Archive for category Huggins

Reverend John Samuel Huggins, Inventor

Posted by on Thursday, 5 June, 2014

John Samuel Huggins is my paternal great-great-great-grandfather. He was born in  Darlington, South Carolina in March of 1810. Sometime around 1829 he married Zylphia Ham. They had six sons and seven daughters between 1829 and 1850. He died on April 3, 1879, in Williamsburg, South Carolina, at the age of 69. I know from research that John was an ordained minister of  the Methodist Church. He served as the pastor of the Methodist Church at Muddy Creek, South Carolina until his death.


One thing that caught my eye about John: among his accomplishments was the invention of the first mechanical cotton planter. According to lore, the design was used throughout the South and still influences the design of seed planters today. Some refer to it as a “horse” planter. When researching this fact, I wondered if John had ever filed a patent on the design. The United States Patent Office was officially formed in 1836,  well before John invented the device.

As it turns out, I was correct. A patent was filed by John and a co-patentee, Rowland Chapman! Patent Number 20,432, “Improvement in cotton seed planters” was issued in June of 1858. In it, John and Rowland lay out the design and rationale for the invention. Included are schematics, which I thought were cool enough to display in my post. 


The patent in its entirety is available here. Sometimes you find family history data in the most unexpected places.

  • John Huggins I of Sea Wee Bay by Otis Prince 1965.

Tombstone Tuesday: Cox Family Plots

Posted by on Tuesday, 1 June, 2010

There are many Cox ancestors buried at Old Johnsonville Methodist Church Cemetery. The cemetery is located south of Johnsonville, South Carolina, off of South Georgetown Highway.

Here is a photo of Johnsonville Methodist Church itself. The church was founded in 1915.

The first plot I will cover is that of my great-grandparents. Another Cox family plot, much older, exists in the cemetery. I will cover it in a later post. My great-grandparents were:

  • Robert Dudley Cox, Sr. (b: 27 Jan 1885, d: 9 Dec 1967)
  • Helen Louise Dietz (b: 29 Jun 1889, d: 6 Aug 1981)

Their plot is about 8 feet by 6 feet rectangular, marked by marble stones. In the center is a bench style headstone, which I believe mark Robert and Helen. The reason I say “believe”, is that I could not find the names on the headstone, but there were two depressions in front of it. It is possible the markers with their names have sunken and grown over. I did not try to feel around on the ground for them. On the headstone is a quote from the Song of Solomon, 2:17: “Until the day break and the shadows flee away…”

The headstone of Robert and Helen is in proximity to another headstone, that of a son:

  • Horace Harlow Cox (b: 1 Jan 1917, d: 1 Jan 1945)

Horace’s headstone is within the confines of the plot’s marble markers.

No other closely related Cox members are within the plot.

Madness Monday: The Queen Of South Carolina

Posted by on Monday, 31 May, 2010

My great-great-grandmother’s name was Frances Cox, and her maiden name was Huggins. She married my great-great-grandfather Robert Franklin Cox some time around 1866, probably near Darlington, South Carolina. I knew very little about her until recently when I decided to look more into the Huggins family. Finding information on her before 1880 was difficult, but after a long search I was able to find an 1850 federal census record that looked interesting. Look closely at row 30:

What you see is correct: “Frances C. A. O. S. R. J. J. V. Q. of S. C.” What is that? Is that really a full name? What was the census taker smoking that day? It had me stumped for awhile. Luckily, a researcher on had posted a related story which I only recently came across. The story references the mother of Frances, Zilphia Hamm. I’ve quoted it in its entirety:

Zilphia Hamm Huggins, by Ruth (Dorrill) Thomas

Zilphia Hamm Huggins rode her horse sidesaddle to church, even though she was pregnant. While returning home, her horse became frightened, threw her off, and broke her hip. Competent medical help was unavailable and without proper treatment, her hip did not heal correctly. Frances Huggins was born while her mother was still bedridden.

The ladies of the church came to see her with gifts and names for the new baby girl. Her mother was the tactful pastor’s wife and promised to use all the names. She wrote them down so that the preacher could read them all in the baptismal service. She counted them and found only eleven names, the last of which “Victoria,” who was the Queen of Englans. Zylphia wanted to choose a name of her own. Since South Carolina had no queen, she would name her “Queen of South Carolina”. Frances Huggins was baptized as follows: Frances Cornelia Emerintha Olevia Sarah Rebecca Julia Josephine Eugenia Sophronia Victoria Queen of South Carolina.

Is that the longest name you’ve ever seen? Would love to hear from you.