James Bailey was born in Ireland about 1822. In 1850 he was living in Edgefield, South Carolina with Ann (his wife?) and M H. (his daughter?). His occupation is given as house carpenter and the value of his real estate as $600. His nearest neighours were Benjamin Stevens, a farmer and John A Partlow, a planter.
1850 US Federal Census, James Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina
In 1850, James Bailey enslaved a woman born about 1827 and a baby boy born in 1849. His neighbours Benjamin Stevens enslaved 28 human beings and John A Partlow enslaved 45 people. Three other slaveholders in Edgefield carried the name Bailey; Elizabeth and William who each enslaved one person and Richard who enslaved six people. William, born 1811, a cabinet-maker and Richard born 1823, a carpenter were both born in Ireland.
1850 US Slave Schedule, James Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HRWC-NKW2
1850 US Slave Schedule, Elizabeth Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HRWC-H26Z
1850 US Slave Schedule, William Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HRWC-QMN2
1850 US Federal Census, William Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8QF-JDP
1850 US Slave Schedule, Richard Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HRWC-VDN2
1850 US Federal Census, Richard Bailey, Edgefield, South Carolina www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8QF-7T9
It is hoped that this information will assist those researching the Bailey family name in Edgefield, South Carolina. I have decided to upload information about each Irish slaveholder even though it may not include the names of enslaved people at this time. If you have found a will or estate inventory or any other document which names enslaved people, please do not hesitate to post below in the comments. It will be gratefully and respectfully received and will assist others in the search for their ancestors.
Regarding the Irish Bailey slaveholders listed above, I am wondering if they are all from one family since they are realtively close in age, settled in the same area and were all carpenters.
The following advertisement is enclosed because it names an African American family group in 1856, Polly, Betty, Milley, Hudson, Avery, Sylva, Bully and Mary, as enslaved by a Bailey family. However, based on the information I have at the moment, I do not think the slaveholders are of the Irish-born family outlined above.
Richard Bailey, carpenter was enumerated in Marion Eastern Division, Perry, Alabama in 1860, with his wife Sarah and sons John and James. Richard, as far as I can tell, was no-longer a slaveholder. This raises the question, what became of the six people he enslaved in 1850? A number of claims against Richard Bailey were reported in the Edgefield Advertiser in 1853. According to the newspaper, Richard Bailey and family were no-longer resident in Edgefield at that time. Did Richard incur financial losses?
The 1860 Census throws up another puzzle. There was a man named John Thompkins with Real Estate valued at $4500 resident in the Bailey household and two children Mary & Edmund (transcribed Emal) Thompkins.
1860 US Federal Census, Richard Bailey, Marion Eastern Division, Perry, Alabama
Edgefield Advertiser 16 Feb. 1863
Spanish Census of East Florida 1783
Partial list of Irish slaveholders enumerated.
Murray, Richard Donovan
1783 Spanish Census of East Florida File with thanks to Susan Peterson at USGenWeb Archives
Burke, Thomas W, c1823, 1850-Copiah, MS, 1860-Franklin MS,
Birthplace identified as Mayo, Ireland in 1860.
Beek, P W, c1802, Rodney, Jefferson, MS
Boyle, Jas, c1808, North of the Yallobusha River, Yalobusha, MS
Bryson, James, c1805, Noxubee, MS
Carbry, Thos, c1802, North of the Yallobusha River, Yalobusha, MS
Carlisle, Alexander, c1803, Western Division, Monroe
Carlisle, Thomas M, c1810, Western Division, Monroe
Clarke, Wm, c1818, Wilkinson, MS
Dohan, D H, c1817, District 1, Claiborne
Dunn, Thos H, c1809, District 1, Claiborne
Elder, John Martin, c1790, Madison, MS
Finucane, George, c1795, Yazoo, MS
Foley, B M, c1798, Warren, MS
Grafton, Allen, c1779, Adams, MS
Gordon, David, c1805, Hinds, MS
Hammet, Wm H, c1799, Washington, MS
Hargon, John, c1801, Madison, MS
Hawkins, Richd, c1802, Warren, MS
Hott, Hugh, c1807, Warren, MS
Hynes, John, c1787, Warren, MS
Izod, Mark, c1807, Natchez (North), Adams
Johnson, John, c1820, North of the Yallobusha River, Yalobusha, MS
Kayes, Michael, c1807, Yazoo, MS
Kelly, James, c1795, Madison, MS
Kidd, Thomas, c1815, Warren, MS
Kinch, Daniel, c1822, Noxubee
Langan, M, c1810, Yazoo
Laughlin, E C, c1812, Warrenton, Warren
Martin, J S, c1828, District 1, Claiborne
McBride, Robt, c1818, Township 10 East, Jefferson
McBurney, David, c1788, Noxubee, Mississippi
McCann, James, c1784, Lowndes, MS
McCauley, John, c1799, Madison, MS
McGawley, Patrick, c1795, Lowndes, MS
McMillan, John, Western Division, Monroe, MS
Moore, Ezekiel, c1814,Yazoo, MS
Murphy, Miles, c1796, Madison, MS
Nolan, William G, c1814, Issaquena, MS
Oconnell, Tim, c1819, Wilkinson, MS
Oleary, Cornelius, c1794, Madison, MS
Ore, John, c1790, Township 8 East, Jefferson
Roark, Terrance, c1794, Madison, MS
Robb, R B, c1819, Hinds, MS
Russell, Robt E, c1801, District 3, Claiborne
Seed, Major, c1790, North of the Yallobusha River, Yalobusha, MS
Sheehy, Bryant M, c1822, Noxubee, MS
Sliney, Richard, c1820, Wilkinson, MS
Smyth, John, c1799, Hinds, MS
Toland, Joseph, c1789, Lowndes, MS
Weir, Jas, c1802, North of the Yallobusha River, Yalobusha, MS
White, William M, c1804, Madison, MS
Woodhouse, John, c1811, District 1, Claiborne
All the above identified as Planters in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census.
Contributions welcome from researchers into these Mississippi slaveholders.
In the auction notice of William McKenna's estate 1861, a woman called Charlotte born about 1821 was named. She was a skilled seamstress and cook. Her husband was not named but 'belongs to William Reid'. Her children were named as William born about 1845 a ploughboy, Anna (1848) a housegirl, Louis (1850), Nancy (1853), Mary (1858), and an infant (1860).
In 1870, Charlotte was living with her husband Samuel Reed, born c1823, a farm labourer, in Gills Creek Township, Lancaster County. Louis and Nancy were still living at home. Agnes, Maggie, Abram, Sallie and Harriet were also named. Another member of the household is Ally McKenna aged about 75 years. It is likely this is the same woman named as Alley, born about 1797 in the auction notice with 'Old' Joe, not to be sold' born 1775. This raises a question as to whether Ally was Charlotte's mother.
Samuel had become a mail carrier by 1880. He and Charlotte were still living in Gills Creek with their son Abraham/Abram and daughter Sallie.
It is possible that the slaveholder William Reed 1791-1863 was the man who enslaved Samuel Reed. William Reed was recorded as owning 25 human beings in 1860. He was a farmer with Real Estate to the value of $4,200 and Personal Estate of $14,655. Reed was born in Pennsylvania and his wife Isabella was born in South Carolina. Some sources identify William Reed as the son of Margaret Davis 1754-1850, born in Ireland.
No Death Certificates for Charlotte and Samuel Reed have been found to date. The search for the will and estate inventory of William Reed who died in 1863 is also ongoing.
(All links can be accessed by opening a free account at familysearch)
1870 US Federal Census
1880 US Federal Census
William Reid 1860
Alexander Austin was born in Co. Antrim, Ireland about 1793. His wife was Isabella Coleman, born 1819, also of Co. Antrim. In 1850, Alexander and Isabella were recorded as living in Abbeville, South Carolina with their daughters Lethe A (11), Susan (9), Sarah (3), Martha A (2) and sons John (7) and Robert (5). Austin was enumerated as a farmer with Real Estate to the value of $1500.
In the same year, Austin enslaved seven people, a woman aged 70, a man aged 60, a woman aged 55, another woman aged 18 and three boys aged 15, 14 and 10. Neighbouring slaveholders were James Johnson, Noah Reeves, William P Martin, William Long, Frances Johnson, Daniel Gent, George Mattison and John Smith.
By 1860, Alexander and Isabella had three more sons McJohnson (8), Samuel (6) and Franklin (4). In 1860 Alexander Austin's Real Estate was valued at $3500 and his Personal Estate as $7765. William Faut, Overseer, was also resident in his household. Faut had a Personal Estate of $400.
The people enslaved by Austin in 1860 were four women aged 95, 65, 22 and 18, two young men aged 20 and 18, a boy aged 2 and a baby girl of 6 months.
Alexander Austin died in Abbeville in May 1864 preceded by his son Robert who died in Feb. of the same year whilst serving in the 6th South Carolina Cavalry. Isabella died in 1878 and they are buried at Friendship Presbyterian Church, Laurens County, South Carolina.
J H Austin, the executor of Alexander Austin's will was living in Donalds Township, Abbeville in 1870.
It has not been possible to locate a will or probate documents for Alexander Austin as yet or any other document that names the people enslaved by him.
1850 US Federal Census www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8Q8-C42
1850 Slave Schedule www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HRW4-VP6Z
1860 US Federal Census www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZTW-49H
1860 Slave Schedule www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:WKTD-9WW2
Memorial 1864 www.findagrave.com/memorial/9399182/alexander-austin
1870 US Federal Census www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8T9-LDJ
Abbeville Press 8 Jun. 1866.
Irish-born slaveholders and overseers identified in the 1850 US Federal Census. Additional information to follow.
Patric Coff (1796-) Overseer
Thos Woods (1822-) Overseer
Patrick Delaney (1818-) Overseer
Michael W Larkin
Patrick Kelly (1824-) Overseer
W M Hall (1816-) Overseer
Mather Cratic (1826-) Overseer
William Norton (1821-) Overseer
James Ennis (1824-) Overseer
P M Lambermout
John V Allen
M Butterfield (1820-) Overseer
Lawrence Fagan (1800-) Overseer
Hugh Robinson(1823-) Overseer
Thomas Barry (1820-) Overseer
Michl Kelley (1815-) Overseer
Thomas Hart (1805-) Overseer
Barney McDougal (1807-) Overseer
Nicolas Travis (1810-) Overseer
Mekle Farril (1822-) Overseer
E Fitzgerald (1827-) Overseer
William Kessing (1814-) Overseer
William Pratt (1810-) Overseer
St. John the Baptist
James Dowe (1805-) Overseer
John Hale More (1827-) Overseer
John Bahan (1815-) Overseer
Thomas Walsh (1815-) Overseer
West Baton Rouge
Richard Hanrahan (1818-) Overseer
St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
(created 1807 from Opelousas Parish)
74 people of Irish birth, resident in St. Landry Parish in 1850.
Washington, St. Landry was the largest inland port between New Orleans and St. Louis in the 1800s.
The first Roman Catholic chapel was built in this territory in 1767 and the area became known as Church Landing.
Wm. Elizabeth Duffy (female) 1795-
her sons Peter & M and daughters Alice & Ellen were all born in Ireland also.
Thomas B Knox 1800-
Wife Ann Gurnet, born in Mississippi. Children born in Louisiana.
Patrick Woods 1790-
Wife Sophia, and sons Pierre & John all born in Louisiana.
West Feliciana, Louisiana
Michael Cranan c1815-
James Brennan c1795- (also Irish-born) in same household
Patrick Doherty c1796-
Wife Margaret & children Mary E, Richard, & Kate all Louisiana born. Cilia M Madden c1831 also Irish-born.
Wm Lemon c1789-
wife Ann c1794- Margaret Germany c1817- Birthplace Ireland, Hannah E (Mississippi), Ann M, Jane & Laura E (Louisiana).
Wm Lemon c1820- (son of Wm. Lemon c1789, same household)
John Lombard/Lumbard c1815-
Children: John, Edward, Margaret, Emily, ?Girtrude (all Louisiana born)
& James c1830- Irish-born (poss. brother?) a carpenter.
Robert McCausland c1772-
Wife Margaret (Kentucky) children: Eliza M, Mary M, George M & Marcus M (Louisiana).
Wm J Wells c1789-
Wife Leah (Mississippi) children: Leany & Joshua (Louisiana)
Carroll, Patrick born c1823
District 5 (Upper), Houston
Clary, James born c1804
District 74, Screven
R Road Overseer
Railroads and Railway Express Service
Own household: wife Margaret, sons Patrick & Martin
Cogan, Henry Francis born c1794
District 41, Jefferson
Household Mary A Francis, Farmer
Doneghan, J born c1810
Division 73 Richmond
Household of Benjamin A Wasson, Planter
Dunigan, Thomas born c1815
Division 73, Richmond
Household of James L Coleman, Planter
Farrell, James born c1796
Athens, Clarke Factory Overseer
Household of Benjamin Wiggins
Gilmartin, Thomas born c1825
District 543, Macon
Living with Price & Tindell also Irish overseers
McGrada, Thomas born c1805
District 74, Screven
Railroads and Railway Express Service
Own household: wife Jane, sons Thomas J, John H & James B, daughters Jane & Ann Catharine
Mahony, Mat born c1790
Household of Isia Gay
McHamms, Charles born c1827
Division 47, Jones
Household of Nancy Dumas, Son John C Dumas farmer
Price, Thomas born c1825
District 543, Macon
Living with Gilmartin & Tindell also Irish overseers
Sanford, John born c1815
District 24, Dooly
Own household: wife Susan
Tindell, Robert born c1815
District 543, Macon
Living with Gilmartin & Price also Irish overseers
Wright, William born c1823
District 61, Burke
Railroads and Railway Express Service
All male household, all born in Ireland
Note: it is possible that some of the above were railway 'gangers' and not overseers of enslaved people.
U.S. Federal Census 1850
A warm welcome to Cindy Hines. Cindy Hines is a professional writer and a Beyond Kin Project genealogist. She is descended from Irish and Scottish colonisers and enslavers.
Hand-drawn map of Scotland and Northern Ireland indicating where Clan MacLachlan was located in the Scottish Highlands before fleeing to County Antrim in Northern Ireland in the mid-16th century, where the surname became Laughlin. (Source: LeBlanc, Eva Laughlin. Descendants of John Laughlin from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Cullen, Ala. : Gregath Co., 1985.)
William Laughlin, my 6th great-granduncle, was born in about 1720 in what is now Dervock, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (formerly Ulster). His Presbyterian ancestors fled to Ireland from the Clan MacLachlan lands of Strathlachlan on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands in about 1550-1555 after losing a war with England known as the “Rough Wooing.” This was during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, who was Catholic and, thus, wanted a Catholic kingdom.
In 1641, England and Scotland sent troops to protect the Scottish colonizers from ethnic conflict in the North Antrim Coast of Ireland after a Catholic Irish massacre of Protestant Scottish colonizers in this Ulster province. It was around this time that William's ancestors most likely moved north from Ballymoney to nearby Dervock, which was a military station occupied by a Scottish regiment.
Around the time of a famine in Ireland from 1740 to 1741, William Laughlin emigrated to the New World with his brothers John, my 6th great-grandfather, and James. (Some lines of the family say that James was a cousin. My line says “brother.”) They arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between about 1740-1744. Some sources say that William arrived as early as 1736, although I’ve been unable to verify this.
Shortly after their arrival, William and his brothers settled near Big Spring in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (now Newville, Pennsylvania), where the majority of the colonizing population were Scotch-Irish immigrants from Ulster, Ireland (now Northern Ireland).
The Scotch-Irish immigrants in the Newville area attended Big Spring Presbyterian Church. The membership rolls show many Laughlin families, including William Laughlin, his family, and Rachel, the woman whom he enslaved.
Although Pennsylvania was technically a free state by 1780 due to the Gradual Abolition Act, this act permitted Pennsylvania enslavers to keep in bondage anyone who they had already enslaved. Therefore, some 6,000 people remained enslaved in Pennsylvania after the act. The last enslaved people in Pennsylvania were recorded in 1840. The Big Spring Presbyterian Church rolls of 1789 list 22 enslaved people in the congregation.
The rolls list the names and ages of the Scotch-Irish parishioners. They list the names of the enslaved African and African-Irish parishioners after the names of the family who enslaved them. In addition, the rolls denote whether a person was “in communion,” that is whether they were full members of the church who were able to receive communion. Enslaved parishioners were not permitted to be “in communion,” so the rolls list them only as adherents. To become adherents, they had to memorize the answers to a number of catechism questions.
Following are the names of the William Laughlin family and Rachel, the woman whom William enslaved, from the Big Spring Presbyterian Church 1789 Confessions of Faith.
William Laughlin, 69 (b. 1720)
Mary Laughlin, 48 (b. 1741)
James Laughlin, 17 (b. 1772)
John Laughlin, 15 (b. 1774)
William Laughlin, 9 (b. 1780)
Rachel, a negro
Rachel also appears on the tax records for William Laughlin in 1779, 1785, 1787, and 1788. The 1787 tax list for West Pennsboro township in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, lists Rachel as “1 Slave” along with 1 grist mill, 2 horses, 4 cows, and 150 acres owned by William Laughlin.
.Although I have finished researching Rachel and her enslaver William Laughlin, I am still researching the remaining 21 enslaved parishioners of the Big Spring Presbyterian Church. Their stories will follow in a later blog.
Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau. 'Laughlin Mill'.
(www.visitcumberlandvalley.com/listing/laughlin-mill/1152/) (Accessed 31 Mar 2021).
Engebretson, Kathleen Joyce Laughlin. Laughlin’s from Scotland/Ireland to America Coast to Coast (2003).
Hines, Harvey K. “Hon. Robert R. Laughlin.” An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon: Containing a History of Oregon From the Earliest Period of Its Discovery to the Present Time, Together With Glimpses of Its Auspicious Future. Chicago: The Lewis publishing co. (1893), p. 705.
LeBlanc, Eva Laughlin. Descendants of John Laughlin from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Cullen, Ala. : Gregath Co. (1985).
Newville Borough The History of Newville
(https://www.newvilleborough.com/about-newville) (Accessed 31 Mar 2021).
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Rolls: 324, 326, 334, 326.
Swope, Gilbert Ernest. History of the Big Spring Presbyterian Church, Newville, Pa., 1737-1898 (1898).
Wing, Conway P. “West Pennsborough.” History of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: James D. Scott (1879).
Cindy's work has been uploaded to The Beyond Kin Project Directory at
Search under: Researcher, Cindy Hines
An examination of the impact of Irish men and women on the lives of enslaved people would not be complete without the addition of Irish overseers. Their impact on the lives of enslaved people was substantial. Overseers managed the planting of crops and harvesting. They also 'managed' the lives of enslaved people in minute detail and were often brutal in the extreme. In historic documents, overseers are not always identified by name but the 1850 U.S. Federal Census identifies many by their names and occupation.
The following is a list of Irish-born overseers identified in 1850 Census returns for South Carolina:
Alguire, John born c1828,
in the household of Hugh M Wardlaw in 1850, Saluda regiment, Abbeville S.C.
Cabeen, Richard born c1813,
in the household of Samuel Bryce in 1850, Fairfield S.C.
Carter, Samuel C born c1822
Own household 1850
Sarah A wife, sons William T, Samuel L, Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville S.C.
Clowney, Moses c1822
in the household of C S Sims (Farmer) 1850
Union County, S.C.
(1860 Census living in Winsboro, Fairfield wife Susannah??)
Comer or Connor, Jesse c1822
in the household of C S Sims (Farmer) 1850
Union County, S.C.
Covin, James W c1813
Mary A wife, daughter Frances H, son Peter F
Saluda, Abbeville, S.C.
Graham, John L c1818
Sumter, Sumter S.C.
Keown, Robert c1827
in the household of Nancy Keown
Svannah River regiment, Abbeville S.C.
Magell, John c1823
Venetia wife, son James M
Saluda Regiment, Abbeville, S.C.
McDowel, John c1815
Household Dr Thomas B Dandy
Abbeville, Abbeville S.C.
McGrath, Michael c1816
Ellen wife, sons James, John
Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville S.C.
McNeil, Thomas c1810
Margaret wife, daughters Eliza, Jane, Margaret, Martha, sons William, Robert, Andrew.
Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville, S.C.
Ross, John c1808
Own household, lived alone
Division 2, Darlington, S.C.
Scott, Matthew c1820
Stuart, James c1827
Jane wife? & Margaret G Stuart
Workman, John c1827
Ann wife, sons Robert, James, daughters Jane, Amanda, Nancy.
Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville, S.C.
Unfortunately, the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, does not identify the farm or plantation on which the above named men worked. If you have uncovered this information please contact us so that we can ammend this blog. It is also worth noting that where an oral history exists in an African American family, sometimes the overseer is identified as the slaveholder. In some cases also the overseer may own enslaved people whom he hires out to the plantation owner.
1850 U.S. Federal Census (ancestry.com) (accessed 3 April 2021).
search terms exact: place South Carolina, place of birth Ireland, Overseer.
A warm welcome today to Stacy Ashmore Cole. Stacy is the curator of the Liberty County, Georgia digital public history project, They had names and is a descendant of slaveholders. The project has identified and recorded over 30,000 names of African-Americans in Liberty County, Georgia.
According to the memoirs of his wife’s family, William McWhir was born in the parish of Moneyrea, County Down, Ireland, on September 9, 1759, to James and Jean (Gibson) McWhir. He was a homely child, and a bout with smallpox that cost him an eye and his complexion did nothing to improve his looks. His father and grandfather had both been elders in the Presbyterian church and so, despite the lack of any calling, he was pushed into the study of religion in Belfast and at the University of Glasgow. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Killiheagh in 1783.
McWhir had long been interested in America, and decided immediately after his ordination, right at the end of the American Revolution, to move there in hopes of bettering his situation. He quickly obtained a teaching position in Alexandria, Virginia, at an academy attended by George Washington’s nephews, where he saw and corresponded with Washington frequently.
Finding Alexandria expensive, in 1791 he accepted a call from the people of Sunbury, on the Georgia coast south of Savannah, to head the Sunbury Academy and their Presbyterian Church. There he married Mary Jones LaPina Baker, the recent widow of Colonel John Baker, a Revolutionary War hero who had been a member of the Council of Safety of 1776 and commanded a regiment of militia in what became Liberty County after the Revolution succeeded. Mary Jones LaPina Baker purchased Flora, Hannah, Nanny, Quash, Prince, Cumba, Boson, and Amaritta from her step-son John Baker in 1793.
Harden, William, William McWhir, An Irish Friend of Washington, Georgia Historical Quarterly (volume 1, 1917), p. 197.
1793 sale of land and enslaved people by John Baker (Jr) to Mary Baker (Colonel John Baker’s widow): Liberty County Superior Court, “Deeds & Mortgages v. DD 1795-1798,” p. 100-2, John Baker to Mary Baker; digital image, FamilySearch.org, “Deeds & Mortgages, v. C-D 1793-1801” within “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” image #68-9, (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-5PDG?cat=292358) (accessed 30 Mar. 2021).
McWhir and his wife Mary lived on Springfield Plantation, near Sunbury, Liberty County, Georgia. Although there are conflicting accounts of how McWhir came to acquire Springfield Plantation, it is clear from land records that he did own it.
In 1803, McWhir sold “one negro man named Jack” to merchants in Savannah for $350.
1803 sale of Jack by McWhir to Williamson and Morell, merchants in Savannah: Chatham County Superior Court, “Deeds & Mortgages v. 1X 1838-1839,” p. 232, William McWhir to Williams and Morell; digital image, FamilySearch.org, “Deeds & Mortgages, v. 1X-1Y 1802-1805” within “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” image #128
(www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-Y99C-G?cat=140778) (accessed 30 Mar. 2021)
In 1846, McWhir “traded” a young enslaved man named Bounty, 17 or 18 years old, to Charlton Hines, a planter of Liberty County, in return for
“a certain negro slave named Daniel about twenty two years old, the property of the said estate of Lewis Hines (Charlton’s brother) as servant and waiting man to him the said William McWhir during his natural life and that after the death of the said William McWhir, the said Daniel shall be returned to the said Charlton Hines executor as aforesaid or his successor or legal representative of said estate.”
Daniel evidently returned to the ownership of Charlton Hines, as a man called Daniel, valued at $2000, was listed in Charlton Hines’ 1864 estate inventory.
Trade of Bounty for Daniel 1846.
Liberty County Superior Court “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” Film: Deeds & Mortgages, v. M-N 1842-1854,”
Record Book M, pp. 438-9. Image #277 (www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-5H22?cat=292358).
1864 Charlton Hines estate inventory naming Daniel: “Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” Liberty > Wills 1863-1942 vol C-D > image 43 of 430 database with images, (www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L93L-RJ96?i=42&wc=9SYY-ZNP%3A267679901%2C268025701&cc=1999178) (accessed 30 mar. 2021)
In 1819, Mary died and McWhir returned to Ireland to visit his only brother. After his return to Georgia, he traveled from church to church acting as a “supply” preacher in Bryan, Liberty and McIntosh counties. In 1839, there was a financial panic in the United States in which the price of cotton dropped dramatically and many coastal Georgia planters experienced financial distress and even ruin. McWhir sold twenty enslaved people -- Joe, Susannah, Joannah, Monday, Betsey, Phoebe, Isabel, Young Joe, Hetty, Biner [Binah], Jim, Nanny, Bounty, Simon, Beck, Sam, Peter, Zauger, Cato, and Alsendore – to Francis M. Stone, a prominent alderman and tax collector of Savannah in 1839. The enslaved people netted $8000 for McWhir, which he used to support himself for the rest of his life.
He loaned the money back to Stone in 1844. Stone used the same enslaved people he had purchased from McWhir as collateral for the loan:
"the following named and described Negro slaves being twenty one in number to wit Joe aged about fifty five years Susannah aged about fifty five years Monday aged about thirty years Joe aged about twenty one years Joanna aged about thirty five years Betsey aged about twenty five years Phoebe aged about twenty two years Isabel aged about nineteen years Hetty child of Joanna aged about thirteen years Mary child of Betsey aged about three years Dennis also child of Betsey aged about one year Binah aged about forty three years Cato aged about fifty five years Jim aged about thirty years Nanny aged about eighteen years Bounty aged about sixteen years Beck aged about twelve years, Simon aged about eight years, Cato [or Kato] aged about four years and an infant child of Binah aged about eight months and Sam aged about fifty five years together with the future issue and increase of the female slaves...."
Stone paid off the note by 1849, as attested by McWhir’s step-grandson, Edward J. Harden, with whom he lived in Savannah, Georgia for some time.
Chatham County Superior Court, “Deeds & Mortgages v. 2W 1838-1839,” p. 482, William McWhir to F.M. Stone; digital image, “Deeds & Mortgages, v. 2V-2W 1837-1839” within “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” image #551 (www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3Q5-W4BD?cat=140778) (accessed 30 Mar. 2021).
McWhir spent the rest of his life on visits to family and former pupils. He died in 1851 at the South Hampton plantation home of Roswell King, Jr., overseer for Pierce Mease Butler at his Butler Island plantation near Darien in McIntosh County, Georgia. King Jr., was notorious, even in his own lifetime, for his violence against and rape of enslaved people. McWhir's funeral service was conducted by another slaveholder, Rev. I.S.K. Axson, at the Midway Church, Liberty County, Georgia on February 2, 1851. He was buried in the Sunbury Cemetery next to his wife.
Stacy has undertaken extensive research on McWhir, his wife and her family which is available here theyhadnames.net/2021/03/29/slaveholder-series-william-mcwhir/
To learn more about They had names you can listen to an interview Stacy gave to Bernice Bennet on Research at the National Archives and beyond, Blogtalk radio, 2020.
Martine Brennan (Curator)
Enslavement to citizenship: African Americans in Irish Slaveholder records by Martine Brennan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.