At least four Benjamin Maddoxes appear in Abbeville County and Laurens County, South Carolina, in the years 1790-1811 – all living in close proximity – and differentiating them has been difficult due to a lack of records. Most of the records for the area were destroyed in fires in the 19th century. The following evaluation is our best and most recent attempt at correlating records to individuals. The most important implication of this new assessment is that Benjamin (II) (bef. 1755 – aft. 1810) – the man long identified as our direct ancestor – is probably not the father of our proven 3rd-great grandfather Benjamin (III) (1776-1855). We’re researching alternatives and we believe our Benjamin (III) (1776-1855) is descended from a brother or uncle of Benjamin (II) (bef. 1755 – aft. 1810).
Benjamin #1 – “senior” (bef. 1755-aft. 1810)
This Benjamin Maddox was born before 1755 and died after 1810 according to census records. Most genealogists claim he was born in 1735 and died in 1811, but that seems to be unproven. He is identifiable with the Benjamin Maddox “senior” of Charles County, Maryland, that we have called Benjamin Maddox (II) and this suffix now appears on most genealogy websites. 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).
1776/1778: Benjamin Maddox does not appear on the federal censuses of Charles County, MD. Maddoxes on the 1778 Charles County census include Cornelius, Edward, Henry, Ignatius, Nathan, Rhody, Townley, and two Williams.
1784: Benjamin Maddox “Sr” executes his brother-in-law Humphrey Posey Sr’s will in 28 Feb 1784, Charles County, MD. Leonard Maddox is another executor.
1784: Christ Church (Old Durham Church) Durham Parish, Nanjemoy, MD, microfilm M226, contains records of the Maddox family’s presence from 1780-1786, and their absence thereafter, and the use of the “senior” title for Benjamin Maddox as of 1784.
1790: On 3 March 1790 in Charles County, MD, Benjamin and Mary (nee Posey) sold Posey’s Chance to Samuel Hudson for £100 and Horne Fair to Thomas How Ridgate for £75.
1790: Benjamin Maddox does not appear on the federal census of Charles County, MD.
1790: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, p. 468, lists Benjamin Maddix with 2 adult males, 7 males, and 3 females. He was living near Ignatius Posey(son of Pryor Posey and grandson of Humphrey Posey), Walter Maddox, Thomas Donaldson, William Stone and John Night. [55yo
or 20yo or 14yo?]
1800: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, p. 22, lists Benjamin Maddox, 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. John Maddox’s name appears in the margin to the left of Benjamin’s – probably because John was living with Benjamin in his old age (John would die bef 1810). [65yo
or 30yo or 24yo?]
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 (likely John Maddox’s widow) and Janet Maddox (nee Janet Posey?), as well as Joseph Rutlege, Thomas Norwood, Benjamin Posey, Susannah Gaines, Richard Stone, William Ware, Henry Gains, Thomas Donaldson, William Donaldson, and Peter Youngblood. [75yo
or 40yo or 34yo?]
Benjamin #2 – “junior” (1770-1864)
The below Benjamin Maddox (1770-1864) is very likely the son of Benjamin #1. The below Benjamin Maddox lived in Laurens County, SC, until after 1811 and then moved to Atlanta, Georgia.
1770: Benjamin Maddox is born in Maryland, according to the 1860 federal census of Atlanta, Georgia.
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 (likely the father of Benjamin Maddox b. 1801?) 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: 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.
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. [75yo or 40yo or 34yo?]
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 (likely the father of Benjamin Maddox b. 1801?). Elizabeth Maddox released her dower rights (meaning that Elizabeth was his wife). (Source: Deed Book J, p. 194)
1811: In August, Benjamin Maddox 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) Researchers have for a long time mistakenly read the word “dec’d” (deceased) next to Benjamin’s name in this document, but it actually says “viz”. This misreading has caused a lot of confusion because it seemed to imply that this Benjamin cannot be the same Benjamin mentioned in the following records.
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).
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.” Genealogist Samantha Nifong has explained on her blog that the so-called “complaint” in the Court of Ordinary between Edmund Ware and Mary Donaldson’s heirs is actually the division of her estate that is mentioned within Thomas Donaldson’s estate record.
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)
Benjamin #3 (1776-1855)
Benjamin Maddox #3 (1776-1855) is our 3rd-great grandfather. We have long maintained that he is the direct descendant of Benjamin Maddox #1, but it’s more likely that he is the son of a brother or uncle 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) and this (probably incorrect) suffix now appears on most genealogical websites.
1776: Benjamin Maddox was born in South Carolina, according to the 1850 census of Crawford County, Illinois.
1785: The Turkey Creek Baptist Church, Abbeville County, SC, was established and the original meeting house was erected on Richard “Dicky” Maddox’s land (Benjamin Maddox (II) had a brother named Richard). 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: 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).
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. He was living near William Stone and John Night, as well as James Gaines and John Grey. [
65yo or 30yo or 24yo?]
1820: The federal census of Abbeville County, SC, p. 56, line 7, may include a Benjamin Mattux (misspelled as “Mallux”) and two women, all aged more than 45 years old, with 26 slaves(!?). They were living near Richard Maddox (likely son of Henley; half-brother of Ignatius Posey), Augusta Maddox (likely son of Henley; half-brother of Ignatius Posey), William Gaines, James Gaines, Richard Stone, Elenor McKey/Magee and Robert V. Posey (possible s/o Benjamin V. Posey; possible grandson of John Posey, who witnessed Benjamin Maddox (I)’s 1770 will).
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 [P or Q?], 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.
Benjamin #4 (1801-aft. 1880)
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.
1801: Benjamin Maddox was born in SC and his father was born in Maryland, according to the 1880 federal census of Fayette County, AL.
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.