An article appeared in the January 8, 2014 edition of The State discussing a possible location for a colonial community or landmark known as Indian Head. This article claimed that the community was located on a bluff along the North Edisto River and seemed to imply that it was in the area now known as Big Pond Branch.  As can be seen from the map at the end of this article, Big Pond Branch flows southerly into the North (Fork of the) Edisto River.
The article identifies four sources that mention Indian Head, including a 1767 Davis plat and a 1770 Act from the South Carolina Statutes. The Davis plat can now be viewed online but I first obtained a copy of it from the state archives about twelve years ago. I have been intrigued by the mention of Indian Head Branch on the plat since I first saw it.
Most plats are difficult to locate accurately on a map unless they are part of a larger group of plats. I have not yet come across any adjacent plats that mention the Davis property but had developed a theory about its location. Show below is my drawing of the plat to help clarify some of the details included on it. 
An interesting feature of the plat drawing is the semi-circular section of road or path that branched off the main road. This certainly suggests that this might have been a place to stop and rest or camp.
The plat shows the road that went from Long Cane to Charles Town via Orangeburgh. This would have been the road running between the North and South Forks of the Edisto River that has historically been known as the Ninety Six Road. The statute mentioned in the article established this as a public road in 1770. It was “An act for establishing a Road from Orangeburgh Bridge to Indian Head; a Road from the Indian Head to the Road which leads from the Ridge to Augusta; another Road from the Ridge Road to Long Cane Creek; …” 
The next two images are from William Faden’s 1780 map of South Carolina and a part of Georgia.  There are not many details of the various branches along the North and South Forks of the Edisto but the roads described in the 1770 act are shown. The red circle on this map shows where the road crosses the district line and is the same location as the red circle on the second map since I had to show the map as two images.
The portion of the 1780 map shown above shows the road leaving the central portion of Orangeburgh Township (where the town lots were located) by crossing the North Fork of the Edisto. The bridge crossing the North Edisto at this point was established in 1757.  The road then ran between the North and South Forks to the district line. I have added a red circle to highlight this point on the map sections above and below.
After the road crossed the district line it connected with the road “from the ridge to Augusta.” (Augusta is located near the bottom of the map, across the Savannah River from New Windsor Township.) After going a short distance in a south westerly direction along the ridge road the road leading to Long Cane forked off in a west, north westerly direction. (I have added the two red arrows for clarity.) The modern town of Ridge Spring is located very near the junction of the ridge road and the road coming up through the forks.
So where along the road between the forks was Indian Head Branch located? I have not yet done enough mapping work in the area to say with strong certainty but my working hypothesis is that Indian Head Branch was one of the uppermost branches of Goodland Swamp lying just east of the modern town of Perry. A detailed topographic map of the area shows the “fingers” of Goodland Swamp and a higher terrain that could have been the “camping area.” I have not studied the possible road changes in the vicinity nor worked with later plats in the area so am not yet willing to try to map the exact spot. The distance from Charleston would also be approximately correct. I have circled this area in red on the map below:
What does seem most likely to me is that Indian Head or Indian Head Branch was located between the North and South Forks of the Edisto River and not on the north side of the North Edisto River. I would be interested in hearing any thoughts or additional information from my readers.
 Joey Holleman, “Rediscovering “The Indian Head,” a special place lost to history,” The State (Columbia, South Carolina), 8 January 2014, online archives (http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/08/3196667/rediscovering-the-indian-head.html : accessed 10 January 2014).
 Richard Davis plat, 1767, Colonial Plat Books (Copy Series), 1731–1775, volume 14, page 322, item 1; Surveyor General’s Office Series S213184; South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia.
 David J. McCord, The Statutes at Large of South Carolina; Edited Under the Authority of the Legislature (Columbia: A. S. Johnston, 1841), volume 9, page 233; digital images, Google Books (http://www.Google.com/books : accessed 2 January 2008).
 A Map of South Carolina and Part of Georgia containing the Whole Sea-Coast; all the Islands, Inlets, Rivers, Creeks, Parishes, Townships, Boroughs, Roads and Bridges: As Also, Several Plantations with their proper Boundary Lines, their Names and the Names of their Proprietors. Composed from Surveys taken by The Hon. William Bull, Esq., Lieutenant Governor; Captain Gascoign; Hugh Bryan, Esq; and William De Brahm, Esqr., Surveyor General of the South’n. District of North America, Republished with considerable Additions from the Surveys made and collected by John Stuart, Esq., His Majesty’s Superintendant of Indian Affairs (Charing Cross: William Faden, 1780). (I purchased my copy of this map many years ago from the Cartographic Research Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Alabama.)
 McCord, The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 9, page 189.
With this posting I have moved into the area originally known as Amelia Township. The map below shows some of the earliest surveys done along the section of Flea Bite Creek where it is crossed by South Carolina Highway 33.
The first six plats were surveyed for some of the many German immigrants who arrived in South Carolina in 1752. Several of the surnames were written out differently between the land petitions and the names used on the plats. John Christopher Ways was Christopher Weiss on his petition; John Smeetzer was John Smitzer; and Sebastian Hube was Sabastian Huber.  Peter Faure was the surveyor for all of their plats.
The plat for Anna Keil (#7) was certified in 1762 but, by 1769, when John Rost’s [Rast] plat (#8) was completed the Keil property was being identified as Jacob Keller’s land. Keller was also identified as the adjoining owner when plats 10 and 12 were surveyed. Did Keller perhaps acquire Keil’s land by marriage?
Keil’s property was not the only tract to change hands during this period. Sebastian Hube [Huber] sold his 200 acres to Jacob Vaults on February 22, 1762. Vaults sold the lower 100 acres to Peter Bake on January 23, 1763. He sold the other 100 acres to Hans George Kelley on August 13, 1764.  Jacob Vaults was probably the same person as the Jacob Watts who acquired the Meyer’s tract (#5) by 1767 when he (Watts) filed a memorial for the property. Unfortunately, the memorial does not specify how Watts obtained the land.  Peter Bake was the individual later known as Peter Beck. 
Plats 9, 12, and 13 show some roads and paths, indicated by dashed lines, on the drawing above. The only one of these features that seem to correlate with a modern road, though, is a path shown on Jacob Keller’s survey. It seems to be located in about the same position as Nates Store Road.
 Brent H. Holcomb, Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume III:1752-1753 (Columbia: SCMAR, 1997), pages 152, 154, 208.
 Hans George Kelley memorial, 1771, Memorial Books (Copy Series), 1731-1778, volume 11, page 14, item 1; Auditor General’s Office Series S111001; South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia. Peter Bake memorial, 1771, Memorial Books (Copy Series), 1731-1778, volume 11, page 14, item 2.
 Jacob Watts memorial, 1767, Memorial Books (Copy Series), 1731-1778, volume 9, page 349, item 1.
 Jacob Keller’s plat (#12) shows Peter Beck as the adjacent owner where the Hube plat (#4) adjoins his land.
Click Some Early Surveys Along Flea Bite Creek for a PDF copy of the drawing above.
When working with the available land records for Orangeburgh District I like to find someone who received only one or, perhaps two land grants, and who seemed to live on that land for a long period of time. Many individuals got numerous grants that may have been located in different areas of the district. With so few surviving district land records it can be too easy to assume that everyone who obtained a land grant lived on that property. Just as some people do today, there were always those individuals who acquired land, never lived on it, and held it for various lengths of time before disposing of it.
This post focuses on an individual who had his first survey done in 1786 and remained in the area until after 1810. He was also one of the founding members of Willow Swamp Baptist Church in 1805. John Ballard obtained two adjoining tracts of land on Deadfall Branch, just east of Willow Swamp.
I noticed John Ballard’s name in the earliest Orangeburgh District censuses when I started doing this research many years ago. I though his property would be particularly useful to locate since he seemed to stay on it for almost thirty years. I recently discovered another reason to be even more interested in him. My autosomal DNA test results suggest that I might be one of his descendants.
The Ballard family, like many others from Orangeburgh District, moved west as new lands became available. This Orangeburgh District family was not the only Ballard family from South Carolina who did this. Those who can trace their Ballard line back only to South Carolina may not be certain of which Ballard family in South Carolina was theirs. I have documented what I believe to be the movement of the Ballard family of Orangeburgh District to Pike County, Mississippi by 1820 and on to Louisiana by 1840 in the Ballard Family of Orangeburgh District.
Now, let’s look at where John Ballard raised his family while living in Orangeburgh District. We can also use his property to establish some of the Willow Swamp neighborhood in the 1810 census.
If the plat names and neighbors names are replaced with numbers representing the probable order in which the households were visited for the 1810 census, we can see how the enumerator may have moved through the neighborhood. (The sequential numbers are those used in my book, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina Combined Census index and Neighborhood Listings, 1800*-1820.
If you are a descendant of this Ballard Family of Orangeburgh District and have had your autosomal DNA tested, please contact me! I run a DNA project that currently has eleven of us who share this possible connection with the Ballard family. If I don’t show up as a match on your test results one of my other ten cousins just might!