First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina
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Syphrett (Syfrett, Syfret, etc.)
There appear to have been multiple immigrants with some version of the surname Syfrett who came to South Carolina in the colonial period. Several of these families found their way to Orangeburgh District. This paper attempts to document what is known of the family that began in Amelia Township which later became part of St. Matthews Parish of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina.
The Matthew Syfrett Family
1. Mathias/Matthew Syfrett was born probably about 1730 or slightly earlier, in Germany. He died after 1771, probably in Amelia Township, South Carolina. Matthew married Margaret -?- perhaps in 1751 or 1752 before arriving in South Carolina.1
On July 10, 1752 the Ship Upton, with Captain John Gardner, arrived in Charlestown from Rotterdam.2 According to research compiled by Carl W. Nichols and Siegbert Frick, most of the passengers were probably from Baden with a few from the Palatinate.3 Mathias Syfrid was one of the immigrants on this ship. Mathias filed a petition with the Governor’s Council on October 3, 1752 asking for 100 acres for him and his wife. He indicated that relatives already living in the Fork of the Broad and Saluda Rivers had encouraged him to come and he asked for his land to be laid out in that area. Mathias also requested the bounty payment as he had paid his own passage. The petition was approved and he was given the full bounty payment.4
The 100 acre tract surveyed for Mathias was certified on January 17, 1753 but it was on Ox Creek [later Lyons Creek] in Amelia Township5 rather than in the Fork of the Broad and Saluda Rivers as he had petitioned. Settlers were allowed to choose the location of their land so, for some reason, he did not settle where he originally intended. Mathias, now identified in the land records as Matthew, received his grant for this land on January 2, 1754.6
Matthew and his wife Margaret served as baptismal sponsors for the baptism of Catharina Margaret, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Crommelich, on February 11, 1753. Catharina Ox, the other sponsor for the child, was perhaps one of their neighbors on Ox Creek.7
Matthew and his wife Margaret had a child born on June 10, 1753. This daughter, Mary Margaret, was baptized on August 12th in the church in Amelia Township.8 Matthew and Margaret may have had additional children during the next fifteen or twenty years but there are no known surviving records to give evidence of those births. It certainly appears that Matthew had a son born about 1768 based on the appearance of Thomas Syfrett in the later records of the same area. Whether Margaret would have been Thomas’s mother cannot be determined.
Matthew served in his local militia company as all men between 16 and 60 did during the colonial era. He was in Captain John Morrison’s Company under Col. John Chevillette during the 1759 Cherokee expedition.9
On May 7, 1771 Matthew petitioned the Council for an additional 100 acres, probably for several children.10 His plat for this land, also in Amelia Township, was certified on August 5, 1771.11
Matthew and Margaret (-?-)Syfrett were the parents of
2 i.Mary Margaret Syfrett, born June 10, 1753;12 no further data.
Matthew and an unknown female, perhaps Margaret, were the probable parents of
3 ii.Thomas Syfrett, born about 1768, probably in Amelia Township, South Carolina; died in November 1808.13
3. Thomas Syfrett was born about 1768, probably in Amelia Township. He died in November 1808 at age 40. He was buried on November 23, 1808.14 Thomas married Mary -?- before 1796 and perhaps prior to 1790.15 Mary was born before 1775 and died after 1820.16
Thomas was the head of a household in the 1790 census. In addition to himself, the family included a male under sixteen, two females and no slaves.17 He would have also been head of a household in 1800 but Lewisburg County is missing from the Orangeburgh District enumeration for that year.18 The 1810 census for the district includes a household headed by Mary Syfrett, Thomas’s widow.19 Mary is still the head of household at the 1820 census of Orangeburgh District as well.20
Thomas and Mary -?- Syfrett were the parents of
4 i.Thomas Syfrett, born about 1797; buried August 31, 1799 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Orangeburgh District, South Carolina.21
5 ii.John Jacob Syfrett, baptized October 9, 1803 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Orangeburgh District, South Carolina;22 last known record was in Clarke County, Alabama in 1870.23 John married Anne Rebecca Bochette, 24 perhaps as early as 1825, probably in St. Matthews Parish, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina.25 She was born on November 14, 1806 in Orangeburgh District, South Carolina.26
Information provided by Margaret Waters and Pamela Johnson 06/11/2013
1 Birth, marriage and death dates have been estimated based on what is known of his life. See text that follows for additional citations.
2 Marianne S. Wokeck, Trade in Strangers: The Beginnings of Mass Migration to North America, (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), page 253.
3 Carl W. Nichols and Siegbert Frick, “German Settlers in the Dutch Fork of South Carolina,” (http://dutchforkchapter.org/html/auswanderer_1.html : accessed 30 October 2012).
4 Brent H. Holcomb, Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume III: 1752-1753 (Columbia: SCMAR, 1997), page 80.
5 Matthew Sifried plat, 17 January 1753, Colonial Plat Books (Copy Series), 1731-1775, volume 5, page 491, item 3; Surveyor General’s Office Series S213184: digital image, South Carolina Department of Archives and History (hereafter identified as SCDAH), (http://archivesindex.sc.gov : accessed 30 October 2012).
6 South Carolina, “On-Line Records Index,” SCDAH, (http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/Default.html: accessed 30 October 2012). The database shows a listing for Mathew Sifried for a grant of 100 acres in Amelia Township on 2 January 1754 as being found in Colonial Land Grants (Copy Series) 1675-1788, Series S213019, volume 5, page 283.
7 Joop Giesendanner, "Book of Record, Orangeburgh, SC (1738--1761)," Giesendanner Family Research (http://www.xs4all.nl/~sail/index.html : 30 October 2012), Catharina Margaret Crommelich baptism #137.
8 Joop Giesendanner, "Book of Record, Orangeburgh, SC (1738--1761)," Giesendanner Family Research, Mary Margaret Sigfritt baptism #167 (1753).
9 Murtie June Clark, Colonial Soldiers of the South, 1732—1774 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983), page 909.
10 Brent H. Holcomb, Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume VII: 1771-1774 (Columbia: SCMAR, 1999), page 25. One group of petitions on this date was listed as “On the Bounty” but Mathias’ was not among that group.
11 Matthias Liefret [sic] plat, 5 August 1771, Colonial Plat Books (Copy Series), 1731-1775, volume 19, page 445, item 1.
12 Joop Giesendanner, "Book of Record, Orangeburgh, SC (1738--1761)," Giesendanner Family Research, Mary Margaret Sigfritt baptism #167 (1753).
13 “Records of St. Matthews Lutheran Church (Calhoun Co., SC),” South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research 6 (Spring 1978), page 103.
14 “Records of St. Matthews Lutheran Church,” 6: 103.
15 Mary Syfrett appears in both the 1810 and 1820 censuses in the same area where Thomas lived and with a household composition that fits what is known of the family. Marriage date of 1796 is based on date of oldest known child but Thomas was in the 1790 census with two possible children and a possible wife.
16 1820 US census, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina, population schedule, page 205 (top part), line 22, Mary Cyphrit; NARA microfilm M33, roll 118.
17 1790 US census, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina, North Part, page 414, line 11; NARA microfilm M637, roll 11.
18 Margaret Waters, “Orangeburgh, South Carolina, Census Records: 1800,” The Orangeburgh German-Swiss Newsletter 12: 1 (Winter 2006), page 2.
19 1810 US census, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina, page 130, line 42, May. Syfrit household; NARA microfilm M251, roll 61.
20 1820 US census, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina, population schedule, page 205 (top part), line 22, Mary Cyphrit.
21 “Records of St. Matthews Lutheran Church,” 6: 101.
22 “Records of St. Matthews Lutheran Church (Calhoun Co., SC),” South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research 5 (Summer 1977), page 138.
23 1870 US census, Clarke County, Alabama, population schedule, Jackson Post Office, page 120 (stamped), dwelling 1014, family 1060, John J. Syprit; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 4 September 2010); from NARA microfilm M593, roll 8.
24 “Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974,” index transcription, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org : accessed 4 September 2010), Ed Seyphrit Edmund [sic], 25 January 1926; citing reference cn 305, Department of Health, Montgomery; FHL microfilm 1908278. Because this is a transcription of an actual record, both Ed Seyphrit’s name and that of his mother, Rebecca Anne Deschette [sic]may have been poorly transcribed. Family members should obtain a copy of the actual death certificate.
25 1830 US census, Orangeburgh District, South Carolina, population schedule, St. Matthews Parish, page 15, line 13, Jacob Sifret; NARA microfilm M19, roll 173. Date of marriage is estimated based on number of young children in this household.
26 “Records of St. Matthews Lutheran Church,” 5: 141.