Michael Dukes and his Descendants

Michael Dukes does not appear in the Giessendanner records, but was the oldest son of Joseph Duke. Census records indicate that he was more than 45 years old (and had several children ranging in age from more than 10 to more than 16 years old) in 1800. Land records show that he made land transactions at least as early as 1768, show that this Michael Dukes was likely to have been born before about 1754. In addition, his inheritance of Joseph’s land grant under the prevailing South Carolina law of primogeniture shows that he was the oldest surviving son at the time of Joseph’s death; this places his birth before 1750.

On 29 and 30 Aug 1768 there was a "lease and release" transaction between Michael and Barbara Dukes that was recorded only in 1774, the year of her death:[1]

"Lease & release. 29 & 30 Aug 1768, Michael Dukes of St. Georges Parish, Berkley County, SC, planter to Barbary Dukes his mother of same place, gentlewoman, for £50 SC money, 100 acres in Berkley County adj. land of John Faree, land granted to William Aldridge, it being one half or moiety of 200 acres granted to Joseph Dukes the father of said Michael Dukes 3 Sept 1758, recorded in Book SS, page 428 [plat included in deed]. Michael Dukes (LS), Wit.: Ronald M'Donald, William M'Kenzie, George Andally. Proved 25 June 1774 before Christopher Rowe, J.P. in Orangeburgh District by the oath of George Andally [Anteley]. Recorded 10 Oct. 1774."

The document refers to Barbara as Michael’s mother. At the time, a step-son would more often use the term “mother-in-law” rather than “mother” but the use of “mother” is also consistent with the customs of the time, and respectful.

Since Joseph was not a party to this agreement written in 1768, he was already deceased at that time. The document was filed after Barbara’s death, and was doubtless intended to clear up issues related to her dower rights before settlement of her estate. The late filing of this document, recorded only in 10 Oct 1774, accounts for the payment of quitrents on this 200 acre property in Joseph Duke’s name in the 1773-1774 period.[2] Quitrent on Joseph’s 300-acre grant was paid by John Henry Felder, who owned the land in 1772.

On 23 Nov 1772, Henry Felder registered a memorial for property bounding that of Michael Dukes: "A plantation or tract of 271 Acres Situate in Berkley County on the waters of the N. fork of Edistoe river bounding NW on Abraham Hiselwoods SE & SW on George Strathen [Strothers] SE on Peter Leighs SE & SW on Paul Johnston SE on William Aldridge and NE on Michael Dukes and all other Sides on said Felders Land.[3]

Paul Johnson's 150 acre tract had been granted in 1767: "I have surveyed and laid out unto Paul Johnson one hundred and fifty acres of vacant land, in St. George's Parish, Berkley County, Bounding S on Joseph Hasfort, W on the Hon. Peter Leigh, and the Hon. Egerton Leigh, E on William Aldridges, N on said Aldridges and vacant land … Certified the fifth day of May 1767. John Mitchell, L.S."

On 10 Feb 1773 a plat was registered for Andrew Frederick, on the NE side of the Pon Pon (Edisto) River, bounded NW on Joseph Hasfort's land and Andrew Frederick’s land, NE on land held by William Farrie (Fairey), and Alexander Syfrets and Michael Dukes, all other sides vacant.[4]

A Sep 1773 memorial by Andrew Frederick describes his tract of 300 acres in Berkley County bounded NE by Pon Pon river (Edisto River), SW on Joseph Hasfort and Andrew Frederick, NE on William Faris (Fairey) and Alexander Syfrits and Michael Dukes all the other sides vacant.[5]

On 10 Aug 1784 Michael Dukes was granted "a Plantation or Tract of Land, containing Two hundred and fifty Acres Situate in the District of Orangeburgh, Waters of North Edisto on Cat Fish Bay."[6] The plat for this land shows, in addition to Cat Fish Bay, only cypress and pine tree markers.[7] Catfish Bay is the large bay in the V formed by Hwy. 21 north of Branchville and Hwy. 210 toward Bowman. It is just to the east and then to the south of Hunting Road as you follow it northward. Looking to the sides of the Branchville North topo, it is the largest bay on the bottom half of the map and is at the intersection of 17'30" & 47'30."

Michael Dukes was granted, in consideration of fourteen shillings, "a Plantation or Tract of Land, containing Thirty Acres Situate in the District of Orangeburgh."[8] The 27 May 1785 plat for this property shows that it is bounded by Dukes', Felder's, Fairy's, and Frederick's lands.[9]

Michael Dukes appears in the1790 federal census in Orangeburg District, North, with 3 sons under the age of 16 and 4 females, presumably a wife and 3 daughters but possibly 4 daughters. There were also 3 “other free” persons and 11 slaves.

On 19 Jan 1791 Michael Dukes was granted "a plantation or tract of land, containing Sixty-three acres. Surveyed for him the 19th of May 1790. Situate in the District of Orangeburgh on Catfish Bay, Waters of North Edisto bounded South East by Michael Dukes Land North East by Byrd's Land NorthWest by Land laid out." [10]

On 11 Dec 1793 Michael Dukes was granted "a plantation or tract of land, containing Two Hundred & two Acres. Surveyed for him the 10th of Nov 1793. Situate in the District of Orangeburgh on Waters of N Edisto. Bounded NW by Thomas Dukes. SE. & NE. by Lewis Ratcliffe. SE by Michael Dukes. SW by Samuel Ratcliff's.”[11] The plat for this property shows the adjacent properties, including both Lewis and Samuel Ratcliff.[12] (In 1772 William Ayler of Dobbs Co NC was security, with Gershom Wiggins, for the estate of John Ratcliff, administered by Joseph Ratcliff (An Account of Letters of Administration Granted for Dobbs County in the Year 1772).)

On 14 Jan 1797 Isaac Griggs, attorney for Michael Dukes, filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Michael Dukes, alleging failure of John Miller of Charleston to pay for Michael’s indigo in 1796. Michael was awarded £20 for the indigo and £24 12s 9p expenses.[13]

In 1800 the federal census shows that Michael Dukes is listed with a household that included 1 male between 11 and 16 years old, two males 17 to 26 years old, and a male more than 45 years old. There was also a female more than 45 years old, presumably his wife, and a female 16-26 years old. Neighbors in the census included Metz, Ratcliff, Fairey, Henry Felder, John Zorn, Thomas Edwards, Manning, Harley, and Bird.

The Michael Dukes of later federal censuses is the son of Michael Dukes I, as listed ages demonstrate.

Michael Dukes I Descendants

No family Bible, parish record or will survives to prove the identity of Michael Dukes’ children. Their identities have been inferred from other data.

Isaac Dukes

Isaac Dukes, listed in the 1810 and 1820 censuses, fits in age with the oldest unidentified son of Michael Dukes I. He was 26-45 years old in 1810, and 26-45 in 1820, so that his birth year can be narrowed to 1774-1784.

His census listings are peculiar. In 1810 he was alone. In 1820 he was accompanied by a male 18-25, two males under 10, four females 16-25, one female 10-15, and two females under 10. At the same time, Michael II and Thomas (not Thomas Edmund) disappear from census listings. Isaac may have taken in the households of his brothers, who might have died or been in the process of locating land for a move to the west.

Michael Dukes II

The "M" or Michael Dukes of the 1810 census is probably the son of Michael I; his age and that of his wife and children are consistent with this interpretation.

The 1810 census shows Michael as 27-45 years of age with a young male less than 10 years old, and a daughter also less than 10 years old. His wife is listed as 17-26 years of age. The young male may be George Ezekial Dukes, born 1 Jan 1806.

Michael (II) served in the War of 1812 in Juhan’s Battalion, South Carolina Militia, along with Isaac and Thomas Dukes.[14]

Name:         Michael Dukes II

Birth:           1783/1784               Orangeburgh District, SC

Death:         aft 1839                    Orangeburgh District, SC

Burial:         Orangeburgh District, SC

Occupation: planter

Father:        Michael Dukes I (ca1754-1800)

In 1818 a plat shows Michael Dukes owning land on Mill Branch, Edisto River:

Series Number: S213192 

Volume: 0045 

Page: 00378 

Item: 03 

Date: 1818/11/03




Type: PLAT/

The Mill Branch on which Michael Dukes owned land is likely the branch with a mill on it shown on the 1825 Mills Atlas feeding into the Edisto River just above the Frederick household and Jennings Quarter, a few miles above the fork in the Edisto.

In 1820 John Syfrett, with Isaac Dukes, Thomas Dukes, and Michael Dukes, petitioned for pay, saying they served in the Militia at or near the town of Beaufort during the last war [War of 1814], and praying for redress of their grievance. This is clearly the younger Michael Dukes (the older would have been in his 60's at the time of the war).

Michael II is doubtless the "M" Dukes of the 1810 United States Census, listed on page 132, Orangeburgh County, as having one son and one daughter aged 10 or less. He is identified as 27-45 years old and his wife is listed as 17-26 years old. His census neighbors included Thomas and Isaac Dukes, John Bird, John Felder, B. Cummins, John Crum, Thomas Harley, John Fairey, L. Patrick, John Thompson, John Syfrett, William Ratliff, and John Sandal. He was living on Pen Branch, where his father had lived in 1790.

There was an 1839 plat for 1,000 acres "on Br waters of Pen(n) Branch of Edisto River" for Frederick Syfrett. The property was bounded by land of Mrs. E. Griffith, Jas Grimes, Reich Edwards, Jas Edwards, F Syfrett, Dukes, Michael Dukes, George Summers, Harry Felder, Christopher Metze, John Metze, and John Cannon. The commissioner was Isaac Dantzler, Esq. This was again on Pen Branch, in the Branchville area.

Thomas Dukes

The 1810 census on page 133 shows a Thomas Dukes age 16-26 living with a male 0-10 years old and two females 16-26 years old. This Thomas Dukes is listed immediately adjacent Peter Frederick Jr. and another son of Peter Frederick Sr., and near Peter Frederick Sr. Peter Frederick Sr. lived at his plantation Cedar Lane, near Shiloh Church and east of the primary cluster of Dukes family members by several miles. This appears to be a previously unidentified Thomas Dukes. This Thomas Dukes is listed as age 16-26 with 2 females of the same age and a young boy10 years old or younger in his household.

This young man named Thomas in the 1810 census must belong to Michael Dukes I. Thomas Edmund Dukes is well documented as a son of the older Thomas Dukes, son of Joseph Dukes, and that older Thomas Dukes is unlikely to have named two sons “Thomas.”  This leaves Michael Dukes as a potential father of this Thomas Dukes, who also fits the age of the youngest boy listed in the household of Michael Dukes I in the 1790 and 1800 census listings.

This Thomas Dukes, son of Michael Dukes I, is probably the Thomas Dukes who participated in the War of 1812 with Michael and Isaac.

Further, the son of this Thomas Dukes who is listed in the 1810 census is probably Joseph H. Dukes, who was born in January of 1810. Joseph H. Dukes is said to be a son of a Thomas Dukes, but does not fit into the family of Thomas Edmond Dukes. The Thomas Edmund Dukes family Bible survives, and this Joseph is not listed there. Further, his birth date conflicts with that of a child who is listed in the Bible. Only one other Dukes male born 1800-1810 is known, George Ezekial Dukes, and he appears to fit elsewhere on the family tree, as the son of a daughter of Michael Dukes I. 

Daughters of Michael Dukes I

Although the census shows Michael Dukes I with two daughters, no information is available about them. However, it is possible that one was named Elizabeth and married William Tucker, producing sons Joseph Dukes Tucker and William Steedly Tucker. The 1790 census shows Joseph Tucker and John Tucker living very close to Michael Dukes in Orangeburg County. Alternatively, that Elizabeth might have been from the family of James Dukes.

The other daughter is likely to have been the mother of George Ezekial Dukes.


This document is copyright © 2007 by Lynn Teague. All rights reserved. The copyright must appear on all copies.


Orangeburg Dukes Index



[1] Holcomb, Brent H. 1993. Charleston Deed Book M-4, pages 303-308. In "South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1773-1778: Books F-4 through X-4." Columbia: SCMar. Page 90.

[2] Hicks, Theresa M. and Francis S. Osburn. 1998. South Carolina Quitrents 1772-1773-1774. Columbia: Peppercorn Press. Pp. 193-194.

[3] Memorials, Vol. 11, page 515, item 2. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[4] Colonial Plats, Vol. 14, page 211, item 3. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[5] Memorials, Vol. 12, page 417, item 1. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[6] State Grants, Vol. 9, page 25. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[7] State Plats, Vol. 2, page 373. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[8] State Grants, Vol. 7, page 448. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[9] State Plats. Series Number S213190. Vol. 0002. Page 00077. Item 02. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[10] State Plats. Series Number S213190. Vol. 00025. Page 00354. Item 02. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

State Grants, Vol. 28, page 196. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[11] State Plats. Series Number S213190. Vol. 0031. Page 00371. Item 02. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

State Grants, Vol. 36, page 553. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[12] State Plats, Vol. 31, page 371. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[13] Judgment Rolls. 1797. Item 453A. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[14] Orangeburgh German-Swiss Newsletter. Vol. I: 57.