1817 Will of William Lindsey, Nash Co., NC

I just sent another Lindsey researcher my transcription of William Lindsey’s Nash County will, dated 16 Feb 1817 and proved in May 1817. After hitting “send,” it occurred to me that other Lindsey researchers might like to see that will, so I’m including it in this post.

I made the transcription from the original will, which is available to the public at the NC Archives in Raleigh. The original will is contained in a file box numbered CR.069.801.6 and labeled “Nash Co. Wills 1778 – 1922, Keith – Owen.” The box contains a manila folder labeled “William Lindsey 1817” in which the will is filed. My transcription is verbatim from the original, including spelling errors.

It is a charming will, not least because of the spelling errors – although they are undoubtedly the fault of whomever actually put William’s wishes on paper. The will clearly reveals a man who cared deeply for his children, concerned that the young ones “mind thare stepmother” and be kept out of all “dissepated cumpany.” He also wanted them to receive enough education to at least allow them to read the Bible for themselves. His signature is a big quavery – he was apparently sick – but it features a large “W” and “L,” suggesting to me a man who was comfortable in his own shoes.

To take out the mystery, the will names William’s wife “Polley” (there is no evidence of her maiden name) and seven children, including three daughters and four sons. Polley was his second wife. The evidence, although not conclusive, suggests that William’s first wife and the mother of all or most of his children may have been a Miss Longbottom or Long Bottom, given name unknown. There are many myths on the web (including some misnamed “vital records” available at Ancestry.com) about William Lindsey’s family of origin, but I will save that issue for another day.

Here are the names of William’s children and a little bit about them. The names leave no doubt whatsoever that William Lindsey was a serious Methodist. In fact, he had been ordained by John Wesley himself. Also, he owned no slaves, which wasn’t uncommon among Methodists. Good for him.

  1. John Wesley Lindsey, b. abt. 1794, Nash Co., NC, d. between 1850-1860, Leake Co., MS. Wife Zany Rogers, daughter of Robert and Ann Rogers. John Wesley and Zany left Nash after November 1830, when he last appeared in the Nash records, acknowledging a deed for the sale of his land. He had appeared in Leake County by 1835.
  2. Asbury Lindsey, b. abt. 1796, Nash Co., NC, d. 1854, Nash Co., wife’s name unknown. Lived in Nash his entire life.
  3. Jerusha Lindsey, b. abt. 1798, Nash Co., NC, no further record.
  4. Elizabeth “Betsy” Mary Fletcher Lindsey, b. between 1798-1800, Nash Co., NC. No further record.
  5. Wiliam Ray Lindsey, b. between 1802-1804, Nash Co., d. abt. 1827, Nash Co. He never married and had no children, although some Lindsey researchers have confused William Ray with another William Lindsey in Nash who married Nancy Pridgen and had children named Bennett Lindsey and Nancy W. Lindsey. The latter William died in 1825 and was the son of Jeptha Lindsey. The estate records for Jeptha conclusively prove that Bennett and Nancy were not the children of William Ray Lindsey. Rather, they were Jeptha’s grandchildren and were the children of Jeptha’s son William. The confusion about the children’s father is understandable: at one time, the NC Archives estate records for William Ray, son of William, were mixed with those for William, son of Jeptha — and the guardian records for Bennett and Nancy W. were mixed in with both of them. I think the archivists have now sorted out those files.
  6. Mary “Polly” Mintz Lindsey, b. 24 Aug 1805, Nash Co., NC, d. 30 Jul 1880. Married Hudson Finch. Lived her entire life in Nash County.
  7. Edward Buxton Lindsey, b. 1811, Nash Co., d. Jan 1883 in Claiborne Parish, LA. Edward was my ancestor. He left Nash County about 1830 for Pike/Barbour County, Alabama (Barbour was created from Pike), where he married my ancestor Elizabeth Jane Odom, daughter of Jacob and Nancy Stubbs Odom. Edward and Elizabeth Jane moved to Drew Co., AR, where she died in 1854, after having 9 and probably 10 children. Edward soon married Ruth Belle Crook, wife #2. They divorced. Edward then moved to Claiborne Parish, LA, where he married wife #3, Elizabeth J. Marshall. Edward and Elizabeth moved to Tyler Co., TX, where Elizabeth died after having one child. Edward next married wife #4, Permelia Dean. They divorced, and Edward moved back to Claiborne Parish about 1870 with a small son in tow. There is a longish article about him titled “Edward Buxton Lindsey: one of my family legends” on this website.

With that preamble, here is William Lindsey’s will:

“In the name of God amen I William Lindsey of the county of Nash and State of North Carolina cawlling to mind the near aproch of death but of disposing mind and memory blessed be God do make and ordain this my Last will and Testament In manner and form following to wit I render my Sole to God that gave it and body to be buried in usual manner –

First my will an desier is that all my Just debts be paid out of my bonds open accoumpts and personal Estate.

Item I give and bequeth to my loving wife Polley Lindsey hole of the property that she pursest before our marriage which part in money was severnty dollars, I also give to her all the bacon and lard and all the corn and small gran for the seport of her and the family that continue with her – and my desier is that my Eldest Son John Wesley Lindsey see that thay mind thare Stepmother and thare larning bisness and are kept out of all dissepated cumpaney and also to have sum chance of schoolling at least to know how to read the word of God,

I also lend to my wife Polley the house and plantation on which I live beginning at a lightwood stump in the midle run? thence a west corse to the middle branch to a popler, then down the meanders of sd branch to the run of? Saponey Creek to a Large corner cypres on the bank of sd creek then up the sd creek to Pridgen Manning’s line then south along sd Manning line to Nathan Joiners line a corner lightwood stump thence East sd Joiners line to a corner pine, thence south a long said Joiners line to Christipher Taylors line a corner pine in John Bisets line thence an east corse along sd Bissets line to Jacobs Swamp to a corner maple Joran Shurods line, then up sd swamp Sherods line to a corner pine thence a north corse along a line of markt trees to the road then up the road west to a hickrey thence along the path as the fence goes to the mouth of the long lane then down sd lane to the first station containing Two hundred acres more or less, during her natrel life or widow hood.

I also give to my beloved Wife Polley one gray horse Dimant and her riding saddle and one cow and calf or yearling Two yoes and lambs choice Two sows and piggs – my will and desier is that my son William Ray Lindsey shold continue with my wife five years and to go Equal in the proffits of the orchard and land on which thay live and his own land that I shall here after give to him, It is also my will that my wife Polley Lindsey and Edward Buxton Lindsey as soon as connvenent thay are to pay one hundred and fifty dollars for the purpose of paying of my land contracts. Now the land that I have above lent to my wife Polley after her death or marrige, I give to my Beloved son Edward Buxton Lindsey to him and his heirs for ever.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved son John Wesley Lindsey the tract of land that I Bought of of Nathan Lindsey and part of a tract that I bought of Amos Hatcher Beginning at Jephtha Lindsey’s corner a cypres on the Sapony Creek thence up the various corses of sd creek to a corner cypres then up the midle branch to a corner poplar thence along the middle lane to a corner lightwood stump thence a long the long lane to the mouth then along the path and fence to the road a corner hickrey then down the road East to a pine then south along a line of markt trees to a corner pine Jurdan Sherods line then east to a corner pine sd Sherrods line then North to a corner pine Jepthah Lindseys corner then along sd Lindseys line to the first station containing one hundred and eighty acres more or less to him and his heirs for ever and also one bay mare Pol? bridle and saddle one cow and calf and two yoes and lambs and one bed and furnture to him and his heirs for Ever on conditions he pays three hundred dollars towards the lands that I am in debt for.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved son Asbury Lindsey the tract of land I bought of Edward Ballard all lying on the North side of the road and one horse named doctor one cow and calf two yoes and lambs and one bed and furniture, to him and his heirs forever, upon condition he pays one hundred and fifty dollars twoards the land I am now in debt for.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved son William Ray Lindsey all the ballance of my lands that I have not heartofore given away two hundred acres more or less and one gray mare called Spinnet and one saddle and bridle one cow and calf two yoes and lambs one sow and piggs and one bed and furniture to him and his heirs for ever – upon condition he pays one hundred dollars towards the lands that I am now in debt for.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved daughter Jerusha Lindsey one bed without any furniture only a sted one cow and yoe and lamb and she furnished with cotton and wool soficent cloth her bed to her and her heirs for ever.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved daughter Polley Mintz Lindsey one bed and furniture and fifteen dollars in money to her and her heirs forever

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved daughter Betsey Mary Fletcher Lindsey one bed and furniture and fifteen dollars in money to her and her heirs for ever.

Now my will and desier is that if either of my four sons to whom I have given my land shold dy with out a lawfull heir that the land to them given shold be equally divided between those that survive.

Now all the ballance of my Estate undevsd I leave to be sold for the purpose of paying my debts, now if thare shold not be as much money needed as I have left above for my sons to pay they are to pay in purportion to those sums above named.

And I do hereby nominate and appoint my beloved son John Westley Lindsey and Richard Holland executer to this my last will and testament signed and seled in present of us this 16th of February 1817.

William Lindsey

Barn Tucker [and] Nelson Bone [witnesses]

Madison’s “Remonstrance”

Here is what is essentially a petition, written by James Madison in 1785, arguing that the state of Virginia should not pass a bill providing that the state pay the salary of Christian ministers. It is long and is not an easy read. It also has the names of the men who signed it, including my ancestor John Oakes of Orange County, VA, father of Isaac Oakes Sr. Perhaps your 18th-century Virginia ancestor signed it as well.

It’s also a good reminder of what one of the most prominent founding fathers thought about state involvement in religion. Enjoy.

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James Madison’s 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Memorial and Remonstrance

We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled “A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion,” and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against the said Bill,

Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

Because Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and viceregents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: it is limited with regard to the co-ordinate departments, more necessarily is it limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?

Because the Bill violates the equality which ought to be the basis of every law, and which is more indispensable, in proportion as the validity or expediency of any law is more liable to be impeached. If “all men are by nature equally free and independent,” all men are to be considered as entering into Society on equal conditions; as relinquishing no more, and therefore retaining no less, one than another, of their natural rights. Above all are they to be considered as retaining an “equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience.” Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered. As the Bill violates equality by subjecting some to peculiar burdens, so it violates the same principle, by granting to others peculiar exemptions. Are the Quakers and Menonists the only sects who think a compulsive support of their Religions unnecessary and unwarrantable? can their piety alone be entrusted with the care of public worship? Ought their Religions to be endowed above all others with extraordinary privileges by which proselytes may be enticed from all others? We think too favorably of the justice and good sense of these denominations to believe that they either covet pre-eminences over their fellow citizens or that they will be seduced by them from the common opposition to the measure.

Because the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.

Because the establishment proposed by the Bill is not requisite for the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself, for every page of it disavows a dependence on the powers of this world: it is a contradiction to fact; for it is known that this Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them, and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence. Nay, it is a contradiction in terms; for a Religion not invented by human policy, must have pre-existed and been supported, before it was established by human policy. It is moreover to weaken in those who profess this Religion a pious confidence in its innate excellence and the patronage of its Author; and to foster in those who still reject it, a suspicion that its friends are too conscious of its fallacies to trust it to its own merits.

Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest?

Because the establishment in question is not necessary for the support of Civil Government. If it be urged as necessary for the support of Civil Government only as it is a means of supporting Religion, and it be not necessary for the latter purpose, it cannot be necessary for the former. If Religion be not within the cognizance of Civil Government how can its legal establishment be necessary to Civil Government? What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not. Such a Government will be best supported by protecting every Citizen in the enjoyment of his Religion with the same equal hand which protects his person and his property; by neither invading the equal rights of any Sect, nor suffering any Sect to invade those of another.

Because the proposed establishment is a departure from the generous policy, which, offering an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion, promised a lustre to our country, and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the Bill of sudden degeneracy? Instead of holding forth an Asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance. The magnanimous sufferer under this cruel scourge in foreign Regions, must view the Bill as a Beacon on our Coast, warning him to seek some other haven, where liberty and philanthropy in their due extent, may offer a more certain repose from his Troubles.

Because it will have a like tendency to banish our Citizens. The allurements presented by other situations are every day thinning their number. To superadd a fresh motive to emigration by revoking the liberty which they now enjoy, would be the same species of folly which has dishonoured and depopulated flourishing kingdoms.

Because it will destroy that moderation and harmony which the forbearance of our laws to intermeddle with Religion has produced among its several sects. Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious discord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion. Time has at length revealed the true remedy. Every relaxation of narrow and rigorous policy, wherever it has been tried, has been found to assuage the disease. The American Theatre has exhibited proofs that equal and compleat liberty, if it does not wholly eradicate it, sufficiently destroys its malignant influence on the health and prosperity of the State. If with the salutary effects of this system under our own eyes, we begin to contract the bounds of Religious freedom, we know no name that will too severely reproach our folly. At least let warning be taken at the first fruits of the threatened innovation. The very appearance of the Bill has transformed “that Christian forbearance, love and charity,” which of late mutually prevailed, into animosities and jealousies, which may not soon be appeased. What mischiefs may not be dreaded, should this enemy to the public quiet be armed with the force of a law?

Because the policy of the Bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of Levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of Truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it with a wall of defence against the encroachments of error.

Because attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? And what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority?

Because a measure of such singular magnitude and delicacy ought not to be imposed, without the clearest evidence that it is called for by a majority of citizens, and no satisfactory method is yet proposed by which the voice of the majority in this case may be determined, or its influence secured. “The people of the respective counties are indeed requested to signify their opinion respecting the adoption of the Bill to the next Session of Assembly.” But the representation must be made equal, before the voice either of the Representatives or of the Counties will be that of the people. Our hope is that neither of the former will, after due consideration, espouse the dangerous principle of the Bill. Should the event disappoint us, it will still leave us in full confidence, that a fair appeal to the latter will reverse the sentence against our liberties.

Because finally, “the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his Religion according to the dictates of conscience” is held by the same tenure with all our other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consult the “Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of Government,” it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis. Either then, we must say, that the Will of the Legislature is the only measure of their authority; and that in the plenitude of this authority, they may sweep away all our fundamental rights; or, that they are bound to leave this particular right untouched and sacred: Either we must say, that they may controul the freedom of the press, may abolish the Trial by Jury, may swallow up the Executive and Judiciary Powers of the State; nay that they may despoil us of our very right of suffrage, and erect themselves into an independent and hereditary Assembly or, we must say, that they have no authority to enact into the law the Bill under consideration. We the Subscribers say, that the General Assembly of this Commonwealth have no such authority: And that no effort may be omitted on our part against so dangerous an usurpation, we oppose to it, this remonstrance; earnestly praying, as we are in duty bound, that the Supreme Lawgiver of the Universe, by illuminating those to whom it is addressed, may on the one hand, turn their Councils from every act which would affront his holy prerogative, or violate the trust committed to them: and on the other, guide them into every measure which may be worthy of his blessing, may redound to their own praise, and may establish more firmly the liberties, the prosperity and the happiness of the Commonwealth.

James Gordon, Jr.

John Watkins

William Sebree

Thomas Ballard

Bartlett Bennett

George Newman

Richard Sebree

Joseph Wood

Benjamin Johnson

William Terrill

Elijah Morton

George Waugh

[illegible] Bramham

John Henderson

[David Gillespy?]

Thomas Barbour

Uriel Mallory

Zachary Herndon

Richard Gaines

Moses Perry

Belfield Cave

George Morton

Joseph Bell

Joseph Smith

John Lucas

John Sutton, Jr.

John Sutton, Sr.

Moses Lucas

Thomas Lucas

Thomas Edwards

Martin [Collier?]

William [Tomlinson?]

James Marr

Vivion Daniel

Madison Breedlove

Martin [Shearman?]

William Watts

Benjamin Quinn

Thomas Watts, Jr.

William Wright

Joseph Spencer

James Coleman

John Oakes

Ambrose Madison

Robert Dearing, Jr.

Lewis Willis

William [Procter?]

Patrick Cockran

Andrew Bourn, Jr.

Edward Thompson

William Twyman

Jonathan Davis

Prettyman Merry

Pierce Sanford

John Willis

James Sleet

John Samuel

John Kendal

Nicholas Porter, Jr.

William Buckner

William Moore

Reuben Finnel

Miller Bledsoe

Samuel Brockman

Abner Porter

Henry Barnett

Camp Porter

Abner Shropshere

Samuel Porter

James Shropshere

Thomas Coleman

John Leather

Lawrence Gillock

Daniel Thornton

Thomas Briant

John Terrill

Henry Chiles

William Porter

Joseph Porter

William Bledsoe

William Leake

William Oakes

[illegible] Newman

John Oakes

Thomas Oakes

John Barnett

[William Ford?]

John [Keally?]

Docketed, November 3, 1785

James and Ann Alexander of Anson – Rowan County, NC: someone please knock down this brick wall!

© Robin Rankin Willis June 2016

One of the things that surprised me about family history research is that I started liking some of my ancestors. Amazingly, one can learn a great deal about people who lived a couple of centuries ago, including their fundamental character and even specific personality traits. A fertile imagination helps, but is not essential. Even ostensibly dry county records are often revealing, and the occasional personal record can be a fabulous find. I love my great-great uncles Napoleon Bonaparte Rankin (“Pole,” a house painter) and Washington Marion Rankin (“Wash,” a “clever engineer”), who wrote each other letters in the 1880s. Their correspondence revealed a shared wicked sense of humor and considerable affection. Letters from one of their aunts, Martha Estes Swain, to their mother, Mary Estes Rankin, are full of family gossip – one can almost hear them tut-tutting. Concern for “the connection,” as they called their extended family, also comes through clear as a bell.

Other ancestors are patently obnoxious. I will save examples for another post.

Fortunately, likeable ancestors abound. My ancestors James and Ann Alexander of Rowan County are among them for two main reasons. First, they executed sweet gift deeds to five of their six children. Second, Ann Alexander bested William, their eldest son, on at least one legal issue. Eighteenth century women rarely appeared in county records, making it difficult to learn much about them. Courtroom victories by females were even less common. Ann, who appeared in several records, clearly had some mettle. I admire her determination, and imagine that having an adverse relationship with her son was not easy.

Moving on, this article contains: (1) links to some websites that provide a great deal of information about Alexanders; (2) a brief description of some major unknowns about James and Ann Alexander’s family; and (3) what the records do reveal about them.

Let’s start with the links, including two for the Alexander DNA project.

The first link summarizes Alexander family lineages for all y-DNA project participants. The line of James and Ann Alexander is designated the “Spartanburg Confused Family,” or “SpartCons” for short.[i] Find the SpartCons here:

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/alexander-y-dna/about/results

The next link tabulates the Alexander y-DNA project results. It also refers to the line of James and Ann as “Spartanburg Confused.”

https://www.familytreedna.com/public/ALEXANDER-Y-DNA?iframe=ycolorized

Finally, here is the website of my distant cousin and fellow SpartCon John F. Alexander. It has a wealth of information about the line of James and Ann. John asks me to add that it is a work in progress and that readers are welcome to send him comments, corrections and additions that are supported by evidence.

http://www.johnandval.org/genealogy/AlexFamHist.html

As for the major unknowns about James and Ann, I really hope that someone can fill in some of these blanks. The Alexanders qualify for me as what genealogists call a “brick wall,” meaning that my efforts to identify their parents have been unsuccesful. In fact, I don’t even know where or when James Alexander was born, much less who his parents were. Ditto for his wife Ann. They are both undoubtedly Scots-Irish, but … were they the original immigrants, or were they born here, and their parents were immigrants? I don’t know the answers to any of those questions, although it’s not for lack of trying.

I do think I know where James and Ann came from before they arrived in Anson/Rowan County. They most likely lived in Amelia County, Virginia in the 1740s. Admittedly, the only clue regarding their origin in the North Carolina records was that James had some Virginia currency among the assets of his estate.[ii] That’s pretty thin circumstantial evidence, but better than none. In any event, some James and Ann Alexander lived in Amelia County from about 1742 through 1749.[iii] The timing is perfect, since that is just before James and Ann appeared in Anson County, NC some time before 1752. James and Ann were the only Alexanders who appeared in the Amelia records during that time period, except for a William Alexander who witnessed one deed and who may have been their eldest son.[iv] The absence of other Alexanders raises the inference that James and Ann may have migrated with Ann’s family of origin rather than James’s.

James and Ann lived near several other Scots-Irish families in Amelia, including Ewings, Wallaces, Gillespies, and Cunninghams, and appeared in records with several of them.[v] James Ewing, one of their Scots-Irish neighbors, came from Cecil County, MD, where he owned land.[vi] James and Ann undoubtedly also came to Amelia from the area around Philadelphia/Wilmington, where many Scots-Irish arrived from the Ulster Plantation of northernmost Ireland during the eighteenth century. Their families most likely first lived in Chester or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Cecil County, Maryland, or New Castle County, Delaware. I have no proof, although there are many Alexanders, Gillespies, Ewings and other Scots-Irish in the records of those counties in the 1700s.

The last entry for James and Ann in the Amelia County records was in September 1749, when they sold their tract on Fort Creek adjacent the Gillespies and Ewings.[vii] In 1750, James first appeared in the records of Anson County, North Carolina, in a land grant and a survey there.[viii] The family was clearly living in Anson County by 1752, when James received a Granville grant for the 640 acres on Kerr Creek (also known as James Cathey’s Mill Creek) that had been surveyed for him in 1750.[ix] The deed referred to him as “James Alexander, Gent., of Anson County.”

In early 1753, James and Ann executed deeds giving land and livestock to five of their six children (all except William).[x] James may have been getting his affairs in order, since he died later that year. All five deeds are dated January 7, 1753, and all of them recite love, goodwill and affection for each child as the consideration. Although there are similar recitations of consideration in many other colonial gift deeds from parent to child, it continues to strike me as a lovely thing to put in the permanent records. Also, Ann Alexander, although not named as a grantor in any of the deeds, signed at least four of them with her mark.[xi] As a married woman, she had no legal existence of her own and consequently no legal right to convey that land. Adding her signature simply put her stamp of approval on both the conveyance itself and the love and affection recited as consideration.

Each of the four deeds to their sons – gifts to James Jr., John, David and Robert – refers to the grantee as “planter.” This was a designation of one’s profession: e.g., planter, blacksmith, trader, or just “gentleman.” In January 1753, David was probably just teetering on the brink of adulthood. He was definitely not more than eighteen, and probably a year or two younger than that. Robert was about age ten. Their parents may have been taking pains to treat their younger sons as adults, and perhaps there was a twinkle in the parental eyes when they executed those deeds.

Eleanor, the only Alexander daughter, did not receive land, which isn’t unusual. A colonial female rarely owned a fee simple interest in land. If a woman owned any interest at all in real property, it was usually just a life estate in some or all of her deceased husband’s land. Instead of land, James and Ann gave Eleanor a “gray mair” [sic] and three “cow yearlings.” Her appearance in that deed is important for more than proof of her parents and siblings, because her name is a source of minor controversy among family history researchers. Most call her “Ellen,” which is the name on her tombstone and what she was probably called.[xii] They may be right, but I will just say this: a court record identified her given name as Eleanor;[xiii] at least three deeds (one with her signature as “Elender”) do the same;[xiv] and she had a daughter and at least five granddaughters, all named Eleanor rather than Ellen.[xv] Those facts surely establish that her given name was actually Eleanor. Her nickname was Ellen. For the record, Eleanor, daughter of James and Ann Alexander, married Samuel Rankin about 1759 – early 1760.[xvi] Eleanor’s brother David (not her father, as the author of one Rankin family history incorrectly speculated) sold Samuel his 320-acre tract on James Cathey’s Mill Creek in 1760.[xvii]

Back to James and Ann. A deed from William Alexander to his brother Robert states that James died on June 15, 1753.[xviii] Ann was appointed guardian for David, Eleanor and Robert on October 22, 1755, proving they were underage on that date.[xix] David and Eleanor were allowed to choose their own guardian, establishing that they were at least fourteen but not yet twenty-one. The court appointed Ann guardian for Robert, stating that he was then about age twelve.

The Rowan county deed and court records prove one more son, William. He wasn’t a grantee among the 1753 gift deeds, which may just mean that James and Ann had already provided for him in some fashion. In 1756, William executed confirmation deeds to his two minor brothers, David and Robert, for the land they had received as gifts.[xx] As the eldest, William was James’s heir under the North Carolina law of intestate descent and distribution, and would have been entitled to inherit James’s land had James owned any when he died (assuming, of course, that James had left no will: the rule of primogeniture only applied if a deceased did NOT leave a will). James, however, had given it all to his other four sons. Ann paid William something more than the standard gift deed price of five shillings (although still substantially less than the land was worth) to obtain those confirmation deeds. The “conveyances” insured that her sons had good title and that William would not dispute it.[xxi] I have seen a number of similar confirmation deeds, and the consideration recited was always “love, goodwill and affection.” William apparently preferred cash.

The records leave no doubt about the state of Ann’s relationship with William. In 1755, she had hauled him into court, asserting that he was withholding assets belonging to his father’s estate.[xxii] Ann’s attorney also charged (undoubtedly on her authority and behalf) that William was abusing an indentured servant. I don’t know how the claim regarding the estate assets turned out, but the court sided with Ann on the abuse issue and discharged the indentured servant.[xxiii]

The records suggest that the six Alexander children were born on approximately the dates shown below. The birth dates are estimates, except with respect to David, Eleanor and Robert, whose birth years are reasonably supported by various records: [xxiv]

– William, born by 1728

– James Jr., born about 1730

– John, born about 1732

– David, born about 1736

– Eleanor, born 1740

– Robert, born about 1743

I haven’t found any record of William Alexander’s family (if any) or his whereabouts after Rowan County. James Jr. lived in Spartanburg, SC; John Alexander married Rachel Davidson and went to Burke/Buncombe County, NC; David married Margaret Davidson in Rowan in 1762 and went to Pendleton District (now Anderson Co.), SC; and Robert married Mary Jack and remained in Lincoln County, where he was a justice of the county court.[xxv] Perhaps I can persuade some of the SpartCons to collaborate with me on an outline descendant chart for James and Ann which I can post on this site. I confess that I have not tracked any of James’s and Ann’s children except for Eleanor Alexander, wife of Samuel Rankin. Samuel and Eleanor are probably my ancestors, although an additional y-DNA test of one of Sam and Eleanor’s descendants is needed. Without DNA evidence, I can prove Samuel and Eleanor as ancestors only through a family legend and very strong circumstantial evidence. I will save that story for another day!

* * * * * * * * * * 

[i] The name ‘Spartanburg Confused’, or SpartCon, was assigned long ago, before discovering that James Jr., John, David and Robert were all sons of James and Ann. There are now so many references to SpartCons that changing the designation would be difficult, even though the family is not exclusively from Spartanburg (and the confusion has abated!).

[ii] Jo White Linn, Abstracts of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1762 (Salisbury, NC: 1977), Order Book 2: 92, entry of 25 Oct 1755, inventory of the estate of James Alexander, dec’d, included £52.11.2 Virginia money.

[iii] Gibson J. McConnaughey, Court Order Book 1, Amelia County, Virginia, 1735-1746 (Amelia, VA: Mid-South Publishing Co., 1985), abstract of Order Book 1: 281A, entry of 19 Aug 1742, James Alexander paid for attending court to testify in a lawsuit; Gibson J. McConnaughey, Deed Book 3 and Deed Book 4, Amelia County, Virginia Deeds 1747-1753 (Amelia, VA: Mid-South Publishing Co., 1988), abstract of Deed Book 3: 531, 30 Sep 1749 deed from James Alexander and wife Ann conveying a tract on Fort Creek.

[iv] McConnaughey, abstract of Deed Book 3: 278, 19 Jul 1749 deed witnessed by William Alexander. The grantor was a resident of Augusta County, and the witnesses may have lived there. If the witness was William, the eldest son of James and Ann, then he had probably arrived at legal age and was born by 1728.

[v] FHL Film #1,902,616, tax lists for 1744 through 1749 for the upper part of Amelia from Namozine Cr. to Cellar Cr. included James Alexander, several Cunninghams, Samuel Wallace, Samuel Ewing and Gillespies; 1744 deed to Robert Gillespie for land on Fort Creek adjacent to James Alexander (I have lost the deed book citation for that deed); McConnaughey, abstract of Amelia Deed Book 2: 315, 1746 deed from James Alexander to James Ewing, land on Fort Creek. Grantor’s wife Ann relinquished dower.

[vi] McConnaughey, abstract of Deed Book 3: 371, power of attorney from James Ewing of Amelia County to Joshua Ewing to sell a tract of land in Cecil Co., MD.

[vii] Id., abstract of Deed Book 3: 351, deed of 30 Sep 1749 from James Alexander to John Reed, 300 acres on the north side Fort Creek adjacent Robert Galaspye [sic, Gillespie], James Ewing, Samuel Ewing and James Parks, with all houses, etc., witnessed by John Cunningham et al.

[viii] NC Land Grants Vol. 4: 1040, grant dated 7 Apr 1750 to James Alexander, two tracts on both sides Rocky River; Patent Book 11: 1, survey dated 12 Nov 1750, 640 acres in Anson adjacent Andrew Kerr.

[ix] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. I 1753 – 1762, Abstracts of Books 1 – 4 (Salisbury, NC), Deed Book 3: 547, Granville grant dated 25 Mar 1752 to James Alexander of Anson Co., Gent., 640 acres adjacent Andrew Kerr. Witnesses included William Alexander. Notation in the margin: “to his widow.” This tract was on Kerr/James Cathey’s Mill Creek.

[x] Copies of Anson County, NC Deed Book B: 314, deed from James Alexander (also signed by Ann) to James Jr., 320 acres on Cadle (sic, Coddle) Cr. and 250 acres on the Catawba River; id. at pp. 314-315, deed from James (also signed Ann) to son John, the other half of the two tracts given to James Jr.; id. at 315, James Sr. to son David, half of the tract where I live (the tract on James Cathey’s Mill Cr.) and livestock; id., deeds from James to daughter Elener and son Robert (the other half of the tract on James Cathey’s Mill Cr.). An abstract of Anson County deeds omits the second deed, a gift of land and livestock to John Alexander. See Brent Holcomb, Anson County, N. C. Deed Abstracts Volume 1: 1749-1757 (Clinton, SC: 1974). I have copies from the deed books, however, so am confident that John is a proved son of James and Ann Alexander.

[xi] The deed from James Alexander to their daughter “Elener” doesn’t mention Ann’s mark, although these deeds have been transcribed from the original deed books and are now typed.

[xii] Microfilm at Clayton Genealogical library titled “North Carolina Tombstone Records, Vols. 1, 2 and 3,” compiled by the Alexander Martin and J. S. Wellborn chapters of the DAR; transcribed lists filmed 1935 by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Tombstone of Ellen Rankin, b. 16 April 1740, d. 26 Jan 1802. Other researchers give the birth date on her tombstone as 1743, although that is not consistent with the court allowing her to cloose her own guardian in 1755. That required her to be at least fourteen.

[xiii] Linn, Abstracts of the Minutes, Order Book 2: 90, entry of 22 Oct 1755, David and Elinor Alexander (spelling per abstractor) came into court and chose their mother Ann Alexander as their guardian.

[xiv] Copy of Rowan County DB B: 315, gift deed from James Alexander to his daughter Elener; Linn, Rowan County Abstracts, Deed Book 6: 225, deed dated 31 Aug 1765 from Samuel Rankin and wife Eleanor (spelling per the abstractor) to John McNeeley, 320 acres on James Cathey’s Mill Creek; original of Lincoln Co. Deed Book 1: 703 (viewed by me at the courthouse, although my notes do not say whether it was Gaston or Lincoln County), deed of 26 Jan 1773 from Samuel Rankin of Tryon to Philip Alston, 150 acres on Kuykendall Creek signed by Samuel Rankin and Elender Rankin (two other deeds the same day, see DB 1: 702 et seq. were not signed by “Elender,” although she is identified in both as “Elen,” a grantor).

[xv] At least five of Samuel and Eleanor Rankin’s children named a daughter “Eleanor” (not “Ellen”), including Samuel Rankin Jr., Jean Rankin Hartgrove, Robert Rankin, David G. Rankin, and Eleanor Rankin Dickson. See, e.g., the tombstone of Eleanor, wife of Joseph Dickson, Ellis Cemetery, Shelby Co., Ill., died 4 Apr 1848, age 62, at www.findagrave.com.

[xvi] Virgil D. White, Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume III: N-Z (Waynesboro, TN: The National Historical Publishing Co., 1992). Abstract of the pension application of William Rankin, the eldest son of Samuel and Eleanor Alexander Rankin, states that he was born January 1761 in Rowan County.

[xvii] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. II. 1762 – 1772 Abstracts of Books 5, 6, 7 (Salisbury, NC: 1972), Deed Book 5: 272, 14 July 1760 deed from David Alexander to Samuel Rankin, for £29 NC currency, 320 acres on both sides James Cathey’s Mill Creek.

[xviii] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. I 1753 – 1762, Abstracts of Books 1 – 4 (Salisbury, NC), abstract of Deed Book 3: 495, deed of 10 Jun 1756 from William Alexander, described as the eldest son and heir of James Alexander, to his brother Robert Alexander, reciting that James died intestate on 15 June 1753.

[xix] Linn, abstract of Rowan Order Book 2: 90, David and Elener Alexander chose their mother Ann as guardian and the court appointed Ann the guardian of Robert, about age 12.

[xx] Linn, abstract of Rowan Deed Book 3: 495, deed dated 10 Jun 1756 from Wiliam Alexander, eldest son and heir of James Alexander, to Robert Alexander, orphan of James, under 21 and brother of James (who died intestate 15 Jun 1753), for 75 shillings paid by the widow Anne Alexander, mother of Robert and William, 320 acres on both sides James Cathey’s Mill Cr.; Deed Book 3: 498, William Alexander to David Alexander, orphan of James Alexander, under 21 and brother of William, by Anne Alexander, for 7 shillings sterling, 320 acres both sides James Cathey’s Mill Cr.

[xxi] I don’t know why similar confirmation deeds were apparently not needed for the gifts to James Jr. and John, who were of legal age at the time of the gift in 1753. North Carolina law at that time apparently treated conveyances of realty to minors differently than conveyances to a grantee of legal age. Other Rowan County records establish that Ann Alexander had an attorney, see note 22, and it seems likely that she would have obtained advice about the ability of an heir to challenge a conveyance of land via deeds of gift.

[xxii] Id., abstract of Rowan Order Book 2: 77, entry of 16 Jul 1755, ordered on motion of Edward Underhill, Esq. (Ann Alexander’s attorney) that citation issue against William Alexander returnable immediately to give an account on oath what estate he has in his hands or had which were of James Alexander, dec’d, and account with Ann Alexander, administratrix for same.

[xxiii] Id., abstract of Order Book 2: 78, ordered on motion of Edward Underhill, Esq., that James Nicholas be discharged of his indenture to William Alexander due to ill usage. Discharged. The next day, the court ordered William to produce James Nicholas in court or else to “stand committed.” Order Book 2: 81. I don’t know what “stand committed” means, but suspect that it means held in contempt of court and committed to jail.

[xxiv] See note 12 (tombstone showing Eleanor’s birth year as 1740), note 19 (in 1755, Ann Alexander chosen as guardian by Eleanor and David and appointed as guardian of Robert, about age 12) and note 20 (1756 deed reciting that David Alexander was still a minor).

[xxv] https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/alexander-y-dna/about/results, see lineages for those members of the “Spartanburg Confused Family” who trace their line back to James and Ann.

Same Name Confusion: Sorting Out Three Men Named Lyddal Bacon Estes/Lyddal Estes

by Robin Rankin Willis

Occasionally, I despair. The amount of lousy information “out there” on the internet about my ancestors is distressing, especially considering that it is available for all the world to see for infinity (or until The Donald accidentally activates a nuclear attack while searching for a flattering picture of his coif on his desktop). I have talked to a couple of my favorite family history researchers about this – you know who you are, Jody and Roberta – and we share a certain undesirable trait of character: we take offense when people publish absolute crap about our ancestors. I don’t need my cousin Diane Rankin, a genuine psychiatrist, to tell me that this is a silly thing to get het up about. What difference can it possibly make that some people publish bad information on our ancestors?

I don’t know. None. All I know is that it incites me to publish articles to correct erroneous information. This is one of those posts.

The stuff one can find on the web about Lyddal Bacon Estes provides a great example of bad information. In this case, the errors are partly attributable to the understandable confusion caused by the fact that a number of men shared that name or a close variation, and three of them were alive at the same time. Throw in some incomplete research on top of that, and you’ve got the makings of a really funky family tree. I will resist the temptation to provide examples, including a couple of my own errors (blush). Instead, here is an updated version of an article I wrote that was originally published in June 2010 in Estes Trails, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2.

I doubt seriously that this post will change anyone’s mind who seriously believes that Doctor Lyddal Bacon Estes of Maury County, TN married Ann (nickname Nancy) Ann Allen Winn in Lunenburg, VA while simultaneously being married to Sally Alston Hunter in Maury, or that Dr. LBE and Sally Alston Hunter were the parents of Mary F. Estes Rankin (they were not). I can only hope that someone who is struggling with an ancestor who traces his or her Estes line back to that unusual name will find some help in here.

Here’s how I stumbled onto these three confusing Estes. Early in my family history research, I learned that Mary F. Estes Rankin, the wife of my ancestor Samuel Rankin, was a daughter of Lyddal Bacon Estes of Tishomingo County, Mississippi (hereafter, “LBE”). I was absolutely delighted to learn this. Having dealt with ancestors who recycled the same men’s given names ad nauseam – John, William, Thomas, Richard and Samuel – finding the parents of a man who had two unusual surnames for given and middle names looked to me like a potential research cakewalk.

I was dead wrong. There was nothing easy about identifying LBE’s parents. I immediately found myself entangled in a genealogical hazard called “same name confusion,” because there were three men alive in the early 1800s who shared the name Lyddal Estes or Lyddal Bacon Estes. Thus, my first task in finding LBE’s parents was to sort out these three men: (1) Doctor Lyddal Bacon Estes, who died in Maury County, Tennessee; (2) Lyddal Estes, who died in Troup County, Georgia; and (3) my proved ancestor LBE, who died in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. It soon became clear that these men have frequently been conflated by family history researchers. Let’s start untangling the confusion with a look at Doctor Estes, who is relatively (but not entirely) uncontroversial.

Dr. Lyddal Bacon Estes (1775 – 1814) of Lunenburg Co., VA, North Carolina, and Maury Co., TN.

Estes Trails has had several articles over the years mentioning Doctor Lyddal Bacon Estes (hereafter, “Doc Estes”). He is the man who married Sarah (“Sally”) Alston Hunter in Warren County, North Carolina in 1805.[1] He is identified in Charles Estes’s 1894 compiled history Estes Genealogies as a son of Benjamin Estes and his wife Frances Bacon Estes of Lunenburg County, Virginia.[2] So far as I can tell from my own research, that is 100% correct. Doc Estes was undoubtedly born and raised in Lunenburg, since Benjamin and Frances lived there from at least 1758 until 1811, when Benjamin last appeared on the Lunenburg tax lists.[3]

There is very little trace of Doc Estes in the Lunenburg records, except that he appeared on the personal property tax lists from 1798 through 1802 in the same district as his father Benjamin.[4] It is certain that the Lyddal Estes on those lists was not LBE of Tishomingo, who wasn’t born until the early 1790s (see discussion below). Further, this Lunenburg tithable was not the Lyddal Estes who died in Troup County, GA, because that man was already in the Carolinas by 1790 (also discussed below). In short, the man on the Lunenburg tax lists was Doc Estes, son of Benjamin and Frances Bacon Estes.

In 1805, Doc Estes appeared in Warren County, North Carolina long enough to marry Sally Hunter. He was in Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee by 1807.[5] He was appointed Columbia postmaster the same year. In 1809, he was a justice of the Maury County court. He owned three lots in the town of Columbia, two of which he mortgaged in 1813.[6] He died there in 1814 owing fairly substantial debts, although a host of people owed him money, as well. A list of the debts due his estate contains more than 150 names, including his brothers Chesley Estes and John H. Estes, first cousin and brother-in-law Bartlett Estes, and brothers-in-law John and Josiah Alderson.[7] The obituary for Doc Estes published in the Nov. 15, 1814 issue of The Tennessee State Gazette of Nashville says simply that “Estes, Dr. L. B. of Columbia, departed this life Sunday last on ‘the day he completed his 39th year of his age.’ Husband … father … public officer.”[8]

Doc Estes has not escaped the “same name confusion” problem. Several GEDCOMs on Ancestry.com and family trees posted on the web confuse him with LBE of Tishomingo County by asserting — incorrectly that Doc Estes also married Nancy/Ann Allen Winn of Lunenburg. However, Doc Estes was still married to Sarah Hunter, his wife since 1805, when he died in 1814. She appeared in the Maury County records as Sarah or Sally Estes, clearly identified as his widow in November 1814 (when she received her widow’s provision and was appointed administrator of his estate) and in March 1815 (appearing as Doc Estes’s administrator in a lawsuit).[9] The other LBE married Nancy A. Winn in Lunenburg in March 1814. Because that was during the time when Doc Estes was married to Sarah, it follows that Doc Estes of Maury County was definitely not Nancy Winn’s husband.[10]

Doc Estes and Sarah’s children, all identified in Estes Genealogies, were (1) Edwin Chesley Estes (1806 – 1886), (2) Alston Bacon Estes (1808 – 1888), (3) Ludwell Hunter Estes (1810 – 1887), (4) William Isaac Addison Estes (1812-1893), and (5) Martha Louise or Louisa Estes (1814 – 1878). After Doc Estes died, Sarah married Buford Turner, also of Maury County, and had several more children.[11]

Lyddal Estes (1763 – 1850) of Amelia and Henry Co., VA, Stokes Co., NC, Chester Co., SC and Troup County, GA (1763 – 1850).

An “Editor’s Note” in the September 2001 issue of Estes Trails briefly mentioned the second Lyddal Estes, a man who died in 1850 in Troup County, Georgia. This Lyddal’s application to the state of Virginia for a Revolutionary War pension (reproduced in a 1984 issue of Estes Trails) provides some good information about him.[12] He was born in Amelia County, Virginia in 1763 and enlisted in Henry County, Virginia in 1780, at about age seventeen. After the war, he lived in Henry County, in North and South Carolina, and in Troup County, Georgia. He applied for a pension from Troup County in 1843. According to the Editor’s Note in Estes Trails, Lyddal married Martha Thomason on 7 April 1789 in Henry County, Virginia.[13]

Census and other records flesh out the information in Lyddal’s pension application, which was rejected for failure to serve the requisite six months. He was enumerated as “Lyddle Estes” in the 1790 census for Stokes County, North Carolina.[14] He was taxed as a free white poll owning no land in the Stokes County tax lists for 1791, 1792 and 1796, in the same district as his father-in-law John Thomason.[15] Since Lyddal was the only Estes included in either the tax lists or the 1790 census for Stokes County, he apparently migrated initially with his Thomason in-laws rather than with his family of origin. The 1826 Stokes County will of John Thomason named his daughter Patsy (a nickname for Martha) “Easty,” per the abstractor.[16]

Lyddal was not listed in either North or South Carolina as a head of household in 1800. He may have been living in the household of his father, William Estes, in Chester County, South Carolina.[17] By 1810, Lyddal was definitely in Chester County, where he was listed in the census adjacent his mother Elizabeth.[18] The Chester County will of William Estes Sr., dated August 11, 1807, names Lyddal as one of his sons.[19] Lyddal was still in Chester County in 1820, and is probably the man listed as “L. Estes,” born in the 1760s, in the 1830 Chester County census.[20]

Lyddal’s pension application says that he moved to Troup County, Georgia in about 1838, and he was enumerated there in the 1840 census.[21] His widow Martha, age eighty and born in Virginia, was listed as a head of household in the 1850 Troup County census.[22] I have not found any probate records identifying their heirs, but information at my library for Troup County is limited. The census records suggest seven children, probably including daughters named Elizabeth and Mary.[23]

Some researchers believe that LBE of Tishomingo was a son of Lyddal Estes of Troup County. That is highly unlikely, if not totally impossible. Lyddal Estes was living in Stokes County, North Carolina by the 1790 census and was there through at least 1796. LBE of Tishomingo, on the other hand, was unquestionably born in Virginia during 1790-94 (see discussion below). Moreover, Lyddal was in Chester County, South Carolina by no later than 1810 and was still there twenty years later. The other LBE, however, was a resident of Lunenburg, Virginia when he married there in 1814.

Lyddal Bacon Estes (“LBE”) (b. 1790-94, d. 1845) of Lunenburg, VA, Madison Co., ALA?, McNairy Co., TN and Tishomingo Co., MS

Estes Trails has provided considerable information about LBE’s family. He is the man who married Ann Allen Winn (nicknamed “Nancy,” the name she was known by) in Lunenburg in 1814. The marriage bond – which gave their names as “Lyddal B. Estes” and “Nancy A. Winn” – described him as “of Lunenburg.”[24] The evidence establishes that the LBE who lived in Tishomingo County, Mississippi was the same man as the LBE who married Nancy in Lunenburg. LBE appeared as “Lyddal B. Estes” in the Tishomingo probate records in 1845, and his widow is identified as “Nancy A. Estes.”[25] The names of their children, which include some distinctive Winn family names, and the family cluster with which LBE and Nancy migrated (including some Winn families), help confirm that they are the same couple who married in Lunenburg in 1814.[26]

After marrying Nancy, LBE appeared on the Lunenburg personal property tax lists in 1815 and 1816 as “Lidwell B. Estes,” one of many variants of the spelling of his given name. Their first son, Benjamin Henderson Estes, was born in Virginia in 1815.[27] After 1816, LBE and Nancy disappeared from the Lunenburg records. They probably moved initially to Madison County, Alabama, along with Nancy’s mother Lucretia Andrews Winn and Nancy’s siblings.[28] However, I have not found LBE or Nancy in the Madison County records, although three of their children were most likely born in Alabama.[29]

By at least 1826, LBE and Nancy had arrived in McNairy County, Tennessee, because he obtained two McNairy land grants in January 1826 and their son LBE (Jr.) was born in Tennessee in September of that year.[30] LBE and his family were enumerated in the 1830 McNairy County census near Gideon B. Winn, one of Nancy’s brothers.[31] LBE began appearing in the records in Tishomingo County in 1836, the year the county was created.[32] He died there in 1845, and Nancy died some time after 1860, when she last appeared in the census.[33]

There is at least one Tishomingo record which expressly gives LBE’s middle name as Bacon.[34] Interestingly, he was a hog farmer: his estate inventory listed over 300 head of hogs.[35] My husband Gary, who is occasionally irreverent about our ancestors (among other things), has dubbed LBE “Little Sizzler.” For my part, I admire the fact that the man managed to survive and prosper in a business that, unlike cotton and tobacco growing, did not require slaves. He owned no slaves when he died.

He did own several tracts in the northeastern corner of Tishomingo (now Alcorn) County totaling 800 acres.[36] The land remained in the estate until Nancy and Benjamin petitioned the court in 1854 for permission to sell it to make distribution to the heirs.[37] LBE (Jr.) bought the entire acreage for $4,392 on twelve months credit.[38] He then resold parts of it to family members, including his sister Martha Estes Swain, his brother Benjamin Henderson Estes, his mother Nancy and brother Allen W. Estes, and Riley Myers, a relative of Nancy’s youngest sister Alsadora Winn Looney.[39] My husband and I visited the area in late 2006. Nancy and LBE are probably buried somewhere on their acreage, although the landowner wasn’t aware of any cemetery on the property. Their tombstones, if any, have undoubtedly long since disappeared.

LBE and Nancy’s children, most of whom are conclusively proved by Tishomingo deeds, were (1) Benjamin Henderson Estes (1815 – 1897), (2) Mary F. (Frances?) Estes Rankin (abt 1818 – after 1888), (3) Martha Ann Estes Swain (1819 – 1905), (4) Lucretia Estes Derryberry (abt. 1822 – after 1888), (5) John B. Estes (abt. 1823 – ??), (6) Lyddal Bacon Estes (Jr.) (1826 – 1903), (7) Alsadora Estes Byers (abt. 1829 – ??), (8) William P. Estes (abt. 1830 – ??), and (9) Allen W. Estes (1832 -1864).[40]

And that’s that, except for one piece of unfinished business … who were LBE’s parents? That’s up next.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

[1] Frances T. Ingmire, Warren County North Carolina Marriage Records 1780-1867 (Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co. reprint, 1993).

[2] Charles Estes, Estes Genealogies 1097 – 1893 (Salem, MA: Eben Putnam, 1894), reprint available from Higginson Book Company, Salem, MA. Charles incorrectly stated that Benjamin Estes and Frances Bacon were married in Maury Co., TN, which is not possible since they were married by at least 1758 (see following note), before the state of Tennessee was created.

[3] Benjamin and Frances Bacon Estes were married before October 1758, when her father John Bacon named them both in his will, see Lunenburg Will Book 1: 258. Benjamin appeared regularly on the Lunenburg land and personal property tax lists through 1811. He and Frances sold their Lunenburg tract in 1810, Lunenburg Deed Book 22: 134. They reportedly moved to Maury Co., TN, where some of their children lived, including Doc Estes.

[4] Clayton Library Film Nos. 180, 181, 238 and 239, microfilm of Lunenburg County, Virginia Land Tax Records and Personal Property Tax Records for various years beginning in 1782.

[5] D. P. Robbins, Century Review of Maury County, Tennessee, 1805-1905 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press 1980).

[6] Virginia Wood Alexander, Maury Co., Tennessee Deed Abstracts Books D, E, and F (Columbia, TN: 1972), abstracts of Deed Book C: 10, 13 and Deed Book E: 229.

[7] Jill Knight Garrett & Marise Parrish Lightfoot, Maury County, Tennessee Will Books A, B, C-1, D and E, 1807-1832 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1984), abstract of Will Book A-1: 220, list of debts due the estate of L. B. Estes. Bartlett Estes was a son of George Estes, a brother of Doc’s father Benjamin Estes. Bartlett married Susannah Estes, a sister of Doc Estes. Sarah Estes, another sister, married John S. Alderson in Lunenburg, bond dated 15 Jan 1801. Doc Estes’s sister Alla or Alley (probably Alsadora) Estes married Josiah Alderson, also in Lunenburg, bond of 12 Jul 1803. Emma R. Matheny and Helen K. Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County Virginia 1746-1853 (Richmond: Clearfield Company, 1967). Charles Estes’s book Estes Genealogies incorrectly identified Sarah Estes Alderson’s husband as Mr. Turner, see note 11.

[8] Marise P. Lightfoot and Evelyn B. Shackleford, They Passed This Way, Maury County, Tennessee Death Records, Volume II (Mt. Pleasant, TN: 1970).

[9] Garrett & Lightfoot, abstract of Will Book B: 84; Katharine Curtice, Records of Maury County, Tennessee, Minute Book, Volume A 1810 – 1815 (Houston: Ann Poage Chapter of the DAR, 1991), abstract of Minute Book A: 225, 266.

[10] Matheny and Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County.

[11] Estes Genealogies states that the Sarah Estes who married a Turner was Sarah, daughter of Benjamin and Frances Bacon Estes. However, Maury Co. records prove that Buford Turner married Doc Estes’s widow Sarah rather than Doc Estes’s sister Sarah. Maury Co. Minute Book A: 24, lawsuit styled William Bradshaw v. Wade v. Admrs of L. B. Estes, dec’d, Buford Turner admr in wright [sic] of his wife Sara A. Turner in estate of Lydville B. Estes, dec’d. See also Estes Trails, Vol. XIX No. 3, Sept. 2001 at p. 3.

[12] John Frederick Dorman, Virginia Revolutionary Pension Applications, Volume Thirty-Four (Washington, D.C.: 1980).

[13] The marriage bond abstract for Henry County available at my library does not include any record for Lyddal and Martha. Virginia Anderton Dodd, Henry County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1778 – 1849 (Baltimore: Clearfield Company reprint, 1989; originally published Richmond: 1953). There is little doubt, however, that Lyddal’s wife was Martha Thomason, a fact established by her father’s Stokes Co., NC will.

[14] 1790 census, Stokes Co., Salisbury Dist., NC, p. 552, listing for Lyddle Estes, 1 male > 16 and 2 females.

[15] Iris Moseley Harvey, Stokes County, North Carolina Tax List 1791 (Raleigh: 1998). Ms. Moseley has also abstracted the tax lists for 1792 through 1797. She abstracts Lyddal Estes’s name as “Suddle Eastus” (1791), “Suddle Eustus” (1792), and “Lydwell Estees” (1796).

[16] Mrs. W. O. Absher, Stokes County, North Carolina Wills Volumes I- IV 1790 – 1864 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1985), abstract of Stokes Co., NC Will Book 3: 162.

[17] 1800 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 77, listing for William Estes, 30111-32211.

[18] 1810 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 292, listing for Lydal Estes, 11001-30210.

[19] Brent H. Holcomb, Chester County, South Carolina Will Abstracts 1787-1838 [1776-1838] (Columbia, SC: 2006), abstract of the will of William Estes Sr. of Chester District naming wife Elizabeth, sons Liddal, Silvanus, William (Jr.) and John, and daughters Polly Carter, Peggy Gather, Betsy Lockart and Sally Walker; grandson William Clement. Will dated 11 August 1807.

[20] 1820 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 110, Lyddal Estes, 000101-11101; 1830 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 293, L. Estes, 010000001-111201001.

[21] 1840 census, Troup Co., GA, p. 362, listing for Lyddel Esters.

[22] 1850 census, Troup Co, GA, p. 102, household of Martha Easters, 80, b. VA.

[23] Martha’s household in the 1850 census (see prior note) included Mary Sanders, 23, and Elizabeth Hoyl, 20, both b. SC, with two children, M. K. Sanders and Martha E. Hoyl.

[24] Matheny and Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County.

[25] FHL Film 895,897, Tishomingo Co., MS Probate Record C: 391, administrators’ bond dated 3 Mar 1845, Benjamin H. Estes and Nancy A. Estes, administrators of Lyddal B. Estes, dec’d, securities Samuel Rankin and H. B. Derryberry.

[26] LBE and Nancy had a daughter named Lucretia (for Nancy’s mother, Lucretia Andrews Winn), a son named Allen (Nancy Winn’s middle name), and a daughter Alsadora (the name of Nancy’s youngest sister). Nancy’s sister Alsadora Winn Looney and brother Richard B. Winn also resided in Tishomingo, and Nancy’s brother Gideon B. Winn lived near LBE and Nancy in McNairy Co., TN in 1830.

[27] E.g., 1850 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 42, listing for B. H. Estes, b. VA; Robinson Cemetery, McLennan Co., TX, tombstone of “B. H. Estes, Dec. 12, 1815 – Jan. 6, 1897.” Central Texas Genealogical Society, Inc., McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume II (Waco, TX: 1973).

[28] Mary Chandler, who wrote an ET article about LBE and Nancy’s family, states that their marriage was also recorded in Madison County, AL with the same date as the Lunenburg marriage. Estes Trails, Vol. XIX, No. 3 (Sept. 2001), “More on Lyddal Bacon Estes,” p. 6.

[29] Although the census records are inconsistent, LBE and Nancy’s son John B. Estes, and their daughters Mary F. Estes Rankin and Martha Ann Estes Swain, were probably born in Alabama. See, e.g., 1870 census, Jefferson Co., AR, p. 575, Mary F. Rankin, b. AL; 1860 census, Nacodoches Co., TX, p. 122, John B. Estes, b. AL; 1850 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 40, Martha Swain, b. AL. Other census records give their states of birth as TN or MS. What is now Alabama was originally part of the Mississippi Territory, which is one possible source of confusion.

[30] http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/ (BLM land grants); 1860 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 87, listing for Lyddal Estes, b. TN; McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume II, tombstone of L. B. Estes giving birth date of Sept. 20, 1826, Fletcher Cemetery.

[31] 1830 census, McNairy Co., TN, p. 119, line 12 (Lyddal B. Estes) and line 15 (Jiddeon B. Winn). Nancy Allen Winn’s siblings are identified in the Lunenburg Guardian Accounts, FHL Film 895,897 at p. 136, account dated 1 Jan 1808 filed by the guardian of Nancy Allen, Elizabeth, Sally Washington, Susanna Moor, Banister, Richard Bland, Gideon Booker and Alsodora Abraham, orphans of Benjamin Winn; eight children.

[32] Fan A. Cockran, History of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi Territory (Oklahoma City: Barnhart Letter Shop,1969), Lyddal B. Estes was surety for the Tishomingo tax collector in May 1836.

[33] FHL Film 895,897, Tishomingo Co., MS Probate Record C: 391, 3 Mar 1845 bond of Benjamin H. Estes and Nancy A. Estes, administrators of the estate of Lyddal B. Estes; 1860 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 87, listing for Nancy A. Estes, 71, b. VA.

[34] Original of Tishomingo Probate Book K: 4, viewed by the author at the Chancery Courthouse in Corinth, annual account of the estate of Lyddal Bacon Estes, dec’d, by B. H. Estes and Nancy Estes, Aug 1846.

[35] FHL Film 895,897, Tishomingo Probate Vol. C: 428, inventory of L. B. Estes, 27 March 1845.

[36] FHL Film 895,898, Tishomingo DB R: 15, 30 May 1854 deed from B. H. Estes and Nancy Estes, administrators of L. B. Estes, identifying LBE’s tracts by section, township and range.

[37] Original of Tishomingo Probate Book M: 484 viewed by the author at Corinth, MS, 14 Mar 1854 order for sale of land refers to the Administrators’ petition and finds sale is needed to divide the estate among the heirs.

[38] FHL Film 895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 15.

[39] FHL Film 895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 18, 19; FHL Film 895,881, Deed Book U: 155, 531.

[40] Robin Rankin Willis, Estes Trails, Vol. XXIV, No. 1, March 2006, p. 5-7, “More About the Family of Lyddal Bacon Estes and Nancy A. Winn.”

Ancestor Charts for John Allen Rankin & Siblings

Here are two ancestor charts for John Allen Rankin. They have the same information, although in two different formats. I’m trying them on for size. Both show three generations of ancestors for John Allen Rankin; one chart also identifies his siblings. There isn’t much information on any individual. This is just a “big picture” of John Allen’s family tree.

The first tree is an unsophisticated chart that I drew using Word, at considerable cost to my sanity. I tried several times simply to paste the chart in this post, but could not make that work. Instead, I accidentally created a link to the chart. A potential problem here is that I am not sure I can duplicate the process … <grin>

Here is the link for that ancestor chart: Rankin chart 1

The second chart is one that Family Tree Maker drew for me with the click of a mouse. Much easier on the blood pressure, but not nearly as colorful. Ultimately, not very satisfying, either. Here is the link to the FTM tree chart:

JARankin Tree Chart

Here’s hoping that some of the innumerable people clinging to the mistaken belief that Mary F. Estes Rankin was the daughter of Lyddal Bacon Estes and Sally Alston Hunter see these charts and reconsider the error of their ways. Mary Estes Rankin’s mother was Ann Allen Winn, nickname “Nancy.” Sally Hunter was married to a different Lyddal Bacon Estes, a doctor who lived in Maury County, Tennessee. Next, I will publish an article describing the “same name confusion” error that surrounds Dr. Estes and his namesake, a nephew, who was actually Mary Estes Rankin’s father. Cheers!

Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Allen Rankin & Amanda Lindsey — Another Family Legend

by Robin Rankin Willis © June 2016

My ancestor John Allen Rankin and his wife Amanda Lindsey, daughter of Edward Buxton Lindsey, have a good story. (See http://digupdeadrelatives.com/category/articles/lindsey-articles/ for my article on the legend concerning Edward Buxton Lindsey.) From one vantage point, John Allen and Amanda’s story is a war story, pure and simple. It is also a love story. The love story and war story intersect in both my family’s legends and the verifiable facts.

My father’s “how to” genealogy book advised that the best place to start compiling one’s family history is by interviewing family members. A goodly part of the oral family history is invariably wrong, but even the misinformation contains clues aplenty, says the book. In my experience, the book is dead right.

As I noted in another article on this website about Edward Lindsey, my father promptly took that “how to” advice when he was “bitten by the genealogy bug.” He and his sister, my Aunt Louise, set out to talk to all their north Louisiana kin to see what they could learn about the Rankins et al. Here is what Daddy wrote to me in a 1969 letter – yes, we actually did once communicate via snail mail in writing — telling me the latest he had learned about his family. This qualifies as my favorite family legend, bar none:

“Dearest Robin Baby: ….Cousin Norene Sale Robinson at Homer told us that Grandma [Amanda Lindsey] was living in Monticello, Arkansas in 1863 when she met John Allen [Rankin]. He came to their door one night looking for a sister who lived there in town. Grandma said that she went to the door and ‘there stood the most handsomest soldier that she had ever seen and that she fell in love with him right there.’ They were married some time after that.”

There is a wealth of information in that legend. One of its chief virtues is that its essential objective elements – location, date, a soldier’s uniform, the people involved – are readily subject to verification among actual records. The legend also comes from an unimpeachable source, because Cousin Norene, who was twenty-eight when Amanda died in 1920 and had lived with Amanda for some time, had actually heard that story straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. This legend was not subject to the vagaries of multiple oral retellings.

When I starting digging around amongst my Rankin and Lindsey relatives, I set about trying to confirm the objective facts about that legend.

First, Amanda’s father, Edward B. Lindsey, was living in Monticello, Drew County, Arkansas in 1860.[1] During the war, he was a member of the Monticello “Home Guard,” so he was still in Monticello in 1863. So far, so good – Amanda’s family was right where the legend says they would be in 1863.

However, John Allen did not have a sister who was old enough to be married or living on her own when he was knocking on Monticello doors in (according to the legend) 1863.[2] John Allen did have a married older brother, William Henderson Rankin, living in Drew County.[3] William, I discovered as I looked at the 1860 census for Monticello, was listed just a few dwellings down from Amanda’s father Edward B. Lindsey.[4] However, William was still off fighting in the War in 1863.[5] Thus, John Allen was almost certainly looking for his sister-in-law rather than a sister. As legends go, that’s close enough.

It is also certain that John Allen was a soldier. My father’s 1969 letter to me continued with the war part of the family legend.

“Cousin Norene said that [John Allen’s] war record was never discussed by the family. It does seem funny that he was out of it in 1863. I have always thought that he was wounded in the war and that was one reason that he died at a fairly young age. It seems that was what we were told. So there could be a body hidden in the closet. Anyway we will find out for I am going to send off for his war record tomorrow, and if he did desert we will keep that out of the record.”

When I started writing short articles about my ancestors to preserve the history for our children, I looked for John Allen’s war records among my father’s materials. I couldn’t find them anywhere. Perhaps, I thought, the National Archives had lost John Allen’s records, and Daddy never received anything. Many records from the Civil War have just flat disappeared. However, I had a clear recollection about Daddy telling me about some of the information he learned from those war records.

Unable to find anything in his materials, I started sending off for records of my own. Amanda Lindsey Rankin’s Confederate pension application, a certifiable heartbreaker, arrived by mail first. She filed the application from Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana in April 1910.[6] She was living with her daughter, Anna Belle Rankin Sale (Cousin Norene’s mother), as of 1900.[7] I cannot find her in 1910, although she was obviously still alive. Amanda signed the application in the quavery handwriting of an old person although she was only sixty-five, which, at this point, doesn’t seem at all old to me. The rest of it, though, is filled out in a strong feminine hand.

Amanda swore in her application that she had no source of income whatsoever, no real property, and no personal property worth a spit. That is all unquestionably true, from what I know of my north Louisiana relatives: that didn’t change until my father’s generation. She certainly couldn’t get much help from her son John Marvin (“Daddy Jack,” my grandfather), who at that time was struggling to make ends meet with a wife and four children, a rented house, and a job driving a dray wagon.

Amanda stated further that John Allen volunteered to serve the Confederate Army in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on March 14, 1862 (turns out that was the wrong year), that Captain Henry was his company commander, and that he was in the 9th Arkansas Infantry. She also swore – under oath, mind you – that he was honorably discharged on April 10, 1865, which just happens to be one day after Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

Here we have an apparent disconnect between the legend and the pension application. The legend says that John Allen and Amanda met in 1863. Amanda swore that he was discharged two years later.

The Office of the Board of Pension Commissioners of the State of Louisiana sent Amanda’s application off to the War Department in Washington, D.C. The War Department had this to say in response.

“The records show that John A. Rankin, private, Captain Phillip G. Henry’s Company C, 9th Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States Army, enlisted July 25 (also shown August 9) 1861. On the muster roll covering the period from November 1 to December 31, 1863 (the last on which his name is borne), he is reported absent in arrest in Canton, Mississippi by order of the Provost Marshal. No later record of him has been found.”

With that information in hand, the Louisiana Pension Board Commissioners rejected Amanda’s application. “Absent in arrest” means “AWOL.”

I don’t think Amanda ever knew the truth about her husband John Allen’s service, unless she figured it out after her pension application was denied. What do you think?

I wonder who came up with a discharge date one day after Appomattox? In my imagination, which badly wants to give the destitute Amanda the benefit of the doubt, some nice female clerk was helping Amanda fill out the application (it is, I surmise, her handwriting on the forms, although it might have been Amanda’s daughter, Anna Belle Rankin Sale). The clerk asked when John Allen was discharged, to which Amanda responded truthfully that she did not know. The clerk, who knew her history, said, “well, everyone was discharged by April 10, 1865, why don’t we just use that date.”[8] Fine, said Amanda. The clerk naturally assumed that John Allen received a normal discharge, or why else would Amanda even bother to apply?

John Allen’s entire military record arrived in the mail shortly thereafter.[9] Here are the facts, along with some great images from records that are more than 150 years old. Ironically, when I retrieved these records from my own notebooks, I found my father’s copies stashed in the same clear plastic page cover. So I have a spare copy of these records, if anyone in the family needs one!

Amanda did have some of the facts about her husband’s war record down pat. John Allen Rankin did enlist in the Confederate army at Pine Bluff, Arkansas – near where his family farmed, in Jefferson (now Cleveland) County. He was a private, and is shown as having served in both C and K companies of the 9th Arkansas Infantry. He enlisted for a one-year term on July 25, 1861 and served under Captain Henry.

At the beginning of the Vicksburg Campaign, the brigade of which the 9th Arkansas Infantry was a part was located at Port Hudson, Louisiana. It was ordered to Tullahoma, Tennessee on or about 15 April 1863, but was recalled on 18 April 1863 and sent to what was called the Battle of Champion Hill on 16 May 1863.[10]  Here is a weird historical coincidence. I have looked at the Confederate military history of only two families among my ancestors: the Confederate Estes brothers and John Allen Rankin’s family (John Allen’s mother, Mary Estes Rankin, was a sister of the Confederate Estes crowd). John Allen was in a different unit than his three Estes uncles, who served in Ham’s Calvary, from Tishomingo Co., Mississippi.  The Estes brothers and John Allen were nonetheless commanded by the same incompetent Confederate general — at two different battles. Gen. Stephen Lee (no relation to Robert E.) was the commanding Confederate general at both Champion Hill and the Battle of Ezra Church, where Capt. Allen W. Estes was killed. See my article about the three Confederate Estes brothers here:

 http://digupdeadrelatives.com/category/articles/estes-articles/

At Champion Hill, about 4,300 Confederate soldiers and 2,500 Union soldiers were casualties. That battleground is just east of Vicksburg, where the main action took place. It was considered a Union victory and an important battle in the Vicksburg campaign. I find it difficult to grasp applying the term “victory” to that carnage.

On our way home from a trip to the Tennessee Archives in Nashville, Gary and I drove around the area of the battle of Champion Hill, a backwoods area east of Vicksburg. It has been almost entirely forgotten by history: no park, no historical markers, nothing except a decent-sized stone monument where Confederate Brigadier General Leonard Tilghman died.

On 19 May 1863 – near the end of the second year of his one-year enlistment – whatever was left of John Allen’s division after Champion Hill arrived at Jackson, Mississippi. He was in the 1st Mississippi CSA Hospital in Jackson from May 31 to June 13, 1863. Here is an image of the explanation for his hospital time that appeared in his military record:

 

Confed 2

The problem, in case you cannot read that record: “diarrhea, acute.” Can’t say that I am surprised. I’d have diarrhea, too, if someone had been shooting at me, and I was getting a pretty good fix on which side would win, and the Confederate general in charge at Champion Hill had — incredibly — marched my unit piecemeal straight into Sherman’s entrenched troops. However, the records certainly don’t provide any support to the “war wound” theory that somebody in the family concocted to explain John Allen’s reluctance to talk about The War.

On September 1, 1863, now in Selma, Alabama, the Army of the Confederacy issued John Allen a new pair of pants, a jacket and a shirt, all valued at $31.00. Good wool and cotton stuff, presumably. Probably the best suit of clothes John Allen ever had in his young life. Here is the record:

Confed 3

There is more. On October 14, 1863, the Confederate States of America paid John Allen $44 for the pay period from May 1 through August 31, 1863. I assume that he was paid in Confederate dollars. Whatever — he was paid in something. Here is the record of his last pay:

Confed 4

And that was the last the CSA saw of my great-grandfather John Allen Rankin, who evidently just walked away. His original enlistment for twelve months was long up. By November 1, 1863, he was listed as absent. They finally quit carrying his name on the muster roll after December 1863.

It probably wasn’t too long after he was paid in Selma in October 1863 that John Allen met his future wife at the front door of Edward B. Lindsey’s home in Monticello, Arkansas. That had to have been about the middle of November 1863, assuming he made about twenty miles per day on the 400-mile walk from Selma to Monticello.

With that, the legend turns happy. He was wearing an almost brand-spanking new uniform, he was the most handsome soldier Amanda had ever seen, and she fell in love with him on the spot.

Here are the last two records – “muster rolls,” a regular record of who showed up in a military unit at periodic intervals – for John Allen’s Confederate service.

Confed 1

The last record says “absent in arrest in Canton by order of Provost Marshall.” That means the equivalent of an arrest warrant was issued after he was declared AWOL. John Allen never did any time in the pokey, or there would be other records in his file. By the time that AWOL order was issued, he was undoubtedly already in Monticello, Drew County, Arkansas, making Amanda Addieanna Lindsey swoon.

I once had a huge Rankin portrait that hung in my grandmother Rankin’s house in Gibsland, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, where my father graduated from high school in 1925.[11] My cousin Ellis Leigh Jordan (son of Aunt Louise Theo Rankin Jordan) gave it to me in consideration of my promise to photograph or somehow reproduce it for all the Rankin cousins. The man in the photograph is definitely good looking – no big ears or nose like his son John Marvin. He did have the classic male Rankin receding hairline and “topknot” that is shared by the Lincoln County, NC Rankins. He had a fabulous mustache. My Rankin cousins were unanimous that our grandmother positively identified this man as a Rankin, but the cousins don’t know which Rankin he is. We all agreed that the picture cannot possibly be our grandfather John Marvin (“Daddy Jack”) Rankin. It follows that it must be John Allen or his father Samuel Rankin. However, it cannot conceivably be John Allen’s father Samuel, who died in 1861-62. The quality of the photograph was just too good, and Sam hadn’t been as young as the man in that picture since the 1840s.

Besides, it seems highly unlikely that our grandfather would display a huge portrait of his grandfather, rather than his father, in his parlor. That photograph must have been John Allen Rankin, probably in the early 1880s at about age forty, not long before he died. Unfortunately, that fabulous photograph was lost, which breaks my heart. I would pay a small ransom to have it back.

Back to the story. In 1870, John and Amanda were living in Homer, Claiborne Parish, with their two eldest children, Anna Belle Rankin, age three, and Samuel Edward Rankin, age one – the latter undoubtedly named for his two grandfathers, Samuel Rankin and Edward Buxton Lindsey.[12] John Allen and Amanda listed $400 in real property and $350 in personal property in the census enumeration, and John Allen identified himself as a farmer. They apparently owned some land, although I cannot find a deed of purchase or a land grant to John Allen. I do know, however, that he and Amanda sold nine acres in Claiborne Parish for $33 in August 1870.[13]

The sale of land is perhaps a clue that farming did not work out well. By 1880, John Allen and Amanda were living in Webster Parish.[14] John Allen, age 36, was Deputy Sheriff. By 1880, he and Amanda had six children, including my grandfather John Marvin “Daddy Jack” Rankin, who was born in 1875. Their seventh and last child, Mary Alice, was born in September 1880, too late to appear in that census.

The deputy sheriff job apparently did not work out well, either. A letter that was saved by the family of John Allen’s brother Elisha Rankin reported that John Allen and family went through Homer in October 1882 on their way to Blanchard Springs (north of Shreveport) to run a barber shop.[15] I don’t know what happened to the barber shop, but the Rankins wound up moving back to Claiborne Parish, where they stayed.

The next thing you know, John Allen was six feet under. According to Amanda’s pension application, John Allen died of “congestion of the brain,” an obsolete medical term. It most likely means that John Allen had a stroke. He was only forty-five years old. There were five children age fifteen and under still at home.

Amanda obviously did not have an easy time thereafter. She expressed her anguish in a letter she wrote to one of John Allen’s brothers, Elisha (nickname “Lish”) Rankin, and Elisha’s wife Martha, who lived in Arkansas. Amanda wrote the letter three months after John Allen died on Sunday, October 13, 1888. She was forty-four years old. Here is a transcription, with spelling and punctuation (or lack thereof) exactly as transcribed, and question marks where the language is uncertain or totally illegible.[16]

“Dear Brother and Sister, it is with pleasure tho a sad heart that I try to answer your kind letter I received some time ago   Would have written sooner but I was in so much trouble I could not write soon   We had to move   Dear brother you have no idea how glad I was to get a letter from you   I feel like one forsaken   My happiness on earth is for ever gone of course I know you grieve for the Dear (?) house (?) but oh what is the grief to be compared to misery when a woman loses her husband. How sad I feel today for the dear one was a corpse on sunday. how long seems the days and nights to me.

Brother Lish you wanted to know how we are getting along   We are in det over one hundred dollars and no hom. I have moved to Mr. Weeks to work on ????? Jimmy Burton my Nephew is going to ??? after the little boys and show them how to manage this year. Eddie [Amanda’s son, Samuel Edward] is at Harrisville [Haynesville?]. I could not depend on him to ?????? He is not settled yet. I will ???? ???? me and the children a longe time to pay our det. It was the oldest children that caused me to be so bad in det. If I was young and able to work I would feel like maybe in two or three years we wold get out of det. I will do all I can to help the boys make a crop. Joe [Amanda’s son, Joseph D. Rankin] is 16 but he don’t now how to work much. I have got a few hogs and cowes all I have got. Annie and Lula [her daughters Anna Belle and Lula, both of whom married men named Sale] married brothers. They have got good homes. They live 3 miles from me. They live in site of each other.

Brother Lish be sure to write as soon as you get this   it does me so much good to get a letter from any of you how proud I was to think you thought enough of me to inquire after my welfare tho it is quite different to what you thought it was   some times I all most give up and not try to work then I think of the poor little children and no father to provide for them   I try to pick up courage to work all I can for there was ????? she is no longer a pet we sent her to school last year   teach come to see me about the pay I told him I could not pay it. He said he would wait untill next fall or the next year untill I could pay it ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????with me for it   if she had a ??? and out of det maybe we could make a living but in det and no home ???? and little childern no father oh lord father give me

Brother Lish I am a fraid you cant read this. It has been so long since I wrote a letter. Give Mother my love [presumably, “mother” refers to Mary Estes Rankin, the mother of John Allen and Elisha] and tell her to pray for me that I ???? ???? my children ???? I will have to be Father and Mother both. Give my love to all the connection and tell them to write. My love to Martha and the children write soon and often I remain ever ?????? ???? Sister.

Amanda Rankin”

Goodness gracious. Her anguish is overwhelming. Wouldn’t you like to see Elisha’s reply, if any? I wonder how he handled Amanda’s letter. Did he read it as a plea for funds? Or did he just see it as someone describing her feelings in the context of a desperate financial situation and emotional loss? No telling. May you rest in peace, Amanda and John Allen. Both are buried in the “Old Town” Haynesville Cemetery in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Be careful if you visit there – no matter where you step, I will guarantee you are treading on someone to whom I am related at least by marriage!

J A & Amanda Rankin 3

[1] See “Edward Buxton Lindsey: One of My Family Legends” on this website under “Lindsey Articles.”

[2] John Allen had two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Rankin. 1860 census for Jefferson Co., AR, p. 848, dwl. 549, listing for Samuel Rankin included Mary Rankin, age 10; 1870 census, Jefferson Co., AR, p. 575, dwl. 17, listing for Mary F. Rankin (Sam’s widow) included Elizabeth Rankin, 8. The elder daughter, Mary, would only have been about thirteen in 1863.

[3] Jennie Belle Lyle, Marriage Record Book B, Drew Co., Arkansas (Little Rock: Democrat Printing & Lithography Co., 1966), William H. Rankin, 20, married Eliza Jane Law, 21, July 1, 1858.

[4] 1860 census, Drew Co., AR, p. 101, dwelling 155, listing for William Rankin and p. 103, dwelling 167, E. B. Lindsey.

[5] William H. Rankin’s service record at the National Archives indicates that he enlisted from Monticello in the Confederate Army on 8 Feb 1862 for three years or the duration of the war. He was listed as present on his company’s muster roll through Oct. 31, 1864.

[6] Louisiana State Archives, “Widow’s Application for Pension” of Amanda A. Rankin, widow of John A. Rankin, P.O. Haynesville, LA, filed 4 Apr 1910.

[7] 1900 federal census, Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, LA, p. 55, household of A. C. sale with mother-in-law Amanda Rankin, wife Annie Sale, and children.

[8] That’s not accurate, of course. Some fighting continued after Lee’s surrender on April 9.

[9] National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., Civil War record for Rankin, John A., Companies C and K, Arkansas Infantry, Private.

[10] I will add a brief description of the Battle of Champion’s Hill at the end of this article. On second thought, I will write a separate article about that battle.

[11] Unfortunately, John Allen’s portrait is now lost, as is a portrait of his mother, Mary Estes Rankin, which was taken at the same time, in (probably) the early 1880s.

[12] 1870 census, Claiborne Parish, LA, Homer PO, p. 59, dwl #39, listing for John A. Rankin, 27, b. MS, Amanda Rankin, 25, b. MS, and the two children, both b. LA.

[13] LDS Film # 265,980, Claiborne Parish Deed Book J: 226.

[14] 1870 census, Webster Parish, LA, p. 219, dwl 255, J. A. Rankin, wife Amanda Rankin, and children Anna Belle, Edward, Lulu, Joseph, Marvin, and Melvin.

[15] Letter from Washington Marion Rankin (“Wash”), who lived in Homer, to his brother Napoleon Bonaparte (“Pole”) Rankin dated October 1882.

[16] I do not own, and have never seen, the original of this letter. I obtained a transcription from Megan Franks, a descendant of Elisha Rankin, John Allen’s brother. Another distant cousin reportedly owns the original of Amanda’s letter, as well as several other Rankin letters from the 1880s. I have called and written him (he lives here in Houston) but he never responded. That is a shame, because I could probably clarify some of the “X”ed material.

Two Lindsey Families of Granville and Warren Counties, North Carolina

by Robin Rankin Willis

Introduction

This article is about Joseph and Leonard Lindsey, brothers who lived in the Nutbush Creek District of Granville and Warren counties in the last half of the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth century. If you trace your Lindsey family back to the northern tier of counties in central North Carolina around that tine, I hope there is some information here that helps you out! I also plan to post a conventional outline descendant chart for this family. It will take these Lindseys as far down to the present as I could get it — or until I grew weary of tracking them.

Before getting down to the facts, let’s speculate about the unproved past. The records don’t prove where Joseph and Leonard came from before appearing in North Carolina. They don’t seem to be connected to any of the other nearby Lindsey families about that time, including both the Lindseys of Peachtree Creek and the Dennis Lindsey who lived in Granville County.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any clues in the records. Circumstantial evidence suggests a possible link between the Nutbush Creek Lindseys and William Lindsey of New Kent, Brunswick and Lunenburg counties, Virginia (hereafter, “William Lindsey of New Kent”).[1] Here are the facts:

  • William Lindsey of New Kent owned land in Virginia in what was then Lunenburg County on Miles Creek (also known as Crabtree Cr.), a short tributary flowing into the Roanoke River from north to south near the North Carolina border.[2] Joseph and Leonard owned land in Granville County, North Carolina – which was adjacent to Lunenburg at the time – on Nutbush Creek. That creek flows into the Roanoke from south to north, joining the river just a few miles west of the mouth of Miles Creek. Geographic proximity frequently, though not always, indicates a family connection.
  • William Lindsey of New Kent witnessed two mid-century deeds with men named Moss, a fairly unusual surname.[3] Several decades later, Leonard Lindsey’s son Elisha named a son John Moss Lindsey. The middle name strongly suggests a family connection.[4] So does witnessing each others’ deeds.
  • Leonard Lindsey acquired a tract in Halifax County, Virginia (which then abutted Granville) on Russell’s Creek.[5] Often, creeks were named for families owning land on the creek. Back in Brunswick and Lunenburg, William Lindsey of New Kent was associated in at least three deeds with Richard Russell.[6]
  • Leonard Lindsey sold a Granville County tract to a George Tilmon or Tilman of Brunswick County, Virginia.[7] Some years earlier, a John Tilman had witnessed a Brunswick deed along with William Lindsey of New Kent.[8]

These may just be coincidences. But … these kinds of records frequently weave a web pointing toward extended family relationships. I suspect, but cannot prove, that Joseph and Leonard may have been sons of William Lindsey of New Kent.

YDNA testing has improved somewhat the odds that this is correct. Recent test results for a male descendent of Joseph Lindsey of Granville prove that he is genetically a member of “DNA Group 3” in the Lindsey/Lindsay DNA project.[9] One of the two main branches of DNA Group 3 traces its likely origins back to New Kent County, Virginia. The second branch of DNA Group 3 is my own, the Lindsey families of Peachtree Creek in Franklin and Nash Counties. So far, none of us in the Peachtree Creek group have been able to prove our roots any earlier than a William Lindsey who also lived in Brunswick County, Virginia in the mid-1700s. That William moved to Edgecombe County, North Carolina by 1758, and did not appear to be connected to either William Lindsey of New Kent or Joseph and Leonard of Granville.

Back to the subject: here is a summary of information about the families of Joseph and Leonard Lindsey and their sons.

Joseph (about 1727 – 1794) and Rachel Lindsey (circa 1735? – 1806)[10]

Joseph Lindsey and his wife Rachel (last name unknown) first appeared in the North Carolina records in 1749. That year, Joseph obtained a land grant in Granville County for 350 acres on Anderson’s Swamp, a tributary of Nutbush Creek.[11] Joseph must have been born no later than 1728 in order to have been of legal age to obtain that patent. The North Carolina state census for 1786 shows Joseph in the twenty-one to sixty age category, indicating that Joseph was born 1726 or later.[12] Taken together, the 1786 census and the 1740 deed narrow Joseph’s birth to 1726-1728.

In 1754, Joseph sold part of his Anderson’s Swamp tract to Leonard Lindsey.[13] That sale and subsequent connections between their families provide convincing evidence that Joseph and Leonard were close relatives and members of the same generation. First, since Leonard was old enough to buy land in 1754, he was born by at least 1733, compared to a birth year of about 1727 for Joseph. Second, the two men both served in the same militia unit at the same time (1754, Leonard as a private and Joseph as a Sergeant).[14] I think that Joseph and Leonard were brothers rather than cousins. Leonard’s only proved son, Elisha Lindsey, named as his executors Joseph’s sons Laban and Caleb, even though Elisha lived in a different jurisdiction when he died (Granville County) than Laban and Caleb (Warren County).[15]

Joseph appeared regularly in the Granville deed records beginning in 1749, buying and selling land in at least ten different transactions.[16] His last appearance in that county was in 1786, when he appeared on the tax list for the Nutbush District.[17] By the time he died, he held approximately 1,000 acres, assuming that I found all of the deeds and grants to which he was a party. So far as I can tell, however, he never sold all of the “home tract” on Anderson’s Swamp with which he started. He definitely remained in the Nutbush District until he died – the name of the jurisdiction in which he lived just changed when Bute County was created from Granville and again when Warren County was created from Bute.[18]

I only found one piece of information that revealed anything about Joseph’s personal life other than his militia service: he was Presbyterian.[19] This has genealogical significance. Joseph’s religion is evidence that his family came to the colonies either from Scotland or from the Ulster Plantations of Northern Ireland, home to Scots-Irish. Both place were the source of Presbyterian immigrants to the colonies in the latter part of the seventeenth century and first half of the eighteenth.

Joseph and his wife Rachel had at least two sons and seven daughters.[20] Laban, the elder son, was born in 1756;[21] Caleb was born between 1760 and 1765.[22] Joseph and Rachel’s daughters Mary and Darcas each married men named Searcy, a surname that appears frequently in the records of these Lindsey families.[23] Two of their daughters had husbands named Riggin, alternatively spelled Regan or Ragan.[24] Joseph and Rachel probably also had a son Elisha who predeceased them, because there were clearly two related Elisha Lindseys who appeared in Granville at the same time.[25] One of the two Elishas was definitely Leonard’s son, and was likely the eldest of the three surviving sons of Leonard and Joseph.[26]

Joseph and Rachel’s son Laban was born in July 1756, according to his Revolutionary War pension application, probably in Granville County.[27] He married Susanna Johnson in 1782 in Warren County.[28] Laban’s line appeared in Warren County tax lists from 1782 through 1789.[29] By 1802, he lived in Surry County.[30] He applied for a pension for his Revolutionary War service as a resident of Surry.[31] Laban was enumerated in the census in Surry County in 1810 through 1830, and left a will probated there in 1840.[32] Laban and Susannah had sons named Anderson (born about 1786) and Johnson (born about 1790), both of whom also appeared in Surry County.[33] Laban and Susannah also had a son Leonard who predeceased his father, leaving children.[34] After 1850, some from Laban’s line (his daughter Charity and his son Leonard’s widow and their children) were living in Yadkin County, created in 1850 from Surry County.[35]

Joseph and Rachel’s son Caleb, born during 1760 – 1765, married Temperance Howse (or House, daughter of Dudley Howse), in 1803.[36] Caleb and Temperance last appeared in Warren County in the 1810 census, then moved to Rutherford County, Tennessee.[37] Caleb’s will was proved there in 1839, naming his wife Temperance and four children: sons Joseph and Dudley H. Lindsey and daughters Fanny G. Cooper and Elizabeth V. Cooper.[38] I have not identified any children of Caleb’s son Joseph, whom I last found in the census in Rutherford County in 1860 along with his mother Temperance.[39] His brother Dudley Howse Lindsey married Charlotte Puckett in Rutherford County and moved to Upshur County, Texas.[40] Dudley and Charlotte had twelve children, a number of whom stayed in Upshur or Camp County.

Leonard Lindsey (circa 1730 – 1785) and wife Sarah Searcy (d. 1796) of Granville

Leonard Lindsey first appeared in the records in 1754 when he acquired a tract on Anderson’s Swamp from his brother Joseph.[41] Leonard’s wife was Sarah Searcy, daughter of John Searcy.[42] Like Joseph, Leonard was active in land transactions in Granville County, beginning with his 1754 purchase of 120 acres on Anderson’s Swamp.[43]

Leonard left a Granville County will dated April 29, 1782 and proved in May 1785.[44] The will devised only the tract where Leonard lived in Granville: 144 acres to his wife Sarah for life, and 143 acres to their only son Elisha.[45] Leonard left the remainder of Sarah’s life estate to Elisha and his “daughters then living,” not named. The names of Leonard’s daughters are confirmed in a partition of his land on Fishing Creek: Mary Guest, Elizabeth Lindsey, Ann Searcy, Phebe Lindsey and Sarah Hopkins, wife of Charles Hopkins.[46]

Leonard and Sarah’s only son Elisha first appeared in a deed in 1777, suggesting that he was probably born in the early 1750s and in any event by 1756.[47] Elisha married Elizabeth Loyd or Lloyd in December 1779.[48] He died in 1793, leaving a Granville County will naming his wife Elizabeth and his two underage sons Wyatt and John Moss Lindsey.[49] In 1802, Elizabeth and Wyatt sold their interests in Elisha’s land and moved to Tennessee with her son John Moss Lindsey and some of Elizabeth’s Lloyd relatives.[50]

Elisha and Elizabeth’s son John Moss Lindsey lived in Sumner County, Tennessee as of 1805, but left no further records there that I have found.[51] John’s brother Wyatt also lived in Sumner County.[52] Wyatt subsequently bought a tract on Round Lick Creek in Wilson County, Tennessee about 1814 and was listed in the 1820 census in that county.[53] Wyatt left a will in Wilson County in 1822 naming his wife Betsy and six children: Mary (Polly), Margaret (Peggy), John, Elisha, Wyatt and Joseph Lindsey.[54] Wyatt (Jr.) moved to Williamson County, Illinois along with his sisters Polly and Peggy. I have not found further records for John, Elisha or Joseph.

* * * * * * * * * *

[1] See the discussion of William Lindsey of New Kent-Brunswick in an article on this website titled “Three William Lindseys of Brunswick Co., VA in the mid-1700s.”

[2] Lunenburg Co., Virginia Deeds, Books 5 & 6 (1757-1761), Books 7 & 8 (1761-1764) (Miami: T.L.C. Genealogy, 1990), abstract of Deed Book 6: 1, deed of 4 May 1760 from William Lindsey of Brunswick to Rease Brower, 400 acres in Lunenburg on both sides of Crabtree Cr., witnessed by Hugh Franklin, Charles Humphries, Richard Russell and John Ezell.

[3] Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., Brunswick County, Virginia Deed Books Volume 2 1744-1755, 1764 (Lawrenceville, Virginia: 1998), abstract of Deed Book 3: 395, deed of 7 Apr 1748 from Richard Russell of Brunswick to William Lindsy of New Kent Co., witnessed by Thomas Twitty and Stephen Moss; abstract of Deed Book 5: 615, 11 May 1754 deed from William McKnight of Brunswick to Thomas Merriot, witnessed by William Lindsey and David Moss.

[4] Zae Hargett Gwynn, Kinfolks of Granville County North Carolina 1765 – 1826 (Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Co., 1992), abstract of Deed Book S: 39, deed of 30 Mar 1805 from John Moss Lindsey of Sumner Co., TN to James Hamilton of Granville Co., NC, land devised to grantor by the will of Elisha Lindsey, dec’d, after the death of Elizabeth Lindsey.

[5] Marian Dodson Chiarito, Halifax County Virginia Deed Books 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 1759-1767 (Nathalie, VA: 1986), abstract of Deed Book 6: 278, deed of 4 Nov 1766 from James Cox and wife Elizabeth of Halifax to Leonard Linsay of Granville Co., NC, 400 acres on Sugar Tree Cr. and Russell’s Creek.

[6] Notes 2, 3 and 8.

[7] Timothy W. Rackley, Granville County North Carolina Deeds 1766 – 1772 (Kernersville, NC: 1999), abstract of Deed Book H: 328, deed of 1 May 1767 from Leonard Linsey and wife Sarah of Granville to George Tilmon (also spelled Tilman/Tillman) of Brunswick, 200 acres adjacent Linsey.

[8] Bradley, Brunswick County, Virginia Deed Books Volume 5, abstract of Deed Book 5: 493, deed of 22 Jan 1764 from William Johnson & wife Elizabeth of Sussex Co. to Richard Russell of Brunswick, 175 acres south side Totero Cr. Witnessed by William Lindsey, John Tillman and William Parham.

[9] http://www.clanlindsay.com/dna_group_3.htm

[10] David B. Gammon, Records of Estates Warren County North Carolina, Vol. II, Estates Found in Court Records (Raleigh: 1989), Feb 1806, inventory of the property lent by Joseph Lindsey, dec’d, to Rachel Lindsey, now dec’d, by Caleb Lindsey, executor. That establishes Rachel’s date of death as about 1806. Her date of birth (circa 1735) is just a guess.

[11] Zae Hargett Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville County North Carolina (Spartanburg, NC: The Reprint Co., 1992), Deed Book D: 190, state grant to Joseph Linsey on 25 March 1740, 350A north side of Anderson’s Sw.

[12] A. K. Register, State Census of North Carolina, 1784-1787 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973), listing for Joseph Lindsey. The household consisted of two white males ages 21 – 60 (presumably Joseph and his son Laban), one white male either less than 21 or over 60 (Joseph’s son Caleb), and 4 white females, ages not stated (probably Rachel and three unmarried daughters).

[13] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville, Deed Book B: 284, deed dated 5 Mar 1754 from Joseph Lyndsey and wife Rachel to Leonard Lindsey, £15, 120A on Andersons Sw. at Joseph Lyndsey’s line, witnesses Ruben Searcy and Saml Henderson.

[14] Walter Clark, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXII, Miscellaneous (Goldsboro, NC: Nash Brothers, Book and Job Printers, 1907; reissue Wilmington, NC by Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1994), at pp. 370-371 , 366-367. Joseph Lindsay and Leonard Lyndsay appeared on the 8 Oct 1754 muster roll of Capt. John Glover’s Company.

[15] Zae Hargett Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County North Carolina 1746 – 1808, Vol. I (Rocky Mount, NC: 1973), abstract of Will Book 2: 301, will of Elisha Lindsey naming executors Laban and Caleb Lindsey, both of Warren County.

[16] Notes 11 and 13; Timothy W. Rackley, Granville County North Carolina Deeds 1763 – 1766 (Kernersville, NC: 1999), Deed Book G: 204, 205 (Feb 1764 purchase of 135A on Great Nut Bush Cr. and 241A on Crooked Run, and sale of 230A on the north side of Anderson’s Sw.); Deed Book G: 323 (Jan 1765 sale of 135A on both sides Great Nut Bush Cr. and 241A on Crooked Run); Deed Book G: 325 (Feb 1765 purchase of 240A on Wooley’s Br. and White Dirt Br.); Rackley, Granville County Deeds 1766-1772, Deed Book H: 196, 194 (Nov. 1766 sale of 240A on White Dirt Br. and purchase of 230A on Anderson’s Sw.); Timothy W. Rackley, Granville County North Carolina Deeds 1772-1778 (Kernersville, NC: 2001), abstract of Deed Book I: 407 (Oct 1772 purchase of 420A on the waters of Anderson’s Sw.); Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville, Deed Book F: 113 (Jan 1763 purchase of 100A on Anderson’s Sw.)

[17] Register, State Census, listing for Joseph Lindsey in 1786.

[18] Bute Co. was created from Granville Co. in 1764 and was abolished in 1779 to form Warren and Franklin Counties. The Handybook for Genealogists, Tenth Ed.

[19] Rackley, Granville North Carolina Deeds 1766-1772, abstract of Deed Book H: 335, deed of 7 Jul 1767, James Pettegrew Sr. of Granville to Howell Lewis, Joseph Lindsey, Robert Lewis, Chisley Daniel and John Oliver, also of Granville, on behalf of the Presbyterian Congregation, 1 acre on Grassey Cr.

[20] David B. Gammon, Abstracts of Wills Warren County, North Carolina 1779 – 1844 Volume I (Raleigh, NC: 1995), will of Joseph Lindsey dated 5 Mar 1793, proved Nov 1794. Son Caleb Lindsey, 305A where I now live and 70A in the southeast corner of my tract. Wife Rachel, life estate in half of estate and one slave. At her death or marriage, her life estate to be divided among my two sons and seven of my daughters if living, namely Laban and Caleb, Zillah Ragan, Mary Hartgrove Searcy, Rebecca Ragan, Milly Thurman, Darkas Lindsey, Sary Lindsey and Fanny Watkins. Son Laban Lindsey, 220A where he now lives. Executors son Caleb Lindsey, friend Dennis Paschal. Witnesses Dennis Paschal, Mary Paschal.

[21] The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXII, Miscellaneous (Goldsboro, NC: Nash Brothers, Book and Job Printers, 1907; reissue Wilmington, NC by Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1994) at p. 73, Revolutionary War pension application of Laban Lindsey.

[22] Caleb’s birth year range can be derived from several census records. In the 1800 census for Warren County, p. 815 (before he married Temperance), he is listed with his mother and (probably) two sisters and is shown in the 26 < 45 category, born 1755 – 1774. In the 1810 census for Warren Co., p. 304, he is listed in the over 45 age bracket, i.e., born by 1765. That narrows his birth range to 1755-1765. In the 1830 census for Rutherford Co., TN, p. 303, he is age 60 < 70, i.e., born 1760-1770, with a female the same age (probably his sister Sarah), a male b. 1800-1810 (his son Joseph), a female b. 1780-1790 (his wife Temperance, who was b. 1780), and females 10 <15 and 15 < 20 (daughters Fanny and Elizabeth). Assuming these census records are correct, Caleb was born during 1760-1765. An internet source gives dates of birth and death for Caleb (27 Apr 1763 – 23 Dec 1838) and his sister Sarah (28 Feb 1761 – 10 Dec 1841). The precise dates suggest cemetery or Bible records which I have not seen.

[23] Note 20, will of Joseph Lindsey naming daughter Mary Hartgrove Searcy; Frances T. Ingmire, Warren County North Carolina Marriage Records 1780 – 1867 (Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co., 1993), marriage bond for Darcas Lindsey (daughter of Joseph) and William H. Searcy dated 24 Dec 1805; 15 Jun 1787 marriage bond for Ann Lindsey (daughter of Leonard) and Richard Searcy; Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville County, Deed Book B: 376, deed dated 4 Dec 1754, Leonard Linsey and wife Sarah to Reubin Searcy, 120A on Andersons Sw. at Joseph Linsey’s line. Witnesses Wm Searcy, John Bird.

[24] Note 20, will of Joseph Lindsey naming daughters Zillah and Rebecca Ragan.

[25] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County North Carolina 1746 – 1808, Will Book 1: 281, John Guest bought 287A from Elisha Linsey on the condition that John Guest will maintain Leonard Linsey and wife Sarah for their lifetime. Witnesses Reuben Searcy, Elisha Linsey.

[26] The 1785 tax list for Granville County included Elisha Lindsey along with Joseph Linsey and Leonard Linsey. Clarence E. Ratcliff, North Carolina Taxpayers 1701 – 1786 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1984).

[27] State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXII, Revolutionary War pension application of Laban Lindsey, pension file No. S7153: NC Line, soldier was born 14 Jul 1756, lived in Granville Co., NC at enlistment and later moved to Surry Co., NC. He applied there 6 Aug 1832.

[28] Jordan R. Dodd, ed., North Carolina Marriages Early to 1800 (Bountiful, Utah: Liahona Research, Inc., 1990).

[29] David B. Gammon, Tax Lists Warren County, North Carolina 1779-1790 Vol. I (Raleigh, NC: 1994).

[30] Carol Leonard Snow, Surry County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts Volume I 1800 – 1803 (Toast, NC: 1995), abstract of Surry Co. Deed Book I: 302, deed dated 14 Jan 1802 from Isaac Hudson to Laban Lindsey of Surry Co., 348.5A on the waters of Deep Cr. and Hunting Cr.

[31] Note 27.

[32] Hester Jackson, Surry County, North Carolina Will Abstracts Book 4 (1827-1853) (Dobston, NC: 1991), Will Book 4: 169b, will of Labon Lindsey dated 23 Sep 1838 proved May 1840, naming son Anderson, daughter Charity, son Johnson, the heirs at law of Leonard Lindsey, the children of Anderson Lindsey (Eliza, Matthew, Lucinda, Thomas, Evaline and Polly, wife of John Sturdivant), and granddaughter Susannah Moon. The will abstract omits Anderson’s son Laban.

[33] Id.; 1850 census, Surry Co., NC listings for Anderson Lindsey and Johnson Lindsey at p. 161.

[34] Id., will of Laban Lindsey naming as beneficiaries the heirs of Leonard Lindsey.

[35] 1860 federal census, Yadkin Co., NC, p. 331, Charity Lindsey, 70, b. NC; p. 343, Winnie Lindsy (Leonard’s widow), 55, Miriam Lindsy, 27, and Wade Lindsy, 25; p. 343, Label Lindsy [sic ], 42, with his wife and nine children; p. 344, Pinkney Lindsly, 35, b. NC, with wife and three children.

[36] Zae Hargett Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County North Carolina 1808 – 1833, Vol. II (Rocky Mount, NC: Joseph W. Watson, 1976), Will Book 8: 17, will of Dudley Howse proved Feb 1817 naming daughter Temperance Lindsey; Mary Hinton Kerr, Warren County, North Carolina Records, Vol. I (Warrenton, NC: 1967), Warren County marriage bond for Caleb Lindsey and Temperance House dated 28 Jun 1803.

[37] 1810 federal census, Warren Co., NC, listing for Caleb Lindsey, p. 304; 1830 census, Rutherford Co., TN, listing for Caleb Lindsey, p. 303, 000010001-001100101 b. 1760 – 1770 (Caleb), 1 female 60 < 70 (Temperance Howse Lindsey), and 1 female b. 1780 – 1790 (probably Caleb’s sister Sally, mentioned in his will, see note 37).

[38] Helen C. & Timothy R. Marsh, Wills and Inventories of Rutherford County, Tennessee Volume 2 (1828-1840) (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1998), abstract of Will Book 10: 264, will of Caleb Lindsey of Rutherford County dated 13 Jan 1837, recorded 7 Feb 1839. Wife Temperence Lindsey; my four children, sons Dudley H. and Joseph Lindsey and daughters Fanny G. and Elizabeth V. Cooper. Sister Sally Lindsey.

[39] 1860 census, Rutherford Co., TN, p. 52, dwl 731, listing for Jas. [sic, this is Joseph] Lindsey, 56, T. Lindsay, 80, female, b NC (Temperance), L. T. E. Cooper, female, 21, b. TN (a niece), and W. A. Cooper, 20, male, b. TN (a nephew). For confirmation that this is indeed Joseph and his mother Temperance, see 1850 census for Rutherford Co., TN, p. 170, dwl. 310, listing for Joseph Lindsey, 46, M.E.C. clergyman, b. NC. Household included Temperance Lindsey, 70, b. NC, and some Cooper nephews and a niece (Wm. H. Cooper, 13, b. TN, Wise A. Cooper, 10, b. TN, and Sarah F. E. Cooper, 12, b. TN).

[40] Edythe Rucker Whitley, Marriages of Rutherford County, Tennessee 1804-1872 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981), marriage bond of Dudley H. Lindsey and Charlotte T. Puckett, 12 Oct. 1829; Upshur County Book Committee, Upshur County, Texas: a Sesquicentennial History (Gilmer, TX: Upshur County Sesquicentennial Committee, 1996).

[41] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville County, Deed Book B: 284, deed dated 5 Mar 1754 from Joseph Lyndsey and wife Rachel to Leonard Lindsey, £15, 120A on Andersons Sw. at Joseph Lyndsey’s line, witnesses Ruben Searcy and Saml Henderson.

[42] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County, Granville Will Book 2: 1, will of John Searcy dated 15 Mar 1783 proved Feb 1787 named among others his daughter Sarah Lindsey; Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville County, Deed Book B: 376, conveyance dated 4 Dec 1754 from Leonard Linsey and wife Sarah to Reubin Searcy, tract on Andersons Sw. at Joseph Linseys line.

[43] In 1760, Leonard acquired via state grant another 640 acres on the east side of Andersons Swamp; he sold that tract six months later. Gwynn, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville County, Deed Book D: 155, 230. Also in 1760, he received a grant for 420 acres on Falling Creek. Id., Deed Book G: 164. Two years later, he bought another 215 acres on Anderson’s Swamp. Id., Deed Book E: 245. In 1763, Leonard acquired another 395 acres. Id., Deed Book F: 419. In 1767, Leonard sold about 620 acres. Rackley, Granville North Carolina Deeds 1766-1772, Deed Book H: 326, 328. In 1768, he bought 300 acres on Flat Creek. Id., Granville Deed Book H: 418. In 1760 and 1771, Leonard sold 215 acres on Anderson’s Swamp and 300 acres on Flat Cr. Id., Deed Book I: 45 and Rackley, Granville County North Carolina Deeds 1772-1778, Deed Book K: 57. This is probably not a complete list of Leonard’s Granville County land transactions.

[44] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County, Will Book 1: 438.

[45] Elisha appeared in the 1786 state census in Granville County in the Ragland tax district with his wife Elizabeth Loyd and sons John Moss and Wyatt Lindsey. See Register, State Census of North Carolina, 1784-1787, listing for Elisha Lindsey, whose household included one white male age 21-60, 2 white males who were either less than 21 or over 60, and one white female.

[46] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County, Will Book 4: 95, November 1796 report of partition of land on Fishing Creek, formerly property of Leonard Lindsey, between five daughters: Sarah Linsey, Phebe Linsey, Elizabeth Linsey, Mary Guest, and Ann Searcey. See also Gwynn, Kinfolks of Granville County North Carolina.

[47] Gwynn, Kinfolks of Granville County, abstract of Deed Book M: 41, deed of 5 Feb 1777 from Abraham Cook and wife Amey of Granville to Elisha Linsey, same, 50A on east side Tar River, Elisha Linsey’s Spring Branch. Elisha was therefore born by at least 1756. Also, on the 1769 Granville tax list, Leonard Lindsey was shown with two white polls, suggesting that his son Elisha was of taxable age by that date. Id.

[48] Brent H. Holcomb, Marriages of Granville County, North Carolina 1753 – 1868 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981).

[49] Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County North Carolina 1746 – 1808 Will Book 2: 301, will of Elisha Lindsey dated 16 Nov 1791, proved Aug 1792. The marriage bond for Elisha Lindsey and Elizabeth Loyd was dated 25 Dec 1779, so neither son was over age twelve when Elisha died. Elizabeth’s grandson Joseph, a son of Wyatt, was indentured to Jarrett Loyd after Wyatt died in Wilson Co., TN. See Thomas E. Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Circuit Court Records 1810-1855 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1988), abstract of court records 1832-33, entry of 24 Sept 1833 at p. 457: Joseph Lindsey, about 11 or 12 years old, bound to Jarratt Loyd. He may be the same Jarratt Loyd who was bondsman on the Granville marriage bond for Elisha and Elizabeth Lloyd Lindsey and was probably Elizabeth’s brother.

[50] See Gwynn, Kinfolks of Granville Co., abstracts of Deed Book R: 68 and 74, two deeds dated 11 Oct 1802 in which Elizabeth sold her life estate in the tract Elisha conveyed to her and Wyatt conveyed his remainder interest in the same tract, both interests sold to James Hamilton.

[51] Id., abstract of Deed Book S: 39, deed dated 30 Mar 1805 from John Moss Lindsey of Sumner Co., TN to James Hamilton of Granville Co., NC, land devised to grantor by the will of Elisha Lindsey, dec’d, after the death of Elizabeth Lindsey.

[52] Joyce Martin Murray, Sumner County, Tennessee Deed Abstracts 1806-1817 (Wolfe City, TX: Henington Publishing Co., 1989), Deed Book 4: 63, deed dated Dec 1805 from John Kerr to Wirt Lindsey, $400, 115A on the west fork of Goose Cr.; Deed Book 4: 291, deed dated 10 Sep 1808 from Wiot Lindsey to David Tulloch, $80, tract on east fork, west branch of Goose Cr.

[53] Thomas E. Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Deed Books C-M 1793-1829 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1984), abstract of Deed Book F: 202, deed from Samuel Caplinger to Wiatt Linsey, 150A on Round Lick Cr. dated or recorded 1814.

[54] Thomas E. Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee, Wills Books 1-13, 1802-1850 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1991), abstract of Wills & Inventories 1814-1819 at p. 301, will of Wiatt Lindsey dated 7 Aug 1822 proved 26 Nov 1822.

Edward Buxton Lindsey: one of my family legends

by Robin Rankin Willis

I like my Lindsey ancestors for a number of reasons.

First, our second son Ryan Willis and first grandchild Alexandra Willis have the middle name Lindsey. That name and the entire family line have therefore acquired a certain cachet, a je ne sais quoi, merely by association with those two fabulous people.

Second, there is a family legend associated with my most recent male Lindsey ancestor, who lived from 1811 to 1883. The legend assured me there would be absolutely no doubt when I found him that I had bagged the right Lindsey.

Third, my North Carolina Lindsey ancestors were Methodists. Serious Methodists, with names like John Wesley Lindsey and Asbury Lindsey. I have found very few slave owners in my extended Lindsey family. Some of them had the financial wherewithal to own slaves, which suggests they might have had some principled opposition to slavery.

Fourth, I have become friends via email with some really nice Lindseys. Several of them are my cousins, and all of them are good Lindsey researchers who are happy to share their research.

Finally, I am quite fond of my ancestor Edward Buxton Lindsey, father of my great-grandmother Amanda Addieanna Lindsey Rankin, notwithstanding that he was a family embarrassment as far as Amanda and her family were concerned.

Amanda A. Lindsey Rankin’s father: the Lindsey legend

My father Jim Leigh Rankin kick-started our family history research. He was “bitten by the genealogy bug,” as he liked to put it, about the time he retired in 1968. He and his big sister Louise Rankin Jordan trekked all over north Louisiana picking the brains of every known relative in the area. That is what every “how to do genealogy” book tells beginners to do right off the bat. Not only does it provide hard facts – names and dates and locations – it also produces colorful family legends, which are sometimes even better than facts. Daddy’s detective work unearthed two family legends, both of which concerned Lindsey ancestors.

Daddy unquestionably learned from those interviews that his grandfather John Allen Rankin married Amanda Addieanna Lindsey. However, I don’t think Daddy was ever quite sure that he had identified Amanda’s father. What he knew for certain about his great-grandfather Lindsey he learned from his cousin Norene Robinson, neé Sale. Norene was well-acquainted with their grandmother Amanda Lindsey Rankin, who lived with the Sale family at one time.[1] Norene’s mother, neé Anna Belle Rankin, was Amanda’s daughter.[2] Amanda lived until 1920, when Norene was twenty-eight.[3] In short, Cousin Norene was a highly credible witness concerning Amanda’s family.

Norene told Daddy that Amanda Lindsey Rankin’s father had been married four times. Four times. So far as I had known, no one in my father’s family had ever been divorced until his generation came along, and then there was just his cousin Elizabeth, who kept marrying men who turned out to be bad choices. On the other hand, my generation of Rankin first cousins has more divorces than long-term marriages. Go figure. Divorces were not all that common in the Reconstruction south, however. Amanda was apparently somewhat chagrined by her father’s remarkable number of marriages, which included two divorces and two marriages to women who were considerably younger than he was.

Four marriages constitute a legend you can get your hands around, research-wise. Unfortunately, Cousin Norene could not recall the given name of Amanda’s father, or at least his name did not make it into Daddy’s ancestor charts. His notes do include a census listing for the right man: Edward B. Lindsey of Drew County, Arkansas. In the 1850 census for that county, Amanda A. Lindsey, age five, was listed in the household of Edward B., his wife Elizabeth, and a host of other children.[4] The census listing says that Amanda was born in Mississippi in 1845, which is consistent with the birth date on her Claiborne Parish tombstone and her state of birth from later census records.[5] At first glance, the Amanda in Edward B. Lindsey’s household looks like exactly the right Amanda A. Lindsey.

Some time between late 1863 and mid-1865, Edward B. Lindsey, his eldest son William A. Lindsey, and Amanda A. Lindsey moved from Drew County to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. On July 20, 1865, J. A. Rankins [sic] married Amanda A. Lindsey.[6] The Lindseys and Rankins immediately began leaving evidence in the records that they were closely related. First, William A. Lindsey and his wife Frances appeared as grantors in a deed witnessed by both E. B. Lindsey and John A. Rankin.[7] In another deed, John Rankin and his wife – expressly identified as Amanda A. Lindsey, one of those peculiar quirks of Louisiana law – sold some land, and E. B. Lindsey witnessed the deed.[8]

Considering those deeds, plus Amanda’s appearance in Edward’s household in 1850, there is no reason to doubt that Edward was Amanda’s close relation. Any residual doubt that Edward was her father (rather than, say, her uncle or cousin) could be banished by proving that Edward had four wives. As it turned out, three of them appeared with him in a census.[9] Moreover, there are surviving marriage records for each wife in four different states, something I would have deemed wildly against the odds.[10] In short, Edward Buxton Lindsey is conclusively proved as my great-great grandfather.

Edward Buxton Lindsey’s four wives

Edward’s first wife was Elizabeth Jane Odom, who was Amanda’s mother and therefore my ancestor. She and Edward married in Pike County, Alabama in 1832.[11] After producing at least nine and possibly ten children, Elizabeth Jane died in 1854 in Drew County, Arkansas.[12] Here is her obituary:

“Mrs. Elizabeth Jane Lindsey departed this life in Drew Co., Ark 11 Oct 1854 in the 42nd year of her age. She was the daughter of Jacob and Nancy Odom who emigrated to south Alabama. Soon after her marriage, she joined the Methodist E. Church. She called her husband and children around her bed. She embraced her infant. Signed, 4 Nov. 1854 by J. M. Carr. The Memphis and Arkansas Advocate will please copy.”[13]

There is a most peculiar thing about that obituary: it named Elizabeth Jane’s parents, even providing detail about where they had lived, but failed to identify her husband. What is that all about? Who wrote the obit? Presumably, J. M. Carr, who was a Methodist Episcopal minister in Drew County.[14]

Less than two years later, Reverend Carr officiated at Edward’s marriage to Ruth B. Crook, a wealthy woman with several children.[15] Perhaps here is my father’s problem with deciding whether Edward was Amanda’s father: the 1860 census for Edward Lindsey’s Drew County household lists Ruth and her minor Crook children, but no Lindsey children.[16] In fact, I couldn’t find the Lindsey children anywhere in 1860, in Drew County or elsewhere. They were probably right there in their father’s household, and Ruth (or whomever responded to the census enumerator) just didn’t bother to name them. If that is right, it reinforces the old saw that one of the biggest mistakes one can make in family history research is to believe that the census records are 100% correct.

Ruth and Edward’s marriage didn’t last: she was wife number two only briefly. I have not found an Arkansas divorce record, although that doesn’t mean much. Suggesting that a legal divorce did in fact take place, Ruth appeared as a head of household in the 1870 census under her former surname, Crook.[17] Restoring her former name seems to say that Ruth was very serious about not wanting to retain any Lindsey aura whatsoever.

The Drew County deed records indicate that the Lindsey-Crook marriage may already have been coming apart by the time the census enumerator visited the Lindsey-Crook household in July of 1860.[18] A month earlier, Ruth had filed with the Drew County court a list of her fairly substantial separate property.[19] The legal effect was to protect her assets from her husband’s control and debts. The filing strongly suggests that Ruth was contemplating (or had already initiated) a divorce, or that Edward had turned out to be financially irresponsible. Or both. Perhaps Ruth had already kicked Edward and his children out of the house when the census enumerator came around in July, but the enumerator, who was naturally a stickler for the patriarchal rules, insisted that her husband must be identified as the head of household so long as she was still married.

That obviously qualifies as one of my flights of fancy, although I frankly find it impossible to imagine Edward and Ruth continuing to cohabit after her separate property filing. However, the census rules required listing the names of everyone living in the household, so either Edward was living there or Ruth wasn’t willing to admit she had kicked him out. Perhaps Edward was in the dark about the separate property filing.

Moving on, Edward survived the Civil War without a hitch. Unlike my Arkansas Rankin family, with two soldiers fighting on each side, Edward did not participate in active service. That probably had nothing to do with Methodist principles.[20] Edward was just too old to be conscript fodder. Further, he wasn’t sufficiently wealthy or politically connected to be an officer.

Instead, in October 1863, Edward enlisted in the Monticello Home Guard.[21] With civil authority collapsing in many parts of Arkansas and Confederate troops being sent away, local jurisdictions were encouraged to form companies of “home guards” to protect persons and property, enforce the conscript law, and support Confederate troops when requested. As one would expect, the home guards were largely composed of men who were too old for regular military service. The Monticello Home Guard, for example, consisted of forty-seven men between the ages of thirty-eight and sixty-two – with an average age of fifty years. Consequently, it was popularly known as the “Old Man’s Company.” Edward was fifty-two when he enlisted. He was a private. I can visualize him marching with a bunch of other old play soldiers on a parade field, albeit in considerably better shape than the others, since he had two very young wives in his future. I would dearly love to have a picture of Edward.

By late 1862, Edward had apparently sold his Drew County land.[22] By July 1865, when his daughter Amanda married John Allen Rankin, Edward had moved to Claiborne Parish. Amanda, who was only twenty when she married, almost certainly did not migrate on her own. Four months after Amanda married John Allen, Edward married wife number three, Elizabeth J. Marshall, in Claiborne Parish.[23]

For reasons unknown – perhaps Amanda’s patent disapproval of a stepmother who was a quarter-century younger than Edward – the Lindsey newlyweds subsequently moved to Texas. In the 1870 census, Edward, now fifty-nine, and wife Elizabeth, age thirty-four, were listed in Woodville, Tyler County, Texas along with their one-year-old son, Edward Lindsey Jr.[24] Two years later, still in Tyler County, Edward married wife number four: Pamelia Dean, a widow or divorceé who was more than twenty years his junior.[25] I don’t have any proof regarding what happened to Elizabeth J. Marshall Lindsey. However, it is almost certain that she died, because Edward B. Lindsey Sr. wound up with custody of young Edward Jr. Even a century later, that would have been highly unlikely if Edward Jr.’s mother had been alive. If it is correct that Elizabeth died, then she was the second woman named Elizabeth J. who up and died on Edward.

Edward’s marriage to Pamelia Dean, like his marriage to Ruth Crook, ended in divorce.[26] An ex-wife in the neighborhood must have been enough to take the shine off Texas for Edward Sr. He was back in Claiborne Parish by 1880, age sixty-nine, with his eleven-year-old son Edward Jr. in tow and no further marriages in store.[27] My heart goes out to both of them. There is a reason that young people have children.

The 1880 census, his last, identified Edward Sr. as a dry goods merchant, although he had called himself a farmer in all prior censuses.[28] Perhaps he was too worn out to farm, or maybe he finally just gave up trying to make a living off the land.

The probate records for Claiborne Parish establish that Edward Sr. died there in January of 1883.[29] He must have been buried somewhere in Claiborne Parish. Joseph Day, a doctor who had no Lindsey family connection that I can find other than having been one of Edward’s creditors, administered Edward’s estate.[30] It yielded $380.78 after debts were paid – plenty of money for a tombstone, but I can’t find one.[31]

The Claiborne Parish probate records say that Edward had six heirs, including his son E. B. Lindsey. The other heirs were William A. Lindsey, Mrs. J. A. Rankin, James Burton, Mrs. N. J. Morley (Nancy Jane Lindsey Morley, wife of George Morley), and John H. Lindsey.

Edward Lindsey was underage and therefore represented by a guardian (called a “tutor” in Louisiana law).[32] The tutor was one J. M. Kight, no known relationship to the Lindsey family.[33] All I know is that Mr. Kight resided in Webster Parish, immediately west of Claiborne Parish. In fact, the Kight family lived just a few houses down from Amanda Lindsey Rankin, Edward Jr.’s half-sister.[34] I have not found any further record of Edward B. Lindsey Jr., orphaned at a tender age. As it turned out, Edward Sr. lost both his parents by 1817, when he was only six. I will save that story for another day.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

© 2016 by Robin Rankin Willis

[1] 1900 federal census, Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, LA, p. 55, household of A. C. sale with mother-in-law Amanda Rankin, wife Annie Sale, daughter Norine [sic] Sale, and other children.

[2] 1880 federal census, Webster Parish, LA, dwelling #285, p. 219, household of J. A. Rankin, born MS, with wife Amanda A. Rankin, born MS, daughter Anna Belle Rankin, and other children.

[3] 1900 federal census, Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, LA, p. 55, Norine Sale was born 1892; John Purnell Frazier and Wanda Volentine Head, Cemetery Inscriptions of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Volume I (Shreveport: J & W Enterprises, 1985), Haynesville Cemetery tombstone for Amanda A. Rankin, born 19 Apr 1845, died 7 Oct 1920.

[4] 1850 federal census, Drew Co., AR, Spring Hill Twp., p. 94, dwelling #270, listing for E. B. Lindsey, 39, farmer, born NC, Elizabeth J. Lindsey, 38, born GA, and nine children, including Amanda A. Lindsey, age 5, born MS.

[5] Notes 3 and 4.

[6] Willie Huffman Farley, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana Marriage Records, 1849-1940 (Shreveport: J & W Enterprises, 1984), abstract of marriage record for 20 Jul 1865, J. A. Rankins and Amanda A. Lindsey, Book 1, Folio 320.

[7] FHL Film #265,980, Claiborne Parish Deed Book J: 65, deed dated 24 Jan 1866 from William A. Lindsey and wife Francis Jane Marary (sic, Merony) of Claiborne Parish to Lucy C. Lindsey, 240 acres, witnessed by E. B. Lindsey and John A. Rankin, et al.; Jennie Belle Lyle, Marriage Record Book B, Drew Co., Arkansas (Little Rock: Democrat Printing & Lithography Co., 1966), marriage of William A. Lindsey and Francis Merony, 20 Oct 1852.

[8] FHL Film #265,980, Claiborne Parish Deed Book J: 226, deed dated 15 Aug 1870 from John A. Rankin and wife Amanda A. Lindsey to Lucy Lindsey, all of Claiborne, 9 acres, witnesses E. B. Lindsey and S. M. Newsom.

[9] 1850 federal census, Drew Co., AR, p. 94, household of E. B. and Elizabeth J. Lindsey; 1860 federal census, Drew Co., AR, p. 103, Edward and Ruth Lindsey; 1870 federal census, Tyler Co., TX, p. 392, Edward and Elizabeth J. Lindsey.

[10] Family Adventures, Early Alabama Marriages 1813 – 1850, (San Antonio: 1991), marriage record for Edward B. Lindsey and Elizabeth J. Odom, 30 Jun 1832, Pike Co., AL; Lyle, Marriage Record Book B, Drew Co., Arkansas, marriage record for E. B. Lindsey and Ruth B. Crook, 16 Sep 1856; Farley, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana Marriage Records, marriage of E. B. Lendsey and E. J. Marshall, 15 Nov 1865; and Frances T. Ingmire, Marriage Records of Tyler County, Texas 1847 – 1888 (St. Louis: 1981), marriage of Ed. B. Lindsey and Permelia Dean, 20 Nov 1872.

[11] Family Adventures, Early Alabama Marriages.

[12] 1850 federal census, Drew County, Ark., Spring Hill Twp., p. 94, dwelling #270, listing for E. B. Lindsey, 39, farmer, born NC, Elizabeth J. Lindsey, 38, born GA, William A. Lindsey, 17, AL, James R. Lindsey, 16, AL, Nancy J. Lindsey, 12, AL, John H. Lindsey, 11, AL, Charity A. Lindsey, 9, AL, Elizabeth W. Lindsey, 7, AL, Amanda A. Lindsey, 5, MS, Edward C. Lindsey, 2, AR, and Thomas E. Lindsey, 9 months, AR.

[13] E. M. Tipton, Marriages and Obituaries from the New Orleans Christian Advocate 1851-1860, Vol. 1 (Bossier City, LA: Tipton Printing & Publishing,1980). Elizabeth Jane Odom Lindsey’s obit appeared in the Advocate issue of 25 Nov. 1854, No. 3, p. 3, col. 1.

[14] Lyle, Marriage Record Book B, Drew Co., Arkansas, identifying J. M. Carr as an M. E. minister.

[15] Id., Marriage Book B:140, 16 Sep 1856, marriage of E. B. Lindsey, 45, and Ruth B. Crook, 48, J. M. Carr officiating; see notes 17 and 20.

[16] 1860 federal census, Drew Co., AR, Marion Twp., p. 103, dwelling #167, household of E. B. Lindsey, farmer, 48, with Ruth Lindsey, 55, Susan Crook, 17, James Crook, 15, and Ruth Crook, 13.

[17] 1870 federal census, Drew Co., AR, Monticello P.O., p. 629, dwelling #465, listing for Ruth Crook, 63.

[18] 1860 federal census, Drew Co., AR, p. 103, listing for E. B. Lindsey. Census taken on July 13th, 1860.

[19] FHL Film #981,521, Drew Co. Deed Book F: 268, 18 Jun 1860 filing in the real property records of Drew County containing a schedule of the separate property of Ruth B. Lindsey, wife of E. B. Lindsey. The list included inter alia seven slaves, a horse, two yoke oxen, eleven head of cattle, twenty-seven sheep, fifteen hogs, a wagon, buggy, two bureaus, bookcase, clock, six bedsteads, two dozen chairs, a safe, and 200 acres.

[20] Edward had no scruples preventing him from marrying Ruth Crook, who owned seven slaves. See id.

[21] I cannot find my source for that tidbit and am not inclined to bother relocating it, considering that the chances are virtually nil that anyone will ever give a fig. For the record, however, the sentence beginning “with civil authority collapsing” and much of the remainder of the paragraph are roughly verbatim quotes from the source, whatever it was.

[22] FHL Film #981,522, deeds dated 4 Nov 1862 and 30 Dec 1862 recorded in Drew Co., AR Deed Book G: 452 and 476, respectively, conveying Edward Lindsey’s tracts in Section 24, Twp 12 South, Range 7 West.

[23] Farley, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana Marriage Records, 15 Nov 1865 marriage bond, E. B. Lendsey and E. J. Marshall, Marriage Book 1, Folio 336.

[24] 1870 federal census, Tyler Co., TX, Woodville Beat, p. 392, dwelling #321, listing for Edw. Lindsey, 59, farmer, born NC, with Eliz. Lindsey, 34, born ALA, and Edward Lindsey, 1, born TX.

[25] Ingmire, Marriage Records of Tyler County, Texas 1847 – 1888, Pamelia Dean married Edward B. Lindsey 20 Nov 1872. See notes 26 and 27 for Pamelia’s and Edward’s ages in 1880.

[26] 1880 federal census, Tyler Co., TX, p. 397, dwelling #16, listing for Permelia J. Lindsey, age 47, divorced or widowed. She must have been divorced, since Edward was still alive in 1880, see note 27.

[27] 1880 federal census, Claiborne Parish, LA, p. 285, listing for Edward B. Lindsey, dry goods merchant, 69, born NC, parents born NC, listed with Edward B. Lindsey, son, 11, at school, born TX, father born NC, mother born MS.

[28] Id.; notes 13, 17 and 26.

[29] FHL Film #265,999, Claiborne Parish, LA Probate Record Book E: 392.

[30] Id., 31 Mar 1883 report of administrator Joseph W. Day on the sale of Edward B. Lindsey’s land.

[31] Id., Claiborne Parish Probate Record Book E: 398, 31 Aug 1883 report by administrator.

[32] Id.

[33] See id.

[34] 1880 federal census, Webster Parish, LA, p. 219, dwelling #297, listing for J. M. Kight, 38, farmer, and his family; also on p. 219, dwelling #285, listing for J. A. Rankin, wife Amanda and family.

Three William Lindseys of Brunswick County, VA in the mid-1700s

by Robin Rankin Willis

The objectives of this analysis were (1) to determine how many William Lindseys lived in Brunswick County, Virginia circa the 1750s and (2) to identify which William Lindsey of Brunswick, if any, moved to North Carolina. My methodology was to differentiate among the Lindsey families who appeared in Brunswick based on where they lived and with whom they associated. For example, one William Lindsey appeared frequently as a party or witness to deeds in which a man named Huckaby or Denton was also either a party or a witness. Another William Lindsey owned land in Brunswick on Wildcat Creek and frequently appeared in deeds witnessed by one or more sons who were proved by his will. Based on consistently different locations and personal associations that did not overlap, I concluded that there were three different William Lindseys living in Brunswick in the mid-1700s. Each of these men first appeared in Brunswick between 1743 and 1750.

The individual records that I assembled for each Lindsey are listed chronologically in the tables below. Because all of the evidence regarding these three Lindseys is laid out in some detail (along with citations to county records), I did not footnote the following brief summary of my conclusions.

William #1 of Brunswick, VA and Edgecombe-Halifax, NC

The first William Lindsey to appear in Brunswick – whom I have designated “William #1″ or “William Sr.” – owned land in Brunswick on Little Meadow/Three Creeks. He most likely lived in the county by at least April 1743, when he witnessed a conveyance between two parties who were both identified as residents of Brunswick. He evidently made one or more trips to Edgecombe County, North Carolina while he still resided in Virginia, because there is at least one record in which he acknowledged an Edgecombe deed (requiring him to be in court in person) while he was still identifying himself as a resident of Brunswick.

William #1 sold what appears to have been all of his Brunswick land in 1754 and was a resident of Edgecombe County by at least 1758. He lived and owned land on Rocky Creek in that part of Edgecombe that is now Halifax County. His wife Mary appeared with him in both Brunswick and Edgecombe from 1754 through 1763. The records do not establish whether Mary was his first wife or whether she was the mother of his children.

William #1 had a son, also named William (to whom I shall refer as William Jr.), who made his first appearance in the Halifax records in 1763. William Jr. witnessed a deed in January of that year (a conveyance to William #1) and proved a deed in November (also a conveyance to William #1). The latter deed establishes that William Jr. was born by at least 1742. The deeds were the initial basis on which I concluded the two men were father and son.

I found no estate records for William #1 in either North Carolina or Virginia. He had almost certainly died before 28 July 1772, when William (Junior), Joseph and John Lindsey conveyed a tract on Rocky Swamp that had been acquired earlier by William #1. That conveyance is persuasive (conclusive, in my opinion) evidence that William Jr., Joseph and John were sons of William #1. I have not found a deed in which William #1 conveyed that Rocky Swamp tract to William, Joseph and John. Inheritance is the only other basis to explain the ownership of the land by those three men. Estate records for that time and place are, unfortunately, mostly nonexistent.

William #1 (or William Sr.) of Brunswick and Edgecombe-Halifax and his three sons William Jr., Joseph and John are almost certainly the ancestors of the Lindseys who appeared in Nash and Franklin Counties, North Carolina around the turn of the century. My last conclusively proved Lindsey ancestor – William Lindsey III who died in 1817 in Nash County, father of Edward B. Lindsey – is among them.

William #2 of Wild Cat Creek, Brunswick

The second William Lindsey in Brunswick County – “William #2″ – lived and owned land on Wild Cat Creek and Tan Fall (or Tan Fat or Tan Vat) Branch. His wife Jane appeared with him in Brunswick deed records from 1750 through 1757. William #2 left a Brunswick will dated May 1766 and proved in September 1768. He had proved sons James and Caleb (named in his will), an unproved but highly probable son John, proved daughter Sarah Lindsey Copland, and an unproved but highly probable daughter Winifred Lindsey Durham. Other children are possible.

William #2 is definitely not the same man as William #1. First, William #1 moved to Edgecombe, while William #2 stayed in Brunswick and left a will there. Second, William #1 was married to a woman named Mary during 1754 through at least 1763. William #2, on the other hand, was married to a woman named Jane during at least 1750 through 1757. Because those dates overlap, it follows that Mary’s husband was a different man than Jane’s husband.

Further, William #2 appears to be from a generation prior to William #1. Caleb, a proved son of William #2, identified himself in a 1763 deed as Caleb Senior. That suggests that a Caleb Jr., presumably a grandson of William #2, has reached adulthood. Caleb Junior must therefore have been born by 1742. The two elder sons of William #1 were also born circa 1740.[1] Thus, William #2’s son Caleb and William #1 appear to be members of the same generation.

I found no connections whatsoever in the Brunswick or Edgecombe records between William #2 and William #1. Nor did I find any evidence in the Brunswick records that expressly connects William #2 to any of the North Carolina Lindseys. That doesn’t mean that the line of William #2 did not move to North Carolina, which some of them may well have done.

I am reasonably certain, however, that the John Lindsey who left a will in Halifax County, North Carolina dated December 1800 and proved February 1801 (“Halifax John”) was not the same man as the John Lindsey who was a probable son of William #2. Further, neither John, probable son of William #2, nor Halifax John who died in 1801, was the same man as John, the brother of Joseph and William Jr. (sons of William #1).[2]

William of New Kent, Brunswick and Lunenburg/Mecklenburg

A third William Lindsey – “William of New Kent” – appeared in Brunswick in 1748 and owned land on Briery Branch. He also bought and sold a tract on Crabtree Creek (also known as Miles Creek) in the southern part of Lunenburg that subsequently became Mecklenburg.

The deed records establish that William of New Kent was not the same man as William #1. William of New Kent recited that he was still “of New Kent” in a 1748 deed, while William #1 was already “of Brunswick” in a 1744 deed. William of New Kent was also not the same man as William #2, because William of New Kent lived in Lunenburg and served on juries there (which required residency) during a period in the 1750s when William #2 was residing in Brunswick. The last Brunswick record I found for William of New Kent is dated 1765, after which he disappeared from the Brunswick records. In 1769, William appeared in a Mecklenburg County deed as a witness.

I found no will or estate administration for William of New Kent in either Brunswick, Lunenburg or Mecklenburg. So far as I have found, he owned no land after he sold his tract on Crabtree/Miles Creek in 1760. Assuming that he had no valuable personal property, he may have died and left no trace in the probate records. Alternatively, he may have left the Mecklenburg area.

William of New Kent appeared frequently in records along with men named Russell and Twitty. In particular, William was involved with a man named Richard Russell and his wife Margaret Russell, both of whom are identified in the St. Peter’s Parish Register in New Kent County as the parents of a daughter Mary Russell, born in St. Peter’s Parish in New Kent County in 1738. Thus, William of New Kent may well have migrated to Brunswick along with the Russells, and might have been related to them by marriage.

Detailed records for each of the above three William Lindseys are contained in the tables below, preceded by a brief description of the logic I used to choose records for each of the three tables.

Table #1: William Lindsey #1 (“William Sr.”) and wife Mary of Brunswick, VA and Edgecombe/Halifax, NC

I assembled county records concerning William #1 in a series of steps, as follows.

  1. There is recurrence of the name Denton in Lindsey records in both Brunswick, Virginia and in Edgecombe and Halifax, North Carolina. I therefore began by collecting all records involving both William Lindsey and anyone named Denton in Brunswick, Edgecombe or Halifax.
  1. At least one of the deeds mentioning William Lindsey and a Denton also involved Samuel Huckaby. Consequently, I added all records involving both a Lindsey and a Huckaby.
  1. The William Lindsey who was connected to the Dentons and Huckabys owned land on Rocky Swamp in Edgecombe/Halifax, so I added any additional Edgecombe or Halifax deeds involving Lindseys and that creek.
  1. The above records established that William #1 owned land on “Little Meadow” near Three Creeks in Brunswick. I therefore added any additional Brunswick records involving a Lindsey and either Three Creeks or Little Meadows.
  2. My comments in the tables below are in italics.

 

Table #1 – William Lindsey #1 or William Sr.
Date Event Citation
16 Apr 1743 Jehue Peoples of Brunswick Co., VA to Samuel Huckiby of same, £5.7.6, 75A, part of a patent by John Walker, land the grantee now possesses, adj Walker. Witnesses Thomas Lanier, William (W) Lensy, William (M) Denton. Brunswick

Deed Book 2: 274

10 Nov 1744 William Linsey of Brunswick to Samuel Huckebee of same, £6 VA, 200A (in Edgecombe, NC) adj mouth of Spring Branch, part of 400A granted Moses Swinny 15 Mar 1742. Witnesses William Person, John Egreton. Halifax Deed Book 5: 304 (Edgecombe)
Nov 1744 Deed of sale from Moses Swinney to Wm Linsey acknowledged. Same day, deed from William Lindsey to Samuel Huckaby was also acknowledged. Because William acknowledged the deed, which had to be done in person, he was in Edgecombe at the time. Edgecombe MB 1: 20
6 Feb 1745 (must be 1745 – 46) William Lindsey of Brunswick to Lemuel Cocke of Southwark Parish, Surry Co., £20, 174A in Brunswick patented by grantor on 20 Aug 1745 and bounded per patent. Signed William (W) Linsey. Witnesses Nicholas Edmunds, Thomas Cocke Jr. See VA Patent Book 23: 1137, Cavaliers & Pioneers Vol. 5: 145, William Linsey patent, 174A Brunswick, south side Meherrin River adj John Rane, Jackson, Ralph Jackson, John Walker, James Lee, patent dated 20 Aug 1745. I included this deed only because the grantor signed with a “W,” although there are no other factors (creek, personal associations) that I used to identify records for William #1. See remaining records, this is definitely William #1. Brunswick Co. Deed Book 3: 122
26 Mar 1751 John Maclin of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick to William Lindsey of same, £33 VA, 143A adj Peter Simmons, John Butts, John Jackson, the Little Meadow, part of land willed to Elisabeth Harper, wife of George Harper, by her father John Denton. From Elisabeth and George to Micajah Perry and from Perry to grantor. Signed John Maclin, Susanna Maclin. Witnesses Henry Duke, James Cook, Micajah Perry. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 5: 39 at courthouse
18 Feb 1752 Peter Simmons Sr. of Brunswick to Peter Simmons Jr., gift deed, 115A adj William Millington, north side Three Creeks, adj Little Meadow, John Denton, grantor, Little Branch. Witnesses Edward Goodrich, James Vaughan, William Linsey (W). Brunswick Deed Book 5: 215
8 Jan 1754 Francis Jones of Bladen Co. to William Linsey (county of residence not stated), £30 proclamation money, 170A east side Rocky Swamp in Edgecombe Co., NC. Witnesses Samuel Huckabe, Thomas Kearney, Solomon Williams. Halifax Deed Book 4: 524
26 Feb 1754 William Lindsey (W) and wife Mary (+) Lindsey of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick, to John Brown of Nottoway Parish in Southampton, £40 VA, 143A adj Peter Simmons, John Butts, John Jackson, Little Meadow. Part of a tract formerly belonging to John Denton, dec’d, who devised it to Elizabeth Harper wife of George Harper who sold it to William Lindsey. Witnesses Robert Campbell, John Butts, Peter Denton. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 5: 525
6 Mar 1758 Daniel Blackwell and wife Sarah of Edgecombe to William Lindsay, of same, £8 VA, 100A, part of land belonging to John Pasmore, dec’d, east side Rocky Swamp. Witnesses William Roberts, Peter Denton. Halifax Deed Book 6: 305 (Edgecombe)
27 Jun 1758

 

William Fuqua appointed a road overseer in place of Wm Linsey. Same day, deed from Daniel Blackwell to William Linsey proved by William Roberts. The fact that he was a road overseer conclusively proves that William was residing in Edgecome. See also preceding deed. Edgecombe MB 1: 18, 19
26 Mar 1759 Joseph Passmore to William Lindsay, £20 VA, 100A which was part of purchase by grantor from Francis Jones 20 Dec 1749, east side of Rocky Swamp, adj Samuel Williams. Signed Joseph Passmore, Sarah Passmore. Witnesses Elijah Humphries, Peter Denton, Daniel Blackwell. Halifax Deed Book 7: 66
4 May 1759 Wm. Linsey to Elijah Humphries, £39 Virginia money, 170A which Linsey purchased from Francis Jones 21 Nov 1749 on east side Rocky Swamp adj James Salmon. Signed William (x) Linsey, Mary (x) Linsey. Witnesses Saml. Huckaby, Peter Denton. Halifax Deed Book 7: 68
2 Sep 1761 John Huckaby to George Passmore, £10, 100A, part of a 1760 Granville grant to said Huckaby, east side Rocky Swamp adj Samuel Huckaby, Elijah Humphrey. Witnesses John Sullivent, William Lindsay. Proved Mar 1762. Halifax Deed Book 8: 91
17 Jan 1763 William Lindsey Sr. to David Flukes, £80 Virginia money, 200A deeded to Lindsey by Joseph Passmore, east side Rocky Swamp, adj Elijah Humphreys, Owen Flukes, John Pritchett, John Heath. William (x) Lindsey, Mary (x) Lindsey. Witnesses John Sullivent, Owen Flukes, James Lamons. First reference in the deeds to William “Senior,” which suggests that a Wm. “Junior” has reached legal age and also resides in Edgecombe. Halifax

Deed Book 8: 198

20 Nov 1763 Robert Chapman to William Lynsey, £50 VA, 125A on west side Rocky Swamp (part of patent by John Edwards 17 Jun 1741), adjacent Smith’s Br., David Chapman, Robert Chapman. Witnesses Thos. Wiggins, William Lynzey, Henry Wiggins. This deed was proved by the witness William Lindsey, who was presumably the son of the grantee. William (Jr.) must have been of full legal age to prove a deed, although a person could witness a deed at age 14. Microfilm of Halifax

Deed Book 9: 162

28 Jul 1772 William Lindsey, Joseph Lindsey and John Lindsay to Jesse Weaver, £68 proclamation money, 125A which was part of a patent to John Edwards 17 Jun 1741 on the west side of Rocky Swamp adj Spring Branch, Smiths Branch, David Chapman. Witnesses Thomas Wiggins, Henry Wiggins, Edward Jordin.

This deed is the only evidence I have found (other than the prior deed) regarding the children of William Lindsey Sr.

Halifax

Deed Book 12: 351

Table #2: William Lindsey #2 and wife Jane of Wildcat Cr.

For the following table, I collected all the records that can be attributed with certainty to the William Lindsey of Wildcat Creek and Tan Fat Branch who left a 1768 will in Brunswick. Thus, each record contains either (1) the name of one of those creeks and any male Lindsey or (2) any mention of James or Caleb Lindsey, who are proved sons of William #2.

Date Event Source
28 Jan 1750 William Lindsey and wife Jane of St. Andrews in Brunswick to Peter Moon, same, £15 VA, 100A where Thomas Durham now lives, fork of Wildcat Cr. running up the east side of the main branch to the dividing line between the said William Lindsay and his son Calib Lindsey. Witnesses John Holcombe, James Lindsey, James Edmonds (+). William signs in full, Jane by mark. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 5: 4 at the courthouse
24 Mar 1755 William Linsay of Brunswick to James Lindsay, same, £10 VA, 100A east side Wildcatt Cr. adj William Lindsay, head _____ of the Bee Br. Witness Philemon Bowers, George Durham, Caleb Lindsey. William signs.

Same day, William Lindsay of Brunswick to Caleb Lindsay, same, £10 VA, 100A east side Wildcat Cr. beginning at mouth of Bee Br., a direct line between said Caleb Lindsey and James Lindsey, the east branch of Wildcat Cr. Witnesses James Lindsay, Phillemon Bowers, George Durham. William signs.

Same day, William Lindsay of St. Andrew Parish to George Durham, same, 5 shillings (gift deed price), 125A on the upper side of Wildcatt Cr. at the mouth of Thomas’s Branch to said Lindsay. Witnesses Phillemon Bowers, James Lindsay, Caleb Lindsay. All three Lindseys sign in full. Proved by all witnesses 25 Mar 1755.

Original of Brunswick Deed Book 5: 704, 705, 707 at the courthouse
25 May 1756 William Lindsey of Brunswick to Samuel Gordon and James Boyd of Prince George Co., VA, £40 VA, 200A west side of Wildcat Creek adj Lindsey, Lindsey’s Tannfatt Br. Witnesses James Lindsey, John Carlton, Philemon Bowers. Proved by witnesses including James Lindsey on 23 Jun 1756. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 6: 66
25 Jul 1757 William Lindsay of Brunswick to John Carlton, same, £10.10 VA, 130A east side Little Wild Cat Cr. adj Lindsay’s old corner. William’s wife Jane Lindsey also a party. Both sign. Witnesses Matthew Lucas, John Halcomb, William Bell. Original of BrunswickDeed Book 6: 175
14 Nov 1757 Peter Moon and wife Mary of Brunswick to William Browne, same, £20 VA, 100A fork of Wild Cat Cr. adj said Peter Moon, Caleb Lindsay, east branch of Wildcat Cr. Witnesses James Lindsay, John Carlton, William Bell. Brunswick Deed Book 6: 217
20 Jul 1759

 

William Lindsay of Brunswick to John Lindsay, same, £10 VA, 50A west side Wildcat Cr. adj grantor’s old Tanfat Branch, “it being the branch above the plantation whereon said Lindsey now lives.” Witnesses James Lindsey, William Martin, Caleb Lindsey, Peter (+) Ross, Abraham (x) Martin. William signs. Proved by Caleb, Peter and Abraham 24 Sep 1759. The John Lindsey who left a Halifax will dated 1800 (“Halifax John”) was “of Halifax” by 1757. See deed of 10 Nov 1766, next page, when John Lindsey is still “of Brunswick.” Therefore the John Lindsey associated with William #2 of Brunswick is not the same man as Halifax John. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 6: 403
26 Jul 1760 John Carlton and Agatha Carlton of Brunswick to Thomas Holcomb, same, £20 VA, 130A east side Little Wildcat Cr. adj William Lindsey. Witnesses Joshua Draper, William Fitch, Abraham Martin. Brunswick Deed Book 6: 554
7 Feb 1763

 

Caleb Lindsey Sr. and wife Rose Lindsey of St. Andrew’s Parish Brunswick to Henry Martin, same, £ 5 VA, 100A adj Henry Ban____. Caleb signs, Rose doesn’t cosign. Witnesses Abraham (x) Martin, William Martin, Jonathan Williams. This suggests that a Caleb Jr. may have recently come of age. Thus, Caleb Sr. (son of William #2) is roughly a contemporary of William #1 (William Sr.) of Brunswick/Edgecombe. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 7: 300
27 Aug 1764 Appraisal of the estate of William Martin, dec’d. Slaves Boatswain, Hannah & child. Appraised by Robert Briggs, Philemon Lacy, James Lindsey. Returned 27 Aug 1764. WB 4, Pt. 2: 411
21 Sep 1765 Thomas Stone of Brunswick to William Daniel, same, £10 VA for 125A, part of patent by grantor, 10 Jun 1760, adj Caleb Lindsey. Witnesses James Moore Sr., James Moore Jr. (x), James Elmore. Deed Book 8: 246
11 May 1766 Will of William Lindsey (x) dated 11 May 1766 proved 26 Sep 1768. Son James, 85A and plantation where he now lives, part of my old patent and part of my new patent. Daughter Sarah Copland, bed and furniture. Granddaughter Elizabeth Lindsey, daughter of Caleb Lindsey, my chest. Granddaughter Sarah Lindsey, small trunk. Granddaughter Susanna Lindsey, daughter of James Lindsey, cow. Granddaughter Elizabeth Lindsey, daughter of Jam[torn], all pewter. Executor son James Lindsey. Witnesses William Brown, Nathaniel Robertson, Thomas Holcombe. Securities Wm Brown and Thomas Halcombe. Original of WB 3: 512
23 Aug 1766 Will of George Durham of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick, dated 23 Aug 1766 proved 23 Feb 1767. 182A on branches of Great Cr. adj Col. Nicholas Edmunds et al., sell to pay debts. Son James Lindsey Durham, land & plantation where I now live. Son Humphry Durham, mare, saddle, cow & calf. Son John, my gun, cow & calf. Daughter Margret Halcombe, heifer.

After death of wife, rest of estate to be divided among four youngest daughters; money left over from paying my debts used to school four youngest children. Executors wife Winnifred Durham, son Humphrey Durham. Witnesses James Lindsey, John Halcombe, Thomas Halcombe (x). Execs qualified w/Thomas Holcombe & James Lindsey, securities. Winnie was definitely neé Lindsey.

Original of WB 3: 470 at the Brunswick courthouse
10 Nov 1766 Caleb Lindsey & John Lindsey of Brunswick to John Allen of Dinwiddie Co., £60 VA, 150A on both sides Wildcat Cr. beginning at mouth of Bee Br. to William Lindsey’s old line, east fork of Wildcat Cr., the Tanfat Br. Both sign in full. Witnesses Nathaniel Roberson, James Lindsey, John Biggs (x) or Bigge. Proved by all three witnesses 23 Feb 1767. Original of Deed Book 8: 440 or 441?
22 Apr 1767 Humphrey Durham & Winifred Durham, executors of George Durham, dec’d, of Brunswick, to Jesse Potts, same, £25 VA, 182A adj Edmunds, Evan’s Cr., Parr (now Richard Bagwell’s line), Rigby (now William Prichard’s line). Witnesses James Lindsey, William Pritchett, Frederick Briggs. Deed Book 8: 495
5 Dec 1768 Caleb Lindsey and wife Roseanna Lindsey of St. Andrew Parish, Brunswick, to John Dameron, same, £85 VA, 304A patented 14 Feb 1761 on Wild Catt Cr. adj William Brown, Little Wild Catt Cr., Martain, Caleb Lindsey’s old line. Witnesses Joseph Dameron, Henry Lightfoot, Henry Martain, Thomas Stone. Original of Deed Book 9: 484
15 Feb 1770 Willoughby Broughton (M) & Elizabeth Broughton (x) of Brunswick to Thomas Jeffeyes of Dinwiddie, £60 VA, 138A west side Wildcat Cr. adj William Lindsey, Michus, Matthews. Witnesses James Lindsey, Raleigh Hightower, Philemon Holcomb (x). Abstract of Deed Book 9: 589
3 Nov 1770 James Lindsey and Mary Lindsey (+) of Brunswick to Bartholomew Dameron, same, £50 VA, 100A east side Wild Catt Cr., beginning at William Lindsey’s old corner, the mouth of a branch, head of Bell Br. Both the abstractor and I read that as “Bell Branch,” although “Bee” Branch would probably have been correct. James signs. Witnesses James Love, Mary Love, Elizabeth Lindsey (+). Original of Deed Book 10: 43
27 Oct 1777 James Lindsey and wife Mary Lindsey and James Lindsey Durham, grantors of Brunswick, to Aaron Haskins of Powhatan Co., £224 VA, 224A west side Wild Cat Cr. joining mouth of Tan Vat Br., Christopher Haskins. Witnesses Christopher Haskins, Thomas Jones, William Trotter, Drury Mathis, Stephen Jones, James Quarles. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 13: 4

Table # 3 – William Lindsey of New Kent

William Lindsey of New Kent bought a tract on Briery Creek in a conveyance to him by Richard Russell. Thomas Twitty and Stephen Moss were witnesses. I therefore included in this table all Lindsey records having any reference to a Lindsey and either Briery Cr., Twitty, Russell, or Moss. Note: see Appendix 2 regarding a Lindsey whose middle name was Moss.

7 Apr 1748 Richard Russell of Brunswick to William Lindsy of New Kent Co., £40, 330A south side Briery Cr. per patent of 25 Jul 1741. Witnesses Thomas Twitty, Stephen Moss (x). Margaret Russell, wife of Richard, relinquished dower. Brunswick

Deed Book 3: 395

2 Jun 1748 John Roper of Charles City Co. to Thomas Twitty of Brunswick, £5, 1200A south side Mill Cr., part of 1601A patent by Roper on 2 Aug 1745. Witnesses William Linsey, Richard Russell, George Hagood. William is probably now residing in Brunswick since the grantee of “of Brunswick.” Brunswick Deed Book 3: 440
2 Jun 1748 John Roper to George Hagood of Brunswick, £6.5, 100A both sides Briery Cr., part of 160A patent of 2 Aug 1745. Witnesses Thomas Twitty, William Linsey, John Roberts. Brunswick Deed Book 3: 442
2 Jun 1748

 

John Roper to Edward Going of Brunswick, £5, 100A south side Mill Cr., part of 1601A tract. Witnesses Thomas Twitty, Wm Linsey, John Roberts. Brunswick Deed Book 3: 444
17 Dec 1750 William Lindsey of Brunswick Co. to Henry Seward, same, £65, 330A patented by John Ezell 25 Jul 1741, who conveyed it to Richard Russel who conveyed it to said William Lindsey, south side Briery Creek. Witnesses Walter Campbell, James Scott, Tabitha Campbell. William signs. Original of Brunswick Deed Book 5: 15
25 Oct 1751 John Watson of Lunenburg to William Lindsey of Brunswick Co., £40, 400A both sides Crabtree Br. in Lunenburg, patented by Nathaniel Cook of Lunenburg 20 Aug 1748. Witnesses Robert Lark, Samuel Homes, William Homes. Rebecca, wife of Watson, relinquished dower. Richard Russell witnessed William Lindsey’s sale of this tract, so this deed belongs in this table. Lunenburg Deed Book 2: 501
11 May 1754 William McKnight of Brunswick to Thomas Merriot, also spelled Marriot, same, £47.10 VA, 130A patented by Benj. Williams 1 Jun 1741, both sides Avents Cr. adj mouth of Rocky Br., William Merriot. Witnesses Thomas Twitty, Owen Strange, David Moss, William Lindsey. Judith, wife of grantor, relinquished dower. Brunswick Deed Book 5: 615
4 May 1760 William Lindsey of Brunswick to Rease Brower, same, £75, 400A in Lunenburg on both sides Crabtree Br. granted to Nathaniel Cook 20 Aug 1748. William signs. Witnesses Hugh Franklin (+), Charles (E) Humphries, Richard Russell, John Ezell. Lunenburg Deed Book 6: 1
13 Feb 1765 Thomas Twitty Sr. of St. Andrew Parish, Brunswick to Thomas Twitty Jr., same, gift deed, 10 shillings, 400A north side Meherrin River on the mouth of Whitstone Branch, Briery Cr., head of Bull Branch, Rattlesnake Br., Russell’s Path. Witnesses William Lindsey, John Powell, Thomas Marriott. Brunswick Deed Book 8: 477
21 Jan 1769 William Maclin of Brunswick to Charles Wall of Halifax, 223A on the waters of the Dan River patented by grantor 14 Feb 1761. Witnesses Harris Wilson, Philmer Green, William Lindsey, Thomas Twitty Jr. and Joseph Alfriend. Halifax Co., VA DB 7: 463
13 Feb 1769 John Mustian to Jeremiah Russell, £150, 100A adj Murfey’s Ford, the Great Cr., the line between Mustian and Russell, North Prong of the Great Cr. Witnesses Ambrose Grisham, John Duglass, Wm Mustian (H), Nathl Edwards (X), Wm Lindsay, John Dixon. Mecklenburg, VA DB 2: 509

 

 

The Rankins of Guilford County, NC: the mistaken identity of Robert Rankin d. 1795

© Robin Rankin Willis

Every family history researcher knows that many trees on the internet aren’t worth the paper it would take to print them. Perhaps the most serious mistake a rookie can make is to import data from someone else’s tree without confirming it. I learned that lesson the hard way.

When I was just getting started in this hobby, I sent a chart for one of my lines to the administrator of the Graves Family Association website (at his request).[1] The chart included information I had obtained from other researchers on my early Graves ancestors. Unfortunately, I had not confirmed the information with my own research.

I wish I had remembered that before I forwarded the chart. Ken Graves, the website administrator, replied with a blistering email excoriating me for perpetuating a fiction which all serious researchers had long since discarded. My screen and my red face were both too hot to touch when I read that email.

We all make mistakes, even without naïvely adopting someone else’s data. Original county records are incomplete or the courthouse burned down entirely. Handwriting in old records is faded, blurred by ink bleedthrough, or indecipherable. Our ancestors recycled the same given names ad nauseam, facilitating an error called “same name confusion.” Many mistakes are caused by the aura of accuracy that accompanies information in books and journals. Other mistakes are just carelessness.

Here’s an example: the Robert Rankin who died in 1795 in Guilford Co., NC

An ubiquitous error about one of the early Rankins in Guilford County, North Carolina illustrates several of these mistake “types.”[1]The error combines same name confusion and carelessness. Its proliferation is probably partly attributable to a published Rankin history which wrongly interpreted the 1795 will of Robert Rankin as being the will of the “patriarch” – the eldest immigrant – of his family line in Guilford.[2]The ease of importing data from another’s tree insured the error’s immortality.

Robert Rankin the patriarch (let’s call him “Old Robert” for short) had a wife named Rebecca, maiden name unknown.[5] Old Robert and Rebecca had a son named George.[6] A 1795 will — the one that has caused the confusion — identified the testator as “Robert Rankin Senior” of Guilford County. “Senior” was occasionally used for Old Robert in the early days of the county.[7] The Robert who died in 1795 devised land to a son named George. He did not name a wife, who probably predeceased him. In short, identifying the testator in the 1795 will as Old Robert seems reasonable at first glance.

The problem is that Old Robert and Rebecca’s son George died in 1760 – thirty-five years before Robert’s 1795 will.[8] I have heard of people being tardy about updating their wills, but … several decades?

Admittedly, Guilford County is tough on Rankin researchers. First, there are a dizzying number of country records referencing, e.g., Robert Rankin, Robert Rankin Sr., and/or Robert Rankin Jr. One state grant mentions all three of those names![9] Second, the line of Old Robert and Rebecca, as was common, used the same names every generation. They favored John, William, Robert, and George, sometimes distinguishing between them with “Jr.” or “Sr.” That didn’t always help, because a man identified as “Jr.” isn’t necessarily the son of “Sr.” Sometimes those designations were used to differentiate between an elder and a younger man who were from different nuclear families – for example, a man and his nephew. Worse, the designations changed: a man called “Robert Jr.” in 1760 became “Robert Sr.” after the elder Robert died.

Finally, Guilford is rough sledding because there were three Rankin “patriarchs” in Guilford: (1) John Rankin (1736-1814) who married Hannah Carson and who is a proved son of Joseph Rankin of Delaware;[10] (2) John’s brother William Rankin (1744-1804), who married Jane Chambers; and (3) Old Robert Rankin and his wife Rebecca, who came to Pennsylvania from Letterkenny Parish, County Donegal, Ireland about 1750 and moved to Guilford County (then Rowan) a few years later.

The facts in brief

Two simple facts establish that the Robert Rankin who wrote a will and died in 1795 in Guilford County – call him “Robert d. 1795” – was not Old Robert. First, the dates for the records of Buffalo Presbyterian Church show that Old Robert died long before 1795. Second, records concerning the George Rankin who was named as a son in the will of Robert d. 1795 establish that George the devisee was alive and well after 1795. He was not the George who had died thirty-five years earlier.

When did Robert with wife Rebecca die? Answer: circa 1770, definitely by 1773

Rev. Samuel Meek Rankin provides information about Old Robert Rankin in his book History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People. Rev. Rankin identified Old Robert as having belonged to Nottingham Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania.[11] Old Robert and his family (or some of them) migrated to North Carolina in the 1750s.[12] Some acquired land in that part of Rowan County that became Guilford.[13] Rev. Rankin identified Old Robert’s wife as Rebecca, which is confirmed in a gift deed of land by the couple to their son George.[14] According to Rev. Rankin, Old Robert and Rebecca had children “George, Robert, Rebecca, John and others.”[15]

For purposes of this article, however, we are only concerned with Old Robert and Rebecca, their sons George and Robert (who was sometimes called “Robert Jr.” in early Guilford records), and a grandson named – I’m sure you can guess – Robert. A few facts about that crew is in order. Rev. Rankin says that George died in 1761, although his will was actually written and proved in 1760.[16] George’s will named his widow Lydia and two minor sons, John and Robert – the grandson we have in mind.

George and Lydia’s son John inherited the 480-acre tract on Brushy Fork that Old Robert and Rebecca had given to George. John sold it and left Guilford before 1800.[17] George and Lydia’s other son Robert, grandson of Old Robert, fought in the Revolutionary War and applied for a pension in 1833.[18] Bless his heart, because the application provides useful information. Let’s call him “Rev. War Robert,” with the “Rev.” meaning “Revolutionary” rather than “Reverend.” His application establishes that Rev. War Robert was born in Guilford County in May 1759 and that he moved to McNairy County, Tennessee in 1830. It is important for this narrative that Rev. War Robert lived into the nineteenth century.

That is sufficient predicate, I hope. The bottom line is that Rev. Rankin also has this to say about Old Robert, who was (according to oral tradition) one of the first elders in Buffalo Church:

“Robert Rankin is another whom Rev. J. C. Alexander said tradition listed as one of the first elders. He settled here in 1753 … he died before the first date in the minute book.”[19]

Reverend Rankin said there were no records for Buffalo Church “from the organization in 1756 to 1773.” Consequently, Old Robert Rankin, husband of Rebecca, must have died before 1773. Rev. Rankin states that Old Robert died about 1770, although there is no extant tombstone for him in the Buffalo Church cemetery.[20]

Old Robert cannot be the same man as the Robert Rankin who died in Guilford in 1795 because Old Robert had been dead for more than two decades by 1795.

What about the George named in the will of Robert Rankin d. 1795?

Let’s look closely at Robert Rankin’s 1795 will, which names the following devisees and beneficiaries:[21]

… his son George and his three grandsons William Rankin Wilson, Andrew Wilson and Maxwell Wilson, sons of his deceased daughter Mary Rankin and her husband Andrew Wilson. Robert d. 1795 devised his land on Buffalo Creek to George and the three Wilson grandsons.

… his daughter Isobel.

… two unnamed living daughters, each of whom was to receive one-fifth of Robert’s personal estate.

The will of Robert d. 1795 demonstrates that he was capable of distinguishing between his children who had died and those who had not. He described his three Wilson grandsons as “sons of my deceased daughter Mary Willson alias Rankin.” Robert describes his son George as … simply George, without stating that George was deceased or that the devise of land was for George’s heirs. The straightforward language of the will makes clear that Robert the testator (even if Old Robert had still been alive in ’95, which he wasn’t) was not referring to a son who died in 1760.

Subsequent Guilford County records show that Robert the testator was correct: his son George Rankin was still alive in ‘95. About three years after Robert died in 1795, George surveyed the land he had inherited. Robert’s will included a detailed metes and bounds description of how his land on Buffalo Creek was to “be divided by my estate.” The document filed in the real property records expressly recites that the survey of the tract was required by the will of Robert Rankin d. 1795, deceased, and by his executor. [22] Some two decades later, George Rankin made a gift of a portion of that tract to his own son – named Robert, of course.[23]

Here’s the best advice I could ever give to a rookie genealogist: follow the land.

So … who the heck was the Robert who died in 1795? Answer: Robert, son of Old Robert and Rebecca

Naturally, there was more than one Robert Rankin living in Guilford County in the late 18th century. We can eliminate anyone from the lines of John and Hannah Carson Rankin or William and Jean Chambers Rankin. John and William both had a son named Robert, and each of them lived well past 1795.[24] The testator in 1795 was not Rev. War Robert, son of George and Lydia, because his pension file proves that he died in 1833. The only Robert Rankin in Guilford in 1795 who was old enough to have three grandsons, and who did not live into the nineteenth century, was Robert Rankin (Jr.), son of Old Robert and Rebecca.

And there you have it. In a perfect world, Old Robert would also have left an extant will. I suspect that he had already given away everything he owned, particularly his land, before he died.

See you on down the road.

Robin

[1] See http://www.gravesfa.org.

[2] Rev. S. M. Rankin, The Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy (Salem, Massachusetts: Higginson Book Company, facsimile reprint of the original, copyrighted 1931), p. 52. Rev. Rankin is reliably accurate, so far as I can tell from my own research, with few exceptions. However, y-DNA testing conclusively establishes that the Samuel Rankin who married Eleanor Alexander was not a son of Joseph Rankin of Delaware.

[3] https://familysearch.org/search/ and http://home.ancestry.com. The former is free. The latter requires a paid membership.

[4] E.g., A. Gregg Moore and Forney A. Rankin, The Rankins of North Carolina (Marietta, GA: A. G. Moore, 1997).

[5] Rev. S. M. Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People (Greensboro, NC: J. J. Stone & Co., Printers, 1934) at 27. See also the gift deed in the next footnote.

[6] Id. See also Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. 1, 1753 – 1762, Abstracts of Books 1 – 4 (Salisbury, NC), abstract of Deed Book 2: 70, a gift deed dated 13 Apr 1755 from Robert and Rebecca Rankin to George Rankin, for 5 shillings (the usual gift deed “price”), 480 acres on the south side of Brushy Fork. Robert had paid 10 shillings for that tract, a Granville grant. Id., abstract of Deed Book 2: 102.

[7] Clayton Genealogical Library microfilm, “NC Guilford County Wills, Books A-B 1771-1838,” File #312, will of Robert Rankin Sr. dated 30 May 1795 proved Nov 1795, giving metes and bounds instructions on how to divide the land he owned on the south side of Buffalo Creek and devising that land to his son George Rankin and grandsons William Rankin Willson, Andrew Willson and Maxwell Willson. Robert also made bequests to his daughter Isobel and two other living daughters who weren’t identified by given name.

[8] Clayton Genealogical Library microfilm, “NC Rowan County Will Books A-B 1767-1793,” p. 141, will of George Rankin of Rowan County dated 23 May 1760, proved Oct 1760. Witnesses to the will included Robert Rankin (either George’s father or his brother) and William Denny (George’s brother-in-law, married to George’s sister Ann Rankin Denny).

[9] William D. Bennett, Guilford County Deed Book One (Raleigh, NC: Oaky Grove Press, 1990), abstract of Deed Book 1: 504, 16 Dec 1778 state grant to Moses McClain, 200 acres adjacent Jonas Touchstone, Robert McKnight, David Allison, Robert Rankin Jr.’s line, along Robert Rankin Sr.’s line, NC Grant Book No. 33: 83. There is one deed in my Lunenburg Co., VA Winn line in which the grantee and two witnesses to a deed were identified as John Winn, John Winn, and John Winn. No “Sr.” or “Jr.,” or “John Winn, carpenter,” or “John Winn of Amelia County.” Those three men obviously had a sense of whimsy. Lunenburg Deed Book 7: 231.

[10] FHL Film No. 6564, New Castle Co., DE Deed Book Y1: 499, deed dated Apr 1768 from grantors John Rankin of Orange Co., NC (a predecessor to Guilford County) and his wife Hannah, and William Rankin of New Castle Co., DE, to grantees Thomas Rankin and Joseph Rankin, both of New Castle, land devised to John and William by their father Joseph Rankin. Witnesses to the deed were neighbors of William and John Rankin in Guilford: Robert Breden, James Donnell and James Simpson. Robert and Rebecca’s immigration date and origin are established by the autobiography of their son, Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister who became a Shaker.

[11] Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, p. 22. See also Futhey and Cope, History of Chester Co., PA (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), reproduction facsimile by Chester County Historical Society (Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, Inc. 1996). The 1753 tax list for West Nottingham Township, Chester Co., PA included taxables George Rankin and Robert Rankin.

[12] Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, p. 22.

[13] E.g., Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. 1, 1753 – 1762, Abstracts of Books 1 – 4 (Salisbury, NC), abstract of Deed Book 4: 100, Granville grant dated 24 Jun 1758 to Robert Rankin, 640 acres on both sides of North Buffalo Creek. That creek flows roughly from southwest to northeast into Buffalo Creek. The creek, and the grant, are located just south of Buffalo Presbyterian Church.

[14] See note 6.

[15] Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, p. 27. George and Robert are also proved as sons by deed records. There is only circumstantial evidence for a son John and no evidence that I can find for a daughter Rebecca. The deed and will records also prove a daughter Ann Rankin who married William Denny.

[16] Clayton Genealogical Library microfiln, “NC Rowan County Will Books A-B 1767-1793,” p. 141, will of George Rankin of Rowan County dated 23 May 1760, proved Oct 1760. The 1761 date for George’s death appears in every family tree I have seen for Robert and Rebecca. Someone read Rev. Rankin’s book and many people imported the information without checking it.

[17] Id. George devised to John the 480-acre tract on Brushy Fork or Brush Creek. John sold 200 acres in August 1784, Guilford Deed Book 3: 101, and the remaining 297 acres in Sep 1796, Deed Book 6: 182. John was listed in the 1790 census for Guilford County but not in 1800. He was a Revolutionary War Soldier and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He struggled with what he saw as the abstract and impersonal nature of Presbyterian doctrine and became a Shaker minister. He went to Tennessee in the late 1790s and wound up in Logan County, KY in a place called “Shakertown.” In one of many Guilford County marriages that makes researchers rip their hair out, he married Rebecca Rankin, a daughter of John Rankin and Hannah Carson.

[18] Virgil D. White, Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Vol. III: N-Z (Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Publishing Co., 1992), abstract of the pension application of Robert Rankin, W5664. Robert was born 29 May 1759. Wife Mary. NC line. Soldier was born in Guilford and enlisted there. In 1830, he moved to McNairy Co., TN where he applied 20 May 1833. He died there 21 Dec 1840. Soldier had married Mary Moody 22 Nov 1803 in Guilford. Widow applied 12 Jun 1853 from McNairy, age 75. Widow died 11 Jul 1854.

[19] Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, p. 122.

[20] Raymond Dufau Donnell, Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Cemetery Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro, NC: The Guilford County Genealogical Society (1994), second printing March 1996, p. ii, saying that the “earliest written records of the church date from 1773,” and stating that Robert Rankin Sr., “Pioneer … Ruling Elder” died ca. 1770.

[21] Clayton Genealogical Library microfilm, “NC Guilford County Wills Books A-B 1771-1838,” File #312, will of Robert Rankin Sr. dated 30 May 1795 proved Nov 1795.

[22] Guilford Co. Deed Book 6: 346, 16 Feb 1798.

[23] Guilford Co., Deed Book 14: 11, 23 Mar 1819.

[24] Rev. S. M. Rankin, The Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy (Salem, MS: Higginson Book Company facsimile reprint of the 1931 original), p. 55 (John Rankin and Hannah Carson’s son Robert lived from 1780-1866) and p. 149 (William Rankin and Jane Chambers’ son Robert C. Rankin lived 1791-1853).