Or, Subtitled: Yallow Mares, Mortgages, and Boom-Bust Fortunes of Alabama Planters in Depression of Late 1830s
Lawrence and Morgan County, Alabama, Records for Mark Lindsey, 1830 to Death in 1848
In this posting, I’ll continue listing records I’ve found for Mark Lindsey in Lawrence and Morgan Counties, Alabama, after he moved his family from Kentucky to Alabama in 1819. In my previous posting, I listed records from 1819 to 1830. This posting will focus on the period from 1830 up to Mark’s death in Morgan County on 10 April 1848.
In my last posting, I missed making mention of one pre-1830 document I have for Mark Lindsey, which I’ll list here: on 21 January 1828 in Lawrence County, Mark gave bond with John T. Hunter for Hunter’s marriage to Luvisa Bentley. As I noted in the posting I’ve just linked, John Hunter’s family is enumerated on the 1830 federal census in Lawrence County next to Mark’s; Hunter’s son William married Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey, daughter of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, and Margaret’s brother Samuel Asbury Lindsey married William’s sister Mary Jane Hunter.
That John Hunter used a middle initial T. as he applied for a marriage license is interesting. Important research done by Hunter descendants Darrell Hunter, Kelly Browne, and Robert McCain demonstrates that Clothilde Rawls Hunter, who married William Leslie Hunter, a grandson of William Hunter and Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey, is correct when she states in an unpublished manuscript about the Hunters, “The Hunters … originally were called Tod Hunters, but after coming to America, they dropped the Tod and just called themselves Hunters.”
The work done by Darrell Hunter, Kelly Browne, and Robert McCain makes it fairly certain that the father of John T. Hunter of Lawrence County, Alabama, was an Evan Todhunter, born in 1758 in Chester County, Pennsylvania, who moved to Franklin County, Georgia, and Franklin County, Tennessee. Up to the early 1800s, this family had the surname Todhunter, and then the name shifted in the first decades of the 19th century in some lines to Hunter. DNA work is showing that the descendants of Hunter families that almost certainly descend from Evan Todhunter match that of a Todhunter family in England. Prior to the move of John T. Hunter to Lawrence County, Alabama, his family was connected in Franklin County, Georgia, to members of the Brooks family that is thickly intermarried with the Lindseys of Lawrence and Morgan Counties, Alabama.
Evan Todhunter’s daughter Mary married Jacob Garner of Franklin County, Georgia. Jacob’s parents were an older Jacob Garner and Sarah Hollingsworth. Sarah was the daughter of Jacob Hollingsworth (1742-1821) and Mary Brooks, who was an aunt of Thomas Brooks, whose daughters Jane and Sarah married sons of Mark Lindsey.
Another very likely daughter of Evan Todhunter, Cassandra Hunter, married Thomas R. Brooks on 06 April 1826 in Lawrence County. Thomas was a son of James Brooks, a brother of Thomas Brooks (who married Sarah Whitlock). James’s wife was Nancy Isbell. Cassandra Hunter’s sister Elizabeth Hunter married Thomas R. Brooks’s brother Johnson H. Brooks in Lawrence County on 21 December 1834.
- On 19 January 1831, Mark Lindsey gave bond with Samuel Irwin for guardianship of Aaron Dutton in Lawrence County. This points back to the October 1826 appointment of Mark as an appraiser of Thomas Dutton’s estate in Lawrence County, of which Samuel Irwin was co-administrator with Dutton’s widow Mary: see the previous posting for information about this. Samuel Irwin’s family lived at Oakville, of which Mark’s son Dennis was a founder in 1833.
- On 18 February 1832, Mark Lindsey gave bond with Elliott Jones, Jeremiah Hendrick, John Brown, and William White for William Jones to assume the post of assessor and collector for Lawrence County. Elliott Jones is the Methodist minister of Wayne County, Kentucky, who officiated at the wedding of Mark’s son Dennis to Jane Brooks in that county in February 1813 and later moved to Lawrence County, Alabama. Several documents showing Mark Lindsey interacting with him in Lawrence County were featured in the last posting.
- In February 1833, Mark Lindsey again gave bond on behalf of William Jones to serve as tax collector in Lawrence County.
- On 20 May 1833, Samuel Irwin, Mark Lindsey, his son Dennis, Ezekiel Thomas, and George Keyes were ordered by Lawrence County court to appraise the estate of David Knott.
- On 10 December 1833, Samuel Irwin, Mark Lindsey, and James Kitchens, commissioners, reported to Lawrence County court the results of an election they had recently held for township 7, section 6, range 6 west. My notes about this election are not clear, and I find that the FamilySearch site does not have digitized copies of this volume of Lawrence County Orphans Court minutes, and the link to the digitized copy that is, I think, available at the Lawrence County archives site is not working. The date of the election makes me think it was likely a local confirmation of the decision of the Alabama legislature to declare Oakville an incorporated community. The town is at the coordinates given in this record. The legislature’s declaration of incorporation is dated 9 December 1833.
James Kitchens (1796-1868), who is named in this December 1833 record, was father of John Kitchens (1815-1870), an Oakville resident whose family was closely connected to the Lindsey family. James Dennis Lindsey, son of Mark’s son Fielding Wesley Lindsey and wife Clarissa Brooks, married Martha W. Kitchens, a daughter of John Kitchens and wife Sarah L. Mowry. William Burke Lindsey, son of Mark’s son David Dinsmore Lindsey and wife Sarah Brooks, married Martha’s sister Frances Tranquilla Kitchens. In a biography published in the Moulton Advertiser on 22 February 1911, Professor Charles Gibson Lynch states that John Kitchens was “one of the best men I ever saw. He was sober, industrious, honest, good to his wife and kind to his children, true to his God, upright with his fellowman, and lived a life that none could gainsay.”
Lynch notes that Kitchens lived at Oakville, as does S.W. Barbee in an article entitled “Old Lawrence Reminiscent” in the Moulton Advertiser on 20 October 1908 describing Kitchens as a man of industry and prodigious perseverance known for his courtesy and solidity of character. In a diary she kept as a schoolgirl at Moulton Academy, Frances Jarvis Torrence, daughter of Adam Torrence and Grizelle Caroline Matthews, notes that in 1855, John Kitchens was a business partner of Sylvanus Gibson, who married her sister Elizabeth Grizelle Torrence. In 1855, Gibson went to Arkansas to look for new cotton land and a port from which to ship his cotton. Kitchens accompanied him. Gibson died of typhus in December 1855 and Kitchens had him buried in Arkansas on a knoll overlooking the White River. In a diary entry dated 26 December 1855, Fannie writes, “Thank the Good Lord he [i.e., Brother ‘Sill’] had one good friend with him that stood by him to the end, that closed his eyes in death and administered to all his wants as far as it was in his power. Yes, I shall ever love Mr. Kitchens for his kindness to my dear brother and for the great consolation he gave us concerning his welfare and he is a man of truth. He will not lie. He is a good standing member of the Baptist Church well respected by all and all have confidence in him.” Margaret Jane Torrence, a sister of Fannie and her sister Elizabeth, married Thomas Madison Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks.
- On 25 December 1833 William and Elizabeth Reneau of Lawrence County deeded land in township 7 west, section 17, range 7 to the trustees of the Methodist church, who included Mark Lindsey. As James Edmond Saunders notes, William Reneau was Lawrence County’s second sheriff and represented the county in the Alabama legislature in 1835-6. The church for which the Reneaus were deeding land is likely the Methodist church established as early as 1818 in what would later become Oakville; see the previous posting on this church.
- On 10 January 1832, John Stewart, Mark Lindsey, and Benjamin Cooper indebted themselves by a promissory note to Nicholas Johnson. The estate papers of Johnson show his administrators Morgan Smith and Louis B. Taliaferro filing suit against Stewart, Lindsey, and Cooper for debt to the estate, based on this promissory note. On 21 August 1835, their goods were attached to satisfy the debt. This is the same John Stewart discussed in the previous posting, who petitioned in July 1827 with Mark’s son Dennis for a school to be established at the community that became Oakville in 1833.
- On 5 September 1835, Mark Lindsey bought from Daniel and Celia Sisk of Lawrence County the west ½ of the northwest ¼ of section 19, township 7, range 5 west in Morgan County, 80.64 acres. The deed shows Mark living in Morgan County. The deed was acknowledged on 5 September and recorded on the 15th.
- On 21 October 1835, Mark Lindsey was ordered by Lawrence County court along with son Dennis, Ezekiel Thomas, and Nathan J. Gallaway to divide the estate of Asa Hodges among Hodges’s heirs.
- On 23 March 1836, Mark Lindsey is listed as a creditor of the estate of Asa Hodges, with the estate account giving Mark’s name as M.W. Lindsey. As we’ll see in a moment, when a June 1838 promissory note of John Keys to James Leeper ended up in the hands of Lindsey and Gibson, a case of debt ensued with Mark’s son Fielding Wesley Lindsey mortgaging property to Mark in September 1839. The documents in this case file also give Mark’s name as M.W. Lindsey. Mark’s grandson Mark Jefferson Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, was born 9 October 1820, and begins appearing in Lawrence County records by September 1838 as someone who was then coming of age. On 22 October 1839, Mark Jefferson Lindsey married Mary Ann Harrison in Lawrence County. In my view, Mark Lindsey may have begun using his middle initial in some legal documents at this point to distinguish himself from his grandson who was also named Mark. I have seen no documents showing what the W. stood for. The fact that Mark had a middle initial W. disproves the claims of far too many trees and descendancy charts at Ancestry and elsewhere online that his full name was Mark Thomas Lindsey. I have never seen any document giving him that name.
- The estate papers of Mark’s son Dennis, who died at Oakville on 28 August 1836, show Mark at some point in 1837 (no further date is stated) giving bond with Major Richard Puckett in the amount of $20,000 on behalf of the administrators of Dennis’s estate, James B. Speake and Samuel Irwin. Speake was Dennis Lindsey’s son-in-law, husband of Dennis’s oldest daughter Sarah Brooks Lindsey. As James Edward Saunders notes, Richard Puckett, who represented the county in the state legislature in 1836-7, was Oakville’s “leading man,” and had made much money in the cotton-boom years prior to the depression period of the mid-1830s, when Puckett and others around Oakville who had extended credit far and wide went broke. Mark’s son William Burke Lindsey married Carolina Puckett, whose father Jared Puckett was a brother of Richard; Carolina had previously been married to Alexander Mackey Brooks, brother of Jane who married Dennis Lindsey and Sarah who married Dinsmore Lindsey. Brooks and Burke Lindsey were business partners up to 1838, when they went bankrupt and Brooks moved to Texas, leaving Carolina behind. The couple divorced officially in February 1843.
- On 1 June 1837, Mark Lindsey bought from the estate of his deceased son Dennis a saddle and an enslaved man named Daniel. A list of notes owed to the estate filed by Dennis’s administrators 9 December 1836 shows Mark among the estate’s debtors.
- On 13 May 1838, Samuel Brooks mortgaged property to Thomas Brooks, with Mark Lindsey entering into a deed of trust to hold the mortgaged property. The original deed of trust is found in Thomas Brooks’s loose estate file in Morgan County. It has the signatures of all three men. Thomas Brooks and wife Sarah Whitlock Brooks moved from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Morgan County, Alabama, in November 1836. Sarah then died 16 August 1837 and Thomas died 15 October 1838. Receipts in Thomas’s estate file in Morgan County show that their daughter Jane Brooks Lindsey cared for them in their final illness and that they died at her farm at Oakville.
- On 29 May 1838, Smith Harwell made a mortgage to Mark in Morgan County, for a debt of $500 he owed to Mark, with James Hogan acting as trustee (Morgan County, Alabama, Deed Bk. D, pp. 54-5).
- On 11 December 1838, Daniel M. and Eliza Hodges sold to Mark Lindsey land in Lawrence County, the north ½ of the northeast ¼ of section 24 in township 7, range 6. The deed describes all as residents of Lawrence County.
- On 24 December 1838, Elzey and Mary West sold to Mark Lindsey for $1200 the east ½ south ¼ and south ½ west ½ of the southwest ¼ of section 22, township 7, range 6 west in Lawrence County.
- On 15 April 1839, Alexander B. Williams sold Mark Lindsey for $800 80 acres, the west ½ of the southwest ¼ of section 32, township 7, range 5, in Morgan County. The deed refers to Mark as Mark Lindsey Sr. Note that Mark’s grandson Mark Jefferson Lindsey, son of Dennis, was of age by this point and would marry Mary Ann Harrison in Lawrence County on 22 October 1839.
I think it’s likely Mark was buying pieces of property in 1838-9 as the depression of this period was causing people to have to sell out and, in many cases, move away to start a new life.
- In the Morgan County loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks, whose daughter Jane married Mark’s son Dennis and whose daughter Sarah married Mark’s son Dinsmore, a promissory note from Mark Lindsey for $6, dated 20 April 1839, is to be found, as well as another undated promissory note for $2.
- As noted above, on 7 September 1839, Mark’s son Wesley (Fielding W.) mortgaged property to his father Mark in Lawrence County, with brother Dinsmore as security. Wesley was evidently indebted to Mark. I think that this mortgage is likely an outcome of a case of debt documented in Lawrence County loose court papers. The case concerned a promissory note of John Keys dated 1 June 1838 in the sum of $203.63 to James N. Leeper. Leeper assigned the note to Lindsey and Gibson, who filed suit to recover the debt through their attorney. There is also a loose court papers file with the original September 1839 mortgage signed by Mark and his sons Wesley and Dinsmore. As I noted supra, in the case file for the 1838-9 lawsuit, Mark appears as M.W. Lindsey, though he signed the 7 September 1839 mortgage with sons Wesley and Dinsmore as Mark Lindsey.
- On 31 January 1840, Mark wrote and signed a note to the estate of Thomas Brooks of Morgan County verifying a debt of $2 owed to him by the estate. The original note is in Thomas’s loose-papers estate file.
- On 17 June 1840, the estate of Thomas Brooks received a payment of $211.20 from James Brooks, Mark Lindsey, and H.H. Terry. The statement of payment has the signature of all three men. Two James Brookses were of age in Lawrence County at this time, and it’s not clear to me which of those two made this payment with Mark Lindsey and H.H. Terry to Thomas Brooks’s estate. Thomas had a son James R. Brooks (1818 – after January 1851) who married Jane Puckett in Lawrence County on 02 April 1840 and went to California to pan for gold at some point between June 1842, when he received a portion of his inheritance from his father’s estate, and 1850.
James Irwin Brooks (1813-1878), a son of James Brooks and Nancy Isbell, married Mary Jane Lindsey, a daughter of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, in Lawrence County on 25 February 1840.
- On 26 July 1840, Mark Lindsey and wife Mary sold to James Brooks for $4.84 80 acres, the west ½ of the southwest ¼ of section 32, township 7, range 5 west, in Morgan County. Mark signed this deed with Mary signing by mark. The deed was acknowledged 26 July and recorded 1 June 1842. I think this James Brooks is probably James, son of Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks. When Thomas Brooks’s estate was sold, James had bought a portion of his father’s land on Morgan County on 11 June 1840. Up to this point, Mary Jane Dinsmore Lindsey signed documents, including the 13 October 1819 deed in which she and Mark sold their land in Wayne County, Kentucky, as they moved to Alabama. It seems to me unlikely that she was illiterate; was she growing infirm in the final period of her life, and unable to sign her name for that reason?
- On 17 September 1840, Morgan County court appointed Milton McLanahan, John Lathom, Daniel Neel, Henry T. Pendleton, and Mark Lindsey to sell the real estate of Jacob Orr.
- On the 1840 federal census, Mark Lindsey (his surname spelled as Lindsay) in the 39th regiment of Morgan County. His household has a white male under 5, 2 white males 20-29, a white male 60-69, a white female 15-19, and a white female 50-59. There are also 18 enslaved persons who are listed by age categories and gender, some of whose names and aged are given in the 24 June 1841 mortgage of Mark discussed infra. The older male and female on this 1840 census are Mark and wife Mary Jane. I think that one of the two males aged 20-29 is probably Mark’s son Dinsmore (born in 1815), and the female aged 15-19 is Dinsmore’s wife Sarah Brooks Lindsey (born in 1822), whom he married 1 May 1838 in Morgan County. By 1840, the couple had one child, a son John Wesley, who was born in 1839, and would have been the male under 5 in the household. Could the other male aged 20-29 be Mark’s grandson Thomas Madison Lindsey (son of Dennis), who did not marry his first wife until 1843?
Note that the 1840 federal census shows Mark living beside Milton McLanahan and two houses away from Henry T. Pendleton, both of whom appear in other records involving him. Milton McLanahan represented Morgan County in the Alabama House from 1836 to 1841, and then in the Alabama Senate to 1845. In March 1840, Milton McLanahan was appointed administrator of the estate of Thomas Brooks in Morgan County. The will of Thomas Brooks had named his son Charles executor, and after Charles filed his return of the estate in March 1840, McLanahan succeeded him as administrator.
- On 17 October 1840, The Democrat of Huntsville, Alabama, reported the sale of the lands of Jacob Orr in Morgan County by commissioners Milton McClanahan, John Tatom, Henry T. Pendleton, Davis Neal, and Mark Lindsey.
- On 26 May 1841, Mark Lindsey and Samuel Sparks gave bond in the Lawrence County suit of Mark Lindsey vs. Joel W. Hickey. On 9 August 1841, Hickey was ordered to pay the debt and court fees. Testifying in the case were James B. Speake, Darius Lynch, Russell Smith, and Thomas R. Brooks. The case file contains Mark Lindsey’s original complaint dated 29 March 1841 against Hickey, who was indebted to him. The complaint was heard at July court.
- On 24 June 1841, Mark Lindsey mortgaged property, with Henry T. Pendleton as trustee, for debts owed to Benjamin Cooper and Mark’s son Dinsmore Lindsey. If I understand the deed of mortgage correctly, Cooper and Dinsmore Lindsey had bought notes owed by Mark to Johnson Wise and S. Stovall, administrators of Daniel Johnson. The deed says that Mark Lindsey owed Cooper $3271.50 and Dinsmore Lindsey owed $600. The property Mark mortgaged was the tract on which he was then living, described as the northeast ¼ of section 24, township 7, range 6 west, and the west ½ of the northwest ¼ of section 19, township 7, range 5 west, 240 acres in all. This land was in Lawrence County, though the deed was filed in Morgan. The land was bounded by Cooper and by Milton McLanahan.
Also mortgaged were the following enslaved persons: Michael, 65; Eliza, 40; Lucinday, 15; Minerva, 15 (twins); Caroline, 13; Thomas, 11; Edy, 9; Henry, 6, all of “yallow collour”; Hannah, 45, Saydney (?), 32 (male); Anderson, 17; Lieuallen (i.e., Llewellyn), 16; and Abraham, 14, all of black color. Also included were a large bay horse, a sorrel horse, a black and a “yallow” mare, 30 head of cattle, 80 head of hogs, 40 head of sheep, a road wagon, 3 feather beds and furniture, and all other household and kitchen furniture belonging to Mark and wife Mary Jane. Mark was to remain in possession of the property during his lifetime, making payments.
Note that, though Mark owned quite a bit of property for an elderly man with only his wife to maintain at this point in their lives, he must have fallen on hard times as his life ended. His Morgan County estate records state that he died with an insolvent estate; I’ll discuss these documents in my next posting. Note that the enslaved man Daniel whom Mark had bought from the estate of his son Dennis does not appear in the list of enslaved persons mortgaged by Mark in this June 1841 mortgage.
- A loose-papers court case file in Lawrence County shows Patrick O’Neill filing suit against Richard Puckett (on whom, see supra) and Mark Lindsey for debt in September 1838. The date of the suit’s origination is given in a July 1841 document in the file. The file contains a summons issued to Puckett and Lindsey on 18 May 1841. On 12 February 1842, the estates of Puckett and Lindsey were garnished, and on 24 October 1843, judgment was given against the the goods and chattels of Puckett and Lindsey. A summons the same day instructs Mark Lindsey to pay $374 to O’Neill for Thomas Pearson, and the file contains a receipt by Pearson dated 8 March 1844 showing he had been paid by Mark Lindsey.
- On 9 November 1844, Lawrence County common court issued a summons to Henry H. Terry of Greenville County, South Carolina, to appear at the residence of John Goodwin in Greenville County to testify about a complaint of Mark Lindsey vs. Leroy P. Walker.
In my next posting, I’ll discuss Mark’s estate documents and several other biographical notices of him in addition to the one found in Saunders’s Early Settlers of Alabama previously discussed.
 This manuscript appears to be in the possession of Kelly Browne, who is a descendant of William Hunter and Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey. The citation is in a set of notes Darrell Hunter sent me in September 2019.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Orphans Court Minutes Bk. D, p. 77.
 See the obituary of Samuel Irwin’s daughter Ellen, wife of Jenkins Brown, who died 22 January 1885 near Moulton: in Moulton Advertiser, 5 February 1885, p. 2, col. 4. It states that her father Samuel Irwin (the obituary erroneously spells the surname as Orvin) moved his family from Lebanon, Tennessee, to Oakville in 1819.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Official Bond Records, 1829-50, p. 27; see Old Lawrence Reminiscences 11,1 (March 1997), p. 22.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Official Bond Records, 1829-50, pp. 39-40; see Annie S. Lee, “County Official Bond Records, 1829-50, Old Lawrence Reminiscences 11,4 (Dec. 1997), p. 117.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Orphans Court Minutes Bk. D, p. 314.
 Ibid., p. 370.
 Charles Gibson Lynch, “Character Sketches,” Moulton Advertiser, 22 February 1911, p. 1, col. 1-2.
 S.W. Barbee, “Old Lawrence Reminiscent,” Moulton Advertiser, 20 October 1908, p. 1, col. 2-3.
 Frances Jarvis Torrence’s diary is transcribed in Mary Novella Gibson-Brittain, Marie Brittain-Craig, and Marjorie Craig Churchill, The History and Genealogy of Some Pioneer North Alabama Families (Flagstaff, AZ: Northland, 1969).
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Deed Bk. F, pp. 126-7.
 Early Settlers of Alabama, p. 70.
 In his A History of Methodism in Alabama, cited in the previous posting, Anson West also speaks of this early church at what would later become Oakville, noting that it was built of logs, had a campground connected to it, and produced “a number of men and women of piety and talents” (p. 295).
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Loose Estate Papers, estate of Nicholas Johnson, box 96, #1579.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Deed Bk. C, p. 270.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Orphans Court Minutes Bk. E, p. 287.
 Ibid., p. 346.
 Early Settlers of Alabama, p. 123.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Deed Bk. H, pp. 324-5.
 Ibid., pp. 323-4.
 Morgan County, Alabama, Deed Bk. D, p. 206.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Deed Bk. I, pp. 49-50.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Circuit Court #3043, 3045, 3046, 3048, 3049; box 35, folder 4.
 Ibid., #49, #50, #51, box 173; folder 41.
 Morgan County, Alabama, Deed Bk. D, p. 655.
 Ibid., Deed Bk. F, p. 185.
 1840 federal census, Morgan County, Alabama, p. 24.
 See William Garrett, Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama (Atlanta: Plantation Publ. Co., 1872), pp. 222-3.
 See Pauline Jones Gandrud, Marriage, Death, and Legal Notices from Early Alabama Newspapers (Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1981), p. 341. This land sale is also recorded in Morgan County, Alabama, Deed Bk. F, p. 185, which gives the date of the announcement as 17 September 1840.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Loose Court Papers, box 92 #3115.
 Morgan County, Alabama, Deed Bk. D, pp. 548-9.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Loose Court Papers, box 84 #3059-3060.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Loose Estate Papers, box 73 #4596.