Find your ForeMothers
Strong women ancestors. That is what I began with. The crux of my curiosity came to me while walking a labyrinth, outside, on a winter day in about 2007.
The history of my own family is deeply rooted in South Carolina history, and of course is full of paradox. Half of the stories lie in an historic cemetery, Stoney/Stony Creek, in what was called Indian Land. The image above must be the church. Charles Fraser painted this between 1796-1806 and titled it Meeting House, identifiable by the creek and road, which is still the same. Pocotaligo is now in Hampton County near Yemassee. Stoney/Stony Creek Independent Church was founded by dissenters in 1743, and included my ancestor Rev. William Hutson, who was its first pastor, called by Hugh Bryan an early settler in the region and zealous Christian. The story is that Hugh Bryan hired William Hutson to teach his many slaves to read, which was against the law. The church was burned in 1865. There are no black members buried here, although they are clearly in the records as members. Nearby was Prince William’s Parish Sheldon Church, today in ruins and evocative.
But because I was born, I have great reverence for the ancestors’ strength and faith. And many of my grandmothers and grandfathers are here. Being alive is no small thing. Stoney Creek Presbyterian Foundation cares for the cemetery today. I was asked to share how to donate to its upkeep. Hutson, Martin, Colcock, McLeod (THIS story is fascinating and involves Scots and Native Americans) and Frampton families are buried here among others. Support the preservation of the Stony Creek Presbyterian Foundation, P.O. Box 279, Beaufort, South Carolina, 29901.