Monday, March 3, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #2 James Dismukes

Dear Grandparents,
Continuing to catch up on the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks, we're focusing today on my grandchildrens' Propes line. James Dismukes is their 5th great grandfather. Born January 10, 1795 in Pike County, Georgia, he lived in Georgia his entire life. He is the son of Edmond and (Ina) Bethany Hannah Cox Dismukes. The Dismukes family traces it lineage back to William Dismukes who was probably born in England. His immigration date has not been found but he is in King and Queen County Virginia as early as 1704.
Pike County Georgia is highlighted in red. Map from

James' mother Bethany Cox Dismukes' father Cary Cox was wounded during the Revolutionary War according to a deposition filed by his son William in 1843. He is recognized as DAR Patriot A026978, Cary Cox was living in North Carolina during the war and has more than 50 descendants who have become members of the Daughters of the American Revolution based on their relationship to him.

After the war, the Cox family moved to the Edgefield District of South Carolina and are found there in the 1790 Census. They next moved west to Warren County, Georgia where Cary paid a poll tax in 1805. They continued to move west in 1807 settling in Stanfordville, in the southwest corner of Putnam County. Cary lived until March 24, 1814 so had plenty of time to speak with his children about his opposition to the British.

Remembering that the British had been successful in keeping Georgia under their control during the Revolution, leaders in the state appealed for help from the Federal Government who dispatched a naval expedition to Sunbury, Georgia. The expedition failed leaving the Georgia coast open to attack from the British navy. The states realized that its defense would have to rely on locally raised militias. James Dismukes followed his grandfather's example and enlisted in the Georgia Militia during the War of 1812. He joined Captain Huckaby's Company September 26, 1814.
James Dismukes' 'Declaration of Soldier for Pension'
signed by him October 3, 1859.
Image is from the National Archives 'War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant
Application files hosted at
James states "said company went from Clinton to Camp Hope near Fort Hawkins and was there put into Col. Z Wimberly's Regiment which formed General David Blackshears' Brigade. We went from Camp Hope to Hartford where we crossed the Okemalgee River, thence to Flint River where we build a fort, the command then started to follow Genl McIntosh at Mobile, but was stoped [sic] 7 went to Darian Georgia."

British and American representatives meeting at Ghent, Belgium signed a preliminary treaty that would end the war December 24, 1814. Word of the settlement was slow in coming to the United States. In fact, the famous Battle of New Orleans took place January 8, 1815. James was finally discharged March 2nd.

Returning home to Putnam County, James married Nancy Wilson November 16, 1816. They are the parents of 4 children; Bethany b. 1820, George Washington b. 1832, Sarah Caroline b. 1835 and William Thomas Jefferson b. 1838. Nancy died in 1858.

The 1850, 1860 and 1870 Federal censuses, list James as a farmer with property worth between $1200 and $1800. There is no 1850 Slave schedule for James, but there is an 1850 Agricultural Schedule in Pike County for a Dismukes (the first name is buried in the area where the pages are bound together). The valuation of the property is the same as that for James Dismukes on the 1850 population schedule. If these are the same men, James has 55 cultivated acres, 65 unimproved acres, 8 horses, 3 milch cows, 3 working oxen, 1 other cow, 35 swine for a total value of $311.

James swears in his application for a pension that he did not participate in the Civil War. He would have already been 65 at the out break. His son George Washington Dismukes did serve in an Alabama Cavalry unit and Thomas Cranmore Phillips, husband of his daughter Sarah Caroline, served in the 1st Texas Infantry for 6 months before being discharged for illness. Thomas and Sarah Phillips had emigrated to Rusk County, Texas before the war.

No tombstone for James has been located in Zebulon, Pike County, Georgia. It may be that he was buried in a family plot on the farm. Any information on the location of his grave would be welcome.

Cecily Cone Kelly

For family members:
My grandchildren's descent from James is as follows:
James and Nancy Wilson Dismukes' daughter Sarah Caroline married Thomas Cranmore Phillips;
Their daughter Sarah 'Sally' Francis Phillips married Richard "Bud" M. Washington Propes;
Their son David Earl Propes is my grandchildren's great great grandfather.

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