Thursday, July 30, 2009

Malcom's Mystery, Part I

Presented here are two legends surrounding the coming to America of Malcom Clark and Samuel and Mary Clark Reed. In the next post I will provide more pieces to this puzzle.

Version I

In 1939, D. Graham Copeland (a descendant of Samuel and Mary’s daughter Rebecca who married Henry Hartzog) wrote a genealogy book for his daughters and their husbands. He typed it on onionskin paper with carbon paper only after extracting pledges from them that they indeed would read it. This book is titled Many Years After: A Bit Of History and Some Recollections of Bamberg. It was not published. Only a few onionskin copies were made. A copy is at the South Caroliniana Library here in Columbia, SC, and it is available to read on microfilm.

Copeland’s source for the Reed section of his book was primarily Lillie Cooper from Denmark, SC. Lillie’s mother was Alice Ann Reed, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Boylston Reed. According to Lillie, Alice grew up at her grandmother Mary Clark Reed’s knee. Mary related stories of her early life to her granddaughter Alice, who passed them down to her children. (When Copeland visited Lillie Cooper for this book, she showed him a vest of Samuel's and a cap of Mary's. Sad to say, Lillie's home burned in the 1950s.)

Lillie’s story is that Malcom married his wife Mary in Ireland about 1750. After several children were born and Mary died, Malcom and a son Hugh came to South Carolina before the Revolutionary War. They obtained land, cleared a farm, and established a trading post all while Malcom worked as a surveyor. He sorely missed his daughter Mary who had remained in Ireland. Mary had married Samuel Reed, and Malcom convinced them to come to South Carolina “with their children of whom there were several.”

As their arrival date approached, Malcom traveled to Charlestown to catch a vessel going to “George Town” so he could meet his daughter’s ship. Malcom perished on the small ship during a storm at sea. Samuel and Mary, certainly saddened to learn of Malcom’s death, decided to continue their journey to see Hugh. According to Copeland, the journey took them almost a year due to the countryside being torn by revolution and “no small amount of civil strife.” They arrived in Orangeburgh District to learn that Hugh was dead and the trading post demolished. It was speculated that he had been murdered by Tories disguised as Indians.

All Samuel and Mary wanted to do was return to Ireland, but obtaining passage was impossible in the post-war chaos. They remained in Barnwell County and raised nine children.

Copeland stated that although he had no conclusive proof, he believed that Londonderry, Ireland, was the former home of Samuel and Mary.

(D. Graham Copeland, Many Years After, 1940, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina.)

Version II:
In Healing Springs: A History of the Springs and Surrounding Area (published in 2004 by Sandlapper Publishing Co., Inc., Orangeburg SC), author Raymond P. Boylston (a descendant of Samuel and Mary’s youngest daughter Mary who married Austin Boylston), writes that Malcom Clark came to America in 1750 as a surveyor for King George III and settled near Bamberg. Once he was established here (no date given), he sent for his wife, two sons, and two daughters.

According to this version, Malcom went to the coast to meet the ship bringing his family, but a storm prevented the ship from docking. Malcom perished in sight of his family when his boat capsized as he attempted to row out to the ship. Malcom’s friends brought the family back to his home where he had provided well for them.

This book goes on to say that Malcom’s son Hugh was killed by Tories during the Revolutionary War. Mary married Samuel Reed “a prominent farmer near Healing Springs, about 1782,” and they had built their home by 1790.

(Raymond P. Boylston, Healing Springs: A History of the Springs and Surrounding Area, 2004, Sandlapper Publishing Co., Inc., Orangeburg SC)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Samuel and Mary's Home

Many readers here recognize the home in the header of this blog. For those who do not, it is a home still standing near Blackville, SC that is widely believed to be the home of Samuel and Mary Clark Reed.

This picture of the house is from Josie Reed. Written on the back of the photo is "Reed Plantation 1933, Blackville, South Carolina."

This picture is from the book The Long Shadow of the Big Brick, A History of the First Baptist Church, Blackville, South Carolina, 1846-1996 by Annette Milliken Maddox (published by the First Baptist Church, Blackville, SC).

This picture was taken by Sharon Crowley on a visit to Barnwell County in April 2009. The home has been lovingly restored. It is beautiful!

(As always, click on pictures to enlarge.)

I was Barnwell and Bamberg counties last February and saw the house. The porch detail really impressed me. Seems you can still see the carving/planing of the original carpenter. Don't you wonder whose handiwork it is?

Certainly our forefathers Reed were required to have a lot of skills in the backcountry that was Barnwell County in the late 1700s and the 1800s. Carpentry, however, is one that I can trace down my line all the way to my brothers.

In Healing Springs: A History of the Springs and Surrounding Area (2004, Sandlapper Publishing Co.., Inc., Orangeburg SC), author Raymond Boylston writes “This home, now owned by ... Chet Matthews, was completed about 1790. The beautiful two-story home has front and back porches and cedar shutters with handmade iron latches. The interior doorknobs and latches, made in England, still operate and Chet has the original keys. The floors and walls are made with wide boards. The house looks today much as it did when Samuel and Mark Clark Reed moved in.”

The Samuel Reed Home was the first meeting place of the First Baptist Church of Blackville when, in 1846, 27 members of Healing Springs Baptist Church withdrew their membership and started First Baptist of Blackville.  Quite a few of our Reeds and relations were in that group.

I'm So Glad to be Back!
I have really missed being here for the past 10 days. My mother was very ill, and when I came home from the hospital every day, I had little energy left for much of anything. She transferred to rehab yesterday, and things are improving. I appreciate your prayers for her and my father - and me, too!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Healing Springs: A History of the Springs and Surrounding Area by Raymond P. Boylston

At the Sandlapper Publishing Company website, you can see the following information on Healing Springs: A History of the Springs and Surrounding Area (published in 2004 by Sandlapper Publishing Co., Inc., Orangeburg SC).

Author Raymond P. Boylston (a descendant of Samuel and Mary’s youngest daughter Mary who married Austin Boylston), writes "The story of the springs, from the first time it burst the ground’s surface thousands of years ago to the present. Prehistoric descriptions of the land, animals and the springs are provided to give the reader a picture of how the springs were formed. One of the first settlers in the area, Nathaniel Walker, learned about the springs from the Indians and purchased the springs. He was also the founder of what would become the Healing Springs Baptist Church. Over the next 300 years those living around the springs were involved in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the cotton economy, slavery, the railroad, the Civil War, Reconstruction, World War I and World War II. Each of these events had an impact on the people living around the springs and in Blackville. In 1944, Lute Boylston, cousin of the author and owner of Healing Springs, deeded the springs to the “Almighty God” for the use of all people forever. Carloads of people have been coming to the springs with the plastic bottles, believing in the water's healing power."

"Raymond Powell Boylston, Jr., is a South Carolina native, born January 28, 1930, in Aiken. Most of his early life was spent with his grandparents, Samuel and Olive Boylston of Springfield, South Carolina. Ray Boylston descended from the Boylstons and Reeds who settled in the Healing Springs area, along the South Edisto River just north of Blackville and drank from the cool springs."

It's a fascinating book, especially for us Reeds. It has a good bit of information on Samuel and Mary, their home, their children, and even a family legend involving Malcom Clark that I had never heard before (subject of a future post). I'm not sure about the order of events surrounding Mary and Samuel's arrival in America that Boylston portrays, but, as with all references, it's our job to verify, verify, verify.

Click on the link above for ordering information.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ships' Lists with Clarks and "McSpadins"

Malcom and Hugh Clark?
Click here to see a list of passengers on the Betty Gregg that sailed out of Northern Ireland on October 4, 1767, and arrived in Charlestown by February 2, 1768.

See numbers 64 and 65 in the list. Could these two Clarks be Malcom and Hugh Clark (father and brother of Mary Clark Reed)? I believe it's certainly possible. The date fits in very well with every timeline I've conjectured.

The McSpeddon Family?
Click here to see the ship's list for the Brig Hope that sailed from Ireland to Charlestown in 1791. "Samuel McSpadin & family" are on the list. (Further down the list is "Mary McSpadin." I wonder if Mary was Samuel's mother.)

Jane McSpeddon Reed's tombstone has this inscription:

to the Memory of
wife of Hugh Reed
& Daughter of
Samuel & Elizabeth McSpeddon
All of Ireland
Died Oct 6 1839
in the 48th Year of her Life"

According to Jane's tombstone, she was born in 1791 and would have been a babe in arms on this voyage if this the right family.

What do you think? Please leave a comment if you have any other ideas or suggestions.

While we are looking at this I want to pose a couple of questions.

Doesn't the spelling "McSpeddon" here on Jane's tombstone rule out all the places we have seen her maiden name given as "McFaddin?"

Where do differing birthdates for Jane that I have seen online come from (15 May 1784, 6 Oct 1794)? What sources?

My Conclusions on the Manning Files

The Manning Files. Wow. Last Monday night after my visit to the South Caroliniana Library, my head was swimming with Samuels, Johns, Jameses, Wileys, Hughs, Lavisas, Lavoiceys, Ellens, Elizabeths, Marys, Marthas, Julias and many more! We Reeds surely know how to recycle names!

The bottom line on the Manning Files for me is that they are, at best, a guide, a jumping-off point, for further research. That’s it. They certainly are not gospel.

The Mannings wrote these volumes for their family and friends in Barnwell County. Many, many people contributed information that the Mannings did not verify.

They wrote in the preface to each book a disclaimer regarding errors. In Volume VII dated November 1968 that contains our Reed info, they wrote, "They were double checked, yet there will be errors. If you find errors don’t tell us, just write a bigger and better record yourself." In most volumes I checked I found simply, "If you find errors don’t tell us, just do a better job yourself." (Comma splices theirs.)

The verification is up to us, folks. So, please do not assume it’s true just because it was found in the Manning Files.

A few errors that jumped off the page were:

1. Samuel’s service in the Revolutionary War (couldn’t have been here then if his son Hugh was born in Ireland in 1783) (subject of future blog post)

2. Lavisa Reed Hair’s death date is listed incorrectly as 1827. This error is repeated in the Hair section of the files. And it has been copied erroneously many, many times. (subject of future blog post)

3. Incorrect statement that Samuel’s son John married Julia Odom first and Emelia Odom second (It was the other way around; Julia was mother to all his children except his first son Benjamin whose mother Emelia, who was Julia's oldest sister, died most likely in childbirth.)

4. My 2gGF James Henry Reed listed as James W; wife listed as incorrectly as Anna; children listed for this James W. are incorrect for my James H.

I could go on and on, but it’s just not worth it. I appreciate very much the massive effort the Mannings put into these volumes, but we just cannot count on the accuracy of the information they were given. Repeating erroneous information over and over does not make it true.

Suffice it to say, dear cousins, it’s our job to write that bigger and better record.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Visiting the Manning Files Today

[Edited to add:  Please see My Conclusions on the Manning Files written after my visit.]

This morning I am amazed and thrilled to be faced with at least 16 e-mails and comments to work with and respond to related to our Reeds! Most of them came since I went to bed last night. Wow!

When you post a comment, I receive an e-mail giving me an opportunity to publish it or reject it. I have three comments on hold at the moment, because I want to communicate with the commenters and prepare responses before publishing them. So, please don't think I'm ignoring you! I'm getting to those and the e-mails today.

Also today, I plan to revisit the Manning Files at the South Caroliniana Library here in Columbia.

Caroliniana's description of these files found here:
"Barnwell County records, 1717-1965 / by Edna Anderson Manning and W.H. Manning, Jr.
"Genealogical collection about South Carolina families who lived in the old Barnwell District, an area currently in jurisdiction of the modern counties of Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell; these 15 volumes are popularly called, "the Manning files."
Abstracts of wills, marriages, and cemetery records; a record of Barnwell County officials, 1880-1962; and service records of South Carolina veterans in the War of 1812. Eleven of the volumes are devoted to histories of approximately 150 families."

Click here for an index to the Manning Files. The Reeds listed are our Reeds. I'll share with you later what I find. I do know from my last peek that there are some errors, in my opinion. Few sources are absolutely perfect. As we all know, sources such as this are to be taken as a guideline. Facts need to be verified, verified, verified. That's part of what makes this all so exciting to me!

So, I'm off to get ready to go downtown. I certainly can't put it off. I just announced to the world that I'm going! How's that for motivation?!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Samuel Reed Has E-Mail?! Sure!

I imagine that Samuel and Mary never even dreamed of the technology available today that we use to share their story. And now Samuel has his own Google account with a G-mail address!

It's yet another efficient way for us to share our info and other treasures.

The address is (Of course, substitute @ for AT.)

Photos, stories, questions, suggestions, links, lists - send 'em on! I look forward to hearing from you!

Coming Soon

Posts I'm working on for the near future:

*Cemetery lists- one with Samuel & Mary's children Samuel, Jane, et al and Hugh Reed's family cemetery

*Malcom's Mystery - When did Malcom Clark and Samuel and Mary come to South Carolina? There are lots of clues, including a a couple of family "legends" passed down!

*More on photo identification, preservation, and sharing

*Maps - from the Robert Mills maps of the 1820's to GPS coordinates of today

*More ways to share with each other