Darcus Johnson (c1750–c1835), Chain Carrier – Say What??- 52 Ancestors #349

The Individuals’s Historical past of Claiborne County, Tennessee tells us that, “Darcus Johnson was the daughter of Peter Johnson and Mary “Polly” Phillips, was born in 1750 within the space of Augusta County, Virginia that turned Dunmore County, then Shenandoah. Her father may need come from Pennsylvania. She died in 1831 in Claiborne County, TN.”

This will likely or will not be fully correct.

Invoice Nevils, long-time household historical past researcher supplied an excessive amount of details about his Claiborne County ancestors, a few of which, thankfully, are mine too. Sadly, he’s gone now and I can’t ask him about his sources. I don’t know what information could be obtainable now that was not obtainable to him at the moment.

First Issues First

There may be some query concerning the spelling of Dorcas, Dorcus or Darcus’s first title. It’s listed as Darcus within the Shenandoah County (transcribed) Marriage data. Within the 1852 Greene County, TN will of Andrew Dobkins (spouse Joanna), Darcus’s possible son, he listed a daughter named Darcas in his will.

I’ve additionally seen her title spelled Dorcas, a number of occasions, however by no means in an authentic doc. That’s one of many issues, there is just one identified contemporaneous doc that’s positively her and lists her title – her marriage. And even that misspells Jacob’s surname. So who is aware of.

I’m spelling her title in all 3 ways as a result of I don’t know which one to decide on. That manner, irrespective of who’s googling sooner or later, they’ll discover this text😊.

Darcus married Jacob Dobkins, who I wrote about here, here and here.

The Shenandoah Co., VA marriage data don’t give a date for the wedding of Jacob Dobkins (spelled Dobbins) and Darcus Johnson, however they seem to have been transcribed in entry order. The wedding above theirs occurred on September 6, 1775, and the next date, 7 {couples} later is October 2, 1775. I can’t assist however surprise if “no date” means “ditto”, however regardless, they had been married someday between these two dates.

Jacob and Darcus had been really married in Dunmore County that turned and was renamed on February 1, 1778, as Shenando, now Shenandoah. The Dunmore data have been included into the Shenandoah County data since Dunmore wasn’t break up, simply renamed.

Health Updates

Dad and mom

Darcus is reported in lots of timber to be the daughter of Peter Johnson (Johnston, Johnstone) and his spouse Mary Polly Phillips. Peter reportedly lived in Pennsylvania and died in Allegheny County, PA. Nevertheless, I’m FAR from satisfied that this couple was Darcus’s mother and father.

The space from Shenandoah County, VA to Allegheny Co., PA is prohibitive for courting.

The Shenandoah County data should be completely researched with numerous Johnson households reconstructed. I’m hoping that maybe somebody has already performed that and a Johnson household was dwelling not terribly removed from Jacob Dobkins father, John Dobkins. That may be the place to start out.

What DO We Know?

We all know that Jacob Dobkins was born about 1751 primarily based on his Revolutionary Conflict Pension software in 1832 the place he mentioned he was 81 years previous. If Dorcas was 20 when she was married, then she would have been born about 1755, however later data place her start about 1750 or even perhaps considerably earlier.

In 1773, Jacob seems on the Fincastle Co., VA tax record as “not discovered.” Fincastle County was the mum or dad of Dunmore which was the mum or dad of Shenandoah. Not discovered means he had possible moved on. It’s considerably uncommon for a single man to be dwelling alone, however we’ve no motive to assume he was married earlier than Darcus.

By 1774, Jacob was possible serving within the all-volunteer militia as Lord Dunmore’s Conflict had commenced and one Jacob Dobler was listed as defending the frontier in a Fincastle Militia unit. Apparently, so was one Patrick Johnston.

In January 1775, Jacob’s brother, Evan, married Margaret Johnson. Have been Margaret and Darcas associated? Sisters maybe? We’ll possible by no means know, nicely, except somebody who descends from Margaret by means of all females to the present technology takes a full sequence mitochondrial DNA take a look at. Darcus’s descendants have examined and their mitochondrial DNA would match, or almost so, if Margaret and Darcus are sisters. If this is applicable to you and also you descend by means of all females from Margaret (however a tester may be male within the present technology), please let me know as a result of I’ve a DNA testing scholarship for you! We may remedy a thriller collectively.

In Might of 1775, Evin, additionally spelled Evan, Jacob, and one other brother, Reuben, seem on a militia record of Dunmore County.


After all, youngsters started arriving quickly after their marriage. Sadly, we solely have a reconstructed record of youngsters primarily based on proximity, inferences and a few authorized and different paperwork. Sadly, the 1835 deed the place the “Heirs of Jacob Dobkins” deeded his property is recorded within the lacking Claiborne County Deed E book L, and the index entry solely says “The Heirs of Jacob Dobkins.” I swear, each deed I “really want” is in that AWOL e-book.

  • Assuming Andrew Dobkins was the kid of Jacob and Darcus, and I do know assume is a harmful phrase in family tree, he was born about 1775 in response to the 1850 Greene Co., TN census. He did title a daughter Darcus, and Jacob Dobkins did dwell on this space concerning the time Andrew would have been marrying. Alternatively, Andrew may have been the kid of a special Dobkins man, most likely one among Jacob’s brothers.
  • Darcus’s first confirmed baby, Elizabeth was born about 1776 and died someday after 1850. Elizabeth would marry George Campbell, a close to neighbor in Hawkins County, Tennessee. They named their daughter born about 1799 Dorcus/Dorcas.
  • John Dobkins was born about 1777, lived his grownup life in Claiborne County, TN, and reportedly married Elizabeth Shaw. His youngsters are unknown and I can’t affirm his start yr estimate. He first appeared within the courtroom notes in 1808.
  • One other doable daughter named Dorcas Dobkins matches right here. The Murphy household Bible file reveals her start as Might 29, 1780. She married Malachi Murphy in 1796, in response to the Bible, though neither a start or marriage location is recorded. She may even have been the daughter of one of many different Dobkins males, brothers of Jacob, or another person. I’m not satisfied that Dorcas is the kid of Jacob and Dorcas Dobkins, partially due to her start date. Let’s set this apart for the second.

There was a spot between John and the subsequent baby. Jacob was serving within the army removed from Shenandoah County. Darcas almost misplaced her younger husband. Bullets ripped by means of his garments in the course of the Battle of Pickaway. If Jacob hadn’t survived, the course of historical past, at the very least my historical past and Darcas’s, would have been without end altered.

  • Jacob Dobkins Jr. was reportedly born about 1782. There was a number of confusion surrounding this man, and he’s listed as having married Johanna Woolsey. Nevertheless, Andrew Dobkins married Johanna Woolsey and was listed as early as 1819 in Greene County, TN the place he died in 1852 with a will. Jacob Dobkins Jr., spent most of his grownup life in Claiborne County, TN, first appeared within the data in 1803 and was on the tax record of 1833 as Jacob Jr. when Jacob Dobkins Sr. was nonetheless alive. He was nonetheless famous in data in 1839 and 1842, and possibly died between then and 1850 the place he’s nonetheless listed on the agricultural census however NOT within the common census.
  • Reuben Dobkins was born in 1783 in Shenandoah County, married Mary Polly, final title unknown, and died in Claiborne County in 1823. Some individuals present this Reuben as Jacob Dobkins’ brother, not his son. Reuben first seems within the Claiborne County courtroom notes in 1815.
  • Margaret, referred to as Peggy Dobkins was born about 1785, married Elijah Jones, and died in March of 1852. They had been divorced earlier than 1844 when he remarried, in response to his widow’s pension software. Peggy named her daughter born in 1811 Dorcas.
  • Solomon Dobkins was born in 1787 in what would develop into Tennessee, married Elizabeth, surname unknown, and died in 1852 in Kaufman County, TX.
  • The youngest daughter, Jane, referred to as Jenny Dobkins was born between 1778 and 1780, most likely in Virginia, and died between 1850 and 1860 in Claiborne County, TN. She married John Campbell, believed to be the brother of George Campbell who married her sister.
  • George Dobkins was born between 1782 and 1788 in Virginia, married Nancy Parks, and died after 1840 in Claiborne County, TN.

This can be solely a partial record of youngsters.

Inferred Historical past

Most of what we find out about Darcus Johnson Dobkins is extrapolated from the lifetime of her husband and kids. We’re taking it on religion that the lady who bore his youngsters was the identical lady Jacob married again in Virginia, and that she had not died alongside the best way and he remarried. That’s most likely a reasonably protected wager at the very least by means of Margaret born about 1785 as a result of she named a toddler Dorcas.

Darcus’s early married life was something however settled.

In 1775, Jacob enlisted within the native militia in Shenandoah County and took part in Lord Dunmore’s War, a battle between Virginia, which prolonged by means of present-day Kentucky and west with out boundary, and the Shawnee and Mingo nations. In 1780, his unit was mustered out, however by then, Jacob was already in Kentucky, serving beneath the command of George Rogers Clark. Jacob marched from close to Louisville to close Cincinnati, pursuing Shawnee Indians. For that matter, we don’t know if Jacob ever had a horse throughout these years. We do know the boys had been on foot most if not the entire time.

Jacob Dobkins had enlisted within the militia to combat particularly within the Revolutionary Conflict in Might of 1779 the place he was already dwelling – Harrod’s Fort that finally turned Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and served for at the very least two years. In case you are counting in your 9 fingers, which means that if Jacob left earlier than he enlisted and was already in Kentucky, he couldn’t have fathered Dorcas Dobkins if she was born in Might of 1780. After all, generally start years had been recorded incorrectly, however this means that Dorcas Dobkins who married Malachi Murphy was not the kid of Jacob and Dorcas Dobkins. Possibly she was named in honor of our Dorcas.

Why was Jacob Donkins already at Fort Harrod in 1779? Was he on a reconnaissance mission, fascinated by transferring west, when he wanted to enlist as a result of the conflict on the frontier had heated up? One John Dobbin filed for land on North Elkhorn Creek in 1778. John may have been his father or brother. Jacob wouldn’t have taken his spouse on that kind of expedition. By this time, she had babies at dwelling and was most likely pregnant once more. The land declare was bought by 1780.

Jacob spent 1780 in Harrods Fort and Shawnee Springs, now within the state of Kentucky however then the western frontier of Virginia. Later that fall, he fought within the Battle of Pickaway in Ohio the place the bullets flew quick and livid, shreddinging his garments into tatters. It’s superb that he escaped together with his life. Many didn’t.

House Once more

In August of 1781, Jacob lastly headed again to his bride in Shenandoah County who was ready with at the very least two and presumably as many as 4 youngsters. I’m utilizing the phrase “ready” loosely right here, as a result of she was actually not sitting round ready. Dorcas was doing the work of two individuals. Hers because the spouse and mom, plus the duties Jacob would have been doing too. Her duties would have included childcare, cooking, cleansing, and doing the whole lot by hand. Overlaying his duties meant caring for any animals, plowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, and acquiring meals, typically by looking – all with infants. I don’t understand how she did it, however I hope fervently she had household close by to assist. I imply, give it some thought. How may you even plow, assuming you HAD a plow and an ox, with two infants in tow? And whenever you obtained performed with all that – you continue to had all the within conventional girls’s work to do.

If she was pregnant when Jacob left, she gave start with out him close by, and if the kid died, she additionally buried her child with out her husband’s assist.

Fortuitously, Jacob did make it dwelling and in 1782, 1783, and 1784 is recorded on the Shenandoah County, VA tax lists.

Their subsequent baby was born in 1783 as nicely.

The 1783 tax lists supplied further info and the household is proven with 8 whites, which might imply that they’d 6 youngsters or different individuals lived with them.

We don’t know precisely the place they lived however we do know they had been carefully related to the Holeman household. Considered one of Jacob’s brothers married a Holeman lady and the boys served within the militia collectively. The Holeman and Dobkins households each acquired land grants and settled alongside Holeman’s Creek close to present-day Forestville, VA.

Holeman’s Creek runs between the 2 crimson arrows earlier than dumping into the North Shenandoah River.

Nevertheless, Jacob had caught an itch whereas he was away. And that itch was to maneuver west.

Westward Ho

Jacob would have handed by means of Martin’s Station, positioned in Lee County, VA, simply east of the Cumberland Hole on his strategy to and from Kentucky. That’s not removed from the place Jacob and Darcus would finally settle completely, however first, they tried a number of different areas. Tennessee wasn’t but a state, nor was that space open for settlement.

In 1785, the couple was not listed on the Virginia tax lists. The household had possible packed up and already began down the Great Wagon Road that finally morphed into I81.

Jacob might have come and gone between two areas as a result of in 1785, a Washington County, North Carolina doc subpoenaed Jacob Dobkins of Shenandoah County to testify.

By Iamvered – I, Esemono, drew this map myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3874104

It seems that Jacob and Dorcas moved to the State of Franklin and certain turned embroiled in early politics. The State of Franklin was not a state, nevertheless it wished to be, seceding from North Carolina in 1784. Ultimately, the world concerned within the State of Franklin turned the easternmost counties of Tennessee, however then, it was the wild west – the perimeter of the frontier.

By 1786, the residents had been negotiating with the state of North Carolina for readmission. “Oops, we’re sorry and had a second.”

The State of Franklin had develop into a no man’s land which means they weren’t part of any authorities and had no rights or protections. Residents couldn’t file for land, for instance, or vote, or maintain courtroom. The 2 sides had been literally at war with each other. They’d a large number on their palms and finally, most individuals simply wished order to be restored.

By Iamvered – I, Iamvered, drew this map myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3868073

In 1787 and 1788, Jacob and his brothers had been dwelling in Washington County, NC, the half that had been the state of Franklin and would develop into the counties of Washington, Sullivan, Greene, and Hawkins in jap Tennessee after Tennessee was admitted to the union in 1796. Jacob purchased land in Washington County in 1788, so apparently meant to remain.

In 1789, Jacob’s title appeared on a petition together with a gaggle of males who had been thought of to be dwelling on Indian land not bought by the US authorities. They petitioned the NC authorities, begging for assist.

Jacob might have given up and moved again to Shenandoah County, VA as a result of his title seems there on the 1790 reconstructed census with 8 whites. Nevertheless, the reconstructed census used tax lists, and we already know he was listed in 1783 with 8 individuals, so his whereabouts in 1790 are unclear.

You may need seen that youngsters continued to reach throughout this time. Was Darcus exasperated past her limits? Someplace between 6 and eight youngsters and fixed threats to their security? Did she maybe give Jacob a wifely ultimatum? I’ve to surprise, as a result of even the staunchest of pioneer wives may actually have reached their restrict beneath these circumstances. Typically conditions change, and one thing that at one time appeared like a very good concept, in actuality, wasn’t. This turmoil wasn’t short-lived both. Darcus was now approaching 15 years of upheaval. Her complete married life.

Many households did transfer again to a safer and fewer tense atmosphere. Holeman’s Creek most likely appeared fairly welcoming!

That association, in the event that they did transfer again, didn’t final lengthy.

Retry – Again Once more

In 1792, the household resides in newly fashioned Jefferson County the place Jacob sued John Sevier – sure – the governor. Sevier had been concerned with the State of Franklin too, and Jacob had been referred to as to testify in a lawsuit towards Sevier in 1785. Maybe no matter was occurring in 1785 was nonetheless unresolved in 1792.

I can simply hear the gossip and drama, even throughout 230 years. Everybody however everybody would have been speaking about that and assuredly had an opinion – most likely a powerful one. Tongues would have been wagging, that’s for certain!

The church was not solely the spiritual middle, but in addition the social middle of the neighborhood, particularly for girls. I don’t know what church they attended in Virginia, however in later years in Tennessee, they had been assuredly Baptists.

By 1792, Dorcas would have been about 40 years previous. We don’t know of any youngsters born this late, however there actually may have been some that we aren’t conscious of or that didn’t survive. Or, Dorcas may have been barely older than we all know. George was reportedly born between 1782 and 1788. If Dorcas was 43-45 when he was born, and he was born in 1788, that places her start presumably as early as 1743.

Jacob purchased land once more, this time within the space referred to as “The Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio” on Bent Creek in Hawkins County, close to the principle street between the ford of the Holston River and Bull’s Hole over the mountain.

Clearly, this a part of the nation, destined to become Tennessee, was having both birthing pains or an id disaster, however that didn’t cease the settlers from arriving, clearing land, and staying.

By this time, Dorcas’s eldest youngsters had been of age to start marrying. Elizabeth Dobkins married George Campbell and Jenny Dobkins married his (presumed) brother John Campbell, sons of Charles Campbell who lived close to the Holston River.

In 1793 Jacob purchased land in Jefferson County, and in 1796, Jacob bought at the very least a few of that land. Round this time, the household possible migrated, most likely with the Reverend Tidence Lane to what would develop into Claiborne County. We all know that Jacob and Darcas had been established in Claiborne County by October 1801 as a result of Jacob is talked about within the first courtroom notes establishing the county. A whole group, together with Jacob’s two Campbell sons-in-law, seem to have moved and settled collectively.

This was the final transfer for Jacob and Darcas. They packed up one final time, pulled out in a closely loaded wagon, settled in Claiborne County, and stayed.

Now roughly 50 years previous, I’d guess Darcas was VERY uninterested in packing the whole lot right into a wagon and transferring. Their complete married life had been punctuated by instability. First, a conflict, then transferring to “the west,” the State of Franklin, then not a state, then Washington County, NC, then the Territory South of the River Ohio, then Washington Co., TN, then Hawkins County, then Jefferson County, then lastly Claiborne county which suggests they possible lived in Grainger County earlier than Claiborne was fashioned. Oh sure, preventing Indians, clearing land and suing the governor sprinkled in there for good measure. I’m exhausted simply fascinated by this.

Darcus should have heaved an enormous sigh of aid. By this time, they’d older youngsters and grownup sons to assist clear land and fell timber. They purchased a tract giant sufficient to entice all of their youngsters to maneuver with them. That was an excellent technique as a result of that appears to be precisely what occurred. Possibly that was what enticed Dorcas to maneuver only one extra time, into the peaceable little valley on the north aspect of Wallen Mountain.

Jacob and Dorcas constructed a log cabin, and their youngsters constructed cabins close by.

Amazingly, their cabin nonetheless stood into the final 1900s. I wrote about discovering the cabin, here.

The Conflict of 1812

Nevertheless, Darcus can be pressured to take care of conflict as soon as once more, this time the War of 1812. Many native males joined or had been drafted to combat, together with her grownup son, Solomon Dobkins, who was a Captain and fought within the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Her son-in-law, Elijah Jones, fought alongside her son in Alabama.

Many Claiborne County males died, each of wounds and sickness. Most males didn’t even have horses and walked to conflict, supplying their very own armaments too.

Darcus actually knew how shut she got here to shedding Jacob all these years in the past. I’m certain she puzzled if she would lose Solomon and Elijah. She would have stepped as much as assist her daughter and daughter-in-law whereas the boys had been gone.

Courtroom Marshall

All was not nicely with the Dobkins household in Claiborne County. Some data are tough to seek out and don’t present up for an additional technology or two. Solomon Dobkins died in 1852 in Fannin County, Texas. His son, Jake (Jacob) Dobkins was dwelling in Gainesville, Cooke Co., Texas on July 5, 1856 when he made software for “something the federal government might have to supply him because the inheritor of his father, Solomon Dobkins.” He states that his father served within the Creek Indian Conflict in 1812 and 1813 beneath Common Jackson. He additional states that his father died in 1852 in Fannin County Texas.

Any advantages from the federal government to this inheritor had been denied as a result of Solomon Dobkins was Courtroom Marshalled and Cashiered.

Cashiering is a demotion because of a courtroom marshall. I all the time puzzled why there was no pension software for Solomon. This solutions that query.

Everybody would have identified, and apparently, nobody spoke of it. I can’t assist however surprise what occurred, when, and the place. A courtroom marshall could be very extreme.

This case should have induced Dorcas each ache and embarrassment.

I proceed to seek out Solomon within the Claiborne County courtroom data in positions of accountability, so no matter occurred appears to have been largely forgotten, though he was prosecuted by the state at one time.

A Fireplace Chat Heralds Adjustments

Jacob and Darcus most likely sat beside the fireside one night time, or perhaps on the porch in rocking chairs, and had a chat. I’m guessing that they’d many severe talks through the years. Whether or not to go away, or not. Whether or not to return, or not. Whether or not to maneuver again, or not. Whether or not to maneuver on, or not.

This discuss was a bit completely different. They had been growing older, approaching 65 which was past “retirement age” again then. Effectively, I assume you by no means actually obtained to “retire,” however you probably did get to cease paying taxes sooner or later whenever you had been both infirm or previous. That’s what retirement appeared like in that period. You labored till you couldn’t anymore, then you definitely died or lived together with your youngsters.

Jacob and Dorcas determined to start distributing their land. In 1814, concerning the time Solomon and Elijah returned from the conflict, Jacob bought land to 2 sons-in-law, Elijah Jones and George Campbell. Nothing like a wake-up name to appreciate tomorrow merely isn’t assured.

In about 1817, Jacob suffered a disabling shoulder and collarbone break in some kind of accident. He acknowledged in courtroom in 1832 when he utilized for his pension that he had not been in a position to attend courtroom since that point and suffered vastly from “phrumatic pains.” This additionally signifies that Dorcas was most likely caring for Jacob and as soon as once more needed to choose up extra chores, regardless that she assuredly had aches and pains herself by this time. Fortunately, she had youngsters and grandchildren close by to assist.

In 1823, their (presumed) son, Reuben died. I want we had extra info. Was he ailing or was there an accident? With out antibiotics, any farm damage may shortly develop into septic, and one thing like a ruptured appendix meant certain and sure dying. Was Reuben really their son, or was that Reuben Jacob’s brother?

The 1830s

The 1830 Claiborne County census reveals columns for ages, with Jacob Dobkins listed as 70-80 and the feminine dwelling within the family as 80-90. After all, it’s straightforward to mismark a column or misunderstand an age, but when Dorcas was in reality 80-90 in 1830, meaning she was really born between 1740-1750. If she was born in 1750, she would have been barely older than Jacob. Which may additionally clarify why we discover no youngsters born after roughly 1788 and presumably no later than 1782.

The 1830s are fuzzy for Dorcas. We all know that Jacob died in 1835, however we don’t know if she died earlier than or after Jacob. Some present her dying in 1831, however I don’t know why.

There may be, nonetheless, one very intriguing file.

Say What?

This March 27, 1833 survey is kind of attention-grabbing.

Dorcas Dobkins is listed as a series service. Say what?

Sure, a series service, proven simply beneath the drawing as, “Sworn Chainers.”

I’m unsure who else this might have been, except it was a granddaughter. The issue is, apart from the Dorcas Dobkins born in 1808 and who lived in Greene County, I don’t know who else this might have been, apart from Dorcas, the spouse of Jacob. It’s additionally truthful to say that I solely have two identified youngsters for Darcus’s son John, and no documented youngsters for Reuben who died in 1823, assuming he was their son, nor for son Jacob who died or disappeared from the data between 1840-1850. After all, there are questions concerning the id of a few of these males, and a few of them might not have been sufficiently old to have daughters serving as chain carriers in 1833.

Neither sons Solomon nor George have identified youngsters named Dorcas.

This survey is for Lorenzo Dow Dobkins, the son of John Dobkins. His brother was additionally named John, the title of the opposite chain service, so it’s doable that he had a sister by the title of Dorcas. Or, his grandmother wished to assist out.

Personally, I’m voting for an irreverent grandmother who was itching to get out of the home on a gorgeous spring day.

Let’s eavesdrop…

“We don’t have one other particular person because the chain service. We are able to’t do the survey right now.”

Dorcas: “Oh sure you do!”


Dorcas, pointing to herself: “Me.”

With a slight smile, “Maam, with all respect, you may’t do this.”

Dorcas, extra decided than ever: “Hrummph, watch me!” as she wipes her palms, takes off her apron and pins up a stray hair or two.

Males, taking a look at one another, shrugging, “OK.”

I feel that is the primary time I’ve ever seen a feminine chain carrier in a file. A sequence service wanted to be of age and in a position to testify as to the equity and accuracy of the survey course of if referred to as upon. Not solely that, chains had been heavy and the terrain was generally tough.

I can’t assist however surprise if Dorcas was a series service as a result of she wished to maintain her eye on what was occurring. In any case, this survey did abut her son John’s land. If that was the case, she was clearly not lifeless presently. And being a series service, despite what somebody may need thought, wasn’t prone to kill her😊.

We all know from Jacob’s 1832 pension software and testimony that he was disabled and subsequently he wouldn’t have been in a position to be a series service. Dorcas would have been at the very least in her late 70s if not her 80s.

Jacob’s Pension Funds

Jacob’s pension fee data don’t say something about Dorcas. One file, from 1835, reveals the record of pensioners and doesn’t point out a dying date for Jacob, though there are dying dates in 1833 for others. That signifies that both he hadn’t died when this record was compiled in 1835, or the dying date wasn’t entered. For the reason that laws was to compile a listing of pensioners being paid, it’s most unlikely that he died earlier than 1835, however not inconceivable. He was additionally on the Claiborne County tax record in 1833.

A second file signifies the final pension fee was made in September of 1835. I used to be unclear whether or not that fee may have been to Dorcas as his surviving partner, or, it will solely have been paid to Jacob immediately.

Because it seems, widows weren’t eligible to obtain funds till an act of July 4, 1836. This confirms that Jacob was final paid, himself, in September of 1835. He died someday between September of 1835 and the subsequent fee date in March of 1836.

All we will surmise from that is that Dorcas didn’t apply for his pension starting in 1836, so my presumption can be that she had died earlier than July of 1836.

In 1835, Jacob’s heirs quitclaimed his land to Betsy Campbell, their daughter who had married George Campbell. After all, that’s the deed within the e-book that’s lacking, so I’ll by no means know if Dorcas signed, or who all of their heirs had been.

I don’t discover a lady of Dorcas’s age dwelling with one among her youngsters within the 1840 census, so I’d really feel protected in saying she had died by then, and most probably by the tip of 1835 when the land was conveyed.


For all that I don’t know, what I do know is the place Jacob and Dorcas are buried. After all, they established a graveyard on their land, behind the home and up the hill in direction of the Powell River. In line with cousin Invoice Nevils, once we visited some years in the past, the household lore states that Jacob is buried beneath the massive tree within the middle. That may make sense.

Jacob would have spared that tree when he cleared the land. Possibly he mentioned to Dorcas sooner or later, “That’s the place we’ll be buried, with our kin, trying over our land.”

Possibly Dorcas figured if he established a burying floor, they had been lastly someplace to remain.

Jacob and Dorcas actually weren’t the primary to be buried there three a long time after they bought the land. Nor had been they the final.

No stone marks their resting place, save for the gorgeous tree in fact.

  • I don’t know the place all of Dorcas’s youngsters are buried, however I’d wager that Elizabeth, referred to as Betsy, is buried proper there. Her son Barney wound up proudly owning the land and final I knew, his descendants nonetheless do.
  • Son John might be buried within the cemetery too, assuming he didn’t transfer away. He died someday after 1834.
  • Darcus most likely buried Reuben, throwing clods of filth on high of his casket as her last act of motherhood. That needed to be an extremely unhappy day, however he was all the time close by, up on the hill.
  • Peggy joined her mom in March of 1852. Within the 1850 census, she was dwelling with an unknown household. As a divorced aged lady, she might have been supported by the courtroom and positioned with a household who would take care of her. We don’t know when she divorced, nevertheless it was earlier than 1844 when Elijah Jones remarried, in response to his widow’s pension software after his dying. I ponder if Peggy was in a position to retain any of her mum or dad’s land that Jacob and Darcus bought to her husband, Elijah, in 1814. Divorce was nearly extraordinary at the moment and required the approval of the state meeting. It’s unknown when the divorce occurred, nevertheless it actually may have been previous to Dorcas’s dying.
  • Jane referred to as Jenny died between 1850 and 1860 and is both buried along with her mom or on the Campbell land throughout the ridge.
  • George died in 1837, simply a few years after Jacob, and would relaxation close to his mom as nicely.
  • Jacob Jr. died someday between 1840 and 1850 and certain rests within the household cemetery.
  • Solomon made his strategy to Texas, and naturally, Andrew died in Greene County.

Of the 9 youngsters believed to be hers, 7 are both buried along with her or close by. That concept of buying a big tract of land to share appeared to have labored. Solomon, whereas he did die in Texas, didn’t go away till after his mom had handed on. A minimum of she didn’t need to wave goodbye to that wagon carrying her son and 11 of her grandchildren.

This stunning, peaceable cemetery is populated with Dorcas’s descendants. The primary particular person buried there would most likely have been both Dorcas’s baby or grandchild in one of many many unmarked graves.

A few of her 35 identified grandchildren are buried right here as nicely, as are a dozen generations of her descendants scattered throughout the sundrenched area.


I’ve greater than 100 autosomal DNA matches with Dorcas’s descendants by means of 5 of her youngsters. There is no such thing as a query that she’s my ancestor.

Nevertheless, what I really want is to find extra about her mother and father. Ancestry’s ThruLines solely attain again 7 generations earlier than you hit a tough cease, which means Ancestry doesn’t calculate ThruLines past 7 generations. Ancestry additionally doesn’t present section info, so you may have little to work with.

To search out her mother and father, I would like to have the ability to observe particular segments that I’ve been in a position to affirm to Jacob Dobkins and Darcus Johnson again to individuals who have Johnson ancestors of their tree, hopefully in a timeframe that may very well be Dorcas’s mother and father.

Utilizing segments from distributors who present section info, which means FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, and GedMatch, I’ve recognized a number of segments that I do know descend from Jacob and Dorcas and painted them at DNAPainter.

I can’t affiliate segments with (my unknown) ancestors any additional again than both Jacob or Dorcas with out matching segments from individuals who descend from their mother and father, respectively.

What I DESPERATELY want is the power to make use of these segments to deal with all of my matches and their timber that triangulate on these particular paternal segments assigned to Jacob and Dorcas. I would like the power to work with the timber of people that carry these segments however aren’t descended from Jacob and Dorcas in an effort to unravel the id of their ancestors.

That characteristic isn’t provided anyplace, at the very least not but. I’m hopeful although.

Nevertheless, that’s not the tip of the DNA assets. We are able to make the most of mitochondrial DNA that’s handed from girls to their youngsters – however solely girls move it on. Meaning each women and men can take a look at right now. Mitochondrial DNA testing represents a particular DNA distinctive to their direct matrilineal line.

Dorcas’s Mitochondrial DNA

I’m lucky sufficient to have Dorcas’s mitochondrial DNA outcomes by means of two completely different daughters of Jane “Jenny” Dobkins. They match precisely, which is an effective factor as a result of I need to have the ability to depend upon an actual match to have the ability to assist establish different individuals’s timber which will maintain the important thing to Dorcas’s mother and father.

Our testers have 9 full sequence actual matches at FamilyTreeDNA, the one vendor that does full mitochondrial DNA testing.

Of these matches, some have listed an EKA, Earliest Recognized Ancestor, from this line, some have supplied timber, some each, and a few neither.

Monitoring the knowledge again by means of their timber I’ve found:

  • One EKA is Matilda Holt 1830-1889 from Monroe Co., TN. Matilda Holt married James Willis in Claiborne County. Her mom was Rutha Campbell whose mom was Jane Dobkins, daughter of Dorcas.

Now we’ve three of Dorcas’s descendants.

  • One other match reveals their EKA as Margaret Ida Hamilton born in 1877 in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, died in 1947, and married John Lincoln Brown 1864-1942. She was the daughter of Margaret Adaline Jones (1849-1910) whose mom was Susan Caroline Terrell born about 1820 in Obion County, TN and married Paul Man Jones (1823-1970). I misplaced the path there.
  • A 3rd match descends from the spouse of Elias Harrison (1769-1836) who died in 1836 in Claiborne County, TN. With that very same location, this match is VERY attention-grabbing. Elias Harrison’s spouse is presupposed to be Martha Hedgepith or Hedgepath (1772-1820), though documentation factors elsewhere. One file suggests Martha was the daughter of Richard Beasley whose will was probated on October 5, 1800, in Stokes County, NC leaving his property to his spouse Martha however named a daughter, Patty Harrison. Martha and Patsy are frequent names for one another. The primary two daughters of Elias and Martha had been reported to have been born in NC. On March 3, 1792, one Jonathan Harrison bought 100 acres on Marshal’s Creek, a department of Large River in Stokes County to Richard Beasley. You may read more about this couple here and here.

The fascinating factor about this file is that given the dates and areas, the spouse of Elias Harrison is clearly not a daughter of Jacob Dobkins and Dorcas Johnson as a result of one among Elias and Martha’s youngsters was born in 1791 and one other in 1792. Due to this fact, Martha’s connection to Dorcas reaches again into earlier generations.

The subsequent logical step can be to analysis Richard Beasley’s spouse who would have contributed Martha’s mitochondrial DNA by means of her mom’s line. A fast search reveals that Richard Beasley was born in Essex County about 1730, reportedly married in Caroline County, and was in Stokes by 1790 the place he died in 1800.

I do surprise if there’s a motive that these households wound up in the identical space of Claiborne County – did they beforehand know one another?


Darcas’s mitochondrial haplogroup is H2a1.

Her Matches Map reveals some matches within the UK, however many clustered in Sweden and Finland. You may also be aware that just one actual (crimson) match is proven on the map which means that 8 individuals didn’t enter their geographic info. Simply assume how way more helpful this software may very well be with tree and site info included.

On the FamilyTreeDNA dashboard, on the backside beneath “Different Instruments,” you will see each “Superior Matches” and “Public Haplotrees.”

Superior matches give you the power to see if any of your mitochondrial DNA matches additionally match you autosomally, assuming each individuals have taken each assessments.

The general public haplotree hyperlink means that you can view the international locations the place your haplogroup is discovered.

I chosen “mtDNA Haplotree”, then “View by Nation,” then haplogroup H, then entered the department title. The requested haplogroup is displayed with the gray bar together with what number of occasions a selected nation has been chosen by testers. You may mouse over every flag or click on on the three dots at proper to view the nation report.

Simply as a be aware, the “23” signifies that H2a1 has 23 subgroups, and Darcus’s DNA will not be in any of them, simply H2a1.

The takeaway with this report is that the deep ancestry of Darcus Johnson is present in Scandinavia, in Sweden, and Finland. How far again is deep? We don’t know precisely. Her extra fast ancestors’ most probably supply of origin can be from the British Isles, or Scandinavia.

Haplogroup info alone might or will not be useful genealogically – solely time will inform. It could possibly rule out a large number of prospects – like Native American and different world areas on this case.

Nevertheless, the Beasley line info is essentially the most promising. Maybe a confirmed daughter of Richard Beasley has a descendant by means of all females who will DNA take a look at to both affirm or lay to relaxation that risk.

Moreover, I’ll be contacting the matches who haven’t supplied both earliest ancestor or pedigree info. Who is aware of what gems may nonetheless be hiding there.


Our path has taken us far afield from Dorcas herself. She can be amazed or perhaps amused to know that we’re looking for the knowledge that was acquainted to her from start. She would even be amazed to assume we may join her along with her ancestors utilizing one thing referred to as DNA that her descendants carry inside them, from her. That may have appeared quite a bit like magic, however then so would computer systems, telephones, and vehicles.

Ironic, with all of our know-how, we nonetheless need to seek for what our ancestors knew.

Like, for instance, the names of their youngsters, grandchildren, and the place they went. Who had been her mother and father and the place did they dwell? The place did they attend church and what had been their spiritual beliefs? What was their life like?

When did Darcus die? What did she love to do? Did she sit on the porch of the previous Dobkins dwelling, when it was model spanking new, and make quilts for her household? I like to think about her that manner.

Darcus realized to be self-sufficient and impartial early in her marriage when Jacob was gone not for days, weeks, or months, however for years in the course of the Revolutionary Conflict. She most likely had no concept if he was alive or lifeless. She merely did what wanted to be performed, and prayed that sooner or later he would journey or stroll up the trail to their home – wherever that was.

Given her resiliency, it’s no shock then that the final file Darcus might have left us was a shocking one documenting a really non-traditional function for a southern pioneer lady – that of a chain carrier.

What a legacy she left, regardless that a lot of her life is revealed peeking by means of the shadows of her husband, youngsters, and historical past that was unfolding round her.


Comply with DNAexplain on Facebook, here or follow me on Twitter, here.

Share the Love!

You’re all the time welcome to ahead articles or hyperlinks to buddies and share on social media.

Should you haven’t already subscribed (it’s free,) you may obtain an e-mail each time I publish by clicking the “comply with” button on the principle weblog web page, here.

You Can Assist Hold This Weblog Free

I obtain a small contribution whenever you click on on a few of the hyperlinks to distributors in my articles. This does NOT enhance the value you pay however helps me to maintain the lights on and this informational weblog free for everybody. Please click on on the hyperlinks within the articles or to the distributors beneath if you’re buying merchandise or DNA testing.

Thanks a lot.

DNA Purchases and Free Uploads

Family tree Merchandise and Companies

My E book

Family tree Books

Family tree Analysis