Our Dorris Family
There have been many theories on the origin of the Dorris family. One such theory is that a group of settlers fled to Ireland from Greece in the province of Dorea on account of cruelties of their Turkish rulers. More than likely the Irish referred to these settlers as the Dories which later progressed to Doris or Dorris.
Another theory is that the original Dorris settler swam to the Irish shore from the wrecks of the Spanish Armada. Still another theory is that the Dorris patriarch came to County Tyrone or County Down Ireland in the 16th or 17th century and at that time was probably known as O'Daris or O'Dowrish. In the 18th and 19th century the name progressed to Dooras or Dowrish to Doris or Dorris.
Still another theory is that the original Dorris came from the border of County Fernaugh and County Monaghan and was originally known as O'Dubhruis. From there his descendants spread southward to County Langford and County Roscommon and some northward to County Tyrone to a little town based in the vicinity of Raugh and Neagh by the 16 and 1700's.
Our family has only been able to be traced back to William Dorris. He was born in Northern Ireland between 1710-1715. He is believed to have been from an area in Northern Ireland which was historically linked to the linen trade. William migrated to the American Colonies sometime in the 1750's, probably as an indentured servant. He first settled in Middlesex New Jersey where he made a pledge to the Cranberry Presbyterian Church of eight shillings eight pence to help purchase a parsonage in February 1758. By 1770 he was living in Fairfax County Virginia and moved to Louden County Virginia by 1772. William was back in New Jersey in 1774 where he remained until 1785 when he moved to Orange County North Carolina.
It is believed that William may have married twice. His first wife may have been Nancy Irwin and his second wife may have been a Mary Williams. We do know that when William died in 1795 in North Carolina his wifes name was Mary. William may have had as many as thirteen children.
One of the thirteen children is our ancestor, Benjamin William Dorris. There have not been very many records found on Benjamin, nor has there been very good evidence that Benjamin was the son of William. Circumstantial evidence points to the probable connection between William and Benjamin. Benjamin Dorris was in Cameron Parish in Louden County Virginia by 1772 living next to his brother Joseph and their parents. In 1785 Benjamin again followed his parents and brothers John and William, this time to North Carolina. His parents and brothers settled in Orange county, Benjamin settled in a neighboring county in either Caswell or Rockingham County.
Benjamin was probably born between 1750 and 1755 in Hunterdon Co., New Jersey. It is believed that he married Ann Cockrill about 1773 in Louden County Virginia. She
was born about 1750 in Virginia and was the daughter of Joseph Cockrill, a prominent land owner. Joseph was born about 1725 in Virginia and he married Jane Hall, daughter of Michael Hall and Elizabeth Kelley. Ann Cockrill Dorris died about January 1793. After her death it is believed that Benjamin may have married a woman by the name of Sally. Benjamin died shortly after this marriage.
It is believed that Benjamin and Ann had as many as four children. One of those children is believed to be our ancestor Thomas Dorris. Thomas served as ensign in the
Davidson County Militia in the war of 1812. Thomas owned 300 acres on Kasper Creek just off the Cumberland River that he bought from Will Trigg in 1813. Thomas was in Robertson County Tennessee in 1850 as a widower with his youngest son Elias still living at home. He listed his occupation as a chairmaker. Thomas moved to Caldwell County Texas after 1850.
Thomas was born about 1783 in New Jersey. It is believed that he married Clarinda Echols on August 4, 1808 in Sumner County Tennessee. Clarinda was believed to
have been born between 1788-1793 in Tennessee. She may have died shortly after the birth of her twelfth child in 1837. Other researchers believe that they may have had as many as eight-teen children, but I find this hard to believe. I have been able to locate twelve children that I believe to be their children. Thomas died in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas shortly after the 1870 census of Caldwell County was taken.
The known children of Thomas Dorris and Clarinda Eckols were:
1. Marley B. Dorris born May 24, 1809 Davidson County Tennessee. He died August 17, 1875 in Greenbriar, Robertson County Tennessee. He married Susan Brumbelow on September 15, 1841 in Robertson County Tennessee.
2. Anderson J. Dorris was born about 1811 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. He died November 19, 1888 in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas. He married Elizabeth Homes on December 6, 1830 in Davidson County Tennessee.
3. Marya Dorris was born about 1813 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. She married James T. Byrn on September 4, 1829 in Davidson County Tennessee.
4.Preston Dorris was born about 1814 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. He died January 1870 of Jaundice in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas. He married Cecilia.
5. Peninah Dorris was born about 1815 in Davidson County Tennessee. She married Ezekial Cole on November 29, 1854 in Davidson County Tennessee.
6.Charlotte Dorris was born about 1817 in Davidson County Tennessee. She died in Fieldstone, Waller County Texas. She was a school teacher. She married M. R. Garrett in Montgomery County Texas on June 28, 1854.
7. Eliza Dorris was born about 1820 in Davidson County Tennessee. She married George W. Lovell on May 26, 1841 in Robertson County Tennessee.
8.Ira Dorris was born about 1822 in Davidson County Tennessee. He died November 14, 1910 in Sumner County Tennessee. He married Martha C. Elam on December 2, 1845 in Davidson County Tennessee.
9. Mary Elizabeth Dorris was born December 1826 in Davidson County Tennessee. She died before 1905 in Fieldstone, Waller County Texas. She married Jesse Wiley Robertson in Robertson County Tennessee on October 3, 1844.
10. Stephen J. Dorris was born about 1827 in Davidson County Tennessee. He died 1888 in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas. He married Elizabeth Brumbelow in Robertson County Tennessee on August 5, 1847.
11. Ann Dorris was born about 1833 in Davidson County Tennessee. She died before 1860, probably in Montgomery County Texas. She married William P. Wilson on March 26, 1849 in Robertson County Tennessee. He died shortly after this marriage and Ann married Peter Pincham on August 18, 1851 in Montgomery County Texas.
12. Elias Dorris was born April 1, 1837 in Davidson County Tennessee. He died on November 5, 1896 in Austin, Travis County Texas. He married Eliza Ann Stagner on
September 10, 1856 and he married Mary Jane Hawkins on April 19, 1860 in Fayette County Texas.
Anderson Dorris and his family lived in Davidson County Tennessee until the 1840's when they migrated to Montgomery County Texas. In 1850 Anderson served on a committee to draft articles of faith for the church they attended in December 1850 at the Montgomery Baptist church.
In 1853 Anderson moved to Caldwell County Texas where he and his sons took work building the road leading from the public square in the city of Lockhart to the Austin County line. Anderson presented his bond to become County Coroner and was confirmed into office in August 1854. He served as bailiff in the county court and was paid seven dollars and fifty cents for his services.
the Texas Legislature during the reconstruction government for the 1870-1871 Term and was successful in passing into law the concealed weapons act making it illegal to carry handguns, bowie knives and daggers.
Anderson made his living as a mechanic and a carpenter and was considered to be the best chair maker in Texas from 1852 until his death. He and his sons made hide bottom chairs and sold them for a dollar and a half each. Later in life he served as the mail carrier in Lockhart.
Anderson was born about 1811 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. He married Elizabeth Homes on December 6, 1870 in Davidson County. She was the daughter of William Homes who immigrated to America as an indentured servant from Ireland in the later part of the 1700's. Elizabeth was born about 1812 in Davidson County Tennessee.
Anderson Dorris died about November 19, 1888 in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas, leaving his widow and grandchildren as his only survivors as all his children had died before he did. The Luling Signal wrote of his death in the November 29, 1888 issue and described him as erratic and sometimes fanatical in his prejudices, was deemed honest in all his dealings with his fellow man.
Anderson and Elizabeth had five children, one was a daughter and no information has been found on her. The 1840 census listed a daughter under the age of ten, but by 1850 this daughter had either married or had died, because there is no mention of her in the household in this census. Anderson and Elizabeth four sons were:
1. William Thomas Dorris was born about 1832 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. He died September 24, 1870 in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas. He married Edia Adeline Collins on February 21, 1855 in Bastrop County Texas.
2. Hiram Anderson Dorris was born about 1833 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. He died before 1868 in Mexico. He was married to Elizabeth E. Collins, sister to Edia Adeline Collins.
3. John Elias Dorris was born in 1836 in Davidson County Tennessee. he married Matilda Jane Brown on March 24, 1859 in Caldwell County Texas. Both John and Matilda must have died before 1870 as their son James Dorris is living with Anderson and Elizabeth Dorris by 1870.
4. Monroe Dorris was born about 1837 in Nashville, Davidson County Tennessee. I believe that he died before 1860 in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas.
William Thomas Dorris moved to Texas as a child with his parents in the 1840's. On December 17, 1853 William had moved to Lockhart where he began work to build a road from the town square to the Austin County line. He joined the army during the civil war enlisting on March 25, 1864 as a private in Company E 1st Texas Cavalry becoming a Corporal five months later. He was reduced to private on January 21, 1865 and discharged in Baton Rouge Louisiana where he served as General Hamilton's bodyguard. His military record described him as five feet ten inches tall with light colored hair and blue eyes.
William made his living as a carpenter, farmer and chair maker. On August 24, 1870 he was elected as County Treasurer. William was born in 1832 in Davidson County Tennessee. He married Edia Adeline Collins on February 21, 1855 in Bastrop County Texas. She was the daughter of Watson and Mary Collins born in Coffee County Tennessee in 1840. At eleven o'clock on Saturday night on September 24, 1870 William was shot to death by an unknown assailant. Mention of his death was written in the San Antonio Newspaper, The Daily Herald and in Austins Daily State
At the time of Williams death he owned one hundred acres on Jerrys Creek in Caldwell County valued at three hundred dollars and household and kitchen furniture valued at one hundred dollars. He also owned three mares, one colt, one stallion, one cow and a calf. He also owned a horse that was in Travis County, but someone was disputing ownership over this horse. It is not known what happened with Williams widow. In the 1880 census she was listed as a widow and still living in Caldwell County. Her whereabouts after 1880 are unknown. William and Edia had seven children.
1. Theodocia Dorris was born 1858 in Bastrop County Texas. She married D.G. Woodruff in Caldwell County Texas on July 2, 1873.
2. Texana Dorris was born about 1860 in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas. She married Thomas C. Burch on February 14, 1878 in Caldwell County Texas.
3. Theresa Dorris born 1863. Possibly died by 1880.
4. William T. Sherman Dorris born in Lockhart, Caldwell County Texas in 1866.
5. Adeline E. Dorris was born about 1867 in Caldwell County Texas.
6. Hiram Anderson Dorris was born January 26, 1868 in Lockhart Caldwell County Texas. He married Emma Wood on June 13, 1892 in Bastrop County Texas. He died October 16, 1932 in Waco, McLennan County Texas.
7. Ella Dorris was born 1870 or 1871. More than likely her father had already died by the time she was born.
The only child of William and Edia's that we have been able to trace past 1880 is our ancestor Hiram Anderson Dorris who moved with his family to McNeil in Travis County Texas by 1900. He listed his occupation as a Wood hauler in the 1900 census. By 1910 they were living in Waco in McLennan County Texas and remained there throughout the rest of their lives except for the short time they lived in Collin County Texas. They lived at 1009 Walnut Street in Waco until Hiram died in 1932 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. His wife Emaline Wood was born May 24, 1876 in Burleson County Texas. Her full name was Narcisus Emaline Wood, the daughter of Abraham Reed Wood and Martha Jane Isbell. After Hirams death Emma moved into her sons house at 901 East Clay Street until her death a year and a half later on April 24, 1934. She was buried next to her husband Hiram and Emma had five children.
1. Sherman Jasper Dorris was born June 9, 1893 in Bastrop County Texas. He died March 8, 1961 in Fort Worth Tarrant County Texas while visiting relatives. He lived in Waco and worked at Exporters and Traders Compress Company. his first wife was Maggie parks who he married on August 31, 1912 in McLennan County Texas. She died July 30, 1921 in Collin County Texas and Sherman married Ione.
2. Clarence Reed Dorris was our ancestor. See below
3. Edith Adeline Dorris was born October 20, 1896 in Bastrop or Travis County Texas. She died July 25, 1924 in Collin County Texas and was buried in Fitzhugh Cemetery She married Lee Roy Queen Sr. Edith and Lee Roy were the parents of Lee Roy Queen Jr. who married my grandmother Myrtle Isabell Halpain Dorris.
4. William Ervy Dorris was born December 27, 1898 in Travis County Texas. He died February 20, 1955 in Collin County Texas and was buried in Ridgeview Cemetery.
5. Olive Myrtle Dorris was born September 4, 1899 in McNeal, Travis County Texas. She died several months later.
Clarence Reed Dorris was the second child of Hiram Anderson Dorris and Narcissus Emma Wood born on October 28, 1894 in Bastrop County Texas. He died at his home at 1514 South Fourth Street in Waco, Texas at five o'clock on the morning of April 5, 1956 of cerebralvascular thrombosis due to hypertensive heart quiver. His funeral was held at nine thirty the next morning at the Connolly Chapel with Major William Stevenson officiating the service.
He was buried in Rosemound Cemetery. He worked as a short order cook.
Clarence married Cora Agnus Stibbens on August 4, 1915 in Dallas Texas. She was the daughter of George Washington Stibbens and Callie Ann Smith, born September 1, 1899 in Wylie, Collin County Texas. On June 24, 1950 Cora entered Providence Hospital in Waco and had an operation to have her gall stones removed. She contracted hepatitis while in the hospital and died on July 4, 1950 at 7:50 P.M.. Her funeral was held at Connolly's Chapel with Minister J. Dean Costly officiating. Burial was in Rosemound Cemetery. Clarence and Cora had nine children.
1. Loraine Dorris was born and died before 1920.
2. Essie Oma Dorris was born April 13, 1919 in Durant, Oklahoma. She died at a Waco Hospital a little after six on the night of April 5, 1972. Her funeral was held two days later at Connolly Chapel with Major William Stevenson and Major Kimber Cox officiating and was
buried in Rosemound Cemetery. She married William Niswanger on June 7, 1941, Allison N. Collier on June 9, 1947 in Waco and Ora Gordan Reynolds on May 22, 1950 in Waco. She lived at 915 North Seventeenth Street in Waco. She may have had four children.
3. Carl Bedford Dorris was born March 21, 1923 in Falls County Texas. He married My Grandmother Myrtle Isabell Halpain when she was 15 years old in 1940. They had one child and divorced. Carl later married Vivian Scott. Carl and Vivian have seven children. These seven children and Carl now live on the West Coast. My grandmother married Carls cousin in 1943
4. Arthur Dorris was born April 22, 1924 in McKinney, Collin County Texas. He died of Dysentery on May 23, 1924 in Waco, McLennan County Texas.
5. Emma Aletha Dorris was born October 7, 1925 in McKinney, Collin County Texas. She married Carter D. Waters on December 18, 1943 and a couple of years later she married William T. Varner. She lives in California. She has five children.
6. Gloria Fern Dorris was born March 7, 1928 in McKinney, Collin County Texas. She died of a heart attack on March 1, 1999 in Carlsbad, Eddy Co., New Mexico. She was married four times. Her first husband was Ben Russian, her second husband was Robert Warren her third husband was Bob Ray Bagley and her last husband was a Mr. Edwards.
7. Louise Dorris was born about 1929 and probably died about 1936. It seems that she had a rather "strange" attribute as she was able to walk up to animals and pet them, including wild animals. This information came from Ron Varner which was told to him by his mother.
8. Wanda LaRue Dorris was born July 21, 1930 in Dallas County Texas. She died at a Waco Hospital on Sunday Morning November 27, 1988. Her funeral services were held at the Bellmead Funeral Chapel with Reverend Paul Rawls officiating. Burial was in Rosemound Cemetery. She was married to her third husband, Adolph Kunze, at the time of her death. They lived in Bellmead Texas. She had nine children.
9. Falba Sue Cotton was born November 5, 1931 in Rose Hill Texas. She died December 25, 1997 in a Waco hospital. She was buried at Rosemound cemetery with the
Reverend William Thompson officiating. She was married to Cecil Bressler on April 1, 1948 in Waco and Cornelius Cotton on December 16, 1949. She had twelve children.
Written by Calvin Lee Dorris of Whitney, Texas.
This was graciously donated for publishing here by Calvin Dorris and he reserves all rights to this document.