By Betsy Cross Thorpe

“Kindred sprits are not so scarce as I used to think.” Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucas G. Dawson Sr. Born 1843, Died 1916


It is written that “within scientific disciplines, discovery is the observation of new facts which explain knowledge gathered through previously acquired scientific evidence.” I don’t know if genealogy is considered one of the scientific disciplines, but I do know that myself and many other genealogists employ the use of the scientific method to trace our family roots.

 Question, Research, Hypothesize, Test, Analyze, Conclude. Those are steps we take to find our ancestors and populate our family tree.

 The acquisition of the new set of facts that led to my newest genealogical favorite discovery arrived on August 9, 2018, in a private message sent to the Ancestry.com account I share with my Aunt Gerry Roe.

  The message read in part; Ms. Thorpe, several of the DNA matches of the tests you administered are matches with me…………. I’m confident that we are all likely third or fourth cousins. I have been reviewing each tree for the common person. I believe it to be Lucas Dawson. He lived in Feliciana Louisiana, reasonably close to southern Mississippi….…… My great great grandmother is listed as Marian Cage, mulatto, age 22 in the 1870 census. She had twins with the last name of Dawson, one of whom was my great grandfather. I believe Luke to have been their father……….

My first scan of that message was immediately followed by a more thoughtful read and I knew immediately that my newly discovered relative had done his research. Unexpectedly Lucas Dawson became a person of significance to me.  Moments prior he had just been a name I was vaguely familiar with, one of eight great great grandfathers, an unexplored branch on my family tree.

 But it became clear that I was about to discover his story.

My aunt and I joined forces with the writer of that message and together we soon discovered many meaningful facts about our mutual ancestor. 

Our “Granddaddy Lucas” was one of the more than three hundred thousand young southern soldier boys who enlisted in the Confederate States Army to fight in the American Civil War.  Captured in the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864, held at Camp Chase in Ohio, released from the Point Lookout prisoner of war camp in Maryland in February of 1865. He was one of the first of 24,000 southern prisoners set free at Aikin’s Landing Virginia. He was part of the largest prisoner exchange agreement of the war.

 After Lucas arrived back home to Louisiana, he fathered twins with Marion Cage shortly before he married my great great grandmother Ann Hazelton Booker.

Father to my great grandmother Ary Dawson Roe, grandfather to my grandfather Henry David Roe, great grandfather to my mother Nannie Elizabeth Roe Cross. His line continues down through the generations on both the Marian Cage and  the Ann  Booker branches of his family tree.

As interesting and as valuable as all that information is to me, I have to say that finding Lucas was not my most favorite discovery.

 Speaking for both my aunt and myself I must state that getting to know the person who led the way to uncovering the story of Lucas is our favorite genealogical discovery.  For when we got the chance to meet our “new” cousin in person, we discovered we shared a deep familial bond. But even more consequential than  our family connection We discovered something else. We discovered we shared characteristics both unique and precious.

 We discovered in him  a Kindred Spirit.

By Betsy Thorpe

For 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. From prompt for week of February 11-February 17 Favorite Discovery

#52Ancestors #52Ancestorsin52Weeks #52ancestorsFavoriteDiscovery