I really wish we could get to the bottom of the Abigail Dorsett question.
I do not believe that she is the wife of Joseph Sr. Referring to the lastest issue of FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE, August, 2006, page 66, WOMEN'S RIGHTS [middle of column three] you will find the statement, "Virginia and Maryland established dower rights as early as the 1670's; South Carolina didn't enact a statute regarding dowers until 1715."
This same article states that when a man purchased property, the land record rarely mentioned his wife. BUT WHEN A MAN SOLD LAND, you might find at least his wife's first name with the release of her dower rights.
I've not found any deed records with a dower release or a wife listed anywhere in South Carolina records.
A Lauren's County [SC] deed [Book "D", page 108] dated Jan. 20, 1792 between James Thompson and Thomas Shairley. This deed was witnessed by Joseph and Abigail Dorsett. I assume this was where most decided they were husband and wife but that is not necessarily so. Could she be a daughter-in-law; a neice; or not connection other than a neighbor of the same surname?????? Could her name have been Abigail Thompson prior to becoming a Dorsett? These are all reasonable questions which need to be investigated by all BEFORE they adopt something as fact without documented proof.
Please note that witnesses to deeds are usually someone related to the seller and not to the purchaser.
Brent Holcombe has a book titled: LAURENS COUNTY, SC MINUTES OF THE COUNTY COURT, 1786 - 1789, printed 2004
In the introduction he states that the first 54 pages of the county records are missing as well as pages 103-126 and unknown amount at the end of the volume.
I found two Dorsett records:
page 139. 11 March, court record page 298 "JOSEPH DORSETT vs Ambrose Ripley Attm't [attachment-taking into custody, property] Discontinued at Plft's cost."
page 165. 15 Dec 1789, Court record page 330 "The State vs ABBY DORSETT Recognizance [promise made to court office 'to do something or a sum of money due court]"
IF Abigail is the wife and mother of any of Joseph Sr.'s sons, why doesn't one of these sons name a daughter in honor of her????
I am STILL waiting for a Deaton researcher to give me one source, any document, which indicates that that their Abigail is in fact a Dorsett and/or is related to OR CONNECTED TO Joseph OTHER THAN THE ABOVE DEED.