Dixon Wives: Nancy Jane Daniels

On February 10, 1884, Edward B. Dixon married Nancy J. Daniels, daughter of Isaiah and Nancy Daniels.  He was 21, she 19.  This is all according to their marriage record.  However, the censuses for 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 all list his wife as Nellie Ann.  Interestingly, Nellie Ann’s death record gives her parents as Alex Foy and Henrietta Gaskins.  Edward’s father, John D. Dixon, married Henrietta J. Foy March 8, 1893.  So which was Great-Grandma Alice’s mother?  Alice’s death record states she was the daughter of Bryan Dixon and Nancy Daniels.  Further, Alice was born October 27, 1887.  Edward did not marry Nellie Ann Foy until January 6, 1895.

So, who were Isaiah and Nancy Daniels?

Let’s start with Isaiah.  His middle name, according to Ancestry, was Basil.  Ancestry also says his parents were Wilson and Prudence Daniels.  Whether or not they were his parents, I don’t know, but I did find them in 1850 and just him in 1860.  In fact, if you’ll look at this tabled version of the 1860 census (page 179 of census), you’ll note that Isaiah lives right next door to Wilson.  Numbers 246 and 247. There is a Wilson Daniel living on the North side of the Neuse River in what was then Craven County in 1840 (43A, Number 11).  The 1830 census for Beaufort County shows a Wilson Daniel living in Goose Creek Township, but I don’t know if he’s the same guy.  I can’t find Prudence’s maiden name anywhere, and I don’t know Wilson’s parents.

I found a list of 1841 Craven County School Children that includes an Isiah Daniels in District 26.  The portion of the list for this district is date April 22.  He is directly preceded on the list by Sebrine Daniels, Jane D., Sally L. D., and Rebecka H. D.  They could be siblings.  According to the Craven County Marriage Bonds, Brides C-D, Sabina Daniels married David Horton August 2, 1841 with Joseph Carrow as bondsman, Irene Jane Daniels married David Lewis January 6, 1845 with Enoch Holton as bondsman and Sarah Louiza “Sally” Daniels married William E. Sadler February 11, 1856 with James S. Luit as bondsman.  Rebecka doesn’t seem to have married.  A Rebecca Daniels did marry John C. Bryan July 4, 1849, but both the 1850 and 1860 censuses show our Rebecka to still be in her father’s house.  Also, looking at the census information, there was a younger brother, James Tilman Daniels, assuming that the James Daniels, aged 9, of the 1850 census and the Tilman Daniels, aged 20, of the 1860 census, are the same person.  A James Daniels married Fanny Sadler March 13, 1851 with Josias Ball as bondsman.

Also, there is a Willis Wilson Daniels in 1819 List of Taxables for Goose Creek Township in Beaufort County.  Our Wilson Daniels was born about 1798, he would have been 21 in 1819 and, therefore, just old enough to appear on a tax list.  A Wilson Daniels doesn’t appear on the census rolls until 1830, again in Goose Creek Beaufort County.  There are several Daniels living in close proximity to him, but I don’t know what relation they were, if any.

Back to Isaiah…

Isaiah Daniels married Nancy A. Simpson October 31, 1844.  Our trusty 1880 Pamlico County Census has a Nancy Daniels living in Township 2 with her son Henry and daughter Nancy J.  Living next door is another son, Jacob U. Daniels and his second wife, Sarah Miller.


The 1870 census also has Nancy Daniels as the head of household.


So, where was Isaiah?  After some digging, I found this conversation archived at RootsWeb.  I immediately started looking for the documents mentioned.  After changing the spelling of Isaiah’s name to the way it was spelled in the conversation, I found the 1860 census easily enough.


1850 was a little more difficult, but I finally found him as Isaaih Daniels, 350A, Number 1352.  I also found a probate for Isaiah Daniels in Craven County in the year 1866. One of the documents in the file is dated to the second Monday in September of that year. Google told me that was September 10.  So, Isaiah Daniels died before that date.  This would explain why Isaiah is absent in the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

Now for Nancy.  According to Ancestry, Nancy was the daughter of a Samuel Simpson.  I don’t know their source for this “fact” so I’ll take it with a grain of salt.  There is a Nancy Simpson in Craven County School District 20 in 1841 (see above list).  She’s grouped with Saryann Simpson, Bigs Simpson, Morgan Simpson, and Josiah Simpson.  I don’t know if this is my Nancy Simpson, but, if so, these could be possible siblings.  While looking through the Craven County Marriage Bonds, I saw that Isaiah acted as bondsman for William L. Corbin and Sallie A. Simpson on September 27, 1847.  Sallie A. Simpson could very well be Saryann, or, more likely, Sarah Ann Simpson.  I’ve noticed that that was a popular nickname for persons named Sarah.  Other possible siblings include the Peter Simpson who acted as bondsman for Nancy and Isaiah.  A Peter Simpson married Nancy Ann Price April 29, 1843 in Craven County.  You’ll notice the number of Samuel Simpsons on that list!  One of them may be another possible sibling.  A Samuel Simpson married Irene Chance August 22, 1849 with William L. Corbin acting as bondsman.  I have yet to find death information for Nancy A. Simpson Daniels.

Isaiah Daniels and Nancy A. Simpson had the following children:

  • William Henry “Willis” Daniels born 1846
  • Mary Daniels born 1849
  • James Utley (no, that isn’t a typo!) Daniels born February 6, 1852, died January 25, 1918
    – married Mary F. Fell October 12, 1871
    – married Sarah A. Miller May 27, 1875
    – married Sallie Ives January 17, 1884
  • Henry W. Daniels born 1854
    – married Sallie Martin July 25, 1886
  • Britannia Daniels born 1856, died November 16, 1876
  • Nancy Jane Daniels born January 30, 1863, died January 22, 1892
    – married Edward Bryan Dixon February 10, 1884

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