The Children of Dennis Linchey/Lindsey (abt. 1700-1762): William Lindsey (abt. 1733-abt. 1806) (2)

Spartanburg County 1825 Mills Atlas Map, Library of Congress
Robert Mills, “Spartanburgh District, South Carolina,” from Mills’ Atlas of the State of South Carolina (Baltimore: F. Lucas, Jr., 1825); in the Library of Congress, call number G3913.S7 1820.M5, and digitized at the LOC website

Or, Subtitled: A Reminder of How Much We Can Learn from Migration Patterns and Land Records

Settling in South Carolina

By July 1768, William Lindsey was claiming land north of the Enoree River in what would later become Spartanburg County, South Carolina. For those interested in the currents of migration that brought early settlers to Spartanburg County, a good research aid is Frank Scott’s essay entitled “Migrations into Spartanburg Co.” at the SCGenweb site for Spartanburg County. As Scott notes, “After the French and Indian War, the Snow Campaign and a treaty that ceded the Cherokees’ claim to Spartanburg County, the area was finally opened to permanent settlement.” This brought an influx of settlers to the area between 1765-1770.

According to Scott, one migratory stream in this period came down an old trail used by native Americans that follows roughly the route of present-day U.S. highway 20 from Orange County, Virginia, to southern Virginia. This migratory stream then passed through Orange County, North Carolina, with settlers taking another ancient native American trail, the “Big Road,” through North Carolina and into South Carolina. Families who followed this migratory path into the Spartanburg County area in the 1765-1770 period were largely drawn from Orange and Culpeper Counties, Virginia, and surrounding counties, and included, Scott thinks, the Rhodes, Bobo, Robuck/Roebuck, and Wofford families, who settled in what became southern Spartanburg County on Two-Mile Creek and the Enoree River.

As we’ve seen in previous postings discussing Dennis Lindsey’s move from Virginia to North Carolina, a large percentage of the families with whom he interacted in North Carolina and near which he settled came to Edgecombe (later Granville, then Bute and Franklin) County, North Carolina, from Orange County, Virginia — and it appears that he himself was living in the portion of Spotsylvania County that became Orange County before he left Virginia for North Carolina. As I also noted in the first installment of this series of postings about Dennis’ son William, the land William first claimed in 1768 in the area that became Spartanburg County was in the southern part of that county just north of the Enoree River, and William lived in that part of the county from the late 1760s up to his death in the early 1800s.

Frank Scott also notes that, following the Revolution, there was another influx of settlers to the south Tyger River section of southern Spartanburg County, with many of these settlers coming from Culpeper County, Virginia, as part of a Baptist colony. In the vicinity of what would become Woodruff, about halfway between present-day Enoree and Roebuck, South Carolina, near the Tyger River, a group of Baptist colonists founded Old Bethel Baptist church, with the Bruton and Woodruff families playing a leading role in that settlement, Scott notes. As we’ll see, William Lindsey and his sons lived in this vicinity and had close ties to the Woodruff family. Michael Leonard writes, “By the time of the 1790 census, the section now called Woodruff in lower Spartan County included the Woodruffs and the Linsey [sic], Pace, Sims, Witton, Bruton, Page and several other families.”[1]

It should also be noted that, to encourage the settlement of the South Carolina upcountry in the 1760s, and to provide a buffer of settlers with European origins between the upcountry and the native peoples to the west, the colony of South Carolina had offered land from 1761 to 1768 under a bounty act that offered to pay the passage of “poor Protestants” immigrating to South Carolina from places like Northern Ireland and Germany, then to provide them with land and money to purchase tools, and to exempt them from taxes for a number of years. It was this offer that brought a neighbor of the Lindsey family, David Dinsmore from Ulster, in 1767 to the same part of what was later Spartanburg County in which the Lindseys settled. Dinsmore’s daughter Mary Jane would marry a grandson of William Lindsey, Mark Lindsey.

Lindsey, William, SC Plat Bk. 10, 226, 1768 Survey
Plat for William Lindsey, 300 acres north of Enoree River, 11 July 1768, South Carolina Plat Bk. 10, p. 226

The first record I’ve found for William Lindsey, son of Dennis, in South Carolina is his 5 July 1768 precept for a survey for 300 acres in Craven County north of the Enoree River. The survey of the tract by William Wofford dated 11 July 1768 shows that the land was directly on the north side of the Enoree, with two branches running through it that may be, I think Ferguson’s and Jamey’s Creeks.[2] The plat for the land shows Robert Bailey owning adjoining land on the south side of the Enoree.[3] Is he a member of the Bailey family that originated in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and then moved to Bute County, North Carolina, and from there, went to South Carolina?[4]

Lindsey, William SC Royal Grants 18, 231 (1769)
Grant to William Lindsey (Lindsay), 300 acres north of Enoree River, 7 March 1769, South Carolina Royal Grant Bk. 18, p. 231
Lindsey, William, SC Memorials 8, 446, 1768
Memorial to William Lindsey, 300 acres north of Enoree, 2 June 1769, South Carolina Memorial Bk. 8, p. 446

The grant for this 300-acre tract was made 7 March 1769, and gives William Lindsey’s name as William Lindsay, and a memorial was filed 2 June 1769, giving the same description of the land as is found in William Wofford’s plat in July 1768.[5] Unless I am mistaken, the system of grant-awarding that pertained in South Carolina in this period awarded 100 acres to each adult male of a household, and 50 acres for each other family member. If that’s the case, then it would seem that William Lindsey’s household in 1768 included a wife and three children. As we’ll see down the road, the date of birth I estimate for William’s son Dennis, who was apparently his oldest son, is about 1755. This suggests that William probably married in Granville County, North Carolina, by around 1754. His wife’s name appears as Rachel when William sold his 300-acre grant on the Enoree in October 1772, as we’ll see in a moment. This is the only document I’ve found naming William’s wife; I have not uncovered her surname.

William Lindsey Land Memorial to Jacob Pennington 1772
Memorial to Jacob Pennington, 300 acres from William Lindsey north of Enoree, 21 October 1772, South Carolina Memorial Bk. 11, p. 477

William Lindsey did not hold onto his 300-acre grant for very long. On 13-14 October 1772, he and wife Rachel conveyed this land to Jacob Pennington, per a memorial filed by Pennington on 21 October 1772, which states that the land had been conveyed to Pennington by William Lindsay and Rachel his wife on 13-14 October, and was a 300-acre tract on the north side of the Enoree adjoining Robert Bailey.[6] The memorial states that the land was on the north side of Enoree on waters of Broad River bordering Robert Bailey and the river, with all other sides vacant. The memorial was recorded with John Spurgin as the memorialist. As we’ll see later, this land then went through several changes of hands, eventually ending up back in the hands of William Lindsey’s son William and that William’s wife Rachel Earnest; it came to William by way of the Earnest family. The deeds for the land as it changed hands make clear it was in the southern part of Spartanburg County on the north side of the Enoree River.

Jacob Pennington had settled on the Enoree by 1751, and when troubles ensued between European settlers and the Cherokees in the South Carolina upcountry during the French and Indian War, he built a fort on the Enoree known as Pennington’s fort in 1760.[7] An act of the South Carolina legislature in 1770 shows him being commissioned by the legislature, along with William Wofford, William Hendricks, and others, to lay out and oversee a road from Hendricks’ mill on the Enoree to Fish Dam Ford on the Broad River.[8] This was part of what became the old Ninety-Six road.

Lindsey, William, SC Plat Bk. 16, 361, 1773 Plat
Plat for William Lindsey, 200 acres on a branch of Tyger River, 11 February 1773, South Carolina Plat Bk. 16, p. 361
Lindsey, William, SC Royal Grants 34, 120, 1773
Grant to William Lindsey, 200 acres on branch of Tyger River, 9 November 1774, South Carolina Royal Grants Bk. 34, p. 120
Lindsey, William Memorial, Bk. 13, 482, 1775
Memorial to William Lindsey, 200 acres on branch of Tyger River, 7 May 1775, iSouth Carolina Memorials Bk. 13, p. 482

After selling his grant on the north side of the Enoree to Jacob Pennington in October 1772, William Lindsey received a grant on 9 November 1774 for 200 acres on a small branch of the waters of the Tyger River in what became Spartanburg County.[9] This grant came to him by assignment from James McCain, it seems, who had a precept for a survey of the land on 2 February 1773. James Wofford surveyed the tract on 11 February 1773, with the plat showing that the land was vacant on all sides and was assigned to William Lindsey on 28 October 1774.[10] The grant also notes that the land had been surveyed for James McCain and then assigned to William Lindsey, and states that the land was on a small branch of the waters of the Tyger River and was vacant on all sides.[11]

Various documents concerning William Lindsey and three men in Spartanburg County records who are, in my view, almost certainly his sons — Dennis, William Jr., and John — suggest to me that it was on this 200-acre piece of land that William Lindsey actually settled and lived in southern Spartanburg County, and that his sons lived in its vicinity. The small branch of the Tyger on which William was living is, I’m fairly sure, Jamey’s Creek (a body of water that appears under multiple spellings in Spartanburg County records, including James’ Creek, Jamie’s Creek, Jimmie’s Creek, and Jemmie’s Creek), which is mentioned multiple times in land records of these men. As Robert Mills’ 1825 map of the county shows (see the graphic at the head of the posting), the creek runs across southern Spartanburg County from west to east, originating close to what is today Woodruff, which appears on the Mills map as Woodruff’s tavern, and then running into the Tyger just past Wafford’s (i.e., Wofford’s) Mill.[12] This area of the county is a few miles north of the Enoree River.

On 20 March 1817, the younger William sold Spencer Bobo “all the plantation and tract of Land where I now live supposed 200 acres,” with the deed stating that the land joined Bobo on the north, Brewton (i.e., Bruton) on the east, John Lindsey on the south, and John Crocker on the west.[13] The following year on 6 July, the Spartanburg County sheriff sold to Spencer Bobo’s wife Jane (née Farrow) 600 acres on Ferguson’s Creek in a suit of debt that Bobo’s estate had filed against Samuel Farrow. The deed for the 600 acres notes that the land joined John Means, David, John, and James Brewton, William Westmoreland, William Jones, Josiah Woodruff, William Hendricks, John Crocker, and Nathaniel Woodruff.[14] If this 600-acre tract was near the 200 acres the Bobo estate bought from William Lindsey in March 1817, then it seems likely to me that William Lindsey lived between Jamey’s Creek and Ferguson’s Creek, which flows parallel to Jamey’s Creek into the Tyger River a few miles north of Jamey’s Creek, past Bruton’s mill.

I think the 200 acres William Lindsey Jr. sold to Spencer Bobo in March 1817 had come to him by inheritance from the older William. I have found no deed for this land to William Jr. The younger William was the only son of the older William still living in 1817 (insofar as I can identify the sons of William Sr.). Dennis Lindsey had died before 12 January 1795 and John Lindsey had died before 7 March 1808, both in Spartanburg County. That left their brother William Jr. as the son inheriting their father’s 200 acres on Jamey’s Creek of the Tyger, I’ve concluded. The John Lindsey witnessing William’s 1817 deed, who lived beside him, is, I think, a nephew of William Lindsey Jr., a son of that William’s brother Dennis.

[1] Michael Leonard, Our Heritage: A Community History of Spartanburg County, South Carolina (Spartanburg: Spartanburg Herald and Journal, 1983), p. 52.

[2] William Lindsey’s petition for the land and the precept to survey it are in SC Council Journals for 5 July 1768, pp. 170-174.

[3] South Carolina Plat Bk. 10, p. 226.

[4] On this family, see Kennedy Bailey, Baileys from Bute (Fountain Inn, SC, 1995), p. 1.

[5] South Carolina Royal Grant Bk. 18, p. 231; South Carolina Memorial Bk. 8, p. 446.

[6]  South Carolina Memorial Bk. 11, p. 477.

[7] See John Belton O’Neill, The Annals of Newberry: In Two Parts (Newberry, SC: Aull & Houseal, 1892), p. 51; and George Leland Summer, Newberry County, South Carolina: Historical and Genealogical Annals (Newberry, SC, 1950; repr. Baltimore: Geneal. Publ. Co., 1980), p. 25. In emails to me on 29 November and 23 December 2008, Susan Grabek, administrator of group 2 in the International Lindsay DNA Surname DNA Project, sent me notes compiled by Rod Pennington, a descendant of Jacob, which show that Jacob lived in Spartanburg County. Susan Grabek tells me that her group 2 Lindsey line connects to this Pennington family.

[8] See David J. McCord, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina: Containing the Acts Relating to Roads, Bridges and Ferries, with an Appendix, Containing the Militia Acts Prior to 1794 (Columbia, SC: A.J. Johnston, 1841), p. 232, act 992, #9. Notes at the website of the Pennington Research Association available only to members (previously accessible publicly) contain further information about Pennington’s fort on the Enoree.

[9] South Carolina Royal Grants Bk. 34, p. 120.

[10] South Carolina Plat Bk. 16, p. 361.

[11] A memorial for this grant is in South Carolina Memorials Bk. 13, p. 482, and was filed 17 May 1775.

[12] Robert Mills, “Spartanburgh District, South Carolina,” from Mills’ Atlas of the State of South Carolina (Baltimore: F. Lucas, Jr., 1825); in the Library of Congress, call number G3913.S7 1820 .M5 and digitized at the LOC website.

[13] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. P, pp. 306-7. Spencer Bobo is buried in the cemetery of New Hope Baptist church at Cross Anchor, South Carolina, with a tombstone giving his date of death as 20 February 1816. His will was probated 5 July 1816: Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Will Bk. A, p. 89; estate file box 3, package 12. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that the deed from William Lindsey shows this land being sold to Spencer Bobo on 20 March 1817. Perhaps this was a deed made posthumously to secure Bobo’s ownership of land he had acquired from William Lindsey prior to his death.

[14] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. Q, pp. 68-70.

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