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Lynah family history

Home > Family Tree > Dr James Lynah 1 > Dr Lynah 4

After a scrutiny he was advised the country parishes presented the best opening for a new comer. Then quitting Charleston, he finally selected and established himself in St. Stephens Parish, in a wealthy and respectable Huguenot settlement,(1) where indigo was then largely cultivated by the Gaillards, Porchers, Marions,(2) Ravenels, and other good families. In an interesting memoir from the pen of Dr. Samuel Debosque of St. Stephens Parish, published in 1858, Dr. James Lynah is thus alluded to "South of the road was the residence of Dr. James Lynah, a native of Ireland. From this place he attended to a large medical practice. Both this place and that of Mr. Couturier were to constitute a portion of Belle Island.(3)

"The above fact I had from my Grandfather, and that he was a neighbor of General Marion, where a firm and lasting friendship grew between them. He soon engaged in extensive practice, his rides traversing the adjoining parishes of St. John, Berkeley, and Goose Creek, even as far as Richland. Surgeons were scarce in those days. At this period his wife(4) and two children, (5) my father, Edward, being one of them, came over to him from Ireland."

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(1) It is somewhat surprising that Dr. Lynah should have selected this Huguenot settlement for the establishment of his practice since he was an Irish Catholic. It is possible however that since there were few Catholics in the colony at that time and no Catholic Church he did not let his religious preference be known. D. D. Wallace tells us in his short history of S. C. that Catholics and Jews were unmolisted though not legally tolerated. They were not allowed to vote until 1704 and it was not until after the revolution in 1784 that they were given the right to hold public office. The first Catholic mass was held in 1786. In 1787 or 1788 mass was held in an abandoned Methodist Church which had been renovated as St. Mary's Church. 200 people attended. It was this church that was for many years to be that of the family. Son Edward was interred in the Southeast corner of the church. His tablet is still mounted on the wall of the present St, Mary's Church on Hassell St. in Charleston.

(2) A letter and a note for 25 pounds from Francis Marion to Dr. Lynah are in the Georgia Historical Library at Savannah.

(3) Dr. Lynah during his life acquired and sold several tracts of land on the Santee. On one occasion he purchased 500 acres (Aug. 10, 1779) for 10,000 pounds and sold it Aug. 28, only 18 days later for 14000 pounds. This was during a period of high inflation in American money during the war. This property abutted the property of Mr. Couturier. RMC book S-5, D5 & Others.

(4) Wife Eleanor, 1734-113.

(5) Edward (1756-1831) from whom all American branches of this family are descended. James (1761-1816) who left this country and went first to Holland and later to the Isle of Man, where he died at Ramsey in July 1816.