Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Maner Lawton’

Catherine Maner Lawton and Her 1840 Plat

September 7, 2019

Let’s talk about Catherine Maner Lawton. She was the daughter of William Maner and Jane Aseneth May, and I have the dates of her birth as 1777 – 1842. She died at Black Swamp, South Carolina.

She married William Henry Lawton, the oldest child of Joseph Lawton and Sarah Robert Lawton. He died in 1827, so Catherine was a widow for about 15 years. Oral history says that the property didn’t start off as Lawton property, but was given to Catherine Maner by her father as a wedding present.

For some reason, in 1840 Catherine requested that a plat of her property be prepared. The following image come from the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. It is a thing of beauty.

from the Lawton Family Papers

Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

South Carolina

St. Peter’s Parish, B. D.

The above Plat represents a tract of land composed of various tracts and parts of tracts of land belonging to Mrs. Catharine Lawton by whose request I have resurveyed it and find it to contain in all Eleven Hundred & Eighty Eight Acres, & to be bounded North by lands of B. T. D. Lawton & J. J. Robert, East by Black Swamp, lands of R. G. Norton & B. Jaudon, South by Dr. Harris, Saml Maner & J. J. Robert, and West by J. J. Robert, and to have such natural & artificial marks as are here represented.

R. T. Lawton, Surveryor

December 16th 1840

Samuel Maner was her uncle.

J. J. Robert was James Jehu Robert, her husband William’s mother Sarah’s brother John Robert’s son.

B. T. D. Lawton was Benjamin Themistocles Dion Lawton, her husband William’s brother.

R. G. Norton was Robert Godfrey Norton, her husband William’s brother Alexander James’s wife Martha Mosse’s sister Sarah’s husband.

B. Jaudon was Benjamin Jaudon, and he is her husband William’s mother Sarah’s relative, somehow. Sarah is descended from a Jaudon.

The Audebert Tract had most probably belonged to John Audebert, another relation on Sarah Robert Lawton’s side.

The Allen Tract I might guess was, belonging to an Allen family that married into a Thomson family that married into a Lawton family.

The Grimball Tract is possibly belonging to her husband William’s father Joseph’s mother Mary Stone Grimball Lawton Fickling’s children by her first marriage. She was married 3 times.

The Kingsley Tract? It must be formerly belonging to Loyalist Zephaniah Kingsley, and the land was confiscated in 1782, a full 58 years earlier. Kingsley referred to the property as Black Swamp, which leads me to believe that the property didn’t really change in name, only in ownership. Sometimes we give directions based on where something used to be but is no more. “Do you know where the big tree used to be out by where so-and-so used to live?”

R. T. Lawton the surveyor is Catharine’s husband William’s brother Benjamin Themistocles Dion Lawton’s son Robert Themistocles Lawton, who owned Lawton Place in Savannah, Georgia, and Blockade Place in Screven County, Georgia.

I don’t know who Dr. Thomas Harris is.

*****

Two points of great interest to me: the “Meeting House, Grave Yard, and Academy”, and the “Settlement” at Black Swamp.

The Meeting House was known as the Black Swamp Church and is the present-day Robertville Baptist Church. The Grave Yard is where we take poinsettias every Christmas. The Academy is the Black Swamp Academy which I wrote about earlier this year.

Now, the Settlement. We have been to the steps before, the remainder of the plantation house. But now I see that the plantation house is surrounded by outbuildings, 7 to be exact. What could they be? A kitchenhouse, a smokehouse, a barn, what else? Y’all have to help me here.

When we have been to Black Swamp before, there are large live oaks in front of the steps and to the south. To the right near the road are massive cedar trees. The first time I saw those trees, I said, “Something used to be there”. The undergrowth was such that we didn’t venture far. Now I see that in the general vicinity of those cedars are 8 small rectangles, most probably indicating slave housing.

Remember when we were looking for Lawton Cemetery? I wrote about that in September 2013. Leslie and I were sure that the Lawton Cemetery couldn’t be where Mama Florrie and her daughter Rose told us where it was, because we thought that was Robert land. The plat of 1840 proves that Mama Florrie knew what she was talking about, because the Black Swamp Plantation included land across the main road, exactly where the Lawton Cemetery is.

So now we have wound up our little local history lesson into a neat little package.

Or have we? There’s a summer house across the way from the main house. But that is not the location of The Pineland, which is said to be the summer house of William Henry Lawton. The summer house is going to have to wait. There are more plats to request.

John Smith of South Carolina, Georgia, and England

September 6, 2019

This title might be a stretch. I don’t know for a fact that John Smith came from England. I do know that his granddaughter Mary Anne Cowper said in her will that her grandfather came over with Oglethorpe on the second voyage. She was parceling out properties to family members, and mentioned several prime Savannah properties on the bay and in what would now be in the historic district. So I’m stretching that to say that the grandfather she means is John Smith, not the father of her father Basil Cowper. Basil was born in Scotland, and I can’t find who his father is nor proof that he ever came to the Americas. So today, that is my theory. That could change since I’m still out of work due to the Hurricane Dorian (which didn’t actually happen), plus I have the world edition of ancestry. Par-tay in the making.

I have found several newspaper items from the Georgia Gazette that mention John Smith. What a common name. I suppose there could be other John Smiths in the area, but in order to be sure that this is the John Smith that I’m researching, I need to find him in conjunction with family, associates, and/or neighbors.

Savannah, May 13, 1794

On Wednesday the 25th of June next, will be sold, at public auction, at Red Bluff, New River, South Carolina, at the plantation of the late Mr. John, deceased.

THE Personal Estate of the said John Smith, consisting of 14 Negroes, a stock of cattle, two chair horses, a riding chair, a sulky, two carts, and plantation tools, some household furniture, and a few books. The Negroes to be sold in families. Conditions of sale cash.

And on the usual day of sale at Coosawhatchie Courthouse, the first week in July, will be sold,

A few pieces of household furniture, a mill for grinding rice with quern stones, and a rice fan.

ELIZABETH SMITH, Executrix

May 12, 1794.

We know that the aforementioned John Smith is our John Smith. His wife was Elizabeth who had inherited a plantation called Red Bluff, so the plantation is not for sale.

The bulk of what I find about John Smith is in Savannah, Georgia. I haven’t found a will, but I do suppose that there was a will, since Elizabeth Smith is called his Executrix, and the assignment of a person as an executor or executrix seems to be a feature of a will.

The first mention that I found of John Smith, which started me down this Smith road, was a plat in the Lawton Family collection in the South Caroliniana Library. I have no definitive answer as to why this plat is in the Lawton collection unless it is because the property because part of a Lawton plantation.

John Smith deeds 100 acres to Sarah Smith.

South Carolina

Pursuant to an Order of Council to me directed Dated this day XXX hereby Certify for Sarah Smith a Tract of (Svrd for her the 28th of Augt 1769) Containing One Hundred Acres Situate near Black Swamp Bounded So ward by John Smith’s Land, all other sides by vacant Land, and hath such shape, form and marks as above Plat represents.

Given under my Hand this 5th Day of Jany, 1770.

John Bremar

D. Sur. Genl.

John Linder

Dep. Survr

John Bremar is the Deputy Surveyor General, and John Linder is the Deputy Surveyor.

When we went to Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Leslie found the grave of John Smith.

img_6417

TO

the memory of

JOHN SMITH

who died

November 1793

Aged 75 years

Blessed are the dead

Who die in the Lord;

they rest from their labors,

and their works do follow them.

So now we have gone full circle-ish from the beginning of finding John Smith owning property in St. Peter’s Parish to the end at Colonial Park Cemetery.

I’ve traced John’s wife, his children, and some of his grandchildren. This could go on for days and weeks, but I draw this to a close. Of course, if I find more about John and his family, I’ll take up the subject again.

As for now, there are Robertville stories in the making. Leslie has been asking when we can return to Robertville, figuratively. He wanted to sort out some stories about John Robert, and so I sat down with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History online records, and my goodness, what rich records. But first, I want to wind up the chapter on the plats and records that I requested from Caroliniana most recently, and that means a side trip to Catherine Maner Lawton’s plat in 1840.

This just goes to show that there is never an end to this hobby, this obsession, called genealogy research.

Back to Bostick Cemetery

October 2, 2015

Why?

   
   
Because Lawtons. 

  
William Henry Lawton married Catherine Maner. And they are buried in Bostick. 

  
Sugar and I have met so many folks who are descended from William Henry and Catherine. He was itching to get back to Bostick, a sort of pilgrimage for those who can’t go. 

  
Of course, when we get there, a clash of wills begins. He wants me to take a photo of William Henry and Catherine’s markers so we can leave. Not me. I am enamored of the day, and I poke about, trying to get the best angle of things, and actually taking the long way ’round. Because dead people. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. 

Finally we arrive at the source of our destination. 

   
 To further unintentionally aggravate him, I’m taking photos with the iPhone and uploading them to FaceBook immediately. Poor Sugar. 

His…   
   
 
  Hers…
   
   
  
A few more… 
   
   
   
   
   
   
That’s part of Bostick. 

Inside the fence.