Dennis Linchey/Lindsey (abt. 1700-1762): Post-Indenture Life in North Carolina to 1750 — A Correction of Some Errors


Detail from Compleat map of North Carolina, 1770, showing Sandy Creek
A detail from John Collet, J. Bayly, and S. Hooper, A Compleat map of North-Carolina from an actual survey (London: S. Hooper, 1770), in the North Carolina Collection Gallery at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

At the end of my last posting, I told you I’d move on to an account of the final decade of Dennis Lindsey’s life, ending with his death in Granville County, North Carolina, in August 1762. I now find that before I do that, I need to correct some mistakes I made in that previous posting. I’m going to point them out to you now, and I’ll also revise the posting itself to correct the errors, since others who may not see my corrections here may circulate or rely on that previous posting.

As I’ve been studying my records for the last decade of Dennis Lindsey’s life, I’ve realized that some of the land records I have for that decade and the period right before he died in 1762 are opaque. I’ve spent some days re-researching these records to see if I can figure out why they seem to have gaps and present problems I hadn’t previously considered.

This is, by the way, a perennial experience of mine as I work on family history. I began doing genealogical research in earnest in the latter half of the 1970s, and have accumulated drawers full of notes and documents from that period up to now. As many other family historians commonly report, when I go back over notes I took and documents I gathered in the past — sometimes 40 years ago — I notice important pieces of information I had not seen when I first gathered the material I’m re-reading. Connections I had not seen previously leap out me, since I now know more about many of my forebears than I did when I began my genealogical research.

I also discover that records I gathered in the past point to other documents I had not thought to search for when I first worked on a particular family or family member. In the case of Dennis Lindsey, I have long known, for instance, that he bequeathed 200 acres on which he was living on Sandy Creek in Granville to son Benjamin when he made his will in August 1762. And because one of Dennis’ first purchases of land in Granville was an acquisition of 200 acres on Sandy Creek from Thomas Owen in November 1746, I assumed — have long done so — that when Dennis states in his will that he was bequeathing to son Benjamin the 200 acres on which I he was living, he was bequeathing that 200-acre tract on Sandy Creek he bought from Owen in 1746. I assumed this because I knew of no other 200-acre tract on Sandy Creek Dennis had ever bought, and I knew from many sources that he was living on Sandy Creek up to his death.

Then, as I combed over land records in the past several days, it struck me: as we’ll see, the 4 March 1771 deed in which Benjamin Lindsey sells his Sandy Creek inheritance to Adam Pardue speaks of the tract being on “wateres branch” of Sandy Creek — a geographical designation absent from the land description in Thomas Owens’ 1746 deed of land to Dennis Lindsey on Sandy Creek.

“What’s that about?” I asked myself in the past several days — only to discover that I had missed a number of deeds to and from Dennis Lindsey in Granville deed books, some of which cast significant light on the question of where he was living at the time of his death. I had not known, for instance, that John Martin deeded to Dennis Lindsey 200 acres on Sandy Creek on 24 May 1749, a deed I’ll discuss in my next posting (as I will all the other deeds I’m now citing).

Nor had I discovered that his son-in-law Roger Thornton deeded to Dennis Lindsey on 24 July 1760 200 acres on the south side of Sandy Creek at the mouth of Waters’ branch, and this is the tract that went to Dennis’ son Benjamin and on which Dennis was living at the time of his death. I had also not known that Dennis sold the 200 acres on Sandy Creek he got from Thomas Owen in 1746 to James Strother of Culpeper County, Virginia, on 9 May 1761. Yet another Strother connection to Dennis: James is a first cousin of Jeremiah Strother, to whom Dennis seems particularly strongly linked….

So I need to correct the following statement I made in my previous posting (linked at the head of this posting) — and will do so in the posting itself:

On 17 November 1746, Dennis Lindsey (his name appears here as Dinis Lindsey) purchased the tract on Sandy Creek on which he and his family lived up to his death in August 1762, and which he bequeathed in his will to his younger son Benjamin.

It’s true that Dennis Lindsey got this piece of land from Owen on 17 November 1746. It’s not true that he lived on that land up to his death and bequeathed it to his son Benjamin. The land he willed to Benjamin came to him from son-in-law Roger Thornton.

I also need to correct my previous posting by adding to it information about John Martin’s May 1749 deed of another 200-acre tract on Sandy Creek to Dennis Lindsey, a deed that, as I say, I had entirely missed when I researched Dennis Lindsey’s land records in Edgecombe-Granville (and later Bute and Franklin) Counties, North Carolina, in years past.

John Martin again: why is he in so many records of Dennis Lindsey’s life in North Carolina? Why do the Strothers keep appearing in those records, too, and Aaron Fussell? There’s clearly more work to do here, which might need to involve collaboration with those researching these families connected to Dennis Lindsey.

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