Family:Whitney, Samuel (c1765-a1820)

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Samuel's Locations

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Samuel Whitney, parentage unknown, was born before 1775, and died after 1790.

Samuel Whitney probably married an unknown wife, before 1790.

Samuel Whitney and Francis Whitney first appear, about 1785-1786, on land records in Edgefield County, South Carolina. Part of this area ultimately became Aiken County, South Carolina.

The Whitney name was mentioned in the History of the Town of Salley (South Carolina):

In the late 1700 and early 1800 other families began moving into this area. Namely: Able, Brodie, Boylston, Cooper, Corley, Courtney , Clark, Caughman, Davis, Douglass, Fanning, Fergerson, Ginyard, Gleaton, Holman, Jordan, Johnson, Jones, Kitchings, Kennerly, Knotts, LeCroy, Milhous, McQueen, Mackey, O'Dowd, Porter, Prothro, Peeples, Riley, Sawyer, Stroman, Tyler, Toole, Vann, Wooley, Whitney, and Walker." [1]

By the time of the 1790 South Carolina Census, Samuel Whitney, Francis Whitney, and Francis Whitney and their presumed families, were found, in neighboring, Orangeburg County.

Note: A detailed and definitive history of the Whitney's found in Edgefield and Orangeburg Counties of South Carolina 1785-1840 will never be written due to the loss of records during the Civil War. The Edgefield County records were only partially destroyed; however, the Orangeburg County records are particularly problematic since they no longer exist. These records represented the history of the huge Orangeburg District from the earliest settlement in the early 1700's to 1864. They included all land records, court records, tax records, marriage records, and slave schedules.

A few remaining land, census, church, and private family records are all that is left for research, in Orangeburg, South Carolina. These records provide brief sporadic 'snapshots' of individual Whitney's, but unfortunately, they do not provide specific documentation of births, marriages, deaths or enough information to determine, even the basic family structure, of any Whitney individual.

Samuel Whitney initially appears in the archived records of Edgefield County, which at that time was a part of the Ninety Six District, with several curious survey records, the earliest of which was 6 December, 1786:

Note: Dates on the archived land records in South Carolina represent the recording dates. The actual purchase date could have been earlier.

21 Feb 1789 Lewis, Joseph, Plat for 246 acres on waters of Turekey Creek, Ninety Six District, Surveyed by Howel Fort for Samuel Whitney. [2]

19 Jan 1791 Rottan, Tarleton Plat for 244 acres on Rockey Creek, Ninety Six District, Surveyed by Howel Fort for Samuel Whitney on December 6, 1786. [3]

15 Feb 1794 Gamalan, Andrew, Plat for 259 acres on waters of South Edisto River, Edgefield County, Ninety Six District, Surveyed by Howel Fort for Samuel Whitney on December 20, 1787 [4]

These surveys were done by Samuel Whitney as the initial step in a land grant process. He apparently, for whatever reason, never carried any of the these surveyed lands to actual patent. He either, personally sold these surveys to another individual for their grant, or the Land Office re-cycled the surveys into other grants.

7 November 1791 Fley, Samuel, Plat for 449 acres on Edisto River Edgefield County Ninety six District Surveyed by Robert Anderson for Andrew Gomalan Names indexed: Samuel Fley, Andrew Gomalan, Smith, William Coursey, Bibby Bush, Samuel Whitney [5]

11/8/1792 Cumbad, John Jordan, Plat for 996 acres on South Edisto River, Orangeburg District Names indexed: John Jordan Cumbad, Nathaniel Walker, John Wilson, Samuel Witney Locations: Orangeburg District South Edisto River [6]

Samuel Whitney shows as an adjacent land owner to Samuel Fley and John Jordon Cumbad. This was the same area as noted on the surveys, located about halfway in between present day Edgefield and Salley South Carolina. These lands do not show in the archived records as land grants; therefore, they were probably privately purchased from an individual. There have been no deed records of these original lands found in the available Edgefield County records.

Sometime, in 1790, Samuel Whitney was licensed to preach at Cloud's Creek Baptist Church. [7] Cloud's Creek was, at that time, in the Old Ninety Six District. The church itself was begun in the mid 1700's as a Tunkard/Dunkard Church. By 1790, it was in decline and being used by a small congregation of Seven Day Baptist. It was one of the four Seven Day Baptist churches in South Carolina at the time. "This region, as documented in the notes of Reverend Morgan Edwards in his History of the Baptistsc1772 and sourced in Peacock's work, and was the center of four churches known as Seven Day Baptists. Coosawatchee Church..... Cloud Creek Baptist Church .... Wateree River and Edisto Creek churches." [8]

By the time of the 1790 South Carolina Census (actually done/completed in 1792), Samuel Whitney, Francis Whitney , Francis Whitney and their presumed families were located several miles to the east of Edgefield County in, closely neighboring, Orangeburg County. They are found clustered together, in the area of Shaw Creek, Hunter's Branch, and Dean Swamp off the South Edisto River. Found on adjacent lines to Samuel Whitney are Rowland Courtney, and his sons, James Courtney and Jonathan Courtney, and Jeremiah Joiner.

Note: This is the the same Rowland 'Nawlin' Courtney found on the 1782 Tax list Washington Co. Va, Edmondson's District, with Francis Whitney and Elijah Whitney. Rowland Courtney with his sons had purchased land on Big Creek, Edgefield District, SC in 1784. [9]} They then relocated, with the Whitney's, to the South Edisto area. Both families purchased property on Dean Swamp and Hunter Branch, which are very closely neighboring creeks, on the north side, of the South Edisto River, in South Orangeburg. Both families built mills soon after their arrival in the area. The Courtney Mill was located on the northernmost area of Dean Swamp, on the Orangeburg Road. The Whitney Mill, thought to have been built by Francis Whitney, was on Hunter's Branch, located no more than a mile, due south, of the Courtney Mill. [10] Is this just a string of coincidences or does this information suggest a long term, time and space, relationship between these families ?

Land purchases in Orangeburg for Samuel Whitney:

27 Jan 1791 Courtney, James, Jonathan Courtney, and Samuel Whitney , Plat for 553 acres on Dean Swamp, Orangeburg District. [11]

22 July 1792 Whitney, Samuel , Plat for 420 acres on Dean Swamp, Orangeburg District. [12]

22 July 1793 Warner, Wettenhall and Samuel Whitney , Plat for 428 acres on Hunters Branch, Orangeburg District. [13]

22 July 1793 Warner, Wettenhall AND Samuel Whitney, Plat for 1,120 cres on Dean Swamp Creek, Orangeburg District. [14]

By 1793, Samuel Whitney had been in South Carolina, for about 7 years, and had acquired approximately 2,000 acres of land, yet he is not found, on the 1800, 1810, or 1820 Census of South Carolina. The assumption had been that perhaps he died, prior to 1800. Samuel Whitney continues to appear, as an adjacent land owner, on several more land records, but these records hardly confirm that he was actually still alive and in South Carolina until 1820. It is not known, at this time, if his ministry periodically required him to be away for long periods of time. This may have been the case since he seems to 'reappear' in the court and land records for Edgefield County and Orangeburg County South Carolina, from 1812 to 1824.

30 June 1806 Dubose, Henry Plat for 465 acres of Fork of Edisto River, Orangeburg district. Names indexed: Henry Dubose,Lewis B. Jernigan, Samuel Whitney, William Warner, Francis Whitney, Howell Williams. [15]

27 November 1811 Whitney, Makion, Plat for 554 acres on Hunters Branch and South Edisto River, Orangeburg District. Names indexed: Makion Whitney, Lewis B. Jernigan, James Garner Sr., John Smith Sr., Francis Whitney, W. Warner, Samuel Whitney, John Sally. [16]

28 December 1820 Guignard, James S. Plat for 1,000 acres on Dean Swamp, Orangeburg District. Names indexed: James Guignard, Joshua Evans, John Brewer, James Fanning, Henry Spring, Willim Cooper, J. Courtney, Samuel Whitney, John Spring. [17]

Samuel Whitney was the administrator for the estate of Matthew Burden. An Eleanor Jones had originally filed a petition against this estate, in the Orangeburg Court of Equity. These court records were destroyed, but when the original petition was denied, Eleanor Jones filed, yet another petition, in her home district of Abbeville, Edgefield District. This second petition completely summarized the Orangeburg Court of Equity proceedings and final decision. Most of the Edgefield District, South Carolina records survived the Civil War, otherwise, any evidence of this case would have been lost to history. The original petition was not dated; however, the final decision was dated 14 December 1814.

The initial petition of Eleanor Jones to the Judiciary Committee of Abbeville District, Edgefield County South Carolina:

To the honorable President and other members of the Senate.
The petition of Eleanor Jones of the District of Abbeville humbly showith That Matther Burden deceased late of Orangeburg district departed this life intestate having a widow and no child or children or any other famial descendants.
That your Petitioner after the death of the said Matthew Burden escheated a Bill in the Court of Equity at Orangeburg against Sarah Burden the widow and Samuel Whitney the administrator for the said deceased for an account of the said deceased estate claiming one third there of as the sister of the said Matthew Burden to which the said administrator answered and denied therein that your petitioner was the sister of the said deceased where upon the said court directed an jhur let have to ascertain the fact.
Where then your petitioner was related to the said Matthew Burden in the ------ which she had set forth in her said bill and upon the trial of the said jhur the said Matthew Burden was found to be a bastard by the laws of this State and that he and said petitioner were the children of mr sam martin whereupon the said court decreed that the said matthew burden could have no heirs who could succeed --- to his estate and dismissed your petitioners bill by reasen --
whereas --- this ---of the said estate was escheated.
Your petitioner further---- that she is considerably advanced in life and unable to support and maintain herself wherefor she humbly prays your honorable body to vest in her such part of this said estate as will
be liable to escheat by the laws of this State ---
And your humble petitioner will --- pray ---
Elanor Jones
by Watts Mann [18]

The final decision of the committee:

1814 -12 - 14
The Judiciary Committee to whom was refered the Petition of Elinor Jones - Praying for the benefit of an Escheat -Report that they have had the same under consideration, and recommend that the Prayer therof be not granted.
Thomas Evans, Chairm... [19]

This information begs some very obvious questions: Who was Matthew Burden and his wife, Sarah? When did Matthew Burden die ? What was their connection to Samuel Whitney ? Could Sarah Burden possibly be an undiscovered sister or daughter to Samuel Whitney ? There has not been any information uncovered to date to answer these questions.

21 October 1815 Samuel Whitney was paid $20.00 by Benjamin Arrington from the estate of Arthur Arrington. [20]

27 November 1821 Samuel Whitney is named as an adjacent land owner. Edward McCarty to William Raiford for Eleven hundred dollars paid in hand by William Raiford sold 500 acres on Dry Creek adjoining the lands of Arthur Arrington, Arthur Cotton, Hezekiah Watson, Stephen Daniel, Robert Bolton, Samuel Whitney.

Although Samuel Whitney is not found on the 1820 Census for Edgefield South Carolina, this information is considered to be correct, as of 27 November 1821, since the description of the property, including adjacent land owners, was stated to have been a re-survey by Edward McCarty completed just prior to the sale...."plat shows 500 acres ....crossed by Dry Dreek of Mine Creek and by Litttle Dry Creek.... Plat at the request of Edward McCarty Sr. ...and part of the land held by Arthur Cotton, part of a tract granted to Arthur Arrington and part of a track granted to Arthur Watson." Justice John Lark certifies release of dower rights by Sarah McCarty wife of Edward Mc Carty. 27 November 1821; Sarah (X) McCarty. [21]

The final disposition of Samuel Whitney's lands on Dry Creek, Edgefield County South Carolina: 21 May 1824 Sheriff Edmund B. to John Lark Esq. At suit of Mary Hill against Samuel Whitney sheriff directed the good and chattels of Samuel Whitney to levy thirty five dollars damages and cost. Sheriff seized the lands of sd. Whitney on Dry Creek of the Little Saluda adjacent to the lands of Raiford and John Lark. At public venue, purchased by John Lark .....highest bid. Wit: /s/ John Gomillion, Josiah (X) Langley. Proved 21 May 1824 by John Gomillion. [22]

The Whitney surname does not occur frequently in the American South; therefore, when any Whitney's are found together, in the same time and place, it is, at least, worthy of some note and further research:

On 16 February 1835, Judge Robert Middleton, of Blount County, in The State of Alabama issued the following writ:

Samuel Whitney against William King
Upon Certiorari, There having been returned herein
to court two notices of the issuance of the Writ
of Ceriorari to the Plantiff: that the said
Plantiff is not from within this county, the
said Plantiff being solemnly called came not but
made default where upon he is not suited,
that the defendant go hence & recover against the
said Plantiff his cost
by him in his defense in this behalf. M. [23]

The Samuel Whitney found on this record in Blount County Alabama has not been identified. Samuel Whitney of Orangeburg South Carolina, based on available information, would have been well into his seventies, in 1835. It is possible that he could have survived; however, no other records have ever been found for him, or any other Samuel Whitney, anywhere in the deep South, from about 1810-1835.

The only other documented Whitney, in Blount County, Alabama , in 1835, was Hiram C. Whitney.

Possible children of Samuel Whitney, based upon a 1790 Census reconstruction:

i. (son) Whitney, b. 1774-1790. Possibly Jeremiah Whitney if his birth was somewhat later.
ii. (daughter) Whitney, b. before 1790. Possible daughter.



There has never been any evidence found to suggest that Samuel Whitney was in Washington County Virginia with other Whitney's found there. He could have been one of the unnamed 11 tithes paid by Elijah Whitney on the 1782 Tax List of Washington County Virginia.

There is a possible familial relationship between Francis Whitney and Elijah Whitney of Washington County, Virginia. Both men are listed on early tax lists for Washington County, VA.

Although there is no evidence to support it, the following may have been children or otherwise related to Francis due to their proximity in Washington Co., VA:

If Francis was the same person as the Francis Whitney who shows up in Orangeburg South Co., SC in 1790, then the following might have been sons or otherwise close relatives as well:

Notes for Matthew Burden: Matthew Burden is found on the 1790 and 1800 Census in Edgefield South Carolina. He lived in the same general area that Samuel Whitney was found. Yet, for some reason, about 1810, he moves to Orangeburg and purchases land on Hunter's Branch, north of the South Edisto River, which is very close to earlier Whitney land purchases and the location of the Whitney Mill. He shows on the 1810 Census next to 'Jr.' Whitney.

Samuel Whitney of Orangeburg South Carolina was a Baptist minister. His apparent friend, co-land owner, and also a Baptist minister, James Courtney, was known to have left South Carolina about 1805-1810. He is later found in Southwest Alabama founding a church and ministering to the Choctaw Indians. It should be considered that there is a possiblity that Samuel Whitney also could have also chosen to carry his own ministry into one of the Indian Nations of Alabama or Georgia.


1. ^  History of the Town of Salley; internet link is non-functional.

2. ^  South Carolina Archives, Joseph Lewis, Series: S213190, Volume: 0024, Page: 00214, Item:002

3. ^  South Carolina Archives, Tarleton Rotan, Series: S213190, Volume: 0025, Page: 0036 Item: 001

4. ^  South Carolina Archives, Andrew Gamalan, Series: S213190, Volume: 0029, Page: 00237,Item: 001

5. ^  South Carolina Archives, Samuel Fley, Series: S213190 Volume 0027 Page 00387 Item 01

6. ^  South Carolina Archives, Cumbad, John Jordon, Series S213190, Volume 0031, Page 00117 Item 001.

7. ^  Townsend, Leah, South Carolina Baptist 1670-1805, Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., 1974, P. 367.

8. ^  Externral link.

9. ^  Courtney

10. ^  Mills, Robert; Busby, B.; Tanner, Henry S.,Atlas Of The State Of South Carolina, Published by F. Lucas Jr. Baltimore (1825). Orangeburgh District Page. Available online: David Rumsey Map Collection

11. ^  South Carolina Archives Series: S213190, Volume: 0025, Page: 00343, Item: 002.

12. ^  South Carolina Archives Series: S213190, Volume: 0029 Page: 00292Item: 002.

13. ^  South Carolina Archives Series: S213190, Volume: 0031, Page: 00517, Item: 002.

14. ^  South Carolina Archives Series: S213190, Volume: 0031Page: 00543, Item: 001, Record 8.

15. ^  South Carolina Archives Series: S213192 Volume: 0039 Page - 00306 Item - 00.

16. ^  South Carolina Archives Series:S213192, Volume: 0043, Page: 00136, Item: 004.

17. ^  South Carolina Archives Series: S213192, Volume - 0046, Page - 00325, Item - 01.

18. ^  South Carolina Archives, Gen Ass. Petitions, ND ND. 152,FR.582-585,Eleanor Jones, ST 1420

19. ^ Series Number: S165015 South Carolina, Gen Ass. Pet. 1814 No 22 Elinor Jones.

20. ^ Green, Robert L. Wilman Copeland Green, Kirkland Source Book of Records, Pg 224

21. ^ Wells, Carol Edgefield South Carolina Deed Book 39, p. 37.

22. ^ Ibid, p. 42.

23. ^ Blount County Alabama, Final Court Records 1820-1835, Pg. 269, 16 February 1835.

Copyright © 2007-2009, Jeanne Neilon, Tara Bellomy, Tim Doyle and the Whitney Research Group

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