Note: Barbara was born Abt. 1760 in Silver Bluff, South Carolina, and died 1830 in Silver Bluff, South Carolina. She married William Holmes Bef. 1780 in Silver Bluff, South Carolina. He was born Abt. 1740 in North Ireland, and died Bef. 1808 in Silver Bluff, South Carolina. Barbara is said to have been a favorite of her father, whom she apparently loved very much. She was reputedly an excellent scholar and prided herself on her wide reading. She owned many books and urged her children toward educational pursuits. Named for her Galphin grandmother, Barbara named her first son for her Galphin grandfather. In 1763 when his precious white son, Thomas II was born, George I gave both Barbara and brother George II each a hundred acres of land in Georgia. It is likely that she was a beautiful woman with all the appearance of being of "clear white blood" as writing of the time described such slaves. For she was still a slave when her father died and she was not freed until then. Probably she had lived with William Holmes before 1780 and any marriage was symbolic, since slaves were not allowed to marry legally. NCAla. In her father's will, it is clear that little Thomas Galphin Holmes, her first child, was born well before his grandfather died. In Codicil 3 of Galphin's will, when one of his primary heirs, mulatto daughter Betsy, dies, he leaves her land and cattle to William Holmes as guardian of Thomas. There is a file in the Barnwell County Courthouse which contains a statement from the man who performed the marriage between Barbara and William, and there is also a sworn affadavit to the affect that the two of them had lived together many years as respectable man and wife, given by famous lawyer, patriot fighter, and ex-governor of Georgia, John Milledge. From the SCDAH comes a contract, Sec. of State in Misc. Records, Bk. 2, R, pages 287-290. This is a deed written 2 February 1775 in which George Galphin sells for ten shillings the 30 plus acres next to Silver Bluff, along with the slaves Ponpon, Jemmy with wife Betty, her children and future issue, Ned a Mustee and his sister Dido, Mina, Ketch, Bidgo, and Sib his wife with Elsey a girl her granddaughter, and Georgia Dublin, as well as a stock of cattle branded BG. He charges Lachlan McGillivray, John Parkinson, John Graham, Alexander Wylly, George Galphin the Younger, Thomas Galphin, with enforcing the agreement. This was in fact a deed to the property she was to inherit at his death. Similiar documents for each of his six main heirs exist in the same records. In 1803 Barbara bought a negro woman and her two children from half-brother Thomas Galphin. The document from Barnwell District Court Deeds states the slaves are to be held in trust for her daughter Judinah (Judith Ann) and her son George. Later on November 15, 1805 she transferred the title to Judinah alone. The little son had died. In 1817 someone questioned the legitimacy of her marriage, her children, and her inheritance. A transcript of the suit is available in Volume II McMulen Law Reports. In a complex discussion of the rights and privileges of a mulatto free person, the court agree, though not unanimously, that Barbara was considered free at the moment of death of her father, and that as a free person her marriage to the white man, William Holmes was legal, and it was also legal for her to hold her other inheritances. They did insist that it be known that neither Barbara nor any other freed person was to be considered a full citizen, as such was not allowed under South Carolina law. She could marry, hold property both real and personal, and could sell, lose, or will such property. But her rights were strictly limited to those of all other free people of color as determined by the legislature. Her children would inherit her status as free mulattos. But neither Mary nor Judith were ever referred to as Free People of Color in any documents. At the time of the above case, a file was created in Barnwell Courthouse containing a sworn statement by the man who performed the marriage ceremony between Barbara and William. It also contains a letter from George Galphin himself explaining her inheritance, and addressed to her as Mrs. Holmes. A third document, written and signed by prominent lawyer and ex-governor John Milledge attests to his knowledge of the marriage and the proper conduct of the couple in their own home. Barbara died intestate in 1830. An inventory of her estate was announced by the Barnwell Court of Equity in Bundle No. 53 Package 5, is announced by Thomas Newman, Executor.. In it, Allen summons ------- Coker in right of his wife Martha, Formerly Martha Lehiffe, Mary Bowers, and Thomas G. Holmes, legal heirs of the said Barara Holmes deceased, issued 4 Nov. 1833, and to be settled 6 Nov. 1833 at his office in Barnwell. This definitely makes Thomas G. Holmes the son of Barbara Galphin Holmes by the most legal acknowledgement. But T.G. did not claim any of his mother's very small remaining estate which came to a little over four hundren dollars. She had paid him for his inheritance from his father which he had sold to his brother-in-law. Papers indicate that when Maurice did not pay, she took out a large mortgage on her land and sent the money to him in Alabama. Evidently she had distributed most of her property. Somehow the Red House tract came into the hands of Martha Holmes Lahiffe who may have gotten it at this final settlement. Details Series Number: S213192 Volume: 0049 Page: 00094 Item: 01 Date: 1829/11/24 Description: WILSON, STEPHEN, PLAT FOR 665 ACRES ON SAVANNAH RIVER AND CRACKERS NECK, BARNWELL DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY WILLIAM BURCKHALTER. Names Indexed: WILSON, STEPHEN/BURCKHALTER, WILLIAM/HANKINSON, RICHARD/HOLMES, BARBARA/MCELMURRAY, JAMES/GALPHIN, DR./ Locations: BARNWELL DISTRICT/SAVANNAH RIVER/CRACKERS NECK BACK SWAMP/ISLAND CREEK Type: PLAT/ Topics: / *********************************** By James E. Robinson my special deputy, I have personally served the defendant with a copy of this Subp. Ad Respondendum the 2nd day of Decr. 182 Miles Keley O.B.D. Service proved 19th March 1827 Jennings O�Bannon, Court IN EQUITY- SUBPOENA AD RESPONDENDUM State of South Carolina Barnwell District THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA TO Barbara Holms You, and each of you are hereby strictly required and firmly enjoined that all business being laid aside and all excuses ceasing, you do in your proper person appear before the Judges of the Court of Equity for the Third Circuit at Barnwell on the first day of April next then and there true and perfect answer to make upon your corporeal oath to be taken on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, to all and singular such matters and things as shall be objected against you in the Bill of Complaint of Richard Hankinson Hereof fail not, under penalty of one hundred pounds sterling. GIVEN UNDER THE SEAL OF THE SAID COURT Witness, Jennings O�Bannon Esquire, Register of the Court of Equity, in the State aforesaid, for the said Circuit at Barnwell the Seventeenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty three and in the forth seventh year of the sovereignty and independence of the united State of America Angus Patterson s/n, Complainant�s Solicitor THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINASubpoena Ad Respondendum in Equity Third CircuitThe State of South Carolina To Barbara Holms You are hereby strictly commanded and firmly enjoined, that all manner of excuses being laid aside, you personally be and appear before the Judges of the Court of Equity, for the Third Circuit at Barnwell on the tenth day of January next, then and there true and perfect answer to make upon your corporal oath, on the Holy Evangelists, to all such matters as shall be objected against your, in the bill of Revision of Ann Hankinson and Christipher Fickling administratrix and administrator of all and Singular the goods and chattels rights and credits which were of Richard Hankinson deceased and also that you do within thirty days, immediately after the day above appointed and expressed, file or cause to be filed, in the Registry of said Court, your plea, answer, or demurrer, to the said bill of complaint. Hereof fail not, under the pain of one hundred pounds. Given under the Seal of the said Court. Witness, J. O�Bannon Esquire, Register of the Court of Equity in the said State, for the said Circuit at Barnwell the twenty fourth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty six and in the fifty first year of the Independence the United States of America. A. Patterson, Solicitor
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