Parents: John Farquhar Trezevant (1791-1821) Margaret Pepper Gignilliat (1791-1862)
Siblings: James Peter Trezevant (1815-1860)
John Edward Trezevant (1815-1815)
Elizabeth Willoughby Trezevant (1817-1885)
Charlotte Gignilliat Trezevant (1819-1910)
George Warren Cross Trezevant (1820-1893)
Children: Mary Charles Trezevant (1857-1911)
Charles Simmons Trezevant was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 26, 1814. His father, John Farquhar Trezevant, was the oldest surviving son of Peter Trezevant (1768-1854) and his wife, Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar (1772-1845).
In 1813, John Farquhar Trezevant married Margaret Pepper Gignilliat, from another prominent South Carolina family. It is likely that the couple lived in the expanded house of John’s parents, Peter and Elizabeth, at 5 Stoll’s Alley in Charleston, where John and Margaret’s six children were born. We do not know after whom Charles, the eldest, was named.
His father John was a lawyer in Charleston, who died at age twenty-nine of “bilious fever.” When he died in 1821, leaving five living children, his son Charles was only seven years old. John’s widow, Margaret, and the children remained in Charleston for a year. Then Margaret and the five children went to live with her younger brother at the Gignilliat plantation Contentment in McIntosh County, Georgia. She sent Charles and James, to stay with their uncle, Daniel Heyward Trezevant, M.D. (1796-1862), in Columbia, South Carolina. The two boys stayed in Columbia with their uncle until 1824 and were then sent to boarding school in Darien, Georgia, where Margaret would move with the two sisters and younger brother about 1826.
During this time the Trezevant family’s fortunes changed dramatically. In 1826, Elizabeth Farquhar Trezevant, Charles’s grandmother, inherited a large sum of money at the death of her uncle, John Farquhar (1751-1826), a Scotsman who lived in London. With her huge inheritance she and her husband Peter moved to England with their younger unmarried children. From England they continuously sent gifts and money to their married children in the States, including their widowed daughter-in-law, Margaret, and her children. With that money Margaret could send her younger children to school (the Academy in Darien) and (in the case of Charles and James) to prep school in Columbia and to South Carolina College there.
Charles left the college before graduating and moved back to Darien. He did a stint as a sailor and got to London, where he was helped by his grandfather, Peter Trezevant, who had Charles return to the States. He abandoned his plans for a naval career and went into the timber business in Darien. At age thirty-eight, he married thirty-two-year-old Mary Louise Dunham on February 17, 1852. Their only child, Mary Charles Trezevant, was born in Darien on March 4, 1857.
On October 13, 1862, Charles’s mother died in Perry, Georgia. She was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.
At the time the Civil War began Charles Trezevant was approaching fifty years of age and had not been a member of the Confederate army. Yet, in 1864 the conflict came to him. In early August 1864, a landing party under Federal Commander George M. Colvocoresses, composed of 115 officers and men, raided a meeting of civilians forming a coastal guard near the McIntosh County Court House. Colvocoresses marched his men overland after coming ashore during the night of August 2, destroyed a bridge to prevent being cut off by Confederate cavalry, and captured some 26 prisoners and 22 horses before making his way safely back to the USS Saratoga.
The historical marker at the site reads as follows:
Capture of 23 Old Men in 1864
In Ebenezer Church, 23 old men were captured by Federal troops on the night of August 3rd 1864. These civilians, too old for military service, were the sole protection of McIntosh County, which was constantly being plundered by forces from blockade gunboats. Advised of the meeting by spies, Federal troops surrounded the church in the darkness and opened fire. The old men were captured and marched overland to Blue and Hall Landing near Darien, where they were put on board ship and taken to northern prison.
According the Rick Allen, family historian and descendent of Charles Trezevant, Charles’s health was severly compromised by his imprisonment.
Charles Simmons Trezevant died at age fifty-six in Darien on Feburary 8, 1870.
[This biographical sketch will at some time be augmented by Rick Allen. R.W.T. February 2017]
Allen, Richard C. Email correspondence and phone interviews with Bob Trezevant. 2010-present. [Rick Allen, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a descendant of Charles Simmons Trezevant. He now lives in western Montana. As a trained historian, military veteran, and retired police officer, Rick has researched family history for decades. He is especially adept at placing people and events in their larger social and political contexts. Rick has provided me with the extensive reports and documentation that form the basis of many entries on this website. And his enthusiasm and encouragement have given me the motivation to compile the site’s materials into a presentable form. For all of that, I’m deeply grateful. R.W.T.]
Gignilliat, Charlotte Trezevant. Sketch of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Trezevant Gignilliat, 1819-1910: Written by Herself at the Request of Her Children and Grandchildren. Edited by R. Read Gignilliat and Robert D. Gignilliat IV. In Gignilliat Family Papers (1831-1867, 1910), Library of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
NOTE: Charlotte Gignilliat Trezevant was the daughter of John Farquhar Trezevant (1791-1821) and Margaret Pepper Gignilliat (1791-1862) and a younger sister of Charles Simmons Trezevant. She married her cousin Norman Page Gignilliat (1809-1871): Hence the name Charlotte (Gignilliat) Trezevant Gignilliat.
Holmes, Margaret Gignilliat. Family Stories and Reminiscences of Ante Bellum Days Told by Margaret Gignilliat Holmes (1847-1920). Edited by R. Read Gignilliat and Robert D. Gignilliat IV. In Gignilliat Family Papers (1831-1867, 1910), Library of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
NOTE: Margaret Gignilliat Holmes was the daughter of Charlotte Trezevant Gignilliat and Norman Page Gignilliat and was a niece of Charles Simmons Trezevant.
Kenan, Robert Gignilliat. History of the Gignilliat Family of Switzerland and South Carolina. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1977.
“Sloan-Irvin-Miller-Trezevant-Gignilliat Family Tree.” Ancestry.com
“Trezevant Family Tree.” Ancestry.com.
Trezevant, John Timothee. The Trezevant Family in the United States. Charleston, SC: The State Company, 1914.