Thursday, April 28, 2005

Gail Heriot and Sandy Island, South Carolina

Gail Heriot is tracing her roots.
Light, interesting reading from The Right Coast:

"I didn't make it to Sandy Island on that trip. I will go again in the winter. I want to be able to wear boots, since Sandy Island is home to both coral snakes and cottonmouths and I'm sure that wearing boots in the summer in the South Carolina Low Country is not pleasant. But I've learned a lot about Sandy Island since my first trip. It turns out that most of it is owned by the State of South Carolina and managed by the Nature Conservancy. And the folks at the Nature Conservancy have been kind enough to offer some advice and assistance."

15 comments:

Naomi said...

I am also decendent of Sady Island my mother and grand mother and also great grandmother was also raised on that island and the spell of your heriot's does not match the spelling of the herriott's that has been living on this island for hundreds of years you may be talking about Pawley's Island which is on the other side alittle down the river

Hoots said...

Hello, and thank you for visiting. I am always amazed when a post nearly a year old gets a comment! (For the record, this comment and the first one are on March 31, 2006!)

I checked the link to Gail Heriot's comment and it still works. You might want to track it back and leave your message there. I was simply blogging the link because I found it interesting. I'm sure the two of you might have a poroductive exchange if you can get in touch.

Lila said...

Gail,

My name is Lila and I am a descendant of one the "Herriott" slaves of Mt Arena plantation. Some of my mother's family still lives on the Island's only black community. My grandparents are now dead and my 79 year old mother is the oldest living of 17 children birthed by James and Rebecca Herriott. This year we will be having the 9th bi-annual Herriott family reunion, which will be held on Sandy Island for only the second time. We held it there in 2004 as a "Back to Our Roots" celebration. Most of my family at the 2004 reunion, including those who live on the Island never realized that our family never really left the plantation where our ancestors were enslaved. It was a shocking and solemn moment. I also emphasized the fact that we, unlike many African-American families, can trace our roots literally back to the plantation where our ancestors lived, we know the where our name originated, most of our family (both those who live on the Island and those who travel to the Island) still worship at the church that was founded almost 140 years ago on land purchased from Dr. Heriot's window following the Civil War. We have a history. During the last reunion, I asked a cousin about the remnants of a plantation house. He mentioned that he once saw something that looked like old colums still standing but did not encurage us to go looking for it since it's easy to get lost on the Island if you don't know it well because there are no marked roads, just sandy tracks. Unfortunately, he died in November 2005. I have personally received emails from relatives of Dr. Heriot's sister. They've come from as far away as England and as close as South Carolina (I live in Florida). I received an email from a Heriot (white) in the Air Force who told me a story about working with a Herriott (black) with whom he used to joke with about being related. They made the SC connection and found out that he was a descendant of the slave owner and the other airman was a descendant of the slaves owned by Dr. Heriot. He said that he felt funny about that and no longer made those jokes. As it turned out, the airman was my first cousin. The world is truly shrinking. I will be happy to share any info I obtained on Sandy Island. There is not as much info on Mt Arena in comparison to other Heriot-related plantations since the plantation house no longer exists while others are still viable structures. The school ferry is still operational and the only way to get to the island is by boat, so all of my relatives own one. I describe my family as a loving group of people who love living a simplistic life. Many have left the Island in pusuit of educational and professinal achievements, however, the always find themselves returning and responding to the call of the Island, even for a short time. My family appreciates what the State of SC, Nature Conservancy of that area, Brookgreen Garden, and all other conservation groups that fought the developers who had planned on destroying the habitat of the Island. the major road that would have been built would have gone straight through the heart of the black community and plans were to destroy the 100+ year old church without a second thought. Therefore, this year's reunion will truly be heartfelt as we"Bring It On Home Again."

Lila

Lila said...

Gail,

My name is Lila and I am a descendant of one the "Herriott" slaves of Mt Arena plantation. Some of my mother's family still lives on the Island's only black community. My grandparents are now dead and my 79 year old mother is the oldest living of 17 children birthed by James and Rebecca Herriott. This year we will be having the 9th bi-annual Herriott family reunion, which will be held on Sandy Island for only the second time. We held it there in 2004 as a "Back to Our Roots" celebration. Most of my family at the 2004 reunion, including those who live on the Island never realized that our family never really left the plantation where our ancestors were enslaved. It was a shocking and solemn moment. I also emphasized the fact that we, unlike many African-American families, can trace our roots literally back to the plantation where our ancestors lived, we know the where our name originated, most of our family (both those who live on the Island and those who travel to the Island) still worship at the church that was founded almost 140 years ago on land purchased from Dr. Heriot's window following the Civil War. We have a history. During the last reunion, I asked a cousin about the remnants of a plantation house. He mentioned that he once saw something that looked like old colums still standing but did not encurage us to go looking for it since it's easy to get lost on the Island if you don't know it well because there are no marked roads, just sandy tracks. Unfortunately, he died in November 2005. I have personally received emails from relatives of Dr. Heriot's sister. They've come from as far away as England and as close as South Carolina (I live in Florida). I received an email from a Heriot (white) in the Air Force who told me a story about working with a Herriott (black) with whom he used to joke with about being related. They made the SC connection and found out that he was a descendant of the slave owner and the other airman was a descendant of the slaves owned by Dr. Heriot. He said that he felt funny about that and no longer made those jokes. As it turned out, the airman was my first cousin. The world is truly shrinking. I will be happy to share any info I obtained on Sandy Island. There is not as much info on Mt Arena in comparison to other Heriot-related plantations since the plantation house no longer exists while others are still viable structures. The school ferry is still operational and the only way to get to the island is by boat, so all of my relatives own one. I describe my family as a loving group of people who love living a simplistic life. Many have left the Island in pusuit of educational and professinal achievements, however, the always find themselves returning and responding to the call of the Island, even for a short time. My family appreciates what the State of SC, Nature Conservancy of that area, Brookgreen Garden, and all other conservation groups that fought the developers who had planned on destroying the habitat of the Island. the major road that would have been built would have gone straight through the heart of the black community and plans were to destroy the 100+ year old church without a second thought. Therefore, this year's reunion will truly be heartfelt as we"Bring It On Home Again."

Lila

Anonymous said...

My name is Julie Pyatt, and I too am a decendent of the people of Sandy Island. My grandfather was raised there and my father and uncles spent half their lives there. I am from California and have been here my whole life. However, whenever I visit the Island, such a tremendous feeling of Homecoming washes over me. I love this Land of my Ancestors and find myself always wanting to return there. I go to almost all of the family reunions (with the exception of the last; I had strep throat), and I hoope to see you all there.

Julie

Jettyon said...

Wow it is so amazing to see so much about Sandy Island on the internet. I am a Pyatt living and working in Chicago. I recently spent time down there with my mother and a surveyor. According to information in Georgetown County quite a bit of that land belongs to our families. I think we should get to know the true history of our ancestors and share it with our future. By the way, the people of Sandy Island are not Gullah! Sorry Thomas(Pyatt). We really got to get togeter and do this right!

Jettyon

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I was just reading your blogs. I am researching the surname (weathers, withers. My gggrandfather was eliott weathers. I have heard some people say that he was probably from sandy island. Do you have any info on the weathers surname since I saw that some of the owners on Mt. Arena was named Withers.

My email address is sharonmcghee823@hotmail.com

Thanks

Sharon

stephanie Bryant said...

Hello,

My grandmother was from the Island. It's just too bad I really don't have any Idea how many cousins or aunt' or uncles I really have I would love to get to know my extended family and to hear stories about the Island.

My email address is stephanieubryantg@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

The area where Myrtle Beach, SC is now located was once an indigo plantation owned by the Withers familly. They spelled it Withers.

gretchen_washington2006@yahoo.com said...

hello,
visited sandy island this past september with my family, I only stood on the landing at pawleys island my uncle bill murray is from that island as well as my great grand father, I would like to know more about the reunions

I am gretchen_washington2006@yahoo.com
looking forward to hearing from someone

gretchen_washington2006@yahoo.com said...

Hello again
just doing some research, talking with my aunt who lives in charleston(Lillian Washington jones)
I am excited to know that Phillip Washington was my great grandfather, his son Charles washington was my grandfather and Charles benjamin washington jr is my dad. He is living here with me in las vegas, nevada He is 80 years old retired navy. We would like to hear from someone related...lets put pieces of a puzzle together...Sending great love to my family that i don't know ...Yet...

stephanieubryant said...

Please can someone contact me about the family reunion this year for the Herriott family reunion please contact me stephanieubryant@yahoo.com

stephanieubryant said...

Please can someone contact me about the family reunion this year for the Herriott family reunion please contact me stephanieubryant@yahoo.com

brownchild said...

hello my name is Simona Brown. I was very interested into your stories about sandy island. My great grandmother and my grandmother and her siblings are from Sandy Islasnd. My Great grandmother name was Harriet Washington and so was my Grandmother. I have no idea about the roots there and would like to know more about my family. my unle name was primus washington. please contact me at simonabrown_32@yahoo.com. thanks

Gretchen_washington2006@yahoo.com said...

Wow, It's been 15 months since I posted my last comment and finally someone has contacted me. I'd almost given up on this site