William Greenburry Dossey
born: 1787 in So. Carolina.
died: after 1860 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas
buried: in Limestone Co., Texas.
His wife is not known, but by family tradition was an Indian.
Carolyn Dossey, wife of Charles Dossey, research reveals the following historical information:
Family tradition has it that William Greenburry Dossey had an Indian wife. His lands were on the northern edge of Cherokee Indian lands in Alabama according to a Morgan County plot map showing ownership of lands in the area, and William's land was on the northern edge of the Indian Territory. Incidentally, there were many Briscoes in the area, including James Briscoe who married Mary (Polly) Dossey, William's daughter.
Quoting Carolyn Dossey: "William Greenburry Dossey was born in South Carolina about 1797, probably the son of William Dossey. Nothing is known of William Greenburry's childhood. Until a tax list of 1812 (for) Tennessee appears with a Greenberry Doss in Franklin Co. and written records of 1815 and 1816 appear in the land records of Franklin Co., Tennessee, no other record has yet been found. A record of a Nancy Dossey appears in the records of the Boiling Fork Baptist Church. It is unsure if she is the wife of William or not. The land that the family owned is in the area of present day Cowan, Tennessee. In the Deed Book J page 414 of Franklin County, Tennessee William G. Dossey sold to George Russell 56 acres for $310. The land owned by the family in three states was never far from the Indian Lands.
Family tradition from several sources says that William Greenburry was married to an Indian maiden. As to the tribe, at this time it is unknown. Several children were born to this marriage before they left Tennessee. Mary, Thomas Franklin (whose middle name probably came from the county), Nancy, and William Greenburry. Also living in the county were the Briscoes and Thomas K. Dossey. The Briscoes attended the Boiling Fork Baptist Church near the present day site of Cowan. A Nancy Dossey also attended this church, we can only assume that the other Dosseys did also.
On 7 July 1818 William applied for land in Township 7 of Morgan County in the Apple Grove region. He was granted the land on 29 November 1822 patent no. 31. This land is on the Little Cotaco Creek in the Apple Grove region of the county. On this land is a cave, known today as the Skidmore Cave. Because of the natural protection offered by the area around the cave, the availability of water, and the flat area just in front, this is a possible location for the cabin built by the family. This land was just over the ridge from the location of the Salem Church. This land on the edge of the county was adjacent to the Indian Lands. They must have been on good terms with the tribe living in the area.
On 8 February 1825 he sold to Christopher Roland, for $215, 31 acres of this parcel of land. In May of 1836 he bought 160 acres of land from John Currin, whose land adjoined the original grant. On 27 May 1836 he sold 69 of the original 100 acres to James W. Briscoe for $200. No record could be found of the sale of the land purchased from John Currin.
The family farmed this land in the Apple Grove region of the county. The family increased in size during the years spent in Morgan County; born during these years were Greenburry William (G.W.), Rebecca, Joseph Morgan, Melchiger, Elizabeth, and Sarah. Possibly other children were born during this time also.
From the organization of the county William was active in county politics. In 1820 he was Justice of the Quorum. He served as election inspector at James Wilcoxson's. He served as Justice of the Peace and marriages are on record that he performed. He is mentioned many times in the old Orphan Court Records of Morgan County. The county seat at the time they lived in the county was just a short distance away.
The family was very religious, being devout Primitive Baptist. Salem Church, in the Apple Grove Region, was organized in 1822, and joined the association in 1823. Pastors and officers associated with the church were: W. G. Dossey, H. L. Briscoe, John N. Briscoe, Mark Dossey, and T. Briscoe. This church moved to the location at Center Grove and became the New Salem Church in 1873. The New Salem Church is still active in Morgan County. The nation plunged into financial panic in the late 1830's. Also added to the problems in Northern Alabama was a yellow fever epidemic and threats of
Indian uprisings in 1835-37. Then came the drought. During these years many who were married to Indians were driven off their land. Whatever the reason, like many farmers east of the Mississippi a move was made into Arkansas.
Before 1840 many members of the family which included the children and their
spouses settled in Sevier Co., Arkansas. Listed on the 1840 census of Sevier County were William Greenburry, Thomas K., Thomas Franklin, G. W., and William Dossey, along with the Briscoe and Ridge families. At this time little is known of the years spent in Arkansas. In 1841 the younger generation started their migration into Texas. In 1850 William and his two young daughters who were still at home still lived in Sevier County near the Briscoes, Tolletts, Ridges, and son Joseph. No land records could be located for William. (note by the author: The 1850 census for Madison Township, Sevier Co,, lists Daniel Tollett(e), wife Rebecca [Dossey] and children Marcus,9, Margaret, 7, John, 5, James P.,4, and Samuel 2 as household D-335; John Ridge and wife Nancy [Dossey] with children Wm. 16, "Ferriby" J., 14, Martha, 12, John D., 10, James, 8, and Emily A., 3, in household D340. Next to them in household D-341 was James Briscoe, Jr., probably a nephew of James W. Briscoe, and his wife Nancy [Carter] and 3 children - James M., Matilda and Sally, and next to them in household D-342 was Joseph Dorse (Dorsey/Dossey) - son of William Greenbury Dossey) his wife Mary, and 3 children - James, Mary J., and William G. Two families on down the line, in D-344, was Martin Carter, wife Mary, 4 children, and John Briscoe, 33, who must have been a brother of James Briscoe in D-341 whose wife was a Carter. Old William Greenburry Dossey, aged 60, and daughters Elizabeth, 16, and Sarah, 14, lived next door in household D-345. Next to his was his son-in-law James W. Briscoe and wife Polly Dossey, W.G.'s daughter, with eight children - Thomas F., 18, Nancy E., 16, Mary O., 14, Martha, 12, Lucinda, 10, Emily, 8, Perminda, 6, Rebecca, 4, and James M., 2. In the next home - D-347, were James W.'s son William Briscoe and wife Sally [Sarah Ralls], and 5 children - Mary, 6, James, 5, Martha, 4, Briscoe, 2, and Charles 1 mo.. Household D-348 was that of Sally Ralls' father, William, 44, and wife Mary, 40, and children Willis, 17, Mary 13, William, 11, Isam, 9, Elizabeth, 7, ames, 5, Benjamin, 3, and Eavy, 3 mo. The next two households were Ralls families. A few places on, in household D-356 were John H. Props [father-in-law of Nancy Briscoe], his wife Fatima and five children. Next was Alexander Graves and wife Elizabeth [Props] in D-357, and next was Matthew Props and wife Rosanna in D-358. Thus, in the area of 23 households was an enclave of fourteen closely connected families. Two Westbrook families and another Props family were also a little further away in the same neighborhood [households D-316, D-318, and D-323].)
By 1855 Joseph had also moved to Limestone County, Texas and on the 1860 census it shows old William living with his son's family. No later record is found of the old pioneer who farmed and preached his way west. We assume that he died in Limestone County after 1860. No one knows where he is buried, perhaps among the unmarked graves in LaSalle Cemetery near his son Joseph, or Lost Prairie Cemetery."
"Descendants of William G. Dossey" compiled by Mike Stanton, copy received via email Jan 1999, printout held in the authorís files states:
"William Greenbury Dossey was born in So. Carolina about 1787 according to census records. Nothing is known of (his) childhood, he is possibly the son of William Dossey who appears in the 1790 census for Pendleton District, S.C. A tax list of 1812 appears with a Greenbury Doss in Franklin Co., Tennessee and written records of 1815 and 1816 appear in the land records in Franklin County. The land that the family owned is (in) the area of present day Cowan, Tennessee where the railroad station is located. In Deed Book J page 53, William G. Doss bought from William Cox 56 acres of land on the Boiling Fork branch of the Elk River at the base of the Cumberlands for $136. This deed was registered April 10, 1816 and witnessed by Thomas Briscoe and Thomas K. Dossey. In Deed Book J on page 414 this land was sold to George Russell for $310 in October of 1816 and filed in 1818. (George Russell was the friend of Davy Crockett who also lived in Franklin County.) Thomas Briscoe also owned land in this county. In 1818, Deed Book F & K page 60, he sold land to Barton Newman, 30 acres for $300.
Records were searched of the Boiling Fork Baptist Church that was organized early in the County's history. It originally met in the Major William Russell family cabin in the Cowan area. Today there stands in Cowan a replica of this early cabin. The Russell cabin was also the location of the first court held in the county. A record of a Nancy Dossey appears in the records of the Boiling Fork Baptist (Church). In 1816 a Nancy Dossey received the letter she had asked for. It is unsure if she is the wife of William or not. Also attending this church were members of the Briscoe family.
History has taught us that Davy Crockett fought in the War of 1812 along with others from Tennessee. A Captain James B. Cowan from Franklin County also fought in the war. Serving under Captain Cowan was a Private William Doss and a Private John Brisco. Also serving was Thomas Brisco who had no commander listed. A John Brisco served under Captain George Caperton. A Private John Brisco served under a Captain John Chism. George Russell who later bought the Dossey land served for a while under Captain Cowan, but later under Major William Russell as a spy. William Dossey's war records are listed under William G. Doss as a member of Captain Cowan's Company Mounted Rangers, Tennessee Militia. He served from November 11, 1813 to March 19, 1814 for a term a service of 4 months and 9 days. He was allowed 40 cents a day for his horse and 25 cents a day for forage and rations. He was owed $118.17 pay. In January of 1815 he appointed a Nashville attorney to collect his money. There is no record if he was ever paid or not.
Land owned in three states wasn't far from Indian lands. Family tradition says that there is an Indian maiden and I think the chances are that this may have been the generation. Not enough is known to tell us what tribe, but Cherokee is a good guess. Whoever the mother, children were born while the family lived in Tennessee. Mary, Thomas Franklin, Nancy, and William Greenbury were probably born there."
Skipping over portions of the compilation already covered previously, we find a reference by Stanton pertaining to the land on Little Cotaco Creek in Morgan Co., Alabama that "On this land is also a cemetery with some very old field stone and what I call box-marked graves. There are no written records and none of the stones are Dossey, but there are Briscoes."
"There appear to be some early land records missing. William also had land in section 31 that he applied for in July of 1821. William G. Dossey in 1825 sold some of the land in section 31 (referred to by Carolyn Dossey as 31 acres of original grant) to Christopher Roland for $215 and in May of 1836 he sold 55 acres to James Currin for $800. This land was directly adjacent to the original land. ................"