James Dickson, A Vintage Vignette

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James Dickson
A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin
January 25, 2011

James Dickson (sometimes recorded as “Dixon”) was born 1780 in Amherst County,Virginia. He died September 16, 1843, in Madison County, Alabama. According to data collected by Dennis Simpson, a descendant, James was buried in Dickson-Rankin Cemetery located on Redstone Arsenal today. James was the son of William Dickson and Lucretia Nash. James' wife Keziah Wood was born 1781, also in Amherst County, Virginia. She apparently died before the 1840 census of Madison County, but her presence was noted in the 1830 census. She was likewise buried in Dickson-Rankin Cemetery, but there are no tombstones today for her or her husband.

The known children of Keziah Wood and James Dickson were (1) Elizabeth K. (born 1806 in Virginia, married John King,1829, in Madison County); (2) Nancy Tyree (born 1808 in Virginia, died here 1891, married James B. Graham, 1836, in Madison County); (3) Joseph (born about 1810 in Virginia); (4) Virginia G. (born 1811 in Virginia, died here 1877, married Nathaniel G., son of Jesse Mingea, 1847, in Madison County); (5) Sarah A. (born 1813 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, died 1873 in Morgan County, Alabama, but buried in the Dickson-Rankin Cemetery); (6) Margaret Ann (born 1816 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, died here 1874, married John Simpson, 1840, in Madison County); (7) Juriah Wood (born about 1821 in Madison County, died 1868 in Columbus, Mississippi, married Samuel Read, 1838, in Madison County); and (8) Lucretia Nash Dickson (born about 1823 in Madison County, died 1873 in Noxubee County, Mississippi, married Edward B. Stanback in Morgan County, Alabama).

While the descendancy of James Dickson is fairly well documented, a puzzle comes in determination of his siblings and his ancestry. Perhaps the most credible data was compiled by Dennis Simpson, a descendant through James' daughter Margaret, who married John Simpson. In his book “Simpson and Allied Familes”, published in 1985, Dennis told that William Dickson was born about 1740 in Goochland County, Virginia, and died by 1828 in Nelson County, Virginia. William's wife Lucretia Nash was born about 1745 in Amherst County, Virginia. She died about 1828 in Nelson County. She was a daughter of Enoch Nash and Susanna Burrass. Besides James, the children of Lucretia Nash and William Dickson included Enoch, John, William, and Margaret Dickson. Enoch was born about 1773 in Virginia and died around 1841 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. In 1801 (Virginia) he married Juriah Wood. She was a daughter of James Wood and Ann Philpott, as was James' wife Keziah Wood. John Dickson was born about 1775 in Virginia and died there before 1870. In 1809 he married Nancy Wood, daughter of James Wood and Nancy Lipscomb.

Margaret Dickson, child of William and Lucretia, was born about 1801 in Virginia and died there between 1830 and 1835. She married Henry W. Martin in Virginia just before Christmas in 1822. William Dickson was born about 1779 in Virginia and died by 1837 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, where he made out his last will and testament leaving land in Lauderdale County, Alabama, to his brother James of Madison County. He also left other property in Rutherford County to his brother Enoch of that county. It is believed that this William Dickson was the same person as one of the three “gentlemen justices of the quorum” of Madison County's 1810 and 1811 Orphans Court. This early court combined the functions of later Probate and Commissioners Courts. Since William's will made no mention of a wife or children, it is assumed that he died unmarried or at least with no surviving family of his own. Apparently, he spent a few years living in Alabama's Madison County before moving to Rutherford County, Tennessee.

There were possibly different lines of Dicksons associated with more Madison County pioneer families. Anne Dickson married William Lanier. Mary Dickson married Isaac Lanier. Dr. William Dickson (1760-1816, namesake of Dickson County, Tennessee) married Polly Gray. Frances Dickson married William H. Pickett. Joseph Dickson married two daughters of James Gillespie, and Joseph Gillespie (son of James) married Susannah Dickson. Elizabeth Dickson married Edward Ward, who was mentioned in the 1815 Madison County records. These are all attributed to William Dickson (1739-1820) of Duplin County, North Carolina.

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