Miscellaneous: Lymerick Plantation

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Limerick Index


File contributed by:  C.L.

Berkeley County, South Carolina
By Michael J. O'Brien

 When searching for information concerning the Irish 
immigrants to Charleston, I found some interesting 
references to three Irishmen who evidently were natives of 
Limerick, Ireland, and who appear to have come to South 
Carolina from Barbadoes Island in the year 1707.
 The records of the office of the Secretary of State (1) 
indicate that in 1681 one Thomas COlleton, who was very 
active in the settlement of the Province, was created a 
Landgrave of South Carolina, and under his patent he was 
entitled to four Baronies of 12,000 each, one of which was 
granted to him on August 13th, 1683. It was situated on the 
eastern branch of the Cooper River in Berkeley County and is 
called on old plats and deeds "the Cypress Barony." The 
property passed to his son, Peter, and on July 18th, 1707, 
it was sold to three Irishmen named John Gough, Dominick 
Arthur and Michael Mahon," for 800 pounds in bank bills of 
the Island of Barbadoes." The purchasers seem to have 
divided the property among themselves, each executing a 
release to the others for his respective share. For example, 
on July 13th, 1709, Gough and Arthur executed a release to 
Michael Mahon of "all that part of the Cypress Barony now 
called or known by ye name of Middle Settlement or Lymerick 
Plantation, containing 3,500 acres of land." Some years 
later there were other land grants, containing many thousand 
acres, adjoining Cypress Barony which were granted to Major 
Isaac Harleston, an officer in the Revolutionary Army. These 
were known as "Irishtown" and we are informed that "this 
section was so known for a number of years before the end of 
the eighteenth century." (2)
 It is noted that as early as July 13th, 1709, the name 
"Lymerick" was bestowed on the share allotted to Michael 
Mahon. It is stated that Limerick, Ireland, was his native 
home, (3) and it is probable that the name was given by him 
to his share of the Barony during the period between the 
purchase from Peter Colleton in 1707 and the release from 
Gough and Arthur in 1709. Mahon seems to have gone to 
Barbadoes, for on December 12th, 1713, he conveyed to Daniel 
Huger of Craven County, planter, "for 800 pounds South 
Carolina money," 3,415 acres and on July 18th, 1714, his 
wife, Margaret Mahon, executed in favor of Daniel Huger " a 
renunciation of dower in a plantation at the head of Cooper 
River, commonly known by the Name of Lymerick Plantation or 
ye Middle Settlement, and formerly part of ye Cipruss 
Barony," and recited that her husband was "formerly of the 
County of Berkeley, S.C., but then of the Island of 
Barbadoes." Michael Mahon's name also figures in other land 
transactions in this vicinity, two of his sales having been 
to Dominick Arthur and Francis Roche.
 Daniel Huger lived during his life on the plantation known 
as "Lymerick" and is said to have accumulated a fortune, 
which, according to an inventory made after his death, 
placed him as one of the wealthiest men in the Province. 
Lymerick, or Limerick, ws his home and residence, and the 
entires of his marriage, of the births of his children and 
the family burials are all recorded as from that place. The 
property continued in possession of the Hugers until 1764, 
when it was sold to Elias Ball of Berkeley County. It 
continued in the Ball family until 1890.
 Three thousand five hundred acres of the Barony fell to 
John Gough. He seems to have settled and lived on the 
property and his descendants continued in South Carolina for 
several generations. At his death the property passed under 
his will to his sons, John, Richard, Francis and Edward 
O'Neale Gough conveyed their shares (1,910 acres), to John 
C. Ball. These two plantations remained in the Ball family 
until 1846, when they were sold to John B. Irving.
 The 5,000 acres allotted to Dominick Arthur descended at 
his death to his nephew and heir-at-law, Christopher Arthur. 
By his will, dated October 24th, 1724, he devised his real 
and personal estate, "one-half to my beloved kinsman, 
Patrick Roche of the City of Limerick, merchant, son of my 
uncle, Francis Roche, deceased, and Anstace Roche, alt 
Arthur, his wife," and the other half to his nephew, 
Bartholomew Arthur. He also directed that Patrick Roche 
should have another parcel of 150 acres. Although Patrick 
Roche is described in the will of Arthur Dominick Arthur as 
"of the City of Limerick," he also seems to have come to 
South Carolina, doubtless to take possession of his 
inheritance. He died intestate, and the property descended 
to his eldest son, Francis, who, in 1739, sold 699 acres of 
it and in 1741, 35 1/2 acres to Daniel Huger. At Francis 
Roche's death, which event I find mentioned in the South 
Carolina and American General Gazette of November 6, 1747, 
it passed to his son, Ebenezer Roche, who died in 1783. His 
executors, Francis and Thomas Roche, sold the plantation on 
July 6th, 1784, to Edward Harleston, reserving a plot of 
"one-half acre enclosed for the burial interment for the 
descendants of Ebenezer Roche." These lands are now in the 
possession of families named Quash and Irving. The last 
mentioned Francis and Thomas Roche evidently resided at 
Charleston, since the marriage of Francis Roche to Mary 
Jennings on December 31, 1778, are included in "Marriage 
Records Kept by Colonel Isaac Hayne." (4)

(1) (Vol. 39, pp. 60,61)
(2) The Baronies of South Carolina, in S.C. Historical-Genealogical 
Magazine, Vol. 18
(3) Ibid, Vol. 2
(4) Ibid, Vol. 2