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Family of Samuel and Mary Peters, and their descendants
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Who might be Samuel Peters' Parents?

There is a possibility that Samuel Peters was born in South Carolina, the son of Thomas PETER[S] and Margaret DEDCOAT (alternatively, DEDCOTT or DIDCOTT).

The evidence for this is very "soft", and is summarized below:

Samuel's age at death (76), and a birth date of 16-Oct-1712 for Samuel found in his son William's family bible, indicate that Samuel was born about 1712. His children's Power of Attorney (1807) states that Samuel died possessing real estate "in the State of South Carolina, and the Kingdom of Great Britain, and in divers other places".

Although there could be any number of reasons why Samuel Peters had owned real estate in South Carolina, one possibility is that he had inherited it from his parents or some member of his family. A search of South Carolina records has revealed a copy of a legal testimonial concerning her marriage and children given by a Margaret Copplee December 8, 1731. In this testimonial Margaret Copplee said that she was formerly the wife of Thomas Peter, late of Colleton County, and that on September 16, 1710 she gave birth to Samuel, son of Thomas Peter, and on November 4, 1716 she gave birth to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Peter. Margaret also said that her son Samuel was currently an apprentice to Henry Vanderdunck of Long Island in New York.

Amazingly enough, a search of New York wills revealed one for a Hendrick Vanderdonck of Hempstead (on Long Island), in Queens County, N.Y. made May 9, 1730 and proved May 29, 1730. The will states, in part, "I bequeath to Samuel Peters, my servant, whom I have brought up from a child, 10 pounds and my saddle". This Samuel Peters could very well be Thomas Peter and Margaret Dedcoat Peter(s) Copplee's son.

So what do we know?

  1. We have a Samuel Peter[s] born in South Carolina 16-Sep-1710 but "our" Samuel was born in 1712, possibly 16-Oct. Even taking the likely use of the Julian calendar into consideration (Britain and her colonies changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1752) it doesn't help resolve the 2-year difference in the dates because the days are not within the range Jan 1 to Mar 24 where the year value would be one year behind in Julian (e.g., 1-Mar-1710 in the Julian calendar is 1-Mar-1711 in the Gregorian calendar). Still, the dates are close enough to be tantilizing.

  2. We have a Samuel Peters living in Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y. in 1730. We know that "our" Samuel Peters probably lived in Dutchess County N.Y. prior to coming to N.B. in 1783. We have evidence that a Samuel Peters was paying taxes in Dutchess County from 1753 to 1779 but not in 1748, and we are pretty confident that this Samuel Peters is "ours" because as his sons Thomas and Richard come of age they too appear on the tax lists for Dutchess County. We don't know where "our" Samuel Peters was before 1753 and other than Hendrick Vanderdonk's will we have yet to find any trace of a Samuel Peters on Long Island N.Y. in the right time period. We have no evidence that connects the Samuel Peters who lived with Hendrick Vanderdonck in Hempstead with "our" Samuel.

  3. We know that "our" Samuel and his wife Mary named three of their children Thomas, Margaret and Elizabeth. Perhaps the first two children were named for their father's parents and the latter child was named for Samuel's sister Elizabeth, but all those names were also fairly common names for the time. Still, the coincidences are tantilizing!

Ongoing Research

  • Can we find any evidence for real estate owned by Samuel Peters in the "Kingdom of Great Britain" (as his children's Power of Attorney document states he had)? Perhaps our Samuel does not come from South Carolina but from Great Britain.

  • What else can we discover about PETER(S) in South Carolina? There is some evidence of families with last name PETER[S] in South Carolina but as yet no mention of a Thomas Peter(s) in any family.

  • Can we find any evidence for a Samuel Peters on Long Island, N.Y. on or after 1730 and any trace of a Samuel Peters moving from Long Island to Dutchess County?
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