Dear Dorman cousins,
I am still reeling from the generosity of a fellow Dorman researcher from Raleigh, N.C., who read my long message of a year ago about Mitchell and Allen and sent me more than 250 copies of deeds, wills, court records and pages from abstract books leading to documentation of the lineage of my Allen Dorman of Twiggs County.
It will take me months to fully absorb all of this but I will share with you as I read and understand it. Some of the copies are of documents from the 1740s and, in addition to the quality being bad because of age, the language sometimes needs an interpreter. Payment was made in "lawful money of Great Britain ..." or "current money of Virginia ..." and is in pounds, shillings and pence instead of dollars and cents. Parts of wills and other court documents are nearly impossible to read. But ... it is better than "... somebody said ..." My dates are mostly estimates right now, based on activities and court records.
Mitchell Dorman, son of Michael Dorman (specifically mentioned as being his son in a deed), died in 1784 in
Edgecombe Co., NC, and left a will which was contested and later thrown out. Archibald Dancy, father of two illegitimate children by Mitchell's daughter, Delilah, submitted a paper to the court "purporting to be the will of Mitchell Dorman ..." which left Mitchell's entire estate to Dancy and nothing to his widow and children. The witnesses to the will stated that it had been made under duress and the court declared it null and void. Mitchell's widow, Mary Dorman, was granted administration of his estate 9 Feb. 1785.
All of Mitchell's children were minors (under 21) when he died except, possibly, Delilah. I have not seen Delilah attached to a guardian. She was named later in the estate distribution. I believe she and John were the oldest. John was appointed a guardian only in one report in 1785. By 1787 he was operating on his own. By 1790, he and Delilah were both listed as heads of house in the Edgecombe County, census. Based on this, I believe Delilah and John were both born in the early 1760s. (I know Allen is said to have been born before that but there is an error in his obit.)
Mary Dorman was actually Mitchell's second wife. His first wife was Olive Perry, daughter of James Perry and Patience (probably) Rawls. I have photocopies of both James and Patience's wills. James names his children (huge family), among them a daughter named Olive (no last name) and a son named Rawls. Patience's will mentioned all her children but named only her daughter "olif" Dorman and son John Perry. Some have interpreted "olif" as "alis" but James did not list a daughter named Alis.
Mitchell's second wife was Mrs. Mary Harper, widow of David Harper, with sons Reuben, Robert, James and David Harper. These sons were mentioned in Mary Dorman's will in 1801. Mary and Mitchell were probably married very shortly before Mitchell died since she made a gift to one of her sons in 1782 and was still a Harper.
Mitchell's estate distribution was not made until 4 May 1789. Heirs were named and included the widow, Mary Dorman, (received land and a slave named Rose), John Dorman (land and a slave named Rachel), Allen Dorman (land and a slave named Sam), Willie Dorman (land and slaves named Rachel and Sue), Cullen Dorman (land and a slave named Jim), Mitchell Dorman (land and a slave named Lewis), James Harris (received a female slave named Mole or Moll [? that's what it looke like] plus cash), Delilah Dorman (slaves named Hannah and Ned plus cash), and Ann Dorman (slaves named Peter and Jesse and cash).
Children shown in court records to be orphans of Mitchell Dorman who were assigned guardians in 1785 were John, Allen, Willie, Cullen, Nancy, and Mitchell Dorman. A daughter, Ann, is mentioned later as an orphan of Mitchell Dorman. Guardianships were released over the next several years and I'm still working on getting that info in some type of order to try and determine approximate birth years. Here's where I discovered the mistake in Allen's birth year. If he was born about 1758 as his obituary indicates, he would have been over 21 in 1785 and would not have had a guardian. I'm bringing his birth date forward 10 years to match his 1831 census (b. abt 1768).
I also have proof that Cullen Dorman married Rosannah Fort, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Fort. A handwritten court document shows Cullen and Rosannah Dorman answering a complaint in 1818 (from Georgia), concerning a slave given them by Rosannah's mother, Elizabeth Fort before she died. Rosannah's siblings were saying the slave should have been a part of their mother's estate. This is very hard to read and I haven't completely transcribed it yet. The info also is mentioned in Edgecombe County court abstracts. Cullen is said to have married again to a widow, Mrs. Mary Ann Crumpton, had three children, Perry, Nancy and Cullen, b. 1822-1828, and died in Stewart County, GA, before 1840. Leonidas Eubanks was the administrator of his estate and also guardian of the children.
Will post more information as I uncover it. Hope it is helpful to those researching this family.
Judy K in Newnan, GA
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