Sumter County Genealogical Center

Membership Meetings 2023

Date:  01/16/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker –  Mr. David Henry Lucas

Topic –  The Rice Kings Series, Intro to his 3rd book. Jonathan Lucas II has joined his father, Jonathan Lucas I in Charleston SC. Like his father before him, he has been trained as a millwright by his great uncle in England. Jonathan II reconnects with his father and Anne Ashburn, his father’s mistress, but there is pent-up resentment of their relationship and the half siblings it has produced. Jonathan II throws himself into his new life in America and carves out his own niche, cultivated by the esteem of the planters of the rice culture in the Carolina Lowcountry. He experiences of joy of love, the tragedy of loss and the thrill of danger as he and his father continue their ascension to the top of the rice aristocracy of Charleston. 

Those involved in the production of rice had become the wealthiest society in America. Glittering social scenes of balls, horse racing and plantation parties mark the daily lives of this exclusive society. A formidable threat arises that could end the success of the Lucas Family and the onslaught comes in different attacks that could prove fatal to their plans, aspirations and even their lives. As a new century dawns, the Lucas Clan must overcome, not only threats from outside forces, but internally, as they struggle to keep their family from being torn asunder in a simmering family feud. Discover the fascinating story of The Rice Kings.

Date:  02/20/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker –  Mr. Tom O’Hare

Topic –  Friends, Faith, Foes and Freedom: The Fascinating Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass” – While America was bitterly divided during the Civil War, an unlikely friendship developed between two men from very different walks of life, President Abraham Lincoln and freed slave Frederick Douglass.During the early part of the war, Lincoln carefully navigated public opinion to maintain support for the war by focusing on preserving The Union, not ending slavery. Lincoln’s careful dodging of the slavery issue infuriated African America’s leading abolitionist voice, freed slave Frederick Douglass. Come hear the story of how three White House Meetings between these two giants of American history in the final years of the war helped bring an end to slavery and forged one of the most genuine and inspiring friendships or our nation’s past.

Date:  03/20/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker – Charles Broadwell

Topic –  The first group in the Salem District were cattle herdsmen. Cattle herdsmen were at the waters of Black River as early as 1750. Then came the settlers who wanted a permanent home, they planted indigo and rice on the banks of the Black River. Soon came one of the first roads in South Carolina leading to the “back country” known simply as the Black River Road.
The Salem District was settled as early as any part of Sumter County and its history developed along the same lines. Salem District citizens participated in the “Indian” wars against the Cherokee. Its members comprised are large portion of General Francis Marion’s Brigade.
Much of the story of the Salem District has been lost over time. Few of its grand houses remain and those that do are in fragile condition. The citizens of the Salem District worked hard but never were able to achieve their twin goals of having a permanent town and county named Salem. Salem District is historically significant that its history deserves to be recorded. What is written in the following pages represent some facts, traditions and stories that have survived, but so much more of Salem District history has been lost over time.
These sketches are an attempt to record as much as possible information about the houses in the Salem District, those that still exist and those that exist only in memory, and some information about the people who built them.

Date:  04/17/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker – Patricia “Pat” McNelly

Topic –  She will speak on her book Historic South Carolina Ghosts and Legends

Surveys say that 57 percent of Americans believe in ghosts and 35 percent of the population have experienced paranormal activity in their homes, according to USC Professor Emerita Pat McNeely. Some of those stories have been compiled into a heavily illustrated new book, “Historic South Carolina Ghosts and Legends,” which McNeely will discuss in a PowerPoint presentation.

This program is sponsored by South Carolina Humanities, a state program of the
National Endowment for the Humanities; inspiring, engaging and enriching South
Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.

Date:  05/15/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker –  Herbert O. “Bing” Chambers, III 

Topic –  And Were the Glory of Their Times – Men Who Died for South Carolina in the War for Southern Independence – Infantry Volume One.

No Speaker for June, July or August 2022

Date:  09/18/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker –  Fritz Hamer 

Topic –  Among some of his publications he has co-edited a series of articles on SC in the Civil War and Reconstruction, and another book on the impact of the Charleston Navy Yard in World War II. One of his favorite topics is the German prisoner of war experience in South Carolina during the Second World War for which he has published two articles. His lecture will focus on the flying service of Ervin Shaw of Alcolu and Sumter and Elliott White Springs, of Ft. Mill, SC. Shaw Air Force Base was named after 1st Lieutenant Ervin David Shaw.

Date:  10/16/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker – USC Professor Emerita Pat McNeely 

Topic –  A PowerPoint presentation about her new book, “Henry Timrod: a life of sorrow and song”. Her heavily illustrated book contains images of some of the women he loved, the places he lived and some of the many friends who helped him during his brief and tortured life. McNeely said Timrod’s poetry earned him a place in most Southern Studies and anthologies of American poetry, he wrote poetry and taught school on plantations in North and South Carolina until the Civil War began.”

Date:  11/20/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker –  Cherly Oliver

Topic – Ghosts of The Hunley. Each book in this series is related to the men of the H.L. Hunley Submarine, Horace Hunley, Hunley’s family and friends, the crew members, the authorities directly involved, and witnesses. Others have written about the H.L. Submarine. In my series I am writing about the men involved in making the sub a reality, whether by financing, building, designing, witnessing, advising, approving, writing letters, or diary entries, crew members, all of those who had a hand in making the H.L. Hunley creation. 

Volume 1 – Ghosts of the Hunley, From the Beginning. 

Volume 2 – Ghosts of the Hunley, Men of Courage. 

Volumes 3 – Ghosts of the Hunley, Charleston Strong 

Date:  12/18/2023

Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Speaker –  None

Topic –  Anyone can share their Genealogy/Family history stories.

Membership Meetings are Open to the Public

Membership Meetings are at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church at 912 Haynsworth St, Sumter, SC 29150 with the exception of 20 Feb 2023.

*20 Feb 2023 Location – USC-Sumter, 200 Miller Rd, Sumter, Arts & Letters Bldg, Lecture Hall