The Dorsey’s Of Norfolk & Annapolis

Edward Dorsey

Much of the information contained here was gleaned from a book on The Dorsey Family, originally published in 1947. Additional information came from a book on the Founders of Ann Arundel and Howard Counties, published in 1905.

My father’s family stretches back to many of the first settlers of America (a.k.a. “First Immigrants” or “Planters”). The roots of his family tree spread back to the early 1600’s in the Norfolk area of Virginia, Port Tobacco in Charles County Maryland, Middletown in Connecticut, and Annapolis in Maryland. Since there are so many roots reaching back to so many places, the number of ancestors who helped found this nation is incredibly large.  The links above list my posts on just three of these branches (Adam Thoroughgood, Gustavus Brown and William Cornell, respectively).

This post highlights a fourth branch back to an American First Immigrant – one Edward Dorsey. Edward was born in England and arrived in the Norfolk Virginia area of around 1637-1642. It is not clear if Edward Dorsey came to America as an indentured servant or not. The first record of him is found in Lower Norfolk County and refers to the sale of cattle in 1642. If he was an indentured servant and served out his 5 years of servitude, he may have began to build is estate in 1642 – thus bringing him to America 5 years earlier. Or Edward Dorsey could have immigrated as a free man of some wealth, enough to begin purchasing land and assets. In any event, there are quite a few records mentioning him as one of the inhabitants who established themselves somewhere between Sewell’s Point and Tanner’s Point.

The following image shows this region from a 1907 map:

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