When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 30-The William J. Dority Challenge

Time to look at a challenging to research ancestor for Week 30 of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Edition.
William J. Dority, my maternal 3rd great grandfather has been one of my challenges for several years.
 Born in about 1820 , most likely in the Sumter District area of South Carolina, William's parentage is still unknown to me.
 Several researchers have parents recorded for him, but none have been able to prove with any type of document why they feel that they have found his parents. One researcher felt that a certain person was William's father simply because he lived next to him in the census.
  The Dority name has been found spelled many different ways. Dorrity, Darity, and Darrity to list a few, as well as the modern Daughrity. This has lead to challenges in researching the family.
William married Martha Mathis (1820-1905) in about 1836 and together they had at least 12 children. He served during the civil war with his sons in the 20th South Carolina Infantry.
The 1880 Sumter County census reports that William had consumption and by 1897 Martha is listed as receiving a Widow's Pension in a Sumter County newspaper.
While wife Martha (Mathis) Dority's grave can be found in the St. John's Methodist Cemetery in Springhill, Lee, South Carolina, If Williams is buried near her, his grave is unmarked. 

Martha (Mathis) Dority
St. John's Methodist Cemetery
Springhill, Lee, South Carolina

 Land, probate and church records have not produced information leading to his death date or the names of his parents. Researching his children has not helped either. Currently, I am working on the FAN principle. Researching his friends, associates, and neighbors to see if those that he knew from his community can lead me to the answers.
   William J. Dority remains a challenge.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,


  1. Have you checked the South Carolina pensions at the state archives in the legislative reports.
    Guerry f.

    1. Hi Guerry, I actually spent a whole day at the archives a couple of summers ago going through the pension files for several counties. Nothing for William. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Cheri, that sounds like a tough challenge. Good luck!

    1. Been looking for his parents for years! I will find them one day! Lol! Thanks for reading and commenting, Colleen.