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James T Dillon bc1719 Ireland

James T Dillon bc1719 Ireland

Reliable sources tell us that James Theopilous Dillon was born in Ireland circa 1719 and that he lived in Virginia where his son, Richard Dillon, was born in 1745.[i]James had crossed the Atlantic Ocean onboard the Dorsetshire.

            The ship was transporting unwilling passengers. Between 1614 and 1775 approximately 50,000 people were sentenced by legal process in Great Britain to be transported to the American Colonies. Vagrants, prisoners and orphaned children were forced to emigrate. In 1655 a formal system was introduced for pardoning felons on condition of their transportation. James was a teenager when he was sent to the colonies. Was he sent because he was an orphan or an Irish rebel or had he broken a law? Few records of infractions have survived.[ii]

            James boarded the Dorsetshire in October 1737 and arrived in Virginia in January 1738.[iii]

            James lived in Norfolk, Virginia where he married Mary [surname unknown] and where their son, Richard, was born. They may have had more children but their names are unknown to us. At some point the family moved to Bertie County, North Carolina. It is believed that James died before 1759 when his son became an apprentice to a local cooper.[iv], [v]

[i]Conerly, Luke War, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi, 1798 – 1910 (SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989) 117-119.

[ii]Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988).

[iii]Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988) 231.

[iv]Conerly, Luke War, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi, 1798 – 1910 (SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989) 117-119.

[v]Haun, Weynette Parks. Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1740 thru 1743; 1758 thru 1762. Book II. (North Carolina: 1977).

1 James Theopilous Dillon b: Abt. 1719 in Ireland
…… + Mary Dillon
…………2 Richard Dillon b: 07 Oct 1745 Norfolk, VA, d: 07 Oct 1833 MS
………… + Anne Lawrence b: c. 1762 Bertie, NC, m: c. 1776, d: Abt. 1830 MS
………………3 Lawrence Dillon b: Unknown in NC
………………3 Joanna Dillon b: 22 Aug 1778 Bertie, NC, d: Aft. 30 April 1821 Pike, MS
……………… + Jeremiah Smith b: 23 Dec 1773 in SC, m: 16 Dec 1798 in SC, d: 1843 in Pike, MS
………………3 Nancy Ann Dillon b: 26 Oct 1779 in NC, d: 28 May 1869
……………… + John Stallings d: 23 Sept 1851
………………3 Clarkston Dillon b: Abt. 1785 in NC
……………… + Sarah Dillon b: SC
………………3 Willis D. Dillon b: 31 Dec 1787 in NC
……………… + Mary Dillon b: 1783 in SC
……………..3 Mary Dillon Morris b: 1793 in NC, d: 04 July 1876
……………… + Salathial Morris
………………3 Theophilous Dillon b: 26 May 1796 in NC
……………… + Peggy Pearson b: 1808, d: 05 Sept 1857
………………3 Clara Dillon b: 1799 in NC
……………… + George Smith d: 1833

Selected Sources:

  • Conerly, Luke Ward, SOURCE RECORDS FROM PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989
  • Creel, Bevin J. A Patriot’s Legacy: The Family of Richard Dillon and Ann Lawrence From Bertie County, North Carolina To Southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Franklinton, Louisiana: Privately Printed, 2002.

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