Article Provided by Barbara Shore

Note from Barbara:

Steve Pearsall sent me the attached clipping from a Duplin newspaper years ago. I have typed it up and am sending it to you to put on the Duplin Co. GENWEB page if you think it appropriate. It has some good genealogical data on several early Duplin Co. families and might help others in their research.

Click here for Email to Barbara Shore

Our Yesterdays


By A.T.Outlaw

The Duplin Times, Kenansville, NC September 1937


Colonel JOHN DICKSON, born in Ireland, came to America about the year 1736 and located in Chester Co. PA where he lived for a few years. He then lived for a short time in Maryland and located permanently in Duplin (then New Hanover) Co., NC, about the year 1744. His home place was on Elder, a branch of Maxwell Creek, and was purchased by him in two or more tracts from Captain Archibald Douglass, of the Kingdom of Great Britain and others. His land on Goshen, where he had lived for a short time, was sold to Capt. Joseph GRIMES. Colonel Dickson was a merchant. He was well educated. His handwriting among the old records is a model of excellence. When the county of Duplin was formed from New Hanover in the year 1749, Colonel John Sampson became the first Register (now Register of Deeds), but on account of the excellence of Colonel Dickson's handwriting, the duties of that office were performed by him as the deputy Register. During the year 1751 he became Clerk of the County Court and served through the year 1762. At the same time he served as county Register from 1753 to 1762. He was a member of the Colonial Assembly in the year 1762 and a militia officer for many years.

Colonel Dickson died at his home on Elder, Christmas Day 1774, leaving a large and prominent family. The maiden name of his wife, or wives cannot now be given. Apparently he was married twice. Two children were born in Ireland and the third child was born in Chester Co., PA several years later than the first and second. Evidently two children born in Ireland were by a first wife and all others by a second wife. The names of the children were as follows:

Major MCHAEL DICKSON born 1730-1, was five years of age when he came to America. When about 35 years of age he moved from Duplin Co. to Pendleton District, SC, but did not dispose of all his property in this County until about the year 1795. He was an outstanding patriot during the Revolutionary War and served as an officer in SC and GA. He was also a prominent church leader and served as an elder in his church for a period of 60 years. Major Dickson died at Pendleton August 19, 1825 in the 95th year of his age. No definite record of his family can be given. However, it is said that he was the father of Dr. Samuel Henry Dickson who was perhaps one among the most widely known physicians in this country during his time.

JOHN DICKSON, born about 1731-2 was about four years of age when he came to America. His name appears in Duplin Co. records as a witness when about 25 years of age, but no conveyance to or from him has been found. However, his name appears in his father's Will dated 1774, at which time he was about 42 years of age. Possibly he had moved with his brother Michael to SC

Colonel WILLIAM DICKSON, born in Chester Co., PA in the year 1739 moved with his parents to Duplin Co. when about five years of age. He was a surveyor, Colonial assemblyman, Revolutionary officer and Clerk of the County court for a period of 45 years. He died in Duplin Co. June 25, 1820. His wife was Mary Williams, daughter of Mary (Hicks) and Capt. Joseph Williams. Their children were: (a) Anne Dickson, married William Lanier. They died in Alabama; (b) Dr. William Dickson, married Polly Gray. They moved to Tennessee and Dr. Dickson became a prominent physician and politician of that State. He was Speaker of the Sate House of Representatives and a member of the U.S. Congress; (c) James Dickson, married and moved to Green Co., AL; (d) Joseph Dickson, married Lucy Gillespie and Milder Ann Gillespie, daughters of Dorcas (Mumford) and Major James Gillespie; (e) Mary Dickson, married Isaac Lanier of Anson Co. and moved to Alabama; (f) Lewis Dickson, married Catherine Hill. One daughter married Rev. Lemuel D. Hatch and moved to Greene Co., Alabama and another daughter married Moses T. Abernethy of Lincoln Co. (g) Frances Dickson, married William H. Pickett, a native of Anson Co. and moved to Alabama; (h) Susannah Dickson, married Joseph Gillespie, son of Dorcus (Mumford) and Major James Gillespie. Several of this family moved to Henderson Co., TN; (I) Elizabeth Dickson, married Col. Edward Ward of Onslow Co and died without issue.

Major ROBERT DICKSON married 1st Catherine Pearsall and 2nd Mrs. Barbara Sheffield, widow of Capt. Isham Sheffield. It is said that her maiden name was Barbara Boney. After the death of Robert Dickson, she married John Wilkinson. Major Dickson's children by the first marriage were: (a) Col. John Dickson, moved to Cumberland Co., married Sarah Blocker, and had a large family. Among them was a daughter Martha who married Alexander Torrens Stanford of Duplin, son of Margaret (Torrens) and Rev. Samuel Stanford. Colonel John Dickson was a very wealthy and influential citizen of Cumberland Co. He was one of the founders of the First Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville and served as an elder for many years. He was also a legislator and militia officer; (b) Ann Dickson, fourth wife of Capt. Kedar Bryan, son of Nancy Smith and Needham Bryan. They left a large family, including Needham Bryan who married Sallie Hinton; Robert Bryan, Kedar Bryan, Jr., who married Mary Evans; Ann Bryan who married John Stallings; Catherine Bryan who married Dickson Sloan, and Elizabeth Bryan who married Rev. George Fennell. (c) Pearsall Dickson, moved to Tennessee. (d) Edward Dickson, moved to Tennessee. (e) Catherine Dickson, second wife of Charles Hooks, State Senator, Congressman, etc. They moved to Alabama. (f) Mary Dickson; (g) Elizabeth Dickson. Children by the second marriage (Mrs. Sheffield) were: (h) Susanna Dickson, married col. David Hooks and they had a son named Robert Dickson Hooks, probably others. (I) Robert Dickson, died without issue. (j) William Dickson, married 1st Margaret Sloan and 2nd Margaret Chapman and left a large family. Most of them moved to SC, Florida and Alabama.

JOSEPH DICKSON. He was a surveyor, legislator and Chairman of the county Court for many years. His wife was Jane Molten, daughter of Sarah (Norris) and Capt. Abraham Molten. Their children were all born in Duplin Co. and most of this family moved to Tennessee during the 1790s. The children were as follows: (a) Anne Dickson, third wife of Capt. James Pearsall; (b) Michael Dickson, married Sene Williams and they left a large family; (c) Hugh Dickson, married Hannah Hicks in Tennessee; (d) David Dickson, served for some years as Clerk of the Court in Dickson Co., Tennessee. That County was named for the Dickson family. (e) Molten Dickson, served as County Surveyor and as a State Senator for Dickson County. (f) Joseph Dickson, Jr., lived in Montgomery Co., Tennessee. (g) Abner Dickson, disabled for life in the battle of New Orleans. (h) Col. Alexander Dickson, married Elizabeth Molten, daughter of Sarah (Norris) and Capt. Abraham Molten. No Issue. He was the founder of the "Dickson Charity Fund," still in existence, left by him for the education of the poor in Duplin Co.

JAMES DICKSON, heired the home place of his father on Elder where he lived all his life. He was Register of Deeds of Duplin Co. for a period of 28 years. His first wife was Dorothy Pearsall, daughter of the original Edward Pearsall and his second wife was Mrs. Susannah Carr, widow of James Carr and a daughter of Osborn Powell of Craven County. Children by the first marriage were: (a) Edward Dickson, moved to Tennessee. (b) Eleanor Dickson, married 1st David Sloan and their children included Dickson Sloan who married Catherine Bryan and Cassandra Sloan who married Alexander McGowen and Daniel Cicero Moore. Eleanor Dickson married 2nd John Maxwell and had several children, including Dorothy Ann Maxwell who married David J. Middleton and Henry Moore; Sarah Maxwell who married Samuel Stanford, Jr., and moved to Carroll Co. Mississippi; Henry Maxwell and Margaret Maxwell who married Hugh Pearsall. (c) Margaret Dickson married a Hancock. (d) William Pearsall Dickson, moved to Tennessee. (e) Alexander Dickson, moved to Tennessee. (f) Elizabeth Dickson, married Thomas Johnston and lived in Charleston, SC. (g) Ann Dickson, married James Robinson and lived in SC. (y) Sara Dickson. Died young. (I) Mary Dickson, married Charles Chambers. Children by second marriage (Mrs. Susanna Carr) were: (j) Dorothy Dickson, married Archibald Maxwell. (k) Ann Jane Dickson, married Benjamin Oliver, son of Sarah (Barrow) and Rev. Francis Oliver. (l) James Dickson, Jr., died unmarried. He was Clerk of the County Court from the year 1826-1845 and was also Clerk of the Old Grove church at Kenansville for a long time. (m) Linda Dickson, married William Carr, son of Margaret (Greer) and William Carr. (n) Joseph Dickson. (o) Robert Dickson, married Mary Catherine Sloan.

EDWARD DICKSON married (her name at present unknown) and their children were: (a) Anna Dickson, married Bryan A Bryan. (b) Elizabeth Dickson, married Lewis Hicks and they had a daughter named Serena Hicks. (e) Rebecca Dickson, second wife of Rev. Jacob Williams. Their daughter Nancy married Dr. Stephen Graham and they lived near Kenansville.

MARY DICKSON, married William McGowen "a worthy man and a prudent husband" and their children were: (a) David McGowen, died young. (b) John McGowen, married Mary Molten, daughter of Capt. John Molten. (c) William McGowen, Jr., married Mary Pearsall, daughter of Zilphia (Uzzell) and Capt. James Pearsall. They left a large family. (d) Edward McGowen. (e) Robert McGowen. (f) James McGowen. (g) Michael McGowen. (h) Joseph McGowen, married 1st Sarah McInire and 2nd Hannah Green, and left a large family. (I) Alexander McGowen, married Cassandra Sloan, daughter of Eleanor (Dickson) Sloan and David Sloan.

Return to Duplin County Families Page