Hey Janet (part of this is for Rana),
Two young Pendarvis men are listed in the 1880 census of Adams Run. They are John Henry, who is 20, and listed as a laborer in the family of Edward Tavel, and Jos/Jas, who is 16 , and listed as the son of M C and Frances Perry. My guess is that M C Perry is their step-father. The households are near one another and, interestingly, separated by a Harrison family with father Ben Harrison, mother Eliza, and a daughter whose name is too difficult to read. You can find this info on the second page of the Adams Run census for 1880.
Of all the known Pendarvis men living between 1859/1860 and 1863/1864 in SC, the years the two young Pendarvis boys were born (according to the census), only Henry L Pendarvis, born ca 1840, and died 1864 is unaccounted for for those years. He is my candidate for their father. He was the son of Joshua and Elizabeth Pendarvis, grandson of Josiah and Catherine Moorer Pendarvis, g-grandson of Thomas and Elizabeth Pendarvis, gg-grandson of Joseph and Parthenia Pendarvis and so on.
In asking for help for children at that time period, it was necessary to designate race because the Charleston Orphanage did not accept African-American children. The Almshouse did, but the Orphanage did not. They were probably basically white in appearance, and certainly considered white by their own community. Matilda also got rations from the Almshouse in 1899 and 1900.
Don't you think that Joseph R. Pendarvis married first Ruby Heyward/Heywood and secondly Rosalie Martin? By Ruby, he had the children you mentioned and then by Rosalie, one son to reach adulthood, Robert Thomas Pendarvis. I think Ruby's daughter May/Mary Elizabeth Pendarvis married James M. Knox. We should find George Pendarvis' 1985 obituary.
I think the Pendarvis family descendants of Parthenia looked fairly "white" by the early to mid-1800's and that the 20th and now 21st century Pendarvises of visible mixed ancestry got that way other than through Parthenia. I've only been able to connect Pendarvises of strongly visible African ancestry to freed slaves who took the Pendarvis name, that is when I've been able to connect them at all. My great-grandfather had a Pendarvis son by a black woman out of wedlock in around 1900. I suspect and would love to know if perhaps some of them are descended from that union. At any rate, none of Parthenia's legitemate (not a judgement here, but used only to designate those born to married unions) descendants rejoined the free black or colored communities that existed before the Civil War. I realize your interest is to find Matilda Harrison's Indian or mixed ancestry, but we are on the Pendarvis forum and I added all this to help Rana in her search.
After the Civil War part of the Dorchester County, SC Pendarvis family intermarried with the Merchant family. The Merchants were a fascinating family that moved from Charleston to old Colleton in the 1830's. The courts declared them to be free Indians in the 1850's, but they were known to have Portuguese, French, and African blood as well. Some of their Pendarvis descendants have a slight Indian or olive complexion and have been called Parthenia's descendants by other Pendarvises who didn't want to claim Parthenia. Its all very complicated, and until one is inundated with the racial history of the Pendarvises it is not easy to decipher by reading the other messages on this forum.
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