Or, Subtitled: Minor Children Who Remain Mysteries
As we have gone through the list of the children Dennis Lindsey names in his August 1762 Granville County, North Carolina, will, I’ve now told you what I know of Dennis’ daughter Catherine (married Roger Thornton), Margaret (married Robert Phillips, I’ve concluded), and Elizabeth (married Ephraim Clanton). As I’ve also indicated, I plan to finish this discussion with information about Dennis’ son William, about whom I have a substantial amount of documentation. About Margaret and Elizabeth, I know nothing more than their names from Dennis’ will and their husbands, if I have matched these two daughters to the correct sons-in-law named in Dennis’ will.
This leaves the three children who were minors at the time the will was made: Benjamin, Mary, and Winney (i.e., Winifred). Unless I misunderstand North Carolina law of the mid-18th century, children were considered minors up to the age of 16. If I’m correct in thinking that young people came of age in this period in North Carolina when they reached 16 years, then Dennis Lindsey’s three minor children would all have been born after 1746. We know from Dennis’ will that Benjamin was not yet 18 when the will was written. By March 1771, he had reached the age of 18, as we’ll see in a moment. This places his birth between 1744 and 1753 and likely closer to 1753 than to 1744.
The will states explicitly that both Mary and Winney were not yet 16 by August 1762. It directs that Robert Phillips and his wife should take Mary to live with them, and when she had reached the age of 16 or had married, she was to have free use of her property. The same stipulations are made in Winney’s case, with a directive to Ephraim Clanton and his wife to assume the role of caring for her until she had become 16 or had married.
This is the sum total of what I have been able to discover about Mary and Winney — the arrangements their father’s will makes for their care as minors, and a list of items the will bequeaths them (household goods, livestock). I have combed Granville County records (and then Bute ones, since Dennis’ land fell into that county in 1764) to see if I can spot any information about a Mary and Winifred who might match these two daughters of Dennis, and have found nothing. Note that Ephraim Clanton sold his land in Granville County in 1764 and moved to Camden District (later Kershaw County), South Carolina — I suspect he made that move by 1765 — so that, if Winney remained with him and his family until then, she may have gone to South Carolina with the Clanton family in the mid-1760s.
Robert Phillips seems to have remained in Granville County, and to have died there after his last listing on the county tax list in 1781. In March 1763, he sold 130 acres that Dennis Lindsey had sold to him shortly before Dennis died, and he appears on the 1762-1763 tax lists in Granville County as insolvent. I don’t find Robert owning any other land in Granville County. No record I’ve found about Robert mentions his sister-in-law Mary Lindsey.
About his son Benjamin, Dennis Lindsey stipulates in his will that Benjamin should live with Ephraim Clanton and be taught the carpenter’s trade by Ephraim, unless Benjamin’s brother William would choose to take Benjamin to live with him. Dennis bequeaths to Benjamin the 200 acres on which Dennis was living in August 1762, and gives the use of that land to Robert Phillips until Benjamin had reached the age of 18.
We can conclude that Benjamin had reached the age of 18 by 4 March 1771, when he sold the 200 acres on the south side of Sandy Creek to Adam Pardue (see, in addition to the two images immediately above, the one at the top of the posting). The land had fallen into Bute County by this time. The deed indicates that the land lay on Waters’ Branch of Sandy Creek, a detail mentioned in the description of this tract when Dennis’ son-in-law Roger Thornton sold the land to him on 24 July 1760. Benjamin Lindsey signed the 1771 deed by mark, with William Green and John Ballard witnessing. Ballard proved the deed at Bute court in November 1771.
By the time the deed was proven, Pardue had sold the land to Edward Jones, both of Bute County: on 2 October 1771, he sold the 200 acres to Jones, with the land description noting now that the land adjoined Turner Harris. A land entry dated 16 March 1778 for John Hawkins in Bute County states that the land Hawkins was entering was on the waters of Sandy Creek at Buckom’s Branch and Thornton’s Mill Creek, and that it joined land formerly belonging to Lindsey. I suspect the Lindsey land being mentioned here is not the land Dennis bequeathed to son Benjamin, though, but is the tract of 200 acres Dennis Lindsey bought from Thomas Owen in November 1746, and then sold to James Strother in 1761.
After Benjamin Lindsey sold his father’s land in 1771, I find no further record of him in Granville, Bute, or Franklin County (the county into which this land fell in 1778) records, or in the records of Warren County, which was also formed from Bute. I have found no records at all to indicate what became of him after he sold his inheritance.
Some researchers have claimed that Benjamin, son of Dennis, is a Benjamin Lindsay who had a grant of 527 acres in Camden District, South Carolina, with a survey dated 16 August 1784. That Benjamin Lindsay appears on the 1790 federal census in Fairfield County, Camden District, South Carolina.
This Benjamin is not, however, the son of Dennis Lindsey. The Benjamin of Fairfield County moved to Edgefield County, South Carolina, where he died testate with a will dated 31 March 1841, which was proven 9 October 1841. He filed a Revolutionary pension application in Edgefield County, giving an affidavit 5 November 1834, stating that he was 81 years old and had served under Col. John Winn in 1777, marching from Fairfield District, South Carolina. On 24 October 1839, William Jennings deposed in Newberry County, South Carolina, on behalf of Benjamin Lindsey that he settled in Fairfield District, South Carolina, when he was about 16 years of age, living beside Benjamin Lindsay and working for him.
Since Benjamin Lindsay owned land in Newberry County while living in Edgefield, in February 2008, I corresponded with Susan Grabek, administrator of DNA group 2 in the International Lindsay Surname DNA Project, about Benjamin Lindsay, knowing that members of Susan’s group 2 set of Lindsays/Lindseys had also gone to Newberry County. Susan has an outstanding website archiving information about her group 2 Lindsays/Lindseys, which is a very important resource for Lindsay/Lindsey researchers, especially those with roots in colonial Virginia and North and South Carolina, where many Lindsay/Lindsey lines have gotten hopelessly tangled up in accounts of these families.
Susan tells me that Benjamin Lindsay of Edgefield County doesn’t belong to her group 2 Lindsays/Lindseys. In her view, Benjamin is closely associated with and perhaps the son of a David Lindsay who is found with Benjamin on the 1800 federal census in Newberry County, and who was aged 45+.
Researchers who have identified the Benjamin Lindsay of Fairfield and then Edgefield/Newberry, South Carolina, have also sometimes stated that he had a brother John with land near the land that Benjamin Lindsey of Bute County sold to Adams Pardue in 1771. The deed for that land sale makes clear, however, that the land Benjamin Lindsey was selling was the same 200-acre tract on the south side of Sandy Creek on which his father was living at the time of Dennis Lindsey’s death, which Dennis willed to his son Benjamin in 1762. And no son John was named in Dennis’ will or ever appears in records of his family.
 I’m basing this assumption on the fact that males were taxable after they had reached the age of 16 (and here), and hope that, if readers of this posting have more accurate information and I am not correct, someone will correct me.
 The deed gives Pardue’s name as Adam, but the will of his father John Pardue in Bute County, North Carolina, dated 24 March 1768, gives his name as Adams Pardue (Will Bk. 2, p. 52). Adams Pardue was the son of John Pardue and Sarah Adams.
 Warren County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. 3, pp. 334-336 (for Bute County).
 Ibid., Deed Bk. 4, pp. 125-7.
 Bute County, North Carolina, Land Entries 1778-9, p. 10, #35.
 South Carolina Plat Bk. 9, p. 130.
 1790 federal census, Fairfield County, Camden District, South Carolina, p. 159.
 Edgefield County, South Carolina, Will Bk. D, pp. 144-5.
 Revolutionary pension application S18082.