[Quarterman Family History Project]
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Richard & Sybil Quartermain
   & Sybil
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Gen. James Screven
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Col. John
Senator John Elliott
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Commodore Essex Hopkins
Rev. Robert Quarterman
   Rev. Robert
Rev. Abiel Holmes
   Rev. Abiel
Oliver Wendell Holmes, MD
   Holmes, MD
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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Isaac Beckett
   Isaac Beckett
Amarintha Beckett
   Mary Amarintha
   Norman Beckett
Three Baker

Quarterman Family History Project

Amarinthia ``Renchie'' Norman (1770-1807)

From: Connie Sadler <csadler72@computermail.net>
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002 13:48:13 -0800 (PST)

For those Quartermans of the "Three Thomas" line (Thomas I, Thomas II, Thomas III), Renchie presents an enigma. If I were a novelist, I would jump on her story. She stikes me as something of a rebel. First she married young for the Midway group -- married Thomas at about 17. He died a year later. She married an older man -- John Elliott's son John would already have been in his teens, right? [17] -- and she was barely twenty. John Elliott died a year later, and next she married a -- how do we put this delicately? -- a YANkee!!:{ [Rev. Cyrus Gildersleeve, who was at the time pastor of Midway Church.] Surely she must have raised some eyebrows in her day. Then, by today's standards, she died young -- just 37. Her vital statistics raise a great many questions.

Incidentally, my genealogy projects for 2003 include tracing out the Normans. I've seen a great deal of chatter among descendants of Dochester S.C. Normans on the Norman genealogy message boards. They all seem to trace back to a Captain Richard Norman born in -- get this -- Dorchester, England. The family settled around Marblehead in Massachusetts. Some may have spent time in Connecticut before migrating to South Carolina. There were quite a lot of them in the Goose Creek area, perhaps even before others arrived. It's all sketchy at this point. Beyond the Three Thomas line, findng out more about William Norman, who went to Mass. to look for a pastor in 1684, may tell us all a little more about what went on behind the scenes to precipitate the migration.

I'll pass information along as I find it.


Epitaph, Midway Cemetery

In Memory of
Mrs. Amarinthia Gildersleeve
wife of the Rev'd. Cyrus Gildersleeve
Who departed this life
November 15th, 1807
Aged 37 years
She who in Jesus sleeps, beneath this tomb
Had Rachel's face and Leah's fruitful womb,
Abegal's wisdom, Lydia's faithful heart,
And Martha's care, with Mary's better part.

From: "John S. Quarterman" <jsq@quarterman.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 21:53:30 -0600

>>>She (Renchie) stikes me as something of a rebel.

>>Maybe, but if so her first husband was a planter,
>>her second a Colonel, and her third the pastor of Midway,
>>which in a Congregational community meant the man in charge.

> Maybe she wasn't such a rebel. Perhaps she just married well--
>by the standards of her society.

Very well, by those standards.

> Either way, she's an interesting character.

Evidently her contemporaries thought so too, judging by her epitaph.

"Had Rachel's face"

That's quite a compliment, and only the first of many.

Genesis 29, verse 11:

``And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.''

Jacob liked her so much he served an additional seven years so he could marry her.

"and Leah's fruitful womb,"

Genesis 29, verse 16
``And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.''

Leah also married Jacob and had many children.

Renchie Norman had an older sister, Mary Norman, who married first William Baker and second John Roberts. whom I think we've discussed at some length in this list before. Mary only had two children, while Renchie had ten.

"Abegal's wisdom,"

1 Samuel 25, verse 3:
``Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.''

She ends up marrying David. Renchie ended up marrying the preacher. Presumably the ``woman of good understanding'' is what is referred to by this line of her epitaph.

"Lydia's faithful heart,"

Acts 16, verses 14 , 15
``14: And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
``15: And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.''

Renchie's first husband Thomas Quarterman's father Thomas Quarterman was a deacon, so we may guess her husband was religious. (Interestingly enough, the father outlived him by many years, and had a second son named Thomas, who died in infancy.)

Her second husband was a Colonel. Her third was Rev. Gildersleeve, who was pastor 1791 to 1811, just after Abiel Holmes. We can infer a religious strain in her character, as her epitaph says:

"She who in Jesus sleeps, beneath this tomb"

"And Martha's care,"

Luke 10, verses 38 - 41
38: ``Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.''
39: ``And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.''
40: ``But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.''
41: ``And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:''

Note the implication in these verses that Martha was not only careful about doing things correctly; she was also apparently a woman of substance to be hosting Jesus and his entourage. Renchie as the widow of Col. Elliott probably was already a woman of substance before she married Rev. Gildersleeve.

"with Mary's better part."

Luke 10, verse 42:
``But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.''

Renchie must have been quite a character: beautiful, prolific, wise, faithful, careful, and attentive to the word, not to mention probably rich and powerful by the standards of that time and place.

Sounds like not so much a rebel as a paragon of all the virtues of that community.

John S. Quarterman

Last changed: $Date: 2002/12/08 03:21:11 $