles Co, TN Survey (dated) 27 – Entry 3 for Greene H. DODSON, 43 56/100 A on waters of Robertson Fork of Richland Creek; adj. DOTSON [sic]; Joel LOVE; Soloman TUTTLE; county line on Elk Ridge to 2 dogwoods on county line; DOTSON; containing the complement. Surv. 1 Jul 1823. John HUEY & William W. COCHRON, C.C.

25 Apr 1826 Giles Co, TN Survey (dated) 89 – Entry 122 for David K. McEWEN on waters of Robertson Fork of Richland Creek; adj. Green H. DODSON; MONTGOMERY; Maury Co. line; JOHNSTON. Surv. 25 Apr 1826. Sam S. MONTGOMERY & William BRADON, C.C.

25 Aug 1827 Giles Co, TN (probably Court minutes). State vs. Greenham DOSON (keep peace). (Frank D. Fuller records, TN State Library, no refs, DNFP)

On 11 Jun 1832, Green H. Dodson and wife Marcy of Giles Co, sold to Elijah HUNTER land on Carter’s Creek in Maury Co., “being the interest of Green H. DODSON and wife derived from the death of Isaac BROOKS.” Wits: Taswell S. ALDERSON, John M. FIZGERALD (Maury Co, TN Deeds). In In 1851 Greenham was a trustee of the Liberty Baptist Chrch.

The 1836 Giles Co, TN Tax List, District, 15 included:

DODSON, Asa 1 white poll

DODSON, Grunham 125 0 white polls (over 50?)

Asa DODSON has not been identified, but presumably was not Elisha, who would have been over 50 also. District 15 is described as “Begins at the Ash Gap on top of the ridge dividing the waters of Roberson’s Fork from those of Blue Creek and where the road leading from Robert Gordon’s to Columbia Crosses sd ridge, thence west with sd ridge up to the east boundary of No. 13, thence northwest with sd boundary to the east boundary of No. 14, thence northwest with sd boundary to the Elk Ridge and Maury County line, thence east with sd line to the spur running south so as to include all the waters of the branch running through Daniel Usra’s field to Roberson’s Fork, thence down sd creek to the Columbia road, thence southeast with sd road to the beginning; elections to be held at McCaul’s old store.”

1850 Giles Co, TN Census, District 15, p. 431:

HH 342 Greenhorn DODSON 66 M Farmer 2500 Virginia

Massy Dodson 56 F NC

Riley N. Dodson 25 M Farmer Tenn

Polly A. Dodson 21 F Tenn

Caladonia Dodson 18 F Tenn

Whitfield Dodson 20 M Farmer Tenn

Giles Co, TN Undated record. Greenham DODSON to Wrily W. and Whitfield DODSON, land “to take care of me and my wife Mary.” (Frank D. Fuller records, TN State Library, no refs, DNFP)

DNFP states that Greenham’s children included Wriley (Riley) W.DODSON, b 5 Mar 1824, TN, d 18 Mar 1896; Polly A. DODSON, b ca 1829; Whitfield DODSON, b 31 Oct 1834, d 18 Feb 1873; Caladonia DODSON, b ca 1832, lived with parents in 1850 and 1860, unmarried.

Hightower DODSON, b ca 1788, VA, d 1876-1877, Maury Co, TN (will dated 3 May 1864, proved 13 Jan 1877); m (1) 4 Jul 1807, Williamson Co, TN, Sallie DODSON (b 1790-1800, d 1830-1832), her ancestry not determined; (23) 25 Jun 1832, Maury Co, TN, Sarah “Sallie” HANKS, b 15 Mar 1790 (d/o Moses and Agatha DODSON Hanks).

Hightower served in the War of 1812, enlisting as a private in company of Capt. James McMAHAN of the TN Militia on 28 Sep 1814, disch 27 Apr 1815, received a pension (War of 1812 #SO19812).

27 Jan 1835 Maury TN Deeds. Hightower DODSOn and wife, Sarah, of Maury, to John WOLVERTION, Sr. Wits Elijah and Polly HANKS (Elijah had m Mary “Polly” WOLVERTON).

Researcher David McDonald ( states: Hightower DODSON resided in Williamson, Maury & Giles Counties in the 1800s, dying in 1876. A daughter, Deniah, removed to Illinois, but others remained with him in Tennessee.

Jordan DODSON, b ca 1792, NC (per 1850 census), d 25 May 1871, Giles Co, TN; m 21 Sep 1809, Maury Co, TN, Polly ELTON, b ca 1792, SC, Elisha DODSON, bondsman.

Jordan also enlisted in Capt. James Reed’s Co. of TN Militia on 28 Jan 1814, discharged 28 Apr 1814. His widow, Polly, received a pension based on his service (War of 1812 Pension, #WO 9239; WC 4000). All their children born bef 1830 were daughters, possibly eight in number. Only a month prior to his death, on 20 Apr 1871, Jordan DODSON, age 78 (b ca 1793), was listed as a War of 1812 pensioner in the Pulaski Citizen (newspaper).

3 May 1823 Giles Co, TN DBE1821:312) Deed. William Martin to Samuel ELTON for $87.50, 35 acres whereon said ELTON now lives, part of 150 acres deeded to Martin by William Woods, on waters of Robertsons Fork, adjoining Archibald Crockett’s corner, adj. Joel Lane, Thomas T. Armstrong, Martin Armstrongs NC grant boundary. Wit. Jordan DODSON & Moses Patterson. Signed with a seal. Giles Co., TN Deed Bk. E1821, p 312. (I was not able to find the deed where William bought the land from Wm. Woods. MJM)

1826 Giles Co, TN (probably Ct. Minutes) Benjamin GLOVER apprenticed to Jordan DODSON (Frank D. Fuller records, TN State Library, no refs, DNFP)

1830 Giles Co, TN Census, Page 202:

Jourdin DOTSN 1 m 30-40 [b 1790-1800]

3 f 0-5, 2 f 5-10, 1 f 10-15, 2 f 15-20, 1 f 30-40 0 slaves

Willis DODSON was in Williamson Co, TN in 1805 (tax list), and in 1820 was living in Hickman Co, TN where the census showed he had four sons under 16 and 3 daughters under 16. He is believed to be the Elder Willis DODSON who preached abt 1821 in Wayne Co, TN, pastor of Salem Baptist Church. He is not found in later TN census records. According to “Historical Sketches of Hickman County [TN]” by Jill Garrett, “Old Willis DODSON settled in the neighborhood 50 years ago [abt 1820]. He moved to Illinois 40 years ago. He had a son, a Baptist Preacher who moved to Arkansas. I.T. (Isaac Thomas Garrett of Cane Creek, Lewis County is a Grandson of Old Man Dodson.” According to DNFP: A Willis Dodson was on the 1830 census of Montgomery Co, IL.

Sarah DODSON, m 14 Aug 1809, Maury Co, TN, Amos CALDWELL, Allen C. YATES, bondsman

Ed. Note: DNFP postulates that Sally was a daughter of Thomas Greenham and Sarah DODSON Dodson, apparently based on the close relationshipo of her husband to Presley DODSON whose will, dated 29 Deb 1837, rec. Williamson Co, TN, Bk Y, pps. 139/140, was witnessed by Amos CALDWELL, among others, and offered for probate in Williamson Co, TN in Feb 1838, proved by the oaths of Amos CALDWELL and R. DODSON, witnesses. Letters test. were issued to Raleigh DODSON, Beverly DODSON and Presley DODSON, executors, $4000 bond with Amos and John H. CALDWELL security. Amos CALDWELL was appointed guardian of Presley’s minor heirs, Elisha W. and Andrew J. in Aug 1838. Presley DODSON was the s/o Elisha and Sarah EVERETT Dodson of Halifax Co, VA, thus the brother of Sarah DODSON who m Thomas Greenham DODSON (DNFP)

Candess DODSON, m 8 Feb 1808, Williamson Co, TN, John HUGHEY, John McKNIGHT, Bondsman.

Note: DNFP does not place Candace, but one Candus (Candice) DODSO, d/o Willis DODSON, is said to have married a GARRETT, one of her children being Isaac Thomas GARRETT of Cane Creek, Lewis Co, TN; and Greenham and Marcy BROOKS Dodson named a daughter, Candis D. (born 1 Aug 1828, d 6 Mar 1840, buried near her parents in the Dodson Cemetery).

William DODSON was in Hickman in 1820, aged 26-45 (b 1775-1794), but has not been located in 1830.

830 Giles Co, TN Census, Page 200:

Granham DOTSON 1m 0-5 1 m 5-10 1 m 15-20 1 m 40-50 [b 1780-1790]

1f 0-5 2f 5-10 1f 10-15 1f 15-20 1f 20-30 1f 30-40

0 slaves

The 1836 (first dated) membership roll of the Robertson Fork Christian Church included (DNFP):

White males:

Isaih Dotson “removed”

George Dotson “removed”

Jordan Dotson “to Lynnville”

Thomas Dodson “removed”

White females:

Lydia Dotson “removed”

Mary Dodson “removed”

Note: This church was in Giles County in 1836 but in that part that later became Marshall County.

1837-11-7 To John MARTIN from George W. CAMPBELL of Nashville, for $407.90, 200 A on Robertson’s fork in NE corner of a tract of land owned by said CAMPBELL, adj. S of DOTSON’S land, Adj. CAMPBELL’S line. Wit. Alexander ESSELMAN & Samuel H. LONDON. GI Co. TN deed Bk. R1843, p 223

Elisha and Rachel HENRY Dodson of Pigeon Roost Creek

Elisha DODSON, b ca late 1750s, Fauquier Co, VA, d ca 1828, probably in Giles Co, TN; m Rachel HENRY, date and place unknown, her ancestry unknown.

According to DNFP, Elisha was the s/o Lazarus DODSON (s/o George and Mary DAGORD Dodson and gs/o Thomas and Mary DURHAM Dodson) and Alice DODSON, d/o Thomas and Elizabeth ROSE Dodson, Jr. (s/o Thomas and Mary DURHAM Dodson). He removed from Halifax-Pittsylvania Co, VA by 1784 to that part of Sullivan Co, TN which became Hawkins Co, TN and he and Rachel were members of the Holston River Baptist Church (later “North on Holston at County line”) and recorded there in 1791 and 1792. He left soon after 17945, and is found on the tax lists of Williamson County from 1800-1812, purchasing land in Williamson in 1804.

4 May 1805, Williamson Co, TN court minutes (V1:22) jurors included Andrew GOFF, Elisha DODSON and Henry WALKER, Sr. (Janell McCann)

By 1819 Elisha and his son, Samuel H. were residing in Giles, and in 1821 were granted 320 acres in Giles as assignees of Robert Alexander (Cert dated 25 Nov 1818, rec. 4 Sep 1821). On 24 Aug 1823, the tract was divided half to each and on 1 Dec 1825, Elisha sold 147 acres of the tract.

1826 Giles Co, TN Deeds. Elisha DOSON to Daniel PURYEAR and William WOODS, land on Pigeon Roots Creek. Wits: Samuel DODSON (Frank D. Fuller records, TN State Library, no refs, DNFP)

On 29 Feb 1828, he sold land “to my daughter Nancy BLACKLEY of Maury Co” for $400 “this to be accounted to her as so much of my estate.” On 3 Jan 1829, Elisha DODSON of Giles Co sold to Alexander BLACK of Giles, for $100, a negro girl Martha. According to DNFP, he is thought to have died sometime in 1829, no estate records located, but in fact, he appears to have still been alive in 1830:

1830 Giles Co, TN Census, Page 195:

Elisha DOTSON 1 m 80-90 (b ca 1760)

1 f 80-90

2 m slaves and 2 female slaves

Of his known children:

Reuben DODSON, born 6 Oct 1781, VA or Hawkins Co, TN; d 1854 Attala Co, MS; m 14 Oct 1805, Williamson Co, TN, Nancy McCONNICO, Thomas WALKER, bondsman.

Janell McCann Notes: Nancy Hogan McCONNICO was b 9/26/1792, Lunenburg Co, VA, d 12/23/1879, d/o Baptist Preacher Garner & Mary WALKER McConnico of Lunenburg Co, VA and Williamson Co, TN. DNFP lists Reuben DODSON as a son of Elisha and Rachel HENRY Dodson, and states they moved to Pickens Co, AL, and then to Attala Co, MS where he died in 1854.

8/22/1815 Williamson Co, TN DBD:387 William WALKER to Reuben DODSON for $900., 222 A, adj. William MILHAUS, John HARDIN’S line. Wit. Garner McCONNICO & Henry PUCKETT. (Janell McCann)

01/1818 Williamson Co, TN Wills, V@:317-8. Est. sale of Jared McCONNICO: Some Buyers; Reuben DODSON, Jared McCONNICO, William HILL, Childs M. GEE, Henry BROWN, Elisha WALKER, Michael KINNARD, Lemuel B. McCONNICO, Christopher McCONNICO, Hugh PINKSTON, Horatio PETTUS. (Janell McCann)

1832-10-1 Williamson Co, TN Ct. Minutes, p. 2 Rec. Deed from Reuben DOTSON to Garner Y. McCONNICO.

Lazarus DODSON, b late 1770s to early 1780s; d Attala Co, MS, married, probably in Williamson Co, TN, Mary (Polly) WILLIAMSON, b ca 1784, d 1859, Attala Co, MS.

Lazarus appeared on Williamson Co, TN tax lists in 1801 and remained there until moving to Pickens abt 1830, then later to Attala.

Samuel H. DODSON, 22 Jun 1784; d 2 Sep 1863, Lawrence Co, TN; m (1) 6 Dec 1808, (bond dated 26 Nov 1808) Williamson Co, TN, Betsey McDANNILL, Alexander BLACK, bondsman.

Samuel H. first appeared on the Williamson Co, TN tax lists in 1807 as “H. Samuel” DODSON. Samuel was in Giles with his father by 1819 (petition), although not located on the 1820 census. Acording to DNFP, Elizabeth McDANIEL (or McDONNELL), b 2 Dec 1790, d 27 Sep 1827, and Samuel m (2) 28 Aug 1828, Williamson Co, TN, Sharah CHANEY. he may have m a third time to an Elizia, b 17 Jan 1800, as his wife on the 1850 Lawrence Co, TN census was Elizabeth.

1830 Giles Co, TN Census, Page 141:

Sam’l H. Dotson 1m 0-5 1m 5-10 1m 20-30 1m 40-50

1f 0-5 2f 5-10 1f 10-15 1f 30-40

1m slave 2 f slaves

Page 155:

Sam’l H. Dotson 1m 0-5 1m 5-10 1m 15-20 1m 20-30 1m 40-50

1f 10-15 1f 20-30 1f 40-50

1 m slave 2 f slaves

Note: This appears to have been the same Samuel H. DOTSON enumerated at two locations.

25 Aug 1836 Giles Co, TN Survey. Entry 149 – For A. C. WHITE, 25 A in Rng. 1, Sec. 4 on Waters of Pigeon Roost Creek, adj. L. M. BRAMLETT; J. PHILLIPS; S. H. DODSON. Surv. J. G. McDONALD & A. M. BUMPASS, C.C.

05 Nov 1836 Giles Co, TN DBM:237. John GOFF buys 50A, adj. Wm. McCABE, Alexander BLACK, Samuel H. DOTSON, for $200 from Archibald STORY. Wit. F. W. GOFF and James KOWNS.

25 Feb 1841 Giles Co, TN DBP:53 Thomas H. HOPKINS of Warren Co., TN, special commissioner appointed by Chancery Court at McMinnville, for $375 paid by John GOFF for 2/3 portion of tract on Pigeon Roost Creek, adj. Reservation line, DODSON’S boundary line, 233A, formerly owned by John McDONALD by survey.

12 Oct 1842 Giles Co, TN Survey. Entry 2 – For L. M. BRAMLETT, assignee of Gillie SIMONTON, assignee of Samuel DODSON, 37 1/2 A on waters of Pigeon Roost Creek, in 1 Rng., 4 Sec.; adj. WOODS; WEST; PURYEAR; DODSON; L. M. BRAMLETT. Surv. W. E. KEENAN & J. N. PATTERSON, C. C.

DNFP reports that Samuel was in Lawrence by 1840.

Elisah DODSON, b ca 1785, m Elizabeth FITZGERALD.

Nancy M. DODSON, b ca 1787, d Maury Co, TN; m 5 Nov 1806, Williamson Co, TN, William BLACKLEY (aka Blakley).

Sarah DODSON, b ca 1787, NC (per census), d 1845, Fayette Co, TN; m 4 Dec 1805, Williamson Co, TN, James NEAL, b ca 1785, NC, d 1845, Fayette Co, TN.

Tabitha DODSON, b 1 Jan 1789, Williamson Co, TN, d 12 Aug 1866, Giles Co, TN; m 18 Nov 1809, Williamson Co, TN, Alexander BLACK, b ca 1777, d 16 Nov 1849, Giles Co, TN; both buried in Pulaski, Giles.

Elizabeth, b ca 1790, m Henry PETTY.

Alice DODSON, born ?, d , m 10 Jul 1807, Williamson Co, TN, Martin SHADDEN.

Researcher Donna Shadden Long ( Martin was b ca 1784, ancestry unknown. Ailcey [sic] DODSON was the d/o Elisha and Rachel HENRY Dodson. They lived in Pulaski, Giles Co, TN.

Unidentified DODSONS

14 Aug 1834 Giles Co, TN Marriages. William J.COCHRAN and Maria R. DODSON (Janell McCann)

“WILLIAM J. COCHRAN, one of Maury County’s most highly respected citizens, was born in this county June 7, 1811, son of James and Jane (Miligan) Cochran. The father was born in North Carolina May 2, 1781, and immigrated to Georgia when a young man afterward living in Tennessee for a few years. He went back to Georgia, where he was married, after which he came back to Tennessee, and located in Maury County. He died June 30. 1859. He was in the war of 1812 and was a brave soldier. The mother died May 15, 1864. Our subject grew to manhood on the farm, and at the age of twenty-one began business for himself as a farmer. August 14, 1834, he wedded Maria R. DODSON, and to them were born these children: David J., born 1836; James Brooks, born 1838; Ascenith J., born 1844; William H., and an infant not named. Our subject received a rather limited education, but enough for all practical purposes. He is a Democrat, and he and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.” (Goodspeeds’ History of Maury Co, TN)

Janell McCann Notes: William J.COCHRAN d 10/27/1886 in Maury or Giles Co, TN and is buried in the Dodson/Cannon Cemetery. He married Mariah R. Winnifred DODSON, who was born 14 Aug 1834, Giles.

Giles Co, Marriage Records. DODSON, John M. & POWERS, Nancy M. 10/3/1849 (liencse), Robert B. POWERS, bondsman

Giles Co, Marriage Records. Lydia Jane DODSON m George W. DAVIDSON 9/17/1838

Giles Co, Marriage Records. Mary Ann DODSON m Henry EVANS on 8/7/1851 (by James HANNA, JP, license dated 7/7/1851)

1848 Giles Tax list, District 16

Matilda DODSON (no land, no polls)

District No. 16 is described as “Begins at the northeast corner of No. 11 at the forks of the road – one leading to Pulaski, the other to Indian Creek Meeting House – running southwest to the east boundary of No. 12, thence northwest with sd boundary to the southern boundary of No. 15, thence east with sd boundary to the Ash Gap at the Columbia Rd, thence south with the road to the beginning; elections held at Thomas K Gordon’s. (Giles County Historical Society Bulletin)”

1850 Giles Co, TN Census, District 12, p. 411: 

62 62 Matilda DODSON 58 F 1,000 NC

Mahala A 24? F Tenn

Mary C 16 F Tenn

Researcher Dianne Erwin ( Matilda Dodson, age 58, who was living in Giles Co., Tn on the 1850 Giles Co. census with Mahala A., age 22, and Mary E., age 16. Was she the first wife of John Dodson, b ca 1794 to (s/o Samuel and Sarah DODSON of VA) and earlier of Grainger Co, TN?

Dodson Graveyard, Dodson’s Gap

(outside Lynville, Giles Co, TN, about one mile from the Maury County line):


consort of Thomas DODSON

died 9 Sep 1835, age 75 years


1 Oct 1783, age 83 years 2 days


wife of G. H. DODSON

died 26 Feb 1874, age 81 years

W. W. DODSON 5 Mar 1824 – 13 Mar 1895

Cladonia DODSON 1 Feb 1832 – 8 Feb 1889 (1899?)


(joint headstone)

Whitfield DODSON

31 Oct 1834 – 18 Feb 1873

James Wrily DODSON

son of Whitfield and Martha E. DODSON

11 Jun 1861- 14 Nov 1874

“Cemetery Records of Giles County” terms this the Dodson/Cannon Cemetery and enumerated the following added or different Dodson records:

G. H. Dodson 1 Oct 1783 – 31 Oct 1866

Aged 83 yre 2 days ??? Marcy 26 Feb 1874

wife of G.H. Dodson; age 81 yrs

W.W. Dodson 5 Mar 1825 – 18 Mar 1896

Caldonia F. Dodson 1 Feb 1832 – 18 Feb 1899

James Wriley 11 Jun 1860 – 14 Nov 1874

son of Whitfield & Martha E. Dodson

Candis D. 1 Aug 1828 – 6 Mar 1840

dau of GH & Marcy Dodson

Julian Walsh 13 Sep 1896 – 25 Nov 1896

wife [sic] of George & Mollie B. Dodson


  1. Betty (Guthrie) McCollum

    I have veen told that the Dotson/Dobson families and the Beal families of Giles Co., Tn. were related. Do you know if this is true? Thanks.
    Betty (Guthrie) McCollum

  2. Hi Betty – I do not personally know, but perhaps you can ask this on one of the Gibson County mailing lists? See the Queries & Lists page at for options.

  3. Skip McDonald

    Thanks for posting this. My great great great Grandfather Joseph McDonald was born in Williamson County, TN in 1815. His Grandmother was Elinor Dodson from Chatham Co. NC above. They migrated to the area just after 1800 from North Carolina. Most of the extended McDonald/McDaniel family moved on to Illinois and many on to Texas by the 1850’s.

  4. Betty Guthrtie McCollum

    Hi Skip:
    My Gr-gr-grandmother was (Amanda)Ann Beal, b. 1804, prob. in Giles Co., Tn. Myself and several other researchers think her parents were (the old) Thomas and Lydia Beal. Known children of Thomas and Lydia Beal were Thomas Smith Beal, Ann Beal Guthrie Moody and Nancy F. Beal Morphis, and Susan Beal Lngston. There were probably others. Ann and Nancy named sons Thomas, and each had a dau. they named Lydia. The dau. Susan Langston named a son Thomas Beal Langston. I can’t remember where I saw it, but somewhere I did see where the Beals and Dot(d)sons were related. Old Thomas and Lydia Beal were both in N.C. according to census and I think they were from Chatham Co. Many of the Beal’s who were in Giles Co., Tn. were from Chatham Co., N.C. Thanks. Betty Guthrie McCollum (

  5. Regarding the section about Sarah Dodson under 1830 census page 202 — Sarah DODSON, m 14 Aug 1809, Maury Co, TN, Amos CALDWELL, Allen C. YATES, bondsman

    Ed. Note: DNFP postulates that Sally was a daughter of Thomas Greenham and Sarah DODSON Dodson, apparently based on the close relationshipo of her husband to Presley DODSON whose will, dated 29 Deb 1837, rec. Williamson Co, TN, Bk Y, pps. 139/140, was witnessed by Amos CALDWELL, among others, and offered for probate in Williamson Co, TN in Feb 1838, proved by the oaths of Amos CALDWELL and R. DODSON, witnesses. Letters test. were issued to Raleigh DODSON, Beverly DODSON and Presley DODSON, executors, $4000 bond with Amos and John H. CALDWELL security. Amos CALDWELL was appointed guardian of Presley’s minor heirs, Elisha W. and Andrew J. in Aug 1838. Presley DODSON was the s/o Elisha and Sarah EVERETT Dodson of Halifax Co, VA, thus the brother of Sarah DODSON who m Thomas Greenham DODSON (DNFP)

    My grandmother was Eugenia (Genie) Caldwell who was the granddaughter of Amos and Sarah Dodson Caldwell. She kept a bible record of her family–the oldest reference made of Amos’s father John Caldwell 1715-1795. One entry she had documents the above theory. Her bible entry (Caldwell Bible3) by Genie Caldwell: “Sarah Dodson daughter of Thomas & Sarah Dodson borned May 15th 1795 Died 1867”. I have photos of 5 pages copied and posted on

    • Oops, I made a mistake in typing the bible entry of Eugenia Caldwell (granddaughter of Sarah Dodson and Amos Caldwell). It should have been, “Sarah Dodson daughter of Thomas & Sarah Dodson borned May 15th 1795 Died 1861″.

  6. I am Rodney Dodson of Elgin OK ,and I deceased from Irvin Taylor Dodson, the Son of Willis G Dodson, my grandfather was Walter Virgil Dodson ,my father was Walter Kenneth Dodson e-mail is dods@tds,net

  7. Cherie Renee Roberts

    I my name is Cherie Roberts from Michie, Tn. my 7th great grandfather is Charles Dodson Sr. i was wondering does anyone know where i can buy a copy the vol 2 book

  8. Cherie Renee Roberts

    does anyone know where i can get Vol 2 of the Dodson/Dotson book Charles Dodson Sr. is my 7th great grandfather and if anyone has any info on the Dodson i would love to know about my family

  9. MargieStewartDunn

    I am a 67yr old woman looking for relatives/my mother was a Dotson/Dodson her mother was a Hill/they were from Dayton Tennessee,her father was I was told a Cherokee/who was left with the Dodsons on their farm as a new born/ Mom was one of thirteen children,they are all gone, Would like to know if any Dayton relatives or others might know our story. Thank you MargieStewartDunn

  10. Does anyone know the connection of a Nancy Dodson who is living with the William Abbott family in the 1860 and 1870 Giles Co TN Federal Census. She was born in South Carolina around 1800.

    • I meant to add that the Nancy Dodson who lives with the Abbott family is from district 20 in both the 1860 and 1870 censuses. She does not appear to be a mother-in-law since there is a marriage record indicating the wife’s maiden name is McAllister.

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