The Dawson Family


My parents were Levy D. and Clemmie Rogers Friend of Ivydale, Clay County, West Virginia. My mother's parents were James Anderson and Malinda Belle Dawson Rogers. This presentation will present the genealogical line of my mother through the Dawson family as far as it is currently known.

The oldest known relative in my mother's Dawson line is Alexander Barnett Dawson. Alexander was born in Albemarle or Amherst, probably in a part that later became Nelson County. His birth date was about 1803. I have searched extensively for several years seeking information on Alexander's parents without luck. If anyone has such data an e-mail to my address at the end of this presentation would be greatly appreciated.

Alexander Dawson's first marriage was to Barbary L. Allen in Nelson County, Virginia, November 1, 1827. Barbary was born in Nelson County, December 14, 1808. Barbary's parents were William and Dorothy Bailey Allen. William was born October 3, 1949 in Albermarle and served in the Revolutionary War at Albemarle Barracks.

Alexander and Barbary had only one child, Richard Henley, before her death sometime before 1833. Richard was born on August 7, 1828.

A Deed of Trust is recorded in a Nelson County Deed book between Alexander Dawson, William P. Perkins, Benjamin Perkins and John Mosby, May 1829. Alexander secures a small debt with his personal property as a bond, to be the overseer of a plantation owned by John Mosby. This land was adjacent to that of of his father-in-law, William Allen.

The 1830 census shows Alexander "Dauson", with wife and son under the age of five. Barbary apparently died sometime before 1833, possibly in childbirth. Alexander is not on the tithing list for that year.

A marriage bond between Alexander B. Dawson, widower, and Sarah Long, signed by her father, John Long on March 23, 1837, places Alexander in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia on that date. Sarah's mother was Elizabeth Sheetz and she and John Long were married in 1818 in Augusta County. John died in 1850 and Elizabeth after 1870.

Alexander and Sarah migrated to Nicholas County, Virginia (now W.Va.), and according to one source "lured by bounteous hunting and good farm land, Alexander secured property and settled on Little Laurel (Clay County), where he remained until his death. Little Laurel is only a few miles from Ivydale where I grew up but it is located on top of one the mountains near Ivydale in a remote and difficult to reach area. Alexander and Sarah are listed in the 1840 Census of Henry District of Nicholas County. This district became Henry Township of Clay County, Virginia (now W.Va.), in 1858.

Alexander and Sarah had eight children. These children and their spouses were Mary born in 1838 (George W. Brown), Henry born in November, 1839 (Eliza Rose), John L. born in 1842 (Martha V. Taylor), Wyatt born in 1845 ( unmarried), Josiah born in July, 1848 (Diodema Taylor), Lewis born in July, 1850 (Elizabeth Taylor), Margaret E. born in 1858 (died as a child), and Malinda born in 1859 (Melzah Rhodes).

Alexander Barnett Dawson died about 1865. Several sources state that he is buried at Little Laurel in the Dawson Cemetery which is one of the two cemeteries located there. However, at this point I have been unable to discover any concrete evidence that this is so. Apparently Alexander's grave is not marked. Sarah Long Barnett died after 1881 Her place of burial is not known at this time.

My mother's maternal grandparents were Henry and Eliza Ann Rose Dawson. As noted above, Henry was born in November, 1839, and Eliza was also born in 1839. She was the daughter of Charles and Eliza McCune Rose. Her grandfather, Isaac Rose, applied for a Federal pension before the Nicholas County, Va. (now W.Va.) Court on September 7, 1819. In his declaration Isaac stated that he served in the Revolutionary War, enlisting in Monongahela County in 1777. He also stated that he served in the 13th State of Virginia Regiment commanded by Colonel John Gibson and that he served until 1780, when he was discharged in Monongahela County. His pension was approved in Nicholas County under claim No. W5713.

Henry and Eliza Ann Rose were married on July 5, 1861, in Clay County, West Virginia. Little else is known of them beyond this point although they are listed in the Clay County 1880 Census with their nine children. These children and their spouses were Sarah E. born about 1865 (L.G. Davis), Margaret J. born in 1866 (no record of marriage), Alexander born about 1868 (no record of marriage), Martha V. born in 1870 ( William Ward Hanshaw), Felix J. born in 1872 ( Matilda Deal), Charles born in 1873 (no record of marriage), Malinda Belle born in 1875 (James "Jay" Rogers), Caroline born in 1879 (Grant Chapman) and Allen Jenkin born in 1883 (Rosa V. (Barnes) Rogers).

No information is available at this time as to the time, place or burial of either Henry or Eliza Rose Dawson.

My mother's mother was Malinda Belle Dawson. Malinda married James Anderson "Jay" Rogers on November 5, 1894. It is my belief that they lived one mountain away from each near Ivydale when they first met. After their marriage they lived on top of one of the mountains surrounding Ivydale farming as best they could to support their seven children. The area they farmed is remote even today and very difficult to reach by vehicle or on foot. Malinda died in 1910 at the age of 34 apparently from typhoid fever and is buried in the small Rogers Cemetery on top of the mountain where she and her family lived.

James and Malinda Dawson Rogers' seven children were Gilbert, Lula Jane (born 1896), Henry Herman (born 1902), Clemmie Ann (born 1904), James Jenkins (born 1906), Rhoda Gay (born 1908) and Westy Caroline "Lina" (born 1897). Art Friend


The above article about the Dawson Family of Clay County, West Virginia, was written by Arthur R. Friend in October, 1997. The following sources were drawn on in the preparation of this presentation:

1. "Dawson Family" by Dorothy Dawson Neal Harris

2. "History of Clay Co., W.V. 1989"

3. "History of Clay Co., W.V. Volume 11"