Update: Since posting this, we’ve concluded – with your help – that “dec’d” actually reads “viz”. This new reading means that Benjamin Maddox (1770-1864) did not die in 1811, and allows us to clarify his narrative, which is explained in a new posting.

In our lengthy assessment of at least five Benjamin Maddoxes living in the Abbeville County and Laurens County areas of South Carolina in circa 1800, we wrote that an 1811 Laurens County deed described Benjamin Maddox — the son of Benjamin Maddox (I) of Maryland — as “dec’d” (deceased).  This assessment was based on a transcription obtained from the Laurens County Court many years ago.

Benjamin Maddox decd or viz 1811 DeedJ p251

A close look at the 1811 deed, including the word long believed to be “dec’d”.

After reading our assessment, fellow family researcher Samantha Nifong kindly retrieved the original deed, which does appear to include the word “dec’d” (deceased) after Benjamin’s name… or is it the word “viz” (legalese for “that is”)?  If anyone can provide an accurate transcription of these few letters, we’d appreciate it.

The description of Benjamin as “dec’d” in 1811 has important implications for the Maddox lineage in South Carolina, Kentucky, Illinois, Alabama and Georgia.  For example, if he died in 1811, he cannot be identifiable with the Benjamin Maddox who died in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1864.  But if he went on to live after 1811, it potentially contradicts our long-held assessment of Benjamin Maddox (II).

Hopefully this won’t become a #thedress phenomenon.