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David Gavin’s Diary


“The Diary of David Gavin”, which has been painstakingly transcribed by Mildred Heatley, who spent six years researching and transcribing the diary, has been published through the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society and is now available to the public in book form. The original manuscripts of this diary were salvaged from the trash bin by family descendants. The original remained in the possession of the family until 1946 when it was donated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where it remains in the Southern Historical Collection.

Gavin was a well educated man who practised several professions including teacher, attorney, surveyor, estate manager, land speculator and investor. Gavin also served in the South Carolina General Assembly from 1834-1843 and again after the Civil War in 1865-1866.

This diary is a “Gold Mine” of information for those who might be doing genealogical research. The diary index includes twenty-eight pages of people and surnames of those mentioned by Gavin. This listing includes citizens then residing in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and a scattering of other states and countries. Orangeburg, Colleton, Charleston, Jasper and Dorchester counties are highlighted in this journal. He maintained a listing of births and deaths in the local community.

Jim Way, one of the founders of the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society said, “A few paragraphs cannot begin to describe the degree of historically valuable, entertaining and interesting information provided in this noteworthy document. Even those who consider themselves uninterested in history will find this diary spellbinding.”

Available for $45.00 plus s/h.