John Gotea Pressley
Born 24 May 1833, South Carolina
following family history was written by J. G. Pressley and signed
February 7, 1889, for the benefit of his family. He discusses
family members who fought for the King in the Revolutionary War, and
after much discussion of family members he discusses life on his family
plantation, etc. He closes by mentioning a “Vol. 2” which
discusses himself and his own family further, but it is not known
whether this Volume 2 even exists. J.G. Pressley died is 1895.
Maybe Volume 2 was never written or never finished.
transcription of J.G. Pressley's Family History was donated to the
Clarendon County SCGenWeb site by John Phillips.
Containing these names:
Pressley, Brockinton, Fowler, Gotea, Scriven, Burrows, Nesmith, & others.
The family names of my ancestors, so far as I have heard from my parents and two grandmothers, Mary B. Pressley and Elizabeth Gotea (both grandfathers died before my birth) are Brockinton, Scriven, Fowler, Orr, Barnes, Scott, Gotea, and Pressley.
I do not know from what part of Europe the family came, John Pressley the father of my father: John B. Pressley, died when his children were quite young, and they got from him very little of the family history.
John Brockinton Jr. (1754-1801), the father of my grandmother, Mary Barr B. Pressley (1783-1849), died leaving his children minors of tender years. The same maybe said of John Gotea, my grandfather on my mother’s side. These facts will account for the paucity as to incidents, names, etc. in the history which I am about to write.
From the position which the Brockinton, Scriven, and Fowler families held in South Carolina before and during the Revolutionary War, I think it would be safe to say that they came from England and belonged to the better class of people of that country.
John Brockinton Sr. (1722-1795), is the first of whom I can give any account. I have as old agreement for a marriage settlement made on the twenty-first day of April A.D. 1773 by and between John Brockinton Sr. and Benjamin Scriven, as Trustees, and John Brockinton Jr. and Martha Fowler, who were about to be married. Scriven did not sign, however. (Martha Scriven Fowler (1757-1825) daughter of James Fowler and Elizabeth Scriven)
I am unable to say how the Brockintons derive their descent from the Scrivens, but I know descent from that family has always been claimed by them. The name has been perpetuated in the family as a given name, I think that the wife of John Brockinton Sr. was a Scriven, and this Benjamin Scriven the trustee was probably her brother, and possibly her grandfather on her mother’s side.
(Benjamin Scriven was the brother of Elizabeth Scriven who m. James Fowler parents of Martha)
Sr. and his wife had a son, John Brockinton Jr. who is one of the
the marriage articles. They may have had other children, but I have no
now of ascertaining, and do not remember of having heard of any others.
not able to give any of details of the life of John Brockinton Sr. nor
of his death. He lived on Black River or near that stream, and not far
old town of
Brockinton Jr. married (as it appears from that instrument referred to)
Martha Fowler. He was a very intelligent man, of splendid physique, and
for the times. At the beginning of the Revolutionary struggle he
cause of the King, as did a majority of the wealthy planters of
old Town of
Black Mingo in which he lived was situated on a large navigable Creek
same name, one of the principle tributaries of Black River, On one
pursued Marion from Williamsburg (or Craven County as it was then
into North Carolina, but failed to catch him or make him fight. After
I have never heard from my grandmother or any of his grandchildren, or old men of the neighborhood who were boys during that war, that Capt. Brockinton conducted military operations other than in accordance with the laws of civilized warfare. The great confidence shown in him by his neighbors after the war is the best proof that he was a brave soldier and conscientious man. There was, during the Revolutionary struggle, bitter animosity between the loyalists and whigs, and no doubt, as the case is in every civil war, there were acts of violence and lawlessness on both sides. None can be established as having been practiced by authority of Captain Brockinton, I believe.
the courage of his convictions, and never surrendered, as did many of
loyalists. After the war when the legislature of
was urged by his fellow citizens after the war to consent to serve them
Legislature, but he declined, feeling, probably that those who had
independence against his opposition should govern themselves without
assistance of their former enemies. I have heard of but one
bad spirit after the war was over on the part of Capt. Brockinton. That
directed against two ex-Captains of
When an uprising of the people succeeds it is a glorious revolution, when it fails it is a rebellion. The participants in the former case are "patriots"; in the latter "rebels". Had the cause of the Colonies failed Capt. Brockinton’s name would have gone into history as a distinguished patriot and soldier. How unjust to the conscientious man that righteousness of his cause, and with the narrow minded, his honesty and patriotism must be proved by success; risking fortune, family and life in maintaining political opinions and principles is the highest proof a man can give of his honesty and patriotism.
After the death of her husband Martha Brockinton left Black Mingo, and settled near Dickey’s Bay, waters of Turkey Creek, Williamsburg District. There she lived the remainder of her life. Her son, William Brockinton, lived with her and managed her small plantation; at the same time taking care of the large estate of William Burrows (his brother-in-law) of which he was the executor, and Guardian of his nephew, the son and only child of his brother-in-law and his sister.
The place where Mrs. Brockinton lived was known within my recollection as Brockinton’s Old Field. The houses were all gone before my day. The title to the land passed by conveyance after Mrs. Brockinton’s death to the Gamble family, and is still in them.
John Brockinton Jr. and Martha Fowler Brockinton his wife had children born to them:
There may have been other children, but I do not remember hearing of them.
I will begin my account of these children with the last named.
William Brockinton married a very handsome and intelligent woman. Her maiden name was Eliza or Elizabeth Dollar. I knew her as "Aunt Eliza". When she married Brockinton she was a widow and her name was Robinson.
William Brockinton and Eliza Dollar Robinson Brockinton, his wife had children born to them:
Brockinton was a physician. He lived in
Brockinton (1833-1893) married Elizabeth Scott, daughter of Joseph
Mary Mathews, a citizen of
Matilda Brockinton died a minor and unmarried. I remember her as an interesting young lady. (1824-1837)
Robinson Brockinton (1828-1885) was one of my deepest relatives. He was
a man of
most exemplary character. I found him installed in the office of Clerk
of Common Pleas and General Sessions, in February, 1854, when I
practice of law. I have heard Honorable Henry McIver, (for years
the Eastern Circuit and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of S.C.)
that William R. Brockinton was the best Clerk in that Circuit, which
composed of the Districts (now Counties) of Chesterfield, Marlborough,
Darlington, Horry, Marion, Georgetown, and Williamsburg. He continued
with unquestioned fidelity and ability the office clerk till I left the
to come to
And I think some others who were quite young when I left S.C. or have been born since. I do not remember the number of their names.
Allean Brockinton married Herbert Cunningham, a son of Alexander Cunningham, who married Ann Gregg, and who through my grandmother Gotea, was a distant relative.
Cunningham and Allean Brockinton Cunningham his wife, had children to
do not know their names. They (Herbert and Allean) send me photographs
twin daughters. I visited and dined with them in 1885. They lived on
leading from Kingstree to
Brockinton has another given name, but I do not remember it. He was a
promising Presbyterian preacher. He married a lady in
Thomas Day Brockinton is a farmer and lives near his father’s place. He is married, but I do not know to whom.
Warren Brockinton is a physician and was in Beaufort when I heard from him last.
Brockinton married Warren Muldrow of Sumter District. They lived in
a mile and a half from the church known as the "
Warren Muldrow is dead, his widow still lives, and has sons and daughters. I have seen two of the sons, but do not remember their names. One of them while a soldier in the Confederate Army was shot through the body, the ball passing among his intestines without cutting or penetrating one of them. A soldier perhaps never escaped death after so remarkable a wound.
Brockinton (1830-1892) is a physician, living and practicing at
James Scriven Brockinton and Virginia Singleton Brockinton his wife, had children born to them:
I am not sure that there are not others.
married Thomas M. Gilland, a promising young lawyer who has been
the Circuit in which
Moll Brockinton married ?? a Methodist preacher. They have children, but I did not meet them in 1885, and know nothing to write of the family.
Brockinton was a promising physician after I left S.C. The thread of
existence was cut by an over-ruling
Jack Brockinton was in business with his father in a drug store in 1885. I have heard he has become a physician since that time. He is a fine looking young man.
Marian Estel Brockinton, a very handsome young lady. At home with her parents in 1885.
Pressley Brockinton, (1832-????) was the youngest child of his parents,
and Eliza Brockinton. He was an unassuming, honest, brave,
fellow. He was a private in the Wee Nee Volunteers in Gregg’s Regiment.
the re-organization of the company for service in Hagood’s Regiment he
elected Orderly Sergeant. A more efficient officer and agreeable friend
associate I could not have had. When in camp he shared my tent, and
barracks (as we were at
Upon the 3rd re-organization of the Wee Nee Vols., preparatory to the formation of the Eutaw Battalion (which afterwards became the 25th S.C. Vols.) Burrows P. Brockinton was elected 2nd Lt., was as faithful as a commissioned as he had been as a non-com. officer. Before the accident which rendered him unfit for further active field service he was, while the Regiment was encamped at Secessionville, in 1862 on one occasion sent out on a reconnaissance in command of a small detachment. He encountered the enemy and drove them to their gun boats.
Regiment was encamped on Elliot’s Cut on
lands and house on
Burrows Pressley Brockinton married first a Miss Maria Burgess, and after her death a Miss Emma Bagnell married Dec. 1857 (Williamsburg Presbyterian Church records) then to a third wife, Edwina Bagnell, There were children born to him and those ladies, but I know the name of but one (the other were either very young when I left S.C. or have been born since).
Samuel Peter Brockinton, I was told in 1885 that he was a very successful merchant. I met him and his wife that year, but I do not remember what the name if his wife is, nor what her maiden name was.
The descendants of William Brockinton were Presbyterians, and all four of his sons and their wives and daughter were, and living are consistent members of that church. I am unable to say how many of their children are communicants. Aunt Eliza was a sincere follower of the Master.
now come to
another son of Capt. John Brockinton Jr., namely John Brockinton. In
younger days he was inclined to be rather dissipated. Being the first
his father, the old Cavalier was very proud of him, and his indulgence,
have heard my Grandmother, his sister, say, made a spoilt boy of him.
John Brockinton, after "Sowing his wild oats", reformed, and before
his death became a consistent member of the
His property consisted of principally of cattle, of which he had a fine herd. Some of my fathers ranged with his, and I used to think the annual gathering in the Spring companied my father. We spent the night at "Uncle Johnnie’s" every year, and the next day went to what Californians would call a "rodeo". All of the cattle were driven to the Big Savanna (a small prairie about three miles in circumference) and each stock owner separated his cattle from the large herd, which had been collected from every part of the range by the neighbors who gathered from every direction on these occasions. He married Miss Sarah Nesmith. We called her "Aunt Sally", and I remember her as one of the prettiest old ladies whom I have ever seen. John Brockinton and his wife Sarah had children born to them:
I can not name them in the order of their ages. John Brockinton married Mary Salina Green and had a large family of children. He lived near his father’s and was designated as "Young John Brockinton". In 1839 he taught a school within a few hundred yards of my father’s house. He was my first teacher. My sister, Mary, and I went to his school. We first stayed at my grandmothers, but in 1839 my father settled on the place where most of my boyhood was spent, near Turkey Creek (waters of Black Mingo Creek) and built his house near Brockintons school house, which was on father’s land. My sister and I thereafter went to that school from home. I knew A B C D and E when I commenced school, and made very satisfactory progress under the tuition of John Brockinton.
I am not able to state the names of the children of John and Salina Brockinton not their number. Both he and his wife are dead.
Brockinton, I have no recollection of ever having seen. I am not sure
married, but think her name was Arnet. He emigrated to
Brockinton, married a man named Jacks, They lived in
Benjamin M. Nesmith and Sarah Brockinton, his wife, are both dead. Benjamin was overseer on my mother’s plantation after my father’s death in 1863 till 1865.
married George Hanna. They lived on
these children said that he would rear them without correction. Samuel
the fruits of such want of control, and had
Samuel Hanna married a lady whose name I can not recall. His marriage brought unhappiness to his wife. He died in 1866. (George Hanna son of Hugh Hanna)
Brockinton was a school fellow of mine. I never met his wife and do not
her name. He is dead. He left several children, none of whom I have
had come correspondence with one of his sons who was anxious to come to
(It looks like he may have been married to Mary Eliz King)
Brockinton was also a school mate, as was also Ausy Nesmith, his wife.
He was a
private soldier in Co. F, 25th S.C. Vols. He is now the
owner of the
William Scriven Brockinton and Auzy Brockinton, his wife, had children born to them. I do not know their names, nor the number. I saw three of them in 1885.
Benjamin Franklin Brockinton was an affectionate relative and good client of mine. He lived in such as "out of the way place" not very far from his father’s old plantation, that I never visited his house, never found a convenient opportunity. I had settled in Kingstree before he had a house of his own. He married a widow, a Mrs. Munnerlyn whom I did not know. Benjamin Franklin Brockinton and his wife had children, I do not know their names and numbers. (Think his wife was Martha Greer Hamblin)
can not say
whether John Brockinton and Samuel Brockinton were Christian men, but
the rest of the children of John and Sarah Brockinton were members of
come now to
a daughter of Captain John Brockinton Jr., I do not know her name but
was Elizabeth Scriven Brockinton, She married a Burrows, whose name I
was William. He was a member of the Legislature of S.C. and represented
Williamsburg District. I have heard very little about him. He was a
His plantation was on Turkey Creek. He died in
Martha Brockinton, like most people of her day, was a little superstitious. The old lady believed in signs and warnings. On one occasion her son, William, went to Dickey’s Bay hunting wild turkeys which were always numerous in S.C. He left his horse at the edge of the bay and went in hoping to "roost" the turkeys. He came out after dark and mounted his horse for home, but had not proceeded far when his horse stopped short. Brockinton’s story is that he saw by the bridle path, which he was traveling, what appeared to be a coffin with a white sheet placed over it. (It was that and up to my time in that country customary to put a sheet over the receptacle of the dead.) He determined to investigate and ascertain what this apparition was, but his horse refused to go nearer; he urged and kept urging his steed till a half circle was made, and he found himself on the home side of this strange object, when having become nearly as nervous as the horse, he gave up his efforts at discovery and proceeded on his way home. The next morning he returned for further investigation, found the semi-circular trail of the horse, but no impression that there had been any object on the grass at the center. There had been no impression made on the grass at that point. Upon giving his mother an account of his adventure of the night, the old lady replied, "Oh, William, some dreadful calamity is about to happen in our family". The next mail brought information of the death in Columbia of Burrows, her son-in-law. The occurrence did not lessen the good old lady’s belief in signs and wonders.
Scriven Burrows (1784-1813) and William Burrows, Senior, had born to
son: William Burrows Jr. The death of his father left William an orphan
tender years. He was born about the year 1810, and was near the age of
father. He was taken by his grandmother, but upon her death went to
Mary B. Pressley, my grandmother. She brought him up as one of her own
ever cherished for her the affection of a son for a mother. His love
father was, I believe, the full of that which one brother has for
large property was well managed by his uncle William Brockinton. Upon
coming of age his Guardian turned over to him a princely domain,
Negroes, and a large sum of ready money. I think I have heard the
amount of the
ready cash stated to be $40,000., which in those times was of itself a
Notwithstanding the careful training by my grandmother, when young
his large estate in to his hands he entered upon a career of wild
and did not reform till the last dollar of his cash was gone. He did
however, encumber his land, or part with his slaves, but suddenly
became a man of exemplary conduct, and after a most happy marriage a
Christian, and consistent member of the Episcopal Church. He never
love my father, and while the associate of his boyhood was in rather
circumstances, he remembered his valuable and appreciated service. Upon
death of an uncle, George Burrows, he came in to the ownership of
estate, and presented my father with a fine tract of several hundred
land, a part of that estate. The tract was known as the Boggy Gully
is now owned by Col. James McCutchen to whom my father’s heirs sold it
I can not close this sketch of William Burrows without mentioning his kindness to me. In 1855 when I built my house in Kingstree, he pressed on me the services of his two Negro carpenters for one year and his plasterer and brick mason as long as I had use for him in building my house.
a boy, he
made me little presents such as a boy would like, and after I commenced
practice law he refused to allow me to attend to his business unless I
promise, when he brought me something to do, to charge him just as if
he was a
stranger. I felt some disappointment that he would not allow me to
of his many acts of kindness. Then coming to
William Burrows was emphatically the poor man’s friend. No needy man left his door empty handed. I know one family (Norths) that he entirely maintained, furnishing them with food and shelter, expecting and receiving no other return than to see at last three of the boys grow up to be useful and respectable.
(1811-1884) married Julia Flood of Charleston District. In the latter
his life he sold his plantation in Williamsburg District, and lived in
place near Bradford Springs in
Elizabeth Scriven Burrows married Alexander Colclough. He is dead. She still lives on her place near Bradford Springs. I saw her last 1865. I thought he then one of the handsomest women that I ever saw. Elizabeth and Alexander Colcough had born to them one son. I believe he is named for his father.
Mary Stanyard Burrows married a Mr. Gilliard. She is dead, leaving no children.
Burrows lives near Bradford Springs in
nearer to my own family, and take up for a few observations my own
Mary Barr Brockinton (1783-1849), Why she was given that name of
"Barr", I do not know. There was a family of that name in
When I have traced the descent of her husband John Pressley, my grandfather, I will mention her children.
of my grandmother on my mother’s side was Elizabeth Scott born the 6th
day of May 1790. I do not know of her mother’s maiden nor given sir
do I know her fathers given name. He died and his widow my great
married a Mr. McConnell (James) whose name I regret my inability to
grandmother married John Gotea who was my grandfather on my mother’s
grandmother was left a widow with two children, Sarah my mother and
Jane my aunt. Grandma lived on the road leading from Kingstree via
He took up his residence with his mother-in-law, and with his Negroes and those of my grandmother and her two daughters, carried on the farm for their joint benefits till the summer of 1839, when he moved to Turkey Creek and joined forces with his own mother.
of my grandfather (and perhaps before) my grandmother opened her house
way-side inn. Being about half way between
ribs were broken and probably the head of the femur. It was some time
she could be brought home, and then in a bed suspended from the sides
wagon body. The bones refused to knit. She was never on her feet again,
died after weeks of suffering. She was a consistent member if the
married John Dick. They lived on
married Miss Margaret McCutchen a daughter of Hugh McCutchen and his
wife. She died a few years after her marriage. Children were born to
died in childhood shortly after the death of their mother. Robert still
widower, esteemed and respected by all who knew him, and much loved by
relatives. After the death of his wife and children he returned to his
house, and after the death of Uncle John, farmed with his mother and
was living at the old homestead when I went to school from there, and I
him occupying it in 1885. He and his mother and sister were noted for
tender regard for each other. Like almost all
Eliza Dick married James Fowler Pressley, the youngest son of my grandfather, John Pressley, and his wife Mary B. Pressley. He lived a very short time after their marriage. She had a daughter born after the death of her father, who will be mentioned when I come to my uncle, James F. Pressley.
Aunt Eliza was a lady lovely both in person and disposition. She died about the year 1883. The whole Dick family were Christian people and members of the Indiantown (Presbyterian) Church.
George McConnell, I am unable to say who he married. He died before my recollection. His children were:
All of these I know. I have never heard that there were others who died before my time.
Thomas McConnell was known as "Young Tom McConnell" to distinguish him from an uncle of his and from a cousin both of the same name. The Uncle who will presently be mentioned was known as "Old Tom" and the cousin, who will also be mentioned, was known as "Big Tom".
McConnell lived on
Both of these boys are living. Their parents are both dead.
William McConnell son of George, married Laura Blakely. He lived near China Grove, Williamsburg District. He and his wife had a large family of children, but I saw so little of them that I do not know their names or number. I liked him and saw him often when we were boys. He was inclined to be a little wild when he first grew up, but soon became very steady and correct in his habits. He died after I left S.C. I saw her in 1885. They were Christian people.
McConnell, daughter of George, married John B. Miller. They lived on
Margaret McConnell, daughter of George, married Eliphalet H. Miller. As devisee of her uncle, Thomas McConnell, she came into the ownership and possession of a large estate consisting of money, Negroes, and land. After the death of her parents, her uncle, who was then a widower, took charge of her and her sister, Eliza. He remembered them both in his will but Margaret was mad heiress. The will provided that Margaret should forfeit the estate left to her if she married any man whose name commenced with the letter "C". Her uncle had in his mind a young man of the neighborhood named "Chambers" to whom he had conceived for some reason which I have never heard, an aversion. She could hardly have done worse than when she married Miller.
He was a complete failure as a business man, extravagant and thriftless. To be raised suddenly from humble circumstances to wealth was more than he could stand. He was, however, a popular man, and for many years
Represented Williamsburg District in the Senate of the State Legislature. His love of politics had much to do with his financial ruin. His wife was a woman of sweet temper and affectionate disposition. Miller and his wife
owned and occupied the old McConnell homestead, on the
There may have been others.
Thomas M. Miller, and Julius Miller were worthy young men. Margaret their mother, gave character and disposition to all of her children. Both of these young men were soldiers in the Confederate army, and were
"good and true". They are both dead.
Louisa Miller, daughter of Margaret, married Dr. J. J. Steele Jr. her first cousin. She is dead and left children.
I can not say how many. I did not know any of them. Louisa was an estimable young lady. She was an intimate
Friend of my sister Margaret J. Pressley
daughter of George, after the death of her parents, came to live with
grandmother, Elizabeth Gotea. She was a member of our family when my
father lived with Grandma on Cold Water Run at the time of my earliest
recollection, and continued to live with us till her marriage with John
Britton. They took up their residence near
My brother James was her especial favorite. He was the youngest of us when I first remember, and Cousin Mary became attached to him as a baby. When Sister Martha came James fell to her charge. Her affection for him was reciprocated. I remember very well what threat of vengeance the boy made when Britton took her away.
Mary’s life has not been a happy one. Her husband though kind and affectionate, has been so poor a business man that they lost nearly all of their property, and during the larger portion of her married life she and her children have almost in want of the common necessaries of life. Too free use of alcoholic stimulants has been his only vice. He and his wife are both living. They have children, but I do not know their names, nor how many of them are alive. Cousin Mary has always seemed to me to be nearer than a mother’s first cousin.
McConnell (1799-1851) daughter of the James McConnell who married the
Mary McConnell and Hugh McCutchen had children born to them:
William McCutchen (son of Mary) died about the time he was grown, and before his father.
Thomas M. McCutchen has not been very successful in business. If he success had been commensurate with his worth he would have been a very rich man. We were a great deal together when boys, and since arriving at manhood we have had many social and business transactions. It has been said that, "children will quarrel".
I claim no superior excellence for myself, but between me and Thomas
there never had come a shadow, nor been unpleasant or unfriendly word.
He was a
Lieutenant of Calvary in the Confederate Army. Saw a great deal of
escaped without a wound. I visited him in 1885. The old house with
were so many delightful associations in my mind had been burnt. He was
with his family in what had been an out-house in his father’s day, it
my heart when I witnessed that altered condition of every thing on the
compared with his present condition of my relative with that of his
parents. The loss of the independence of the Southern Confederacy had
impoverished hundreds of thousands besides my cousin Thomas. He married
James McCutchen, son of Mary, 1st married Jane Fowler then to Jennie Gilland, now living on the West side of Black Mingo near McCottry’s Lake, is a man in appearance and character very much like his father. He was a Confederate soldier, and from the rank of Lt., rose to be a Major. He has been a member of both houses of the S.C. Legislature. When he owned Negroes he was a very successful planter, but under the new system he has failed but not for want of energy. He is of a very hopeful disposition. This trait has led him into hazardous ventures. I made his house "headquarters" when in S.C. in 1885. I could not have been treated better, or more hospitably entertained. They have a house full of promising children, a son and a daughter have been married since I saw them. I can not state the names, nor the numbers of his children.
McCutchen, daughter of Mary McConnell, married Dr. Joseph A. James, a
descendant of the James family Revolutionary fame. He has left
Janet McCutchen daughter of Mary McConnell, married William J.B. Cooper and settled about two miles from the old McCutchen homestead. He is dead. His widow has several fine looking boys and girls. They are finer looking than their father ever was.
daughter of Mary McConnell, married Samuel Cooper, son of George
they reside on the old Cooper homestead, on
McCutchen daughter of Mary McConnell, I have seen very little of her
marriage to a Dr. Fraser. They live in
Thomas McConnell, son of the mother of Elizabeth Scott Gotea and her second husband, married Margaret Zuel
(nee Pressley) widow of Dr. Zuel and Aunt of my father. He was a wealthy man, I need not say more of him thank is mentioned in the sketch of Margaret Miller. Thomas McConnell and Margaret McConnell (nee Pressley) his wife, had a daughter Louisa McConnell who married Samuel V. King and died leaving no children. I do not know how long she lived after her marriage. Samuel V. King was somewhat a literary man. He was a fast friend of my father. He bequeathed his library to him. That accounts for the name of King in our books.
of the family emigrated from
He passed through all changes from Calvinism to Unitarianism. Some of the family who were Calvinists were very much offended by his course, and to distinguish themselves from him, changed their name from Priestly to Pressley There has been some controversy as to how the name was spelled. Some of the family spell it Pressley
Pressly. Both sides claim to be right. Relationship is claimed with the
Pressley mentioned above married Eleanor Orr. I have heard nothing of
ancestry. They lived on the Western side of Black River above what, in
was known as the
As wife of Boyd there was born to Eleanor a daughter Sarah Boyd.
I do not know whether she survived Boyd or not, but she left her three children living. Before her death she selected what was then a beautiful spot under some large oak trees, (long since gone) as a burial ground. She is buried there and her grave is covered by brick work, very much dilapidated now. This was the family burial ground till I left S.C. There repose till the resurrection day, besides Eleanor, my grandfather and grandmother Pressley, and all their children and grandchildren bearing the name in S.C.
Sarah Boyd (daughter of Eleanor) died quite young, never having been married.
Margaret Pressley, daughter of William and Eleanor, married Dr. Zuel of Black Mingo. They were the parents of one daughter Jane. Margaret survived her husband Zuel, and became the wife of Thomas McConnell who has been already mentioned. There was born to Margaret and Thomas McConnell one daughter, Louisa McConnell(nee Pressley) who has been mentioned as the wife of Samuel V. King. Margaret McConnell was know as "Aunt Peggy".
daughter of Dr. Zuel and Margaret , his wife, (nee Pressley) married
McConnell , called to distinguish him from the other Thomas McConnells,
Tom. He was a man of considerable means, lived on
Jane Zuel McConnell and Thomas McConnell, her husband, had children born to them:
Of these William Robert McConnell died unmarried, Elizabeth and Augusta were never married, and I think are dead.
John Thomas McConnell, son of Jane and Thomas McConnell, married Miss Hext of Barnwell. Children were born to them. One of his daughters married a son of Dr. J.J. Steele, who is himself a physician. I saw her in 1885. She was touchingly demonstrative in her regard. My presence brought to her memory her father to whom she was very much attached. I saw some of the other children of John Thomas McConnell, but do not now remember their names. His widow and children (except Mrs. Steele) were occupying his Mother’s homestead. John Thomas McConnell was a Confederate soldier with the rank of Lt. In the 10th S.C. Vols.
died since I
have settled in
James Zuel McConnell, son of Thomas and Jane McConnell, married a Miss Sessions and settled in the Georgetown District. I do not know any of his family. I believe he still lives. He and his brother were noted for their brotherly affection for each other.
John Pressley, son of William Pressley and Eleanor, and Mary Barr Pressley, his wife, daughter of Capt. John Brockinton Jr. and Martha, his wife, had born to them:
I will not take these up in the order of their ages, but will leave my Father till I trace the descent of my Mother.
James Fowler Pressley, as I have mentioned, married Eliza Dick (daughter of John Dick and Janet Dick his wife). He died before he settled on a place of his own. He lived during his short married life with his and his wife’s parents. He was quite young when his life was ended. James Fowler Pressley and Eliza Pressley, his wife, has a daughter born after the death of her father.
Mary James Fowler Pressley, as I have mentioned above of James and Eliza, was a young woman lovely in person and character. She was about two years my junior, and was a school mate of mine when at the schools taught by Stone and Laferty. I saw a great deal of her, both in her Grandfather’s (Dick’s) house, and at my own father’s and Grandma Pressley’s. I had the love of a brother for her. She went by the name of Fowler. Cousin Fowler was sincerely loved by all of her relatives. She married James McCutchen, as I have mentioned, and lived but a short time afterwards leaving no children.
(May 18, 1833) married William Cooper. He was a man of wealth and lived
plantation about three miles above
Eliza Cooper, nee Pressley, and William Cooper, her husband, had born to them:
Eliza’s death left these children motherless at a very tender age. They were taken charge of by Mary B. Pressley, my and their grandmother.
John Cooper, son of Eliza and William, died at my grandmother’s on Turkey Creek at a very early age of diphtheria, then called by the medical men sore throat (putrid). He was a bright good natured boy. His death occurred about 1840 or 1841.
daughter of Eliza and William, having been brought up by grandmother
went to house-keeping for her father. She was bright, intelligent, and
good looking. Her father sent her to the most fashionable school for
ladies that could be found in
his grandfather’s estate, and now lives on the old homestead. He has
(to some extent I am sorry to say) his father’s extravagance and want
capacity for business. I have heard that he has pretty nearly gotten
with $20,000 to $40,000 in
William Cooper married a Miss Daniels and has a family of children. (Esther A. Daniels 1859)
Pressley, married Samuel Ruffin Mouzon, a widower and son of one of
Francis Marion’s Captains. He was a man of intelligence, wealth, and
manners and popularity. (I need not say of him and other members of my
that they were hospitable. This trait of character was so common with
"Aunt Martha" Mouzon was a woman of poor health from my earliest recollection of her, and for more that twenty years she was confined to her bed with dreadful case of rheumatism. Her hands and limbs were drawn in a most disposition that were quite as remarkable and uncommon as her sufferings. She was a person of excellent memory (fond of books) and good conversational powers. Her friends delighted in her easy and interesting conversation. Her vivacity was the life of every fireside circle of which she was a member.
generosity I once saw the principal watering places of the South and
Uncle Sam Mouzon lived at a place called "The Savanna" on the road
from Kingstree to Sumter about six miles from the former town. When I
remember them and their family, afterwards they settled on some land
Family of which mention has been made. The place was just twenty eight miles from my father’s resident.
To me and the rest of my father’s children the event of the year was our Annual visit to Aunt Martha’s and Aunt Eliza’s. That my children and grandchildren may contrast the methods of that day and this I will just mention the fact that it was an all day journey, resting usually a little while in Kingstree, then a village of about 300 inhabitants counting Negroes and white people.
Samuel Ruffin Mouzon (born Nov. 20, 1775 died May 24, 1842) died about the year 1844 or 45. his wife Martha P. Mouzon died about 1870 or 71. Martha Fowler Mouzon (nee Pressley)and Samuel Ruffin Mouzon
Had born to them:
Mouzon was a school fellow of mine of Turkey Creek. He stayed at
Pressley’s and went to Nesmith, Diston, and I think Singletary. He went
service in the Wee Nee Vols. As a private under my command and as
afterwards went in to the
Dunkin King Mouzon was named for his father’s friend, Chancellor B. F. Dunkin (one of S.C.’s greatest lawyers) and Samuel V. King. He was a Confederate soldier. He commenced in the Wee Nee Vols. And ended in the Cavalry arm service. He was faithful and true, and did his share in our unsuccessful struggle to establish an independent government. I saw him and some of his family in 1885. He manifested the same regard for me which he had done since he was a small boy. Dunkin is not a rich man, except in children. The Lord has promised "that the wife of the righteous shall be the mother of many children" and in this respect "Dunk" has been peculiarly blessed.
Dunkin King Mouzon married (1837-1905) Emma Smith. They have a large number of children, innumerable to name. Dunkin lives on a part of the Samuel R. Mouzon estate lands. His father was a very extensive land owner.
Mouzon (3rd son of Martha and Samuel R. Mouzon) is one of
natured and loveable characters whom I have ever met. His
affection when parting with him in 1885 were touching, and will never
effaced from my mind. There was a family gathering at his house that
feasting and rejoicing on account of our visit, (Burry and me). He
his brothers have commenced his soldier life with me but on
surgeon pronounced his lungs seriously affected, and was in 1862
be unfit for service. Doctors never made a greater mistake, I know no
has uniformly had a better health. When he failed to get into the 25th
S.C. Vols., which I was (at
Samuel Ruffin Mouzon, after the death of his mother, married Caroline Montgomery. He and his wife and children lived in the old homestead of his father and mother.
William Pressley, son of John and Mary B. Pressley, married Elizabeth McGill Gamble. He died young before my recollection, leaving his wife and a daughter Sarah Pressley. The widow married Samuel J. Tisdale. My father, John B. Pressley, became the guardian of Sarah, managed her little patrimony consisting of a few slaves, very well, and when she attained her majority turned them over to her considerably increased in number.
Sarah Pressley (Oct. 14, 1829- Oct. 16, 1892) daughter of William, married Samuel Davis McGill against the wishes of her mother and relatives. It was a "run-away" match, but turned out not a bad one. They have children and grandchildren, but I can not state their number or names.
(married: March 14, 1844)
John Pressley, first son of John and Mary B. Pressley, died in infancy. He fell back while in the arms of his black nurse, Maria and broke his back.
I will now return to my mother’s side of the house. The last of her line mentioned was her mother Elizabeth Gotea (nee Scott).
were Huguenots, and after the Revocation of the Edict of the Nactes in
1685, which gave toleration to protestants, came to
John Gotea Senior (will dated March 24, 1818) married Elizabeth Barnes.
I know nothing about my great grandmother, not even her given name. Nor do I know anything about my great grandfather. They had ____ children. My grandfather had a brother whose name I do know. He was the father of George Gotea who married Jennie Heddleston, and Jane Gotea who was the wife of Thomas McCants. I am certain that there was also a sister who was the mother of the McCants family.
John Gotea Junior, and Elizabeth Scott were married on the 5th day of March, 1807. They lived on Cold Water Run as I have already said in the sketch of grandmother Gotea.
John Gotea was Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of Williamsburg District, and made an excellent officer. He wrote a plain bold hand, and with neatness. My grandmother gave me very few incidents of his life. He died while the incumbent of the Clerk’s Court, in Kingstree on the 3rd day of January 1826. His death was very sudden, none of his family were with him. Death came without any warning. My mother said the disease was quinsy. He was a Lieutenant in that portion of the army of the United States in the war of 1812 assigned to the defense of the Southern Coast, and with his company was stationed on Cat Island near the entrance of Winyah Bay below Georgetown. A land warrant was issued to his widow in 1851 as a reward for his services. It came after her death. My mother was then acquiring my legal education and starting in life.
John Gotea and his wife Elizabeth, nee Scott, had children born to them:
William James Gotea died at the age of 17years 1 month and 2 days. He was subject to Epileptic fits, but not disabled by them either mentally or physically.
All the rest of these children except Sarah Gotea (my mother) and Margaret Jane Gotea died in infancy or childhood. They with their brother William James, and both parents are buried on the old homestead on the West side of Cold Water Run, not far below the site of the old house.
Margaret Jane Gotea was the only one of my grandfather and grandmother Gotea’s children that I remember. She was of a very lovable disposition, and above the average in good looks. My brother James and I called her "big sister" our sister Mary we designated as "little sister" She married Robert Harvey Wilson, a half brother of Emma Pressley nee Pressley the widow of my brother James F. Pressley and died on the 19th of June 1845, leaving her surviving husband but no children.
I have now brought these sketches down to my own parents.
My father when a young man was a sufferer with dyspepsia. It never entirely left him during his life, but he grew better as he grew older, and looked healthier and very little older in 1863 the hour he died than when I first knew him. My father took up residence in the house of his mother-in-law upon his marriage. He and my mother lived there, and father managed the plantation for the benefit of the whole family until 1839, when he moved to Turkey Creek and settled on the place at which his family were reared, and to which I have so often referred. He left my grandmother Gotea and Aunt Maggie on the Cold Water Run (Gotea Plantation) but still had a general supervision over their business till the marriage of my Aunt Margaret. Four of my father and mother’s children were born in the old Gotea house, Sister Mary, I, my brother James, and sister Martha Fowler.
My father had very little school education, but by his study and reading acquired more than an average store of learning. A good many years of his boyhood and early manhood were spent in the employ of Black Mingo.
This Cleland Belin is a descendant of one of my Brockinton ancestors.
My father was much given to politics, but never for himself. He was a "power" for his friends in local elections.
He had a passion for hunting and fishing, the favorite sports of the Southern gentleman.
As slavery is a thing of the past it might interest those who come after me to hear how a Southern planter spent his time. My father’s means did not in his judgment justify his hiring an over-seer, and he personally managed his plantation. After a moderately early breakfast he went to his fields and inspect the work of the day before. Then he visited the different gangs of hands (Negro laborers) and saw that they were all at work and doing tasks assigned them for the day. After this the planter returned to his house and the balance of the day was spent with his family, or reading, visiting, entertaining company, or such other amusements as accorded with his taste and fancy. Just before or after supper the "head man" of the Negroes reported on the work of the day and the day and for orders for the next day. The most trust man among the Negroes and one who could command the respect of his fellow servants, was selected as "head man" sometimes called "driver". My father never used on his plantation this latter term to designate the leader of his black people. On the larger plantations the head man did not work that to look after the others. Where the number of hands were not sufficient to require all of his time he worked as the others, but not so much was required of him. Both the Master and Mistress of the plantation looked after the sick. An old woman, under the eye of the mistress, had supervision of the children, who had reached the age to be left at home by their mothers. Every mother with an infant had a nurse assigned her, one of her older children, and if she had none the child of some other woman that could be spared. When the babies were old enough for the mother to work these nurses accompanied the mothers to the field and took care of the babies in a house built for that purpose, or under the shade of a tree where the cries of the baby would be in the reach of the mother’s ear who could attend to its wants without loss of much time. Deductions were made in her work when necessary. The clothing of the Negroes was made by the mistress, or by seamstresses under eye. The special duty of the boys of the family was to superintend the feeding and generally of the livestock. They were the first of the white family out of bed.
Negroes were by law accounted "chattels", but my experience is that very few slave owners regard them as such, or in any other light than as a part of the household, standing in the estimation of the master and mistress next below the children. A sale of one was generally looked upon as a great calamity. They were very seldom over worked, indeed it often happened that the (mistaken) affection of the master led him to require less work of the Negro that he should have been required to do. On many plantations one Saturday every fortnight was "Negro Saturday" on which no one was required to work. When the character of the work was such as to permit the assignment of tasks an industrious active Negro could frequently gain a day out of the week, which added to his "Negro Saturday" gave him more leisure than white laborers whose families are dependent on their daily wages. Sometimes the masters paid them for extra work. My father’s Negroes showed the effects of kind treatment. They were all devotedly attached to the family, and proud of "we white people" as they called their master and his family.
My father was very liberal to his children. Three of us had left the paternal roof before his death, and when we set up for ourselves he made a liberal division of his Negroes with us.
When the war commenced father wished to volunteer, but his boys would not consent. He had two sons in the service from the beginning and five before the end came. We thought he was giving enough, and that he could serve his country best at home, making provisions for the soldiers at the front.
John Brockinton Pressley, died on the 7th of May, 1863, of a fever and disorder which brought on hemorrhage of the bowels. I was with him in his last illness. We laid him to rest with his forefathers in our private graveyard at "Boyd’s Old Field".
survived him and in 1869 she and her whole family left S.C. and came to
nee Gotea, my mother died in
John Brockinton Pressley and Sarah Pressley (nee Gotea) had children born to them:
Mary Elizabeth Pressley married Daniel Dwight Barr on the 22nd day of April, 1852.
was a sickly child. Her ill health was produced by the malarious
the country. She was a good girl, and grew up to be a woman of kindly
disposition. She was educated at the schools of the neighborhood, and
the Young Ladies Seminary of the Misses Grey at
Daniel Dwight Barr was a distant relative, the relationship coming
mother to my mother, but the manner I cannot trace. He was a
soldier, first a Sgt. In the 10th S.C. Vols., then
the rank of Captain of the 25th S.C. Vols., and when the
Regimental Commissary was established by an act of the Confederate
went into a Light Battery commanded by Capt. ? Gillaird. He and his
lived with his father George Barr, and then settled near the old
his own house. When about to leave S.C., he sold out to his brother
Charles Barr. Daniel D. Barr died in
Daniel Dwight Barr and his wife Mary Elizabeth had children born to them:
Barr died in
Jannette McCutchen Barr married Henry E. Footman, son of William C. Footman of S.C. her husband preceded us to CA. They were married in this state on the 22nd day of Dec. 1880. They had two children:
Jennette Dozier Footman and Henry Edward Footman.
Sarah Gotea Barr died in S.C. at a very early age.
Margaret Jane Barr is unmarried. She lives with my sister Jennette Dick Dozier.
George Barr died in 1887.
Barr and John Pressley Barr are buried in the same lot with my brother
and my mother in the
I will leave myself, John Gotea Pressley, the second of my father’s and mother’s children, to be spoken of after I trace the descent of my wife Julia Carolina Burchmeyer.
Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, received such education as
be had in the schools of the neighborhood till the year 1852, when he
he resumed the practice of his profession, and when the Reconstruction
were passed and it became evident that there was no peace for the
removed to Cynthiana, Kentucky where he formed a partnership with Dr.
Beale who had been his Surgeon in the Confederate Army and at one time
Surgeon of the 25th S.C. Vols. When the rest of the family
to come to
assisted by Dr. H. H. Poland of
assure my brother’s children that they may well be proud of their
better men ever lived. Stronger love than existed between my brother
and me can
hardly be conceived. After we passed the age for childish quarrels,
shadow of difference came between us. After his death his family took
James Fowler Pressley and his wife Emma Pressley nee Wilson, had children:
live now with their mother in
Pressley, dau. of John B. and Sarah Pressley, grew up to be a handsome
and one of as nearly perfect character as I have ever known. After
such education as could be acquired in the schools of the neighborhood,
father took her to
Martha Louisa Pressley dau. of John B. and Sarah Pressley, died of diphtheria on the 16th of August, 1846, aged 3 years, 5 months, and 25 days.
Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, lived to be a brave good,
man. He volunteered in Co. F, 25th S.C. Vols., just before
he was 18
years old. My father accompanied him to
I must tell of one occurrence as a master that may well excite the admiration of my children for their gallant young uncle, and as illustrative of his character. His company occupied, in Battery Wagner, a post in the fierce heat of a September sun, and exposed to a perfect storm of shot and shell. In making my rounds I passed Hugh lying in the ranks with his comrades, and doing his duty apparently insensible to fear. I noticed his flushed face, and upon putting my hand upon him, I found that he had a scorching fever. I asked him why he had not reported to the surgeon and his answer was in substance, "I am your brother and the men may say that I am taking advantage of my relationship to get out of danger". I replied. "Well I will see to that, get right up and go into the bomb-proof hospital to the Surgeon".
One day while I was in that Fort his musket (rifled) got too hot for use, he told me he had fired seventy five times that morning.
prisoner with his regiment at
Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, was a cadet at the
William Burrows Pressley married Nina Dozier dau. of Dr. L.F. Dozier. Children born to them:
The first of these and Nina Pressley (nee Dozier) died in the year 1883 within a few days of each other. William Burrows Pressley is a very successful farmer, and at present farming extensively with my brother-in-law Edward C. Dozier, in Solano Co., CA.
Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, was too young during the
was to be
in the regular Confederate Service, but was in an organization known as
"the old men and boys", made up of men over 45 and boys under 18. He
saw some service. He too is a successful farmer, now living on his
Pressley, dau of John B. and Sarah Pressley married on the 20th
of July 1871, Edward C. Dozier, son of Anthony W. Dozier of
Janette Dick Dozier and Edward C. Dozier have children born to them:
For some account of my own children and myself, reference is made to a Second Volume of Family History in which I have traced the descent and given some account of the family of Julia Burckmeyer, my wife and the mother of my children. Thinking that some account of their ancestors and kindred may interest them, I have written and left the foregoing pages for my children.
Signed: John Gotea Presley