Only a handful of Duke individuals have been documented in the South Carolina lowcountry before 1740.
It has been documented that William Duke of Barbados traveled to Charles Towne (or at least purchased a ticket to do so) in 1679. This has led some (for example, South Carolina historian Alexander Salley, Jr.) to propose that the Orangeburg County Dukes family, and presumably others of the surname Duke in the lowcountry of South Carolina, descended from this William Duke. There is no evidence to support this claim.
William Duke obtained a ticket to sail for Charles Towne, South Carolina, from Bridgetown, Barbados, on the Adventure (Captain Daniel Ridley) on 7 Apr 1679. He was the son of Henry Duke of Barbados. No records of this individual have been found in South Carolina, not in land records, parish records, or other documents. This Duke family of Barbados was affluent, well educated, and politically active. It is not possible that an individual of this sort would go unnoticed and undocumented for any length of time in early Charleston. If he did travel to Charleston, he either died or proceeded elsewhere without leaving descendants or making any local impact.
The estate of Samuel ŅDuckesÓ was probated in Charleston between 1716 and 1718. The original inventory document has been lost and no information survives regarding its contents. However, no later Duke males in the area were named Samuel.
It is possible that Samuel Duke/Duckes was the minister Samuel Duguˇ who was transferred from Charleston to St. JohnÕs Berkeley in 1701 to provide a minister for the early Huguenot church there.
Robert Duke obtained a license in St. Phillips Parish to marry Mary Phyllis Dudley on July 3, 1733. This is the only record of him that has been found. Bondsmen were Robert Duke and Edward Vanvelsin, shoemakers, of Charles Towne. Robert and Mary Phyllis were subsequently married in the adjacent St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish on 28 Mar 1732. Alexander Garden [Anglican] was minister and James Michie, witness. (The license to marry was an alternative to publication of banns in the Anglican Church.)
The Dudley family was rare in early South Carolina. Records show that a John Dudley was buried on 10 Sep 1736 and a Robert Dudley on 4 Sep 1737 in St. PhillipÕs Parish, Charleston. South Carolina jury lists for 1718-1783 identify only two Dudleys, Charles and Thomas, and those appear much later. Charles Dudley was a grand juror in St. JohnÕs Parish, Berkeley County, in 1767. Thomas Dudley was a petit juror in Beaufort County in 1783.
James Michie was an attorney of Scottish origin who achieved prominence as a member of the Council, chief justice, and judge of court of vice-admiralty. His father-in-law was Arthur Hall, Esq., of Charleston and James Island. Michie was the brother-in-law of William Stewart, John Cattell and Henry Perroneau, and later was an associate of William Duke of Christ Church Parish.
Edward Vanvelsin, who helped to provide bond for the marriage, was a tanner and shoemaker, eventually in Dorchester. His profession at this time and place suggests involvement in the Indian trade for hides. His brother Garrett Vanvelsen advertised as a shoemaker working in Ņthe old house over the Bridge facing Church St.Ó in Charleston. Garrett Vanvelsin, listed as ŅCapt. Gerrit VanvelsenÓ, was appointed with Mr. John Laurens a Fire-Master of the Friendly Society in Charleston. In two references he is identified as Guˇrard Van Velsin, and in one (the will of his son-in-law William Holmes) he is specifically associated with John Guˇrard, a member of the Huguenot Guˇrard family that co-sponsored the 1680 Petit-Guerard Colony.
Nicholas Duke was buried at St. Phillips Parish, August 13, 1732. In 1733 the will of Nicholas Duke, mariner of the Royal Navy serving under Captain Lloyd, was probated in Charleston. Captain James Lloyd took over the command of the Happy, a 10/16 gun ship of the Royal Navy that was assigned to the Carolina Station, Ņsurveying,Ó from 29 Nov 1728 through 12 May 1735.
Nicholas DukeÕs administrator was James ŅLawrense.Ó Witnesses were John Lawrens and Benj. Addison. The beneficiary of his estate, principally consisting of his wages as a sailor, was Ņmy Well Beloved and Faithfull friend James Lawrense of Charles Town.Ó
John and James Laurens were brothers, John a saddler and James a distiller. The Laurens family was originally surnamed Laurent; they were a Huguenot family originally from La Rochelle, France. Andrˇ Laurents and his family immigrated to South Carolina in 1716 from their earlier home in New York. Andre Laurent was the son of Jean Laurent and Elizabeth Manigault, and married Maria Lucas in London in 1687/88. The Laurens family later became prominent nationally through Henry Laurens, JohnÕs son, a political figure and (unlike his father) very active slave trader. Augustus (Auguste) Laurens, who figured in the will of John Snow, witnessed by Thomas Goodman Duke of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, was another brother of John and James Laurens.
Like John Laurens, Benjamin Addison was a saddler.  In that capacity, he supplied saddles for the use of the Cherokee Indians, for which the House of Assembly authorized reimbursement on 8 Mar 1748. The profession of saddler at this time and place suggests ties to the Indian trade for hides, and the Cherokee connection confirms this.
Mary Dukes was buried November 30, 1732/33, in St. Phillips Parish. Nothing more is known of her. She could have been the Mary Phyllis Dudley who married Robert Duke in March 1732. The only other person of this name who was certainly present in Charleston during this period was Nicholas Duke of the Royal navy, who was buried at St. PhillipÕs shortly before Mary. His will did not mention a Mary Duke.
This document is copyright © 2007 by Lynn Teague. All rights reserved. The copyright must appear on all copies.
 Salley, A.S., Jr. 1898. The History of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, from Its First Settlement to the Close of the Revolutionary War. Orangeburg, S.C.; reprinted Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 1994. Page 34.
 Salley, A.S., Jr. 1898. The History of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, from Its First Settlement to the Close of the Revolutionary War, Orangeburg, S.C.; reprinted Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 1994.
 Coldham, Peter Wilson. 1990. The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Page 333.
 Brandow, James C., ed. 1982 Omitted Chapters from Hotten's Original lists of persons of Quality and Others who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700: Census Returns, Parish Registers, and Militia Rolls from the Barbados Census of 1679/80. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company.
 Lesser, Charles H. 1995. South Carolina Begins: The Records of a Proprietary Colony, 1663-1721. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History. P. 338.
 Porcher, Frederick A. 1887. Upper Beat of St. JohnÕs Berkeley. In A Contribution to the History of the Huguenots of South Carolina. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Page 47.
 Salley, Alexander S., Jr., ed. 1971. Register of St. PhillipÕs Parish, Charles Town, South Carolina 1720-1758. Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press. Page 164.
 Salley, Alexander S., Jr., ed. 1971. Register of St. Phillips Parish, Charles Towne, South Carolina 1720-1758. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. Page 248, 252.
 Webber, Mabel L. 1916. Early Generations of the Seabrooke Family. The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. Vol. XVII: 14-25.
 Moore, Caroline T. and Agatha A. Simmons. Comp. and ed. 1960. Abstracts of the Wills of South Carolina 1670-1740. Vol. I. Columbia: R. L. Bryan Company. Pp. 182-183.
 Calhoun, Jane A., Martha A. Zierden, and Elizabeth A. Paysinger. 1985. The Geographic Spread of CharlestonÕs Mercantile Community, 1732-1767. South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 86 (3): 213.
 South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. Vol. VIII (1): 51.
 Moore, Caroline T. and Agatha Aimar Simmons, ed. Abstracts of the Wills of the State of South Carolina 1670-1740. Vol. 1. Charlotte, N.C.: Observer Printing House, Inc. P. 248.
Moore, Caroline T., compiler and editor. Records of the Secretary of the Province of South Carolina 1692- 1721. Columbia: SCMAR. Pp. 377-378.
 Salley, Alexander S., Jr., ed. 1971. Register of St. Phillips Parish, Charles Towne, South Carolina 1720-1758. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. Page 240.
 May, W. E. 1970. His MajestyÕs Ships on the Carolina Station. South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. Vol. 71 (3): 163.
 Charleston Will Book. Aug. 1731-July 1733. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
 Series No. S213003, Vol. 002H, Page 00270, Item 00, Date 1748/01/21. South Carolina Department of Archives and History,
 Easterby, J. H., ed. 1961. The Colonial Records of South Carolina. The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly January 19, 1748-June 29, 1748. Columbia: South Carolina Archives Department. Pages 131, 386.
 Salley, Alexander S., Jr., ed. 1971. Register of St. Phillips Parish, Charles Town, South Carolina 1720-1758. Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press. Page 242.