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She was the widow of HENRY BEST, SR. who was killed in 1780 by Tories. MARY BEST was the daughter of WILLIAM BROWN and a older sister of TARLTON BROWN.  Her brother was born in 1756. She was born ca. 1750. Her husband was from Georgia and born ca. 1748.  If so he was around 32 years old when he was killed by Tories. Like her husband, her father and her youngest brother were also killed by Tories. In the 1790 Orangeburg District Census she is listed with one male over 16, one male under 16 and two other females in her household. One of her neighbors in the 1790 Census was JAMES JOICE. Her sister, ELIZABETH BROWN, married JOHN JOICE.

MARY BEST received a widows pension from 1786 to 1803 so she should be listed in the 1800 Census. The 1791 pension was for her and a child paid to her brother, TARLTON BROWN. She may have been living with his family in 1800. The child may have been LEODICA that married ISRAEL CAMPBELL and then JOHN MEARS. She would have been born around 1780 which is the year that HENRY BEST was killed by Tories. She was probably the mother of HENRY BEST, JR (b. ca. 1765) who is listed with one son, perhaps TARLTON B. BEST (b. 1789), in the 1790 Census and also JOHN B. BEST (b. 1773). He could have still been 16 years old when the 1790 Census was made and listed as being 16 and under in the Census. A third son may have been WILLIAM B. BEST (b. ca. 1770).  He would be 20 years old in 1790 Census so he is listed as the male being over 16. He is the possible father of the WILLIAM H. BEST that had his named legally changed to WILLIAM B. MITCHINER.

There is only one known reference to  a WILLIAM B. BEST and that is in Georgia. On August 31, 1822 WILLIAM B. MITCHINER was listed as a witness with ANTHONY LEWIS for his father-in-law, JAMES OLIVER, conveying 1000 acres to THOMAS OLIVER for $1400. This land was partly in Burke Co., and partly in Screven Co., Georgia. The land was orginally granted JAMES OLIVER on February 4, 1801. The land was "South westwardly" bounded by the land of WILLIAM B. BEST and JACOB LEWIS. If WILLIAM B. BEST is not just a reference to WILLIAM H. MITCHINER than WILLIAM B. BEST is most likely his father and the third son of MARY and HENRY BEST.  When a married man and father died without a will his widow only received a child's portion. A guardian was appointed for the minor children to manage their share of the property until the children became adults. HENRY BEST from Georgia probably died without a will when he was killed by Tories in South Carolina. MARY BEST probably received a child's portion. Their sons, HENRY BEST and WILLIAM B. BEST, may have inherited property in Georgia from their father. The property of HENRY BEST in Georgia passed on to his son TARLTON BEST. The property of WILLIAM B. BEST in Georgia would likely have passed to his son WILLIAM H. BEST. JOHN B. BEST inherited property in South Carolina from his father.

MARY BEST is dead by 1810 as her portion mentioned in the estate settlement papers of WILLIAM BROWN, July 14 1810, went to her heirs who are not named. The papers were filed by BARTLETT BROWN in Barnwell District, a brother of MARY BEST and TARLTON BROWN and they with the other children or their heirs received a child's portion of thirty nine pounds ten shilling sterling.  No land is mentioned. 


In the 1790 Orangeburg District Census SARAH BEST is listed with one male over 16, one male under 16, three other females and three slaves in her household. No other record has been found of her in the Orangeburg District area. She may be the widow of ABSALOM BEST and the mother of BENEJAH B. BEST.


In the 1790 Orangeburg District Census HENRY (2) BEST is listed with one male under 16, one female and three slaves in his household. There is one other reference to him in Minutes of Winton County Court and Will Book 1, 1785-1791 by Brent H. Holcomb. There is a case starting in 1789 of HENRY HAMPTON, Esq. vs HENRY BEST but the case was never settled in the book. These are the only known references to him. He was probably the son of MARY BROWN and HENRY BEST, SR. and the father of TARLTON BROWN BEST. TARLTON BEST was apparently raised by his uncle, JOHN B. BEST, after his father died before 1800.

Copyright © January 1999 - Thomas W. Mitchiner, Greenville, NC. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted by Thomas W. Mitchiner and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.

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