January 24, 2013
Harrison Darnell was my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was born by his own statement on 15 April 1815 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.1 His mother was Catherine Darnell,2 a somewhat mysterious woman who moved her small family from Wilkes County, North Carolina, to first Spartanburg District and then Pickens District, South Carolina, before settling finally in Rabun County, Georgia.
Harrison was supposedly the son of Catharine’s first husband, whose name is unknown. She married second to a Darnell, whose name Harrison took, and then a third time to Benjamin Grist, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who was himself a widower. Of these suppositions, the only one that has thus far been documented is Catherine’s marriage to Benjamin Grist, which took place on 2 April 1834 in Pickens District, South Carolina.3
January 5, 2013
While compiling Rabun County’s earliest writs and petitions for publication (available soon), I came across an 1843 court case between the heirs of the estate of William Hamby and the administrator of the estate, James Hamby. Naturally, the petition named all the heirs “to the second degree”: Ezekiel Hamby; Jonothan Roach and his wife, Huldah (Hamby) Roach; Benjamin Shelton and his wife, Keziah (Hamby) Shelton; Daniel Inman and his wife, Rebecca (Hamby) Inman; Martha Hamby; Sophia Hamby; Martha Hamby, the mother of William Hamby, the decedent; Amos Forrister and his wife Elizabeth (Hamby) Forester; James Hamby, the estate’s administrator; and Thomas K. Forrister and his wife, Polly (Hamby) Forrister.
The initial petition provides excellent information on the dynamics of this Hamby family, but there are many other documents attached to this suit, including an inventory of the estate, the sale of personal property from the estate, and the deceased’s account books,1 all of which were written into the record.2 The latter two items should be of particular interest to area researchers, even those uninterested in the Hamby family per se, because they can be used to reconstruct William Hamby’s neighborhood.
March 2, 2012
A recent trip through the Superior Court records of Rabun County netted an interesting connection: an 1838 petition naming Jemima Kell as the sister of James Kell.1
Years ago, another researcher gave me information on Rabun County’s Kells. Not a Jemima amongst them. Ok, no problem, I thought. I’ll just contact that researcher and see if she’s uncovered anything new. Unfortunately, delivery to the e-mail address I had for her failed, and her web site is no longer up. In desperation, I posted to a message board. The researcher I was looking for hasn’t answered yet, but another one has. I’ve queried back for more information. Not knowing this particular other researcher, my imagination is going into overdrive about our anticipated exchange.
November 22, 2011
An inherited collection of papers yielded the following original document pertaining to the Alexander family of Pickens Dist., SC, later Oconee Co., SC. The first part of the transcription can be found in yesterday’s post.
November 15, 2011
1833 – 1865
Our loved one
1864 – 1865
Asleep in Jesus
Elizabeth and Lavina were buried in the Alexander Family Cemetery, also known as the Salem Cemetery, in modern Oconee Co., SC.
Elizabeth (Alexander) Watson’s life was, in some ways, tragic. According to family lore, she had just birthed her fourth child, Lavina, when her husband James Watson, his father Moses, and possibly some of James’ brothers were murdered by the Hoopers in the infamous Watson-Hooper feud of Jackson Co., NC. Elizabeth and James’ two eldest children, Daniel and James, watched the lynching from the woods near the home where Elizabeth was lying in, recovering from child birth.
Soon afterwards, Elizabeth took her four children back to then Pickens Dist., SC, to the home of her parents, Daniel and Levina Alexander. Neither Elizabeth nor Lavina survived long after their journey. Elizabeth and James’ remaining three children (Daniel, James, and Elizabeth) were raised by Elizabeth’s family.