Welcome to Gail Dawson's family page. I am researching ancestors on both sides of my family so I am following a several paths.
DAWSON/DORSEY and BENTON
On the Dawson side, the earliest information I have is for my great grandfather, Presley W. Dorsey, who was born in either Howard or Harford County, Maryland in February 1840. His name was changed from Dorsey to Dawson when he enlisted in the United States Army during the Civil War (43rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops). His name was officially listed on the enlistment papers as Prestley Dawson. After the war, he settled in Caroline County, Maryland and married Mary Jane Benton a former slave who was owned by Charles and Samuel Walls. Mary Jane was born on October 1, 1841 in Caroline County, Maryland.
MURRAY and BROOKS
Also on the my father's side of the family, my great grandparents were Thomas Murray and Julia Brooks. Thomas Murray was born in Maryland about 1875 and the 1880 census shows him living with his Grandmother, Rhoda Murray. I have no information on who his parents were, but the 1870 census shows Rhoda's husband as Wilson Murray. Rhoda Murray was born in 1800 in Maryland and show in the 1840 census as being a free person of color and the head of the household and Wilson shows up on the 1860 census as being free also
Julia Brooks was born in 1870. She died in 1935 in Marydel, Maryland. Her Mother was Susan Woodland (born about 1829). Susan appears in the 1850 census with her mother Julia Woodland (born about 1800). Also listed are Isaiah (28), John A. (25), Thomas G. (5), Asbury (4), and Isaiah (2). All are free people of color. I would love to find out more information on them and the story behind their freedom.
SHAW and WOOTEN
On my mother's side of the family, my great grandparents were Fred Shaw and Annie P. Wooten. Fred Shaw was born in North Carolina on March 17, 1830 and died on September 22, 1916 in Coffee County, Georgia. I have no information on his parents other than family legend, which says that he was the son of an African used as a breeder and a Native American Indian woman. Annie P. Wooten was born on March 3, 1863 in North Carolina and died on December 11, 1916 in Coffee County, Georgia. She was the daughter of Lot Wooten (b. 1838) and Annie Mariah Wooten Blunt who was born in 1840 in North Carolina and died October 8, 1909.
The earliest verified information I have on my mother's father's family is that my grandfather was named John Andrew Reed and he was born in Cheraw County, South Carolina in 1873 and died in Coffee County, Georgia on May 16, 1946. His parents were James Reed, who was born in South Carolina about 1835, and his wife Indie who was born in South Carolina about 1840 and is listed in the 1880 census as being mulatto.
If you have any information on any of these people, I would appreciate hearing from you. I am also willing to share any additional information that I have on any of my ancestors.