I'm beginning with William Hampton Stroud, Jr., my 6th great-grandfather and the immigrant ancestor of my Stroud family line. He was born in Antrim, Ireland about 1731, the son of William Hampton, Sr. and Elizabeth Farmer. The Strouds were Protestant Scots-Irish living in what is now Northern Ireland at a time when the Protestants were facing hardship from the Church of England. William appears to have immigrated first as an indentured servant, leaving his wife Sally (Pickett) and six children behind in Ireland. He served in the French and Indian War, receiving payment in 1762 for his service, returned to Ireland, and in 1767 came back with his family to America, settling in Rockey Creek, South Carolina, a community of Protestant Irish settlers lead by Rev. William Martin. Another son was born on the voyage to South Carolina aboard the ship Snow Betty Gregg. William had a royal land grant for property in Craven (later Camden) County, which he later sold and on which the Catholic Presbyterian Church was built.
|Catholic Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Chester County, SC|
William and several of his sons served in the American Revolution; there is a story of him standing in church, answering Rev. Martin's call to fight: … .as the minister quitted the stand, William Stroud stepped up to him. This man, with his sons was noted for strength and bravery. They were so tall in stature, that like Saul, they overlooked the rest of the congregation. He doubted not he said, that had heard of his “whipping the pets”. “ I rather think” he continued “that some people will be a little on their guard how they go to Rocky Mount for their ‘tection papers! Yesterday I was down at old deaf Lot’s still-house; who do you think was there? John and Dick Featherstone! John said he had been to Rocky Mount to see the fine fellows, and they were so good to him to give him ‘tection. Do John, tell me what that is , I asked. He said it was a paper, and whoever had one was safe; Not a horse , cow or hog would the British take from him without paying two prices for it. So. John says I, I now know who told the British about large stock of cows which they drove off yesterday, knocking down Mrs. Stinson for putting up old Brindle in the horse stable, so as to keep one cow to give milk to the children! Now, John, since you have British ‘tection I will give you Whig ‘tection! With that I knocked him down; Dick came running up; I just gave him a kick in the front; he doubled up; John got up and ran for it; and Dick begged liked a whipped boy. I told him he might carry the news that ‘tection paper men should be whipped and have their cows taken from them to pay James Stinson for his. I think this is what you call the law of Moses! And as for these Britishers, if I don’t make old Nelly ring in their ears and be dad to them! Excuse me for swearing this time , if you please.
Mr. Minister, here is old Bill- that is two; then here is young Will, Tom, Jack, Hamp, Erby, Ransom and Hardy, ;there are some girls, you know, and the baby, little Anzel. I have heard you say that children are the crown to old men who sit at the gate .” .........
(pages 127-128, "Women of the American Revolution" by Elizabeth Fries Ellet, pub. 1856)
William drove a munitions wagon for the patriots; he was wounded by a musket ball in the shoulder, which migrated to his hip and had to be surgically removed. His son William, who was said to have killed more of the enemy than any other man in South Carolina, was captured by the British after two months, and hung for treason, his body left hanging from a tree by the side of a road as a warning to others. After three weeks, his mother, sister and a Capt. Lacy cut it down and buried it beneath the tree. Another son, Hampton, was captured, threatened with hanging and kept on a ship off the coast of South Carolina.
After the end of the war, William remained in South Carolina, while some of his children migrated across the south to Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana. One son, Yerby, settled in Henry County, Georgia; I was fortunate enough to be able to visit his grave in the Stroud Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in the county.
|Yerby Stroud grave, Stroud Cemetery, Henry County, GA|
William applied for a pension in 1811 at about the age of 80. His pension stated:
That your petitioner was a friend to his country and faithfully served the same both in the regular and militia service of the State during the struggles of the Revolutionary War. That he was wounded at the Congaree Fort, under the command of Gen. Sumpter when going the tour of duty called the rounds, by a musket ball from the British, which entered near the point of his left shoulder Blades, and ranged down the oin of his back and loged and was cut out with considerable difficulty and great pain. but your petitioner being then a man of a robust constitution who considerably advanced in life, did not find so much advantage therefrom, untill that his is now arriving at an old age of above 80 years, he has for a considerable length of time felt the serious effects thereof, so that his left arm the side on which he was wounded has become very much enfeebled from the effects thereof, and which unfits him for almost any kind of labour to support himself, and being entirely destitute of property, and no means of support but from the goodwill of others, he therefore throws himself upon the bounty of the country, and hopes that an honorable leglislature will grant him the benefit of that public relief for time to come which is usually extended to the War worn soldier in such cases. With such a sum for bakc arrears that he might have been justly entitled had he but made sooner application. And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray. William (His Mark) Stroud, 9 Nov 1811.
William died December 10, 1812. He is buried in the cemetery at the Catholic Presbyterian Church in Chester, South Carolina. His name, along with some of his sons, appears on a plaque dedicated to the American Patriots of Chester County.