Several Dukes lines, probably related, are found in early Clarendon County. William Dukes lived on the Black River in Clarendon County near what is now Manning and appeared in local records in 1784 when he was involved in the Joshua Stone estate. āensus records show that he was born before 1755. Joseph Dukes, born before 1765 and in the SC Militia in 1782, lived near what is now Summerton on Jack’s Creek.
The Clarendon Co SC Dukes family shared connections with the Williamsburg Co Duke family, including the McClary and Commander families. There are also connections to the Dukes family of Orangeburg County, through the Brunson and Felder families.
William Duke obtained a plat for 200 acres on Home Branch in Clarendon County in 1784. It is near Nasty Branch (home of the Stone family which had many local Duke family connections), and northwest of Manning.
In 1787 William Duke provided security for the estate of William Cantey. William McConnico was administrator, and all were said to be “of the Santee River.” Others named included Elizabeth Coulliette and Richard Singleton. Elizabeth Coulliette was the second wife of Abraham Felder of Orangeburgh District. The Giessendanner records show that Abraham Felder was probably named for Abraham Eisenhut, who was one of his baptismal sponsors. In turn, Abraham’s father, John Henry Felder, was a baptismal sponsor for one of Abraham Eisenhut’s twins, Isaac. Joseph Dukes of Orangeburgh, married to Margaret Eisenhut, was a sponsor for the other twin, Jacob. John Henry Felder was also baptismal sponsor for Rebecca Dukes, daughter of Joseph Dukes and Barbara Forster Dukes. The Canteys were originally from Goose Creek. This William Cantey was the eldest son of Josiah Cantey and Elizabeth Boswood, and was born 6 Nov 1732 and christened in St. Andrews Parish, Berkeley County, SC. He married Rebecca Richbourg and was father of Josiah Cantey, who was baptized by Rev. Giessendanner. His second marriage was to Martha Maples, daughter of Thomas Maples Sr. and Mary Sanders; their children were Lovey Cantey, Martha Cantey, and Naomi Cantey.
William Dukes married Lovey Maples. William Dukes appears in the 1793 will of Mary (Sanders) Maples of St. Mark’s Parish, Clarendon County, SC. The 1825 Mills Atlas shows the Maples St. on Mill Creek in Clarendon County. She names grandchildren Mary, Charles, and Naomi Dukes, and specifies that they are to be cared for by her daughter Lovey Maples [an odd provision for a grandmother to make when both parents of the children were alive]. Other grandchildren listed were Richard, Mary, Hiram, and Jehu Singleton; Susannah Stone; Martha and Naomi Cantey; and Dorothy Maples. She also notes that £20 sterling was due her from William Dukes, and that she had heard he intended an illegal claim against her will. Thomas Nighting Johnson and James Burchil Richardson (son of Richard Richardson) were executors of this will. William Tims and William Terry were witnesses.
In 1800 a William Duke had land on Ox Swamp, near Paxville and Manning. In 1806, William Duke had land adjacent Isham Nicholas on Hog Branch and Log Bay, Sumter District. Hog Branch is a tributary of Ox Swamp. The property was adjacent Thomas Broughton and Edmund Bellinger. 
The 1800 federal census Sumter District, Clarendon County, p. 680 lists both William Duke Sr. and William Duke Jr.. They are listed adjacent Arthur Clemments (Arthur Clemonds on the previous reference above) and James Clemments, and near John Richbourg Sr. and Jr., Nicholas Stone, David Brunson (descendant of the Goose Creek Brunson family of Jacob Brunson, first husband of Barbara Forster Dukes of Orangeburg), James Richbourgh, John and Charles Richardson, Laurence Manning, James B. Richardson, John Tucker, Richard Ridgeway, and others. William Dukes Sr. is identified as 45+ years old. William Dukes Jr. is listed as 16-25 years old.
Thus the census shows that William Dukes, Sr., was born before 1755. He had two boys under the age of 10 and one between 10 and 15 years old in residence, along with two girls under 10, two girls 10-15, and two women 26-45. William Jr. was born between 1775 and 1784. William Jr. had one boy under 10, and a woman 16-25. Since it is unlikely that William Dukes Jr. was married and had a son at an age earlier than 20, it is likely that his birthdate is 1775-1780.
Another later William Dukes in the area is found in the will of John Kelty, resident of a plantation on Alligator Hole Branch. The will was dated 18 Sep 1818, proven 16 Apr 1819, and names grandson William Dukes, apparently a minor orphan at the time.
Charles Dukes, son of William Dukes and Lovey Maples, appears in Clarendon County records. On August 3, 1820, Charles and Parthined E. Dukes sold to George J. McCauley 500 acres in Clarendon County on Home Branch and Ox Swamp, waters of the Black River, bounded on the north by William Dukes Jr. and Robert Dukes, west by Jane Dukes (later Jane China), south by Charles Lesesne, east by Captain John G. Davis. Witnesses were William Shorter, Mary Gamble, with Adam Benbow, J. Q. Charles’ property was in the Manning, SC, area. The 1820 census shows Charles and Robert Dukes living very close to one another. Robert is probably another son of William Dukes.
Benbows are near neighbors, as are Ridgeways. Benbows are shown on the 1825 Mills Atlas of Sumter District in the area below Jacks Creek and above Horse Creek. However, Ridgeways are shown near Ox Swamp. A Blackwell household also appears nearby on the Atlas. This is the probable location of Charles Dukes, William Dukes, Jr., and Robert Dukes.
Joseph Dukes served 122 days in the South Carolina militia during 1782. His stub indent is dated 14 May 1790, and is accompanied by a note requesting that his pay be delivered to William McConnico. McConnico was from Reedy Creek, Lunenburg County, VA; he was born in about 1749. (The name Joseph Dukes also appears on the 1783 Whig commanders (John Marshall) list of Tories, along with Robert Duke ( ). However, others on this list appear to be primarily from the Waxhaws.) The listing for militia service in 1782, but not earlier, implies that Joseph Dukes of Clarendon County was probably at least 18 years old in 1782. This places his birth before1765. Both the absence of earlier militia records for him and the apparent ages of his children suggest that he was not much older than that.
In 1786 Joseph Duke witnessed the will of William Richardson in Sumter District. Fellow witnesses were Elizabeth Sley and Richard Chewning. Executors were Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Pringle, John Smyth, and John Chesnut, Edward Richardson, father of this William Richardson, was a son of Sir John Richardson of England. Edward moved from Virginia to Charleston, SC. William Richardson was born on 31 Jul 1743 in Charleston and baptized on 21 Oct 1743 at St. Phillip’s. William Richardson of Bloom Hill was married to Ann Magdalen Guignard on 13 Oct 1768 at St. Phillips in there. William Richardson established the plantation at Bloom Hill in the early 1770’s; it is close to modern Wedgefield, SC.
Joseph Dukes appears in the 1790 census of Camden District on page18 with a two males under the age of 16 (presumably sons) and 2 females (presumably a wife and daughter). The census shows him living in close proximity to the Widow Broughton, Widow [William] Richardson, Thomas Maples, Edward Broughton, James Hilton, Thomas Gavin, William Humphries, Richard Richardson, John James, John Ragin, Wm. McConnico, ? Long, Charles Cantey, and William Richbourg. The 1773 Mouzon map shows the Richardsons and Richbourgs above Jacks Creek and Canteys and Richbourgs on Jacks Creek. This location is near modern Summerton, SC.
There are no records of land grants to this Joseph Dukes in the South Carolina archives.
William Christopher Dukes, born 1794, was probably a son of Joseph Dukes, along with the two males shown in the 1790 census. If his oldest son was born in the 1780-90 period, as seems likely, a birth date of about 1760-1764 seems most probable.
An on-line Singleton family website lists the wife of Joseph Dukes as Ann McConnico and their children as Ann Dukes (born 2 Mar 1791, died 15 May 1848, married John Hamlin Ragin, son of John Hamlin Ragin I and Sarah Snell), Charles Dukes (born between 1774 and 1790, most probably around 1790), and William Christopher Dukes (born 1794). The Hamlins were present in the mid-1700’s in Christ Church Parish, SC. The evidence on this is confusing. William Christopher Dukes (below) identified his mother as Mary Byrd. However, his location (Jacks Creek) and his naming patterns for his children (including Joseph H.) suggest that he is a son of this Joseph Dukes. William Christopher Dukes also had another relationship to William McConnico. McConnico’s daughter Ann married Charles Connors, who married second Elizabeth Dukes, William C. Dukes’ sister.
William McConnico’s land was on a tributary of the Black River and on the east side of the Wateree River. The 1825 Mills Atlas of Sumter District shows Hungary Hall Branch running from just below the Nelson’s Ferry Road up to the Pocotaglio. Given the proximity of McConnico to Henry Richbourg, he was probably very close to or on the Nelson’s Ferry Road and only a few miles above Jack’s Creek.
In 1786 Joseph Duke witnessed the will of William Richardson in Sumter District. William Richardson of Bloom Hill, son of Edward Richardson, was born on 31 Jul 1743 in Charleston and baptized on 21 Oct 1743 at St. Phillip’s. He was married to Ann Magdalen Guignard on 7 Feb 1750 at St. Phillips in Charleston. He established the plantation at Bloom Hill in the early 1770’s; it was close to modern Wedgefield.
The reference to John Adair among those owned money by Richardson’s estate is of interest. Samuel Adair was the second husband of Margaret Blackwell Duke, widow of the unnamed Duke who was father of Thomas Duke, founder of the Williamsburg County Duke family. Benjamin Singleton is probably connected with the Richard Singleton who was a buyer in the Cantey estate sale of 1787, for which William Dukes is listed as providing security, and with Singletons who appear in Mary Maple’s will along with members of the Dukes family.
A Joseph Dukes served in the 2nd Regiment (McWillie’s) South Carolina Militia during the War of 1812. It doesn’t seem likely, although it is possible, that this was the same Joseph Dukes who served during the Revolutionary War.
Ann Dukes (2 Mar 1791 - 15 May 1848) married John Hamlin Ragin (1788 - 31 May 1846), son of John H. Ragin and Sarah Snell Felder. She was probably a daughter of Joseph Dukes. The Ragin (Raegon) family reappears later when when John Henry Ragin marries Mary Elizabeth Dukes, daughter of William Christopher Dukes.
An Orangeburg Felder connection is apparent in the Camden District 1782 estate papers of John Felder. John Ragin was administrator, Adam Snell Sr. and Adam Snell Jr. also provided bond. The estate was appraised by William Cantey, Edward Broughton, and Joseph Terry.
The will of John Ragin, dated 25 May 1803, was in turn witnessed by John King and William Felder. John Felder was a son of Capt. Henry Felder, Sr., and was killed in about 1781 in the American Revolution. He married Sarah Snell, born 16 Jul 1758, daughter of Johannes Adam Schnell. After John Felder’s death, Sarah married John Ragin.
John P. Felder had a plat surveyed in 1805 on Jacks Creek adjacent the Canteys and near Joseph Dukes.
William Christopher Dukes was born 14 Mar 1794. He was a friend of poet William Gilmore Simms, who described him as “a fine gentleman, of fine ability, a young man of excellent Charleston family.” William C. Dukes was a poet, but abandoned poetry for being a factor. Simms lived in Charleston but his Summerton property was the Spring Hill Plantation on Jack’s Creek, Santee River, Clarendon County, Sumter District.
Jack’s Creek was also the location of the estate of William Cantey, for whose estate William Dukes provided bond in 1787. In 1832 William C. Dukes had several Charleston residences, at the corner of Anson and Society streets and also on King Street on Charleston Neck. William C. Dukes was a very active merchant in Charleston and Sumter, and references to his company consequently are found in records of other families.
Four volumes of personal journals by William C. Dukes are preserved at the South Caroliniana Library, along with two journals of his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Dukes Ragin. William C. Dukes did not identify his father in these documents, but he did provide an obituary for his mother, Mary Byrd Dukes:
Obituary -- August 19th 1825.
Departed this life in Clarendon (Sumter District S.C.) on Wednesday 20th July 1825; Mary Byrd (my mother) aged about 65 years -- A native of Virginia -- Halifax County.
For upwards of 40 years past, she was a humble professor of the Gospel of our Blessed Redeemer, of the Baptist Pursuation.
William C. Dukes recorded his own birth date as 14 Mar 1794. He married Elizabeth Long. Romantic poetry directed to her is a prominent feature of his journals. Their children have been identified as Joseph Henry, Kezia Jane, Margaret Jane, Mary Elizabeth, Ann McClary, and Susan Robinson. However, William C. Dukes’ will identifies sons John R. and Thomas C. H. Dukes, and he also had a son, William C. (see below).
In 1824 William recorded the death of his own son in the following epitaph:
In Memory of William Christopher
Wm. C. and Elizabeth C. Dukes
Born on the 6th August 1821
Died on the 13th August 1822
Aged One year and Seven days.
“Suffer little children to come unto me, For of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”
On at least three separate occasions William recorded the death of his sister-in-law Ann [Long] McClary who died 30 Oct 1820 aged 23 years 5 months and 2 days, in Clarendon County. He identified her as consort of Mr. Saml McClary, Charleston merchant. The McClary family is closely associated with the Thomas Duke family of Williamsburg, suggesting a close relationship between near-contemporaries William Christopher Duke and Thomas Duke. However, they cannot be brothers, both having recorded different mothers (Mary Byrd Duke and Margaret Blackwell Duke, respectively), each of whom survived her spouse.
On 4 June 1825 William Duke recorded an item relating to the McClary family, one with Orangeburgh County associations:
The following is a correct copy from a note dropped by accident in the store of Saml. McClary Esq. by Donald Rowe of Orangeburgh, S.C.
Mr. Rowe I will let you no that the child is better a little I think but it has such a wecke stumeck that every thing that i give it throws up i think the ether children is beter and I will let you no that the colt dide night aforelast yours Drurey A. gaffney.
Donald Rowe was a descendant of Christopher Rowe, Orangeburgh District Indian trader.
The Schirmer Diary, 19 Mar 1829, recorded the Charleston marriage of Thomas Hammet and Mary E. Duke, wit., dr. Barrie. This Mary Elizabeth was William C. Dukes’ sister.
A second Mary Elizabeth Dukes was William’s daughter. On July 19th 1835 he recorded her as among those united with the Second Presbyterian Church, Charleston, Rev. Thomas Smith pastor. On the 20th of December, 1836, Mary Elizabeth Dukes of Charleston married John H. Ragan of Sumter at the Second Presbyterian Church, Charleston. It should be remembered that an earlier John Ragan or Reagan was the second husband of Sarah Snell Felder, widow of John Felder. John Henry Ragin was a cousin of Mary Elizabeth’s who was son of Hampden Ragin and Anne Dukes, sister of William Christopher Dukes. They had nine children.
In 1840 the land on which the James House in Summerton was built belonged to William Christopher Dukes, “an extensive property owner of that time.”
Elizabeth Dukes was possibly a daughter of Joseph Dukes. Charles Connors b. 1759 in St. Stephens Parish, married first (1794) to Ann (“Nancy”) McConnico, daughter of William McConnico, who died 1798 (2 children by 1st wife), and his second wife was Elizabeth Dukes (7 children by 2nd wife). He represented Clarendon District (1818 - 1819) in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
In January 1827 Elizabeth and Robert Henry sued Abraham Felder in Orangeburgh Equity Court for possession of Dinah, a slave left to Elizabeth Couliette Felder, with a provision that if ECF had no issue then the slave would revert to Nancy McConnico Connors or her issue. The court (William Thompson) found that this would constitute an entail and rejected the claim.
In Sumter District, George Dukes signed the 1801 pension application of an individual who was in his militia unit, testifying to his good character. The application said that Joseph Francis had served in a company commanded by Capt. James Winters under Gen. Francis Marion; the character reference by neighbors on White Oak Branch of the Black River, Sumter District, said that he was of good character:
As Joseph Francess is about the Remove him Self in to Some other parte or Country and we Sertify that we nevr new Eney Thing that is Cauld Disonesty by the said Francess and has all wase has Soported a good peseuble and a onest Corrector in this plase where he has Resided many years. - October the 1 Day 1801 - Joseph West, Capt. Jesse Nettles Junr, Ensign, Hugh Norton, Thomas Broadway, Jesse Timmons, John China, Benjamin Hodge, John Kelley, James Simmons, Noah Nichols, Peter C. Brunson, Richard Taylor, Thomas Mcelveen, James Weeks, George Dukes, Wm Brodway, Willi Weeks, Thomas Osteen, Jacob Osteen.
White Oak Creek is east of Summerton.
George Dukes served in the 5th Regiment (Keith’s) South Carolina Militia during the War of 1812. A Keighton Dukes was also listed under Major John Keith.
George Dukes appears in the 1820 census for Sumter County, SC, with a household of one male under the age of 10 and another 26-45 years old, presumably himself. This places his birth between 1775 and 1794. He was younger than the George Dukes of Williamsburg County.
George Dukes was associated with Christopher McConnico in this will:
Series Number: S108093
Description: CONNELL, THOMAS OF CLARENDON, SUMTER COUNTY WILL TYPESCRIPT (1 FRAME) (MSS WILL: WILL BOOK D-1, PAGE 34; ESTATE PACKET: BDL. 23, PKG. 6)
Names Indexed: CONNELL, THOMAS//CONNELL, REBECCA/MCCONNICO, CHRISTOPHER///WILLIAMS, THOMAS/DUKES, GEORGE/HARVIN, RICHARD/POTTS, WILLIAM/
Locations: CLARENDON//SUMTER COUNTY/
Type: WILL (TYPESCRIPT)//
James T. Duke was his son, and was appointed administrator of his estate 25 Jan. 1841 (no other heirs survived). Bondsmen were Matthew James and William M. James. Appraisers were Alexander B. and Theodore W. Brailsford, Alexander Campbell, and D. St. P. DuBose.
James T. Dukes married Emeline L., and had a son, G. H. Dukes. John D. McKnight and Alexander C. McKnight were listed as executors. Witnesses were Moses M. Benbow, John G. Felder, and John M. Owen. His will was dated 4 Feb 1844 and was probated 8 Apr 1844.
This document is copyright © 2007 by Lynn Teague. All rights reserved. The copyright must appear on all copies.
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