Archive for ‘South Carolina’

March 17, 2012

The Lost Shirley Family Cemetery

From my notes during a research trip to South Carolina a few years ago.

According to a brief reference to the family cemetery in my research material, I set out Tuesday morning to try and locate the cemetery. The cemetery is located on what was an old Shirley family farm behind what once was the house that was on the property. The farm was located on Branyon road just west of the Keowee Church and resides about 1 mile south of the church.

I spoke with a few homeowners in the area and a couple of them remember the cemtery being there but were unsure where it was located. After about an hour of talking to homeowners in the area and searching the property I finally found the cemetery after finding a chain link fence with a gate that was obscured by hay bails. In the cemetery I found several headstones but they were in very, very poor condition. Only one, Nathaniel Shirley, was in good shape and could be read. It was great to find it but any hopes of learning more about the family members buried there is long gone.

Advertisements
September 13, 2009

Wakefield’s Temple of Health

Near the Abbeville-Anderson County Line is a home that was once known as the Temple of Health. In the South Fork of the Waken – Fields: A History of the Southern Families of Wakefields who descended from Thomas Wakefield who came to America in 1635 by Wayne E. Wakefield there is a reference to an article by Louise G. Ervin that appeared in South Carolina’s historical magazine “The Sand Piper” in September, 1970. The house was owned by the Wakefields in the 1800s and possibly in the late 1700s as well. If the Wakefields owned the house in the late 1700s I believe it probably would have been the home of Abel Wakefield and Mary Anne Bronson as Abel and Mary were the grandparents of Conrad Wakefield who was supposed to have sold the house to Frank Clinkscales in the late 1800s. The following four pages are from the Waken-Fields book:

 

 
 
 
 

According to the article, Frank Clinkscales sold the property to the Gables family in 1904. A 1890s map of Abbeville County shows F. C. Clinkscales as the owner of The Temple of Health with Wakefields, Norris, Bowen, Hall, and McAdams families close by.

The house is located at the following coordinates (34 19′ 8.11″ N 82 32′ 13.17″ W) and can be seen in the following satellite images and map:



September 13, 2009

1776 $5 bill signed by James Wakefield

While living in South Bend, Indiana, I had the opportunity to purchase a $5 colonial bill bearing the signature of James Wakefield. With financial assistance from my uncle, Jeff Wakefield, and my mother, Sally (Wakefield) Meziere, I was able to purchase the December 26, 1776 South Carolina bill for our Wakefield collection. The bill is in mint condition and bears the signature of just James Wakefield. Since it takes five signatures for a bill to be fully issued this bill never made it into circulation.

While investigating the authenticity of the bill I came across the University of Notre Dame’s website on colonial currency. The website discusses the Wakefield signed bills and shows several examples of bills in various denominations. I met with the Louis Jordan, the director of the Department of Special Collections at Notre Dame, and he personally verified the authenticity of the bill and stated that it was in exceptional condition.

Our Wakefield Bill’s Front

Our Wakefield Bill’s Back

 

Needless to say this is a prized piece of our Wakefield collection and one that will be cherished for years to come. More information on James Wakefield to come in future posts.

September 11, 2009

Accidental Death of James Wakefield in 1876

This article is from the Thursday, October 26, 1876 edition of the Vevay Reveille.

James Wakefield was born January 15, 1803 in South Carolina and died, apparently, on October 21, 1876 at the age of 73. He married Elizabeth Ann Jones sometime prior to 1827 in the state of Ohio and migrated to Switzerland County, IN in the 1840s. James and Eliza were the parents of Robert Washington, Jacob J., Rebecca Ann, Evaline A., and Thomas T. Wakefield.

 

September 11, 2009

South Carolina Wakefields in Indiana as early as 1812

In effort to determine which Wakefields, and their associated families, moved to Indiana from South Carolina and North Carolina I have been researching Franklin County records from the 1810s. At the Franklin County Pioneer Reunion held in October of 2008, I purchased a reprint of the 1882 book, Atlas of Franklin County by J. H. Beers & Co. where there were references to Wakefields joining the Little Cedar Grove Church in 1812.

On page 61 of the book, John Wakefield and Abel Wakefield are listed as new members of the church along with several familiar associated family members: Elizabeth Stucky, John Davis, Rebecca Davis, Leanah Loller, Mary Ann Loller, and Sally Davis. The Davis and Loller families are very closely tied to the Wakefields. Future research will be conducted to determine clarify the relationship of these families. John is listed as joining sometime between September 4, 1811 and July 4, 1812. Abel was listed as joining on August 1, 1812 in the church’s new meeting house. Further on the page, Sarah Wakefield is listed as joining the church sometime between 1814 and 1830. Listed with Sarah were some of the following familiar family names: Tyner, Gant, and Davis.

William Tyner was the minister of the Little Cedar Grove Church. The Tyners were land-owners in Abbeville County, SC as early as the 1770s and lived only a short distance from the Wakefields. It is possible that the Wakefields and Tyners are related by marriage since, in 1829, William Tyner Wakefield was born to William Wakefield and Polly Shirley. It is also a possible that the Wakefields gave William the middle name of Tyner to honor the minister of the Brookville church.

I recall a reference to the Abel leaving one of the Abbeville churchs and believe it was in/around 1812. Will try and track that reference down. I knew that Abel was in Franklin County in 1817 but was unsure of when the migration into Indiana occurred. Now the picture is become a bit clearer on when the Wakefield made the move to Indiana, where they went, and who made the move. Five years of Abel’s life has now been filled in.