John Starr of Beech Island John Starr of Beech  Island.htm

John Starr of Beech Island

Compiled March 2009 by Linda Sparks Starr

Most of this information comes from early STARR family researcher Francis D. Brinton. He was in personal contact with grandsons of both Henry Starr of Georgia and John Starr of Beech Island, South Carolina. His research notes were microfilmed in 1947 by LDS and are now identified as the Francis D. Brinton Film #000362.

The combination of reverse-negative microfilm and Brinton’s habit of inserting phrases between lines makes the film difficult to transcribe in places. Lillie Alberson Harris, co-author of Starr: The Quakers from Ireland, generously shared several pages with this compiler. Excerpts are herein italicized.

Samuel Starr of Lumpkin GA states that his grandfather, John Starr of Beech Island, related that when he left Maryland he had there five brothers and two sisters. The descendants of this family now in the South are described as all strictly honest and good citizens. [p. 284] John Starr of Beech Island S. Carolina was probable brother of Henry Starr of Maryland and was born in Maryland about 1740. Having been apprentice to a saddler by whom he was badly treated he absented to South Carolina where he ______ for a time & thence went to Beech Island, Edgefield [District], bordering with Savannah river in the west was part of South Carolina. Here he married in July 1775 and died 7 Jany 1821. He was boat wright and farmer. Our informant thinks that John’s brothers [were] William and Henry Starr. … His 1st wife was Mary Hiles. After her death he married a 2nd wife. The children of John Starr of Beech Island were

George b. 13 July 1783 d. 4 April 1834 m. 7 Mch 1811 Eliza Brown

John b. 29 Mch 1788 d. 25 Mch 1859 m. Elizabeth McDade

Henry b. 20 Aug 1793 d. 15 July 1856 m. 30 Nov 1825 Susannah W. Bowers [page 285]

Caution is advised when assigning Revolutionary War service for John Starr(s) in South Carolina. Another John Starr (1762-1844) lived in York County as did his brother, Arthur (1755-1807). They were grandsons of John Starr, weaver,
(1686-1749) of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and sons of John Starr (1727-1775) of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. One researcher offered as proof evidence the York County John Starr served in the RW: South Carolina Stub Entries by A. S. Salley, No. 8 Book V p. 4: "Issued 4 July 1785 to Mr. John Starr for £12:11:5 sterling for duty done in militia as per account audited. Principal £12:11:5 Annual Interest £0:17:1." Perhaps, then, John Starr of Beech Island (1740-1821) is the one who served forty-seven days in 1782 under Gen. Henderson.
[Moss, page 891 citing A.A. 7322; I,416; U8] South Carolina Archives matches "Account Audited (File No. 7322) of Claims Growing out of the American Revolution" to the Beech Island John Starr of Edgefield County. This compiler hasn’t seen a copy of either original service record.

Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, existed between 1769 and 1798. Edgefield District/County was created from 96th District in 1795. [Everton p. 357; 358] All the families mentioned in the following records lived in New Windsor Township. According to this web site ] in 1737 a group of 200 Swiss immigrants, representing a mixture of German and French heritage, settled in the area. Although this area is not a true island, over time its name changed from New Windsor to Beech Island. St. George’s Parish was, and Richmond County, Georgia, is located across the Savannah River from the Beech Island area. Thus, this compiler tentatively links the 1775 Georgia Headright grant for 200 acres in St. George’s Parish to this John Starr of Beech Island, SC. [Lucas citing Book M p. 104] Additionally, he is probably the same person who was co-executor of the 1791 Richmond County, Georgia will of Clem. Valentine. [Hollingsworth]

We first find this John Starr in South Carolina records witnessing the 1 March 1775 will of Dr. John Jacob Sturrenegger (Sturzenegger) in the Ninety-Sixth District. The Doctor lived in New Windsor Township with his wife Elizabeth and children John and Cathrina. The other witnesses were John Tobler and John Shinholser. [Young p. 436 citing Box 110, Pack 3172]  If Brinton is correct about the July 1775 marriage date of John Starr and Mary Hiles, we should use caution in concluding his wife is the sole reason John is so closely associated with these Swiss-German emigrants.

The will of Adam Hiles, dated 5 September 1783, mentions his wife Mary Sophia and then gives legacies to: William Sr. (surname omitted by the abstracter, but assumed Hiles), Susannah Shinholser, children of Peter Turkenetz Sr. and Mary Stare. Witnesses to the will were Jno Sturzenegger, Francis Carlile and Casper Nail Jr. Executors were William Shinholser, Peter Turkenetz and Jno. Stare. The inventory of estate was taken 18 May 1786 by Jonathan Meyer, Nathaniel Howell and Casper Nail Jr.  [Young p. 153 citing Box 47, Pack 1081]  While studying materials in the South Carolina Archives, German Starr line researcher Vicki Hutchison discovered the 5 April 1777 (but not recorded until 1785) deed whereby Casper Nail and his wife Catherine sold land to Lud Williams. The tract was adjacent land of Daniel Nail, John Sturzenegger, Henry Miley and Leonard Switz.

No where in the will abstract does Adam identify those receiving legacies as his relative's children, but the wording leaves that impression. Although the 1788 will of Sophia Hiles does give a legacy to "children of John Stare named John and George," but she refers to the elder John Stare as "friend" when appointing him co-executor.  [Hollingsworth LDS #1528061 notes limited to one surname entries]  Vicki Hutchison located an Archives index listing all the people who received legacies in her will: 15 July 1788 Sophia Hiles of Edgefield County, Will Typescript  [MSS Will Bk A p. 6: Estate Packet Box 40, Pkg 1564 (2 frames)]. Names: Hiles, Sophia / Hovler, Mary Meyer / Shenholser, William / Shenholser, John / Shenholser, George / Hiles, Adom / Stare, John / Tobler, Christiana / Stare, George / Sturzingger, John / Ardis, Isaac.

In light of the above, an intriguing message was sent by Jim Starr to the STARR rootsweb list 3/6/99: "Looking for information on PHEBE HILLES 1808-1850 and James Starr III, 1805-1894. Phebe is the dau. of Jane LEE 1780 and Robert Hiles 1782-1867. Jane Lee is the daughter of Mary Boone 1756-1832 and Isaac Lee 1752-1829. I'm trying to connect this James Starr III 1805-1894 to the Chester Co. PA Starr's."

The 96th District will of Francis Carlile Esq., dated 13 November 1785, was proved only a little over two weeks later. He left legacies to Susannah Shinholser and Jno. Stare’s son, 100 lbs, to Elizabeth Stare sis. of Jno., John Sturzenegger Jr., Wm Shinholser and Geo. Bender. [Young p. 63 citing Box 19, Pack 414] This reference to "Sister of Jno Stare" is the only indication a sibling joined John in South Carolina. John Starr also appears among names indexed by the South Carolina Archives as found in the July 1797 will of John Pryor of Edgefield County. [Will Book A, page 83; Estate Packet Box 43, Pkg 1818 (4 frames)] Names include: Susanna Pryor Grubs, Tobias Pryor Grubs, Elizabeth Pryor Grubs, William Pryor, Eve Grubs, James Otis Prentis, John Starr, Jacob Zinn, William Stewart, Charles Ramsey and Peter Cooper.

John Star appears on the 1790 Edgefield District, South Carolina census with 2 males over 16, 2 males under 16 and 1 female over 16 and 6 slaves. Near neighbors include the now familiar Casper Nails and Nath’l Howell and others such as Abraham Ardis, Charles Ramsey and Meshack Wright. By 1800 John’s household had increased to 2 males under 10; 1 male 10-16; and 1 male over 45 (his three sons and himself). The one female fell in the age category of 16-26 suggesting Mary (Hiles) Starr had died and this was his younger, second wife. (Or the census taker merely checked the wrong age category. ) John now had seven slaves and neighbors included: Abraham Ardis, Elizabeth Dick, William Tobel, Elish Brown, Walter Taylor and Malachi Stanton. By 1810 John’s household consisted of 4 males 16 to 26 and himself (over 45). The only female was now over 45. He had 8 slaves. Neighbors were Elizabeth Dick, Abram Ardiss, Meshack Wright, Elihur Williams and John Brown. By 1820 Edgefield District census George was considered the head of the Household. With him were 3 males under 10, 2 males 26 to 45 and one male over 45 (John). Also in the household were 2 females under 10 and 2 females 16 to 26. It appears John and two sons, plus their wives and "combined" children are all living in the same household.

John Starr wrote his will 4 January 1821, appointing his three sons executors and giving them specific legacies: son George negroes Ned and Tabitha; son John negroes Fighter and Lewis; and son Henry negroes Peter and Elsor. The remaining William was to be valued and equally divided between the three sons. Everything else was to be equally divided and money left after debts was to be used to purchase land in the west which was then to be equally divided between them. John Starr signed his name in front of witnesses: Thomas L. Mills, Martin Everitt and Thomas Lowey. The will was proved at the 12 January 1821 court. [Wooley p. 137-8] Although the Wooley transcription shows it was written on page 65, Houston says the will of John Starr Sr. was filed in Edgefield County, vol. 1 1817-1835, Section C p. 107. [Houston]  The SC Archives indicates it was recorded in Will Book C, page 66; Estate Packet, Box 26, Pkg 931.

George (1785-1834)

[LSS note: The list of children for George and Elizabeth Broom (Brown) given by Brinton doesn’t strictly agree with the documented list of children found in the division of the estate of Thomas Broom deceased of South Carolina. Brinton’s list is retained for its historic value.]

George Starr of Beech Island S. Carolina, son of John Starr of Beech Island S. C. was born at Beech island S. C. 13 July 1785 at the latter place on 7 March 1811 he maried Eliza (born 31 Mch 1794) daughter of Gussias and Minty (Wise) Brown. He died 4 April 1834 and his widow resided in 1883 at Williston Creek S. C. He followed the business of a farmer. The children of George and Eliza Starr were:

1 Henry b. ___ 1812 married 1st ________ 2nd _______ Walker, 3rd Elizabeth, widow of _____ Chibby and daughter of ________ Lance and had issue by the last (1) Sarah Jane m. Ludson Holman (2) Victoria married Durant, son of F. Wiley & Elizabeth Gliver of Beech Island (3 Lavissia married Wiley, son of W. E. Glunk

(4) Franklin m. Emma d. of Hardy & _____ (Whitney) Walls of Willis ____ S. C. & have issue one child (5) Henry Patrick. Henry Starr their father is a farmer living near Blackville, Barnwell D. M S. C.

2 John b. 16 Oct 1816 & died aged six years

3 Mary Hiles b. 20 Feb 1819 married 1st Willis, son of William & Lydia (Kennedy) Buckholder ___ born 17 Mch 1811 & died 18 July 1844 in Aiken S. C. Mary Hiles

married 2nd Joseph Hightower, son of Martin & Lucinda (Perkins) Brickholder who was born 4 OCT 1826 at Aiken S. C. Issue by the first marriage 1. Lydia Ann b. 24 OCT 1837 2. George Edward b. 10 AUG 1839 3. Gadsden. Issue by the Second marriage 4. Joseph Sebasian 5 Ringold

4 Henry b. 10 April 1820 married Keziah Fox of Beech island issue 4 chn removed to Florida & not known (since the war)

5 Frances Cornelia b. 15 DEC 1826 married Isaac, son of Jacoby & Elizabeth (Reeder) Cock who died Dec 1865, age 48 years. They resided at Shaw's Creek, Aiken Co. S. C. Their children were 1. George died 2 Tahula died. 3 Elizabeth 4 Camillia 5 Susan Cober and 6 Edward

6 Sarah Ardis b. 10 Feb 1826 and died 20 Aug 1838 at Edgefield S. C. married 14 Nov 1846 married Lawrence, son of _____ & Harriet Refer. issue 1 Charles Sept 6, 1847 2 Mary C. b. June 1848 at Edgefield Sc married 18 Dec 1867 George Moseley lives near White Pom. S. C. & have four children

7 George b. 11 OCT 1829 died  [page 286-7]

George was the only son of John and Mary (Hiles) born before Francis Carlile wrote his will 13 November 1785. This compiler has seen only a very brief abstract of the will and interpretation of what George specifically received is unclear.  [p. 63 Young citing Box 19, Pack 414]  George was specifically named, along with his brother John and their father, in the 1788 will of Sophia Hiles. [Hollingsworth]

The 1820 Edgefield County Census shows George as the head of the Starr household that consisted of two young married couples and "father" John Starr. Therefore, not all the children (three boys and 2 girls, all under 10) were necessarily George and Eliza’s. Researcher Gwen Downey, citing 1835 Edgefield County guardian records, shared a list of George’s children, all minors at that time: Nancy, Mary, Thomas, Frances, Sarah and George. [Revill]   Eliza Starr appears on the 1840 census in Richmond County, Georgia as does her brother-in-law John Starr. Henry Starr, the third son of John of Beech Island, was living in Stewart County, Georgia, by that date.

The best documentation for George’s family is found in the undated probate accounts for Thomas Broom deceased. [SCMAR p. 47] Heirs receiving their share of his estate included: Eliza Starr (widow of Geo. Starr) 1/3; Henry Starr minor 1/6 of 2/3; Mary Starr children 1/6 of 2/3; Thos. Starr 1/6 of 2/3 [and] 1/6 4.75; Eliza Starr, Frances Starr guardian ad litem 1/6 of 2/3; Sarah Starr 1/6 of 2/3; George Starr 1/6 of 2/3. [p. 239]  A receipt dated 10 February 1847 and signed by John Hill, O.E.D. … "for $4.75 in full for the shares of myself, Henry, Mary, Thos., Frances, Sarah and George Starr. /s/ Eliza May (?) with Wm F. Ourisoe" witness. [240]

John (1788 – 1850)

John Starr of Augusta Georgia, son of John Starr & Mary Hiles Starr of Beech Island SC was born 29 March 1788. He married Elizabeth d. of John and Elizabeth (Brown) McDade of Richmond Co. GA and died 25 March 1850. He was turnkey of the jail at Augusta for nineteen years to the time of his death. Their children were:

        1  Leonidas b. Sept 1818 and died young

2 Sarah Elinora 6. 30 June 1820 married 5 April 1838 Peter Dennis, son of Peter and Susanna (Aldrich) Rowlett who was born 25 Dec 1812 at Augusta Ga. Issue 1 John David b. 1 June 1839 and died young 2 Susanna Luther b. 26 Mary 1840 married Joseph D. Mathewson of Augusta Ga and had issue Lucy Ellan b. 15 Oct 1841 who married Peter Buncum of Augusta Ga 3 Albert Merton b. 4 Feb 1845 died 12 Jan 1866 4 Bertha Haywood b. 8 Sept 1850 died young 6. Herman Benjamin b. 12 May 1852 7 William Edward b. 2 May 1858 died young 8 Eugene Ford b. 26 Sept 1859 [page 288]

John was named along with his brother George and father in the 1788 will of Sophia Hiles, Edgefield County, South Carolina. [Hollingsworth]  His marriage to Elizabeth McDade 4 Oct 1815 (bond date) is recorded in Richmond County, Georgia. Dr. ___ Burch was surety for the bond. [Maddox & Carter; Hollingsworth]   John appears on the 1830 Richmond County Georgia census, as does his brother Henry.

Henry (1795-1863)

Henry Starr of Lumpkin, Stewart Co. GA, son of John and Mary Hiles Starr of Beech Island S.C. was born 20 May 1795. He married 30 Nov 1805 Susanna W. Barnes of Beech Island who was born 4 Nov 1800 and died 15 Nov 1863. Henry Starr removed to Lumpkin in 1834 and died there 15 July 1836. Their children were:

1 William R. b. 24 Nov 1816 married Feb 1841 Mildred Mathis and had issue eleven children the oldest Thomas was killed in the war of rebellion

2 Samuel (?) b. 27 Sep 1818 Living in Lumpkin 1872 unmarried

3 Mary Ann b. 19 April 1820 died 6 March 1870 married 1840 Edward Voorhees issue four children 1. Antoinette married ____ (?)Bhast ____ children 2 R. W. married & had two children 3. Wht & 4 ? (sic question mark)

4 Susannah B. b. 2 Aug 1827 married W. G. Conley had issue 5 children & were living in Cuthbert Ga in 1872 [page 289] 

The transcription of the Brinton microfilm errs in stating his wife was Susannah Barnes; it should read Susannah Bowers. [Revill] Further proof of her surname is found in the 23 September 1833 will of her father, David Bowers of Beech Island, Edgefield District, South Carolina. [p. 27 Davidson citing Records of Richmond Co. GA p. 412]  David’s will named his wife Martha, his brother Philemon Bowers and sons James and John. Daughters included: Catherine Barnes [Bowers] (minor); Eliza and her son Thomas; Susannah, wife of Henry Starr and her son Samuel; Sarah, wife of George Dunbar; Mary, wife of John Hatfield; Anna, wife of William Carey. He then mentioned his granddaughter Martha Theresa, daughter of John and "my mother lived [should this be "lives"?] on Beech Island."  Interestingly, he appointed John Miller executor and guardian of his minor daughter and granddaughter, but left the money given to Susannah Starr and her son Samuel in the hands of John Woolfolk. The will was entered for probate in Edgefield County, SC 11 April 1834 and in Richmond County, GA 4 May 1835.

Henry, Susannah and their family were by then living in Stewart County, Georgia. Their son, Samuel, was Brinton’s informant for this line. A message on genforum says Henry ran a grist mill in the county. Marriages of three children were found in the record books. Mary Ann Starr married Eton Vorus 4 September 1838. [Dixon & Clark p. 114] William R. Starr married Matilda Worthington 23 February 1842. [p. 126 Ibid; Maddox] Susan B. Starr married William Conley 19 January 1845. [p. 117 Ibid] According to the 1850 census, their son Samuel was born in South Carolina 1820. When the census was taken that year, he was living with Mathew and Ann Wright. [Hollingsworth]  Samuel Starr was clerk of the Inferior Court from January 12, 1850 to January 8, 1852. [p. 75 Dixon & Clark]  In 1868 his name appears on a tax list of firms and individuals who operated a business in the county. [p. 28 Dixon & Clark] In 1869 he is listed on among those eligible for jury duty.  [p. 102 Ibid



Brinton, Francis D. LDS Film #000362, research notes filmed 1947. Original located at the Chester County Historic Society, West Chester, PA.

Davidson, Grace Gillam (Mrs. John Lee) compiler. Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters Daughters of the American Revolution Volume II: Records of Richmond County,

Georgia Formerly Saint Paul’s Parish. 1929 The McGregor Co., Athens, GA.

Dixon, Sarah Robertson and Agnew and Marean Clark. History of Stewart County, Georgia Vol. 1.

Everton Publishers, Inc. The Handybook for Genealogists Ninth Edition. 1999 Logan, UT.

Hollingsworth, Leon S. LDS film #1528061 (restricted to SLC). Gen. Card File in possession of R. J. Taylor Jr. Foundation, Atlanta.

Houston, Martha Lou, compiler. Indexes to the County Wills of South Carolina 1939.

Lucas, Rev. Silas Emmett Jr., compiler. Index to Headright & Bounty Grants of Georgia 1756-1909. 1970. Southern Historical Press, SC.

Maddox, Joseph T. Early Georgia Marriage Roundup. Irwinton, GA

Maddox and Carter, 40,000 Early Georgia Marriages 1976

Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1983

Real Estate papers Thos. Broom SCMAR, Vol. XV, Winter 1987, No. 1, p.47

Revill, Janie, compiler. Edgefield County, SC 1984.

Wooley, James E. and Vivian Wooley. Edgefield County, S.C., Wills 1787-1836

Young, Willie Pauline, compiler. Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six and Abbeville District Wills and Bonds Southern Historical Press, Inc., Greenville, SC reprint 2004