Friday, September 14, 2018

Joshua Holland

Joshua Holland
(photo from C. R. Balentine)
The 52 Ancestors theme this week is “closest to your birthday.”

For no particular reason, I decided to write about Joshua Holland, a collateral ancestor whose birthday is the day after mine, although in different centuries. I visited his grave in South Carolina about 13 years ago. At the time, I didn’t know who he was and wondered if we had a connection. As it turns out, we did.

Joshua Holland, son of Moses Holland and Grace King, was born on August 14, 1818, in Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina. Joshua had many siblings. His father was first married to Mary E. Barton and they had six children—Chesley D. Holland, Frances E. Holland, Thomas Holland, John Holland, James Holland, and Ellender Holland. Mary died in 1812 when their youngest child Ellender was 14. Moses took a second bride about 1813 when he married Grace King. Moses and Grace had six children as well—Moses King Holland, Aaron Berry Holland, Caleb B. Holland, Joshua Holland, Eleb M. Holland, and Tabitha Holland. Joshua’s father Moses was 59 years old when Joshua was born.

Joshua is my half 4th great grand uncle, with our nearest common relative being his father, Reverend Moses Holland. Rev. Holland was founder of the Saluda Baptist Association and many churches in Anderson County, including Big Creek Baptist Church in Williamston where he was pastor for 41 years. Rev. Holland, a Revolutionary War patriot, served as a drummer with the Charlotte Militia in Virginia and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis in 1781.

Joshua was just 11 years old when his father died on September 8, 1829 at the age of 70 in Williamston, Anderson County, South Carolina.

At the age of 18, Joshua served as a private in Picken’s Company, Goodwyn’s South Carolina Mounted Militia in the Second Seminole War (AKA Florida War). According to Wikipedia, this war is regarded as “the longest and most costly of the Indian conflicts of the United States.” Fifty years later, the Intelligencer of Anderson published an article stating that the “Company was mustered into service on the 10th of February, A.D., 1836.” The article further stated that “… This Company saw arduous service in the campaign which followed its enlistment …”. At the time the article was published (February 11, 1886), Joshua was one of nine men out of 75 who survived.

Joshua Holland
(photo from C. R. Balentine)
Joshua married Rebecca Ann Trussell, daughter of Rhodam Amos Trussell and Elizabeth McFee, in Anderson County on August 25, 1840. I’ll note that I haven’t confirmed the marriage date so please don’t take that information as gospel. Joshua and Rebecca had three children together—William M. Holland, Mary Frances Elizabeth Holland, and a daughter they named Willie Holland. Their oldest child, William, was born in Anderson in 1841. About 1846, Joshua joined Neals Creek Baptist Church in Anderson. He would worship there the rest of his life.

Joshua’s mother died in Anderson in September 1850. In November 1850, Joshua and his family were living in Laurens, Laurens County, South Carolina. He was a farmer with real estate valued at $3,600. I don’t know what took him to Laurens, a community just over 40 miles from Anderson. His son William was 14 years old. The slave schedule for 1850 shows that Joshua had seven slaves—three adult females (ages 25, 50, and 18), two adult males (ages 30 and 20), one 12-year-old male, and a 4-year-old female. Joshua’s daughter Mary was born about 1853.

On June 1, 1860, Joshua had 50 acres of improved land and 650 acres of unimproved land all with an estimated value of $7,000. He reported the value of his farming implements and machinery at $40. He had 1 horse, 1 mule, 2 milk cows, 3 cows, 2 sheep, and 5 pigs valued at $260. His farm produced 20 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels of Indian corn, 30 bushels of oats, 6 bales of ginned cotton, 10 bushels of Irish potatoes, 40 bushels of sweet potatoes, 2 gallons of wine, 1 ton of hay, 100 pounds of butter, 8 pounds of beeswax, and 100 pounds of honey. The census enumerator recorded the Holland family on June 7, 1860 listing Joshua, his wife Rebecca, son William, and daughter Mary living in Anderson County. Joshua had a personal estate valued at $300.

Joshua’s son William was “among the first to volunteer in the service of his country” when the Civil War began in 1861 according to William’s tombstone at Neals Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. The stone further notes that he “fought through the Battle of Manassas after which he was taken with typhoid fever and died, near Fairfax Courthouse Virginia.” The battle took place in Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia on July 21, 1861. William died on October 1, 1861, at the age of 20. On either March 10 or March 19, 1863 (some of the muster rolls say the 10th and some the 19th), Joshua enlisted as a private in Company G of the South Carolina 1st Light Artillery Regiment at Walhalla Oconee County, South Carolina for a period of three years. He remained on the muster rolls through at least December 1864. Joshua must have been able to go home at some point as his third child, daughter Willie, was born in 1864.

On March 24, 1866, Joshua made an agreement with a woman named Harriet Vandiver to take her son John to work on his plantation. The agreement stated “... That the said John agrees to nurse, make fires, or anything me or my agent may tell him to do.” Joshua agreed to give John board and clothing. John would not be able to leave the premises without permission from Joshua or his agent. The agreement was good for one year beginning January 1, 1866 and ending January 1, 1867. If Joshua didn’t hold up his end of the agreement, John could hold a lien on the entire crop raised on the planation that year until he was paid his full due. If John didn’t hold up his end of the agreement, Joshua could hold a lien on John’s portion of the crop.

On July 5, 1870, Joshua, Rebecca, and daughters Mary and Willie lived in the Broadway Township of Anderson County. As a farmer, he had real estate valued at $900 and a personal estate valued at $365. Rebecca and Mary were both keeping house. In early August 1874, Joshua was among the citizens of Broadway who met at Neals Creek Church to organize a tax union. During the meeting, they adopted a constitution, elected officers, and set the committees with Joshua being named to the Executive Committee. They agreed to meet by way of a picnic at the church on his birthday, August 14.

On June 29, 1880, Joshua, Rebecca, and Willie lived in the Broadway Township of Anderson County, South Carolina. Joshua was a farmer; Rebecca stayed home keeping house. Joshua was known as a “weather prophet” in 1887. On March 24, 1887, The Intelligencer reported the following:
The predictions made by Eureka’s weather prophet, Mr. Joshua Holland, so far this year, have all proved true. Of course, we do not know anything about the basis of his predictions, but we were informed some days ago by a very intelligent gentleman of the city of Anderson that Mr. H. was a close observer of certain signs and days, and especially “Badger’s Day,” which had something to do with the winter and spring.
Tombstone at Neals Creek Baptist
Church Cemetery, Anderson, South Carolina
In mid-April 1896, Joshua came down with a case bronchitis. The Intelligencer reported that he was “very sick at the present … afflicted with bronchitis, and is attended by Dr. J. C. Harris.” After a month’s illness, Joshua died on March 10, 1896. He was buried at Neals Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Anderson. The Intelligencer reported his death on March 18, 1896:
Death of Mr. Joshua Holland. It becomes our duty this week to chronicle the death of a good citizen of Anderson County. We refer to the death of Mr. Joshua Holland, which occurred at his home in Broadway Township on the morning of the 10th inst. Mr. Holland was seventy eight years of age last August. He was born and raised in Anderson County excepting a few years he lived in Laurens County. Fifty eight years ago he was marred to Miss Rebecca Trussell who, together with two daughters, survive him. Mr. and Mrs. Holland had eaten Christmas dinner together even since they have been married except two. Mr. Holland went to the Florida war when only eighteen years of age. He also served in the war of succession, fighting for the Confederate cause. He had been a member of Neal’s Creek Baptist Church for fifty years preceding his death, and a deacon of the same for twenty-five years. He was a good and upright citizen, a kind neighbor, a devoted and a faithful Christian. He was loved by all who knew him. Mr. Holland had been sick about one month, and his death was not unexpected by those around him. His remains were interred in the Neal’s Creek churchyard the day following his death. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. M. McGee who preached from the 14th chapter of John, 2nd and 3rd verses. Mr. Holland said on his death bed that he was ready to die, which should be a great consolation to his loved ones. He has passed over the river, and is now resting beneath the shade of the beautiful trees. The family have many sympathizers in their bereavement. -- E. F. 


  • “Broadaway Tax Union,” The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, August 6, 1874.
  • Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution.
  • “Moses Holland, Manley McClure to Join Anderson HOF in October,” Anderson Observer, August 16, 2014;
  • U.S. Federal Census, Slave Schedules, Laurens, South Carolina, 1850.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Laurens, Laurens County, South Carolina, 1850.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Regiment 4, Anderson, South Carolina, 1860.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Non-Population Schedule, Agriculture, Regiment 4, Anderson, South Carolina, 1860.
  • U.S. Federal Census, Broadway, Anderson, South Carolina, 1870, 1880.
  • “Fifty Years Ago,” The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, February 11, 1886.
  • “South Carolina, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872,” images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), Anderson courthouse (acting subassistant commissioner–Anderson district) > Roll 46, Labor contracts, series A, no A-H35, 1866 > image 739 of 743; citing NARA microfilm publication M1910 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • “Eureka Items,” The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, March 24, 1887.
  • "United States Index to Indian Wars Pension Files, 1892-1926," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Joshua Holland, 1896; citing Pension, South Carolina, NARA microfilm publication T318 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 821,615.
  • “Eureka Items,” The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, March 11, 1896.
  • “Death of Mr. Joshua Holland,” The Intelligencer, March 18, 1896.
  • Company G, 1st South Carolina Artillery muster rolls.
  • Will of Moses Holland.

No comments:

Post a Comment