The South Carolina Whittle Families

First Generation

James Burris Whittle (also spelled Burrus and Burrows)


James Burris Whittle makes his first appearance at the Virginia House of Burgesses sometime ca.1752. This handwritten accounting form lists him among several in Albemarle District who are receiving an allowance from the General Assembly for "Provisions for the Indians". Burris receives 1 Pound and 4 Shillings on July 6th. Unfortunately, no year appears on the document.

The accounting form is signed by John Randolph who worked as a clerk for the General Assembly from 1753 until 1765. Assuming James Burris Whittle was a young man of age 21 when he received this payment, we can estimate his birth year as somewhere between 1732 and 1744. So where did James Burris Whittle come from? He could be a younger brother or the first son of Matthew Whittle depending on his age. Matthew's birth year is ca.1720. At present there is no reliable list of Matthew's brothers and sisters. Matthew Whittle and Elizabeth Warren had two documented sons named John and Joseph, both born ca.1750. Proof of this is based on two deeds found in the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) archives.

9 Dec 1776. Matt. Whittle, AC, to his son, Joseph Whittle, for love, 200 ac and upper end of tract where I live. Wit: Jno. Warren, James Warren, Peter Joyner.

21 Jan 1780. Jno. Whittle & wife Sarah; Matthew Whittle & wife Elizabeth, AC, to Charles Wingfield, Sr., Albemarle, for 1000 pds, 400 ac pat. to Matt. Whittle under letters patent and Lees(?) under Buffalo Ridge; branch of Rockey Creek and Christian's path to Moses Higginbotham's mill. Conveyed by Matt. to his sons, Joseph & John Whittle. Jno. bought 200 ac of his bro., Joseph. Lines: Col. Chiswell, Jno. Warren, Peter Joiner, Turner Christian, Elijah Christian. Wit: Peter Joyner, Wm Wilday, Charles Warren, Rich. Harper.

The Burris family in Virginia lives close by in Hanover County. Jacob Burris, Sr. (1680-1755) is listed with 5 sons and 4 daughters. Could one of these Jacob Burris daughters be the mother of James Burris Whittle and the first wife of Matthew Whittle? Researcher, Wayne Whittle, provides his thought on the matter.

"In retrospect to my Matthew Whittle, I have long pondered the marriage date to Elizabeth "Betsy" Warren everyone uses may well be erroneous in that Sudie Rucker Wood from all I can determine "guessed it" (before 1747) premised on she knew from the Rev. Rose Diary that her sister married John Rucker in 1747. Hanover Co. deeds see Matthew Whittle land adjoining that of James Warren, Sr. as early as 1739. . The very same land that Matthew & "Betsy" Whittle file survey for patent on in Dec 1745. . . . I for one have a hard time believing Matthew tarried 6 yrs next door to James Warren, Sr. before taking his daughter Elizabeth to wife. . unless Matthew had lost a 1st wife. . ?? Next comes to mind could Matthew have been raised on this land next to James Warren, Sr. and assumed head of household duties following the death of his father (???). . . ."

No James Burris Whittle has been found on any of the available early Virginia land patent lists. One reference to him as a witness is sited in the Rucker Family history. "John Warren of Albemarle Co. sold to Stephen Goggin of Bedford Co., for 25 Pounds, 192 acres of land on Flatt Creek, adjoining David Irvin. Witnesses are Luke Murphy, Thomas Sulter and James Burrus Whittle". This sale took place sometime after 1760.

James Burris used both his first and middle name while in Virginia. In South Carolina he is usually just Burris Whittle, without the James. The only proof we have that Burris is James Burris is the sworn statement by his son James Whittle, Sr. stating that James Burris Whittle was his father. Although no original land grant has been found, on 24 Feb 1770, John Dooly in Colleton County wrote a land memorial for Charles Banks. The property description says that his land borders William Banks and Burris Whittle. That places Burris in South Carolina before 1770.


Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History

In 1682 three proprietary counties were set up in South Carolina; Berkeley, Colleton and Craven. In 1685 Carteret County was added. Carteret was renamed Granville County in 1708. These four counties remained until 1769 when they were abolished in favor of the new Judicial Districts. Ninety-six District was created in 1769. The first list of 2,154 "Residents" was dated 1779. On that list we find "Borris Whitel".

Edgefield District was formed from Ninety-six District in 1785.The early settlers from Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia moved into this area that in 1895 became Saluda County. The community of Mount Willing was the gathering place of all the newly arrived immigrants from 1785 until after the Civil War.

Burris served as a patriot in the South Carolina Militia during the American Revolution. He is listed as a 60 day volunteer in Captain James Butler's Company, but he likely served under William Butler. The Cloud's Creek Massacre took place on 17 Nov 1781. William Butler was a Lieutenant at that time. James Butler and his son James were both killed at the Massacre, only 2 or 3 survived and Burris is not on any list as one of them. Burris apparently was not in service at the time of the Clouds Creek Massacre. On 20 Dec 1782 Burros Whittle was given a receipt for donating a cow to the militia. Captain William Butler signs this receipt. He will not be compensated for it until the following year.


Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Had Burris completed his 60-day enlistment at the time of the donation or was this a gesture of continuing patriotic support? When and where was Burris "mortally wounded"? All we know for certain is that Winny Whittle did not receive the annuity that she applied for. We have Bourres Whittle and his mark on an appraisal made for his friend Henley Webb dated 17 Jun 1783. Certainly he was well enough to sign that document. Notice the mark and the 3 notches.


Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Researcher, Wayne Whittle, has provided us with the following summary of his thoughts on the possible reason for Burris Whittle's rather distinctive 3 notch mark.

"The picture I am getting from all this is a James "Burris" & Winifred Whittle of Virginia who entered old Colleton Co., S C with two infant sons James "Jr" and Joseph. This James in my opinion could either be the eldest son of Matthew Whittle or by chance a younger brother of Matthew? Finally consider for a moment the possibility there may have been two separate James Whittles who at one time lived in Edgefield Co., S. C? One born in VA, the other Ireland?? Holy Molley, wouldn't that be something. . . one or both with a son, James. . .

We know that many a settler lived far out in the wilderness long before County records embraced them. . Also, that immigrants and nare do wells were pushed out to the wilderness to scratch for themselves sometimes 10-25 yrs before being noticed in County records. . . . there is reference in a 1743 account of a death where it references Lickinghole Church Cemetery (now Fluvanna Co) being next to 'Whittle Creek'. . . Virginia settlers were known to name creeks and branches after settlers who first lived by them. . . Lickinghole was one of the ten districts originally laid out when Old Goochland County was formed c. 1727. "Albemarle Roads" tells one of James Jefferson's 1st undertakings was to supervise constructing a road (III Notch) from Charlottesville through to Lickinghole. . .c. 1732-37. ."

The book, South Carolina Revolutionary War Indents: A Schedule by John Lennell Andrews, Jr. Published by SCMAR, Columbia, S.C., 2001, lists "Burrows" as having served in Colonel Purvis's Regiment. We have his pay stub #670, dated 20 Sep 1783 including reimbursement for 1 beef. Some accounts say his friend Hendley Webb was a survivor of the massacre; he was in line just in front of Burris on the same day, and his number was #668.


Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History

In 1823, almost 40 years later, Winny Whittle and James Whittle, Sr., her son, petitioned the State Committee on Pensions and both swore an affidavit that "Burris received a mortal wound in a battle that was near Cloud Creek in Edgefield District." Winny was denied her pension. Was this battle the Cloud's Creek Massacre? It is likely that Burris was not there and perhaps not yet even in the service of his country. This was not the only battle fought near Cloud's Creek. It is also important to consider that Burris Whittle was probably not a young man in 1781. His age would be somewhere between 37 and 49. It is unlikely that he would be chosen first in line of battle.


Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History


Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History

In 2012, researcher, Amberys Whittle suggested that there is a good reason why Winny may have had her pension denied:

"Apparently, the government did not have "Capt. Wm. Butler's Roll" until 1838, well after the petition was presented.  If I am correct here, the denial shouldn't reflect badly on either JBW or his widow.  The officials dealing with the petition just didn't have the document they needed to validate the petition, and there were no remaining witnesses of JBW's service."

"Capt. Wm. Butler's Roll  SC Militia
Taken from Mr. R. [?] Butler~~ papers,    [note: middle initial and word or so after Butler not clear here]
July 7, 1838
SC No. 6224          
1781-2"

Burris was not around for the first US Census in 1790 and we have deeds by 1793 that refer to "Burris Whittle's land, deceased". Since he was in the pay line 20 Sep 1783, he must have departed this world sometime thereafter. The Burris name was not popular with Whittles and we do not have any subsequent Burris Whittles. There are some "B" middle initials however, but none have been substantiated as Burris. The Warren family apparently felt differently. Burris Warren was born in South Carolina 21 July 1788 and according to the Eidson Family records, he was the son of Thomas Warren, Sr. and Elizabeth Eidson. Burris named his 3rd son James Burris Warren.

1. James Burris Whittle was probably born in Virginia ca.1740 and died in Ninety-six District South Carolina ca.1783. JBW married Winifred Warren (not proven) the daughter of Rev James Warren, Jr and the sister of Thomas Warren, Sr. She was born about 1744, and died after 1823. JBW and Winny had only one documented son, James Whittle. Two other sons are possible however, and they are listed here until proven otherwise.

+ 2 M i Joseph Whittle
+ 3 M ii James Whittle
+ 4 M iii John Whittle

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