David Christian Dose

Born March 4, 1844, Kielerkamp, Germany-Died November 7, 1925, Vicksburg, MS

Dose Family ( Version from Jesse Rodgers, grandson of Jacob Christian)
Back Row: Mary Sophie, Jacob Christian, Carrie Mae
Front Row: David Christian, Josephine Bellinger, Walter Samuel
Note that in the census below Chris Dose has a sister, Margretha Sophie Dose, who died between the 1855 and 1864 Census. She was under 10 years old. Chris names his first daughter Sophie. ca 1900

Five daughters link four families: Adeline, Josephine, Camelia, Sarah & Mary Ann Bellinger link Leist, Dose, Bliss and Haver families. There are pages on the site for each of these families (Bellinger & Haver are combined). Below is historical information on the Dose family followed by a photo album and family documents.



David Christian Dose

Some recent genealogical work in Germany commissioned by Mel, Floyd & Donald Oakes & Sheila Geesler Wood has revealed exciting new information about David Christian Dose and his roots. Uwe Jacobson of Kiel, Germany conducted the research based on information provided by Mel Oakes. Mel, Floyd and Donald approved a second search by Uwe to learn more about Chris Dose’s family. I have tried to summarize the information below.

Birth of David Christian Dose

Hans Christian Friedrich Dohse, (known to our family as David Christian Dose) entered this world on March 4, 1844, a Monday, in Kielerkamp, Germany. He was welcomed by his parents Claus Diedrich Dohse (Jan. 28, 1808-?) and Margretha Cathrina, nee Larsen (July 13, 1815-?) and a two year old sister, Anna Margaretha Dorothea Dohse (born April 5, 1842). Another sister Cathrina Margretha would join the family two years later on March 23. Kielerkamp is a farming community in Schleswig-Holstein. There were six farm cottages listed in the census. During the first 20 years of his life, Chris Dose would have been in the Duchy of Holstein which had an association with Denmark. In 1864, the Austrians had control, however Prussia took over the rule in 1866.

Baptism of Chris and Siblings

All three children were baptized in Bornhöed Parish (town of Bornhöed is about 6 or 7 miles south of Kielerkamp. Anna was baptized April 17, 1842 with Godparents:
1. Anna Margaretha Dohse at the Kloster1,
2. Claus Tietge at Löhndorf
3. Margaretha Rieken at Löhndorf.

1The notation “at the Kloster” refers to a nearby forest apartment. It is highly likely that little Anna’s namesake would have been her father’s sister, Anna Margaretha Dorothea Dose, the first Godparent. The other godparents are from the village of Löhndorf, less than two miles west of Kielerkamp.

Hans Christian Friedrich was baptized on March 24, less than three weeks following his birth. Bornhöved parish was again the site of the baptism. His Godparents were:
1. Hans Friedrich Larsen at Wankendorf
2. Hinrich Christian Lohndorf at Kielerkamp
3. Anna Maria Dor. Lütjohann at Kielerkamp.
Wankendorf is a few miles south of Kielerkamp. Hans Friedrich Larsen is likely little Hans’ mother’s brother, though we have no record confirming that assumption. Clearly his name comes from his 1st Godparent.

Chris’ sister, Cathrina Margretha, named for her mother, was baptized April 9 in Bornhöved. Godparents were:
1.Cathrina Maria Diedrichsen at Krogaspe,
2.Cathrina Margretha Stölting,
3. Hans Hinrich Eggers

Chris Dose’s Parents

Claus Diedrich Dohse, the father of the three children, was a farmworker in the Kielerkamp area. He held a variety of jobs. He was born in Köllingbeck, a few miles from Kielerkamp, in 1810. Margaretha Larsen, his wife was born in Wattenbeck, less than 10 miles west of Kielerkamp. Born 1816, Margaretha is six years younger than her husband.


The 1845 Census lists only 6 cottages in Kielerkamp. There was one cottage apparently left in 1950, a photograph was provided to Uwe Jacobson by its current inhabitants. The photo is at right.

Chris Dose’s Paternal Grandparents

Claus Diedrich Dohse, Chris’ father, was the son of Johan (1770-Mar 6, 1820) and Christina Elizabeth Behrens (1782-Jan 14, 1837) Dose. Claus was born in Köllingbeck. He is listed in the Parish Registry as “ a legitimate son of Johan Dohse and Anna Christina, nee Behrens.” His Godparents are listed as:

Clas Diedrich Dose’s Godparents:
1. Clas Diedrich Kummerfeld from Grünjäger
2. Clas Tietjen from Stolpe,
3. Anna Schnack from Stolpe

Chris Dose’s Uncle Marx

Claus had a brother Marx Friedrich (Feb. 1, 1812-Apr 20, 1841) and a sister Anna Dorothea (1818-). Claus’s father was previously married to Margreta Hamdorf, a widow at the time of that marriage. No children have been discovered as resulting from that union.

Uncle Marx’s birth is recorded in Bornhöved Parish Registry:

A legitimate son of Joh. Dose, farmworker from Köllingbeck
and his wife Christ., nee Behrens.
1. Marx Prien, daylaborer from Muxfelde,
2. Dethlef Marsen, daylaborer from Garbeck,
3. Ms. Cathr. Dose from Bornhöved

Uncle Marx’s death is likewise recorded:

Parish register Bornhöved entry death entry for Marx Friedrich Dose:

He was 29 years and 3 months old.
Born on February 1, 1812 in Köllingbeck. Died on April 20, 1841.
( His wife died on 25, March 1885 )

His now deceased parents were Johann Dohse from Köllingbeck, and Christina Elisabeth, nee Behrens, ( d. 1837 ).
He was married to Christine, nee Keesen, still alive. From this marriage three children:
1. Dorothea, * 29.9.1834,
2. Christian, * 14.6.1836,
3. Johann, * 23.8.1838

He also had 2 illegitimate children according to church records in Bornhöved as reported below:

Uncle Marx’s Wife Christine

“Marx’s wife and Chris Dose’s aunt, Christine Elisabeth Keesen ( also listed as Kåse in online family trees), was born as an illegitimate daughter of Anna Witten in Köllingbeck on 9 October 1809. ‘Her father was given as Christian Keese, a ‘musketeer.’
She was married to the worker Friedrich Dose, who died over 30 years before and left 2 illegitimate children and 3 children from this marriage:” (German family tree records suggest names for illegitimate children: Christina and Fritz.)

She died in poorhouse on March 25, 1885 in the village of Stolpe. At her death in 1885, her son Johann was also in the poorhouse with her. Records show her in the poorhouse as early as 1864, nine years after the death of her husband Marx. Son, Johann Friedrich, apparently never married and maybe possessed some handicap.

Chris Dose’s Aunt Anna

Finally Anna Dorothea Dose, Claus Diedrich Dose’s sister and Chris Dose’s aunt was unmarried in 1837. She was 19 when her mother died in 1885 and was working in Brügge, Germany about 10 miles from Kielerkamp area.

Chris Dose’s Paternal Great-Grandparents and Maternal Grandparents

Chris Dose’s paternal great-grandparents were Peter Dose, a tailor, and Catherine Molten. We have no dates on them. His maternal grand parents were Johann Nicolaus Larsen and Anna Cathrina Magdalena Matthiesen. Johann was a day laborer and they were living in Wattenbek in 1815.

Chris Dose’s 1845 Census Record

The relevant 1845 Census entry is included here. A translation of the entry adjacent to the second red X was provided by Uwe Jacobsen:

Census 1845, 1. February

Abt. 415, Film 5474 regional archive Schleswig

Depenau estate, village Stolpe, Kielerkamp

66. Kathengebäude ( cottage )

Name , Age, Marital Status, Birthplace, Occupation / Social Status

Claus Dohse, 35, married, Köllingbeck, day labourer
Margaretha Larsen?, 29, married, Wattenbeck, his wife
Anna Dohse, 3, unmarried, Klingenberg, their child
Hans Dohse, 1, unmarried, Kielerkamp, their child

Their third child is not born yet. The first red X notes the Lohndorf family who were godparents of Hans Christian.

Chris Dose Birth Record

Below is a copy of the Bornhoved Parish birth record for Hans Christian Friedrich Dohse.


Dose Family Schleswig-Holstein Census Records that show additional Siblings of Chris Dose

Original 1855 Census Document:

Schleswig-Holstein Germany 1855 Census
Blue Arrow points to Hans Christian Friedrich Dose, Age 11.


The recently discovered information in Germany seems to fit with David Christian Dose’s dates. The 1910 Census has him age 65 which implies a birth date of 1844-45. His tombstone says 1841 but could be incorrect. In the 1920 Census, his age is listed as 68, yielding 1852 birth year and that he was born in MS! Misreporting was quite common after WWI when anti-German feelings were high.

In the 1910 census he reports that he immigrated in the year 1852. There is no record in the NY or New Orleans files. He would have been 8 and traveling alone, highly unlikely. Probably an intentionally misleading entry.

Below is a record from the Registration office in Kiel, obtained by Uwe Jacobsen for Mel Oakes. It list information on Chris Dose’s sisters’ family.

Anna Dose Freerk (1842-1921)
Hans Christian Freerk, Husband, (b. Sept 23, 1836 in Barmissen, Pion, died Dec 12, 1922 in Kiel.
Son: Hans Christian Freerk, b. Dec 8, 1882 in Gaarden (today Kiel). Died April 6, 1925 in Kiel. On Mar 16, 1907 in Kiel, married Anna Bubert(b. Nov 14, 1884 in Bokenmühle, Pion).
Children of Hans and Anna:
Annemarie (b Mar 6, 1908 in Kiel)
Johanna Emma (b Nov 11, 1909 in Kiel)
Martha Dora (b Sept 26, 1913 in Kiel)
Kätha Karla (b June 2, 1921 in Kiel)

Chris Dose’s Arrives in America

Following the record of his birth in Kielerkamp, the next documented accounts of Chris Dose are in the entries below. In the first document, Bremer Ships Muster List, dated April 29, 1873 he is in a crews’ list for the German ship Amerika departing Bremen. His birthdate is 1844 and his home is Kielerkamp which is in the area of Kiel, Germany, where family members reported his origin. However he could have said Kielerkamp and been misquoted or he chose to mention a much larger city. His salary for the voyage is 40 marks and he is a coal tender on the combination steam and sailing ship. The family story is that he wished to avoid military service and stowed away on a ship and when discovered at sea asked and received a job as furnace stoker. This is consistent with documents below. He supposedly made 13 voyages in order to finance his move to United States. One story is that he had two children back in Germany, Fritz and Frederick. There seems to be no evidence that supports this.



The second document (Found by Frances Cronin, a great friend and relative on my mother’s side.) lists his desertion from the ship on May 19 in New York. Shown also is the original image with the blue arrow denoting Christian Dose. This would give him six years to find his way to Issaquena County, MS and marry my great grandmother, Josephine Bellinger Smith. As a deserter he would have been subject to imprisonment and deportation to Germany. It is likely that he decided to change his name from Hans Christian Friedrich Dohse to David Christian Dose. It may be significant that his daughter Sophie and son-in-law, Charlie Oakes named their second child Frederick (Friedrich in German). David was not a common name in Schleswig-Holstein during the 19th Century.




A feasible scenario would be: Chris worked as a sailor between NY and New Orleans and eventually worked on Mississippi River boats. He decides to leave near Vicksburg and marry Josephine Bellinger Smith in 1879 and in 1880 he buys some land near his sister-in-law’s home (Adeline Bellinger Leist) in Issaquena County. He apparently cleared the land and sold the wood to steamers on the Yazoo River. While I have no direct proof that this is indeed our David Christian Dose, the circumstantial evidence is consistent with family lore and very strong.

Steam Ship "America"

This is the ship that Chris Dose deserted in 1873 in New York City. The Norddeutscher Lloyd [North German Lloyd] ship, SS America, built by Caird & Co. of Greenock in 1862. She was an iron built vessel with a clipper stem, one funnel, three masts, single screw and a speed of 11 knots. Her dimensions were 2752 gross tons, length 318ft x beam 40ft. There was accommodation for 76-1st, 107-2nd and 480-3rd class passengers. She was launched in November 1862 and on 25/5/1863 she left Bremen on her maiden voyage to Southampton and New York. In 1871, her engines were compounded at Southampton and on 27/1/1894 she sailed from Bremen to NY and Baltimore on her last voyage for this company. Sold to an Italian company in 1894 she was renamed ""Orazio" and was scrapped at Spezia in 1895. [Posted to the Emigration-Ships Mailing List by Ted Finch - 14 August 1997]




(Use this map below to explore the area around Kieler Kamp, Schleswig-Holstein)


Dose Descendant Chart



Chris Dose Timeline



Chris Dose Land Purchase, July 13, 1880.

Lot 5, 6, and 7 are the Dose properties.




Charles F. and Sophie apparently leased some 16th section land and failed to pay taxes on it for five years. The land might have been the land later rented by Fred Oakes and his friends as the ssite of their deer camp. It was located at the southwest side of where the Little Sunflower River joined the Yazoo River. You can see this in the maps above. Look for the section marked 16.







Sam Leist house on banks of Yazoo River, photo taken from Indian Mound, maybe Mound A in map above. Few simple calculations: In map above distance appears to be about 400 meters. Assuming the tree is about 1/3 meter in diameter and around 10 meters away and the house has about same angular width as the tree then the house would be 30 times the linear width of the tree making it about 30 feet wide. If the house in the map is roughly to scale then it is about 10 meters or 30 ft.

Family Stories about Chris Dose

Chris Dose lived in a raised house on the shore of the Yazoo River. Though at times he hated the river, he could never live away from its banks. When he was hungry for fish,he only had to dangle a line from his rickety porch. If he craved stronger meat, he made a brief trip into the adjoining forest with his gun and his faithful hunting hound, and seldom returned empty handed. The Yazoo frequently flooded, but this year, 1897, Chris knew that the water was rising faster than usual. It might even surpass the great flood that had occurred a few years before, in 1882, which he remembered vividly. The trouble wasn't so much with water coming down the Yazoo itself. What caused the trouble was the Mississippi River. When it flooded, water came down in a torrent of foaming, mud-ugly, boiling waves, tearing into riverbank settlements and washing every variety of debris downstream. When all that water reached the mouth of the Yazoo, high waves came rolling upstream, like ocean breakers, until the Yazoo seemed to be flowing in reverse. This year the old man's shanty shivered and shook with the currents. He could see the remains of other houses floating along, and he had an idea. He thought, if I can weigh my house down, making it heavy enough, it'll stay put, and not be swept away with the flood. So he filled his attic and part of the lower floor with heavy, green wood. This satisfied him until one morning when he climbed the steep ladder he beheld, on a green log, the ugly face of a rattlesnake, its beady eyes daring him to come one step nearer! Chris Dose slammed the trap door shut and left the attic to the snake. But his house stayed anchored to the bank---for a time, at least.*

The old man had a special hatred for the huge stern-wheelers, the steamers that traveled up and down the river between Vicksburg and Yazoo City. As they sailed majestically past his cabin the angry man felt that their captains would deliberately speed up so that the wake created by their giant wheels nearly rocked his poor little house off its foundations. At such times Dose would lean out his window and yell, "Slow down,you_____!" But his bad language was always lost in the cloud of black smoke that blew back in his face from the tall smokestacks. One morning when he yelled and shook his fist at a boat, a man in white standing on the bridge pointed at the red-faced, furious Dose and said something to another officer. Both men laughed. "They laughed! They laughed at me!" Chris Dose sputtered. "I'll fix them!" and he watched for the return of that particular boat. He held a gun in his hand, and when the steamer was opposite his cabin, he aimed carefully and sent a bullet right through the pilot house! Fortunately, he did not hit anyone. But after that it seemed to him that the steamers slacked speed and floated more respectfully past the shanty where lived the man with the hasty temper and the well-aimed rifle.

Dose had another boat to hate. This one was moored exactly opposite his house, on the far bank of the Yazoo. Sometime it went away, but it always returned and tied up in the same spot. As the river rose and his cabin shook, that boat seemed to dance on the turbulent water. Chris Dose knew its name, Morning Star. But he knew very little about its business. He only knew that he wished it would turn into an "Evening Star" and disappear forever in the night. Little by little, though,Chris and the other people of the Yazoo Valley learned about the Star. It had been built on the shore of Lake Michigan for Edson White, son of Ellen G. White. After reading what his mother had written about the needy people of the South, Edson White had been filled with a longing to help them, especially the Blacks, and the best way, he felt, was by boat. So with Emma, his wife, and several other helpers, Edson White had made the Morning Star into a floating schoolroom-dispensary-chapel and home, and had sailed down the Mississippi and up the Yazoo to a place opposite the cabin where Chris Dose sat and glared at the large new boat. The coming of the flood brought danger to people like Chris Dose, but the danger meant opportunity for the Morning Star company. Now they could prove that they had really come to help the black and white people of the South. Many objected to the work with black families. Dose muttered to a visitor one day, "We don't want help! People who don't know how to read can just stay that way. They're better off ignorant"! But that man White seems to be a good-enough fellow," the visitor replied. "He's always trying to help people, preaching from the Bible and that sort of thing. He seems harmless enough to me. I've been to one of his meeting. You should hear his wife play the organ. And when the two of them sing together, it's real pretty." "Maybe to you," Dose replied. "You don't have to watch their boat sitting there on the water while your own house is about to cave in. Let White go back up North where he came from." Then with his mouth close to his friend's ear he hissed, "You get the rope to hang that White, and I'll hold the Winchester on him." Since his faithful gun had won the battle of the river queens, he felt that it would also conquer the Morning Star. The friend scuttled away. He would have nothing to do with lynchings, or murder by shotgun. So Dose bided his time, and the water rose steadily.

Meanwhile, Edson White was far from idle. He used his small skiff, his barge, and a small launch, the Mayflower, which belonged to a friend, in rescue operations. In these smaller boats he could sail right across what use to be cotton plantations and save stranded cattle and their owners. People started lining the water's edge, pleading for rescue for themselves and their livestock. So Edson White lashed his barge to the front of the large boat. In this way he could handle both the barge and the Star from his pilot house. After loading the barge with animals, he would sail downstream toward Vicksburg and unload near a place called Indian Mound, the only high ground in that area. He charged the owners just enough to cover expenses. Some of the farmers who were too poor to pay cash helped him pile wood high with tree branches, later to serve as fuel for the boat. Others even took his one horse lumber wagon to pieces and lashed all the parts securely in the treetops. Dose watched all this activity from the porch of his shaky house. When he heard that the Whites had opened their little 20 by 40 foot chapel in Vicksburg, to thirty-six refugees who had brought their sewing machines, beds, and other household goods with them, he began to think, "Maybe I’ll be needing that kind of help myself one of these days," and his heart softened a little. He knew that by this time the river people almost worshiped the Morning Star. When they heard its whistle they shouted, "Here comes our boat!" They knew that it was almost impossible for Edson and Emma White to say no to any appeal for help. There were dangers in this type of rescue work. Hidden snags could easily rip out the bottom of a boat. Also, many poisonous snakes had been washed downstream. Once Edson White saw a coil of rattlesnakes twisting and writhing on a stub ten feet above water. One of his helpers, whose gun was loaded with buckshot, fired into the mass and killed the snakes. Another time when he was busy towing a man's household goods piled high on a small boat, White looked up and saw a snake dangling from a tree, just above his head. The owner of the goods said, "Wait a minute I'll get him." He pulled out a gun and shot the reptile. When the river people realized that the Whites were willing to work day and night to help them, they became interested in the gospel story. They wanted to learn to read, so that they could study the Bible for themselves. Several gave their hearts to Christ. Finally, Chris Dose realized that he had lost his private battle against the Morning Star and its workers. And before the flood subsided, he lost another battle. One day when his cabin began to rock and tilt on its flimsy foundations, Dose signaled the Morning Star and asked for help. The Mayflower came at once, but before he stepped into the launch, old Chris Dose had the grace to apologize for his bad feeling. From then on he became well-known as a close friend and defender of Adventists and the work they were doing for his kind of people up and down the Yazoo River Valley. ( This account appeared in Adventist publication and much of the information was take from the book Mission to Black America, The True Story of James Edson White and the Riverboat Morning Star by Ronald D. Graybill. Pacific Press Publishing Association Copyright 1971.)

*The News. Frederick, Maryland, April 22, 1897
Memphis, April 22 -- The sixth break in the Mississippi delta levee system occurred at 10 o'clock yesterday at a point a few miles south of Lake Providence, La., on the Mississippi side of the river. The break is a large one, and a great volume of water is rushing into Issaquena county, Miss. This county, with the adjacent counties of Sharkey and Yazoo, have already been partly inundated from the earlier breaks, and yesterday's crevasse, it is believed, will not materially affect the situation in that vicinity. The water is gradually spreading over Madison parish from the Biggs crevasse, and it will be several weeks before it subsides.

Painting of the Morning Star, Edson White’s boat.

Morning Star, must be early version, no second story, which was 72 feet long. It was later expanded to 95 feet. This was the boat and Sophie and Charlie Oakes first heard Edson White speak and became Seventh Day Adventist.


Morning Star Chapel where Sophie Dose heard Edson White speak. (Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, October 30, 1975.)

Photograph from which Morning Star painting was done. Note sawmill ramp in background Maybe Vicksburg though Donald Oakes thinks width of river too wide.

Morning Star tied up on Yazoo. First deck underwater. Year unknown.


James Edson White

The Gospel Herald was a magazine started by Edson White and printed on the Morning Star.

Certificate of Consent for wedding of Chris Dose and Mollie Ransom, Jan 6, 1907. Chris’ wife Josephine had died Mar 11, 1906. Mollie was a widow with children.


From family bible, handwriting Margie Louise Hartley Oakes, January 16, 1900 Marriage of Charles Franklin Oakes and Mary Sophie Dose is recorded. Margie was daughter-in-law of couple.
Charles was from Auris, Attala County, MS. Sophie, daughter of David Christian and Josephine Bellinger Dose, was listed as from La Argent, MS. Maps show the Ryan’s L’Argent landing was on Yazoo River about where Harworth was located. Service were performed by Charlie Hambrite(sp). Charles Elwood Hambright was born in 1850 in Pennsylvania but lived in Sharkey county. He is listed as a farmer. More information about Charles Hambright below.

Witness include Jonnie Baker, J. G. Sines and Mary’s brother, Jacob Christian Dose. Johnnie G. Sines is buried in Cockrell Cemetery at Blakely Plantation, on Highway 61 north of Vicksburg and south of Redwood.

His tombstone shows his death date as August 26, 1908, eight years after the wedding.  No birthdate is shown on stone.



Charles Elwood Hambright on right with his son Fred. Charles performed the wedding of Charles Franklin Oakes and Mary Sophie Dose January 16, 1900 at La Argent, MS. Robyn Hamilton, G-Great Granddaughter of Charles Hambright writes, “ According to census records Charles was born circa 1850 in Pennsylvania and both of his parents were also born in Pennsylvania. (My gr-grandfather Charles E. Hambright, Jr. said that his father said he was Pennsylvania Dutch). It is our understanding that he worked for the railroad and somehow managed to work his way to the south in the 1880's. I think the railroad in Rolling Fork was finished circa 1883. He is on the 1883 & 1884 personal tax rolls in Good Intent, Sharkey Co., MS. He married Alice Minerva Clark on 10 Jan 1884 in Sharkey Co., MS. He apparently was elsewhere because her father, William Clark, signed the marriage license for C.E. Hambright on Dec. 7, 1883. On the same day at the Sharkey Co. courthouse, William Clark deeded 153 acres to his daughter, Alice M. Clark for love and affection. This must have been her wedding present or dowry. He worked at the Refuge Planting Company (Midnight, MS) as bookkeeper off and on. He was working there in 1922. We think he died sometime in 1925 but cannot find a death certificate for him. We don't know where he is buried. My grandmother said he was buried at Spanish Fort with her sister Hazel Hambright, but a road was placed over the graves. Mabel Screws had said that she knew where he was buried but we didn't get a chance to visit with her before she died. There is a cemetery at Spanish Fort that is on a hill by a field where some of the Dedmon, Jones and Kettleman families are buried. It is probably the cemetery but again no proof.” Many thanks to Robyn for providing picture and information.