Chapter 1 of The Saga of Charlie Doggett
MY ENGLISH ANCESTORS HELPED COLONIZE AMERICA
On 28 October 1636, Benjamin Doggett (WikiTree link), my paternal 6th Great Grandfather, was born to William Doggett III in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, who went on to become an Anglican Minister and pioneering missionary to the American Colonies where he was the first full-time pastor of St. Mary’s Chapel Church. St Mary’s Whitechapel is now an Episcopal church in Lancaster, Virginia, founded in 1669, and located three miles south of Lively, in Lancaster County, in the Northern Neck. The parish of St Mary’s Whitechapel is notable for being the birthplace of Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington. Benjamin was the pastor of the Ball family.
Benjamin is buried under the floor of this former Anglican church that I have visited and his descents lived in Virginia, Georgia and Alabama before George Washington Doggett, my paternal great grandfather, moved from Choctaw County, Alabama to Bradley County, Arkansas where my father was born and raised on a farm and where I too was born, but not raised.
More can be read about my paternal family tree on this site at Doggett-Parnell Family Lines or finding my family tree on Ancestry.com.
While in one of my Mother’s lines (her Father’s, Hardgrave line) on 3 October 1631 my maternal 9th Great-grandfather, Peter Hardgrave, was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire County, England, and like Benjamin Doggett, migrated to the American Colony of Virginia in the mid-1600’s, but he to York County, Virginia, where the Hardgrave’s stayed longer than the Doggett’s and then migrated through Tennessee where my 5th Great Grandfather, Francis Hardgrave, lived in Nashville like me for years and I had the honor of maintaining The Nashville Hardgrave Cemetery (for a while, once finally discovered) just over the county line in Williamson County. His descendants migrated to Johnson County, Arkansas, where they were pioneers along with Mother’s other lines of Hunt and Jackson with Mom ending up being born in Oklahoma during the short time her father worked there, but she grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas on the Oklahoma state line.
More can be read about my maternal family tree on this site at Hardgrave-Hunt Family Lines or finding my family tree on Ancestry
HOW TWO FAMILY LINES MERGED TO CREATE ME
One of Mom’s maternal uncles, Walter J. Hunt (her mother’s brother) ended up spending most of his medical career as the family doctor in the little southeast Arkansas farming town of Warren, Bradley County, the nearest town to the Wood Doggett family farm where my father grew up.
As a Junior in Fort Smith High School, Mom was mature enough to take on a job or other similar responsibilities, thus when her Mother’s brother, her “Uncle Doc,” offered her a summer job working in his Hunt Hospital in Warren, mother jumped at the opportunity and her mother allowed it as she had high respect for her medical doctor brother. None of them knew what it might lead to. 🙂
Since the Presbyterian Walter Hunt had moved to Warren, he and his wife Gay (who grew up Southern Baptist in Louisiana) joined the First Baptist Church of Warren, the largest and main church in that county seat town. They attended worship every Sunday morning and of course took Louise (my Mom) with them since she was living in their house with their younger adopted daughter Patsy Ruth.
Early that summer Mom asked a local friend her age who that good-looking boy on the back row of the church choir was. It was Lloyd Everett Doggett and soon they were introduced and dated that summer in Warren between Mom’s Junior & Senior years in high school. Dad had just graduated from Warren High School and was working in the only hotel in Warren, not sure of his position, probably Bellman and general flunky at that age. Later he got a job as clerk in a clothing store which suited him better and became his life’s work. They never told me what they did on their dates, but in 1938 no one had much money, so it was something simple! 🙂
During Mom’s senior year they corresponded regularly and Dad went to Fort Smith on the bus for a visit once. I don’t remember Mom ever telling me if their family visited Uncle Doc during her Senior year, but certainly possible, though difficult financially. Of course Uncle Doc invited his niece Louise back to work in his hospital the following summer after Mom graduated from high school and they were together all summer and by September decided to get married without all the expense and hullabaloo of a formal wedding, thus eloped by going to a county office in nearby Fordyce, AR and came back to Warren as “Mr. & Mrs. Doggett” where they lived in a small apartment(s) for around two years or so and Dad worked for a clothing store in Warren.
So nine and a half months after their marriage the two of them were on a traditional 4th of July Picnic in or near Warren, Bradley County, Arkansas when, as some say, “It happened!” Birth pangs which Mom blamed on having eaten watermelon! 🙂 Years later, for my 73rd birthday, I wrote this little poem about my birth as an activity for the amateur writer’s group I belonged to while at McKendree Village Retirement Center in a suburb of Nashville. You might also find Mom’s Watermelon & Firecracker Stories about my birth interesting. 🙂
THE “ARC OF MY SOUL” IN MY ANCESTRY
The following quote is from an article by Donald W. McCormick in the Quaker Friends Journal of April 18, 2022 and is my guide for adding this “Arc of the Soul” section at the end of each chapter of my life story.
“Divide your life into roughly ten periods. For each period, you write down a phrase or two that describes your image of God or the sacred, and your main sources of meaning. This helps you see how these evolved throughout your life. It can help you see where the Spirit has been leading you.”
Some will be just short statements and some more involved though my spiritual & religious activities will be woven throughout the main stories of my life since for a good portion of my life Spirituality or “following Jesus” was my goal in life and and in most of my work or jobs.
THE ARC OF MY SOUL – For this Ancestry Section (before born) I will say that both of my major family lines saw God & Soul in traditional ways that were somewhat similar but slightly different. Mother grew up in a Presbyterian Church which represented most of her extended family and Dad in a small, rural and more conservative Missionary Baptist Church. Since they met in a larger Southern Baptist Church they both changed churches to become Southern Baptist which is of course how I was raised. Mom’s “Soul” or spirituality was very quiet and personal with little ever shared with any of us. She was the shy, quiet person in our lives. While Dad was more outgoing and people-centered in his work and all other relationships, though I might call Dad’s “An Apologetic Soul” or spirituality which proclaimed God strongly in his singing of gospel music, but privately or in the family was always apologizing for not being a better Christian or husband or father to us. I remember him apologizing for not being a better father and then express his appreciation of me and for everything I did. To me he was always humble, friendly and kind and that is how I saw him relating to other people, though he had problems with alcohol and probably could be labeled an alcoholic or I would tend to say for most of his adult life more of at “border-line alcoholic.” (Just beer.)
Mom would say she was praying for me, though seldom participated in church which disappointed me, while Dad would sing in the choir (in the early years). The different spiritualities of my Mom & Dad created a strange set of roots for the beginning the “arc of my soul” which was later influenced more by the church and Baptist Student Union at the University of Oklahoma. 🙂
Related Ancestry Pages
- FAMILY HISTORY pages of this website
- Family History Photos: FATHER’S LINES – Doggett-Parnell
- Family History Photos: MOTHER’S LINES – Hardgrave-Hunt-Jackson-Ogden
- GENOGRAPHIC PROJECT DNA FAMILY REPORT DETAILS
- My family tree on Ancestry.com where I think they let you see the tree only, no details unless you are an Ancestry.com member.