Or, Subtitled: Land Deeded Before Being Granted
From 1790 to Dennis’s Death by 12 January 1795
In this next posting chronicling the life of Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1755-1795), son of William Lindsey (abt. 1733-abt. 1806), I’d like to focus on records pertaining to a 248-acre tract of land between Jamey’s and Ferguson’s Creeks of the Tyger River granted to Dennis in November 1792. This is the only piece of land I find Dennis owning at any point in his life — and it appears that, even before he acquired the grant, he had signed half of the land to George Bruton by a bond he made before the grant was made. Before we look at records about that piece of land, I want to remind you of some points I made in my previous posting, which are important to keep in mind as we look at records regarding Dennis’ land grant of 248 acres:
- The first (and only) land record I find for Dennis Lindsey is the set of records (survey, plat, and grant) for the land he acquired by grant in November 1792.
- Since it appears he had a son Mark born in 1773, and was therefore married by that date, it seems likely that, prior to acquiring land in 1792, he was living and farming with his father William — though he’s head of a household on the 1790 federal census, and this may well indicate that he had begun living by that date on the land granted to him in 1792.
- Prior to 1792, we know that Dennis sought to purchase 250 acres of land from Joseph Woodruff, since a note in Dennis’s Revolutionary audited account file dated 15 May 1786 shows him using his pay indent as partial payment to purchase that land.
- No records I’ve discovered indicate that Dennis ever acquired that tract from Joseph Woodruff. Woodruff had a survey for the 250 acres on 30 March 1785. The survey plat by Andrew Thompson shows the land lying on both sides of James/Jamey’s Creek — and mostly on the north side of the creek, between Jamey’s and Ferguson’s Creeks — with land of William Moore joining it on the southeast and of William Reeves on the west.
- A number of documents tell us that this Joseph Woodruff tract was very close to the land on which Dennis’s father William was living from at least 1773, in the vicinity of present-day Woodruff, South Carolina, land for which he had a grant in November 1774.
- A plat for James Wofford for 160 acres on Jamey’s Creek on 23 August 1786 shows Wofford claiming land adjoining William Lindsey, William Moore, William Reeves, Joseph Woodruff, and Wofford himself. Note the names Joseph Woodruff, William Moore, and William Reeves, keeping in mind that Woodruff’s March 1785 plat for land on both sides of Jamey’s Creek shows the 250 acres surveyed for Woodruff bordering Moore (whose wife Hannah Woodruff was Joseph’s cousin) and Reeves.
- The 1790 and 1800 federal censuses show Dennis’s father William Lindsey living close to Woodruff men (John in 1790, John and Samuel in 1800, both sons of Joseph) and to William Moore. All of these pieces of information show us that, in trying to buy the 250-acre tract from Joseph Woodruff in May 1786, Dennis Lindsey was seeking to purchase land in the vicinity of his father’s, on which Dennis himself and his family may well have been living in 1786.
- Joseph Woodruff (1751-1817) and his son Thomas were the founding figures in the history of Woodruff, South Carolina. A 28 February 1793 plat for a survey done on 16 October 1792 for Joseph shows his land right next to Woodruff’s church with Wofford’s road going through it. What’s labeled Woodruff’s church in this plat is a church of which Joseph and his father Nathaniel Woodruff were founding members, first known as Jamey’s Creek church, then as Bethel Baptist church, and today as First Baptist church of Woodruff. Joseph and his wife Anna Lindsey Woodruff are buried in the old cemetery of the church (the cemetery is called Old Bethel Baptist cemetery). Nathaniel is also apparently buried there, though his grave is not marked. The February 1793 plat for Joseph shows William Reeves’s land joining the tract surveyed for him on the southeast, with land already owned by Joseph on both the east and west of the tract.
- By December 1829, when Joseph’s son Thomas (1780-1868) had a plat for 863 acres at the site of what is now Woodruff, South Carolina, the plat labels Woodruff’s church as Bethel, and shows Thomas Woodruff’s house at the start of Jamey’s Creek (Jimmy’s on the plat) at the intersection of the Augusta and Buncombe roads, with the latter road passing by Bethel Church just up the road from Woodruff’s house. Thomas is obviously living where his father Joseph had settled, where the community of Woodruff then grew up at the crossroads of the two roads and the head of Jamey’s Creek.
1790 Federal Census
The 1790 federal census shows Dennis Lindsey as head of a household with a male aged over 16, a male aged under 16, and a female. Dennis is listed next to a Thomas Woodruff (1747-1829) who is not Joseph Woodruff’s son just mentioned, but a brother of Joseph. Thomas arrived in Spartanburg County at the same time his father Nathaniel and brother Joseph did, since the first set of church minutes for Jamey’s Creek church dated 16 September 1787 shows him being baptized on that date. Prior to this, in February 1786, Thomas is listed in Willis’s district in Surry County, North Carolina, on the North Carolina state census of 1784-7. On the 1790 federal census, Thomas, his brother Joseph, and his father Nathaniel are all enumerated on the same page, which indicates that the three Woodruff men were living near each other.
That Dennis Lindsey appears as a household head in 1790 seems to indicate that he and his family were living separately from William Lindsey by that date, though, as I’ve noted, I find no land records for Dennis prior to 1792. It seems to me possible that Dennis had begun living by 1790 on the 248 acres he’d receive by grant in 1792, especially since the plat and grant for that tract show, as we’ll see in a moment, that the land was bounded by Thomas Woodruff’s land.
The older male and the female in Dennis’s household in 1790 would likely be Dennis and the wife Mary who appears in his estate records and is, as I noted in the previous posting, likely not the mother of Dennis’s son Mark, but a subsequent wife. If a John Lindsey found on the 1850 federal census in Lawrence County, Alabama, aged 62 and born in South Carolina, is a son of Dennis — and I’ll propose some reasons for concluding this in a later posting — then he may be the younger male in Dennis’s household in 1790. If I’m correct that Dennis also had a son Mark who was born in 1773, then it should be noted that he does not appear to be in his father’s household in 1790 and is not a head of a household on that federal census. As I have noted in a previous posting, the household of Dennis’s father William in 1790 contains a number of male members whom I cannot identify. Mark Lindsey appears to have married his wife Mary Jane Dinsmore about 1793-4, since their oldest son Dennis was born 28 December 1794.
Dennis Lindsey’s 1792 Grant
The next record I find for Dennis Lindsey is curious due to its dating: on 10 January 1792, he made a bond to George Bruton, both of Spartanburg County, for half of the 248-acre tract that had not yet been granted to him. The bond notes that the grant had not been made. It states that the land had been surveyed by Andrew Thomson, and that it lay on branches of Ferguson’s and Jamie’s Creeks on the Tyger River and was formerly called Lockhart’s land. Dennis gave bond in the amount of ￡50 sterling to make to Bruton a deed for half of the 248 acres when he had received his grant for it. The deed was signed by Dennis Lindsey and witnessed by Caleb Winfro, William (mark) Pearson (mark), and Isaac Lindsey.
Who is this mysterious Isaac Lindsey who appears nowhere else in Spartanburg County records in this period? The William Lindsey (married Rachel Earnest) who is, I’m pretty sure, a brother of Dennis, had a son Isaac, as we’ll see in postings down the road. But Isaac, son of William (1760/1770-1840), was born in 1798, according to his tombstone and the 1850 and 1870 federal censuses. This Isaac is an older man. Nor is he an Isaac Lindsey who appears briefly in the 1760s in records of what would later be Spartanburg County, and who then left the area prior to 1770.
That Isaac is mentioned in a 17 July 1769 deed of gift of John Lindsey of Berkeley County, South Carolina, who deeded for love and affection the children of his brother Isaac, Ezekiel, Mary, and Jemima. This Isaac Lindsey disappears from records of the Spartanburg County region by 1767, when he brought men from South Carolina to hunt with him on the Rockcastle in Kentucky, which they are said to have named, and then down into Middle Tennessee, where they met James Harrod and Michael Stoner. This Isaac Lindsey was appointed one of the first trustees of Nashville.
Isaac Lindsey had a 14 November 1770 grant in old Tryon County, North Carolina, of 200 acres on both sides of the Pacolet River that later fell into South Carolina. This man is known as Isaac Lindsey the Long Hunter. He belongs to the line of Lindseys who have been classified as group 2 in the International Lindsay Surname DNA Study.
The Isaac Lindsey witnessing this January 1792 bond of Dennis Lindsey to George Bruton is yet another Isaac who is, I’m fairly confident, a son of Dennis Lindsey. As we’ll see when we discuss this Isaac later, he went to St. Helena Parish, Louisiana, prior to the War of 1812, in which he served, and he married Mary, daughter of John and Nancy Tate, a family that had also moved from Spartanburg County to St. Helena Parish, who were neighbors of the Lindseys in southern Spartanburg County.
Back to Dennis’s January 1792 bond to George Bruton: the record has attached to it the county clerk’s note that on 25 April 1796, William Pearson verified the bond and it was recorded, and on 17 October 1797, Dennis Lindsey’s widow Mary Allen renounced her dower interest in the land to George Bruton, with William Smith testifying that Mary was the late Mary Lindsey, relict of Dennis Lindsey. The renunciation of dower notes that Bruton owned 124 acres of the 248 acres granted to Dennis Lindsey in November 1792.
The fact that this release of dower by Mary Allen was made in October 1797, after Dennis Lindsey died in January 1795, suggests to me that the 1792 bond he had made to Bruton was being formalized as part of the settlement of his estate. This land still seems to have been in George Bruton’s hands in 1809, when Nathaniel Woodruff sold to Josiah Woodruff, both of Spartanburg County, 74 acres on the waters of the Tyger bordering George Bruton, John Brenton, and Josiah Woodruff, along with the northeast part of a grant made in 1792 by Governor Pinckney to Dennis Lindsey.
As I state above, the dating of Dennis Lindsey’s 10 January 1792 bond to George Bruton is curious, because the grant for this land would not be made until 27 November 1792. In addition, the bond to Bruton says that Andrew Thomson had already been surveyed by 10 January 1792. But in two separate records of the plat for the 248 acres, it’s stated that the survey was done by Andrew Thomson on 24 February 1792 — that is, after Dennis Lindsey made a bond to George Bruton for half of the land.
Both survey records state that the land lay between Ferguson’s and Jamie’s Creeks between the Tyger and Enoree Rivers. Each plat shows the 248 acres bounded north by Thomas Woodruff, east by William Mayzeck, south by Taylor, and west by Nathaniel Woodruff. Two wagon roads are shown going through the land. The plat recorded in the Ninety-Six plat book for plats North of the Saluda (see the image at the head of the posting) states that the land was surveyed pursuant to a warrant issued by 20 February 1792. I have not found the warrant for the land. The plat recorded in South Carolina Plat Book 31Q states that the 248 acres were certified to Dennis Lindsey (that is, the grant was made) on 27 November 1792.
The William Mayzeck whose land bounded the 248 acres granted to Dennis Lindsey on the east had a precept for a survey of 1,000 acres on Ferguson’s Creek on 1 December 1792. James Wofford did the survey and certified it on 27 March 1773. The plat for this land shows it being bordered on the west by George Bruton, south by Isaac Lockhart, and east by John Keighler. Isaac Lockhart is evidently the Lockhart mentioned as the former occupant of the 248 acres surveyed for Dennis Lindsey in 1792. John Keighler is the same John Keighler/Kissler who sold 250 acres on Jamey’s Creek to David Dinsmore, father-in-law of Dennis Lindsey’s son Mark, in December 1774. It should also be noted that a plat for David Bruton for land on Ferguson’s Creek surveyed 17 February 1792 shows the land being bordered on the south by William Mayzick and west by Thomas Woodruff (South Carolina Plat Bk. 31Q, p. 32). Put that plat together with the one done for Dennis Lindsey’s 248 acres a week later, and you’ll see that he and David Bruton — who was George Bruton’s brother — owned neighboring pieces of land.
I suspect that William Mayzeck never actually lived on the 1,000 acres he acquired between Ferguson’s and Jamey’s Creek in 1773, but that he was speculating in land in the upcountry while living in the South Carolina lowcountry. The Mayzick/Mazyck family was a well-known Huguenot family of Charleston descending from Isaac Mazyck, who arrived in Charleston in 1686 from France. William Mayzeck was not the only member of a noted lowcountry Huguenot family speculating in land in this region in this period. As the 16 October 1792 plat for 113 acres surveyed for Joseph Woodruff at the site of what became Woodruff, South Carolina, which I shared in my previous posting shows, Woodruff’s survey was bordered on the north by land owned by a member of the Huger family, another Charleston family.
On 12 February 1794, Dennis Lindsey made a bond to Richard Harris for the other half of the 248 acres granted to him in November 1792. As with his previous bond to George Bruton, the bond was in the amount of ￡50 sterling. The bond stipulated that before 10 August 1794, Dennis Lindsey would deed to Harris the other half of his 248 acres between Ferguson’s and Jamey’s (Jamie’s in the bond) Creek formerly called Lockhart’s land. Dennis signed the deed, with witnesses David Bruton and Ephraim Parmely. On 13 April 1795, David Bruton gave oath to George Bruton, and the deed was recorded 29 November 1795.
A separate Spartanburg County record dated 17 April 1797 shows Dennis Lindsey’s widow Mary Allen renouncing her dower interest in the 124 acres Dennis Lindsey had deeded to Richard Harris. The dower renunciation was done before William Smith, and was recorded 10 October 1797. Again, in my estimation, these renunciations of dower by Dennis’s widow Mary in 1797 were being effected as part of the settlement of Dennis Lindsey’s estate.
Ephraim Parmeley’s family had roots in the Presbyterian community of Westfield, New Jersey, in which the Woodruff family was prominent prior to its move to Surry County, North Carolina. Ephraim Parmeley’s sister Mary married John Sparks, and that couple had a son William who married Eunice Woodruff, a daughter of Joseph Woodruff and Anna Lindsey. Joseph and Anna’s daughter Anna married Dennis Lindsey (1793-1855/1860), son of Dennis and Mary Lindsey. Ephraim and Mary’s brother John Parmeley moved to Wayne County, Kentucky, as did Dennis Lindsey’s (abt. 1755-1795) son Mark — and as George Bruton also did.
I’m not quite sure what to make of the bonds Dennis Lindsey made to George Bruton and Richard Harris for the 248 acres granted to him. Much about Dennis Lindsey’s life and family remains murky to me — where he and his family were living from the 1770s to his death in 1795, why he seems not to have owned land and why he began deeding over the land granted to him even before he had received the grant, who his children were. My suspicion is that Dennis was in considerable debt up to the point of his death. His estate records, which I’ll discuss in my next posting, shows no land being sold by the estate or left to his widow and children.
The last record I’ve found for Dennis prior to his death sometime before 12 January 1795 is his purchase of a bay horse and bridle at the estate sale of David McCulloch in Laurens County, South Carolina, on 10-11 March 1794. As I’ve noted in previous postings, Dennis and his father William lived in southern Spartanburg County not far from that county’s border with Laurens County. Members of this Lindsey family sometimes appear in Laurens County records.
Next posting: Dennis Lindsey’s estate records….
 1790 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 20.
 P. 2 of the district census in the original: see Alvaretta K. Register, State Census of North Carolina, 1784-1787 (Baltimore: Geneal. Publ.Co., 2001), p. 145.
 1850 federal census, Lawrence County, Alabama, dist. 8, p. 419, dwelling/family 773.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. F, pp. 23-4.
 I’d like to express my gratitude here to the outstanding genealogist and lawyer, Robin Rankin Willis, who maintains the Digging Up Dead Relatives blog with her husband Gary Willis. Robin helped me decipher this legal document that had previously been murky to me.
 Tryon/Lincoln County, North Carolina, Will Bk. 1, pp. 45-6.
 See John Haywood, The Civil and Political History of Tennessee from the Year 1796 (Nashville, 1823], pp. 75-7.
 Ibid., p. 315.
 North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina, Tryon County file 389, grant 41, Bk. 20, p. 697.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. P, pp. 211-2.
 Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, Plat Bk. D (North of Saluda), p. 182; South Carolina Plat Bk. 31Q, p. 88.
 See supra, n. 12.
 The Family History Library in Salt Lake City does not have microfilmed copies of South Carolina warrants for this period.
 See supra, n. 12.
 See Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman, Richard Donohoe & Maurice Eugenie Horne Thompson, with Robert P. Stockton, The Huguenot Church in Charleston (Charleston: History Press, 2018), pp. 158-9. Re: the 1,000 acres Mayzeck acquired in 1773: he or perhaps a son also named William sold this land along with Isaac Mayzeck on 21 April 1803, with the deed noting that the Mayzecks lived in Charleston. The land went to George Bruton, with the deed stating that it bordered Bruton, Thomas Woodruff, John Keighler, Isaac Lockhart and others. Stephen and David James Ravenel witnessed, with the latter proving the deed before Daniel Huger on 22 April — Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. S, pp. 276-7.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. D, pp. 139-140.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. E, pp. 172.
 See Del Jackson, The Family of Moses Woodruff (priv. publ., Cincinnati, 1988); Francis E. Woodruff, The Woodruffs of New Jersey Who Came from Fordwich, Kent, England, by Way of Lynn, Massachusetts, and Southampton, Long Island (NY: Grafton Press, 1909); and William K. McKinney, Charles A. Philhower, and Harry A. Kniffin, Commemorative History of the Presbyterian Church in Westfield, New Jersey 1728-1928 [Westfield, NJ: Presbyterian Church, 1929).