About 85 family members attended the 2022 Heyward family reunion at Rose Hill Plantation, near Yemasee SC, on April 30, 2022. The weather was perfect, the setting was beautiful and the food, brought in by family members, was delicious.
The HFA is grateful to Henry and Mollie Fair for making their property available for the annual reunion. The HFA is also grateful to Henry Fair for explaining some of the complexities of owning such property in this area since the “war of northern aggression”. Also, the attendees are grateful to Henry Fair for making the adjacent plantation, “The Bluff”, available to us, such that we could visit the grave of Nathaniel Heyward (1766 – 1851), the country’s greatest rice planter.
From the Charleston area: Take Highway 17 west and exit to the right at White Hall Rd going north. Go about 4.5 miles on White Hall Rd and turn sharply left onto Combahee Rd. The destination (3855), which will be flagged, is about 5 miles further on the left.
From the Beaufort area: Go north on Highway 21 to Highway 17, going east. On Highway 17 turn left onto White Hall road, going north. Go about 4.5 miles on White Hall Rd and turn sharply left onto Combahee Rd. The destination (3855), which will be flagged, is about 5 miles further on the left.
From I-95 going south: Get off of I-95 at Exit 42, near Yemassee. Turn left at the stop sign, onto Hwy 21. After a few miles you will come to a stop sign at Hwy Alt 17, also known as Hendersonville Hwy. Turn left onto Hwy Alt-17. Go about 3.5 miles to Combahee Rd, on the right. (There is a small white building on the left, across from Combahee Rd). Travel down Combahee Rd for about 4.5 miles and the destination (3855) is on the right.
From I-95 going north: Get off of I-95 at Exit 42, near Yemassee. Merge into Hwy 21. After a few miles you will come to a stop sign at Hwy Alt 17, also known as Hendersonville Hwy. Turn left at the stop sign onto Hwy Alt-17. Go about 3.5 miles to Combahee Rd, on the right. (There is a small white building on the left, across the intersection from Combahee Rd). Travel down Combahee Rd for about 4.5 miles and the destination (3855) is on the right.
This year’s reunion promises to be special, after missing out two years in a row. I hope everyone who reads this will make an effort to attend-and to bring cousins who either haven’t been in a while, or who have never been.
Members of the Heyward Family Association board of directors met January 8 at the home of Jane Brown in Charleston. Presiding over the meeting was HFA president Leslie Heyward (formerly known as Leslie Smodic).
A major topic of discussion was the annual HFA reunion, a tradition going back decades. The reunion is held annually on the second Saturday after Easter, somewhere in the South Carolina low country, sometimes at a site of family significance. This website has pictures and reports about past HFA reunions going back to 1988.
There has been no Heyward reunion for the past two years because of the Covid pandemic. This year a reunion is planned for April 30, 2022. A tentative site near Yemassee SC has been selected and will be announced later.
Updates to the reunion plan will be posted on this website under the heading Family Blog.
White Hall Plantation in Jasper County is well known to HFA members as a residence of Thomas Heyward (1746 – 1809), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It’s been the site of several reunions, most recently in 2017. Currently the property is managed as a hunting reserve.
Kin Heyward has recently made a short video of White Hall, including aerial views. It can be seen here. Continue reading →
I am currently working on the genealogies of branches of the family that we have lost contact with. James Barnwell Heyward’s “Red Book” has been a great starting point and I have gotten information from Findagrave.com, but would like to bring the family record up to date on these lost branches. I am currently working on the lines of the descendants of Anne Miles Heyward (1757-1820) who married Thomas Gibbons of Savannah (former Mayor of Savannah), GA). Thomas moved to Elizabethtown, NJ and Anne ended up back in Savannah. Their children were: Anne Heyward Gibbons (married John M. Trumbull), William Heyward Gibbons, Thomas Heyward Gibbons and Hannah Gibbons (died young). Anne and John Trumbull’s descendants include the families of Isham, McAllister, Lathrop, Ripley and Wheelwright.
I’m also working on the line of Maria Miles Heyward (1784-1862) who married William Drayton (1776-1846) of Charleston, SC. This family moved to Philadelphia. Col. Drayton was a member of Congress from 1825-1833 and apparently the move to Philadelphia was a politically motivated one. William and Maria had at least five children and two were known to have children.
The annual Heyward Family Reunion, traditionally observed on the second Saturday after Easter, will not be held this year.
The reason is the nation-wide prohibition of such gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic. When the prohibition went into effect, the HFA board had made tentative arrangements for a reunion site, assuming the reunion date would be April 25. After the prohibition, the board considered holding the reunion or a similar gathering in the fall of 2020. However, because of the uncertainties surrounding the prohibition, nothing is currently planned.
The tradition of the Heyward family newsletter, however, will continue this year and registered family members should expect them to arrive soon in their mailboxes.
The Heyward Family Association’s 2019 reunion took place May 4 at Cockfield Plantation, about 14 miles south of Walterboro, SC and less than a mile from last year’s reunion site at Combahee Plantation.