Friday, June 25, 2021

Long lost parents of Amanda Elizabeth Scott

Some people are harder to figure out than others. For a long time, I’ve been trying to determine the parents of my 2nd great grandmother, Amanda Elizabeth Scott, one of my brick walls. Amanda was the first wife of Leroy Thomas Holland, my 2nd great grandfather. It’s been a while since I researched Amanda but she jumped out at me several weeks ago while trying to figure out who to write about so I took the leap. This time when I searched, I found Taliaferro “Toliver” Langford Scott, his wife Lovina Scott, and children Newton Scott, Amanda Scott, Eliza Scott, Martha E. Scott, Langford Scott, and Mary F. Scott living in the Western Division of Anderson, South Carolina in 1850. Jeptha Scott was probably Amanda’s uncle. This Scott family caught my attention when I saw their 13-year-old daughter Amanda. If the Scott’s provided the correct information to the census enumerator, this Amanda would have been born about 1837, well within range of the 1839 date shared by Amanda’s stepson, Aaron Hall Holland, many years later.

Census record, Western Division, Anderson, South Carolina, 1850

At the request of several family members (one of them being my grandfather, Sam Holland), Aaron Hall Holland, son of Leroy Holland and his second wife, Cindarilla Darliska Amanda Hall, spent a considerable amount of time writing an 11-page family history. In a letter dated May 15, 1964, he wrote:

About a year ago Mary Richardsons son wrote and asked me to write him and tell him about our settlement at Alief. It was never answered, although his letter answering him was written. Now, quite a while ago Sam Holland, who lives in Georgia, wrote and asked if I had any records of the Hollands. Well, there was nothing else to do but get busy and look up the records, together with the recollections of the last old man, so this is what the records show and what is remembered by me. It was a long and tough job and is as near correct as it was possible to get. Our records go back to 1800 and to 1964, from the story tells us about our fore Fathers here in the 164th year, we have just run our course.

Hall/Holland family history written by Aaron Hall Holland in 1964
(11 pages, typed front and back)

Buried on the 10th page is one sentence where Aaron mentions Leroy’s marriage to Amanda, including her birth and date dates:

Lee Roy Thomas … His first marriage was to Amanda Elizabeth Scott, who was born 18 Sept. 1839 and died 18 Dec. 1877, they were married by Rev. Jas. Vernon.

This is the only record I have of Amanda’s birth. Where did Aaron get this information? Amanda was not his mother so where did this date come from? Did Aaron have proof in the records mentioned in his letter? The birth year is different than what was recorded in the 1850 census but we all know dates are often recorded inaccurately.

I next searched “Scott” in Anderson’s weekly newspaper, The Intelligencer, for the period 1850 to 1860 and found nothing. In hopes of finding an obituary that might list Amanda’s birth, I also searched The Intelligencer for the period December 1877 through 1878. Again, I found nothing. And finally, I searched for other females named Amanda Scott living in the Anderson area after the 1850 census record and found none.

Having found all I could on Amanda, I next searched Taliaferro Scott, who apparently died January 1851 in Anderson. The June 11, 1891 obituary for his wife Melvina states “Mrs. Gambrell was twice married, her first husband being Tolaver Scott, who died years ago.” Her obituary didn’t have a lot of information, but did provide the name of Melvina’s second husband, which made it easy to find her and her children in census records.

The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, June 11, 1891 (click to enlarge)

Amanda Elizabeth Scott married Leroy Thomas Holland on December 4, 1854 so would no longer show up as Amanda Scott in records. In the 1860 census record, the enumerator recorded Amanda’s age as 23. If that’s correct, her birth year would be about 1837. This matches up with Amanda Scott in the 1850 census record.

In 1860, Amanda and Leroy lived in Regiment 4 of Anderson County, along with a daughter named Eliza. Had this daughter been named after Amanda’s sister Eliza?

Regiment 4, Anderson County, South Carolina census, 1860 (click to enlarge)

Aaron’s record includes a son named John Newton Holland, born and died on May 3, 1860. Was John named after Amanda’s brother Newton? Amanda and Leroy had another son named Thomas N. Holland. I haven’t found a record with his middle named spelled out, but could it have also been Newton?

In 1860, Amanda’s brother Newton Scott and his wife Margaret also lived in Regiment 4 of Anderson County. They were recorded on page 1 in the census record. Amanda and Leroy were recorded on page 6 so they were in close proximity to each other. In that same census record, Melvina, now married to Jordon Gambrell, was also living in Regiment 4 of Anderson County, recorded on page 20. All of Melvina’s children were enumerated with the last name of Gambrell, although their father was Taliaferro Scott. I find it significant that Amanda, Newton, and Melvina were all living in the same area. After all, families tend to stick together.

Melvin and Jordan Gambrell, Regiment 4, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1860
(click to enlarge)

In 1870, Amanda and Leroy lived in the Broadway Township of Anderson County. The enumerator recorded her age as 30 years which in this case means her birth year would have been about 1840. Close but not 1837. Melvina and Jordan were also living in the Broadway Township (recorded on page 7 by the census enumerator). Newton lived in the Varennes Township of Anderson County and was the town marshal. 

Amanda and Leroy Holland, Broadway Township, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1870
(click to enlarge)

ThruLines in suggests a DNA connection.

(click to enlarge)

So, is Taliaferro Langford Scott and Melvina Parker the parents of Amanda Elizabeth Scott and my 3rd great grandparents? What do you think? By the way, all the more interesting to me is Taliaferro’s middle name Langford as my maiden name is Lankford. I know for a fact that the “k” and “g” in that name is often used in the same families. Langford would have probably been a family name so how does it fit in the tree? The research continues!

If anyone reading this can shed some light on all of this, I’d love to hear from you.


  • Hall/Holland family history, Aaron Hall Holland letter, May 15, 1964.
  • Letter of Administration, Toliver L. Scott, vol. 1, p. 423, Anderson County, South Carolina, January 30, 1851.
  • Mrs. Vina Gambrell obituary, The Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina, June 11, 1891.
  • Taliaferro Langford Scott ThurLines,
  • United States Federal Census, Broadway Township, Anderson, South Carolina, 1870.
  • United States Federal Census, Regiment 4, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1860.
  • United States Federal Census, Varennes Township, Anderson County, South Carolina, 1870.
  • United States Federal Census, Western Division, Anderson, South Carolina, 1850.
  • Vina Parker, South Carolina, U.S., Compiled Marriage Index, 1641–1965.

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