The name Wolford is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when the family lived in one of the settlements called Walford in Dorset, Herefordshire, or Shropshire, or in Walford Hall in Warwickshire. The Coat of Arms is silver with a red fess and at the top a red lion. The family motto is "Nosce teipsum," meaning "Know thyself."
   The surname wolford belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The name was first found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, from about the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Thomas and Jeremiah Walford who settled in Charles Town Massachusetts in 1630; Muse Walford settled in the Barbados with his wife, four children, and servants, in 1678.

John Wolford, Sr. (Image provided by "jrflaum," a descendant living in Germantown, Tennessee.)
   Our lineage to this family begins with JOHN WOLFORD, SR., born in 1787 in Rockingham County, Virginia, according to later census records. He worked as a miller, and married MARY CHARLES, who was born in North Carolina between 1791 and 1800.
   According to records kept by William R. Dotson, son of Anderson J. Dotson and Pricy J. Wolford, John Wolford came from Rockingham County, Virginia. Using that information, the following is cobbled together from census records, marriage records, family bibles, court records, and newspaper items:
   John and Mary were living in Russell County, Virginia, in 1820, but migrated to Peter Creek, Pike County, Kentucky before 1830, along with John Charles, Michael Charles, and David Charles, who were the brothers of Mary.
   John received a Kentucky Land Warrant of 50 acres on Feb. 9, 1826, on Peter Creek. The Charles brothers applied for and received similar grants at about the same time. John is shown on the 1835 Tax List in Pike county with 50 acres, but later applied for and received additional land.
   The Wolford and Charles families owned considerable acreage in the area of Peter Creek—the area that later became Phelps. John Wolford, John Charles, and Michael Charles lived the rest of their lives on Peter Creek, but David Charles eventually returned to the Hurley, Virginia, area.
   Census records place the date of birth for John Wolford, Sr. at about 1787. Mary Polly Charles was born . The 1830 census of Pike County show John Wolford, Sr. as having four sons and two daughters. Their children were:


  • GEORGE WOLFORD b: 1815 in Russell County, Virginia. He married Abigail Coleman on 7 Jul 1837 in Pike County, Kentucky. Children: John II b: 1848; Daniel b: 1838; George, Jr. b: 1839; Mary b: 1844; Ellen b: 1849. George died on 3 May 1900 in Pike Co., Kentucky. George served in the Union Army during the Civil War in 1863: Private, Union Army, 39th Regiment, Co. D.
  • ARMINDA WOLFORD b: WFT Est. 1809-1836 in Virginia. Marriage Jackson Bailey.
  • POLLY WOLFORD b: in Virginia. Marriage Joe Justice.
  • JOHN "JACK" WOLFORD, JR. b: BEF. 1817. Marriage Keziah Davis on 16 Mar 1837 in Phelps, Kentucky. Children: John III b: 1830; Matilda b: 1841; James b: 1843; Frederick b: 1845; Alfred b: 1848; Polly b: 1850; Sarah b: 1853; Arminda b: 1855; Pricy J. b: 1859. John died in 1864, at the battle of Saltville, in Smyth County, Virginia. Two of his sons died as a result of the Civil War. Jack and his son James died together at Saltville, and were buried in unmarked graves.
  • FREDERICK WOLFORD b: 1825 in Pike Co., Kentucky. Military service Bet. 1861 - 1865. Married Margaret Mounts on 23 Aug 1849. Children: Mary Elizabeth Mounts. Private, Union Army, 39th Regiment, Co. I.
  • DANIEL "BONE" WOLFORD b: Nov 1828 in Pike Co., Kentucky. Family listed below. Served in the Union Army during the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865. Died in Phelps, Pike, Kentucky, on 6 Sep 1906. Burial: E.S. Wolford Cemetery, Phelps, Kentucky.

  • Dotson
       John Wolford, Sr., died in 1850, in Peter Creek, Pike County, Kentucky, but he was survived by our next ancestor in this lineage, DANIEL "BONE" (or "BOONE") WOLFORD, who was born in Knox Creek, Pike County, Kentucky, in November of 1828.
       Daniel became a farmer and married SARAH "SALLY" DOTSON on the 4th of May, 1851, in Pike County, Kentucky, in a ceremony conducted by H.T. Davis, Justice of the Peace.
       In 1860, they lived in District 1 of Pike County, according to census records. But Civil War swept through the land. Each side was led by a Kentucky native: Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederacy and Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United States. Kentucky was considered a neutral state and didn't really take side in the early part of the war. At a convention located in Russellville on 11/20/1861, Confederate leaders from 64 Kentucky counties seceded from the Union. The state was admitted as the 13th into the Confederate States of America Dec. 10, 1861.
       Daniel and his brothers, however, were against secession. So in 1861, Daniel joined the Union cause. He served with brothers George and Frederick in the 39th Regiment of Kentucky. Daniel served as a private in Company H, then transferred to Company D on March 1, 1863 and mustered out on 15 Sep 1865 at Louisville. The 39th Kentucky was a very active unit, involved in innumerable small battles and skirmishes, mostly in Eastern Kentucky.

    39th Regiment Infantry

    Organized at Peach Orchard, Ky., November 18, 1862, and mustered in February 16, 1863. Attached to District of Eastern Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of Ohio, to August, 1863. District of Eastern Kentucky, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Kentucky, 5th Division, 23rd Army Corps, to July, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, District of Kentucky, to December, 1864. Louisa (Ky.) District and Dept. of Kentucky, to September, 1865.

    SERVICE.--Action near Piketon, Ky., November 5, 1862. Wireman's Shoals, Big Sandy River, December 4. Skirmishes in Floyd County December 4 and near Prestonburg December 4-5. Near Prestonburg December 31. Near Louisa, Ky., March 25-26, 1863. Piketon April 13 and 15. Beaver Creek, Floyd County, June 27. Mouth of Coal Run, Pike County, July 2. Expedition from Beaver Creek into Southwest Virginia July 3-11. Pond Creek July 6. Clark's Neck and Carter County August 27. Marrowbone Creek September 22. Terman's Ferry January 9, 1864. Laurel Creek, W. Va., February 12. Operations in Eastern Kentucky March 28-April 16. Forks of Beaver March 31. Brushy Creek April 7. Paintsville April 13. Half Mountain, Magoffin County, April 14. Saylersville April 16. Expedition from Louisa to Rockhouse Creek May 9-13 (Co. "B"). Pond Creek, Pike County, May 16. Pike County May 18. Operations against Morgan May 31-June 20. Mt. Sterling June 9. Cynthiana June 12. Burbridge's Expedition into Southwest Virginia September 20-October 17. Saltsville October 2. Stoneman's Expedition Into Southwest Virginia December 10-29. Bristol, Tenn., December 13. Arlington, Va., December 15. Near Marlon, Va., December 17-18. Saltsville, Va., December 20-21. Capture and destruction of salt works. Duty in the Sandy Valley and in Eastern Kentucky guarding and protecting the country until September, 1865. Mustered out September 15, 1865.

    Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 24 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 194 Enlisted men by disease. Total 234.

       After the war, Daniel and his family remained at Peters Creek, Pike, Kentucky, where they lived well into the 20th Century. But the economy of the state had collapsed. During the Civil War President Lincoln had declared freedom for slaves in the Southern states. Since Kentucky was a slave state, so while millions of lives were saved from the horrors of that system, the land was ruined, and businesses and factories were destroyed. Mining companies bought out many farms for a fraction of what they had been worth.
       Daniel and Sarah had the following children:


  • MARGARET WOLFORD was born in 1852 in Pike, Kentucky. She married Asbury Mounts (1845 - 1882) on 3 May 1870 in Pike, Kentucky. They had the following children: Jacob (1871 - 15 Feb 1936); Louisa J (1873- 1874); Kenus P (1875- 1876); Pricey (b. 1877); Harry (b. 1884); .
  • ELIJAH S. WOLFORD was born in Jan 1854 in Pike, Kentucky. He married Nancy Jane Coleman (1 Feb 1858 - 18 May 1937) on27 Dec 1877 in Pike County, Kentucky. They had the following children: Cylvania Dove (b. Oct 1878); Lydia (18 Oct 1880 - 4 Dec 1971); Weldon (3 Jan 1892 - 3 Apr 1973); Vicie (1895 - 28 Dec 1976); Nelson (18 Aug 1903 - 6 Nov 1984); and Pricey Smith Wolford (adopted in 1903). Elijah died on 19 Dec 1937 in Phelps, Pike, Kentucky. Elijah took over his father's land and went into a prolonged court battle with the other heirs, over the coal rights.
  • MARY POLLY WOLFORD was born in Nov 1856 in Pike County, Kentucky. She married John B. Dotson (b. Oct 1869) on 1 Dec 1887 in Pike Co. They had the following children: Anie Dotson b: Sep 1888; Calvin Dotson b: Oct 1891; Stella Dotson b: Jan 1894; Vada Dotson b: Jun 1895; and Grayson Dotson b: Jul 1898.
  • WILLIAM RANSOM WOLFORD was born in Oct 1857 in Pike County, Kentucky. He married Mary Magdaline Hurley (Jan 1859 - Mar 1927) on 13 May 1887 in Pike County, Kentucky, United States. They had the following children: Johnny (Sep 1883 - 29 May 1953); Mary Polly (b. Oct 1886); Sarah Sally (b. Mar 1888); Jessie (b. May 1893); Ritta (b. Apr 1895) and Scott Wolford (b. Jun 1897).
  • JOHN H. WOLFORD was born in Oct 1860 in Pike County, Kentucky, United States. He married Pricy J Whitt (Dec 1861 - 1953) on 5 Aug 1882 in Pike County, Kentucky. They had the following children: Nelson (b. Feb 1883); Rosa Belle (b. Jan 1886); Roxie A. (Oct 1888 - 17 Mar 1965); Alabama Alley (Nov 1892- 17 May 1982); Alafonia (b. Nov 1892); and George Harman Wolford (Oct 1894 - 8 Mar 1983).
  • CLARINDA WOLFORD was born around 1866 and married Ballard Mounts, according to court records. Clarinda died on 2 Jun 1951 in Pike County, Kentucky.
  • ARMINDA WOLFORD was born 7 May 1864 in Pike County, Kentucky. She married HARRISON DOTSON and died on 2 Jun 1951. Family listed below.
  • DANIEL WOLFORD was born on 20 Apr 1863 in Pike County, Kentucky. He married Nancy Hurley (b. 1867) on 22 Feb 1883 in Pike County. They had the following children: Willie (Feb 1884 - 12 Dec 1963); Fremont (b. Apr 1888); Truman (b. Apr 1888); Lena (b. Jun 1890); Isaac (b. Apr 1893); Isaiah (b. 1894); Sarah (b. Feb 1895); Polly Belle (b. 1896); Vashti (b. Jun 1898); Ollie (b. 1900); and John Wolford (b. 1902). Daniel died on 8 Apr 1932 in Pike County, Kentucky.
  • ARRENA WOLFORD was born in Apr 1869 in Pike County, Kentucky. She married a man named Vance.
  • MOSES WOLFORD was born in May 1872 in Pike County, Kentucky. He married Mauda Mounts in 1901. Moses died in Nov 1926 in Pike County, Kentucky, United States
  • SARAH WOLFORD was born in Feb 1874 in Pike County, Kentucky. She married Eldridge, according to court records. And possibly Charley Daniels (b. 1864) on 30 Apr 1890 in Pike, Kentucky, United States .
  • Book
    File Image
    Title: Southwestern Reporter
    Edition: Volume 169: Sep 02 - Nov 18, 1914
    Subject: DOTSON et al. v. PATTERSON, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 01 Oct 1914
    Publisher: West Publishing Co., St. Paul
    View .PDF File
       Daniel prospered and eventually accumulated over 530 acres of farmland. But by 1901, the farming profession had reached a nadir in the south, and Daniel sold the coal rights to 200 acres to D.H. Wolford and Ralph Steele for a measly $300. He then gave sold to his son William Eansom Wolford the rights to 70 acres. W.R. then sold some of the rights to Andrew W. Campbell. This apparently didn't sit well with Daniel, who in November of 1901 then re-sold the coal rights to all the land to Ohio Big and Sandy Land Association for an astonishing $2 per acre ($51 paid in cash, and the balance to be paid "on demand"). Steele then sued, and Daniel was ordered to pay back the $300 that Steele had paid him. Daniel didn't have the funds, so his son Elijah S. Wolford and his cousin, G.W. Dotson, stepped in, paying off Steele and taking over the land rights (except for the 70 acres owned by Campbell). After Boone died in 1907, the other children filed suit, claiming that he had been "overreached and defrauded in the sale of his property." They hired a lawyer, E.D. Stephenson, to sue Dotson and Elijah and the Mason Coal Company, which had been assigned the land by Ohio Big and Sandy. They reached the following agreement: "This agreement, made and entered into this 25th day of June, 1906, by and between E.S. Wolford and Geo. W. Dotson, parties of the first part, and J,H. Wolford, Moses Wolford, W.R. Wolford, Daniel Wolford, Polly Wolford, Minda Dotson, Clarinda Mounts, Kenas Mounts, Dorsey Mounts, Dolly McCoy, Sarah Eldridge, and Lizzie Wolford, parties of the second part, witnesseth: That whereas, there is a suit pending in the Pike circuit court between J.H. Wolford, etc., plaintiffs (all of whom are parties of the second part) and E.S. Wolford, etc., defendants, parties of the first part of his agreement, over the title to a tract of coal and mineral containing 450 acres, more or less, situated on the Boone Wolford branch of Peter creek, in Pike county, Ky., and bounded as follows: On the north by the lands of Harrison Charles, on the south by the lands of the majestic coal company, on the east by the lands of Dave Mounts, and on the wesrt by the lands of J.G. Wolford. The parties hereto agree to settle the aforesaid suit among themselves on the following terms: First: It is agreed by and entered between the parties hereto that said E.S. Wolford and Geo. W. Dotson, together with their wives, for and in consideration of a sum equal to 200 acres of the aforesaid tract of mineral, shall, whn the title to said tracts of minerals is cleared up, execute a deed for all their right, title, and interests in the aforesaid tract of mineral to any persons or corporation to whom said property may be sold by the parties hereto, provided said properties shall not be sold for less than $25.00 per acre. Second: It is further agreed by and between the parties hereto that upon the execution of the deed by the parties of the first part as provided hereinbove the parties of the second part bind themselves to pay unto the parties of the first part out of the proceeds of the sale of said property by them a sum equal to the value of 200 acres of said property at the price per acre realized out of the sale of the same. Third: It is further agreed by the parties hereto that upon the execution of this agreement an agreed order shall be entered in said cause dismissing same as settled between the parties hereto." After that, the land was divided up by comperying coal companies, and the children were for the most part, screwed over by their lawyers, receiving much less than the sale price to the coal companies. One of the daughters mentioned in the suit is daughter ARMINDA WOLFORD, who married farmer HARRISON DOTSON on August 1st, 1881, in Pike County.
       They had the following children:


  • WILLIE DOTSON was born on 18 May 1884 in Pike Co., Kentucky. He married NANCY McCOY (06 May 1887 - 31 Aug 1960). He died 29 Dec 1966 in Pike, KY.
  • GREEN D. DOTSON was born in 1890 in Pike County, Kentucky. He married Lula Norman (b. 1890), and they had a daughter, Zettie Dotson, in about 1912.
  • FRANCIS MORSE DOTSON was born on 06 Dec 1891. He married Mattie Dalby "Dollie" Preece (7 Jan 1900 - 12 Nov 1986).
  • MARY DOTSON was born in 1900. She married Lew Hubbard Preece (17 Dec 1898 - 31 Aug 1970), and they had a son, Lew Hubbard Preece (17 Dec 1898 - 31 Aug 1970). Mary died on 16 Dec 1964.
  • ANTHONY DOTSON on 20 Sep 1909. He married Mary Wolford (28 Jul 1915- 4 Sep 1987).

    JOHN WOLFORD, SR. (b. 1787) married MARY CHARLES (b, @ 1795) and begat...

    DANIEL "BONE" WOLFORD (1828 - 1906), who married SARAH "SALLY" DOTSON and begat...

    ARMINDA WOLFORD, who married HARRISON DOTSON (1862 - 1938) and begat...

    WILLIE DOTSON (b. 1884), who married NANCY McCOY (1887-1960) and begat...

    GREEN JR. DOTSON (1921-1957), who married JACQULENE BALDRIDGE (1926-2003) and begat...

    TERRY LEE DOTSON (b. 12 May 1950), who married CYNTHIA ANN PALMER (b. 03 Jan 1951) and begat...

    LORI ANN DOTSON (b. 07 Oct 1973), who married JEFFREY HAUSE (b. 07 Jun 1961).

    Top Illustration: the Union Army enters Danville, Kentucky, from Harper's Weekly.