Welcome!‎ > ‎

The Lynes Family

Colonial days
The central family of this project is the Lynes family, starting with Samuel Lynes, born about 1720 in South Carolina. There is a family tradition (among several) that we are of French extraction, arriving with the Huguenot wave in the 1680's, but since 2/3's of the records were lost, a definite link has not been proven. There was a "Thomas Lyne" who received a land grant for 100 acres on the southeast side of the eastern branch of the Cooper River in 1709 (see SC Archives Series S213019, Volume 0039, Page 00066, Item 003) which was the area initially set aside for French Huguenots (hence "French Quarter Creek" in that area)  and he may be the father of Samuel whom we seek, but no records have been discovered so far to prove this notion.
We do know that a young Samuel Lynes, barely 24 years old, received several land grants, first just south of present day Columbia on the Congaree River, then on the Saluda,  near Lexington.  He was truly a pioneer.  By 1768, though, he had returned to the Lowcountry and was established as a planter in the Wassamassaw Swamp area.   
A full discussion of these land transactions is found here:  Waters Report 1
Samuel Lynes Congaree 1744 Land grant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               [sold this parcel 1750] 
Samuel Lynes Saluda land grant, 1753
We have actually located and visited these tracts and will show modern maps and pictures of the visits a little later.
This Samuel was married to Frances Joyner, but we know nothing about that family at this point, except that the family name exists in the general area.  We hope to learn more.
Fox Bank Plantation
His Grandson, Samuel Lynes (born 1776) purchased Fox Bank (or Foxbank) Plantation in 1819, and by early 1821 made a final payment for it.
  • (Samuel Lynes purchased from William McElmoyle, "All that plantation or tract of land called Fox Bank containing 430 acres") -Register of Mesne Conveyance, Charleston County, S.C. BK. B-9 pg. 335-336.
  • Last payment for Foxbank recorded in Samuel Lynes' ledger book
  •  This plantation day book is preserved in the archives of the Charleston Museum.  Scans and transcripts will be posted soon.
    The Church:
    In the same era, the Bethlehem Baptist Church was established at the same place as the ruins of the Chapel of Ease to St. James Goose Creek, which is located on Old Hwy 52, in the Strawberry community near Fox Bank, and this was a significant social center for both the Lynes family and all families in the area.  We are in the process of scanning and indexing the records of that church.  

    The Facebook group for the preservation of this historical site may be found by clicking here.  We encourage interested parties to join the group and make financial contributions toward its restoration.  The committee is now a non-profit organization, incorporated in South Carolina, as the "St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease Historical Site."   

    As of December 2012 we purchased the 22 acres site that contains the historical ruins of this place.  See our website at Chapel of Ease.org. And Facebook page Friends of the Chapel of Ease.
     As of November 20, 2017 we purchased the .6 acre site that contains the graves and original site of the Bethlehem Baptist Church. The church building, of course, was moved to Groomsville and called "Goose Creek Baptist Church" then finally "Groomsville Baptist Church."  The family foundation also owns that site as well. 
    Foxbank 1900:
    The 1900 US Federal Census shows living at Foxbank [listed as a Farm]:
    • George Lynes (Jr.) as head of house, age 62, single
    • Anna V. ("Tannie") his sister, age 52, single
    • A. J. Glenn (Adelaide J. Lynes) his sister, age 55, widowed
    • A. V. Walling (Annie Vehalia Sims, daughter of Rebecca S. Lynes Sims, now widow of John Walling), his niece, age 20, widowed, and her children:
    • Flora Walling (g-niece) age 5
    • May B. Walling (g-niece) age 2
    • Willie H. Walling (g-niece [actually nephew]) age 7 months.
    • Frances Dangerfield (listed as "friend" though probably a cousin) Female and age 14.

    In close proximity, on a farm, likely to the west at Lazy Hill, we see:

    • E. R. (Edward) Simms, head of house, white male, born Mar 1837, age 63, married 34 years
    • R. S. (Rebecca Signos Lynes Simms) his wife, white female, born Oct 1847, age 52, married 34 years, mother of 14 children, 10 living.
    • Waring (Warren) son, July 1884, age 15, single
    • Almer (Alma) daughter, Oct 1885, age 14, single
    • Marion, son, April 1888, age 12
    • Lee Roy, son, May 1890, age 10
    • Pearl, daughter, Aug 1892, age 7
    • George F. (George Fletcher), son, Oct 1878, age 21, single.

    Also in close proximity, in a House on his parcel, is the household of Samuel Lynes, brother of George above, and Rebecca, wife of Edward, above:

    • Lynes, Samuel, Rev (he was a Baptist minister, as well as other occupations) head of house, white male, born June 1852, age 49, married 30 years
    • C. G. (Catherine G. Dennis) his wife, white female, born Aug 1858, age 41, married 30 years, mother of 9 children, 9 living (that has to be an error, she didn't marry at age 11!)
    • La. T. (Laurie Tarlton Lynes), son, born Feb 1887, age 13
    • Mary E., daughter, born Jan 1893, age 7
    • Sam'l Ruth, (Called "Nettie"), daughter, born Oct 1894, age 5
    • Samuel Jr.,  son, born Nov 1897, age 2.

    Fox Bank: the End of an Era
    We may ask "how did the plantation fall out of the Lynes family?"
    Well, let's compare:  the "laws of inheritance" in England held that only the eldest son inherited, and he inherited the entire landholding. The daughters hoped and tried to find a suitable situation (think of the drama in Jane Austen stories, such as "Pride and Prejudice" or "Sense and Sensibility") and the remaining sons had to make a life in a different way, by going into a profession, like education, medicine, the clergy, the military, etc.
    Situations were a bit different in Victorian England than they were here, and the comparison is notable. Large landholdings were by design kept intact; while in the United States a decedent could, in his will, divide his holdings up amongst as many people or decendants as he desired, which over a few generations can completely break apart a large estate. That is what happened here.
    Each one of the descendants eventually sold their parcel for whatever reason, and it should not be held against them, for their holdings were not considered necessarily "ancestral lands" at the time and the owners apparently had no more need nor desire to keep the property than many of us would when we have a change in our lives and move to a new area. We do not usually keep the old house where we lived. Mostly we have to sell to satisfy a mortgage and purchase a new place, and they were no different. Plus, most of the descendants had holdings or homes in other places, and several parcels were sold to the people or families who were perhaps former slaves but now were sharecroppers, and who had lived on their own parcel for many years. It was only fair to sell them their homes with a few acres for subsistence.  
    So here's what happened: George Lynes died April 23, 1870. The plantation continued to operate under the sharecropper system more or less, and was the home of his wife, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Whitfield Lynes until her death on March 26, 1880. It was after her death that the children of George and Lizzie, all adults, living in other places for the most part and raising children of their own, chose to divide by oral partition, the property left to them in the will of George Lynes. This finally was done in 1893, except for some parcels that had already transferred, namely a tract deeded to Addie J. Glenn in 1881 and perhaps a few others.
    In short, the plantation was eventually divided up amongst the many heirs. We tend to think in terms of "Fox Bank went to this one person, who sold it..." but actually it was eventually divided into no less than 22 parcels, ranging in size from 15 to 110 acres. The parcel that included the main house was on a piece of 98 acres. So when we hear that "so and so inherited Fox Bank" and it's a different name each time depending on who you talk to, it is true. Many people "ended up" with Fox Bank, or pieces of it.
    A timber company, "Wapoola Corporation" appeared to make a concerted effort in the late 1920's to purchase each portion, and by 1939 most of Foxbank had been reassembled under their ownership, and was composed of, at least, a tract of 516 acres that included parts of Foxbank and Hickory Hill. Add an additional 450 acres not owned by Wapoola, and it was a tract of 966 acres. Our understanding so far is that this is what Mr. Ben Scott Whaley purchased.
    Subpages (2): Backing documents Photos
    Jack Lynes,
    Feb 13, 2012, 8:01 AM
    Jack Lynes,
    Feb 8, 2013, 12:55 AM