What evidence that Jesse Dodson existed, married, had children?

+1 vote
The narrative of this profile suggests that there is no evidence that this man existed. However, he has a wife and children attached, and apparently there are a ton of online trees claiming his existence.  There are also rumors that he was half-Native American.

Can we get a "history" of this legend and determine if he existed at all? If not, I think he needs a disputed existence template.

WikiTree profile: Jesse Dodson
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (863k points)

Jillaine, Benjamin Dodson-253 was a real person but is not known to be the son of Jesse Dodson.  Benjamin Dodson-253, was imported into Virginia on the 22nd June 1635, by Captain William Pierce.  Captain Pierce received 2000 acres for importing 40 persons. Benjamin Dodson's name and importation by Captain Pierce can be found in the Virginia records: Nugent, Nell M., https://archive.org/stream/cavalierspioneer00nuge#page/28/mode/2up Cavaliers and pioneers: abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800.] Vol I, Page 29 [1st ed.] Richmond: Dietz Print Co., 1934, Open Library accessed October 6, 2014/14

Mary Ann appears to be a myth.  Thomas Ball 1661-1702 was a real person, lived in Northumberland County, VA. but his wives were named Hannah (unknown) and Elizabeth Heath (married several times, had children but not with Thomas). Hannah is named in a lawsuit, Elizabeth in estate inventory as widow and administratrix.  Thomas and Hannah had a daughter named Catherine/Katherine. She was named in a lawsuit as "Abraham Bletsoe & Kath his wife late Kath Ball."    No other wives or children mentioned in documents.

Okay, I'm slowly detaching the children of Jesse Dodson.

Remaining is William https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Dodson-257

Completely unsourced. Any suggestions?

There is a William Dodson, of North Farnham Parish, VA,  born c.1685, son of Charles and Anne Dodson, will probated 1753.  He’s the only William I can find in that area at that approximate time....  he’s Dodson-224 in Wikitree but that profile needs some help, too.
If that's the earliest WIlliam Dobson, perhaps we should merge Dodson-257 into him?
Unless someone suddenly finds  documents for an earlier William I think that makes sense.  My local history library not open today, but I can do a little more checking in books on  Monday.
Kathie,  I have both volumes of The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia: A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants by Mrs.Sherman Williams and Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. and Charles Dodson Sr.'s son William is listed on pages 5 and 6 and no where is will listed for him.  The text states that William's birth, death, or marriage is not recorded in the North Farnham Parish Register.  The Dodson books does state that he may be the William Dodson who is found in the records of Henrico Co. but that the records of Henrico Co., on the surface, appear to be for an immigrant William Dodson and goes on to state that a William Dodson, along with five others, was on the importation list of Maj. Wm. Ferrer and Lt. Col. Thos. Ligon when they received a patent of 300 acres in Henrico county on the south side of James River on 29 Sept. 1668 with this being recorded in VA Patents, Book 6, page 88.  This William Dodson left a will in Henrico Co. in 1746/7.
I have not looked at the abstract/will book myself, but the reference is Richmond County WillBook 6, p. 722, 3 August 1753.


The 1753 Will is for William Dodson who was the son of Charles Dodson Jr. and grandson of Charles Dodson Sr. This William Dodson married the widow Hannah Goad Phillips.  This William apparently had no children as his will leaves items to his brother James, nephew Samuel Dodson, Niece's Ann and Alice Dodson and wife Hannah Dodson the use of his estate during her widowhood and after her death the estate was to be equally divided between Samuel Dodson, Ann Dodson, and Alice Dodson.  The will is extracted in Volume Two on pages 1440 and 1441 of The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia: A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants by Mrs.Sherman Williams and Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr.

All good to know, still leaves the supposed son-of-Jesse William hanging out there.  It makes sense to me to merge him away into one of the real Williams, perhaps with a research note saying why the merge was done.

1 Answer

+3 votes
There are actually many early Virginia records still in existence including land and  church records.   The earliest Dodsons I can locate in early Virginia are Gervase, Thomas, and Charles Dodson.  Charles and wife Anne lived in North Farnham Parish in the second half of the 17th century.  They appear in parish records beginning with the baptism of their son, Thomas in 1681.  Charles made his will in 1703 and listed his wife Anne, six sons and two daughters.  Anne made her will in 1718.  No one was named Jesse.  

No one named Jesse Dodson appears in Jamestown records.  

The other two men named Dodson appear in pre-1666 Virginia land records.  These records include not only people who actually owned land, but also the names of hundreds of people whose passage to the colonies was paid for by others.

Gervase Dodson first appears in 1650, receiving a large grant for the transport of 32 persons.  He appears in many subsequent land records.

Thomas Dodson received a grant in 1658 for the transport of 24 persons, including himself.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (768k points)

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