County courthouse was burned during the Civil War and public records
prior to 1865 are almost non-existent.
A few years back I was contacted by a researcher who thought her
Boatwright ancestor was from Chesterfield and she had seen some of my
posting on line. The Boatwright family is connected to my direct line
and while I have not focused on the Boatwright surname I did have
information on the line. I informed her that I had no knowledge of this
connection; but, she insisted that her great-great grandfather John
Martin Boatwright was a son of Drury Boatwright of Chesterfield County,
Drury Boatwright was a son of Lewis Boatwright and Sarah Lundy. He was
born about 1794. He married Lavicia Thurman. Drury was a veteran of the
War of 1812  . At the time of this contact, Drury & Lavicia was known to
have only two children, Sarah Ann and Thomas. Sarah Ann married Malachi
Rivers and Thomas married Artimica Wynn. Drury died about 1838. His
widow, Lavicia Thurman Boatwright married Obediah Gulledge in the Fall
of 1839. Shortly after the Marriage in the Fall of 1839, a "Marriage
Contract" was drawn up between Levivcia and Obediah to protect the
considerable land assets she had inherited from her husband. Obediah
Gulledge was a veteran of the War of 1812. Obediah died 25 June 1862.
Lavicia filed for a pension on Obediah Gulledge service during the War
She was granted the pension in Sept 1879 and appeared on FEDERAL PENSION ROLL of January 1st, 1883, Name - Lavicy GULLEDGE, P.O - Chesterfield C. H., Cause for which pensioned - widow 1812, Date of Original Allowance - Sept. 1879, Certificate #26836 .
The "Marriage Contract " contained the data proving that Lavicia Thurman
Gulledge had a son named John. She and Obediah did not have any
children, so John had to be the son of Lavicia and Drury Boatwright.
If we go back to the 1830 Population Census for Drury Boatwright we
find this listing:
Name: Drewry Boatwright
Home in 1830: Chesterfield, South Carolina
Roll: 172, Page: 236
1 male: 0 - 5, [John]
1 male: 5 - 10, [Thomas]
1 male: 30 - 40, [Drury]
1 female: 0 - 5,
1 female: 5 - 10, [Sarah Ann]
1 female: 30 - 40, [Lavicia]
6 total + 4 slaves
We can see by this 1830 Census that Drewry & Lavicia had 4 children; two
boys and two girls. Lavicia's pension application contains this
statement " …the said John Evans, his heirs, Executors, Administrators
or assigns shall convey, transfer, and assign over the said tract of
land or plantation whereas the said Lavicia now lives to her son John
Boatwright, if then alive, in fee simple forever…"
Family knowledge combined with census information and the War of 1812
pension file proves that Drury and Lavicia had a son named John
Boatwright and that John Boatwright is John Martin Boatwright.
John Martin Boatwright was born 13 March 1826 in Chesterfield County,
South Carolina. In 1845, he and a cousin Michael Holmes migrated to
Henry County, Alabama. John Martin married Eunice Atkinson and they had
six children. You can read more about John Martin at
There is still a missing link in the Drury & Lavicia Boatwright family.
A daughter born between 1825 and 1830 had not been found.
In 1974, while clearing brush for the widening of Highway 9, the SC
Department of Transportation uncovered the graves of Drury Boatwright,
Lavicia Gulledge and Richard T. Powell. The graves were relocated to
Pine Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.
"Military Records Tells Story of Two Pioneers", The Chesterfield Advertiser, July 10, 1974.
 SC Genealogical Society, "FEDERAL PENSION ROLL OF JANUARY 1, 1883," The Carolina Herald and Newsletter, Vol. XXXVII, No. 2, (April, May, June 2009): page 18.
 Chesterfield District, South Carolina, Book L, page 128, A Marriage Contract, 25 June 1840; SC Archives & History, Columbia, South Carolina.
 1830 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, page 236, Line 13, Drewry Boatwright; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 January 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M19_172.
 "Military Records Tells Story of Two Pioneers", The Chesterfield Advertiser, July 10, 1974.