Farris researcher Wanda Rabb was given the following document years ago by someone who had attended a family reunion for the Farris-Burtton family on June 23, 1991. Wanda says she cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data. One of the authors of this document, Dennis O. Farris, passed away in October 1974, just a few months after this document was printed.
It is our aim in preparing this paper to outline the history of our branch of the Farris family, beginning with Robert Faries, our great, great grandfather, who brought his family from Ireland to America about 1800. (Note there was a hand drawn arrow here with the date 1794 written in.). You will note that there will be a variation in the spelling of the family name such as Faries Faris Farris Fares and Farris. The present generation seems to prefer Faris Ferris and Farris. Throughout this story the spelling will be as found on grave markers, land deeds, wills and other documents.
We have been told that in the group coming over here were many friends and neighbors who were seeking a better life in the new world. They brought personal property, livestock and other items necessary in the establishment of a new home in a strange land. According to information handed down from one generation to another, the voyage took many weeks and they finally arrived at the Charleston, South Carolina harbor by night. It was a clear, beautiful night and the weary travelers gave thanks to God for a safe trip and prepared to land the next day. But fate was not so kind this time, for during the night a hurricane blew in with winds so strong that the little ship was about to be broken in pieces, so it was necessary to weigh anchor and try to ride out the storm. When it finally subsided, it took them several weeks to sail back to Charleston and come ashore.
We do not have much information on Robert Faries and his wife. Her maiden name was WILEY. We are certain that he settled in lower York County, South Carolina, probably between Fishing Creek and Stony Fork. It is believed that they are buried in Hooks Creek Cemetery in that area.
We have much information on great grandfather Samuel W. Faries and his wife Elizabeth C. Walker Faries. Her father was a Presbyterian minister who served churches in York and Chester counties. It is believed that he and his wife are buried in Center Cemetery near Clover, South Carolina.
Here is a list of land purchases made by Samuel W. Faries: August 26, 1805, 50 acres ($75.00) from Archibald and Jane Brown land between Fishing Creek and Stony Fork, York County, South Carolina. December 19, 1812 100 acres ($235.00) from John Wallace land on Fishing Creek. 1816 166 acres ($400.00) from William and Isabella McCarter this land was in upper York County, with some in North Carolina on the south fork of Crowders Creek. January 19, 1825 220 acres ($400.00) from John R. McElwee on Allison Creek, near Clover. From this we can assume that Samuel W. lived in lower York County until 1816. Lived nine years in the Bethany section then moved to his home on Allison Creek where he died in 1844. (handwritten to the side of this paragraph is *Little Wills G-Father)
Some good stories about life in the olden times have been told from generation to generation, some may be true, others slightly exaggerated. One is that when the family lived in Ireland they were required to pay taxes with farm produce. One occasion some nice fryers were being taken to the tax collector, but instead of carrying them in a well ventilated coop, or box, they were placed in a toe sack and carried to town. Of course they were dead on arrival a gruesome thing to do but it showed their resentment to paying high taxes. (What would they do about present day taxation?)
Another good one happened on the trip from Charleston to York County. It seems that they were camped on top of a hill and during the night there was quite a bit of drinking around the campfire. When they were ready to leave the next morning one of the men was missing. After a search of the area was made he was finally located in a briar patch at the foot of the hill, where he had rolled during the night. He was helped back tot he fire warmed and sobered up and they continued on their journey.
This incident happened many years later when our grandmother, Sarah Ann Farris, was a little girl. There were still a few Indians living in the Bethany area and the mountains nearby and many parents would discipline, or scare, their children by telling them that the Indians would scalp them if they were not good. On this particular day Grandmother was playing at the edge of the woods some distance from the house when she saw a group of Indians coming down the road, and being frightened half to death, she ran into the woods and hid behind a huge tree. There she crouched, trembling like a leaf in the wind, when a big friendly Indian peeped around the tree and said, Little girl, your mother is calling you, you had better run on home. We can be sure she took his advice.
Another item of interest was a five gallon demi-john, said to have been filled with rum when they left Ireland, was the only relic preserved through the years. It was handed down to Samuel W. to Edgar Theodore, to Samuel Loranzie. When Samuel Loranzie went to Texas he left it with S. Hampton Farris to keep until he called for it. During the more than forty years the jug was in our home, it was used primarily as a molasses jug. My father gave it to Herbert S. Farris and it was destroyed when his house burned in 1942.
Since the birth dates of all the children of Samuel W. and Eliza C. Faris are not available they will be listed in the chart below as they appear in his will, presuming he listed the oldest one first. Very little is known about the three oldest daughters. We do know that Diatha married Lawson Garner and after her death he married Adelia some time after the death of her husband. Edgar T. lived all of his life in the Bethany section. Alexander was killed when thrown by a mule. Oscar was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. After the war his family moved to Gaston County, North Carolina, as did Walker and his family.
Here are some intereting notes from the will of Samuel W. I will that my still and vessels be sold to meet demands against me Should the Negro woman prove dissatisfactory I allow my Exetrs. to sell her or trade her for another girl. (Evidently he operated a Government Distillery and owned at least one slave both were legal at that time). I direct that Elvy C.D. (Clementine) be made equal with my above named daughters. At the time the will was made (1844) Clementine was unmarried and lived at home. I think that Samuel W. inserted this statement so that at her marriage or in the final settlement she would share in his estate. Clementine later married Z. Amzi Falls, son of Eli Falls. They are the parents of Martha E. (last name is not readable on this copy), January 21, 1933. When Clementine made her will in 1902 it was witnessed by (first name not readable) and Mary Farris (our parents).
Samuel W. Faris married Eliza C. Walker
1. Margaret M. Watson
Edgar Theodore Faris (*) married Margaret Quinn (*) on Apr. 22, 1842
1. Samuel R. W. b. 1843 d. Dec. 14, 1861
*both are buried in Bethany Cemetery. Margaret was the daughter of Soloman Quinn.
Clarice married Edward Wells, S.R.W. died from disease (measles) while in the Civil War. James D. was wounded at Hatchers Run, Virginia. Was captured and taken to Lincoln U.S. Army General Hospital, Washington, DC. Died there June 14, 1865.
Edgar Theodore Faris married (2nd time) Sarah Ann Faries
1. Rosilla b. Sept 5, 1864 d. Feb 26, 1929
Sylvanus Hampton Farris married Mary Rhoda Emaline Foster on Dec. 14,
1. Dennis Oats b. Dec 8, 1899
Dennis Oats Farris married Annie Belle McMackin on Dec 15, 1928
1. Robert Hampton b. Sept 11, 1933 d. Sep 13, 1933
Annie Mae Farris married W. Franklin Queen on Apr 26, 1923
1. Floyd Franklin Queen b. Aug 28, 1925
Floyd Franklin Queen married Margie Lee Clark (date not listed)
1. Debra Lee b. Apr 15, 1957
Edward Floyd Farris married Athleen Brown Whisnant on Dec 30, 1935
1. Mary Camille b. Apr 24, 1946 married William A. Suttle on Apr 4,
Herbert Sylvanus Farris married Catharine Ruth Kisor on Nov 23, 1932
1. Ruth Marlene b. Aug 30, 1933
Ruth Marlene Farris married Coyte Ray Guffey on Dec 2, 1956
1. Coyte Ray, Jr. b. Jul 12, 1958
Paul Richard Farris married Nelta Ann Farnsworth on Jul 27, 1957
1. Richard Brent b. Jul 28, 1958
Paul Richard Farris (2nd marriage) Billie Sue Smith on Feb 5, 1972
Willifred Marion Farris married Martha Reid Howe on Jun 14, 1934
1. Margaret Anita b. Jun 24, 1936
Margaret Anita Farris married Dan Jenkins Ratchford on Jul 12, 1958
1. Dana Kathryn b. May 20, 1961
Ferrie Leona Farris married Vance P. Hill on Dec 24, 1941
Eva Marie Farris married Benjamin Clay Kiser on Jan 2, 1932
1. Mary Essie b. Oct 18, 1933
According to the story, her grandfather, believed to be Moses Faries, came from Ireland to Virginia and later migrated to North Carolina where he worked at Millers Mill at Stices Shoals on Broad River, a few miles below Shelby, North Carolina. For some reason he took his family to Illinois where he also worked as a miller for some time. He was known to be an excellent swimmer and took pride in showing his prowess in the sport. Unfortunately this led to his death because he was accidentally drowned while swimming a river to settle a bet. After his death his widow returned to the Bethany, or Enon, section of York County, South Carolina. It has been told that after she settled her affairs in Illionis, she had only one old horse left and the children took turns in riding the animal on their long trip back to South Carolina. I am listing the names of the children as found in an old family Bible. We do not know the name of our great grandmother.
1. John B. Faries b. May 10, 1800 d. Jun 20, 1832
Robert M. Faries married 2nd time Margaret Black (date unknown)
The following are Civil War records received from South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina:
Faris, S.R.W. Private, Co. A 12th SC Inf. Enlisted at Yorkville, Aug. 20, 1861 age 18 (son of Edgar T. Farris) died: Pocotaligo (from disease) December 14, 1861.
Faris, James D. Private, Co. H., 18th SC Inf. Age 18; enlisted at Columbia, Aug 27, 1864. Wounded at Hatchers Run, Va Apr 1, 1864; captured at Hatchers Run, Va. Apr 1, 1865. On last roll: Lincoln U.S. General Hospital, Washington, D.C. Operated on Apr 20, 1865; released Jun 14, 1865.
Oscar Farris served in Co G, 18th Reg SC; killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Farris, John C. (son of Robert M. Faries), Pvt. Co B & F, 5th SC Inf; enlisted in York District, Apr 13, 1861; age 24; on last roll Jan? Feb 1865; wounded (1) May 6, 1864 (2) Oct 28, 1864, Virginia; Paroled: Appomattox, Apr 9, 1865.
To the descendants of Robert Miller Faries: He and his wives are buried in unmarked graves in Enon Cemetery!!! Can we raise a fund to erect suitable markers???
If you are still with us we hope that you have found this story interesting and informative. The project was originiated by Dennis O. Farris, who collected a great amount of the information. After I joined in the effort we made many trips to search old records and interview many people. The story is far from complete. If you will help by sending full information on your family, we will arrange it for a future publication.
Dennis O. Farris / W.M. Farris