I believe William Dawkins to be the son of Elijah Dawkins and his first wife Elizabeth Lowe based on Elijah and Elizabeth appearing on the Little River Church Records with William and his family in Abbeville County, South Carolina and the family's subsequent dispersal to Alabama (Cherokee and Pickens Counties), Georgia (Walker County) and Arkansas (Independence and Izard Counties). My search to solidly prove Elijah and Elizabeth as William's parents continues.
Land bought: 480 Acres (NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 sec 15, S 1/2 of SE 1/4 sec 9, T18 R15 W) and 480 Acres (S 1/2 of NW 1/4, SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 & W 1/2 of SE 1/4 sec 10, T18 R15 W)
Date: 30 January 1873
Place: Pickens County, Alabama
Land sold: to his son Stephen J Dawkins S1/2 of SE1/4 S9; NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 S15; S 1/2 of NW 1/4 S10; SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 S10; SW 1/4 of S10; W 1/2 of SE 1/4 S10 all in T 18 R13W, Pickens County, Alabama on 01 Aug 1894.
William died 04 Jun 1898 in Georgia at the home of his daughter Ariannah.
US Federal census - 12 Jul 1860 Anderson County, SC
"United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF39-7Q5 : accessed 27 May 2015), Wm Dawkins, Mississippi, United States; citing p. 15, family 98, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,252.
Event Type: Census
Event Year: 1870
Event Place: Winston, Mississippi, United States
Page Number: 15
Household ID: 98
Line Number: 4
Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number: M593
GS Film number: 000552252
Digital Folder Number: 004273811
Image Number: 00529
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
Wm Dawkins M 56 South Carolina
Mary Dawkins F 57 South Carolina
Robert Dawkins M 13 South Carolina
Buoy Dawkins M 12 South Carolina
Sarah Dawkins F 11 South Carolina
Hibernia Gerre F 11 South Carolina
US Federal census - 21 Jun 1880, Pickens County, AL
Little River Baptist Church Records, Abbeville County, SC
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: