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McNeil and Richardson family papers

Identifier: AMN 1162

Scope and Contents

The McNeil and Richardson family papers encapsulates the lineage both families through the 1900s. The collection is made up of one box with nine folders. Series one focuses on the McNeil family, which includes family reunion booklets, scanned photographs, real estate titles, and the will of Daniel McNeil. Series two focuses on the Richardson family, featuring a family reunion book, and two real estate titles of Jane Richardson and Frederick Richardson. Series three concentrates on the First Baptist Church, which contains a booklet from the church’s 124th Anniversary.


  • Creation: 1904-2005, and undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930-1990

Biographical Note

The McNeil and Richardson families crossed paths and were united with the marriage of Jane McNeil and Toby Richardson in the latter portion of the nineteenth century. The union was the fourth marriage for Jane and second for Toby. Toby and Jane Richardson had two children together, Frederick and Susan, besides the six Jane brought to the marriage and nine brought by Toby. One census of the United States lists the couple as living in the country or township of James Island, South Carolina with the children in the household ranging in age from 1 to 15 years. The census also states that Toby was 60 years of age and Jane was 45.

It is unknown how Toby came to South Carolina, some sources indicated that he came from Virgina and say that he was enslaved by John Fraser of Savannah, Georgia, who brought him to South Carolina on June 4, 1810, to sell him to, John Richardson of Port Royal Island near Beaufort, South Carolina along with his two brothers Hector and Affy. Toby was living on James Island and had been widowed by the death of his first wife, Julia, by the time he married Jane McNeil. Toby was a farmer, fisherman, and carpenter. He was extremely interested in the literacy of the local Black children and was very involved in Brown Church located on Grimball Road which later renamed Cut-Bridge. Toby owned 24 acres of land on Sol-Legare Road, which he purchased from old man Grimball, and a farm on Scott Hill Road. He grew cotton, potatoes, and peas, as well as raised hogs, cows, chickens, and goats.

Jane McNeil’s father and mother, Daniel and Maria McNeil, moved to James Island from St. Stephen, South Carolina in the mid 1800s. Jane was born on James Island and grew up on Sol-Legare Road. Jane is remembered as a good Christian woman who worked as a field hand, housewife and devoted mother. Jane had been widowed three times by the time she married Toby Richardson. Her first three husbands were Isaac Singleton, Samuel Washington, and Mr. Webb. After Toby’s death Jane moved to New York with two of her children but made frequent trips to James Island to see her family. Jane McNeil Richardson passed away in 1938 at the age of 86.


0.2 linear feet (1 archival box)

Language of Materials



The McNeil and Richardson families crossed paths and were united with the marriage of Jane McNeil and Toby Richardson in the latter portion of the nineteenth century. This collection documents both the McNeil and Richardson families. The bulk of the documents in this collection are legal notes regarding land ownership and acquisitions as well as legal will claims. There also are multiple booklets of family reunions of both the McNeil and Richardson families, which list their known descendants.

Collection Arrangement

1. McNeil Family, 1904-2005

2. Richardson Family, 1931-1991

3. First Baptist Church, 1993

Inventory of McNeil and Richardson family papers, 1904-2005, and undated
C. Mateo Mérida
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States