Archive for March, 2020

Indentures and Such in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1812

March 24, 2020

I have some extra time to look at browsable images on familysearch. I’m interested in the earliest time frames. I started with Charleston, South Carolina.

There’s one called Indentures from 1812-1816. This looked like it would be promising. If you want to have a look, click here.

I thought that this would be a great look at young people who were indentured, their names, their trades, their masters, etc.

Nope, wrong. This was eyeopening. This was deeper than Joe Jones learning to become a blacksmith.

The first document image was for a four-year-old child. Four. Four years old. He has been turned over to the Orphanage by his mother. I scrolled through more images.

All children. Some were old enough to be bound out to learn a trade, but when I say “old enough”, they were 9, or 10, or 12. Shades of Oliver Twist.

I found a surname that was familiar. One friend in Charleston is married to a “Connelly”. I saved these images, just in case they will be of use to her.


City of Charleston,

This Indenture Made the twenty second day of April in the year of our Lord 1813 and in the thirty seventh year of AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE, Witnesseth, that Maria Connoly Born the 17 day of August 1801 of Charleston, by & with the consent of her Mother Eliza Connoly, hath place and bound herself to the Commissioners of the Orphan-House, (for the time being) established in the said city of Charleston, in the state aforesaid, in and by an ordinance of the honorable the City Council, ratified on the 18th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1790, entitled, “An ordinance for the establishment of an Orphan-House in the city of Charleston, for the purpose of supporting and education poor orphan children, and those of poor, distressed and disabled parent, who are unable to support and maintain them,” to be subject to all such ordinances, rules and regulations, as now are, or hereafter shall be in force, touching and concerning the said institution; to dwell and continue in the said Orphan-House until she shall be of sufficient age to be bound an apprentice to such profession, trade or occupation as may be suited to her genius and inclination, and from thence to dwell, continue and serve with such person to whom these indentures shall be transferred, from the day of the date hereof, from thence next ensuing, and which will be compleated and ended on the seventeenth day of August in the year of our Lord 1819 — During all which term the said Maria Connoly shall demean herself agreeable to the said ordinances, rules and regulations, until the said transfer shall take place; and from thence her said Mistress well and faithfully shall serve, her secrets keep her lawful commands every where gladly do; hurt to her said Mistress shall not do, nor willingly suffer to be done by others, but the same to the utmost of her power shall let, or forthwith shall give notice thereof to her said Mistress the goods of her said Mistress shall not embezzle or waste, nor lend them without her consent to any. From the said Orphan-House, or from the service of her said Mistress shall not at any time depart or absent herself, without leave from one of the commissioners, or from her said Mistress but in all things shall well and faithfully demean herself during the said term. —

In witness whereof, we have hereunto interchangeable set out hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

Eliza Connoly

Maria (her X mark) Connoly

Philip Gadsden (Commissr)


Eliot Kingman

This Indenture, Made the twenty first day of October in the year of our Lord 1813 — Witnesseth, tht the commissioners of the Orphan- House, by virtue and in pursuance of the before written instrument of writing, and by, and with the consent and approbation of the said Maria Connelly (testified by her being made a party to, and signing and sealing this present Indenture) have given, granted, assigned, transferred and set over, and by these presents do fully and absolutely give, grant, assign, transfer and set over unto Ann R. Poyas wife of Capt. Poyas of Georgetown not to be again transferred without the consent of the Commissioners — the foregoing Indentures, and all right, title, duty, and terms of service and demand whatsoever, which the said commissioners have in or to the said Maria Connolly — or which they can, may, or ought to have in her by force and virtue of the powers and authorities in them vested. And the said Ann R. Poyas her said apprentice the said trade, science, or occupation of a Seamstress and housekeeper which she now uses, with all things thereunto belonging shall and will teach and instruct, or otherwise cause to be well and sufficiently instructed, after the best way and manner that he can; and shall and will also find and allow the said apprentice, meat, drink, washing, lodging and apparel, both linen and woolen, and all other necessaries in sickness and in health, meet and convenient for such an apprentice, during the term aforesaid; and at the expiration of the said term, shall and will give to her said apprentice (over and above all her other cloating) one new suit of apparel, and Five pounds to be paid to the commissioners for her use and a hat, one pair shoes, and stockings, with suitable linen, as fit and usual for such an apprentice, and furnish her with clean linen at least twice a week and should the said Mistress return her said apprentice in the Institution she shall pay to the Commissioners the Sum of Ten pounds. —

In witness whereof, we have hereunto interchangeable set our hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

Ann R. Poyas

Maria (her X mark) Conorly


Eliot Kingman

Danl Strong / Commissioner

Next is Edward, Born September 1803, so he’s about 9 1/2 years old and is indentured to Joseph Yates to become a cooper. Edward could sign his name beautifully even though he’s younger that his sister Maria, who could not write.

The youngest, Frederick Connoly, was just turned 7 and too young to be indentured. He died later that year at the Orphan-House on November 14, 1813.

Horrible sadness. I wonder what happened to Eliza, Maria, and Edward.

Spring Break Quarantine Equals Business Gettin' Done

March 23, 2020

I have woven in ends on knitting projects. I have embroidered flowers on little hats. I have pawed through the yarn stash and planned new projects. I have sewn my tote bags made from empty pet food bags. I have done genealogy and I have transcribed old records.

But the biggest business buster of all happened Friday night, pre-quarantine. I completed all my online paperwork to refinance my house. All. Of. It. It took 3 hours to download, print, complete, and submit. I stayed up until I got it done, and managed to breathe my way through a few tense minutes when the internet or the wifi seemed to be failing.

It this refi happens, it means very good things for me, financially speaking. I imagine that the lenders are swamped with requests with the low interest rates. Let’s cross our fingers and think good thoughts.

Still feel a bit guilty about potential good luck being delivered by the proper alignment of the stars and planets when so many people are having a bad time.

The Will of James Clark

March 22, 2020

These images are found at in the collection of South Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980, Charleston Wills, Vol 6, 1747-1752.

The following is a typed transcription of the handwritten one in the court records.

The maker of the will mentions his brother-in-law William Lawton.

Estate Notes of James Clark, July 20, 1750

March 22, 2020

This brings us back to William Lawton, the progenitor of that group of Lawtons that I write about. He is reported to be from England, but there are no known documents that say from where. Family history says he is from Cheshire County.

William’s first wife was Mary Clark(e). I have a will for Jeremiah Clark(e) who mentions his daughter Mary and his son James, among other people. Mary is referred to as Mary Clarke, so I can’t be precise that this Mary is the one who married William Lawton, but there are no other Mary Clarkes that I can find. Jeremiah died in 1728. Let’s guess that the James mentioned in the will is the subject of this blog who died in 1750.

Look on the left page of the image below about halfway down the page.

1750/ July 20th: Left by the Within nam’d James Clark deceased & Remain’d at this Death, in the hands of William Lawton Dxor of the last Will & Testament of the Decd: the sum of Eight Hundred & fifty four Pounds value in Cur’t Money, of silver & Gold wch he Here gives Account of…..

He further gives Acct. of three outlying Horses wch were sold by Caleb Knight Dec’d to the sd. James Clark deceas’d but are not yet come to this Exors hands. Wm Lawton Exor

(From the familysearch collection: “South Carolina, Charleston District, Estate inventories, 1732-1844”.)

The Estate of Capt. William Lawton

March 15, 2020

There’s a collection at that has been digitized by subject name, and it is right up my alley. “South Carolina, Charleston District, Estate inventories, 1732-1844” is the name of the collection, and it is searchable. Some of the collections are “browsable”, which means the images have been saved but not searchable by name. Before this particular collection was searchable, you could look at, or “browse”, the individual images in the collections. Can you read cursive? You’ll need that skillset if you want to look at those old images. The searchable feature allows you to save hours when looking for a particular person’s estate. If you can imagine that volunteers who are able to read and transcribe cursive have been responsible for making these old collections searchable, you realize that it takes a collective effort to aid perhaps only one person. Today, I am that person.

Here’s the estate of Captain William Lawton as recorded by the court on December 19, 1757.


The Appraisement of the Estate of Captain William Lawton deceased Decr. 19th 1757.

To 7 Wedges

A Lot of Coopers Tools

Do Chisels Augurs etc.

Reap Hooks

2 Brand Irons

A Lott of Corking Do

Files Square and 2 Saws

1 Pair of Sheep Sheers

4 Spades etc

A pair of Sheep Sheers 12 Axes

11 Hoes

1 Corn Mill

1 Do Do

Tea Kettle

Bell mettle Do

Negroes Fetters & Chain

(?) & Casting Nett

pr (?)

Lance & pair grains

Sadle Bridle & Housen

2 Spinning Wheels & a Rim

a pair Looking Glasses

3 Chairs

(Page torn on bottom left corner)



Tea Table

Large Do


4 Pictures

Hand Bell

A Lott of China Ware

A Lott of Large Dressing Table

A Looking Glass

Old Deske

Bed Bolster 2 Pillows & Bed Stead Pair of Sheets Blanket & Quilt

Sugar Box

3 Trunks 1 Old Cedar Chest

1 Bark Seive

1 Gun with Silversight

1 old Do

1 Cuttoe

1 Warming Pan

Old Bellows & (?)

Bed Mattress 2 Pillows 2 pr Sheets Bed quilts Blanket Head Cloth Teaster Bed Stead

4 large Trunks

1 Do Poplar Chest with Lock & Hinges

Bed Bay Dressing Table

1 Do Cedar


2 old Bed Quilts

1 New Do

a Suit old Cotton Curtains


Damask Table Cloth & (?) Do

3 pair ozna Sheets

2 Old Do

3 Sheets

6 pr ozna Pillow Cases

8 ozna Table Cloths

4 Tea Cloths

5 Towels

8 White pillow Cases

Head Cloth Teaster & Valiant

2 Tea Boxes Bags

1/2 made Shrimp Nett

A Lott of Books

2 Volums Family Instructer

Pilgrims Progress

Driling Court

A Dixionary

1 Large & 2 Small Bibles

Burket on the New Testament

Walz Sermon

4 Duffell and 2 Negroe Cloth Blankets

Baby Basket

Wigg and Wigg Box

2 Hats

3 Fustian Coats

An old Watch Coat

Mans Broad Cloth Coat



A Suit Broad Cloth

Coat & Breches (?)

Riding Coat

Lott of Old Cloths

Mans Callico Rapper

2 Razors Hone & Strap

2 Spindles, 2 Butcher & 1 Clasp Knives

1 Large Poplar Chest

New Bed Stead

A Narrow Stript Cotton bed 2 pillows, pr ozna Sheets & old Quilt

1 Holland Do Do

1 Bed & Bolster Holland Stript narrow & 1 pair Ozna Sheets

1 Old Narrow Stript Bed 2 Bolsters

1 old Chest & Do Box

1 Silver Table Spoon

6 Do Tea Spoons

4 Do Do & pr Tongs

1 pt Silver Shoe Buckles

1 pr Gold Sleeve Buttons

66 Bottles

3 case Bottles & Decanter

Coffee pott & Sause Pan

Juice Mortar

1 Lott of Tinware


An Old Trunk

Claw Hamr

A parcel Stone Cotton

1 Case with 9 Bottles

6 Juggs and Funnell

Scales & 4 Weights

Part of a Cask of Flower

a Large Chest

a pair Single Channel Pumps

1 pair Wool 1 pr Cotton Cards

1 Saw Sett par Pinchers & parcel Fish Hooks

1/2 Dozn Knives & forks New

Lot of Old Do

7 Old Dishes

Do Plates

5 Candlesticks

Lott of 65 Head of Cattle in 3 marks of Wm. Lawtons @ 4 Sterling per head

1 Large Cannoe with Sail & Oars

1 Small Do

3 Smoothing Irons

7 Jars

A Lott of Pails, One Churn & Keelers

1 Negro fellow name Syrus

Do Abraham

Do Amos

Do Scipio

Negroe Wench Sue & Child Scipio



Little child Sue

Negroe fellow Argusass

Do Jenn & child Bellon

Boy Tom

Girl Peggy

Girl Tamere

Do Daphney

Negroe Fellow Sambo

Wench Philis, & Child Malia

Boy Jacob

Fellow Cato

Wench Venus

Fellow Sancho

Do Bowswain

Do Samson

Do Primus

Do Cuff

Do Harrey

Wench Diana

Fellow Pompey

Child Cloe

Girl Hannah

Boy Peter

Do Adam

Young Fellow Dilf

Old George

Fellow Walley

Wench Millinda


72 # Indigo @ Pound 1 #

36 Head of Sheep at 30/#

1 Horse called Frisk

Do White

Do Stallion

1 Black Mare

Old Gray Horse

32 Bls Rice @ Pound 5/#


2 Stocks

8 Rice Mills

a parcel Black Eyed Pease

25 1/2 Brls Rice @ Pound 5 # Barl

A Parcel of corn

Cart and Wheels & Sadle & Collar

Large Copper Kettle

Grind Stone

1 Large Iron Pott

2 Biggest Do

3 Iron Do one Size

2 Do Small

3 pr Hooks & 3 Trammels

1 Frying Pan

1 New Corn Mill

Coopers Ware

Hair Scive

1 Iron (?)

Earthen Dye Pott

4 Bee hives



1 Pair Doggs, Tongs and Shovell

1 Do Do old

Cloth Brush & Tooth Drwer

Quilting Frame

Indian Looking Glases

3 Fishing Lines

15 Geese

31 Fowls

28 Turkies @ 7/6 each

Parcel of Wool

a Quarter Cash

2 old Bedsteads

a Whip Saw and 1 Cross Cutsaw

English Horse Whip

2 oza Bags

Small Trunk & Ink Stand

Small Trunk & (?) Iron

51 Head of Hoggs

1 Black Horse named Jockey & Sadle

butter Pott

Silver Watch

Mills & Mortars

Saw Sett

The above is a true appraisement

Signed by us

Joseph Seabrook

Daniel Townsend

David Adams

Some thoughts on my transcriptions…

I believe that “osna” refers to a fabric called Osnaburg. Years ago, I made custom window treatments, commonly called draperies, curtains, valances, etc. Osnaburg was a loosely woven fabric in a variety of solid colors, not prints, with fewer threads per inch than most fabrics but more than cheesecloth.

Remember that “Do” stands for “Ditto”, which means to insert the word used in the previous line. It’s like a shortcut for copy & paste.

I am amused when I see an item referred to as “old” in 1757. How old must some of those items really be?

What happened to the 3 Bibles?

I was horrified when I realized the purpose of “Negroe fetters & chain”.

I think the next course of action would be to compare this inventory to his actual will. You can view his will here.

The Lawton Family Reunion: 2020

March 12, 2020

Here’s your link for this year’s family reunion. You can register online.

2020 Annual Meeting

(Edited 4/8/2020: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the reunion has been rescheduled for September 2020.)