no image

Charles Dodson Sr. (abt. 1649 - bef. 1705)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Charles Dodson Sr. aka Dotson
Born about in Essex County, Colony of Virginiamap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died before in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Colony of Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Jun 2010
This page has been accessed 5,384 times.

Categories: North Farnham Parish, Virginia Colony | Richmond County, Virginia Colony | Virginia Slave Owners | US Southern Colonist.

US Southern Colonies.
Charles Dodson Sr. settled in the Southern Colonies in North America prior to incorporation into the USA.
Join: US Southern Colonies Project
Discuss: southern_colonies



Unknown Origin

Charles Dodson (or Dotson) was deposed on 6 March 1699/1700, stating he was aged fifty years.[1][citation needed]

His birth place and parents are unknown. Roberta Estes writes a thorough summary of the claims of ancestors for Charles Dodson and their spurious sources.[2]

Among the theories which have been published online is that Charles was descended from John Dods of Jamestown, but there is no evidence.[3]

Another theory is that Charles was a son Jesse Dodson. There is no proof of this, but the name Jesse was used in later generations.[4] There has even been a myth that a Native American woman named "Eagle Feather" was an ancestor. The fact is that we do not have record of his birth or immigration. Many researchers have looked for many years with no results. Charles may have been born in England or in Virginia. We simply do not know. We only have record of Charles as an adult in Virginia.[4]

The profiles for Jesse Dodson and Judith Hagger have been disconnected from this profile as parents. Please do NOT re-connect these, until/unless an appropriate SOURCE is located that confirms they were Charles Dodson's parents. As of August 6, 2016.


Charles was born around the middle of the sixteen hundreds, or about 1649. In a court record dated March 6, 1699/1700, Charles swore he was aged fifty years. This would make his birth date about 1649/50.[Richmond Co VA Miscellaneous Record Book, p. 41][5] We must also keep in mind that people were not always exact about birth dates in the seventeenth century.


Charles Dodson, (connection to this Charles not proven), born Nov 25, 1659. Christening Place: Lewes, Sussex, England. Father: Richard Dodson Mother: Elinor[6]


Charles married, probably between 1678 and 1680, at Rappahannock County, Virginia, to Anne Unknown. She was named executrix [5] Charles married a woman named Ann ____ (maybe either Dodson or Elmore), possibly a daughter of Benjamin Dodson and Anne Simms? Her maiden name must remain Unknown until some evidence is found.

When Charles made a livestock trade with his son Thomas on July 31, 1693, the notation read, "in exchange with him my said son Thomas for one sow shoat given him by his god-father Peter Elmore."[4] This was one example of a close relationship, and was his wife, Ann, an Elmore? The search continues.

After the death of Charles Dodson, Anne married John Hill: 3 Jul 1706, John Hill and wife Anne, executrix of the LW&T of Charles Dodson, dec'd, petitioned the court for appraisement of the estate. Her son Thomas may have tried to stop the marriage as he brought an action against John Hill marrying the Executrix of Charles Dodson; case dismissed 3 Apr 1707.

After Charles' death (January 1705), his widow Ann married a neighbor named John Hill, sometime before 3 July 1706, on which day they petitioned the court for an appraisal of Charles' estate (Richmond Co. Order Bk 4, Page 171)[5] Michelle Ule writes that in the book The Dodsons of North Farnham Parish, suggestion was made that some of the children may not have approved of this marriage. Son Thomas protested John Hill marrying the Executrix of Charles Dodson, and asked the case be prosecuted in court. We do not know the basis for his complaint, but the action was dismissed.[4]

Positions and Property

Our first property record is in July 1693, when Charles Dodson leased some of the first land Charles Dodson patented was leased from Peter Elmore in Old Rappahannock County in July, 1693. The lease was for 19 years, but the amount of land was noted as “as much land as three titheables can tend in corn and tobacco

As a prosperous tobacco planter and slave owner, Charles resided at a large plantation in the North Farnham Parish area of Old Rappahannock County, across the York River.[6] Tobacco was the currency of colonial Virginia. At one point, Charles bought land at two pounds of tobacco for every acre. He acquired a number of parcels of land; one parcel was located on on Totuskey Creek, near the North Farnham Church. There was land in both Essex and Richmond Counties (previously combined as Old Rappahannock).[5] Included in the notes of Frank D. Fuller, was a list of seven different leases or deeds in Old Rappahannock County, (with no details on the properties).[4] By the time of his death, Charles was able to give each of his six sons at least 150 acres apiece.[4]

Charles was well-respected and trusted in the community. Several times his neighbors asked Charles, and sometimes his wife Ann, to witness wills and deeds, or to act as Executor. One neighbor, John Lincoln, chose Charles to act as his Executor, even to the exclusion of the man's own wife, and against the advice of others.[4] That year, 1686, he acted as executor for both John Lincoln and for Edward Johnson. Also in 1686, on November 1, the court chose Charles to audit the accounts of two men who were in dispute over monies believed to be owed, each to the other.[4] This sort of responsibility was given Charles time and again.

Death and Legacy

Charles died before February 6, 1705; the date the transcript of his Will was filed at North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia.[5] The Dodsons became known as one of the leading families in the "tobacco belt."[4] Charles left a considerable estate, including houses and at least 150 acres to each of his sons. Daughters got all the movables, as they were called. In Corbari's book is a list of some of these including: tables, chairs, chests, cloth and linen napkins, a pestle and mortar, knives, two spinning wheels, cart wheels and casks. Also included, and highly valued, was "one servant man three years eight months to serve."[4]

Charles' acquisitions in land were an enduring legacy to his descendants, and he wanted it to stay in the family. In his will, Charles stipulated that the land could not be sold out of the family. He was very specific that it be transferred first from brother to brother, and baring that to a son's male heir. Daughters were only to inherit if the sons left no male heirs.[4] This contingency apparently caused some problems for the family later on.


1680 lease of land in Old Rappahannock County

1686 Charles, (not John's wife), was named as executor for the 1686 will of John Lincoln

1686 Charles was named executor for Edward Johnson

1687, Oct 13 purchased 300 acres in Rapahannock County from Samuel and Frances Traversix[4]

1693, Jan 2 purchased 500 acres of land, (for 1,000 lbs tobacco), on the main branch of Totuskey Creek in the North Farnham Parish, Richmond County[4]

1693, July leased for 19 years, from Peter Elmore in Old Rappahannock County, "as much land as three tithables can tend in corn and tobacco”."

1699/00, March 6 Charles deposed, stated age fifty years

1702, Feb Gave 150 acres to son, Thomas, who was already living on said land

Last Will and Testament

Charles Dodson's will was written on 11 January 1702/3 and probated on 6 February 1705 at North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Colony of Virginia.

In The name of God amen, I Charles Dodson being sick and weake of body but in sound and Good disposing memory praise be given to God for the same do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and forme following that is to say first & principally I resigne my soul into the merciful hands of almighty God my Greator assuredly hoping through the merritts of my blessed Saviour to obtaine Remission of all my sins and my body I Committ to the Earth whence it was taken to be Decently buryed by the Discretion of my Executrix herein after named and as for the worldly Goods and Estate the Lord hath Lent me I dispose therof as followeth.
I Give bequeath to my son Charles Dodson the plantation formerly call Coll Travers quarter with a hundred and fifty acres of Land to him and to the male heires Lawfully begotten of his body and if the aboves Charles Dodson should dye without any male heirs that then the Land should Returne to the next heire of the Dodson.
Secondly. I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Dodson a plantation seated in a neck formerly called the Rich neck with a hundred and fifty acres of Land to him and the male heires Lawfully begotten of his owne body forever and if the above said Thomas Dodson should dye without any male that then the Land should return to the next heire of the Dodson.
Thirdly. I Give and bequeath to my son Bartho: Rich'd Dodson the plantation that Thomas Reeves liveth on knowne by the name of oake neck with one hundred and fifty acres of Land binding upon the Land formerly belonging to Daniele Everard from the head to the foot to him and the male heires Lawfully begotten of his owne body and if he should dye without male heires that then the Land to returne to the next heires.
Fourthly. I Give and bequeath to my son William Dodson the Plantation in hickory neck with one hundred and fifty acres of land to him and the male heires Lawfully begotten of his body and if no male heire appeare then to Returne to the next heire of the Dodson the said Land to bind upon brother Bartho Richd Dodson Land from the head to the foot -
Fifthly. I Give and bequeath to my son John Dodson two hundred acres of Land it being part of hickory neck and of Indian Cabin neck binding upon his brother William Dodson to him and the male heires Lawfully begotten of his owne body and if the above said Wm Dodson should die without any male heire that then the Land Returne to the next of the Dodson -
Sixthly. I Give and bequeath to my son Lambert Dodson my new Dwelling platation with the hundred acres of Land belonging to it to him and the male heires Lawfully begotten of his body and if no male heire appears that then the Land to Returne to the next of the Dodson.
Seventhly. I Give and bequeath to my Deare and Loving Wife Anne Dodson and my daughters Anne Dodson and Elizabeth Dodson all my moveable Estate of what kind soever within and without to be Equally Divided betweene them.
Eighthly. My desire is that none of the Land out of the name might be sold Except one Brother selleth to another and if no male appeareth by none of my sons then my Daughters may Inheritt the Land.
Lastly. And all the Rest and Residue of my Estate Goods and Chattells not herein before bequeathed after my Debts and funrall Expenses discharged I do give and bequesth unto my Deare and Loving wife Anne Dodson whome I do make sole Exectrix of this my Last will and Testament Revoking all other wills by me heretofore made IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale the 11th day of Jan. one thousand seven hundred two three.
Charles Dodson Sen (Seal) Proved in Richmond County Court by the oath of Christopher Petty the 6th day of Febry. 1705 and by the oath of John Beckwith the 6th day of March following & Recorded.
Test J Sherlock CICur[7]


Children of Anne and Charles:[8][9][10]

  1. Charles Dodson, Jr. b: about 1679, mentioned first in father's will and received 150 acres
  2. Thomas Dodson b 5/15/1681
  3. Bartholomew Richard Dodson b: about 1683
  4. William Dodson b: 1685
  5. John Dodson b: 1687, Richmond Co., VA
  6. Lambert Dodson b: 1689, Richmond Co., VA
  7. Anne Dodson b: 1691
  8. Elizabeth Dodson b: 1693
  9. Mary Dodson,* d before 1719

*Daughter, Mary, is included by some researchers.[10][9]

Research Notes

The following was included in a duplicate profile which has been merged (will need sources, and then to be merged into the existing biography):

July 8, Charles Dodson (3) leased land in Old Rappahannock Co. Rappahannock Co became extinct in 1692 being divided into Essex and Richmond counties. Charles Dodson owned land in both bounties, but resided in North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., Va.
From 1680 to 1692 Charles Dodson acquired land which he and his sons proceeded to improved Chalres Dodson is found in many documents where he witnessed various documents and on several occasions he is named in Wills as executor. In a Will of John Lincoln dictated Dec 18, 1686, the comment was made in the affidavit of witnesses that the maker of the Will "would have no other but Charles Dodson as his executor although several insisted that he have his wife."
On July 8, Charles Dodson leased land in Old Rappahannock County.Rappahannock Co. became extinct in 1692 being divided into Essex and Richmond counties. Charles Dodson owned land in both counties but resided in North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., Va. where he became a large land owner.


  1. "[Richmond Co VA Miscellaneous Record Book, p.41]" have not personally viewed this publication and am unable to find a listing in Possibly refers to Fleet, Beverley, Richmond County records, 2 microfilm reels. v. 16. Richmond County records, 1692-1704 (deed book no. 1, 1692-1693; deed book no. 2, 1693/4-1696; deed book no. 3, lost; miscellaneous records 1699-1704).
  2. Estes, Roberta, (4 Jun 2017) The Parents of Charles Dodson, Jamestown Unraveled, 52 Ancestors #163."
  3. Hennessee, David Alden, (23 Feb 2017) "Jesse John Dodson." citing Lanning, Betsy, (June 9, 2015) "Descendants of Jesse John Dodson: Descendants of Charles Dodson, Sr." (saved 23 Feb 2017) citing Williams, Sherman, Mrs., (1988-89) The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish ...
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Ule, Michelle Duval, The Dodsons, Durhams, Roses and Nevilles Maryland: Self Published, 2000. Accessible from the author.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alley [Dodson Rootsweb forum page]
  7. Will of Charles Dodson, written Jan 11, 1702: Richmond County, Virginia, Will Book 2, pages 95 & 96
  8. Dorman, Fred, "Queries" The Virginia Genealogist. NEHGS (Vol 2, Pg 137) Caution: this was a query. Primary evidence is sought.
  9. 9.0 9.1
  10. 10.0 10.1

See also:

  • Ege, Thompson P., (1908) Dodson Genealogy, 1600-1907. Philadelphia: Deemer & Jaisohn, (Page 363).
  • King, George H. S. The Registers of North Farnham Parish, 1663-1814 and Lunenburg Parish, 1783-1800 Richmond County Virginia
  • "Outline Descendant Report for Jesse John Dodson (1623-1716)", submitted by Betsey Lanning, June 9, 2015, betlann@yahoo.
  • Stamps, Charles Thomas, and Will Stamps [1990?] The Stamps family history and lineage : our American heritage. [Clinton, Utah?] : [W.T. Stamps]
  • Williams, Sherman, Mrs., (1988-89) The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia: A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants. Easley, South Carolina : Southern Historical Press, (Pages 2, 1437 ?)


  • Thank you to Diane Hoffman, researcher, who contributed many of the Vital Records, including the Last Will and Testament
  • Thank you to Michelle Ule, researcher and author, who contributed greatly to this profile, and for her research in Dodson genealogy and many other family names.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Charles 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:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.


On 24 Jul 2018 at 15:26 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

THere is an "editing in process" note at the top of this profile, but the profile hasn't been edited since October 2017. Status please?

On 9 Aug 2017 at 16:59 GMT Leon Dotson Jr. wrote:

"Virginia Birth and Christenings, 1584-1917" show Thomas Dodson Christened 15 May 1681 at North Farnham Parish, Richmond, Virginia with a Charles Dodson and Anne as parents.

On 9 Aug 2017 at 16:26 GMT Leon Dotson Jr. wrote:

"Genealogy of the Dodson (Dotson) Lucas, Pyles, Rochester, and Allied Families" by Lucas, S. Emmett, which can be found at;view=1up;seq=23, shows another child named Mary Dodson. Mary died before 1719, accordong to this source.

On 5 Aug 2017 at 06:44 GMT Leon Dotson Jr. wrote:

Please excuse my spelling and wording. Im not a great word person but im trying to learn.

On 5 Aug 2017 at 06:41 GMT Leon Dotson Jr. wrote:

thanks for disconnecting jesse and judith. I am a dotson (and worked on this line for 25 years) and i can find no proven connection between them and charles. a lot have then as parents but none have a fact that proves it. maybe someday one will be found but till then charles is as far as we can go. Thanks Again.

On 12 May 2017 at 02:53 GMT Andrea Powell wrote:

Roberta Estes has done research on this family posted here: "Charles Dodson (1649-1706), Forcible Entry, 52 Ancestors #157"

On 23 Feb 2017 at 05:05 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

Disconnected Jesse Dodson-19 and Judith Hagger-17, again. Please do not re-attach these profiles as parents without appropriate source(s) Thanks!

Also have created a profile for wife, Ann Unknown. Thanks!

On 30 May 2014 at 17:44 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

The parents, Jesse Dodson-19 and Judith Hagger-17, have been disconnected from this profile.

Removed Elmore-104 as a spouse of Charles Dodson. Until evidence is found, her name is Unknown. Probably an Ann Unknown should be created for this (or fished out of the existing Unknowns box? is this possible?)

On 5 Apr 2014 at 19:54 GMT Paula J wrote:

If you are still interested in a separate page for the will and misc. records, simply add a free pace and transfer those there and link the two pages. If you need any help, let me know.

Charles is 23 degrees from Rosa Parks, 19 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 13 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

D  >  Dodson  >  Charles Dodson Sr.