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Enslaved Communities on Drayton Family Plantations: SC, GA, FL and TX

"Slaves of the Rebel General Thomas F. Drayton" Photographer: Moore, Henry P., 1833-1911

Source: Library of Congress:

No known restrictions on publication.


In the first project of its kind, the Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, SC has sponsored genealogical research to reconstruct the lineages of enslaved communities on Drayton family plantations in the United States and Barbados. For the past four years, the Lowcountry Africana team and known descendants of families formerly enslaved on Drayton family plantations have worked together to rediscover the scattered paper trail which may connect the enslaved ancestors on Drayton family plantations with many thousands of living descendants throughout the United States. We are now compiling the research for presentation here.

The documents presented here are small fraction of those to be presented. In the course of our research we have gathered more than 30,000 pages of documentary evidence which spans the years 1724 to 1930.

To begin exploring the Drayton family records, you may follow the links to the first and second generation of the slaveholding Drayton family in the column bar to the right.

Project Scope And Research Goals

The goal of the present study is to trace the descendants of the founding enslaved populations on Drayton family plantations by bringing the lineages of enslaved ancestors forward through time to connect with the family oral history and genealogical research of living descendants.

The first component, presented here, documents the founding enslaved communities on Drayton family plantations. With the estate settlement of Thomas Drayton, Jr. in 1724, the slaveholding Drayton family lineages diverge, as Thomas Drayton's estate was divided among his sons. Please be sure to visit often as we track lineages forward.

Known Descendant Families

The research team includes known descendants of Drayton family freedmen and researchers from Lowcountry Africana. Descendants have shared family oral history, documents, photographs and results of past genealogical research. Working with these vital pieces of the puzzle, we have compiled known family histories, then searched the historical record for documents which would fill gaps in known lineages.

You may view the lineages of known descendants by following the link below:

Genealogy of Enslaved Communities on Drayton Family Plantations: A Research Project Sponsored by the Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, SC

Research - Phase I

Phase I of the research project consisted of the following:

Phase II: Underway

Phase II is underway. We are now compiling the historical documents and presenting them here at Lowcountry Africana. We've posted the wills, estate inventories and plantation records of known Drayton family slaveholders in the Lowcountry Africana document database in order to make them available for researchers as we work to build the website presentation.

Each new document brings new information and as the pieces of the puzzle come together, the names and lives of enslaved ancestors begin to come into focus.

As we layer on documents and lineages, we will weave those stories together and present them here.

Join the Research Project

If your family has roots on Drayton family plantations, we would love to hear from you, and we invite you to join in the ongoing research. Please let us hear from you! You can write to us at


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    March 10, 2015 1:47 amPosted 4 months ago

    Any information on the old Dunes West plantation? I would love to know more about its history in Mt Pleasant SC.

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    November 9, 2014 1:37 amPosted 8 months ago
    Catrina Boyd-Gee

    I am seeking for descendents of Dennis Boyd from Greeleyville S.C. also John Sullivan from New Orleans whom settled in Greeleyville S.C.

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    June 21, 2014 5:23 pmPosted 1 year ago
    brenda miller lucas

    Looking for descendents of rowland or rowllande miller from hawkinsville ga

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    December 2, 2013 2:50 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Elnora Johnson

    Looking for a photo of my grand father

    Born in savannah georgia august1, 1896

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    September 4, 2013 11:34 amPosted 1 year ago
    Rose Miller

    I am not sure if my grandfather family line extend to the Drayton Plantation. I recall my father teling me that his great grandfather came from barbados. My grandfather was the late George H Miller and His father was Morris Miller and his father was Morris Miller. Im lost after that. I know my grandfather is from Jasper Co., South Carolina…Im not sure where his parents ( Morris Miller and Jane Gant Addison,Morris Miller and Bash Miller) came from. I only know Jasper Co., or Robertville Co., Hampton Co.,. I would appreciate any help on finding information on them. I've also taken the DNa test on ancesrty and can not find any connection to all the matches they sent my way. I know my ancestors comes from West Africa and Scandiavian..Eastern Europe.

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    August 2, 2013 10:45 pmPosted 1 year ago

    i would like to know about the fairfield plantation in fairfield south carolina owned by dr robert brice

  • May 1, 2013 3:00 pmPosted 2 years ago

    Our Family records are spotty on my Mothers side. We lose track once we go back to the islands

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    April 5, 2013 5:55 pmPosted 2 years ago

    I am curious as to how you are researching the Drayton Family history in Barbados?
    Currently, I am doing research on the Middleton family, plantation owners in Barbados,
    who also owned plantations in GA and SC. Could you direct me to a source that may
    have relevant information?

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    December 11, 2012 7:53 amPosted 2 years ago

    I know Drayton family members here in the Lowcountry. I don't know if they are direct descendents of the slaves from this part of South Carolina or not, but I have to assume so, with Drayton being a fairly common name for African-American families between here and Charleston. If anyone is interested in adding this article to the current family information, the link is:
    Mr. Drayton – and his family – are fantastic people and have very strong roots here in Jasper County. I wrote the article, and went into the interview not realizing that the extended family had such a long history in the area. It's fascinating to me to see how deep family roots run, particularly in the Carolinas…

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    October 17, 2012 8:59 pmPosted 2 years ago

    What an enriching project for the families of Drayton Hall. I just recently learned that my paternal side of the family came out of Barnwell, SC by 1880 they were living in Savannah Chatham Georgia. Do you have any information or website that you can share with me on the district of Barnwell S.C. during those times, and its people. I have recently listen to your experience with the dwelling place project. I hope that in the days to come, that a restored slave dwelling place will become a museum for all to visit and comprehend a sad piece of American History. Thank you again.

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      April 6, 2015 7:08 amPosted 3 months ago
      Bill Grimke-Drayton

      Hi Are you a Drayton? If so, I can put you in touch with cousins who live in Pennsylvania. I can also send you a family tree. Check out my website – Toni knows me. If you want to know who I am, I am the great-great grandson of Theodore Drayton Grimke, who was the brother of Rev. John of Magnolia Gardens. Best wishes, Bill.

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    May 2, 2012 10:20 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Tiffiney Drayton Kemp

    willie drayton was born in 1913

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    May 2, 2012 10:16 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Tiffiney Drayton Kemp

    If my great grandfather was a slave at Drayton Hall. If so I would like to find out as much information about the history of my family roots

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    May 2, 2012 10:11 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Tiffiney Drayton Kemp

    I am trying to search my family roots. I am having some trouble with where my family was from. My father name is Matthew Drayton one of 18 children. My father was the son of Willie Drayton who was from Society Hill South Carolina. My grandfather was born in r91y to Teddy Drayton and Celie Williams Drayton. I only have the name of one of my grandfathers siblings and her name was Jennifer Drayton Douglas. My grandfather left Society Hill at faage 13 to work in Whiteville North Carolina. I have questions about the rest of my grand

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      October 2, 2012 11:57 amPosted 2 years ago
      Howard Wright

      if you want too know more email Howard Wright


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