Update: We’ve significantly modified our assessment of our various Benjamins since we originally posted this. Please take a look at our updated assessment. Please do not rely on the information below.
For over a decade, we have assessed that the Benjamin Maddox called “junior” in Abbeville County and Laurens County, South Carolina, in 1800-1810, is identifiable with our known 3rd-great grandfather, Benjamin Maddox (1776-1855), who died in Crawford County, Illinois. We have based this assessment on our 3rd-great grandfather’s claim of South Carolina origins in the 1850 census, the presence of a child of our 2nd-great grandfather Joseph’s age in the 1810 census living with Benjamin Mattocks in Laurens County, SC, and the persistence of peripheral family names in census and land records in South Carolina, Kentucky and Illinois (especially the Gaines, Long and Ford families).
But perhaps five – and maybe more – Benjamin Maddoxes appear in Abbeville County and Laurens County, South Carolina, in the years 1790-1811, and distinguishing them has been difficult due to a lack of corroborative records. Most of the records for the area were destroyed in fires in the 19th century.
A closer look at existing records raises a number of questions about the identities of the known Benjamin Maddoxes appearing in records in Abbeville County and Laurens County in the years 1790-1811. The following evaluation, including peripheral names in census and land records, offers a clearer differentiation of the Benjamins. See this document for color-coded names.
Benjamin #1 – “senior”
This Benjamin Maddox (ca. 1735-after 1810) is likely identifiable with the Benjamin Maddox “senior” of Charles County, Maryland, that we have called Benjamin Maddox (II). After moving from Charles County, MD, to Abbeville, SC, this Benjamin Maddox appears to have remained in Abbeville (and did not live in Laurens County, SC).
1790: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, p. 468, lists Benjamin Maddox with 2 adult males, 7 males, and 3 females. He was living near Ignatius Posey, Walter Maddox, Thomas Donaldson, William Stone and John Night.
1800: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, p. 19, lists Benjamin Maddox and a woman aged 26-45 years of age, with 1 male less than 10 years old and 1 female less than 10 years old. As in 1790, he was living near William Stone and John Night, as well as James Gaines and John Grey.
1810: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, lists Benjamin Matox “senior” greater than 45 years old, with a woman older than 45 years, 1 male 26-45 years old, and 1 female less than 10 years old. He was living next to Elizabeth Matox and Janet Maddox, as well as Joseph Rutlege, Thomas Norwood, Benjamin Posey, Susannah Gaines, Richard Stone, William Ware, Henry Gains, and Peter Youngblood.
Why was Benjamin #1 called “senior” in Charles County, Maryland, in Humphrey Posey’s 1784 will? All proposed sons of Benjamin #1 would have been in their teens at the time. Was there another Benjamin Maddox in Charles County – perhaps a brother or cousin? Would this open another ancestral avenue for us?
Benjamin #2 – “junior”
The below Benjamin Maddox is traditionally considered the son of the above Benjamin Maddox. The below Benjamin Maddox shows up for the first time in 1800 living near Benjamin Maddox #1 in Abbeville, SC, but he moves to Laurens County, SC, in 1808 and remains in Laurens County thereafter. For decades we have identified him as Benjamin Maddox (III), our 3rd-great grandfather who died in Crawford County, Illinois, in 1855; however, the final record describing him as “dec’d” (deceased) in 1811 requires us to question our assessment. Other researchers have identified this Benjamin Maddox with a Benjamin Maddox who was born in Maryland in 1770 and died in Atlanta in 1864, but this assessment also requires a new look, given the 1811 record of his death in SC.
1785: The Turkey Creek Baptist Church was established and the original meeting house was erected on Richard “Dicky” Maddox’s land. Among the members were Martha Ware, Nicholas Ware, Caty Gaines, Henry Gaines, Molly Gaines, Susannah Gaines, Barbara Long, Elizabeth Long, Nicholas Long, Michael Magee, Benjamin Neighbours, and Rev. Joseph Redding (Source: South Carolina Baptists, 1670-1805, Leah Townsend, University of South Carolina, 1926, pp.182-192).
1800: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, p. 22, lists Benjamin Maddox “junior,” including 1 male 45 years or older, 1 male 26-45 years old, 1 male 16-26 years old, 1 male 10-16 years old, 1 female 45 years or older, 1 female 26-45 years old, 1 female 10-16 years old, and 1 slave. He was living near John Reid Long, William Calhoun, John Calhoun and the Samples.
1805: Thomas Maddox died in Abbeville County, SC. Thomas’ widow Cloe sold his estate. Benjamin Maddox “junior” purchased items. Other purchasers were Thomas Donaldson, Edmund Gaines, Chandler Maddox, Lanty Maddox, and Losson Maddox.
1808: On 9 April, Benjamin Maddox “junior” purchased 165 acres in Laurens District, next to Samuel Neighbors, John South, Thomas Williamson. The land was along Greenville Road. William Maddox witnessed the purchase.
1808: On 5 September, Benjamin Maddox “in Abbeville” sold 100 acres in Laurens District on the north side of the Saluda River to Cornelius Cook. The land was next to land owned by Daniel Cook, Cornelius Cook, and Samuel Nabors. William Williamson witnessed the sale. (Source: Deed Book J, p. 263)
1810: The federal census of Laurens County, SC, lists Benjamin Mattocks, 26-45 years old, with 3 males less than 10 years old, 1 female 26-45 years old, 1 female 26-45 years old, and 1 female less than 10 years old. He was living near Daniel Cook, Cornelius Cook, John Grey and John Calhoun.
1810: On 9 November, the estate of John Maddox was sold. John’s widow Elizabeth was a buyer, along with Benjamin Maddox “junior,” Lawson Maddox, Augustus Maddox and Chandler Maddox.
1811: On 5 January, Samuel Nabors sold 345 acres on the Saluda River in Laurens County, SC, to Thomas Williamson. The land was next to Benjamin Maddox, John Meres(?), and Cornelius Cook. (Source: Deed Book J, p. 210)
1811: On 29 January, Benjamin Maddox sold 165 acres along the Saluda River in Laurens County, SC, to Patrick Sperrin. The land abutted land owned by Solomon Niblets, Thomas Williamson, and Samuel Nabors. William Maddox witnessed. Elizabeth Maddox released her dower rights (meaning that Elizabeth was his wife). (Source: Deed Book J, p. 194)
1811: Benjamin Maddox was a legatee of Thomas and Janet Donaldson. Other legatees were James Donaldson, William Donaldson, Thomas Donaldson, and Reuben Donaldson (Source: Joyce Smelley Odom, “Maddox Family,” The Heritage of Abbeville, South Carolina, Don Mill, Inc., 1995, p. 106).
1811: In August, Benjamin Maddox “dec’d” is noted on a land transfer from Patrick Sperin to Arnold. The land was next to Solomon Niblet and Thomas Williamson. (Source: Deed Book J, p. 251)
Are we certain that “dec’d” is verbatim on the original August 1811 record? Could it instead be a note describing Benjamin’s departure from the area?
What happened to Elizabeth Maddox after 1811 if she was widowed?
Is there really no estate administration for the Benjamin Maddox who died in 1811? Nothing?
Who were the 45+ years old people listed with this Benjamin “junior” on the 1800 census? Could the older man in the house be another “senior” Benjamin who we haven’t previously considered?
Benjamin Maddox #3 (1776-1855) is our 3rd-great grandfather. We have long maintained that he is the direct descendant of Benjamin Maddox #1. Benjamin Maddox #3 is proven to be the father of Joseph Maddox, our 2nd-great grandfather, in estate records. We have normally called him Benjamin Maddox (III). This Benjamin Maddox #3 could easily be the continuation of Benjamin #2 if Benjamin #2 weren’t reportedly “dec’d” after 1811.
1776: Benjamin Maddox was born in South Carolina, according to the 1850 censuses of Crawford County, Illinois.
1800: Joseph Maddox was born in South Carolina, according to the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses of Crawford County, Illinois. His parents were Benjamin and Charlotte Maddox (Source: All of Benjamin’s children are listed in a petition by Hannah Maddox et al, 27 February 1865, Crawford County Court Records, File Box 53, Case 34).
1810: The federal census of Laurens County, SC, lists Benjamin Mattocks, 26-45 years old, with 3 males less than 10 years old, 1 female 26-45 years old, 1 female 26-45 years old, and 1 female less than 10 years old. Joseph Maddox, the son of Benjamin Maddox, was 10 years old in 1810 and would fit into this census record; however, this Benjamin is identifiable with Benjamin #2, who reportedly died by 1811. The family was living near Daniel Cook, Cornelius Cook, John Grey and John Calhoun.
1823: Benjamin Maddox purchased 55 acres in Christian County, Kentucky, along the Stone River from Temple West (Source: August 1823, Christian Co, KY, Deed Book P, p. 147). Benjamin’s son Joseph owned land nearby (Source: March 1837, Christian Co., KY, Deed Book [letter?], pp. 299-300). A preponderance of the same families that had neighbored Benjamin in South Carolina can be found alongside Benjamin’s name in early Christian County deed books (P&Q), including the Long, Ford, Knight/Night, McKee/Magee, Ware and Grey families.
1837: By 1837, Benjamin and his wife Charlotte moved to Crawford County, Illinois, where they lived near the Ford and Gaines families. On 25 July 1837 they purchased 40 acres of land for $150 from Washington Brashears in the Montgomery area at “Township Number Six North Range Number Eleven West.”
1855: Benjamin Maddox died in Crawford County, Illinois, and was buried in the Maddox Cemetery near Heathville.
1895: Joseph Maddox’s son John Napoleon Maddox (1872 – 1945) married Frances Gaines (1878 – 1908) in Crawford County, IL. Frances Gaines was the 2nd-great grandchild of Stephen Gaines (1752-1837), who lived in Laurens County, SC.
How was Benjamin #3 born in SC if we maintain that his father was in Charles County, MD, until 1790? Should we take his 1850 census record literally?
This Benjamin Maddox #4 (1770-1864) could easily be the continuation of Benjamin #2 if Benjamin #2 weren’t reportedly “dec’d” after 1811. This Benjamin was born in Maryland, lived in South Carolina, and died in Georgia. Other researchers claim that Benjamin Maddox #4 is the same as Benjamin Maddox #2 and the son of Benjamin Maddox #1.
1770: Benjamin Maddox is born in South Carolina, according to the 1860 federal census of Atlanta, Georgia.
1828: On 26 November, the Abbeville Court of the Ordinary heard a complaint regarding the estate of Mary Donaldson by General Edmund Ware against many parties, including “Benjamin Maddox and Elizabeth his wife” who were residing “without the state.”
1840: On the federal census of Atlanta, Elbert County, Georgia, Benjamin Maddox was listed as 70-90 years old, living with a similarly aged woman and many children. He was living near William Calhoun, Eli Donaldson, and William Donaldson.
1860: On the federal census of Atlanta, Georgia, Benjamin Maddox was listed as 90 years old, born in Maryland. He was living with a dentist named Posey Maddox, 55 years old, born in SC. Researchers claim Posey was this Benjamin’s son.
1864: Benjamin Maddox was buried at Fulton Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia, born in 1770. (Source: findagrave listing)
Can we find a record of Benjamin #4’s wife’s name in Georgia?
If Benjamin #4 is not the same as Benjamin #2, then who are Benjamin #4’s parents in Abbeville?
This Benjamin Maddox (1801-after 1880), the son of William Maddox (1776-1857), was born in Abbeville, SC, and ended up in Fayette County, Alabama, along with other members of the Maddox family from Abbeville.
1830: Before 1830 in Abbeville, SC, Benjamin Maddox married a Riley. (Source: Joyce Smelley Odom, “Maddox Family,” The Heritage of Abbeville, South Carolina, Don Mill, Inc., 1995, p. 106.)
1831: After 1831, Benjamin Maddox was named as a son of William Maddox, formerly of Abbeville, SC, in William’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama, estate papers. (Source: Joyce Smelley Odom, “Maddox Family,” The Heritage of Abbeville, South Carolina, Don Mill, Inc., 1995, p. 106.)
1850: On the federal census of Fayette County, Alabama, Benjamin Mattax is listed as born in 1801, married to Nancy. Joyce Smelley Odom claims this is Nancy Williamson, daughter of Thomas Williamson.
1850: On the federal census of Fayette County, Alabama, Lawsin Matocks age 66 and born in SC, William Matocks age 31 and born in SC, and John Matocks age 38 and born in SC, were listed separately with their families on page 29. (Lawsin is assumed by some researchers to be the brother of Benjamin Maddox (III))
1880: On the federal census of Fayette County, Alabama, Benjamin Madox is listed as born in 1801, married to Nancy. He was born in SC and his father was born in Maryland. Nancy was born in SC.
Lawsin Matocks’ 1784 birth in SC seems to demonstrate that some Maddoxes arrived in Abbeville, SC, before 1790 – the year we’ve long assessed to be the SC arrival year of Benjamin Maddox (II).
Could Benjamin Maddox #5 have been called “junior” in any of the 1801-1811 records in Laurens County and Abbeville County, SC?