TO CAROLINA FAMILY ROOTS. Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday’s Faces From the Past~William Luke Rivers

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Photo Courtesy of T. Sharp

William Luke Rivers
b. 22 June 1849, Alabama
d. 16 Jul. 1930, Red River County, Texas
Son of Matthew Rivers and Mary Prince

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

52 Ancestors: #16, Nancy J. Davis Ross

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Amy Johnson Crow of No Story To Small has started a challenge of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
From her blog “The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.”
The focus of my blog posting today is Nancy J. Davis Ross. Nancy is my 2nd Great Grand Aunt. Nancy is an enigma that refuses to relinquish her secrets.  
Nancy was born 25 June 1844, the fifth child of nine to Michael Davis and Hulda Rivers. A scarcity of records due to burning of the Courthouse and its  records during the Civil War presents a challenge for any researcher or genealogists.1 2   

Publication of misinformation that seems to grow exponentially presents another problem. For instance:

Info: Harry Alexander Davis in his book "The Davis Family in Wales and America" made the following statement: "Nancy J. b 1845 md 1865 David Richard son of Eliza Davis and Benjamin Teal, 1st cousins: had 2 children in 1870." 3

This is not TRUE.

David Richard son of Eliza Davis and Benjamin Teal, did in fact marry Nancy J. Davis. The Nancy J. Davis that he married was born 17 March 1839 and was the daughter of John Calvin Davis and Charlotte Hurst. John Calvin is the uncle of Nancy J. Davis, b. 25 Jun 1844 to Michael Davis and Hulda Rivers. Nancy, b. 25 Jun 1844 married James Ross abt 1870.4 5

Nancy’s late marriage is another puzzle. I don’t believe a young lady waited until she was 26 years old to marry.

Some researcher say NANCY J. DAVIS was married to GEORGE PARKER had 1 son----- d. young. Before marrying (M #2) 17 Jul 1870, James Ross. B abt. 1850. 6

This is not true; but may be partially right.

There are two PARKER'S listed in the 1860 Census with wives named NANCY. George A. PARKER, age 24 and his wife Nancy PARKER, age 27 and James K. Parker, age 23 and his wife Nancy PARKER, age 16.

I believe the 16-year of wife of James K. Parker was in fact Nancy J. DAVIS PARKER, b. 25 June 1844. James K. PARKER, Private, Co. E. 21st SC Volunteers, Infantry died 14 April 1862 at Georgetown, SC.

Scan-140415-0002I submit these three comments as circumstantial evidence that Nancy was twice married;
1) During the Civil War, one deed book was snatched from the pile of books burned by Gen. Sherman’s army in March 1865. That book is on file in the Probate office of the Chesterfield County Courthouse. Within that book is a burnt land deed between George A. Parker to James K. Parker dated February 1861, named within the Deed is Nancy Parker. 7

2) Some researcher say NANCY J. DAVIS was married to GEORGE PARKER had 1 son----- d. young. Before marrying (M #2) 17 Jul 1870, James Ross. B abt. 1850. This is not true; but may be partially right. I believe she married a PARKER; not George but James K. Parker.

3) Nancy is not listed in her parents household in 1860 Chesterfield Census.

1860 CENSUS: Chesterfield County, South Carolina; Roll: M653_1217;  Image: 191; Family History Library Film: 805217; Page 94, Line 1, Dwelling/Family 1/1. Michael DAVIS, Farmer, age 54, born SC; Hulda DAVIS, Wife, age 45, born SC; William DAVIS, Son, age 26, born SC; Sarah DAVIS, Daughter, age 21, born SC; Thomas DAVIS, Son, age 20, born SC; Charles DAVIS, Son, age 18, born SC; Elisha DAVIS, Son, age 12, born SC; Jane DAVIS, Daughter, age 10, born SC; Mary Eliza DAVIS, Daughter, age 07, born SC. Film #0805217. Living with Michael & Hulda is Mary DAVIS, age 50 [Michael's sister].

Nancy is not with her parents confirming my theory that she is married and based on her age and the land deed is the Nancy Parker listed in James K. Parker household. 

1860 CENSUS: Chesterfield County, South Carolina; Roll: M653_1217;Image: 254; Family History Library Film: 805217, Page: 125; Line 14, Dwelling 449, Family 448; Jas. K. PARKER, age 23, Labourer, Born in SC; Nancy PARKER, age 16, Born in SC and Elizabeth BRITT, age 20 Born in SC.

Nancy absence for her parents household in 1860, her birth year of 1844 (age 6 in 1850 census) and age 16 in the household of James K. Parker in 1860  are all strong circumstantial evidence  that she was married.

Nancy’s obituary provides no information on a previous marriage. 

Obituary - Mrs. James Ross died at her home on Green Street last Tuesday morning at 6:30 o'clock after a long illness, which she had borne with Christian resignation. Mrs. Ross had attained the age of 75 years and had been a life long member of Zoar church. Before her marriage she was Miss Nancy Davis, and was raised in the Zoar section. She is survived by her husband and a large family connection. The body was laid to rest in the Zoar cemetery Wednesday afternoon. Many beautiful floral tributes attested the love and esteem in which this good woman was held by her friends. 8

Nancy D. Ross died 5 November 1918 and was buried beside her husband in Zoar United Methodist Church Cemetery, Chesterfield, South Carolina. 9

If you have any information on Nancy J. Davis and her marriage please contact me by e-mail.

[1] James C. Pigg, Chesterfield County Cemetery Survey; Chesterfield County Genealogical Services, 1995, page 849. Tombstone of Nancy Davis ROSS; 25 June 1844–5 November 1918, Zoar United Methodist Church Cemetery, Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
[2] 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) No ED, Page 179B, Line 3, Dwelling/Family 1240/1240, Household of Michael DAVIS; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 21 July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
[3] Harry Alexander Davis, The Davis Family (Davies and David) in Wales and America: genealogy of Morgan David of Pennsylvania (Washington, D.C.: n.p., 1927), page 222.
[4] 1850 U S Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page 178A, Line 19, Dwelling 1221, Family 1221, Household of John C. DAVIS; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 11 June 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
[5] 1900 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Court House, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) #21, Page 108B, Line 75, Dwelling 455, Family 463, .Household of James ROSS; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : viewed 28 August 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm T623_Roll: 1523.
[6] Minnie Sanders Rivers, A Rivers Family (Chesterfield, South Carolina: self-Published, 1926), Item 95.
[7] Land Deed - George A. Parker to James K. Parker Deed; February 1861; Deed Book #BURNT BOOK; Page(s) 22; Register of Deeds; Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina; 5 July 1997.
[8] Mrs. James Ross obituary, The Chesterfield Advertiser, Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, 7 November 1918, page 1, col. 3:
[9] James C. Pigg, Chesterfield County Cemetery Survey; Chesterfield County Genealogical Services, 1995, page 849. Tombstone of Nancy Davis ROSS; 25 June 1844–5 November 1918, Zoar United Methodist Church Cemetery, Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amanuensis Monday~Civil War Recollection of William Benjamin Davis

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Amanuensis Monday is a genealogy blogging theme. It was started by John Newmark who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog.

His definition of Amanuensis is:
Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Today’s subject is a letter written by William Benjamin Davis documenting his time in the Civil war and return home. 1

William Benjamin Davis.
I, W. B. Davis, volunteered in April 1863, enlisted in Company E, 21st S.C. (South Carolina) Regiment on Morris Island. In less than a month (I) was wounded by a shell on Battery Wagener (Wagner); it was a fifteen inch shell. I was sent to Summerville Hospital. It took two doctors two and one half hours to get the powder out of my face.

When able for service (I) was returned to Battery Wagener (Wagner), (and) from Battery Wagener (Wagner) to Fort Sumter. We whipped the Union army ten to one. From Charleston we were transferred to the Northern Army of Virginia. during the battle of Warhaul (Port Walthal) Junction I was detailed to the rear to guard a lot of baggage, (and) for three days and nights I had only a small piece of bread and a glass of milk for each meal. From there I carried the baggage about two miles back carrying as much as I could at a time for a short distance until I had covered the distance of two miles; at this place I had only wild onions to eat for three days and nights. some Cavalry-men (cavalrymen) passed and gave me a piece of bread and meat for some stationery to write to their homefolks.

From Warhaul (Port Walthal) Junction we went to Cold Harbor, from Cold Harbor to Drewery’s (Drury’s) Bluff, from Drewery’s (Drury’s) Bluff to Gaines (Gaines’) Mill and then to Bermuda Hundred. There I lost my uncle (,) Capt. (Captain) Benjamin Thomas Davis; he was wounded in the thigh and died from the wound. My Uncle Alfred W. Davis was made captain of Company E in his place.

From Bermuda Hundred we went back to Cold Harbor, from there to Malvernrs’ (Malvern) Hill, from there to East Petersburg. On June 18th we fought two hard battles. In one of these battles William A. Davis was wounded in (the) right chest. On June the 24th (in a battle between the Appomattox River and City point Road) I was wounded in the left side by a minnie ball (and) was carried to the rear to a Field Hospital, from there to City Point, put on the old New York boat and sent to Fortress Monroe, from there to Hampton Virginia (Prison) Hospital. Was there seven months with my bowels discharging through the wound partly(.) The first time I left my bunk, I slid on my hands and back to the ward masters (wardmaster’s) office and begged him for a piece of tobacco and he put me on his feather bed and let me rest all the afternoon.

(I) was sent from (the) hospital to Butlers (Butler’s) Bull-pen on (the) 23rd day of Jan. (January,) 1865(,) I was given (a) furlough and transportation home, but on the night of the 22nd Wilmington was captured and I was turned back at Greensboro, and sent to Charlotte and my transportation taken away from me. I stayed in Wayside Hospital one night and started home on foot(,) walked two and rode three miles the first day, second day walked half mile and rode eight, was too weak to travel, begged a man to let me spend the night or sleep in his horse stable but he refused, but later hitched a yoke of oxen to his carriage and brought me two miles towards Monroe, N.C. (North Carolina) to the next house(.) There I found a noble man and woman who took me in and cared for me (for) a week.
From there I rode on a wagon loaded with corn and meat to within two and one half miles of State line between Monroe and Chesterfield(.) The wagon broke down in a creek and there came a rider saying the Yanks were coming, so the driver said he could bring me no further(.) He jumped on the best mule and told me to take the other and follow(.) I rode from about two hour of sun ‘till 9 o’clock that February night in my shirt sleeves and my wound discharging nearly all the time. Had not a bite to eat all day, about nine o’clock we saw a fire, found it was a captain’s camp fire, he gave me all I could eat.

The next day (Sunday) I rode all day on a wagon, night found us about eighteen miles north of Wadesboro(.) There the captain (seeing my condition) went to a Widow Ladies (widow lady’s) house (and) asked her to keep me till Monday morning and he gave me $25.00 and a doctor gave me $20.00 The widows (widow’s) overseer said he would bring me to Wadesboro (,) so he went off for a horse and buggy and I haven’t seen him since. I stayed there a week, had a severe cough, couldn’t sleep, so the lady treated my cold and cured the cough.

After waiting a week for the man (Stevenson) to come back I wanted to get home, so the lady let me ride her horse across a creek, then turn him back to her on the other side.

I walked half a mile in a half day to a Mr. Hancocks (Hancock’s) and he brought me to Wadesboro(.) From there Mr. Tom Little brought me to Alfred Baucom’s place, by night I had walked on to the William Jerman place near Bethel Church and stayed with him a day and night(.) He sent me on an oxcart to Squire John Ratliff and he (with a good horse and buggy) refused to bring me home. So the cart brought me on to Peter Jones, he had picked up an old mule and pulled an old buggy out of Jones Creek, so then he borrowed a pair of plow lines and sent me to my Grandfathers (grandfather’s) for I had no father and mother, each having died during the war.

My father served during the first year of the war, but his health failed and he was sent home and died soon afterwards. I reached home on March the 8th 1865.

That was the end of my militery (military) career.

W. B. Davis
Co. E. 21st S. C. Regt., of Volunteers

 W. B. Davis' father was Carroll Washington Davis. He served with Company C, 2nd Battalion South Carolina Sharp Shooters CSA. He died in February 1863. 2

[1] Source: Transcribed by me from original letter in possession of The Stonewall Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Chesterfield South Carolina
[2] "South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964," Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Family Search (https://www.familysearch.org/ : Viewed January 2012), images, "Carroll W. Davis, Probate File #66," images 23-158; South Carolina Archives and History.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Obituary~He Was 113 Years Old

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Jeremiah Polson
b. 2 July 1789
d. 4 July 1902
bu. Haskew Cemetery

Remarkable Case of Longevity in Marlboro County

Special to The State.
Bennettsville, July 8. Jeremiah Polson, the oldest man ever known in this section, died at his home ten miles southeast of Bennettsville last Friday and was buried at the Haskew cemetery, near Clio Saturday. He claimed to be 113 years old, and the claim is not doubted by those who knew him. The oldest citizens of this place remember him as an old man in their boyhood. He had a numerous progeny, and some of his grand children are now old men and women.  Mr. Polson celebrated his 113th birthday on July 2, and told his family to prepare a good dinner and hold a prayer meeting at night, as he was about to finish his earthly career. He could remember events of three centuries, and talked sanely till the last.

Jeremiah Polson is my 3rd Great Grandfather. My Great Grandmother, Laura Driggers, is Jeremiah‘s grand daughter.
Jeremiah was married 3 times. His first wife was Nancy Gandy. In 1870 Census, his wife is listed as Ausby, age 63 and in 1880 Census, his wife is listed as Sarah J. Polson age 21. Her oldest child is age 3 resulting in a most likely 1876 marriage year. 

Jeremiah Polson had 21 children with his first wife, Nancy Gandy. No children have been found from his second marriage. From his third marriage to Sarah J. there were two boys born to this union for a total of 23 known children.

[1] Jeremiah Polson obituary, The State, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, 8 July 1902, page 2, column 3. HE WAS 113 YEARS OLD.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surname Saturday~Driggers

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Laura Driggers Johns is my Great Grandmother.
After thirty-five plus years of research today’s posting is meager because little evidence has been found to document her life.

My Great Grandfather, Joseph Henry Johns, was born April 1849 and died 8 April 1929. He was the son of Shadrach Johns and Mary Boan. 1 2

Joseph Henry married between the 1880-1900 censuses and his wife passed away during that time. The exact date of Joseph marriage is unknown but what we do know is that his first born was a son named Walter Joseph, born 2 Aug 1883. This date is from the 1900 census and there is conflict over Walter Joseph’s birthdate. 

BIRTH NOTE CONFLICT: 1900 Census shows Walter John born August 1883. Social Security Form 5 shows Walter Johns date of birth as 2 August 1878. He died in Jan 1964. Draft Registration Card shows DOB as 2 Aug 1878. Film #1852503. Tombstone shows birth year of 1899. Social Security Death Index shows a birth as 2 Aug 1895.(You can see that Joseph Henry was not married until after 1880, so we know the 1878 birth date is bogus.)

Great Uncle Walter lived until 31 Jan. 1964. His obituary has no mention of his parents. His South  Carolina Death Certificate should become available this year.
Family folklore maintains that Joseph Henry wife name was Laura Driggers. South Carolina Death certificate #000520 for Nellie Johns Huestes shows her parent as Joe Johns and Laura Driggers. 4

The only Laura Driggers I have found is a 10 year old living with her grandfather Jeremiah Polson/Polston in the 1880 Census. Next door is Joseph Johns. 5


Family Finder on FTDNA says that my DNA match with another descendant of Jeremiah Polston through his grandson Jesse Allen Polston and that we are 2nd to 4th Cousin. My match on FTDNA also has “Driggers” connection.6

Joseph (Joe) and Laura has 8 children between the early 1880’s and July 1898, when their youngest daughter, Mamie was born. Laura is not listed in the 1900 census; Mamie is listed but is gone by 1910. It looks as if Laura did not survive the birth of her daughter and that her daughter Mamie also perished before the 1910 census was enumerated.

After the loss of Laura, Joseph remained single and his NC death certificate shows that he took his own life on 8 April 1929 in McFarland, Anson County, North Carolina. 7

In summary here is what I know about Laura Driggers.
  • She was listed as age 10 in the 1880 census.
  • She is the Grand daughter of Jeremiah Polston. Jeremiah had at least 3 wives and 23 children; 11 sons and 12 daughters. One of those 12 daughters is the Mother of Laura Driggers  for her to be Jeremiah Polston grand daughter.
  • She married Joseph Henry Johns most likely before Aug 1883.
  • She had 8 known children; five (5) survived to adulthood.
  • She died before 1900 most likely due to complications with the birth of her daughter Mamie in July 1898.
  • Her parents have not been identified, as of today.

[1] 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) No ED, page 109A, Line 11, Dwelling 161, Family/161, Household of Shadrach JOHN; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
[2] North Carolina, death # #1929 (8 April 1929), Joseph Johns; http://www.Ancestry.com, Anson County, North Carolina.
[3] South Carolina Death certificates become public records fifty years after  death.<http://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/South_Carolina_Deaths,_1915-1943_%28FamilySearch_Historical_Records%29>
[4] Nellie Huestes, death certificate 000520 (18 January 1928), Vital Records, Department of Health and Environmental Control, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina.
[5] 1880 U. S. Census, Marlboro County, South Carolina, population schedule, Marlboro County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) #108, page 460A, Line 22, Dwelling # 43, Family #43, Household of Shade JOHN; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm T9_1235.
[6] https://www.familytreedna.com/family-finder-compare.aspx
[7] North Carolina, death # #1929 (8 April 1929), Joseph Johns; http://www.Ancestry.com, Anson County, North Carolina.