A while back, my attention was brought to a passage in David Garvin’s diary that mentioned a Traxler.
For those who don’t know about it, David Garvin (November 15, 1811-January 17, 1874) lived most of his life in St. George, South Carolina. He kept a meticulous record of the people and events in this community from September 1855 until his death.
The Upper Dorchester County Historical Society has published the original David Gavin diaries, 1855-1874, including also his “trip diary” of his 1845 journey from St. George, South Carolina to Mississippi.
I found a copy at the SC Archives in Columbia SC.
Monday SEPT. THE 15th 1856 Fair and pleasant, rain needed. Heard at Georges Station last evening that Jno. Pendarvis called Enoch beat Jno. Traxler badly on saturday evening. Traxler had been or was at Pendarvis’ and has been accustomed to make insinuations at Jno. Pendarvis and insult him and sometimes go to his house to do it, he (Traxler) is a most insulting fellow to almost every person with whom he comes in contact, for he associates with scarcely any person. He is a most ill-behaved person.
Not exactly an outstanding review of Jno. Traxler’s character it seems!
The problem is .. who were was these men? Jno. is a abbreviation for John. From that then we have – “ … John Pendarvis called Enoch beat John Traxler…”
A search of the diary might give insight to the identity of John Pendarvis, but that is the only reference to John Traxler. He mentions William Traxler elsewhere.
John is of course, fairly common so we find quite a few John Traxlers in the database. Narrowing down the list to those that lived in the Dorchester area, we have:
John Traxler (1780-bet.1845-1848) : This is my 4th Great Grandfather. Based on the date of his death, he had been dead 8-11 years before the diary entry.
Here’s something interesting though. John’ second wife was Susannah Ann. Her last name isn’t known but in the past has been ‘assumed’ as Brown because I understand, there was a young laborer on the farm with that last name and the ‘assumption’ being that this was Susannah’s younger brother. Doyle Traxler told me that he thought that her last name was Barnette based on the middle name of her oldest son by John – William Barnette Traxler. Makes sense to me. After John died, Susannah remarried a John Pendarvis. They had a son Phillip Capers Pendarvis.
Back to John and Susannah. They had three boys. William (mentioned earlier), Jacob James and John Edward D. Traxler.
It would seem ‘logical’ at first glance that John E.D. Traxler was the one ‘beat by John Pendarvis called Enoch” since John Pendarvis would have been John E.D. Traxler’ step father .. which gives reason for such a thing happening.
The problem with that is John E.D. Traxler was born 13 March 1846. He is buried at the St. George, UDC Cem., St. George, Dorchester SC. His headstone clearly states his birth date.
When David Galvin recorded the incident in his diary, it was on 15 September 1856.
Now, I know that ‘back in the day’ young men were considered adults a lot earlier then we do now .. but seems to me that John E.D. Traxler, who would have been 12 ½ on that day is stretching it a bit.
Now, John William Traxler, son of Simeon Heny Traxler, was born 02 Aug 1832 in the Mt. Zion Community, St. George Parish. I show him in Brandon, Mississippi 18 April 1858 (marriage to Margaritte Catherine Patrick) so that gives him plenty of time to get ‘beat’ in South Carolina before taking off to Mississippi with others from the area. John William would have been the grandson of John Traxler (b.1780) through John’s first wife Catherine Elizabeth Stroman so he would have have had no relation to the John Pendarvis mentioned above who married Susannah Barnette, John’s second wife. Of course, this could very well be any other John Pendarvis as well.
On 15 September 1856, John William Traxler would have been 24 years old .. plenty old enough for an older man to beat him.
Here’s my hoping that a Pendarvis researcher may indeed know who the Jno. Pendarvis “called Enoch” mentioned in David Gavin’s diary.