William Dukes was born to Benjamin and Mary Dukes on 27 September 1745 and was christened Oct. 29, 1745, in Prince Frederick Parish. Prince Frederick Parish took in the area between Prince GeorgeÕs (the coastal parish including the lower reaches of the Black River and Pee Dee River) and St. MarkÕs Parish (Clarendon Co and points inland, created in 1757). Modern Williamsburg County, parts of Georgetown County, and parts of Florence, Marion, and Dillon were in Prince FrederickÕs Parish. Craven County encompassed everything from Seewee north to the North Carolina line and thus included modern Williamsburg, Georgetown and parts of Clarendon counties, along with all or parts of other counties.
This Benjamin Duke is not the son of Thomas Goodman Duke.
In 1766 a plat for 200 acres in Craven County was surveyed by Wood Furman and registered by Benjamin Duke. The property was described as being in Prince Frederick Parish on the west side of the Black River adjacent vacant land.  This location presumably would have been in Williamsburg County, since by this time St. MarkÕs Parish had been created (in 1757) and took in modern Clarendon County. On the 19th of September, 1770, a grant was awarded for this 200 acres in Prince FrederickÕs Parish, Craven County, adjacent vacant land.
On 4 Jan 1771 Benjamin Duke registered another plat for 200 acres in Craven County. The plat shows only swampland adjacent to the property. A plat for William Guess establishes the adjoining properties as those of Benjamin Duke, ? McCune, and William Jackson.
Benjamin Duke was on the Prince Frederick Grand Jury in 1778-9.
In 1779 Benjamin Duke was an Overseer of Prince Frederick Winyaw Parish.
Benjamin Duke is listed among those who joined the Black Mingo Church on the Kingstree-Georgetown Road or Indiantown Presbyterian Church on Boggy Swamp below Kingstree following closure of Prince FrederickÕs Parish. Those who retained Anglican affiliation joined the church at Georgetown.
In 1780 Benjamin Duke was a saddler for Colonel Peter HorryÕs cavalry. It is uncertain which Benjamin Duke this was.
William Duke of Williamsburg was said to be in Francis MarionÕs brigade in 1780.
In 1783 both Benjamin and William Duke(s) were listed as petit jurors for Georgetown District. Georgetown District included Williamsburg County and Georgetown County, among others.
The modern Williamsburg Co Duke family traces their origins to 1786 when Thomas Duke is said to have been born to an unknown Duke and his wife, Margaret Blackwell, born 1769, daughter of Samuel Blackwell and Margaret Dozier. Blackwell family researchers have attributed this Blackwell family to Virginia origins, but other evidence indicates that they might have been from South Carolina, near HadrellÕs Point in Christ Church parish. A complex of relationships between various Blackwells and Dukes suggests a possible origin for the lineage in an existing lowcountry Duke line, but given the complexity of relationships in the region it is no more than a suggestion. yDNA testing of a Thomas Duke descendant has not identified genetic matches close enough to cast light on the origins of the family.
The author of The Shepherd-Duke-Van Metre Families, without giving any sources, states that:
THOMAS DUKE (son of David Duke, of Ireland), b. 1780, at Williamsburg, S. C.; d. 1858, at Kingston, S. C.; m. 1805, Sarah McClary.
Without a citation, this too can be considered only a suggestion of an origin for this lineage. yDNA testing suggests a distant match with a Duke line of known Irish origin, but the match is insufficiently close to be convincing.
The early family history of Thomas Duke descendants can be summarized as follows:
Margaret Blackwell (1769-1799) was married first to (?) Duke, then to Samuel Adair, and finally to John McClary. The Blackwells are shown on the 1825 Mills Atlas in Darlington County on Jeffries Creek adjacent the Williamsburg County border. Thomas, the son of the unknown Duke and Margaret Blackwell, was born 10 Nov 1786.
He married first Mary Hamilton McClary, born 26 July 1784, died 28 Mar 1840. Their children were David McClary Duke, b. ca. 1819, d. Mar 1873, and Sarah Thermutis Duke, born 1822, died 26 Nov 1866. Thomas Duke married second Susan Thorp, born about 1824, died 1849. They had sons Thomas Flavier Duke and Benjamin F. Duke. Their daughters were Orrianna B. Duke, born 1842, married Samuel Blackwell McClary; Rosina Duke, born 1843; Susanna L. Duke, born 1847, married Henry McLaulin Burrows, born 1854; and Josena Mildra Duke, born 1849. Thomas Duke died 30 Nov 1855 and was buried in the McClary cemetery near Kingstree.
On 8 May 1855 Thomas [Flavier?] and Elizabeth W. Duke sold to James M. Bell and John O. Hagan 100 acres, bounded on the north by the Black River, on the east by land formerly belonging to James Godwyn and all other sides by Samuel Fluitt. Edward J. Poston and Thomas B. Fleming witnessed the document.
This will by John McClary includes many of the Williamsburg Duke family, along with members of the Singleton family:
Series Number: S108093
Description: MCCLARY, JOHN OF WILLIAMSBURG DISTRICT, WILL TYPESCRIPT (MSS WILL: ESTATE RECORD BOOK B, PAGE 59; ESTATE PACKET: APT. 22, PKG. 4) (6 FRAMES).
Names Indexed: MCCLARY, JOHN//MCCLARY, MARY RAFIELD/MCCLARY, JAMES H./MCCLARY, JOHN CLAVIN/MCCLARY, ALEXANDER/MCCLARY, DAVID NEWTON/MCCLARY, GEORGE F./MCCLARY, JOHN J./PLOWDEN, EDWARD/WITHERSPOON, DAVID/KNOX, ARCHIBALD/SINGLETON, THOMAS D./RICHBURG, WILLIAM/DUKE, MARY H./DUKE, DAVID MCCLARY/DUKE, SARAH THEMUTIS/DUKE, MARY ELINOR/DUKE, THOMAS/MONTGOMERY, WILLIAM/PLOWDEN/SCOTT, JOHN/TISDEL, JAMES/////MCLCARY, SAMUEL BLACKWOOD/MCCLARY, MARGARET H./MCCLARY, JOHN MILTON/MCCLARY, HANNAH R./MCCLARY, SARAH BLACKWOOD/FLEMING, G. H./TISDEL/MCCLARY, DAVID SIDNEY/MCCLARY, D. R./STRONG/ANNA (SLAVE)/AXLE (SLAVE)/MCCLARY, MARY R./MCCLARY, JAMES M./MCCLARY, JOHN C./MCCLARY, D. M./SINGLETON, THOMAS D./MCCLARY, DAVID R./SHAW, HENRY D./TISDALE, JOHN I./TISDALE, SAMUEL/TISDALE, WILLIAM/
Locations: WILLIAMSBURG DISTRICT//BLACK RIVER/BOGGY SWAMP/KINGSTREE/CEDAR SWAMP ROAD/POTATO FERRY ROAD/
Type: WILL (TYPESCRIPT)//
Boggy Swamp flows into the Black River immediately below Kingstree. Cedar Swamp is to the east. Potato Ferry is at the Georgetown County line on the Pee Dee. Margaret Blackwell Duke McClary is buried in the McClary cemetery in Boggy Swamp.
This is the earliest reference to a George Dukes on the north side of the Santee River:
Series Number: S213190
Description: MATHEWS, WILLIAM, PLAT FOR 152 ACRES ON BOGGY GULLY, GEORGETOWN DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY JOHN BURGESS.
Names Indexed: MATHEWS, WILLIAM/BURGESS, JOHN/DUKES, GEORGE/TAYLOR, RUFFIN/
Locations: GEORGETOWN DISTRICT/CLAPP SWAMP/BOGGY SWAMP
Clapp Swamp is near the boundary of Williamsburg and Clarendon counties, a tributary that enters the Black River on the northeast side at the modern settlement of Mouson, very close to Kingstree. Boggy Swamp is to the south of Kingstree, and is also associated with the McClary family.
Ownership of land in 1790 suggests that this George DukesÕ latest reasonable birth date is in the 1760Õs. An earlier date is also possible. This could be George Alexander Dukes of Orangeburg, but there is no evidence supporting that identification. It is more likely that he is a son of Benjamin Duke and a brother of William Duke, discussed above.
It has been said that the Samuel Blackwell/Elizabeth Dozier family was from Virginia, but another source says that they moved to Craven County from HaddrellÕs Point, now called Mt. Pleasant, in Christ Church Parish, South Carolina. Documents also point toward earlier residence on the east branch of the Cooper River. The children of Samuel Blackwell b. 1736 and Elizabeth Dozier have been identified as:
á Thomas, b. 1765 Georgetown, d. 4 Feb 1800 Black River SC, children Elizabeth, Hannah and Thomas
á Michael b. 10 Sep 1767 Georgetown; m. 1) on 9 Feb 1792 Elizabeth Dunnam b. 22 May 1774; children Sarah Lydia b. 1797 and Michael Joseph born 30 Aug 1800 Winyaw Bay, Georgetown, SC; m. 2) second Mary Cunningham, children Samuel Boyd . 1802 Williamsburg, James Cunningham b. 1805 Williamsburg, Edmund Botsford b. 1812. M. 3) Elizabeth Durham
á Boutwell b. 1769 SC
á Margaret b. 1769 Prince Frederick Parish, Williamsburg, SC, m. ? Duke, etc.
á Rachel b. 1770 in Georgetown, m. James Lane
á Josiah b. 1772
á Samuel b. 21 Aug 1774 in Georgetown, d. 4 Feb 1823 Jeffrys Creek Plantation, Darlington, SC; m. 1) ca. 1797, ? Commander; children Elizabeth and Mary Jane, m. 2) Mary Ann Hamlin b. 1786 Prince Frederick Parish, Georgetown, children Isabell, Joanna, Isabella Ann, Samuel, Martha, and John Hamlin.
á Hannah b. 1776 d. 1826
The names Michael and Boutwell in this list argue against the commonly asserted Virginia origin for this Blackwell family. A Thomas Blackwell married a daughter of Burtonhead Boutwell, as shown in BoutwellÕs 1769 will. Thomas might have been a grandson of Michael Blackwell of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, SC., and father of Samuel Blackwell who married Elizabeth Dozier.
Michael Blackwell was resident in St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish in the 1720Õs, where he was identified as a blacksmith. Michael Blackwell owned land on the east branch of the Cooper River bounding on George June and Peter Dutartre (Dutarque) and slaves purchased from Peter Poitevin (of the same family as the wife of John Snow, whose will was witnessed by Thomas Goodman Duke). He purchased land previously owned by Andrew Dupuy from John and Susanah Lapiere, and sold the land to Peter Johnson in 1723.
The 1731 will of Peter Johnson of Craven County, planter, identified Thomas Blackwell as his grandson, under 21 years. He also identified wife Mahittabell, sons Peter, Joseph and James. Also daughter Mahittabell, wife of Samuel Claig; Mary, wife of Thomas Jenkins; Lydia. Grandson Thomas Blackwell, under 21 years and unmarried. Granddau: Honoure Blackwell, under 21 years and unmarried. Executors sons Peter, Joseph and James. Witnesses Meredith Hughes, Gerard Bromley, Joseph Hale. D. 10 Jun 1731 Probated 21 Oct 1731.
Peter Johnson was earlier from St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish. In 1730 Peter Johnson sold 100 acres of land on the SE side of the E branch of the Cooper River, bounding SW on LynchÕs Creek, SE on Nicholas Bochet, NE on Johnson Lynch, and NW on Nicholas Bochet, to Nicholas Bochet. Johnson traced the property as having been purchased on 17 Jan 1711/12 by Andrew Dupuy, who on 8 Nov 1716 sold to Rev. John Lapiere, who sold on 28 Nov 1717 to Michael Blackwell, who sold on 15 Jun 1723 to Peter Johnson, Jr.  In 1730/31 Johnson sold land on the east Cooper, near the Poitevins, to Nicholas Bochet and in 1732 he acquired a 750-acre grant in Craven County. In 1730/31 Michael Blackwell purchased 100 acres of land on the Cooper River and three slaves from Peter Johnston. (Rachel Boutwell married first a Watts, and then Lewis Bochet -- see above.)
The data suggest that Michael Blackwell was the father of ? Blackwell b. ca. 1705-10, and that ? Blackwell married Peter Johnson's daughter, producing (at least) two sons and one daughter. Thomas Blackwell, grandson of Peter Johnson, could have been b. ca. 1730 to ? Blackwell and ? Johnson. Thomas subsequently married Elizabeth Boutwell ca. 1752. Samuel Blackwell who married Elizabeth Dozier was b. 1735/36 -- after Johnson's will, accounting for his absence there. Boutwell Blackwell, son of Samuel and Elizabeth, would have been named for SamuelÕs mother, Elizabeth Boutwell Blackwell. The order of Samuel Blackwell and Elizabeth Dozier's sons is said to have been first Thomas Blackwell b. 1765, then Michael Blackwell b. 1767, and then Boutwell Blackwell b. 1769.
The 1749 guardianship of Thomas Blackwell (who at this time would be Thomas Blackwell resident in Craven County) for Samuel Clagg fits this scenario.
Series Number: S213003
Description: GLEN, JAMES, GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA, TO THOMAS BLACKWELL, PLANTER, APPOINTMENT AS GUARDIAN OF SAMUEL CLAGG, INFANT CHILD OF THE LATE SAMUEL CLAGG. (1 PAGE)
Names Indexed: GLEN, JAMES//BLACKWELL, THOMAS/CLAGG, SAMUEL/
Topics: ORPHANS, CARE OF/COMMISSIONS AND APPOINTMENTS/
The orphan child Samuel Clagg was a son of Samuel Clagg and Mahittabell Johnson, daughter of Peter and Mahittabell Johnson. In 1769 a Blackwell owned land adjacent Walkers (one of Burtonhead Boutwell's daughters married a Walker) and a Samuel Clegg on the Black River (Plats. Series Number S213184. Vol. 0011. Page 00102. Date 1769/11/10. South Carolina Department of Archives and History). This 1769 landowner Samuel Clegg was presumably the minor son Samuel Clegg who was raised by Thomas Blackwell II and his wife.
This Thomas Blackwell is linked to the Sts. T & D family by his guardianship of Samuel Clagg, documented as a descendant of Peter Johnson and the Blackwells of Saints Thomas and Denis. The names of Samuel and Elizabeth's oldest son Thomas and next oldest son Michael are additional evidence consistent with descent from the Michael Blackwell line.
The Commander family was found in St. Thomas & St. Denis Parish: Samuel (1705/6), John (1708), Hannah (1709/10) and Joseph (1712) were born to Samuel and Elizabeth Commander there. It is said that the Commanders came from the Albermarle Sound area when Samuel and Joseph Matthew Commander managed to get some of their inheritance from John HarveyÕs estate there. In St. Thomas and St. Denis Samuel Commander owned land on Cooks Creek, on the east branch of the Cooper River, by about 1710/11. A Thomas Commander married Sarah Griffen there on 1 April 1713.
The history of some of the Commander land in St. Thomas and St. Denis was traced in a 1736 land sale by Samuel Commander, Jr. and other heirs of Samuel Commander, Sr., to Josiah Smith, tracing the property to a 1711 grant to Samuel Commander, Sr., of 270 acres on the south side of SimonsÕ Creek, bounding E on Robert Swetman, S on Richard Beresford, W on Samuel Commander, and on the same date granted 500 acres in the same section bounding N on SimonsÕ Creek, E on Samuel Commander, S and W on Richard Beresford.
In 1737 Samuel Commander, Jr., was in Craven County on the Black River, on land granted 6 Aug 1735. There, Margaret BlackwellÕs brother Samuel married a Miss Commander.
The will of Samuel Commander Sr. was dated 17 Sep 1733:
Samuel Commander, Sr., Prince GeorgeÕs Parish, Craven County, planter. Wife: Elizabeth, residency on my plantation during her widowhood, then said plantation to son Joseph. Sns: Samuel, John; Joseph, said plantation, lot and house in Georgetown. Daughters Hannah Screven and Elizabeth Boutwell; Abigail, Dorothy, Frances, Rachel, latter 4 under age and unmarried. Exors: wife; Elisha Screven; sons Samuel and John. Wit: Joseph Roper, Thomas Petts, William Gardner, his mark. D: 197 Sept 1733. P: 29 Jan 1735. R: 15 Mar. 1735/6. P. 298 [Will book 1732-1737]
A 1736 grant for 600 acres on the Black River identifies Burtenhead Boutwell as a son-in-law of Samuel Commander [Sr.]. Thus Elizabeth Commander, a daughter of Samuel Commander, Sr., was married to Burtonhead Boutwell.
This document is copyright © 2008 by Lynn Teague. All rights reserved. The copyright must appear on all copies.
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