William Draper Dixon married Margaret Scott May 12, 1853 with M. W. H. Sumrell as bondsman. According to their tombstone, he was born January 23, 1820, she November 25, 1827. His parents, as we already know, were Roland Dixon and Penelope Keel. We can find them in the census data for 1830 (William was, probably, one of the male children between 15 and 20, the other being his brother, Hardy), 1840 (39A), and 1850 (350A – Roland is listed, for some unknown reason, as Robert). Penelope does not appear in the 1860 census (166A) , where we find Roland living with a Lucy Dixon, aged 13. A granddaughter, perhaps.
Like his brother John, William attended school in District 21, according to this list of 1841 of Craven County School Children. Margaret is there as well. She is immediately preceded on the list by Riley Scott and Julia Scott. Siblings, maybe? Going with that, l looked at the 1850 census again. There are two Margaret Scotts on page 368A. One, aged 34, is the wife of Joshua Scott, the other, aged 20, is the daughter of Patsey Scott with siblings Julia, aged 25, and Riley, aged 30. Looking at the Craven County Marriage Bonds, Groom S-T, there are two instances where a male Scott married someone named Patsy or Martha. John Scott married Patsy Bland November 7, 1806 with Joseph Dixon as bondsman, and Joshua Scott married Patsey Bland February 16, 1838 with James Banks as bondsman. Given that Margaret was born in 1827, Joshua couldn’t be her father, so, John it was, but I can’t help but wonder if it was the same Patsy Bland in both marriages. I found this Index to Craven County, NC Estate Files, 1663-1968. There is a John Scott who was probated in 1840. His probate papers mention his widow, Patsy, and children John, Riley, Julia, and Margaret. John Scott, Jr. is the guardian of his younger siblings.
In the 1850 census, Patsey and the children live next to a John Scott, aged 40, and his wife Nora. A John Scott married a Leonora Scott January 31, 1840 with Samuel Scott as bondsman. I think that John and Nora are the family listed under John Scott in 1840 (page 39A) with 1 male and 1 female in the household, both between the ages of 20 and 30. I don’t see a Patsy Scott as head of any household in 1840. Could she be the female aged between 40 and 50 in the household of Joshua Scott (page 60A), who was also aged between 40 and 50? If so, she was widowed again by 1850.
By 1860, all of the Scott children, including Margaret, are married. Riley Scott married Jane Delamar May 8, 1851 with John B. Oxley as bondsman, and Julia Scott married Joshua Lee August 27, 1854 with Abner Lee as bondsman. I don’t see John and Nora in 1860. The only John Scott on the census rolls for that year is a John Scott, Jr., married to Sarah Paul, daughter of Zaccheus Paul and Nellie Bennett. This John, Jr. is 32, whereas our John, Jr. would have been around 50. His son, maybe? I don’t know. And wouldn’t he be John Scott, III if he was? And I don’t know where Patsy was at this point. She doesn’t show up in the 1860 census. She may have died, or, less likely, she might have remarried.
Margaret and William do appear in the 1860 census. They’re on page 191, living next door to John and Mary Catherine. Their daughter, and my great-great-grandmother, Margaret Ann, is just 6 years old. In 1870, they live near Swift Creek in Township 1 in Craven County. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll find Margaret Ann’s future brother-in-law, James Summurlin, in the household of Freeman Stilly, who will become his father-in-law later in the year. I’m intrigued by the Sarah, aged 6, below him on the list. Sarah Summurlin? And, if so, who was she. She raises all kinds of questions.
Back to William and Margaret. By 1880, Pamlico County had been created, and that’s where we find them, living next to Margaret Ann and her husband, Joseph F. Sumberlin. Unfortunately, most of the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. in 1921, so I don’t know where anyone was at that date. I’m one of the researchers who despair at the loss, because it would answer some major questions I have about ancestors on my Mom’s side. More about that later.
According to their tombstone, William Dixon died June 4, 1896. In 1900, Margaret is living in the town of Stonewall, Township 2, Pamlico County. In her household are her son, Noah, and granddaughter, Tina Paul. Tina was the daughter of Rebecca J. Dixon and Henry Taylor Paul, son of Zaccheus Paul and Nellie Bennett. Next door, are Joseph and Margaret Sumrell, their children, and a niece, Minnie Paul. Notice that Tina and Minnie were both born in March 1894. Twins.
In 1910, Margaret, Noah, and Tina still live together, but Noah is now head of the household. Margaret is 82/83. Her tombstone says she died the following year on August 6. After that, Noah and Tina may have moved in with Margaret Ann and Joseph, but Joseph died of pneumonia March 18, 1918 (his tombstone says February 27, 1918). By 1920, they, along with Margaret Ann, lived in the household of her son-in-law, Clarence Nobles. Margaret Ann died of apoplexy, what we’d call a stroke, August 5, 1929. Noah and Tina lived by themselves by 1930 and by 1940, it was just Noah. Tina Paul died March 25, 1939, Noah August 24, 1944. I don’t know what happened to Minnie.