Captain Nathaniel Austin

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Captain Nathaniel Austin, Sr

Birthplace: York?, England
Death: February 13, 1800 (75-84)
Simpsonville, Laurens County, South Carolina
Place of Burial: Austin Cemetery, Greenville County, South Carolina
Immediate Family:

Son of John Austin and Henrietta Austin
Husband of Agnes Austin and Mary Elizabeth Manning
Father of William Austin, Sr.; Samuel Austin; Robert Austin; Walter Manning "Pestle Watt" Manning Austin; Sgt. Nathaniel Austin, Jr. and 6 others

Occupation: Soldier Revolutionary War
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Captain Nathaniel Austin

Nathaniel Austin

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC Monday, October 26, 197?


By Aurelia Austin

Captain Nathaniel Austin Sr., Revolutionary War Patriot, return to Gilder after 170 years, he would be surprised to find that the swank subdivision Camelot now occupies a large part of his original plantation.

See Logan, in his history of South Carolina

Captain Austin built two homes at Gilder.

Nathaniel Austin was born Abt. 1720 in York, England, and died February 13, 1798 in Simpsonville, Laurens. SC.He married (1) Mary Manning on 1742 in England.He married (2) Agnes Dickinson on 1754 in St. Martin's Parish, VA.

Includes NotesNotes for Nathaniel Austin:

ENGLISH HERITAGE- FAMILY:Austin, James Waddy, & Knight, Josephine Manning Austin, "The Austin & Allied Families, " 2 ED. 1972, Atlanta, GA. pp. viii, 139. From the Preface to the 2nd edition of "The Austin & Allied Families,""Registered Genealogists in London, England were contracted with to research records there and in York for Nathaniel Austin, SR., using the dates and information given in James W. Austin's book. No records could be found. A copy of this report by Brooks and Simpton LTD., is available to any Austin who wishes to continue the search. Simlar research was done by genealogist in Virginia but no records other than Rev. War Indents were found.". The (1972) genealogy of Capt. Nathaniel Austin, SR., given on p. 139 is largely out of date. The genealogy in this database is based on the writings of Barbara Austin (below) and that of David Austin of Midland, TX.Whereas the authors on p. 139 had Nathaniel marrying an Agnes Richardsonin London, England and having his 11 children with her, the later genealogies give him 2 wives, with the first, Mary Manning marrying Nathaniel in England and having hs five sons: Walter, Nathaniel, Jr., born in England, and Thomas, John and Francis born in Virginia.Nathaniel married his second wife, Agnes Dickenson, after Mary died around 1753, and had 5 more sons:Dickinson, William, Thompson, Samuel and Robert, plus his only daughter Mary with her. GILDER PLANTATION:Located in the Greenville District, SC (This was prepared by Barbara Austin, wife of William Hugh Austin, Jr. 8th generation n the 1980's.) Our earliest known Austin ancestor is Captain Nathaniel (Nathan) Austin, Sr., who was born about 1720 in England, possibly York. His ancestry is unknown, but Miss Aurelia Austin of Atlanta, who has researched the Austin Genealogy, has hired a researcher in England in an effort to determine Nathaniel's parents and grandparents. According to tradition, Nathaniel came to America about 1750 with his wife and three boys: our ancestor Nathaniel, Jr., Walter Manning and Thomas. Nathanel's wife and mother of the three boys, was Mary Mannng, also born in England. She and Nathaniel had two more sons, John & Francis both born in Virginia. Mary died in 1753 soon after Francis was born. Left with five young sons to raise Nathaniel married again, to Miss Agnes Dickinson, said to be of the same Dickinson ancestry as the poet Emily Dickinson. (Agnes was born in 1730, exactly 100 years before Emily, so the connection, if any, is not close)Agnes & Nathaniel had six children, five more sons (making 10 Austin sons in all) and a daughter, Mary Austin. Mary must have been their pride & joy with all those sons, but tragically she was killed in an Indian raid while returning home from a quilting party at a neighbor's home. She was 17. This occured just before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Severall years later one of her brothers, Col. William Austin, was involved in slaying one of the Indians who had been involved in her death. Nathaniel Austin, Sr. has been described as "a man of commanding personality, bold and adventurous." Indeed, he was so adventurous that he moved nto Indian Territory. It was in Simpsonville, (then Laurens Co.) SC where he built the Austin home, called Gilder. The Surveyor General has signed Nathan Austin's Royal Grant in 1769 for 500 acres of land on Little River, a branch of the Saluda. But it was not until 1774 that the family moved to the place on Gilder's Creek. This area became Greenville, SC in 1784. South Carolina was overrun at that time with British soldiers and those hired by the British to oppose the local colonists. The British were also quick to win the Indians to their side. Gilder has been described as a two-story log house, although it is referred to as a "plantation". It was located one and a half miles inside Indian Territory in Austin Township, SC. Nathaniel's son William eloped with his neighborhood sweetheart, Jane Collins, and they subsequently moved into Gilder with William's parents. The log house must have soon been crowded because according to tradition all of the William's children were born at his father's new house called Gilder II. William's first child was born in Dec. 1783. The baby was a girl, named Mary, for her aunt who had been killed by the Indians. House raisings were exciting affairs in the Colonial period. The neighborhood gathered and the men assisted in building the house.It probably didn't take long to erect the 8 room Gilder II "in a grove of giant cedars, hckory and oak, with two massive stone chimneys." The house stood until around 1920. Col. William Austin build Gilder III, the house that stnads today, about 1830. A description from "Atlanta and Environs" by Franklin Garret written in 1880 gives us some insight into what life was like at Gilder in the early days: "When my parents and grandparents moved here in 1822, there were only six families in the county. There was a large unbroken range. Sheep went where they pleased, coming home occasionally to be salted. At the time of the new moon in September, our fathers would go to the forest and drive the sheep home and shear them, and our mothers would wash the wool and card and spin it. We boys were pressed n the spinning business also. Our mothers would have different kinds of bark brought in from the forest to dye the wool, some black and some brown, and if they wished to make something gray, they used white and black. To make a roan color they would mix brown & white. I wish I had a suit of it now like my mother used to make 60 years ago. Cooking was done in pots, ovens and skillets before large open fireplaces, wide and high enough to receive large logs. The water supply came chiefly from springs, sometime quite a distance from the house. The digging of wells was rarely attempted until later years. Light was made by torch pine or from homemade tallow candles. There were no friction matches and people "borrowed fire" from each other or produced it by means of flnt, steel, and "punk". Travel, by foot, horseback, or wagon, was slow and laborious over the trails that served for roads. Amusements were confined mostly to dancng, quilting (quilting parties), log rolling (log rolling contests), shooting matches, gander pulling and horse racing." From the Austin Family Bible:"13 February 1798. Capt. Nathaniel Austin, founder of Gilder and ancestor off many upstanding citizens down through the years, died in his own home.He is buried on part of his original plantation, where nine generations have continued to live. There is a marker on the property at Gilder III that states: GILDER AUSTIN PLANTATION: SETTLED BEFORE THE REV. WAR BY NATHANIEL AUSTIN(C 1720 C 1800) AND HIS WIFE AGNES DICKINSON. TEN SONS: NATHANEL JR., WALTER, THOMAS, JOHN, FRANCIS, DICKERSON, WILLIAM, THOMPSON, SAMUEL, & ROBERT. ONE DAUGHTER, MARY. NATHANIEL AUSTIN, CAPT. SC MILITIA & SONS SERVED IN THE REV. WAR. THE FIRST HOUSE WAS A MILE SOUTH NEAR GILDER CREEK & FAMILY CEMETERY. SECOND HOUSE 1786 WAS 100 YDS. EAST OF THIS MARKER. PRESENT HOUSE BUILT 1830 BY WILLIAM & JANE COLLINS AUSTIN. EIGHT GENERATIONS OF AUSTINS HAVE LIVED ON THIS LAND. ERECTED 1977 N MEMORY OF WILLIAM RENWICK AUSTIN ( 1906-1973) BY DESCENDANTS OF NATHANEL AUSTIN. Our ancestor, the oldest son, Nathaniel Austin, Jr. left Gilder, and may have been one of the four brothers who went to Virginia. (Father & son did not use senior & junior, they were added later for clarification.) Nathaniel, Jr. married Sara Ann Anderson about 1762. They had 10 children including our ancestor, John Austin (the father of Thompson Lemuel Austin who is buried at the Beechcreek Cemetery in Rome, GA). The Austin linage for William Hugh Austin, Jr. follows: Nathaniel Austin, Sr. ( c1720-1798) Nathaniel Austin, Jr. (1743-c1832) John Austin (1770-c1855) Thompson Lemuel Austin (1804-1863) James Franklin Austin (1847-1917) Walter Scott Austin (1876-1934) William Hugh Austin, Sr. (1902-1986) Albert Clayton Austin (1910-1979) William Hugh Austin Jr., The Austin Five The Austin floating house of Lake Allatoona, GA has been named Gilder in honor of the original Austin plantation in SC. The current owners and residents of Gilder III, in SC, are Col. and Mrs. William Renwick Austin I. Col. Austin was born 18 Dec. 1937. He served as a pilot in Vietnam in 1967. He was shot down and captured, and remained a POW until 1973. He has a daughter and a son who lives in a house behind Gilder III. William Renwick Austin states, "...that the large rock cornerstones of the first home of Nathaniel Austin, Sr., are near the creek below the cemetery site. This would have been "Gilder" One. The second "Gilder" stood until 1920 at the crossroad of present Bethel Road and Hwy. 14, just below "Gilder" Three, built in 1830. IMIGRATION:Came from England with wife & 3 sons abt 1750, probably into VA. LAND:Nathaniel received a grant of land in Dictrict 96, dated 6 Mar. 1797 described as 500 acres lying on both sides of the dividing line of Laurens and Greenville Counties on the North Fork of Durbns Creek. DEATH:Bible at Gilder II, Simpsonville, SC. BURIAL:"Descendants of Nathanel Austin," David Austin, Midland, TX. 6 Jan. 1999. More About Nathaniel Austin: Burial: Unknown, Austin Cemetary., Greenville Co., SC. More About Nathaniel Austin and Mary Manning: Marriage: 1742, England. More About Nathaniel Austin and Agnes Dickinson: Marriage: 1754, St. Martin's Parish, VA. Children of Nathaniel Austin and Mary Manning are: +Nathaniel Austin, b. Abt. 1745, England13, d. Abt. 1832, Gwinnett Co., GA13. Walter Mannng Austin, d. date unknown. Thomas Austin, d. date unknown. John Edward Austin, d. date unknown. Francis Austin, d. date unknown.

Children of Nathaniel Austin and Agnes Dickinson are: Dickson Austin, d. date unknown. Mary Austin, d. date unknown. William Austin, d. date unknown. Thompson Austin, d. date unknown. Samuel Austin, d. date unknown. Robert Austin, d. date unknown.

History of the upper country of South Carolina : from the earliest periods to the close of the War of Independence / by John H. Logan ; Vol. 1 and 2, (1859) which I think may be the book referred to in the article. I see that it was reprinrted in 1960.

The noted historian, Colonel S. S. Crittenden, in his history, Greenville Century Book (1903) wrote: "Owing to its exposed situation and being still Indian territory, there were few settlements in this County previous to the Revolutionary War. Among the very first settlers was doubtless Nathaniel Austin (the great-grandfather of Hon. J. Thomas Austin) who immigrated from London to Virginia and then to South Carolina in 1761. He settled fifteen miles east of Greenville near Enoree River and Gilder's Creek. He held appointments as High Constable under George II until the troubles with England began. He then joined the patriot army, and with ten sons, did active service at different times during the war."

Captain Nathaniel Austin did not hold the office of Constable for upper South Carolina as what is now Greenville and the territory around it at that time belonged to the Cherokee Nation. He held this postion before leaving Virginia in 1761, where he had resided for ten years in or near Austinville, Virginia, according to family tradition. Another tradition is that he came to South Carolina as an emissary to the Indians.

Nathaniel Sr. became Captain of Infantry in General Andrew Pickens' Brigade, South Carolina Militia. The eight Indents in the Archives of South Carolina Historical Commission at Columbia authenticate his participation in the siege of Charleston, Augusta, Kettle Creek (Washington Georgia), Musgrove Mills, Cowpens (north of Gilder) and other battles in South and North Carolina.

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Captain Nathaniel Austin's Timeline

York?, England
March 31, 1743
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Gilder, Greenville District, South Carolina
March 27, 1759
Lunenburg County, Virginia