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to the Waxhaws!



1924 - 2007


The Waxhaws settlement dates back to May 1751 when six or seven families, all Scots-Irish Presbyterians, arrived to clear the rich land between two creeks they named Waxhaw and Cane whose headwaters rise in present Union County, North Carolina and flow westward through Lancaster County, South Carolina into the Catawba river. The area, often referred to as the "Garden of the Waxhaws", had previously been occupied by the Waxhaw tribe which had fallen apart from the forces of smallpox and war. The newcomers of the 1750s mostly came from the western areas of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

By 1755 the newcomers had built a meeting house, still in existence and known today as the Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church. It was the first church in the Upcountry of South Carolina.

In 1867 Daniel Stinson was quoted in the Southern Presbyterian describing the "Scotch Irish" first settlers in this fashion: "Many were in possession of considerable wealth. Many were aged, with children grown up. Their families were often intermarried. The Whites, Fosters, Simpsons, were so connected. There were several families of the name of Dunlap. There were the names of McClanahan, Crocket, Barnett, Miller, Stephenson, the McKees, McIlhennys, Thompsons, Ramsays and Lattas."

For nearly a century the Waxhaws settlement produced wealth and outstanding state and national leaders but by the 1830s cotton planting had worn out the soil that made them wealthy. Most of the early families abandoned their Garden for more productive soil to the west but while it lasted the history of the Waxhaws settlement is a fascinating story that we are pleased to share.

By Historian Louise Pettus


Photograph of Louise Rhodes (Nuttall) Reckert.

I want to welcome you to our site about the Waxhaws. I am dedicating this site to two special people. The first is my Mamaw - Louise Rhodes (Nuttall) Reckert (1901-1968). She is my dad's mother and I didn't know her long because she passed away when I was four years old. I do remember her though and miss her very much. She was born in Waxhaw, Union County, N.C. Mamaw had a very outgoing personality and was constantly harassed (lovingly) by all of her grand children. We loved her very much and when she died at the dinner table on a Sunday night it left a huge void in our lives. She lived part of the year at our house with my parents and my two brothers and the rest of the time with her other daughter, husband and 5 grand children. One day I will see you and Nancy in Heaven... Mamaw I hope you are proud of this site and I miss you!!! Love your granddaughter, Valeria

Photograph of Nancy Louise Crockett.

I also want to dedicate this site to my cousin Nancy Louise Crockett (1913-2004). She was born and raised right here in Lancaster County, S.C.. She never married but the history of the area was her baby. Nancy came into contact with many people helping them with their genealogy or answering questions about Waxhaw or Lancaster County, S.C. Nancy would absolutely LOVE this site and I regret waiting so long to do this because she was a wealth of information on this area. Nancy you were a beautiful flower and I know that you are blooming brightly in heaven right now! You contributed so much in your life to others and this is the least I could do for you. Love and miss you! Your cousin, Valeria

I would like to extend a special THANK YOU to LOUISE PETTUS for all your contributions to this site and input. I greatly appreciate it very much!

I also want to thank Pat Geary for her patience and help in creating the new pages. I greatly appreciate it very much! She has been a blessing to me.

There is one more huge Thank You to go to Mr. Brent Holcomb for allowing me to use his findings in our website. I am extremely grateful to you for this. Thank you for all the hard work you do in helping others to preserve their family histories.

Waxhaw Mailing List

Hi! My name is Valeria Reckert and I am the List Administrator for the Waxhaw Mailing List located on RootsWeb. If you have genealogy queries, family that was from, or seeking information on the Waxhaw region, please feel free to subscribe to the Waxhaw list by clicking on the L (for individual list messages) or D (for digest version) in the box below. You can also search or browse the Waxhaw archives in the same box. We hope that you have enjoyed your visit to our site. Please send us an email and let us know what you think and if it was helpful to you...


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