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Hi, Tonya,

Welcome to the list.

You've mentioned some interesting things.  Some of them seem to compress
the actual historical events into shorter timeframes than what happened,
but the spirit of them reflects aspects of documented history.  I wonder
what else you can tell us?  It's possible you may have pieces of oral
history that have been passed down independently of the written record.

>My father is a Quarterman.  His family is from Midway, Ga.  I was told
>that our last name was picked up from our then slave master, Reverend
>Robert Quarterman.

That's interesting, because as far as I know, he didn't own any slaves.
The oral history of my branch of the family, descended from him, says
that our Quartermans didn't own slaves, for one reason because they were
too poor.  I also don't think I've seen any documentation that says that
he did own any, but I'll go back and review his will and the like to see.
If you have any more information on this, it would be very interesting
to see it.

I think that Midway Church, however, did own one slave who worked for
the church.  Rev. Robert as the pastor would have been in charge of that
person.  So it could well be that oral history would remember him the
way you say.

For more about him, see:


>  From my understanding he was from France.

Actually, while his ancestors many years back may have been from
France, Rev. Robert Quarterman was born and raised in the Midway
community in Georgia.  His father and his father were also born in this
country.  His Quarterman great grandfather lived in South Carolina and
is usually assumed to have come from England, although we have never
succeeded in tracing where he came from.

Others of his ancestors were in Massachusetts as early as 1630 before
their descendants moved to South Carolina in 1695 and then to Georgia
in 1752.

There were people in the Midway community of more recent French Huguenot
extraction, however, such as the le Contes.

All these families were closely related.  So if what you heard about
Rev. Robert was regarding the Midway community as a whole, there is
some truth in saying that that community was partly from France.

There is much more about Rev. Robert's ancestors and his relatives in
our book, Quarterman Family of Liberty County, Georgia, and Relatives:

>Quarterman is French for "Four Hands".

That's the usual supposition, although unfortunately no documentation
has ever turned up as to the earliest uses of the name in France.  We
do know that the name Quarterman is the American spelling of the name
usually rendered Quatremaine in England, and that Quatremaines is
French for four hands.  We know this is the meaning usually ascribed to
it in England, because it occurs in some documents in Latin as
Quatuormanus, which also means four hands.

The Quatremaines of England mostly lived in Oxfordshire,
and first appear there about the year 1160.  They have always
been assumed to have been Norman French in origin, but no one
has ever succeeded in proving that, either.

There are English Quatremaines on this list, and perhaps some of them
will add more to this discussion.

The standard reference on the Quartermans of Oxfordshire is
 William F. Carter, B.A.,
 The Quatremaines of Oxfordshire,
 Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 1936.

Unfortunately, that book is very difficult to find.

>  The Reverend was one of the
>first slave masters to allow his slaves to congregate with him!

Here also I suspect what is remembered about the Reverend is actually
about him as representing the entire Midway community.  The Midway
community always had slave and free, white and black, as members of
the same church.  They sat in different places, it's true, with the
slaves in the balcony, but they were all members of the same church.
The Midway community was unusual in many ways, that one perhaps among them.

The basic books about the Midway community are Stacy's History and
Records of Midway Church and Myers' The Children of Pride; see:


I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

John S. Quarterman <jsq@matrix.net>
[ This is the Quarterman family discussion list, quarterman@mids.org
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