Arthur Russell Pool

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

Approximate to the Truth- Berry P. Pool, c. 1792- 1847

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

Journals of the County and Intermediate Court 1786- 1790, Laurens County, SC

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

George B. Pool… “a man of extraordinary energy and faithful to his friends…’’

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.

Continue reading

A Ghost in my Tree

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

A Mysterious Pettypool- Farrow (or Luke?) Pool

Census

The 1880 Federal Census 1 enumerates the children of George B. and Frances Pool as:

1.  Harvey

2.  Thomas

3.  Mary L.

4.  Arthur R.

5.  Farrow

Farrow Pool is listed as a son, age 1, implying a birth year of 1879.

The loss of the 1890 Census limits the ability to follow Farrow, and I have not been able to find him in the 1900 Census, by which time he would have been about age 21, and reasonably could be in his own household. Both George B. and Frances are deceased by the time the 1900 Census was taken.2 Continue reading

…a past in which mules were central…

… many people do not know how different the South used to be. In the case of the South, there are things to be proudly held up for praise, and there are things that we wish could be hidden. Both are integral components of a past in which mules were central.Ellenburg, Mule South to Tractor South, p. 5.1

If you are tracing your family in the American South, you are almost certain to uncover some connection to the cotton economy. Regardless of how close or distant the ancestral connection may have been, the production of cotton fiber was so central to the economy and culture of the region that every family was touched in some way. And no other image is so closely related to cotton than that of the mule, with “its neck bobbing limber… lifeless ears and its half-closed eyes drowsing… apparently asleep with the monotony of its own motion.”2 Continue reading

Taxes & Moonshine- Paying for the Civil War

A Georgia blockader (moonshiner) told former attorney general Amos Akerman “he’d like to know what his grandfather ‘fit’ in the Revolution for if he was not to be allowed to make a little corn whiskey.” – Revenuers & Moonshiners, Wilbur R. Miller1

At the end of the Civil War, one of the many problems facing Congress was deciding how to pay for the war. It is no surprise that they turned to levying taxes: and equally unsurprising, the taxes were not popular.

Federal excise taxes were levied on a range of commodities and personal property. In 1865 and 1866 Mary Poole (second great grandmother), Elihu Poole (first cousin three times removed), Martin B. Poole (great granduncle), and Berry P. Poole (putative first cousin three times removed) were assessed tax on their buggies. In addition, Martin B. was taxed for a watch. And in 1865, great grandfather G. B. Poole, occupation “distiller”, was assessed $9.34 tax. 2 Continue reading

A Family Legend and a Legendary Family- Part Two

Mr. Workman Speculates on the Poole’s of Laurens County in 1914

Part Two

Part 1 of this article began a discussion of an account of the early Poole family in Laurens County SC which was published in The Laurens Advertiser on May 20, 1914. It was a reprint of an article that T. M. Workman published earlier in The Thornwell Messenger.

In those days more than one hundred years ago a man named Poole, I think it was William Poole, settled on this little stream. He had married a Miss Petty, I suppose for I find at Laurens in old papers written more than a hundred years ago that his sons were named William Petty Poole, Seth Petty Poole, George Petty Poole, and so on down. It was the fashion of that time to give a boy his mother’s maiden name for a second name.

Mr. Workman thus plunges bravely into one of the more obscure times in the Laurens County Pettypool family, and along the way falls into a common trap for unwary genealogists. Continue reading

A Family Legend and a Legendary Family

Mr. Workman Speculates on the Poole’s of Laurens County in 1914

Part One

In my search thus far, I’ve found two historical accounts of how my Pool family came to reside in Laurens County, SC. The most well known, and complete, is that of Bessie Poole Lamb and Mary Mack Poole Ezell from 1931. I’ve written about this book in The Arrival of the Scuffletown Pool Family in Laurens County, South Carolina and at the Pettypool Family in America website.

A second account was published in The Laurens Advertiser on May 20, 1914, when the paper reprinted an article that T. M. Workman had published earlier in The Thornwell Messenger. The context of the article was early corn mills in Laurens County, and Mr. Workman opens his article with the assertion that:

The first corn mill ever put up in the bounds of the present county of Laurens, S. C., might have been the mill on Enoree river owned by Edward Musgrove. But there was another one higher up on a little stream called Buckhead that flows into Enoree river that had some claim of being one of the first corn mills of Laurens county. Continue reading