Sunday, August 11, 2013

Leonard Dozier: Separating fact from fiction

One of my earliest American ancestors is Leonard Dozier, a Huguenot (allegedly) who came to Virginia as early as 1673. There have been many genealogists interested in the Dozier family through the years, some more responsible and careful than others. One of the challenges in genealogy is always to try to "separate fact from fiction," so here's my attempt to do so with regard to Leonard and his children:

Dozier Family: Separating Fact from Fiction

Leonard Dozier 1.  The immigrant, Leonard Dozier, is known to have been in Virginia by 20 Aug. 1673, on which date he purchased three hundred acres of land “in forrest between Rappahonock Creek and Nominy River” from Morgan Jones for 8,000 pounds of tobacco.  [Westmoreland co. VA Deeds & Patents, pp. 162a-163]  Leonard Dozier became a naturalized citizen of Virginia on 28 Jan. 1683/84.  [Westmoreland co. VA, Records and Inventories #1 p. 147; I have photocopy]  The naturalization document indicates that he was born in France, that he was a Protestant, and that he had taken the oath of allegiance and paid the appropriate fees.
Dozier is also mentioned in a deed between Thomas Collinsworth and William Moxley in January 1683/84 (the land adjoined his).  He was still living 25 Mar. 1692 when he brought suit against the estate of Thomas Collingsworth; and in May, 1692, when judgment was granted him against Jane Collingsworth, executrix of Thomas.

He apparently died within a year or so of this date, for on 26 July 1693 “Eliza Dozier, relict of Leonard Dozier” was granted administration of Leonard’s estate, along with Richard Dozier and Thomas Browning.  She returned an inventory, in which she is named Elizabeth Dozer, on 27 Sept. 1693.  [Westmoreland co. VA order Book Part II, pages 100 and 105]

The Compendium of American Genealogy 5:225 alleges that Leonard Dozier’s wife was Elizabeth Depuy. This work is badly flawed, and should not be accepted as accurate unless information is substantiated elsewhere. I have seen no record that would substantiate the maiden name of Leonard’s wife Elizabeth.

There is also no evidence which indicates whether Leonard and Elizabeth married in France or Virginia; whether she was his first and only wife; or whether she was, in fact, the mother of any or all of his children. She apparently married, after Leonard’s death, Nathaniel Garland of Cople Parish, Westmoreland co. VA, in 1702.

Some claims have been made regarding the birth date of Leonard; I have seen it stated both as 13 May 1627 and ca. 1643. The former date apparently was given in a letter of H. L. Dozier to L. Dozier Willis which was relayed by the latter to Miss H. C. Dozier in letter of 18 June 1930; this according to the late Jessie Thomason. There appears to be no documentary evidence for this date. There is also no evidence for the occasional claim as to his date of death; obviously he died prior to 26 July 1693 but after May 1692.

There is, unfortunately, no document which provides a clear list of the children of Leonard Dozier. There is documentary evidence for his son, Richard Dozier, who in January 1734 petitioned the court to admit a copy of the naturalization paper of his father to record (for reasons that are not clear to me). One Frances Dozier apparently brought suit in 1713 against Richard Dozier, her brother, to recover part of her father’s estate; this establishes that she was a daughter of Leonard 1 (and indicates an approximate birth date of 1673, since the document here states she is forty years old). [Richmond co.? Will Book 6, p. 207] There is also circumstantial evidence for the fact that Leonard had a son named Leonard Dozier, for a man by that name appears to continue to own property matching the description of Leonard 1’s land, but after Leonard 1’s death. It is thought that Leonard also was the father of John Dozier and William Dozier.

Regarding each of his children:

Richard Dozier was married by 5 Oct. 1699 to Elizabeth [or Mary?] Hudson/Hodgson [Westmoreland co. Will & Deed Book #3, p. 37]. His will, dated 5 May 1750 [unsure of date, obvious typographical error in my source] and proved 21 Nov. 1751 lists wife Elizabeth, and name her executrix; also son-in-law Thomas Templeton, grandson Dozier Templeton; sons Richard, Thomas and William; daughters Margaret Templeton, Elizabeth Wilson, Sarah Dozier, Hannah Muse, Martha Bellefield, Mary Dozier; granddaughter Elizabeth Bellefield. [Richmond co. Will book 11, p. 328.] I have seen a 1668 birth date given for Richard, but with no apparent justification.

Frances Dozier was b. ca. 1673, and was still unmarried when she filed suit against her brother in 1713.

William Dozier listed by one researcher as b. ca. 1677 but with no further information; only source seems to the Thornton family history.

John Dozier apparently married twice, first to Sarah ---- and second to Susannah Jacobus (widow of Robert Davis).  There is a William Dozer, son of John and Sarah, b. 27 Jan. 1723/24 in Richmond co. Lunenburg parish.  John and Susannah buy land 1 Mar. 1725 [Richmond co. Deed Book 8, p. 10]; they are involved in a suit in Chancery Court 6 May 1746 [Order Book 10, p. 541]  Apparently he was dead by 7 Mar. 1747, when an inventory is filed of his estate [Will Book 5, p. 541].

Leonard Dozier 2. Leonard (who is my ancestor) married Elizabeth Ingo, the daughter of John and Mary Ingo and the widow of Thomas Ascough. Her father John died in 1701, at which time she was named as Elizabeth Ascough [Richmond co. Wills & Inventories 1699-1709, p. 27].  Her husband Thomas also died that year, leaving a will [Will Book 2, p. 32] naming a son Christopher Ascough and a daughter Anne (who married Richard Doggett).

Leonard 2 died intestate in Richmond co. in 1733 [Wills & Inventories Bk. 5, p. 207].  His wife died testate and left a will dated 7 May 1748, proved 4 July 1748 [Will & Deed Book #5, p. 558 and 554-555]. In this will she names son James Dozier; granddaughter Elizabeth Doggett (whose mother had apparently died); children John Dozier, Leonard Dozier, Mary Jones, Elizabeth Thornton, Sarah Jeter, Peggy Baker, Susannah Bragg.


  1. I like using land records, too. They can untangle some family mysteries. You did some good source analysis with these records trying to sort things out!

  2. I am a Dozier descendant as well. I did a military history that includes James Seaborn Dozier. You will find a picture of the marker, where his name is included, located in Warrenton, Georgia.;postID=266132887714422996;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1;src=postname

  3. Richard, I'm wondering if you have any info as to the parentage of John Ingo. In particular, could his father have been Edward Mozingo? Maybe John shortened the surname to Ingo. Leonard Dozier II was a witness to the will of Edward Mozingo in 1712.