Catie WINGFIELD-DORSEYMystery of The Smyrna Church: Retracing Rev. DICKEY’S Historical Footprints

Challenge: Under what conditions was Catie given and/or sold to J.M. Dickey in 1859-60 & which CODY owner was involved in this transaction?
Ancestor(s): 4th Great Grandmother Catherine WINGFIELD DORSEY (b. abt 1850 – d. 1933)
Others: Slaveowners – Robert Donnelson CODY & Rev. James Madison DICKEY
Years: 1859-1865
Tribe(s): Georgia – Wilkes & Warren County
Summary: Mystery of The Smyrna Church: Retracing Rev. DICKEY’S Historical Footprints


  1. Did Minister Dickey purchase Catie or was she loaned by her CODY owner?
  2. Where did Catie go, once Reverend DICKEY left Wilkes in 1862 — still 3 years before Emancipation?
  3. Who Pastored Smyrna Church AFTER Rev. DICKEY? Could Catie have been given to another family in 1862/63?
  4. How did Minister DICKEY cross paths with Catie’s owner anyway? What was their connection?


Luckie Daniels – What Reference Materials Do I Need?

  • Estate Inventory for Robert Donelson CODY
  • Will of Robert D. CODY
  • Confirmation of HARDSHELL BAPTIST church attendance by Robert CODY
  • Insurance Policy if Catie was “loaned” to DICKEY
  • Smyrna Church Roster/Minutes
  • DICKEY bible & journal entries [in possession of DICKEY family]

Rev. James Madison DICKEY’S Footsteps:

  • 1850 – a 25 year old James Madison is found living at home with his Father, Mother & Siblings in WALKER County.
  • 1859 – James is living in RICHMOND County {Augusta} at the St. Johns Parsonage. In May, he marries Ann Elizabeth THOMAS EVANS.
  • 1860 – in June, Census records show James Madison living next door to Susan WINGFIELD (owner of my 4th Grandfather James WINGFIELD). He owns 2 slaves – Catie (age.11) & an older woman.
  • 1860/61 – James oversees the reconstruction of The Smyrna Church in Wilkes County.
  • 1862/63 – James is in OGLETHORPE County {Lexington}
  • 1878 – James Madison DICKEY dies in and/or near Augusta, GA.

Question: What else could help? What am I missing?