Biographical Sketch of Robert Mayfield (died 1816)
of Chester District, South Carolina
By Phil Norfleet
This Robert Mayfield,
husband of Sarah, is probably a son of Abraham Mayfield (d.1778) of Granville
County NC. For several years, Robert resided in Bute County, which is
directly adjacent to Granville County. In the mid 1770's, Robert and his family
seem to have removed to South Carolina, settling initially in the Thicketty
Creek area of Ninety-Six District. However, after the British took Charleston in
May 1780, the Ninety-Six area quickly became a Loyalist stronghold. Robert
supported the Whig Cause, hence, he and his family removed to Camden District
where Whig supporters were in the clear majority. At least four of Robert
Mayfield's sons (John, Edmond, Abraham and Samuel) served in the Whig Militia
during the War and Robert himself provided supplies to the Whig forces. His son,
Lieutenant John Mayfield, was killed by Tories in 1782; however, his other sons
survived the War. In 1785, after the Revolution, the
area of Camden Judicial District in which he and his sons resided became
Fairfield and Chester Counties. Robert Mayfield died
intestate in Chester County in 1816.
Family of Robert Mayfield
We know that Robert's
wife was named Sarah (maiden name unknown) based on a North Carolina land sale
in 1765 (see below); Sarah had to relinquish her right of dower to permit the
sale. We also know from Robert Mayfield's probate papers (see below) that
he had 8 legatees in the year 1818 for whom the proceeds from his estate were
distributed. Four names of legatees were cited in the estate papers but the
other four names were not. Since his son John had died in 1782, his son Elisha
had died in 1811, and his wife Sarah was also probably dead by this time, we may
reconstruct his family including at least 10 children as follows:
Wife - Sarah (died before 1810)
Son - John (a Lieutenant in the Whig militia who was killed in 1782 and does not
appear in the 1790 Census)
2. Son - Elisha
Mayfield (died intestate in 1811)
Son - Edmond (named as a legatee)
Son - Abraham (named as a legatee)
Son - Samuel (named as a legatee)
Son - Ezekiel (aka Sugar and named as a legatee)
Son - Obediah
Son - Stephen
Daughter - Name Unknown
Daughter - Name Unknown
Records Chronology of Robert Mayfield
The following chronological listing summarizes those instances
where Robert Mayfield's name appears in the official records of NC:
In Granville County, North Carolina:
25 June 1760: Philemon Hawkins has a survey made and
certified for 694 acres of land in Granville County NC; Robert Mayfield is named
as a chain carrier for the survey. [See NC Patent Book 11, page 375.]
14 April 1763: Joel Sartin conveys to Robert Mayfield, for 12 pounds, 200
acres on North Side of Shocco Creek. [Deed Book F, Pages 226-227]
In Bute County, North Carolina:
In 1764, Bute County was created out of the eastern portion of
Granville County NC. The Shocco Creek area, where Robert Mayfield lived, fell
within this new county.
30 April 1765: Robert Mayfield conveys to John Austin Finnie of Surry
County VA, for 8 pounds, 200 acres on North Side of Shocco Creek. Sarah
Mayfield, Robert's wife, relinquishes her right of dower in the land sold to
Finnie. [Deed Book A, Pages 165 and 269]
1766: Robert Mayfield's name appears on the tax list (along with a
certain Stephen Mayfield - probably his brother) for Bute County, North
February 1768: Robert Mayfield serves on a petit jury for Bute County.
[See Bute County NC Court Minutes, pages 17-18.]
15 August 1770: Robert Mayfield serves on a petit jury for Bute County.
[See Bute County NC Court Minutes, pages 135-137.]
13 February 1771: Robert Mayfield serves on a grand jury for Bute County.
[See Bute County NC Court Minutes, page 158.]
1771: The following Mayfield names are cited in the tax lists for Bute
County NC for the year 1771:
Abraham Mayfield (2 people of that
Robert son of Abraham Mayfield
Stephen Mayfield (2 people of that name)
Thomas Mayfield (2 people of that name)
Comment: The "Robert son of Abraham Mayfield" is probably the same Robert
Mayfield (d. 1816) who moved to South Carolina in the 1770's. The "John
Mayfield" may actually be Jonathan Mayfield (d. 1818), brother of Robert (d.
1816) who moved to Chester County, South Carolina in about 1787. One of the
Stephen Mayfields, cited above, may be the notorious Tory, Stephen Mayfield of
Browns Creek, who was living on Browns Creek by 1774. One of the Thomas
Mayfields cited above is probably the man who removed to the Greenville County
area of South Carolina by about 1787 and died there in 1803.
14 November 1771: Robert Mayfield serves on a grand jury for Bute County.
[See Bute County Court Minutes, page 199.]
11 November 1772: Robert Mayfield serves on a grand jury for Bute County.
[See Bute County Court Minutes, page 248.]
May 1774: Robert Mayfield is appointed overseer of the road in the room
of Francis Mabry, deceased. [See Bute County Court Minutes, page 276.]
15 November 1775: Charles Ivy is appointed overseer of the road in the
room of Robert Mayfield. [See Bute County Court Minutes, page 358.]
Presumably, sometime in the late 1775 or early 1776 time frame, Robert Mayfield
and his family removed to South Carolina.
In Ninety-Six District, South Carolina:
06 March 1778: James and Martha Campbell of Craven County SC convey to
John Hope, for 330 pounds, a 200-acre tract of land situated on both sides of
Thicketty Creek. Witnesses to the deed are Robert Mayfield, William Casey and
Edmond Mayfield. To the best of my knowledge, this is the earliest appearance in
the South Carolina records of Robert and Edmond Mayfield. [See Union County Deed
Book A, page 323.] Comment: - it is interesting to note that the land in
question is located north of the Pacolet River; this is the same area where, in
my opinion, the 100-acre tract of land granted to John Mayfield in 1768 was
In Chester County, Camden District, South Carolina:
It appears that, when the British took Charleston in May 1780, the Ninety-Six
area quickly became a Loyalist stronghold. Robert Mayfield supported the Whig
Cause, hence, he and his family removed to Camden District where Whig supporters
were in the clear majority. After the War, in 1785, the area of Camden District
in which Robert resided became part of Chester County. Robert Mayfield died
intestate in Chester County in 1816.
25 January 1783: An indenture between Benjamin Roaden [Roden] and Thomas
Morris for 75 acres " ... on the waters of Buffalo Fork of Sandy River ... " is
stated to be adjacent to the land of "Robin" Mayfield. Indenture is witnessed by
Elisha Mayfield and Jesse Obriant. [See Chester County SC, Deed Book B, page
1790: The Federal Census for Chester County SC shows
Robert Mayfield in a household with 1 white male 16 or over, 1 white male under
16 (probably "Sugar" Mayfield), and 3 white females (probably his wife, Sarah,
and two daughters). Comment: - there are seven other Mayfield households listed
for Chester County, all appearing close to each other on the list and thus
indicating close geographical proximity. They are as follows:
Abraham Mayfield - probably a son of Robert.
Allen Mayfield - probably a son of Jonathan.
Edmond Mayfield - probably a son of Robert.
Elisha Mayfield - probably a son of Robert (died intestate in 1811)
Jonathan Mayfield - probably a brother of Robert (died intestate in 1818).
Obediah Mayfield - probably a son of Robert.
Stephen Mayfield - probably a son of Robert.
In Fairfield County SC, the Federal Census for 1790 lists a Samuel Mayfield - he
is also probably a son of Robert.
04 April 1791: The Last Will and Testament of Thomas
Morris, deceased, is proven in open court by the oaths of Robert Mayfield and
Elisha Mayfield two of the witnesses thereof. [See Chester County SC Court
Minutes, 1785-1799, page 132.]
In Fairfield County, South Carolina:
The following records establish that, for several years, Robert Mayfield resided
in and owned land in Fairfield County SC:
07 June 1798: Isham Fair conveys to Robert Mayfield of Chester County a
184-acre tract of land on Rocky Creek for 43 pounds. Witnesses to this indenture
are: Sugar Mayfield, Edmond Mayfield, and John Woodward. Deed was recorded on 02
September 1799. [See Fairfield County SC Deed Book R, pages 223-224.]
1800: The Federal Census for 1800 indicates that Robert
Mayfield was then living in Fairfield County SC in a household with one white
male of age 45 years or above (Robert himself) and one white female of age 45
years or above (his wife, Sarah). Robert's household also contains 4 slaves.
19 November 1802: Robert Mayfield conveys to Ezekiel Woolly for 81 pounds
a 184-acre tract of land on Rocky Creek of Broad River. Witnesses to this
indenture were: Sugar Mayfield, Jacob Kennemer and Bosh Mackley. Deed was
recorded on 11 July 1808. [See Fairfield County SC Deed Book R, pages 225-226.]
Comment - as no relinquishment of dower rights by the wife of Robert Mayfield is
named in this transaction, she probably was dead by this time. Since Sarah
appears to be listed in the 1800 Federal Census, then she must have died
sometime between about June 1800 and November 1802.
Return to Chester
County, South Carolina:
The following records
indicate that Robert returned to Chester County where he spent the last years of
1810: The South Carolina Federal Census for 1810 does
not show anyone named Robert Mayfield as a head of household. However, I note
that the household of Elisha Mayfield of Chester County SC shows 2 white males
of age 45 years or over. Probably the two older men are Elisha himself and his
father, Robert Mayfield. Robert's wife, Sarah Mayfield, was probably already
dead by this time - see the Fairfield County SC indenture dated 19 November 1802
abstracted above. Elisha Mayfield would die intestate in Chester County in 1811.
His father, Robert Mayfield, would die intestate in Chester a few years later - in 1816.
03 January 1817: Bond in the amount of $2,000 is posted by Abraham
Mayfield (probably the son of Robert) and Elisha Mayfield, with William Coburn and James Gore as their
sureties, in support of their appointment as administrators of the estate of
Robert Mayfield, deceased. [See Chester County SC Will Book F, pages 203-204.]
Comment - the date of this bond indicates that Robert Mayfield probably died
sometime late in the year 1816.
08 February 1817: The Inventory of the personal estate of Robert Mayfield
is returned by William Lewis, William Coburn and James Gore. The net value of
the estate is estimated to be $1,185.37. [See Chester County SC Will Book F,
05 January 1818: Final settlement of the estate of Robert Mayfield,
deceased, is made. the net value of the undistributed estate is $1592.66. The
proceeds were distributed among a total of 8 legatees ($199.08 each); unfortunately, not
all the legatees are named. However, four people are named, presumably all are
sons of Robert Mayfield, i. e., Edmond Mayfield, Abraham Mayfield, Sugar
Mayfield and Samuel Mayfield. [See Chester County SC Probate File # 45, Packet