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Nathan Evans II

1763 - 1810

by William B. Coxe, 27 Dec 2003

Nathan Evans II was born about 1763 in Marion SC, the son of Nathan Evans I and his third (or perhaps his fourth) wife Ruth James. We have yet to positively identify the James family but have assumed that Ruth was of the family of Thomas James and wife, communicants of the Catfish Church who relocated on the Catfish from one of the earlier settlements downriver. The James family intermarried with the Flowers and Brown families and then appears to have died off or left for other parts. Nathan II was raised at his fathers homestead in the area which was later known as Smiths Mill and still later Tarts Mill. There were four other children born to Ruth Evans in the household as well as several children by his father's earlier marriages.

When his father died in 1775 Nathan II was 12 years old and the troubles leading to the Revolutionary War were coming to a climax. This was a war of neighbor against neighbor and kinsman against kinsman. Nathan was known to have served as a young private. His half- brother Capt. David Evans served with distinction lost a leg to cannon fire and was disabled for life. His half-sister Mary Catherine Evans (1743-1823) was married to Maj. William Baker who served with distinction under Gen. Francis Marion. Another half–sister Elizabeth Evans (1747- aft.1790) was married to Isaac Jones of the neighboring Jones family, Tories who soon moved to other parts.

With the death of Nathan Evans I, ownership of the homestead and adjacent property went to the eldest son Evan Evans , who within a short time sold his share to John Smith, as is proved by the will of John Smith (1797). Nathan Evans II share of his fathers estate included the site of the present Oak Hall. Nathan expanded his holdings with the acquisitions of the properties of half-brother David Evans who had no heirs, his brother Thomas Evans (ca.1768-Unk.) who either died young or left for other parts, and his sister Elizabeth Evans (1766-1839) and her husband Jesse Godbold (1765-1799) who relocated to Fairfield County.

Nathan II was successful in his calling but his life was marred by tragedies. He married first Edith Godbold, daughter of Thomas Godbold (1744-1825) and Martha Heron (1753-1822) Nathan was about 25 and Edith 18. Shortly after the birth of their son Thomas Evans (1790-1845) Edith sickened and died. Thomas Evans was raised by his Godbold grandparents who lived nearby.

His second marriage to Zilpha Fore (1770-1801) also ended in tragedy. After the birth of daughters Edith Evans(1798-1845) and Zilpha Evans (1801-1849) his second wife died and the girls were raised by their guardian Jesse Legette. Both girls married relatives of their guardian at an early age.

Nathan II married third Elizabeth Ann Rogers (1782-1820), daughter of Lot Rogers and Anna Bethea. Elizabeth , a beauty 20 years younger than Nathan, gave him four children: William Evans (1804-1876) married Sarah Anne Godbold, Nathan Evans III (1805 -1884) married Ann E. Baker and then Harriet Braddy, John Gamewell Evans (1808- youth). Elizabeth Evans (1810-1836) married Peter McCollum (1804-1877) and emigrated to Alabama where Elizabeth died at age 26.

Some early Evans family trees list him as General Nathan Evans II, presumably an elected office in the SC Militia. We are unable to confirm this honor but know him to have been a prominent man in his day with a substantial estate. He died at Oak Hall in 1810, four months prior to the birth of his youngest child Elizabeth Evans.

In his History of Marion County W. W. Sellers says on page 126 "As far as Marion County is concerned Nathan Evans, son of Old Nathan was the progenitor of all those to bear the Evans name."

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