The Children of Dennis Linchey/Lindsey (abt. 1700-1762): Elizabeth Lindsey and Husband Ephraim Clanton — A McLemore Footnote

Or, Subtitled: How the McLemore Connection Helps Explain Ephraim Clanton’s Link to Dennis Lindsey’s Family

This is a footnote to my previous posting about Elizabeth, daughter of Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1700-1762) and her husband Ephraim Clanton. In that posting, I showed you that when Ephraim arrived in Granville County, North Carolina, from Surry County, Virginia, soon after his arrival, he purchased 640 acres of land from Young McLemore. I also told you that, before coming of age in Surry in 1757, Ephraim acted as a baptismal sponsor for Harris, son of Levi and Elizabeth Gilliam on 12 April 1756. Also acting as a sponsor at this baptism was Burrell/Burwell Macklemore, a son of John and Faith Macklemore. John Macklemore’s parents were James Macklemore and Fortune Gilliam; Burrell/Burwell Macklemore himself married a Gilliam — Amy Gilliam.

My posting told you that the Clanton, Gilliam, and Macklemore families of Surry County were thickly interconnected. As I noted, the Surry County Macklemores descend from the James Macklemore and Fortune Gilliam who were Burrell/Burwell Macklemore’s grandparents. James had a brother Abraham who was father of the Young McLemore (the spelling that came to be standard for the family in Granville County) who sold land to Ephraim Clanton in 1761.

In my posting, I also wondered how it happened that Ephraim Clanton connected so quickly to the family of Dennis Lindsey after he arrived in Granville County, marrying Dennis’ daughter Elizabeth soon after his arrival. I noted Dennis’ close connections to Aaron Fussell, who came to Granville County from Bertie County, North Carolina, where Young McLemore’s father Abraham died in 1735/6.

As I look more closely at records of Young McLemore and his brother Atkins McLemore, who both settled in Granville County, I find more interesting information that seems to case more light on how Ephraim Clanton connected so quickly to Dennis Lindsey after Ephraim arrived in Granville around 1760. Before coming to Granville County, Atkins and Young McLemore had been in Northampton County, North Carolina. When he left Virginia, their father Abraham settled in Bertie County north of the Roanoke River in an area that became Northampton when that county was formed from Bertie in 1741.

I find Atkins selling to his brother Young McLemore 100 acres on the north side of the Roanoke in Northampton on 7 May 1753.[1] After that, at some point in 1754 (the deed simply reads “on this day” in 1754 without specifying a day or month), Atkins bought from Benjamin Ward 610 acres on the east side of Lees Branch in Granville County, with Sugan/Sugar Jones and Samuel Benton witnessing this deed.[2]

We’ve met Sugan/Sugar Jones before, in tracking records of Dennis Lindsey’s life in Granville County. After Dennis left Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and moved to Edgecombe County, North Carolina, his first land purchase there was a tract of 200 acres he bought from Edward Jones on 3 February 1744. As the posting I’ve just linked tells you, various sources indicate that Edward Jones moved from Gloucester County, Virginia, to Isle of Wight County, where he married Abigail Sugan about 1730. The couple then moved in the 1730s to Edgecombe County, North Carolina (later Granville, which was formed from Edgecombe in 1746), where they settled on Shocco Creek in an area that eventually became Warren County, while also acquiring land on Sandy Creek, where Dennis Lindsey settled.

Sugan/Sugar Jones was a son of Edward Jones and Abigail Sugan. As the previously linked posting also indicates, in 1754, Dennis Lindsey served in Col. William Eaton’s Granville County militia under Capt. Sugan/Sugar Jones. Also serving in that same militia unit were Dennis’ son-in-law Roger Thornton with brothers John and Henry, and Francis and Lawrence Strother, brothers of Jeremiah Strother, who settled next to Dennis on Sandy Creek.

And now we can add another significant name to this militia list: Atkins McLemore served in the same militia unit in 1754 with Dennis Lindsey, the Thorntons, and the Strothers.[3] Atkins McLemore was executor of Sugan/Sugar Jones’ estate when Jones died in Granville County in 1761, and not long after Jones’ death, Atkins married a wife Sarah who some researchers think was Sugan/Sugar Jones’ daughter — though Jones’ will names no daughter Sarah.[4] As McLemore-Jones researcher Jack White suggests, it’s more likely that the wife Sarah named in Atkins McLemore’s 15 September 1788 will in Warren County, North Carolina, was Sugan’s widow Sarah Franklin Jones, and that Atkins McLemore married her after Sugan Jones’ death in 1761.[5]

It’s significant that Dennis Lindsey and Atkins McLemore, whose brother Young sold land to Ephraim Clanton in Granville County in 1761, served in the same militia company in 1754. Since Ephraim had strong ties to Atkins and Young’s Macklemore cousins back in Surry County, Virginia, and since his first purchase of land in Granville County was from Young McLemore, Dennis Lindsey’s connection to Atkins McLemore from 1754 forward might well explain how it happened that Ephraim became linked to the family of Dennis Lindsey immediately upon his arrival in Granville County.

And there’s also this: when Atkins McLemore arrived in Granville from Northampton County in 1754, he bought 610 acres on Lees Branch. This is in present-day Warren County, and is in the Shocco Creek neighborhood in which the Thornton family tied to Dennis Lindsey by Roger Thornton’s marriage to Catherine Lindsey lived. Lees Branch runs into Shocco Creek just southwest of Afton in Warren County.[6]

When Young McLemore followed his brother Atkins to Granville County in 1757, his first land purchase there, on 6 October 1757, was a tract of 275 acres on both sides of Shocco Creek that he bought from Henry Jennings. James Nicholson and Young’s brother Atkins  McLemore (Adkins in the original) witnessed this land sale.[7] On 6 February 1762, Young McLemore acquired more land on Shocco Creek: he had a Granville grant of 543 acres there on that date.[8]

As Dictionary of North Carolina Biography’s article about William Christmas (see infra, n. 3), who laid out Warrenton, Louisburg, and Raleigh, North Carolina, notes, after Bute County was cut from Granville (it later became Warren), Atkins McLemore represented Bute in the North Carolina House of Commons in 1778-9. Atkins’s daughter Abigail married William Christmas, and, as I began to gather information about Atkins and Young McLemore in researching Ephraim Clanton, I realized that Atkins McLemore was already listed in my family tree, since the Christmas family is one of my own ancestral lines. Abigail McLemore’s sister Mary married William Christmas’ brother Nathaniel.

[1] Northampton County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. 2, p. 115.

[2] Granville County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. B, pp. 310-312.

[3] See “Granville County: Muster roll of Colonel William Eaton’s Regiment,” in “Troop Returns, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, RG 5864; digitized online at the state archives’ Digital Records Collection. See also the transcription in Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vol. 22: Miscellaneous (Goldsboro, NC: Nash Brothers, 1907), pp. 376-8. See also M. H. D. Kerr, “Christmas, William,” in Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, vol. 1: A-C, ed. William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: Univ. of NC Press, 1996), online at the NCPedia website.

[4] See Melinda McLemore Strong and Tom Strong, “Atkins McLemore,” at the McLemore Strong website.

[5] See ibid., “Sarah Jones,” citing a September 2016 email of Jack White, evidently to Melinda McLemore Strong and Tom Strong. A number of online family trees (e.g., Ray Gurganus’ “Descendants of Edward Jones” at the Our Family Tree Site) have Atkins McLemore marrying Sugan Jones’ sister Obedience Jones, but Atkins McLemore’s will makes clear that his wife was named Sarah and not Obedience: see Warren County, North Carolina, Will Bk. 5, p. 240.

[6] William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer (Chapel Hill: Univ. of NC Press, 1968), p. 5. See also “North Carolina Watercourses Listed by County” at the Carolana website.

[7] Granville County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. C, p. 367. As Melinda McLemore Strong and Tom Strong note, Young McLemore continued appearing in Northampton records up to 1760 or so, and this may indicate he was acquiring land in Granville before he moved permanently to that county. Young McLemore married Lucy Nicholson, who appears to have been a daughter of James Nicholson. James, who came from Surry County, Virginia, to Granville (later Warren) County, North Carolina, died in Warren County in 1793-4, leaving a will that is no longer extant. Young McLemore was executor of James’ estate and was paid an heir’s share of the estate: see Hugh G. Nicholson, “Nicholson Family of Virginia and North Carolina,” in Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 1, ed. John Frederick Dorman (Baltimore: Geneal. Publ. Co., 1981), p. 773.

[8] Granville County, North Carolina, Deed Book E, p. 154.

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