Or, Subtitled: Documenting Lives with “Receets” and Tombstones
As I told you when I began my postings about William Lindsey (abt. 1733-abt. 1806), son of Dennis Lindsey the immigrant, I have not found absolute proof that the William Lindsey who claimed land in 1768 on the Enoree River in what was later Spartanburg County, South Carolina, is the son William named in Dennis’ 1762 will in Granville County, North Carolina. I am persuaded, however, that these two Williams are the same person, and in the posting I have just linked, I provided you with my reasons for concluding this — compelling ones, it seems to me.
Establishing a Date of Birth for Dennis Lindsey
There are, unfortunately, a number of gaps in the documentation of lines that, I’m confident, stem from Dennis Lindsey the immigrant. The lack of ironclad proof tying the William Lindsey of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, to the son named in Dennis Lindsey’s Granville County, North Carolina, will is one of them. As we’ll now see as we turn our focus to the Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1755-1795) who was son of that William — as my last posting shows you, records in the South Carolina Revolutionary audited account files of both William and Dennis prove that Dennis was William’s son — there are similar gaps when it comes to Dennis (abt. 1755-1795) and his descendants.
One of those gaps occurs when I try to document the connection between this Dennis Lindsey and a man found in Spartanburg County records who is, I am fairly sure, a son of Dennis. This man is named Mark Lindsey (1773-1847), and he’s my fourth-great-grandfather. I can very quickly document my line of descent from Mark to myself. There’s substantial documentation for each generation (see the descendancy chart at the head of this posting).
But when I try to link Mark to the Dennis Lindsey who died in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, sometime before 12 January 1795, and who was son of the William Lindsey who is, I’m very sure, son of Dennis Lindsey the immigrant, I run into roadblocks. Though Dennis (abt. 1755-1795) of Spartanburg County left estate records, these do not name his heirs other than his widow Mary. We know from court records in Spartanburg County that Dennis and Mary had a son Dennis (1793-1855/1860), and I’ll discuss him down the road.
But we do not know with certainty who the other children of Dennis may have been. For a variety of reasons that I’ll explain later, I have concluded that Mark Lindsey, who shows up in Dennis’ estate records as a buyer at the estate sale along with the widow Mary, is another son of Dennis, who was born to a wife prior to Mary — Mark (b. 1773) was twenty years older than the Dennis (b. 1793) who was son of Mary, and various sources suggest that Mary was born about 1775-1780.
My reason for belaboring these points about gaps in the Lindsey lines including my own, which almost certainly stem from the Dennis Linchey who came to Richmond County, Virginia, in 1718 as an indentured servant, is that Mark Lindsey’s date of birth is my basic rule of thumb for establishing the date of Dennis Lindsey’s (abt. 1755-1795) year of birth. We know Mark’s date of birth from his tombstone in the Lindsey family cemetery at Oakville in Lawrence County, Alabama, where he and wife Mary Jane Dinsmore are buried with Mark’s oldest son Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and wife Jane Brooks. The inscription on Mark’s tombstone reads,
Sacred to the memory of Mark Lindsey who departed this life April 10, 1847 in the 74th year of his age. Fare from affliction, toil and care / The happy soul is fled. / The breathless clay shall slumber here / Among the silent dead.
If the tombstone information is reliable (and I have no reason to doubt it), Mark was born in 1773. As we’ll see when we examine records of Mark’s life, James Edmond Saunders, author of the book Early Settlers of Alabama, who knew Mark personally, states that Mark and his oldest son Dennis were born in South Carolina. It’s clear that he was born, in fact, in Ninety-Six District (later Spartanburg County, South Carolina), since it’s not difficult to place his wife Mary Jane, daughter of David Dinsmore, in that county at the time she married Mark Lindsey. Mark and Mary Jane moved in 1800 to Wayne County, Kentucky, where they settled on land owned by George Bruton, who had gone to Kentucky from Spartanburg County, and to whom Dennis Lindsey died indebted, something I’ll discuss later.
All of this is a roundabout way of telling you that if Mark Lindsey was, as I am convinced, a son of Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1755-1795) of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, then Dennis would almost certainly have been born by 1755, given the 1773 birthdate of Mark. The first certain records I can find of Dennis in Spartanburg County are his and his father William Lindsey’s South Carolina Revolutionary audited account files, which indicate — as we’ve seen — that both joined Benjamin Roebuck’s Spartan militia in late 1780 after Charleston fell to the British and Roebuck organized a militia unit in what would later be Spartanburg County. This set of records further suggests a birthdate of about 1760 or slightly later for Dennis Lindsey, it seems to me. But if Dennis had a son born in 1773, as I think he did, then he’d have been born several years prior to 1760: he’d have to have been born by 1755, if he was a young married man of at least eighteen at the time Mark was born.
What We Learn from Dennis’ South Carolina Revolutionary Audited Account File
As noted in my previous posting, South Carolina Revolutionary audited account files exist for both Dennis Lindsey and his father William. These contain notes and receipts by both Dennis and William proving that William was Dennis’ father. Moreover, the two files tell us that father and son both served in the Spartan militia unit organized by Benjamin Roebuck in late 1780, after Charleston fell to the British in May. William Lindsey’s Revolutionary file has an account dated 27 June 1785 stating that he had been paid ￡3 2s 10d for militia duty as a private since the reduction of Charleston.* In a 7 May 1789 note in his account file, William Lindsey directs the Gentlemen Treasurers of South Carolina to pay his Revolutionary indent to Dennis Lindsey, stating that he had served in Col. Roebuck’s regiment.* A receipt in William’s file dated 20 May 1789 signed by Dennis shows him acknowledging receipt of this payment on behalf of his father.*
A similar note in Dennis’ file dated 24 October 1785 asks the “Jentelmen of the publick Treasury” please to pay his indent to “my Father William Lindsey and his Receet shall be good for the same from me Sarvis Done in Col. Robucks Ridgment.”* As with his father’s file, Dennis’ pay indent states that he was being paid for service “since the reduction of Charlestown”: for this service, Dennis was issued on 22 June 1785 an indent for ￡7 5s 8½d. Another document in the file states that Dennis’ service records had been returned to the state treasury by Col. Anderson.
This is Robert Anderson, who served under General Andrew Pickens. As I noted in my last posting, Benjamin Roebuck’s militia unit was at Cowpens in January 1781, where Roebuck and his unit were under Pickens’ command. Robert Anderson was Pickens’ second in command. Anderson was Pickens’ neighbor in Pendleton District, later Anderson County — the county was, in fact, named for Anderson. The two families would be connected by marriage down the road when two of Robert Anderson’s grandchildren married grandchildren of Andrew Pickens.
Dennis’ file shows his father William Lindsey collecting the ￡7 5s 8½d owed to his son on 22 June 1785.* Another receipt dated 4 November 1785 states that William had received 10s 2d interest on his son’s indent on that date.*
A set of interesting documents in Dennis’ audited account file show him on 15 May 1786 signing over $25 of his pay indent to Joseph Woodruff to pay for 250 acres of land, and on the same day, signing the rest of his indent over to William Moore. Also in the file are two very faint receipts of Burwell Thompson dated 10 June 1786 stating that he had received ￡7 5s 8d that Dennis Lindsey had assigned to Joseph Woodruff as part payment on 250 acres. If I am reading Thompson’s receipt correctly (and it’s very faint and not easy to read), the note Dennis Lindsey had made to Woodruff then went to William Moore, who used it as payment of a debt to Burwell Thompson. On the same date — 10 June 1786 — Thompson also signed a receipt for the 10s 2d William Lindsey had collected on behalf of his son on 4 November 1785.
As I noted in my previous posting, on the 1790 federal census, Dennis’ father William Lindsey is enumerated beside John Woodruff (Joseph Woodruff’s brother) and William Moore. I also noted that in 1800, William Lindsey appears on the federal census near John and Samuel Woodruff (another of Joseph’s brothers) and, again, William Moore.
In my next posting, I’ll tell you what I think a pastiche of land records tells us about Dennis Lindsey’s life from the Revolution to just before 1790.
*A digital image is at the link I have just provided.
 James Edmond Saunders, Early Settlers of Alabama (New Orleans: Graham, 1899), pp. 122-3. The biographies in the book were first published by Saunders as a series of articles in Moulton [Alabama] Advertiser. The biography of Mark Lindsey is in Moulton Advertiser (16 December 1880), p. 1, col. 4.