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 • Oolenoy Baptist Church Cemetery
 • Pumpkintown
 • Pickens County
 • South Carolina
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Cornelius Keith
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Birth: 1715, Scotland
Death: 1808
Pickens County
South Carolina, USA

Cornelius was also married to Mary Bohannon

Marriage Notes for CORNELIUS KEITH and MARY BOHANNON: Oolenoy Baptist Church-Pickens County, South Carolina It was not until 1795, after the Revolutionary War that enough people moved into this previously Indian territory to build a church. About that time, the KEITH bothers moved into the area and soon gave land for a small log church roofed with wide boards split from white oak trees. It was not heated so presumably services were not held during the winter. The first pastor and organizer of the church was Rev. John Chastain. The first written records were kept in 1833. in 1834, the church was called "The Church of Christ". In 1837, two blacks were received by letter. Black membership was continued until February 1868. The 1845 minutes report 97 members, 18 blacks. Around 1840, a new building of planks was built. This church was larger than the old one - about 40 feet long. It had big windows with wooden shutters. The floor and seats were made of rough planks. It was not heated. In September 1840, Rev. Tyre L. Roper was elected pastor and preacher and served until his death in 1976 - all the time without pay. About 1876, the church decided to enlarge their building. New flooring, weather boarding and glass windows were added. In 1899, they added a large room to the front of the building with a belfry and the church still has the original bell. Under the leadership of Rev. Francis M. Whitmire in 1945, the church began discussions about a new church building. In 1951, after materials had been accumulated, work started. Services were held in the Oolenoy school. Finally, in 1952, services were held for the first time in the new building. In 1968, they were finally free of all debt. The church has been a member of Bethel, Saluda, Twelve Mile River and Pickens Associations. There are several KEITH families in the church graveyard. One gravestone reads: CORNELIUS KEITH b. 1715 Loch Lomond, Scotland d. 1808 of Royal Lineage. Coat of Arms 1715 to 1808 dating from 1010 A.D. Original pioneer of Oolenoy settlement started about 1743. Married Juda Thompson reared 12 children one son was Col. Cornelius Keith Rev. War Hero whose wife was Mary Laffoon. (SOURCE: Pickens County South Carolina Cemetery Survey Volume One). SOURCE: Names and information of the children of Cornelius Keith and Mary Bohannon were found in the book Of Keith & Kin by Marion Frerman Henderson, 1989, Pub. Marion Frerman Henderson, 5415 Wedgewood Dr. Charlotte, NC 28210 Located SC Room at Easley Library, Easley, Pickens Co., SC 10/10/2003 Cornelius Keith was witness to land sale (on Neuse River) By Duncan BOHANNON, 6 Jun 1766. Also..Cornelius Keith and William Bohannon are on 1778 tax roles of Henry Co., VA. Source: Collected Genealogies of KEITH, KEATH, KEETH Families in North America, page 624, Compiled by The Keith Genealogy Book Project, Larry Keith, Editor and Project Coordinator, Gateway Press, Inc. Baltimore, MD, 1997.
Cornelius Keith Arrives In Cherokee Land : Cornelius Keith was born in 1715 in Loch Lomond, Scotland . When he was still a child, he came with his parents to Virginia and settled on the Roanoke River, Brunswick County, Virginia . He married Juda Thompson. In 1743, like many other new settlers, he was anxious to move on and explore new lands. With his wife and small child, he started southward along the Blue Ridge mountains in a narrow-gage covered wagon pulled by a pony with two other ponies hitched to the back of the wagon. We can only imagine the load of that wagon. There must have been clothing, bedding, dishes, dried vegetables and fruits, and breadstuffs enough to last for months until more could be made. Then, there must have been grain and other seeds for planting. A wheel also had to be in­eluded for spinning. Tools such as axe, frow, adze were included. Mauls for driving wedges were made of wood. As was the custom in early days, the iron pots, kettles, ovens, and buckets were tied to dangle from the side of the wagon and beneath it. Being Scotch highlanders, they naturally followed the Indian trails and blazed the way close to the hills of the Blue Ridge Ra nge. They came down into the Carolinas and finally stopped in what is now the Oolenoy Community in Pickens County, South Carolina. When he came to the point where he could see the grandeur of Table Rock Mountain , he looked up as if unto the Cliffs of Scotland and said, "This is our home." For protection from weather and wild animals, he quickly built a brush harboron a flat-top hill overlooking the Oolenoy River Valley and the surrounding mountains. It is a satisfaction that Miracle Hill Mission School now has this hill and has erected their high school and Tots' build­ings on the same ground with a plaque memorializing the original settler. Before they were settled, the Indian warriors from their village on Uwharrie Mountain sighted them and immediately bristled for action, for this was the first white settler that had ventured into their territory. Led by their war chief Uwharrie they went to investigate. But when they came near, they were amazed at Keith's ponies and began to scheme to get them. However, Cornelius Keith knew how to deal with the Indians since he had dealt with them in Virginia . Indian Chief Woolenoy bantered Keith to trade Indian trinkets for the ponies but Keith knew he would need his ponies. He also knew that he must have land to cultivate and that he must be able to fish and hunt game for food. He told Woolenoy he would trade one pony for land and asked how much land he would give. The chief showed that he would give all the land Keith wanted. So, Keith traded the pony for a big wedge of what is now Pickens County consisting of the entire lower half of the Oolenoy River Valley and for the privilege of hunting and fishing. This trade was clinched according to the Indian custom of binding a treaty -- by the ceremony of smoking the peace pipe. This was the beginning of the Oolenoy Settlement. The first Map of Pendleton District, published in 1820, has the word Keith on the spot where Keith built his first hut. When the bargaining for land was concluded, Keith began to prepare logs for building a hut. At first, he built one room with a dirt floor and stick and dirt chimney. The cracks were chinked with mud to keep out the cold. Long boards were rived from choice trees of the virgin forest for the roof, door, and window shutters. Later, a puncheon floor was added and an ample shed room. But now, he must clear some land on which to grow food for the family and ponies. He planted grains the first fall. The soil was so new and fertile that the grain had a luxuriant growth by winter. Deer slipped in at night and ate the grain down pulling most of it up. This was a sad blow for this was their dependence for bread to tide them through their first year in the Cherokee land. Keith learned that if he grew grain, he must enclose his grainfields with a high fence. Legend has it that this was the origin of the rail fence in this part of South Carolina. Two brothers, one a minister, came soon after Cornelius but they became discouraged and went back to Virginia . When his family increased and he felt the need of better living ar­rangements, he built a large log house which was considered a mansion in this new country. There were two large rooms with open hall between. Steps went from this hall to two upstairs bedrooms. There were also two shed rooms at the back. The chimneys were of field rock with mud mortar. In this house were reared twelve children, each a leader in his time -- three of whom served in the Revolutionary War although the Cherokees were in sympathy with the British. Cornelius Keith died in 1808 and was buried in Oolenoy Church Cemetery . His monument was patternedafterthat of an Indian chief -- a mound of field rock with a small soap stone head rock. The inscription was simply, Cornelius Keith, Born 1715, Died 1808. In 1956, his descendants erected a monument which contained a bronze plaque with the Keith Coat of Arms and the following inscription: CORNELIUS KEITHBorn in Loch Lomond Scotland of Royal Lineage1715 Died 1808Original pioneer of Oolenoy Settlement started about 1743 - marriedJuda Thompson - Reared twelve children; one son was Colonel CorneliusKeith, Revolutionary War hero whose wife was Mary LaFoone.

Children were:
Lemuel/Samuel Keith 1742-1802
Juda Keith 1745-
William Keith 1749-1774
George Keith 1751-1774
James Keith 1750-1790
Duncan Keith 1755-
Naomi Keith 1759-
Sarah Jane Keith 1763-1849
Washington Keith 1763-
Asa Keith 1776-
Connie Keith 1761-
Cornelius Keith 1743-1820
Family links: 
  Juda Thompson Keith (1715 - 1820)*
  Cornelius Keith (1743 - 1820)*
*Calculated relationship
Oolenoy Baptist Church Cemetery
Pickens County
South Carolina, USA
Created by: Debra Mason
Record added: Jul 03, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 113258582
Cornelius Keith
Added by: Debra Mason
Cornelius Keith
Added by: Debra Mason
Cornelius Keith
Added by: Debra Mason
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- Kristy
 Added: Jun. 12, 2016
My nine times Grandfather.
- Isobel Poe
 Added: Aug. 20, 2015
May he Rest in Peace
- Maureen (Dacus) Blackburn
 Added: May. 10, 2015
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