One of “three youngest Sons”: Identifying a
Missing 18th Century Pettypool Family Member
My favorite genealogical moments involve discovering the identity of extended family members who are known to exist but haven’t been identifiable using easily accessed historical sources and “reasonably exhaustive research.”1 Although one such individual has eluded my best efforts since I started to research the early branches of the Pettypool family over 35 years ago, a concentrated review of one Pettypool family branch along with a chance “hit” on an online database seems to have solved the mystery.
I finally published “The William Pettypool Family of Southside Virginia: Lineage Review Based on Current Review of Evidence” in 2003 knowing that some lines had not been fully extended and that one line, in particular, was missing an un-named heir. The individual in question was a son of William(4) Pettypool (ca 1720 – ca 1774), fourth in a line of Pettypool men all named William, the first of whom was the mid-17th century English immigrant to colonial Virginia.2
A life cut short, 1887- 1914
Nina, the second child born to Thomas Pitts Pool and Jemmie Alexander of the Scuffletown township of Laurens County, SC, arrived on Thursday 17 February 1887. The 1900 Federal census finds 13 year old Nina “at school”. 1
Nina exhibited skill with flower arranging. The 26 November 1902 issue of the Laurens Advertiser noted that they were “…indebted to Miss Nina Poole for a rarely beautiful bouquet of geraniums, ferns and other conservatory plants. One seldom sees such choice flowers”.2
By March 1905, Nina was a student at Lander College3 in Greenwood, SC. The 8 March 1905 Laurens Advertiser reported that “Mr. T. P. Poole went to Greenwood Saturday to visit his daughter, Miss Nina, who is attending school there.4
In the summer of 1912, James Furman Poole, called Furman by his family, had a more complicated visit to North Carolina than he expected. As the 3 July 1912 edition of the Laurens Advertiser noted, his intention was to attend the wedding of James A. Poole:
Mr. Furman Poole left last Friday [June 28] for Benson, NC to attend the marriage of his cousin James A. Poole of Clinton [SC] and Miss Dora Hodges.
James Augustus Poole was the son of William Augustus Poole (1854-1928) and Mary Duval. He was Furman’s second cousin.
On Monday July first, Furman’s father Thomas Pitts Poole received a message: Continue reading
The Civil War and Reconstruction brought great social and economic stress to the citizens of South Carolina, and maintaining or starting a family after war’s end was challenging. Examining the 1880 Federal Agricultural Census Schedule gives an interesting snapshot of how well four of my grandfathers coped with the challenge. Continue reading
Sam Pool, who contributed the Life and Times of Wade Pool portion of the Pettypool Family in America website, passed away on September 22, 2013. You may read his obituary at The Houston Chronicle.
Sam’s paper on his ancestor, Wade Pool, is a very well researched and presented biography, and if you have not yet read it, I urge you to do so.
Sam’s contribution to Pettypool family research will be missed.
Arthur Russell was born to George B. Pool and Mary Farrow on 29 December, 1870, their fourth child. Nothing is known of his life until 1887, when a somber announcement appeared in the Laurens Advertiser:
On Saturday last, Russel Pool, a 15 year old son of Mr. George Pool of this place, while handling a shot gun, accidentally let it fall and the contents of both barrels were discharged into his right side and thigh. Fears are entertained for his recovery. Continue reading
“When you follow two separate chains of thought, Watson, you will find some point of intersection which should approximate to the truth”
– Sherlock Holmes, “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”, Sir A. Conan Doyle
Berry Pool of Laurens County, South Carolina is well documented as my 2nd great grandfather. The paper trail from me to him is littered with enough primary evidence to satisfy even the most scrupulous of modern genealogists.
And the pedigree of a man who signed his name “Seth Petty Pool” and who settled in Laurens County, South Carolina circa 1785 has been well established by multiple researchers of the American Pettypool family.
But the “point of intersection” of those two “chains of thought” is a deceptively simple question: Is Berry Pool the son of Seth Petty Pool? Continue reading
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has a microfilm of the Journals of the County and Intermediate Court 1786- 1790 for Laurens county. “The County Court Act of 1785 established county courts… ‘to hear and determine all causes at the common law’… where the debt or damages did not exceed fifty pounds… all personal actions where the damages did not exceed twenty pounds… and to hear criminal cases where judgment would not call for the loss of life or corporal punishment”.1
The journal is interesting reading, providing insight into how our ancestors sought to govern themselves at the dawning of America as a nation. The Treaty of Paris had formally ended English claims on America just three years before this journal opens. The court cases have a very “English” cast, reflecting a society in transition.
An important item on the court’s agenda for 17 March 1786 was regulating “Publick Taverns”.2 Continue reading
On May 16, 1900, the Laurens Advertiser published the obituary of George Berry Poole (1838- 1900).
This good citizen died at his home in this city on the 8th instant after a protracted illness, aged sixty-one years. His remains were buried at Langston’s church, where he held his membership in the Baptist church. He leaves a widow and three sons and was a brother of Dr. Poole, of this city and Mr. M. B. Poole, of the Enoree. He was a veteran and after the war diligently pursued the arts of peace, a man of extraordinary energy and faithful to his friends.
“He was a veteran’’ …for a long time, I thought that this obituary was in error. I had searched the Laurens County Veteran records and did not find his name. And his name was missing from the occasional newspaper accounts of Laurens county veterans.
On Sunday, October 30, 1988 The Sumter Daily Item published an article by George Georgas titled Haints asserting that:
“Along the beauteous bends of S. C. 261 outside Rembert, a large plantation house about two miles from a church seems to be a repository for what appears to one owner as a bevy of harmless, but ever apparent apparitions.”
The ” large plantation house” is Dixie Hall Plantation. The article mentions two members of the Sanders family- original owners of the plantation- as likely ghosts since they died in the house. After a few more paragraphs about “bangs, taps, and goosebumps” and occasional sightings of “the quiet woman wearing an old fashioned, lacy, white dress” and a man in “khaki-colored clothes” with a “strange haircut”, there is the following account of a “haint” :
“I was telling (Charlie, a plantation employee) that I hear (a short series of) footsteps that sound like someone’s using a walker. And he told me, ‘Miss Fanny used a walker the latter part of her life.’” Continue reading