Family of Robert Coleman Sr.
BY ROBERT A. IVEY
Robert was the son of William and Faith Godfrey Coleman and was born in Amelia County, Virginia, in 1710. He had five brothers and one sister.
His first wife was Susanne Phillips. Susanne was a member of the Huguenot Colony, Manakin of Virginia. They had two children, Lucy and Frances, both born in Amelia County, Virginia, in the 1730s. Susanne was deceased by 1739.
Robert was married a second time in 1740, to Ann Hinton, daughter of Christopher and Margaret Jones Hinton. They first lived in Amelia County, Virginia.
William Coleman Sr., Robert’s father, died in Amelia County in 1743, and Robert was made executor of his will. His father left him two hundred acres of land on the upper side of Wintocomake Creek.
Robert moved his family to Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1754. His daughter Lucy, married Thomas Draper while they lived in this county.
He moved his family from Virginia to within twelve miles of what later became Unionville, S. C., circa 1765. His land was just off Mill Creek, a tributary that flows into the Pacolet River. This creek was first called Clark’s Mill Creek in honor of John Clark, Sr., father of General Elijah Clark.
A traditional story states that Robert Coleman, Sr. had intended to move his family to Charleston, S. C., but Christopher’s wagon broke down while crossing Mill Creek, and they decided to settle right there.
He and some of his family members received North Carolina land grants in 1766 and 1767. Robert had six hundred acres surveyed on both sides of Mill Creek on January 1, 1766. Zachariah Bullock surveyed the land. He received a grant for this land from Mecklenburg County, N. C., on April 29, 1768.
When boundary lines were changed in 1772, the grant became part of Ninety Six District, and in 1785, a part of Union District.
Robert Coleman Sr. first served as a Patriot soldier under Col. Thomas Brandon at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. He deserted to the British and was named an outlaw in the proclamation of December 16, 1779.
He fought with the South Carolina Royalists and was an ensign on half pay at Savannah, Georgia, in 1780. By the time the British evacuated Fort Ninety Six, Robert, his wife, and most of his children had refugeed to Charleston, S. C. He died in Charleston in 1781.
Ann Hinton Coleman was issued a coffin for her stepdaughter on December 15, 1781, and for her husband on December 17, 1781. The coffin for the stepdaughter was for Frances, wife of Zacharias Gibbs, who died of small pox along with a son and 23 slaves. It is possible that Robert Coleman Sr. also died of this disease.
In the settling of Robert Coleman, Sr.’s estate, administrative bond was signed by Thomas Draper and John Haile before John Thomas Jr., Ordinary, on August 15, 1783. Administrators of the estate were Thomas and Lucy Coleman Draper. Major Zachariah Bullock, John Tollison and Adam Potter made an inventory of his estate on December 20, 1783. His lands were not confiscated.
Children Of Robert Coleman Sr. And His Wife, Susanne Phillips
1. Lucy Coleman. She was born before 1740, in Amelia County, Virginia, and by 1758, had married Thomas Draper, son of Thomas and Sarah ? Draper. They were living in Lunenburg County, Virginia at the time of their marriage. Thomas was born September 2, 1733, in Richmond County, Virginia.
She and her husband came with her father to South Carolina. They had eleven children: James, Sarah, William, Anne, Thomas, Philip, Catherine, Daniel, Travis, William and Joshua.
Several events possibly indicate that Thomas and Lucy refugeed to Charleston, S. C.
(a). A Traditional family account relates, that their slaves were transported to Charleston by the British (probably by other refugeeing Loyalist members of the family who had already gone to Charleston). The story states that Thomas went to Charleston to get his slaves.
(b). Lucy and her Husband became administrators of Robert Coleman Sr.’s estate after he died in Charleston in 1781, possibly because they were there with Robert when he died and had access to his will.
(c). One of the daughters of Frances Gibbs, Martha, was brought to her relatives (Lucy and Thomas) in Charleston. Lucy and Thomas are the relatives who took Martha to their house in the upstate.
Lucy died before her husband after 1803, and Thomas died circa 1811. In his will, Thomas Draper mentioned that his daughter, Catherine Burgess, wife of John, could keep Hannah and her children (already in her possession) if she paid into the estate the value of the slaves.
2. Frances Coleman. She was born before 1740, in Amelia County, Virginia. She married Zacharias Gibbs, son of John and Susanne Phillipe Gibbs, after the family had moved to what later became South Carolina. Zacharias was born in Virginia circa 1741.
Gibbs was a true Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. He moved with his family to South Carolina circa 1763, a little ahead of the Coleman’s. According to the writings of Dr. Bobby Moss, he owned a large plantation about four miles from the residence of Alexander Chesney.
In 1775, he marched with his Loyalist friends against the Patriots. He next served as a captain under Col. J. Robinson and was in the skirmish against Maj. Andrew Williamson on November 18, 1775. The Loyalist captured a fort in this encounter. He was captured in July of 1776, but quickly escaped.
He was later captured again and made a prisoner by Col. Thomas Brandon. When he signed a document stating that he would be executed if he took up arms against the Patriots again, he was permitted to return to his house.
After the battle of Savannah, he assisted in recruiting and organizing the Spartan Militia. On February 7, 1779, he fought with this unit and was captured in the battle of Kettle Creek. He was marched from Augusta, Georgia, and imprisoned at Ninety Six, where he received a sentence of execution.
The gallows were erected for the hanging of Gibbs and others, and their graves were dug. Each man was required to sign his own death warrant in April of 1779. However, Gov. Rutledge ordered their removal from Ninety-Six for security reasons, and only five were actually hanged.
Charles Draper, a relative of Thomas Draper, and (according to Alfred Jones) Randolph Hames, were two of the five hanged. Later accounts leave out Randolph Hames.
Later in the month Gibbs, with the other Loyalists, was released after signing an agreement that the sentence would be carried out if he took up arms against the Patriots again. He went to Virginia where he stayed for about two months.
He was commissioned major at Camden on July 6, 1779, and returned to Ninety Six District to recruit for the Spartan Militia. They joined their forces with Ferguson. He was on his way to Ferguson with new recruits when he received word that Ferguson had been killed at Kings Mountain.
He returned to Lt. Col. John H. Cruger at Ninety Six and served under him until the fort was evacuated in July of 1781. During this time he rose in rank and was made Lieutenant Colonel. He was a refugee in Charles Town from July 20, 1781, until the evacuation. He had sent his family and slaves to Charles Town by 1780, for his daughter, Susanne, tells of remembering the “second burning of Charles Town”. This was a reference to the “Siege of Charles Town” when the British captured the city.
While in Charles Town, his wife, Frances, a son and 23 slaves died of small pox in 1781. Frances’ stepmother, Ann Hinton Coleman, who was also living in Charles Town, S. C., applied for a coffin for her stepdaughter on December 15, 1781.
Zacharias married Jane Downes, widow of Major William Downes, after the death of his first wife. One of Jane’s daughters married Robert Cooper, a planter from Georgetown, S. C.
Gibbs and his 2nd wife, after leaving Charles Town, S. C., first went to East Florida and then to Jamaica. In September of 1785, Jane Downes Gibbs was living with her children at Springfield, in County Down, Ireland, and was supposed to join her husband soon in Nova Scotia, but according to a preserved document she was still living in Ireland in 1789. She had seven children by her two husbands.
He had received a grant for 1000 acres in Rawdon, Nova Scotia, and had settled there in 1784, alongside fifty-five other South Carolina Loyalists. Colonel Gibbs was very anxious about his separation from his wife and concerned about the welfare of his two little children by his first wife, Frances.
He unsuccessfully attempted to obtain his children. On one occasion he requested that a Loyalist friend, who was making a visit to South Carolina, make an inquiry about the girls. On his arrival there he was “maltreated and much abused” because of his war crimes.
He possibly went to the David and Mary Gibbs Cook family, who were keeping Susanne, for though this family had Loyalists’ connections they changed their allegiance and seemed to have nothing but contempt for Zacharias because of his loyalty to the king. The James Gibbs family also shared these feelings.
Letters to South Carolina were also not effective in securing them. A deposition taken in the 1850’s from Ann Withrow in Nova Scotia, stated that Zacharias talked a great deal about his first wife and the little girls, worried about them and expressed to Mrs. Withrow that he dreamed one night that he was talking to his first wife and how consoling it was to him.
Just before or after Frances Gibbs died of small pox in Charleston, S. C., in December of 1781, her daughters, Susanne and Martha, were sent to other relatives who were also living in the area. Martha was sent to live with the Thomas and Lucy Draper family, and Susanne was sent to live with the David and Mary Cook family.
David Cook, who married Zacharias’ sister, was probably a son of James Cook. He was first a Loyalist soldier and served sixty-six days after June 14, 1780, under Capt. James Gibbs, his brother-in-law, in the Spartan Militia. He was in the battle of Kings Mountain.
He evacuated Fort Ninety Six in July 1781, and was with his family in Charleston, S. C., when Zacharias Gibbs wife, Frances, died. In returning to the upstate, he had to sign an agreement that he would no longer bear arms against the Patriots.
Traditional family accounts state that James Gibbs was a Patriot when the war ended, but he is not listed in Dr. Moss’ Patriot Book. He probably also signed an agreement with the Patriots.
When these families went back to their homes in the upstate, the girls were carried with them. The Cooks lived in Spartanburg District and the Drapers lived in Union District. After living with the Cooks for several years, Susanne left them and traveled about 14 miles on foot to the Thomas Drapers where she lived until after she married.
Susanne married Daniel Draper, son of Thomas and Lucy Draper, her first cousin in 1798. She and her sister, Martha, were able to recover 450 acres of their father’s property in Spartanburg District on Kelso’s Creek and sold this land to David Cook and his son, John Cook, on November 16, 1799, for $300.00.
David and John Cook sold this land to Joseph Barnett on March 5, 1800, for $500.00. This land was called “the meeting house tract”. Sarah, wife of John Cook, relinquished her dower rights.
Martha moved to Smith County, Tennessee, with her sister and her husband, circa 1800. She married Henry Huddleston circa 1802.
Zacharias died at sea with companions, William Meek and John Law, circa 1793. He had sold his 1000 acres in Rawdon, Nova Scotia, and was hoping to be reunited with his wife in Ireland.
Children Of Robert Coleman And His Wife, Ann Hinton
1. Christopher Coleman. He was born circa 1741, and was named for his maternal grandfather, Christopher Hinton. He married Mary Marshall circa 1759, in Lunenburg County, Virginia.
He had 200 acres on Mill Creek of Pacolet River surveyed on December 15, 1766. Zachariah Bullock was the Surveyor, and Randolph Hames and Abner Coleman were chain bearers. He received a grant for this land from Mecklenburg County, N. C., on April 29, 1768.
On June 8, 1767, he had an additional 200 acres surveyed on Mill Creek. Zachariah Bullock was the Surveyor, and Thomas Draper and Randolph Hames were the chain bearers. He received a grant for this land from Mecklenburg County, N. C., on April 29, 1768.
This land became a part of Ninety Six District, S. C., in 1772, and a part of Union District in 1785.
The following were children of this couple: Robert, Prince, Stephen, Nancy, John, Hiram, Richard and possibly others.
He built a house on his property and from it operated a tavern before and during the Revolutionary War. It was called Christie’s Tavern. The article on Colemans in the Union County Heritage Book states: “It was said that he would turn no man away, even during the American Revolution. If the Tories were coming to rest and water their horses, the Whigs would scamper down a ramp built over the creek and hide in the woods.”
This is what he wrote in his diary: “I took quarters at Mr. Coleman’s, a quarter of a Mile from Camp. Mrs. Coleman is a very warm Tory. She has two Sons in Col. Innes’s Corps (Prince and Stephen). She has a family of small children and has been Mother of five in two Years. They have been greatly distressed by the rebels for their Loyalty. The House stripped of all the Beds and other furniture, and the Children of all their Cloaths (clothes).”After James (Horseshoe) Robinson was captured at Grindal’s Ford, he was carried about three miles to Christie’s Tavern the next day. Here he made his escape. Dr. Uzal Johnson, noted Tory Physician, on September 5, 1780, spent the night there.
The Reverend J. D. Bailey in his, History of Grindal Shoals, states: “According to a lingering tradition, Mrs. Coleman went out one dark rainy night, and near the house, buried a quantity of gold in a pot, and she never did unearth it, or tell where the deposit was made. It has been much hunted for.” She probably recovered the gold when they returned from Charleston.
The tavern stood until the lower to mid 1990’s. The remains of the house and chimney can still be seen where it stood just off Park Farm Road. The little branch that comes down the side and in front of where the old house stood is still called Coleman’s branch and flows into Mill Creek. It is approximately one mile from highway 18, after turning onto Robinson’s Farm Road.
(1). Robert Coleman, son of Christopher, was born circa 1760. He probably refugeed to Charleston, S C. with his parents, and returned after the death of his aunt, Frances. After returning to the upstate he served with the Patriots under Col. Thomas Brandon during the latter part of the Revolutionary War. He had no Loyalist record.He and his wife, refugeed to Charleston, S. C., and probably returned to their property in what is now Union County, S. C., after the death of his half sister, Frances Coleman Gibbs.Christopher served under Col. Brandon before deserting to the British. He joined the British and was named an outlaw in the proclamation of December 16, 1779. He served as a major with the South Carolina Royalists and was listed on half-pay at Savannah, Georgia, in 1780.
He married Elizabeth (Trecy) Smith, who was born circa 1765. They had five boys and five girls. Deed abstracts indicate that Robert Coleman received the original 600 acre tract from his grandfather, Robert Coleman Sr., “by decent as heir at law” (primogeniture).
He sold 300 acres of this land to his uncle, Abner Coleman, Sr., on July 29-30, 1786. The 300 acres was all on the “north side of Clarks Mill Creek including Coleman’s old fields”. The land was bounded by land belonging to Peter Coplin, William Hodge, Abner Coleman Sr., Thomas Draper and Robert Coleman.
Dio Cleason Robertson at age 12 was bonded through the Newberry County Court to Robert Coleman of Union County following the death of his father, John B. Robertson, in late 1816.
He was to remain with Robert Coleman until age 21 at which time he was to receive a horse, saddle, bridle and $21.00. Robert Coleman died on June 18, 1823, and Dio Cleason (age 19) with two of his older sisters and two younger brothers moved to Sevier County, Tennessee.
Dio married Elizabeth Carr. They named their last son, Robert Coleman Robertson. Their son, Robert, became a Methodist Minister.
One source states that James Robertson, made famous when John Pendleton Kennedy of Virginia wrote a book about him entitled, Horseshoe Robinson, was Dio Cleason’s uncle and his father’s brother.
David Robertson and his wife, Frances Burchfield, first settled on Thicketty Creek in what is now Cherokee County, S. C., and were parents of James and John B. Robertson.
Robert Coleman died in 1823, and his wife, Elizabeth (Trecy), died July 15, 1838. She and her husband were buried in the Gilead Baptist Church cemetery in unmarked graves near the marked graves of their son, Bartley Coleman, and his wife, Elizabeth Poole Coleman.
(2). Nancy, married William White Sr., son of Isaac and Mary White. Their first child was named Coleman White. William White owned property on Sandy Run Creek, which was very near the area of the Coleman’s.
William was a Loyalist soldier and served from June 14, 1780, under Lt. Samuel Young and Maj. Zacharias Gibbs in the Spartan Militia. He was in the battle of Kings Mountain.
He last served under Col. Thomas Pearson in the Little River Militia. He evacuated Fort Ninety Six with Lt. Col. John H. Cruger and was a refugee with his wife and two children in Charleston, S. C., during late 1781.
He received charitable donations as a refugee from Ninety Six District in Charleston during 1781, February 8, 1782, and August 10, 1782. He and his family returned to their land in what is now Union County, S. C., after the death of Frances.
William White died January 23, 1819, in Union District, S. C.
*Isaac White was the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of the writer. Samuel Smith, a Patriot soldier, married Sarah White, sister of the above William White. The Whites and Smiths were from Pennsylvania.
(3). Prince Coleman first served as a Loyalist soldier under Col. Alexander Innes in 1780 according to Dr. Uzal Johnson’s diary. He was mustered February 24, 1781, at Camden and October 24, 1781, (while in the General Hospital) under Capt. Alexander Campbell in the S. C. Royalists.
He was mustered April 24, 1782, at James Island under Capt. Charles Stewart Lindsay in the same unit. On April 24, 1783, he was mustered at St. Augustine, Florida, under Capt. Alexander Campbell. There is no record of Patriot service.
(4). Stephen Coleman served with the South Carolina Royalists as a sergeant under Captain Faight Risinger’s Company and was in Savannah, Georgia, on December 1, 1779. According to Dr. Uzal Johnson’s diary, he was serving with Col. Alexander Innes in 1780. There is no record of Patriot service.
(5). John Coleman probably refugeed to Charleston with his parents and returned after the death of his aunt, Frances. He served thirty-four days in the militia during the latter part of the Revolutionary War as a Patriot soldier.
John Coleman sold a part of Christopher Coleman’s land to Patsy (Patty) Coleman, daughter of William Coleman, Sr. on December 15, 1809. Betty, John’s wife, relinquished her dower rights. He moved his family to Davies Co., Indiana, in 1811.
He married Mary Hart on June 18, 1825, and died in Indiana within six months after his second marriage. He and his first wife had four sons and five daughters.
(6). Hiram Coleman probably refugeed to Charleston. He was not old enough to participate in the War for Independence.
He is found several times witnessing land transactions with his friend, Charles Jones. He witnessed two land transactions of Nathaniel Gist in 1818, and he and Nathaniel Gist witnessed a deed made by William Harvey to John Jones, brother of Charles, in 1819.
Hiram purchased 150 acres on waters of Rocky Creek from Daniel A. Mitchell, Sheriff, on May 29, 1820. The property was known as the Jesse Liles’ old plantation.
John and Herod Gibson borrowed $157.00 from Hiram in 1821 and mortgaged their land, cattle and household goods to him. Charles Jones witnessed the transaction.
He witnessed a land transaction between Nathaniel Gist and William T. Kirby on October 7, 1822, in Spartanburg County, S. C.
On August 5, 1823, Hiram Coleman purchased a tract of 200 acres on waters of Pacolet River from Daniel A. Mitchell, Sheriff.
Hiram and his nephew, Bartley Coleman, witnessed a deed conveyed by John Coleman, son of Robert and grandson of Christopher, to his mother, Trecy Coleman, on January 11, 1825. Isabel Coleman, John’s wife, relinquished her dower rights.
Hiram sold 150 acres to Henry Gault on January 10, 1825. The land was adjacent to “Ison’s old place”. He probably lived near the Nathaniel Gist’s and the Charles Jones’ families.
Charles Jones taught in a school erected on the grounds of the Gilead Baptist Church and was also a postmaster before he moved to the state of Tennessee. Nathaniel Gist was the father of General States Rights Gist who was killed in the War Between the States.
At the time of the writing of this sketch, the homes of Nathaniel Gist and Charles Jones were still standing.
Christopher died in 1784 and the administrative papers state that he lived in Ninety Six District. William White, his son-in-law, was administrator of his estate. Signers of the administrative bond were: William White, Abner Coleman and William Coleman. It was signed before John Thomas, Ordinary.
An Inventory of his property was made on December 8, 1784, by Adam Potter, Thomas Draper and Charles Hames. A sale was held on December 28, 1784, and buyers were John White, William Coleman Jr., Isaac Samson and Thomas Palmer.
On September 6, 1788, William White sold three slaves: woman, Pheby, and her increase; Dick (about 15 years of age); and Ned (about 13 years of age) to Thomas Stribling Jr. for 200 pounds sterling. Claybon Stribling witnessed the transaction. They had been the property of Christopher Coleman and were recovered by Thomas Stribling, Jr.
(7) Richard Coleman, possibly refugeed with his family, to Charleston, S. C. He was not old enough to participate in the Revolutionary War and was listed in the 1800 and 1810 U. S. Censuses with a wife and several children.
In the 1800 census, there was a female 45 and up living with his family, who may have been his mother, Mary Marshall Coleman. It appears that he and his family left South Carolina before 1820.
2. Philip Coleman. He fought with his neighbor, Capt. John Nuckolls, in the war against the Cherokee Indians on February 9, 1771. He was a sergeant. Fighting with him in this skirmish was his brother, William. He witnessed a deed transaction between Joab Mitchell and Thomas Draper on May 2, 1776, before his brother, Christopher Coleman, Justice of the Peace.
He served under Col. Thomas Brandon with the Patriots before deserting to the British. He was probably at the battle of Kettle Creek for he was accused of sedition and held in the Ninety Six jail. From here he was taken to Orangeburg, S. C., for trial in 1779.
He served as a Loyalist under Col. Daniel Plummer in the Fairforest Militia. He was under Ferguson from June 14 to October 1780 and was in the battle of Kings Mountain. He probably refugeed to Charleston, S. C., and returned to his house in the upstate after the death of his sister, Frances.
He died in 1785, and John Haile, Adam Potter, and his brother, William Coleman, signed the administrative bond before John Thomas, Jr., Ordinary. On August 4, 1785, his Negro slave, a boy named Sam, was appraised in Union County, S. C., by Adam Potter, Samuel Littlejohn, and Lawrence Easterwood.
3. Abner Coleman, Sr. was born circa 1755. He was a Loyalist soldier and served from June 14, 1780, under Capt. Shadrack Lantrey and Maj. Daniel Plummer in the Fair Forest Militia. He was in the battle of Kings Mountain.
Abner evacuated Fort Ninety Six with Lt. Col. John H. Cruger. He probably refugeed to Charleston, S. C., and returned to his house in the Upstate after the death of his sister, Frances.
Prior to April 13, 1782, he deserted to the Patriots. His Loyalist’s pay was issued to Mrs. Elizabeth Nixon, for her son, Thomas Nixon, who served in the same regiment.
Abner Coleman and his wife, Susannah (Ann), and his brother, William Coleman, sold land to Nathaniel Gordan in 1788. No records now exist indicating how the brothers received this land. It was probably though their father’s will, but the copy of this will has been lost.
Abner Coleman Sr. gave 90 acres of land to his son Hezekiah, on the north side of Mill Creek on September 13, 1811. The deed transaction mentions their son, Abner, Jr.
Hezekiah sold his land to Philip Coleman, son of William, on December 26, 1811. His cousin, Richard, witnessed the transaction. Hezekiah’s wife, Elizabeth Belue, relinquished her right of dower. They moved their family to Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Abner Coleman Sr. sold 90 acres to Thomas Little on December 25, 1816. The land was on the north side of Mill Creek and was part of a tract granted to Robert Coleman (Sr.).
He moved his wife and the remainder of his family to Georgia before 1820, to be near his son and died there in 1825.
4. Mary (Margaret) Coleman. She married William Meeks, son of John and Elizabeth Mitchell Meeks. He was born in Ireland in 1750. His father died in Ireland in 1765, and his mother, Elizabeth, brought her six children to this country circa 1768.
Elizabeth and her son, John, settled in Ninety Six District, later (Laurens District) and William settled in Ninety Six District (later Union District).
William was a Loyalist soldier and was with Cunningham in the 1775 encounter at Ninety Six. He kept himself in concealment until Campbell arrived in Georgia. He attempted to join Campbell but was captured.
After giving security for his good behavior, and because of his youth, he was allowed to go back to his family. He remained there until Charleston fell to the British. Once again he joined Campbell and served in the militia until the evacuation of Charleston.
He served as a wagon master and was in that capacity under Lt. Col. John H. Cruger at the siege of Fort Ninety Six. William Meek and Mary, his wife, refugeed to Charleston, S. C.
From there they moved to Rawdon, Nova Scotia. His land was confiscated, and he lost two hundred fifty acres. They left behind two sons and a daughter who became Patriots. The children were probably left with William’s mother, Elizabeth, who lived with her son, John. John was a Patriot soldier and fought under General Francis Marion.
Col. Thomas Pearson testified that he saw the will of Robert Coleman, Sr. and that he had left his daughter, Mary, 150 acres and two slaves. William received a grant for 500 acres in Nova Scotia but sold 250 acres in October of 1792.
William’s brother, Samuel, was also a Loyalist, and he and his wife, Leslie, also refugeed to Nova Scotia. They had nine sons.
William wrote to his brother, Samuel, and told him that he, Zacharias Gibbs and John Law were sailing to England. They intended to go on to Ireland. The ship left port at Halifax in 1792 or 1793, and was lost at sea.
Mary Coleman Meek, wife of William, lived on in Rawdon and died there circa 1824.
5. Faithful Coleman. She married Randolph Hames, son of William and Winifred Fann Hames. He was born January 22, 1743. He served as a Patriot soldier under Col. Thomas Brandon before deserting to the British.
He was named in the proclamation of December 16, 1779, as an outlaw. E. Alfred Jones, of London, England, states that he was executed at Ninety-Six for his Loyalist activities. This would mean that he fought in the battle of Kettle’s Creek and was captured with his brother-in-law, Zacharias Gibbs, and others after that battle.
He and his wife had three children: John, Winifred (Susannah) and Nancy.
John married Sarah Liles, daughter of Jesse and Susan Belue Liles. He was born October 31, 1767, and died March 1, 1844. Sarah was born October 28, 1768, and died October 24, 1845. Their only child, Susannah, married John Eison, Esq. on July 20, 1813.
John Eison died circa 1826. He had two sons by his second wife, Susannah Hames: John and William.
Winifred married Green Burrough. On July 15, 1805, Green Burrough sold John Coleman, son of Christopher, 99 acres of land, which he had purchased from John Gibson. This land was adjacent to lands owned by the Hailes, Pooles, Hames and Robert Coleman.
Faithful (Faithey) Coleman Hames died in 1801, in Union County, S. C. She left her son, John, a Negro girl now in his possession and half the value of negro Jude. She left her son-in-law, Green Burrough, half the value of Jude.
To her daughter, Winifred, she left a Negro girl, Edy, now in her possession. Her daughter, Nancy, received five Negro children. John and Nancy were executors of her estate.
Family members still live on the original grant of land that Randolph Hames received.
6. William Coleman. He and his wife, Mary Randolph Coleman, refugeed to Charleston, S. C., probably traveling with his mother and father. He was recommended on August 1780, by the commandant of Charles Town to be restored to the privileges of a British subject.
He signed an oath to the King on August 28, 1780. He possibly fought with the Patriots with his father and brothers, Philip and Christopher, but is not listed in Dr. Moss’s book. He may not have joined with the Loyalists until they moved to Charleston.
After the death of his sister, Frances, and his return to the upstate, he served as a Patriot soldier under Col. Thomas Brandon. William Sr. may have been married twice and his son, William Coleman Jr., was possibly a child by a first wife. This son also fought under Col. Brandon.
William and his wife, Mary, sold 197 acres of land to Nicholas Harris on June 21-22, 1787. In 1800, he owned 17 slaves.
On November 2, 1801, William Coleman gave eleven slaves to his son, Philip Coleman: Morgin, York, Dick, Moses, Mark, Ned, Wiley, Fillis, Anica, Peg and Hager. He also gave him some cattle, sheep, hogs, and household furniture. William White and Robert Gibson witnessed the transaction.
Philip Coleman, son of William, and his brother, Robert, were business partners in 1809 and 1810, and made loans to some of the farmers in their neighborhood.
William Coleman died in 1808. On January 16, 1811, part of his children purchased 121 acres from Robert Coleman, their brother. It was part of a tract of land on which he lived.
The children were listed as: Patsy Coleman, Philip Coleman, Elizabeth Coleman, John Guyton (husband of Mary Coleman), Thomas Lantrip (husband of Rebecca Coleman), Ann Thompson, Francis Coleman and Charlotte Coleman.
Apparently, William Jr. had already moved out of the bounds of the state of South Carolina at this time. Abner Coleman, as a Loyalist, served under Capt. Shadrack Lantrip, father of the above Thomas Lantrip.
Philip Coleman purchased an additional 211 acres from his brother, Robert, on January 21, 1811, for $470.00. Robert recorded in the deed that it was the “plantation where I now live”.
Philip Coleman sold 90 acres to Thomas Little on April 19, 1816, on waters of Mill Creek and stated that it was part of a tract granted to Robert Coleman. Martha C. Coleman, wife of Philip, relinquished her dower rights to the above property before William Henderson, one of the Justices of the Quorum, on May 8, 1817. He had purchased the property from Hezekiah Coleman, son of Abner Coleman Sr.
Philip sold 120 acres on November 24, 1817, to Robert Coleman, his brother. Martha, wife of Philip, relinquished her dower rights. The deed stated that the land had been granted to Robert Coleman Sr.
Robert Coleman, son of William, was born circa 1784. He was first married to Judith Saxon Guyton, daughter of Moses and Tabitha Saxon Guyton, circa 1810. One genealogical source states that Judith was first married to John Herron. The writer has no confirmation of this union. They had four children: two sons and two daughters.
He sold 118 ½ acres of land to Charles Petty for $150.00 on February 2, 1819. This was land he had received from the will of his wife’s father. It was bounded by property owned by John Amos, Amos Austell and William Bostick. The transaction was witnessed by Michael Gaffney and Drury Wood.
He and his wife operated Coleman’s Tavern in what is now the Goucher Creek community. Robert Mills shows its location on his map of Spartanburg County, S. C. in 1820.
He married Polly Benton in Bibb County, Georgia, on October 9, 1827, and died in Forsyth County, Georgia, circa 1840. They had a son, Robert Coleman, born in Indian Springs, Georgia, circa 1834.
Most of William’s children appear to have left the state before 1820 or shortly after this. His daughter, Frances, was listed in the 1830 U. S. Census of Union County, S. C.
*A Robert Coleman is on some lists of the children of Robert and Ann Hinton Coleman. There are no court, census or military records of this Robert Coleman in South Carolina. Perhaps a mistake was made because Robert Coleman, the elder, was sometimes referred to as Robert Coleman Sr. and Robert Coleman, son of Christopher, was referred to as Robert Coleman Jr.
In the addenda, the writer is seeking to project some possible reasons for the drastic actions taken by the Coleman family.
It appears to this writer that there were three traumatic events that affected the conduct of this family.
1. The execution of a son-in-law, Randolph Hames, by the Patriots. The writer has chosen to accept Alfred Jones statement that the brother-in-law of Zacharias Gibbs was one of the five executed at Ninety-Six following the Battle of Kettle Creek. He was a British writer and had access to British records of Revolutionary War events. It is true that later articles leave Randolph Hames off the list of five. Whether the execution took place at this time or not, it still appears that this is what happened to Hames.
Gen. Andrew Pickens, who married Rebecca Calhoun, was involved in numerous Revolutionary War battles, and wrote that Kettle Creek was the “severest chastisement” for the Loyalists in South Carolina and Georgia.
Robert Coleman Sr., and his sons, Christopher and Philip Coleman, first fought with the Patriots commanded by Col. Thomas Brandon.
Randolph Hames, son-in-law of Robert Coleman, first fought with the Patriots. Robert’s son-in-laws, Zacharias Gibbs and William Meek fought only with the Loyalists.
Abner fought at first with the Loyalists because he was not old enough to engage in the conflict when his family was fighting with Col. Brandon.
Anger over the death of Randolph Hames must have been the catalyst that turned the Coleman’s from loyalty to the cause of freedom to allegiance to the crown.
2. Fighting with the Loyalists and fleeing for their lives. The Loyalists were defeated at Fort Ninety Six, and many of the Coleman family refugeed to Charleston.
Records indicate that Robert Coleman Sr. and his wife, Ann; his son-in-law, Zacharias Gibbs and his wife, Frances; his son, William and his wife, Mary; Thomas Draper and his wife, Lucy; Christopher and his wife, Mary Marshall; and William Meek and his wife, Mary, were in Charleston at varied times.
Philip and Abner were probably there. Children of the above families were also possibly with their families. Faithful Coleman may have remained in the upstate for her husband, Randolph Hames, had already been killed.
3. The death of Frances Coleman Gibbs. Frances, her son and numerous slaves died with small pox. It is possible that Robert Coleman Sr. also died with this disease. Dr. Bobby Moss told the writer that the colonists feared small pox more than they feared the muzzle of a gun.
It is apparent that after the death of Frances, the Coleman family began to quickly move back to the upstate. William Coleman Sr. and his son, William Jr.; Abner Coleman; and Robert Coleman and John, sons of Christopher; all joined with the Patriots and fought with them after they moved back from Charleston.
The others: Christopher, Philip and William White, son-in-law of Christopher Coleman, and Thomas Draper, son-in-law of Robert Coleman Sr., had to sign statements before a Justice of the Peace that they would never bear arms against the Patriots again. William Meek and Zacharias Gibbs fled from Charleston and eventually settled in Nova Scotia.
William Meek’s children probably remained with his mother in Laurens S. C., and Zacharias Gibbs girls: Susanne and Martha, moved to the upstate from Charleston and lived with the David Cook and Thomas Draper families.
The death of Frances also affected the Gibbs family. David Cook, who married Mary Gibbs, and Mary’s brother, James, came back to the upstate and signed agreements not to fight against the Patriots.
Thus all but Zacharias Gibbs and William Meek had associated themselves with the Patriots’ cause before the Revolutionary War was over. Only Gibbs and Meek had their properties confiscated. Robert Coleman Sr.’s property was spared because of the will he made in Charleston. All of his will’s recipients, except Mary Coleman Meek, had joined in the cause for freedom by the war’s end.
Gilead Baptist Church And The Colemans
Robert Coleman, son of Christopher, helped to establish the Gilead Baptist Church in 1804 and served as its first clerk. The church was regarded as a part of the Grindal Shoals community at this time and was on the Grindal Shoals road.
It was early referred to as Coleman’s Meeting House because the Colemans were the prime contributors to the construction of a place for worship. Robert Coleman helped members of the Coleman family and his neighbors’ children.
Robert Coleman was a delegate from Gilead when the church joined the Bethel Association in 1805. He was a delegate to several associational meetings.
The church was dissolved in 1817, and re-established the latter part of that year. Robert Coleman was clerk of the special meeting that recommended its continuance. He was also elected as one of the church’s first trustees.
He was still church clerk when he died on June 18, 1823. His funeral services were conducted at the Gilead church. The Reverends Elias Mitchell and Hezekiah McDougal, co-pastors from 1823-1825, were probably the participating ministers.
John (son of Christopher) and his first wife, Betty, were members of Gilead Baptist Church when it was constituted. He was elected delegate to several associational meetings.
Abner Coleman (son of Robert Coleman) and his wife, Susannah, were constitutional members of the Gilead Baptist Church, and he served as one of its first deacons.
John Hames (son of Randolph) and his wife, Sarah Liles, were constitutional members of the Gilead Baptist Church. John served as first treasurer of the church and as one of its first trustees. He was a delegate to several associational meetings.
John’s only child, Susannah Hames Eison, was also an early member.
Both of her sons, John Hames Eison and Fredrick William Eison, were early members of the Gilead church. Fredrick W. first married Caroline Jones, daughter of Charles and Rebecca Floyd Jones, and John H. married Eliza H. Jones, daughter of John and Eustacia Floyd Jones. The Jones families were also members of Gilead.
Ed Aycock, great grandson of F. W., furnished the following information about his great grandfather:
“F. W. Eison rode into the wagon yard of a group of Confederate soldiers encamped near the Grindal Shoals Presbyterian Church on Saturday morning, April 29, 1865, mounted on his ‘fine horse’.”
Major Job Morgan wrote a letter to N. B. Eison on February 7, 1913, in which he wrote: “I was sitting on a log writing a Confederate voucher for him (F. W. Eison).
Suddenly a man rode up to the citizen (F. W.) and said I am Capt. Williams, I am gong to the Trans Mississippi, I am going to have that horse, get off him or I will kill you.” (Williams was a part of Wheeler’s Brigade of the 9th Kentucky Calvary.)
“He seemed to be very intoxicated. I think he grabbed the citizen’s horse by the bridle and about the same time struck the citizen a hard blow on the head with a colt’s navy—the edge of the cylinder cut the flesh at the top of his head, and the blood tricked down over his face.
At that juncture the citizen said to me, ‘Capt. I am on business with you. I claim your protection.’”
In a letter written to N. B. Eison on September 10, 1910, he wrote: “Eison sat unmoved eyeing the drunk Captain. And as I stepped between them, the Capt. (Williams) cocked his pistol and presented it at the citizen’s breast.
I reached for the Capt.’s navy with my right hand. He raised it suddenly, and I missed it. He instantly leveled it again at the citizen’s breast and I made a quick grab and caught the pistol around the cylinder and bore it down, and it fired into the citizen’s horse’s flank.
The fingers of my left hand were grasping the cylinder and my little finger stung like it might be shot off, but it was not hurt. At this time I ran out from between them, the citizen dropped to the ground on his feet, instantly drew a small pistol from a back pocket and with lightning like swiftness fired two shots into the Capt.’s body near the navel.
He sure put it off to the very last minute of time to save himself. I whispered to the citizen to get away from there, and he went—left his wounded horse.”
Ed Aycock said that the horse ran to Sandy Run Creek and died. He further stated that his great grandfather escaped to the Cedar Grove section of Union County, where he stayed with Mr. James Fernandis for awhile.”
F. W. received a pardon issued on September 27, 1865, signed by President Andrew Johnson and Acting Secretary of State, William Seward. The family still has the original pardon. He was the great grandson of Faithful Coleman Hames.
Napoleon B. Eison, son of F. W. Eison, was an officer in the Confederate army and acted as a courier and scout for Gen. M. C. Butler. While at home on furlough for recruiting purposes, he learned of the deaths of Capt. John E. Hames, his brother, Sgt. Charles Hames, and Henry Foster at the Battle of Second Manassas on August 30, 1862.
John and Charles were sons of Lemuel and Nancy Jones Hames and his wife, Ann’s brothers. John bled to death from a thigh wound, Charles was killed by a shell and Henry, his cousin, son of John and Jane Foster, was shot in the stomach.
He had John Rogers of Union make several zinc-lined coffins and two weeks after the battle he traveled from Jonesville to Manassas Junction by train with a servant and exhumed the Hames’ bodies and the body of his cousin, Henry Foster. The coffins were soldered shut at Manassas. He brought the bodies back to the Gilead church where they were interred.
He also brought back the body of Col. James Gadberry and carried it to Union, S. C. Gadberry was buried in the Presbyterian cemetery.
He brought his horse, Henry, home with him from the war and when the animal died he had him buried in the front lawn at his house in Jonesville, S. C.
William Coleman (son of Robert) and his family could have had early involvement in the Gilead church, but it is difficult to establish because of the gap in church records.
Hiram Coleman, son of Christopher, witnessed a deed made by George McKnight to the Gilead Baptist Church in 1819. He was a member of Gilead.
Robert Coleman’s son, Absolem, and his family were probably members at Gilead. Absolem sold his property (240 acres on Mill Creek) to Thomas Walker on August 17, 1832, and moved his wife, Martha, and family to Attala County, Mississippi, where he died in 1839.
The Nullification movement in the 1830s affected the Gilead church. Two of its members, Reubin Coleman and John Hames Eison, were members of the Pacolet Blues, commanded by Capt. Joseph Starke Sims.
Robert Coleman’s wife, Elizabeth (Trecy) Smith Coleman, died July 15, 1838, and her funeral services were held at the Gilead church. The Reverend Ambrose Ray, pastor from 1837-1844, probably conducted the services.
Absolem Ward, son of Nathaniel, married Nancy Ann Coleman, daughter of Robert, and they joined Gilead by experience in 1838. He was a delegate to several associational meetings.
Bartley Coleman (son of Robert) and his wife, Elizabeth Stovall Poole, joined Gilead in 1838. Mary (Polly) Coleman (Bartley’s sister & oldest daughter of Robert) also joined at this time. He was delegate to the associational meeting in 1839.
Reubin Coleman, son of Robert, and his wife, Letitia Faucett, joined Gilead in 1840. He was elected church clerk after joining the church and continued in this capacity until his death in February of 1859. He was ordained a deacon at Gilead on April 13, 1844, and served as delegate to several associational meetings. He also served as Justice of the Peace in his community.
Christopher, son of Bartley and Elizabeth Coleman, joined Gilead in 1840. He was elected church clerk after the death of his uncle Reubin, and served from 1859 through 1865, and was also a delegate to several associational meetings.
Elizabeth Coleman (daughter of Robert) married Ralph Lemaster and they were members of Gilead for several years.
John Hames, son of Randolph and Faithful Coleman, died March 1, 1844. His funeral services were conducted at Gilead by the Reverends Ambrose Ray and John Kendrick. He was buried in Gilead cemetery in a marked grave. His wife, Sarah, died October 24, 1845. She was the last of the constitutional members.
On June 10, 1849, Martin (son of Bartley) and his wife, Emaline ? Coleman, joined Gilead by letter.
Six Colemans from Union County, S. C., fought with the Confederacy: Charles Lipscomb Coleman (son of Reubin), William G. Coleman (son of Reubin), Thomas Coleman, Thomson Coleman, James H. Coleman (son of Reubin) and Robert D. Coleman. Charles L. Coleman died of disease while serving. Several of these men were buried in the Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery.
James Henry Coleman (son of Reubin and grandson of Robert) became church clerk in 1866 and was delegate to several associational meetings. He remained as clerk until 1876, when he resigned to help establish the Jonesville Baptist Church.
He was a constitutional member of the Jonesville church and one of its first deacons. He gave lumber to help build the first church building. He was married twice and his wives were: Elvira Harmon and Pamelia Percilia Walker. He died in 1890 and was buried in Gilead cemetery. He was a Confederate Veteran.
Bartley Coleman, son of Robert, died on December 24, 1870, and his funeral services were conducted at the Gilead church, probably by the Reverend Bryant Bonner, pastor from 1868-1871. He was a veteran of the War of 1812.
Uzal Johnson, Loyalist Surgeon, by Bobby Gilmer Moss; The Loyalists At Kings Mountain by Bobby Gilmer Moss; The Loyalists In The Siege of Fort Ninety Six by Bobby Gilmer Moss; Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution by Bobby Gilmer Moss; Journal of Capt. Alexander Chesney, Edited by Bobby Gilmer Moss; Unpublished Manuscript on South Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution by Bobby Gilmer Moss.
Union County Heritage, Edited by Mannie Lee Mabry; Union County Cemeteries by Mrs. E. D. Whaley, Sr.; History of Grindal Shoals by the Rev. J. D. Bailey; Union County, South Carolina, Deed Abstracts, Vols. 1-3, by Brent H. Holcomb; A History of Union County, South Carolina, by Union County Historical Foundation; Union County, South Carolina, Marriage Records Compiled by Tommy J. Vaughan & Michael Becknell.
The Narrative History of Union County, South Carolina, by Allan D. Charles; Union County, South Carolina, Will Abstracts, 1787-1849, by Brent Howard Holcomb; Union County, South Carolina, Death Notices Compiled by Tommy J. Vaughan; Horseshoe Robinson by John Pendleton Kennedy; Union County, South Carolina Minutes of the County Court, 1785-1799, by Brent H. Holcomb; Court Records of Union County (Probate and Land Conveyances), South Carolina Archives.
North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina by Brent Holcomb; South Carolina Bible Records, Edited by Dorothy Harris Phifer; Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, Vol. 1, by Murtie June Clark; The Journal of Alexander Chesney, a South Carolina Loyalist in the Revolution and After, Edited by E. Alfred Jones of London, England. Recollections and Reminiscences, 1861-1865, South Carolina Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1990.
Spartanburg County/ District, South Carolina, Deed Abstracts, Books A-T, 1785-1827, by Albert Bruce Pruitt; Spartanburg District, S. C., Deed Abstracts, Books U-W, 1827-1839, by Larry Vehorn; Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Will Abstracts, 1787-1840, Compiled by Brent H. Holcomb; Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, 1785-1799, by Brent H. Holcomb; The History of Pacolet, Vol. 2, Edited by Willie Fleming and Annie B. Blackwell. The Union Daily Times, Monday, July 27, 1998, Strange Death by the Pacolet River, by James Reed Eison, page 1 and back of the page of this paper.
The Bluff Springs Colemans, a 350 Year Journey, 1656-2004, by Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.; The Robert Coleman Family, From Virginia to Texas, 1652-1965, by J. P. Coleman; Laurens County, South Carolina, Wills, 1784-1840, by Colleen Elliott; The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. LXXX, No. 2, April 1979, pg. 172-181, Loyalists Trials At Ninety Six, 1779, by Robert Scott Davis, Jr.; Descendants of John and Nancy Floyd by Mary Fay Campbell Schertz.
Unpublished Manuscript on Robertson Family; Letters from Gary Hunt (Coleman and Draper); Letter from Robert S. Allen, Sevierville, Tennessee, (Dio Cleason Robertson); Coleman and Associated Families, Gencircles.com & Coleman Family Data published in RootsWeb’s World Connect Project.
Unpublished Manuscripts on Coleman and Draper Families by Suzanne W. Watt; Huddleston Family by Roy Huddleston, posted on GenForum of Ancestry.com; Coleman Family Data in Gilead Baptist Church Clerk’s Records; Bethel Baptist Association Minutes; Broad River Baptist Association Minutes.
*The writer is deeply indebted to Dr. Bobby Moss for his devotion and dedication to the task of preserving the military history of many of the Patriots and Loyalists who engaged in a conflict that produced the liberties we now enjoy. He has been of great assistance in the writing of this article.