Special Projects Related to Darlington County Genealogy

: 1 Jan 2002

Surname Projects | Civil War Soldiers | Cemetery Preservation

Special thanks to John Andrews for the update on the cemetery projects.

Surname Projects

The Coker Family

Ken Taylor is working on a Coker family project. He hopes to obtain photos of Coker family members and include them on a Web Page. If you have photos or wish to help Ken, please contact him at ktaylor@youthguy.com

The Woodham Family

Robert Earl Woodham is seeking information on all Woodham descendants to preserve in our Woodham Family National Library, a project of the Woodham Family Association. Robert Earl Woodham, President. Contact the association at: woodham@leo.infi.net

The Wilds Family

Scott Wilds is researching the ancestors and descendants of African-American slaves and former slaves of the Wilds family of Darlington County. He is willing to share share information with anyone interested. Scott's research will be of interest to anyone researching Wilds family lines. (In African-American genealogy, one must research the families of former "owners" and "slaves" as well as their ancestral/descendant lines.)

Scott's research includes an ability to identify former slaves and enslaved persons that include these surnames: Wilds, Brockington, Terril, Pledger. He has traced many families to 16 slaves owned by Samuel Wilds in 1803, with some lines extending back to the 1770s.

Any African-American Wilds family of Darlington, Marlboro, Florence and probably Lee and Sumter Counties seems to be connected to these families. Scott also offers information for other Wilds researchers on early Wilds families in Wales, Delaware and South Carolina.

Scott is also doing research on descendants of slaves of Robert Lide (d. 1803), father-in-law of Nancy Lide Wilds, wife of Samuel (d. 1803).

Darlington Co., SC African-American Family History
Thanks to Scott Wilds for his efforts in transcribing the information from the deed books
You can e-mail Scott at Scottwilds@aol.com or send queries or requests to him at his USPS address: 1010 S. 45th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Civil War Soldiers

Gerald Grant Mishoe is compiling a list of burial sites for Civil War soldiers buried within South Carolina. He has an extensive database but would like to add more. If anyone has any information on where soldiers may be buried within the state, please email Gerald Grant Mishoe so he can add them to his list. He eventually wants to compile the entire state. He will be glad to share all of the information. An alternate email address is CSAARTILLERY@aol.com.

He would like to replace any broken or missing markers with new goverment ones. He just needs to get the following information:

See also the Florence National Cemetery project below.

Cemetary Preservation and Protection

As time passes on, many families and institutions are no longer able to maintain and protect small cemeteries. Recent surveys of Pee Dee cemeteries identified several cemeteries that were previously unknown or unidentified. Vandalism continues to plague those that are being maintained by local groups and churches.

This space is devoted to projects to preserve and protect local cemeteries. Some cemetery preservation and protection projects already in progress:

Identification of Union graves at Florence National Cemetery:

The Old Darlington District Chapter of the SCGS is working to identify unknown Union soldiers buried at National Cemetery in Florence, SC. This National Cemetery is located on the site of the Florence Stockade, a prison camp used during the Civil War. The site was declared a National Cemetery in 1865 and now covers nearly 10 1/2 acres.

In 1864, thousands of Union prisoners were moved from Andersonville Prison to the Florence Stockade. The first burial occurred in September 1864. By the end of the war, over 2,300 Union soldiers were buried in mass graves at the site. One of those interred is believed to be Florena Budwin, a female Union soldier from Pennsylvania who, disguised as a man, followed her husband into service.

Persons who have ancestors who may have died at the Florence Stockade or know of other Union soldiers who met the same fate are encouraged to contact the Old Darlington District Chapter. Please help by sending the following information:

  1. Name of soldier
  2. Rank
  3. Dates of birth and death, if known
  4. Unit and state of service
  5. Survivors and descendents, if known
  6. References/Sources of this information.

So far, the ODDC SCGS has identified approximately 1600 Union Soldiers who died at the Florence Stockade during the Civil War. They are continuing to identify and update their data base. The names of these soldiers have been published in two ODDC SCGS publications:

If you have additional information for this data base, please write the Cemetery Committee, Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, P.O. Box 175, Hartsville, SC 29551. Or email John Andrews.

Note: This project received publicity in Antique Week.

Marion Avenue Cemetery, Hartsville:

The Marion Avenue Cemetery in Hartsville has been surveyed and is published in Volume One of the ODDC SCGS Cemetery Survey.

Mrs. Adlena Graham of the Hartsville City Council has been looking for help in cleaning, restoring and preserving the abandoned Marion Avenue Cemetery (formerly called the Hartsville Colored Cemetery Association). Once it is cleaned up we believe additional tombstones will be found.

This cemetery was originally known as the Hartsville Colored Cemetery or the Old Hartsville Cemetery. The 2 acre site has being cleared of vines and undergrowth and efforts can begin on restoration of individual plots. Professor H.H. Butler and Samuel Poole are among the historic figures buried in this Cemetery. The Hartsville Cemetery Restoration Committee continues this work.

Darlington City Cemetery, Darlington:

The Darlington City Cemetery in Darlington has been surveyed and is published in Volume Two of the ODDC SCGS Cemetery Survey. Efforts continue to preserve and maintain this cemetery. Over 1,500 persons are interred in this cemetery. The original cemetery was located near Siskron Street but relocated to its present site in the early century. It was formed by the congregations of the old St. James Methodist and Macedonia Baptist Church. Historic figures include Rev. I.P. Brockington as well as veterans of Civil and Spanish-American Wars.

Renee Brown Bryant has been seeking help in cleaning up this cemetery. Again, it is believed that once the cemetery is cleaned up there may be additional burials found.

Cemetery Survey Project, ODDC SCGS

John Andrews said that members of the ODDC are currently typing in data for Volume VI of the Cemetery Survey. This includes the area of Florence County that was once part of Darlington District, mostly south of Alligator Road to Lynches Creek. This includes the Timmonsville area. Unfortunately they are lacking many of the black cemeteries in this area including the Phillips Cemetery near Timmonsville and the Meadow Prong Baptist Church Cemetery because they have been unable to obtain permission or the manpower to survey these cemeteries.

A listing of the cemetery survey books available for sale (from the efforts of the ODDC members) is posted at Publications For Purchase. Detailed listing of the cemeteries surveyed in each volume is listed in the book review link.

Please contact Jane Hurd with any new projects relating to the Darlington County area.