William Lindsey’s family is enumerated on the 1830 federal census in Spartanburg County with a household that includes 2 males 15-20, 1 male 60-70, and 1 female 50-60. The older male and female are William and Rachel. The only son in William and Rachel’s family whose birthdate falls in the 1810-1815 age range, as far as I know, is their son Dennis. If the other male in that age range in this household in 1830 is a son of William and Rachel, then I have not found his name. All the older children — Cassandra, John, Nicy Malinda, Elizabeth, Isaac, Mark, Henry, and Rachel — appear to be gone from their parents’ household by 1830, though of the sons, I find only Isaac and Henry heading households in Spartanburg County in 1830. Because of the wide range of birthdates implied for Mark on various federal censuses (this is discussed in the preceding posting), perhaps he is the other male in William and Rachel’s household in 1830 aged 15-20.
Where’s the mystery man John Lindsey, son of William and Rachel, on the 1830 census? The one John Lindsey I find in Spartanburg County on this census is the John who was son of Elisha Lindsey, and who married Susan Lee. As my last posting, linked at the head of this posting, states, that John has gotten confused with the son of William and Rachel of the same name, but DNA findings show his family entirely unrelated to the family of William Lindsey.
Rachel Earnest Lindsey’s father Henry Earnest died in Spartanburg County sometime before 5 May 1834, when his grandson Isaac Lindsey appealed for administration of the estate, giving bond in the amount of $10,000 with his brother Dennis and brother-in-law William Johnson on 2 June. On that date, the court directed Isaac and Dennis to appraise the estate.
As Henry Earnest’s estate was being settled, on 5 October 1835 his widow Margaret, along with William Lindsey and Rachel Earnest, who were the sole heirs of Henry’s estate, according to a documents found in a lawsuit Rachel filed against her mother and husband in 1835, began deeding some of Henry’s land to his grandchildren. The first 5 October 1835 deed the three made was to son Isaac, a deed of 130 acres on which he was then living on the Enoree, bordered by a spring, Snorley Creek, and a spring branch. The deed states that Henry had intended for Isaac to have this land and his widow and daughter and son-in-law were deeding it to Isaac for love and affection. Isaac Moore and Joseph Cooper witnessed the deed, and William, Rachel, and Margaret all signed it by mark. Both witnesses proved the deed the following day, with Rachel renouncing her dower rights on 28 October, and the deed was recorded 9 November. On the connection of the Moore and Cooper families to this Lindsey family, see the preceding posting.
On the same day, 5 October, Margaret, William, and Rachel deeded 500 acres of Henry Earnest’s land on the north side of the Enoree to his grandsons Mark and Dennis Lindsey, with the deed stating again that Henry had intended for these grandsons to have this tract, on which Margaret was then living along with William and Rachel. The land was bounded by Jesse Wofford (east), Brinkley Cliften (north), Thomas Garret, Jonathan Cooper, Isaac Wofford, and Joseph Cooper. Isaac Moore and Joseph Cooper again witnessed, with the three deeding parties signing by mark, Moore and Cooper proving the deed the next day, and Rachel renouncing her dower on 28 October, with the deed recorded on 9 November.
The Jonathan and Joseph Cooper mentioned in this deed as neighbors to William and Rachel and her mother were brothers, sons of William Cooper and wife Lydia Clark Cooper. Another son of William and Lydia was Jacob Cooper father of the Eli/Ely Cooper who married William and Rachel’s daughter Elizabeth, and the John C. Cooper who married Elizabeth’s sister Nicy Melinda. As noted in the last posting, after his wife Mary Ely, mother of Eli/Ely and John C. Cooper, died, Jacob married Elizabeth’s and Nicy Malinda’s sister Rachel Lindsey.
Margaret, William, and Rachel then made a third deed of land on the same day to William and Margaret’s son Henry. The deed was for 130 acres on Snorley Creek of the Enoree on which Henry was living. As the previous two deeds had done with the other grandsons, the deed identifies Henry as a grandson of Henry Earnest, who had intended for him to have this land given to him for love and affection. The same witnesses and dates of proving, dower relinquishment, and recording appear in this deed as in the previous two.
What’s noteworthy here is that the mysterious son of William and Rachel, John, for whom so little information seems extant, was not among the sons being deeded land from their grandfather’s estate, though he is named as an heir of the estate in a 26 February 1840 document in the case file of the lawsuit Rachel filed in 1835 against her mother and husband. The document shows heirs of the estate being advanced portions of their inheritance, and includes John, who was also a buyer at Henry Earnest’s estate sale on 5 November 1835.
A month after the 5 October deeds were made to Isaac, Mark, Dennis, and Henry Lindsey, Henry Earnest’s personal estate was sold on 5 November. The original sale account signed by Isaac as administrator is in Henry’s loose-papers estate file. William Lindsey was the primary buyer at the sale purchasing enslaved people Dafney, Jack, Joe, Bob, and Jenny and her child Elise. He also bought livestock, tools, corn, oats, rye, and household items including a clock, a half dozen chairs, a dresser, a cupboard and its contents, and kitchen goods.
Henry’s widow Margaret bought enslaved persons Sam, Dick, and Jude. Of Henry and Rachel’s sons, John bought an enslaved man Myer, Dennis bought an enslaved woman Chaney, Henry bought enslaved persons Mary and George, and Isaac bought enslaved person Abbey. William Halbert, second husband of William and Rachel’s daughter Rachel, bought an enslaved woman Polly.
On 19 November 1835, Margaret Earnest and William Lindsey made further deeds for love and affection to Dennis and Mark Lindsey. Dennis was deeded the enslaved man Sam whom Margaret had bought at Henry Earnest’s estate sale, and Mark received enslaved man Dick, also bought by Margaret from the estate. Both deeds were witnessed by W.W. Hastin and N.V. Van Patton.
Rachel’s Lawsuit Against Her Mother, Husband, and Sons
As previously noted, at some point in 1835, Rachel Earnest Lindsey filed suit against her mother Margaret and husband William Lindsey with claims that her father’s estate was being mishandled. The file, which has the date 1837 on it, contains an undated bill of complaint by Rachel. A number of references in the bill of complaint and the answers to it suggest that this bill of complaint was filed in 1835, and the 1837 date refers to the court’s action about the complaint.
The complaint notes that Rachel’s son-in-law William Halbert (second husband of her daughter Rachel) was acting as her attorney. It states that Henry Earnest died in April or May 1834, owning considerable property in Spartanburg County, including 500 or 600 acres adjoining Joseph Cooper, Isaac Wofford, Jesse Wofford and others, with Henry’s only heirs being his widow Margaret (Peggy) Earnest and his daughter Rachel, with her husband William Lindsey.
The complaint further alleges that Rachel’s husband William had “for years past been habitually intemperant [sic], and is notoriously insolvent, and since the death of her father Henry Earnest, the said Wm. Lindsey has been almost continually drunk and acts so inhumane and cruel towards your oratrix, that she considers her life in danger should she stay with him longer — that he has repeatedly drove her off and threatens her life.”
The complaint bill goes on to appeal for a division of Henry Earnest’s real estate, with Rachel’s interest being placed in the hands of William Halbert or another trustee appointed by the court. William Lindsey and Peggy Earnest were requested to be subpoenaed to answer the complaint.
Another bill of complaint in the file, apparently also dated 1835, since it speaks of the impending sale of Henry Earnest’s estate that took place in November 1835, states that the estate of Henry Earnest had been administered by Isaac and Dennis Lindsey, who took the estate in trust, and were shortly to sell all the personal estate that Rachel’s husband William had not wasted. Rachel was willing for the sale to take place, provided her interest could be paid over to a trustee. The petition then goes on to repeat the claims about William Lindsey’s drunkenness, insolvency, and cruelty to his wife.
The complaint bill also states that Rachel Earnest had repeatedly asked Isaac and Dennis Lindsey to account for the personal estate of Henry Earnest and had requested that they keep “her drunken and insolvent husband from wasting the same.” She also had asked that her share be retained in trust by them until she could obtain a court decree for her sole and separate use of the estate, and her sons had refused this request. The complaint bill then requests that Isaac, Dennis, and William Lindsey be required to come to court and answer the charges of the bill, and that Isaac and Dennis be required to account for their use of Henry Earnest’s estate, and to pay over to Rachel her share.
The case file has the response of Isaac and Dennis Lindsey to the complaint bill, undated, but apparently from 1835. This notes that when Isaac and Dennis had presented an inventory of Henry Earnest’s estate to the court, the court refused to grant them an order of sale, apparently because their parents were opposed to the sale, “intending to live together & upon the property during the life of the old lady [i.e., Margaret Earnest] when the whole estate would centre upon their mother & father who were the sole heirs.” Isaac and Dennis also denied that their father was either habitually intemperate or insolvent.
According to Isaac and Dennis, William and Rachel had lived on Henry Earnest’s land with Rachel’s mother Margaret with no discontent until quite recently, when Rachel began complaining, and Isaac and Dennis again appealed for an order of sale, which was granted for November next (1835). Isaac and Dennis also denied that the estate had been wasted, but maintained that it had been improved, even while their parents and grandmother lived on it, and they also claimed that they had done nothing against the wishes of their mother. They also denied that their mother had ever applied to them for a settlement of the estate, and had considered her well-pleased with the administration of the estate until very recently, when certain persons, for their own pecuniary gain, had put her up to filing a complaint.
William’s response to his wife’s complaint states that Henry Earnest’s widow was Margaret Lindsey, a slip of the clerk, since the 1791 will of John McCrory in Spartanburg County shows Margaret as his daughter, who married Henry Earnest. As his sons Isaac and Dennis do in their response to Rachel’s bill of complaint, William also states that Rachel had filed suit at the instigation of others, and declares that all of her allegations were false.
William notes that when Isaac and Dennis determined to appeal for administration of their grandfather’s estate, he was in the office of the court of ordinary with Dennis, who asked the ordinary judge what would be the best course to pursue in administering the estate. The judge asked the age of the widow Margaret, and Dennis replied that his grandmother was about 85 years old. The judge noted that since Margaret was living with William and Rachel, who was Margaret’s only child, and since she was infirm, it would be best to keep the estate intact to care for Margaret, since it would belong to Rachel and William at Margaret’s death. All three parties — Margaret, Rachel, and William — then agreed to this.
William’s response to Rachel’s complaint also states that he had managed the estate well, and had heard no complaints, until William Halbert, his son-in-law, had put Rachel up to complaining, so that he could take over management of the estate. Halbert had caused the court to order a sale of the estate.
William also denied the charge of habitual intemperance, attributing this allegation to Halbert — though he “admits that as most other old men in the country he sometimes takes his glass, but denies that he is the habitual drunkard set forth in the bill, & avers that he believes himself as temperate as most men of his age….” For the truth of this claim, William appealed to all with whom he had transacted estate business, as well as to his sons.
William also denied the charge of insolvency, saying this was the first time he had ever heard this said of himself, and “thinks for the sake of her [i.e., Rachel] it were well it had slept in the inventive brain of the aforesaid William Halbert in which he believes it and these other allegations in the bill were conceived and out of which he believes they were brought forth both sinfully and iniquitously.”
The charge of cruelty to his wife William considered “the unkindest cut of all.” Further, he noted that “if such were the state of facts, he considers that it adds no credit to a son in law to drag them from the domestic Sanctuary & emblazon them to the world.” William stated that, as most families do, his had had its “little misunderstandings & family discontents,” but he had tried always to be kind and affectionate to Rachel, and in particular, to her mother, and appealed to his entire household as well as to mechanics who had worked at his house and his neighbors to attest to this. He added that Rachel had been particularly unkind to him after her father’s death, and he believed this was at Halbert’s instigation.
William ends his response to Rachel by appealing for the court not to override his conjugal rights, and notes that he “would gladly have permitted his family afflictions to have remained concealed by the fireside curtain.” He also asks that if the court thinks it necessary to appoint a trustee for Rachel, it not be William Halbert.
The case file for this lawsuit contains a document advancing shares of Henry Earnest’s property to the some, but not all, of the children of William and Rachel. This document is dated 26 February 1840. It shows the following heirs receiving advancements on their shares: Nicy Cooper, wife of John Cooper; Cassander [sic] Johnson, wife of William Johnson; Isaac Lindsey; Henry Lindsey; Elizabeth Cooper; Rachel Halbert; and John Lindsey. The document is signed by William Johnson, Isaac Lindsey, Henry Lindsey, Elizabeth Cooper (her mark), William Halbert, John Cooper, and John Lindsey, with John Allen and J.M. Bradley witnessing it.
The case file also contains a Spartanburg County equity court decree from June term 1837 showing the court ordering that the sum Rachel inherited from her father, $9075.21, minus court costs, be held in trust during the lifetime of Rachel and William, with half of the income generated by the trust to go to Rachel and half to William. At their death, the money was to be divided among their children minus bequests already received separately by some children. The court order stipulates Rachel was to be allowed to live separately from William if she so desired. William Halbert and Isaac Lindsey were appointed trustees of the two.
Rachel’s Lawsuit Against Sons-in-Law William A. Halbert and William C. Johnson
The contention of William Lindsey and his sons that William Halbert was interested in obtaining the management of Henry Earnest’s estate for his own use may well be borne out by a suit Rachel filed on 1 August 1846, six years after her husband William’s death. This suit now targeted the son-in-law who had been her attorney in the previous suit against her mother, husband, and sons. Rachel’s complaint, filed through attorney James Brewton/Bruton, states that her father Henry Earnest had died long since, leaving a valuable estate of real and personal property. Rachel was his sole surviving child. She subsequently filed suit to secure her right to manage the property and the money arising from the sale thereof, separately and independent of her husband William Lindsey.
As the previous case file shows and Rachel’s complaint in this new lawsuit also indicates, at its June 1837 term, Spartanburg County equity court had made a compromise in the suit of Rachel Lindsey vs. Peggy Earnest et al. This judgment settled the property of the estate (then worth $9075.21) on Rachel and husband William Lindsey jointly, to be divided equally between them during their lifetimes and then at their deaths, equally between their children. William Halbert and Isaac Lindsey were appointed trustees to take charge of the estate and effect the division, Halbert giving bond with William Johnson (husband of William and Rachel’s daughter Cassandra) and Isaac giving bond with his brother Henry.
According to the bill of complaint, William Halbert then got possession of a large portion of the money of the estate and, becoming insolvent, left the state. William Johnson was also planning to move out of state as Rachel was filing her complaint. Isaac Lindsey had been declared non compos mentis, Henry Lindsey having been appointed his guardian. As we’ll see when I discuss the children of William Lindsey and Rachel Earnest in detail, there’s documentation beyond this case file to show that the county court had, indeed, declared Isaac non compos mentis and had placed him under his brother Henry’s guardianship.
At June term 1845, the court had decreed that William Halbert and Isaac Lindsey be removed as administrators and Col. Thomas P. Brockman placed in their position. Brockman refused this charge and the court instructed Henry Lindsey to undertake it. He also refused.
Rachel alleged she had no legal remedy or representation, that much of the estate had been removed by Halbert, and that William Johnson should be restrained from leaving the state and carrying off more of the property. Rachel was appealing for Halbert and Johnson to be subpoenaed to answer the complaint and account for their disposition of the property. She also appealed for Henry Lindsey to be subpoenaed to account for the estate along with Johnson, and for a suitable administrator to be appointed.
Unless my copy of this case file is not complete, the file seems to end at this point, in medias res, with Rachel filing her legal complaint but with no indicator of how the suit was resolved.
Last Years of William Lindsey’s Life and His Death from a Fall from His Horse at Son Isaac’s Residence
On 22 September 1837, Dennis and Mark sold to their brother Isaac the 500 acres that had been deeded to them for love and affection by their grandmother Margaret Earnest and their parents in October 1835, with the land coming from Henry Earnest’s estate. This deed tells us something very interesting: it states that 300 of the 500 acres had been granted to William Lindsey on 7 March 1769 (the clerk has erroneously written the number 1869), and that the land was on the north side of the Enoree River, adjoining the Enoree on the south. As discussed in a previous posting, this 300-acre tract patented by William Lindsey Sr. in 1768 and granted in 1769 did not pass to his sons Dennis or William by inheritance. William Sr. sold this land to Jacob Pennington, who then deeded it to John Spurgin, with Spurgin’s son William selling it to John Holden.
In August 1794, Thomas Holden then sold the land to Isaac Hamby, who then sold it to Henry Earnest in November 1800. In this way, the original 1769 land grant to William Lindsey Sr. passed back into his family’s hands through the estate of Henry Earnest when Henry died in April 1834. The link I have just provided to a previous posting discussing the transmission of this piece of land documents this chain of transmission in detail.
As an aside, when the estate sale of John Spurgin was held in January of February 1818 in Laurens County — this is John, son of the John to whom Jacob Pennington sold William Sr.’s 300-grant — William Lindsey Jr. was a buyer at the sale, along with Thomas Westmoreland and John Childress (Laurens County loose-papers estate files, box. 64, #4).
A 14 March 1839 deed made by Branch Vaughn to Thomas T. Gilbert, both of Spartanburg County, for 130 acres on the waters of the Enoree, provides a list of William’s neighbors soon before his death in 1840. The deed states that the land Vaughn was selling to Gilbert bordered William Lindsey, John Westmoreland, N.V. Van Patton, Thomas Garrott, and Peter Nannilly.
The N.V. Van Patton who appears in this deed and in the November 1835 deed to Dennis and Mark Lindsey discussed previously was Nicholas Velie Van Patten (1804-1889). He came from New York to Spartanburg-Laurens Counties, where he established a well-known mill at Van Patton Shoals on the Enoree. Histories of Cedar Grove Baptist church in Laurens County, where William and Rachel’s son Isaac is buried with his family, state that on 23 February 1823, Van Patton deeded land to the church that he had bought from William Halbert, on which the church was constructed and the cemetery built.
I do not find William Lindsey on the 1840 federal census in Spartanburg County, and think the reason he is not enumerated on this census is likely that he died before the census was taken. We know from a coroner’s inquisition that William died on 9 January 1840.
The Spartanburg County coroner’s inquistion report documenting details of William Lindsey’s death states that he died after he fell from his horse on the property of his son Isaac Lindsey (see the first image at the head of this posting, which is the first page in the coroner’s report). The report was filed the day after William died on 9 January. It states that he had apparently fallen into a ditch and died from a wound to his head. A jury of local citizens was called to the site, viewed the body, and reached this conclusion about his death. All are named in the file; they included Nicholas Van Patten, who was previously discussed.
On 15 May 1840, Sterling L. Westmoreland filed to administer the estate of William Lindsey in Spartanburg County. My notes about this estate file indicate that, when I read it some years ago, the only documents I found in it were Sterling Westmoreland’s appeal to administer the estate and the bond he gave the following year on 6 March for administration of the estate. It’s noteworthy that William’s widow Rachel and his sons were not the estate administrators, no doubt due to the lawsuit Rachel had filed against her mother and husband following her father’s death, and the court action taken to separate the estates of William and Rachel and appoint trustees.
The Last Years of Rachel’s Life
Rachel survived her husband William by a number of years, dying in March 1852, according to the minutes of Bethel Baptist church in Spartanburg County. Bethel church minutes show that Rachel was baptized at this church on 12 June 1802 and then dismissed by letter in 1804, a phrase indicating that she transferred her membership from this church to another church at that time.
As I indicated earlier in my first posting about William and Rachel, it’s clear to me that Rachel is the elderly person enumerated on the 1850 federal census in Spartanburg County in the household of her son Mark as Richard Lindsey, aged 75. I have found no other references to a Richard Lindsey in this time frame or earlier in county records. The 1850 slave schedule for Spartanburg County lists Rachel among slaveholders in the county; she’s enumerated owning one enslaves person, next to son Isaac who holds nine enslaved people.
But I find Rachel nowhere on the 1850 census in Spartanburg County, though her listing on the slave schedule for that year suggests she was living in the county. Also living with Mark in 1850 (this entry is dated 17 December) are Mark’s sister-in-law Mary Pickrell Lindsey, wife of Isaac Lindsey, and Isaac and Mary’s children, though Mary and the children are also enumerated a second time on the same census on 27 August, with Mary as head of the household in this enumeration.
The 1850 census reveals that Isaac, who had previously been declared non compos mentis by the county court, was in the state mental hospital in Columbia in 1850. The picture that emerges from the 1850 census entry showing Mark as head of a household containing his brother Isaac’s family and an elderly “Richard” Lindsey whose age matches that of his mother Rachel is that Rachel was living at the end of her life with her son Mark and with the family of her son Isaac. The census entry for “Richard” states that Richard was insane.
In my next posting, I will discuss the children of William Lindsey and Rachel Earnest in detail.
 1830 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 286.
 1830 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, pp. 307, 285.
 1830 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 246.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate files, Henry Earnest estate, #840.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Equity Court, 1837, box 18, package 6, Rachel Lindsey vs. Peggy Earnest et al.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. V, pp. 564-5.
 Ibid, pp. 565-6.
 Ibid., pp. 566-7.
 See supra, n. 4.
 See supra, n. 4. Isaac returned the signed account to court on 23 December, and it was recorded in court records.
 Spartanburg County Deed Bk. W, pp. 359-361.
 The will, dated 12 April 1787 and probated the 2nd Monday in April 1791, is in John McCrory’s loose-papers estate file in Spartanburg County, #1434.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Equity Court, 1846, box 31, package 7, Rachel Lindsey vs. William Halbert.
 Spartanburg County Deed Bk. W, pp. 432-4.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. X, pp. 81-2.
 See Jerry W. Wilson’s website Van Petten, Van Patten, Van Patter & Van Patton Ancestry, citing “an article in a periodical called ‘Histories of Cedar Grove Baptist Church.’”
 Spartanburg County Quorum Court, “The State vs. the Dead Body of William Lindsey,” Coroner’s Inquisition, online at the CSI: Dixie site of the Center for Virtual History at University of Georgia.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate files, William Lindsey estate, #2304.
 For information about Bethel Baptist church, now First Baptist church of Woodruff, South Carolina, see this previous posting, which notes that the church was founded by the Woodruff family and its church minutes date from 16 September 1787.
 1850 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 305B (dwelling and family 3152; 17 December).
 1850 federal slave schedule, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 553.
 1850 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 145A (dwelling and family 863; 27 August).
 1850 federal census, Richland County, South Carolina, Columbia, p. 31 (dwelling 542, family 575; 22 October).