Samuel Irwin was reputedly born in Antrim, Ireland about 1780 and died in Abbeville, South Carolina about 1859. In 1850 he was living in Saluda Regiment, Abbeville with his wife Elizabeth, his granddaughter Ellen F Spellors and his sister Isabella Cowan.
His Will dated Sept. 1852 acknowledged only two children, Jane Irwin Purdy and James Irwin. Samuel Irwin also made provision for his wife Elizabeth, grandaughters Ellen/Eleanor Spellors, Elizabeth A, Margaret A and Sarah G Purdy, grandsons Samuel and Robert Irvin, James H Purdy, Samuel A Purdy, William A Purdy and Samuel's sister Isabella Cowan.
As he directed what was to become of the people he enslaved, Samuel Irwin named the following family groups:
Kiza & her children Tilda & Mary Elizabeth
Little Bet & her children , Charlotte, Emma, Laura, Jane, Anna, Henry, Margaret
Polly & her daughters Allsy, Louisa, Froney also known as Dos, & her son Israel
He also named Newman, his 'manservant'.
In spite of acknowledging the enslaved childrens' mothers, Samuel Irwin intended each enslaved child to be given to each of his grandchildren upon their coming of age. In this way, he compounded further the break up of the families he enslaved.
In the 1870 Census for Abbeville County, there are 14 Black Americans with the surname Irwin or variants. Although we cannot know what names the families chose after Emancipation it is interesting to note that there are two Betties enumerated, one of whom was born about 1838.
1830 US Federal Census
1840 US Federal Census
1850 US Federal Census
1850 Slave Schedule
Bettie Irving b.1838 in the 1870 US Federal Census
South Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980, ancestry.com (accessed 14 Feb. 2023)
South Carolina Naturalizations 1783-1850, compiled by Brent H Holcomb, Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore Maryland 1985
Abbeville Banner 24 Nov. 1859
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
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.