Day One of Research Done

I am in Camden, South Carolina doing some family research in the Kershaw County Archives as well as the Sumter County Archives south of here. Today was our first day, and we’ll be here tomorrow and Friday doing research as well.

Lots to report, although not much accomplished on the list of goals. I had hoped to find Elizabeth and Mariah, daughters of James Banks today. I believe they either died or married sometime in the 1850s here in SC and are lost to us for now. No luck on that front. I also hoped to find Sarah’s burial place. I believe I have found her on the 1870 census in Sumter Co, aged 70. So it stands to reason that she died in this area. I haven’t found any record of it yet.

There is some good news, though. First, I found a transcription from an old family Bible that appears to have been James Banks’. There are two pages of transcriptions, posted here:

(click on the thumbnail, then click on the word “permalink”, then click on the image to get it full sized)

Take a good look at these. They confirm (and in several cases provide!) specific birth dates for James Banks and his wife and children. However, there are a couple of surprises. First, there is a “Mahaza M. Bradley” listed as the child of James Banks and Mahaza. She lived for 5 weeks, being listed in both the death column on the first page and birth column on the second. I had never heard of her. (EDIT: I am coming back to this post only a couple of hours after posting it to add that I have been doing some research and noticed something I hadn’t noticed before: On the 1900 census, Mahaza is living with her son, Stephen. She is asked how many children she has had and she says “9”. When asked how many are still living, she says “5”. This verifies that Mahaza M. is indeed her child. In 1900, of her 9 children, I can account for 7. Three I know are deceased: Lenora, Thomas M., and Mahaza M. Four I know are living: Peter, Zeno, James, and Stephen. This means that either Sarah Elizabeth or Maria are already dead before 1900.)

Second, there is a Sallie E Bradley that I cannot identify. Her birth year is given as 1858, which may be correct. However, everyone above and below her are children of James Banks and Mahaza listed chronologically by birth. If the “5” should be a “3”, however, she would fit right in between the names above and below her. Why aren’t her parents listed, though, just like everyone else? Is she a child of James Banks and Mahaza, or perhaps a grandchild?

Third, The first child of James Banks and Mahaza is “Sarah E. Bradley”. I had only ever seen and known “Elizabeth”. It is clear, however, that this is Sarah Elizabeth Bradley. Her birth date is either listed incorrectly in the Bible, or transcribed incorrectly by Jennie Merritt (who I believe is the transcriptionist), because 1825 (the year given) is much too early. This obvious mistake makes it easier for me to believe that the date for Sallie mentioned above is a mistake as well.

Fourth, notice that Zeno has the word “grandma” in parenthesis next to her name. This could be in the original, indicating that the Bible actually belonged originally to a later generation. I’m inclined to believe, however, that this was added to the Bible later by a grandchild, or that the transcriptionist added it as she transcribed and that it isn’t in the Bible. We will only know if the Bible one day surfaces!

There is a Logan on the first page. I have not precisely identified him, but he is some relation to Mahaza Boykin’s sister, Maria.

Fifth, on the second page we have the precise birthdate for James Barefoot, which was new information for me!

Sixth, Peter Cassidy’s son, Robert Banks (or Banks Robert) is listed. The birth day is one day different from the information I had. I don’t recall where I got my information, so I changed it on his page to reflect the record in the Bible.

Seventh (and finally) there is another person listed that I can’t identify. Thomas A Bradley is said to be the son of JB and SA Bradley. I can’t think of who that is unless it’s James Barefoot and Celia Ann (sometimes spelled Seala). If so, this is a son I didn’t know about. No death date is given. His birth date puts him between Dolly and Walter. Not sure what to make of this.

More in the next post…


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