Across the South

From Old Virginia to Southern Illinois

Lawrence Dameron1, with his sons Bartholomew, George, and Thomas, settled in Northumberland Co., VA, some time before 1652.  There is little doubt that he belonged to the old Suffolk (England) family of Damerons, but the specific relationships have not yet been determined.

This and the following information has been taken from the "Genealogies of Virginia Families", Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1981 (Vol. 1).  A copy of the article was provided by Kathy Near of Simi Valley, CA.  Much of the information is also found verbatim in the Dameron/Damron Genealogy compiled by Helen Foster Snow and published in the 1950s.

(The first of the name associated with the American adventure was Captain John Dameron, who was commissioned Captain of the "Deuty" 23 DEC 1619, in the service of the Virginia Company in London.  He was also probably the same John Dameron, who accompanied Sir Ferdinand Gorges in his voyages to the new world.")

Lawrence and Dorothy Dameron brought over nine servants and received a land grant in Northumberland Co., VA, in 1652.  They may have been one of the Cavalier refugee families who came over at that time to the Northern Neck which was a refuge for the royalists after King Charles I was beheaded in 1649 and a Commonwealth was established under Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans.  Their friends and neighbors on nearby plantations were chiefly Cavalier refugees such as the Lees, ancestors of Robert E. Lee, the Balls, of the family of George Washington's mother, Mary Ball, and others.

Lawrence Dameron's name first appears in the county records 12 MAY 1652, in a patent for 342 acres located on Wicomico River, being for the transportation of seven servants into the colony.

It would seem that Mr. Dameron made his first trip to Virginia some time before 1652, selected a site for his home and undoubtedly arranged for building his dwelling house.

A second and later patent assigned to him was for five hundred acres on the south side of Great Wicomico River, part land and part marsh being a neck bounded easterly on the great Bay and westerly on the Creek.  The marsh land described in this deed of 1655 is still known as Dameron's Marsh.

Eventually, he owned about 2000 acres, mostly in the Wicomico parish. Here Lawrence Dameron settled with his wife Dorothy and their family. They developed a plantation and became active in early community life. Lawrence died in 1657, leaving an informative will.  This will was discovered relatively recently in a very old and badly damaged court record book at Heathsville, VA, with parts of the leaves crumbled into small bits.

This mutilated will shows the names of sons Bartholomew, George, and Thomas.  Other records prove that there was a son Lawrence and a daughter, Dorothy.

Lawrence Dameron's early death left his widow in a position of great responsibility.  She must have been a woman of strong and resolute character and her name deserves place among the able and courageous pioneers of colonial Virginia.  She held together and developed her increasingly valuable estate and wrote her own biography.

Dorothy probably died in late1691.  The land left to her by Lawrence was petitioned between Bartholomew and George on 16 MAR 1692.  Their mother, no doubt, had died relatively recently.

I obtained a copy of the Dameron/Damron Genealogy by Helen Foster Snow through the inter-library loan program from the Seattle Public Library. Obviously, different genealogists are working from the same written sources.  Snow's book is, by far, the most comprehensive -- and very out of print.  I feel very confident that the material that I have included here regarding Lawrence Damron's descendants as pertains to our family is as accurate as the sources allow.

George Dameron

George Dameron2 (Lawrence1) born 164_, married Elizabeth, widow of John Dennis, 1679 or 1680.   At the time of her marriage, Elizabeth had an infant daughter Sarah, described as "daughter and heir of John Dennis", who married Philip Tignor in 1699, as a later record shows.

The brothers Bartholomew and George Dameron were prominent in county and church affairs and in organizing and shaping the life of this early community.  The Dameron family through its long history, though seldom holding political office, always maintained its prominence and distinction in social, civic and church life in this historic center of old Virginia.

George Dameron died intestate early in 1698.  On 19 MAY of that year, Bartholomew was appointed administrator of the estate of his brother and, as no mention is made of his wife Elizabeth either at that time or later, her death doubtless occurred before that of her husband.

George inherited his father's plantation "Guarding Point" on the Chesapeake Bay in Northumberland Co., VA.   The direct male descendants of George Dameron remained in possession of the original land bequeathed to him by his father, Lawrence, until the death of Robert J. Dameron in 1849.  A court record shows that the "Manor House" of George Dameron was used by Gov. Berkeley at some time during his exile at the time of Bacon's Rebellion.

Thomas Dameron, a grandson of Lawrence, the immigrant, erected early in 1700 a beautiful brick residence near the original home site which is yet known in Northumberland County as the "Brick Walls."

George's children were Elizabeth, Col. Thomas, George and Lazarus.

Lazarus Dameron

Lazarus Dameron3 (George2, Lawrence1) of Albemarle Co., VA,  youngest son of George and Elizabeth Dameron, married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Richard Smith, mentioned in his will dated 20 NOV 1721. Lazarus died in 1749.

Lazarus was the first member of the family to leave Northumberland County.  On 18 OCT 1726, he was grantee for 838 acres of land in King George County.  This land after 1730 lay in Prince William County.

Lazarus's will dated 1749 (MDCCXLIX), indicates that he was then living in the Parish of Anns in the County of Albemarle.  He bequeathed to his son Moses Dameron, "all my houses and all my land."

Should Moses die without heirs lawfully begotten, the houses and land were to go to Lazarus's son John.

Should John die without heirs lawfully begotten, the houses and land were to go to Lazarus's daughter Judith.

Should Judith die without heirs lawfully begotten, the houses and land were to go to Lazarus's grandson Charles Thomas.

Some furniture, tools, animals, books, and a rifle went to Moses.

"My boy John Ward" was given to Moses "for the remaining part of his apprenticeship".  Should Moses die before the "Ward time" was up, son John got the apprentice.  (John also got "my second best bed" and "my Boy English until the expiration of his apprenticeship."

Judith received a bed, some furniture and a mare.

Daughter Hanorah received "my third best feather bed", some furniture and a mare.

Son George received one shilling sterling.

Daughter Winifred Thomas also received one shilling.  Son-in-law John Thomas and son John Dameron were appointed executors of estate

The original farm of Lazarus Damron was in Porter's Precinct, Albemarle Co., according to the Snow book.  It was near the land which Peter Jefferson, father of President Thomas Jefferson, bought of Noble Ladd on the James River Ė then called the Fluvanna, above where the Hardware River flows in it.

Lazarus was the first to sell his ancestral acres and pioneer into frontier regions, as his descendants continued to do until the frontier was pushed to the Pacific Ocean.  In 1725, he deeded his land and went to Prince William and King George counties and on to Albemarle Co., VA, where he died in 1749.  Albemarle was then a frontier and it became the cradle of Jeffersonian democracy, which was to become a fundamental American tradition after the Revolution.

Part of this revolution which centered in Albemarle and in Patrick Henry's region nearby was against the established Church, a movement led by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson of Albemarle.  The Damerons appear to have been active in this tradition for many of them became strong Baptists and Methodists, especially the families of the Revolutionary soldiers who pushed back the frontier.  This movement in the South was similar to the Puritan Revolution in England 1642-1650 which established a Commonwealth until 1660, but the Restoration brought back part of the old regime.  However, the Puritan churches still controlled New England, chiefly Congregational, but also Presbyterian.

In 1749 Lazarus Dameron (often spelled Damrel or Damerel) had a land grant on the north side of the upper James River.  In 1746, he and his sons John and George had surveys made at the same time.

George Dameron

George Dameron4 (Lazarus3, George2, Lawrence1) son of Lazarus and Elizabeth (Smith) Dameron was a father by 1746, so his year of birth is estimated as about 1720.  George is listed on a 1764 list of tithes in Buckingham Co., VA, but by 1773 his wife was apparently a widow.

There is some dispute about the wife's name, according to researcher Kathy Near.  Some people believe her maiden name was Ann Toney.  In the 1773/74 tithe list she is listed as Thena Damerson.  In some deeds for sale of land by George Dameron in Albemarle Co., his wife's name appears as Anne Thone and Ann Thany.

Again, according to the Snow book, George Dameron had a patent in Albemarle in 1748.  He had land on both sides of the James River and in 1755 had a patent for 400 acres on Hardware River and Briery Creek in Albemarle, next to Hugh Morris.

George and Ann Dameron were the parents of Michael, Daniel, George, William and Charles Damron.  We are descended from son George, born about 1754.

Revolutionary War Patriot

George Dameron

George Dameron5 (George4, Lazarus3, George2, Lawrence1) was probably born in that section of Albemarle Co., VA that later became Buckingham Co.  The DAR Patriot Index, Centennial Edition, Washington: 1990 offers "about 1760" as a birth date.

One researcher, Randall Campbell, lists a birth date of 21 FEB 1750 in Albemarle Co., VA for George.  He does not list a source, but 1750 is a better bet than 1760.

Another death date came by way of Kathy Near, Simi Valley, CA, who reported that a note inside the cover of an old book belonging to a descendant of George Damron and Susannah Thomas says that George died 27 MAY 1795 at the age of 41.  This would make an approximate birth date of 1754.  The 1754 date would be much more reasonable in that George's son Wilson was born approximately 1773.

Material in Snow book offers 20 MAY 1788 as a death date. There is an inventory of the estate of George Damron in the Green Co., KY, records, Order Book 2, dated 15 SEP 1801, making Kathy Near's 1795 date more probable.

This George Damron served with the famous Morgan's Riflemen in the Revolution.  He is shown on the payrolls from 1 JUL 1777 to 14 FEB 1778 when he was discharged by Capt. Benjamin Taliaferro (Helen Foster Snow book).

George Damron enlisted in March of 1777 (L. H. Sweeney's "Amherst Co., VA, in the Revolution, 1773-82"), in Captain Dooley's Company of Cavalry and went from Halifax, VA, to Lincoln Co., GA, in 1778.

Morgan's Riflemen wore buckskin shirts and were the picked sharpshooters of the Revolution and the British regarded their marksmanship with superstitious awe.  They carried a long knife and a tomahawk in their belts as well as the long hunting rifle in their hand. The 6th Foot went to Trenton, NJ, where they lost some prisoners 14 MAR 1777 and on 5 MAR, same year, were in Pennsylvania.  Morgan's Riflemen were at Valley Forge in 1777-78 (pp.4-14).

"A payroll of Capt. Benjamin Taliaferro's company of Detached Riflemen commanded by Col. Dan Morgan for the month of DEC 1777" in which all men got an extra month's pay allowed by the Honourable the Continental Congress.  George Damron, private, six and two-thirds dollars per month, whole pay in dollars."  (p.22)  George was discharged 14 FEB 1778.

It was Morgan's Riflemen who defeated Burgoyne in 1777.

The Damerons of the frontier have been famous since the Revolution for their hunting abilities and marksmanship.

George Damron's widow, Susannah, married John Peter Bondurant in 1797 in Lincoln Co., KY.  They moved to Adair Co., KY, which later became Green Co., to live on Casey's Creek.  The people who settled this community were practically all from Buckingham and Amherst counties, VA.

The Damron inventory (will book 1, Green Co., KY, p. 45, 13 AUG 1801) lists: four slaves, two horses, five cattle, 23 hogs; farming tools and a small amount of household furniture.  Value L308.10.6.

Mrs. Ruth Burnette writes in the Snow book, "The reason George Damron's inventory is in Green Co., is that his widow married in Lincoln and moved here with her husband soon after, they bringing George Damron's property with them.  You see, they moved to Green River which was in Green Co. but they were high up on the river and when Adair was cut off in 1801, they fell into that county.  They had not moved very far from Lincoln Co."

The children of George and Susannah, according to Burnette, were:

            Mickey, a daughter, who married Richard Gentry;

            Wilson, who married Sarah McClain (from whom we are descended);

            George W., who married Polly Mourning;

             John T., who married Sally Winneford;

            Robert T., who married Susannah Thomas, daughter of Hardin, and his first       cousin;

            Samuel, who married Nancy Wilkerson; and

            Joseph, who died early leaving three unnamed infant heirs.

At the time of Sarah McClain's marriage to "Willis" (Wilson) Damron, son of George Damron (deceased), Wilsonís guardian was listed as Robert Thomas -- probably a male relation of his mother Susannah.

Wilson Dameron

Wilson Dameron6 (George5, George4, Lazarus3, George2, Lawrence1) According to the History of Gallatin Co., IL, by Mrs. P.T. Chapman, p. 367:

Charles Damron, an old resident of this county, was born in Kentucky and his father was Wilson Damron, who was a native of Virginia.   Wilson was a scout with Daniel Boone.  He later removed to that section of the Northwest Territory that made Illinois.  He was in the employ of a fur company, and at one time made explorations in the Yellowstone River country.  He spent his last days near Springfield, MO.  The maiden name of his wife was McLane. (This material is also included in a History of Johnson Co., IL.)

Wilson Damron was a scout with Daniel Boone in Kentucky and may have made the trip to Yellowstone with him in 1814.  He may also have been one of the thirty men who blazed the Wilderness Trail.

There was a famous Revolutionary hero in Pennsylvania named Allen McLane, chief of "McLane's Raiders" which saved the soldiers at Valley Forge by supplying food for them.

According to descendant David Ward Anderson of Conroe, TX, Wilson married Sarah McClain in 1800 in Kentucky.  The name is spelled many ways in the records.

Kathy Near indicates that the marriage record for Wilson Damron found in Green Co., KY, refers to him as Willis Damron, son of George Damron (deceased.)  His guardian was Robert Thomas.  His bride was Sarah McClain, daughter of Charles McClain.  The couple were married on 14 MAR 1800 (or this date may be the date of the marriage bond.)

In any event, Wilson and Sarah's sons Samuel and Charles were born in Kentucky.  Wilson was a wanderer (scout, fur trader, and frontiersman.) He went down to Arkansas and "took up with a Cherokee woman" and raised a second family.  He eventually got a divorce from his first wife and married the second.  Wilson had a mill in northwest Arkansas and eventually died near Springfield, MO.

In the Franklin Co., IL, 1818 census, one researcher found Wilson Damron with seven in the house (Material in Snow book).

It is interesting to note that the membership chairperson for the Dameron-Damron Family Association is a woman named Mary Damron from Springfield, MO.  I would imagine she is part Cherokee.

Charles Campbell Whittenberry Damron

Charles Campbell Whittenberry Damron7 (Wilson6, George5, George4, Lazarus3, George2, Lawrence1), a resident of Johnson Co., IL, was born in Kentucky in January of 1801, his father being Wilson Damron.  Charles came to Illinois with his parents and while living in Saline County in 1818, he voted for the adopted of the first state constitution.  After his marriage to Mary Carson, he removed to Weakley Co., TN, where he resided until 1832, when he again came to Illinois and settled in Tunnel Hill Township, Johnson Co., where he lived until his death 21 NOV 1866. His wife Mary died 9 JUL 1878.  (Dates of deaths taken from headstones at the Graves Cemetery and Mary's Last Will and Testament.)

Marriage record for Charles Damron and Polly Carson 13 FEB 1823 is located at Shawneetown, Gallatin Co., IL.  (Polly is a common nickname for Mary.)

Mary D. Damron's will was probated in August of 1878, following her death 9 JUL 1878.  Much information regarding her $1,050.00 estate, children and grandchildren is contained therein.  Information regarding each child is contained under the notes for that child.

The Damrons come of the Daniel Boone/Kit Carson tradition of frontiersman and pioneers, we are told.  Damrons were among the first pioneers in Texas, Wyoming, Arizona, and the Imperial Valley in California in the 19th century.

Charles and Mary Damronís children were:

            John M.C., was a Williamson County schoolteacher and physician.  He married first Elizabeth Buckner in 1850 and second Adeline Standard in 1855.  He died in 1911. J.M.C. is listed as the eldest son of Charles and Mary (Carson) Damron in the History of Johnson County, IL.  He does not appear with the family in the 1850 census for Weakley Co., TN -- he has no doubt left home by this time.  J.M.C. is listed, however, along with his brothers J.W. and A.G., as executors of  their mother's will in 1878.

            Susan Jane, (from whom we are descended);

            Samuel W., is listed in the 1850 Weakley, TN, census as 17 years old and a farmer.  In the Johnson Co., IL, history, he is described as a farmer and a physician of Tunnel Hill Township.  He married Amanda Chapman and died as a young man. In his mother's will are mentioned "children of her deceased son Samuel W.":  James M. Damron and Samuel T. Damron.

            Charles Norval, "Norvle" Damron is listed with his family in the 1950 Weakley Co., TN census, as being 16 years old and a farmer. In the Johnson Co., IL, history, we learn that Charles Norval Damron, married Mary Harvick; became a teacher, lawyer, States Attorney, and judge.  He died in Berkeley, CA. Charles N. Damron is mentioned in his mother's 1878 will.

            Mary is listed in the 1850 Weakley Co., TN, census as being 14 years old. The Johnson Co., IL, history tells us she married Tamberlain Chapman. Mary is not   listed in her mother's 1878 will.  It is possible she died without issue prior to this date.

            Mexico (Hester A.M.). Mexico is listed in the 1850 Weakley Co., TN, census with her family. She is eleven years old.  She is also mentioned in the Johnson Co., TN, history as married to John Graves. Her mother's 1878 will mentions "children of deceased daughter Hester A.M.":  Charles W. Graves and Mary S.M. Graves. Her name must have been Hester A. Mexico Damron Graves.

            James W., James is listed as nine years old in the 1850 census for Weakley Co., TN. James W. is described in the Johnson Co., IL, history as a farmer of     Grantsburg township; married to Sidney Rose; elected assessor and treasurer for      the county, and later moving his family to Puxico, Missouri, about 1900. James W. Damron is listed in his mother's 1878 will.  He is one of the executors. In January 1911, Sidney A. Damron, age 68, a resident of Ironton, Iron County,     Missouri, applied for a widow's pension based on her husband's service in the   Union Army in the Civil War.  She stated that her husband, James W. Damron, had been enrolled on 2 May 1864, commissioned in Springfield, Illinois, on 23 June 1864 as a first lieutenant in Company A, 145 Regiment, of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until 23 Sept. 1864.  He died 29 December 1910 At the time of his death his pension was $30 per month.

            James and Sydney were the parents of Catherine, Hershel, Libby, Maude, Charles P., and Almus.

            Marila Drucilla Lucinda is listed in the Weakley Co., TN, census as six years old. She is listed as "Drucilla" in the Johnson Co., IL, history, where we learn that she was married to George Worley. Her mother's 1878 will refers to a "daughter of my deceased daughter Marila D.:  Alice Worley." Her name must have been Marila Drucilla Damron.  Either the census taker heard wrong when he recorded it as "Lucinda" or that was a name she chose to be called.

            Frank Albertine. Son Albertine is listed in the 1950 census as three years old. A son named Frank is listed in the Johnson Co., IL, history, between sister Drucilla and brother Almus.  Frank Damron, we learn, married Melissa Chapman. Neither a Frank nor an Albertine are mentioned in the mother's 1878 will and must have died without issue. Frank Albertine Damron, we believe is the correct name.

            Almus G. is listed in the 1850 Weakley Co., TN, census as one year old. He is listed in the Johnson Co., IL, and history as married to Edith Kuukendall. He became a teacher, lawyer, and States Attorney.  After his health failed, he and his family moved to San Bernardino, CA, where he died in 1884. Almus G. is also mentioned in his mother's 1878 will.  He is one of the executors.

Susan Jane Damron Anderson

Susan Jane Damron8 (Charles C. W.7, Wilson6, George5, George4, Lazarus3, George2, Lawrence1) was born in 1831 in Tennessee; married Henry Anderson 17 MAY 1855, at Vienna, Johnson Co., IL; and died at Vienna, 6 NOV 1869, at age 38.

Susan Jane tended to name her children after her own brothers and sisters, i.e. John Almos (her eldest brother was John M.C. Damron; she had another brother, Almus); Samuel Frank (she had a brother Samuel and a brother Frank); Mary Drucilla (she had a sister Mary and a sister Drucilla); Norvell C. (she had a brother Charles Norval). Her daughter Ida E. does not seem to be named after one of her mother's siblings.

She was listed in the Weakley Co., TN, federal census for 1850, age 20, living with her parents, C. Damron and Mary.

Jane Damron is listed as married to Henry Anderson, and as a daughter of Charles and Mary (Carson) Damron in the History of Johnson County (Illinois).

Mary D. Damron's will was probated in August of 1878, following her death 9 JUL 1878.  Listed in the will are the children of her deceased daughter, Susan J.: 

            John A. Anderson, (from whom we are descended);

            Samuel F. Anderson, (more information below);

            Mary D. Anderson, born about 1861, Johnson Co., IL;

            Norvell C. Anderson. Norval C. Anderson, 65, was listed as living with nephew Henry Lee Anderson and wife Belle in the 1930 Federal Census for Illinois, Massac County, Metropolis, East Third Avenue.

            Ida E. Anderson, born about 1865 at Johnson Co., IL.

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