Family history part 4

The headstone of James William Dockery
The headstone of James William Dockery

early settlers

James William Dockery Born in 1768, Died in 1855 (Cherokee,NC)
He had six children all living around the county of Buncombe. James married a woman by the name of Nancy, he is the oldest Dockery mentioned in the "Dockerys of Dixie" book, and is the ultimate Dockery patriarch in the county of Buncombie, North Carolina. He was buried at Hanging Dog Baptist Church, Cherokee Co, North Carolina. William moved to the Big Sandy Mush community in Buncombe County, North Carolina around 1810. 1810-1843 The Dockery's owned several large farms (1200ac) in Northern Co. per records of Flat Creek Church and Hanging Dog Baptist Church. During the mass removal of Cherokee natives to Oklahoma a large protion of land was opened up to which the Dockery family took full advantage. 25 Apr 1855 Church records reports old age fee of 5 dollars was donated by William at the age of 87. He probably died later that year, there is no legible marker.His grandchildren erected a memorial stone
in 1988 at Hanging Dog Cemetary. For a complete history of ancestors & family see pg
xxv of Dockerys of Dixie by William Allen 1991
The children are Nancy,James William Jr.,Thomas,Lorany,George, and Nelly.

Another significant founder of the area was Nimrod Lunsford, he was a bigimist and had three wives. Nimrod fathered 24 children and as a result most people from North Carolina with the name Lunsford are related to him. There are many Dockerys who married into his posterity so many of us are related to him as well.


AlfredDockery; was born 25th of February in 1870 and died in 1939 in Cherokee county. I know hardly anything about this man except that nobody knows who his father was hence he took on the last name of his mother Sarah Dockery. In most censuses he is listed as a farmer in North Carolina where the rest of the family is from, and where most of them still reside. During prohibition Alfred and his son Pritchard were in the moonshine business and sold it when they didn't have any money.

Cora and Her brother George Franklin
Cora and Her brother George Franklin

People of the Apalations

Jonathan Prichard Dockery and his wife Cora at times would haul logs down the mountain to sell so the kids would have shoes for the winter. Sometimes they were left alone for weeks at a time and Lena, who was the oldest, would have to take care of them.

"They grew apples, taters, and corn, green beans, and gather blackberries for granny to can for the winter. He said they always had a big garden, and sometimes all they had for supper was cornbread and milk. A lot of times they had the same thing for breakfast." -Cousin Kathy

Pritchard had a passion for working on cars. One night while John and his sons, Steve and Frank were working on a car, an electrical storm passed through the area. The three of them quickly made their way into the barn, but were all struck by lightning. Steve and Frank survived the shock but their father was knocked unconsious. The brothers put John into the car, picked up their mother and they all went to the hospital. John died in the back seat but Cora didn't tell them until after they arrived at the hospital because Steve was panicked and driving wildly.

Cora Ethel Franklin was a woman of Cherokee descnedency, and an avid Pentecostal. The Church that she and her Husband built was later sold by her Grandson, and turned into a Baptist church. My mother always jokes that when he gets to Heaven Gramma is gonna slap him.

In those days it was the tradition for a man to ask the oldest living family relative for permission to mary a woman. Because the oldest family member lived deep in the Mountains, John and Cora had to ride a Muel until they came to a point where it was too steep to take the animal any further. They then tied the Muel to a tree and hiked the rest of the way up the hill to her great uncle's house.

Before this happened the rest of the family was obligated to tell the uncle everything he or she knew about John. When John and Cora entered the house, the uncle dismissed Cora with the choice of washing dishes with his wife, or feeding the animals while he sat alone with John and interviewed him. He asked john three questions. He wanted to know if his intentions were honorable, He asked to see how much money he had, and lastly he asked how much land John possessed.

John easily passed the test, his intentions were honorable as he intended to mary Cora. John then opened his little black book to reveal a record of his meager life's savings, which was a less important issue. He needed to have a sufficient ammount of land to inherrit for the future, which he did. Owning property was very important to the Franklin family because having large ammounts of land was one of the factors which kept the family alive after General Sherman came through and burnt up their belongings.

Members of of Cora's family fought as rebles in the Civil war, Her great geandfather Jacob Franklin was attached to the 39th Cherokee division and lost his leg at the Battle_of_Chickamauga.

Frank Dockery, Gerald Stiles, Albert Dockery, and Roy Dockery
Frank Dockery, Gerald Stiles, Albert Dockery, and Roy Dockery

Lena Dockery was a member of the Army Air Core. During World War two her job was to refuel aircraft, because of their small frames the refulers would typically use petite women to crawl into the fueling compartment of the aircraft to draw a hose into the gas tank. The women would lay there for hours until the tank was full, often times passing out from exposure to the fumes. They would then drag them out by their feet.

Later she was given the task to be a jeep driver for various officers. Her training consisted of being driven out into the desert and told to make her way back when she and another woman figured out how to use a clutch. She Then had to drive a Captain and a group of other officers from the airport back to the unit to check in. The Captain however felt that he needed a sedan to ride in and sent her to retreve one, however she never returned and the Captain had to walk home. Lena hid from her superior officer for three days.

I recently paid a visit to my grqand mother and held an interview with her about her past. Although she has alzheimers she remembered quite a bit. Here is what she said;

The first house I lived in was a log cabin that my daddy built, it had three bedrooms in side. He cut down the pine and had it made into boards, but the boards weren’t seasoned yet so there ended up being cracks and splinters all over the place, so he ended up nailing boards up on the outside of the house.

One day Mother had made a fire in the fireplace, and it was a really big fire. For some reason I decided to go outside and I saw that the fire was on top of the roof of the house. At the same time my uncle had come and saw the fire, I yelled for my mother and we all got outside safely, but the house was burnt all the way to the ground.

Cain and Alfred Dockery were half brothers, and Cain lived real close to us, there were other members of the family but I don‘t remember who they were. Cain had several children. Alfred had a daughter who’s name was Elsie and she was married to Brit (Charles Britton) Gibby, and Brit Gibby was my mother’s uncle. And they had four or five children and one of them I went to school with, they had one that was older than me, and the others were my age on down at the time. When Cain died I was about fifteen years old, and his wife was all alone, so momma would let me go and spend the night with her right after he died for a while until she got used to being alone, and then she sold her property and moved away from there back to where her relatives lived, it was in North Carolina not to far from where we lived. The way Cainey spelled his name was Cain but everyone called him Cainey, he didn’t have much education but when he needed to write that’s the way he spelled his name. He had about three or four sons, when I was maybe ten years old his sons were grown. One son’s was named Raymond and another was Debero.

Violet’s name was Violet Worley before she got married, and I knew her, she lived until I was nine or ten years old and after she passed away, Alfred lived with us after that. My father was his oldest son. I spent a lot of time with Violet, because Violet was older and my mother would leave me with Violet and she’d go help in the garden and the field when they would be raising a lot of garden stuff. In the summer time they all raised a lot of stuff like potatoes and corn, and beans and sweet potatoes, enough for the whole family to eat and my mother would go and help with that and she would always leave me with Violet, because Violet would do all of the house work, and cooking.

I never met Ira Franklin, he was my mother’s father, He was still living after I was born. He and Sarah Gibby had a child together but I don’t think they were ever married, Momma told me that they were never married but she had a half brother named George, he lived at a place called Hanging Dog. A lot of my mother’s family lived out there, Sarah Gibby and Ira Franklin lived out there too and my mother would speak of George and she said that he was her fathers son but he went by George Johnson because his stepfather was a man named Robert Johnson, but he was Ira Franklin’s son. I was around ten years old and it seems like he got married and it seems like when I was around eleven or thirteen years old she wanted to see him (George) but he didn’t come around unless mother let him know that she wanted to see him.

After Sarah Gibby married Robert Johnson she had about six children, and they lived in Gaston North Carolina, which was about two hundred miles from where we lived and they walked the whole distance. I can remember two times of her visiting my mother. I can remember one time when we went over to Hanging Dog, where one of her relatives lived. She was an older woman and we sat on the porch while they talked forever about Sarah, and her father lived up there whose name was William Gibby, some people pronounce it Gabby, but it was Gibby.

My mother lived where my Father’s folks lived and it was in a place called Morgan’s Creek in Cherokee county, it was a creek up in the mountains and there was several families that lived up there, and my father’s family had a farm up there, and when Mother and Daddy got married they built a house on the same farm and we lived there until I was about fifteen years old when we moved. It was over a mile from the State highway up in the mountains and there was about three or four families that were kin to us that lived up there. There was my mother and father, my grandparents, my father’s sister and her husband, she was married to a man named Gibby, and then there was Cain Dockery, Alfred’s half brother, and they both lived there until they died. They all farmed there and raised lots of corn and beans, and potatoes, and everything and none of them worked on a job except for my father several times would work a job, but the older men would never work on a job, they would just raise everything they could and they would sell stuff. Both of the Dockery brothers, Cain and Alfred, had quite a bit of land, and they would cut chord wood, and sell it every time they needed some money for something. They would sell something from the farm, and they had these big orchards of apples and they would sell those, and he had mules that he used for plowing the fields with, and a wagon. They had a lot of woodland for timber, and when they cut it down I remember they could sell it for eight or ten dollars.

I had four brothers and a sister, I was the oldest and momma and Daddy would leave us home and I was supposed to take care of them after I turned ten or twelve years old or older. The two brothers next to me was the meanest two kids that ever lived I think! They would get into all kinds of trouble, It was a big family especially back in those days when about the only thing that you had, if you were farming, was what you raised. In the summertime when my father was raising the vegetables, my mother would start canning green beans, and apples. Blackberries grew wild over there, and she would can a hundred cans every summer of black berries, and all winter we could have blackberry pies, and cobblers, and whatever she wanted to make, sometimes she would make jam, out of black berries. We had a room and it was full of shelves all the way around and she would fill all of those shelves with canned stuff for wintertime.

When I was sixteen the government started a program for young people to teach them to work, and if you were sixteen years old, you could sign up to go to this camp, (it had been a CCC camp before the government bought it,) and they would teach you things and I signed up and went to it, I went back to my parents and I had to get their signature on a piece of paper, and I convinced my mother to sign the paper. it was a camp in North Carolina, and they were teaching us a bunch of stuff in this class, and then they sent a bus load of us to Cincinnati, Ohio to a school, and they would give us a job. My job was at Pederson field in Daton, Ohio and they were teaching us to repair air planes, this was before the war, and I signed up for this class and they would take a motor off of an airplane they would run it on a stand, and they would teach us what each part of it was and how to repair it and how to replace the spark plugs and do the different wiring, and how to do all the things to it, and I went to school there about a year, and then they gave me a job in Cincinnati, and I worked there until I was twenty years old, and at that time a woman could join the Army if she was twenty years old, and I had my mind made up to join so when the time came, about forty of us were sent on a bus to Long Beach California, and out there was Douglass aircraft plant, and stayed there for two years. Then I went back to North Carolina and ran into a guy and got married, which was the worst thing that ever happened to me."

Lena Owens nee Dockery

Lena has over the years searched for most of her relatives through records in an era when people learned genealogy through bits and pieces of information sent through the mail. On April fools day of 1965 A man by the name of Rufus "Bill" Owens took her hand in marriage. In the twilight years of their lives the two toured around the country in an RV, a viehicle which they eventually parked in Arizona, and lived there until the death of her beloved husband.

William Dockery

One relative who predates all others mentioned in the book "Dockerys of Dixie" is William Dockery who was born around 1728 in Burke County, North Carolina. In 1793 he executed a will in the county of Wake, North Carolina shortly before he passed away.

"In the name of God amen, I William Dockery of the county of Wake, and the State of North Carolina this 22nd day of May 1793 who being now in being in sound mind and memory thanks be to God for it, and now considering it is appointed unto all men to die, and not knowing how soon, I therefore make and ordain this my last will and testament In premise I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of God that gave it to me, and want my body to be buried in a decent and christian like manner at the discretion of my executors herein after named and for what worldly goods it hath pleased God to bless me with after all my just debts and funeral expenses are paid I give and discharge of in form and manner following."

In the body of his will William mentions all of his children, and the name of his wife Elizabeth.

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Comments 32 comments

James  7 years ago

It was great to see the article on Jonathan Pritchard and Cora Franklin Dockery. They are the parents of my sisters husband, . Thanks for posting the article.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 7 years ago from washington Author

Cool, a distant family member. Do you have any old pictures of the family? I only have a few.

Allen 7 years ago

Hey Cous,

Looks like were cut from the same cloth way back when! lol I stem from James' son Thomas. Seems the Lunsfords and Cunninghams were all in and out of the family tree from Hanging dog to the surrounding counties of Cleveland, GA. Nice piece of work here you did as a memorial to your family.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 7 years ago from washington Author

James Dockery certainly has a large posterity, I keep bumping into relatives on the net all over the place!

Thanks for reading.

Tanner Lansford 6 years ago

Onusonus, I've been researching my family line for months now and have since traced my greatest grandfather to be a Thomas Lunsford(Lansford)from Buncombe Co., North Carolina. Do you have anymore details about the supposed ties to "Sir Thomas Lunsford"? Given my "colorful" family reputation it would make a hell of a lot of sense. Thanks man

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 6 years ago from washington Author

Hello Tanner,

There is a book called Dockereys of Dixie and one of the families that is in the book is the Lunsfords. The reason being is that they are all over the place in that area so they have intermarried with many families so alot of people from that area have the Lunsford name present somwhere in their tree.

The big thing is that 99% of the people with the name Lunsford are related to a guy named Nimrod Lunsford. He was a bigimist and it is believed that his four wives didn't even know about eachother. The man ended up with some thirty children, and he is the one in the family who is believed to be related to Sir Thomas Lunsford.

The information on Sir Thomas's lineage is somwhat sketchy, there is argument that his only son died as an infant, however there is proof that another young man by the name of William Lunsford, (a possible son,) rode on the ship with Thomas to the States. and I believe that they all lived in Virginia.

If you want, I can try to help you determine if you are related to Nimrod, I do see a Thomas Lunsford who was born around 1797 to Nimrod's third wife Jenny Mccombs. When was your Thomas Born?

Tanner Lansford 6 years ago

Outstanding, I really appreciate the reply. According to my records, my Thomas was born in early 1798, it's very likely to have been recorded as "around 1797" being close to the new year considering that day's standard of accuracy. So I would confidently say "your Thomas" is also "my Thomas".

Knowing now what I know about "Nimrod Lunsford", it would explain why it's been so difficult to nail down who his actual father was. Coincidentally, I've ran across a "Nimrod Lansford" over and over again tracing the known brothers and sisters of his. To support the Thomas/Nimrod connection even more, my 2Xgreat grandfather(a 4 year old - William) went to live with an older unmarried aunt by the name of "Harriet Lansford (Lunsford)" in Eastern Alabama, after his father was killed in the Civil War. I know for a fact her father was Nimrod Lunsford, which would explain the connection.

Thank you so much for the help! Do you know of any way I could get a copy of the "Dockery's of Dixie"? Let me know if you have any info.

Thanks so much,


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 6 years ago from washington Author

Glad I could help, I think you can find the book on line. Also you can check out some other family trees here.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 6 years ago from washington Author

Tanner I hope you are still there because I looked in the book I told you about and it shows the name of your Thomas's wife, and her parents. She was a Dockery and related to the William Dockery who's tombstone inscription I have posted at the top of this article. The book also contains a picture of Nimrod's tombstone which I will add to this article shortly.

Tanner Lansford 6 years ago

Yes, he was married to Luriana Dockery. Her name was listed as my 3Xgreat grandfather michael's mother. Pretty neat, looks like we're distant relatives... Haha

Jan 5 years ago

Just checking to see if anyone has relatives of Thursia Abigail Dockery (Fox). Father was Lewis Dockery & mother was Elizabeth Proffitt. Please contact me at Thanks.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 5 years ago from washington Author

I have Thursia's grandfather Baalim Dockery in my tree. This line was not mentioned in the Dockeries of Dixie book, Although There is a William Dockery who was born in Burke Co. North Carolina 1n 1728. William Dockery executed a will in Wake co. on 22 May 1793. People mentioned in the will as benefactors were Benjamin, Hastings, Williiam, Polly, Hiram, and Balaam.

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fishingbarbara 5 years ago

sir thomas lunsford seems to be the person Nimrod lunsford came over with from england.there was a story about this sir thomas loosing favor with the royals and was ousted from england then later forgiven and he returned.i found this on the internet.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 5 years ago from washington Author

not likely, nimrod was born in 1760, where Sir Thomas was born over 100 years earlier. there is an interesting article about him if you wish to know more.

David Dockery 5 years ago

Where could I purchase the Dockery of Dixie books? Thanks for your help....My ancestors are from Giles County North Carolina and later migrated to Danville, Virginia....If any Dockery's would like to correspond, my e-mail is

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 5 years ago from washington Author

It's for sale at amazon, I also believe there is a second volume that was printed.

Good luck.

David Dockery 5 years ago

Thanks...By the way, my Dockerys were in Wilkes county not Giles...

Gary Moore 3 years ago

My grandmother Betty Belle (Dockery) Moore married John L. Moore. Her grandmother was Zilpha Scott Dockery (born 1796 - died 1904). I am trying to learn more about Zilpha and want to know if there is any Indian connection.

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Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Was Zilpha's husband Jack Scott?

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sylthorp 2 years ago

There is a book just published - Dockery-Morrison Family History. Census data has John Dockery (b abt 1759, VA) living in Lincoln Co., TN, and from there the family lineage goes to the Tuscaloosa, AL area. My gggggrandfather was his son Able Henry Dockery (b abt 1780, NC), who died at Ft. Williams in AL during the War of 1812. Is there any data linking my Dockery line with yours. Abel Henry's wife was Elizabeth Rankin. John Dockery's wife was possibly Lucinda Murphy.

Thanks - Sylvia Thorp

ps - I laughed at your reference to Cain Dockery - since I have an Abel Dockery!!!

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 2 years ago from washington Author

Cain and Abel, separated at birth! I'm not sure if there's a connection. I haven't done any research in a while. I'll have to get back to you on it.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 2 years ago from washington Author

Sylvia, I found John Dockery's will in Marshall Tennessee. Check it out.

"This my last will and testament made this twenty fourth of May Eighteen hundred and fifty three, after my debts are all paid, the remainder of my property if any I want it divided equally between my four youngest children to wit, Martha Caroline, Lucinda Murphy, Lindsey Miller and George Washington, Where unto I affixed my hand and seal the day and date above written-signed, and sealed in the presence of John Dockery."

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Onusonus 2 years ago from washington Author

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sylthorp 2 years ago

Many thanks for the source of the will of William Dockery. The book The Dockerys of Dixie is now out of print.

For those of you related to William Lafayette Dockery (grandson of Abel Henry Dockery) - his wife Mary Caroline Wright has lineage back to the Quakers of South Carolina and the Revolutionary War.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 2 years ago from washington Author

You can download that book on Family search for free however it only goes as far back as James William Dockery (B 1768)

Marty 23 months ago

Hi, seems it's been 11 months since this was last commented on, but will try for a response anyway. I'm searching for information on my ggrandfather, (LD, aka Lihue David, aka Lihue Davidson Dockery). According to the DC that I have located, it list his father as a "Grant" Dockery. But he is not listed in the Dockerys of Dixie. It appears possible that a "Timpie" Dockery was his mother, who is listed in the book, and\d is the daughter of George and Nancy. At this point, this is my brickwall. I remember my grandfather LD (Dee) speaking of Marshall (Hot Springs) NC. My Mother's side of the family (Howell and Messer's) are from Haywood Co. NC). Can you provide any insight i to this part of of the family.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 23 months ago from washington Author

Hello Marty,

Tempy Dockery Passed away in Cocke county Tennessee in 1915. on the 1900 and 1910 Censuses she lived there with her daughter Barbra Hannah (b) 1868, and son in law Lihue Haney (b) 1861.

She also had a daughter named Zilpha Bank (b) 1874

What is the name of your grandparent who is related to Lihue?

Kelly Gibby 20 months ago

WOW! I've been searching for Cainey Dockery for years and now I see here you have his half brother Alfred. Which was there same parent, mother or father and what was there name?

I have mother as Nancy Dockery 1846-1920,and no info on his father?

I also have that Cain married Rachel Anderson and they had my grandmother Bonnie Mae Dockery, who married my Abraham "Abe" Gibby. Most of this is from Cherokee and Madison Counties in North Carolina.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 20 months ago from washington Author


Nice to meet you!

A few years ago I went to Arizona and talked to my grand mother Lena about the family. She told me a few things about her family and about Cainey shortly before she passed away. She had Alzheimer's when I went there so some of it was a little mixed up.

sylthorp 9 months ago

Is there anyone who would set up and be in charge of a Dockery DNA database?

Thanks to DNA, I now have PROOF that Wm. Lafayette Dockery (my line) was a son of John Dockery, There was no will, Bible, land transfer, or census record linking Wm. to John - but DNA from someone recorded in the 1850 census as a son of John has been proven a match to my DNA.

Onusonous, have you had your DNA checked? Wouldn't you like to be in charge?????

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 6 months ago from washington Author

I've never done that before. Wouldn't know where to start.

Marty 3 months ago

See comment below

Tempy Dockery Passed away in Cocke county Tennessee in 1915. on the 1900 and 1910 Censuses she lived there with her daughter Barbra Hannah (b) 1868, and son in law Lihue Haney (b) 1861.

She also had a daughter named Zilpha Bank (b) 1874. What is the name of your grandparent who is related to Lihue?

Hi, sorry for such a late response. My Grandparents are LD Dockery (noone knows for sure what the LD stood for, guesses are "Little David or Lihue David")

My lineage is

Lihue Dockery (of Madison Co., NC mar: Harrit Lee

--LD Dockery Jr mar: Helen Carlisle, both of Del Rio (Midway), Cocke Co., Tn.

----Jack M Dockery (of In) mar: Gloria Pollard (of Fines Creek, Haywood Co., NC)

Now remember Nimrod, well, he also was from Haywood, so I have a connection with him by both bloodlines.

I've yet to prove or disprove just who was the father of Barber and Lihue Dockery is. Thus back to my same question, what is the lineage of Lihue Dockery?


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