Friday, April 19, 2019

"Always the Best of Friends"

To find a local history book which was also detailed in its genealogy is a bonus, and the Ashtabula book provided just enough to keep tempting me to turn its pages. Not far into the second chapter came not only a description of my third great grandfather, but also his wife, her three sisters and her father, as well. Apparently, they had been in the community long before Dr. Ozey R. Broyles married Sarah Ann Taliaferro.

Sarah, "one of Zacharias Taliaferro's four lovely daughters," was the oldest, followed by Lucy Hannah, then Margaret, and finally, Caroline. Lucy Hannah had married Col. David Sloan Taylor, staying in Pendleton District for a while in another graceful home, known as Woodburn. Her younger sister, Margaret, married Richard Franklin Simpson, eventually a congressman representing their home state. And the youngest, Caroline, married Dr. Henry Campbell Miller.

It was recalled, in writings by Sarah Taliaferro Broyles' namesake daughter, Sarah Ann Broyles Williams, that "Pendleton seems to have been called old Pendleton even in Ma's youth." Preserved in that 1926 letter by the younger Sarah was the remembrance that, though in South Carolina, the town of Pendleton had been settled by Virginians, including Zachariah Taliaferro. She noted, "his wife was of the Carters and Chews of Virginia."

By the time Zachariah and his bride had settled in South Carolina—their eldest daughter Sarah was born there in 1803—it wasn't long until he had struck up a friendship with one of the Pendleton neighbors we've already met, Samuel Maverick. This was the owner of the plantation known as Montpellier, seen on the 1825 map I shared yesterday.

The man had developed a reputation as a horticulturist, and it was noted that "there were no grounds like his in the whole County." Described as "kind, but particular," the man possessed "piercing eyes and heavy brows," enough details to warrant staying power in the memory of the neighboring children, among them Zachariah Taliaferro's granddaughter, Sarah Ann Broyles Williams, who wrote those words. According to Sarah Williams, her grandfather and Samuel Maverick were "always the best of friends," but during visits to the Maverick property, she was charged "to not step on the flowers or on the borders of his flowers" and, as she was quick to add, "I did walk straight on."

Connections formed even at that early date would, at some point in the future, serve to intertwine some neighbors as even more than the best friends.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, this book is turning out to be quite a delightful discovery.

  2. This is great information. I am so glad you are bringing it to life and showing it to all of us.

    BTW, the "Zacharias Taliaferro's four lovely daughters" appear wonderfully delineated in "Far, Far from Home," the letters written by the Simpson boys during the war. Many of the letters are addressed to them, as well as to their children, the boys' cousins and sisters. Aunt Caroline seems to be Tally's confidante, his adviser in matters of the heart.

    They all show up again in Emmala Reed's journals. I love the story, and I can't believe my luck in finding a descendant who is also a genealogist and a WRITER!

    1. It is interesting to think how we ended up crossing paths, Lisa. I'm so glad for that! I'm looking forward to reading Tally's letters, too--waiting now until the book arrives. And one of my next projects needs to be seeing whether Emmala Reed is a Broyles relation, too.


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