Or, Subtitled: Entering the Thicket of Allen-Woodruff Kinship Ties
Dennis Lindsey Family Settles in Franklin County, Alabama
As I noted in my last posting, after Dennis Lindsey (1793-1855/1860) sold Benjamin Goodman 100 acres on Ferguson’s Creek in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, on 22 February 1827, he dropped out of Spartanburg County records. It seems likely to me that the land he sold was his homeplace and that he moved his family to Franklin County, Alabama, not long after this land sale. In an article on the Lindsey family of Franklin County in Olden Times of Colbert and Franklin Counties in Alabama, Beatrice Russell states that the Lindsey family came to Franklin County, Alabama, from South Carolina and settled in the Crooked Oak-Frankfort area of the county. This is in the north-central part of Franklin County, near the Colbert County line.
Not far across the county line in Colbert County is Crooked Oak Baptist church, near the intersection of highways 49 and 75 — known in this part of the county as the Frankfort and Crooked Oak roads. Attached to the Crooked Oak church is an historic cemetery in which descendants of Dennis Lindsey and Anna Woodruff, including their youngest daughter Amanda, are buried. About 8 miles south of the Crooked Oak cemetery is another historic cemetery nearer Russellville in Franklin County, the Hovater cemetery, in which other Lindsey family members, including Dennis’s and Anna’s daughter Melissa and husband William Henry Hester, and Melissa’s brother Robert D. Lindsey and wife Martha Susan Hester, are buried.
The earliest record I have found for Dennis Lindsey in Franklin County seems to confirm that he brought his family from Spartanburg County, South Carolina, to this area of Franklin County not long after he sold land to Benjamin Goodman in 1827. This record is a 15 May 1828 federal patent of 80 acres to Lindsay Moore (see the image at the head of this posting). The patent states that the 80 acres had been assigned to Lindsay Moore by William Moore, assignee of William Moore and D. Lindsay. It also indicates that the land was in township 6, range 12 west, section 14. As the helpful map above shows — it’s from a communities and maps page of the Franklin County page at the ALGenWeb site — this tract is southeast of Frankfort, just west of Russellville. The map is a map of township 6 range 12 west with section numbers included.
Family names that appear on this map — Hester, James, Malone, Sparks — are ones closely associated with the Dennis Lindsey family for generations. The Sparks family, in fact, came with Dennis and Anna Woodruff Lindsey to Franklin County, and descends from Anna’s sister Eunice Woodruff, who married William Sparks.
I have not been able to identify William and Lindsay/Lindsey Moore, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that they are related to the William Moore of Spartanburg County who was closely connected to the Woodruffs through his marriage to Hannah, daughter of Moses and Phebe Marsh Woodruff, and also to Dennis Lindsey’s grandfather William Lindsey. Whether the William Moore patenting land with D. Lindsay (who is, it’s clear to me, Dennis Lindsey) in Franklin County is that same William Moore or from a younger generation, I don’t have enough information to conclude.
I also don’t have specific information about the relationship of William Moore to Lindsay/Lindsey Moore, but I suspect it’s likely a close connection. Nor does the 1828 patent tell us how D. Lindsay and William Moore had acquired this land, and when they acquired it. The page at the BLM-GLO site providing information about the patent states that the “patent record [is] imperfect.” A search of BLM-GLO patents turns up no other patents by Dennis Lindsey in Franklin County.
What the patent does show us, I think, is that Dennis Lindsey likely moved to Franklin County not long before early 1828, and that he may well have come there with some of his wife’s Moore relatives of the line of William Moore and Hannah Woodruff. It also places his family, from the earliest record we can find for them in Franklin County, in exactly the part of the county in which we know from other records that Dennis settled. As I noted in my last posting, Franklin County’s early records were almost totally destroyed in a disastrous courthouse fire in 1890, making it difficult to discover information about this family in its first several generations in Alabama.
I have not been able to locate Dennis Lindsey anywhere on the 1830 federal census. I do find a William Moore in Franklin County on that census, enumerated next to a Moses and Joshua Moore on the same page with members of the Hester and Malone families who have long been very much linked to the Lindseys in Franklin County. Biographies of Moses Moore’s grandson Joshua Burns Moore (1826-1897), a Russellville attorney who opposed secession and represented Franklin County at the 1865 constitutional convention in Montgomery, state that Joshua’s father William Moore was a soldier of the War of 1812, and that William’s father Moses came to Franklin County from South Carolina.
Records of Dennis Lindsey Following Move to Franklin County, Alabama
Beyond the initial 1828 land patent mentioning Dennis Lindsey, I find very little other information in Franklin County records, which are, as I’ve just noted again, simply not there, for the most part, from the county’s formation in 1818 up to 1890, when the courthouse burned.
Records of federal land patents in Alabama from the Alabama Land Office (these are now held by the Alabama Archives) show Dennis receiving two land patents in Franklin County on 30 September 1839. The first patent was for forty acres in township 6, range 13 west, section 13. The second patent was for 20 acres in the same coordinates. On 12 October the same year, Dennis’s oldest son Miles R. Lindsey filed a federal land patent in the same location for 20 acres.
Dennis is enumerated on the 1840 federal census in Franklin County, with a household containing a male 10-14, a male 20-29, a male 40-49, a female under 5, and a female 30-39. On the same page are John Hester, brother to William Henry Hester who married Dennis’s daughter Melissa, Patillo Woodruff, son of Dennis Lindsey’s brother-in-law Caleb Woodruff, M.D. Kimbrough, and Blackwell Malone. The families to which Marmaduke Kimbrough and Blackwell Malone belong have had multi-generational connections to the Lindseys in Franklin and Colbert Counties, Alabama.
The older male in Dennis’s household in 1840 is Dennis himself. The age of the older woman in the household is somewhat under what should be Anna Woodruff Lindsey’s age in 1840. The 1850 census will show Dennis with a wife Amanda, born in 1830, but she is clearly too young to be the older woman on the 1840 census, so it seems likely that the older female in the 1840 census is Anna Woodruff Lindsey, that the census record has her age off by a few years, and that Anna died in Franklin County between 1840-1850.
The male in his 20s is Dennis’s oldest son Miles R. Lindsey, who was born about 1820, and the younger male is Dennis’s next son Robert D. Lindsey, who was born in 1829. The young female in the household is Dennis’s daughter Amanda, who was born in 1839. His daughter Melissa married in 1840 to William Henry Hester and is evidently in her husband’s household on the 1840 census.
The family of Dennis Lindsey appears again on the 1850 federal census in Franklin County. Dennis is listed as Dinnis Linsey, 57, a farmer born in South Carolina. Wife Amanda is 20. The census states that the couple had married during the year (that is, in 1850). Amanda, too, was born in South Carolina. No children are in the household. By 1850, all of Dennis’s children had married except his daughter Amanda, who is found in the household of her sister Melissa Hester in 1850.
Living next door to Dennis Lindsey on the 1850 census is his son Robert D. Lindsey with wife Martha Susan Hester, whose name appears as Mary on this census. On the same census page is the family of Dennis’s brother-in-law William Sparks, who married Eunice Woodruff, with several members of this family listed between Dennis Lindsey and William Sparks.
Dennis Lindsey also appears on both the 1850 and 1855 state census of Alabama. The former shows him with a white male over 21, a white male over 45, and a white female over 21. On the same page are Dennis’s brother-in-law William Sparks and several members of the Sparks family.
The 1855 Alabama state census lists Dennis Lindsey with a white male over 21, a white female over 21, and 1 white female under 21. This is the last record I have found for Dennis Lindsey. Since he is not listed on the 1860 federal census, it seems to me that he likely died in Franklin County, Alabama, between 1855 and 1860.
Final Notes about Dennis Lindsey’s mother Mary and Husband William Lindsey Allen
As I stated in my last posting, Dennis Lindsey’s stepfather William Lindsey Allen last appears on the federal census in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in 1820, and seems to drop from county records following his witness to a deed by John Pearson to Thomas Pearson on 23 March 1827. A number of researchers have suggested that he and Dennis’s mother Mary moved to Franklin County, Alabama, along with Dennis and Anna Woodruff Lindsey around 1827-8. I do not find any traces of William L. Allen and his wife Mary in Franklin County records, however, unless Mary is the Mary Allen found on the 1830 and 1840 federal censuses in Franklin County. The 1830 census shows this Mary aged 40-49, and in 1840, she’s aged 50-59.
I have no proof that this is Mary, mother of Dennis Lindsey. In order to have had a son born in 1793, Mary would have had to have been born by or before 1780, it seems to me. Allen researchers report William Lindsey Allen and wife Mary with a daughter Nancy born 4 August 1819, their last child. To have had a son born in 1793, and still to be of child-bearing age in 1819, seems to me to imply a birthdate for Mary by 1780 but not much before that date — so the ages given for Mary Allen on the 1830-1840 federal censuses in Franklin County, Alabama, would seem roughly to fit the expected age of Dennis Lindsey’s mother Mary.
If the Mary of these two censuses is Dennis’s mother, then it appears William Lindsey Allen died between 1820, when he appears on the federal census in Spartanburg County, Alabama, and 1830, when a Mary Allen appears on the federal census in Franklin County, Alabama — and Mary would have died, it seems, between 1840 and 1850 in Franklin County. A problem to be faced in identifying the Mary of the 1830-1840 federal census in Franklin County, Alabama, with the mother of Dennis Lindsey, however, is that Allen researchers show William L. Allen and wife Mary with four children born between 1814 and 1819, who would have been minor children in 1830, and should be enumerated in Mary’s household in 1830. The household of the Mary Allen found on the 1830 federal census in Franklin County contains only the free white female aged 40-49 and two enslaved persons.
It’s possible, of course, that these final four children of William L. Allen and wife Mary died before 1830; Allen researchers report only their birthdates, in fact, and seem to have no further information about any of them. One of William L. Allen and Mary’s children, a daughter Susan, who married Thomas Bragg, son of Peter Newport Bragg and Abigail Bruton, did move from Spartanburg County, South Carolina, to Franklin County, Alabama, where the couple are found on the 1850 federal census.
Allen researchers list the following children for William Lindsey Allen and wife Mary, all born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina — and, as I have noted in my last posting, it is not clear to me what document is the source for these names and birthdates: Mary C. (b. 25 December 1796); Nancy Jane (b. 11 November 1798, d. 1880, Lawrence County, Alabama, m. Zachariah, son of John Basil Leatherwood and Priscilla Calvert); Susan (b. 26 August 1800, d. 1850-1860, Franklin County, Alabama, m. Thomas, son of Peter Newport Bragg and Abigail Bruton); John W. (b. 15 February 1802); Sarah (b. 11 November 1804); William Shackleford (b. 20 March 1807, d. 9 November 1889, McLennan County, Texas); Elizabeth (b. 18 March 1809); Nathaniel (b. 17 June 1812); Hiram C. (b. 6 January 1814); James P. (b. 14 Marcy 1817); Spencer Bobo (b. 4 August 1819); and Nancy (b. 4 August 1819).
As my previous posting also stated, a number of researchers of this family have indicated that Mary, wife of Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1755-1795) and William Lindsey Allen, was the daughter of Spencer Calvert and Nancy Jane Leatherwood. In a query she placed in the publication Family Puzzlers in 1996, Marie Hand of Nacogdoches, Texas, a descendant of William Shackleford Allen, states that William’s mother Mary was née Calvert.
After having read Marie Hand’s query, I wrote her to ask for further information about Mary’s maiden name and sources for the information that she was a Calvert. On 27 June 1997, Ms. Hand replied, telling me that her source for this information was a family group sheet compiled sheet Ms. Berchie Cross of Courtland, Lawrence County, Alabama. In November 2005, I received an email from a Leatherwood researcher, Sharon Engle, who told me in this email, “I want to tell you that the widow of Dennis Lindsey who married William Lindsey Allen was Mary Calvert, daughter of Spencer & Nancy Leatherwood Calvert. Nancy Leatherwood, mother of Mary Calvert, is daughter of Zachariah Leatherwood and Mary Stone.”
Ms. Engle pointed me to an online family tree maintained by John Michael Allen, entitled “The John Allen Family,” which was at the FamilyTreeMaker site, but appears not to be online any longer. This site also reported that William Lindsey Allen’s wife Mary was the daughter of Spencer Calvert and Nancy Jane Leatherwood. The site focused on the family of John Allen and wife Elizabeth Lindsey of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, the parents of William Lindsey Allen. As it noted, John and Elizabeth came to Spartanburg County from Surry County, North Carolina, along with the Woodruff family, with which the Allens were intermarried. Minutes of Jamey’s Creek/Bethel Baptist church at Woodruff, South Carolina, show John being received by that church as a member on 18 September 1788.
John Allen’s estate file in Spartanburg County shows him dying with a will dated 8 June 1822, proved 15 March 1823. The will and estate documents show John with heirs William L. Allen, John Allen, Mary Woodruff, Susannah Pace, John Allen, Micajah Allen, Caleb Allen, Matthew Allen, Lucretia Allen, and Elizabeth Allen.
Three of John Allen’s children married children of Joseph Woodruff and Anna Lindsey, who were siblings of Anna Woodruff, wife of Dennis Lindsey (1793-1855/1860). John’s son James Allen married Mary Woodruff; John’s daughter Mary married Samuel Woodruff; and John’s son Caleb married Elizabeth Woodruff. These Allen-Woodruff marriages were, of course, first-cousin marriages, since Elizabeth Lindsey Allen and Anna Lindsey Woodruff were first cousins.
I have not been able to document that Mary, widow of 1) Dennis Lindsey and 2) William Lindsey Allen, was the daughter of Spencer Calvert and Nancy Jane Leatherwood. This certainly seems plausible, since Spartanburg County records show this Calvert family living near the Lindsey, Woodruff, and Allen families after Spencer Calvert moved to that area following the Revolution. County records show Calvert involved in transactions with the Bobo and Wofford families, both of whom appear in the records of the Spartanburg County Lindsey family from which Dennis Lindsey descends.
In his Revolutionary pension affidavit given in Caldwell County, Kentucky, on 20 May 1833, Spencer Calvert states that he was born in Prince William County, Virginia, served in the Revolution from that county, and then ten years following the Revolution, he moved to South Carolina, where he remained for twenty years before relocating to Caldwell County, Kentucky. Spencer Calvert’s tombstone in the Calvert cemetery near Farmersville, Caldwell County, Kentucky, indicates that he was born in 1759 and died 10 May 1839. His wife Nancy Jane is buried in the same cemetery with a stone stating that she was born 12 April 1822, aged 62.
In my next posting, I’ll provide information about the children of Dennis Lindsey and Anna Woodruff.
 Beatrice Russell, “Lindsey Family,” in Olden Times of Colbert and Franklin Counties in Alabama, comp. Joyce Dawson Mitchell, vol. 3 (May 1993), pp. 48-49.
 See the Hovater cemetery page at Find a Grave. On the Hester family, see Betty Jean Hester, “Hester Family,” in Historical Source of Colbert and Franklin Counties in Alabama, vol. 1 (Russellville: Franklin Printing), 1997, pp. 146-153.
 Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office, Credit Volume Patent Bk. 127, p. 238.
 See the biography of William and Eunice Sparks’s son Riley Sparks in Robert Leslie James, Distinguished Men, Women, and Families of Franklin County, Alabama (n.p., abt. 1930), p. 15. This source states that Riley Sparks (1811-1892) and his family came to Franklin County as early as 1820. According to Beatrice Russell, “Woodruff Family,” Historical Source of Colbert and Franklin Counties, p. 81, and “Sparks Family,” Historical Source of Colbert and Franklin Counties, p. 83, William and Eunice Woodruff Sparks are buried in the Sparks cemetery in Franklin County, Alabama. See also Patricia Cooper’s history of Sparks cemetery at the USGenweb site for Franklin County, which states, “William Sparks was born May 1, 1782 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His family came to Franklin County, Alabama in a caravan in the 1800’s.The Sparks family settled near Frankfort. William applied for bounty land. In 1850 he received a tract and another in 1855, near Frankfort, Alabama in Franklin County. He gave land for the Sparks cemetery, where he is buried along with a number of other relatives.”
 1830 federal census, Franklin County, Alabama, p. 43.
 See Thomas McAdory Owen, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, vol. 4 (Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1921), p. 1232; Memorial Record of Alabama, vol. 1 (Madison, WI: Brant & Fuller, 1893), p. 696; and Northern Alabama: Historical and Biographical (Birmingham: Smith & De Land, 1888), p. 431. Numerous records, including the files of the Southern Claims Commission, indicate that members of the Lindsey, Hester, Hovater, Sparks, and other families tied to the Lindseys were Unionists during the Civil War, though some men in these families were pressed into service and appear in Confederate records for that reason.
 1840 federal census, Franklin County, Alabama, p. 252.
 Patillo Woodruff is probably the P. Woodruff on the 1830 federal census in Franklin County (p. 29) listed near members of the Malone family. He’s buried in the Hovater cemetery in Franklin County.
 1850 federal census, p. 223, dist. 6, dwelling and family 774, 1 Jan. 1851.
 1850 state census, Alabama, unpaginated,
 1855 Alabama state census, p. 18.
 1830 federal census, Franklin County, Alabama, p. 54; 1840 federal census, Franklin County, Alabama, p. 248.
 1850 federal census, Franklin County, Alabama, dist. 6, p. 232 (dwelling and family 842).
 See Family Puzzlers 1463 (2 November 1996), pp. 16-17.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, estate file #292; Will Bk. B, p. 30.
 Revolutionary War pension application S30312.