Thursday, September 27, 2007

Queen of Sheba

Ethiopian Christians tell this story about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Their history holds that the Queen of Sheba was an Ethiopian sovereign named Makeda (Magda) and that she returned from her celebrated journey to the court of Solomon in Jerusalem bearing the king's son, David, who became the first king of Ethioipia, ruling as Menelik I. Makeda's tale is told in an ancient Ethiopian book, the Kebra Negast, or Glory of Kings, from which this is taken.
Ethiopian accounts indicate she was born in 1020 B.C. in Ophir, and educated in Ethiopia. Her mother was Queen Ismenie; her father, chief minister to Za Sebado, succeeded him as King. One story describes that as a child Sheba (called Makeda) was to be sacrificed to a serpent god, but was rescued by the stranger 'Angaboo. Later, her pet jackal bit her badly on one foot and leg, leaving lasting scars and deformity. When her father died in 1005 B.C.
Sheba became Queen at the age of fifteen. Contradictory sources refer to her as ruling for forty years, and reigning as a virgin queen for six years. In most accounts, she never married.
Sheba was known to be beautiful (despite her ankle and leg), intelligent, understanding, resourceful, and adventurous. A gracious queen, she had a melodious voice and was an eloquent speaker. Excelling in public relations and international diplomacy, she was a also competent ruler. The historian Josephus said of her, "she was inquisitive into philosophy and on that and on other accounts also was to be admired."

Power and riches could not satisfy Sheba's soul, for she possessed an ardent hunger for truth and wisdom. Before her visit to Solomon, she says to her people:

"I desire wisdom and my heart seeketh to find understanding. I am smitten with the love of wisdom.... for wisdom is far better than treasure of gold and silver... It is sweeter than honey, and it maketh one to rejoice more than wine, and it illumineth more than the sun.... It is a source of joy for the heart, and a bright and shining light for the eyes, and a giver of speed to the feet, and a shield for the breast, and a helmet for the head... It makes the ears to hear and hearts to understand."

"...And as for a kingdom, it cannot stand without wisdom, and riches cannot be preserved without wisdom.... He who heapeth up gold and silver doeth so to no profit without wisdom, but he who heapeth up wisdom - no man can filch it from his heart... I will follow the footprints of wisdom and she shall protect me forever. I will seek asylum with her, and she shall be unto me power and strength."

"Let us seek her, and we shall find her; let us love her, and she will not withdraw herself from us, let us pursue her, and we shall overtake her; let us ask, and we shall receive; and let us turn our hearts to her so that we may never forget her.

The Name Game

In the process of researching my family history, I have discovered a definite pattern in the naming of children.

The first is a tendency to name children after parents, grandparents or some other close relative. Although, this is now more a disappearing trend, long ago people used to believe in honoring their fathers, mothers and other special relatives by naming their offspring after them. As a result in researching my geneaological lines and viewing others, I have seen the same names repeated over and over. For instance, the names, Mary, Lucy, John, and so on are replicated throughout our family tree.

Another pattern is the use of a surname as a given name. This has also occurred in my own family tree as well as others. The most common pattern is to assign a mother's surname as the child's given or first name. For example, we have a Boykin Harris, Chestnut Harris and Chestnut Jefferson in the family. The names Boykin and Chestnut are both originally surnames from their mothers' and in this case, fathers' lines. These children were actually the offspring of slaves and their given and surnames came from the slaveowners. However, this naming pattern was not only practice among the slave families but the slave master's families as well. For instance, the slave owner was Boykin Witherspoon. Well, the name Boykin was his mothers' maiden name. He was a cousin of the famed Mary Miller Boykin Chestnut who wrote the book, "Diary from Dixie and as you might have noticed, her name follows the same pattern. Boykin was Mary's mothers' maiden name and her married name, Chestnut by the way is the same family line from which my slave ancestors acquired their name from. This trend can actually be valuable in genealogy because a woman's maiden name can often be revealed by the given (first) name of her children.

Yet, another pattern, mostly noticed during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries is the use of initials as first names. For instance, my gg-grandfather was named Richard Clyde Lee but he mostly used R.C. Lee. His aunt was Mollie Burdite Banks Curry but she was known primarily as M.B. Banks Curry. This naming practice either by the parents or the individuals themselves may have come about as a representation of social status. Many thought that by utilizing initials only, they would be viewed as successful, important or rich since many successful and wealthy icons of the period including J.P. Morgan and J.D. Rockefeller were so named. As a result, many people duplicated this pattern because they thought by naming their children in a similar manner, it would almost guarantee their child becoming as successful as the affluent people of that era.

In German society, there was a first name and a calling name, so John Jacob would have that name on church records, deeds, etc., but for anything else, he would be known as Jacob.
There was also a naming order for families. This was observed especially with the Mennonites. The first two sons were named after the child's Grandfathers. It was usually the father's side first honored unless the Mother's father had died before the Father's father and the Father's father was still living. The females were named in like order. They believed in honoring their fathers and mothers. This naming order started to go out in the 1840's.

In genealogy we usually concentrate on surnames since they are the most important way of identifying people who are related. However, a surname is usually inherited and, while it may be changed, some form of it is usually retained. Given names are important too because they represent a voluntary choice by the parents or, sometimes, by an individual to either honor a relative or capture the essence of the child. A name is usually not given lightly. It represents thought and feelings and can be significant to the researcher.

I myself was named by father, Jewel Alphonso Burney, a variation of my great-grandmother's name, Caroline Knox Burney. Her name was Caroline, mine is Karen.

While certain names are popular in different areas in different times in history, the repetition could represent a pattern. Many cultures believe in honoring their elders and do so by naming children after them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pressley Family History

This Tribute to my paternal ggg-grandfather on my father's mother's side as written by my cousin Aletha Jackson before her death.

This is a tribute is in remembrance to Father Stephen Pressley (Prestley) one of the pioneers of this community.

He was born in a place in South Carolina (Darlington County). His life is one worth emulating by those who knew him. He labored hard and long but died in the wilderness of human effort and determination long before the promised land of human fulfillment was reached.

He strived with force towards his goal and without stretched hands tried to seize the desired prize but he did not reach the land of promise. But through sacrifices he sought to prepare the way for his sons and daughters and threw the torch to the hands of another generation and encouraged them to seize it and keep the faith.

Though he was brought here as a slave, he resolved to show that in spite of circumstances, in spite of changes, crises, confusion, conflicts and even chaos, he would live a life that would help build a Christian Community, that would foster justice and peace in the hearts of men and in the lives of the community where he organized the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. His life and work will be remembered until Jesus comes back for his church.

Dr. C. McCartney painted a beautiful word picture when he said, "God has placed in the hand of man two wonderful Lamps. One is the Lamp of Hope which leads us forward through the uncertain mists of the future. The other is the Lamp of Memory which takes us by the hands and leads us back through the gloomy mist of the past to the happy scenes and memories of yesterday." Memory is a gift of God and can be a very beautiful thing . I would like to remind this Community what you already know, you have a enough memories to last a lifetime and the scriptures tell us that the memories of the just are Blessed!

Memory furnish such clear pictures to the mind that words seem unnecessary. Memory brings snow in the winter. Memory brings roses in the spring. Memory walks the silent streets of yester year, and connect people of the present with people of the past.

Father Stephen was born in Darlington County, South Carolina on January 3, 1820. He married Phyllis who was also born in South Carolina in September 1819. To this union, 8 children were born, (2) sons and (6) daughters. They were Mr. Alford Pressley, Mr. Issac (Isam) Pressley, Mrs. Peggy (Pressley)Brayboy, Mrs. Celia (Pressley)Mitchell, Mrs. Caroline (Pressley)Hines, Mrs. Sophia (Pressley)Latin, Mrs. Elsie (Pressley)Edwards and Mrs. Maria(h) (Pressley)Hines.

He was a slave from South Carolina brought here by the Witherspoon family. As he grew up in life, God spoke to Father Pressley and he built a Brush Habor and held Church service. Later the white people gave him money and land and he built a lumber church in the year 1872. He called it, Bethel Baptist Church in Frierson, LA where he pastored until his death.

In his pastoral, God spoke to him and he built a church in the Gloster Community. He organized the Morning Star Baptist chruch in the year 1891. He held service under Brush Habor and later built a wood frame. He ran a revival and in the "Soul Saving" meeting nine (9) confessed Christ (all girls). They were Sister Ada Pressley, Sister Nannie Pouncy, Sister Nina Hines, Sister Nora Hines Latin, Sister Lottie Pouncy Pressley, Sister Lenor Davis, Sister Hattie D. Chatmon, Sister Nornie Cory and Sister Debbie King Latin.

Now he has living three (3) grandchildren, Mrs. Ada P. Jamison, Mr. Alford Presley, and Mrs. Phyllis Douglas. Rev. Pressley have a number of great grandchildren and a host of great great grands, 3rd grands, 4th grands, 5th grands, 6th grands and 7th grands. (At the time of original writing)

He also pastored the Marthville Baptist Church for a number of years.

He died on October 30, 1904 at the age of 84. Mother Pressley died in 1907 at the age of 87.

We must not forget that Father Stephen Pressley served his generation well and by the will of God, he sleeps on. The voice at midnight came. He started up to hear. A mortal arrow pierced his frame, he felt it but felt no fear. He heard the voice from Heaven say, " servant of God, well done. Rest from thy loved employ. The battle is fought, the victory is won, enter thy Masters' joy." The Golden Gates were opened and Heavenly Angels smiled and with their tuneful harpstrings welcomed him in. They shouted High and Holy. A Servant of God entered in safe from all temptation. A soul sealed from sin. They led him through the Golden Streets on to the King of Kings. A Glory fell upon him from the rustlings of their wings. The Savior smiled upon him as none on earth smiled and Heaven's Great Glory shone around the Heaven born Servant of God's.

Isaiah 48:12-13

12 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last. 13 It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.”

Boykin Witherspoon, descendent of John Knox, the Divine

John Knox, the Divine
According to an entry in the Boone Family History of Descendents of George Boone, brother of Daniel Boone written by Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker, not only did his son, Gavin marry the ggggg-niece of Daniel Boone but it stated that Boykin Witherspoon was a descendent of John Knox the Divine pictured above.

I did in fact verify through the LDS Family site that Boykin was indeed a descendent of John Knox the Divine of Scotland and the lineage is as follows:

Boykin Witherspoon
John Dick Witherspoon
Gavin Witherspoon II
Gavin Witherspoon I
John Witherspoon wife was *Janet Witherspoon, his 1st cousin,
David Witherspoon
Lucy Welch (Married a Witherspoon)
Elizabeth Knox (Lucy's mother) Her husband was John Welch
John Knox (The Divine) born 1514

*Actually, Boykin was twice the ggggggg-grandson of John Knox, the Divine since his ggg-grandfather, John Witherspoon married his cousin and Boykin's ggg-grandmother, Janet Witherspoon whose lineage was as follows:

Janet Witherspoon
James Witherspoon
Lucy Welch
Elizabeth Knox
John Knox the Divine
**Janet's brother was James(John)Witherspoon, his son was Dr. John Witherspoon (1722 - 1794), Minister, President of Princeton, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also great grandson of John Knox the Divine. His mother was Ann Walker Witherspoon. This makes him a distant cousin of Boykin Witherspoon and he is rumored to be a direct ancestor of actress Reese Witherspoon.

Other Source: The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and ... By Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Psalm 100:5

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Genesis 17:9-14

9 Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

Boykin Witherspoon's son, Gavin married Daniel Boone's niece

According to the Boone Family history, Boykin Witherspoon's son, Gavin Witherspoon (named after his g-grandfather) married the ggggg-niece of the infamous, Daniel Boone on May 10, 1862 in DeSoto parish, Louisiana. Her maiden name was Flora Rubey Vivian. Her great-great-great grandfather, George Boone was Daniel Boone's brother. Their father was Squire.
Gavin and Flora Vivian Witherspoon relocated to Hollywood/Los Angeles, California.
Gavin and Flora's children were: Gavin Witherspoon, Jr., Gwendolyn Vivian Witherspoon, and Jack Vivian Witherspoon. All born in Hollywood, CA.

The history also states that the Witherspoons were descendents of John Knox the Divine pictured above. I did in fact verify through the LDS Family site that Boykin was indeed a descendent of John Knox the Divine of Scotland. See post entitled, Boykin Witherspoon, descendent of John Knox the Divine for detailed lineage.
Other Source: The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and ... By Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker

Brayboys who fought in the Civil War

Brayboys in the Civil War
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Brayboy, Morris
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
Brayboy, Page
66th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
Brayboy, W.H.
4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry
Brayboy, William
4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry

Braboys in the Civil War
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Braboy, Joseph
28th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
Braboy, Morris
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
Braboy, William H.
4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry

Braveboys in the Civil War
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Braveboy, M.W.
3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion)
Braveboy, Moris M.
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
Braveboy, Moses
10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry

Psalm 78

Psalm 78
A psalm[a] of Asaph.

1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,

2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—

3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.

4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation about the glorious
deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty

5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their

6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.

7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his

8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to
give their hearts to God.

9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.

10 They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to
live by his instructions. 11 They forgot what he had done—
the great wonders he had shown them,

12 the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain
of Zoan in the land of Egypt.

13 For he divided the sea and led them through,
making the water stand up like walls!

14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud,
and all night by a pillar of fire.

15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness
to give them water, as from a gushing spring.

16 He made streams pour from the rock,
making the waters flow down like a river!

17 Yet they kept on sinning against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,
demanding the foods they craved.

19 They even spoke against God himself, saying,
“God can’t give us food in the wilderness.

20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,
but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”

21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious.
The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.
Yes, his anger rose against Israel,

22 for they did not believe God or trust him to
care for them.

23 But he commanded the skies to open;
he opened the doors of heaven.

24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
he gave them bread from heaven.

25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all
they could hold.

26 He released the east wind in the heavens
and guided the south wind by his mighty power.

27 He rained down meat as thick as dust—
birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!

28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp
and all around their tents.

29 The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved.

30 But before they satisfied their craving,
while the meat was yet in their mouths,

31 the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed their strongest men.
He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

African American Inventors

Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer
Lewis Latimer (1848–1928) invented an important part of the light bulb — the carbon filament.
Fast Fact: Latimer worked in the laboratories of both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

The Colored Hockey League

Setting the Ice Hockey Historical Record Straight. Our knowledge of the roots of Canadian hockey has been based almost solely on the historical records maintained by early White historians. Because of this, the misconception that hockey is a White man's invention has persisted. We know today, such an assumption could not be further from historical fact. The roots of early Canadian hockey originate with the North American Indians. The roots of modern Canadian hockey originate, in large part, from the influence of an even more surprising source, that of early African-Canadian hockey. For it was Black hockey players in the later half of the nineteenth century whose style of play and innovations helped shape the sport, effectively changing the game of hockey forever.

The First Black Ice Hockey Players - 1820 to 1870 With certainty, we can only date Black hockey to the early 1870's, yet we know that hockey and Black history in Nova Scotia have parallel roots, going back almost 100 years. Among the first reports of hockey being played occur in 1815 along the isolated Northwest Arm, south of Halifax. The date is important for the simple fact that as late as October 1815 the region was not home to a large White settlement but was instead the site of a small Black enclave. Four Black families originally from the Chesapeake Bay area, with a total of fifteen children, had relocated and settled on the Arm. It is reported that these families, Couney, Williams, Munro and Leale, received adequate food, lodging and employment implying that their children were healthy and would have been able to play hockey during the winter months when the Arm was frozen and suitable for skating. Were these children among the first Canadians to play the game of hockey?

The first recorded mention of all-Black hockey teams appears in 1895. Games between Black club teams were arranged by formal invitation. By 1900, The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes had been created, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Despite hardships and prejudice, the league would exist until the mid-1920s. Historically speaking, The Colored Hockey League was like no other hockey or sports league before or since. Primarily located in a province, reputed to be the birthplace of Canadian hockey, the league would in time produce a quality of player and athlete that would rival the best of White Canada. Such was the skill of the teams that they would be seen by as worthy candidates for local representation in the annual national quest for Canadian hockey's ultimate prize - the Stanley Cup.

You can read more about this in George and Darrill Fosty's book, "Black Ice."

Elijah McCoy
Elijah McCoy (1843–1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains.
Fast Fact: Other inventors tried to copy McCoy's oil-dripping cup. But none of the other cups worked as well as his, so customers started asking for "the real McCoy." That's where the expression comes from.

The Nego National Anthem (Lift Every Voice and sing)

James Weldon Johnson (upper right)

James Rosamond Johnson
(lower left)

The Original "Brothers Johnson"

Lift Every Voice and Sing — often called "The Negro National Anthem" — was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) in 1900. It was first performed in public in the Johnsons' hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal.
Singing this song quickly became a way for African Americans to demonstrate their patriotism and hope for the future. In calling for earth and heaven to "ring with the harmonies of Liberty," they could speak out subtly against racism and Jim Crow laws — and especially the huge number of lynchings accompanying the rise of the Ku Klux Klan at the turn of the century. In 1919, the NAACP adopted the song as "The Negro National Anthem." By the 1920s, copies of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" could be found in black churches across the country, often pasted into the hymnals.

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.

The Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation ProclamationJanuary 1, 1863
A Transcription
By the President of the United States of America:
A Proclamation.
Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.
By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
Featured Document: Emancipation Proclamation

How we celebrate the holidays

Food prepared by Abe Reddick (pictured)

Christmas Dinner prepared by me, Karen Burney in 2006

The Many Faces of Me-Click Photo for Full View

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Baby Zaire Miguel Hall-A New Generation

Baby Zaire born 09/15/2007-My Great nephew

Maternal Line

(Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparent)

John Majoribanks (1743) Scotland

(Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents)

Samuel M. Majoribanks (1770) Scotland

(Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents)

Alexander Robinson Banks (1808) South Carolina

Sallie Brown

Adam Brown

(Great, Great, Great Grandparents)

Oliver Clayton (1841)

Edy Clayton (1840)

Betty Banks Brown Lee Smith (1858)

Lee Matriarch

Frank Green?

Jane Green (1857)

Monroe Brittentine (1842)

Sophia Gay Brittentine Hall (1847)

Henry Johnson (1829)

Effie Johnson (1835)

(Great-Great Grandparents)

Levi (Levy) Green (1820)

Mary Clay (1824)

Johnnie Clayton (1868)

Martha Clayton (1867)

Richard Lee (1871)

Margery Brittentine (1882)

Elizabeth Green

Troy Johnson (1870)

(Great Grandparents)

Ed Green (1874)

Reacie Clayton (1892)

Robert E. Lee (1897)

Annie Bell Johnson (1900)


Johnnie Greene (1908)

Johnie Pearl Lee Green (1918)


Lottie Green Burney

My Paternal Line

(Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparent)

Sarah Hill (1790) South Carolina

(Great, Great, Great Grandparent)

Stephen Pressley (1820) South Carolina
Phyllis Pressley (1818) Alabama
Pompey Hines (1810) South Carolina
Mary Hill Hines (1813) South Carolina
Betsey Taylor (1815) South Carolina
Phoebe Brayboy Morris (1825)South Carolina

(Great, Great, Grandparents)

Prince Burney (1830) Florida
Jennie Burney (1835)Georgia
William Knox (1834) Alabama
Louisa Knox (1834) Alabama
David Hines (1835) South Carolina
Maria Pressley Hines (1844) South Carolina
Issac Jefferson (1850) South Carolina
Jane Brayboy Jefferson (1851) South Carolina

(Great Grandparent)

Anderson Burney (1866) Alabama (Great Grandparents)
Caroline Knox Burney (1870) Alabama
Isam Hines (1874) Louisiana
Cornelia Jefferson (1871) Louisiana


William Burney (1898) Alabama
Bessie Hines Burney (1904) Louisiana


Jewel Burney (1928) Louisiana


Karen Burney

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mary chestnut's View on Slavery

This is an excerpt from Mary Chestnut's Diary

Page 114

"I hate slavery. I hate a man who - You say there are no more fallen women on a plantation than in London in proportion to numbers. But what do you say to this - to a magnate who runs a hideous black harem, with its consequences, under the same roof with his lovely white wife and his beautiful and accomplished daughters? He holds his head high and poses as the model of all human virtues to these poor women whom God and the laws have given him. From the height of his awful majesty he scolds and thunders at them as if he never did wrong in his life. Fancy such a man finding his daughter reading Don Juan. 'You with that immoral book!' he would say, and then he would order her out of his sight. You see Mrs. Stowe did not hit the sorest spot. She makes Legree a bachelor." " Remember George II. and his likes."

Friday, September 14, 2007

1862 Newspaper Capt Withersppon injured at Manassas

This is a article that ran in The Charleston Mercury newspapers that gives casualties of the 2nd Manassas (Battle of Bull Run). Among the injured is Boykin's father, John Witherspoon.
ITEM #5599September 8, 1862The Charleston Mercury

THE CASUALTIES IN THE LATE BATTLES AT MANASSAS. - The lists of casualties in the recent battles in Northern Virginia,owing, doubtless, to the distance intervening between the scene of hostilities and the nearest telegraph station, come in very slowly. We gather, however, from private sources the following details:

Gen. JENKINS has telegraphed that he will be home in tendays. We are induced to hope, therefore, that his wound is notserious.

Capt. JOHN WITHERSPOON, of Col. MEANS'regiment, received a severe wound in the thigh, breaking it. He is at Warrenton.

Mr. RUDOLPH SEIGLING, of the German Artillery (Charleston),was killed.
Lieut. P.A. AVEILHE, of Capt. MURDEN'S company, 23d S.C.V.,and private L. SIDNEY AVEILHE, of the W. L. I. Volunteers, wereslightly wounded. Also, private THADDEUS L. CAT, of the W. L.I. Volunteers.

A private letter from the Quartermaster Sergeant of the17th S. C. V., dated Rappahannock river, August 25, containsthe following in regard to the battle of the 23d ult.: 'Ourregiment lost one man killed, and three wounded. The HolcombeLegion lost sixteen wounded and their color bearer killed. Hefell just as they were mounting a Yankee redoubt, with thecolors (Mrs. PICKENS'gift) in his hand. He was brought in and buried close to our camp. I saw our friend Lieut. MUNRObrought in badly wounded.'

Lieut. WM. ALLEN, of the Chicora Rifles, was killed. TheColumbia Guardian of yesterday publishes the following private despatches:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Boykin Family Papers at UNC at Chapel

I happened upon this reference page of historical slave documents in the possession of
Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Manuscripts DepartmentCB #3926, Wilson LibraryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill NC 27514-8890Phone: (919) 962-1345Fax: (919) 962-4452E-mail:
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.Services: photocopying available

BOYKIN FAMILY PAPERS, #78, 1748-1932
Family, business, and military papers of the Boykin family of Camden, South Carolina. Mainly business and plantation papers, the collection contains slave bills of sale; a typescript narrative entitled "The Tell-Tale Letter Picked Up by a Slave" (1865); and transcriptions of letters concerning John W. DeSaussure's emancipation of his slaves (1865). Post-Civil War materials contain the paper "Articles of Agreement between Freedmen and Women and S. Boykin" (1868) and letters concerning labor problems on plantations (1865-1881).

Chiefly letters from John Witherspoon, Presbyterian clergyman, teacher, and planter, of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and his wife Susan Davis Witherspoon, to their daughter, Susan Witherspoon McDowell, and her husband, William D. McDowell, of Camden, South Carolina. Contains discussions of the Witherspoon planting endeavors including the management of slaves on "Tusclum," the family plantation, and the sale of these slaves (1852). Microfilm available.

This information may prove valuable in determining how my ancestors changed hands during slavery

My Johnson Line

These are my great great grandparents and their children as listed on the 1880 census in Bossier Parish, Louisiana (Plain Dealing area)

Henry JOHNSON Self M S B 51 AL. Occ: Laborer Fa: AL. Mo: AL. (My great-great grandfather, Henry Johnson fought in the civil war on the Confederate side and was on the front line at the 2nd Mannassus (Battle of Bullrun) as per an article that ran on him in 1900

Effie JOHNSON Wife F S B 45 TN. Occ: Laborer Fa: TN. Mo: TN. My grandma Effie was a teacher at the Antrim school in Bossier Parish.

Nancy JOHNSON Dau F S B 16 LA. Occ: Laborer Fa: AL. Mo: TN.

Mary JOHNSON Dau F S B 14 LA. Occ: Laborer Fa: AL. Mo: TN.

Troy JOHNSON Son M S B 10 LA. Occ: Laborer Fa: AL. Mo: TN. (My great-greatgrandfather on my mother's mother side. He was the father of my "Big Mama," Annie Bell (Lou) Green)

Calvin JOHNSON Son M S B 7 LA. Fa: AL. Mo: TN.

Dick CARTER SSon M S B 21 LA. Occ: Laborer Fa: AL. Mo: TN.

My Hines Family

These are my great-great grandparents on my father's mother's side. My grandma Bessie's father was **Isam Hines. This is an excerpt from the 1880 Federal census when they were living in the Frierson/Gloster area of DeSoto Parish.

David HINES Self M M B 45 SC Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Maria HINES Wife F M B 36 SC Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC (Daughter of Rev. Stephen and Phyllis Pressley

Arther HINES Son M S B 15 LA Occ: Works Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Bell HINES Dau F S B 12 LA Occ: Works Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Phillice HINES Dau F S B 8 LA Fa: SC Mo: SC

Isam HINES Son M S B 6 LA Fa: SC Mo: SC (This was my great-grandfather; He was married to my Grandma Cornelia Jefferson Hines Nickleberry)

David HINES Son M S B 4 LA Fa: SC Mo: SC

Maria HINES Dau F S B 2 LA Fa: SC Mo: SC

Mary HINES Dau F S B 2 LA Fa: SC Mo: SC

Richard HINES Son M S B 2M LA Fa: SC Mo: SC

My Jefferson Ancestors

These are my great-great grandparents on my father's mother side. This is an excerpt from the 1880 census when they lived in Frieson, Louisiana in DeSoto Parish

Isac JEFFERSON Self M M B 30 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: LA Mo: LA

Jane JEFFERSON Wife F M B 29 LA Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC (Her maiden name was Brayboy, She was the daughter of Phoebe Brayboy Morris)

Margaret JEFFERSON Dau F S B 13 LA Occ: At Home Fa: LA Mo: LA

Sallie JEFFERSON Dau F S B 11 LA Occ: At Home Fa: LA Mo: LA

Cornelia JEFFERSON Dau F S B 9 LA Fa: LA Mo: LA (My great-grandmother)

Charlotte JEFFERSON Dau F S B 7 LA Fa: LA Mo: LA



Henry JEFFERSON Son M S B 1 LA Fa: LA Mo: LA

Betsy TAYLER Mother F W B 65 SC Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC (My great, great, great grandmother, grandpa Issac's mother)

These are the Jeffersons from the 1900 Census:

Name Age
Isaac Jefferson 52
Jane Jefferson 53
Charlot Jefferson 23
Henry Jefferson 20
Pearley Jefferson 18
Isaac Jefferson 16
Rufus Jefferson 14
Willie Jefferson 12
Chestnut Jefferson 9

As you can see, they had 5 more children, Pearley, Issac, Rufus, Willie and Chestnut.

Wife and children of Boykin Witherspoon

This is the family of Boykin Witherspoon taken from the 1880 census in Desoto, Parish Louisiana. He lived in the Gloster/Frierson/Stonewall area. He was slavemaster to my Pressley, Brayboy and Morris lines and perhaps my Jefferson line. He originated from Society Hill, Darlington County, South Carolina.

Boykin WITHERSPOON Self M M W 45 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC

Elizabeth WITHERSPOON Wife F M W 57 SC Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: NC

Jane WITHERSPOON Dau F S W 37 SC Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

Boykin WITHERSPOON Son M S W 28 SC Occ: Farmer Fa: SC Mo: SC

Margaret WITHERSPOON Dau F S W 25 LA Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

Florence WITHERSPOON Dau F S W 23 LA Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

Alice WITHERSPOON Dau F S W 21 LA Occ: At Home Fa: SC Mo: SC

Gavin WITHERSPOON Son M S W 18 LA Occ: At School Fa: SC Mo: SC

Francis M. WITHERSPOON Son M S W 15 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

The Society Hill Library in Darlington County

Much of my Father's maternal family was brought to Desoto Parish by Boykin Witherspoon from this town. This library is sure to contain some of that history.

Society Hill Library

Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 08 May 2007

The Society Hill Library was organized December 7, 1822. It is one of the oldest social libraries founded in South Carolina. A library society was formed to make rules for the management, and to assist with additions to the collection of books as needed. Members contributed $20 making a total of $240, with which Elias Gregg purchased books in Philadelphia.
The building was restored in early 1971 by the Dogwood Garden Club and the Society Hill Township for use as a public library, after being closed for more than 20 years. The library was reopened April 30, 1971.The present library is located on the St. David's Academy school grounds. Many people from all over the country come to the library to learn about the history of the tiny building and the town of Society Hill. The original building, in its restored state, has been placed near the Society Hill Town Hall.
Senator Gerald Malloy and the Darlington Legislative Delegation presented Darlington County Council and the Library Board with a check for $250,000 on September 18, 2006. These funds are to be used toward the construction of a new library to replace the present 850 sq ft
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 May 2007 )
[ Back ]

1880 census of John & Phoebe Brayboy Morris

John MORRIS Self M M MU 55 SC Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Phebie MORRIS Wife F M MU 55 SC Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC

Boykin MORRIS Son M S MU 18 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Harrison MORRIS Son M S MU 16 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Lillie MORRIS Dau F S MU 14 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo: SC

Louetta MORRIS Dau F S MU 10 LA Occ: At School Fa: SC Mo: SC

Ella MORRIS GDau F S MU 7 LA Occ: At School Fa: LA Mo: LA

* Note: John & Pheobe also had a son named Chestnut Morris who had already moved out of the house as follows:

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Chesnut MORRIS Self M M MU 19 LA Occ: Works On Farm Fa: SC Mo:SC
Ollie MORRIS Wife F M B 14 LA Occ: Keeps House Fa: SC Mo: SC
Idella MORRIS Dau F S B 7M LA Fa: LA Mo: LA

Also, Phoebe had 2 other children with her 1st husband

Jane Brayboy married to Issac Jefferson (These are my great-great grandparents)
Alex Brayboy
Billie Brayboy, Jr.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Darlington South Carolina

History of Darlington County South Carolina

This is the area of South Carolina that my ancestors, the Pressleys, Jeffersons, Hines, Morris and Brayboys were brought from many of them by Boykin Witherspoon to Desoto parish, Louisiana to the towns of Frierson, Gloster and Stonewall.

For nearly sixty, years after the first settlements at Charles Town, the area which is now Darlington County was a heavily timbered pine forestland, inhabited only by a few small Indian tribes, of whom the Cheraws were the most dominate.
Until the early 1730's, no white man had attempted to establish a home this far into the backcountry along the upper Pee Dee; one of the first of whom we have any record was one Murfee, who cleared a plantation on the Pee Dee River somewhere in the vicinity of what is known today as Pocket landing. He was soon joined by an influx of Welshmen from Pennsylvania and Delaware.
In all effort to induce settlers to come to this area of South Carolina, the Colonial Government in 1736 and again in 1737, set aside two immense grants of land extending for miles along both sides of the Pee Dee River, for the exclusive use of the Welsh Baptist in Delaware who were contemplating removal to this Province. The entire length of Darlington County bounding on Pee Dee River lies within the limits of these two old Royal Grants.

The Welshmen came and started the nucleus of a new civilization in the wilderness, developing new institutions of their own, with little further aid or guidance from the Royal Government. At first, they congregated in the bend of the river opposite the present Town of Society Hill, in what is now Marlboro County, where they had founded the Baptist Church of Christ lit the Welsh Neck in 1738. The surnames of those constituting this church were James, Devonald, Evans, Harry, Wilds and Jones.

Pee Dee River Ferry
From this bend in the river - called the Welsh Neck, the Welshmen cleared new lands up and down both sides of the river, first cultivating flax and hemp, later Indigo, and raising cattle. Cheraw Bacon was a popular item in the Charles Town markets of Colonial days. During the several decades immediately prior to the Revolution, the original Welsh domain was peacefully invaded by English, Scotch-Irish, French Huguenot and German Palatine settlers from other regions. From the inevitable intermarriages that followed, the strict Welsh Baptist identity was eventually lost.
Darlington County, however, continued to be a stronghold of the Baptist denomination well into the nineteenth century. There were no churches of any other faith in the area until about 1789, when Methodist missionaries began to traverse the region seeking converts; their first foothold was in the present I Lydia neighborhood, where one of the oldest Methodist churches in South Carolina was founded - Wesley Chapel or the "Gully Church".
The first and only Presbyterian Church in the District for years was the Darlington Church, founded in 1827 by the Scotch. Irish settlers from Marion and Williamsburg District; the Episcopalians of Darlington District were only able to support one church - Trinity Church, Society Hill, founded 1833, for a quarter century until the second Episcopal Church was organized in 1859 near Mars Bluff.
Other than several "Hard Shell" Baptist churches, weak and widely separated, no other denominations were represented in Darlington District until after the War Between the States.
The first village in the entire area and for many, many years, the only village within what is now Darlington County, sprang up on a bluff on the west aide of Pee Dee River, across from the original settlements and church in the Welsh Neck. By 1760, this important trading post and boat landing had come to be known as Long Bluff. It was chosen as the site for the Court House after Cheraws District was created in 1768. In this Court House, in 1774, a Petit Jury Presentment of grievances against the British Crown is among the earliest and boldest declarations of rights in the thirteen colonies. Long Bluff continued to be the seat of justice and commerce throughout the tragic days of the American Revolution.
Although the war inflicted severe casualties in lives and property, recovery was not unduly protracted, probably due to the natural increase in population plus the influx of many new settlers from North Carolina.

Welsh Neck Baptist Church
In 1777, a group of prosperous planters of the area formed the St. David's Society to promote the cause of education; little was done during the war, but with the return of peace, a schoolhouse - St. David's Academy - was erected on the first hill beyond the river, about 1 mile from the village of Long Bluff; a few years later, the Welsh Neck Baptist Church removed from the east side of the river to a lot on the hill, adjacent to the Academy. A new community began to grow up around the Academy and Church, and was named Greeneville in honor of Gen. Greene of the Revolution. The old village of Long Bluff was eventually abandoned in favor of the new village on the hill, which soon changed its name to Society Hill obviously in honor of the Academy of St. David's Society which dominated the hill. Society Hill, with its old, respected and influential Baptist Church; its Academy boasting tutors of the highest caliber; and its Library Society soon became the unchallenged cultural center of the Pee Dee Region, a title it held for generations.
In 1785, Darlington County was one of three counties created out of old Cheraws District; after some controversy, the site of the Court House of the new county was located on the plantation of John King, Sr. on Swift Creek, about the geographical center of the area. The Court House was built a short distance south of the King residence at the intersection of two roads. Lots were laid off surrounding the Court House by Josiah Cantey, Deputy Surveyor, but his plat has never been found. The village thus created was first known as Darlington Court House.
By 1820, other villages had sprung up throughout the district: Mechanicsville, near the river, about 10 miles below Society Hill on the road to Georgetown; Springville, more a summer resort than a village, but boasting an academy and a post office; and Kelley Town, not far from Black Creek in the Northwestern portion of the district.
By 1820, other villages had sprung up throughout the district: Mechanicsville, near the river, about 10 miles below Society Hill on the road to Georgetown; Springville, more a summer resort than a village, but boasting an academy and a post office; and Kelley Town, not far from Black Creek in the Northwestern portion of the district.

Hartsville Railroad Schedule - December 1889
Hartsville came into being as a village around Capt. Thomas E. Hart's Store and post office in the early 1840's; Lamar (then known as Mims' Cross Roads) grew around a crossroads store and post office on the Capt. George Mims' Plantation in the early 1850's. About the same time, Leavensworth came into being as a village, centering around John F. Wilson's store and grist mill, at an intersection near the center of his immense plantation, originally owned by Dr. Nathan Leavensworth. There was also a school; a U.S. Post Office; and a resident physician, Dr. John J. Wilson. In the late 1850's Dovesville (then Dove's Depot) grew around a C&D Railroad Depot built on the plantation of Daniel Dove soon after the tracks were laid across his land.
With an ever increasing acreage devoted to the planting of cotton, the overall wealth of the district grew considerably during the first half of the district grew considerably during the first half of the Nineteenth century. As it was throughout the entire South, this cotton economy was vitally dependent upon the labor of the black man-the system of slavery- and the concentration of that class was heavy in Darlington District in the last decade prior to the war. The ratio of population as revealed by the United States Census of 1850 shows that whites were outnumbered by blacks nearly two to one.
In the ante-bellum period, the wealth of the district was, for the most part, concentrated in the eastern half of the area, which was made up of numerous huge plantations, each an independent community within itself. With a few notable exceptions, the western portions of the district contained smaller and less prosperous plantations and farms, and fewer slaves.
With agriculture having dominated the way of life in the district from the first settlements in the 1730's, it is not surprising that the planters of the area as early as 1768 organized a Planters Club about which little is known; again, around the early 1840's another attempt was made to form Planters Society, but likewise no record exists concerning this group. On May 5, 1846, the Darlington District Agricultural Society was formed for the purpose of "promoting the planting interests" and is still active to this day, being the second oldest such group in the state and one of the oldest in the nation. The first officers of the Society were W.E. James, President; Rev. J.M. Timmons, Rev. Robert Campbell, I.D. Wilson and Robert Rogers, Vice Presidents.

Farmers selling cotton - circa 1910
There was a successful attempt at industrialization made as early as 1812 by one of Darlington's most colorful figures, Gov. David Rogerson Williams. He established and operated during his lifetime a water-powered cotton mill on Cedar Creek near Society Hill for the manufacture of cotton bagging, oznaburgs, etc. It was first known as Cheraw Union Factory and later as Union Manufacturing Company of South Carolina.
During the War Between the States, Darlington County escaped Sherman's torch, being out of the direct line of the Federal advance. There were no battles fought on her territory, and only several minor skirmishes. However, detachments of the main force did pass through the district by way of Kelley Town and New Market, confiscating supplies and livestock over a wide area. But Pioneer cabins and palatial ante-bellum mansions were left standing.
In 1868, the name Darlington District (in use since 1798) was changed to Darlington County and provisions made for Township system of county Government patterned after that of the New England states. The system was unsuitable for this region and never developed as originally intended.
In 1888, Darlington County, one of the larger counties of the state, lost almost one third of its territory toward the formation of the new County of Florence; again, in 1901, it lost an additional 50 square miles of territory at the formation of the new County of Lee.
From the time of Gov. Williams' cotton factory, there was no further serious attempt at manufacturing of any nature until 1883, when a cotton mill was built in Darlington under the leadership of Major James Lide Coker. Within the following twenty years, Major Coker had also organized at Hartsville the Carolina Fibre Company and the Southern Novelty Company, both factories based on the conversion of southern pine into paper and paper products.
Agriculture has, however, continued to be the mainstay of Darlington County until the present day; cotton was King until dethroned after World War One by Flue-Cured Tobacco, which was introduced to Darlington planters in the late 1880's. Since World War Two, the industrial growth of the county has been very favorable and promises to provide an alternative to the decline in agricultural pursuits which are expected in the next generation.

The Boykin Witherspoon & Mary Chestnut connection

Below is the family of Boykin Witherspoon's mother, Elizabeth and his 2nd cousin, Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut's mother Mary Boykin.

Husband's Name
William BOYKIN Born: Abt 1725;Place: , Virginia; Died: 1761; Place: , South Carolina; Married:
Abt 1749; Place: , Nc; Father: William BOYKIN; Mother: BURWELL

Wife's Name
Elizabeth BRYANT; Born: abt 1730 Place: Of, Northampton, North Carolina

Their children were Samuel BOYKIN-Grandfather of Boykin Witherspoon. This was Boykin's mother, Elizabeth Boykin Witherspoon's father. Samuel was Born: Abt 1750; Place:
, , North Carolina. Died: 28 Dec 1791. Place: South Carolina

William BOYKIN Born: Abt 1754; Place; North Carolina; Died: Place: Kershaw Co, South Carolina

Francis BOYKIN Born: 1751; Place: , , North Carolina Died: 1821 Place: Milledgeville, Georgia
Buried: 1821

Burwell BOYKIN Born: 1752; Place: , North Carolina Died: 17 Aug 1817 Place:
, , South Carolina . Grandfather of of Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut. This is her mother, Mary Boykin's father.

Amelia Mildred BOYKIN Born: 1755; Place: , , South Carolina Died: 1835; Place:
Wilkinson County, Georgia

John T BOYKIN Born: 1756 Place: Kershaw Co, South Carolina; Died: 1798; Place:
Columbia, , South Carolina

This is a tree illustration of the kin connection of Boykin Witherspoon to Mary Boykin Chestnut:

*************William Boykin & Elizabeth Bryant Witherspoon********

Samuel Boykin ****************siblings***************Burrell Boykin, Sr.

Elizabeth Boykin Witherspoon *****1st cousins****** ***Mary Boykin

Boykin Witherspoon ************* 2nd cousins*********Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut

The following is an excerpt from Mary Boykin Chestnut"s diary re: her cousin, Boykin Witherspoon's mother.

Page 129
" September 19th. (1861) - A painful piece of news came to us yesterday - our cousin, Mrs. Witherspoon, of Society Hill, was found dead in her bed. She was quite well the night before. Killed, people say, by family sorrows. She was a proud and high-strung woman. Nothing shabby in word, thought, or deed ever came nigh her. She was of a warm and tender heart, too; truth and uprightness itself. Few persons have ever been more loved and looked up to. She was a very handsome old lady, of fine presence, dignified and commanding.
"Killed by family sorrows," so they said when Mrs. John N. Williams died. So Uncle John said yesterday of his brother, Burwell. "Death deserts the army," said that quaint old soul, "and takes fancy shots of the most eccentric kind nearer home."
The high and disinterested conduct our enemies seem to expect of us is involuntary and unconscious praise. They pay us the compliment to look for from us (and execrate us for the want of it) a degree of virtue they were never able to practise themselves. It is a crowning misdemeanor for us to hold still in slavery those Africans whom they brought here from Africa, or sold to us when they found it did not pay to own them themselves. Gradually, they slid or sold them off down here; or freed them prospectively, giving themselves years in which to get rid of them in a remunerative way. We want to spread them over other lands, too - West and South, or Northwest, where the climate would free them or kill them, or improve them out

Page 130
of the world, as our friends up North do the Indians. If they had been forced to keep the negroes in New England, I dare say the negroes might have shared the Indians' fate, for they are wise in their generation, these Yankee children of light. Those pernicious Africans! So have just spoken Mr. Chesnut and Uncle John, both ci-devant Union men, now utterly for State rights.

Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut

Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut (March 31, 1823November 22, 1886) was a South Carolina woman famous for keeping an extremely detailed diary describing the American Civil War.

She was born in Statesburg, South Carolina, to Mary Boykin and Stephen Decatur Miller, who had been a U.S. Senator and governor of South Carolina. On April 23, 1840, she married James Chesnut, Jr., who was elected to the Senate in 1850.

Once the Civil War broke out, James became an aide to Jefferson Davis and a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. They lived in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mary's diary began on February 15, 1861, and ended on August 2, 1865. It was a diary on her impression of events as they unfolded during the Civil War. Because she had no children, the diary passed to one of her friends upon her death. It was first published in 1905 as A Diary from Dixie, and an expanded edition was published in 1949. Yet another edition, edited by C. Vann Woodward and entitled Mary Chesnut's Civil War, was published in 1981 and won a Pulitzer Prize the next year.

Readings from her diary play an important role in the documentary television series, The Civil War by Ken Burns. Chesnut's diary entries were recited by Academy Award-winning actress Julie Harris.

On March 1, 2000, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that the James and Mary Boykin Chesnut House in Camden, South Carolina, had been designated as a National Historic Landmark due to its importance to America's national heritage and literature.
The plantation house was the location in which Mary Boykin Chesnut resided when she recorded in her diary events of the Civil War and her observations on their effect on the home front and southern society. Her diary is acknowledged by literary scholars as the most important piece of literature produced by a Confederate author. It also reflects the growing difficulties of the Confederacy.

There is evidence to suggest that she owned part of my family that originated from Darlington County South Carolina but was brought to DeSoto parish, Louisiana. At least 2 of my relatives, Chestnut Morris and Chestnut Jefferson wore that name. They were brought to Louisiana by her 2nd cousin, Boykin Witherspoon.

Family of James Chestnut, Jr. Mary's husband

James Chestnut Jr. .
Husband of Mary Boykin Chestnut

Col. James Chestnut, Sr. (upper right)

Below is the family of Chestnut's of South Carolina (white family), husband of famed Mary Boykin Chestnut. Both family are intertwined with the Witherspoon (Boykin) family of Darlington South Carolina, later of Desoto Parish, Louisiana. I believe at least part of my family was originally owned by the Chestnut family at some point because the names Chestnut appears in my known family line in Desoto Parish on several occasions, ie. Chestnut Morris and Chestnut Jefferson. Their roots are the same area of South Carolina and most of that family line was brought to Louisiana by Boykin Witherspoon. James Chestnut's wife, Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut was 2nd cousin to Boykin Witherspoon on his mother Elizabeth Boykin's side. There is also evidence to suggest that
Boykin was related to James Chestnut too since Boykin's sister Sarah
Sarah Cantey Witherspoon shared the same name as James Jr.

Husband's Name
James CHESNUT, Sr. Born: 19 Feb 1773, Place: Camden, , South Carolina, Died: 17 Feb 1866
Married: 20 Sep 1796. Sources list him as one of South Carolina's largest landowners. His parents were Father: John CHESNUT; Mother: Sarah CANTEY-(Note, She has the same name as Boykin Witherspoon's sister, Sarah Cantey)

James Wife's Name, Mary COX. Born: 22 Mar 1775, Place: New Brunswick, Middlesex, Nj
Died: 13 Mar 1864Married: 20 Sep 1796. Her Father: John COX.

Their children were:

James CHESNUT, Jr. married to the famed Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut who wrote the civil war diaries. Born: Abt. 1815 Place: Camden, South Carolina. Died: 1885.
On April 23, 1840 she married James Chestnut, Jr.. It appears from her Boykin name which came from her mother that she is related to Boykin Witherspoon too. James Chestnut, Jr. was a Confederate General and also an aide to President Jefferson Davis. He was a United States Senator, a signatory of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, and a Confederate Army officer. His wife was the well known Mary Chesnut, whose diary reveals valuable observations of Southern life in the American Civil War. Chesnut was a wealthy Southern planter, a defender of slavery, and a staunch secessionist. He graduated from the law department of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1837, and initially rose to prominence in South Carolina state politics. Admitted to the bar in 1837, he commenced practice that year in Camden and was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives (1842–54) and the South Carolina Senate (1854–58). He had also been a delegate to the southern convention at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1850. Chesnut was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 1858 to replace Josiah J. Evans, and served there for two years before withdrawing on November 10, 1860, and participating in the South Carolina secession convention. (He was expelled from the Senate the next year.) When the Civil War broke out, he served the Confederate army as a colonel, brigadier general, and an aide to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. After the war, he returned to the practice of law in Camden.
He died in Camden in 1885; interment was in Knights Hill Cemetery, near Camden

Mary Cox CHESNUT Born: 1802; Place: Camden, South Carolina; Died: 1899

Harriet Serena CHESNUT Born: 1809; Place: Camden, South Carolina; Died: 2 Dec 1835

Emma CHESNUT; Born: 1812. Place: Camden, South Carolina, Died: 1847;

Sarah CHESNUT; Born: 1813; Place: Camden, South Carolina; Died: 1889;

Esther Serena CHESTNUT (AFN:NC2B-VH) She was married to John Nicholas WILLIAMS
Born: 2 Jul 1797, Place: Society Hill, Darlington Dist, South Carolina. Died: 12 Apr 1861
John Nicholas Williams later married Sarah Cantey WITHERSPOON Born: 19 Nov 1810
Place: South Carolina, U.s.. Died: 16 Aug 1907. Married: 29 Sep 1831. Place: , South Carolina, U.s.. Her father was John Dick WITHERSPOON. Her mother was Elizabeth BOYKIN. Their child was Constance WILLIAMS. She was the sister of Boykin Witherspoon. Could that be how the Chestnut name made it into my family? Through Boykin's brother-in-law's first wife, Esther Serena Chestnut who happened to be the sister of famed Mary Chestnut's husband James, Chestnut. Notice also that Sarah Cantey Witherspoon has the same name as Ester Serena Chestnut's grandmother. Could John Nicholas Williams have married cousins?

John CHESNUT Born: 23 Dec 1799; Place: Camden, South Carolina; Died: 19 Dec 1839