Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameFranklin Randolph Williams 1489, 3C4R
Birth28 Nov 1858, Snow Camp, Alamance Co NC
Death16 Feb 1941, Snow Camp, Alamance Co NC Age: 82
FatherFranklin Hathcock (1840-)
MotherCleopatra Dixon (1840-1924)
Birth4 Jan 1857, Chatham Co NC
Death4 May 1936, Snow Camp, Alamance Co NC Age: 79
ChildrenAnnie Ellen (1884-1970)
 Asenath Evelina (1886-1973)
 Retta Cleo (1889-1952)
 Rosetta Gladys (1891-1972)
 Thomas Clinton (1893-1959)
 James Earl (1896-1994)
 Fraklin Blaine (1898-1993)
 Clara Eulalia (1900-)
Notes for Franklin Randolph Williams
The assignment of Franklin Hathcock as the father of Franklin Randolph Dixon is completely circumstantial. It is based on Y-chromosome DNA analysis of a descendant of Franklin Randolph Dixon and the following circumstances:

1. By family knowledge, Franklin Randolph Dixon was born out of wedlock in 1858. His descendants were never aware of the identity of his father.
2. The Stanford Hathcock family lived near the place where Cleopatra Dixon resided in 1850 (Upper Regiment, Chatham Co NC, total population 5,148).
3. The assumption that Cleopatra named her son after his father.

Following is correspondence with Ellen Hurst, a descendant of Franklin Randolph Dixon:

“My sister Clara called me about your email and since I had not received it, forwarded it to me today. Perhaps you have me listed as ewhursr, but that is incorrect.  My email is

“Earl Williams is our second cousin and Clara asked him to give his DNA because we have no brother and he is the grandson of our father's brother, so we have a direct line there.  Her reason for initiating the Y-DNA test was to help us clear up the mystery of who our great grandfather actually was.  Our paternal grandfather was born out of wedlock to our great grandmother Cleopatra Dixon (or Cleo Patria) in 1858 in what was then Chatham County, North Carolina.  The county lines were redrawn later and that area is now in Alamance County.  He was given the Williams name when she married William W. Williams a few years later, although he was not actually adopted.  Our father, Franklin Blaine Williams, born in Snow Camp, NC, 11 Sep 1898, did not tell us about this mystery until a few years before his death at 95.

“Apparently he had told our mother that his father was illegitimate before she married him, but otherwise this was a family secret.  It seems that Cleopatra told her granddaughters who their grandfather was, but they did not tell their children anything either, so no one that we have discovered in this generation knows his real name.  Our father had three speculative stories for us:  (1)  he was a black man working for her father on the farm  (2) he was an Indian (3) he was a white Quaker neighbor.  The last story was told to us by our first cousin Wendel McVey in Snow Camp around 1998.  He said that while he was at Granddaddy's house as a teenager, the widow of this Mr. Thompson, who had recently died, came to the house and told Granddaddy that a piece of property had been left to him and that he needed to go to the courthouse about that.  Apparently he did not do anything about this property, but the incident left Wendel with the impression that this Thompson was probably Granddaddy's father.  So the Y-DNA test was to narrow the possibilities.  And it certainly did that!

“Our grandfather did not go to school or church and was not taught to read and write.  This was very strange to learn since he had half-brothers and sisters who went to college.  Our father said he and his brothers had to fight at school over being called black, as the black man story had gone through the neighborhood.  Now we understand the secrecy and why he was treated in this way, even by his family.  I found it very hard to understand why Cleopatra did not teach him at home.

“In the pictures we have, Franklin Randolph does not look Negroid and his skin is not dark.  His sons had the high cheekbones associated with some Indians.  In fact, we have not seen any descendants who have black characteristics.  Perhaps our mystery great grandfather was mulatto with his ancestry already well diluted.  The Earl Williams who gave the DNA sample is fair skinned with reddish brown hair.”

This is my response:

I am not surprised that your trail ends with Cleopatra Dixon's affair in Chatham Co NC in the 1850s.  The Heathcock family was pretty entrenched there at that time and on the basis of Earl's Y-DNA profile, it is highly likely that Cleopatra's paramour was a Heathcock man.  My own GGGG grandfather Hosea Hathocck was listed in Chatham Co NC in the 1790 census.  There were quite a few Hathcocks in Chatham Co in the 1850 census.  The males who were born in 1840 or earlier (and would be candidates for Cleopatra's paramour) were named:

Pattrick (81 in 1858)
Hiram (53 in 1858)
Pleasant (45 in 1858)
Stanford (43 in 1858)
Green (36 in 1858)
William (35 n a858)
Marion (29 in 1858)
Willie (28 in 1858)
Willie (23 in 1858)
Wright (22 in 1858)
Carney (21 in 1858)
Lorenzo (19 in 1858)
Franklin (18 in 1858)

In that census, Cleopatra Dixon was 9 years old and lived with her father Simon Dixon Sr, apparently a widower.  Her siblings were Joshua (18), Lydia (12), Solomon (6), and Thomas (3).  Also living in the family was Margaret Williams, a 39-year old female.

The idea that Cleopatra's paramour may have been mulatto is plausible.  There were some Hathcocks in North Carolina who were self-declared African Americans (Holiday Hathcock, a Revolutionary War Veteran, for example).  In addition, we have recently found through the DNA project that our haplotype is in a group called E1b, which is belived to have originated in the Bantu migration to Western Africa and is the predominant haplotype of US African Americans who trace their lineage to slaves brought to this continent from Western Africa.

However, most of us in the Hathcoat/Heathcock surname group trace our lineage back to a man named Edward Hathcock, who lived in North Carolina in the early- to mid-1700s, and we believe that the surname was broutht to the US by a man named Thomas Hathcock, who came to Virginia as an indentured servant in 1634.  We are not sure how the merger of the characteristic English surname Heathcock with the African Y-DNA came about.

Now, back to your family.  I see that Cleopatra Dixon (age 18) and her son Franklin Dixon (age 2) were listed in Alamance Co NC in 1860 in the home of John Stafford and his family.  The name makes me suspect that her lover, and father of her child, was Franklin Hathcock, who like Cleopatra, was 18 at the time your great grandfather was born.  Franklin Hathcock in 1850 lived in Chatham Co NC.  His father was Stanford Hathcock and his mother was Sarrah Hathcock:

Stanford Hathcock  35
Sarrah Hathcock     30
Willie Hathcock       15
Wright Hathcock     14
Frances Hathcock   12
Franklin Hathcock   10
Ruffin Hathcock        5

Stanford Hathcock appears in some online family trees and is said to trace back as follows on the Hathcock line:

Stanford Hathcock, b 1815
Patrick Haithcock, 1777-1857
James Hathocck, 1743-1845
William Hathcock
Joseph Hathcock

I have not tried to validate this and am not very familiar with these particular Hathcock names.

Clayton Heathcock
Last Modified 20 Aug 2020Created 27 Dec 2020 using Reunion for Macintosh
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