William Dodson Petty was born on 5 November 1787 in Surry County, North Carolina to Zachariah and Nancy Anne (Dodson) Petty. He was the fourth child and the first son born to Zachariah and Nancy. Using age and gender matching on the 1790, 1800, and the 1810 census records, it appears that William was living with his parents in Surry through 1810.
William married Mary Coggeshall on 3 October 1812 in Surry County. Mary was the daughter of Peter and Pamela (Starbuck) Coggeshall who were a part of the Quaker community. She was born on 21 March 1792 in North Carolina. Mary was disowned by the Quakers at the New Garden Monthly Meeting on 28 November 1812 for marrying William who was not a Quaker.
William’s family was listed in the 1820 census in Captain Hudspeth’s District, Surry County, North Carolina. They had four children, three boys, and one girl. About 1826 the Pettys left North Carolina to head west to Indiana. They settled first in Randolph County, Indiana, where they were listed on the 1830 census. Then about 1837, they moved to Miami County, Indiana.
William and Mary are listed in the 1850 census on the same page as their sons, Caleb and Zachariah, so they were probably living near each other. By 1860, their son, Zachariah had moved to Iowa. William was listed as being 75 and Mary as 69 years old. They were living near their son, Aaron Newell Petty, and his family.
Mary died on 25 September 1869 in Miami County and she was buried in the Chili Community Cemetery in Chili, Miami County, Indiana.
William was living with his son, Aaron, in the 1870 census. He was listed as 84 years old and a retired farmer. Two years later William died on 3 February 1872 in Miami County. He was buried with Mary in the Chili Community Cemetery.
William and Mary had the following children:
- Daniel Petty was born 3 August 1813.
- Caleb Petty was born on 25 August 1814 in Surry County, North Carolina. He died 20 May 1900 in Indiana.
- Zachariah Petty was born 5 January 1816. He died 11 January 1867.
- William Anderson Petty was born on 4 August 1817 and died 1 Apr 1868.
- Mary Adeline Petty was born 22 June 1819 and died 9 June 1845.
- Nancy Caroline Petty was born 9 October 1821 and died 8 February 1889.
- Mela Melissa Petty was born 20 May 1823 and died 7 July 1847.
- Thomas Starbuck Petty was born 25 March 1825 in North Carolina. He died on 14 Mar 1886 in Indiana.
- Jonathan Elwood Petty was born 28 April 1827 in Indiana. He died 14 Mar 1846.
- Aaron Newell Petty was born on 3 March 1829 in Indiana. He died 25 Feb 1905.
- Rachel Petty was born on 16 March 1831 in Indiana and she died on 19 November 1852.
- Zeno Petty was born on 13 July 1833 in Indiana. He died 19 April 1889 in Miami County, Indiana.
- Eliza Jane Petty was born on 23 March 1837 and died on 16 August 1843.
History of Miami County, Indiana. Caleb Petty. (Chicago, Illinois: Brant & Fuller, 1887) P. 778-779.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1790; Location: Surry, North Carolina; p. 518.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1800; Location: Salisbury, Surry, North Carolina; p. 682.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1810; Location: Surry, North Carolina; p. 641.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1820; Location: Capt. Hudspeth’s District, Surry, North Carolina; p. 682.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1830; Location: West River, Randolph, Indiana; p. 18.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1850; Location: Erie, Miami, Indiana; p. 106B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1860; Location: Richland, Miami, Indiana; p. 143.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1870; Location: Richland, Miami, Indiana; p. 239A.
North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979, database with images. FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org). North Carolina, Office of Archives and History, Division of Archives and Records, Register of Deeds. FHL film 422,157, William Petty/Mary Cogshall marriage.
William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers, Inc., 1936), vol. 1, part 2, p. 567.
Mary Cogashall Petty, Memorial #48892171, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com.
William Dobson Petty, Memorial #48892172, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com.