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Estate of William Cook – Anderson County, South Carolina

William Cook was my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather

My line is:

William Cook – Thomas D. Cook – Thomas Alexander Cook – Obia Hempie Cook Hill – Myrtle Argen Hill Winton – Ruby May Winton Vantine (my great-grandmother).

Any time I find probate records that include the inventory or sale of slave property, I include it in this blog so that it is in a format that is searchable and might be found by descendants of the African Americans that were enslaved by my ancestors. Otherwise, it is hidden in county record books that are not yet indexed.

I don’t know much about William Cook. He was born in Georgia around 1794. Died in Anderson County in March 1851. Married a woman named Sarah. He farmed near Starr, South Carolina. Their children: Thomas D., William L., Martha F., John T., Joseph ( who died during the War with Mexico), Moses, Samuel, Lucinda who married Alexander Avery, Nancy, who married Edwin Roach, and Mary, who married Richard P. Vernon.

Anderson County Inventories and Appraisments –  Volume III. Pages 70 – 73, 204:

Sale Bill of Personal Estate of Personal Estate of William Cook, Dec’d.

Negro Man Jacob, $57.00 – purchased by Sarah Cook. [What was different about Jacob that he was apparently only worth $57.00?]

Negro girl Caroline, $615.00 – purchased by Sarah Cook.

Negro woman Delphy, $572.00 – purchased by Thomas D. Cook.

Negro woman Clarissa & child, $700.00 – purchased by Samuel Cook.

1 girl Mary, $345.00 & girl Tabitha, $515.00 – purchased by Samuel Cook.

Woman Ann & child, $830.00 – purchased by Samuel Cook.

Negro boy Charles, $540.00 – purchased by Moses Cook.

1 Negro girl Eliza, $610.00 – purchased by Andrew Stevenson.

Negro boy Lewis, $730.00 – purchased by Thomas O. Hill.

Negro boy Tom, $770.00 – purchased by John Morgan.

Negro boy Edward, $750.00 – purchased by William M. Bell.

Negro boy Ben, $640.00 – purchased by ____ Wilburn.

Negro boy Winston, $570.00 – purchased by ____ Tucker.

Negro man Sam, $765.00 – purchased by R. L. Hardin.

[This sale was held in May 1851. A second sale was held on 5 July 1852. A ‘negro fellow’ named Simeon was sold for $405.00 and sold to J. C. Haynie.]
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


O’Bryan Family History

My great-great-great grandmother was Sarah Greene O’Bryan Davis. Daughter of Geraldus McDonald O’Bryan and Etna Luvina Daniel. She was born in North Carolina, but the family moved to Floyd County, Georgia sometime in the 1830s.

The following transcription is from an old typescript.

“O’Bryan History as recorded by Flora M. Laseter, from letters written to Mrs. Amanda Thomason by various members of the family. Flora is the oldest daughter of Geraldus McDonald Davis, and oldest granddaughter of Nathanial [sic] Jackson Davis, to reach maturity. The first grandchild passed away when an infant and was the child of William Carrison Davis, oldest son of Rev. Andrew Nathaniel Jackson Davis.

Greene [Geraldus or Giraldus] McDonald O’Bryan of Rome, Georgia was the son of Denis O’Bryan of Warrenton, North Carolina. His brothers were: Irvin T. O’Bryan, youngest, and Solomon Greene O’Bryan, who died about 1869.

Julian Bertrand O’Bryan, Attorney at Law, Tishomingo, Okla. son of Irvin T. O’Bryan, said his father had two sisters, he thought Francis was the name of one. He also said he had no brother or sisters living in 1916.

William C. O’Bryan, McGregor, Texas, as of 1916 was the oldest son of Solomon Greene O’Bryan, an attorney also.

John C. O’Bryan, Tulia, Texas, as of 1916 was the son of Solomon Greene O’Bryan. He was an Editor and Lawyer. About the age of Julian Bertrand O’Bryan, son of Irvin T. O’Bryan and like a brother to Julian.

Greene [Geraldus] McDonald O’Bryan was marred to Etna Daniels [Etna Luvina Daniel, daughter of Josephus & Clarrisa Arrene Harris Daniel of Granville Co., NC.] She passed away April 21, 1890. According to a letter written by Mrs. Mollie O’Bryan Grace to Andrew Nathaniel Jackson Davis, husband of Sarah Green O’Bryan Davis, sister to Mollie and daughter of [Geraldus] McDonald O’Bryan – Mollie said her mother (the writer’s great-grandmother, suffered a paralytic stroke, lived only eleven hours after the attack, was not conscious of her suffereing, did not speak but once sentence, ‘I am gone.’ Mollie wrote this February 11, 1918. Mrs. Mollie O’Bryan Grace also wrote that she had a brother to die with measles during the Civil War, she stated she was so young that she did not know about it until she was older.

Mollie O'Bryan Grace


[More to come later.]

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


John Thomason Estate (1776 – 1846)

About 15 years ago, my great-great aunt in California sent me several hand-written pages of family history.

The bulk of the information was concerning the Thomason family of Floyd, Hall, and Union Counties in Georgia.

This is the estate of my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather.

John Thomason is listed in the 1840 Census with six slaves. The sale of five is detailed in the information from my aunt.

“Estate of John [Y.J.] deceased.

Zimri Thomason, Harmon Thomas, Young thomason, Henry David Thomason, James Allen Thomason named on the Bond with ams of John Thomason deceased dated 2nd day of November 1841.

Twenty five hundred dollars Zimri and Harmon named administrators. Zimri Thomason, Hiram Thomason, Young Thomason, H.D. Thomason and J.A. Thomason.

E.M. Johnson ordinary other heirs named James W. Barton, Gaston Humphries, Young H. Barton, Andrew Elliot, Willson Pierce (also written Prince).

One daughter probably married Davis Barton 1821

One daughter probably married an Elliot

One daughter probably married a Humphries

One daughter probably married a Pierce.

Or else these were his nephews if not grandchildren.

Land Deeded

Hall Co. Georgia John Thomason to Y.J. Thomason Lot No. 16 in 12th district Aug 21, 1830 in Book C. page 250.

An inventory and sale of the real estate of John Thomason, deceased, sold at the court house in Gainsville, (Hall County, Georgia) on Tursday, Oct. the 5th 1847.

1. Part of Lot of land No 8 containing 90 acres bought by James A. Thomason – $611.00.

2. Elisa, a negro woman and 2 children bought by David Barton at $66.00.

3. A negro boy, Bill Henry bought by Col. J.J. Griffin at $727.00

4. A negro boy, Jim bought by David Barton at $597.00

Total amount of household and farm machinery was $359.71 1/2”

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Clarissa Arrene Harris Daniel

Last night while googling some ancestors names, I discovered a photograph of my great great great great great grandmother. Appears to be a scan of a tintype from the 1860s. A VERY exciting find!!

However — I also realized this was the first time I had looked into the face of one of my slave-owning ancestors.


Below are two abstracts from Granville County, North Carolina deed books. The first mentions Clarrissa by name. Her husband, Josephus Daniel, often went by Cephas or Cephus. 

Daniel, Cephas to A. E. Henderson [for the benifit [sic] of his wife Arena Daniel & children]…”woman named Esther & her four children named Delia, William, Washington & Jane & their future increase…”(DIT-1840,pp.310-311, book 10)

Daniel Cephas to A. E. Henderson…”one Negro man named Jim..” (DIT-1841, pp.367-368, book 10)


I don’t find Josephus Daniel listed in the 1850 Slave Schedules for Granville County. He does, however, show up in the enumeration for 1860. Listed as his property are eight enslaved persons. They range in age from 40 to just 6 years old. Below is a screenshot of the 1860 Schedule.

1860 Slave Schedule

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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


Gravestone Conservation

In my spare time, I am a cemetery conservator. These skills come in handy in my day job as well, since the museum I work for owns Tulsa’s oldest burying ground, the Perryman Cemetery.

Those who are interested can check out my website devoted to my gravestone work: Swart Monument Restoration.

Below: I am working to re-set the 1893 monument for Cynthia Ann Parrish, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, in the Coker Cemetery near Nowata, Oklahoma.


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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


C.J. Davis (1946 – 2012) Burial

My great-uncle CJ Davis died in December 2012. He was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Edmond, Oklahoma.




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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


Ruby Donica Swart Burial

We buried my great-aunt, Ruby Gertrude Donica Swart (1922 – 2012) beside Uncle Charles in December 2012 at Lone Star Cemetery Rocky, Washita County, Oklahoma.


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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized