Sometimes help comes from unexpected quarters.
In my on-going research on the Dickson family, I have talked off and on to other researchers. Over the last few weeks, I have been corresponding with another Dickson researcher about my line. Prior to finding the picture I talked about in the last section, I hadn’t really had a good connection to her line at all. But, with the firm connection to David Dickson, the wall starts to tumble down.
Ann, the other researcher, told me of a group of Dickson researchers who pooled their efforts a few years back. A book, compiled by Claire Jean Potter Ferguson Sullivan, Ph. D., came out of those efforts that traces this Dickson family back to about 1607. As it turns out, this is one of the books that is not only available from the Family History Library, but is available online!! You can find the FHL library entry and the digital version here.
I am so excited! Of course, this is a Ronald Reagan moment – trust but verify. It looks like there is good documentation in this book. Many of the references and documents it uses are included in the text, but it still needs to be analyzed and verified. I did Y-DNA testing some time back. Now to see if this plays out with the documentation.
It looks like my line could be:
- Grandparents – Robert H. Dickson, Jr. (b. 1919, d. 2007) and Susan Louise Bailey (b. 1919, d. 2006)
- Great-grandparents – Robert H. Dickson, Sr. (b. 1878, d. 1942) and Ethel Mildred Garner (b. 1887, d. 1974)
- Great-great-grandparents – John H. Dickson (b. 1836, d. bef. 1889) and Martha A. Taylor (b. 1858, d. bef. 1942)
- 3-great-grandparents – David Dickson (b. 1808) and Eliza Johnson (b. 1812)
- 4-great-grandparents – Joseph Dickson, Jr. (b. abt. 1785) and Mary McNairy (b. 1791)
- 5-great-grandparents – Joseph Dickson, Sr. (b. 1744) and Elizabeth Moulton (b. abt 1757)
- 6-great-grandparents – John Dickson, Sr. (b. abt 1704, County Down, Ireland)
- 7-great-grandparents – Michael Dickson (b. abt 1682) and Nancy Campbell
- 8-great-grandparents – Joseph Dickson II (b. abt 1657)
- 9-great-grandparents – Joseph Dickson I (b. abt 1630)
- 10-great-grandparents – Simon Dickson (b. abt 1607, England)
It seems like the documentary trail gets fuzzier as you go farther back, but this is at least a good place to start. And while the book identifies the Dickson line, it also identifies many of the grandmothers and even some of their parents and grandparents.
I feel pretty good about the line back to the immigrants. They come from Ireland to Chester County, Pennsylvania and then move down into North Carolina. From there, they head to Tennessee and into Alabama and Mississippi.
Each generation opens up a whole new set of research possibilities.
So, now to start to verify and be confident of all of this new data. Looks like my work may be cut out for me for the next several months or years.