Commemorating Winnsboro’s American Revolutionary War patriots

Bill, left, and David Ellison and their brother Robert (not shown) are direct descendants of the Irish immigrant Patriot Capt. Robert Ellison and his wife Elizabeth Potts Ellison. They and other family members spent time this summer cutting fallen trees and cleaning up access to their ancestors’ burial sites off Hwy 34, about 1.5 miles west of Winnsboro. | Barbara Ball

WINNSBORO – On Saturday, Oct. 28, a 300-year-old cemetery deep in the countryside west of town and the Fairfield County Museum will be the scenes of a daylong celebration of Winnsboro’s Patriots of the American Revolution. There will be a morning event in the formerly named Winnsborough community just west of Hwy. 34, lunch at the Fairfield County Museum, and an afternoon re-enactment of scenes from the American Revolution, complete with cannon fire, in the backyard of the museum.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. deep in the cool, lush Winnsboro woods south of Hwy 34W where The SC Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will host a grave-marking ceremony for Fairfield’s American Patriots buried on property owned by Spencer McMaster.

The graveside ceremony will honor four patriots: Irish immigrant Capt. Robert and Elizabeth Ellison, Major Henry Moore, and Samuel Weldon. Their descendants will honor the patriots by placing engraved granite markers on their graves.

Three of the Ellison’s descendants, Bill, David (Dee) and Robert (Bobby) Ellison, grew up in Winnsboro and will be in attendance.  David and Robert live in Winnsboro and are the last of the Ellison family descendants living in Fairfield County.  Bill lives in Lexington.

These three and other family members spent time this summer cutting fallen trees and cleaning up access to their ancestors’ burial sites about 1.5 miles west of Winnsboro. Some descendants will attend from as far away as Texas.

The ceremony will include a welcome, posting of colors, a dedication of the grave markers with several direct descendants of the patriots placing the granite markers at each of their graves to honor them.

The cemetery is located on Pine Top Road off Highway 34, about 1.5 miles west of Winnsboro. Directional signs will be posted leading to the cemetery.

Following the ceremony, a luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Fairfield County Museum which is located at 231 S. Congress Street in Winnsboro. Those planning to attend the luncheon are asked to RSVP to Museum Director Pelham Lyles at 803-727-5908 or [email protected].

At 2 p.m. that same afternoon a public celebration will be held in the backyard of the museum, where there will be Revolutionary War encampment scenes re-enacted by actors in period costumes. Both General Richard Winn and Lord General Cornwallis will be represented by re-enactment actors. There will be a number of displays of period items. Guns and a cannon will be fired as part of the ceremony.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]