Cyrus B. Dawsey
May 20, 1850 - February 15, 1886


Family history is important. However humble our origin may have been, there are things about it that should be remembered by future generations. God has been liberal and impartial in the distribution of his gifts. No one individual, family, tribe or nation has received all of his blessings. All of us, fortunately have received something from his bountiful hands. In every family there are characteristies - evil and good - that should be known and studied. This can be done with great advantage in the development of family life. Families and races have done this in the past. The Jews, the Chinese and the Japanese are known because of their close family ties. One of the interesting things about the Old Testament is the history that we have of family life. Family records then were important and even essential. We, too, value our record, eliminating, of course, all feeling of egotism.

As we study the Dawsey family, it is with a sincere desire to discover both our weak and strong characteristics in order to eliminate as much as we can, all evil trends and strengthen, with all our might, any good which the family possesses. In this way we can pass on to the future generations something that will be helpful to them.


For a long number of years I have been working here and there to find out a little more about the Dawsey family. I admit that the search has not been an easy one, and not much has been learned. The little, however, which I have discovered I want to pass on to future generations with the hope that further down the line someone may find out more than I have found and thus pass on to descendants, further on, a more complete history than the few simple facts that I am here able to enumerate.

THE NAME. For a long while I t hought that the name DAWSEY was not our original name, believing that it might have been DORSEY, since there are many people with this name. In old documents of the Dawsey family, oftentimes, the name is spelled "Dorsey." Now, however, I am fully convinced that, at least for many generations, the name has been DAWSEY. It is quite likely that many people today who are known as Dorseys were originally Dawseys. Unfortunately, my investigation has not been extensive. What I have learned has largely been from the state libraries at Columbia, S. C. and in Nashville, Tenn.

THE FIRST DAWSEY IN THE UNITED STATES. The first Dawsey of which I have found any record goes back to the year, 1639 - just thirty-two years after the first settlement made at Jamestown and just nineteen years after the famous settlement made at Plymouth, Mass. It is interesting to feel that some of the Dawsey family has seen with his own eyes the development of this great country from almost its very beginning and has had some little part in its making. The name of this progenitor was Christopher Dawsey. He came, evidently, from England and landed in Elizabeth City County, Va. His coming was sponsored by James Vanerit. Then in 1639 Christopher Dawsey sponsored the coming of Ann Dawsey - likely his wife, or it could have been his mother or his sister. This record is taken from papers showing the names of people who came to America but not giving the names of the countries from which they came. Since they landed in Virginia, one would naturally think that they came from England. In 1775 there is a record showing that Nathan Dawsey of Conn., was commissioned an ensign in the Revolutionary War.

THE PRESENT FAMILY OF DAWSEYS. The first Dawsey of our known family goes back to 1756 - more than 200 years ago. At this time De Brabham, Esquire, state surveyor of the colonial government, granted a lot of land containing 150 acres to W. M. Dawsey. This was done on the 2nd day of March, 1756. It is interesting to notice that on this document the name was spelled three different ways - Dawsey, Dorsey and Dowsey. This grant was made to W. M. Dawsey on the South-west side of Little PeeDee River. It was signed by H. Thompson. The place near what is now Galivants Ferry, Horry County, which was at that time Craven County. In 1766 - just ten years later - another grant was made to William Dawsey - evidently the same person. Now the amount was 350 acres. This was on the North side of Little PeeDee River and was also signed by H. Thompson. Then in 1786, a grant of land was made to James Dawsey to the amount of 200 acres, and in the same year another grant was made to Fowler Dawsey for 75 acres.

THE FIRST CENSUS. In 1790 - not long after the Revolutionary War - the first census was made in the U.S.A. Two Dawsey families appeared in this census - William and Fowler. Both had children and both owned slaves. William had ten slaves, and Fowler had four.

MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER. In Columbia state library there is a document showing that Thomas L. Dawsey was clerk of court in Horry County in 1815. In the census of 1830 it states that Thomas Dawsey had two children under five and one over ten. In a document in the state library in Columbia, S. C., W M. Dawsey made a will in Charleston County. Could it be that he had moved from Horry to Charleston? There were, in later years, Dawseys living in Charleston County, who were likely descendants of this same W. M. Dawsey. In the census of 1850 only one Dawsey family appears. This was "T.L. Dorsey." He had three sons, Pearley, Daniel and John. The names of two daughters are given. They are Millie and Isabel. Horry County at this time was thinly settled - 980 families. There were 1,044 males and 1,004 females.

Some years ago, looking over old records, I found the name of my great-grandfather, Thomas Lamb Dawsey, and saw that he had brought suit against someone who had accused him of "stealing sheep." He got a judgement against the accuser and won his case. I am sorry that I have not been able to find out who was my great, great grandfather. Very likely it was William Dawsey to whom the first grant of land was given in Horry County in 1756. And just where the Dawseys who went to Horry County came from is unknown. Likely later investigation will reveal this which now is unknown.

My PATERNAL GRANDFATHER. I am glad that l remember both of my grandfathers and both grandmothers. This I count a great privilege. My grandfather, John Nelson Dawsey, became a well known and highly respected person in both Horry and Marion Counties. He was known all over the country as a "horse trader." He knew and loved horses. The faint recollection which I have of him is connected with the beautiful horse that he rode. He was a straight and dignified looking man. He died after reaching a ripe old age and left behind a name that has been an inspiration to his children and grandchildren.

My PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER. I can never forget my paternal grandmother. She was Rebecca Cannon, daughter of "Uncle Jesse Cannon," famous in the religious history of the community. Grandmother Dawsey was stout and easy going. I remember that when I went to her house she always liked to give me roasted peanuts and boiled eggs. I never left her house empty handed. She died just a few years before grandfather Dawsey. Grandfather and Grandmother Dawsey had five children - three boys and two girls. The boys were Cyrus, Isaac and William and the girls were Jane and Annie. All lived to be grown and married. Cyrus married Margaret Jenrett; Isaac married Callie Cooper; Billie married Rebecca Lewis; Jane married Neal Graham and Annie married Isaac Cannon. All had rather large families and their descendants today are many.

MY MATERNAL GRANDFATHER. He was Samuel T. Jenrette, born June 15, 1824; died October 23, 1911. Not too much is known about the Jenrette family in the United States. The original name evidently was not Jenrette but perhaps Jeanneret. There is a document showing that in 1761 a petition was sent to London asking that the British Crown cooperate in the sending of a colony of Hugenots to America. This petition was signed by a large number of French people already residing here. Among these were Jean Pierre, Abraham and Henry Jeanneretes. The Jenrette of our family is likely a descendant of the Jeannerettes. Hon. Noah W. Cooper, in his little book, "NOAH B. COOPER AND WIFE, LUCINDA JENRETTE, DESCENDANTS AND KIN," has some interesting things to say about the Jenrettes. I quote: "Samuel T. Jenrette was the youngest son of Elias, who was born in France 1755 or 1757, and died in North Carolina about 1837 or 1833. Elias Jenrette and his father were French Hugenots who came together from France to America, and both fought for American Independence in the Revolutionary War." From the information which Cousin Noah Cooper was able to receive, my great, great maternal grandfather, after the war, lived in Columbus County, N.C. and died in 1837, leaving a large family of children, the youngest of these being my grandfather, Samuel, who was brought up by an older brother, James Jenrette. While still young he moved across the line into Horry County. He lived at Honey Camp and later bought a farm on the "Lake Swamp" where he lived until all of his children had married and his good companion has been called to her eternal reward. He was the owner of the grist mill, which he operated successfully for many, many years. He was known and highly respected by the people of the community and was known by everyone as "Uncle Sam." He was the father of thirteen children, all of whom lived to maturity except Julia, who died when she was only four years of age. There are given here in the order of their ages: Lucinda, married Noah B. Cooper; Wilson, died as a prisoner in the War Between the States; Elizabeth, married Elias Pickens Pitman, Samuel Thomas, married Clarkie Crawford; Isaac, married first, Nancy Johnson, and after her death, his second marriage was to Sallie Barnhill; Joseph James, married Martha Mincy; Benjamin, married Frances Elliott; Margaret, married Cyrus B. Dawsey; Janie, married Bethel Elliott; and Martha, married Oliver Cromwell Johnson. Descendants of these today are numbered by the hundreds. A number have been farmers, businessmen, lawyers and teachers. One, Hon. W. B. Cooper, was, at one time, Lieutenant Governor of the State of N. C. My grandfather Jenrette was a practical sort of man. I am glad that I knew him. He was a jolly, happy man, and I never remember to have seen him sad. or disgruntled. He was widely known for his ability to tease people in a good hearted way. Some of his descendants inherited from him this quality. It is said of him that after the death of his son, Elias Pickens, he died rather suddenly. Some of the family was designated to break the sad news to his old father. When it was done, grandfather Jenrette remained silent for a few seconds and then said, "Pick is no better than anyone else's son." That was all. He took life in this sort of matter of fact way.

MY MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER. Before her marriage to Samuel T. Jenrette, she was Eliza Johnson, daughter of Meshack and Rebecca Johnson. She died when I was small, but I remember that she was tall, thin and dignified. She has two sisters, Isabella, married to Mayberry Mishoe, and Helen, married to Alpha Graham. Her brothers were Carmi, Hopp, Joe, Allen, Light and Armajah.

MY FATHER. My father was Cyrus B. Dawsey, son of John N. and Rebecca Cannon Dawsey born May 20, 1850 and died February 15, 1886 - just thirty-six years of age. While I was privileged to know both my grandfathers and both grandmothers, I did not know my father. He died a number of months before I was born. From others I learned a great deal about him. I learned that he was devoted to his family. At the time of his death his mother and father were already old. Constantly he had been running back over to the old home place to do anything for them which they might need. He was kind to his family. The older children who knew him always would speak of his devotion to them. Doubtless, the most outstanding thing about him was his religious life. He was a licensed exhorter of the Methodist Church and was used much by the ministers of the churches to help in the meetings that were conducted in the community. He was known as a "man of prayer." Many spoke of his good voice and told about how he liked to sing. When I was a boy, I once asked my mother to tell me something about my father, how he looked and what his gifts were. She replied, "Well, Harley is the one who looks most like him, and you sing like him, but Harley is not as good looking as his father was, and you cannot sign as well as he could sing. "We all knew that she thought Harley was the best looking one of the children and all knew that she thought I could sing better than the others. However, according to her judgment, neither of us came up to our father. I must say that one of the things that has inspired me from my childhood up, was the life of my father as I knew him through others. Well do I remember that when I would go to places, the older people would say to me: "The son of Cyrus Dawsey, what a good boy you ought to be, and what a good man you ought to become!" One of the beautiful stories that my mother used to tell about him was that one night when he was coming back on horseback from Grandfather Dawsey's home, he heard coming from some unknown source the most beautiful music that he had ever heard. Evidently it made a strong impression upon her mind because soon after that he became ill and passed away. I always like to think of him as loving music and am glad that he had such an experience as this before he left this world.

MY MOTHER. Margaret Jenrette Dawsey was born at the old Mill in the Zoan section of Horry County on October 16, 1852. Do I remember her? Yes, a thousand times yes. Who could forget her? I have never known a braver woman than she. My father died when she was still quite a young woman, leaving her eight children to feed, clothe and train for the hard world that people had to face in her day. She did it and who could have done better than she? Had it not been for the grace of God and her wonderful courage it could not have been done. A little farm was not enough for such a task. This great desire to keep her children together and give them a better training led her to learn to do the work of a midwife, a much needed profession in the community, and in this way she was able to maintain the home and keep out of debt. Hundreds of children of those days were brought into the world through her help. She died March 17, 1923. My mother was an active woman. I think of her as always busy at something. She would never be seated very long. One of the stories that well illustrates this part of her life is the following: One of her grandsons was visiting her at one time. One morning, rather late in the day, according to her standard, somone came and asked to speak to him, and she told the person that he was not there. Later on during the day the young man got up and said: "Grandmother, why did you tell my friend that I was not here? Don't you know that was not right?" Her reply was: "My grandson, I was just ashamed for anyone in this world to know that I had a grandson that would stay in bed until this late hour of the day." He made no reply.

Mother never suffered much physically. She lived to a ripe old age - more than 70. Her last words were: "Thank you." One of her granddaughters had just given her some water to drink. She drank it and said these beautiful words and passed away. It was so much like her to have gone in this quiet way.


I regret exceedingly that I have not been able to do a more extensive work and present a more perfect picture of the whole Dawsey Family. Such now is impossible. I trust that later on some of the family may be able to do this. I shall, therefore, have to confine myself to a brief history of our immediate family, trusting that later on, a younger person may be able to take in the different branches of the whole family connection. How interesting and profitable it would be to know more about the Coopers, the Jeneretts, the Elliotts, the Minceys, the Johnsons, and the Pittmans. Their descendants are many. And then, on my father's side, there are the Dawseys, the Grahams, the Moores and the Cannons. Counting all on both sides, there would be a regiment of people. I suppose that, altogether, we are a fairly representative American family. We have the weaknesses of other families and also the virtues of the average family. We represent nearly every profession and occupation common to people. Many have been farmers, some mechanics, some, constructors, some jewelers, some teachers, some doctors, some nurses, some politicians and some ministers of the Gospel. For any good that we have done, we are truly grateful and for our mistakes and weaknesses, we are truly sorry.

CYRIUS B. AND MARGARET JENRETT DAWSEY were the parents of nine children, coming in the following order: Freddie, Ellis, Albert, Agnes, Wilson, Jesse, Watus, Harley and Cyrus. Albert died while still an infant. The others lived to maturity and were blessed to raise large families.


Freddie, while still young, married a farmer of the old community, Stephen J. Lewis. "Steve" was a hard working man and prospered in his business. He was a man of great natural ability and keen wit. He died rather early in life but left behind a large family - six boys and three girls. Freddie still remains and continues to be an inspiration, not only to her own family and kin people, but to the whole community where she lives. She is nearly ninety-two years old, but continues active, loves the church and loves the ONE whom she has served during these many years of her earthy pilgrimage. Her reward awaits her over on the "other side.", Her children are: Leila, Gertrude, Ruth, James, Hal, Harley, Lee, Wilson and Woodrow. (Freddie has passed away. She died on the 24th of November, 1962.)
LEILA. Leila married William Hughes, who died many years ago. Their children are: Randolph, Stephen, Leila, Virginia, Gerturde and Mary Frances. All except Gertrude have married and have families of their own.
GERTRUDE. Gertrude married Bernice Vaught and became the mother of six children, and she had a number of grandchildren. She and Bernice were successful farmers. Both Gertrude and Bernice have passed on, but their children and grandchildren remain to represent them. They are: Freddie, Palmer, Ester, Albert, Joyce and Jennings.
RUTH. Ruth, Freddie's third daughter, became a trained nurse but practiced only a few years. She married a railroad man, James Brunson, and lives in Florence. They live a happy life and have two sons, James and Stephen, both of whom are married and have children. (Ruth died in 1962.)
JAMES. Freddie's oldest son, James, is a graduate of Clemson College. For a number of years he was a teacher in the public schools of Horry County. Afterwards he was elected Superintendent of Education of the County. This office he filled with honor. Now he is Mayor of the City of Conway, S. C. Jim has been active, both in church and state. His kin people are proud of his clean record. Jim is married to Jamie Marsh of Conway. They have no children.
HAL. Hal married Nellie Page of the Aynor community. He became an outstanding farmer and merchant of Aynor. He died in 1957 and left behind two children, Maribel and Harold. Maribel married W. M. Goldfinch, Jr., of Conway. Harold finished his course at the University of South Carolina and his theological course at Emory. He is a Methodist minister and is stationed at Grover, S. C. at the present time.
HARLEY. Harley is Freddie's third son and is married to Mary Etta Page of the Aynor community. Harley is a successful merchant and farmer. He and Mary Etta have three children. William, Barbara and Gail. William and Barbara are married; William to Betty Joyce Hill and Barbara to John Albert Bass. Barbara and John are living in Charlotte.
LEE. Lee is married to Lois Timmons, and they have four children and a number of grandchildren. Their children are the following: Lois, Melvin Lynwood, Claudette and Robert. Lois is married to Charles DuBose; Melvin Lynwood to LaBelle McGueire and Claudette to Hazel Hatchett, Jr.
WILSON. Wilson is married to Bessie Page and they have three children, Reeves, Anne and Jimmie. Wilson is a highway patrolman.
WOODROW. Woodrow is the youngest of the children. He is a successful merchant and lives in Aynor. He is married to Miriam Jones and they have one son, Carlton.


Ellis is the oldest son of the Dawsey family and the second child. Not long after my father's death he left home and spent many years in Georgia and Florida. First he was in the turpentine business. Then he became a railroad man. He became a telegraph operator and later on became a jeweler. In this profession he continued until his death. He married Lillie Cooksey of Florida and they were the parents of the following children: Ralph, Rufus, Edna, Albert, Margaret and Cyrus. Both Ellis and Lillie have passed on, but their children and grandchildren remain.
RALPH. Ralph is married to Marian Cook, and they live in New York. They have no children.
RUFUS. Rufus is married to Louise Dusenbury of Conway. They have three children, John Ellis, Rufus and Julie Ann. Rufus and Julie Ann are married. Rufus and Louise, his wife, are now living in Florida.
EDNA. Edna is married to Elmore West, and they live in California. They have an adopted son.
ALBERT. Albert married Elizabeth Garison. They had two children, Mildred and Eugene. Now both the father and son are dead.
MARGARET. Margaret, Ellis'second daughter,is married to Mayberry Johnson of the "Lake Swamp" section. Mayberry is a successful farmer. They have the following children: Jordan, Sarah, Kay, Silvia, Rose and Janell. (Mayberry died in 1962)
CYRUS B. "Buck" got his education in the schools of Conway and at Clemson College. He is now a successful constructor. He is married to Agnes Stone of Greenville. At the present they are living in Cedar Mountain, N. C., where Buck is engaged in construction work. Both he and Agnes are well known in Greenville where they have many friends.


Agnes married a Methodist minister, Rev. W. C. Gleaton and became the mother of a large family of children. They are: Wallace, Lillian, Munsey, Creamer, Cuyler, Carrie, Holland and Denny. Holland died when he was still small.

The whole family is proud of sister Agnes. She was a true, loyal wife and for these many years has been a good mother. Her husband died when some of the children were young. Her struggle has not been an easy one but she has faced every difficulty with faith and courage and has been able to "press on." Today she is nearly 85 and like sister Freddie, is awaiting the call to go up higher. Her reward is sure. (She died in 1962).

I shall always be grateful for my sister Agnes. She was always like a second mother to me. My father died before I was born. My sister Freddie married not long after my father's death. Mother became a midwife and had to be away from home a great deal. This placed sister Agnes in a place of great responsibility in regard to the others of us and, especially to me, her baby brother. After her marriage I lived with her at two different times - once when the Rev. Mr. Gleaton was pastor at Scranton and later on when he was pastor on the Sumter circuit. He was a man of great culture. Being with him gave me a new outlook. It broadened the little world which I had known in my own country community. Sister Agnes was devoted, not only to her own family, but to me and did much in helping to shape my young life. Thank God for her.
WALLACE is the oldest son of the Gleaton family. He is a graduate of Wofford College from which he also received an honorary degree. For many years he has been a member of the South Carolina conference and has received from the conference appointments of great responsibility and honor. He is married to Ellyn Allen, who has been a true wife and an efficient worker in the Kingdom. They have a daughter, Carolyn, who has been a music teacher and is now married to Gilbert Cox. They are living in Georgia.
LILLIAN. Lillian is the oldest daughter and is married to Ralph Scheider. Ralph is a graduate of Wofford College. They have three children and six grandchildren. They all live in Charleston, S. C.
MUNSEY. Munsey got his education at Wofford and at Yale University. During the time that he was at Wofford he became a football star. He is married to Ann Schofield and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania.
CUYLER. Cuyler got his education at Asbury College. He is now a member of the South Carolina Conference and is known for his consecration and evangelistic zeal. Cuyler is married to Margaret Anderson, who is equally dedicated to the Master's work. They have one daughter, Marilyn, married to Rev. Benjamin Williams, a member of the North Georgia Conference. Cuyler and Margaret also have two adopted children, Patsy and Bobbie.
HALSEY. Halsey is a Wofford graduate and is married to Ann Louise Bondy of McColl, S. C. They have two children and live in Los Angeles, California.
CRAMER. Cramer is married to Elizabeth Bond, and they, too, live in California. Cramer and Elizabeth have one son, Gary, who has just finished high school. (Cramer died in 1962.)
CARRIE. Carrie is married to William Grooms and they live in Charleston. They have four living children and two deceased. They also have a number of grandchildren.
DENNY. Denny is the youngest of sister Agnes' children. He has worked in a number of places, but is now pastor at Lebanon in the Charleston District.


Both Ellis and Wilson were persons of great natural gifts. Both could do just about anything. Wilson, for a number of years, tried working on the farm but became discouraged and turned to other means of making a living. He, like Ellis, went to Florida. There he became a photographer and later became a successful jeweler. Wilson married, a teacher, Maida Culberson, from Ware Shoals. Six children were born into their home - two boys and four girls. They were: Estelle, James Shelton, Mozelle, Catherine, Jean and John Wilson. James Shelton died while he was still a child.

Both Wilson and Maida were devoted to the church and left for their children and grandchildren a beautiful record of devotion and loyalty. Both have already gone on to receive their eternal reward. I always like to think of heaven as a place where, God's children will be able to achieve ideals which were not within our reach in this life. If this is true, Wilson is there working at something that was upon his heart but beyond his reach while he was here. I owe much to him. He taught me to write one Sunday morning. I had gone to the little schools of the community, Chapel Hill and the little school near Moore's Mill, and had learned to read well, but my teachers, for some reason, had never discovered that I did not know how to write. Wilson discovered it that morning. He made me sit down and stayed by me until I learned to write. He kept in close touch with me during my while school life, giving me money and otherwise encouraging me. I loved him dearly. I remember that one night I dreamed that he had died. I woke up weeping but so happy that it was only a dream. I remember that before I went to Brazil, he expressed the desire to make enough money to support me while I was there. This he was not able to do but the desire was a part of his soul.
ESTELLE. Estelle is a graduate of Columbia College. Later she did post graduate work and taught for a number of years. She married a banker, Lawrence Mohr. They have four children, Lawrence, Mozelle, Kevin and Wilson. Lawrence and Estelle live in New York where they have their own home.
MOZELLE. Mozelle also is a graduate of Columbia College. For many years she was in government service and visited many countries. Later she married Jack Elliott. They have three children. Larry, Margaret, James and Wilson. Jack is in government service. At the present they are stationed in Germany.
CATHERINE. Catherine married William Brown from Mullins. They live in Aynor and have four children: William, Catherine, Judy and Jimmie. Catherine is a gifted woman and is useful not only to her own family but also to the church and community.
JEAN. Jean is a graduate of Columbia College. Soon after finishing college she married William White, a railroad man. They live in Columbia, having their own home. They have four strong children. The children are: Gary, Glenn, Craig and Elizabeth.

We are living here in Columbia and consider ourselves fortunate to be so near Bill and Jean. They mean much to us, and we thank God for them.
JOHN WILSON. John is the youngest of Wilson's children. He was only a child when his father died. Fortunately, he was a good boy and grew up to be a good man. He is a graduate of Clemson College. Now he is the principal of a primary school at Aynor. He married a teacher, Barbara Ford. They have their home in Aynor and have three living children, John, Linda alid Timothy.


Freddie, Jesse and Harley are the three members of the family that have always lived near the community in which they were born. The others of us have wandered about quite a bit. Jesse in early life married Eula Graham. They became the parents of a large family. In earthly goods they did not accumulate so much but in moral and spiritual values they became rich. In their old age they had their good country home, which was always full of children grandchildren, great grandchildren, kin people and friends who came from near and far. They were fortunate indeed to have reached this ripe old age, surrounded by so much love and good will. In my boyhood, no one did more to direct my pathway than my brother Jesse. In his young life he did not receive the same advantages in an educational way that I received, but in spiritual matters he was always pretty close to the top of the ladder. He and Eula remained faithful to the Church and faithful to their Master who never forsook them. I remember hearirg my mother say that Jesse was born the night old uncle "Jesse Cannon" passed away. This, undoubtedly, made a lasting effect on her own mind and heart and perhaps helped to influence my brother, Jesse, to walk in the path in which his great uncle had walked so well. Eula died in 1961.

Jesse and Eula have the following children: Wesley, Bertha, Lou, Lorane, Barney, Hiram, Gertrude, Wofford, Hubert and Eula Mae. They also have an adopted daughter, Maud, who is loved by everyone.
WESLEY. Wesley married a teacher, Agnes Felkel of Anderson, S. C. Wesley and Agnes have their home in Charleston, where they have children, grandchildren and a host of friends. Their children are: Gloria, married to Clifton McCracken, Rose, married to Donald Neuroth; John Wesley, Jr., married to Jacquelin MeHarding; Laurel, married to Samuel Shifflett; Reginold, married to Betty Jean Bourls and Amarillis, married to Irving Wilson Elsey.
BERTHA. Bertha is married to Warren Dudley. They are farmers and live in the Antioch community. Their children are: Travis, a Clemson College graduate, Basil and Loretta. Loretta is a graduate of Columbia College. Bertha and Warren have one grandchild.
LOU. Lou married Fred Johnson of the Lake Swamp community. She died many years ago, leaving behind two children, Helen and Lehman. Both are married and have children.
LORAINE. Loraine is married to Graham Whaley. They livd in Charlotte, N. C., and have the following children: Manly, Janette, Sam, Patricia, Theodora, Johnny, Danny and Legrand. Loraine and Graham have two grandchildren. Patricia is a graduate of Winthrop College. Manly and Sam have both studied at Clemson College, and Theodora finished the Aynor High School.
BARNEY. Barney married a teacher, Essie Mae Charles. They have four children, Carlisle, Jane, Wayne and Franklin. Jane and Wayne are twins. Barney is a merchant and a farmer and lives in Aynor.
HIRAM. Hiram is married to Eloise Dudley. Hiram is trader, farmer and merchant and lives a busy life. He and Eloise have six children: Rachel, Sheldon, Flora May, Stephen, Stanford and Derrick. Rachel is a graduate of Winthrop College and Sheldon, a graduate of Clemson College.
GERTRUDE. Gertrude was a teacher. She married Harry Howle. She was the mother of two children, Margaret and Harriett Ann. At an early age she was called to her reward, but her beautiful life remains in the memory of many people.
BENJAMIN WOFFORD. Wofford is a veterinarian and has a hospital in Gastonia, N. C. Two years ago he was declared the Young man of the Year of the City of Gastonia. He is married to Virginia Mason and they have two children: Rebecca Gertrude and Benjamin Wofford, Jr. Wofford's influence for good, both in the church and community of Gastonia, is widespread.
HUBERT. Hubert is married to Thelma Martin and they have three children, Joseph, Connie and Thrish Eleona. Hubert, is a farmer and a merchant and lives in Aynor.
EULA MAE. Eula Mae is a teacher and is married to Robert Ambrose, a merchant. They have two children, Lou Ann and Robert, Jr.
MAUD. Maud is married to a farmer, McIver Page, and they live near Aynor. Maud and McIver have 10 children: Schubert, Mary, Betty, William, John, Philip, Margaret, Daniel, Andrew and Samual. There are five grandchildren.


From a child I always felt that Freddie, Ellis, Agnes, Wilson and Jesse were above me and that I would have to obey them but to Watus and Harley I felt that they were not too far above me and that I could feel myself equal to them in physical strength and otherwise. They were, therefore, my pals. We played together, went hunting and fishing together, and had our little fights, learning thereby to adjust ourselves to the life which later we were to face in the big world, which we were soon to enter. I always, had a great admiration for Watus. It is said that he was the one of the family who most resembled his grandfather Dawsey. He was deliberate in speech, neat in his dress, and firm in appearance. No one had a better heart. He was kind and gracious, both to people and animals. He, like Wilson, was not too strong in body and went on to his heavenly home in his seventieth year.

Watus married Margaret Lofton of McClellanville, S.C. Into their home there came eight children: Watus, Jr., Richard, Edith, Margaret Caroline, Harley, John, Ellis and James.

WATUS, JR. Watus, Jr., is a farmer. He married Mary Redick, and they have three girls: Frances, Mary and June. Mary is a nurse and works in the Hospital in Georgetown.
RICHARD. Richard married Ella Mae Johnson of Charleston. They also are the parents of three girls: Nelle, Anice and Margaret.
EDITH. Edith is a nurse and is married to a veterinarian, Dr. Clyde Roberts Moses. They have two children: John Dawsey and Clyde Elaine. Edith works in the hospital in Georgetown.
ELLIS. Ellis is a lawyer. He lives in Charleston. He married Jane Pravette of Lumberton, N. C.
MARGARET CAROLINE. Margaret Caroline is married to Thomas L. Lofton. They have two children, Thomas, Jr., and Mary Claudia.
HARLEY. Harley does government work in Charleston. His wife's name was Evelyn Jordan.
JOHN. John is a graduate of Charleston College. He married Vonnie Tisdale. He teaches in Georgetown.
JAMES. James, the youngest of the children, is a farmer. He married Carolyn Doggette. All the children have in them the fine qualities of a good father and mother.


Harley was the next to the youngest of the Dawsey children. I must have grown a little faster than he, for by the time he was eight or ten years, old, we were nearly the same size. At least, I felt that I was as big and strong as he. We played together and had our little disagreements and fusses, but we always forgave each other and remained close together. Harley could put up a pretty bold front and face situations with a great deal of calmness and courage. One Sunday night he and I were returning from a meeting in a colored church. We had gone with our good friend, David Graham. When we arrived at David's home he went in and told my brother, Jesse, who was there courting Eula (it was not long before Jesse and Eula were married) that we had just passed by and were on our way home. Jesse decided that we would have some fun and went out behind us. Soon he was able to bypass us. Running on ahead, he hid himself in the bushes near the side of the road. As Harley and I approached the place Jesse, well hidden in the bushes, began to make all kinds of noises. l was terribly frightened, but Harley kept up his spirit of bravery. It was not long until I suggested that we run. He did not hesitate long, and down the road we went. It was then that I discovered that he was a far better runner than I. Seeing that I was being left behind, I began to plead with him that he reduce his speed so that I could keep up. Soon we were at home, and running into Mother's room, we woke her up, telling her of the terrible noise that we heard by the roadside. Soon Jesse came sniggering in and then the mystery was solved. Never after that would I say that I could out run my brother Harley.

Another interesting experience that happened to me in which Harley had a most important part was one dark night when we had gone with Wilson to Moore's Mill pond. While he was busy gigging and striking fish, Harley and I were running here and there, awaiting the hour to return home. In some way I mistook the white foam of the mill stream for what I thought was the white sandy road and running across the bridge I made my plunge into the stream covered with beautiful white foam. My recovery was really a miracle. Harley must have been close by for he was soon holding out to me his strong right arm. It was night time. I did not know how to swim. Harley, too, was small and how he was able to come to my rescue so quickly and have the calmness and strength to save me has always been beyond my comprehension. I believe that this incident served to make me think seriously of the mission that I had to perform in the world. I am truly grateful to Harley for all that he has meant to me. I have thought many times that if he could have gone to a medical school he would have made an excellent doctor. However, he has remained in Aynor. He married a teacher, Lavalle Rogers, from Marion County, and together they have been able to bring up an interesting family.
TREVEJO. Trevejo is their oldest daughter. She is married to Sam Fore. They have two children, Samuel and Larry. Trevejo is a practical nurse, and Sam is an electrician. Both are useful to the church and community.
ROGER LEE. Roger Lee married Palmer Vaught. They have one son, Palmer, Jr. They own a beautiful, farm and are successful and happy working together.
FREITUS. Freitus is next in order. He is Harley's and Lavalle's oldest son. He married Ruth McCain, a high school teacher. They are living in Greenville, S. C. where Freitus is an employee of the city government of Greenville and Ruth is a teacher of mathematics in one of the high schools. They have one child, Louise.
LEONARD. "Joe" is a highway patrolman but lives within reach of his old home which he loves dearly. He radiates good cheer and has many friends.
MURIAL. Murial is a teacher, and she married a teacher, Prof. Edwin C. Brock. They live in Georgia and have one child, Melissa.
SHIRLEY. Shirley is a Lander graduate and teacher at Aynor. She married a farmer - Robert Johnson.
ARLIS. Arlis is the youngest of Harley's and Lavalle's children. He is a graduate of South Carolina University and is now teaching in Aiken, S. C. Arlis is married to a Columbia College graduate, Johnnie Smith of Aynor.


Cyrus B. is the youngest son the Dawsey family. I was named for my father whom I never saw. I studied in the little schools of my old home community. (They never lasted longer than three or four months during the year.) There, were two or three of these little schools within walking distance. One was Chapel Hill, one was Moore's Mill. Then I studied for some time at the Methodist Rehoboth School in the Alford community. I have forgotten its name. These schools were one room buildings, each having one teacher who had to teach all grades. While the teacher was directing one class the others were supposed to be studying. No home work was required. It is remarkable just how much a person could learn under conditions like these, Really, miracles were performed. I think kindly of my teachers back in those days. Miss Mary Lewis was my first teacher. I remember so well that the first day I went to school I was afraid, and at the time I was to start for school, I dashed out of the back door of the house and ran out into the corn field. My mother, however, was close behind and turned my face from the corn field to the little school house. Some of my early teachers were Kelly Johnson, Frank Graham, Gilbert Lewis, Prof. Neely, Julius Floyd and Miss Hinson. None were college graduates but all did splendid work. To all of them I am deeply grateful. At two different times I went and lived with my sister Agnes, and studied for a short while in the school at Britton's Store - near the Lawrence home.

In 1904 I went to the Wofford College Fitting School. This opened up a new world to me. My brother, Jesse, was a subscriber to the Southern Christian Advocate, which would carry announcements of the Fitting School and the College. It all looked as far away as the moon, but I wanted to go: Preachers would come to my home and tell about young men who had gone there and how much they had been able to accomplish.

It was a great adventure. Finally, I was able to borrow the money necessary and the day came for me to leave for Spartanburg. I entered the intermediate class of the Fitting School. In 1906 I entered the freshman class at Wofford. I was poorly prepared, which affected my whole college course. I finished in 1910 was received into the S. C. conference in 1911, married in 1912, went as missionary to Brazil in 1914. I was-pastor at Pacolet Mills from the time of my senior year in college to the end of 1913 - more than four years. This is the only church that I have served in the U.S.A. I have never forgotten the people there, and they seem not to have forgotten me.

My first marriage was to Ethel Sanders of Spartanburg, S. C. She was a Winthrop College graduate of the class of 1910. She was the mother of our five children. My second marriage was to Louie Lillian Knobles of State Line, Miss. Lillian is a graduate of Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn. She also finished the Methodist Training School in Kansas City and later on got her Master's degree at Columbia University in New York. Both Ethel and Lillian were professional teachers of English and to them I owe much for the help that they gave me in understanding better my own native tongue. A whole book of good things could be written about these true servants of God. As to character, efficiency, and dedication, their names will remain in the history of the family as beautiful lights. Nothing finer could be desired. I never could have accomplished the little that I have done without the help, first of Ethel and then of Lillian. Ethel's body was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Piracicaba, Brazil. This was the place where we began our work in that great country. She left us in 1948 - just 34 years after we arrived in Brazil. What eventful years they were! Her eternal struggle for the survival of the children in the "Noroeste" (Northwest) was truly heroic. Milking goats, washing bottles and working out formulas, besides the work of the home and the church, required every ounce of her energy. Lillian, too, has been thoroughly tested. Her twenty-five years of teaching in China, including the Japanese invasion and the beginning of the communists, made experiences that not many missionaries have had to endure. Then her ten years of service in Brazil and now her activity in the work of the Society of Christian Service since our retirement have given her an understanding of the ongoing of the Kingdom of God which is quite unusual.

Our children are Ethel, Sarah, Agnes, Cyrus, Jr., and Mary Ellyn, all born in Brazil, except Ethel.
ETHEL. Ethel was born at Pacolet Mills in 1913. Finding the proper kind of nourishment for her was not easy, and it looked many times as if we would not be able to see her develop and grow into womanhood. The Lord was near during all of those dark hours; every obstacle was overcome, and she was spared. She studied in our schools in Brazil and then came back to the United States, studying at different places and finally finishing her musical education at the Westminster School of Music. There she met Albert Ream, a student at the same school, a young man of similar ideals. Later Albert and Ethel were married and were accepted by the Methodist Board of Missions for work in Brazil. They taught at different places and finally settled down in Rio de Janeiro and established the only Sacred School of Music in Brazil. Their work is known far and wide. in January 1962 they transferred to the Union Theological Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They have two adopted children, Sandra and Sally.
SARAH. Sarah was born in Piracicaba, Brazil. She studied in the church schools of Brazil, finished high school at McColl, S. C. while she was living with Wallace and Ellyn; did her freshman year at LaGrange, Georgia, went back to Brazil and took the course in Christian Education at the Granbery College in Juiz de Fora, later on returned to the United States and got her A. B. degree at Peabody College. Then she returned to Brazil as a missionary. She was sent to Bennett College in Rio where she organized the nursery school at Bennett. Years later she was elected head of Bennett College, which position she still holds. She remains single, but there are many hundreds of children in Brazil that think of her as a sort of second mother. Her influence is strong in Brazilian Methodism.
AGNES. Agnes was born in a little "mud house" not long after we went to Biriguy in the wild west of the state of Sao Paulo. She studied in the government and church schools of Brazil. Later on she studied at Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville. While there she met Will Rogers, a young missionary who was soon to leave for his new work in Brazil. They fell in love and were soon married. Their work during all of these years has been in Southern Brazil. Both Will and Agnes are well known and much loved by Brazilian people. Today they have five boys: Billie, Paul, Cyrus, Samuel and John Albert. For these many years, Dona Nena, a Brazilian lady, has lived with Will and Agnes. She is a real part of the Rogers family and a second mother to their five boys. Their home would not be complete without her. Agnes is at home in any kind of work. She is a wife, a mother and a teacher. She conducts the services of the church, speaks on radio programs and conducts funerals when it is necessary and with all this, keeps a full house. outsiders and visitors are always in their home.
CYRUS, JR. Cy, too, was born in Biriguy - just four years after Agnes. He studied in the government schools in Brazil. When still young - eight or nine years old - he began to take piano lessons. Music to him became a passion, which was a most fortunate thing for him and for us. Being busy with his piano practice, he never gave us concern about wanting to play in the streets as was so common with other boys in Brazil. He kept up his interest in music for many years and was studying ot the Eastman School of Music when he enlisted for service in the second World War. He became a radio operator in the Merchant Marine and served in transport service until the end of the war -more than three years. During his term of service in the Merchant Marine, he married Marshlea Cottingham of Madison, Fla. He and Marshlea had met during the time that they both were at Scarritt College. Marshlea has stood by Cy during all these years. After the war he decided that he would be a minister. This meant that he would have to go back and finish his college education. This he did at Wofford. From there he went on to Duke Divinity School and did his seminary work. While there he and Marshlea applied to the Board of Missions for work in Brazil. They were accepted and went to Brazil in 1952. In Sorocaba, their first appointment, they did a splendid work and built one of our beautiful churches in Brazil in 1952. In Sorooaba, Sao Jose do Rio Preto. There Cy is pastor of a large cir- cuit, including a church in Rio Preto. He is also district superintendent. Cy and Marshlea were licensed to preach at the same time many years ago in Tallahasses, Fla. They work together as a team. They have four children, Cyrus the third, Jimmie, Susanne and Johnny.
MARY ELLYN. Mary Ellyn did nearly all of her studying in Brazil. She is a graduate of one of the State Normal Schools of Sao Paulo and for a year taught in our girls' school in Porta Alegre, Brazil. She is gifted in music and loves children. She is now teaching at Bennett Collge-in Rio de Janeiro.


From my little study and very limited understanding of the Dawsey family, I would say that up to the 20th Century there were certain characteristics that could be noted. Since then the new blood that has entered into the main stream may have made some changes for the better. The older traits, however, will likely be coming out in future generations for long years to come. On the whole, I would say that these traits or tendencies of the family have made us a cordial, optimistic, easy-going, warm hearted, tinker-and-trader-minded people with a strong musical and religious vein. These qualities can make us either strong or weak. Being optimistic and easy-going may help us to live a longer number of years, but it certainly will not make a person's bank account any stronger. Being a tinker and trader may help us to launch many projects, but it will not help us to finish any one of them successfully. Having a strong musical and religious vein are gifts from God which we should appreciate, but these blessings have to be cultivated and rightly directed. Otherwise they can be turned into frivolity and fanaticism.

As we look back upon these 322 years, the time since perhaps the first Dawsey arrived in America, may we thank God for every noble deed that any one of the family has performed, asking God to forgive our weaknesses and always keep before us the sufferings of our forebearers who helped to make the road a little easier than the one in which they had to travel. And may we, of this generation, see to it that those who follow us may find in us an example of honesty, nobility and uprightness. By so doing we will make their pathway a little brighter and their load a little easier.

Cyrus B. Dawsey

The Independent Republic Quarterly
Vol.4 October 1970 No.4; Pgs 46-53

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