Joseph Ioor, Captain of 1st SC Continental Regiment

Joseph Ioor, Captain of 1st SC Continental Regiment. Joseph Ioor was first commissioned Lieutenant on 17 June 1775 and promoted to Captain in May 1776. According to an entry in Captain Robert Parker Saunders’ Order Book of the 1st SC Regiment dated at “Charles Town” on 23 January 1778; one Captain, one Subaltern (Lieutenant), two Sergeants and forty-eight “Rank & file” from the regiment were to “go on Board the Randolph tomorrow morning as was ordered before”. Based on a letter from John Wells, Jr. to Henry Laurens dated 17 February 1778, it is known that two Lieutenants from South Carolina entered as Subalterns on the Randolph. Apparently, Captain Joseph Ioor volunteered to command the guard entering on board the frigate Randolph to serve as a Marine contingent. According to some geneological sources, Joseph Ioor was born at Dorchester, SC in 1744 to John Ioor, Sr. (1722-1772) and Mary Wallace (1728-1785), the second of three sons and one of five children. According to those sources, his mother Mary was the daughter of a British Army colonel stationed at Dorchester about 45 miles inland from Charleston. Family tradition suggests the Ioors were French Huguenots who fled to Holland and then as Dutch converts left Leyden for Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, later relocating to low country South Carolina and Georgia.

According to the will of John Ioor, Sr.  of St. George’s Parish written in 1768, proved in 1772 and recorded in Will Book 14, Page 33; the wife of Joseph’s father was not Mary Wallace but Catherine and Joseph was one of six children- John, George, Catharine, Joseph, Sarah and Mary. The fact that John Ioor, Sr. was married to Catherine in 1768, that all six children were born before that time and that Mary Wallace died in 1785 would seem to preclude her from being the mother of any of the Ioor children. Joseph Ioor’s will proved on 12 June 1783 and recorded in Will Book 20, Page 174 clearly identifies himself as Captain in the 1st South Carolina Regiment and names his brothers John and George as executors. His will directs that his “whole estate be sold” and to “give to my good friend Joseph Elliott of the first Reg’t of South Carolina all my wearing Apparel and seven hundred pounds.” The remainder of his estate was to be left to “my Sisters Sarah and Mary”. Unfortunately his good friend Captain Joseph Elliott would follow him into death just three years later in late Spring 1781. Joseph Ioor’s will was witnessed by Sim[p]son Theus, Ebenezer Simmons and Ebenezer Roche. Simmons, one of Ioor’s Lieutenant’s on board the frigate Randolph, would also lose his life in the explosion on 7 March 1778. The captain’s nephew, son of his younger sister Mary (1756-1814) and Joseph Waring, was named Joseph Ioor Waring (1795-1852) in his honor. Another nephew William Ioor MD (1780-1850), son of the Captain’s oldest brother John and his wife Elizabeth Bradwell, would write the first play authored by a South Carolina native entitled “The Battle for Eutaw Springs”. Captain Joseph Ioor’s other brother George married Frances Guignard and owned a plantation named Clermont near Statesburg, SC.

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