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Chapter 23 Dixon Family Line (First of our Family in Texas)

 

 

 

Felix Benedict Dixon (1818 - 1896) is the earliest ancestor of mine with a presence in Texas. First and most importantly to me, he was a citizen of the Republic of Texas.

The data gathered for this Dixon research was intended as the initial step toward qualifying me to apply for membership in the revered genealogical society, the Sons of the Republic of Texas. Texas residents present before February19, 1846, the date Texas ceased being a Republic and became a State in the United States, represents the ancestry cutoff date necessary for that membership qualification. Felix even became an elected official in the Republic of Texas, having been elected San Augustine County Surveyor in 1844.

 

That was somewhat of an important political position to win, as that was in the days when land grants were being distributed, and surveyors work was required to define the borders of land grants. 

 

Born in Ohio in 1818, Felix B. Dixon migrated to Texas circa 1840. He was a pioneer in San Augustine County, Texas, living there over 50 years till his graduation to heaven at the advanced age of 78.

 

One element that is sought to have been enlightened in these stories is the Christian heritage that our family has enjoyed and pursued. I have been in four generations of Presbyterians through my Sharpe family, but Felix now skips that to a presence in my fifth generation.

 

Felix makes me a fifth-generation Texan, defined as having every generation since him to have been born in Texas. Were it not for the fact that my children were born in New Orleans, my grandchildren would be seventh generation Texans! But, alas, the claim cannot be made. The old saying is true. The important things are location, location and location. However, I do have one Texas-born niece who is a sixth-generation Texan, Nancy Lea Ehlers Reeves, who lives in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas. Her three children are the only seventh generation Texans in my lineage, and one of them has three children who are eighth generation Texans.  They are my great, great niece and nephews.   

On December 3, 2005, I was inducted into the membership of the Ephraim M. Daggett Chapter #36 (Fort Worth) of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.

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We have genealogical data from John Dixon down for eight generations.  John was my third great grandfather, born about 1800 in West Virginia, and was the husband of Sarah Benedict born about 1800, also in West Virginia.  We do not know their death dates, except to say they were after 1822, the birth year of the younger child of whom we know that they had, Felix Benedict Dixon.  Felix was reported in the San Augustine, Texas U.S. Census as having been born in Ohio in 1818.  That is not documentation, but hearsay he gave the Census taker in 1850.  That same Census report is our only knowledge of John and Sarah being born in West Virginia. 

However, we do have data on the ancestry of Sarah Benedict, going back to Thomas Benedict (November 9, 1694 – July 4, 1776).  He married Abigail Hoyt, estimated born about 1812.  They are my sixth great grandparents.  It is sad to see his death day to be the day American colonists announced the Declaration of Independence.  It is likely that Thomas did not know of that momentous occasion. 

Here is a descendants report on the Dixon family from John Dixon, father of Felix Benedict Dixon, down through eight generations.  It is 102 pages. 

 

Here is a descendants report of the Benedict family going down through the Dixons, Abneys, Chapmans and to Sharpes, covering ten generations. It is 100 pages.

 

My understanding is that Felix Dixon and his family were members of the Bethel Presbyterian Church.  Organized as the Bethel Presbyterian Church at Goodlaw School House by the Rev. Hugh Wilson on June 2, 1838 with the following charter members: James, Isabella, Joseph and Martha Sharp; H. G. Peggy, James and Elam Alexander; John, Synta and Amanda Polk; Robert and Margaret Tibbets; Elizabeth Erwing; Mary McEiver; Polly Nicholson, Elizabeth Dunham, Catherine Dart, Adeline Stodart; Ann McKnight; and Jack and Hanna Sharp (African American). It is claimed that this was the first main line Presbyterian Church established in Texas.   The Rev. Mr. Hugh Wilson was an ancestor of my friend, Hilda (Tinker) Rautenberg.  I knew she and her husband, William (Bill) at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Texas where I was on staff as Executive Administrator to the Senior Pastor 1982-2004.  Back in the 1940s, Hilda was part of the Moon Maids singing group on the popular radio music program, Vaughn Monroe. 

 

This is a distinguished family line with early roots in Texas.  It is a blessing to be a part of it.

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