Charles Dodson, of Old Rappahannock County (c.1649 - 1701) MP

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Charles Dodson, of Old Rappahannock County's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Rappahannock, VA, USA
Death: Died in North Farnham, Richmond, Virginia
Managed by: Ben John Nutter
Last Updated:

About Charles Dodson, of Old Rappahannock County

The ancestry of the Dodsons of Richmond, Pittsylvania, Halifax, Henry, and Patrick Counties of Virginia, has definitely been traced back to Charles Dodson of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia and it seems quite probable that all the early Dodson families of this section of Virginia were descendants of this Charles Dodson.

However, there are a few instances of Dodson men who are mentioned in early records of Virginia who were possibly adventurers and speculators, and who in all probability did not become permanent settlers and who did not leave any descendants in the American Colonies. There was a John Dodson who died in 1607 and was from Jamestown, Virginia, and a Benjamin Dodson of Essex County, Virginia about 1652. Some people say these men are the direct ancestors of Charles Dodson. They state that a John Dodson came with Captain John Smith in 1607 and that this John Dodson had sons, Jesse and William Dodson. They further state that Jesse Dodson was the father of Charles Dodson. Some of these people further state that our Charles Dodson married Anne Dodson, daughter of Benjamin Dodson of Essex County, Virginia. Other people have said that a Gervais Dodson of Northumberland County, Virginia was the progenitor of our family. Although it is possible that these claims are true, it must be noted that no legal records have been found to prove this. There were also some Dodsons in early Maryland and Pennsylvania and other New England states who could have been descended from the same family as our Charles Dodson. They all could have a common ancestor in England. Charles is the first of the Dodson line of whom we have any record and he may have been our immigrant ancestor, based on family tradition, but without definite proof of his arrival in America. He is first found in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia where he made a lease of land on 8 July 1680. Rappahannock County became extinct in 1692, being divided into Essex and Richmond Counties. Charles owned land in both counties but resided in North Farnham Parish in Richmond County, where he became a large landowner. The records show that from 1680 he was busy acquiring land which he and his sons proceeded to improve, and the indications are that he had the confidence of his neighbors. He witnessed various documents and on several occasions, he is named as executor of wills.

In his will, dated 11 January 1702-03 and proved 6 February 1705, Charles bequeathed to his wife, Ann, and to his daughters "moveable estate." To each of his sons, he gave a tract of land with the restriction that the land not be sold out of the Dodson name "except that one brother selleth to another and if no male heir appeareth by none of my sons that then my Daughters may Inherit the Land." This proviso caused some consternation and problem for those of his sons who later wanted to sell out and leave the area. Several, upon deciding to leave, sold to brothers, and one leased to another man "for three natural lifetimes." Charles and Anne had at least 8 children, 6 sons and 2 daughters: These children were named in Charles' will.

Sources: 1.Author: Ancestry.com Title: Wills of Richmond County, Virginia, 1699-1800 Publication: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data - Headley, Robert K., Jr. Wills of Richmond County, Virginia, 1699-1800. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.Original data: Headley, Robert K., Jr. Wills; Repository: Name: Ancestry.com 2.Title: Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. I Repository: Name: Ancestry.com 3.Title: Seventeenth Century Colonial Ancestors, Vol. I Repository: Name: Ancestry.com

  
"On July 8 Charles Dodson leased land in old Rappahannock County. Rappahannock County became extinct in 1692 being divided into Essex and Richmond counties. Charles owned land in both counties but resided in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia, where he became a large land owner.
   The records show that from 1680 to 1692 he was busy acquiring land which he and his sons proceeded to improve, and indicated that he had the confidence of his neighbors. We find him witnessing 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.'
   Until 1686 the Episcopal Church was the State church in Virginia. All children, regardless of religious affiliation, were required to be baptized by the ministers of the church. Dates of birth and names of their parents were recorded in the parish registers. The same information was taken of marriages and burials. These church records are preserved. They are available in the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Va.
   In the life time of Charles there were many new immigrants arriving in Virginia from England. They came in boatloads almost every month in the year. More and more settlements were established. By 1700 there were more than 80,000 persons living in the tidewater region of Virginia.
   During this time the colony was in almost constant trouble with their ruler, the English government and its representatives. Mainly the colonists objected to the arbitrary action of the colony officials and their ruthless demands." 1
   Charles married Ann Dodson, daughter of Benjamin Dodson and Unknown, before 1680 1. 

Warning

Williams and Lucas, "The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia", Vol. 1, p. vi, Publisher's Preface:

"A word of warning concerning trying to claim kinship with people with whom we cannot prove a relationship, i.e.: Are we kin to the "John Dodson, 1607 of Jamestown, Virginia, or Benjamin Dodson, c. 1652 of Essex County, Virginia?

Some people would like to say that these men are the direct ancestors of Charles Dodson who died in 1701. They state that a John Dodson came with Captain John Smith in 1607 and the John Dodson had sons Jesse and William Dodson. It is further stated that the aforementioned Jesse Dodson was the father of Charles Dodson, born about 1649 and died about 1701, in Richmond Co., Virginia....(and so on, then)

it must be stated unequivocably that no legal records exist to prove this hypothetical descendancy of Charles Dodson."


Williams and Lucas looked for decades on the Dodsons.

see The Eagle Plume/Dodson Myth

view all 13

Charles Dodson, of Old Rappahannock County's Timeline

1649
1649
Rappahannock, VA, USA
1678
1678
Age 29
North Farnham Parish, Richmond, Virginia, United States
1679
1679
Age 30
Richmond, Virginia
1681
May 15, 1681
Age 32
North Franham, Richmond, Virginia, United States
1683
1683
Age 34
Richmond, Virginia, United States
1685
1685
Age 36
North Farnham, Richmond, Virginia, United States
1687
1687
Age 38
Richmond, Virginia
1689
1689
Age 40
Richmond, Virginia, United States
1691
1691
Age 42
North Farnham, Richmond, Virginia, USA
1693
1693
Age 44
North Farnham, Richmond, Virginia, United States