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William Walter Dotson
(1879-Abt 1935)
Heidi Mathus
(Abt 1880-)
Charles Lester Bowles
Edna Head
Eldridge William 'El' Dotson
Betty Lou Bowles
Linda Edna Dotson


Family Links

1. David Charles Layfield

2. Doyce Boyington

Linda Edna Dotson

  • Born: 6 Jan 1950, Neelyville, Butler Co., Missouri
  • Died: 16 Jul 1990, Hannibal, Marion Co., Missouri at age 40
  • Buried: 19 Jul 1990, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Hannibal, Marion Co., Missouri

  General Notes:

From the Dotson Family Genealogy (

The name "Dotson" is Welsh in origin. But the surname was first found in Cheshire, where the family was seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
The name Dotson is a patronymic derived from the name Dodd or Dodds. The Coat of Arms features a silver shield with a blue bend engrailed between two Cornish chough, and the family motto is "In Copia Cautus," meaning "Careful amid plenty."
Many Dotson family histories trace our lineage back to CHARLES DODSON, who lived during the 1600's in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia.¹ He is the earliest known ancestor who can be proven in public and legal documents. But his ancestry is the source of a fierce debate. His descendents include actor Tom Hanks.
Some say Charles, himself, is descended from JOHN DODS, who was a member of the first permanent English Colony in America, at Jamestown, Virginia. John was listed as 18 years old on the original ship passenger list, and set sail from London with Captain John Smith in December of 1606. He is listed among a hundred and five men in the company that became the first settlers in Jamestown, arriving aboard the Susan Constant on May 13, 1607, as a labourer from the region of Lincolnshire. They reached the capes of Virginia and sailed up the broad river, thirty-two miles from the river's mouth. They named the river "James" and their settlement, Jamestown, in honor of their King.
The colonists soon erected cabins out of poles and branches and some dug caves to live in. The site of the colony was unhealthy, and the deaths, especially during the first few years of the colony, were horrifying.
Family lore declares that John married JANE EAGLE PLUME, a Powhatan Indian and the daughter of Chief Eagle Plume. (John Dods' wife is only listed as Jane in legal records. Some genealogists contend that his wife was JANE DIER who came over after the first settlers. He then lived and died in Richmond Co., Virginia.)
From 1606 to 1618, eighteen hundred immigrants sailed from England for Virginia. At the end of that time only six hundred were living. Attacks by Indians, starvation, and the system of holding property in common added to the difficulties of the colonists. But in 1612 they began to grow tobacco and they began to fare better.
In spite of all the hardships, John survived and was reported to have been an able hunter and fur trader. He was also a soldier in expeditions against the Indians.
After the First Anglo-Powhatan War (1609 - 1613), the marriage of Chief Powhatan's youngest daughter Pocahontas and colonist John Rolfe in 1614 began a period of more peaceful relations between the English colonists and the Indians of the Powhatan Confederacy.
But in the spring of 1622, after the murder of his adviser, Nemattanew, by an Englishman, Chief Opechancanough launched a campaign of surprise attacks upon at least thirty-one separate British settlements and plantations mostly along the James River. The Indian massacre of 1622 (also known as the Jamestown Massacre, shown below) occurred in the Virginia Colony on Good Friday, March 22, 1622. Almost a third of the English colonists were killed by a coordinated series of surprise attacks of the Powhatan Confederacy under Opechancanough. Fortunately, John had left the area to Charles City just before the massacre, so he survived. The Tax List of James City 16 Feb 1623 lists John Dods and Mrs. Dods as living at the Neck of Land near James City, now Chesterfield, Virginia. He was also listed on the Virginia musters of 1622 and 1624 at Neck-of-land, Charles City. In 1626 he is listed as owning 50 acres in Charles Cittie and another 150 acres in the Territory of Tappahanna.
But proof that John and Jane ever even had children is scarce. Dods is one of only three 1607 settlers still alive in 1624, and there's no evidence that John or any of those surviving settlers ever had any kids. So we can only speculate that he is related to the ancestors in this line.
Another theory is that the Dotson line in America is descended from JOHN DODSON, born in 1580 in Great Neck, Yorkshire, England. He sailed to America, then lived and died in Richmond County, Virginia (some say this is actually John Dods, although he wasn't close to eighteen years old in 1822).
His son, JESSE DODSON, was born in 1620, probably in England, but sailed to the Colonies with his father (no son is listed with John Dodds). A 1979 article by Mrs. C. T. Dodson, of Wayne County, Kentucky, relates a family story handed down through the Centuries, in which Jesse chose his bride from of a ship load of eighty prospective wives arriving from England. A colonist could pay a woman's transportation fees (with her permission), in the amount of 120 pounds of tobacco, and secure her as a wife. It is by this method that Jesse and a brother, William, supposedly obtained wives.
Jesse then married JUDITH HAGGER (b: 1627 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England) on the 7th of May, 1645, in Jamestown, Virginia.
Hagger is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It is derived from the Gaelic form Mac-an-t-sagairt, which means son of the priest. Patronymic names often substituted the name of a saint or other revered religious figure in place of a devout bearer's actual father. However, the patronym Hagger often denotes actual paternity in this case, since the marriage of clerics in minor orders was permissible, although the marriage of priests was declared illegal and invalid during the 12th century. The Hagger name was first found in Perthshire, where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. The Coat of Arms is a blue shield with a silver star. The family motto, "Modeste conabor," means "I will attempt moderately."
Our lineage can definitely be traced back to CHARLES DODSON, was born around the year 1649 in Rappahannock County, Virginia (Charles swore he was "aged fifty years" in a court record of 6 Mar 1699/1700. [Richmond Co VA Miscellaneous Record Book, p.41]). He lived in an area about 60 miles northeast of what is now the city of Richmond, near the Rappahannock River. Many Dotson family histories actually begin their genealogies with Charles, as he's the first proven ancestor in this family. As there is no record of his birth to Jesse, nor is there any documentation of a Charles Dodson arriving in Virginia by ship, so he fits neatly into either family history scenario. (One database in Salt Lake City shows that Charles Dodson, Sr. was the son of Jesse who came from England, with Judith Hagger. Another lists the same mother, but the father's name is Thomas Dodson, b. 1620 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England. Take your pick.)
The problem is that the Colony was growing so fast that it was practically impossible to keep faithful records. New immigrants arrived in Virginia in boatloads, almost every month in the year. By the year 1700, there were more than 80,000 persons living in the tidewater region of Virginia, when there had been only a handful in the day of John Dods. Between the influx of new immigrants, and official records stored in Richmond, being destroyed by fire, much of the genealogical work has to be left to family histories and church records.
Until 1686, the Episcopal Church was the State church in Virginia. All children, regardless of religious affiliation, were required to be baptized by the minister of the church, like the parish that the Dodsons lived near in North Farnham.² Dates of birth and names of their parents were recorded in parish registers. The same information was taken of marriages and burials. The church records are preserved, and are available in the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia.
These records to not reveal the origins of Charles. But the fact of the matter is that Charles himself makes an impressive start to any genealogy. He was by all reports a successful, industrious, remarkably well-respected frontiersman. Fortunately, the records do show that between 1678 and 1680, Charles married a woman named ANN (last name unknown, but it was probably either ELMORE or DOTSON, b: 1654) in Rappahannock County.
Charles prospered in Rappahannock, which became extinct in 1692, being divided into Essex and Richmond counties. Charles owned land in both counties, but actually resided in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia.¹ He was a highly trusted neighbor, and witnessed many deeds and wills. An excellent example of ther esteem held for Charles is in the will of John Lincoln, dictated on Dec. 18, 1686, in which an affidavit reports that Lincoln "would have no other but Charles Dodson as his executor although several insisted that he have his wife."

Linda married David Charles Layfield, son of Charles F. Layfield and Juanita Whitfield.

Linda next married Doyce Boyington.

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