James 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 Ninety-Six District."

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.

The 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 surveyor.

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 County.

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.