Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Was Pt. Lookout, Maryland Comparable to Andersonville, Georgia

In Days of Terror and a March to Death we learned of the capture of my 2nd great grandfather and his death at Point Lookout Confederate POW camp.  

Point Lookout [1][2]is located on the southern tip of Maryland in Saint Mary's County.  It's eastern, western and southern borders are bounded on the west by the Potomac River and on the east by the waters of Chesapeake Bay.   The POW Camp (Camp Hoffman) was established after the Battle of Gettysburg to incarcerate captured confederate soldiers.   

It operated from August 1863 until June 1865. It was the largest and one of the worst POW Camp established in the North[3].  Remember in the above article that it was still in use on 12 June 1865 when my great great grandfather died while still incarcerated two months after the War has ended. 
My great great grandfather was a civilian when he was captured. The Point Lookout POW Organization[4] on their website states that "In March 1865, it was reported that 301 civilians were in Point Lookout Prison!  There are also records that show the imprisonment of four (4) ladies and two (2) babies. One baby was a son of Jane A. Perkins who was captured and imprisoned at the camp. Records keeping for this prison were deplorable.  

Over 52,000 prisoners passed through the gates of Point Lookout. Unfortunately, for over 8000 of them it was a one way trip.  The confederate prisoners in this camp suffered immensely. They suffered from scurvy, chronic diarrhea and dysentery, from typhoid and typhus; conditions were filthy and infested with rats, blankets and clothing was scare. In the winter it was freezing cold and prisoners froze to death. The winter of 1864 was quite severe. During the summer months the burning hot sand blistered their shoeless feet. They were housed in rotten tents filled with holes. If that is not enough misery add to their fears and bewilderment the senseless shooting of prisoners' by guards.

Of the 8000 plus soldier and civilians that did not survive their ordeal while incarcerated at Point Lookout only 3389 names are contained  on 12 Bronze Plaques affixed to a Marble Obelisk erected to honor the men who gave their all. Less than half of the men who died here have been identified and memorialized on these plaques. All the deceased prisoners were initially buried in individual graves marked with a wooden cross. The locality of the camp, below sea level, combined with severe winter freezing and hurricanes have resulted in the movement of all graves twice and with the final entombment of all prisoners in a single mass grave.

Statistic shows that Northern prison such as Point Lookout, Maryland and Elmira, New York were more brutal and deadly to the prisoner within than Andersonville. The death rate at Point Lookout was 25% while Andersonville[5], in the south, had a 24% death rate. At Elmira, New York the death rate was as astounding 44%.
After the war, the House of Representative appointed a committee to look into treatment of Union prisoners in the South but repeated request to extend these inquiries into the treatment of Confederate prisoners in the North went unanswered.
The North was swift in their trial and conviction of Major Henry Wirz[6], Commander of Andersonville for the alleged murder of prisoner in the South. While the cries from the south about death, malnutrition and shooting of prisoner were pushed aside. Major Henry Wirz was tried and hung in Washington, DC on November 10, 1865.
No union commander was ever punished or berated for their treatment of Confederate prisoners.
"To the Victor goes the Spoils"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interview with a Confederate Veteran

Andrew Washington Sellers is my great grand uncle. He is the brother of my Great Grand Mother Louise Ellen Sellers.  Andrew was born 24 Nov 1844 and died 12 Jan 1935 in Florence, Florence County, SC. He married Catherine Pinkey Wallace on 27 December 1865.

Interview with Andrew Washington Sellers, Confederate Veteran (conducted by Nellie Bristow, Florence Morning News, reprinted Chesterfield Advertiser, April 7, 1932)

[Note: All spelling and punctuation left as printed]

The car stopped on the highway just below Bannockburn where a man sat on the plazza of a farm house set well back from the road.
"Can you tell me where Mr. Andrew Sellers lives?"
"Yes, ma'am," and the man rose and came down the steps, meeting the visitor about half way the long walk.
"I'm looking for Mr. Andrew Sellers, an old Confederate veteran."
"Yes, Ma'am, that's me."
You?  You're not Mr. Sellers?" incredulously.
"Yes ma'am, --won't you come in?"

And this old fellow, eighty-eight years young, walked briskly up the steps, went in the house and brought out a heavy, upholstered chair for his visitor to sit in while he talked reminiscently of old days.
Mr. Sellers was born in Chesterfield county in 1844, son of Bill Sellers and Elizabeth Parsons. His grandfather was known as "Old Frozen Bill" Sellers, whose wife was Gilly Edens. He says his parents, with several of his father's brothers and sisters, seven families in all, took a great notion to go west in the forties, and very shortly after he as born they made the trip and settled out there. But a few years later his father died and when an uncle from South Carolina came out to visit them in 1854, his mother and her children returned with him to Chesterfield.

"And when we got there, said he, "though I was just a little boy, my grandmother Sellers put me and my brother to work on the farm. She had lots of niggers, but we had to work."
He worked on the farm until the war broke out, and in 1862, as a boy of seventeen, he answered the call to arms, serving in "Company A, Fourth South Carolina Cavalry, Butler's Brigade, Hampton's Division, Army of Northern Virginia." He was in the Company of Capt. J. C. Craig all through the war.

"We lay right around Richmond and Petersburg, up and down from Alexandria almost to Weldon, just in front of Grant," he said, and with evident relish stated: 
Gen. Lee would whip ever general against him, --till Grant came. Continuing he said, "Grant didn't want to take charge there, but he said he would take the job if they would let him run it to suit himself. Then when he came he said there was no use killing the whole population off--- it would be better to just sit down and starve them out. So he did----or tried to. That began the siege of Richmond."

"You were there all during the war?"

"Yes, around Petersburg and Richmond all the time, except about seven months when I stayed in prison."
"Tell us about that."

"Well, they captured us at Stony Creek.  The soldiers got down almost to starvation---just the little they could give us and what we could steal and pilfer. Once Hampton took about 800 cows from Grant," and he laughed as he said, "We had a grand time as long, as the beef lasted." 
"But when Grant got the Confederate soldiers pinched down so close to starvation, the Confederate Army moved its supplies down to Stony Creek, about four or five miles from Petersburg.
and there were eighty-three men sent there to guard the supply station---in a big depot building right on the creek.
"When the Yankees found out about it they slipped in on us, above and below, and nabbed the whole business, and burned what supplies we did have---burned up everything that was there. That was along about the first day of December, 1864, and they carried me and all the balance--caught every one of us, and carried the whole bunch to Point Lookout, Md. There were 180 of us caught at Stony Creek at one time. And there they kept us until June 19, 1865."  
"But that was after Lee's surrender, wasn't it"?"        
"Yes, but I'll show you my release and he went in the house and brought out the old prison release, with the oath of allegiance he was required to sign, and sure enough it bore the date June 19, 1865."

Continuing his story, Mr. Sellers said:
"When they let us go they sent us to Richmond on a boat, and from there by train to Salisbury, but from there we had to foot it home."    "Why didn't they send you all the way home"?"
"They could have, but they wanted to treat us just as bad as they could. While we were in prison they tried to see if they could kill us without shooting us.  That was the hardest place I ever struck in my life," said he. "I'll take the battle field all the time."
So he tramped from Salisbury to his home near the village of Chesterfield.  It took three or four days and his feet became so sore he could scarcely stagger along.  He tried pulling off his shoes, but found that wouldn't do. He and some other South Carolina boys came along together, and they were "all in" when they reached Chesterfield.  They had sent his horse home some time before.

"When I got home I went to work on the farm again," said he. "My brother, James, had been wounded. He belonged to the same brigade I did, but not to the same company.  He had been sent home when he was wounded and he had him a farm all started. So I put in and went to work farming, and have been at it ever since. My oldest brother, William Riley Sellers, was also in the army, but he was killed at Trevillian Station, VA[1][2]. [See Footnotes]

Besides these two brothers, Mr. Sellers had two sisters, Mary Ann Abigail Sellers, who married John Brock, and Lou Ella Sellers, who married Benjamin Brock, all of Chesterfield County.

Mr. Sellers married Catherine P. Wallace, daughter of Jesse Wallace, of Chesterfield and North Carolina, and their children were Charles Riley, Aurilla Jane, Mary Ellen, Jesse C., Alonzo H., Andrew J., Fannie and Kitty Sellers.  All live in Chesterfield except Jesse C. Sellers, who lives near Bannockburn, Florence county, and it is with him and his family that the genial old confederate veteran has made his home since shortly after his wife died some twenty years ago. He had four grandsons in the World war, one of them having been captured by the Germans and held in Prison all through the war.

"You are wonderfully well-preserved, Mr. Sellers, for a man of eighty-eight."      
"Well, I never had much sickness. I take all the exercise I can---I think that is the thing to do. And I'm hearty all right."
Some of this "exercise" is bring in wood, and sometimes cutting it too. He says he has two "bad habits"---coffee and tobacco.  He went on to tell of the craving for coffee in the army.
"They'd make coffee out of burnt rice, burnt peas, corn---anything that would make it black. They'd make a big kettle full and then call the boys to come get some coffee.  And they'd come too, "he laughed, "every one with his tin cup. Sometimes we'd have good boxes from home, and when one of the boys got a box he would just kick it open and call the rest, and here they'd come. Took things in their hands, and ate long as there was anything in the box to eat."
"Did you have any Ku Klux Klan or Red Shirts up in your country after the war?" "Oh, yes. I was in all that. We had a lot of trouble with the Negroes at first, but we soon broke that up."
When asked to pose for a snap shot he went gaily after his coat with the Bronze Cross of Honor in the lapel, so prized by the "boys" who wore the gray," and sat jauntily in the beaming sun beside the well curb for the picture.
And as his visitors turned to go he urged them hospitably to come again, smiling as he said:
"Come and let's talk some more. I haven't got started good yet."


[1] Randolph W. Kirkland Jr., Broken Fortunes (Columbia, South Carolina: SC Historical Society, 1995), page 312. SELLERS, W. Riley, died 23 March 1865 at Elmira, NY, Died in Prison; buried at Woodlawn, NY #2438 Elmira

[2] Jim Tipton, Find A Grave, digital image, http://findagrave.com; Headstone for Pvt W R Sellers; (1842–23 March 1865); Memorial # 66214868; Record of the Woodlawn National Cemetery, Plot: CSA 2438; Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA; Accessed on 2012.

[3] Also published in the Chesterfield District Chronicle, Chesterfield District Chapter, S.C.G.S.,  Volume III, No. 1, Winter 2000, pages 19-21

Friday, February 10, 2012




To all to whom these presents shall come know ye that we have this day bargained sold and released and by these presents do bargain sell and release unto Charles Boan fifty-acres of land lying and being in the sate and district aforesaid on the South side of Bear Creek. Beginning at the North corner of Charles Boan's land pine corner straight line to the head of a branch that empties into Rocky Prong pine corner thence a blazed line to the fork of Horsepen branch thence up said branch to the West corner of Charles Boans land thence with said line to the beginning. Together with all and singular the rights, members, hereditaments and appertaining. To have and to hold all and singular the premises before mentioned unto the said Charles Boan his heirs and assigns forever and we do hereby bind ourselves our Heirs executors and administrator to warrant and forever defend all and singular the said premises unto the said Charles Boan and his heirs ans assigns against ourselves and Heirs. Witness our hands and seals this Eighteenth day of  February Anno Domni One Thousand Eight hundred and thirty-six and in the Sixtieth year of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United State of America.
John L. P. Boan}
Christopher Boan}
Stephen H. Parker {Seal}
John Parker
Sarah x Parker
Mary x Parker
William F. Parker
Elijah Parker
Catherine Parker
Ann Parker

Chesterfield District}

Personally appeared before me John L. P. Boan and made oath that he saw the within named Stephen H. Parker John Parker Sarah Parker Mary Parker Wm F. Parker Elijah Parker Catherine Parker and Ann Parker, sign seal and as their act and deed deliver the within written deed and that Christopher Bone with himself witnefed the execution thereof.
Sworn before me }
15 Feby 1867 }
H. Craig, Jr.}

Recorded 15 Feby 1867
Origl Delv' to Christopher Boan
 Deed Book 1 Page 96

The dates of this deed indicates that that is to replace a lost deed. It was done after the Civil War and most likely to replace the original which was burned when General Sherman forces burnt the Courthouse in March 1865.

[1] Land Deed - Elisha Parker to Charles Boan; Deed Book #1; Page(s) 96; Register of Deeds; Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina; 2000

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hezekiah Brock, (28 Feb 1827-12 June 1865)

Hezekiah "Hugh" Brock is my great-great grandfather on my maternal line. He was born on 28 Feb 1827 in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.

He and his family are listed in the 1850[1] and 1860[2] Census for Chesterfield County, South Carolina. When the Civil War started, Hezekiah volunteered for the Home Guards. On 12 Mar 1865[3], while at home, he was taken prisoner by the Union Army under General Sherman and General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick. He died on 12 Jun 1865 at the age of 38 in Pt. Lookout, St. Mary's, Maryland, United States.

Hezekiah Brock and Sarah Sally Morris were married about 1849/1850 in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States. Sarah Sally Morris, was born on 27 Jan 1829 in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina. She died on 21 Oct 1902 at the age of 73 in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina.

Hezekiah Brock and Sarah Sally Morris had the following children:

  • Benjamin Franklin Brock, born 17 Jan 1851, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States; married Louise Ellen Sellers; died 13 Jul 1924, Cheraw, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, USA.
  • Michael Hezekiah Brock, born 20 Jan 1853, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States; married Timmie Smith; died 2 Jan 1927, Pageland, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.
  • William T. Brock, born 17 May 1854, McFarlan, Anson, North Carolina; married Martha J. Parker; died 22 Jul 1913, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.
  • Alsey Brock was born on 25 Jun 1855 in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.
  • Charles Ellerbee Brock, born 5 Oct 1860, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States; married Lucy Grace Davis; died 22 Nov 1915, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.
  • Pleasant Elmore Brock, born 16 Apr 1864, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States; married Nancy Jane Davis; died 25 Oct 1926, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.

There is no indication that Sally re-married after her husband was taken prisoner. Its heart wrenching thinking about the struggles she endured raising six boys alone after the War.

[1] 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page 168A; Line 27, Dwelling 1069, Family 1069, Householf of Hezekiah BROCK; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 2000); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.

[2] 1860 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page 117, Line 18, Dwelling 328, Family 327, Household of "Hugh" BROCK; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 2000); citing National Archives Microfilm M653_1217.

[3] "POW's held at Point Lookout Maryland", FHL Film #1303418, Entry #3906, H. Brock died 12 June 1865, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Land Deeds – An Overlooked Genealogical Treasure

One of the most overlooked documents in our family research is the Land Deed. When we think about doing genealogical research the first thing that comes to mind are census and vital statistic documents such as birth baptism, death and burial. Many family researchers have gone for years and never looked at a deed book in the courthouse.

Most land deeds are witnessed by family, friend or neighbors. As families moved into an area they generally migrated and settled in clusters. By looking at neighbors in both census and land deeds oftentimes female family members can be identified. Land deeds are good sources for identifying the wife or wives of your ancestors. In many cases the wife was examined privately for "relinquish of dower" to ensure undue pressure with not used.

In September 1883 my second great grandfather William A. Purvis[1] and his wife [Sarah Jane Graves Purvis] sold 60 acres of Land in Anson County, NC to Jefferson D. Rhyne. (DB 22, Page 532-533)

Sarah Jane Purvis[2] died on 30 Dec 1893.

In September 1899, my second great grandfather William A. Purvis[3] and his wife [Elizabeth "Betsy" Purvis] sold 12 acres of Land in Anson County, NC to J. D. Rhyne. (DB 33, Page 370)

This clearly indicates a second marriage of my second great grandfather William A. Purvis; yet, none of my older Aunt, Uncle or great Aunt and Uncle's claimed any knowledge of a second marriage.

I was contacted by an individual attempting to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR#828527). The DAR wanted proof of the children of her ancestor. We used a Land Deed [4](DB 4, pages 263-265, Chesterfield, SC) which listed the children names. The deed listed the following children: William, David, Sarah, Eliza and Calvin Rivers selling land formerly owned by F. F. Rivers (deceased). The parents of these children were Frederick F. Rivers & Siddie Boatwright Rivers.

Partial transcription of above deed.

Chesterfield County, SC

Deed Book 4, pages 263-265

Wm. RIVERS and others to B. F. WHITE DEED

Know all men by these presents that we, William Rivers, Sarah Rivers, David Rivers, Eliza Rivers, Calvin Rivers, all of the state and county aforesaid, for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred and sixty seven dollars to us paid by B. F. White of the county and state aforesaid have granted bargained sold and released and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and released unto the said B. F. White all that tract and parcel of land formerly owned by F. F. Rivers (deceased). Situate lying and being in the County and State aforesaid on the waters of Thompson Creek,…

Then there is the goldmine of land deeds; it usually entitled "Division of the Lands of Your Ancestor". In the body of this land deed ALL surviving descendants are listed and often their spouses in case of a female descendants and the property is divided. Some examples are:

Division of lands of William Caudle now deceased– 10/1/1858 – October court. (Anson Co., NC, Deed Book 15, page 687)

Division of Land -September 1819 Term of Court, Stephen Jackson and Nancy Kendrick/Hendrick, Division of Land: Lot #1, to Stephen Jackson; Lot #2 to Nancy Kendrick/Hendrick (Anson Co., NC Deed Bk Y, Pg 609)

For an on-line example take a look at the Division of William Gurley's Land (DB P&Q:261) - Here

Be sure to look at the neighbors and adjoining property owners; you may find the daughter of one of your ancestor and her husband living nearby or adjacent to her parents.

Land deeds can be used to place your ancestor in an area at a particular time. I'm researching the Purvis surname in Chesterfield, South Carolina. About 1818, many of the Purvis in the 1810 Census (Chesterfield) disappear and are not listed in the 1820 census. Where did such a large group go? The group that left ALL seems to be children and descendants of John Purvis and Sarah Johnson. Among them were brothers Gilbert, James and Joseph. They finally settled around Rankin County, Mississippi. Two land deeds (Gilbert [5]& Gilbert Johnson[6]) proved they first stopped in Clarke County, Alabama before reaching Mississippi and two marriage licenses (John[7] & Rebecca Purvis[8]) in Clarke County proved their presence there also before reaching Mississippi.

Make land deeds an important part of your research. Don't feel intimidated. Most land deeds are maintained within the local Register of Deeds Office at the County Seat Courthouse. Indexes are maintained for both the Buyer/Purchaser (Grantee) and the Seller (Grantor). They are public records. Walk into your local Register of Deeds and tell them you would like to browse through their Grantor & Grantee Indexes. Remember there may be multiple books divided by years and surnames. If you locate your Ancestor, the index will listed the parties involved, the date and the book and page number where the deed is recorded.

Most county offices will copy the index and /or the deeds for a nominal fee. This also applies to your local Probate office for wills, marriages and divorces.

Happy Hunting!!!

[1] Anson County, North Carolina, Deed Book 22: pages 532-533 404, Wm. A. Purvis and wife [Sarah J. Purvis] to Jefferson D. Rhyne; 28 September 1883, Register of Deeds, Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina.

[2] Sarah Jane Graves Purvis obituary, Messenger-Intelligencer, Wadesboro, North Carolina, 4 January 1894, page 3, McFarlan News.

[3] Anson County, North Carolina, Deed Book 33: page 370, W. A. Purvis and wife Elizabeth Purvis to J. D. Rhyne; 23 September 1899, Register of Deeds, Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina.

[4] Land Deed - William Rivers & Others to B. F. White; Deed Book #DB #4; Page(s) pages 263-265; Register of Deeds; Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina; 2000.

[5] Land Deed - William Stringer to Gilbert PURVIS; 25 December 1821; Deed Book #A; Page(s) 182-183; Register of Deeds; Clarke County, Alabama; 10 January 2012.

[6] Land Deed - Gilbert J. PURVIS to Grass Scruggs; 12 January 1829; Deed Book #G; Page(s) 366-367; Register of Deeds; Clarke County, Alabama; 10 January 2012

[7] Clarke County, Alabama, marriage (14 December 1819), John Purvis to Mary Parks; Montgomery, Alabama, USA, State of Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Record Services Division.

[8] Clarke County, Alabama, marriage (9 November 1824), Henry HOWELL to Rebecca PURVIS; Montgomery, Alabama, USA, State of Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Record Services Division.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Transcribing Wills & Deeds

As family historians and genealogists we are always transcribing or abstracting documents. I have transcribed many documents using a magnifier and a yellow legal pad. I'm always looking for a better or easier way to do these necessary tasks. There are various programs available to assist you in transcribing documents but many of them are cost prohibited.

I recently found a great program for doing this job. It's called TranscriptBeta and it can be used in a "free" mode or you can register the program and unlock some additional features. The primary, added feature is the ability to work more than one project at a time. If you decide to register the cost is 15 euro or $19.69.

The program will read either RTF or JPG files. The author's webpage suggest that PDF support can be added by downloading and installing ghostscript.

The following is a screenshot of my transcription of a portion of the Richard Graves Revolutionary War Pension File (S-8598).

Double-Click Image for larger size

I like this program. It serves my transcription needs. It has proven to be a real labor saving program for me. I am in no way affiliated with the Author or this program (other than as a user) and I am not being paid for my comments.

The URL for this post is: http://carolinafamilyroots.blogspot.com/2012/02/transcribing-wills-deeds.html

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rabbit Trails in Genealogy

After thirty-five plus years of genealogical research I have explored many "rabbit trails[1]" in my quest to document the family history. My ancestors are from a burned county and records prior to the Civil War are very rare.

Basically, I have found two major reasons for these "rabbit trails"

1. A lack of extant records for the area of research

2. The propagation (copying without verification) of bad data through e-mail, message boards, printed trees without documentation, etc.

For instance, for years I have looked for the wife of Frederick Rivers and this event have resulted in many hours of lost time. They are many secondary documents vehemently proclaiming that Frederick Rivers' wife is Sarah Purvis and others that says Mary Boatwright, take your pick. However, there is no primary source document naming either woman as the wife of Frederick Rivers. So when I receive an e-mail stating that Frederick Rivers married Mary Boatwright on 19 Apr 1765 at James Island, Charleston Co.,SC; I'm hooked and I'm off to chase the rabbit. My first response was "would you send me a copy of the primary source document?" Its years later and I'm still waiting for that document. In the meantime, I spent hours at the Family History Library (SLC) trying to confirm this information. No record has been found as of today.

Frederick Rivers was born bef 1754 and died after 1820. He was married and had a family consisting of two boys and two girls based on the 1790-1820 Censuses for Chesterfield County, South Carolina. Only three (3) children have been identified. The name of his wife and youngest daughter is still unknown.

Some of this started about 1927 with the release of the book "The Davis family (Davies and David) in Wales and America: genealogy of Morgan David of Pennsylvania[2]".

On page 54, the author made these comments in a footnote: "Frederick Rivers b ca 1739 died 1810, married 1762 Mary Boatwright, b. 1745 died 1814. Chesterfield Dist., S.C. He served as a Private in the Revolution. (Stub Entries to Indents, Lib. N, No. 650.) Left children Frederick, Jr. Isaac, James and Nancy.

The next "rabbit trail" was also propagated by this book. That "rabbit trail" is the wife of Jonathan Daniel Davis. Jonathan Daniel Davis is a son of my fourth Great grandfather and brother to my third great grandfather.

Again in the "Davis Book"[3], page 124, the author states that Jonathan Daniel Davis was "Born Cheraw Dist., now Chesterfield County, S.C. 1800, married prior to 1819 Sarah _____ (Barnes or Rivers), born S. C. 1795. He died sometime between 1831-1839."

Since this book is not sourced, I have no idea where Mr. Davis found this information, but I suspect it was through correspondence with family member living in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

The lack of per-civil war documents and family folklore that has become garbled over the decades are major contributors to some of this misinformation.

I have found one document, per-Civil War, relating to Jonathan Daniel Davis. Just for familiarity before 1850 there was only two Jonathan Davis' in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. They were Father and Son, Jonathan Daniel Davis, Sr. and Jonathan Daniel Davis, Jr.

In 1837, the following notice appeared in the local newspaper[4],

This document first proved that the statement that Jonathan died between 1831 and 1839 is only partially right. He definitely died sometime after 23 January 1837.

Secondly, the article refers to Jonathan Davis and his wife Elizabeth. Since this notice has to do with the division or sale of the Real Estate of George Parker, it's evident that Elizabeth Davis, wife of Jonathan, is related and most likely a daughter of the said George Parker. We know this is not Jonathan Daniel, Jr.; in the 1850 Census[5] Daniel, age 32, is listed in his Mother household who is listed as Sarah Davis. My take is that Sarah Davis is Sarah Elizabeth Parker Davis. While there is not conclusive evidence, we have a piece of evidence that points in this direction whereas no documentation is available to substantiate a Barnes or Rivers surname.

You are certain to experience "rabbit trails" in your research. Don't just "shrug" them off or discount them entirely. They are a lot like "family folklore"; sometimes, you may find them to be productive.

[1] False leads, misinformation,

[2] 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), pages 54.

[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 124.

[4] "Division or Sale of Real Estate of George Parker", Cheraw Gazette (Cheraw, South Carolina), 14 February 1837, page 4, Col. 4.

[5] 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page 180B, Line 38, Dwelling 162, Family 1262, Household of Sarah DAVIS; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 28 August 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Simon Lundy Will provides key to wife of Lewis Boatwright

For many years I knew from census records that Lewis Boatwright had married Sarah [LNU[1]]. About January 2001, I networked with a Boatwright researcher that provided me a clue to her identity. The document was a SC equity record abstract.

Records Equity CED 1803-1815, p. 357

Simon Lundy of Chesterfield Co. died 1796. Wife Becky Lundy. (his will dated July 26, 1795) Issue:
Edith Lundy "Edy", at age of 50 married James Wages, 21, in 1813. She had one illegitimate child,
1. Becky Lundy, married Alexander Melton
2. Sarah Boatwright, wife of _____ Boatwright
3. Drury Lundy

Based on the time frame it seemed evident that the Sarah Boatwright named above was also the Sarah married to Lewis Boatwright.

Since that time I have found several documents that proved this connection; one of those being the Will of Simon Lundy.

Sarah Lundy, daughter of Simon Lundy and his wife Rebecca [LNU], married Lewis Boatwright about 1785. Their firstborn, a daughter, named Siddie was born January 1786.

This WILL is NOT indexed nor listed on the SC Archives database yet it is contained within Equity Records on file at the Archives.

Exhibit (A) Simon Lundy Will

In the name of God Amen. I Simon Lundy of Chesterfield County and state of South Carolina being weak of body but of perfect mind, memory and understanding do hereby make my last will and testament in writing as follows:

First it is my will and desire that my beloved wife Becky Lundy have the use of my plantation and negroes with my stock of cattle, horses, hogs, and ____, houses, plantation tools and household furniture during her natural life and at her decease to go to the following persons Vis:

I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Edy Lundy one hundred and fifty acres of land bounding on Gilbert Purvis and Joseph Booth's land & on the East side on one hundred acres that I intend to will and bequeath to Sarah Boatwright and a negro fellow names Charles and a negro girl named Phebe with her future increases with my horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and geese and also my plantation tools and household furniture except a bed blanket and sheet and in case of her death without lawful heirs to her daughter Becky Lundy. But if she should have such lawful heirs, to be equally divided between them and the said Becky Lundy, her daughter, share and share alike. But in case said Edy Lundy and Becky Lundy die without such heirs lawfully begotten, that the aforesaid land, negroes, horses, black cattle, hogs, sheep, and geese with the plantation tools and household furniture be equally divided between my son Drury Lundy and my daughter Sarah Boatwright share and share alike.

I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Sarah Boatwright, one hundred acres of land adjoining the above mentioned one hundred and fifty [150] acres on the east and on land belonging to Drury Lundy and to include the plantation where Lewis Boatwright now lives with a negro woman named Celia with her future increase and a negro boy named Bob and also a bed, blanket, and sheet to her and her heirs share and share alike, and it is my will and desire that my said daughter Sarah Boatwright pay unto my beloved son Drury Lundy in one year after my decease one hundred [$100] dollars cash in order to purchase him a negro.

And I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my beloved son Drury Lundy and my friend Haywood Todd, Senior Executor of this my last will and testament and I do hereby revoke and disannul all and all former and other Wills and Testaments by me in any wise here to fore made ratifying and confirming this my only Last Will and Testament in witness where I have here unto set my hand and seal this twenty-sixth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five.

Simon X Lundy{seal}

Signed, sealed, published, pronounce
By the Testator in the presence of
us who in his and at his request
and in the presence of have here unto
subscribed our names.
Alex'd Cray, Haywood Todd, William Bevill

I do hereby [certify] the within to be a true copy of the original Will of Simon Lundy, deceased, now on file in my office, Chesterfield.

William Pegeus, Ordinary
Ordinaries Office
March 21th, 1808

{A copy of this WILL was provided to this author by Julie W . of Marion, SC}

[1] LNU = Last Name Unknown