While working with some colonial plats along Beaver Creek of the Congaree River, I became intrigued with a noticeable change in the road across the stream. Since roads and stream crossings played important roles in the lives of our ancestors, I decided to explore this particular change in more detail. It turns out that the older crossing on Beaver Creek was probably originally a part of the Cherokee Path.
The Cherokee Path, running from Charleston inland along the Santee and Saluda Rivers was well established by the time Amelia, Orangeburgh and Saxe Gotha Townships were settled in the 1730s. As settlers moved into these new townships, property was taken up along the path. As the maps in the drawing below show, several individuals claimed land (plats 1 through 4) in the 1730s where the trail crossed Beaver Creek of the Congaree River.
The first four plats, surveyed in the 1730s did not show the path. According to information at the South Carolina Genealogical Society’s website, by 1737 the trail had become a wagon road. By 1759 it was the road to Fort Prince George, the main staging area of the Cherokee Expedition of 1759. All of the traffic and supplies from the low country would have crossed at this point. A survey done in 1771 (plat 5) shows the road and, when placed on a topographic map, points to what was probably the original crossing at Beaver Creek.
Corbin’s Bridge is shown at this location on the 1825 Mill’s Atlas map. After becoming a public road in the mid-1700s, this route remained in use through at least 1922, according to the Lexington County soil survey map. (This area was made part of Calhoun County in 1908 but there does not seem to be an early soil survey map of Calhoun County available.) By 1944 the newer route had been established according to the topographic map of the area (Hopkins Quadrangle).
Notice the difference between where the original path crossed Beaver Creek and where today’s highway 176 crosses the stream. The newer route reflects choices made with twentieth century technology whereas the older route considered factors important to travel on foot or using old fashioned horse power. And just imagine what a parade of activity anyone living along this route during the colonial era must have been witness to.
Here is a link to a PDF file of this drawing: Beaver Creek Congaree Colonial Plats.
First Announcement: When I create the drawings for the 1840 census entries on this blog, my goal is to get all necessary documentation on one page. I try to make the maps and text as readable as possible within the limits of an 8 ½ by 11 inch page. Unfortunately, the images usually have to be reduced to fit them into my blog. This sometimes makes them harder to read. In order to provide all of you with as legible a copy of these maps and drawings as possible, I have gone back and added links to PDF files at the end of each 1840 census blog entry. These PDF files will print out at the full page size and also allow for enlarged viewing. All of my future posts will have PDF links at the end of each entry.
Second Announcement: If any of you are particularly attentive, you may have noticed two new categories, 1800 Census and 1810 Census, under the Blog selection on the menu bar. I’ve added these because I will soon be writing posts for both of those enumerations similar to the ones I have been doing for the 1840 census. I will be using sequential numbers to identify the households as this makes both the drawing and the analysis much clearer.
In order to have a published source for the sequential numbers for the 1800 through 1820 Orangeburgh District censuses, I have just completed a new publication, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina Combined Census Index and Neighborhood Listings, 1800*–1820 (*Not including areas that became Barnwell and Lexington District). (Rather a mouthful, isn’t it?)
This book has multiple purposes. As just indicated, one purpose will be to provide the published source for the sequential numbers I will be using for my posts. This publication lists the households in each of these three enumerations, giving the sequential number as well as the usual page and line number. A closely related reason for this book is to publish a listing of the 1810 households in the order in which they were actually visited by the enumerator. The pages of the 1810 census were not microfilmed in the same sequence as the enumerator used them. This book puts the households in the correct order and then numbers them.
An additional benefit of this book is the combined index to all three enumerations. It uses a standard spelling for surnames to make locating families through all three censuses easier and quicker.
I will have this publication available for sale at Oktoberfest for $25. It will be available by mail after that for $25 plus $5 shipping. By using this book in combination with the maps I will be posting on this blog you should find it a little easier to research your early Orangeburgh District ancestors.
Reminder: I hope to see many of you at Oktoberfest! It will be held Friday, October 28, 2011 and Saturday October 29, 2011 in Orangeburg. See the OGSGS website for further details.
Capt. Donald Rowe’s plat between Bull Swamp and Little Bull Swamp
Today’s posting discusses another plat I have located that is useful for tracing the enumerator’s trip through Orangeburgh District in 1840. This plat also serves as a good example of several points to keep in mind when doing this work.
This survey brings out the need to be familiar with the geography of the area. There are two fairly large watersheds that are known as Bull Swamp in Orangeburgh District. One flows into the North Fork of the Edisto River northwest of Orangeburg. The other flows into Four Hole Swamp east of Orangeburg. I distinguish these two streams as Bull Swamp of the North Edisto and Bull Swamp of the Four Hole. Fortunately, most surveyors also made this distinction but not all did! (There is also a small stream in the Forks of the Edisto area that was called Bull Branch for a brief period of time in the 1800s.) As they say in a similar line of work: Location, location, location …
Donald Rowe owned property in many areas of Orangeburgh District. The 1851 Orangeburg District Tax List (published in South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, v. 7, p. 110) shows that he owned 11,297 acres when he died. This brings up another important point when working with plats and doing this mapping work. It is often easier to locate and map property for someone who owned only one parcel than it is for someone who had multiple landholdings. Many people had land that they did not live on. Census records can give us clues to where someone lived. Donald Rowe did not live on this acreage he had surveyed in 1843, but, the plat gives us important clues about who did live in the area.
By substituting sequential numbers from my 1840 census book for names of some of the adjoining landowners on this plat, it becomes possible to identify portions of two routes used by J. J. Andrews when traversing the area in 1840. These sequential numbers also clear up some conflicting data on the plat document. On the drawing of the plat, Walter Knight was listed as the adjacent owner in two places. In the text of the document, Anthony Patterson’s name appeared in one of those positions. By using the census numbers it appears that Patterson was the correct adjoining property owner. Remember that most of these plats have been copied one or more times, increasing the chance for errors like this to happen!
The map I’ve drawn for this plat has several other features of interest as well. The plat shows some roads that no longer exist in addition to one that still does. By noting the location of the Knight Family Cemetery on the map, this probably helps focus on the area where the Knight household may have been located. Keep in mind that most of these household locations are only very approximate, though!
Click here for a PDF file of this census map:
1840 Census 451 to 457 and 484 to 489