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The Diary  of
David Gavin 

Major David Gavin
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David Gavin was born November 15, 1811 in St. George's Parish, Colleton District, South Carolina, the first of four sons born to John Gavin of Lower Orangeburg District,  and Anne Hughes (Hughs) of St. George's Parish He lived most of his life in St. George, South Carolina, where he was an attorney by profession and farmed (Texas Plantation).  He died  January 17, 1874, and, along with other family members,  is buried at Buck Springs Plantation
Link to the  Last Will and Testament of David Gavin.

Although he never had a family of his own, David Gavin managed the estates and properties of his three brothers and was involved in the lives of their children.  Perhaps his most important legacy is his meticulous record of the people and events of his community from September 1855 until his death in January 1874. 

The first years are almost daily entries, describing  life in St. George and surrounding communities, people and events,  weather, slave stories, the abolitionist and secessionist movements, and the Civil War.  The last years include some daily entries, legal documents, expenses, and the recording of deaths, marriages and births of people he knew.

Here is a link to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's excellent summary of the diary:

The Upper Dorchester County Historical Society has published the original David Gavin diaries, 1855-1874, including also his "trip diary" of his 1845 journey from St. George, South Carolina to Mississippi. 

David Gavin Diary - Alphabetical Name Index
2001 Judy Ballard

Slaves by Name

Surnames Indexed Alphabetically
 A-C   |   D-H  |  I-O  |  P-R  |  S-Z

Marriages, Births, Deaths 
as recorded in separate manuscript (a work in progress)

Slaves Listed by Owner
Also a work in progress!

Texas Plantation


Charles Gavin   was born in 1815 and  married Martha Louise Tatum of Orangeburg County.  The family migrated to Alachua County, Florida in the 1850's where his wife and infant daughter died in 1859.  His surviving daughter, Anna Murray Gavin, was returned to South Carolina to be raised by her mother's sister.  After the war,  Charles Gavin migrated to Brazil  and remained there until his death in approximately 1886.  

John Gavin was born in 1820.  He married, first, Mildred Connor who died in 1843 giving birth to their daughter, Lucilla.  About 1848 he married Mary M. Shuler, with whom he had six children.  John died in 1858.  On November 9, 1866, Mary Shuler Gavin and her young daughter, Ida E. Gavin, were murdered in Orangeburg.  The surviving children are mentioned frequently in the diary.

Dr. William Gavin was born in 1829.  He married Martha Susan L. Moorer.  They had three children, their youngest daughter, Ida William Gavin, born three months after her father's death in November 1861. 

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