Jacob Cooper’s Loose-Papers Estate File, Spartanburg County, South Carolina
The estate file tells us right off the bat that Jacob Cooper died at some point not long before 15 November 1829, when the justice of the Spartanburg court of ordinary Thomas Bomar issued a summons to Jacob’s heirs stating that Isaac Lindsey had applied for probate of the will of Jacob Cooper (see the document at the head of the posting). The summons urged the heirs, who were not named, to come to court on the 16th instant for a hearing about this matter.
Note what else this summons tells us: Rachel Lindsey Cooper’s brother Isaac Lindsey is applying for probate of the estate — apparently with claims that Jacob died testate, though all other estate documents suggest there was no will. For those who think Jacob’s wife Rachel was a Stokes, the question to be asked about this estate record is, Why would Isaac, son of William and Rachel Earnest Lindsey, who is known to have had a sister Rachel, have any interest in the estate of Jacob Cooper and its administration? The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this document: Jacob’s widow Rachel is the daughter of William Lindsey and Rachel Earnest.
We know that Jacob was still living on 28 February 1828 when he deeded to his younger sons Jonathan and Alston 300 acres on which he and Rachel were then living on the north side of the Enoree River in Spartanburg County. A 7 March 1828 deed of Samuel Jones to Elkanah Jones in Spartanburg County (see the link I’ve just provided) also suggests that Jacob was alive at that date and living next to Rachel’s father William Lindsey.
So Jacob Cooper died between 7 March 1828 and 15 November 1829 in Spartanburg County, and likely not long before the latter date. One wonders if he made the deed of a good portion of his land to sons Jonathan and Alston in the year prior to his death because he had begun to be infirm and wanted to secure their ownership of that piece of his land, in case disputes arose about the disposition of his estate — as, in fact, happened.
A notice in Jacob’s estate file dated 16 November 1829, the day after Judge Bomar issued his summons stating that Isaac Lindsey had applied for probate of Jacob’s (non-existent) will, indicated that John Cooper and Jesse Cole intended to contest Isaac Lindsey’s filing to probate the will. We learn from other estate documents that Jesse Cole was husband of John Cooper’s sister Hannah. A number of sources, including documents in the estate file, indicate that John was Jacob Cooper’s oldest son by his wife (or wives?) following his first wife Mary Balderston. In virtually every listing of Jacob’s heirs in the estate file, John’s name is first.
Another summons in the estate file that has no date but clearly follows on Isaac Lindsey’s filing for probate and the response of John Cooper and Jesse Cole to this filing calls for Samuel Woodruff, Esq., Rachel Lindsey, Lucy Leopard, John Massey, Joel Pearson, Jerry Massey, and Dr. John N. Young to come to court on 14 December to give evidence in the case of Isaac Lindsey vs. John Cooper and Jesse Cole. A summons was also issued, apparently at the same time, to Jacob’s heirs Rachel Cooper, Amos Cooper, Joseph Cooper, Eli Cooper, Isaac Cooper, Jonathan Cooper, and Sarah Cooper. This summons was signed — it’s hard to see if there’s a date; if so, it may be 16 November — by Isaac Cooper, a blotted name of someone signing by mark who seems to be Jonathan Cooper, Sally Cooper, Amos Cooper, Joseph Cooper, Joel Pearson (his mark), John Massey, Jerry Massey, and Samuel Woodruff. As an aside, it might be noted that the Masseys and the Pearsons were both families with Quaker roots in the Bush River monthly meeting in Newberry County, South Carolina, that was the supervisory meeting for Padgett’s Creek Quaker meeting in Union County, to which Jacob Cooper had belonged prior to his expulsion in May 1778 for racing horses and laying bets.
Another summons in the estate file dated 18 December 1829 states that Rachel Cooper had appealed to administer Jacob’s estate, and all of Jacob’s heirs were being called to the courthouse on 21 January to state any reasons they might have for opposing Rachel’s administration of the estate. The summons was published 20 December by Reverend Samuel Brown at Durbin’s Creek meeting house — and that may tell us where Jacob’s family went to church — though the membership list at the front of the minutes of Cedar Creek Baptist church in Laurens County shows a Rachel Cooper as a member of that church at some point, too. As we saw in the previous posting, the Goodspeed biography of Preston Halbert, son of Rachel Lindsey and her next husband William Anson Halbert, tells us that Rachel was a Baptist. Durbin Creek Baptist church was founded in 1781 by Reverend Samuel Roberts, and was 4-5 miles southeast of present-day Fountain Inn in Laurens County.
Three days after this, on 21 December, Rachel Cooper gave a $12,000 bond for administration of the estate of Jacob Cooper. She signed the bond by mark with bondsmen Henry Earnest (also signing by mark) and Isaac Lindsey. This document (which is filed in in the estate file) and the 18 December one discussed above tell us that by this date, Isaac Lindsey had apparently dropped his application to probate a will that Jacob seems not to have had. Once again, this administration also strongly reinforces the conclusion that Rachel, widow of Jacob Cooper, is Rachel Lindsey, daughter of William Lindsey and Rachel Earnest — her grandfather and brother are bondsmen on her administration bond.
On the same day (21 December), the court gave an order to inventory Jacob Cooper’s estate and return the inventory to court by 11 February next. This order is in the estate file. Those appointed to do the inventory were Joseph Brown, Z.T. Westmoreland, Sterling L. Westmoreland, and William Johnson. Note that William Johnson was the husband of Rachel Lindsey’s sister Cassandra. All four men signed the estate inventory filed in the estate file, with a date of ? (a hole is in the page here) December 1829.
On 4 January 1830, Rachel Cooper petitioned for sale of Jacob Cooper’s estate. The petition document is in the estate file. A return of the sale account, which states that the sale was held 28 January 1830 and days following, which is filed in the estate file, is signed by Rachel Cooper signing by mark, with Isaac Lindsey signing as witness. The account is in Isaac’s hand and was obviously compiled by him.
Equity-Court Case File for Rachel Cooper et al. vs. John Cooper et al.
It appears that at some point in January 1830, Rachel Cooper filed suit on behalf of herself and son Jacob Henry Cooper against the other heirs of Jacob’s estate — the equity court case mentioned above and in the previous posting. Rachel’s complaint in the case file, whose sleeve is dated only 1830 with no further date, is not dated, nor are the answers of the other heirs to her complaint dated. The suit was obviously filed prior to 18 September 1830, when a plat of Jacob’s land was done by Thomas Wright at court order and placed in the estate file. Spartanburg Equity Court Journals show the case in progress on 3rd Monday in June 1830.
Rachel’s complaint states that she was filing (on behalf of herself and son Jacob Henry Cooper, under guardianship of Isaac Lindsey) for a writ to allow her to divide or sell the land belonging to Jacob Cooper when he died in 1829, day and month not stated. The land consisted of 500 acres either side of the Enoree joining Henry Earnest, Samuel Jones, Drury Cox, and Thomas Westmoreland (the complaint indicates that these may be “old tracts” — i.e., the names are attached to previous landowners), and also 100 acres in Laurens County on the Enoree joining John Cooper, Joseph Cooper, and another tract of 500 acres. Rachel names Jacob Cooper’s heirs other than herself and son Jacob Henry Cooper, asking them to be subpoenaed: they are John, William, Joseph, Amos, Eli, Isaac, Jonathan, Alston, and Sally Cooper, Hannah wife of Jesse Cole, and Lydy wife of Hiram Jones. I am citing here the complaint in the equity court case file (cited below, n. 1).
Note the statement that Jacob Henry Cooper was under guardianship of Isaac Lindsey: further proof that Rachel is the daughter of William Lindsey and Henry Earnest, and not a Stokes, as some researchers have proposed.
The case file contains undated responses by Hiram and Lydy Jones, Alston Cooper through his friend Jerry Massey, Jonathan Cooper, and John, Amos, Joseph and Eli Cooper jointly with Jesse Cole. All these heirs affirm the information in Rachel’s complaint about when Jacob Cooper died and the lands he held at the time of his death. But the other heirs wanted the land sold and not divided, with the 300 acres Jacob had deeded to sons Jonathan and Alston in February 1828 excluded from the land sale.
Hiram and Lydy Jones also note that Jacob had another child Mary whose name had been omitted from the lists of his children in Rachel’s complaint. They state, as well, that Jacob’s landholdings were so peculiarly situated as to make equitable division impossible, hence the lands needed to be sold and the proceeds divided among the heirs.
Alston Cooper’s response through Jerry Massey also summarizes the deed for 300 acres in Spartanburg County his father had made to him and brother Jonathan in February 1828. Jonathan Cooper’s response affirmed what Alston’s had said, and the response of John, Amos, Joseph, and Eli Cooper and Jesse Cole also verified Alston and Jonathan’s claim to the 300 acres and called for the rest of Jacob’s land to be sold.
The Estate File and Equity Court Case File Examined Together
As noted above, the estate file shows an account of the sale of Jacob Cooper’s estate held on 28 January 1830 and days following, which Rachel Cooper signed by mark and Isaac Lindsey witnessed with his signature; the account is in his hand. In addition to Rachel and her husband-to-be William A. Halbert, buyers included Jacob’s sons John, Amos, Eli, Alston, and Jonathan Cooper and son-in-law Jesse Cole, Rachel’s mother Rachel Lindsey, Rachel’s brother-in-law William Johnson, her brothers Henry and John Lindsey, Isaac Lindsey’s father-in-law John Pickrell, and Gabriel Styles, whose daughter Louisa Rachel’s younger brother Dennis would marry in 1843. Members of the Woodruff, Westmoreland, Allen, and Wofford family were also buyers.
Again: the sale account provides further evidence that Jacob Cooper’s wife was Rachel, daughter of William Lindsey and Rachel Earnest.
On 26 April 1830, William Halbert appealed to the court to be made administrator of Jacob Cooper’s estate, with the county court’s Journal of Ordinary on that day stating that Halbert had married Rachel Cooper. On the same day — 26 April — William Halbert gave bond in the amount of $12,000 for administration with James Parks, Hosea Holcombe, D.F. Allgood, Isaac Lindsey, and Joseph Brown. The bond is filed in the estate file.
The equity court case file for Rachel Cooper et al. vs. John Cooper et al. contains an 18 September 1830 plat done by Thomas Wright at court order of the 500+ acres Jacob Cooper died holding in Spartanburg County. The plat, an image of which is in the previous posting, calls the 500 acres tract the Mill Tract, and shows the 300 acres of that tract allotted to Alston and Jonathan, along with 233 acres remaining — so Jacob actually owned more than 500 acres in Spartanburg County at the time of his death. The plat shows this land lying on the Enoree. The 233 acres were to retain the mill Jacob had purchased from John Cantrill/Cantrell in October 1824, labeled as a “gristy saw mill,” with a little drawing of it depicting it right on the river. The plat shows to the north of the 233-acre tract land of Elkanah Jones, and to the west, land of John Westmoreland. Immediately across the river is drawn Cedar Grove meeting house, with a label telling us this is the name of the building.
The equity file also contains a plat done by Wright on the same day — 18 September 1830 — of the William Wood tract, 154 acres, showing that it lay on the Enoree on its south side in Laurens County, bordered by Jesse Wofford to the east, Joseph Cooper south, and a name that looks like Lock N. Bolden to the west. On Jacob Cooper’s acquisition of 125 acres on the Enoree in Laurens County on 20 March 1809, see the previous posting.
The equity file also contains a 16 March 1820 deed — the original — by Charles Cox to Jacob Cooper for 108 acres in Laurens County. The deed states that the land included the head of Rocky Branch and Jacob’s own land along with John Cooper’s land. Charles Cox signed by mark with Joseph Cooper and Ely Cox witnessing. Along with this is Anna Cox’s 23 March 1820 relinquishment of dower, and Ely Cox’s proving of the deed on the same day.
Also in the equity file is a 31 August 1809 deed by David Childers of Spartanburg District to Thomas House of same for 130 acres north side of Enoree out of tracts granted to Thomas Childress and Robert Cooper bordered by John Hamby’s spring branch with Thomas Thornton and William House witnessing. This is evidently part of the 500 acres on the north side of the Enoree and is land Jacob purchased from House on 19 October 1810, as previously discussed.
After Halbert assumed administration, he made an annual return of the estate for which I find only the date 1830; this document is filed in the estate file. It names the heirs and shows shares advanced to each. It also states that the sale of the estate that Rachel had held in January took in $3,935.65.
At some point prior to 3 March 1831, it appears Jesse Cole and John Cooper either filed a new complaint, now that Halbert had taken over as administrator, or they filed to continue their opposition to the administration for which Isaac Lindsey had petitioned and then Rachel Cooper undertook. The estate file has a court summons with this date calling Halbert to court to answer the complaint of Jesse Cole and John Cooper, distributees of the estate.
A 19 April 1831 sale account in the estate file shows a sale held on that day at Cooper’s mill, with various buyers, including William Cooper, purchasing corn and wheat, and with a payment made to J.W. Cooper for an unspecified purpose. This document is filed as a second “sail bill,” and with the signature of a witness who verified the account on 2 January 1832, and whose name I cannot make out.
On 3 June 1832, the court issued a summons (found in the estate file) to Charles Cox, Jacob Roberts, Benjamin Griffith, and Joseph Brown to appear in court on 22 June. Another summons, also in the file, was issued on 22 June 1832 to Jerry Massey, Jesse Wofford, William Johnson, Isaac Lindsey, Thomas Garrett, James Leopard to come to court on 23 July. The purpose of these court hearings is apparent in a document in the case file dated 28 July 1832, which shows these witnesses verifying the portions of his estate given by Jacob to each child prior to his death.
A document in the estate file dated 31 August 1832 compiles the list of property given by Jacob to his children prior to his death, as advances on their inheritance. Daughters Hannah, Lydia, and Sarah are represented in this list by husbands Jesse Cole, Hiram Jones, and B. Vaughn. This account is signed by Robert Caswell (?), Thomas Wright, John Brewton, Philip Brewton, and Jesse Wofford. The children of Jacob are listed here as John Cooper, Amos Cooper, Joseph Cooper, Eli Cooper, Isaac Cooper, Jonathan Cooper, Alston Cooper, and sons-in-law Jesse Cole, Hiram Jones, and B. Vaughn.
On 27 May 1834, Edward Turner reported that he had served a citation to William Halbert to appear in court to settle shares of two distributees of Jacob Cooper said to have died without heirs prior to Jacob’s death. These two heirs are not named. Since Mary Cooper was listed by her half-siblings as an heir of the estate in 1830, but never appears in any list of the distributes, it’s possible that her half-siblings had learned of her death only after their father died. I also suspect that William Cooper, son of Jacob by his first wife Mary Balderston, had predeceased his father, and the William Cooper whose name appears in the 1831 sale of grain at Cooper’s mill is Jacob’s brother William.
Following Turner’s citation, the estate file has an undated list of distributees listed as John Cooper, Amos Cooper, Joseph Cooper, Eli Cooper, J.W. Cooper, Joseph Cooper, Alston Cooper, Jesse Cole, Hyram Jones (married Lydia), and B. Vaughn (married Sarah). It seems Jonathan Cooper is listed here as J.W. Cooper, perhaps to be sure he is not confused with his older brother John.
Disputes appear to have continued regarding the distribution and settlement of Jacob Cooper’s estate, since the estate file has a 10 January 1835 summons by Laurens County common court to William Halbert to testify about the estate settlement. The final two documents in the file are, first, a 6 April 1841 letter written by Isaac Lindsey to Colonel R.C. Poole of the Spartanburg court of ordinary stating that he was dissatisfied with William Halbert’s administration of the estate and a 26 April 1841 new bond by William Halbert for estate administration.
Isaac’s letter to Poole states that he was dissatisfied with the estate administration and asking to be released from the bond he had signed on 26 April 1830 on behalf of William Halbert as administrator. Isaac considered himself in danger of injury if he continued as Halbert’s bondsman. There was, of course, bad blood between Isaac and his sister Rachel’s husband William Halbert, as evidenced by statements made by Isaac’s father William Lindsey and several of his sons including Isaac in response to the complaint filed by Rachel Earnest Lindsey in her 1835 lawsuit against her mother Margaret Earnest, her husband William Lindsey, and her sons.
Rachel filed that lawsuit with William Halbert as her attorney, and William Lindsey and several of his sons responded to the complaint by alleging that Halbert put Rachel up to filing suit because he wanted to gain control of her property. As the posting I have just linked shows, Rachel Earnest Lindsey then filed suit against Halbert on 1 August 1846, making the same claim — that he was trying to take control of her property and leave the state with it. All of this turmoil would obviously have been behind Isaac Lindsey’s request that the court remove him in April 1841 from his bond obligation to Halbert as administrator of Jacob Cooper.
The last document in Jacob Cooper’s estate file shows Halbert giving bond on 26 April 1841 with Richard R. Owings for the estate administration. This bond notes that the purpose of this estate bond was to release Isaac Lindsey from his obligation as bondsman.
As the preceding notes suggest, for those wishing to compile a list of the children of Jacob Cooper by his first wife Mary Balderston and then by his wife or wives subsequent to Mary, and prior to his final wife Rachel Lindsey, there’s abundant valuable information in his loose-papers estate file and the case file of Rachel’s equity court case against the other heirs. Jacob Cooper and Rachel Lindsey had only one child: Jacob Henry Cooper.
Jacob Henry Cooper, Son of Jacob Cooper and Rachel Lindsey
As noted previously, the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses suggest a birth year of 1829 for Jacob Henry Cooper, and a Civil War draft registration list, gives 1828 as his year of birth. Following his mother Rachel’s death in 1845 — as I state in the posting I have just linked, I believe she died in Spartanburg County, South Carolina — Jacob Henry Cooper went with his step-father and with William Halbert’s children by wife Elizabeth Bowen to Crawford County, Missouri, where he’s enumerated on the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses.
The 1850 census shows Jacob living in the household of William Harvey Halbert and wife Tabitha Elizabeth Halbert. Tabitha was a daughter of William Anson Halbert and wife Elizabeth Bowen, who married her first cousin, William Harvey Halbert, son of Reverend James Ira Halbert and Frances Pepper. On 8 December 1850 in Crawford County, Jacob married Lucinda Ann Farrar, daughter of Joseph P. Farrar and Mary Jane Kenworthy. Jacob died between 1860 and 1870, apparently in Crawford County, Missouri. Jacob and Lucinda had the following children:
1. Eli H. Cooper (1852-1930, married Mary P. England)
2. Rachel A. Cooper (1854-1928, married Marion Carthen)
3. Sarah J. Cooper (1856-1927, married 1] John R. Coleman, and 2] Joseph D. Varner)
4. Parthena Cooper (1858-before 1870)
5. Burton S. Cooper (1861-1927, married Mattie A. Hardy)
6. Frances Adeline Cooper (1864-1934, married James N. Stough)
In my next posting, I will provide further information about Rachel Lindsey’s marriage to William Anson Halbert and their family.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate file of Jacob Cooper, file 580, online at Family Search; Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Equity Court, 1830, box 11, package 2, Rachel Cooper et al. vs. John Cooper et al., online at Family Search.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. U, p. 278.
 Ibid., Deed Bk. W, pp. 75-6.
 Goodspeed, History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford & Gasconade Counties, Missouri (Goodspeed: Chicago, 1888), p. 1059.
 Leah Townsend, South Carolina Baptists, 1670-1805 (Florence, South Carolina: Florence Printing Company, 1935), pp. 225-6.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Journal of Equity Court, 1820-1841, p. 111.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Journal of Court of Ordinary, 1829-1830, p. 43.
 See Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. T, pp. 35-6.
 Laurens County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. J, p. 89.
 Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. M, pp. 415-6
 1850 federal census, Crawford County, Missouri, district 24, p. 236A (dwelling/family 656; 30 October); 1860 federal census, Crawford County, Missouri, Meramec township, Steelville post office, p. 775 (dwelling/family 92; 18 June); NARA, Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records, RG 110 — 2nd Congressional District of Missouri, vol. 7, p. 65.
 See supra, n. 11.
 For biographical details, see the Find a Grave memorial pages for William Harvey and Tabitha Elizabeth Halbert, Westover cemetery, Westover Crawford County, Missouri, both created by Cousins by the Dozens (see here and here); and the Find a Grave memorial page for James Ira Halbert, Schwieder cemetery, Crawford County, Missouri, created by John B. McGinnis.
 Crawford County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 191. The marriage record apparently gives Lucinda’s name as Malinda.