Saturday, May 17, 2014

Passing It On~Springbank Cemetery and Slave List

  My trip to my ancestors land in Williamsburg County,SC this April was an exciting and emotional journey. While it was thrilling to "walk where my ancestors had walked",  there was a somber side too. 
 Yesterday, a post that I wrote, Research in the South: The Unavoidable Realities, about this visit for The NextGen Genealogy Network went live.

 The response was more than I was expecting. There were messages from descendants of former slave owners who have experienced the same feelings that I have and also from those who struggle to research their enslaved ancestors.  Many of whom asked that the names and information that was given to me about the slaves at Springbank Plantation be shared.

    The Slave Cemetery at Springbank has many graves, but only recent ones are marked with headstones or metal markers. It is presumed that these are former slaves of descendants of slaves.
 Once there were glass and paper markers, as well as small stones that were placed in memory of those who had died. These have been lost due to time, Hurricanes and other bad storms.

One of the documents in a folder at Springbank Retreat was a listing of some of the graves in the slave cemetery. It was copied and given to me on my visit.  No compiler is named on the hand typed document. 
                    Cemetery on the Grouds of Springbank Retreat Center
                                             Kingstree, South Carolina
                                              Williamsburg County,SC
                                                          Spring 2000
 There is evidence of many graves in this cemetery. Generally the depression in the ground is the only indication of a gravesite. However, there are some stone markers and many small metal markers with a glass cover paper. The majority of these latter type no longer have glass or paper-or the paper is blank due to the elements. there are indications of the area having at one time been fenced in with bared wire. This is most evident on the south and southwest side of the cemetery west of the current most westerly path.
 Graves toward the northern part (closest to the swamp) and west of the most westerly path with the metal markers that have information are the following:
Love V. McElveen
Died June 16, 1939
OME Funeral Home

L____W. Pangeth(?) Poinereth (?)
Died September 30, 1947
Green's Funeral Home, Lake City,SC

There is another one with the writing obliterated, but that is from Green's Funeral Home, Lake City, SC and the form contains 194_as the date of death.

The stone markers are south of the above graves and contain the following information:
 Minnie Page Died 1933
Age 84 Years
Gone But Not Forgotten

William Burgess                     Near this stone is a small stone with no inscription
Died July 1, 1934
Age 74 Years
Gone But Not Forgotten

Luther John Wilson
South Carolina
Pvt.422 Res Labor BN
Aug. 31, 1893-Dec. 25, 1945

On the other side of the path (east of the westerly path) and more in the area of the other stone markers is:

Son of William and Lillie Burgess
Died May, 1918
Age 21 years
Asleep in Jesus

Stone which had been removed from the original cemetery, but replaced-howsoever the correct gravesite is unknown:

Elisa Wheeler
Died Feb. 27, 1935
Age 44 years
Gone but not forgotten

   Hopefully, this list will help someone locate their ancestor and other sources will be found that will help to name the many others buried here. 
A page has also been set up for the Springbank Slave Cemetery and contacts have been made in an effort to search for and locate the many grave sites. There may not be a way to know who is buried in them but the sites and be found,marked and remembered.

The second document copied for me on my visit was another hand typed list, this time of the slaves owned by my ancestor, Henry J. Smith. Once again there is no source information for the transcriber or where the information came from. 
 I have written the names and dates just as they are were typed  on the paper. Note that an error seems to have been made when giving the death date of the first slave mentioned, Old James. 


                                                                List of Slaves of Henry J. Smith
                                                            Springbank Plantation

The plantation located near the Williamsburg and Clarendon county line, was built either in 1782 or 1784. The name Springbank was given by its original owner John Burgess, who derived it from a gushing spring located on a small hill. overlooking the plantation.
 The house was part of the plantation  sold to William Smith by John McElveen, Sr. and wife Elizabeth, on February 10, 1807. Henry John Smith, son of William Smith and Jannet Fierson was born April 18, 1807 and died December 12, 1849.

Old James was born about 1784 and died November 30, 1852
Old Peg was born about 1787
Mack was born about 1787 and died 1849
Hope was born about 1796
Web was born about 1796
Sue was born about 1792
Jane was born June 1804
Limas was born August 2, 1805
Borrah was born about 1808
Letty was born about 1808
Nancy was born about 1809
Cindar was born about 1820 and sold 1852
Anicha was born June 26, 1820
Dinah was born August 29,1822

Birth of Old Peg's children:
   Washington was born about 1816
   Elory was born about 1818
   Little Sam was born about 1822
      Mary was born about 1824
      Martha was born about 1824 and died in 1848
   Peggy was born about 1828

Birth of Hannah's children:
 Isaac was born December 17, 1828
 Jacob was born April 1831
 Dinah was born 1833
 Chaney was born June 9, 1835
 Timon was born August 8, 1838

Birth of Nancy's children:
 Morris was born in 1834
 Harriet was born in 1836

Birth of China's children:
 Sam was born July 1857

Birth of Cindar's children:
 Venus was born 1836
 Joe was born Sept. 1837
 Adaline was born January 3, 1840
 Caroline was born November 28, 1841
 Calvin was born August 24, 1844
 Ben was born May 2, 1845 and died December 9. 1847
 Warren was born April 15, 1848

Birth of Elery's children:
 Dick was born April 15, 1838
 Jerry was born April 12, 1840
 Sampson was born March 3, 1842
 Miley was born September 11, 1843
 Thomas was born April 12, 1845
 Juleus was born June 28, 1851
 Maria was born January 30, 1853
 ? was born December 1857

Birth of Letty's children
 Juddy was born January 2, 1839
 Jack was born October 30, 1842
 Greasey was born September 22, 1845
 Rivers was born July 14, 1848
 Jane was born January 4, 1851 and died 1851

Birth of Adaline's children:
 Philis was born October 21, 1839
 Peter was born April 4, 1843 and died Oct. 26, 1843
 Leah was born July 27, 1844 and died January 1849
 Birrah was born December 10, 1846
 Clara was born July 3, 1851
 Javid was born September 4, 1853

Birth of Marey's children:
 Ison was born September 20, 1840
 Esther was born October 18, 1842
 Hester was born August 15, 1844
 Betsey was born June 10, 1846
 Patty was born march 23, 1848
 Louisa was born November 4, 1850
 Nancy was born October 4, 1852
Birth of Dinah's children:
 Joe was born August 22, 1841
 Jack was born April 10, 1843 and died January 20, 1844
 Suckey was born September 2, 1844
 Caley was born September 19, 1848

Birth of Little Peg's children:
 Fanny was born October 3,1847

Birth of Harriet's children:
 Albert was born September 1855
 Nancy was born June 9, 1857
 Henry was born April 10, 1859
 Sally was born October 24, 1862
 Catey was born October 17, 1864
 Fannie was born ?

Birth of Martha's children:
 Mosey was born March 3, 1848

Birth of Venus' children:
 Randolph was born June 9, 1858
 Lisunder was born July 27, 1860
 Davis was born September 16, 1862
Birth of Philis' children:
 Thanbil was born May 9, 1859 and died November 27, 1928
 Peter was born May 27, 1861
 Jack was born July 30, 1863

  With the names of these children being put into lists of who their Mothers were, it gives me hope that family connections can be made. Some of the Mothers in the later years at the bottom of the list have the same names as daughters listed in earlier years. Are these the same women? Could this provide more than just one generation of family ties?  
   By postsing the names and dates of the cemetery and the slave lists, I am hoping that someone. somewhere will be able to find their family names. Anything typed into a post on this blog is searchable and that is the reason for not just attaching a .pdf for people to download. The time spent in typing out this information will be well spent if just one person searches and finds a name belonging to them. 
  Everyone on these lists belongs to someone. May they be found and never forgotten.

 Are any of these your ancestors? Please contact me and let me know!

 ©Cheri Hudson Passey


  1. I hope your information is helpful. What an emotional journey!

    1. I hope so too, Sally! Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Thank you so much this is truely a treasure

    1. Thank you. My hope is it will help reunite families.