Laurens County, South Carolina

Laurens County, South Carolina Genealogy Trails

From History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina by George Howe, 1965, Volume I, pg. 335-36

About the year 1763 or 1764, Messrs. Joseph Adair, Thomas Erving, William Hanna, Andrew McCrory and his brothers, united in building a house of worship.

Duncan Creek Church is situated in Laurens district, on the waters of Enoree, a branch of Broad river. It was principally composed of emigrants from Ireland and Pennsylvania with their descendants, some of whom settled here as early as 1758.

The original settlement was made three years before Braddock's defeat, by Mr. John Duncan, of Aberdeen, Scotland, who first emigrated to Pennsylvania, and thence removed here and settled on the creek which bears his name. He was the highest settler by ten miles in the fork between the Saluda and Broad rivers, and the only man at this time who had either negro, wagon, or still, in this part of the world. His nearest neighbor was Jacob Pennington, living on the Enoree below.

About the year 1763 or 1764, Messrs. Joseph Adair, Thomas Erving, William Hanna, Andrew McCrory and his brothers, united in building a house of worship.

In 1766 they were visited by Mr. Duffield, Mr. Fuller,and Mr. Campbell. Mr. Duffield was probably George D. D., who was licensed by the presbytery of Newcastle in 1756, and was sent by the synod of New York to Carolina in 1765, and was afterwards settled in Carlisle and Philadelphia. Campbell was James Campbell, who joined the South Carolina presbytery in 1758, and became pastor of the Bluff church in North Carolina.

Afterwards they were visited by Rev. Hezekiah Balch, licensed by the presbytery of Newcastle in 1768-9. Mr. Balch advised the people to choose elders. This was done. Andrew McCrory, Joseph Adair, and Robert Hanna, were elected, and ordained by Mr. Balch. James Pollock and Thomas Logan having come into the bounds of the congregation a short time before, the former from Pennsylvania and the latter from Ireland, on producing certificates of their membership and ordination, were chosen elders of this church. The communion was also administered, the number of communicants at that time being about sixty.

The manners and dress of these first settlers must have been quite primitive. Their dress was as follows: huntingshirt, leggings, and moccasins, adorned with buckles and beads. The hair was clubbed and tied up in a little deerskin or silk bag. At another time they wore their hair cued and rolled up in a black ribbon or bear's-gut dressed and dyed black. Again it became a custom to shave off the hair and wear white linen caps with ruffles around. The women's dress was long-eared caps, Virginia bonnets, short gowns, long gowns, stays, stomachers, quilted petticoats, high wooded heels. There was little market for produce except to the new settlers.

Trade was carried on in skins and furs. Deer and beaver skins were a lawful tender in payment of debts. Winter skins were 18 pence sterling, Indian-dressed skins $1 per pound.

From Old South Carolina Churches, 1941, by Hazel Crowson Sellers

The first settler in the historic Duncan's Creek neighborhood was John Duncan, a Scotch-Irish pioneer from Pennsylvania.  Finding the country to his liking, he induced two firends, Joseph Adair and Robert Long, and their families to join him.  Both Long and Adair were later to become soldiers of the Revolution.

The Reverend Hezekiah Balch commenced holding services at Duncan's Creek in 1752.  It was not, however, until 1763 that a church building was erected.  The present structure erected in 1842 is the third.

Duncan Creek Presbyterian Church is known as the "Mother Church" of the Presbyterians in this neighborhood.  About 1758 there arose a quarred between the adherents of ? and Watt's versons of the Psalms which were sung at services, and a large portion of the congregation seceded to form a Baptist Church.

Many Revolutionary soldiers are buried in the large graveyard, in which the earliest marked grave is that of Susannah Long, 1776.

Ordained by Rev. Hezekiah Balch, by the war

Andrew McCrery
Joseph Adair Sen.
Thomas Ewing
Robert Hanna ordained in Pennsylvania
James Polock
Thomas Logan ordained in Ireland

Ordained  Oct 1788, by Rev. Joseph Alexander

Thomas McCrery
Joseph Greer
Samuel Laird
Robert Long
James Craig
Robert Bell

Memorial to Men of This Congregaton Who Served Their Country
1775 - 1781

Joseph Adair Sr.
Joseph Adair Jr.
Thomas Logan
Robert Long
Leonard Beasley
John Copeland
George Young Sr.
Joseph Ramage

Thomas McCrary
Thomas Holland
Robert Hanna
John Craig
James Craig
J. Bell
James Adair Sr.
Wm. Underwood

Erected by Musgrove's Mill and Henry Laurens Chapters D.A.R. 1928

From the South Carolina
Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina
Duncan's Creek Presbyterian Church, Laurens County (S.C. Sec. Rd. 34, Clinton vicinity)

(Old Rock Church)
Duncan's Creek Presbyterian Church

(Old Rock Church) Duncan's Creek Presbyterian Church, built ca. 1842, is one of the earliest examples of rural church architecture in the upper part of the state. Its unadorned simplicity and solid stone construction are characteristic of buildings erected by early Scotch-Irish settlers in the Southeast. A simple rectangular building constructed of irregular stones, the church stands as a reminder of mid-nineteenth century rustic church architecture. The gable end is the main entrance fasade and is centered with double doors flanked by two narrow windows at a slightly higher level. Its simplicity, uncomplicated symmetry, and fine stone masonry are features that make it a valuable record of upcountry rural architecture. One of the few changes made in the church was the removal of the original rear slave gallery in the first third of the twentieth century. Many churches in Laurens County are "daughters" of this old church as members of its congregation left to establish new churches in neighboring areas. The church is situated on a wooded site and is flanked by a cemetery containing carved stone markers of both Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers. The earliest grave dates from 1776. Listed in the National Register November 15, 1973.

Church records can be found at the church.  Many records were destroyed when the church burnt in 1844.  Other church records can be found at the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Montreat, North Carolina.

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