That's why, when I saw that our next subject married a man named Dobson, I immediately wondered whether that meant this branch of the family was related to the founder of Focus on the Family, Dr. James C. Dobson. When I was a kid, I was an avid listener of his radio program, and while both Dr. Dobson and I have changed over the years, he's still someone I consider to be prominent.
Based on the information in his Wikipedia page, I traced Dr. Dobson's parentage, and I'm pretty sure that there is no connection between the North Carolina Dobson family he is descended from and the Dobson family in this post.
Of course, I'm fond of pointing out that we're all related if you just go back far enough, so a more distant relationship is still possible!
That said, let's look at this week's family:
Lucina Scott was born in May 1847 in Winnebago County, Illinois. She was the youngest daughter of John and Sarah (Callin) Scott. She was raised on their farm in Harrison Township. She married Joseph Dobson (1838–1928) on 5 May 1863, in Winnebago, Illinois.
Joseph was born on 16 November 1838 in New Brunswick, Canada; the son of Amelia (b. 1819) and Andrew Dobson (1815–1910). Andrew Dobson was born on 26 January 1815, in Providence or Baie Verte, New Brunswick, Canada. He married Amelia (last name unknown) around 1836, and they had three children in Canada before relocating to Winnebago County, Illinois in about 1844. Joseph was the middle of those three children.
Andrew enlisted in Company E, Illinois 52nd Infantry Regiment on 23 November 1861, and while he appeared to still be married to Amelia according to the 1860 U.S. Census, his service records in 1863 show him as unmarried. We know from later census records that they divorced, so that may have happened around the time he enlisted. Andrew married Acsey Sargent and had a son (John) with her after the end of the war. They moved to Arvonia, Kansas, where they had another son (Elmer); and they moved to Nebraska sometime after the 1880 Census.
After their divorce, Amelia appears in the 1870 and 1880 Census living in Burritt Township with her daughter, Sarah Ann Trenholm (or Trueholm). I have not been able to determine when she might have died. Andrew died on 23 June 1910, in Plainview, Nebraska, at the impressive age of 95, and was buried there.
Joseph was enlisted in Company C, Illinois 45th Infantry Regiment, but not until 10 April 1865. He may have been part of the occupation of Raleigh, North Carolina, and the March to Washington D.C. via Richmond, Virginia. He mustered out on 12 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky - the day after his first son's birth.
After the war, Joseph returned to his Burritt Township farm to meet his newborn son, and to raise his family. Lucina and Joseph had seven children in the following 16 years:
I. Alva Grant Dobson (1865–1955)
II. Harvey N Dobson (1866–1905)
III. Fred A Dobson (1869–1964)
IV. Alta M "Altie" Dobson (1871–1939)
V. Bert J. Dobson (1875–1911)
VI. Flora Luella Dobson (1877–1960)
VII. Jasper Thomas Dobson (1881–1968)
The Dobsons farmed until the turn of the century when they moved into Rockford. They lived at 1720 Second Avenue together until Lucina died on 21 July 1910, at the age of 63. Joseph stayed in Rockford and worked as a carpenter until his death on 27 February 1928, when he was 89.
Their children all lived to see adulthood, and left many descendants behind, so we'll be taking a few weeks to go through them all. This week, we begin with the eldest:
I. Alva Grant Dobson (1865–1955)
Alva was born on 11 July 1865 - the day before his father mustered out of military service. He grew up on the farm in Burritt Township, Winnebago County, Illinois, and he would be a lifelong farmer, as well. He married Nellie J Glover (1874–1961) daughter of John William Glover (1831–abt. 1900) and Georgianna B Mariner (1840–1924) on 18 September 1895. She was born 11 June 1874 in Rockton, Illinois.
Alva and Nellie raised four sons on their farm in Harlem, Illinois, relocating to Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania in 1921 with the two younger boys. They spent many years there, farming and spending time with their grandchildren. Alva died on 18 April 1955, age 89, and Nellie six years later on 23 December 1961, age 87. They are buried in Wesleyan Cemetery in Sugar Grove.
A. Ernest Leroy "Ernie" Dobson (1896–1964) was born in Winnebago County, Illinois, on 22 December 1896. He grew up a farmer in Harlem, Illinois, and when his parents moved to Pennsylvania in 1921, he remained there.
Audrey injured in fall · Fri, Jun 21, 1929 – Page 2 · Republican-Northwestern (Belvidere, Illinois) · Newspapers.com
Ernie married Emma Fassett Moore (1903–1988) the daughter of Frank Fassett Moore (1880–1933) and Claire A Runyard (1880–1963), on 4 June 1926.
Emma had attended Northern Illinois Teachers College, and she was employed as a teacher by various schools in Winnebago County.
Ernie and Emma had a daughter they named Audrey Claire on 24 June 1927. She died on 24 June 1929, just over a week after she fell 18 feet from her grandfather's hayloft onto a cement floor.
The couple did have another child, a son whom they named David Donald and raised in Roscoe Township.
Ernie died on 22 December 1964, at exactly 68 years of age. Emma continued to teach, spending her last 13 years at Marquette School. She lived most of her life in Roscoe, but she did spend seven years in Georgia, one year in Florida and seven years in Machesney Park. She died at age 85 on 3 June 1988, in Rockford Memorial Hospital after a long illness. They are buried in Roscoe Cemetery.
i. David Donald Dobson (1937–1996) was born on 16 April 1937 in Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin, and lived most of his life in Rockford. He graduated Hononegah High School in 1955 and married Janet Olivia Webster (1943–2017) in Roscoe on 1 September 1962. She had graduated from Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Illinois in 1961.
David was employed by Woodward Governor in Loves Park and was a member of Riverside Community Church. He played the organ for 34 years for various churches. Janet worked in the billing department at Hamilton Sundstrand for 25 years. They had three daughters and a son, all still living.
David died 8 February 1996, at his residence with his family by his side after a long illness. He was only 58. Janet survived him by twenty years and died on 11 August 2017 after a short battle with cancer. She was survived by a brother, her children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She and David are also buried in the Roscoe Cemetery.
B. Everett Glover Dobson (1899–1965) was born on 29 September 1899 and he was raised to be a farmer in Roscoe, Illinois. When he grew up, he worked as a grocer and married Madeleine Hough (1900–1997), the daughter of William Henry Hough (1867–1946) and Katie Dowman (1866–1947). Madeleine was born on 8 December 1900 in Chicago.
The couple married around 1927 and raised six children in Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin - four daughters and two sons, all still living. Everett died on 6 April 1965, at 65 years of age; Madeline died at 96 on 10 January 1997. They were survived by their children, fifteen grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren. Both died in Beloit, but are buried in the Rockton Township Cemetery in neighboring Winnebago County, Illinois.
C. Ellsworth Alva Dobson (1903–1984) was born on 20 October 1903 in Roscoe, Illinois, and he was about 18 years old when he moved to Sugar Grove, Warren County, Pennsylvania, with his parents in 1921. Six years later, he married Beulah Florence Loomis (1906–1977) on 19 June 1927 at the Sugar Grove Odd Fellows manse. Beulah was born in Sugar Grove on 1 December 1906, the daughter of Elmer Albert Loomis (1885–1957) and Maude Olive Trask (1886–1957).
They raised two daughters in Sugar Grove: Margaret and Florence. When Florence married she moved to nearby Chautauqua County, New York. Margaret and her family moved to Alaska in 1969, and I suspect that Ellsworth and Beulah moved to Panama, Chautauqua County, around that time to be closer to Florence's family. Beulah died there in Panama on 15 January 1977. Ellsworth died there in May 1984. They were both buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.
1. Margaret Lua Dobson (Martin) (1929–2013) was born in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, on 25 April 1929. She attended grade school in Lottsville, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Panama Central School in Panama, New York, Class of 1947.
She was married on 1 January 1949, and she and her husband (still living) resided in Bear Lake, Pennsylvania, where they raised five children. They moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1969 and then retired to Sequim, Washington, in 1984.
Margaret was a member of Sequim Bible Church and taught Sunday school there for many years. She traveled extensively with her husband, visiting China in 1987, standing in Tiananmen Square two years before the historic massacre. Margaret visited England and "the Continent" in a 1983 tour of Europe, went on a "mission to work" project in Spain in 1986 and, while there, took a side trip on the ferry across the Mediterranean Sea to Morocco. She took another mission work trip in 1999 to Japan, where she stayed near Mount Fuji.
She died on 29 July 2013 and was survived by her husband, sister, son and four daughters, as well as 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
2. Florence L Dobson (Frank) (1934–2013) was born in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania on 7 January 1934, and she was a 1952 Graduate of Panama High School, Panama, New York. She was married in Panama on 6 February 1953.
Florence was employed by Jamestown Mutual Insurance Company and the original JCPenny store in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood. She was heavily involved with the local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and often headed up their membership drives. She was also active as a Sunday school teacher, and member of the Friendship Circle at the Lakewood United Methodist Church.
She died on 4 November 2013 at WCA Hospital and was survived by her husband, son, and daughter.
Sandra Dobson King - fatal car crash · Tue, Feb 24, 1970 – Page 1 · Warren Times-Mirror and Observer (Warren, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com
D. Harold John Dobson (1914–1976) was born in Illinois on 20 June 1913 and was nine years old when his family moved to Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania. Harold and Helen Margaret Hitchcock (1916–1971) were married on 19 August 1939. Helen was born in 1916 to Ward Park Hitchcock (1885–1967) and Florence M Babcock (1888–1941).
The couple was close with their family, and their social engagements frequently appeared in the local newspaper, the Warren Times-Mirror and Observer. Judging by the frequency with which he received headlines, Harold was one hell of a bowler.
They raised one daughter together, who died at age 22, just as she left the nest. Helen followed on 9 July 1971 at the age of 55; Harold died in November 1976 at 63.
1. Sandra Kay Dobson (King) (1947–1970) was born on 22 May 1947 in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York. She had recently married when her car went off the road at 2 a.m. on 24 February 1970, throwing her from the vehicle. She died later that morning.
Sandra and her parents are all buried in Wesleyan Cemetery in Sugar Grove.
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We'll pick up next time with Harvey N. Dobson - as always, if you are related to this family, that means you're descended from my ancestor, James Callin. I'd love to hear from you, either in the comments below, or at the Callin Family History Facebook link above.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if I've made any mistakes or omissions!