First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina

Dukes (Duke) Update

1. JOSEPH DUKES was born at an unknown date and place and died bef. 1768 in Orangeburgh District, South Carolina [1]. He might have first married (1) UNKNOWN. He married 2) MARGARET EISENHUT [HAZELWOOD], who died about 1753 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina [2]. Her father was ABRAHAM EISENHUT (see Whissenhut/Hazelwood) who first petitioned for land in Orangeburgh District in 1747[2][3]. Her mother was Mary Dattwyler, daughter of Melchior Dattwyler. [4]. Joseph married (3) BARBARA FUSTER (widow), b. abt. 1722 in 1754 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina [2]. She was the daughter of Johannes Fuster and his wife Elspeth Tobler.[2]

The parish records of Rev. John Giessendanner dating from 1750[2] and the colonial land grants of South Carolina document that Joseph Dukes established the Orangeburg, SC, Dukes family. Joseph first petitioned for land in 1757[5] and was granted 200 acres of land in 1757[6]. He was granted an additional 300 acres in 1758[7]. In Orangeburgh, Joseph's name was first recorded as Duke, but before the birth of his last daughter an "s" was added [2].

Theories of the origin of Joseph Duke or Dukes have focused on Duke families of English descent. However, documentary evidence has fallen short of proof, and extensive yDNA testing has now demonstrated that Joseph Dukes was not related to those Duke families that have been suggested as his family of origin.[8] The families eliminated through genetic testing include a number of Virginia lines (families in Prince George, Isle of Wight, and New Kent counties, among others, and their North Carolina derivatives), two Duke families of early Maryland (one derived from the Poer-Hayes, Devonshire, family), and the early Duke family of Barbados (because it was also derived from the Duke family of Poer-Hayes and should match Maryland test results, barring false paternity in one of their lines).

Circumstantial evidence suggests that some of the individuals using the surname Duke in the South Carolina lowcountry prior to 1760 may have Anglicized their name as Duke, from the French Du Gué or Dugué. The Huguenot Du Gué family descends from 1685 immigrants JACQUES DUGUÉ and his wife ELIZABETH DUPUY DUGUÉ of Bésance, Berri, France.[9][10][11][12] However, the possibility of a connection between Joseph Duke of Orangeburgh and this Huguenot family is speculative at present, based on a series of associations, and should not be regarded as established fact.

The possible existence of an unidentified first wife is inferred from documentation of Michael Dukes as Joseph's oldest son, prior to Joseph's appearance in Orangeburgh records. Joseph's recorded association with the Orangeburgh parish, and its records, might have begun with his marriage to the German-Swiss Margaret Eisenhut. This reconstruction is consistent with the evidence of Joseph's land grants; the acreage suggests that there were several additional children before 1750, and before Joseph participated in the Orangeburgh parish community. However, Joseph's first directly documented wife is Margaret Eisenhut of Orangeburgh. Following her death, Joseph married Barbara Fuster[2]. She had previously married Jacob Brunson[2]. Jacob was the son of Abraham Brunson of St. James Goose Creek Parish, SC. She had married second Robert Lammons[2], who was apparently from that same area.

A lease and release deed that transfers ownership of one-half of Joseph's two hundred acre land grant between Joseph's wife, Barbara Dukes, and her son, MICHAEL DUKES, without Joseph's legal participation, documents Joseph's death prior to 1768[1].

Children of Joseph Dukes and Unknown are:

a. MICHAEL DUKES, born Abt. 1745[1]; died Aft. 1800[13]. The lease and release document executed by Michael and Barbara in 1768 [1] shows that Michael inherited the only grant lands that Joseph did not sell before his death. South Carolina was under primogeniture at the time, so this establishes that Michael was the oldest surviving son of Joseph Dukes. The same document refers to Michael as a "planter." This implies that he had established an independent household by 1768.

Children of Joseph Dukes and Margaret Eisenhut/Hazelwood are:

a. THOMAS DUKES, SR., born September 14, 1750 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina[2]; said to have died 1846 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina. He is said to have married Sara Syphrett (some say Sara Bruce, neither alternative is proven) Abt 1780 in South Carolina; Sara Syphrett was born Abt. 1760 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina; died Abt. 1840 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina.

b. SARAH DUKES, born March 15, 1753 [2]; died January 08, 1799. She sometimes is said to have married Henry Snellgrove[14], although Snellgrove family researchers question this and it remains unproven.

Children of Joseph Dukes and Barbara Fuster are:

a. GEORGE ALEXANDER DUKES, born June 21, 1755 in Orangeburgh, South Carolina[2]; died Aft. 1777[15].

c. SUSANNAH DUKES, born March 27, 1758[2].

d. REBECCAH DUKES, born September 12, 1759[2].


1. Brent H. Holcomb 1993. Charleston Deed Book M-4, pages 303-308. In "South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1773-1778: Books F-4 through X-4." (Columbia: SCMar.) Page 90.

2. Joop Giesendanner, "The Book of Record, Orangeburgh, SC".

3. Johnson, Pam, ed. 2003. Whissenhut/Hazelwood. In The First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina. (Orangeburg: Orangeburgh German-Swiss Genealogical Society).

4. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Colonial Memorials. Vol. 12. Page 63.

5. Brent Holcomb. Petitions for land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Vol. V: 1757-1765, 1998, Page 15.

6. SC Archives. Royal Grants, Vol. 8, page 428.

7. SC Archives. Royal Grants, Vol. 8, page 298.

8. . Duke Surname Genealogical DNA Project.

9. "The Liste." Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina. No. 68. P. 28.

10. Childs, St. Julien. Jan-Apr 1942. The Petit-Guérard Colony. The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. XLIII (1-2), pp. 1-17, 88-97.

11. Trapier, Paul. 1953. "Notice of Ancestors and Relatives Paternal and Maternal." Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, No. 58: 30.

12. Gourdin, Virginia. 1986. Madeleine Chardon, of Tours, Touraine and her Family. Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina. No. 91: 84-85.

13, Federal Census. 1800. Orangeburgh District (North). Page 410.

14. Rose Kendrick Genealogical Files.

15. .American Revolution Roster, Fort Sullivan (Later Fort Moultrie) 1776-1780, Battle of Fort Sullivan, Events Leading to First Decisive Victory. (Charleston: Fort Sullivan Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.) Page 140.

Other references to this surname found in the OGSGS Newsletter: Vol. 7 #3 p. 51, Vol. 5 #4 p. 44, Vol. 5 #4 pp. 75,76, Vol 10 #2 pp 18-21.

Information provided by Rose M. Kendrick 09/17/02 and Lynn Shuler Teague, 10/09/02, updated by Lynn Shuler Teague, 5/27/03, 9/26/03, and 10/11/05.