My sincere apologies for not getting back to you much sooner.For some reason, I never saw your response which has so much great information in it.
For one thing, it tells me that there was a Laws family, apparently headed by a female (mother?) in 1820 that was living near the Dotsons.William M. Laws got married in 1823 and that's reflected in the 1830 census.Looks like there were 2 daughters.I only know of one -- Charlotte Laws b. c 1825.
The 1840 census is probably the most telling. By then, there were 3 sons and 2 daughters and yet, 10 years later, William M. Laws is a widower with 1 son (George Milton who was born March 9, 1837) and 1 daughter (Charlotte Laws who never married).Some time between 1840 and 1850, there were a large number of deaths in the family. I need to see whether there was a specific epidemic in the area.That might help to explain it.
Thank you so very much for your help. Now I have to start researching in the Lawrence Indiana area to see whether I can find a record of the death of William Laws wife and children.