Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday–Historic Homes of Chesterfield, SC

9 - Austin-Craig House

This house was completed in 1858 as a residence for a Mr. Austin, a lawyer from Pennsylvania. Local  legend says Union troops attempted to burn the house during the Civil War but stopped when told by a slave woman it was built for a "Yankee". Some evidence of the fire remains visible today.

[1] Historic Chesterfield South Carolina Brochure, A Visitor's Guide to Chesterfield's Historic Homes and Buildings, Historical Society of Chesterfield County, Chesterfield, South Carolina.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday–The Family Cemetery

Jackson Memorial Stone
Photo courtesy of Sharon Corey

The above stone is a Memorial Stone purchased and erected at Elizabeth Baptist Church in Mt. Croghan, South Carolina. The individuals immortalized on this stone were and still are interred in the May Family Cemetery on a farm that they owned at the time of their deaths. These families lived along the border of North & South Carolina in Chesterfield (SC) and Anson County (NC).

The original headstones for their graves were willfully destroyed and all signs of the original Cemetery eradicated and the tombstones dump in a nearby gully. What happened to this cemetery is adequately documented here.

I would like to dwell on Why and What? Why are these Family Cemeteries being destroyed daily throughout the United States.? Why is nothing being said or done to prevent this deliberate destruction of such a scared place. Why?

Have we become a complacent society that doesn't care anymore?

We have laws; why are they not enforced?

What can be done to prevent this destruction?

There is an organization dedicated to preserving these cemeteries, it's called – SavingGraves

In North Carolina concern over the plight of abandoned, forgotten family cemeteries resulted in formation of a Legislative study committee in 1978. Their findings were reported to the General Assembly in 1981. As a result of these findings North Carolina says that criminal and civil statutes have been strengthened.

In fact, these “strengthen laws” have done very little to curtail the deliberate destruction of these cemeteries and our elected officials don’t have time to give it any attention.

These statutes are supposed to protect cemeteries from urban development, agricultural activity, harvesting of timbers, neglect and vandalism. Their "Cemetery Survey" program is designed to identify, map and describe all cemeteries regardless of size in North Carolina. All historical, genealogical, sociological and cultural data pertaining to these cemeteries are to be permanently preserved.

There are several General Statutes[1] that protects these cemeteries. They are:
G.S. 14-148 and G.S. 14-149 outline the penalties for defacing and desecrating gravesites and for plowing over or covering up graves:
G.S. 65-1 through G.S. 65-3 outlines the duties of the county commissioners:
G.S. 65-7 through G.S. 65-11 describes the legal means for setting up a trust fund for the upkeep of a cemetery:
G.S. 65-13 details the proper procedure for the removal of graves, including who may disinter, move, and reinter:
G.S. 65-37 through G.S. 65-40 authorizes municipalities to assume control of any abandoned cemeteries within their boundaries:

This effort has done very little to curtail cemetery destruction in North Carolina. Violations of these statutes are considered a misdemeanor. They can result in a fine up to $500 and imprisonment of 60 days to a year. The punishment does not fit the crime.

If you think this is a harsh statement, consider how violating an Indian Grave protected under the Archaeological Resource Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979 or just picking up an Indian arrowhead on public lands is prosecuted. It's a violation of federal law – a federal offense. Are their graves more scared than our ancestors? We must do more to protect Family Cemeteries.

It’s time for a - National Cemetery Protection Act with harsh and stiff penalties.

Other suggestions are:

Historical Designation:
We can protect them through historical designations. If an Indian arrowhead on public land is protected shouldn't all cemeteries over 50 years of age be consider historical cemeteries.

Cemetery Preservation Association
A Cemetery Preservation Association could be established to maintain the cemeteries. The association could be established by the descendants of people buried within the cemetery or by municipalities.

Tougher Laws
We can fight for and demand tougher laws for the protection of these cemeteries. Demand that we establish a National Cemetery Protection Act.
Each of these actions would contribute to the survival of our pioneer family cemeteries. We need to protect and preserve these cemeteries. What part will you play in their survival?

A few NC Cemeteries being protected:
Three different cemeteries, all of pioneer families of Anson County, North Carolina. I took these photos in February 2002.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Military Monday – William Henry Jordan

William Henry Jordan enlisted into Jas. C. Coit’s Company, Light Artillery (Chesterfield Light Artillery) South Carolina Volunteers on August 26, 1862. He was enlisted by James C. Coit for the duration of the war.

William Henry was the son of Enoch Jordan and Mary Horn. The 1860 Census for Chesterfield County shows the family without a father suggesting that Mary was a widow with six (6) children to raise. William Henry was the oldest male in the family; he had an older sister named Mary Ann.

William Henry Jordan’s  Civil War Record consists of a total of 8 images of which half are related to his admission to hospitals and ultimately his death at Howard Moore Hospital, Richmond, Virginia on July 29, 1863 of typhoid fever. [1]

William Henry Jordan was a mere 20 years old. I learned of William Henry Jordan through a glowing account of his short life expounded in his obituary from an on-line database. [2]

Page 4-William Henry Jordan

[2] Obituary: The Charleston Mercury, November 16, 1863.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Circumstantial Evidence–Analyzing the Clues

On September 5, 2012 we discussed the family of Epps Rivers Brown and the use if given names versus nicknames.

On one side, Epps was blessed with 7 daughter and 3 sons; on the other hand, now its my burden trying to find these girls after they left home.

One of those daughters was said to be Julia A. Brown. Never mind that available census records do not show a daughter names Julia. In the census, these girls are listed by nicknames NOT by their given names.
I have a FGS that shows that Joel H. Goodwin married Julia A. Brown on 26 Feb 1879 in Oauchita County, Arkansas.


A copy of the actual marriage license was found on-line at [1]


Enlarge section of the bottom portion of this license show that Joel H. Goodwin and Julia A. Brown were  married on 26 Feb. 1879 as shown on the above FGS snippet. [2]


This is actual proof that Joel H. Goodwin married Julia A. Brown and the 1880 census[3] clearly shows them living as husband and wife. But, there is no proof here that Julia A. Brown is in fact a daughter of Epps Rivers Brown. The licensee does show that Julia A. Brown was of Union County, Arkansas and that is where Epps River and Dorinda Adair Brown was living.


A Rivers Family History Book[4] hand written by Minnie Sanders Rivers about 1929 in Chesterfield County (origin of Brown family) shows that Epps & Dorinda did have a daughter who first married Joel H. Goodwin and then a second marriage to James Buckner. But, Minnie shows this daughter to be named – Dora.


Lines 209 – Dora and 210- Nannie are two of the daughters of Epps Rivers Brown and his wife Dorinda Adair. Evidence points to both of these girls moving to Texas.

Item 210 shows that “Nannie “married Al Glass. Nannie is actually Edmonia Lynn Brown and she married Absolom Pratt “Abb” Glass on 27 Sep 1888 in Navarro, Texas.[5]


Conversely, James M. Buckner and his wife were also found in Texas but his wife was going by the name of Doanie or Donnie Brown Buckner. Her Texas death certificate #4376 list J. M. Buckner as her husband and E. R. Brown and Dorinda Ardan [Adair] as her parents.[6]


Is Julia A. Brown and Donnie Buckner the same person? I think that circumstantial evidence point to the likelihood that these two individuals are the same person. However, the only link that connect these events are a 1929 handwritten family history that states “Dora married Joel H. Goodwin and Jim Buckner. Regardless of the name of the daughter, the author of this document was clearly stating that the girl was twice married, first to Joel H. Goodwin and second to Jim Buckner.

Another piece of evidence compounding this circumstantial case is a marriage between J. M. Buckner to Julia Evelyn Bradley.

Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 about Julia E Bradley[7] Name: Julia E Bradley
Gender: Female
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1855
Residence: El Dorado, Union, Arkansas
Spouse's Name: J M Buckner
Spouse's Gender: Male
Spouse's Age: 27
Spouse's Residence: El Dorado, Union, Arkansas
Marriage Date: 28 Mar 1880
Marriage License Date: 26 Mar 1880
Marriage County: Union
Event Type: Marriage
FHL Film Number: 988519
Source Information: Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data:
"Arkansas County Marriages, 1838–1957." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. "Arkansas County Marriages, 1838–1957," database, FamilySearch; from Arkansas Courts of Common Pleas and County Clerks. Digital images of originals housed at various county courthouses in the State of Arkansas. Marriage records.

It's certain that the ending to this story has not been fully told. There is either two J. M. Buckner's here or the man is getting married quite often. The case is not solved. More research is needed.

If you have any suggestions on how to proceed with determining if these two women are the same person or if you have first-hand knowledge of this family please contact me through this blog.

[1] "Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957," digital images - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 January 2013), Clerk Copy, "Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B"," page 381, Joel H. Goodwin and Julia A. Brown; citing Register of Deed, Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B", page 381.
[2] "Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957," digital images - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 January 2013), Clerk Copy, "Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B"," page 381, Joel H. Goodwin and Julia A. Brown; citing Register of Deed, Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B", page 381.
[3] 1880 U. S. Census, Union County, Arkansas, population schedule, Tremont, Ouachita County, Arkansas, enumeration district (ED) #221, Page 47A; Line 1, Dwelling NL, Family NL, Household of J. H. GOODWIN; digital images, ( : viewed 3 September 2011); citing NARA publication Roll: T9-0058.
[4] Minnie Sanders Rivers, A Rivers Family (Chesterfield, South Carolina: self-Published, 1929), page 26.
[5] Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Confederate Pension Applications, 1899-1975," database, Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Austin, Texas, Ancestry ( : viewed 4 September 2012), Edmonia Lynn Glass, Pension File Number: 33071.
[6] State of Texas, death certificate no. 4376 (9 January 1933), Donnie Buckner; https:/
[7] Union County, Arkansas, marriage no. 00426 (28 March 1880), J. M. Buckner age 27 and Julia E. Bradley, age 25; County Courthouse, Union County, Arkansas.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday – My On-Line Genealogy Friends

For the past 37-38 years I have spent an amazing amount of time and energy researching my direct and indirect lines.

Computers and the internet have been an integral part of my research during the past the past 20+ years.

I put my first website on-line about 1995 or 1996. Don’t believe that old saying that “once it is put on the internet it’s there forever.” My website was on-line with a new internet host called back in 1995 and 1996 before I moved it over to a free site call When I search today on the Internet Archives Wayback Machine, I find very little of the site remaining.

Geocites shut down about the time I moved from Utah back to North Carolina (2000) and I didn't bother finding another web hosting site. During this same time I was active on several Rootweb’s mailing list and served as administrator of a list.
Then a little over a year ago, I decided to start a blog; thus was born – Carolina Family Roots.

Over these many years I have made a lot of internet and e-mail friends; many of whom I am in contact with today.

How many of you can remember your first e-mail address. Well my first e-mail address way back in 1994 was with Prodigy and I was assigned - ANDH68A as a screen name for my e-mail. I still have genealogy e-mail archives from those days.

Now that we have reminisced a little, the intent of my blog posting today was to thank all the new friends I have interfaced with and corresponded with over the years. Some of you I have forgotten your name; but, every now and then I come across an e-mail or a document that you sent me and I remember you and it brightens my day.

Others, I will never forget and all my new found friends in the blogging world I just think you are so wonderful. I have been helped in my journey tremendously by your short or long presence in my life.

I have tried to give as much or more than I have received. You my friends, my readers and my followers have all enriched my life. I only hope that my impact on your life has been as fruitful.

Thank you all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

On Monday, January 21, 2013, I was graciously awarded the “Wonderful Team Readership Award” by Colleen at “Leaves & Branches”.

This award is very special to me and I an honored that Colleen of Leaves & Branches selected me to share this award.

I love genealogy and I love helping people with their genealogy. I read about 65 genealogy blogs every day. Another major interest I have is the Civil War and in that category I read another 15 blogs. I am continually learning about new techniques and new resources from the blogs I read every day. My thanks to all who share their love of genealogy through their blog posting.

I started my blog on the 1st day of January 2012. While doing some research in Mississippi on my Brock line and their connections to the Fortenberry’s, Brumfield and Alford families I found Colleen’s blog Leaves & Branches.

Leaves & Branches has been at the top of my “Blog List/Roll” from that day foreword.Colleen has always been there commenting and offering encouragement. She is someone I count on for feedback on my posting.
Thank you Colleen for bestowing such an honor upon me.

“A great reader is someone who always has time to read an article or story, think about it and then share those thoughts through feedback.”

Rules of the award…
Thank the nominator and link back to their site as well;
Display the award logo on your blog;
Nominate no more than fourteen readers of your blog you appreciate and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know about the award;
Finish this sentence: “A great reader is…”

This Award is meant to be passed forward. The following individuals have been perceptible, encouraging and helpful with their comments and suggestions during the past year. Therefore, I nominate each of them for “The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.”
  1. Jacqi at A Family Tapestry
  2. Jim at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Blog
In closing I want to thank the readers of my blog. It is you, my readers and subscribers, that provides the encouragement and incentive to continue posting as often as possible.
I will continue to Post, so

Keep Reading and Keep Commenting

Monday, January 21, 2013

Military Monday–Andrew “Drew” Rivers

Very few people know the story of Andrew “Drew’ Rivers.

Andrew Rivers, aka as Drury was born about 1845 to John B. Rivers and Eliza Rivers. He was the middle son of a rather large family; five sibling older than he and 5 sibling  who were younger.

When the Civil War began in early 1861, he was just a lad about 16 years old; too young to go off to war. I sure he got all caught up in the excitement of all the young and older men around Chesterfield that were organizing and marching off to war. There is no record that Andrew ever volunteer and signed up for the War; but, he died as a prisoner of War in a Union POW Camp at Point Lookout, Maryland.  

After General Sherman’s march on and burning of Atlanta, he continued on to the sea at Savannah then headed north toward Columbia, South Carolina on his way to Goldsborough, North Carolina.  [Official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 47 (Part II), page 178]. By 1 February 1865, General Sherman entire Army was in march from Atlanta. On February 17th, 1865, he captured Columbia, South Carolina.

It’s rumor that the Union Army sacked and destroyed the city piling up bales of cotton to be burned in the streets of the city. Leaving Columbia, the next destination was Chesterfield Court House, the bedrock of secession.

As Sherman Forces moved eastward from Lancaster, through Mt. Croghan and on toward Chesterfield on the 24th of February 1865, Drew Rivers, a citizen of the Chesterfield County, a mere lad of  20 was captured and imprisoned.

Andrew Rivers

He died in Pt. Lookout on 8 May 1865.

Andrew Rivers Captured

There’s a Confederate Tombstone for Drury Rivers in the Rivers Cemetery. I have found no record that Drury was returned to South Carolina. He is most likely buried at Pt. Lookout, Maryland in the mass grave that all the other prisoners that died within.

Drury RIVERS, Co. D, 6th SC Cav CSA**

Drury Rivers
[1] 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield District, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) No ED, page 128A; Line 33, dwelling 462; family 462, Household of John B. RIVERS; digital images, ( : accessed ); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
[2] 1860 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) No Ed, Page: 116; Line 15, dwelling 314, family 313, Household of Eliza RIVERS; digital images, ( : viewed 29 August 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M653_1217.
[3]  Sherman's March Through the Carolinas, John G. Barrett, Page 106.
[4] POW's held at Point Lookout Maryland, Film #1303418, FHL, SLC Entry #3906. Death recorded as 8 May 1865 in same film, same entry.
[5] - short link - - Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865 [6] Buried in the Confederate Cemetery at Point Lookout, Maryland is a  Drew Rivers, Citizen, Chesterfield, S. C. died 5/8/1865. Source: Register of Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, Compiled in the Office of the Commissioner for Marking Graves of Confederate Dead, War Department, 1912. Re-issued by Frances Ingmire and Carolyn Ericson, Ericson Books, Nacogdoches, TX & Ingmire Publications, St. Louis, MO, copyright 1984.
[7] Johnson Hagood, Memoirs of the War of Succession (Camden, SC 29020: Jim Fox Books, 1997 (Reprint)).
[8] James C. Pigg, Chesterfield County Cemetery Survey; Self-Published, 1995, page 1160. Tombstone of Drury RIVERS; , Rivers Cemetery, Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

** I found no record for a Drury Rivers, Co. D, 6th SC Cav CSA, on the Website -

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday’s Obituary–John C. Craig

John C. Craig, son of Dr. Jas. C. and Laura S. Craig, was born December 2d, 1849, and died near Cheraw, South Carolina, 3d April 1872. W. Wall [1]

This young man had just turn 22 years of age a few month earlier. He was 22 years 4 months and 1 day old, a son of Dr. James C. Craig and Laura S. Purvis. His maternal grandparents were John William Purvis and Sarah McMillian.

No tombstone was found for John C. Craig.

[1] DEATH AND OBITUARY NOTICES FROM THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE 1867-1878, Issue of May 15, 1872, (, <short hyperlink ->

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Surname Saturday–No Paper Trail, No Leads

Joseph Henry Johns is my 2nd  Great Grandfather. Of all the extended families I have research, this family has been the most problematic; especially for what is almost modern day family.

The first problem I encounter was  - Who was Joseph Henry Johns wife? And to tell the truth, I still am not fully convinced that I know the correct answer. In 1880 census, Marlboro County, SC, Joseph Henry is with his father, unmarried, age 31.[1]
In 1900, Joseph Henry is a widower with 6 children.[2] His wife most likely died during childbirth in July 1898. A young daughter, Mamie, is in the household in 1900 born,  July 1898. 

By 1910, Mamie is missing from the household and is presumed to have passed away. Remaining in the household are  Ida, Fanny and Walter.

Julius, Annie Bell and Nellie have moved out of the household and have married or are about to be married.  Samuel, born 1890, is a total mystery until he shows up in 1920 census and then disappears again.

Joseph Henry Johns was born in Apr 1849 in Marlboro, South Carolina, United States.[3][4] He appeared in the census in 1900 in Bennettsville, Marlboro, South Carolina, United States.[5] He appeared in the census in 1910 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, United States.[6] Joseph appeared in the census in 1920 in Cheraw, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.[7] He died on 8 Apr 1929 at the age of 80 in McFarlan, Anson County, North Carolina.[8–9] He was buried on 10 Apr 1929 at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States.

Joseph Henry Johns and Laura Driggers were married about 1882. Laura Driggers was born about 1869 in Marlboro, South Carolina, United States. She died about 1898 at the age of 29.

Joseph Henry Johns and Laura Driggers had the following children:

i. Walter Joseph Johns Sr., born 2 Aug 1883, Bennettsville, Marlboro, South Carolina; married Arletha Quick, abt 1913; married Blanche Scott, 10 Aug 1927, Bennettsville, Marlboro, South Carolina; married Ellen Grooms, 22 Aug 1933, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina; died 31 Jan 1964, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina.

ii. Julius Johns, born 4 Mar 1887, Bennettsville, Marlboro, South Carolina; married Mary Catherine Brock, 16 Jun 1912, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina, United States; died 16 May 1937, Monroe, Union, North Carolina.

iii. Annie Bell Johns, born May 1888, Marlboro, South Carolina; married Robert Roller, abt 1914; married Will Ellis Boan, abt 1919; died 22 Jul 1923, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina.

iv. Samuel Johns was born about 1890 in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina. He appeared in the census in 1920.[10] 

v. Nellie Johns, born Jul 1891, ,Marlboro Co.,South Carolina; married George Washington Heustess, Oct 1909; died 18 Jan 1928, Columbia, Richland, South Carolina.

vi. Fanny Belle Johns, born Jul 1892, Marlboro Co.,South Carolina; married John T. Jones.

vii. Ida B. John was born about 1893 in ,Marlboro Co.,South Carolina.[11]

viii. Mamie John was born in Jul 1898 in ,Marlboro Co.,South Carolina.[12]

Now, let's look at data found for Joseph and his children:

Joseph Henry Johns, My Great Grandfather. He was said to have been paralyzed in his old age; yet, his obit & NC Death Certificate says he killed himself with a shotgun. Died April 8, 1929 in Anson County, North Carolina. His NC Death Certificate has "not known" listed for both parents. NC Death Certificate shows he was buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Cheraw, SC. No tombstone.

Laura Driggers, my Great Grandmother?,  listed as a 10 year in 1880 with her Grandfather Jeremiah Polson or Polston.

Walter Joseph Johns, my great Uncle, married 3 times.  I knew him vaguely, most of that time he was crippled and bed-ridden. Died 31 Jan 1964, SC will not released death record until 2016. Buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Cheraw, South Carolina.

Julius Johns, My Grandfather, died 16 May 1937, 5 years before I was born. His NC Death Certificate lists his Father as Joe Johns, Mother "not known". Buried at Zoar United Church Cemetery, Chesterfield, South Carolina  

Annie Bell Johns Boan, my Great Aunt, died 22 Jul 1923; SC death certificate shows father as Joseph Johns, No mother listed.

Samuel Johns, b. about 1890, only record is 1930 census listed as son; living with Joseph Johns. Never knew nor met him. Was Samuel really a son of Joseph Johns and Laura Driggers???

Nellie Johns, my Great Aunt, married George Washington Heustess, died 18 Jan 1928. Buried at Bethesda cemetery. Her SC death certificate says her Father was Joe Johns and Mother was Laura Driggers.

Fanny Belle Johns, my Great Aunt, married  John T. Jones. Unable to find after 1920 census. Eight known children, no record for them found.

Ida Belle Johns, my Great Aunt, born 1893; no further info found.

Mamie Johns, my Great Aunt, born, July 1898, presumed to have died at a young age before 1910.

This family is a real puzzle.  There just does not seem to be any paper trail for these people, not even a crumb of a lead.

Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed. 

1.  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, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm T9_1235.
2. 1900 U. S. Census, Marlboro County, South Carolina, population schedule, Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) 87, page 55A, dwelling 365, family 383, Household of Joseph John; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm T623_1536.
3. 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, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
4. 1860 U. S. Census, Russell County, Alabama, population schedule, Seals Station, Russell County, Alabama, enumeration district (ED) No ED, page 893, Line 7, dwelling 238, family 227, Household of Shadrick Johns; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M653_22.
5. 1900 U. S. Census, Marlboro County, South Carolina, population schedule, Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) 87, page 55A, dwelling 365, family 383, Household of Joseph John; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm  T623_1536.
6. 1910 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Courthouse, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) #0037, page 149, dwelling 400, family 400, Household of Joe John; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm  T624_1455.
7. 1920 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Cheraw, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) #36, page 95B, Line 99, dwelling 735, Household 736, Household of Joseph Johns; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm T625_1690.
8. Joseph Johns, death certificate #1929 (1929), Register of Deeds, Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina.
9. CONFEDERATE VETERAN COMMITS SUICIDE, The Messenger and Intelligence, Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina, 11 April 1929, Front page. Joseph Henry Johns
10. 1920 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Cheraw, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, ED #36, page 95B, Line 99, dwelling 735, Household 736, Household of Joseph Johns.
11. 1910 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Courthouse, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, ED #0037, page 149, dwelling 400, family 400, Household of Joe John.
12. 1900 U. S. Census, Marlboro County, South Carolina, population schedule, Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chesterfield, SC – Home of Succession

Headlines from the Cheraw Correspondent for “The Charleston Mercury,” November 23, 1860, front page, clearly shows that Chesterfield County held the first secession meeting on Thursday, November 15th, 1860.

The has been an item of interest because Abbeville, South Carolina has claimed the “First in Secession” title based on a succession meeting held there on November 22, 1860.[1] This newspaper article clearly shows that Chesterfield held their secession meeting 7 days prior to the secession meeting in Abbeville, South Carolina.


Our Cheraw Correspondents
Cheraw, November 19
The State of Public Feeling in Chesterfield, etc.
“Knowing the deep solicitude you and many of your readers feel in the movements of the people of the State at this momentous period, I hasten to inform you and them of the events in Chesterfield in the last few days.
Last Thursday was parade day for the upper battalion. There was quite a large turnout. After the parade, the people were addressed by the Hon. J. W. BLAKENEY, our Senator and by our Representatives Colonels MACFARLAN and PRINCE, and also by Col. S. JACKSON. At the close of Col. JACKSON’S speech he submitted the question of submission, or of resistance by immediate Secession, to a vote of the battalion; upon requesting all in favor of the latter to advance four paces, the whole battalion advanced four paces, leaving not a solitary man for submission. The course of our Senator and Representatives was unanimously and most enthusiastically endorsed.
Saturday last was parade day for the lower battalion. I had the pleasure of being present. The same speakers with Major A. McQUEEN and F. M. McIVER, Esq., addressed the people. The speeches were received with enthusiastic applause. After the speaking the military and spectators were requested, if they approved of the action of the Legislature in calling a Convention, to make their approbation known by advancing four paces to the front; a unanimous forward movement was the response. Immediate separate secession, and a Southern Confederacy were vociferously demanded.
At both the upper and lower battalion the lone star flag graced the fields.
I this evening returned from our Court House, where one of the largest meetings ever assembled in the District was held today. The object of the meeting was to nominate candidates for delegates to the convention. The meeting was organized by the appointment of Hon. J. W. BLAKENEY Chairman, a committee of twenty-four, three from each beat, were appointed to nominate a ticket, the Committee retired, and after due deliberation returned, having unanimously agreed upon a ticket, and reported the following ticket:
During the absence of the committee, the meeting was most ably addressed by Cols. PRINCE and MACFARLAN. At the conclusion of Col. MACFARLAN’S remarks, the committee made their report, whereupon the nominees were severally called out in the following order: COL. JACKSON, H. McIVER and Chancellor INGLIS. All the nominees, in the most emphatic language, declared themselves in favor of immediate separated secession. The whole question was fully discussed in a clear and forcible manner, and with a clear and forcible manner, and with a fervency and eloquence that could only have been inspired by a due sense of its vast importance. At the conclusion of the speeches of the nominees, the nomination was submitted to a vote of the meeting, and it was unanimously concurred in. The Honorable J. W. BLAKENEY, Col. A. M. LOWERY, and Gen. E. B.C. CASH were then called upon to address the meeting. Their remarks, though brief, were to the appoint. They fully endorsed the action of the Legislature in calling a Convention, believing the immediate separate secession was the only remedy, and that nothing short of that could save the honor, and protect the rights and interests of the State.
The meeting was not only one of the largest and most enthusiastic, but also one of the most harmonious ever held in the District. The people, including beardless youths and gray-headed grandfathers, were eager and interested listeners from an early hour in the day till a late hour in the evening; and for the first time in my recollection a goodly number of the fair sex graced, with their interesting presence and encouraging smiles, a political meeting in Chesterfield District.
The ticket nominated will certainly be elected without opposition. For talent, integrity and firmness of purpose it will not be surpassed by that of any other District. Our delegates will represent a District that is a unit in opposition to Black Republican domination and in favor of immediate State secession. Indeed we have but one party in the District.
Ex-Senator CHESNUT and Mr. MULLINS of Marion, among others, were invited to attend and address the meeting, and our people were greatly disappointed that neither attended.
A neatly gotten up flag of medium size, having on it a Palmetto tree with a rattlesnake coiled around it, with its rattles sprung and in the attitude of striking, a lone star in one corner, and the inscription, "Immediate State Action," floated over the public square. After the adjournment of the meeting the whole concourse of ladies and gentlemen assembled under it, and saluted it with three deafening cheers.
Altogether it was one of old Chesterfield’s most glorious days. Her citizens a unit in their stern resolve to resist to the death the domination of Black Republican fanaticism -- to die free rather than to live slaves."
[The Charleston Mercury, Nov. 23, 1860, Front page, Column 3].[2]

In this newspaper article, we find that two meetings were held; one on Thursday (15th) by the Upper Battalion and another meeting on Saturday (17th) by the Lower Battalion

Secession Rock, Chesterfield Court House, SC

The stone reads “First Succession Meeting – Chesterfield Courthouse -- November 19, 1860.”
On the back of this stone is written “Dedicated by U.D.C’s of Chesterfield County to the Brave Men, Devoted Women and Faithful Slaves ’61 – ’65.”

In Summary:
“The Charleston Mercury” published on Friday, November 23, 1860 states that the Secession vote was taken LAST THURSAY.
The unnamed reporter wrote his byline, after the meeting, datelined - Cheraw, November 19, The State of Public Feeling in Chesterfield, etc…
“In the second paragraph the reporter states: “Last Thursday… There was quite a large turnout. After the parade, the people were addressed by the Hon. J. W. BLAKENEY, our Senator and by our Representatives Colonels MACFARLAN and PRINCE, and also by Col. S. JACKSON. At the close of Col. JACKSON’S speech he submitted the question of submission, or of resistance by immediate Secession, to a vote of the battalion; … The course of our Senator and Representatives was unanimously and most enthusiastically endorsed.
The 19th of November 1860 was a Monday, a week prior to publication of “The Charleston Mercury” on 23 November 1860, the following Friday. The Thursday prior to Monday the 19th of November would put the date of the Parade and Meeting as taking place on November 15, 1860.
Calendar, Nov 1860

[2] “The State of Public Feeling in Chesterfield, etc.”, The Charleston Mercury, Charleston, South Carolina, November 23, 1860, Front Page, Column 3.
[3] Note: I have a copy of the entire newspaper article and the above transcription is an accurate transcription of that article.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Born in Slavery - Interview with Hannah Hancock, Ex-Slave


Interview with Hannah Hancock of Arkansas.
Age Past 80

     I was born in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. My mother's name was Chloa.[1] We lived on Hardy Sellers plantation. She was the white folks cook. I et in the white folks kitchen sometimes and sometimes wid the other children at maw's house. Show my daddy was livin. But he lived on another man's farms. His master's name was Billy Hancock and his name was Dave. Der was a big family of us but dey all dead now but three of us. Ize got two sisters and a brother still livin, I reckon. I ain't seed them in a long time. Mrs. Sellers had several children but they were all married when I come along and she was a widow. Joe Pete was her son and he lived close, about a mile across the field, but it was farther around the road. Billy Hancock married Mrs. Sellers daughter. My mistress didn't do much. Miss Becky Hancock wove cloth for people. You could get the warp ready and then run in the woof. She made checked dresses and mingledy looking cloth. They colored the cloth brown and purple mostly. Mrs. Sellers get a bolt of cloth and have it all made up into dresses for the children. Sometimes all our family would have a dress alike. Yesm, we did like dot. Granny made de dresses on her fingers. She was too old to go to de field an she tote water from the big spring and sometimes she water de hands when dey be hoeing. She would cut and dry apples and peaches. Nobody knowed how to can. They dried de beef. It show was good. It was jess fine. No maam, Granny didn't have no patterns. She jess made our dresses lack come in her haid. We didn't get many dresses and we was proud of em and washed and ironed and took care of em.

     I recollects hearing de men talking about going off to war and em going. No jess de white men left from Mrs. Sellers place. De children didn't set around and hear all that was said. They sent us off to play in the play houses. We swept a clean place and marked it off and had our dolls down there.
We put in anything we could get, mostly broken dishes. Yes maam, I had rag dolls and several of them. No wars real close but I could hear the guns sometimes.

     Mrs. Sellers had two large carriage horses. The colored boys took them down in the bottoms and took off a lot of the meat and groceries and hid them 'fo the Yankees come along. They didn't nebber fin them things. Mrs. Sellers was awful good and the men jess looked after her and tock care of her. Me or maw stayed at the house with her all the time, day and night. When anybody got sick she sent somebody to wait on them and went to see what they needed and some times she had 'em brought up to the house and give 'em the medicine herself. She didn't have no foman. Uncle Sam and uncle John was the oldest and uncle Henry. They was the men on the farm and they went right on with the work. Folks had bigger families than they do now. They show did work, but de field work don't last all de time. They cleared land and fixed up the rail fences in the winter. A rail fence was on each side of a long lane that led down to the pasture. The creek run through the pasture. It was show a pretty grove. Had corn shuckings when it was cold. We played base down there. We always had meat and plenty milk, collards and potatoes. Old missus would drip a barrel of ashes and make corn hominy in the wash pot nearly every week and we made all the soap we ever did see. If you banked the sweet potatoes they wouldn't rot and that's where the seed come from in the spring. In the garden there was an end left to go to seed. That is the way people had any seed. Times show have changed. I can't tell what to think. They ain't no more like than if they was another kind of folks. So much different. I jess look and live. I think they ought to listen to what you say. Say anything to them they say “Kaint run my business.” I don't know if they spected anything from freedom. Seemed like they thought they wouldn't have to work if dey was free and dey wouldn't have no boss. Missus let a lot of her land grow up in pine trees. Said she had no money to pay people to work for her. Some of de families staid on. My maw and paw went on a farm on share not far from Mrs. Sellers. When she was going to have company or she got sick she sent for my maw. My maw washed and ironed for her till they moved plum off. They said somebody told them it was freedom. When dey picked up and moved off de missus show didn't give em nothing. They didn't vote. They didn't know how. I heard a lot about the Ku Klux Klan but I wasn't scared. I never did see none.

     De younger generation jess lives today and don't know what he'll do tomorrow or where he'll be. I ain't  never voted and I don't know if my boys do or not.

     I never heard of uprisings. De paddy roll was to see after dot and Mrs. Sellers didn't have none. Uncle Sem and uncle John made em mind.

     Sing -- I say dey did sing. Sing about the cooking and about the milking and sing in de field.

     I never did see nobody sold. But I heard them talk about selling em. They tookem off to sell em. That was the worst part about slavery. The families was broke up. I never lived nowhere 'cept in South Carolina and Prairie County (Arkansas). My folks come here and they kept writing for me to come, and I come on the train. Mrs. Sellers son, Joe Sellers, killed himself, shot himself, one Sunday evening. Didn't know how come he dons it. I was too little to know what they expected from the war. The colored folks didn't have nothing to do with it 'cept they expected to get freed. A heap of people went to the cities, some of them died. After freedom things got pretty scarce to eat and there was no money. I worked as a house girl, tended to the children, brushed the flies off the table and the baby when it slept and swept the house and the yard too. After I come here (to Arkansas) I married and I worked on the farms. We sharecropped. I raised my children, had chickens, geese, a cow and hogs. When the cotton was sold we got some of it. Yes maam, I show had rether be out there if I could jess work. We lived on Mr. Dick Small's place till he sold out. We come to town a year and went back and made enough in one year to buy dis place. It cost $300. Jess my two sons and me. The others were married. My husband died on the farm. I come in town and done one or two washings a week. Yes maam I walked here and back. That kept me in a little money. It was about
two miles. I washed for Mr. L. Hall and part of the time for Mrs. Kate Hazen. I guess they treated us right about the crop settlement. We thought they did. We knowed how much was made and how much we got. The cheatin  come at the stores where the trading was done.

     I lives with my son and his wife. Sometimes I do my cooking and sometimes I eatin there. I get $8.00 from the RFC and prunes, rice, and a little dried milk. I buys my meal and sugar and lard and little groceries with the money. It don't buy what I used to have on the farm.

     I don't remember much about the war. I was so little. I heard them talk a lot about it and the way they killed folks. I thought it was awful. My hardest time is since I got old and can't work.

Subject Spells - Voodoo -

I asked her if she believed anyone could harm her and she said not not unless they could get her to eat or drink something. Then they might. She said a Gipsy was feeling her and slipped a dollar and a quarter tied up in her handkerchief from her and she never did know when or how she got it. Said she never believed their tales or had her fortune told. She didn't believe anyone could put anything under the door and because you walked over it you would get a “spell”. She said some people did. She didn't know what they put under the doors. She never was conjured that she knew of and she doesn't believe in it. Said she had to work too hard to tell tales to her children but she used to sing. She can't remember the songs she sang. She can't read or write.

The old women is blind and gray, wears a cap. Her Mistress was Mrs. Mary and her Master was Mr. Hardy Sellers in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. Her husband died and left her with six children. Her brother came with a lot of other fellows to Arkansas. "Everybody was coming either here on to Texas".
Mr. David Gates at DeValls Bluff sent her a ticket to come to his farm. Her brother was working for Mr. Gates Wattensaw plantation and that is where she has been till a few years ago she moved to Hazen and lives with her son and his wife. She remembered when the Civil War soldiers took all their food,
mules and hitched Mrs. Sellers driving horses to the surry and drove off.

Her Mistress cried and cried. She said she had a hard time after she left Mr. and Mrs. Sellers, they was sure good to them and always had more than she had ever had since. She wanted to go back to South Carolina to see the ones she left but never did have the money. Said they lived on Mr. Dick Small's place and he was so good to her and her children but he is dead too now.

Hardy Huntley Sellers is my 4th Great Grand Uncle. 

This information given by Hannah Hancock (c)
Place of Residence Hazen, Arkansas
Occupation Work in the cotton field - Cook and wash. Age 90
She is blind. She gets $8.00 pension, she is proud to tell.
Interviewer: Irene Robertson

Top - Left: Photograph of Nat Turner capture, courtesy of Wikipedia; in the public domain.

[1] Chloa, mother of Hannah, was the slave of James Sinclair who died intestate May 1852 leaving widow, Mary H. Sinclair; and children; one daughter was Mary Eliza Sinclair wife of Hardy Huntley Sellers.
[2] Library of Congress, “Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938” digital image of transcript, American Memory ( 13 January 2013), Interview with Hannah Hancock, Biscoe, Arkansas , digital ID mesn 023/143142; citing WPA Federal Writer's Project, Arkansas narrative, vol. 2, part 3, pages 142-148

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday – Robert Alexander Hanna


Robert Alexander Hanna
b. 16 June 1835
d. 20 May 1917
Age – 81 years, 11 months 4 days

Photo courtesy of Julious Burr

Robert Alexander was the son of Robert Hannah and Lydia Stone. Robert entered the Civil War on 1 July 1861 and served with Co. K, 26th North Carolina Infantry.  He was severely wounded at Gettysburg on 1 July 1863 resulting in the amputation of his left leg. He received a gunshot wound just below the knee joint. He also received a second wound on the left side of the head resulting in a fractured skull.  [Civil War records, LDS Family History Library Film # 1381326 and NC Pension Records Film #1535891].

Robert married Hannah Elizabeth Little; they are buried in burial in Hanna Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina.
North Carolina was a leader in providing artificial limbs to Civil war amputees. They contracted with the Jewett’s Patent Leg Company and opened  a factory in the old Raleigh bayonet factory. (NC Historical Marker, H-112) [1]

According to family members, he saved that leg (Jewett's Wooden artificial leg) for special occasions, having made other artificial limbs to help him do his farm work. (One homemade leg had a bull’s hoof for a foot!) The special care helped the Jewett’s Patent Leg last.”[2]

After his death on 20 May 1917 the family donated his artificial leg to the Civil War Museum, Bentonville Battlefield, North Carolina.

It remains on display in the Harper House at Bentonville Battlefield. Bennett Place State Historic Site, Durham, North Carolina.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Hardy Sellers, Sr.

Amanuensis Monday is a Web Blog theme started by blogger John Newmark. You can access his blog here.
A full explanation of the Amanuensis Monday blog theme can be found here.

Today's subject is the WILL of Hardy Sellers, Sr., born March 2, 1757, Johnson County, North Carolina and died January 17, 1835 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. Hardy Sellers, Sr. was twice married. His first wife was Mary COOK daughter of Abram Cook and Feebe MASTIN. His second wife, whom he married about 1827 was Lavina GULLEDGE, daughter of Rev. Joel Gulledge.

Hardy Sellers and Mary Cook are my 5th Great Grandparents (Maternal lineage).

The State of South Carolina}  
Chesterfield District}

I Hardy Sellers, Sr. of said State and District, do make ordained and constitute this my Last Will and Testament.

1st - My son John Sellers who sometime since moved to the West has received from me one track a land on Thompson’s Creek worth six hundred dollars, [ $600] one Negro man names Ned worth five hundred dollars [$500] and sixty [$60] dollars in money which I gave him as a full share of my estate, both real and personal.

2nd - My son Abraham Sellers I had previously given one Negro man named Jacob, worth five hundred dollars [ $500] besides sundry other articles I have not named , it is my will and I give him two other Negros viz Louis a boy and Penelope a girl to be his full share of my estate both real and personal.

3rd - My son Philip Sellers has received from the one track of land on Thompson’s Creek worth six hundred dollars [$600], one Negro woman worth four hundred dollars [$400] I also give him three five hundred dollars [$300] to be a full share of my estate both real and personal.

4th – My son Richard Sellers who lives in a Western country has received from me one wagon worth one hundred dollars [$100] and one hundred dollars [$100] in money, one Negro woman named Rhoda worth six hundred dollars [$600], and I give to his lawful begotten children three hundred dollars [$300] to be equally divided between them as they arrive to the age of twenty-one [21] years to be received as herein after directed to be his full share of my estate both real and personal.

5th - My daughter Mary Gaddy has received from me two Negros some money and so forth to the amount of her share of my estate both real and personal for which her husband Thomas Gaddy has given me a receipt to that it effect.

6th - To the three children on my deceased daughter Phoebe Gulledge viz: Elisha Gulledge, James Gulledge, Phoebe Gulledge, I give to each three hundred dollars [$300] to bear interest from my death until they arrived to twenty-one [21] years of age which sum is to be a full share of my estate both real and personal to the three last children named.

7th – To the son of my deceased daughter Jane Briley, Iverson L. Briley I give three hundred dollars [$300] to bear interest from my death until he arrives to the age of 21 years which is to be false is full share of my estate both real and personal.

8th - It is my will that my Executors sell my two tracts of land on Cruises Branch and one on Black Creek and such other of my property as are not disposed of such a stock, crops, household and kitchen furniture and etc to the amount of the legacies given and to be sold at their discretion in all legacies debts and expenses being provided for by my Executors then the balance of my estate not disposed of I given dispose of in the following manner. It is my will that the tract of land on which I live be divided in the following manner, that is to say, be equally divided between my beloved wife Lavina and my son Hardy Huntley Sellers and my daughter Zilpha Ann Sellers, my wife to have that part whereon the dwelling house and other out houses now stand and one third of the balance of my estate not given away I loan to my wife Lavina during her natural life time or widowhood except the land before mentioned to be for her use and benefit until my son Hardy H. do arrive to the age of twenty [20] years (should she remain my widow so long) at which time my son is to take possession of the said land and at the marriage or death of my said wife the whole of my estate not before given to my first set of children and grandchildren to be equally divided between my son Hardy H. and daughter Zilpha A. Sellers, my son as before stated to have that part whereon the dwellings now stand. And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my father-in-law Elder Joel Gulledge and my friends John Evans and Turner Bryan Brian Executors of this my Last Will and Testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 14th day July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four [1834] and in the 59th year of the American Independence.

Signed Sealed and Published}
and declared in the presence}
of the testator and in the presence}             Hardy Sellers, Sr. {seal}[1]
of us who have subscribed }
our names as witnesses hereto}
Neill Smith
William X(his mark) Hancock
Andrew J. Hancock

Recorded in Book #8 pages 28, 29, 30; January 26th 1835 then qualified John Evans Executor to this Will, T. Bryan, Ordy. 

[SOURCE: "Cheraw/Chesterfield District Wills, 1750-1865 & Abstracts from the Court of Common Pleas 1823-1869, James C. Pigg, January 2000, Page 107 & 108].

[1] James C. Pigg, Cheraw/Chesterfield District Wills, 1750-1865 &: Abstracts from the Court of Common Pleas 1823-1869 (Washington, D.C.: self-Published, 1995), pages 107 & 108.