John Coachman




John Coachman

John Coachman was born in 1700 in Barbados, West Indies, and died between 19 Dec 1749 and 11 March 1750 in Craven County, South Carolina.  About 1729 he married Mary Drake, daughter of Jonathan and Mary Drake.  She was born about 1712 in South Carolina and died before 1749. 

Research seems to indicate that the Drakes also arrived in South Carolina via Barbados and proceeded to become quite wealthy.  John Coachman received 2,000 acres of land from the Drake family when he and Mary married.  John Joseph Simons, when writing his family history in the 1850s, suggested that Mary descended from the same Drake family as Sir Francis Drake but, so far, that has not been proven.

John Coachman was an indigo planter and plantation owner.  The "War of Jenkins Ear" (1739-1742), a war between England and the French, Portuguese and Spanish traders left England without a source of royal blue indigo dye. As the indigo plant grew wild all along the coastal plains, it was a natural transition for the lowland around Georgetown to be used for cultivating indigo. Indigo is the rarest of dyes because blue is the most difficult color to produce in a dye. Georgetown County indigo came in three colors: fine copper, purple and fine flora. Trade was brisk and created fortunes that rivaled the wealth of the royalty of Europe. John Coachman and other planters in the Georgetown District became members of an aristocratic society of plantation owners that brings up all the stereotypical images of huge mansions, broad lawns and slaves in the fields.

Indigo Plantation

John Coachman died sometime early in 1750 and left the following will:

THIS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me, John Coachman of Craven County, South Carolina, Gentleman. I first will that all my just debts be fully satisfied and paid. Item: I give devise and bequeath all my whole estate real and personal to my two sons William and James Coachman to them and their heirs forever but one negro boy named Abram I give and Bequeath to my brother Benjamin Coachman to him and his heirs forever and one negro girl named Flora I give the use of to my sister Margaret Sanders during her life and at her death to be divided between my sons William and James Coachman and one horse named Newborn I give and bequeath to my friend Thomas Waities, and Lastly, I nominate and appoint my brother Benjamin Coachman and my two sons William & James Coachman Executors Of this my Last Will and Testament in witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred & forty nine.

This will was proved before Paul Trapier, Esq by virtue of a dedimus directed to him the 11 day of March 1750.

Children of John Coachman and Mary Drake were:

1.  William Coachman was born about 1727 in South Carolina and died in 1791.  He married Elizabeth Moore.  She also died in 1791 in Charleston, South Carolina.

2.  Benjamin Coachman was born about 1730 in South Carolina but died young before his fatherís will of 1749.

3.  James Coachman was born in 1732 in South Carolina and died in 1789 in Georgetown, South Carolina.  He is the subject of the next chapter.


Nicholaus von Beckenbach (1705 - ca 1750)

Johann Christian Beckenbach (1739 - ca 1790)

Johann George Beckenbach (1772 - 1834)

Johann Jacob Beckenbach (1797 - ca 1850)

Peter Beckenbach (1836 - 1878)

Charlie Geiger Beckenbach (1869 - 1932)

Edwin Ford Beckenbach (1906 - 1982)


John Simons (1715 - 1780)

Shadrach Simons (1758 - 1801)

John Joseph Simons (1793 - ca 1858)

Henry James Simons (1818 - ca 1870)

John James Simons (1842 - 1969)

James Elmo Simons (1870 - 1935)

Madelene Shelby Simons (1913 - 1985)


Heinrich Dufe (ca 1760 - ca 1810)

Peter Joseph Dufe (1784 - 1846)

Peter Duffy (1815 - 1883)

Peter J Duffy (1851 - 1924)

Annie Elizabeth Duffy (1877 - 1935)


William Peake (ca 1800 - ca 1832)

Joseph Peake (1826 - 1876)

Lucy Charlotte Peake (1851 - 1883)


James Bradley (1720 - 1788)

Francis Bradley (1743 - 1780)

James Alexander Bradley (1768 - 1839)

Margaret Weir Bradley (1813 - ca 1880)


Shelby Phillip (ca 1650 - 1731)

Evan Shelby (ca 1690 - 1751)

Moses Shelby (1728 - 1776)

Evan Shelby (1748 - 1825)

Moses Shelby (1784 - 1826)

James Madison Shelby (1814 - 1889)

Jane Eliza Shelby (1846 - 1902)


Michael Vogg (ca 1800 - ca 1845)

John Frederick Vogg (1824 - 1901)

Margaret Vogg (1856 - 1878)


Alexander Coachman (ca 1640 - 1671)

Tilney Coachman (ca 1660 - 1716)

John Coachman (1700 - 1750)

James Coachman (1732 - 1789)

Joseph Coachman (1761 - 1814)

Mary Lynch Coachman (1792 - ca 1857)


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