“Angels Cry”


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Love this song.  It’s sadly underrated.

Song Obsessions: “Thinking Out Loud”


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Heard this on the radio this morning and can’t get it out of my head.  Luckily, I love this song.  Especially the second verse:  “‘Cause, honey, your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen…”

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks


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One of the marks of a good book is when you turn that last page looking for more.  Asking, “What happens next?”.  And with Brooks’ The Secret Chord, you already know what happens next.  And, yet, still….

Chord_BrooksI remember the first time I actually sat down and read Samuel and Kings as an adult.  The David I met through the verses was a very different man from the prettied up version I was taught.  And, still, this book made me see the ancient tale with new eyes.

The desperate loneliness of a boy neglected and abused by his father and brothers, denied the love of his mother.  Then he finds affection, devotion, and deepest love in the family of a madman.  Only to have it all torn away by the madness.

You can’t help but feel Michal’s hopeless, helpless, rage at the neglect and abuse she suffered from her mad father and her oblivious husband.  At, finally, finding happiness and affection from someone, and having that torn away to appease that husband’s honor.  Batsheva’s fear of a king’s desire and her grief when, as a consequence, she loses her child.  David’s sorrow and grief as the four-fold punishment unfolds.  Tamar’s terror and the outrage of Maacah and Avshalom.

Then there’s Natan, at the center of things, yet outside them.  Knowing what is to come but unable to speak of it.  The scene where he utters his first prophecy, feet caked in the blood of his father, resonates.  Another chord, pulsing throughout.

On the flip side, the passages about David and Yonathan are achingly poignant.  Beautiful.  As was his relationship with Avigail.  And, of course, his gorgeous music and obvious love for and devotion to the Land and the Name.

At the end, as the joyous celebration resounds through the streets, David listens from his sickbed, and is comforted, while Yoav and Adoniyah, hearing it from their treasonous feast, are anything but.  Then it’s, “What happens next?”.

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars


Tea Sampler: Cranberry Spice Hibiscus Tea


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TeaSampler-LightI got the new catalog from The Republic of Tea yesterday.  This month’s sample is Cranberry Spice Hibiscus Tea.  I’m not sure how I feel about this hibiscus trend, but the spices sound really good.  So off I go to brew a cup.

The scent that wafted up from the package as I opened it reminded me of those tins of Christmas candy my mother used to buy.  After brewing, this scent changes, but the spices are still evident.

The color of the brewed product is lovely.

After adding about a teaspoon of Splenda, I took a sip.  This is not a sweet tea.  There is a tartness, almost a sour note, that I don’t really like.  Cranberry Spice Hibiscus is definitely not my cup of tea.

A few genealogy sources I’ve found online


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There’s a wealth of resources for the amateur genealogist to find online these days.  On left side of this page (or bottom if you’re using a tablet or smartphone), you’ll find a list of links under the heading “Genealogy.”  Some are general, others surname specific.

To begin, download a family tree program so you can work offline.  I use RootsMagic Free Edition.  If you can afford it, join Ancestry and/or My Heritage.  But for those of us who can’t, a good route is to use FamilySearch.org.  Just click “Search” and begin.  By clicking “Browse All Published Collections,” you can access all sorts of records, including census records, marriage bonds, wills, and estate files.  I do this a lot.  I also actually have a free account on Ancestry.  Although I can’t access a lot of the records, it does help point me in the direction of records to be looked at.

Another good source for wills, especially old wills, is North Carolina State Archives MARS – Basic Search.  You can also find land deed abstracts there.  You can read actual land grants and patents from colonial times at this website: North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data.

Got an ancestor who served in the War of Northern Aggression (also known as the War Between the States or the Civil War)?  You can find them at Search for Soldiers.

Can’t afford a subscription to Newspapers.com?  Try DigitalNC – North Carolina’s Digital Heritage. It’s not as extensive, admittedly, but it’s better than nothing.  And, of course, Find A Grave is another excellent source.

For censuses that FamilySearch doesn’t have images for, try searching The Internet Archive.  Not only can you find nearly all censuses there (most of the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire, and a few bits and pieces of other censuses are missing, the Craven County, N.C. portion of the 1810 census, for example), but old genealogy/history books, as well.  You can also find a few books through Google Books, although you can only read parts of most of these.  Here are just a few that I’ve used up to now:

Of course, there are a few books I’d love to read, but can’t find outside of a library.  I know that I can find most of these at the New Bern Craven County Public Library in the Kellenberger Room.  That’s a bit of a drive, though, and I’ve have to be there a whole day.  Besides the trip, there’s also money needed for copies.  So that’s going to have to wait.  As an aside, their website is also an excellent genealogy source.

  • Some descendants of John Moone, ca. 1600-1655, and Nicholas Bourden, ca. 1700-1759 : Jamestown and Isle of Wight County in the colony of Virginia by Richard Bowden Jones
  • Some descendants of Nicholas Bourden and his wife Prudence, the great-granddaughter of Captain John Moone; whose sons removed from the colony of Virginia to the counties of southeastern NC before the war of the Revolution by Richard Bowden Jones
  • Bowden Family History, 1735-1983 by Josie Bowden
  • Our Vendrick family: the kinfolk of James Cleveland Vendrick, 1876-1952 by John Grady Vendrick
  • Descendants of Walter Dixon, Sr. of Pitt County, NC by Suzy Loraine Dixon-Bennett
  • Here, There, and Yonder – Cason & Sons – A Brinson Genealogy by Robert W. Brinson

Any of you have genealogy research tip or trick?  Feel free to comment and throw the rest of us a bone.


Dixon Wives: Sarah Ann Daw


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Sarah Ann Daw (or Dawe) was born sometime between 1705 and 1715, most likely in Beaufort County, North Carolina, to William Daw and his wife, Dinah.  William was the son of Captain Nicholas Daw and Lydia Windley, I’ll talk more about them in a separate post, and Dinah may have been a Prescott or an Etheridge, I’ve seen both.  Of course, she could have been a widow when she married William.  Such was common in those days.

An Aaron Prescott wrote his will, in which he mentions a daughter named Dinah, February 24, 1709 in Currituck Precinct of Albemarle County. The will wasn’t probated until March 24, 1719, so he obviously survived whatever illness that prompted him to write it.

John Prescott, Aaron’s father, had arrived in Virginia by March 11, 1653, transported there by a James Johnson to whom he was bound.  On that date, Johnson received 300 acres for transporting 6 persons (Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800, page 241).  By April 5, 1664, John was being granted 400 acres of his own for the transport of 8 people (Cavaliers and Pioneers, page 514).  And on September 29 that same year, he and 5 others received 1,000 acres for transporting 20 people (Cavaliers and Pioneers, pages 513-14).  Aaron was his younger son.  The elder son, Moses, inherited all of John’s land in Virginia and died there June 19, 1724, in Norfolk County.

William and Dinah probably married in approximately 1700, either in North Carolina or Maryland.  William appears on A List of Jurymen In Beaufort and Hyde Precincts in 1723. Their daughter, Sarah, married John Dixon in about 1730.

John Dixon was born sometime between, say, 1705 and 1710, either in North Carolina or Virginia.  This John Dixon was not, I repeat NOT, the son of Walter Dixon, Sr. of Pitt County.  I’ve come to this conclusion, despite much misinformation posted all over the Internet, because I actually looked at the dates on their wills.  For more about that see my post A Problem of Wills.

John and Sarah witnessed the will of James Leigh April 4, 1738.  Sarah certainly had better handwriting.

Sarah Dixon is mentioned in her father’s will in 1744.  I think the year “one thousand seven hundred and forty five come one” is supposed to mean 1744.  It makes more sense with the probate date than 1746.

I have seen scans of this will and I have seen abstracts.  Some of the abstracts don’t seem to match the scans.  One such abstract appears in Grimes’ Abstracts of North Carolina Wills on page 95:

There’s another abstract in The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 1, dated January 23, 1745, that agrees more with the scans:

As for the scans, the better of the two I got from Ancestry during the free probate and will access weekend they had a little while ago.  Now, of course, you’d have to pay for the privilege.  Which sucks, because there are still a few other wills I’d like to see.  The other scan you can access for free at North Carolina State Archives MARS – Basic Search.  Type in “William Dawe” and “All” then click “Search.”  You’ll be able to read the actual will with the help of a free DJVU viewer browser plugin.  Both scans are extremely difficult to read.  The handwriting is atrocious, Sarah obviously did not learn to write from her father, and the ink has faded and/or bled through in many places.  However, you can make out enough to know that it is not dated the twentieth of January.  I would guess the twenty-fifth, or “the five and twentieth Day of January.”  This is what I can make out (I’ve created paragraphs for easier reading, and, as you cans see, it could use some punctuation but I’ve tried to stay a true as possible to the original):

In the Name of God Amen. The five and twentieth day of January In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty five come one I William Dawe Planter at the head of Leighs Creek South Side of Pamplico River Beaufort County in the Province of North Carolina Being sick but of well and ? disposing mind and memory praised be to God for the same doth constitute ordain and make this my Will in manner and form following

and first I bequeath my soul to Almighty God my most Mercyfull Father hoping through the Merrits and Mediation of my Dear Redeemer to obtain pardon of my Sins and to be an Inheritor of his heavenly kingdom. And my body I commit to the Earth by Decent buriall at the Discretion of my wife and children.

and Secondly I appoint my Loving Wife Dinah Dawe my ? and sole Executive of this my Last will and testament.

To my Eldest son Nicholas Dawe I wish to bequeath one hundred acres of land ? by Oyster Swamp, his choice of one bed & bedding above stairs, a bay Mare with a star in her face, one gun both called his, my chest, all the cattle with his mark.

To my son William Daw one hundred acres of land on the West side of Durhams Creek, one bed & bedding above stairs next his Brother Nicholas bed & beding, one two year old horse & all the cattle with his mark.

… my Daughter Diana one oval table & one chest & one ? dish with all the cattle in her Mark.

To my son John Dawe the plantation where I now dwell my ? gun, and young mare, all the cattle in his Mark.

To my Daughter Borhya all cattle in her Mark.

To my Daughter Biah all the cattle in her Mark.

To the said daughters Borbiya & Biah Dawe I give the Negro wench to help ? being them use & for their use all …

This is where it gets really difficult.  Lots of faded and smeared ink.  From what I can make out, he gives use of the plantation he left John to his wife, Dinah, for her lifetime.  Although I can’t see it, the words “or widowhood” are probably tacked on.  Then he mentions “daughters who are married” Sarah Dixon (or, something -on, anyway) and Lydia (I don’t think this is Kee or Coe or Cob. It could be Roe, Rowe, or something else equally short).  It gets illegible again then “if demanded being they have had their portions”.


I Desire my sons Nicholas and William to assist their Mother and my Will in that all my just debts which ? ? at my ? be fully paid and satisfyed and this I Declare to be my Last will & testament [unreadable but probably “disannulling” or “disallowing”] and Revoking all heretofore made this being [illegible] In testimony I set my hand and seal [illegible]

The signatures are all faded, smeared, or bled through.  Including his.  Maybe it can be read better on microfilm.

So Sarah had seven siblings, three brothers and four sisters.  The children of William Dawe and Dinah, his wife were:

  • Nicholas Dawe – Married Abigail Wallis, daughter of William Wallis and Mary Shaw, before December 9, 1748, when she’s mentioned as Abigail Daw in her father’s will, of which Nicholas was Executor.
  • William Dawe (d. 1792, his will) – Married Mary Compton
  • Sarah Dawe – Married John Dixon
  • Lydia Dawe – May have married John Rowe, son of William Rowe and Mary Brough, as his second wife.
  • Diana Dawe
  • John Dawe – He may have been a child when his father died because while he appears on the 1764 tax list, he doesn’t in 1755.
  • Borhya(?) Dawe
  • Abiah Dawe

She and John, themselves, had six children (this number comes from the wills of John and Thomas Dixon and from Tax Lists), most, if not all, born before 1755.  All four sons certainly appear on the 1755 List of Taxables Beaufort County, NC, and were, thus, of or older than 16 years of age.  Only Chosewell and, possibly, Thomas were married.  The fact that Thomas is living with John Lee, combined with Sarah and John witnessing James Leigh’s will makes be wonder if there was a familial connection between the families.

The sons, at least, also appear in 1764 List of Taxables Beaufort County, NC.  I don’t know if the John Dixon listed is the father or the son.

Notice the proximity of John’s family to that of William Dixon in 1755, and to Benjamin Dixon in 1764.  William was the son of Walter Dixon, Sr. and Benjamin was either his son or his grandson.  I know of a Benjamin Dixon in the area in the 1790s.  He was, I think, the son of James Dixon, Sr. who was the son William Dixon.  In New Bern District Court Records, there are a series of depositions dated from July to September 1795 concerning the burning down of David Smithwick’s house by Shad Price, William Dixon, and James Dixon.  A Benjamin Dixon was among the deponents.  Anyway, this, and the fact that Chosewell Dixon’s grandson was named Roland, which was also the name of Walter’s youngest son, all point to some sort of relationship between the families.  I’ve noticed that on early posts on various message boards and genealogies, Walter Dixon, Sr. was given a birthdate of 1692.  Later, this was changed to 1682.  However, if the initial date was correct, then it is possible that my John, especially if he was born closer to 1705 than 1710, was the younger brother of Walter instead of his son.  It’s definitely something to think about.

The children I have for Sarah and John Dixon are:

  • Chosewell Dixon (d. 1816) – married a woman named Mary, maiden name unknown, son William and probably another son and I don’t know how many daughters.
  • Thomas Dixon (d. 1780) – According to his will, he had two daughters, Mary and Martha.  They were both under 18.
  • Elizabeth Dixon (Source:  Will of Thomas Dixon) – I don’t think she ever married.
  • Draper Dixon (Source:  1755 Tax List) – There seems to be some confusion over who he married.  Some genealogies say she was Elizabeth Mixon, some Prudence Mixon.  Both were daughters of William Mixon and Frances Bryan.  I don’t think it was either, but another sister, name unknown.  Something about the wording of William Mixon’s will and how he leaves things to both Elizabeth and Prudence and to Elijah Dixon, grandson, all in the same sentence.  According to my database, he died in October of 1778 in Camden District, South Carolina.
  • John Dixon, Jr.
  • Tabitha “Bitha” Dixon (Source:  Will of John Dixon) – She married a Cason Scott (b. 1741) that I think, but can’t prove, was the son of Cason Scott (b. 1715) and Averilla Horde.  Cason died January 5, 1816 in Santee District, South Carolina, and Tabitha November 10, 1824 in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.

LibraryList: November 2015


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library_reads_logo_websiteLots of good books on LibraryReadsNovember List.  These are the ones that caught my eye:

DigiScrap Spotlight: Pumpkins


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There are a couple of really adorable pumpkin kits out there this week.  First is Where the Pumpkins Grow from Clever Monkey Graphics to scrap your search for those perfect pumpkins.  There are also elements for corn mazes and apple picking.


And second is Pumpkin Guts from BoomersGirl Designs to scrap the guts and gore of carving those pumpkins.




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The movie based on Emma Donoghue’s amazing book, Room, is set to release November 6, though a few lucky theaters have it today.  Not one around here, unfortunately.  I can’t wait to see it.  The trailer looks awesome.

Chosewell Dixon and Mary, his wife


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Chosewell Dixon was born sometime between 1730 and 1735 to John Dixon and Sarah Ann Daw, probably in Beaufort County, North Carolina.  He appears on 1755 List of Taxables Beaufort County, NC.


To be considered taxable, white men had to be at least 16 years of age.  This means he was born no later than 1739.  Above him on the list are his father, brothers and grandmother, Dinah Daw, and below him is his brother Thomas.

In March 1756, Chosewell Dixon was appointed a constable by the Beaufort County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (source:  Pitt County Genealogical Quarterly, May 2006).  Also in 1756, this time in September, a stock mark was awarded his son, William.  Incidentally, this makes William at least ten years older than most genealogies have him to be.  The name of Chosewell Dixon’s wife is usually given as Mary, maiden name unknown.

He, his father and brothers, grandmother and uncle, all appear on the 1764 List of Taxables Beaufort County, NC.


According to a deed abstract posted by Suzy Dixon, Chosewell purchased 350 acres of land, situated on both sides of Goose Creek, from James Coor December 19, 1767.  The land had once belonged to Cason Scott who got it from Cason Brinson.  If you go to North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data, and search a query “Cason Brinson”, select Beaufort from the dropdown menu, and click “include bordering counties”, you’ll see that all Cason Brinson grants and patents are in Craven County.  Many are on Goose Creek.  Cason Scott also had a patent for 300 acres on the west side of Goose Creek.  The deed says Chosewell’s “of Beaufort Co., NC”, but by 1769, Chosewell had moved to Craven, where he appears on the 1769 List of Taxables and Carriage Wheels in Craven County.  Remember, white males have to be at least 16 in order to be taxable.  There are 3 such in the household of Choswell Dixon.  Himself and two sons, maybe?  If one of these was William, then the latest he could have been born was 1753, which is one of the reasons I think Chosewell himself was born in the early 1730s instead of the later part of that decade.  Chosewell is also listed on this Craven County 1770 Early Census.

As an aside, I can’t help but notice Chosewell’s proximity to Nathaniel Draper on the 1769 list.  I’ve been wondering about a possible connection there.  Chosewell had a brother named Draper and Nathaniel isn’t too far down the list from the Dixons in Beaufort County back in 1755, either.  It’s just a thought.

Chosewell Dixon (or Chasewell, as it’s spelled), James Brinson and William West, witnessed the will of Rodger Squires, February 27, 1770.  On March 23, 1772, Chosewell was named an Executor in his father’s will.  John died sometime between then and December 11, 1773 when the will was proven in Court.   For more on that see my post A Problem of Wills.  He purchased items at the estate sale of Christopher Dawson June 28, 1774.  In 1779, he’s listed in the 1779 List of Assessments, Craven County District No. 3 (Chonwell Dixon with 286 acres of land, and 1290 in other property).

When his brother Thomas died October 29, 1780, he appointed Choswell Executor of his will (right side page), dated September 23, 1780.  All spelling, punctuation, and capitalization errors are true to the actual will.

The Deposition of Sarah Leversage and Elizabeth Dixon being sworn on the Holy Evangelish of Almighty God deposeth and saith that on the Twenty Third day of September last past Thomas Dixon of the County of Beaufort being sick but of sound and perfect mind and memory did make his last Will in manner as herafter mentioned viz.

He the said Thomas Dixon desired that his writing desk should be delivered to his Daughter Martha, and his round Table to his Daughter Marey; and all the other part of his personal Estate to be equaly divided between his two Daughters afsd [aforesaid] when the youngest shall arive to the age of eighteen years; and he further desires that is sister Elizabeth Dixon shall have the care and bringing up of his said children upon the profitts of his Estate untill they shall arrive to the age afsd or maried.

He further desired that his Brother Choswell Dixon should Execute this Will under the authority of the County Court; And further these deponents saith known.

Sarah Leversage
Elizabeth (her E. mark) Dixon

This may Certify that this Deposition was taken within nine hours after the Death of the said Thomas Dixon, before Tho Bonner 29th Oct. 1780

On September 14, 1782, a ten year old Roger Cutherill was bound to Chosewell Dickson as a cooper by Craven County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions.

I cannot find him listed in either the 1790 census or that of 1800, but, as I said in my post about his son William and William’s wife, Lydia Caton Dixon, I think that he may have been the other free white male of or over 16 living with them in 1790.  In 1790 (second column), William and Lydia lived between John Daw and Barry Holton.

  • 2 Free White Males of 16 or more
  • 2 Free White Males under 16
  • 1 Free White Female
  • 0 Other Free Persons
  • 1 Slave

I don’t know what happened to Chosewell after William’s death in 1797, because he is not living with Lydia and her 5 children, his grandchildren, in 1800.  He would have been over 60 and none of the Dickson households in the county had anyone over 45.

The sale of the estate of John Scott was held September 18, 1805 where Chosewell was among the purchasers.  He bought:  2 hews, a tin pot, a chest, and a pad lock.  November 7 of the following year, he stood bondsman for John’s son, another John, and Patsy Bland.  The text of the bond says it was purchased by John Scott and Joseph Dixon, but the actual signatures at the bottom are John Scott and Chosewel Dixon.

The 1810 census for Craven County has been lost, but there is a tax list for the year 1815.  There is a Caswell Dixon listed in Captain William B. Perkins’ district that I think may be Chosewell.  If it is, he has 82 acres of land valued at 150 pounds/dollars (not sure what unit of valuation they’re using).

On December 9, 1816, Vendrick Dickson, James Martin, and Church Vendrick paid a 500 pound administrator bond towards a period of 2 years with Vendrick Dickson as administrator of the estate of Choswell Dickson, according to his estate papers.  The Inventory and Estate Sale were held December 20, at Goose Creek.  The only Dixsons on that list besides Vendrick are a Polly Dixson (widow or daughter?), a John Dixson, and Rolen Dixson.

Who was Vendrick Dixon?  From the census data, I know he was born sometime around 1795.  That’s too late to be a son of Chosewell.  Unless, of course, he had a second wife, which is possible.  Perhaps this hypothetical second wife was a Vendrick. Or he could’ve been a grandson.  Remember that third male 16 or over in 1769?  On the 1815 tax list there is a John Dixon listed just above Vendrick Dixon with one free poll and 250 acres valued at 250.  Vendrick just has the one free poll.  Further up the list is a John Dixon, Jnr., also with one free poll.

Also, one of Chosewell’s nephews, David, son of Draper Dixon, is said to have married a Vendrick, possible first name of Elizabeth.  Here’s the Find A Grave page for their son, Churchill Dixon.  I wonder what Vendrick Dixon’s relationship to Churchill Vendrick was?  As far as I know, Church had only two sisters, neither of whom married a Dixon (I’m descended from Ruth on my mother’s side), and his three daughters were way too young.  And none of these women was named Elizabeth.  I do know that Vendrick, along with Hasten Dixon, purchased a marriage bond for him to marry Celia, the daughter of another of Draper’s sons, Elijah, October 22, 1822.  Hasten is Hasten Dixon, Jr., son of Hasten Sr. and yet another grandson of Draper.


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