First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina
Keitt (Keith, Kitts, Kitt)
1. George Keith was probably born before 1730.1 The South Carolina Council records show that on Wednesday, 8 Jan 1752, the Council considered the 24 May 1751 petition of George Keate saying that he had arrived in Philadelphia with Captain Stedman, who took him to Philadelphia. He was then brought to South Carolina by Captain [James] Russell and traveled on to the Congarees to settle and work at his trade as a tanner. He requested 50 acres of land near Saxe-Gotha Township and a town lot and the Bounty of Provision.2 The request for land was approved, the bounty was not.
John George Kith then purchased, together with Christian Leitner, 100 acres in Saxe-Gotha Township on 19 and 20 Dec 1752 (Deed Book N-3, p. 431, 19 & 20 Dec. 1752.)3 In 1759 George Keith and Michael Leitner transferred ownership of this property to Leitner alone.4
In 1759 George Keith married Elizabeth Gallman [Coleman]. This is documented in a 1762 deed from George Keith and his wife Elizabeth to Henry Gallman, Jr., planter, of Saxe-Gotha Township (Book Y-Y, p. 151, 19 Jan 1762, Release).5 The deed notes that the land was conveyed to Keith in consideration of Keith's marriage to Gallman's daughter, Elizabeth, on 15 Jan 1759.
In 1761 George Keith, tanner, purchased 200 acres originally granted to John Galleser from John and Elizabeth Fraser (Deed Book C-3, p. 101, 4 & 5 Sep 1761, Lease and Release).6
On 7 Jan 1767 George Keith and Elizabeth Coleman administered the estate of Keziah Coleman of Saxegotha Township as next of kin.7 Among other things, this documents the use of the anglicized surname "Coleman" for the family of Henry Gallman, Jr. [See Research Notes.]
In 1768 George Keith was a founding Elder of the German Congregation of the Dissenting Protestants in Saxe-Gotha Township, a Reformed congregation. He is identified in a deed "Gift in Trust. John Gallman, of Saxe-Gotha Township, Berkeley Co., for good & pious considerations, to Jacob Theyler, George Keith, John Gallman, & John Morf, elders of the German Congregation of the Dissenting Protestants in Saxe-Gotha Township, & their successors; 1 acre in said Township, part of 150 a. between Jacob Moach & John Morf; said a. bounding S on John Morf (Murpf); other sides on said 150 a.; with the Meeting House thereon; for the sole use of said German Protestants of the Helvetic or Wallone Confession. Witnesses: Christian Theus, Q.D.M., John Geiger, John (German script) Murpf. Before Fenwicke Bull, J.P. & P. Register. Recorded 26 Dec 1768."8 [The Gallmans mentioned here are not the family of George Keith's wife, see Research Notes.]
The evidence indicates that after that time, George Keith and a son, also George, moved to Amelia Township. On 8 Oct 1772 George Keith filed a plat for 135 acres in Amelia Township.9 The plat bounded NW on Henry Whetstone, NE on John Thompson and Nicholas Haynes, and SE on John Mitchell, SW on John Whetstone. The parcel was granted in 177310 and a memorial was filed in the same year.11 The adjacent landowners place him on Lyons Creek below St. Matthews, as shown on the map of Amelia Township by Susan Smythe Bennett.12
On 24 Mar 1774 a memorial was filed by George Keith for two tracts in Amelia Township originally granted to Thomas Weekley and to John Thompson, adjacent William Mitchel, John Whetstone, and Henry Whetstone.13 The original Weekley plat was adjacent "Lacy's Lands" and "lands laid out to Nicholas Haines."14 Lacy's property was granted in 1735 and is shown adjacent Weekley's grant on the Susan Smythe Bennet map of Amelia Township. The Weekley property is in the same location as "Keitt's Mill" on the 1825 Mills Atlas of Orangeburg County,15 clearly connecting the Amelia property acquired by George Keith of Saxe-Gotha with the later Keitt family of that area. On the same day that George Keith filed his memorial for this land, he filed a memorial for his brother-in-law John Gallman, unambiguously linking the Saxe-Gotha and Amelia families.16
Children of George Kitts and Barbara are:
+2.i.George Keith, II, born about 1760 in Orangeburg District, South Carolina.17
+3.ii.Anne Keitt, born about 1770 Orangeburg District, South Carolina.18
+4.iii.Margaret Keitt, born 17 Sep 1773, Orangeburg District, South Carolina.19
2. George Keith, II, was born in about 1760 in South Carolina to George Keith and his wife Elizabeth Gallman. In 1788 George Kith (at this date, it is uncertain whether this is the senior or junior of that name) is mentioned in a plat on Lyons Creek.20 Landowners mentioned are Henry Switzer, Melchior Smith, Robert Liviston, Thomas Coleman, and Francis Hadwin.
George II or his father was head of household in the 1790 census of Orangeburg that lists two males over the age of 16, three males under 16, three females and 15 enslaved persons.21 His household is listed between those of Joseph Smith, William Liviston, and Moses Liviston on one side and Melchor Holman, Stephen Stifflemire, and Joseph Holman on the other.
The children of the family were identified by Ellison S. Keitt. 22 The wife of George Kitts II was Dorothy Whetstone and the children were William, Adam, George [third of that name and father of Ellison S. Keitt], Mary Anne and Margaret. The sons are documented in the cemetery records of Calhoun County, having been buried at Tabernacle Methodist Church Cemetery in St. Matthews, SC.23 William Keitt, Sr., died aged 72 yrs and 9 mos on 6 Oct 1854, was born 1 Feb 1782. The Rev. Adam Keitt died aged about 40 years on 30 Jun 1824, having been born in about 1786. George Keitt, MD, was born 17 Feb 1794 and died 19 Apr 1861.
3. Anne Keitt married Thomas Kennerly. Rev. Franklow of St. Matthews Lutheran Church recorded her burial on 20 Jul 1800.24 She was listed as Anne Kennerly, age about 30, placing her birth at about 1770. Although she is often listed as a daughter of George Keith II and his wife Dorothy Whetstone, her birth date is too early for that and it is believed that she is a daughter of George Keith I and his wife Elizabeth Gallman. She was the mother of Christianna Kennerly (b. about 1795) and Mildred Elizabeth Kennerly (b. ca 1796). Rev. Franklow recorded Thomas Kennerly's remarriage to Rebecca Whetstone (daughter of Henry Whetstone, Jr.) on 29 Dec 1801..25
4. Margaret Keitt b. 17 Sep 1773, married John T. C. Kennerly, and died at the age of 90 on 3 Jul 1863. She was buried at the Tabernacle Methodist Church Cemetery.26
Many accounts of the Keitt family identify the immigrant generation as George Kitts, born in about 1748, who immigrated from Bermuda and married Dorothea Whetstone, an immigrant from Zurich, Switzerland, who was born in about 1731 to Hans and Anna Wetzstein or Whetstone of Zurich Canton. All of this is incorrect.
The George Keith of Bull Swamp, Orangeburgh Township, should not be confused with the George Keith of Saxegotha and Amelia townships. George Keith of Bull Swamp was also a German-speaking immigrant, but there is no known connection between the two.
George Keith I or II of Saxe-Gotha and Amelia did not marry a daughter of immigrants Hans and Anna Weitstein or Wetzstein of Illnau, Zurich, Switzerland. The immigrant George Keith of Saxegotha married Elizabeth Gallman of that township and their son, the younger George Keith, married Dorothy Whetstone of Amelia. The records of Rev. John Giessendanner show instead that the individual named Dorothy Wetzstein or Whetstone [daughter of Hans and Anna Wetzstein of Zurich] married Peter Mûrer on 3 Apr 1749. Her subsequent burial was recorded less than a year later, on 25 Feb 1750.27
The family of Henry Gallman, Jr., father of Elizabeth Gallman and father-in-law of the first George Keith or Kitts of Saxe-Gotha, was often listed under the anglicized surname Coleman. He was illiterate, using a mark for his signature, and others wrote is name as they heard it.
Henry Gallman/Coleman Jr., father-in-law of George Keith, is NOT the Henry Gallman who arrived in Saxe-Gotha Township from Zürich in Feb 1735. (That Henry Gallman is mentioned in the First Families biography for the Geiger family.) While the two persons named Henry Gallman who lived in the Saxe-Gotha Township necessarily knew one another, they had no documented familial connection.
George Keith and Elizabeth Gallman Keith had at least three children, a son George (II) and daughters, Anne and Margaret. Anne Keitt who married Thomas Kennerly is estimated to have been born around 1770, and she gave birth to a daughter, Christianna, in 1795. She could not have been a daughter of the younger George Keitt, presumed born after his parent's 1759 marriage and thus too young to be her father. Margaret Keith who married Thomas Kennerly's brother, John, was born 17 Sep 1773 and would have been a sister of Anne and George, a daughter of George Keith and Elizabeth Gallman Keith.
Dorothy Whetstone, wife of George Keith II, b. ca 1760, was probably a granddaughter of the Wetzstein/Whetstone immigrants Hans and Anna Wetzstein. Rev. John Giessendanner recorded that he married Henry Whetstine to Barbara Morff (widow) on 24 Dec 1750.28 Thus Henry is the first known male Whetstone of that generation to marry and is a possible father for Dorothy Whetstone. 29 His land adjacent to that of George Keith lends credibility to this speculation.
Mary Ann Keitt is sometimes conflated with Anne Keitt who married Thomas Kennerly, Jr. Instead, she was a daughter of George Keitt and Dorothy Whetstone and was born about 1796. She married Adam Marion Dantzler. She was a niece of the Anne Keitt who had married Thomas Kennerly, Jr.
Other references to this surname found in the OGSGS Newsletters: Vol. 3, p. 7; 32; Vol. 4, p. 71; Vol. 5, p. 63; Vol. 6, pp. 13 (2), 53, 126, 28, 38, 93 (2); Vol. 8, p. 12; Vol. 13, p. 21; Vol. 16, pp. 50, 52; Vol. 17, p. 51;
Information provided by Lynn S. Teague and Harriet Imrey 12/30/2020.
1 Birthdate is estimated from the time of his petition to Council and his marriage.
2 Brent H. Holcomb. Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume II: 1748-1752. Columbia SC: SCMAR, 1997, p. 252.
3 Clara B. Langley, South Carolina Deeds Abstracts, 1719-1772, Vol. IV. Greenville: Southern Historical Press, p. 82.
4 Keith, George and Michael Leitner to Michael Leitner, Lease and Release of Land and Town Lot No. 21 in Saxe-Gotha Township. Date: 1759-1760. Conveyance Books (Public Register), S372001, Vol. 2V0, P. 186, 1759-60, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
5 Clara B. Langley, South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1719-1772, Vol. 3, Greenville: Southern Historical Press, 1983, p. 174.
6 Clara B. Langley, South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1719-1772, Vol. 3, Greenville: Southern Historical Press, 1983, p. 243.
7 Probate Records of SC, Vol. 3, Journal of the Council of Ordinary 1764-1771, p. 31.
8 John Gallman to Jacob Theyler, George Keith, John Gallman, and John Morf, Deed of Trust, South Carolina Deed Book M-3, p. 120, 25 Oct 1768.
9 Keith, George, Plat for 135 Acres in Amelia Township, Colonial Plat Books (Copy Series), S213184, Vol. 17, P. 395, Item 1, 8 Oct 1772, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
10 Keith, George, Land Grant for 135 Acres in Berkley County. Colonial Land Grants (Copy Series), S213019, Vol. 28, P. 84, 20 Jan 1773, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
11 Keith, George, Memorial for 135 Acres in Amelia Township, Berkley County, Memorial books (Copy Series), S111001, 2 Jun 1773, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
12 Susan Smythe Bennett. A map of Amelia Township, Calhoun Coiunty, South Carolina 1704-1785. Digitized 2015, South Caroliniana Library Map Collection. https://digital.tcl.sc.edu/digital/collection/sclmaps/id/1928/. Accessed 26 Dec 2020.
13 Keith, George, Memorial for Two Tracts in Amelia Township, Berkley County, One for 100 Acres Summarizing a Chain of Title to a Grant to Thomas Weekley of March 8, 1744 and One for 100 Acres Summarizing a Chain of Title to a Grant to John Thompson of Dec. 12, 1768. Memorial books (Copy Series), S111001, Vol. 12, P. 474, Item 2, 21 Mar 1774, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
14 Weekley, Thomas, Plat for 100 Acres in Barkley County, Colonial Plats (Copy Series), S213184, Vol. 4, P. 210, Item 2, 27 Oct 1735, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
15 Mills Atlas of South Carolina, Orangeburg County. http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~scroots/1825orangeburg3.html. Accessed 22 Dec 2020.
16 Gallman, John, Memorial for 350 Acres on Cannons Creek, Berkley County, Summarizing a Chain of Title to a Grant to Evance Martin of Oct 11, 1755. Date 3/21/1774. Memorial Books (Copy Series), S111001, Vol. 12, P. 475, Item 1. 21 Mar 1774. South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
17 Birth year estimated from the date of his parents' marriage and from the birthdates of his own children.
18 Anne M. Haigler, The Church Records of Saint Matthews Lutheran Church, Orangeburg County, S.C. and "The Red Church," Greenville: Southern Historical Press, 1985, p. 42.
19 Anne M. Haigler, The Church Records of Saint Matthews Lutheran Church, Orangeburg County, S.C. and "The Red Church," Greenville: Southern Historical Press, 1985, p. 39.
20 Switser, Henry, Plat for 74 Acres Near Lions Creek, Orangeburgh District Surveyed by Henry Smith, State Plat Books (Charleston Series), S213190, Vol. 22, P. 150, Item 1, 10 Mar 1788, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
21 George Kith, U.S. Census, Year: 1790; Census Place: Orangeburg, South Carolina; Series: M637; Roll: 11; Page: 396; Image: 240; Family History Library Film: 0568151.
22 Ellison S. Keitt Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina.
23 Debbie Ulmer Roland for the Calhoun County Museum and Cultural Center. Cemeteries of Families of Amelia Township and Calhoun County South Carolina, Vol. I. Spartanburg: The Reprint Company, 1999, p. 298.
24 Anne M. Haigler, The Church Records of Saint Matthews Lutheran Church, Orangeburg County, S.C. and "The Red Church," Greenville: Southern Historical Press, 1985, p. 42.
25 Anne M. Haigler, The Church Records of Saint Matthews Lutheran Church, Orangeburg County, S.C. and "The Red Church," Greenville: Southern Historical Press, 1985, p. 39.
26 Debbie Ulmer Roland for the Calhoun County Museum and Cultural Center. Cemeteries of Families of Amelia Township and Calhoun County South Carolina, Vol. I. Spartanburg: The Reprint Company, 1999, p. 296.
27 Joop Giessendanner, Trans. The Book of Record by Rev. John Giessendanner, 1737-1761, https://sail.home.xs4all.nl/famnames/whetstones.html Accessed 7 Dec 2020.
28 Joop Giessendanner, Trans. The Book of Record by Rev. John Giessendanner period 1737-1761, https://sail.home.xs4all.nl/famnames/whetstones.html Accessed 7 Dec 2020.
29 Ellison S. Keitt [Ellison Summerfield] Keitt, Papers 1847-1900, University of South Carolina.;