Henry Taylor of England and Robertville

May 21, 2019

Henry Taylor. He was a wealthy planter who also owned a good deal of stocks.

In 1827, he listed his Laurel Hill plantation and property for sale. He decided he wanted to cut back on the ownership of plantation property.



Tide Lands and Negroes for Sale.

THE Subscriber, wishing to curtail his Planting interest, offers for sale his Laurel Hill PLANTATION, on Savannah river, in South Carolina, consisting of six hundred and forty acres, in the best pitch of the tide; four hundred and fifty of which are cleared, and in good order, and was planted the last year. It bounds to the south on the estate of the late James H. Ancrum, Esq; on the north and east by Jacob Guerard, Esq.; and on the west by Savannah river. If desirable to the purchaser, the gang of Negroes, consisting of eighty, will also be sold–they are well inured to the situation, having principally been raised on tide lands, and planting Rice; mostly in families; nearly fifty of them are workers. Reference may be had by applying to JOHN P. WILLINNON {NOTE: Should read WILLIAMSON}, Esq. in Savannah, or to the subscriber, near Robertville, Black Swamp, South Carolina.


January 18

When he was about 60 years old, he married 16-year-old Mary Carolina Robert of Robertville. She was the daughter of Benjamin Nathaniel Robert and Eliza Paisly. In 1840 she presented him with a son, Henry Jr.

In 1841, Henry Sr. died.


Image from ancestry.com

Valuation of Sundry articles belonging to Estate late Henry Taylor Esq. made by order Executor John P. Williamson Esq.

1 negro Woman Molly 500.00

1 negro Man John 500.00

1 negro Woman Phoebe 300.00

1 negro Boy John 400.00

1 negro Boy Fayton 300.00

1 negro Boy Adam 250.00

1 negro Girl Molly 200.00

1 negro Girl Nancy 150.00

1 negro Girl Phoebe 150.00

1 negro Boy Henry 100.00

1 negro Child Frances 50.00


How do we know these so many details about Henry?

Because in 1847, there is a newspaper account of a court case. His widow had remarried, a Mr. Wilkins.

Charleston_Courier_1847-05-25_Court Case RobertMaryCaroline

G. A. Wilkins and Caroline M., his Wife, vs. Jno. M. Taylor, et al.–This is a most curious and interesting case. HENRY TAYLOR was an Englishman born, but, migrating to this country, he was naturalized in Georgia, January 11, 1807. He owned a very large estate in both Georgia and South-Carolina, and lived in the latter State about 30 hears, towards the latter part of his life. It consisted principally of Laurel Hill, a plantation, and negroes, in St. Peter’s Parish, South Carolina, and of money and stocks in Savannah and Liverpool. His second wife, whom he married not long before his death, and when he had reached the age of three-score years, was a young lady of St. Peter’s Parish, Beaufort District, in this State, named MARY CAROLINE ROBERT, who was just blooming into womanhood, at the tender age of 16 years. Several years before his death he had sold out all his real estate, in South-Carolina, and returned to England, with a view of permanent residence there. Some difficulties, however, in the arrangement of his monetary concerns, called him back to this country, and he was obliged to re-possess himself of his plantation in Beaufort District, in consequence of non-payment of the purchase money The July before his death, his youthful wife presented him with an heir to his name and fortune; and the certificate of baptism, by the officiating Clergyman, described the child (he dictating the words) as son of HENRY TAYLOR and MARY CAROLINE TAYLOR, of South-Carolina. Returning South, he took lodgings, at first, at the Pulaski House in Savannah, and then resided “in his own hired house,” in that city, where he died, on the 19th Jan. 1841. By his will, date January 24th, 1840, describing himself, as HENRY TAYLOR of South-Carolina, he directed his whole estate, real and personal, to be sold, and $30,000 thereof to be invested in stock, for the use and benefit of his wife, during her life, and, after her death for his children; and the bulk of the residue of the estate he directed to be invested for the benefit of his children, by her, liberally allowing her $700 a year, for the maintenance and education of each of them. He left, however, but one child, HENRY TAYLOR, a minor. The testator named his friend, JOHN P. WILLIAMSON, of Savannah, his nephew JNO. M. TAYLOR, of Pipe Creek, South-Carolina, and his friends ANDREW LOW and WM. SMITH, of Liverpool, his Executors. The execution of the will was attested to by JOHN P. WILLIAMSON, (the Georgia Executor,) J. BALFOUR and AMOS SCUEDER. In Georgia, the will was admitted to probate, and J. P. WILLIAMSON qualified and acted as Executor; and the instrument has been adjudged, in the State, to be good and valid as to both real and personal estate. There was, however, nothing but personally, chiefly in stocks in that State. The will was also admitted to probate in solemn form, in this State, by the Ordinary of Beaufort District. An appeal was taken from that decision to the court of  Common Pleas, before WARDLAW, Justice. Two questions were made, first as to the domicile of the testator, which the Jury found to be in this State, and secondly, whether the Executor, J. P. WILLIAMSON, was a competent witness to prove the will, (he taking no legacy or other interest, beyond his commissions as Executor, uder the will,) under the State of 25 Geo. 2 c. 6 (2 Stat. 580) avoiding legacies or other interest, given to witnesses of wills, and making the wills good Judge WARDLAW held the British Statute to be in force in this State, ruled the witness competent under it, and directed judgment to be entered in favor of the will.

From this decision an appeal was taken and ultimately carried up to the Court of Errors, on the ground “that the case is not within the Stat. of Geo. 2, even if that Statute be of force in South-Carolina, and that J. P. WILLIAMSON was not a competent attesting witness to the paper propounded as the will of HENRY TAYLOR. ”

The case was ably and eloquently argued by J. L. PETIGRU and WM. C. PRESTON, Esquires, for the appellate, testator’s widow, and by R. DE TREVILLE and W. F. COLCOCK, Esquires, for the appellee, JNO. M. TAYLOR, the named executor in this State.

The Court of Errors, per FROST, J., in May 1845, adjudged that, although in England, an executor, who takes no legacy or other interest under a will, is a competent witness to prove it, in an issue between the heir and devisee; and, prior to Stat. 1, Victoria, c. 26, an executor, with like exemption of interest, or who had released, and who was not a necessary party by having made probate of the will was admitted, in the Ecclesiastical Courts, in support of a will of personal property; yet, in this State, his right to commissions creates an interest which renders him an incompetent witness for that purpose. It was also adjudged that, although the Stat. of Geo. 2, was of force to this State, wills of personal estate were not within the mischief or the remedy of that Statute, either at the time of tits passage or its adoption in this (then) Province, as no attesting witnesses were then necessary to their execution. The judgment of the majority of the Court was–“That one appointed Executor, by his right to commissions, takes an interest by the will, which renders him an incompetent attesting witness, under the act of 1824, (requiring the same form of attestation to wills of personal estate as to those of real estate); and that the Stat. 25, Geo. 2, c. 6., is in force in this State, but the competency of the attesting witness (to a will of personal estate) is not thereby restored.”

JOHNSON and DUNKIN, Chancellors, concurred.

RICHARDSON, J. and HARPER, Ch., were absent at the hearing; but the former heard the argument in the Law Court of Appeals, before the case was ordered to the Court of Errors.

O’NEALL, J., delivered a separate opinion, concurring in the incompetency of the Executor to attest the will, but dissenting as to the Stat. of George 2, being of force in this State.

JOHNSON, Ch., concurred except as to the power of the British Parliament to enact laws for the government of the State, when a British colony.

RICHARDSON, J., concurred.

EVANS, J., dissented on the ground that the Statute of George 2, was of force in this State, and restored the competency of the Executor as a witness by avoiding his Executorship.

BUTLER, J., concurred.

WARDLAW, J., dissented in an elaborate opinion, maintaining his views on Circuit.

After this decision, which only settled the question as to the personal estate in South-Carolina, and the intestacy of HENRY TAYLOR as to the same, whereby one-third devolved on his widow, and two-thirds on his infant son, the letters testamentary to J. M. TAYLOR were revoked and administration of HENRY TAYLOR’S estate granted to the Rev. PEYTON L. WADE; and the widow intermarried with G. A. WILKINS of New York.

The contest next arose as to the effect of the will on the real estate. G. A. WILKINS and CAROLINE M., his wife, filed their bill and supplemental bill in Equity originally against J. P. WILLIAMSON, Ex’or of H. TAYLOR, and, he dying, they revived it against J. M. TAYLOR, the Executor who had proved the will and qualified in South Carolina, HENRY TAYLOR, the minor, and the REV. PEYTON L. WADE, Administrator of HENRY TAYLOR, deceased, to try the question at issue.

The Circuit Decree, entered pro forma, supported the validity of the will as to the real estate.

On appeal, however, to the Equity Court of Appeals, the Court, per HARPER, Ch., adjudged that the will, having directed all the lands of testator to be sold, and converted into money or personally, was to be construed altogether as a will of personal estate, and that the law Court, (which the Equity Court was bound by law to follow,) having decided this very will to be void as to the personal estate, it was equally void as to the realty, converted by its own provisions into personalty. The Circuit Decree, will, therefore, reversed–J. JOHNSTON and DUNKIN, Chancellors, concurring.

The result of this Decree is that HENRY TAYLOR, deceased, died intestate, as to both his real and personal estate in S. Carolina, and the same goes one-third to this widow and two thirds to his son.

But, the will having been adjudged valid in Georgia, the property there goes according to the will, and a difficult and complication, yet to be adjudged, arises as to the $30000 bequeathed the widow for life, which, we understand, will be litigated before the Judiciary of Georgia.

This is a detailed account of the period after Henry Taylor’s death. I’ll attempt to transcribe at a later date, because it is late and I am tired.

While I was poking around ancestry.com last night, I found more details about the will, inventory, and settlement of Henry Sr.’s estate. Lots of details.

TaylorHenry WillTaylorHenry Will P2 and P3TaylorHenry Will P4

For tonight, I’ll end by saying that Henry’s last remaining executor hired an attorney who was none other that Alexander Robert Lawton, a native of Robertville who moved to Savannah, who was also a cousin of Henry’s widow. Remember him? His grandmother was Sarah Robert Lawton, a sister to Mary Caroline Robert’s great-grandfather John Robert.


Strange how time and tide draw us closer together.


James Becket and Elijah Scott: an Atrocious Murder, 1831

May 20, 2019

From Genealogy Bank, Charleston Mercury, June 10, 1831.

State of South Carolina.


By James Hamilton, Junr. Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid,

WHEREAS, I have received information of a wanton and atrocious Murder having been committed at Black Swamp, St. Peters Parish, by a free colored man of the name of JAMES BECKET, on the body of Elijah Scott, also a free colored man — and whereas the said Becket has fled the Public Justice of the Country.

Now, Know ye, that, to the intent that he the said Becket may be brought to legal trial and condign punishment, I do hereby offer a reward of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars, for the apprehension and delivery of the said James Becket to any one of the Sheriffs or Jailors of the said State.

The said Becket is represented to be a quadroon, full six feet in height, about 45 years of age, with his upper front teeth projecting more than usual, and an effeminate voice; he is by occupation (as much as bad habits and no fixed residence will allow) a jobbing Carpenter and Cooper. It is supposed that he has crossed the Savannah River and is lurking in that part of Georgia which is opposite to St. Peter’s Parish.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the State at Charleston, this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one, and of American Independence the fifty fifth. JAMES HAMILTON, Junr.

By the Governor,

John N. Barrillon,

Deputy Secretary of State.

June 7

I’ve found so much news about Robertville and St. Peter’s Parish that I am overwhelmed. I have been adding new articles to the original post, but occasionally one stands out more than the others.

I’m curious as to how these Free People of Color came to the area. As always, more questions than answers.

Back to the Past: Robert’s Rules of Order

May 18, 2019

My first year at college, back in the day, found me joining a committee called the Concert Committee. Since I had some musical background, I thought this was a good choice for me.

I had no idea what these people were talking about. This committee was in charge of arranging for bands to perform on campus. Not garage bands, not marching bands, but musical groups of the day, like Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Miller Band, the Eagles. This seemed way over my head that a group of college kids would be in charge of entertainment for a university. How would we even know who to contact? How do we know what to say?

The chair of the committee was a guy named John who had the most amazing head of hair, long wavy blondish hair parted in the middle. He wore wire-rimmed glasses and was very intense. Imagine your prototypical 1970’s radical; that might be a photo of John. He was going to do things right.

I think it was probably at the first meeting that it was brought up that we were going to follow Robert’s Rules of Order. I bought a paperback copy at the campus bookstore. I didn’t know who Robert was. I didn’t know that someday through strange twists of time and fate that I would live near his birthplace.

From GenealogyBank, the State newspaper, Columbia, SC, Sunday, May 05, 1985, Page: 223.


Author of Robert’s Rules

Hundreds of South Carolinians abide by his rules, but not many people except history buffs know that Henry Martyn Robert, author of Robert’s Rules of Order, was a South Carolina native. Even fewer know anything about the man himself.

Anyone who has gaveled a meeting to order knows the value of Robert’s little brown pocket volume of rules. First published more than 100 years ago, it is recognized as America’s highest authority on parliamentary law.

The author fully realized the importance of his project as he labored over it through the years, but little did he know how far-reaching his efforts would be, The publishers, Scott, Foresman and Company of Glenview, Ill., have received orders from Argentina, China, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Syria and South Africa. The publishers also have distribution points in Great Britain, Canada and the Philippines. And the blind have a Braille edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

To date 3.4 million copies have been printed, the latest edition carrying a 1981 copyright.

Henry Martyn Robert, the man who started this groundswell of interest in parliamentary procedure, was born May 2, 1837, on his grandfather’s flourishing plantation near Robertville, in what is now Jasper County. He was the second of the four children of Dr. Joseph T. Robert and his wife Adeline, “a lady of remarkable intellectual ability,” whose family, the Lawtons, lived on a neighboring plantation.

Six years earlier, Robert’s father had given up a successful medical practice in the Robertville area to enter the Baptist ministry. Dr. Robert’s extensive education incuded a degree from Brown University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa; two years of graduate study at Yale and a medical degree from Charleston Medical College (now the Medical University of South Carolina). Already perhaps one of the best educated ministers in the denomination, Dr. Robert, nevertheless, buckled down to study for a degree in theology from Furman Theological Seminary. There he became known as “a very correct, critical and thorough scholar.”

Dr. Robert was ordained pastor of the Black Swamp Baptist Church in his home community. The beautiful, tall-steepled church, carpeted throughout and boasting an organ, was considered the finest country church in the state. It is easy to imagine baby Henry starting Sunday School here, dressed in the starched white apron and little black hightop button-up shoes of the times, following in the footsteps of his pious ancestors.

Robert’s religious heritage went back several generations. He was the sixth lineal descendant of Pasteur Pierre Robert, who had led a band of brave Huguenots into the New World in 1686 in search of religious peace. Pierre Robert, whose homeland was Switzerland, was the first pastor of the colony which settled in the lush quiet of St. James, Santee. His descendants later moved south and acquired lands close to the Savannah River and founded the village of Robertville.

Dr. Robert’s early schooling was at Robertville Academy, at that time considered one of the best in state. But before young Henry was old enough to start school there, his family moved to Kentucky, where his father had accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church at Covington. Later the family moved to Lebanon, Ohio, where Dr. Robert became pastor of “one of the oldest, wealthiest and most influential churches in the state.”

When Robert was nine years old, in 1846, the family came home again to Robertville. Soon afterward Dr. Robert accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Savannah. As often as possible he accepted invitations to fill the pulpit of his old home church, Black Swamp. Baptist history shows that he baptized young Henry at 13, along with his brother, a year older, while the congregation gathered under a magnificent moss-draped magnolia nearby. This must have been at Black Swamp, though records are incomplete because the church was burned by marauders from Sherman’s army in its march from Savannah to Columbia in early 1865.

After serving the Savannah church a little more than four years, Dr. Robert returned with his family to the North “to further the college education of his children,” three sons and a daughter. He taught at Burlington University in Iowa


and later became president. After his wife died, he returned South, where his “kin and friends” were.

At 16, Robert entered West Point, graduating with honors four years later. After teaching philosophy at his alma mater for a year, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the Corps of Engineers. His first assignment was to survey a route in the Pacific Northwest for military purposes.

While going through the Panama Canal to his West Coast duty station, Robert contracted malaria. When his condition worsened the following year, he was called back East and assigned as a defense engineer in Washington. War was imminent — a war that saw Lt. Henry Martyn Robert on the opposite side from his mother’s brother, Gen. Alexander Lawtonn, and many others of his South Carolina kin. Gen. Lawton, also a West Point graduate, served the Confederate as a quarter-master-general.

Robert was on duty at Philadelphia and at New Bedford, Massachusetts, and for 10 years following the war, he headed engineering projects in the Military Division of the Pacific. His work involved coastal fortifications specifically harbors and lighthouses, and he met people from all over the world.

It was while on duty in the San Francisco area that Robert recognized the need for some form of standardized parliamentary procedure, but New Bedford has been the scene, some years earlier, of his “first encounter with the problems of parliamentary law.”

Looking impressive in his officer’s gold-trimmed uniform, Robert had found himself elected spontaneously to take charge of a chaotic town meeting. New Bedford citizens, gathered in a Baptist church, were supposed to be discussing how to protect their harbor against a possible attack from the Confederate Navy, but a shouting match had ensued.

In his later writings, Robert doesn’t tell exactly how he brought the noisy mob to order except to say he “plunged in, trusting to Providence that the assembly would behave itself.” “My embarrassment was supreme” he admitted, vowing he would never again try to preside without knowing how.

This disconcerting incident led him to the project which became a consuming passion the rest of his life.

He immediately set out to find the instruction he needed As the only two known treatises on the subject were unavailable, he had to be content with the meager suggestions offered in the familiar one-volume encyclopedia of the day. He jotted down notes on a scrap of paper which he tucked away in his wallet for an emergency.

Later he located Thomas Jefferson’s rules for Congress, but realized they were much too complicated and undemocratic for the average church meeting or town council. Proving even less practical was Massachusetts legislative clerk Luther E. Cushing’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice.

Robert’s duty in California didn’t leave him much time for delving into his favorite topic, but it was constantly on his mind. Logical engineer that he was, he thought through every conceivable parliamentary question to a strong conclusion, trying to anticipate any problem that might arise along the way. California’s diversified population’s suggestions of “That’s the way we did it back home” gave him much to ponder.

By 1869, Robert had written a practical 15-page manual of basic parliamentary procedure. this he had printed at his own expense for his personal use and for close friends.

It was in California, too, that Robert, ever active in the work of his church, took on a personal home missions project. Seeing the plight of the hundreds of discouraged and destitute Chinese who had looked to America in vain for a better life, he found a special Chinese Rescue Mission.

In 1873, he was assigned to the Great Lakes area, where he spent 10 years. There in the cold winters when darkness came early, he at last found time for writing, and his real book of rules began to develop.

By late spring of 1874, more than a dozen years after Robert’s interest in parliamentary law had been kindled and after much writing and revising, he was ready to go to press, but he couldn’t find a publisher. D. Appleton and Company of New York, for example, turned him down in one polite sentence.

Undaunted, Robert decided to pay for printing the book himself. Working with two Milwaukee printing partners, Burdik and Armitage, he selected top quality paper and even paid for new type faces. After months of painstaking indexing, cross-referencing and proofreading every single line himself, Robert rushed home, finished sheets in hand, to share his triumph with his devoted wife Helen, who had encourage him through the years.

Robert shared the outcome of this moment in a letter to a friend years later. It was Helen, he admitted, who suggested a major change in the book after the type had all been set: Why not add examples of exactly how the rules would work? This would make it easier to understand. So back to his writing desk he went.

Next came a search for a publisher to bind the printed pages for 4,000 books, because Robert recognized that he needed a well-known name for promotion if his book were to reach the public. His approach to Chicago publishers S. C. Griggs and Company ended with a response as cold as the February day: He was an unknown author who had written about an unpopular subject, and what could an Army officer possibly know about parliamentary law?

At this, the young major firmly set his jaw and offered the publishers a contract they couldn’t turn down. He would pay for binding the books, an he himself would conduct a promotion campaign with the first thousand copies, sending samples with a questionnaire to legal authorities, legislators, colleges and presidents of church groups and fraternal organizations. This he did, and the response was overwhelming.

On February 19, 1876, Robert’s little nook was offered to the public, and orders could not be filled fast enough. In less than three months the presses has to start rolling again. Robert’s Rules of Order, its title chosen by the publisher, was on its way. Scott, Foresman and Company acquired publication rights shortly thereafter.

Grateful officers of governing bodies and fraternal orders from Maine to California wrote to Robert congratulating him. College presidents and state governors commended him. Even the United Presbyterian Church adopted his rules as standard authority, a form still followed in the Presbyterian Book of Order today.

Besides being practical, Robert’s rule book had the unselfish theme of fairness he so often quoted: “The will of the assembly.” The author held from the beginning that in as assembly (1) the majority must rule; (2) the minority must be heard; (3) the rights of the individuals must be guarded and (4) just and courtesy must prevail.

Robert, who earned the rank of brigadier general, retired from the Army on his birthday in 1901. He spent the rest of his life writing new rules and revising old ones, answering questions on points of order and accepting suggestions, which he incorporated in the later editions of his book. since his death, his family has kept up the revisions and published new editions at the same time retaining his basic principles and the same pocket-sized format he chose so long ago. Only the color has changed. the little brown book is now also available in maroon.

Robert was married twice. Some years after Helen’s death, he married Isabel Hoagland, who also aided him tremendously in his work. He and Helen were the parents of four children. Grandchildren still survive. He died at Oswego, N.Y., May 11, 1923, and was buried with full military honors in Arlington Cemetery.
Robert was described as deeply religious genial, friendly, gracious, quiet, intelligent and efficient. Perhaps a description written of his father more than 50 years earlier would also be fitting: “He combined the courteousness of a Southern gentleman with the indomitable energy of a Yankee.”

Ms. Law is on the journalism faculty of the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

Good night, Mr. Robert. We’re thinking of you.

The News from Robertville

May 4, 2019

Because one thing leads to another.

I’ve had a comment on the blog from a man who is a researcher of Henry Martyn Robert. For those of you who don’t know who Henry Martyn Robert is, dust off your copy of Robert’s Rules of Order.

So the commenter is coming to the area in July and would like to tour the old plantation areas, the churches, the cemeteries, etc. Touring old plantations would prove tricky since there are no public plantations. I mean, it’s not like Charleston. Everything is private.

We don’t know where to start except perhaps at the beginning with John Robert and Elizabeth Dixon. They’re Leslie’s multiple-great-grandparents. John is also a brother to Sarah Robert who married Joseph Lawton, and Sarah and Joseph are also another set of Leslie’s multiple-great-grandparents. There was a lot of intermarriage in the area a few hundred years ago.

John Robert’s plantation was known as Cotton Hill. The stretch of highway through Robertville has been named Cotton Hill. After Sherman’s troops burned Robertville, which was the first town burned in South Carolina after the troops turned from their march to the sea, the plantation house was eventually rebuilt by northern investors on the original footprint, and renamed.

I turned to google and facebook to search for Pineland Hunt Club. I sent a facebook message to the Pineland account, but didn’t really expect to hear from anyone, since the page appeared to be less than active. Pineland has been reinvented as a wedding venue. I broached to Leslie that we might have to get married to actually be able to get into Pineland. Fortunately for all, I got a response that we could come visit without having to be engaged.

The new owners are interested in what we have to offer about John Robert. I have a few bits and bobs, like where he is mentioned in Alexander James Lawton’s plantation journal, and photos and blog posts about where he and Elizabeth are buried in Robert Cemetery.

We went on our visit and got a lovely tour of the immediate grounds. That brings us to the News from Robertville. I started looking in both newspapers.com and genealogybank.com for newspaper entries about Robertville. If you search for John Robert as a solo search term, there are thousands of entries even after you limit the search to South Carolina. So let’s look for Robertville in South Carolina.

My plan for this blog post is to post what I find as I find it so this is yet another work in progress.


From GenealogyBank, The Charleston Morning Post, February 22, 1787:


On Thursday, February 22d,

Will be SOLD by Auction,

At our Store on the Bay,

A Very valuable PLANTATION or TRACT of LAND CONTAINING 200 ACRES, situate near Savannah river, in Granville county, nigh or a little below Little Pipe creek, bounding north west & south-west on lands of the Hon. Daniel Blake, deceased, north east & south-east on lands formerly surveyed for John Roberts, Esq; and was granted to Peter Aldorf, June 16th, 1782.

John-Walters Gibbs, & Co.

February 14th, 1787.

This is the earliest mention I’ve found for John Robert. Let it be noted that this area was known as Granville County and later became known as Upper St. Peter’s Parish, Beaufort District.


From GenealogyBank, State Gazette of South Carolina, June 14, 1787.

State_Gazette_of_South-Carolina_1787-06-14_Diverse religious societies


For incorporating divers religious societies therein named.

WHEREAS by the constitution of this state, passed the nineteenth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, it is declared, That all denominations of christian protestants in this state shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges, and that whenever fifteen or more male persons, not under twenty-one years of age, professing the christian protestant religion, agree to unite themselves in a society for the purpose of religious worship, they shall (on complying with the terms therein after mentioned) be constituted a church, and be esteemed and regarded in law as of the established religion of the state, and on a petition to the legislature, shall be intitled to be incorporated and to enjoy equal privileges; and that every society of christians so formed shall give themselves a name or denomination, by which they shall be called or known in law. AND WHEREAS the several societies of christians who call themselves respectively by the name of the Presbyterian Congregation of Grenvill–the Presbyterian Upper Long Cane Congregation–the Presbyterian Congregation of Williamsburgh township, in George Town district–the Church of Christ at Euhaw, of the Baptist denomination — the Baptist Church at Turkey creek, on a branch of Great Saluda river, in the state of South-Carolina–the Pipe Creek Church of Regular Baptists–the Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of Charleston–and the Mount Sion Congregation at Winnsborough have petitioned the legislature of this state, praying to be incorporated, and asserting that they have complied with the terms required by the constitution as preparatory thereunto, and the allegations in the said petitions appearing to be true.

I.  Be it therefore enacted by the honorable the Senate and house of representatives, now met and sitting in general assembly; and by the authority of the same; THAT the several and respective societies abovementioned, and the several persons who now are or shall hereafter become members of the said societies respectively, and their successors, officers and members of each of them, shall be and they are hereby severally declared to be a body corporate in law in deed and in name, by the respective names and stiles of–the Presbyterian Congregation of Greenville-the Presbyterian Upper Long Cane Congregation–the Presbyterian Congregation of Williamsburgh–the Church of Christ at Euhaw, of the Baptist denomination–the Baptist Church at Turkey creek, on a branch of the Great Saluda river, in the state of South-Carolina–The Pipe Creek Church of regular Baptists–the Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of Charleston–and the Mount Sion Congregation at Winnsborough, and by their said respective names shall severally have perpetual succession of officers and members, and a comon seal, with power to change, alter, break and make new the same as often as they the said corporations shall severally judge expedient; and each and every of the said corporations shall severally judge expedient; and each and every of the said corporations respectively are hereby vested with all the powers, privileges and advantages which are specified and expressed in “the act for incorporating divers religious societies herein named.” passed the twenty-sixth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and eight-four. Provided nevertheless, That nothing in this act or in the said recited act contained shall be construed or extend to affect any question in law of equity now depending or to be tried between the differing parties, late members of the Presbyterian congregation in Williamsburgh Township, relative to the right of property in and to the meeting-house, and the land on which the said meeting-house of the late society stands, or in any way to better the claim of that part of the said society hereby incorporated; but the same questions shall be heard, tried and determined in any court of law or equity in this state, in the same manner as if this act and the said recited act had never been made.

II.  And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall be deemed and taken as a public act to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

In the Senate House, the twenty-seventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.

JOHN LLOYD, President of the Senate.

JOHN JULIUS PRINGLE, Speaker of the House of Representatives.


From GenealogyBank, Savannah Republican, Savannah, Georgia, February 23, 1809.



From GenealogyBank, Carolina Gazette, July 27, 1810.


Oration delivered on July 4 by Samuel M. Wallace in St. Peter’s Parish, of the Pipe Creek Company. Pipe Creek was an early settlement that is no longer in existence.


From GenealogyBank, Columbian Museum, June 23, 1818.



During the absence of the subscriber, William D. Martin, esq. of Coosawhatchie, will act as his Attorney.


Robertville, May 20


From GenealogyBank, Charleston Courier, January 7, 1820.


Under Decree in Equity.

On MONDAY, the 10th of January, will be sold at the Vendue House, in the town of Beaufort, a HOUSE and two LOTS in said town, on Bay-street, known by Nos. 304 and 305. Also, two other vacant Lots, known by Nos. 122 and 123, bounded by Green, Monson, Congress and Black streets.


On MONDAY, the 17th of January, will be sold at Coosawhatchie, a TRACT of LAND, containing 560 acres, being the undivided moiety of a larger tract, situated partly in Prince Williams’ and St. Bartholomew’s Parish. This tract lies in a healthy part of the country, having Pine Barren on both sides of the Salcatcher River; a considerable part of this land is well adapted to the culture of the short Staple Cotton, and the swamp is well covered with Cypress.


At the same time and place will be sold,

A TRACT of LAND, containing 280 acres in St. Peter’s Parish, in the neighbourhood of Robertville, (Black Swamp,) being an undivided moiety of a larger body, and is continuous to Savannah River. This Tract is very valuable for the culture of Cotton, &c.

The above Property belongs to the Estate of Captain WM. HEYWARD, deceased, and is ordered to be sold to make a division under the will of the Testator.

Conditions–one-fourth cash; the remainder payable in three equal annual instalments, secured by bond and mortgage of the property, bearing interest from the day of sale; the whole amount of interest to be paid annually. Purchasers to pay for necessary papers.


Commissioner in Equity.

Coosawhatchie, Nov. 10, 1819.

[November 16]


From GenealogyBank, Carolina Gazette, November 11, 1820.


Beaufort District.

Committed this day, to the Gaol in Coosawhatchie, a NEGRO MAN, of the common complexion, well formed-5 feet 5 inches high, about 25 years of age, dressed in a cotton homespun shirt and osnaburg trowsers, who says that his name is
BARTLET, and that he belongs to Daniel Fraser, of Baltimore, who brought him to Charleston a few days since, from whence he absconded as soon as landed.

ROBERT G. NORTON, S. B. D. (Sheriff of Beaufort District)

August 21



From GenealogyBank, City Gazette, Charleston, South Carolina, December 21, 1821.

LawtonAJ notice


Charleston Courier, November 28, 1822.


Under Decree in Equity.

Will be sold on the premises, THIS DAY, the 28th day of November,

That valuable and well known PLANTATION, called Inverary, lying on Savannah River, in St. Peter’s Parish, and District of Beaufort, nearly opposite the city of Savannah, containing 473 acres of Tide Lane; 230 acres are underbanks, and cultivated in Rice. With the Plantation will be sold, one hundred and three NEGROES, accustomed to that place, together with a small Stock of SHEEP, and a Stock of about thirty head of CATTLE. The above property is to be sold as belonging to Wm. Conway Campbell, a Lunatic.

Conditions–one-half of the purchase money to be paid on the day of sale; the balance to be paid on the first day of January next; but in case the purchaser should not pay the same on the day last mentioned then to pay the same in two years from said date, with interest, at the rate of 7 per cent; to be secured by bond and mortgage of the property.


Commissioner in Equity.


From GenealogyBank, Charleston Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, August 23, 1823.


From GenealogyBank, City Gazette, Charleston, South Carolina, January 16, 1824.



From the Subscribers in October last, two Negroes, CYRUS and TOM. Cyrus is a stout well made fellow, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches in height, of yellow complexion, with a scar over one of his eyes; and with another scar which may be seen on close inspection on the upper part of one of his feet. Cyrus was seen in Charleston on the 22d of December, with a forged pass Tom is of black complexion, somewhat pitted with the small pox, and is about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches in height.

A liberal reward will be given to any person, who will confine either or both the above mentioned fugitives in any gaol in the state, so that they may be obtained by the subscribers.



Pipe Creek, near Robertville.

Jan 13


From GenealogyBank, Boston Recorder, Boston, Massachusetts, May 15, 1824.


Revival in South-Carolina.

A revival of religion commenced at Robertville, Beaufort District, S. C. in October last; and the 26th of that month a few were added to the Baptist church. On two other Sabbaths, subsequently to this, as many as thirty-one, on each day, were baptized and admitted to the same church, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Boyd. The whole number added to this church from the commencement of the revival to the (illegible) of April, was one hundred and seventeen.

The revival has not been confined to any particular class or age. Among others, was a girl who was both deaf and dumb. She related her experience by signs, yet in such a clear manner as to give entire satisfaction to the members and spectators. — Backsliders were reclaimed; nine of whom were restored to the fellowship of the church. Several additions have also been made to the Methodist church near Robertville.

*****From GenealogyBank, Boston Recorder, Boston, Massachusetts, May 20, 1824.


A revival of religion commenced at Robertville, Beaufort District, in October last; and on the 26th of that month a few were added to the Baptist church, which may be considered as the first fruits of this out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. On two other Sabbaths, subsequently to this, as many as thirty-one, on each day, were baptized and admitted to the same church, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Boyd. The whole number added to this church, from the commencement of the revival to the 1st of April, was one hundred and seventeen; and, as there were still some inquirers at that time, other additions may have been made.

The revival has not been confined to any particular class or age, but persons of every rank and age have become subjects of regenerating grace. Among other, was a girl who was both deaf and dumb. She related her experience by signs, yet in such a clear manner as to give entire satisfaction to the members and spectators. — Backsliders were reclaimed; nine of whom were restored to the fellowship of the church. For a part of the time, meetings were held four days in the week; the congregations, which were generally large, would assemble at 10 o’clock in the morning and continue together until four o’clock.

Several additions have also been made to the Methodist church near Robertville.

Smith Intel.



From GenealogyBank, Georgian, Savannah, Georgia, June 5, 1824.


Trip to Robertville,

The Steam-Boat CAROLINA, Will on Sunday next, at three o’clock, P. M. leave Bolton’s Cenral Wharf, for Parachuckler Landing, opposite Robertville, S. C. She will reach Parachuckler, on Monday morning, about five o’clock, A. M. and return to Savannah, at four o’clock the same evening. She will receive passengers and freight for Robertville, also going and returning, for Purysburgh, Ebenezer and Sister’s Ferry. Passengers fare to Robertville, two dollars.

June 5


Southern Patriot, June 20, 1825.



City Gazette, March 1, 1826.



From GenealogyBank, City Gazette, August 14, 1826.


To all Merchants and other Persons.

You are hereby forbid giving Credit upon my account, without my written or verbal order.


Robertville, August 7, 1826.


From GenealogyBank, City Gazette, Charleston, South Carolina, October 5, 1826.


(Alexander James Lawton married Martha Mosse. Her sister Mary Ann Mosse married Adam Fowler Brisbane.)


Charleston Courier, January 27, 1827.



Tide Lands and Negroes for Sale.

THE Subscriber, wishing to curtail his Planting interest, offers for sale his Laurel Hill PLANTATION, on Savannah river, in South Carolina, consisting of six hundred and forty acres, in the best pitch of the tide; four hundred and fifty of which are cleared, and in good order, and was planted the last year. It bounds to the south on the estate of the late James H. Ancrum, Esq; on the north and east by Jacob Guerard, Esq.; and on the west by Savannah river. If desirable to the purchaser, the gang of Negroes, consisting of eighty, will also be sold–they are well inured to the situation, having principally been raised on tide lands, and planting Rice; mostly in families; nearly fifty of them are workers. Reference may be had by applying to JOHN P. WILLINNON, Esq. in Savannah, or to the subscriber, near Robertville, Black Swamp, South Carolina.


January 18





Dear Sir–Will you oblige the good Citizens of St. Peter’s by giving the following an insertion in your paper.


At a meeting of the Citizens of St. Peters Parish; in Robertville, (S. C.) on the 8th inst. called for that purpose, Major JOHN S. MANER, was requested to take the Chair, and ALEXANDER J. LAWTON, to set as Secretary. The following resolutions were then unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That we, the Inhabitants of St. Peter’s Parish, to show our respect for the distinguished talents of our Representative in Congress, the Hon. JAMES HAMILTON, JR.; to show to the world that we heartily coincide with him in his manly and firm endeavors to prevent the passage, by the Congress of the United States, of sundry acts very injurious to the interests of the Southern States; and to testify how highly we appreciate his political course and private moral worth, do invite him to partake of a public Dinner with us, at Robertville, when it may suit his convenience.

Resolved, That we recommend to all the citizens of St. Peter’s Parish, and others, who shall attend the Dinner to be given in respect to Major HAMILTON, our Representative in Congress, to appear attired in Homespun Cloth, the manufacture of this State.

Resolved, That the Secretary publish the above proceedings in some of the public Journals of the State.


Robertville, (
S. C.) July 9, 1828.



From GenealogyBank, Charleston, South Carolina, September 27, 1828


Election Resolves.

In the House of Representatives

December 19, 1827

THE Committee appointed to draft Resolutions and appoint Managers of Elections for the next General Election, report the following.


RESOLVED, That the elections to be holden on the second Monday in October next and on the day following, for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, shall be holden at the following places, and conducted by the following persons:


For St. Peter’s Parish: At Beech Branch and Republican Church; Managers, Shadrac Wooton, Ebenezer Gifford; the first day at Beech Branch, the second day at Republican church. At Robertville; Managers, George Rhodes, Benjamin Jaudon; two days. At Black Creek Muster House the first day, and Cypress Creek Church the second day; Managers, James R. Garvin, Joseph Wall. At Pierson Hardee’s the first day, at Purysburgh the second day; Managers Thomas Hardee, Capt Wm Waldboner. The Managers to meet on the third day, at Robertville, count over the votes and declare the Election. One Senator and two Representatives to be elected.


From Genealogy Bank, Charleston Mercury, June 10, 1831.

Becket and Scott 6-10-1831 Charleston Mercury

State of South Carolina.


By James Hamilton, Junr. Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid,

WHEREAS, I have received information of a wanton and atrocious Murder having been committed at Black Swamp, St. Peters Parish, by a free colored man of the name of JAMES BECKET, on the body of Elijah Scott, also a free colored man — and whereas the said Becket has fled the Public Justice of the Country.

Now, Know ye, that, to the intent that he the said Becket may be brought to legal trial and condign punishment, I do hereby offer a reward of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars, for the apprehension and delivery of the said James Becket to any one of the Sheriffs or Jailors of the said State.

The said Becket is represented to be a quadroon, full six feet in height, about 45 years of age, with his upper front teeth projecting more than usual, and an effeminate voice; he is by occupation (as much as bad habits and no fixed residence will allow) a jobbing Carpenter and Cooper. It is supposed that he has crossed the Savannah River and is lurking in that part of Georgia which is opposite to St. Peter’s Parish.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the State at Charleston, this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one, and of American Independence the fifty fifth. JAMES HAMILTON, Junr.

By the Governor,

John N. Barrillon,

Deputy Secretary of State.

June 7


From GenealogyBank, Georgian, Savannah, Georgia, July 24, 1832.



THIS is designed to convey to Mr. JAMES JONES, who is residing either in this State, or in Florida, the information, that he is the principal legatee of the Will of Miss Elizabeth Allen, late of St. Peter’s Parish, Beaufort District, South Carolina.

All other information, he may obtain, by addressing a letter to Joseph M. Lawton, Esq. Robertville, Beaufort District, (So. Ca)

june 21


From GenealogyBank, Georgia Messenger, Savannah, Georgia, October 6, 1836.



Regarding the postal delivery from Augusta, Georgia, to Robertville, South Carolina. Image from GenealogyBank, Edgefield Advertiser, February 22, 1843.


From Augusta, Ga, By Silverton, s. c. Four Mile Branch, Speedwell, Lower Three Runs, Erwinton, King creek, Pipe Creek, and Robertsville, to Gillisonville, 98 miles and back, twice a week.


Charleston Courier, August 31, 1844.



From GenealogyBank, Daily Atlas, Boston, Massachusetts, December 28, 1844.


MORE SOUTH CAROLINA WINE.–The editor of the Savannah Republican has samples of eight kinds of wine, made by Dr. Sidney Smith, of Robertville, Beaufort district, S. C. They are the pure juice of the grape, without the addition of any spirits whatever. One of the specimens is from the vintage of 1833, another from that of ’38, and the other six from that of the present year. They differ in flavor, according to the species of grape from which they are expressed, the names of which they generally bear, as the Warren Madeira, La Clarence, Catawba, Scuppanong, Virginia Seedling, &c. &c. Dr. S. has on hand some 800 gallons of these wines, which he finds useful for all medicinal and culinary purposes, such as the light French wines are used for.


From GenealogyBank, Charleston Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, March 6, 1847.

Charleston_Courier_1847-03-06_Relief for Ireland


Pursuant to notice the citizens of Beaufort convened at a public meeting in Gillisonville on Monday the 1st of March. The meeting was organized by calling DR. THOS. E. SCREVEN, to the Chair.

WM. E. MARTIN, Esq. addressed the meeting explaining the purpose for which it had been called, and concluded by proposing that the persons present should contribute whatever they might wish, which would be immediately forwarded to the sufferers in Ireland–and that a Central and Local Committees should be appointed by the Chair, to solicit further contributions.

The HON. W. F. COLCOCK and F. W. FICKLING, Esq, addressed the meeting in favor o the objects of the meeting and the passage of the Resolutions.

The Resolutions were then unanimously agreed to, with an amendment providing that the local Committees should forward their contributions to the central Committee at Gillisonville as speedily as they were made–to be forwarded by the central Committee with similar dispatch.

The Chair appointed the following persons of the Committees:
Gillisonville.–Wm. E. Martin, F. W. Fickling, J. H. Sanders.

Robertville:–Rev. Mr. Rambeant, Samuel Maner, J. S. Maner.

Grahamville.–Rev Mr. Reed, J. H. Scriven, Gen’l. Howard.

Hickory Hill.–B. McBride, J. E. Frampton, Dr. Wyman.

Beaufort.–Rev. Mr. Walker, R. W. Barnwell, M. O’Conner

McPhersonville.–Rev. Mr. Leaverett, Geo. C. Mackay, Jas. Frampton.

Pipe Creek.–Edmund Martin, H. E. Solomons, Dr. Duncan.

Bluffton.–J. Richardson, Dr. J. Fickling, Dr. J. Stoney.

Lawtonville.–Rev. Mr. Nichols, J. M. Taylor, George Rhodes.

Beech Branch.–Rev. Mr. Sweat, Henry Smart, Jas. S. Bronson.

The following resolution offered by MR. GEORGE C. MACKAY was agreed to:

Resolved, That the Pastors of the several churches throughout the District of Beaufort be respectfully requested, on the Sunday succeeding the notice of this request, to solicit contributions from their respective congregations in aid of the suffering poor of Ireland, and to transmit the amounts collected by them to the Central Committee appointed by this meeting to receive the same.

The contributions received amounted to Three hundred and six 05.100 dollars (306 05.100,) and are forwarded to the Hibernian Society by this mail–to be deposed of by them in the manner they may deem most expedient.

The meeting then adjourned.


From GenealogyBank, Charleston Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, May 25, 1847.

Charleston_Courier_1847-05-25_Court Case RobertMaryCaroline


From GenealogyBank, Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia, December 17, 1847


On Thursday, the 9th of December, at Washington, Ga., by the Rev. Lawrence J. Robert, Mr. MILTON GEORGE ROBERT, of Robertville, S. C., and Miss SARAH FRANCES, only daughter of Francis Colley of Washington.


Charleston Courier, September 17, 1850.



From GenealogyBank, Savannah Republican, Savannah, Georgia, November 2, 1850.


A Yam Potato, raised by Mr. C. Jaudon, of Robertville, S. C., which is probably the largest ever received in this city, may be seen on the Round Table of the Savannah Reading Room. It is anything but “small potatoes.”



From GenealogyBank, Charleston Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, November 18, 1852.


DIED, on the 30th of October, on her plantation, near Robertville, S. C., Mrs. ANN MANER ROBERT, relict of the late John H. Robert, aged within a few days of 73 years.

It pleased God to remove her to a better world with but little warning, but blessed be his name, she was prepared for the summons, trusting in her Redeemer’s promise for her soul’s salvation.

She was a most self-sacrificing and devoted mother. all her own comforts, pleasures and enjoyments were never considered or thought of by her, when they conflicted in the least with those of her children. She descended to the grave full of years and full of honor.

Her high-toned sense of honor and probity, and her rigid construction of right and wrong, without fear or favor, was proverbial in the community in which she lived; and the moistened eye and quivering lip attested to the sincerity of the heart-felt grief of her friends, who attended her last remains “to the bourne from whence no traveller returneth.”


From GenealogyBank, Charleston Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, February 22, 1853.


NOTICE.–All persons having demands against the Estate of Rev. JOSEPH WALLACE, late of St. Helena Island, deceased, are requested to present them properly attested, to Messrs. MATHEWES & ROPER, in Charleston, to ROBERT G. NORTON, at Robertville, or to the subscriber on St. Helena Island.

Ja 18

ELIZA J. WALLACE, Administratrix.




From GenealogyBank, Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 24, 1853.

The Savannah Courier of the 17th says:

The first bale of new cotton which has reached this city, directly from the planter, was received yesterday from the plantation of Samuel Maner, Esq., Robertville, S. C. It was consigned to Mr. S. Solomons.


Charleston Courier, November 27, 1860.




From GenealogyBank, Charleston Mercury, September 3, 1861.


EXECUTOR’S NOTICE. — ALL PERSONS having demands against Col. ISIDORE LARTIGUE, deceased, will send them properly attested, and those indebted will make payment to


Robertville, S. C.

September 3


Charleston Mercury, September 29, 1862.



From GenealogyBank, Charleston Mercury, October 8, 1862.


WANTED.—EXTRA WAGES WILL be paid for two SHOEMAKERS, to go into the country, who can make each three pairs of common negro shoes per day. Address

J. H. R.,

Robertville, Beaufort District, S. C.

October 8

(I suspect the subscriber is John Hancock Robert)


Charleston Courier, November 11, 1862.



Charleston Mercury, March 5, 1863.



From GenealogyBank, Charleston Mercury, Charleston, South Carolina, August 31, 1863.




From GenealogyBank, Charleston Mercury, Charleston, South Carolina, December 25, 1863.



On the 28th instant, at the pine land residence of Mrs. O. L. Lartigue, on the road between Purysburg and Robertville, the following ARTICLES:

CARPETS, Mattings, Dining Room Oil Cloth

Feather Beds and Mattresses

With other Household Furniture



With a lot of Old Iron, including Hoes, Ploughs

And a very good pair of Iron Axles for four horse wagon


CATTLE, sheep and hogs,

Purchasers will be required to remove their Goods by the third day after the sale.

Terms of sale — Cash.

At the same time will be offered for hire a FINE GANG OF NEGROES.

December 21


From Newspapers.com, the Yorkville Enquirer, November, 1871


ENQUIRER OFFICE, November 15, 1871. At a drawing made this day for the purpose of allotting the prize to be awarded this week, in accordance with the above plan, the name of

J. M. SMITH, Robertville, S. C., was drawn, who is hereby declared entitled to the prize.


Beaufort Republican, September 12, 1872.


(This is John Goldwire Lawton and his son Henry Richardson Lawton.)


Beaufort Republican, January 2, 1873.



From GenealogyBank, Marietta Journal, Marietta, Georgia, October 30, 1890.

Marietta_Journal_1890-10-30_5 (1)


From GenealogyBank, News and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, August 3, 1947.

Negro School in Robertville SC

Robertville Negro School is Realization of a Dream
By Grace Fox Perry
Ridgeland, Aug. 2: Nearly 25 years ago, a middle-aged Jasper County negro dreamed of a well-equipped school which children of his race might attend, a school right in his own community.
Consolidation of white schools in South Carolina was at that time in swaddling clothes, but Richard Sheftal, of Robertville, kept his vision before him. He remembered what the learning of reading, writing, and “ciphering” had meant to him, long before, in a material way. A chance at a real education – who could say what possibilities it might hold for negro children living many miles from any town? He planned and talked.
He sold his idea to negro leaders in adjoining communities where there were one-teacher schools. He aroused the interest of northern sportsmen, members of Pineland Club nearby, who donated four acres of land, and entrusted to Richard the sum of $850, to be applied toward a building. Several cash donations came in from members of other hunting clubs of the county, when they learned about the project.
Meanwhile the depression came. County education officials desired to cooperate, but could barely manage to furnish construction materials. Federal funds for emergency relief (one of the early “alphabet” agencies) became available at this opportune time, and paid for much of the labor on that first building.
The dream of Richard Sheftal, local effort, gifts, county and state appropriations, and federal funds, together have formed a composite efficient picture – Robertville consolidated school, with eight teachers. Through the years, the school plant has increased to five buildings, primary, elementary, and high school, agricultural and vocational shop, lunch room, and library. School buses transport the children.
Richard Sheftal can barely remember his parents. He was reared by a white couple, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Ives, who owned a large plantation at Tarboro. When he was small, there existed in the locality few schools for either white or negro children. As he grew older, Mrs. Ives, who had been Miss Lawton, taught him to read, write, and do simple figuring, so he could take care of the farm commissary, during the absences of Mr. Ives. Richard became proficient and trustworthy in that position, learning early the merits of thrift and honesty. Today, owner of his own farm at Robertville, he speaks of the Ives family with great affection.
At the age of 78, Richard takes a keen interest in activities of the institution which exists because of his respect for learning. He is chairman of the local school committee, and is consulted by the white trustees of his district on any matter concerning the school policies, or any changes in teacher personnel. Principal of the school is Bruce C. Howard, a graduate of south Carolina state college, at Orangeburg.
I worked on a family tree for Richard Sheftal. He is descended from Free People of Color from Savannah, Georgia.
GenealogyBank, Beaufort Gazette, Beaufort, South Carolina, October 1, 1948.


From Newspapers.com, The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, South Carolina, August 29, 1970.

Black students at Grays in Jasper County continued to boycott the Grays Grammar School for grades 1 through 4 Friday.

County Superintendent J. D. O’Quinn said meetings are planned during the weekend among community leaders from Robertville and Grays and a biracial group after Department of Health, Education and Welfare representatives from Atlanta have met with all parties Thursday and Friday.

Robertville formerly had an all-Negro grammar school while Grays was the site of an all-white grammar school.

The blacks have protested the closing of the Robertville school and their assignment to Grays in a plan approved by HEW.


From Newspapers.com, the Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, South Carolina, November 21, 1970. The Robertville School closes.


From GenealogyBank, the State newspaper, Columbia, South Carolina, February 6, 1988.

Note that the map in the newspaper article doesn’t show the correct location of Robertville. The article doesn’t fairly depict Henry Martyn Robert, and it fails to indicate that he was quite young, perhaps 2, when his family moved away from Robertville.


From GenealogyBank, the State, Columbia, South Carolina, October 22, 2006.



Will Clifton Barker

ESTILL — Mr. Will Clifton Barker, 89, died early Saturday morning in Hampton Regional Medical Center after an extended illness.

Mr. Barker was born in Jasper County, November 28, 1916, a son of the late James Rance Barker and Ruby Smith Barker. He was the owner and operator of Barkers Grocery Store in Robertville for 60 years, was a member of the Stafford Masonic Lodge #216 in Furman, and was a member of the Pineland Hunting Club and Robertville Baptist Church. Mr. Barker served in the Army during World War II.

Surviving are his wife, Irene Tuten Barker of the home; daughters, Sara B. Stanley and husband, Marion, of Estill, and Judy Hellgren and husband, Rhett, of Ludowici, Georgia; sisters, Betty Smith of Grays and Jennie V. Smith of Ridgeland. There are seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Mr. Barker was predeceased by a son, Joseph Jarrell Barker.

Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Monday in Robertville Baptist Church in Robertville, conducted by Rev. Gay Graham and Rev. Barney Tuten, with burial in the church cemetery directed by Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home in Hampton.

Friends may call at the chapel in Hampton located at 300 Mulberry St. from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, and Monday until 2 p.m. when the casket will be placed in the church prior to services.

The family suggests that those who wish may send memorials to Robertville Baptist Church, 177 Lonesome Dove Lane, Estill, SC 29918.


Let’s see how this story unfolds. This should be fun!

Happy Easter from The Treehouse, Butter-Style

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

Restore the Ancestors, 2019 Version

April 20, 2019

There’s a facebook page about transcribing records on FamilySearch.com. This page is a collaborative effort. Their page description is as follows:


The Restore the Ancestors Project is a community effort to index records of interest for African American genealogy. To begin indexing records, please visit our website for step by step instructions on how to volunteer! https://cfh.iaamuseum.org/announcing-the-restore-the-ancestors-2019-project-help-us-index-records-for-african-american-genealogy/ Please join us in making records of African American ancestors free and searchable by indexing one batch (or more!) of ten early Colleton County, SC marriage records! We will cherish your contributions. Project Coordinators are Angela Walton Raji, Toni Carrier, Alana Thevenet, Robin Renee Foster, William Durant and Candace Turpin. Organizational Sponsors are the Center for Family History at the International African American Museum, BlackProGen LIVE and FamilySearch.

Guess what? When you process a batch of ten – ONLY TEN – you can add this dandy little badge to your blog or website or facebook page or whatever.

Like this…

RestoreTheAncestors 2019

Only so far, I’ve done 12 batches of 10. Have you ever indexed records? So easy. FamilySearch is a free website; you only have to sign up, like registering for a class, in order to use the resources.

Because many hands make light work. And a rising tide lifts all boats. So, many people creating a rising tide of volunteerism benefits all people.

You can also pat yourself on the back. Just don’t break your arm; it will slow down your indexing.

Bound for Liberia: An Article from the Charleston Courier

April 15, 2019

From GenealogyBank, November 7, 1866, here is an article from the Camden Journal, reprinted from the Charleston Courier.



From the Charleston Courier.


The African Colonization ship Golconda, Capt. Joseph Miskelly, will sail from this port on Saturday or Sunday next, with six hundred and fifty emigrants for Liberia.

We learn from Mr. Wm. Coppinger, Agent of the Society, that some three or four weeks ago there were twelve hundred applications for passage to Liberia this fall. The Society has also received numerous letters of inquiry from parties anxious to go in the spring. The passengers to go by the Golconda are mostly from South Carolina and Georgia, some three hundred being from Columbia, Newberry and other places in the interior of the State.

The voyage generally takes from thirty-five to forty days. Two of the parties are old residents of Liberia, returning home. These are a Dr. Isaac H. Snowden, who has been residing in Liberia some fifteen years, and the Rev. H. W. Erskine, who was taken there when a small boy by his parents from Knoxville, Tenn., and, after a residence there of thirty-six years, is now on a visit to America. He is now Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia. He takes with him his sister, 70 years old, and her husband, with their children, grand-children and great-grand-children.

The Rev. John Seys, Consul General for the United States Government and resident Minister at Liberia, who has crossed the ocean sixteen times, also goes out in the Golconda.

The Golconda was bought by the African Colonization Society last September and fitted out for an emigrant ship for this purpose. The vessel was purchased for $30,000, and the expense of provisioning and fitting her up has cost some $50,000 more, in all $80,000.

The emigrants are given free passage, and are supported by the Society for six months after their arrival at Liberia, by furnishing them with provisions and a house to live in. Grants of from five to ten acres of land are given, according to the size of the family.

Mr. Coppinger gives some interesting statistics in relation to the population, trade, etc.

Liberia is on the West coast of Africa. The Republic has six hundred miles of sea coast, and extends inland from fifteen to forty miles.– The soil was bought from the native proprietors, they having jurisdiction and ownership. The Americcan colored population is about fifteen thousand, colonized by the above Society. There are about three hundred thousand natives residing on the soil, all amenable to the laws of the Republic. Public schools have been established and there are several seminaries sustained by missionaries of this country. The college at Monrovia has a faculty of four colored men with about forty students. The college is in a most flourishing condition.

Considerable quantities of sugar, coffee and cotton are raised for export, and a large trade is springing up. During the war this trade was mainly with Great Britain, but it is now taking this direction, where it naturally belongs. Palm oil, and article peculiar to Africa, and obtained from the palm tree by the natives, is also a chief article of export. It is used mainly for the making of palm soap and for lubricating machinery. The value of the article exported in 1864 amounted to two million pounds sterling, or ten millions of dollars.

No white person is allowed to own land in Liberia or become a citizen of the Republic.

A tract of the Colonization Society gives the following account of a sugar planter:

Mr. Jesse Sharp, who was a house painter at Charleston, S. C., removed to Africa in 1852: had a few acres of cane on the St. Paul’s river, has aided in getting a mill by a judicious Vice-President of the American Colonization Society, and made his first shipment of sugar to the United States in March, 1859. He has been steadily adding to his fields of cane every year. In 1863, a much larger mill, with improved machinery, was advanced to him by two active friends of Africa, costing about two thousand dollars. This he paid for in 1864, with warm expressions of gratitude, and in the fall of 1865, he had some two thousand dollars in money in New York for the purchase of goods, and over twenty thousand pounds of sugar and nine thousand gallons of molasses undisposed of at home.

The editor of the Liberia Herald says:

“For the information of those who are incorrectly asserting in America that “Liberians have not anything else to eat but roots and wild animals,” we have thought proper to give a list of such animals, fruits, and edibles as are in general use with us in their appropriate season.

Animals–Domesticated--Cows, bullocks, swine, sheep, goats, ducks, fowls, pigeons, turkeys. Wild–Deer in abundance; partridges, pigeons, goats, cows, doves, red squirrels, summer ducks, rice birds, ground doves, etc.

Fruit–Water melon, musk melon, mango plums, orange, rose apples, sour sop, guava, tamarind, plantain, bananas, grammadilla, limes, lemons.

Fish–Mullet, whiting, perch, pike, bream, baraconta, mackerel, cursalli, herring, drum, catfish, grippers, oysters, crabs, carp, sun.

Edibles–Sweet potatoes, arrow root, turnips, carrots, shilote, cymblain, chiota, pawpaw, lima beans, ochra. peas, radishes, beets, cabbages, snaps, cucumbers, greens, salads, cassavas, yams, corn.

Besides the foregoing, there are many others, which we have neither time nor room to arrange here.

A coffee tree once planted and reared (which takes four years) will yield its increase two crops a year, year after year, bringing its reward with it–a hundred, a thousand, and tens of thousands, will do the very same, and certainly the scions, or the seed, are to be bought in sufficient quantities in Liberia. Arrow root, ginger, pinders, and pepper, grow with almost half trouble, yielding in full abundance if half planted. Indigo grows luxuriantly beyond all possible expectation; and as for fruits, the orange, lime, lemon, sour sop, guava, mango, etc, etc, we place Liberia against any country in the world, and with a fraction of labor, compared with the benefits they yield. Vegetables–the yam, potatoes, cassada, plantains, Indian corn, beans, peas, etc, etc, time would fail us to tell. Put them in the earth, and they are as sure to produce as the God of nature is to bring about the seasons. Still the idle will not have them. The lazy man has no part in this lot of good things. The word labor frightens the lazy man, and he will not curse us with his presence and example. The industrious love that word, or the thing it means, will come determined to do, and coming will conquer and be rewarded.”


Provisions for the Colored Deaf in Knoxville, 1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

2-18-1867 Deaf

Page 111


Knoxville Te. Feby. 18″ 1867

Lieut S. W. Groesbeck

A. A. A. G. Bureau etc

Asst Com Office

Nashville Te.


In reply to your communication dated Dec 19″ 1866, asking for information with reference to the admission of Colored patients to the Deaf & Dumb Asylum at this place, I have the honor to enclose herewith a communication from the Sect’ry of the Board of Trustees of the above named institution from which you will see that “Colored patients cannot be admitted until the legislature provide apartments for them to occupy & means for their support.

I have the honor to be,

Very Respectfully

Your Obdt Servant

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt etc

Report of the Poor: 1/19/1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

1-19-1867 report of poor P1

Page 96


Knoxville Tenn Jan 19/ 67

Lieut. S. W. Groesbeck

A. A. G. B. R. F and A. Lds.

Nashville Tenn


In compliance with Your Communication of the 12th Inst. – directing me to forward an estimate of the number of destitute Refugees & Freedmen in this County to whom in my opinion it is necessary that rations should be issued – I have the honor to submit the following estimate with a brief report on the subject.

No of whites – none.

No of Colored – 5 women, 20 children = 25

The foregoing estimate embraces only those who are without any means of support & are entirely dependent on common charity for subsistence.

The attention of civic authorities – both county & city – was repeatedly called to some of these cases during last month, &, as I had hopes at the date of my last months report, December 31″ 1866 – that some measures would be adopted for their relieft, my Report was not as full on this subject as it otherwise would have been. The whole subject, however, has since been settled, by both the County, and City, authorities declining to render any relief to such cases.

The County Court met on the 7th inst. and after having the whole subject brought before it, & being urged by the Judge – Hon C. M. Jones – to either make an appropriation for the relief of such cases, or authorize him to send them to County Poor House, it declined to do either. A few days prior to this action by the County authoritiews, the Mayor & Board of Aldermen, of the City, held a meeting for the purpose of disposing of this subject. By invitation of the Mayor I was present at this meeting & after reading the orders on the subject & stating that the Government had ceased to issue rations in this state & that each town, county etc was expected to care for its own poor,

1-19-1867 report of poor P2

I urged the board to adopt some measures for the relief of such cases in this City, but they declined to take any action for their relief, except, to refund to me seven dollars, which I had expended from my own private funds, for the relief of one or two cases, which I am satisfied would have starved & frozen, to death, had I not had them taken in, & cared for, at the time I did, I was very much surprised & disappointed, at the action of the authorities here, for both the Judge of the County Court, & the Mayor of the City, had repeatedly in conversations on the subject given me to hope for an entirely different result. I am satisfied now – however that it will be useless to make any further appeals to wither the County or City on this subject.

There is no scarcity of provisions here but there are always some in all communities – both black & white – who cannot buy at any price. The Colored of this class here are now dependent, either on common charity, or the Government, for subsistence. If the Government proposes to provide for them, it will in my opinion be necessary to issue about five hundred rations per month in this City for at least two or three months – by a judicious distribution of this amount I think much suffering will be prevented.

Very Respectfully,

Samuel Walker

Bvt Captain Supt.

Relief Requested for Nancy Richmond, 1866-1867

April 14, 2019

More from the Freedmen’s Bureau’s letter from the Knoxville office. These images are from FamilySearch’s undigitized images, “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

RichmondNancy 12-28-1866

Page 80


Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tennessee

Dec 28th 1866

Col J. C. Luttarell

Mayor of the City of Knoxville


I beg leave to call your attention to the case of Nancy Richmond Cold of whom I spoke to you about a few days since. This woman is evidently in a condition to require attention from some source other than common charity as she is far advanced in pregnancy and is without shelter or a home as my Orders distinctly state that the Civil Authorities will provide for their own poor it is impossible for me to take any action official, except to call your attention to the case. If this case does not come under your Jurisdiction please refer the paper to Judge Jones of the Count Court.


Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt.

RichmondNancy 1-3-1867

Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn

Jan 3rd 1867

Rev Thomas W Humes

President East Tenn Relief Association

Knoxville Tenn

Dear Sir

I beg leave to call your attention to the very needy and destitute condition of a Colored Woman by the name of Nancey Richmond now quartered in the basement of the building occupied by me as an office. This woman has been begging through the streets of this City for some time but is now in such a condition that she even cannot do that as she is about to be confined. The attention of the civil Authorities has been respectfully called to this case but as yet they have declined to render assistance. The issue of rations and clothing to the destitute by the Government has ceased in East Tenn, And my Orders are such that it is impossible for me to appropriate a dollar of Govmt funds for the relief of this case. Anything I do in this and like cases must be done on my own account as a Private Citizen. I persuaded the family who now has this woman in charge to take her in by promising to see that they were paid and has already paid out seven dollars on her account. I feel satisfied that she would have perished had she not received assistance from some source. I take the liberty under these circumstances of asking you for such assistances as you may have the power to grant and feel that the case requires. I would also respectfully request that you use your influence with the city Authorities and urge them to adopt some measures for the relief of this and like cases. Unless something of this kind is done I fear there will be much suffering among this class of persons during the winter. Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience and that you may be able to aid me in this matter. I have the honor to be Sir

Very respectully

Your obt servt

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt.

1-4-1867 RichmondNancy and SchoolHouse matters

Page 90


Bureau R. F. & A. L.

Supt Office Knoxville Tenn

Jan 4th 1867

Rev Thos W. Humes

President E. T. R. A.

Knoxville Tenn

Dear Sir,

I have the honor respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 3rd inst with Order on Mr. D. A. Deaderick Treasr E. T. R. A. for twelve Dollars to be used for the relief of the Colrd woman Nanney Richmond for which please accept my thanks. I would respectfully state that Judge Jones of the Count Court has been notified in this case but states that as the law requires parties to have been residents of the County for at least one year before they can be admitted to the County poor house, he has no jurisdiction over this case. I have the honor to be

Very Respectfully

Your Obt Servt

Samuel Walker

Bvt Capt & Supt