Thursday, January 3, 2013


JOSIAH DALLAS DORT, nephew of 3rd great grandfather Titus Dort, Jr.
(click here) to see a musical slideshow
correction: the snazzy publicity photo on slideshow cover features a group in a new Dort model car, but Dallas is not behind the wheel as stated

Family history is often passed down through the generations in stories and family records, but some is unexpectedly  uncovered while researching other people.  For instance, I did not know of our connection to the 'rich and somewhat-famous' Dallas, until I expanded the family tree of our common ancestor, Titus Dort, Sr.  We know that Titus Jr. was was a successful brick manufacturer in early Dearborn until 1851 (and brother Josiah -Dallas' dad- worked there with him before moving to the Flint area). Titus Jr. was also an impressive political figure in the early days of Michigan's statehood.  But his nephew Josiah Dallas,
Dallas Dort
known as Dallas, also earned his own recognition in the buggy/automobile industry.

Going back a generation to Titus Dort, Sr., father of Titus (our ancestor) and Josiah (Dallas's father), we find that the family name had been Dart or Darte prior to this time.  Nobody seems to know why the spelling was changed sometime between 1790 and 1800, but it would remain Dort in our family from that time on. 

One story Mom retells is about how her great-grandfather Andrew Jackson Dort (Dallas' cousin) discouraged neighbor Henry Ford from wooing one of  his daughters; allegedly chasing the would-be suitor off his front porch with a shotgun.   (Ford would later buy the Dort farm, acreage that became part of  Ford's Greenfield Village.) Mom also fondly remembers an old fashioned, horse-drawn carriage ride with her Uncle Billy (Great Grandma Mae's brother).  Who knows, maybe it was a Durant-Dort carriage! 

Statues of  Dallas Dort (r) and business partner William Durant; Carriage Town Historic Neighborhood, Flint

The family line looks like this:

Richard Darte (1609 - 1630) married Phillipa Spearke 
Born and died in Churston Ferrers, Devon, ENGLAND   
Richard Dart (1635 - 1724) the IMMIGRANT (circa 1652); married Bethia Calkins

Born in Churston Ferrers, Devon, ENGLAND; died in New London CONNECTICUT

Daniel Dart (1666 - 1738)  married Elizabeth Douglas
Born and died in Waterford,  New London, CONNECTICUT
Daniel Darte (1691 - 1771) married Jemima Shayler (daughter of Haddam, CT founder)
Born in Waterford, New London, CONNECTICUT, died in Bolton, Tolland, CONNECTICUT
Jonathan Dart (1732 - 1799)  married Lucy Whitney
Born and died in Bolton, Tolland, CONNECTICUT
Timothy Dort/Dart (1756 - 1814) married Margaret Taylor
Born in Bolton, Tolland, CONNECTICUT; died in Gilsum, Cheshire, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Titus Dort (1777 - 1844)  married Charlotte Clarke
Born in Gilsum, NEW HAMPSHIRE; died in Jerome, Union, OHIO
Titus Dort (1806 - 1879)  married  Diademia Thomas
Born in Bridgeport, VERMONT; died in Dearborn, Wayne, MICHIGAN 
Andrew Jackson Dort (1831 - 1905)  married Lydia Secord Windsor
Born and died in Dearborn, MICHIGAN
Mae Louise Dort (1874 - 1964) married Daniel Grame Post
Born in Dearborn, MICHIGAN; died in Inkster, MICHIGAN 
Ona Dort Post (1897 - 1978) married Leon Vern Smith
Born in Ypsilanti, MICHIGAN; died in Marquette, MICHIGAN


  1. Hello! I discovered your blog post after researching the Durant-Dort Factory One reopening announced by GM today ( According to your family line on this post, we are cousins! Daniel Darte and Jemimah Shaylor are my 7th Great-Grandparents. I'm also the family historian/genealogist, and I have a wealth of information about the Dart/Darte/Dartt/Dort tree. Feel free to email me at All the best, Sam Iacullo, San Antonio, TX

  2. Thank you, Sam! Will look forward to learning more!