He was born on October 13, 1789 and died in 1824 in Screven Co., Georgia at the age of 35. He was just three years older than WILLIAM H. (B. MITCHINER) BEST. There is a copy of a page from the JOHN B. BEST Bible that records his birth date along with the children of JOHN B. BEST and his wife ELIZABETH (COLDING) BEST. It is unknown if this Bible still exists or who has it in their possession. It is apparent from the page that was copied that there are other names in the Bible and a careful examination of the Bible might settle the actual relationship of TARLTON with JOHN B. and WILLIAM B. MITCHINER. JOHN B. BEST was 16 years old when TARLTON was born. TARLTON was perhaps his brother, half brother or nephew. He could be one of either of the males under 16 in the 1790 South Carolina Census listed with the SARAH or the HENRY (2) BEST households. MARY BROWN BEST above could not be his mother since her husband, HENRY, was killed in 1780 by Tories. TARLTON is probably the son of HENRY BEST, SR. and after his father died he was raised by his uncle, JOHN B. BEST. He is likely the male 16-26 years old listed in the JOHN B. BEST household in the 1810 South Carolina Census for Barnwell District. With JOHN B. BEST in 1816 he purchased 196 acres on Sand Hill Pond waters of the Savannah River. This land bordered property of JOHN B. BEST, JAMES SMITH, and Dr. ELIJAH. GILLETT. He married SARAH JELKS, widow of NATHANIEL H. JELKS. The property of her husband passed to her in his Will dated March 27, 1818. Her property, all slaves, passed to TARLTON B. BEST on her death which was only eleven months after they married. Stated in Aud HARRIS vs JOHN L. ATKINSON and TARLTON B. BEST, filed February 4, 1822, SARAH JELKS died 11 months after their marriage. JOHN B. BEST is crossed out and TARLTON B. BEST is written over the name. JOHN L. ATKINSON had been an executor with SARAH JELKS of the estate of NATHANIEL JELKS. This case as LUD HARRIS vs JOHN L. ATKINSON and TARLTON B. BEAT can be found for the Barnwell Equity and Chancery Court for June 22, 1822 in LDS records, Box 14, Group 28, Frame Number 527.

On May 30, 1819 he borrowed $2000 from JOHN B. BEST to be repaid in one year. He would forfeit four slaves named HANNAH, JUNE, JEFFERY, and ANDREW if he did not repay. On March 20, 1819 he witnessed in Screven Co., Georgia with JOHN B. BEST the sale of 146 acres by WILLIAM B. MITCHINER and his wife CHARLOTTE to JOHN H. SMITH. In 1818 he became the guardian of THOMAS W. and WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL with security given by JOHN SMITH and STEPHEN BUTLER. On June 5, 1820 he applied to administer the estate of THOMAS W. CAMPBELL with security given by WILLAM B. MITCHINER. The Campbell boys were the children of ISRAEL CAMPBELL and LAODICA (DICY).  ISRAEL and LAODICA CAMPBELL also had a daughter, POLLIE CAMPBELL. POLLIE married JAMES BOWIE and moved to Georgia. LAODICA (BEST) CAMPBELL married JOHN MEARS after her husband died and they moved to Georgia. They had three children: HENRY B., JAMES J., and JOHN W. MEARS. In 1822 STEPHEN BUTLER and JOHN SMITH asked to be released as securities for TARLTON. TARLTON sued JOHN SMITH for $3000 in property damage to crops on 350 acres of land. No record has been found of his 350 acres in Screven Co., Georgia. JOHN MEARS became guardian of WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL. In 1824 TARLTON was sued by WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL and JOHN MEARS for $600 each stemming from his guardianship.

His Will was dated December 17, 1821. JOHN B. BEST and WILLIAM B. MITCHINER were the executors. It was filed by WILLIAM B. MITCHINER on October 5, 1824 in Screven Co., Georgia. JOHN B. BEST, JOHN H. SMITH, and JOHN MEARS were bequeathed seventy five cents each. He divided his eleven slaves between ORSAMUS H.(HARDEN) BEST born 1815, JOHN H.(HARDEN) MITCHINER born 1818, and WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL born 1801. ORASMUS H. BEST was the second or third son of JOHN B. BEST. JOHN H. MITCHINER was the eldest son of WILLIAM B. MITCHINER. WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL was the son of LEODICA (DICY) BEST CAMPBELL MEARS. He listed his land as 50 acres on Jackson Branch and 98 acres on King Creek in South Carolina. Note that ABSALOM BEST had land on King Creek. The 98 acres on King Creek was probably his half of the 196 acres on the Sand Hill Pond waters of the Savannah River that he purchased with JOHN B. BEST in 1816. The appraisers of the estate were JACOB LEWIS, ELIJAH WADE, and ELIJAH OLIVER.

His personal property items were sold on April 16, 1825 by WILLIAM B. MITCHINER in the estate settlement to JOHN H. NESMITH, THOMAS W. OLIVER, and JACOB OLIVER. Many legal cases are mentioned in the Augusta Chronicle from 1826 through 1828 that were filed by SAMUEL BUTLER against the estate of TARLTON B. BEST and settled by WILLIAM B. MITCHINER.

WILLIAM H. (MITCHINER) BEST  (Contact: M. Brown) (See Randolph Co., GA website Mitchiner Family)

He was born on October 27,1792 in South Carolina. The Will of WILLIAM H. BROWN of Screven Co., Georgia is the first record found of WILLIAM H. BEST using the surname MITCHINER. The Will was written on September 12, 1812. It was witnessed by JOHN MITCHINER, WILLIAM H. B. MITCHINER and J. W. WADE. WILLIAM H. BROWN left his property to his two daughters, ZILPAH and ELIZA. He is probably the same WILLIAM H. BROWN with property near lands belonging to JOHN B. BEST that signed a petition on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River for a river landing road.

His widowed mother, LUVICY, died in 1815. In her Will she left him the same property, possessions, and five slaves she inherited in 1814 from her deceased husband, JOHN MITCHINER, plus an additional slave. In her Will written May 3, 1815 she referred to her son as WILLIAM H. BEST. In a receipt for his mother as the executrix for the Will of JOHN MITCHINER on June 5, 1815 he gave his name as W. H. MITCHINER. By 1819 he had married CHARLOTTE OLIVER. She signed with him on a deed of sale for 146 acres in Screven Co., Georgia. He signed his name as WILLIAM B. MITCHINER. It was probably her property. She may also have owned slaves when they married. In addition to the property inherited from his mother and the property of his wife he also received two Screven Co., Georgia land grants in 1820.

CHARLOTTE's parents were PRISCILLA WILLIAMS and JAMES OLIVER. The father of PRISCILLA was WILLIAM WILLIAMS. Based on the age of her father he was not the WILLIAM WILLIAMS who was the stepson of JOHN BEST, JR. of Screven Co., Georgia. The interest of PRISCILLA as a heir of her father, WILLIAM WILLIAMS, was conveyed in Screven Co. to ENOCH GODFREY on July 27, 1797. The land involved was 1/10th interest in 240 acres. This was a pond tract that was divided into 10 equal sections with the names of PRISCILLA W. OLIVER and MARY W. LIVINGSTON written on two sections. The will was witnessed by SETH WILLIAMS, FRANCIS GODFREY, and ANSON WILLIAMS. On March 21, 1799 JAMES and PRISCILLA OLIVER conveyed to ENOCH GODFREY land described as adjoining land of WILLIAM WILLIAMS, deceased and JOHN WILLIAMS deceased. The witnesses were JOHN SMITH, HENRY CRAGG, and CHARLOTTE CRAG.

The estate of JAMES OLIVER, the father-in-law of WILLIAM B. MITCHINER, was divided on June 7, 1826 in Screven Co. into five equal shares. Lot # 1 went to GEORGE POLLOCK, guardian of JAMES M. POLLOCK. Lot # 2 went to THOMAS W. OLIVER. Lot # 3 went to WILLIAM W. OLIVER. Lot # 4 went to DORTHY THOMPSON the widow of BRYAN THOMPSON. Lot # 5 went to WILLIAM B. MITCHINER the husband of CHARLOTTE MITCHINER. Lot # 5 consisted of 500 acres in Screven Co., Georgia. This land is either the property sold by WILLIAM B. MITCHINER on December 4, 1843 to RANSOM ROGERS or the 500 acres mentioned in 1865 in WILLIAM's Will.

While WILLIAM B. MITCHINER was involved in many land dealings, in many cases it is impossible to tell when he sold a piece of land he acquired or acquired a piece of land he sold. On August 31, 1822 WILLIAM B. MITCHINER is listed as a witness with ANTHONY LEWIS to 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 originally granted JAMES OLIVER on February 4, 1801. The land was "South westwardly" bounded by the land of WILLIAM B. BEST and JACOB LEWIS. If this WILLIAM B. BEST is not a reference to WILLIAM H. MITCHINER than this could be the only reference to his possible biological father. If this is correct than WILLIAM B. BEST is probably a son of HENRY BEST who came from Georgia and married MARY BROWN who is listed as a head of household in the 1790 South Carolina Census for Orangeburg District.

On December 22, 1822 WILLIAM H. BEST had his name legally changed by the Georgia House of Representatives at Milledgeville to WILLIAM B. MITCHINER. He also changed the name of his eldest son from JOHN H. BEST to JOHN H. MITCHINER and his eldest daughter's name from MARY W. BEST to MARY W. MITCHINER. He was an executor with JOHN B. BEST of the Will of TARLTON B. BEST filled by WILLIAM H. MITCHINER on October 5, 1824 in Screven Co., Georgia. Around 1831 he moved his family to Randolph Co., Georgia. His wife died there around 1837. On September 10, 1838 he married SARAH CORAM. He died on July 19, 1865 and is buried at the Benevolence Baptist Church Cemetery in Randolph Co., Georgia.

A complete record on WILLIAM B. MITCHINER and his immediate descendants can be found under "Randolph County Families" on the GAGenWeb site for Randolph Co., GA.


Mary was the sister of RIGHT MUNSON. In the 1790 Census for Orangeburg District, PATIENCE MUNSON was the head of a family and a neighbor of the three Best families in the census. The family included another female and four slaves. He left his sister his plantation, 35 head of cattle, 100 hogs and its current crops on March 28, 1801.

BENEJAH B. (BROWN) BEST and Descendants

He was born around 1775 in the Orangeburg District of South Carolina. He should be one of the three males under 16 males in the three Best families in the 1790 Orangeburg District Census of South Carolina. His father is very possibly ABSALOM above. His wife could not be the ELIZABETH that witnessed the will of ABSALOM in 1790 since they probably did not marry until about 1810 when their first child was born. The first record of him is a case in 1801 when he was sued by SALLY MUNSON and had to pay $200. He sold to TARLTON BROWN a female slave named Easter for $250. The case of BENEJAH BEST vs. JOHN MITCHONSON was decreed January 1, 1807 for $50. He purchased from RICHARD GILL a 135 acre plantation on the south side of Jacksons Branch for $237. On January 6, 1808 he was appointed an appraiser with JOHN BEST, MICHAEL BROWN, BARTLET BROWN and JACOB KETTLES for LEODICA CAMPBELL the administrator of her husbands, ISRAEL CAMPBELL, estate. In 1810 he paid a $.74 Tax Return in Barnwell Co. In 1812 he sold a 177 acre plantation being half of a 354 acre tract at the Big Branch and Jacksons Branch. In the War of 1812 he served in the 2nd Rgt., (OSWALD's) 2nd Battalion, South Carolina State Troops as a sergeant.

He is listed on an undated petition as an inhabitant of Barnwell on the Savannah River for a river landing road between the lands of SARAH OVERSTREET, SAMUEL MAINER, and JOHN BEST. Other names on the petition included MICHAEL BROWN, BARNETT H. BROWN and WILLIAM H. BROWN, JAMES OVERSTREET as well as JOHN B. BEST.

He paid Mary Odom $500 in 1814 for her interest in the estate of ANN PURVIS together with any interest in the estate of the estate of WILLIAM PURVIS. In the case on MARY ROWLAND vs BENAJAH BEST filed July 23, 1822, he claimed that ELIZABETH PURVIS left him her estate in 1807. He took care of her husband WILLIAM PURVIS for a year until he died and then cared for her until she died. He purchased three female slaves for his children, MARY, SARAH and ABSALOM B. in 1822. In a "Bill of Revivor" filed March 16, 1824 in the MARY ROWLAND vs BENAJAH BEST case, it appears that BENEJAH BEST had died and that his widow, ELIZABETH BEST, was the administrator of his estate. His widow could be ELIZABETH in the 1830 census. He was around 57 years old when he died. Along with his wife that received one third of the estate, the children mentioned in his estate settlement filed June 4, 1832 in Barnwell District, South Carolina are: ABSALOM BLANCHARD BEST, MARY BEST, and SARAH MIXON. Since BLANCHARD is a given name among the COLDINGS, it is likely that his wife is related to that family.

B1. ABSALOM (2) BLANCHARD BEST, SR..... Born Apr. 7, 1811 and died June 28, 1850 at the age of 40. Married WINIFRED RILEY WILLIAMS (b. Nov. 6, 1809 and d.  ____). She is the daughter of WILSON WILLIAMS. On July 6, 1822 he purchased from WILLIAM JONES a Negro woman named ABIGAIL for $450. JOHN W. ALLEN, a son-in-law, was appointed administrator of his estate on February 4, 1851. Virginia Ann Catalano stated in an email on Nov. 8, 2011, "found the intestate record of Absalom B. Best, which was administered by his son-in-law John Wesley Allen......another documentation of the association of the two men.  Mrs. Winifred R. Best was named as widow." He is buried at Swallow Savannah Cemetery in Allendale, South Carolina. Where she is buried is unknown.  "Previous to that time (1847) many facts were gathered from Mrs. WINIFRED RILEY BEST (nee WILLIAMS) and CHARLES H. COLDING, Sr., the first born Nov. 6, 1809, the latter 1799 about the history of the Swallow Savannah Methodist Church." (Source: "The History of Swallow Savannah Church, Methodist Episcopal South", By John W. Ogilvie, May 4, 1882.  Children:

B2. MARY F. BEST....Born 1805. She paid, on January 6, 1821 WILLIAM JONES $150 for a Negro girl named RACHAEL. On December 31, 1833 her brother, ABSALOM B. BEST, gave her a  Negro girl named SALLY.

B3. SARAH C. BEST (MIXON)....Born 1808. Married 1829, EDWARD MILES MIXSON, SR. son of JOHN C. MIXSON and MARY JOYCE. Children:

B4. SUSAN BEST....Died young, and not is mentioned in settlement of her father's estate on June 4, 1832. .

JOHN B. (BROWN) BEST and Descendants

He was born on May 5, 1773. He married about 1808 ELIZABETH J. COLDING. She was born on December 1, 1790 and was the daughter of HENRY COLDING and JENNETTE BRYAN. Their children were HENRY COLDING BEST, MARY ANN BROWN BEST, ORSAMUS HARDEN BEST, JOHN AUSTIN BEST, LOUISANA BENNETT BEST, WILLIAM BARTLETT BEST, FRANCIS MARION BEST, and JASPER BENAJAH BEST. Note here that the name of his last child shows JOHN B. BEST probably is related to BENAJAH BEST. His eldest son, HENRY C. moved to Screven Co. Georgia by 1860.

He filed a 1810 Tax Return in Barnwell District for $1.40. On July 20, 1812 he sold SAMUEL MANER for $200 land where he formerly resided containing 100 acres. This sale was witnessed by TARLTON BEST and WILLIAM H. ROBERT. On May 10, 1814 he had surveyed 211 acres on Sand Hill Bay that was bordered on one side by the land of ABRAHAM MIXSON. It was thought before the survey that it was 200 acres. On December 4, 1815 he received a 145 acre land grant in Barnwell District. The land had been surveyed by JAMES OVERSTREET on May 10, 1814 and was bordered by land of ABRAHAM MIXON and WILLIAM BLACK and JOHN MIXON. On December 2, 1816 he received land grants in Barnwell District for 196 and 59 acres. His 196 acres was bordered by the the land of JAMES SMITH and Dr. ELIJAH GILLETT. JOHN B. is listed on a petition as an inhabitant of Barnwell on the Savannah River for a river landing road between the lands of SARAH OVERSTREET, SAMUEL MAINER, and JOHN BEST. Others names included were MICHAEL BROWN, BARNETT H. BROWN, WILLIAM H. BROWN, ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, SAMUEL MEARS, JAMES OVERSTREET, THOMAS COLDING, and WILLIAM J. KIRKLAND as well as BENEJAH BEST.

JOHN B. BEST was among the original members of Swallow Savannah Church with JOHN MCRAIL, JOHN ALLEN, JOSEPH ALLEN, SARAH HUMPHRIES and BETSY BADGER. "The original church was a log house (1815-1816) on an old road going South on lands of Wm. Bostick, Jr., opposite a sycamore tree on the road, nearly opposite and about six or eight hundred yards northeast from a sheet of water known as Swallow Savannah Pond, from which the church derived its name."

JOHN B. BEST died intestate in August 4, 1841 in South Carolina. His children of legal age were HENRY C. BEST, MARY A. B. HUMPHREYS, the wife of CURTIS HUMPHREYS, ORSAMUS H. BEST and JOHN A. BEST. They agreed in signed testimony on Aug 10, 1841 to convey their rights in the estate to their mother, ELIZABETH, during her life or until the youngest of the children come of age. The minor children were LOUISANA I. BEST, WILLIAM B. BEST, FRANCIS M. BEST and JASPER B. BEST. On Sep 22, 1841 ORSAMUS H. BEST petitioned to administor the estate of his father. ORSAMUS H. BEST with JOSEPH C. BRYAN and SAMUEL COHEN post an administrators bond for $10,000 on Oct 22, 1841.

ELIZABETH J. BEST, the widow of JOHN B. BEST, died December 3, 1862 in Barnwell, SC. In 1850 she had been living in Screven Co., GA. Her Will was recorded on December 13, 1865. JOHN A. BEST was the administrator. She listed her sons as: JASPER B., HENRY C., ORSAMUS H., JOHN A., and FRANCIS M. BEST. She listed her daughters as MARY ANN B. HUMPHREYS and LOUISANA COHEN. In 1807 JOHN B. BEST was a witness with BENAJAH BEST to the application of LEODICA (BEST) CAMPBELL to administer the Will of her husband, ISRAEL CAMPBELL.

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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