Friday, March 28, 2014
Joel E. Ridgell is my 4th great grandfather. He was born in March of 1800 in Orangeburg County, South Carolina and died December 28, 1870 in Lexington County, South Carolina. I am convinced that Joel is largely responsible for the number of Ridgells that can be found in Lexington County today (and his father helped the Ridgells of SC grow with his own 10 children in the Marion County, South Carolina area). I may be wrong, but I do not think this idea is completely out of the realm of possibility considering the fact that Joel E. Ridgell fathered 18 children in the early to mid 1800s. Joel had two wives. Rebecca Norris and Susanna Fox. Rebecca and Joel had 26 years together, marrying when he was just 19 years old. She is the mother of 12 of his children:
Mark P. Ridgell (b: 16 Jan 1821)
Camella E. Ridgell (b: 16 Jun 1825, d: 18 Jun 1846)
Mary Rebecca Ridgell (b: 29 Sept 1826, d: 20 Dec 1861)
Unknown Male Ridgell (b: between 1825 and 1830)
Susannah Ridgell (b: 13 Dec 1828, d: 18 Jul 1931)
Martha C. Ridgell (b: 13 Dec 1828, d: 28 Jun 1831)
Joel P. Ridgell (b: 07 Nov 1830)
Julia Ridgell (b: 27 May 1832)
John B. Ridgell (b: 06 Jun 1835, d: 04 Aug 1890)
William Ridgell (b: 01 Mar 1837, d: 18 Jul 1869)
Flora Ann Ridgell (b: 13 Apr 1839)
Tudor Ridgell (b: 25 Jun 1841, d: 1865)
Rebecca died in November of 1841, leaving Joel with 11 living children, the youngest being 5 months old. In 1845, Joel remarried a woman 23 years younger than he was (which means she was 4 years old at the time of his first marriage). At the age of 22, Susanna Fox became the stepmother of 12 children, 11 of which may have been living, ranging in age from 4 to 24. I have always wondered how her older stepchildren felt about her, including the oldest child (a male and older than she was) and her stepdaughter with the same name that was only 5 years years younger than she was. I wonder what made Joel decide to marry someone around the same age as his son when he had not married yet. I may never know......
Susanna and Joel had 6 children:
Felix Ridgell (b: about 1846, d: 1865 in Adams County, Pennsylvania?)
Daniel Ridgell (b: 1848, d: about 1870)
Rosaline Ridgell (b: 23 Mar 1849, d: 1937)
Franklin Ridgell (b: 1852)
Paulina "Lina" Ridgell (b: 03 Sept 1857, d: 21 Aug 1916)
Edgar Clifton Ridgell (b: 06 Nov 1859, d: 23 Aug 1935)
My 3rd great grandmother is Paulina "Lina" Ridgell. She married Frank Clayton Aldridge, Sr.and they had 8 children. LOTS of siblings floating around, which should mean lots of cousins, and I know absolutely NO cousins resulting from these two/three generations (i.e. 3rd - 5th cousins). How is that possible? Maybe this post will help......
Ironically, my family lived in Batesburg, South Carolina for about 7 years (my elementary school years) without knowing much of anything about the Batesburg and Lexington County connections. It wasn't until a few years ago that I connected all of the dots. It was pretty amazing to realize that the cemetery that many of my family are buried in is close enough to walk to from my childhood home.
Here is another wild discovery: I taught in Lexington District 2 for 3 years (great district, by the way!) and took my students to the Lexington County Museum each year as part of our 3rd grade SC History study. I loved the place but had no connections to it other than it was part of Lexington County's History and I taught in Lexington County. A few years ago, while connecting the dots, I typed in Joel Ridgell's name into the Google search engine. His name came up on the Lexington County Museum page and this is what I found.....
"The kitchen at the Lexington County Museum, along with several other outbuildings, was originally located in Batesburg, SC and was owned by Joel Ridgell."
Some of Joel Ridgell's belongings, including a smoke house, large oven, chicken coop and privy
are on display at the Lexington County Museum along with the Fox house.
(my great-great-great-great uncle's house)
Yet another family story that shows just how small South Carolina can be. Everywhere I go seems to land me "back home". Which makes me ask the question one more time - how have I not found more family? My hope is that this "Sibling Saturday" post will help me find long lost relatives that can help me complete my story!
Our Line of Ridgells:
Lake Hawthorne Barrett
Ronald Hawthorne Barrett - Jenna Elizabeth Aldridge (mother)
Marion Douglas Aldridge (grandfather) - Sarah Marguerite Craig
Edmund Carlton Aldridge, Jr. (great grandfather) - Lina Allene Hipps
Edmund Carlton Aldridge, Sr. (2nd great grandfather) - Georgia Louise Martin
Carlton William Aldridge, Sr. (3rd great grandfather) - Lucy Taylor Hitt
Frank Clayton Aldridge, Sr. - Lina Paulina RIDGELL (4th great grandmother)
Joel E. RIDGELL (5th great grandfather) - Susanna Fox
Joel RIDGELL (6th great grandfather) - Martha Sweeny