Family Bible of John Pettit (b.1820) of Spartanburg Co SC, (Grandson of Joshua Pettit and Judith Poole)

By Brandon

Background Information on John Pettit (1820-1898)

Joshua Pettit Jr was married to Judith POOLE and lived on the north side of the Pacolet River on a stream that was once called Graham’s Branch.  The old Pettit cemetery is located on what used to be his tract.  His oldest son William P. Pettit, born around 1793, married Lucinda LITTLE and they inherited the largest portion of the family tract when Joshua and Judith passed away.  William P. remained on this land while most of his siblings sought greener pastures in Alabama and Mississippi.  Joshua Jr, his wife Judith, William P., and his wife Lucinda are all buried in the old Pettit cemetery.  Their original grave markers are large, legible and are still intact today.  William P. Pettit and Lucinda’s oldest son was John Pettit, born September 28, 1820.

Grave stone of Joshua Petitt Jr., grandfather of John Pettit. This photo was taken when we visited the Pettit family cemetery near Copwens, SC in 2016 with Viola Jones, David Poole and Pettit descendants of John Pettit who still reside nearby.

John was married three times, losing two wives before his death, one of which was probably due to pregnancy complications.  He had 20 children and his descendants are numerous.  Some of them still own portions of the land that once belonged to his grandparents, Joshua and Judith Pettit.  John is buried next to his wives in the Thompson Chapel cemetery not far from the old Joshua Pettit Jr land and near the old Pettit family cemetery. His tombstone inscription reads:

In memory of JOHN PETTIT Born Sept 28, 1820  Died Jan. 12, 1898
Was the Father of 20 children 14 of whom with his wife live to mourn his death.  A faithful Confederate Soldier. A member of the Baptist Church since 1848 and Deacon since 1866. Blind for 18 years. A close friend. A faithful church member, and died in the faith.

As noted above, John Pettit joined the Baptist church in 1848.  The publication date for his family Bible is 1849, indicating he obtained it shortly after coming to the faith.  The earliest recorded birth is of a James Y. Pearson born October 25, 1806.  It is not known how or if Mr. Pearson had a relationship to the Pettit family.  The earliest Pettit record is that of John who was born September 28, 1820. The last recorded date was the death of John’s son Joseph Columbus Pettit who died January 18, 1936.  Joseph Columbus Pettit was the father of Doris Pettit (1912-1979) who, in April of 1969, had the family Bible in her possession and provided the transcription seen below to a Mr. Hugh M. Fincher, III .

The current whereabouts of the John Pettit Bible are unknown.  Please contact me if you have any information about its location.  Though we have this wonderful transcription, an actual photocopy of the Bible pages would be very helpful as well.


Some Observations and Mysteries

Before we lay out the transcription, there are some interesting items that should be mentioned.

Unknown Associations

This Bible record notes the birth of two individuals whose connection to the Pettit family is not known.

  1. James Y. Pearson born October 25, 1806
  2. J. P. Burnett bon April 13, 1823

Who are these people?  Were they related or were they recorded in the Bible by someone who owned the it before John Pettit?  (There is a James “Person” in the 1860 Union Co., SC Federal Census living next to a Blanton family.  It is possible this Blanton family was related to John’s wife Ruth Blanton and perhaps related to the Pearsons.)


Euphamy Tate Pettit

The inclusion of Euphamy Pettit is another interesting item.  The Bible record shows Euphamy Pettit was born June 25, 1831 –far too early to be a child of John Pettit born 1820.  When we look outside of this record we find John’s brother William Wilkerson Pettit (1828-1910) married a Euphamy TATE who was born around 1831.  This is undoubtedly the Euphamy Pettit referred to in John Pettit’s Bible record.  Her death date is also record as August 16, 1858 “in Allabama”.  John Pettit’s second wife who he married on December 13, 1849, was Susan TATE.  She was born March 25, 1830, meaning she was probably the older sister of Euphamy TATE.  John Pettit also record the death of an Elisabeth TATE on June 27, 1854.


Two of William Wilkerson Pettit’s Sons

John Pettit documented the births of two of his brother’s children as well.  Two sons of William Wilkerson Pettit and Euphamy, his wife, were listed as:

  1. John D. Pettit born December 3, 1851
  2. William M. Pettit born October 7, 1853

Both moved from South Carolina to Mississippi.


Loss of Two Small Children

John and Susan’s sons Thomas D. Pettit and Robert S. Pettit died within days of each other in May 1859.  Robert was 2 years old and Thomas was a few days shy of his first birthday.  They may have been victims of the great flu epidemic that struck the country from 1857-1859.


Susan Tate Pettit Died Following Labor

John’s second wife, Susan Tate, died on June 27, 1866, at the age of 36.  She had given birth to a stillborn infant two days prior and probably succumbed to complications from this tragic loss.  Here grave stone reads, “There are no partings in heaven.”  This same year John Pettit became a deacon at the Baptist church.


Last Child Stillborn, John Goes Blind

At the age of 42, John’s wife Ruth gave birth to their final child, a unnamed infant daughter.  She was still born on April 9, 1880.  According to the gravestone inscription for John, he had been blind for 18 years prior to his death in 1898.  This means John lost his sight around the time this poor baby lost her life.


William P. Pettit’s death

John recorded the death of his father William P. Pettit.  William died on March 16, 1858, “in the 66th year of his age”.  This matches the inscription on his gravestone found in the Pettit cemetery.

William P. Pettit grave stone in the Pettit cemetery near Cowpens, SC. Photo taken by B. W. Pettit in 2016.


John Pettit (1820-1898) Bible Transcription

Note: The record below is a copy of a transcription and letter sent by Dorris Pettit Altman in Myrtle Beach, SC to Hugh M. Fincher, III in Chapel Hill, NC.  It is dated April 1968.  It has been formatted for this website with no significant alterations to the transcription.  A scanned copy of the original can be seen at the bottom of the page but there is currently no known photocopy of the actual Bible record.

Cover Letter

From Mrs. S. B. Altman (Doris Pettit)

Dear Hugh,

The enclosed is what I copied from the old family Bible of John Pettit.  I copied it word for word the best I could make out.  Some of the writing, while beautiful to look at, is sometimes a little hard to read.  Hope this will be of some help to you.  The Bible is dated 1849.

I think Ruth Pettit in Gaffney, Edmund Pettit’s daughter, probably knows more about our family history than I do and might be able to help you if you need more information.

I was glad to be of help.


Dorris Pettit Altman

Family Record

Marriages [1 page]

John Pettit Woz

Married th 18…… 1846

To Maha Thompson
John Pettit Woz
Married December the 13th 1849
To…. Susan Tate
John Pettit Woz Married
December the 2 1871
To Ruth Blanton


Births  [page 1, column 1 of births]
John Pettit wz Born Sept the 28th 1820

Mahaly Pettit woz Born August the 1 1830

Susan Pettit wz Born march the 25th 1830

Basel Greenlee Pettit woz Born June the 17th 1847

James W. W. Pettit woz Born January 24th 1851

Frances Loucinda Elisabeth Pettit was born July the 11th 1852

Mary E. M. Pettit woz Born October the 11th 1853

John D. L. Pettit woz Born December the 27th 1854

Robert Stephen Pettit was Born March the 17th 1857

David Thomas was born May the 31 in the year of our lord 1858

Henry Joshua Pettit was born November the 15th 1859

Nathan Buaurygard March the 15th in the year of our lord 1861

Hosea Dolphus was born May the 3 in the year of our lord 1862


[page 1, column 2 of births]

James Y Pearson was Bornd October the 25th 1806

J. P. Burnett was born April the 13th 1823


Joseph Columbus Pettit was Boarnd December 12th 1863

John Jackson Pettitt was Bornd February the 11 1865

[rest of column is empty]


[page 2, column 1 of births]

Euphamy Pettit woz born June the 25th 1831

John D. Pettit woz born December 3, 1851

William M. Pettit woz Born October the 7th 1853

[rest of column is empty]


[page 2, column 2 of births]

John Pettit was born Sept the 28 1820

Ruth Pettit was born January the 16, 1836

Sarah Ada Lissa Pettit was born Nov the 11 1872

Mahala Ann Pettit was born May the 3 1874

Edmund Pettit was born December the 28 1875

Nancy Delilah Pettit was born Oct the 22 1877

Hamlet Benjamin Pettit was born Oct the 23 1877

Rachel Pettit was born June 15 1879

Infant Dead born April the 9 1880 a Daughter


Deaths [column 1]

Mahala Pettit Died March The 4th 1848

John D. L. Pettit Died June The 26 1856

Wm P. Pettit Died March The 16 in the 66 year of his age 1858

Elisabeth Tate died June the 27th 1854

Thomas D. Pettit Died May the 17th 1859

Robert S. Pettit Died May the 26th 1859

Susan pettit Deceased June the 27, 1866 Aged 36 yr. 3 m. 2 D.

Infant Ded Born June th 25 1866

Rachel Pettit died July the 12 1879 aged 28 days

Infant Dead Born April the 9 1880 a Daughter


[column 2 of deaths]

in Allabama

Euphamy Pettit Died August the 6th 1858

John Pettit Died January 12th 1898

Sara Adalissa Pettit Spencer Died Nov 24 1909

Ruth Pettit Died May 10th 1915

Joseph Columbus Pettit died January 18, 1936


PDF Scan Of Original Transcription

A copy of the original 1968 transcription can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

John Pettit 1820-1898 Family Bible Transcription from 1968

The John Pettit Bible’s Location Today

This Bible has not been seen since 1969 when it was in the possession of John Pettit’s granddaughter Doris Pettit Altman wife of S. B. Altman of Myrtle Beach, SC.  Dorris passed away in 1979.  Please contact me if you know where this Bible record is located so we can arrange to make actual photocopies of the family record.