On Oct. 6-7 the public is invited to an opportunity to learn about the origins of Orangeburg, exploring the founding years of the Orangeburgh Township through its individual families in the historical context of the times.

Two new books will be introduced and presentations will explore the historical development of the earliest Orangeburg community.

The event is presented by the Orangeburgh German-Swiss Genealogical Society (OGSGS). OGSGS was founded in 1981 because there was very little accurate information available about the earliest settlers of Orangeburg. The founders of OGSGS were determined to correct that. The scope of OGSGS has expanded steadily through the years. The members of OGSGS have done what their founders intended and have built a substantial base of information about the Swiss and German settlers of early Orangeburg.

It became apparent that it is neither possible nor desirable to separate these families from the others who built the old Orangeburgh District. Migrants from English and Huguenot families on the coast, families that came down the wagon road from Virginia and North Carolina, and families of African descent have all become part of OGSGS research because they are integral parts of what has made Orangeburg.

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That research includes both documentary study and DNA testing and analysis through the Orangeburgh District project at Family Tree DNA. The project has now tested more than 850 individuals descended from area families, representing the full range of national origins and racial identifications in the area.

On Friday, Oct. 6, the A. S. Salley Archives in Orangeburg will be open to the public for research. On Saturday, Oct. 7, presentations will include introduction of two exciting new books that present very detailed information on some of the earliest Orangeburg families, summarizing what we now know about the founding and development of the area. In the afternoon there will be a book signing and an opportunity to question the authors on their work.

“Biographical Sketches of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina, Volume 1, 1733 to 1736,” by Margaret G. Waters, is the first in a series of volumes reconstructing with land records, parish records, and other documents the settlement and development of Orangeburg, year by year. The current volume includes narrative stories of 139 individuals (including 47 females identified by maiden name) who first established Orangeburgh Township between 1733 and early 1736. (The second volume will address the substantial number of families who arrived in 1737 and will be followed by others tracing the growth of the area.)

This first volume includes these surnames that have living descendants today: Baltzegar, Bowman, Culler, Dettweiler, Dietrick, Eisenhut, Faust, Felder, Giegelman, Hesse, Horger, Huber/Hoover, Hutto, Inabinet, Kreuter/Crider, Larey, Linder, Moorer, Ott, Pfund/Pound, Rickenbacker, Robinson, Roth, Rumph, Salley, Snell, Staley, Stroman, Zorn and others.

Bringing her many years of Orangeburg research to bear on these families, Waters fills out the stories of these first settlers with tales of the immigrant’s son who moved to Georgia to escape debt, the son who sued his immigrant father’s estate, and an immigrant who left his wife in Switzerland but married again shortly after arriving in South Carolina. The stories document Immigrants whose children moved to Charleston, the South Carolina Lowcountry, Purrysburg, New Windsor, Ebenezer in Georgia, other locations in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

“European Origins of the Hutto Family of Colonial South Carolina, and Allied Families,” by Joel H. Hutto, documents in detail some of the families who came to Orangeburgh Township in 1735 from the Duchy of Palatine-Zweibrücken, using original parish records and other primary documents to prove their origins and resolve long-standing questions. The study focuses on the Hutto family and their close relatives the Snell and Wern (Utsey-Conrad) families. (If you’ve always thought the Huttos were German-Swiss or German, you need to read this book. They were not.) Other 1735-1737 Orangeburg families who are documented briefly include Gelzer, Huber, Jaggi/Jacque, Kreuter/Croytery, Kummeter, Linder, Letcher, Reber, Seebach, Wern (Utsey-Conrad), Fritchman, Schaumloffel, Shuler, Wannamaker and Yonn.


Details and registration information will be provided at www.OGSGS.org. The event will be located in Orangeburg, with presentations and book signing Saturday at a location to be determined when an estimate of attendance is available. The location will be posted at the website. There will be a $15 registration fee and registration must be completed by Sept. 20.

All are invited. We hope that the public will take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the earliest years of Orangeburg.

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