Friday, April 29, 2016

Holbrook line: John Dixon, Immigrant

John Dixon is one of our Maryland ancestors.  His name needs to be mentioned and known in our family tree, even though I haven't found a lot of information about him yet. I've found two plausible sets of parents for him in England but am currently unable to prove or disprove either, so at this point his family is unknown. 

He arrived in Virginia in 1664 (or possibly earlier) with his wife Jane (possibly Jane Carey)  and 10 other persons, and received 600 acres of land as headright (meaning he paid for the transportation of each person and received 50 acres of land in return.) He quickly acquired other lands also, purchasing 420 acres in August of 1664.  He sold 300 acres of land in 1668/69 and still had 870 acres of land to dispose of in his will, so there must be other acquisitions that we don't know of.

We know that he was a justice of the Baltimore County Court in 1665, which leads one to the idea that he was probably educated and was respected in his community. The fact that he was able to pay for the passage of 12 people from England indicates that he also had some financial means.  With these clues, why hasn't someone been able to pin down his ancestry?  Surely there is a Dixon family in England who is missing one of their family members! 

Most sources say that he died in 1667 but Robert Barnes, in his Baltimore County Families 1659-1769, says that he disposed of land in March of 1668/69 and wrote his will October 12, 1669.   Administrative bond was posted March 28, 1670 so it seems likely that his death occurred sometime in early 1670.  Jane, who had been married before she married John, went on to marry Thomas Long and to have at least three children with him. 

There are so many questions about John.  Why did he come to American, and where did the money come from to make the trip?  What was his religion?  Did he own slaves to help cultivate his land?   As a respected citizen and a justice, did he ever make a trip back to England?  And finally, he was only about 45 years old when he died.  What was his cause of death?

If someone has answers or more information, I'd love to hear from you!

The line of descent is:

John Dixon-Jane possibly Carey
Abigail Dixon-John Hayes
Jane Dixon Hayes-Thomas Stansbury
Thomas Stansbury-Hannah Gorsuch
Rachel Stansberry-Alexis Lemmon
Sarah Lemmon-Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis E Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants