The Furman Family Papers are mostly dated from the late 18th to early 19th centuries and generally pertain to Richard Furman and his immediate family. Richard Furman was the youngest of three children born to Wood and Rachel Brodhead Furman on October 9, 1755. His siblings were Josiah and Sarah. Josiah married Sarah Hartman, and Sarah married Henry Haynsworth, the brother of Richard’s first wife, Elizabeth Haynsworth. Elizabeth was born on February 10, 1755, to Richard and Elizabeth Hesse Haynsworth. Richard and Elizabeth married on November 20, 1774, and had four children. Their first child died at birth in August 1775. Rachel was born on March 16, 1777, Wood was born on July 12 1779, and Richard II was born in July 1783. Unfortunately, Richard II died sixteen months after his birth. Rachel married Thomas Baker, and Wood married Hannah Bowers and later Laura Matilda Lyon. Elizabeth died in 1787.
Richard Furman’s second wife was Dorothea Maria Burn, daughter of Mary McDonald. She was born on March 17, 1774, to Samuel and Mary Glas Burn. Mary Glas Burn later married Charles McDonald. Richard and Dorothea were married in 1789 and had thirteen children together, two of whom died in infancy:
Richard Burleigh (1790-1846) – married Susan Bulline Keith
Samuel (1792-1877) – married Eliza Scrimzeour
John Gano (1793-1795)
Josiah Brodhead (1795-1842) – married Henrietta Dargan
Charles Manning (1797-1870) – married Jessica Rosalie Perpaul
Maria Dorothea (1799-1870)
Henry Hart (1801-1841)
Sarah Susannah (1804-1838)
John Gano (1806-1830) - engaged to Elizabeth Brisbane before his death
Thomas Fuller (1809-1856) – married Nancy Armstrong
James Clement (1809-1891) – married 1. Harriet Eloise Davis, 2. Mary Glen Davis
Ann Eliza (1812-1897?)
William Brantly (1817-1818)
Richard attended the University of Pennsylvania and became a doctor. Samuel was a Baptist clergyman and taught at the Furman Theological Institute. Josiah was a merchant before becoming a Baptist minister. He was also a professor at the Furman Theological Institute. Charles studied law and became a very successful banker. Henry was also a successful business man as a cotton buyer. John attended West Point and intended to be a lawyer after he completed his time in the army, but he died at the young age of 24. Thomas was a doctor for Fairfield County. James C. Furman was a Baptist minister and the first president of what would become Furman University. Richard and Dorothea’s daughters, Maria, Susan, and Ann, never married, but they were devout Christians and entirely devoted to their family.