The First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina
During colonial times, the British government wished to encourage settlement
into the South Carolina interior. The Commons House of Assembly established
Orangeburgh Township in 1730. The government contracted with Swiss gentleman,
John Peter Purry, to escort a party of Swiss settlers to the township of
Orangeburgh on the Edisto River in 1735. Other Swiss and Palatinates followed
these colonists from Germany in 1736 and 1737.
The settlers were encouraged to come on a promise of land, food, tools
and transportation for themselves and their families when reaching South
Carolina. Swiss-German families and others continued to come in the 1740's,
1750's and 1760's to the Townships of Orangeburgh, Amelia and Saxe-Gotha.
There were also English, Scots, Irish, French, Welsh, Dutch, Swedish and
Jewish settlers who located in the area. By the end of the colonial period,
however, Orangeburgh, Amelia, and Saxe-Gothe Townships were predominately
German. At this time, the Orangeburgh District included Orangeburgh, Amelia
(Calhoun County), Saxe-Gothe (Lexington) and Winton (Barnwell)(Aiken/Bamberg, Allendale).
Many of the first families who settled in the Orangburgh District are
the origin of familiar family surnames in the area and other parts of the
country today. Included here are short biographies of some of these first
Walter Edgar, South Carolina, a History
William Gilmore Simms, History of South Carolina
Hugo Ackerman, A Brief History of Orangeburg
Historical Records Survey, W.P.A, 1938