Tuesday, April 8, 2008


My ggg-grandfather, Stephen Pressley was owned by the Witherspoon family, in particular, Boykin Witherspoon. According to family oral history, he was a Witherspoon during slavery but changed his name to Pressley after slavery ended which some say was actually his wife, Phyllis surname from perhaps a former slavemaster.

I ran across the McKee/Witherspoon family history and it revealed that an Ann Pressley married a James Witherspoon who was a cousin to Boykin's father, John D. Witherspoon as follows:

90. Ann13 Pressley (Sarah12 Witherspoon, David11, John10, David9, James Alexander8, Alexander7, John6 Wedderspone, Alexander5 Wedderspoyn, Andro4, William3 Wethirspoon, James2 Wydderspoon, Alexander1 Wetherspun) She married James Witherspoon, son of James Witherspoon and Elizabeth McQuoid. He was born 1743 in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, and died 1790 in Williamsburg County, South Carolina.

Based on the above, this may be how the Pressley and Witherspoon slaves crossed paths. Perhaps, Boykin inherited or purchased slaves bearing the Pressley name from his Aunt by marriage, Ann Pressley Witherspoon. That is one theory but I still have not yet located documents to confirm it so my search continues.


Anonymous said...

I was elated to see all the research that you have done on Father Stephen. I am trying to find the names of the children of Isam, Alfred, Caroline, Mariah, Elsie, Sophia, Peggy and Celia. I believe my grandfather, Hamp Latin, is also a decendant of Father Stephen. I believe he may have ties to Sophia Presley Latin. I live in Shreveport and still attend Moringstar B.C. We always read about Father Stephen's vision and hard work every church anniversary. I have always believed that we are his decendants, but I have never seen anything in writing with my grandfather's name concerning Father Stephen. My father's name was Willie Latin. He deceased in 1985, but as a small child I heard him say and I.T. Presley was his cousin and we always called him Cousin I.T. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Karen Burney said...

Hello. Thanks for responding to email. Yes, Hamp Latin was married to Stephen Presley's daughter, Sophia Presley Latin. We had the Presley Family Reunion last July 2012 and attended Morningstar BP for church service. Email me at karenburney@hotmail.com and I will provide you with the name of the grandchildren of Stephen Presley. Blessings!