n Copies of the hardback
are being sold to help raise funds for preservation effort.
BY NANCIANNE PARKES SUBER
Journal keepers are one of the biggest blessings you can find in your family research. If only every family could have at least one.
A perfect example appears in the Diary of David Gavin: St. George's Parish, Dorchester County, South Carolina, 1855-1874 which was recently published by the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society (UDCHS) in Dorchester County, SC.
The diary is the personal work of a South Carolina plantation owner, Maj. David Gavin (1811-1874), who was a planter, surveyor, attorney and politician active in community and state affairs. After his death, his diary and a ledger of accounts were found in a trash bin on Texas Plantation and fortunately preserved by his family.
Gavin was a bachelor, which may partially explain why he could be such a devoted journalist, but he managed his brothers' farms as well as his own and was very close to his nieces and nephews. Part of the charm of this work is the author's insight into all theworld around him and the advice this Southern gentleman freely offered to his family and friends.
The diary begins with almost daily entries that describe Gavin's life in minute detail. In fact he wrote voraciously about everyone he knew and came in contact with during that 20-year period ... and that includes his many Mississippi contacts.
Gavin's ties to Mississippi precede the 1855 diary date for his grandparents lived and died here.Gavin himself owned land in Clarke County, Miss., and made many trips to the state on horseback.Many of his S.C. neighbors had migrated to this state when the Indian Lands were opened in 1817, so Gavin had many close friends and family he kept contact with.
Trips to our state in 1832, 1835, and 1841, when he purchasedhis own Mississippi land, were mentioned in the diary, but as he traveled he kept separate journals of each journey. Only one of these survived on paper ... the account of ahorseback trip from St. George, S.C., to Mississippi in 1843, a journey which took almost nine months to complete. The original handwritten document is now housed atthe Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History in Meridian, Miss., but a transcriptisincluded in the book.
Like his diary, Gavin's travel journals record the terrain, the names of those he met or stayed with, mills, hotels, ferries, expenses(to the 1/2 cent) and daily life as hefound it. It makes a brilliant first-hand record of life in the four states he crossed during this period.
One of his closest friends was Maj. Joseph Koger, a S.C. neighbor who moved to Mississippi to a plantation near Columbusand the Noxubee River. Koger went on to become well known in Mississippi as the "president of the Mississippi Senate."Koger and his family are mentioned in both the diary and journal.
Gavin's CLAYTON cousins made the move to Mississippi and he had several FULGIUM (FULGUM), FORD and KING connections who lived in the Natchez and Pearl River areas. His grandmother lived on Leaf River in Green County, Miss.
Other families frequently mentioned in the pages are: ABERLY (AVERLY), APPLEBY, CANADAY, FIRMAN (FURMAN), GAVIN, HORN, HUGHS (HUGHES), HUGER, INABINET, MOORER, MUCKENFUSS, MURRAY, MYERS, PYE, ROWE, RUMPH, SHULER, SISTRUNK, UTSEY and WEST.
Gavin even provides some genealogy of the slaves who lived on his family's properties which is always a huge find in research.
Copies of this 460-page hardback may be ordered from the UDCHS, c/o PhyllisHughes, president, P.O. Box 15, Dorchester, SC 29437. The book sells for $45 plus $5 for shipping and handling. For more information,call 843-563-2298.
Proceeds for the sale of this book will be going to the restoration of the Maj. Joseph Koger House in South Carolina, so your purchase will also be helping to preserve some Mississippi history as well.
Does anyone know?
n Mae Davis (email@example.com) is seeking information on the surname McMILLAN/McMILLIAN. Her great-grandmother was MARY PA McMILLAN (born 1865) who married RAMSEY ROBERTS in Harrison County, Miss. in 1881. Census records indicate her parents to be JOHN & SARAH McMILLAN. She believes John McMillan came from Wayne County, Miss. He was born 1829 and married Sarah OVERSTREET in Wayne County about 1847. John & Sarah appear on the 1850 and 1860 Wayne County Census but disappear entirely from the 1870 Census. They re-appear again in Jackson County, Miss., on the 1880 Census. Other than census records indicating John's father was from N.C. and his mother from Ga., she has hit a brick wall on his ancestry. He did have a land patent record issued in Wayne County in 1820, but nothing further. Any information or leads on this McMillan line would be appreciated. She is also able to share info on John and Sarah's descendants. Can any reader help?
Please send your announcements and queries to Family Trees, 900 Main St., Natchez, MS 39120 or e-mail Famtree316 @aol.com. All queries printed free of charge