The day is done. I have a lot of little things to report, but no major break throughs.
It’s been a long day, so I’m going to summarize it and then I’ll have to post the details tomorrow when we get back to Nashville.
We departed Bloomsbury House (our excellent B&B) this morning and stopped first at the Camden Archives. We spent most of our time going through microfilm of the actual Antioch Baptist Church records. These were fascinating and sometimes funny. If the Thomas and Sarah in membership there were ours, then we have ancestors excommunicated from the Baptist church. Don’t be alarmed. They excommunicated everyone for the smallest things now and then. And Thomas and Sarah were pretty quickly restored. I also purchased typed copies of three federal census records for Kershaw Co – 1810, 1820, and 1830. More on these in a later post.
From there we drove out to Antioch Baptist Church and walked the cemetery. Lots of Bradleys there, but none we are yet able to connect to.
From Antioch we cut over to the Sumter Hwy to head back to Sumter. At the intersection of Sumter and the short cut we took we noticed a Boykin Cemetery on the map. We stopped and it turned out to be Burwell Boykin, his two wives, and son Lemuel with family. We took photos and then headed on into Sumter.
In Sumter we stopped at the Archives again. We were only there a few minutes. The same lady who was there two days ago remembered we were looking for Jennie Merritt and so she called someone. They weren’t able to help her. We got the phone number of the only Merritt in the phone book and will try to call her soon and see if she’s a relation. She also put us in touch with another interesting connection I will explain below. I purchased an 1878 map of Sumter county showing Bradford Springs and Rafting Creek where our family had property, and then we headed over to the courthouse.
In the Sumter Co Courthouse we checked all the Deed indexes and were able to come up with one transaction between James B Bradley and Stephen M Boykin (son of Stephen H Boykin). I believe this is our James Banks. We also found two transactions involving “Thomas Bradley of Kershaw County”. I believe this is our Thomas, but cannot yet prove it.
From the courthouse we went up the road just a bit to “Bradley Market”. Its a little nursery and country store run by a couple named Bradley. They are actually both Bradley descendants through different lines. Someone at the archives thought they might be in our line or might have known Merritt. They were a wonderful couple, but didn’t know much about their lines. However, they have a nephew my age living in Nashville (!) who is doing all the family genealogy and they gave me his name (didn’t have his number – I will look him up). There was one interesting connection, however. Mr. Bradley had an uncle named Burwell Bradley. So they are likely descended from either our James Banks and Mahaza or Benjamin Delaney Bradley and Zeno Love Boykin (Mahaza’s sister). Perhaps we’ll find out soon enough.
We got lots of photocopies and I will share everything over the next day or so. One more thing – cousin Sherry mentioned Stephen Boykin had a medal in the Camden Archives. I asked about it this morning and they showed it to me. It belonged to Stephen M Boykin – the brother of Mahaza. They had his picture next to it. I got pictures of him and the medal.
OK – that’s it for today!