Coming and Ball Families
| The Coming name takes us back
to John Coming, mate of the pioneer ship Carolina and later captain of
the Blessing. In the new colony he was married to a passenger on the Carolina,
Mistress Affra Harleston, who was listed by Joseph West as among those
to sail for Carolina Aug. 10,1669.
| They had grants for land on
White Point and at the "T" where the Eastern and Western Branches of the
Cooper River come together. Coming made his will in 1691 and died in 1695.
Being childless, he left his entire estate to his widow and described himself
as mariner and planter in this simple will. In relation to his career as
a mariner, the story is told of his having set sail from Charles Town in
his long boat and arrived at the River Thames in England to "vindicate
his character" when once accused of cowardice.
| The widow Affra described her
late husband as "Gent." when she made her will in 1698, leaving all her
estate to her nephews, John Harleston of Dublin, Ireland, and to her husband's
half-nephew, Elias Ball.
| John Harleston is considered
to have arrived in the Province in 1699 or 1700 and was married in 1767
to Elizabeth Willis. Elias Ball was in the Province in 1701, was married
to a sister of John Harleston, and was living at Comingtee.
| Both men founded families
that have been prominent as planters on the Cooper River and in the various
activities of the State. Harleston and his son were loyal to the Crown
as opposed to the Commons, and both served as attorney for the Colletons.
Captain John Harleston represented the Colletons in the release of land
for the parsonage and glebe for Biggin Church. John Harleston was appointed
a Justice of the Peace June 7, 1734, and March 25, 1.737. He served as
Trustee of the Free School at Childsbury before his death in 1738. The
son John served as a Captain of t.he Berkeley Regiment of Foot.
| Any place as old as this one
usually has conflicting stories that have developed about its history.
One account attributes the origin of the name to a village named "Combe-in-Tene"
in Coming's native Devonshire. The other is simpler and attributes the
name to a combination of the family name with the location at the "T" formed
by the branches of the Cooper River. The first reference to the name "Comingtee"
in South Carolina wills is in the 1750 will of Elias Ball.
| Ball built a briek house across
the end of an older wooden house. The wooden building disappeared over
the years, but the brick house with the original Ball woodwork survives.
In Samuel Gailard Stoney's Plantations of the Carolina Lowcountry one illustration
shows the woodwork around one ehimney in this house. One of the outstanding
events that took place here was the marriage of Henry Laurens and Eleanor
| In her record of the Ball family,
Miss Anne Simons Deas gives numerous anecdotes about the family and Comingtee.
One is about the origin of the section called "Missis Ground." The lady
of the house asked her husband for land which she could plant to earn money
of her own. The hushand went on about his business after turning hands
over to her to "clear her little place." When he returned she had pushed
the hands to work so well that she had cleared more land than the husband
thought possible. He immediately stopped the clearing and the remaining
woods were then called "Forbidden Wood."
| Here, as on most plantations,
the family moved with the seasons back and forth between the plantation
house and the pineland in an effort to escape Malaria.
| At the time when Dr. Irving
wrote his Day on Cooper River Comingtee was owned by Keating Simons Ball
who in 1865 buried the Church silver of St. John's, Berkeley, under a barn
here. The exact location was forgotten but 82 years later it was located
by use of a mine detector.
| The house was damaged by a storm
in 1893 and the place was then sold to Alwyn Ball, Jr. of New York who
had much work done on the building. This place had remained in the Ball
connection from the time of the original grant until Alwyn Ball, Jr. sold
it to the COMINGTEE CORPORATION. In 1927, Senator Frelinghuysen of Rice
Hope became the sole owner of Comingtee and Fish Pond Plantation.
| Eventually this property came
into the possession of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co.
Information and Article from
"Historic Ramblin's Through
written by and used with permission
Mr. J. Russell Cross