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Dillard Family History
A family tradition tells us that Thomas Dillard of North Carolina had three children: Allen, Dempsey, and Sallie (whose married name was Wagner). While this information has been difficult to verify by research, it is given credence because of the proximity and similar migration patterns of Allen and Dempsey Dillard, who both lived in Washington County, Georgia in 1830, and in Marion County, Georgia in 1850. It is also supported by the existence of a Thomas Dillard, born about 1770-1775, who arrived in Georgia before 1795. In 1805 he is found in Jackson County, and he first appeared in Jones County, Georgia in 1808, where he remained until his death in 1837, as evidenced in land, tax, census and probate records. Those records suggest that Thomas Dillard had more than three children, including, most likely:
All of these names appear in Jones County marriage records and in close proximity to Thomas Dillard in the 1820 or 1830 census. Silas Middlebrooks and John Dillard of Monroe County were administrators of Thomas's estate. Bethany gives her father's birthplace as NC and her mother's as TN in the 1880 census.
The Macon Weekly Telegraph newspaper reported the death of Frances Dillard, "relic" [widow] of Thomas Dillard of Jones County, Georgia on June 25, 1841 at the home of John Dillard in Monroe County. The exact connection between John Dillard and Thomas Dillard is unclear, since there was a John A. Dillard in Monroe County census records and named in the will of Arthur Dillard, and presumably his son.
Further research is needed to prove family relationships, since there were other Dillards nearby, including the households of Nathan, Edmund, and Mary Dillard in the 1820 census of nearby Washington County, Georgia.
Allen Dillard was born about 1795 in Georgia, according to census records. He married Eda Shurley in Jones Co., GA in 1825. In 1830, Allen appears in the census of Washington County, Georgia. Newspaper items from The Southern Recorder in Milledgeville place him in Washington County between 1828 and 1832. In 1840 Allen's family is listed in the census of Stewart County, Georgia.
Sometime before 1850, Allen moved his family to Marion County, Georgia. Early records there were destroyed in a courthouse fire, but census records show him living in Marion County in 1850. Tax records beginning in 1848 show him owning 202 acres in Dooly County and 316 acres in Marion County. By 1856, his land holdings had increased to 722 acres. By this time Allen was a grandfather. During the 1860's, Civil War and Reconstruction brought an end to the era of prosperity. After the war, Allen's land holdings dwindled in size and value. His wife passed away during the 1860's. Allen lived with his son George in later life, and died about August 1886.
Descendants of Allen Dillard and Eda Shurley:
Note: Some trees include an Elizabeth Dillard, who was born about 1828 and married John Green in 1848, as one of Allen and Eda's children. John and Elizabeth were living in Marion County in 1850 and 1870. I haven't found their marriage record in Marion County, but their oldest daughter was named Eda or Edy, and the 1830 and 1840 census tallies suggest Allen and Eda had one daughter born between 1825 and 1830.
Dempsey was born in Georgia about 1796. He served in the War of 1812. By 1840 he was living in Marion County, Georgia, where he died in 1854. Some children of Dempsey Dillard and Harriet Arnold were:
Much thanks and credit to Linda Dillard for family information about Thomas Dillard, Sallie Dillard Wagner and the family of Dempsey Dillard.
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