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Home: Surnames: Pendarvis Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Corrections to Frontline Series
Posted by: Randy Floyd Date: April 27, 2000 at 15:00:28
In Reply to: Re: Corrections to Frontline Series by Ned Pendarvis of 638

Hi Ned,

Parthenia was never referred to as a mulatto until 20th century historians began to try and put her in a context that they could understand. In all documents written during or near her life, she was referred to as a negro. As I mentioned earlier, the author of the book on SC Quakers "constructed" family groupings using other published SC genealogy aids, and simply surmised that Parthenia was a mulatto.

The Quaker book does include the families of Joseph, Joseph II, and John. Joseph was the immigrant, John was his only son, and Joseph II was John's eldest son. Besides Joseph II, John had sons Benjamin, John, and Josiah. John and Benjamin died childless (1724 petition in equity) and Josiah was diagramed in my previous posting. The early Pendarvis family married into the West family; John's first wife was Mary West. It was from the Wests that the Pendarvises had a Quaker connection. The Charleston Quakers left few records, and the Pendarvis family is scantily mentioned in those records. The book about the SC Quakers is a genealogical collection on early members of the SC Quakers, but not a collection of early Quaker records. The difference being that if the word "mulatto" or the name "Parthenia" was included in the early records, then one could make an argument that Parthenia was indeed a mulatto. The truth is that Parthenia nor her racial status were ever mentioned in the Quaker records. Does that make sense?

The same goes for the Quaker marriage. There is no actual evidence to support a Quaker marriage for Joseph and Parthenia. The author of the SC Quaker book again surmised or was perhaps being polite when he called their union a marriage. So my point about their marriage not being recognized, was that if they were married in any way, it was not considered legal.

If by Heyward, you mean James Barnwell Heyward who wrote the Pendarvis-Bedon book, then you are mistaken. It was Heyward's goal to write a book showing that his wife had no African ancestry. In the course of doing so he concluded that all living people of the name Pendarvis (his work was published in 1905) WERE descended from Parthenia. He diligently traced the descendants of Josiah Pendarvis, Sr, whose family ceased to be referred to as Pendarvis in 1802, and flatly declared that ALL OTHER Pendarvises were descended from Joseph and Parthenia. Heyward did not leave a collection of records, or I should say that one has not survived, but many other collections contain a few of his letters. These letters, coupled with his book, show his determination to make his conclusions known. He corresponded with many living Pendarvises of the period, and declined to publish his findings on Parthenia's descendants as to not embarass them. His remarks about the living Pendarvises to his wife's Bedon cousins were not flattering.

It was precisely Heyward's work and letter writing that spurred the move for the Pendarvis families of the time to try and connect themselves to Tory Dick or either of the Josiah Pendarvises. It was absolutely unthinkable for them to accept that they had African blood because of the time in which they lived.

The Richard Lambright Pendarvis family history is very inclusive of Richard's descendants, but meager in content concerning his ancestors. His only son to survive childhood was about seven years old when his father died. His widow quickly remarried, and it was from her and the seven year old that the family memories came. The son, or someone, wrote in the family bible that Richard Lambright Pendarvis was the son of Josiah Pendarvis. The family, over one hundred years later, concluded that this Josiah must have been the one who lived in Beaufort and died around 1787/8. They altered the only known birth year for Richard and changed it to 1788, making it possible that he was born at the end of Josiah's life. He was actually born around 1800. The rest of the story, which they did not know at the time, makes it impossible for Richard Lambright to have been the son of that Josiah. They proposed other Josiahs besides those descended from Parthenia, that after much research have proven to not exist. Richard Lambright associated with other Pendarvises known to have come from the St. George area originally. Unfortunately, they have very little in the way of records to back up much of their story.

Ned, I'm debating these things with you publicly only because many others feel the same way that you do. I'm not trying to offend anyone. While I do feel that I am an authority on the subject, I do not mean to dismiss without thought anyone else's work on this family.




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