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We are a 501(c)(3) - 100% of the donated funds are used for Palmetto Mentor!

Palmetto Mentor | 803.413.5704 

P.O Box 1381 Irmo SC 29063

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Historical Interpretation

        Teresa Bridgers is a direct descendant of one of the earliest American settlers, and she has traced her genealogical lineage all the way back to 1480 AD in Godalming, Surrey County, England. Her earliest known ancestor, Henry Brygger, actually lived in England during the reign of King Henry VIII. Henry and his son Rychard lived during the Tudor period in England, and they witnessed the Reformation in 1517. Father and son ran the Dye House and were major names in the history of wool.  Renown for the color and quality of their woolen cloth, they became wealthy merchants and carried the Queen’s Stamp on their wool.

         General Joseph Bridger was the great-grandson of Henry, and he left England in 1652 to be among the first settlers in America when he landed in Isle of Wight County, VA. The General was responsible for a multitude of military posts, functions, and accomplishments that greatly contributed to the founding of our new country - America! Because of her documented heritage, Teresa is a member of Colonial Dames of the Seventeenth Century, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Confederacy, the Greater Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Bridger Family Association. Teresa continues to study her ancestral lineage and enjoys telling interpretive stories and narratives to groups across the state of South Carolina! Here are some of her ancestral grandmothers that she interprets:

Marie Margery Elliott Brydgere was the wife of Rycharde Brydgere, who lived from 1530 - 1602 in Godalming, Surrey County, England. She and Rycharde had 4 sons; her second son, Lawrence, earned a Master's Degree in Theology at the age of 18 years old at Magdalen College in Oxford. Queen Elizabeth I invested him as Rector of St John Evangelist Church in Slimbridge in 1577. Lawrence was the father of General Joseph Bridger, who came to America in 1652. A visit with Margery will delight your audience with stories of the times and the people who lived in this period of English American history.

Hester Pitt was the wife of General Joseph Bridger; she was born in 1636 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, and died in January 1711 in Isle of Wight County, VA. She immigrated to America in 1652 with her parents, and she married Joseph in 1654 in VA. 

Hester is the epitome of the true American spirit. She traveled the high seas in search of a new life, starting completely over in a foreign world. She and Joseph cleared the path for millions of immigrants after her, creating the new land and government of what would become a free nation. A visit with Hester will help your audience better understand the challenges our forefathers faced.

Meet Faith Ruffin, beloved wife of John Bridgers, who lived from

1738 - 1784 in Northampton and Edgecombe Counties in North Carolina. Faith and John reared four children during the wake of unrest with the Mother Country, England, as settlers in America began to hunger for their own independence. 

Schedule a booking with Faith as she tells her story of courage, fear, and bravery from a woman's point of view during the Revolutionary War period.

Catherine Pender lived in Edgecombe and Wilson Counties in North Carolina from May 1817 to January 1896, married to John Bridgers. Catherine and John were Teresa's great-great-great grandparents, and from here forth, the Bridgers' family remained in Wilson County NC (and still do) where Teresa was born in 1969. 

Catherine and John witnessed the history of the American Civil War. They reared twelve children between 1832 and 1878, one of whom served as Sergeant Major, Company B, 2nd Infantry Regiment in the North Carolina troops and was one of the nearly 750,000 casualties of the war when he died in service in Washington DC.

While Teresa fully acknowledges and regrets the acts of slavery and the position of the Confederacy that tarnishes American history, she also believes that learning from our worst mistakes is vital to creating a better future. Catherine Pender is available to come speak at your event - please contact us!