Abercrombie (1740?-1819) left a will in Laurens County, South
Carolina dated 29 November 1819, proved 8 February 1820 -- the earliest
Abercrombie will in that county. It names seven daughters: Mary O’Daniel,
wife of William O’Daniel; Isabella Blackwell; Rebekah Jowell, wife of
Gabriel Jowell; Suzannah Matthews; Hannah Brock; Margaret Blackwell;
Elisabeth Andrews; son James Abercrombie [said by descendants to have
been born 20 June 1785 and died after 1850 in Talledega County, Alabama];
grandson James Abercrombie [under age 21], step-son Archibald McDaniel,
Junr. and a number of slaves including one named Jean to whom he bequeathed
"her actual freedom from slavery." Executors were his son
James Abercrombie and Elias Brock. Witnesses were: E. [Ezekial] S. Roland,
David Bell and John Neil.
James Abercrombie (1740?-1819) is said to have
died on 8 December 1819 and is buried in a McDaniel-Dial family cemetery
in Laurens County.
He is said to have married as his second wife,
Elizabeth, widow of William McDaniel. In 1783 James and Elizabeth Abercrombie
were named administrators of the estate of William McDonald [should
be McDaniel] in Abbeville County, South Carolina probate records. On
9 February 1785 the South Carolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser
ran an ad for the estate of "William McDonial," placed
by his administrators, James and Elizabeth Abercrombie, who were "in
He may have been the James Abercrombie who was
granted 100 acres of land on 30 October 1767 on Reedy Creek, a branch
of Saludy [Saluda] River. This was the first land
grant to an Abercrombie in the area of South Carolina that in 1785 became
Laurens County. The previous grants to James
Abercromby in South Carolina during the 1730s had been on the Peedee
and Waccamaw Rivers in areas that today are part of Marlboro, Darlington,
Florence and Horry counties.
size of James Abercrombie’s grant [100 acres] suggests that he was a
single man in 1767 because the headright system of granting land then
provided that amount for the head-of-household who had to be at least
sixteen years old and 50 acres for each additional person in the household.
James Abercrombie's grant was made on the same
day, 30 October 1767, that Hastings Dial was granted his first land
in now-Laurens County. Although Hastings Dial petitioned the Council
for his first grant of 250 acres on 3 February 1767 -- three months
before James Abercrombie petitioned for his on 5 May 1767 -- and they
were surveyed on different dates, both their grants were made on the
same day, and the memorials for them were also made on the same day,
6 December 1767. Hastings Dial's 250 acres tract was surveyed on 20
February 1767 by Ralph Humphries, deputy surveyor. James Abercrombie's
100 acres tract was surveyed on 21 May 1767 by Jno. Caldwell, deputy
Hastings Dial's grant for 250 acres must have
been for himself as head-of-household and, according to tradition, three
other family members who are said to have moved
to Laurens County with him -- his widowed mother, Isabel May
Hastings Dial, his unmarried sister, Isabella Dial
(c.1742-c.1777), and his unmarried brother, Martin Dial (1744-1843)
who later married Chrystie Abercrombie (1746-1804), sister of Rebecca
Abercrombie (1739-1825). Hastings
Dial (1732-1809) married Rebecca Abercrombie (1739-1825), sister of
James Abercrombie, about 1768 based on birth dates of their children.
Hastings Dial left a will in Laurens County dated 17 April 1809 and
proved 5 June 1809. Rebecca [Abercrombie] Dial also left a will in Laurens
James Abercrombie must have sold to
Acquilla Hall his 100 acres, granted to him in 1767, sometime
before April 1779 when Aquilla Hall and four other Loyalists -- James
Lindley, Samuel Clegg, Charles Draper and John Anderson -- were hanged
at Ninety-six, South Carolina by Patriots, because in in 1796, "William
Hall of Charleston, oldest son and heir of Aquilla Hall, deceased"
sold this land on Reedy River
identified as "original grant to James Abercrombie"
to Abraham Box [Laurens County SC Deed Book F, p. 159].
Besides Acquilla Hall, two other of the five Loyalists
hanged in 1779 had Abercrombie connections. James Lindley’s (1735-1779)
daughter, Mary Ruth Lindley (1764-1852), married Colvill Abercrombie
(1764?-1847) in Laurens County, South Carolina in 1785. And Samuel Clegg’s
roots were in Prince Frederick Winyah Parish, South Carolina as early
as 1731. Samuel Clegg was a tax collector for Prince Frederick Parish
in 1764 and represented it in the Assembly in 1765-1768. Prince Frederick
Parish was where James Abercromby (1708-1775), the attorney general,
was granted land in 1737 and the parish he represented in the South
Carolina Assemby from 1739 to 1742.
James Abercrombie (1740?-1819) may have been the
man of that name who as a justice of the peace appears in deeds in the
Ninety-six District in 1769 when that office was appointed by the royal
governor. And he may have been the James Abercrombie who was a justice
of the peace in the Ninety Six District in 1772 when he was accused
of a misdemeanor in his office by a grand jury led by Patrick Calhoun
"for preventing Jerard Leddle, a deputed Constable, from taking
Robert Edwards into Custody, upon a lawful Escape-Warrant, by Information
of said Jerard Leddle."
On 8 July 1774 James Abercrombie petitioned the
South Carolina Council to have an elapsed plat for 150 acres on "Reburns
Creek" in Berkley County recertified. He had originally petitioned
for this land on 5 June 1770 and it was surveyed on 3 December 1770,
but he had failed to apply for the grant by the deadline, so had to
have it recertified. Thomas Yates appears in the Council Journal on
8 July 1774 right before James Abercrombie. This
is interesting because the 980 acres of land granted to the attorney
general, James Abercromby (1708-1775), in 1737 that is now part of Marlboro
County, South Carolina was adjacent to land belonging to Joseph Yates
[Yeats]. On 6 September 1774 the British colonial government granted
James Abercrombie this 150 acres of land on “Reburns Creek” bounding
William Hellimbs [Hellams] in what is now Laurens County, so his household
nust have grown by three by 1770 when he first petitioned for it.
After the Revolution, on 20 May 1785, the new
state of South Carolina granted James Abercrombie 230 acres in
the Ninety Six District on a "branch of Reedy River called Rayburns
Creek below the ancient Boundary line" -- the Cherokee boundary,
part of which is today the Greenville-Laurens County line. Between 2
July 1787 and 11 January 1788 James Abercrombie and his wife Elizabeth
sold 170 acres of this 230 acres grant to Elias Brock.
And on 1 May 1786 the state granted James Abercrombie another 202 acres
in the Ninety Six District on a small branch of "Rayburns Creek"
in Laurens County.
He was one of two James Abercrombies appearing
in the 1790 federal census for Laurens County. He appears in the 1800
and 1810 censuses for Laurens County.
In the 1800 census he was listed as "James
Abercrombie, Esq." -- probably indicating his position as a justice
of the peace -- with a household consisting of one male over 45 years
of age [himself], one male 10-16 years, one female over 45 years, two
females 10-16 years, one female under 10, one "other free person,"
and 18 slaves.
The 1800 census for Laurens County was organized
by military regiments and companies to indicate geographical subdivisions.
James Abercrombie was listed in the Saludy [Saluda] Regiment, Upper
Battalion of Laurens District among Captain John Cochran's militia company
# XXI which included 103 men among whom were also: John Abercrombie,
William Abercrombie, Jonathan Abercrombie, Hastings Dial, Isaac Dial,
Archabald McDanold [McDaniel], Sr., Archabald McDanold, Jr., William
McDanold, Josiah Blackwell, Henry O'Danold, George Brock and David Hellums.