I'm a descendant of the John Dickson (10-10-1780 to 1-7-1867) buried in Smith County, Texas, who is also believed by many to be John Barnett Dickson the son of Michael Dickson, Jr. from Hancock Co., Georgia. I welcome any communication regarding the following information:
While researching my Dickson genealogy I recently obtained some important records from the Smith Co., TX courthouse in regard to the John Dickson who died there in 1867.
These facts I knew before finding the records: This John Dickson married his second wife, a widow, Mrs. Hannah Nichols Bryant in Bibb Co., GA on 3-15-1845. They are also recorded in the 1850 Bibb Co. census as John Dickson age 70, Hannah age 45 and Sarah Bryant age 30. They moved from Bibb Co., Georgia to Smith Co., Texas in 1858, and are listed in the Smith Co., TX census for 1860.
Listed in chronological sequence are the documents I located filed in Smith Co., TX County Clerk office:
9-3-1860 The deed for the purchase of 250 acres by John Dickson on 1-18-1860 was filed and recorded. The deed for the purchase of 400 acres by James Dickson (nephew of John) on 12-13-1859 was also filed and recorded. *See Note 1 below.
10-16-1862 A deed was filed that had been originally filed in Bibb Co., GA on 10-23-1858, whereby John Dickson transferred ownership of 5 slaves to his wife Hannah Dickson "formerly Hannah Briant"[sic]. The document states John acquired ownership of the slaves through his marriage to Hannah. Apparently he was officially returning sole ownership to her. *See Note 2 and 3.
6-24-1864 A will signed by John Dickson [sic] on 3-20-1863 was filed and recorded. In the will Hannah is to inherit his property until her death, then the property is to go to his children (unnamed). I have not had the opportunity to transcribe the will, yet.
8-25-1873 A deed is filed whereby William Dickson, as agent for the "heirs of John Dickson," sells the Smith Co., TX land to H. R. (Henry Reese) Stembridge. *See Note 4. The deed records the heirs of John Dickson as Henry J. Dickson, Mary Ann Webb, James M. Parker, Thomas T. Dickson, Frances/Francis Dickson and William Dickson. (This is a list of heirs who participated in the sale of the land, but is not necessarily all the children born to John Dickson.)
Note 1: James Dickson was the son-in-law of Hannah Nichols Bryant Dickson. Hannah's daughter, Sarah Aletha Bryant Dickson, was apparently the reason for their move from Bibb Co., GA to Texas in 1858, due to Sarah's health. Family legend records that Sarah died of consumption near Shreveport and never made it to Texas. Sarah and James had two daughters, Mary Elizabeth and Eliza Jane Dickson. In the 1860 Smith Co. census the girls are recorded twice, first as living with their father, James Dickson and second as living in the household of John and Hannah Dickson, their grandparents.
Note 2: There is a long narrative written by a descendant of Hannah Nichols Bryant Dickson that claims she freed all her slaves before leaving Georgia in 1858. The filing of this document in Smith Co., TX serves as proof that she brought these 5 slaves with her to Texas, and did not release ownership of them. The 1860 slave schedules for Smith Co. record that James Dickson owned 11 slaves and John Dickson owned 14. I'm assuming the reason the ownership of the slaves by Hannah is not recorded in the 1860 Slave schedules is because the deed showing her ownership was not filed in Smith Co. until 1862.
Note 3: The narrative also claims that the Dicksons were devoted to and beloved by their black "servants". The statements seem to exaggerate the truth, however, I did discover that James Dickson, even after serving for the CSA, at the age of 58 was the only white person living as a farm laborer in the household of Thomas Taylor, a black family in the 1880 Smith Co. census.
Note 4: Mary Ann Dickson is my ancestor; she married Bertis Alford Webb on December 11, 1839, in Bibb Co., Georgia. Lucy Dickson married James M. Parker in Bibb Co., GA on 12-16-1845. I don't understand why James Parker is listed as the heir instead of Lucy, the daughter of John Dickson. Henry Reese Stembridge married Sophronia Isabella Webb on July 16, 1863, in Crawford Co., Georgia. Sophronia Webb was the daughter of Bertis Alford Webb and Mary Ann Dickson, the daughter of John Dickson. In December of 1872, Bertis Alford Webb, his wife Mary, their children, including their grown and married children, and some grandchildren immigrated to Texas from Crawford Co., GA (which borders Bibb Co.). An account of their trip, told by J. W. Bryant, was published in the Dallas Morning News in 1932; the article was republished in the Smith Co. Chronicles in 1968. See also my posting on the Dickson forum #1792.
Still, I have found nothing that proves this John Dickson is the John Barnett Dickson, who was the son of Michael Dickson, Jr. of Hancock Co., Georgia. I would appreciate any help with this matter.
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