There is little doubt that Patriot Captain John Dobson Sr. married Catherine Killian, daughter of Andreas Killian. Following Dobson's death at Ramseur's Mill on 20 June 1780 Catherine remarried to a widowed fence-neighbor, James Prichard. Andreas Killian's Will mentions Prichard twice; the name is spelled as 'Prithet' and 'Pritchet' in the Will executed in 1788. Two years later, the 1790 Census of James Prichard's household reflects entries matching the widow Catherine Killian Dobson's family as numbered by Dobson legend and exhibited in subsequent censuses.
Patriot Captain John Dobson Sr., son of Dr. Joseph Dobson, is believed to have been born about 1740 in London, England and married Catherine Killian, daughter of Andreas Killian in the Catawba region of North Carolina about 1760. Patriot John Dobson Sr. died in the Revolutionary War Battle of Ramseur’s Mill on 20 June 1780; he was buried on the field where he fell.
Dobson legend indicates Patriot Captain John Dobson Sr. and Catherine Killian had five children, Joseph III, Nancy, Mary Ann, Benjamin and John Dobson Jr. No records have been found to substantiate this list of children, but later census contains information on Joseph, Nancy and John Dobson Jr. One or more of their children may have been killed in a 1776 by Cherokee Indian Raid instigated by the British during the Revolutionary War.
The Dobson children were raised by their mother Catherine Killian Dobson and their step-father, James Prichard who lived next to Patriot John Dobson Sr.’s holdings. The 1790 Census of the James Prichard household identifies a number of males and females that correspond to the number of Dobson children.
Nancy married about 1787 to Wallace Alexander, brother of Lawson Alexander who served as governor of North Carolina from 1805-1807. Wallace Alexander, a lawyer, served as a state senator in the early 1800s. Both Nancy and Wallace Alexander are buried beside Nancy’s father Patriot Captain John Dobson Sr. at Ramseur’s Mill Battlefield. Their son, Lawson Henderson Alexander married and migrated to Arkansas about 1830.
Although there are two Joseph Dobsons in Burke Co., NC at the time of the nation’s first census in 1790, it seems probable that Joseph Dobson III is counted as one of these. By 1820 his household includes two young males and three young females in addition to the Dobson parents.
As for Benjamin and Mary Ann Dobson, we have only inference of their possible existence from the 1790 household census of James Prichard, who married the widow Catherine Killian Dobson. One or both of these Dobson children may have been slain in the Cherokee Indian raid in 1776.
John Dobson Jr. married Nancy Ann Parks, daughter of neighbor Benjamin Parks. John Dobson Jr. is the only child mentioned in estate proceedings following his father’s death at Ramseur’s Mill. He was therefore a minor in 1780 and his brothers Benjamin and Joseph may have reached their majority prior to that time. Neither of the two sisters are mentioned in court proceedings.
John Dobson Jr. had ten children, four sons and six daughters. He moved from Burke Co., NC to Haywood Co., NC about 1805. In 1820 he is noted in Macon Co., NC, which had been created from Haywood County. By the 1850 Census he was in Randolph Co., AL and he died there at age 84 in 1864. Nancy Ann Parks died there after 1870.
Some of John Dobson Jr.’s children moved west in the Great Expansion. Three sons, John III, Wallace W., and Benjamin P. Dobson moved to Randolph Co., AL with their father while Joseph W. Dobson stayed in Macon Co., NC. The daughters married and several moved much farther west, to Missouri and Texas. Nancy Talitha married Saul G. Smith and they moved to central Texas after 1850. Catherine Ann married the lawyer James Washington Guinn and she became a physician before they moved to east Texas in 1858. Elizabeth married Abel Birchfield Hyatt and died shortly after moving to Newton Co., Missouri. Mary Louisa married the Methodist minister Jacob Weaver Addington and they raised their family in Blount Co., AL.
To date, 1248 lineal descendants of Patriot Captain John Dobson Sr. and Catherine Killian have been identified. This number includes the spouses of those in the 398 marriages of the bloodline.Eleven generations of Dobson descendants have been identified, comprised of 315 different surnames.