Axtell Family OrganizationCarolina Colony Axtells

Axtell was a prominent name is the Carolina Colony between about 1678 and 1692. That's when Daniel Axtell (son of Col. Daniel, the Regicide) and his son, Holland, were "landgraves" near modern Summerville, South Carolina on the Ashley River (inland from Charles Town--now Charleston). Holland died childless in 1692. The name died with him, but the daughters married well and Thomas's descendants have millions of distant cousins from these early American Axtells.

Carolina (North and South split later, in 1729) was named for King Charles I--an irony for the "attainted" son of an executed regicide. In the 1670's, it was Charles II on the throne, a king who was relatively tolerant of the Nonconformist Protestants (or "Dissenters"). But the King's younger brother, James, was staunchly Catholic. He would be the next king when Charles II died, and Daniel had an easy time finding settlers for the new colony of Dissenters.

Daniel encouraged so many settlers by 1680 that the Proprietors of this British Proprietary Colony awarded him the noble title of "landgrave" which made him governor of a 3,000 acre grant. The term was taken by the English philosopher, John Locke (known for the Social Contract and his influence on the Declaration of Independence), from an older German term for a similar position. Locke designed the "Grand Model" for an ideal government. It didn't last. Still, the Axtells enjoyed wealth and influence for a while.

Daniel died in 1686 and his one surviving son, Holland, inherited the landgraviate. (His other son, Daniel, died at sea about 1680, childless). Holland died in 1692. The girls had all married by then and the only Axtell in South Carolina was Lady Rebecca (or Rebeckah) Axtell, the widow of the original landgrave. The wife of a landgrave got the title, "Lady".

Daniel and Rebecca's children were (from his will dated 13 Aug 1678):

Sibella (or Sibyl).

Daniel. died at sea about 1680, childless.


Holland. Inherited Landgraviate. died 1692, childless.

Rebecca. Married Sir John Moore, moved to Philadelphia.

Elizabeth. married 1) Francis Turgis, 2) Gov. Joseph Blake, an English Admiral from Cromwell's time.

Ann. married 1) John Alexander, 2) Joseph Boone about 1714. Inherited 1000 acres from her mother Rebecca and named the plantation Mount Boone. She and Joseph are buried there although her marker is gone.

I have a lot more to add, including some notes on the confusion among the Daniels and some wrong information about a David, but at least I got this far today.

"Look, it's an unusual place. Half of American history involves efforts to get South Carolina to stop acting out." -Gail Collins, New York Times, Feb. 22, 2000, Op-Ed page.

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Last revised 02 May 2001 by Dan Axtell