An important new work written for the Dollarhide Family Website
History of the Dollarhide Family in America
by William W. Dollarhide
Francis Dollahide, born about 1650-60 in County Dublin, Ireland was the progenitor of persons in America born with the surname Dollahide, Dollahite, or Dollarhide. The first known record of his appearance in America was a document detailing the land rights for a Capt. Nicholas Gassaway, who had transported eleven persons into the province of Maryland. The document was dated 30 June 1680. Capt. Gassaway was a militia captain, not a sea captain, and the circumstances of how Francis Dollahide happened to be transported to Maryland are not completely clear. However, substantial evidence reveals that Francis Dollahide was well educated and later became an important land owner, politician, and a prominent member of the local gentry. In several records of colonial Maryland, he was referred to as "Mr. Francis Dollahide" as early as 1695, and by 1715, he was called "Francis Dalahide, Gent". He served in the Lower House of Maryland as an elected representative for Baltimore County, from about 1705 to 1721. He also served as a county judge, coroner, land commissioner, election official, and as the High Sheriff of Baltimore County. From about 1695 to 1721, he owned over 800 acres of land, a portion of which was a named estate, "Francis Choice", which he had acquired in 1694. In the early records of Maryland, his name was spelled inconsistently as Dalahide, Dalahyde, Dolahide, Dolihide, or Dollahyde, but in one record, he signed his own name as "Francis Dollahide."
Francis Dollahide may well have been a wealthy man when he arrived in Maryland, but to save declaring his wealth, arranged to be transported (had his passage paid by someone else). This was common for a person with property going to North America from the British Isles who wanted to avoid paying heavy taxes on his property before leaving. Such a person would then pay off his debt to the person who had paid for his transportation upon arrival in the colonies. It is more likely, however, that Francis was a well-educated son of an Anglo-Irish landowner, but not the first born son, and after the death of his father, left penniless and without property. If so, he would have a served a period of servitude to pay off his debt to the person paying his passage. There is another possibility that Francis was pardoned by the King for a crime and transported to the colonies and if so, he would have been compelled to serve a period of fourteen years as an indentured servant. As it turns out, after the first document, dated 1680, the next appearance of his name in Maryland records occurred in 1694, exactly fourteen years later. In any case, the evidence suggests that Francis Dollahide was well prepared to start a new life in the British colonies, because by 1695 he had wealth, land, title, and all of the privileges of an English Gentleman.
Francis Dollahide lived in Maryland for forty years. Assuming he was of age when he arrived in 1680, say 20-30 years old, and about 60-70 years old when he died in about 1720, his date of birth was probably about 1650-1660.
Francis Dollahide: An English Gentleman from Ireland
Although Francis undoubtedly came from Ireland to Maryland, he was protestant Anglo-Irish, not Catholic-Irish, as evidenced by several factors: 1) He was probably a son of Andrew Dollehide, an English landlord living near Dublin, Ireland in about 1640; 2) he served in the Lower House of Maryland after 1688, the year when all Catholics were expelled from political service in Maryland; 3), he had a connection with the Anglican church in Maryland, since several of his daughters were christened and married in St. Johns Anglican church in Baltimore County, Maryland, and 4) As a Maryland legislator, Francis once sponsored a bill to restrict importation of "too many Irish Papists" into the province in one session.
The Anglo-Irish were English gentry who had been granted lands in Ireland by the Kings and Queens of England. They were all members of the Church of Ireland, a protestant Anglican church under the authority of the King of England and the Archbishop of the Church of England. The estates of the Anglo-Irish were kept intact by a system of inheritance called primogeniture, wherein the first born son inherited the complete estate upon the death of his father. Other sons in such a family were well educated, but received no land or property upon their fathers death. It is presumed that Francis Dollahide was a second son, and upon the death of his father was left with little except a good education. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that he would be induced to travel to the British Colonies to seek his fortune.
Origin of the Name
There is a strong suggestion that the name derives from de la Hyde, which is a surname found in early Irish and English records dating from about 1200 AD. In Old English, a Hyde was a cultivated parcel of land sufficient to support a large family. Therefore, the Latin "de la Hyde" would translate into "of the Hyde" or "of the Plowed Valley" or something of that sort. (It comes down to, "owner of good farm land"). With the Latin "de la" prefix, the name conforms to a Norman naming practice brought to England by William the Conqueror. Although this is tempting notion, the early records of England do not confirm or deny that the name comes from Norman members of William the Conquerors entourage. However, if the name has Norman origins, it may be related to French surnames that still exist today as de la Hoy or de la Hay.
For the time period prior to Francis' arrival in America, an extensive search of English and Irish records produced no other persons with the name for the period 1600 to 1680 except for one man named Andrew Dollehide appearing on a "Hearth Roll" in County Dublin, Ireland in 1644. Apparently the same man, an Andrew Delahide was shown in a County Dublin census taken in 1641-43 in which his household of some 34 servants were documented, most referred to as "papists", but Andrew, as the head of the household, was clearly a protestant and of an English family. The fact that his name could be spelled Dollehide in one record and Delahide in another has more to do with the ear of the person writing the name than the person saying the name aloud. English vowels spoken in various regions of the British Isles, even today, can be pronounced with an assortment of choices. (Professor enry iggins would no doubt agree). In the earliest records of Ireland, the name is usually spelled Delahide or de la Hyde. But today, the dominant spelling of the name found mostly in County Meath or County Dublin, Ireland is Delahoyde or Delahoide. The latter is also a fairly common name in County Cork today.
There are a few published references to the Delahide lineages of Ireland dating back to about 1200 AD, which include a number of knights, prominent churchmen, and members of the Anglo-Irish gentry. Included in these lineages are undocumented references to at least two men named Francis Delahide during the period 1650-1680, and one of them could be the same person who immigrated to Maryland. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, the Delahide estates in Ireland were defined and the family coat of arms was recognized, by evidence of published Irish pedigrees and English court records.
In Irish records from 1630-1650, probate and other records from County Dublin show evidence that both Andrew and Francis Dollahide lived there, but there is no direct tie to Andrew as his father, only the fact that the two lived in the same place at the same time. However, with virtually no other references in Ireland or anywhere else for the name Dollahide (or any other variant spelling), to find these two men in the same county of Ireland at the same time would seem to indicate a close relationship. Another factor is that Andrew Dollehide (in one spelling) and Andrew Delahide (in another spelling) seem to be the same person living in County Dublin in the early 1640's. Moreover, the spelling "Dollehide" has an intriguing correlation to the spelling "Dollahide" found most often in the earliest Maryland records. There are no other records in Ireland or England with such a close correlation in the spelling of the name. The Delahide name can be found in Kent County, England as early as 1150 A.D. It was often interchangeable with de la Hyde and Hyde. In any case, the work to document the Irish or English connection to America has not been completed and thus, this essay starts with Francis Dollahide as the immigrant progenitor.
Francis Dollarhide in Maryland, 1680-1720
His Transportation to Maryland
A person transported from the British Isles to Maryland in 1680 would be compelled to serve a period of service to the person who paid his passage. This system to bring people to the British colonies was used heavily in Maryland from about 1630 until well into the late 1700's. The inducement was land. A person who was transported to the colonies would received a number of acres of land, and the person who paid for the passage would also receive a number of acres. The person paying the passage and the servant signed a written contract, called an "indenture", and the transported person became an "indentured servant" who then worked to repay the cost of transportation. After the period of servitude, the person was free again, and subsequently granted a parcel of land by the colonial government. The indenture got its name from the way the contract was prepared. The parchment was torn in half, so that both parties received an exact copy. The contents of the contract was written twice, then the parchment was torn in an irregular jagged tear with teeth (or, in Latin, "dentils") so only the exact same halves could match later. An indenture was really a service contract between a master and a servant, usually for a period of five years. The indenture held by the master could be transferred to another party, and if so, the servant would be compelled to work off his time to a new master.
In the case of Francis Dollahide, his indenture was sold soon after his arrival in June 1680, and he was treated no differently than a slave. When Francis arrived in Annapolis, Maryland, the indenture was recorded at the Anne Arundel county courthouse, and is the only document to survive which gives his date of arrival. Recorded was a copy of his indenture, and its transfer from Gassaway to another party. The first master was the man who paid for his transportation to Maryland, Capt. Nicholas Gassaway. But Gassaway sold Dollahides service contract to a Maryland surveyor, Mr. George Yate. Both Gassaway and Yate were prominent in early Maryland, and both held political offices as legislators, judges, or surveyors in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Fourteen years after his arrival, Francis Dollahide, the former servant, was on an equal social status as both Gassaway and Yate, serving as a legislator, judge, and High Sheriff. By 1700, sons of both George Yate and Nicholas Gassaway can be found living close to Francis Dollahide in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Francis Dollahide's last name was never spelled with an 'r' in any of the documents extant from that period of colonial Maryland. The name 'Dollarhide' did not begin to appear consistently in any colonial records until after 1750, beginning with Dollahides who had left Maryland and settled in North Carolina. It is probable that the 'r' was added in spelling only, since North Carolinians still have a tendency to pronounce the word 'dollar' with little emphasis on the 'r' sound, e.g., 'doll-uh'.
The immigrant Francis Dollahide first married Providence Tolley of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, probably about 1695-1705. She probably died before 1705, since Francis and wife "Sarah" were mentioned in land records from about that time forward. Providence was a daughter of Thomas Tolley, and a tract of land which was sold by Francis some years later was called "Tolley's Point" (a name still used on maps of Chesapeake Bay to identify a point of land south of Annapolis). Sarah's maiden name is not known. It is also not clear which children fathered by Francis Dollahide were by his first wife and which were by his second wife. In the list of possible children that follows later, the children have been grouped together based on possible ages and known marriage dates but again, there is no hard evidence to be sure about this.
Francis became a land owner as early as 1699, when the proprietor Lord Baltimore granted him a 200 acre tract of land. He named the plantation, "Francis' Choice". This grant may have been the land he was entitled to receive for coming to Maryland as a transported servant. The 1680 document which shows Francis Dollahide as a group of eleven persons transported to the province of Maryland states that Gassaway "never made use of the Land Rights for said persons...", which seems to indicate that Francis did indeed receive rights to land as part of his transportation to Maryland. Soon after the 1699 land grant, Francis moved from Anne Arundel county to Baltimore county. Francis Choice was located on the south side of the Gunpowder River in Baltimore County, Maryland. The land first owned by Francis Dollahide is located today near the village of Chase, Maryland, about 12 miles northeast of downtown Baltimore. Planters on the Gunpowder River in the late 1600's had one cash crop tobacco, and tobacco was the primary medium of exchange for the purchase of goods and services in the community.
Named estates in colonial Maryland were the rule. All land grants in the first 100 years of the colony were done with a requirement that the land be given a name. The first owner named the land, and even if it were sold later, the name of the estate never changed. For this reason, the earliest land grants of Maryland are easier to trace than in other states. With an abundance of maps and documents describing the early named estates, one can determine the original owners of each named estate and any subsequent owners, often up to this very day.
Francis also acquired land through his marriage to Providence Tolley in Anne Arundel County. Evidence of that was the sale of Tolleys Point in 1708 by Francis to another party. Tolleys Point was first owned by Thomas Tolley, the father of Providence. If Thomas died and the land were inherited by his married daughter, title of the land would go to her husband, not her, since a married woman could not own land in her own name. From 1699 to 1720, Francis Dollahide bought and sold land several times, and at one time was the owner of over 800 acres under cultivation.
In a 1713 land record, Francis Dollahide mortgaged 200 acres of his land to obtain 18,000 pounds of tobacco from a man named William Bladen. The mortgage was recorded as a deed, in which the land would be legally transferred from Dollahide to Bladen unless repayment was made on a certain date. Essentially, Dollahide borrowed the tobacco from Bladen and put his land up as collateral. In detailing Dollahides land and property, the description included . . two Negro women, named Maria and Mary, and their increase. . . as part of the property. This document provides the only evidence that Francis Dollahide was a slave owner. It raises speculation about the women, and whether their increase was a legal clause to ensure that if they were to have future children that they would be included in the property described in the mortgage. It would seem that that would be the case, since only the two women were named. However, if their increase meant that they had children at the time of the land record, it certainly raises the question of who might have been responsible for fathering them.
Francis Dollahide was first involved in local politics by 1701 when he became a justice in Baltimore County, Maryland. Beginning in 1704, he served as the representative from Baltimore County to the Maryland House of Delegates, the Lower House of the colonial legislature. He resigned after the 1707 session to become the High Sheriff of Baltimore County, the chief executive officer for county government at that time. In addition, Francis served as "Justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery", and also as coroner, land commissioner, and again as a legislator until his death after the 1720 session of the Lower House. He was also a militia captain, serving the local militia of Baltimore County from about 1711. Since he served in a legislature that had purged Catholics from office after 1688, he had to be a protestant to serve. And indeed, marriages of his daughters were performed in the Anglican (St. John's) Church in Baltimore County.
Along with many references to "Capt. Fran. Dollahide" in the official minutes of the Proceedings of the Lower House, (Archives of Maryland) his death was noted as having taken place between sessions of the House of Delegates which ended October 20, 1720, and renewed again in July 1721. Court records are limited, and no will can be found for Francis, but probate administration papers mention "the sonne and heir of FFrancis Dollahide, Gent" as Francis Dollahide, Jr., who was appointed the administrator of the estate. After the death of Francis Dollahide, Sr., his widow, Sarah, married a neighbor, William Denton, 17 Feb 1725, at St. John's Parish Church in Baltimore County. (They had a daughter born the same month and year, by the name of Providence Denton). Later, Francis and Sarah's son, Thomas Dollahide, married his own step-sister, Jane Denton.
Francis Dollarhide of North Carolina
The next occurrence of the name Dollahide in records of colonial America appears in North Carolina in 1755, where a Francis Dolahide was listed as a land owner. The evidence is strong that this is the same Francis Dollahide shown as a young man named in a 1737 court record in Baltimore County, Maryland. Further evidence is shown in a 1760 land grant of the Granville District of North Carolina. In that land grant record, a Cornelius and Aquilla Dolahide were "sworn chain carriers" for a parcel of land being surveyed for a John Bradsher. (Spelled variously Bradshaw, Bradsher, or Bratcher, or Brashear). Bradshers newly surveyed land was located next to land owned by a Francis Dolahide in Orange County. A sworn chain carrier was selected as an assistant in the legal survey because of his knowledge of existing survey lines. He was usually a teenage son of an adjoining land owner.
The land grant record showing Francis Dolahide and a John Bradsher living next to each other in Orange County, NC is the circumstantial evidence that confirms that the two were the same persons living in Maryland earlier. They were half-brothers who shared the same mother, but not the same father. Therefore, the North Carolina John Bradsher was undoubtably the same person as the John Bradshaw, Jr. born in Baltimore Co., MD in about 1721, and who had testified in a court record in Prince Georges Co., MD in 1742, mentioned his mother by name as Mary Dollarhide. The two chain bearers, Cornelius and Aquilla Dollahide, were obviously sons of Francis Dollahide, III. These two sons were probably teenagers when the 1760 land grant survey was recorded. That fact places suggests that Cornelius and Aquilla Dollahide were both born in Maryland in the early 1740's, just before the family moved to North Carolina. But there were other sons and daughters of Francis Dollahide in Orange Co. NC born in the early 1750's.
In surviving hand written applications for pensions submitted by two men who served in the Revolutionary War, John Dollarhide, who applied in 1823 and again in 1846 said "I was born in 1750 in Caswell Co., NC; and Francis Dollarhide, who received his pension in 1833 said "I was born in 1751 in Caswell Co., NC. Since Caswell Co., NC was not created (from Orange Co.) until 1771, it means that both of these men remembered the place of their youth as Caswell County, which is where they lived as adults during the 1770's and 1780's. By virtue of his date of birth in 1751, the soldier Francis Dollarhide was undoubtable Francis Dollarhide, IV. He died in Hamilton County, Illinois in 1837 at the age of 87 years. The other soldier, John Dollarhide, died at the age of 102 years, and was buried near Lufkin in Angelina County, Texas. While the descendants of Francis IV are not easy to locate in records, many of the descendants of John Dollarhide can be identified for several generations, including the largest number of people with the name Dollarhide living today, mostly in the southern states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
A Francis Dollerhide also appeared on a tax list for Rowan County in 1759. (John Bradsher was there as well). And, another reference to a Dollarhide family in the area was the birth of Asahel Dollarhide in about 1757 in North Carolina, based on a written biography many years later. Other tax lists, land records, and various court documents from 1769 to 1779 show Francis Dollarhide as a land owner along Hyco Creek of Orange County, which is now in present-day Caswell County. During the Revolutionary War, a Cornelius Delarhoide was captured by the British army in 1778. (This report was copied from an original war document now kept in a London archives). The British army record stated that Cornelius had complained that he was not a soldier. . . was never under arms. . . and that he lived on Hyco Creek. The British were suspicious of his claim being a civilian, but paroled him after a few days only to capture him again a few weeks later.
Travel from Maryland to North Carolina
It appears that Francis Dollahide and John Bradsher took their families from Prince Georges County, Maryland to Orange County, North Carolina between 1746 and 1750. Travel in the interior of the American Colonies during this time was restricted to rivers and a few wagon roads. The Kings Highway from Boston to Charleston was a continuous wagon road, but was limited to the Atlantic coast. In addition, the Fall Line road of Virginia and the Carolinas was a north-south route but not very far inland. From Fredericksburg, Virginia to Augusta, Georgia, colonists could take the Upper Road by the mid 1750's, which crossed through North Carolina east of Raleigh on a north-south line. But anyone traveling by wagon about the time the Dollarhide and Bradsher families left Maryland would have gone first to Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Prince Georges County, Maryland.
It was not until 1746 that a wagon road was constructed, called the Pioneers Road, which allowed wagons to travel from Alexandria to Winchester, Virginia, crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains at Ashley Gap. At Winchester, the Pioneers Road connected to the Great Wagon Road of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The Great Wagon Road continued southwest to Big Lick (now Roanoke, Virginia) where two trails could take travelers (by horseback) into the southwestern end of Virginia or into the Granville District of North Carolina. The latter route is probably the one followed by the Dollarhide and Bradsher families.
The Dollarhides and Bradshers first settled in what was then Orange County, North Carolina, an area that was part of the old Granville District. The Granville District was opened for land grants and settlement by Lord Granville, the proprietary governor of the colony, after treaties with the Indians in 1745. The district was the area of North Carolina which today is the northern tier of counties, about one-third of the present-day state. The availability of the new lands in the Granville District drew a flood of Scotch-Irish settlers into that region, most of whom came by way of the Great Valley Road through Virginia, after landing at the port of Alexandria, and crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains via the Pioneers Road. The Scotch-Irish were immigrants from Northern Ireland, who had earlier been transplanted from the borderlands of southern Scotland and northern England. The Dollarhides and Bradshers were not really Scotch-Irish, since they had been in this country much earlier than the first Scotch-Irish, but with their Anglo-Irish background, they were akin to the same culture and history as the Scotch-Irish. When the Dollarhides moved into North Carolina, they were surrounded by Scotch-Irish families at every turn.
The Scotch-Irish who settled in North Carolina had similar ways of living, a carry-over from their days in Northern Ireland and earlier days on the borderlands of Scotland and England. They were fond of wilderness area, rather than settled towns. They called it "elbow room". One of the Scotch-Irish of North Carolina, Daniel Boone, was said to be very uncomfortable if he could see the smoke from his neighbors cabin that was just too much civilization to suit him.
Among the practices of the Scotch-Irish was a particular method of naming their children. A first-born Scotch-Irish son was usually named after his grandfather. The next son would be named after his father. The first and second daughters were named after their grandmother and mother in the same manner. Studies in these naming patterns show that over 65 per cent of the 18th Century Scotch-Irish families in America followed this naming method. Thus, for example, when Jesse Dollarhide of Wayne County, Indiana named his first son John in 1814, and his second son Jesse in 1816, he may have been following the same Scotch-Irish naming pattern. If so, Jesses father was a John Dollarhide. Using this same principle, looking at the names of Dollarhide children in early North Carolina between 1750 and 1760 may reveal who their father may have been. From the first Dollarhides in Maryland and North Carolina, there is a Francis and a Cornelius in every generation for over one hundred years.
The Dollarhides may have spent time in Virginia before going into North Carolina. However, the earliest known Virginia record for a person with the name Dollarhide was not until 1771. In the extreme southwestern tip of present-day Virginia, near the Cumberland Gap, a Samuel Dollarhide was mentioned as being a soldier in the local "Fincastle Militia". (Fincastle was a name given to the area which later became Kentucky). Other references to Dollarhides living in north-central North Carolina areas before the time of the Revolutionary War indicate the family was there by 1750, based on the statements of family members years later. After the Revolutionary War, western migrations began in great numbers, because the lands previously restricted to white settlement was opened. Dollarhide names appear in both Virginia and North Carolina records before and after the war. By 1800, Dollarhides had moved into Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
End of first installment.
The next installment of The History of the Dollarhide Family will attempt to identify all known persons in the third and fourth generations named Dollarhide/Dollahite born in North Carolina and their migrations into Southeastern Virginia, eastern Tennessee, southern Ohio, and southern Kentucky.
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