Sumter Genealogical Society resumes meetings on Sept. 16


The Sumter Genealogical Society will hold its first membership meeting since its summer break at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St. Speaking will be Joseph Matheson of Camden.

Matheson's topic will be the "Eureka Stockade - Australia - 1854, The Legacy of Eureka." He said, "This is a very interesting prelude to our Civil War, which occurred seven years later. Everything we experienced between 1861 and 1865 also happened at the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat in 1854."

The Eureka Rebellion, a historical incident well known to Australians, involved gold miners who rebelled against the United Kingdom's colonial authority. The Battle of the Eureka Stockade that resulted during the conflict caused many deaths, mostly of the rebels.

Matheson will show the similarities between the Eureka Stockade battle and incidents that foreshadowed the American Civil War.

Joseph A. Matheson Jr. is a graduate of the University of Richmond; a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans; newsletter editor of the Joseph B. Kershaw Camp #82, SCV; and a member of the Hampton Legion Infantry of South Carolina.

The Sumter County Genealogical Society meets monthly from September through May. Visitors are invited to attend. Admission is free to the public, and refreshments will be served following the presentation. Those interested can join the society at the meeting. Membership includes nine monthly newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for a family. Call the society's research center at (803) 774-3901 for more information.