HOUSES OF WORSHIP
WILLOW SWAMP BAPTIST CHURCH
Since Willow Swamp Baptist Church has played such an important
role in the lives of the Williams and Tyler families, it was thought proper
to include something about this church in this history of the two
Among the effects of Janie Williams Tyler (see picture in front of
book), found after her death in 1948, is a document with the title,
"Tyler." The name of the compiler of the document is not known, but a
reading of the minutes of Willow Swamp, in the early days of its history,
shows that the author of "Tyler" had access to these minutes.
According to this document, Willow Swamp Baptist Church was
constituted August 10, 1805, in the home of William Tyler. The
constituting, ceremony seems to have been in charge of James Sweat
and Issac Dubosque. They are referred to in the conference minutes of
August 10, 1805, as the "Presbytery." These same minutes list Richard
Simmons and Charles Felder as the first deacons of the new church,
and Arial Mixon as its first clerk. The list of charter members below
contains the names of William Tyler, Jr., and William Tyler, Sr. (See
Part II, section I.) Which one of these was the one who offered his home
for the constituting of the church? The writer believes that it was
William Tyler, Sr.
Here as a quotation from this document: "The Baptist Church of
Christ at Dean Swamp (Stare of South Carolina, Orangeburg County)
in conference 1st of June, 1805, dismissed all and singular members
whose names are under enrolled. to be constituted a church at William
Tyler's on Willow Swamp and when constituted are dismissed from us
in full fellowship by order of the church." This was signed by Josiah
Keadle, Church Clerk. Thus, Willow Swamp Baptist Church came out
of Dean Swamp Baptist Church. The charter members of the new
church are listed below:
Richard Simmons Hannah Young Elizabeth Sandifer Sarah Mixon
WILLIAM TYLE, JR. Ann Guess Charles Felder Ansley Brooks
Levi Lee Keziah Ballard Henry Tyler Sarah Sanders
John Holman, Jr. Isabella Hutto Daniel McDaniel Mary Brown
Jane Tyler Sabra Sanders John Ballard Sarah Felder
Mary Tyler Arial Mixon Martha Tyler Martha Hughes
Ann Simmons John Holman, Sr. Elizabeth Holman Ann Tyler*
WILLIAM TYLER, SR. Joseph Brown Sarah Hughs Elizabeth Tyler
*This was probably the wife of William Tyler, Jr. Since she was born in 1789, she would
have been sixteen years old when the church was founded.
Some extracts from the minutes of the church in its early days may be
"Conference January 10, 1807, William Tyler, Jr. confessed that he had fell
into a transgression for 'giting' into a dispute and 'fiting.' He was forgiven."
Since they had William Tyler, Jr., "up in the church" for misbehavior,
this could be some small reason tor believing that the church was not
founded in his home, but in his father's. Other extracts from the
"November 17, 1810. Brothers Matheny and Richardson came from
Springtown Baptist Church with a letter desiring the church to grant them
fellowship and membership."
"Conference in April 1813. Ordinance of feet washing was debated. question
being whether it should be done in public or private meeting. Private decided."
"Lavinia Tyler joined Willow Swamp in 1819."
"Elisha Tyler was baptized in 1826."
"Joshua, Mahala and Philip Tyler were received in 1833."
"Rachel Tyler received in 1838, Margaret F. and Anna Tyler in 1841."
"A page was inscribed June 3, 1851 in a last tribute of respect of our beloved
brother Elisha Tyler."
"John Shannon TyIer joined October 31, 1852. Died 1854."
The document states that Elisha Tyler was a brother of William
Tyler, Jr. He was, therefore, another son of William Tyler, Sr. Elisha is
recorded as having been born April 4, 1794. He died, according to the
minutes, June 3, 1851.
These excerpts from the church's minutes, and others which are not
reproduced here, show that the Tylers were very prominent in Willow
Swamp Baptist Church during the early days of its history.
This unknown writer of the document, "Tyler," records that "the
Willow Swamp Bible was burned by the Yankees--they used it to make
a fire under an oven to roast chicken in Thomas Taylor's front yard."
Where the early members of Willow Swamp held church services
after the church was constituted is now known. They could have, for a
time, used the home of William Tyler, Sr., where the church had its
beginning. According to information handed down through the years,
the first house of worship was a one-room structure located near
Willow Swamp Creek about a mile west of the present sanctuary. How
long this building was used is not known, but some time prior to 1865,
lumber was assembled to build another house of worship in what is now
the cemetery across the road from the present sanctuary. But before
the building could be erected, the lumber was burned by the "enemy in
February 1865." This is recorded in the minutes of the church under
date of February 6, 1866. They state, "The clerk stated that the note
given by the building committee for the lumber burned by the enemy in
February, 1865, was not paid. On motion, Brother Pete McMichael was
appointed to see Mr. John Kennedy who holds the note and request
him to indulge the committee and try to get him to deduct something on
account of the loss. Resolved that Brother Reed be instructed to collect
what he can on the subscriptions given for building the church." (Note:
The word "enemy" in the minutes means the Union soldiers under
General Sherman. This was the time of his invasion of the South.)
Apparently, "Brother Reed" did not have much success, for a
number of years went by before another sanctuary was built.
Contributing to the difficulty of erecting another house of worship were
the dark days of the Reconstruction Period following the Confederate
War. Where, then, did the members meet for worship during these
days? The answer is found in the minutes of the church under date of
April 14, 1866. There, we read, "Resolved that the clerk of the church
be authorized to borrow fourteen dollars and pay the same to Mr. W. L.
Riley, it being the balance due him for building the shelter to worship
The writer remembers hearing his mother talk about a "brush arbor"
which was used as a place of worship immediately after the war. The
"brush arbor" and "shelter," undoubtedly, refer to the same thing. It is
believed to have been located about where the present brick sanctuary
stands. The nature of this improvised and temporary structure will
have to be left to one's imagination.
A new house of worship was finally erected, probably sometime
between 1870 and 1875. It was a one-room wooden structure with a
narrow front porch and adorned with four square columns. It was
located near the center of the church's cemetery which is across the
road from the present brick building. A picture of this old building is
shown with this section, along with the picture of the church's present
house of worship which replaced the old building in 1920.
The minutes of a conference, held by the church on November 1,
1883, may be of some interest to the Williams and Tyler families. There,
we read, "Resolved that Brother B.B. Wiliams and Brother D.S. Tyler
be appointed to help the treasurer to collect the pastor's salary and to
get all they could by the next meeting."
Willow Swamp Baptist Church is now one hundred and seventy-five
years old. Starting with a membership of thirty-two in 1805 and with no
physical facilities, today it has two hundred and sixty members and a
house of worship which is a credit to any rural community. It provides
for its members a program equal to that of many larger Baptist
The influence of Willow Swamp Baptist Church, over the long
years, has notcorrection
only been a blessing to the Williams and Tyler families,
but to all who have become a part of its fellowship.
Additional information on Willow Swamp Baptist Church
The writer will feel that he has been amply repaid for the time which
he has spent in gathering the material for this book and writing it if it
serves, not only to bind our present families closer together, but
inspires those who shall come after us to keep alive the family ties.
We have a heritage of which we can be justly proud. None of our
ancestors achieved greatness as the world measures greatness, but
they were people of honor and integrity and, above all, a people who
lived close to God and His church. The material possessions, whether
great or small, which we may pass on to future generations, will not be
important, for such things endure only for a little while. But this heritage
of honor, integrity, and simple trust in God, which we have received
from those who have gone on, is of enduring value. Let us pass it on
unsullied, and, as we of this generation, as well as our descendants,
build our homes may we never forget the profound truth of the psalmist
when he wrote long ago, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in
vain that build it."
WILLIAMS AND TYLER FAMILIES
Wyman L. Williams
Corrections and Additions
[These corrections and additions have been incorporated in the main body and are denoted
with this treatment and note:
This addendum to the history of the Williams and Tyler families, published
in June, 1980, contains corrections of errors in the book and a record of some
events that took place after publication through August, 1981.
In the scripture verse at the beginning of the book, the word "built" should
In the Foreword, third paragraph, line four, the word "become" should be
10B The word "fifty" in line four should be "thirty."
10CB Second paragraph, line four. "Alron" should be "Alton."
Deborah Elaine was born November 9, 1963; not November 13, 1963.
Charles Alton, Jr. was born September 5, 1965; not September 5, 1973
11A In the second paragraph, line five, change the sentence beginning with
"from 1938 to retirement", to read as follows: From 1938 to retire-
ment, he was director of circulation for the News and Courier and the
Charleston Evening Post, and also served on the board of directors of
the News and Courier Company, the Evening Post Publishing Com-
pany, the Post and Courier Foundation and the Packet Motor Ex-
The third paragraph should be changed to read as follows: While a
student at the University of South Carolina, Braxton served as editor
of The Gamecock, senior editor of the Garnet and Black, president of
the V.M.C.A. and president of the Clarisophic Literary Society.
11C Yates Snowden Williams, Sr. died September 19, 1972 and is buried in
Memorial Park Cemetery, Orangeburg, South Carolina.
12BA Line three. The year "1948" should be "1958,"
12DB Line nine. "Charleston, South Carolina" should be "Charlotte, North
12DE Line three. The year " 1978" should be " 1979."
14AA Line five. "M.A. degree in social work" should be "Master of Social
Line ten. The word "Associate" should be "Assistant."
15AA Second paragraph. line three. "Bryant" should be "Bryan."
16BA Line two. "Union, South Carolina" should be "Winnsboro, South
16C Line four. Change to read, "attended Winthrop College, Rock Hill,
South Carolina, for two years, completing, in 1944, the degree, Asso-
ciate of Science in Business."
17AC Line six. Change "Orangeburg" to "Georgetown."
6 Gertrude (Mollie) Spradley Sloan died June 10, 1981 and is buried in
the cemetery of Willow Swamp Baptist Church, near Norway, South
10BB Harrie and Mary Bronson have an adopted daughter, Melissa Mae
Bronson, who was born July 12, 1981 in Omaha, Nebraska.
10CB Bub's second marriage was to Sherry Lynne Hedrick on August 16,
1980. Sherry was born August 20, 1946 in Darlington, South Carolina.
14AA A second child, Michael Carlyle, was born to Dr. Borgstedt and his
wife, Kaye, on February 15, 1981, in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
14AD Laura Eleanor Williams was born to Bragg Martin Williams and his
wife, Salley, on May 22, 1981 in Norway, South Carolina.
15AB Jennifer Inman Allen was born to Kellum Wright Allen and his wife,
Jane, on July 16, 1981, in Columbia, South Carolina.
16AB Paul Williams Curlee, Jr. was born to Paul Williams Curlee and his
wife, Jessica, on July 5, 1981 in Greenville, South Carolina.
17 Ollie Mae Williams Dantzler died July 12, 1981 and is buried in the
cemetery of Providence United Methodist Church, near Santee,
18C Cooper's second marriage was to Ginger Dale Cook on June 13,
1981. Ginger was born November 6, 1951 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
8 A question has been raised about the place of birth of Janie Williams
Tyler. On page 49, second paragraph from the bottom, it is stated that she
was born in Aiken County, near Wagener, South Carolina.
Her father, Isaiah, was living in Orangeburg County in 1860 and 1870.
He is not shown as living in Aiken County until 1880. (See page 6.)
Janie was born in 1865. Her name appears in the household of Isaiah
in the 1870 census. This has caused some to believe that she was born
in Orangeburg County.
The writer believes that at the time of her birth in 1865, her father,
Isaiah, was living in what was then Orangeburg County. Later, the
boundary line between Aiken and Orangeburg Counties was shifted
so as to make the place of her birth in what is now Aiken County.
11CC Line one. "Katherine" should be "Kathryn."
14 Second paragraph, line three. "Jane" should be "Jayne."
14A Line one. "Jane" should be "Jayne."
14C Line four. The word "State" should be deleted.
11CC Laura Kathryn Hamrick married James Wilson Robertson, Jr. (Rob-
bie) September 27, 1980. Robbie was horn January 25, 1953 in Win-
ston Salem, North Carolina.
Page 59 Last paragraph, line two. The word "now" should he "not."
[A slightly updated and more complete version is available in the
Tyler section additions.]
[See email from Michael Tyler for yDNA and related research
Henry Tyler I was born, according to his deposition, in 1604 in Yorkshire,
England. He is first mentioned in York County, Virginia records in 1645. He
patented 254 acres of land at Middle Plantation, January 7, 1652-3. This land was
granted to him for importing six persons to the colony of Virginia. They being he,
his wife Mary and four other persons. He subsequently, in 1666, received a
certificate from York Court for 1800 acres of land for importing 36 persons to the
Colony. He was cavalier and a gentleman, a man of standing in Va. He was
Justice of the Peace of York County in 1653. He was a man of standing in the
Colony. His wife, Mary, died and in 1658 he married secondly, Ann Orchard,
widow of John Orchard, who had died in 1655. Henry Tyler was the original
grantee of the land upon which the Governor's Palace was later built and where the
rebuilt Palace now stands.
Henry Tyler's Will was probated in Middletown Parish, York Co., Va. on 413-
1672. His widow, Ann Orchard Tyler later married Martin Gardner. Ann died in
Letter And Times of Tylers - Vol. 36-37: Vol 8 Append. 8. Pedigrees of the
Tylers & Related Families - Tyler's Quarterlies, says the following about Henry
"He was Sheriff, Coroner, Justice of Peace ... a Churchman of Bruton
Parish, Architect, Cavalier, Aristocrat ... an educated man of standing."
These are known children of Henry and Ann Orchard Tyler:
Henry Tyler, II born 1659-60. Died 1727-29.
John Tyler, born 1686. Died 1729. He settled Hanover Co. Va.
Daniel Tyler, born ____ died ____. Carried away by Tarks.
Henry Tyler II, was born 1659 and died in Virginia in 1727. He first married
Elizabeth Childs in 1683. She was born in 1666 and died 1-19-1702 (Bruton
Parish Register). His 2nd wife was Sarah _____ who was born ___ and died
1710. His 3rd wife was Edith Hardaway. After Henry's death she married
Matthew Pierce. Her Will was proved in 1739.
Henry Tyler II, and Elizabeth Childs had the following children:
____ John Tyler II, linage of President John Tyler
John Tyler II, born 1686 and died 1672. m. Elizabeth Jarrett.
Francis Tyler I, born 1687, died 1727. m. Rebecca ____.
Henry Tyler III, born 1-02-1701 , died 1774. m. Sarah _____.
Francis Tyler I was born in Bruton Parish, Middle Plantation, Va. 1687. His
wife's first name was Rebecca, but her maiden name is unknown. Date of their
marriage is not known. Francis was a student at William & Mary College.
Williamsburg, Va. in l 702. He built a house on Nicholson St., Williamsburg in
1717. He sold the house and moved to Charles City County, Virginia, where he
died in 1723.
Francis Tyler I and wife, Rebecca, had the following children:
William Tvler - Never married, d. Sussex Co. Va., 1792.
John Tyler - nothing known about.
Henry Tyler, IV- m. Alice Strother (brothers married sisters)
Francis Tyler, II -m. Ann Strother.
Margaret Tyler - b. 1749 d. 6-12-1835 m. William Washington
Francis Tyler, II was born in Virginia, Charles City or York Co. In 1762 he was
keeping an Ordinary or Inn in Staunton, Va. Augusta Co. He married Ann
Strother in Virginia on 5-17-1744. Anne(Ann) was the daughter of William
Strother II, and Margaret Thornton. Neither the dates of birth or death on Francis
and Ann Tyler.
William Tyler, son of Francis II, and Ann Strother, was born about 1750 in
Virginia. He married Ann Carter in 1774 or 75. William was a soldier in the
Revolutionary War, enlisting 9-15-1777, and serving until 8-19-1780. He served
in Captain Windsor Brown's Co. in the First Virginia State Regiment. He was
commanded by Col. George Gibson and Lt. Charles Russell. William came to
S.C. in February of 1785 and received the lst land grant 2-25-1785, with other
grants following in rapid succession because of his service in the war. He ended
up being granted several thousand acres of land (S.C. Archives records, Columbia,
S.C.) William died in 1818 at Norway, S.C. and is buried in an obliterated
Cemetery which was on his plantation. His wife, Ann is buried at Osyka,
The following are children of William Tyler, Sr.:
*Nancy Ann Tyler b. 11-12-1776 in Va. m. Richard or Robert L.
William Tyler, Jr. b. 10-24-1780 in Va,, d. 08-16-1802 buried Willow
Swamp Baptist Church, Norway, S.C.; 12-15-1802 m. Ann Bennet b.
5-18-1789 d. 6-10-1865
*Mary Ann Tyler b. 1795 m. Mathias Clark Taylor
*(Nancy, Ann and Mary Ann left S.C, and relocated with their families in
Mississippi. It is apparent that the mother and possibly others went with them.
Note that Bessie Garvin indicates that Ann Carter Tyler (the mother) is buried in
Osyka, Miss., which is just a few miles s.w. of the town of Tylertown, Miss.)
William Tyler, Jr., was born in Virginia 10-24-1780. He married Ann Bennet who
was born 5-18-1789. William d. 8-16-1842 and Ann d. 6-10-1865. They are both
buried at Willow Swamp Baptist Church, Norway, S. C.
The following are children of William TyIer, Jr. and Ann Bennet:
Martha Tyler, b. 11-7-1804 d.1-21-1816 (dysentery)
William Tyler, III b.1-19-1807 d. 9-17-1810 (typhoid)
John Jefferson Tyler, b. 2-27-1809, d. 1-20-1816 (typhoid)
Mary Ann Elizabeth Caroline Tyler, b. 1-12-1812 d. 1-16-1816
(Continuation of children of William Tyler, Jr. & Ann Bennett)...
Rebecca Tyler b. 8-30-1815 d. 10-30-1815
James Head Tyler b. 11-29-1816 d. 8-29-1817
**Joshua Tyler b. 11-18-1818 m. Ann Jane Corbitt 9-9-1838. Ann b. 6-
6-1819, d. 6-28-____ . Buried Pleasant Hill Church.
Thomas Bennett Tyler b. 8-27-1820 m. Rachael Elizabcth Corbitt in
1841 at Salley, S.C. Both buried Tyler Ceme. Wagener, S.C.
Levy Silvester Tyler, b. 12-8-1823 d. 6-6-1864, buried in Willow
Swamp Bapt. Church Cemetery, m. Catherine Thomas 2-14-1856
***Darling Swift Tyler, b. 2-16-1826 m. _____________.
Ann Rebecca Tyler, b. 8-31-1828 m. Capt. Jim Reed (Conf. War).
**Bessie Garvin says that after Joshua Tyler's wife died, he moved to
Mississippi and settled Tylertown.
***Bessie Garvin says (Uncle John, Lowman's Dad confirmed) that D.
Swift Tyler moved to Texas and settled Tyler, Texas.
(See Wyman L. Williams book for continuing information on
Levy Silvester Tyler.)
Most of this historical data on TYLER FAMILY was compiled by Lowman W.
Tyler and Bessie Lee Garvin and furnished by Al Brodie (Box 425, Wagener, SC
"Except the Lord build the
house, they labor in vain that
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