Posts Tagged ‘Edisto Island’

The Will of Captain William Lawton

March 31, 2018

Recently I received a comment on the blog from a nice lady who wanted help in determining exactly where in England Capt. William Lawton was born so that she could have him recognized as a Patriot in the DAR.

I was confused on a number of levels. No one knows where he was born; oral tradition says that he is from an area of Cheshire called Church Lawton. He has been researched for decades, and if someone could have gotten him recognized as a patriot, it would have been done long ago. Was this person a brand-new researcher? Why was she focusing on this? Now most importantly: William Lawton couldn’t be recognized as a Revolutionary patriot by the DAR because he wasn’t a Revolutionary patriot.

There are some of us in the crowd that would disagree with my last statement.

But just like you can’t be a member of the Society of True Redheads (which is not really a thing) if you are not a True Redhead, you can’t be recognized as a Revolutionary patriot if you didn’t participate during the Revolutionary time frame (which is really a thing).

William died in 1757. The Revolutionary era is considered to have begun with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 and to have ended with the ratification of the US Bill of Right  in 1791, so about 25ish years. The military phrase was from 1775-1783.

Now this must have been disappointing to my new commenter.

At any rate, here’s the will of William Lawton.


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South Carolina. fs.

In the Name of God, Amen, the Ninth day of October, in the Thirty first year of his Majesty King George the Seconds Reign and in the year of our Lord, one Thousand Seven hundred and fifty Seven. I William Lawton of Edisto Island in St. Johns parish in Colleton County in the Province of South Carolina Planter being (blessed be God of Sound and disposing mind and Memory and considering the uncertainty of this Transitory Life and the certainty of Death in order  prepare my self for that Great Change, do make and declare this my last Will and Testament and do Constitute Ordain and appoint my loving Wife Mary Lawton Executrix and my Loving son Josiah Lawton my loving Brother Isaac Rippon and my Loving friend William Maxwell Executors of the same hereby Revoking and making Null and Void all and every other and former Will and Wills Testament and Testaments by me heretofore made or declared and declaring and Confirming this and no other to be my only last Will and Testament, that is to say, Principally being sincerely sorry for all my Sins and humbly begging pardon for the same I commend my Soul to the Mercies of God my Creator in and thro’ Jesus Christ my blessed Saviour and Redeemer on whom alone I trust for the pardon and remission of all my Sins and for Eternal Life and Salvation and my Body at Death I committ to the Grave to be interred in a decent and Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executors herein before Named, and as for and Concerning all my Worldly Estate and such Lands and Tenements Goods and Chattels as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, my Will and desire is that the name and every part and parcel thereof shall be disposed of and bestowed, in manner and form herein after mentioned Respectively and not otherwise, Imprimis I will and desire that all my Just Debts and Funeral Expences shall be well and duly paid, in convenient time after my decease

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Wife Mary Lawton

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Nine Negroes Names as follows Viz: Harry, Cuff, Pompey, Will, George, Adam, Walley, Tamer, and Kate with their issue with their axes, Hoes and Reap hooks, also my Riding Horse Frisk and New Saddle to be Bought for her out of my Estate, also a Suit of Mourning likewise one fourth part of my Stock of Cattle, one fourth part of my Sheep one third part of all my Household furniture and the use of my large canoe and Sails during her Life and at her decease to my Son Josiah and his Heirs forever. I also leave her the use of my Plantation I now live on during the term of her Natural Life she paying one fourth part of all my Just and Lawful Debts and for ever Quitting Claim, Right and Title to all or any my Estate Real or personal in any shape or case whatever further than is herein given and devised, Item I give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Josiah Lawton one Negroe Man Named Cyrus and the use of my large Canoe and her Sails till my Wifes decease and then to him and his Heirs for ever I also give him one large Silver Spoon and my Gun to him and his Heirs for every Exclusive of his equal part in my Estate, Item I give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son William Lauton one Negroe Man Named Abram, to him and his heirs for ever Exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Daughter Sarah Lauton one Negroe Woman Named Phillis and her Son Jacob and all her Increase, I also Give her, her Riding Horse and Saddle to her and her Heirs for ever, exclusive of her equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my Well beloved Son Jeremiah Lauton one Negroe Man Named Amos to him and his heirs for ever exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Winborn Lawton one Negroe Boy named Peter one Mustizo Girl Named Chloe, to him and his heirs for ever Exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Daughter Mary Lauton one Negroe Girl Named Pegg and her Increase and a pair of Gold Sleeve Buttons I now wear to her andher Heirs for ever, Exclusive of her equal part of my Estate Item I Give

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and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Joseph Lauton one Negtoe girl Named Hannah and her increase and one Negroe Boy Named Tom my Silver Watch and Silver Shoe Buckles to him and his Heirs for ever exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Josiah Lauton one half of the Tract of Land I Bought from Mr. James Cuthbert to him and his Heirs for ever, Item I Give and bequeath to my well beloved Son William Lauton the other half of the above Tract of Land to him and his Heirs for eve, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Joseph Lauton the Tract of Land I now live on to him and his Heirs for ever, and Lastly I Give and Bequeath all the Remainder Rest and Residue of my Estate consisting of Negroes Horses, Cattle, Hogs Sheep Household Goods Plantation Tools &ca to be equally divided betwixt my Children or children that may be Born of my Lawful Wife within Nine Months after my decease and it is my desire that my Estate should be divided, as soon as possible after my Death and that my Sons Josiah and William should take the Charge of the parts of my other four Children, who Names are as follows Vis: Sarah Jeremiah, Winborn and Mary Lautons until they arrive at the age of Nineteen years or day of Marriage which shall first happen, In Witness whereof I the said William Lauton have hereunto Set my hand and Seal the day and year first above written.

Sealed published and declare. by Mr. William Lauton the Testator in the presence of us.

John Mikell

John Fry.

John Frach.


William Lawton (Seal)

One Wench Dianah the Sorrel Stalion to be Sold as soon as possible after my Will is proved.


Proved before His Excellency William Henry Lytleton Esqr 9th December 1757. at the same time Qualified Mary Lauton and Isaac Rippon Executors to the said Will.

Recorded in Will Book 1767 – 1771.

Recorded on Page 507.


These images come from

Pie to Go on Edisto

May 4, 2015


We’ve seen this market before on the way coming and going. We’ve never stopped in spite of the sign that proclaimed Key Lime Pie Seven Days A Week. Apparently we do not have good sense.


Large coolers inside have the most wonderful treats. Pies, casseroles, sandwich makings, frozen dishes to take and bake. And did I say pie?

We circled the inside, and Sugar worried that he didn’t have any cash. Not that it mattered; they have a card reader and accept debit and credit cards.

We scored pimiento cheese, fresh croissants, Breton whole wheat crackers, Charleston Tea Plantation Tea, and freshly churned strawberry ice cream, and some veggies for cooking at home later. And Pie.



We started eating in the parking lot. We have no shame.

After a bit, we headed on in search of Point of Pines. It’s where Sugar used to go as a child with his parents to Chalmers and Faith Murray’s house. During the Gold Mine in the Closet series that I started last year, there were lots of photos of Edisto and some of the Murray’s house.


We saw a house across the way that he knew was NOT the Murray’s house, but we couldn’t resist stopping to have a look.

Even when a black snake made its way across our path.

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We headed back to the van and went as far as we could til we came to the No Trespassing sign. The road continued further and quite probably was the place we were looking for, but it was clear that we were stuck.

So we turned around and had some dessert time.


Which is not a bad way to end a day trip…

Except that we are not done. We had to stop in a churchyard.

Go with the Flow on Edisto

May 1, 2015

Sugar and I are at the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge on Edisto. We’ve been to Edisto a few times to go to the Presbyterian Church’s graveyard (of course), the museum (they sell books!), and the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery (we have a grave disease). We’ve made a special trip today to go to the wildlife refuge. 

I’m using both the digital camera and the iPhone camera. I’m very new to using an iPhone camera, but I won’t bore you with all the photos of the ground. I’m puzzled as to why some iPhone photos have crisp, true colors, but others look grayed down. These last few blog posts have been experiments in blogging. I start the post on the phone, inserting the photos, then go to the laptop and add the digital photos from the camera. It’s a whole new skill set. 

Today, these photos are all from the iPhone. Tomorrow will probably be a mix. 

Now, more randomness. 


Slow Go on Edisto

April 28, 2015

Sugar and I are at the ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge on Edisto Island.

SugarSpotter just spotted an alligator, maybe 40 feet away. Thirty feet? I don’t know. But sufficiently far away enough, down in the wetlands in a former rice field.

I couldn’t find his head clearly, until I loaded the images on the computer, enlarged them, and applied a little Paint magic.

The area that we’re standing on, I believe now, is referred to as part of the dike. It’s wide and flat and solid ground, enough to drive a vehicle on. Y’all already saw how far apart the rice trunk gates are.




This gator didn’t move. After a sufficient number of photos, we walked on towards the wetlands.


Using the zoom feature on the camera, I shoot a heron on the far side, fishing along the bank.

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One of the best parts of today was this:


Lawton People! Here’s Your 2015 Reunion Letter!

April 19, 2015


The Lawton and Allied Families Association

135 Lamont Drive

Decatur, GA 30030

April 12, 2015

Dear Cousins,

We had a great time in Robertville last year – and we’re well along the way to restoring the wall

around the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery at Edisto Island. I’ve been reminded again how important

Edisto is to our common heritage. We’ll meet at Edisto Island on June 12th and 13th.

The Edisto Island Presbyterian Church will be our meeting point for the reunion. It’s near oth the

Historical society offices and the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery.

On Friday night we’ll gather at the church to renew our friendships and to discuss the plan to restore

the cemetery wall. The current owners of the land around it have cleaned it up magnificently. By

that time we hope to have a complete plan and perhaps to be along the way toward repair of the


On Saturday, Tim Drake will tell us about Victorian Era Funeral customs. Some of us may have seen

these customs growing up without realizing their origin. I’m sure it will be interesting. In the

afternoon, we’ll travel to the Lawton-Seabrook cemetery to see it – and hopefully the ongoing

restoration work. Tim is on staff at Clemson and is deeply involved in our state’s history and historical


Here are two other important matters before us:

We need to have a good and effective Email list to keep our membership informed. I expect that

90% of our mailing list has an email address. Please help us by sending me an email at:, giving me your name and current address. It’s a huge help! We also have a

google spreadsheet that you can use to sign up. Instructions are on the registration form.

Third, we need some help. Mary Catherine Plowden has served faithfully as our Treasurer since

  1. Now it’s time for someone else to take this responsibility. About 95% of the work is in May and

June around reunion time. Please let me know if you can help out. It would be great to announce

the name of the new treasurer at the meeting – rather than beating the bushes for volunteers.

Finally, note that the attachments to this letter have some information on accommodations on

Edisto Island. It’s a resort area, so you should book a room early. But our contact can get

you a “weekend” booking without having to pay for a whole week.

I look forward to meeting each of you in June. Let me know what we can do to make your time

enjoyable. Send me an email –

Your cousin and friend,


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The Gold Mine in the Closet

November 1, 2014

Boxes and boxes of photos.

That’s what Sugar has in a closet.  Many of them are labeled; some are not, but he knows who they are for the most part.

We’ve been sifting through these photos for about a week and a half, and I’m starting to recognize people, places, and things.  Nouns in black and white, they are.  Little sniplets of life, in a box or three, in a closet.

He drew out a select series of photos relating to Edisto Island, to start.  Sugar’s parents knew Chalmers and Faith Murray, and spent time living with them, both before and after Sugar was born.  He remembers bits and pieces, little snapshots of his own.

Some of the photos are loose, and some were attached by glue dots to the classic photo/scrapbook style pages of heavy, construction-paper-like stock, and some were enlarged to a 5×7 size.  Sugar thinks that his dad liked some of the smaller ones so much that he had them enlarged.

So I’ll start here and sort them out a bit as I go.

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The page above show shots of Edisto in 1947.  There’s a shot of the river, a former slave cabin, the dog Meechie, and a shot of an upstairs window.

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The next page, which you’ll see above, shows Sugar’s father washing dishes in a bucket, outside on the grass.  When they stayed with the Murrays, there was no electricity or running water in the house, on purpose.  The Murrays chose to live that way.  Also above you’ll see another shot of the river, a man driving an oxcart, and another shot of a tree that you saw on the very first page.


I cropped this one out of the photo above. You can see in greater detail that there are tools in the back of the cart, and it doesn’t appear that this cart was used for hauling heavy loads.

The next page is striking.  It’s one large photo glued to the paper.  The photo can be clicked on to enlarge.  I see two people in front of the house, a clothesline in the back, perhaps an outhouse.  This is a classic style of slave cabin that was built on Edisto Island.


Here’s Oxcart Man again, in greater detail, and also the tree by the river.

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I’ve cropped Oxcart Man out of the page above, and I think that’s a handsaw in the cart.  I’d be interested to know what you think.


It must be springish here.  Nothing is growing is the field, and there’s no leftover greenery from crops.  The curtains have blown outside the windows.


Next, here’s a little fun in the sun.  This was the summer before Sugar was born.  Here’s his father and mother in a boat in 1946.  We’re guessing this photo was made by Faith Murray.  When you see the other photos, you’ll see why we can guess who the photographer is of each photo.


Sugar’s mother and Faith Murray at Edisto Island in 1946, most probably taken by Sugar’s father.  Note the glue dots from where the photos were once in an album.


And to round out the trio of photos, here’s one of Sugar’s father and Faith Murray, most probably shot by Sugar’s mother.




Here’s the house where Sugar and his family stayed when they visited the Murrays. Sugar says there’s an addition to the house on the left, but it’s hard to see here.

Here’s fun bit.  I wondered why someone took a photo of an upper-story window.  Sugar said there’s someone there, and he thinks it’s his mother.  I think it must be, too, and see where’s it’s handwritten that this was in 1947?  Sugar was born in late summer 1947, so I think  that his mother is pregnant here, but that’s just me talking.  I don’t know that for a fact, but if I had just delivered, I don’t think I’d be off for a vacation at the beach without running water and electricity.  You can click on this photo, or any of the photos, to enlarge, and wonder along with me.





So you know after looking at all these photos, we’re planning a day trip to Edisto Island.  Today was our first best chance, but cold and windy?  We went to the grocery store instead, because we’re brave pioneers like that.