I know that the 1850 census is confusing. These Dossetts are very big into nameing their children after parents and grandparents.The next thing you know you have cousins all named after parents and grandparents,all about the same age and of coarse all of the parents hail from the same area so that is fun researching records and putting them in the correct family.
Here are my theories on this record. Ila F. Dossett was my husbands GG-grandfather. Fact. Ila F. had 3 children.Henry Dossett, Laura D. Dossett (who I have pictures of and her family), and James Wiley Dossett, the G-grandad to my husband. Fact.Now for my theories. The 1840 census has William Dossett at having 2 daughters. I do believe that one is Drucilla (living with her uncle James Holland in 1850) and the other is Mary Ann (who is living with the Palmer family, also in Hardin Ill.) Now here is my big leap. I believe that William Ila Dossett is Williams son. The general thought is because he isn't on the 1840 census, he must not be James Hollands son. I disagree. William Ila was born in 1840. Williams wife, I believe, was pregnant at the time the census was taken. Why would James name two of his children Ila, after his dad? Since this was the first born son of Williams, I believe he named him after HIMSELF and used his dads name as a middle name. Then comes brother James with his son and names HIM after their father. It makes more sense.I have another theory of why James Hollands wife Nancy is so much older than he is. She could be the widow of William and James Holland married his sister-in-law. It was a strange, yet common practice in those days.She is the right age according to the 1840 census records.That would make William Ila and Ila F. half brothers! This is just a theory that I have been working on. The pieces fit. I think that I am right about the sons of William and James. The theory of Nancy and remarrying is purely a what if. I don't have documentation for my theories, yet some of the accepted versions don't have documentation either. I would love some input to bounce these ideas off of. Or, I would welcome documentation to blow me out of the water. At least then this riddle would be put to rest.
Another little tidbit to wonder about before I quit rambling.Mary Ann, Williams daughter, is living with the Palmer family. William Ila later marries a girl by the name Dosha Ann Palmer.