The Kaigler Family

The Kaigler Family
Historical Background

Charles I claimed the territory from latitude 360N to latitude 310N around 1629 and granted it to Sir Robert Heath.  Heath failed to settle the area, named Carolina after Charles I.  This land was inhabited by numerous tribes of Native Americans including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek and over 30 others.

In 1647, Charles I was executed and England was ruled by Oliver Cromwell and the Parliament.  There were no efforts to colonize until Charles II succeeded his father in 1660.  Charles II awarded Carolina to Lord Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the 1st Earl of Shaftsbury, and to seven others, termed proprietors, in 1663.  In 1669, Carolina was granted a constitution by the King with the ruling authority the being the proprietors.

The first permanent English settlement in southern Carolina was at Albemarle Point in 1670 and was governed by William Sayle. Conditions forced the settlers to move to what is now known as Charleston in 1680.  Governor Sayle died in 1671 and was replaced by Sir John Yeamans.  The settlements in northern Carolina were less successful than those in the south.  Given free transportation and land grants, many Dutch families migrated from New York To South Carolina in the early 1670's. Because of the distances between the settlements, the terms North Carolina and South Carolina came into use and in 1729 Carolina was split into two governments.  The Proprietors were forced by the King to surrender any claims to the land and North and South Carolina were formed each with separate Governor.

South Carolina officially became a crown colony in 1729.  European immigration was encouraged opening the area to settlement by the Germans and Swiss in the late 1730’s through early 50’s.  In 1737, Herman Geiger and Conrad Kinsler, German/Swiss immigrants, were among the early settlers in the area around what would later become the Saxe-Gotha township.  This was the frontier beyond which there were only Indians.  Herman Geiger was a well known Indian trader and acted as a go-between with the Indians and the Colonial government in Charlestown.  The Geigers had a sawmill which provided lumber to the new settlers.  There was a large influx of German/Swiss immigrants arriving in the mid to late 40's and many were poor with no chance of advancement at home.  In exchange for the cost of passage, they became indentured for up to five years to those in this area who could afford the £5 sterling.  The ship St. Andrew under Captain Brown brought many of the Saxe-Gotha settlers from provinces along the Rhine including Switzerland, Burden, Palatine and Wörttemberg.

Andrew arrived in the early 1750's and like Geiger and Kinsler began to buy up land.  One of the first Lutheran churches in the Americas was built on property donated by Andrew Kaigler and the Sandy Run Lutheran Church traces it's roots to that first church.  The pastor of that first church was Reverend Christian Theus. 

Andrew married Katherine Copplepower and had nine children.  Katherine was the daughter of (?) Copplepower and Barbara Oestman.  Andrew received a 100 acre land grant in 1754 and when Katherine's father died, she inherited 100 acres of land adjacent to their homestead.  In October, 1766 Andrew bought 170 acres on the southwest side of the Santee River and a half acre town lot from William and Catherine Baker for £660 ($8,100 in South Carolina money).  Andrew bought 400 acres on the south side of the Santee River in January, 1779 for £200 from George Lites and another 350 acres on the south side of the Santee River for 10 Shillings from Henry Patrick.  The total acreage would amount to between 1,100 and 1,200 acres.

The Kaigler family prospered.  In addition to the farming and weaving they furnished construction materials for the growing number of settlers.  In about 1787, after the Revolution, Andrew and Katherine migrated to TN.  Andrew Jr., and Catherine Saylor Kaigler moved with them.  It is curious that they moved away from what seems to have been a well established and prosperous beginning. They settled in Williamson County, TN. and had land grants #20 and #21.  Andrew Sr. and Katherine died in TN. around 1810. 

Andrew, Jr. and his family migrated to Williamson County, TN.  His daughter Margaret "Peggy" Kaigler was born in TN.  His daughters, Mary "Polly" Kaigler married James Shannon on 10/24/1807 and Margaret "Peggy" Kaigler married Jacob Holliman on 8/24/1808 in Williamson County, TN.  Andrew, Jr.'s son John D. Kaigler settled a tract of land east of Holmesville, Pike County, MS. before 1810.  In 1815, John Ogden deeded land in Wilkinson County Mississippi to Andrew and to William Kaigler of Tennessee. 
By 1818, the family had moved once again, this time to Wilkinson County Mississippi.  Elizabeth Kaigler was born in MS.; there is no date available but her mother was 47 when she died in 1806.  She married Jon Smith in Wilkinson, MS. on 11/14/1818. 

Michael Kaigler migrated to GA. around 1803 and settled in Macon County near Montezuma, GA.  His son Henry M. Kaigler was born in GA. on 6/25/1804.  Michael returned to Sandy Run, SC. where he died in 1814.  David, his oldest son, served in the 2nd Regiment, Benton's TN. Volunteers in the War of 1812.  David married Anna Barbara Crapps in 1811 and returned to SC after the war where he represented Lexington District in the SC legislature.  In 1837, he continued the southward migration and settled in Randolph, Terrell County, Ga. where he purchased about 3,600 acres.  He and Barbara had twelve children; five of their sons served in the War Between the States, including : Henry, William, David, Eldred and George.  Both Henry and David were physicians and graduates of The University of Pennsylvania Medical School.  William had the distinction of leading the last assault on enemy troops at Appomattox.  While bringing in 71 prisoners, he was confronted by General George A. Custer carrying a flag of truce.  Custer told Captain Kaigler to lead his men back to camp and to lay down their guns as the war was officially over.  See the entire story and more at 9.1.11.

more to come...


I became interested in the Kaigler family history as a teenager.  I did not know any of my relatives on that side and nothing about their origins.  In the early 70's, I got a copy of The History of our Family in the Southern United States and became intrigued.  I wanted to learn more.  The project sat on a back burner until the early 90's when I became acquainted with Betty Anne West Schauer.  She furnished me with a lot of new information and I became very encouraged.  I started the website in about 1997 and received encouragement from many of my distant cousins to continue the effort. 

In October, 1998 I visited the home of my seventh and eighth generation cousins, Janie Reid Kaigler West and her daughter Betty Anne West Schauer. They treated me with the warmth that I would expect from my immediate family. Cousin Janie died on my birthday, April 2, 1999.  It was a privilege to have known her.  I greatly appreciate their hospitality and willingness to contribute to my knowledge of the Kaigler family and to the development of this web-page.  One of their contributions is a picture taken at the
1940 Family Reunion in Columbia, SC.  For a numbered version with partial names supplied by Janie Reid Kaigler West Kaigler, click on Family Reunion.  An unnumbered version had previously been contributed by Vernon Kaigler Barton.

There have been numerous individuals who have documented Kaigler history. I have used as sources of Historical Southern Families, Volume X , compiled by Robert V. Parr of Dallas, TX., The Kinslers of South Carolina by W. K. Beckham and The History of Our Family in the Southern United States compiled by David A. Peterson and Bama Sellars Kosirnik. Other sources include History of Terrell County by Ella Christie Melton and Augusta Griggs Raines, from which I have limited excerpts, from the website of the Orangeburgh German-Swiss Genealogical Society edited and maintained by Gene Jeffries and from contributors to many other genealogical web pages including,, The University of South Carolina Libraries and  Harry L. (Hank)Spigner, Jr. compiled an early detailed accounting from which I have limited excerpts.

In late 2000, Ruth Price of Denham Springs, LA contributed a considerable amount of data dealing primarily with the descendants of Andrew Kaigler, Jr.  who settled in Mississippi. Her work is well documented and represents what is obviously years of dedication. We are all very grateful for her hard work.  A copy of her work may be downloaded by clicking on the following Microsoft Word Document MatKaigler.docx and saving it on your computer.

Numerous cousins have offered family pictures which I have incorporated in this document; they include Vernon Kaigler Barton, Jennifer Shipley, Sue Hubbard Griffith, Angela Kay Key, Dawn Kelley, Judy Morris Avrett, and Eric Thomas.

A special thanks to J. W. Richards who had researched families of South Carolina and offered documentation that cleared up my confusion concerning John Kaigler and provided a wealth of information.  There is some conflicting data presented in my holdings of these compilations. I have attempted to edit and blend the data into a meaningful dialog.  Hopefully, I have given adequate credit to each contributor.  Questions and corrections to the data on this website are welcome.

Please feel free to contribute copies of pictures and maps, stories about our ancestors and anything else relevant to the people, historical events and areas involved in our collective histories. I will welcome all contributions and all corrections and will gladly add them to this site.
This site should not be used as the authority or as documentation on the Kaigler family or any other families named herein.  While much of the data has been well documented some of the information has not been verified for accuracy.  The data on this site is provided as a helpful aid in your personal research on the individual family.


The current count of the descendants of Andrew Kaigler named on this site is over 4,000.

Commercial use of this data is prohibited.

Floyd L. Kaigler