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William Bailey (1696-1791) and
Ann (ca. 1741-after 1791)

1. WILLIAM BAILEY was born about 1696, and died 16 Jun 1791 at his plantation on Little River, in Laurens County, South Carolina[1]. He married (1) Unknown before 1730. He married (2) ANN, before 1760, who was probably born before 1741, and died after 1791, in probably Laurens County, South Carolina.[2]

William Bailey and John Bailey, most likely a younger brother, purchased land about 1767 in South Carolina in Berkley County, in that area between the Broad and Saluda Rivers known as the Little River District.

There were a few settlers in that area as early as 1740, but these would have been Indian traders and frontiersmen. Settlement was slow due to problems with Indian attacks and general lawlessness on the frontier. After the Cherokee Wars order was restored and governmental structure established. Rapid expansion began in the period 1765-1775, reaching a population of about 1500 to 1800 people on the North side of the Saluda River in Newberry County and following the Little River North into the area that became present day Laurens County.[3]

Most settlers obtained property through a system of Royal Land grants, based on a headright system which gave 50 acres for each household member. First the person applied to the Governor and Council for an entry or warrant on the land. The approved warrant was passed to the Surveyor General who authorized a survey of the land. The Deputy Surveyor marked off the land and drew up a plat, basically a drawing of the land’s shape and boundaries. After the plat was recorded and the survey approved, the petitioner applied for a patent, paid fees and received a title.

William Bailey appeared as "Bayley" on a March 1767 list of petitions for warrants of survey, and his survey was certified 14 March 1767: "Pursuant to a precept directed under the hand and seal of John Troup Esq. DSG dated the third day of March 1767 I have admeasured and laid out unto William Bayley a plantation or tract of land in Berkley County containing "four hundred acres in the fork between the Broad and Saludy Rivers on a small branch thereof called Little Creek and is bounded all round by vacant lands and hath such shape form and marks as the above plat represents. Certified under my hand the 14th day of March 1767. Enoch Pearson, DS."[4]

When William Bailey's survey was certified in 1767 it was described as surrounded by vacant land, but within months other grants were surveyed for his neighbors. William Dendy lived adjacent to John Bailey; Samuel Caldwell SW of William Bailey, Robert Sims SE and Moses Yarbrough to the NW.

A descendant of the Baileys described the living conditions at that time, "When he came to Laurens County in 1766, the settlers were very few and scattered and everything was very primitive. He built a log house, with a dirt floor that had no window panes and no locks. Only a latch string to keep the door closed, just as most of his neighbors lived in. He settled on Little River near Clinton. He was a teacher and preacher as well as farmer. Some of his children were grown and his son David had left his wife Mary and children in England, but they joined him later." [5]

William Bailey's land was divided almost in half by the waters of the Little River of the Saluda which flowed through it. His children William, James, Zachary and Lavinia played there with childhood friends, among them the future husband of Lavinia, William Zones Holcombe, son of Grimes Holcombe.[6]

William Bailey made a will in Jan 1787, leaving "to wife Ann, all property with plantation I now live on", to son William "the lower half of tract where he now lives", to son James "the upper part of the tract whereon he now lives, after the decease of his mother", to his "grandson William Bailey, son of David Bailey, 1 sterling". The remainder was to be divided among children John, Zachariah, Margary, Mary, William, James, Lucy & Leviecey. His sons Zachariah, William and James Bailey were named executors. Witnesses were A. Rodgers Jr., Thos Rodgers and John Rodgers. [7]

Shortly before his death, on 12 March 1791, William made this deed of gift to son William Bailey: Wm. Bailey Sen. (Laurens Co.) to William Bailey Jun. (same) for L 100 sterling sold a certain tract of land in sd county on NE side Little River, containing by estimation 200 acres more or less, being a part of a tract originally granted unto said William Bailey Sen. Witness Andrew Rodgers Jr. Wm. Bailey wh [sic], Letty (X) Rodgers. Signed William (S) Bailey. Witness oath by A. Rodgers Jun. 11 Oct 1791 that he witnessed the deed of gift. Given before Joshua Saxon, JP. Recorded 14 Oct 1791.

William Bailey died in 1791, and according to this obituary, was 95 years old. "Died., on the 16th of June last, William Bailey, aged 95. He was born in Scotland, came to America when young, lived in the county in which he died 26 years immediately preceding his death and enjoyed the free use and exercise of his reason to the last; looked after his own crop; he travelled to Georgia alone last summer on a visit; was to have done the same this by appointment. What rendered him peculiarly estimable among his neighbors, was, his long life was spent in doing good, as time and opportunity offered. He has left a brother in the same country, aged 85, who proceeds to business with as much ease and dispatch as men in general do who are past the prime of life."[8]

The appraisal of the estate was made by Wm. Boyce, Wm. Dendy, Tandy Walker, and included accounts against Wm. Holdridge. On 9 August 1791, Wm. Bailey Jr. transferred part of the Bailey land to his brother James: William Bailey and Margaret his wife (Laurens Co.) to James Bailey (same) for L 20 sterling sold a certain tract of land in sd. Co. on Little River, containing 100 acres more or less, being the plantation whereon said James Bailey now lives, and originally granted to William Bailey deceased, bordering on Samuel Powel. Witness William Haulditch, Zachariah Bailey, Andrew Rodgers Jr.; signed William Bailey, Margaret (X) Bailey. Witness oath by Zachariah Bailey 11 October 1791, that he saw William Bailey, Jun. sign the deed. Given before Joshua Saxon JP. Rec. 14 October 1791.[9]

On November 1, 1791 Ann Bailie and William Holdritch sold land in Orange County, North Carolina, "Ann Baylie and Wm Holdritch of Lawrence [Laurens] Co., SC to James Wood of Orange for $100, 225 acres on both sides of Allibees [Ellerbees] Creek". [10]

The names John Bailey and William Bailey, but no Houlditch, were found in an index of Orange Co. N.C. Land Grant Records, 1752-1885 [11]. Those search results and the following reference to land bordering William Bailey indicate that the land in question was originally Bailey land, not Houlditch, "Oct 6, 1778 Richard Clements enters 600 ac in Orange Co on waters of Ellebys Cr of Nuce River, border: on E. by the entry made by Robt Abercromble & Richard Clements, on S by the land of Wm Bailey & Lewis Howell, on N by Wm Crisen Hall, & W.; includes his improvement: warrant issued Feb 4, 1779. [12]

Children of William Bailey and Unknown:

  1. David Bailey, b. 1730, a proven son by this phrase in William's will, "to my grandson Wm Bailey, son of David Bailey".

Children of William Bailey and Ann:

  1. John Bailey, b. before __ ___ 1756
  2. Zachariah Bailey Sr., b. 14 Dec 1756; named an executor of his father's estate in the 1787 will.
  3. Margary Bailey, b. about 1757, if the order in her father's will follows birth order, she was born between Zachary in 1756 and James in 1760.
  4. Mary Bailey, b. about 1758; m. before 1773, probably to Matthew Mote[13].
  5. William Bailey, b. before 1759, if the order in his father's will follows birth order.
  6. James Bailey, b. circa 1760, possibly in Virginia; he received land and was an executor of his father's estate in 1787.
  7. Lucy Bailey, b. circa 1761, named eighth in the will, after James.
  8. Lavinia Leviecey2 Bailey, b. circa 1762; d. after 1796 in Laurens County, South Carolina; m. 1) William Holcombe, about 1775 in Little River area of Laurens County, South Carolina, b. 1753, d. between 1785-1786; five children born before 1785, Philemon, Grimes, Thomas and two girls; m. 2) William4 Houlditch, about 1785 in Laurens County, South Carolina; b. 2 March 1763, possibly Ninety Six District, South Carolina; d. 1803, Laurens County, South Carolina; six children, James, Lavina, William, George, Mary and Lucy.

  1. Brent Howard Holcomb, Ancestors and Descendants of Mercer Silas Bailey (Columbia, SC: B.H. Holcomb, about 1988), 7.
  2. Frances Terry Ingmire, compiler, Laurens County South Carolina Will Book A-C, 1777-1809 Vol. I (St. Louis, Missouri: no publisher, no date), 25. Recorded and proven date not available. Original will not in files of Probate Judge. Ann was too young to be the mother of David Bailey, and she was referred to in the will as the mother of James, b. 1760, so Ann and William married before 1760.
  3. Jessie Hogan Motes III and Margaret Peckham Motes, Laurens and Newberry Counties, South Carolina: Saluda and Little River Settlements 1749-1775 (Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1994), 3-5
  4. Plat: William Bayley; Surveyor General's Office, Colonial plat books (copy series) 1731- 1775; South Carolina Department of Archives and History; online at http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/; series S213184, vol. 10, p. 20, item 1
  5. William Bailey, two handwritten pages, author unknown, Eleanor McSwain Coleman Collection, Bailey folder, Laurens County Library, Laurens County, South Carolina, photocopied 2008
  6. Henry Holcombe Bailey, D.D., The First Fruits in A Series of Letters (Philadelphia: Ann Cochran, 1812),
  7. Frances Terry Ingmire, compiler, Laurens County South Carolina Will Book A-C, 1777-1809 Vol. I (St. Louis, Missouri: no publisher, no date), 25. Recorded and proven date not available. Original will not in files of Probate Judge. Ann was too young to be the mother of David Bailey, and she was referred to in the will as the mother of James, b. 1760, so Ann and William married before 1760.
  8. Brent Howard Holcomb, Ancestors and Descendants of Mercer Silas Bailey (Columbia, SC: B.H. Holcomb, about 1988), 7. Holcomb attributes this obituary to Charleston City Gazette, and says such notices for people in upper South Carolina were rare.
  9. Larry Vehorn, Laurens Co., South Carolina Deed Abstracts, Books A-D, 1785-1793 (No place: Southern Historical Press, 2004), 138 (Deed Book D, 62)
  10. Orange Co., NC Deed Book 4, pp.89-90. There was an Ellerbees Creek in Claremont Co., SC, present day Sumter Co.
  11. Orange County Land Grant Records 1752-1885, Surname Catalogue H and B, photocopied by Diane Mundle and mailed to me, January 2, 2006
  12. Orange County, NC, Miscellaneous Deeds 1778-1795, online http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nc/orange/deeds/how0002.txt, no. 701
  13. Jessie Hogan Motes III and Margaret Peckham Motes, Laurens and Newberry Counties, South Carolina: Saluda and Little River Settlements 1749-1775 (Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1994), 216-217