Today’s posting is the fifth in what will eventually be six entries that map the plats laid out in the 20,000 acres originally reserved for Orangeburgh Township. (The postings can be reviewed collectively by clicking on the Tag for Orangeburgh Township in the right-hand column of this page. The group of fifteen plats in today’s post covers much of the modern city of Orangeburg.
Twelve of these tracts were laid out over a three day period in October 1735 by Deputy Surveyor George Haig. Two plats, laid out in 1757, were taken from the area that had been reserved as the commons for Orangeburgh Township. William Mitchell’s 1768 survey included the area of the town lots. My second book contains an entire chapter about the town lots.
Anyone studying this map in detail and comparing it with the map showing the plats along Lower Caw Caw Swamp will notice that I have shifted this group of plats very slightly to the southeast from where they should adjoin those other surveys. Again, remember that the boundary lines of these plats are not precisely accurate, due primarily to the discrepancies between the surveyor’s drawing of the plat and what he actually marked on the terrain. You will also notice a good bit of spelling idiosyncrasies regarding the names on the plats. My first book has an appendix dealing with these name variations.
For a PDF copy of this map, click here:
Orangeburgh District was created in 1769 as one of the seven original districts of South Carolina. It covered a huge part of the state, encompassing 4,540 of South Carolina’s 31,189 square miles. When the first Federal census was taken in 1790 the district was divided into a north part and a south part, each covered by one enumerator. The dividing line between the two areas followed no designated jurisdictional lines but ran along the North Fork of the Edisto River (where the North and South Fork came together) to the village of Orangeburg. From there it crossed the North Edisto and followed the road that ran to Ninety Six between the North and South Forks of the Edisto.
So, if your ancestor appeared in the 1790 census of Orangeburgh District, how can you tell more specifically where he lived? This is the first in a series of postings I will be doing about household locations in the 1790 census, similar to those I am doing for other early enumerations. I have assigned household numbers for this first census, similar to what I’ve used for the 1800 through 1820 and 1840 Orangeburgh District enumerations. I have not yet published a listing of the 1790 census with the household numbers but plan to do so once I identify the areas that later became Barnwell and Lexington Districts. Bear with me; this is a big task but I have to start somewhere!
The household locations shown on the drawing below are based on plats that were located relative to the 1845 survey shown on my blog entry of February 20, 2012. Other survey plats in the neighborhood confirm the locations of these but have not been included in the drawing to keep it easier to read.
Note: Polk Swamp was originally called Poke Swamp, through at least 1825 when Mill’s Atlas was published. The name evolved to Polk Swamp by the early twentieth century (Bowman 1921 15 minute quadrangle topographic map).
I haven’t finished posting all of the plats for the original 20,000 acres surveyed as Orangeburgh Township but I am taking a temporary break to show some plats in another area of Orangeburgh District. Today’s entry is based on another of Deputy Surveyor Alexander McInnis’s wonderful plats, this time one he did for himself.
Like most of McInnis’s other surveys, this one gives us numerous clues to former and current (at time of survey) landowners. By positioning some of those earlier plats around this one and placing the entire group on a topographic map, we can begin to identify some of the neighborhood around Polk Swamp at the southern boundary of Orangeburgh District. Polk Swamp was also referred to as Poke Swamp on some of the older plats in the area.
Keep in mind several important points when looking at the map above. What now appears as the Orangeburg/Dorchester County line was the boundary line between Orangeburgh District and Charleston (later Colleton) District when these plats were surveyed. Also notice a gap or “gore” between the McInnis, Hutto and Renerson plats as well as where the McInnis plat overlaps the Renerson plat. I do make small adjustments to some of the plat boundaries when creating these maps so that they are easier to read. These two discrepancies would require more adjustment than I was willing to make so I have left them as a reminder of the issues of accuracy with these early surveys.
Surnames listed on the group of plats above, include Hutto, McInnis, Ofalby, Platt, Renerson, Sistrunk, Snell, Tickell, and Whetsell. Using this group of plats and others that can be added to these, I will be able to start identifying some probable household locations in this area in some upcoming posts.