Monday, September 10, 2007

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


Kenna said...

People should read this.

Anonymous said...

I am also related to the Chestnut's from N.C. My great grandmother was Mary Catherine Chestnut. James is mentioned in our family history and I am trying to find the connection. There were over 100 of the Chestnut's that fought in the Civil war. We have a very long and proud lineage of Chestnut's. Where can I buy Mary's book? Susan Conrick

Karen Burney said...

The James that I mentioned was General James Chestnut, Jr. from South Carolina. Could have been a distant relative of yours. You can purchase Mary Chestnut's book on Amazon. Good luck with your research