Dorsey, Lloyd: Evidence that He was a Son of William Cumming Dorsey of Somerset County, Pennsylvania

Their Census Record

In the 1800 Somerset Co PA census, Stonycreek Township, p 561, William Dorsey’s family was listed as: 21100/00100 (attachment 1). That is, William was 16-26, with wife Mary, née Black, in the same age group, one male, 10-16, and two males under 10. Note that Mary’s father, James Black, was in the same township.

By 1810 in Allegheny Township of the same county, page 470, “Wm C Dorsy Esqr” had this family: 41010/21010 (attachment 2). There were now five sons and three daughters.

In 1820 in same township and county, p 139, William C Dorsey had 221301/12010, that is, seven sons (assuming duplication of the son who was in the category for age 16-18 and also for 16-26) and still three daughters (attachment 3).

By the date of the 1830 census, the family’s father had died and the widow was listed as head of the household: 1830 Somerset Co PA, Allegheny Twp, p 63: Mary Dorsey, 00131…/00102001… There were four sons at home and three daughters (attachment 4).

 

As stated in the Somerset Co PA Genealogical Society publication, The Laurel Messenger, there was one Dorsey family in the county (attachment 5).[1] This is borne out by the censuses from 1800-1840 (attachments 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). A 26-year-old unaccompanied man named Patrick Dorsey from Ireland had arrived in Southampton Township by 1850; by 1860 he was in Paint Township and had acquired a wife and six children (attachments 11, 12). This man obviously could not be the father of Lloyd Dorsey, who was older than Patrick.

In 1830, in addition to widow Mary Dorsey, the only other Dorsey in the county was David Dorsey: 10001…/00001…(attachment 13). He was in the same township as Mary, but unfortunately the names are alphabetized and it is not possible to tell how closely they lived to each other.

By 1840 several of the children had moved to Ohio (see below). The only Dorsey in the county listed in the census that year was Edward Dorsey, still in Allegheny Township, p 13. Edward Dorsey: 000111…/000011001… (attachment 14). The older women is likely Mary (Black) Dorsey, who died in August of that year, and the two younger men may have been Edward’s brothers.

It will be seen that Edward and Lloyd Dorsey continued to have a close relationship, living next door to each other in 1860 (attachment 15) and being buried in the same cemetery (below).

Edward was also guardian for the children of Sarah (Moser) (Dorsey?) Coughenour’s brother, Nathaniel Moser, as well as a guarantor of the administration of the estate of Samuel Coughenour, probably the brother-in-law of Sarah (Moser) (Dorsey) Coughenour, first wife of Lloyd Dorsey (documentation available, but not included here).

 

Estate Documents

Mary (Black) Dorsey left no will and had no estate documents (attachment 16: letter and index), but her husband William C. Dorsey, although leaving no will, did have a large packet of estate papers. He had been guardian to two different sets of children and most of the documents relate to these responsibilities. Outstanding bills at the time of William’s death did include one referring to his daughter Sarah, “Boarding his daughter Sarah for 6 days.”[2] A William Dorsey witnessed one of the estate documents (attachments 17, 18, more available if needed).

 

Earliest List of Children of William and Mary, and Its Accuracy

The earliest known list of the names of this couple’s children is found in A Century and a Half of Pittsburg [sic] and her People, by John W Jordan, published in 1908. On pages 351-352 of this book is found the biographical sketch of Benjamin Franklin Lee and his wife, Margery Ella Dorsey. There is more information about the Dorsey family than about the Lees, probably indicating that the facts were provided by Mrs. Lee (attachment 19).[3]

The birth date of Margery Ella Dorsey is not given in the article. Her 1900 census, however, gives “Ella Lee” the birth date of February 1861 (attachment 20). She grew up in Bedford Co PA, just east of Somerset Co PA where her father was born. Ella, as she was called in the 1900 census, probably was acquainted with the aunts and uncles still residing in Somerset County; she would have been 12 years old when Lloyd Dorsey of Somerset Co PA died (below). She likely knew personally at least two uncles, Lloyd and Edward, and one aunt, Cordelia.

Neither Margery Ella (Dorsey) Lee nor the author John W Jordan would have had access to census documents, which provide the number and approximate ages of ten children of William C and Mary (Black) Dorsey. In spite of this lack of access to documents, the individuals Mrs. Lee named fit exactly with the census data, as well as later censuses showing Dorseys in Somerset County, as well as Hancock Co OH and Bedford Co PA, marriages found in Somerset County records, and burials in published books relating to Somerset County (below).

From correspondence with descendants, this writer has known for some time that several of the children of William C Dorsey—James B, David, William C Jr, Jane (Mrs. Isaac Weisel), and Sarah (Mrs. Joseph Hardy—moved to Hancock Co OH before 1840. Each of them has been identified in the 1850 census, with spouses corresponding to Mrs. Lee’s list (attachments 21, 22, 23, 24). Sarah (Dorsey) Hardy had died before the 1850 census, when her husband had a new wife (attachment 25).

Attached here are Family History Library death records for children of two uncles and an aunt who moved to Ohio, demonstrating that the 1908 informant correctly gave the maiden names of her uncles’ wives and her aunt’s husband (attachments 26, 27, 28). Images are not available at this site at this time. Note that these records are being provided here only as evidence corroborating the Dorsey family records as published in A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and her People, by John W Jordan.

Mrs. Lee did not know of the infant who died and is buried near Mary (Black) Dorsey (below). Otherwise, she has seven sons and three daughters, corresponding exactly to the census data, although there are unanswered questions about some of the ages and there may have been other children who died young, as following:

 

Census       William C       other males       Mary            other females, ages    

1800: 21100/00100

1774-84       1784-1790, unknown       1774-84          none

1790-1800, James B (1800)

1790-1800, David (1800)

 

1810: 41010/21010

1764-84       1794-1800, James B (1800)       1764-84       1800-05 servant?

1800-10, David (1801)        1800-10, Jane (1808)

1800-10, William C (1804)        1800-10, Cordelia (?)

1800-10, Lewis (no known records of his age)                                         1800-10, Edward (possibly ca 1810)

 

1820: 221301/12010

bef 1774       1794-1804, James B       1774-94 1804-10, Jane (1808)

1794-1804, David           1810-20, Cordelia (1810?)

1794-1804, William C           1810-20, Sarah, (1814)

1802-04, William C

1804-10, Lewis

1804-10, Edward

1810-20, Lloyd (1813)

1810-20, Henry (1817)

 

1830: 00131…/00102001

dec’d       1805-10, William       1770-80, head of household

1810-15, Edward            1805-10, Jane

1810-15, Lewis           1805-10, Cordelia

1810-15, Lloyd            1815-20, Sarah

1815-20, Henry

also in Somerset Co PA, David, 1805-10

 

1840: 000111…/000011001…

dec’d       1810-15, Edward, head of household       1770-80, Mary

1815-20, Lloyd            1810-15, Sarah

1820-25, Henry           1815-20, Cordelia

000111…/000011001

1850      James B Dorsey, Franklin Co OH, 50, “James B Dorcey” (above); 60 in 1860 in Franklin Co OH

David Dorsey, Hancock Co OH, 49 (above); age 60 in same place in 1860

Edward Dorsey, Somerset Co PA, 47 (attachment 29);

William C Dorsey, Hancock Co OH, 46 (above); in same place in 1860 age 56

Jane (Dorsey) Weisel, Hancock Co OH, 42 (above); indexed as Wessels in 1860, Hancock Co OH, age 52

Lloyd Dorsey,[4] Somerset Co PA, 40 (attachment 30); same place in 1860, age 50

Cordelia (Dorsey) Wertz, Bedford Co PA, 33 (attachment 31); deceased by 1860, her family had moved to Cedar Co IA

Sarah (Dorsey) Hardy, deceased; husband Joseph Hardy had remarried, Hancock Co OH

Henry Dorsey, Bedford Co PA, 33 (attachment 32)

 

In other words, nine of the ten children listed in A Century and A Half of Pittsburg and her People can be located in the 1850 census, with spouses, exactly as stated in the book. Only Lewis has not been located in 1850 or 1860, unless he was the Lewis Dorsey, 42, with a large family in Huntingdon Co PA; neither naming patterns nor location about indicate this man belongs to the family under discussion here, plus he was African American (attachment 33).

The informant for Jordan’s book made one mistake (Lloyd’s wife’s maiden name was Frashure, not France) and one statement that has not been confirmed (that Lewis fought in the Civil War). The only known Lewis Dorsey who fought in the Civil War with Pennsylvania troops was African American, born ca 1844 in Maryland (attachment 34, 35).

In Mrs. Lee’s defense, it may be noted that there were no Frashures in Somerset Co PA censuses either before or after Lloyd’s marriage to Margaret Frashure. (But see the Margaret Frazier, age 40, next door to Edward Dorsey in 1850, above. Using Soundex I located several families named Frazier/Fraser, etc. See attachment 36.) So Mrs. Lee may have been correct and the clerk who entered the marriage into the record was the one who made the mistake. And since there is only one Lewis Dorsey born in PA between 1800 and 1830 in the 1850 or 1850 censuses, this family’s Lewis may have moved to a totally different part or the country, or he may have used a middle name which is not known to family researchers, or to his niece, Margery Ella (Dorsey) Lee.

It is worth noting how many of these reported children named their children after siblings, including one who used the name Lloyd.[5]

Two more facts of interest gleaned from this article from A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and her People: the maiden name of the wife of Edward Dorsey has not been located elsewhere; and the informant knew more about the brothers and sisters[6] of William Cumming Dorsey than even the authors of The Dorsey Family, writing in 1947 (attachment 37, 38).[7] These names match the heirs who signed the estate papers after the death of Edward Dorsey, 1825 in Washington Co KY, even being listed in the same order (attachment 39, with transcript).

 

The Children of William C Dorsey who went to Ohio

Several of the children of William C and Mary (Black) Dorsey moved to Hancock Co OH. Three of these are mentioned in Robert C. Brown, History of Hancock County, Ohio: containing a history of the county, its townships, towns … portraits of early settlers and prominent men, biographies, history of the Northwest Territory, history of Ohio, statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc.

Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1886 (attachment 40). On page 350, David Dorsey and Isaac Weisel are described as brothers-in-law who moved to Hancock County from Pennsylvania in 1833, Isaac’s wife being Jane Dorsey.

On the next page, William Dorsey, named as a brother of David Dorsey, is said to have arrived in the county about the same time as his brother.

And I have included here the mini-biography of Lloyd Weisel, on page 657, because of the fact this man was likely named for his uncle Lloyd Dorsey of Somerset Co PA.

 

Cemeteries

            The final evidence that Lloyd Dorsey was a son of William C and Mary (Black) Dorsey is in the cemetery records. Fortunately, Somerset Co PA has extensive published cemetery records. There are two cemeteries where Dorsey family members are known to have been buried. Volume I of Tombstone Inscriptions of Cemeteries, Somerset County, PA[8] on page 40 describes the Dorsey Cemetery, where only three of seven graves had inscriptions. These include Mary, the wife of William C Dorsey and an infant son of “L. & M. Dorsey.” As these pages have demonstrated Lloyd and his wife Margaret were the only L. and M. Dorsey possible. (attachment 41).

Page 41 of the same book shows that Edward and Lloyd Dorsey and their wives were buried in the same plot of the Mt Zion cemetery, as well as Lloyd’s son Henry (who was likely named for an uncle, Henry Dorsey).

In 1955, Laura Hay Braddock and Charlotte Hay Beard wrote another book for the Somerset Co PA Historical and Genealogical Society entitled Mount Zion Lutheran & Reformed Church Cemetery Allegheny Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania (attachment 42). Page 111 lists early residents on Allegheny Township, including “Wm. C. Dorsey.” They state, “Names of many of the descendants of the above will be found on tombstone inscriptions copied from stones in this cemetery, which appear on following pages.”

Page 123 lists five Dorsey burials in the Mount Zion Cemetery, similar to the list in the first book cited here. The burials here are listed by rows, and it can be seen that Lloyd and Edward and their wives are buried consecutively. Henry Dorsey is not included here, but the child Mathew “son of L. & M.” Dorsey is listed. Note the exact wording “son of L. & M.” as in the other cemetery.

 

I consider myself very fortunate as a passionate family historian since 1966 to have the resources available at my desktop today, which earlier genealogists could never have dreamed of.

I can use census schedules, access local history books, and confirm mothers’ maiden names on death certificates. Nothing I have found contradicts the family group in A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and her People, and most of the facts are confirmed.

 

Observations

  1. There was only one Dorsey family in Somerset Co PA between 1800 and 1840.
  2. Although neither William C Dorsey nor his wife Mary (Black) Dorsey left a will or other list of their children, a granddaughter, Margery Ella (Dorsey) Lee likely provided the Dorsey family facts for A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and her People, which names her father, uncles and aunts and their spouses.
  3. The list in this book is in agreement with the census record for this family.
  4. The list in this book matches names and spouses of the Dorsey individuals from Somerset Co PA and Hancock Co OH, as well as other independent sources, such as death records from Ohio, 1910-1927.
  5. Lloyd Dorsey was named in the list as a child of this couple.
  6. Lloyd Dorsey’s infant son was buried in the same cemetery as his mother.
  7. Lloyd Dorsey was closely connected in Addison Township with Edward Dorsey.

 

Conclusion

Lloyd Dorsey, born 1813, was the sixth son of William C and Mary (Black) Dorsey.

 

 

Note: The 1994 publication cited in your letter to this applicant, Descendants of Augustus Dorsey, was written by me, Katherine Alvis Patterson, along with my mother and my aunt. I am hopeful of establishing a Moser supplemental line as well, with Johan Michael Moser as a new Patriot Ancestor.

 

 

 

 


[1] There are several mistakes in this article, but it is being submitted here only in terms of the statement from the publication of The Somerset County (PA) Historical and Genealogical Society that there was one Dorsey family in the county.

[2] Note that William C Dorsey’s family, according to this bill, included “himself,” his wife, a son and 4 other members of the family.

[3] The children of William C and Mary (Black) Dorsey are listed as:

James Black who married Nancy Wells;

David Dorsey, married Rose Ann Weyand, and Margaret Adams;

Jane, wife of Isaac Weisel;

Sarah, wife of Joseph Hardy;

William, who married Louisa Bryan;

Edward, married Mary Hardy;

Lloyd, married Margaret Frances;

Henry, who married Margery Davidson;

Cordelia, wife of David Wertz;

and Lewis, “who served in the Civil War.”

[4] Note that Lloyd Dorsey lived near two families named Black, nephews of his mother, Mary (Black) Dorsey, and a family named Coughenour, possibly the father-in-law of Sarah (Moser) (Dorsey) Coughenour, and individuals named Frazier.

[5] In 1850, James had William, Jane and five others;

David had William, David, Cordelia and James, plus two others;

William had William C, Cordelia, and four others;

Jane had Lloyd, Mary, Sarah, and six others;

Edward had William, Mary and one other;

Sarah had a daughter named Mary Jane, a son and possibly a daughter named Sarah Ann, at whose birth the mother died;

Lloyd had Matthew and Mark, and by 1860 Henry and Mary;

Cordelia had William, Mary, Sarah, and two others;

and Henry had William and 2 others. Remember that the parents were William and Mary.

[6] The children of Edward and Sarah (Cumming) Dorsey are listed in A Century and a Half of Pittsburg… as:

William Cumming Dorsey, married Mary Black;

Deborah, wife of Hugh McElroy, John Welsh, Mr. Larm;

Robert, who married Phoebe Myers;

Richard, who married Lucy Jeffreys;

Thomas, married Amelia Glover;

Johnson, married Rebecca Silver;

and Anna, wife of John Geoghegan.

[7] For the purposes of this study, I am including the letter from Jean Muir Dorsey, author of the 1947 Dorsey genealogy, to confirm that Mrs. Lee knew facts about her Dorsey ancestors which even the acknowledged experts on Dorseys in America were only finding out half a century later. Note that in 1947, when The Dorsey Family was published, nothing at all was included about the children of Edward Dorsey, died 1782, father of Edward Dorsey, died 1825 Washington Co KY, father of William C Dorsey.

[8] Ancestry.com. Tombstone inscriptions of cemeteries, Somerset County, Pa. [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Fischer, Della Reagan.. Tombstone inscriptions of cemeteries, Somerset County, Pa.. McKeesport, Pa.: unknown, 1968.

Published on November 30, 2013 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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