Dixon Family  

Transcribed from Bill Murphy's collection at Joyner library at ECU, submitted by Clair Hadley. Clair is the file manager for the Dixon Surname Project, if you have any information to add, please send it Clair, She will review it, and send it on to be posted.


Nicholas Dixon is the first known ancestor of this family. He first appears in October, 1646, when he is one of three persons transported to Virginia by Thomas Babe of Upper Norfolk County. He must have either brought some wealth with him into Virginia or have achieved a fair measure of wealth in a short time for almost two years later, in November, 1648, he is granted 300 acres in Nancemond County for transporting six people to Virginia. His origins are unknown although a descendant wrote that 'the family legend states that the Dixon forebears were originally from the Scottish (sic) border country but had moved into England. They had then come into Virginia for religious freedom, they being members of the Quaker Religion. He. may descend through the Dixon families of Durham or Kent in which the name Nicholas is quite common. Sir Nicholas Dixon, of Seaton&emdash;Carew, Durham.is buried beneath a sepulchral brass in the chancel of Cheshnut Church, Herts., which he paid for having built and which was completed just prior to his death in 1448.. This Dixon family, prior to settling in Seaton&emdash;Carew, were from Beeston, York. In the 1574 Visitation of Kent, one Gayus Dixon "of North Frithe in Coin Canc"' stated that he was a son of Nicholas Dixon and Jane, the daughter of John Tull. His wife was listed as Hester, daughter and coheir of Robert Olyeur of Blamford, Dorset, and his only child is listed as being Nicholas Dixon. 

Nicholas Dixon is known to have had at least four children:

1.   Nicholas Dixon

2.  John Dixon

3.  William Dixon, died 1677 Isle of Wight Co., Va., md. frances

4.  Thomas Dixon 

Thomas Dixon I was born about 1639 probably in England and settled in the upper Parish of Isle of Wight County, Va. probably about 1655&emdash;1660. He married Mary or Marie, a daughter of John Boddye (Boddie) and his wife Mary of London and Ingateston, Essex. She was baptised on 18 May, 1635 in the Parish Church of Fryerning, where he father was buried in 162+0. She came to Virginia with her brother William Boddie in 1660&emdash;1661. Thomas Dixon died intestate in Isle of Wight County prior to 2 May, 1670 when administration was requested by Henry Martin, who married Mary "the relict". The estate was appraised by Thomas Barloe, Edward Brantly, Robert Roe and Elias Fort and returned on 25 Oct., 1670. In 1678, William Boddie gave certain cattle to Henry and Mary Martin's three children, Thomas Dixon, Henry Dixon and Henry Martin. 

Issue of Thomas Dixon I and Mary/Marie Boddie: 

1.       Henry Dixon 

2.       Thomas Dixon II 

Thomas Dixon II was born about 1665 in the Upper Parish of Isle of  Wight County. He married Penelope _____________ and died in Isle of Wight County in 1748, leaving issue: 

1 • Thomas Dixon md. Elizabeth Murphrey

2.       Nicholas Dixon md. Rachel Beale

3.       Martha Dixon md. Thomas Pearce

4.       Penelope Dixon md. Joseph Bullock

5.       Mourning Dixon md. 1. John Qrudup

2.        Micajah Thomas

3.        James Smith

6.       Patience Dixon md. Jonas Shivers



Thomas Dixon III (called Thomas Dixon Jr.) was born about 1680 in Isle of Wight County, Va. He lived on the Western Branch in Upper Parish and it was here that he married prior to 1733 Elizabeth, the daughter of Michael Murphrey and Elizabeth Hampton. A descendant called him "a staught carpenter named Tom Ap Dixon". He died. in Isle of Wight County prior to July 5, 1764 when Tristrum Norsworthy returned an inventory of his estate.

 His known children were:

1.        Murphrey Dixon md. Mourning Garner

2.        Thomas Dixon IV md. Penelope Howell

3.        Mary Dixon md. John Pinner and possibly John Randle Dixon


Murphrey Dixon was born probably about 171O in the Upper Parish of Isle of Wight County. He was raised in the carpenter tradition by his father and, as a young boy was apprenticed to Peter Scott in Williamsburg to learn the trade of cabinet making. He was married in Isle of Wight County to Mourning, the daughter of John Gamer and Elizabeth ________• He left Virginia in about 1745 with his family and that of his cousin, Capt. John Murphrey. They sailed down the James River and out to New Bern, N. C. and from there came up Contentnea Creek to the area of Dobbs, now Greene, County. He settled on the south side of Contentnea and west side of Rainbow Creek on a plantation he named "Grampion Hills". He kept work shops here where he and his apprentices made furniture woodwork and trim for buildings as well as carrying on his farming interests and running a "Tar landing". He built many houses in the area as well as working on the early county courthouse and an early Anglican church. He did not take an active part in the Revolution and is listed on the 2 Sept. 1781 Return for the Dobbs Regiment of Militia as "over Age". He died sometime after 1807 and his wife is said to have survived him by only three hours.

 His issue was:

1.       Willis Dixon of "Holliday Hill" md. 1. Sarah Holliday    2.Mary Sugg

2.       Frederick H. Dixon of "Biscuit Hill" md. Christian

3.      William Dixon

4.      Shadrach Dixon of "Deer Run"

5 •     Obediah Dixon of "Fort Hill" md. Sarah __________

6.       Benajah Dixon of "Sandy Lawn" md. Mary Hill

7.       Mary Dixon md. Abraham Denny

3.       Elizabeth Dixon md. Robert Sammons.

9 to12.   daughters, names unknown


Benajah Dixon was born at "Grampion Hills", Greene County, N. C. on Feb. 11, 1786. He was apprenticed at an early age to learn the mercantile trade. He was given the Sandy Lawn plantation by his father on the occasion of his marriage along with several trained slave artisans. He is said to have drawn up the plans himself and that his father helped in its construction and design, making most of the interior trim himself. This house was located on the northwest side of Secondary Road #1438 about a mile from N. C. Highway #58 and 2and a half miles southeast of Snow Hill. The sit,e is still in the Dixon family and marked today only by the family cemetary. He was married by Henry Best on June 4, 18O7 to Mary, the daughter of Richard Hill of "Bellfield" and Esther Aldridge. She was born on May 3, 1792 at "Bellfield", which was on the north side of Contentnea Creek near Hookerton. In addition to his farming interest at "Sandy Lawn", Benajah Dixon kept a warehouse and store, saw pit, gin and saw and grist mill at Hawlanding adjacent to saney lawn, a fishery called High Bankd just above hawlanding and two turpentine olantations, "Ormond's and Musgreen near Scuffleton. His daughter in law, Martha Sugg Dixon wrote of him "He was a much beloved man in the Hookerton area.Was a good Christian and lay minister of the Methodist Church and sometimes taught at the Academy when the need arose. He was one of the caretakers of the county poorhouse and opened his home to the students of the Academy." He died March 9, 1834 after being bitten in the neck by a snake while helping some of his hands remove fallen timber on the Ormond's plantation. His wife died on Feb, 3, 1856 of a stroke while working in his rose garden at Sandy Lawn.

Their children were:

1. Josiah Diixon

2. Esther Dixon md. William Ormond, moved to Lenoir County

3. Robert Dixon md Sarah Moore

4. Richard Dixon md . 1. Emily Sugg    2. Mary Barrington Sugg

5. Nancy Dixon md Robert Williams

6. Penelope Dixon md. Henry Canady

7. Shadrach Dixon md. Lovy Ann_______

8. Mary Dosson Dixon

9. Benejah Dixon Jr. moved to Mississippi

10. John Murphrey H. Dixon

11. Rev. Henry Aldridge Dixon md. Martha Sugg, lived at "Sandy Lawn"

12. Franklin Dixon

13. Mary Elizabeth Dixon md. James R. Waters

14. Willis B. Dixon md. Smitha Ann Mooring

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