Samuel ABNEY Sr.

M, b. between 1735 and 1740, d. circa October 1781
4th great-grandfather of John Kennedy BROWN Jr.
Author's Pedigree Chart
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. was born between 1735 and 1740 in Halifax County, Virginia, son of George ABNEY and Unity Meredith.1,2 He was a farmer.
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. was named executor and an heir in the will of George ABNEY dated 13 October 1765 in Halifax County, Virginia. He received 200 acres of land adjoining Captian Spraggins land and James Norrell, Jr.'s land of the Great Creek.2,3
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. sold a tract of land to Thomas SPRAGGINS on 17 July 1767 in Hallifax County, Virginia. Both were residents of Halifax county. For £18 he sold 200 acres, part of 2 larger tracts; beginning at said Spraggins' corner to William East's line, including all houses, buildings, orchards. It was witnessed by Nat'l Spragen, Edward Osborn, and D. Hunt.4
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. sold a tract of land to Michael ABNEY on 29 August 1768 in Halifax County, Virginia, From Halifax county, Virginia deed book 7, page 364 on 29 Aug 1768, "Michael Abney of the Province of South Carolina have appointed my brother Samuel Abney of Halifax County, Virginia, my true and lawful attorney to sell a tract of land in County of Halifax and Parish of Antrim first granted to George Abney, 170 acres."5,6
     Samuel married Martha Harriett HAMILTON, daughter of Unknown HAMILTON, in 1770 in Edgefield District, South Carolina. They lived on Tosety Creek, off the Saluda River.7
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. sold a tract of land to Thomas SPRAGGINS on 19 April 1770 in Halifax County, Virginia. For the sum of 18 pounds he sold him about 100 acres bounded by Thomas Spraggins including all houses, orchards, gardens, woods, etc. It was signed by Samuel Abney and witnessed by William Lawson, Richard Finch and James Hunt. It was recorded that same day. After this date there are no further entries in Virginia for Samuel Abney, all later documents for Sam are in South Carolina.8,9 He was granted land 19 February 1772 near the town of Saluda, Old Ninety-Six District, South Carolina. This land was on Tosety's Creek off the Saluda River. His brothers lived nearby. This may have been the 150 acres sold to him by Stephen Collins who had been granted the land 20 May 1769.10
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. was granted land 28 August 1772 in Colleton County, South Carolina. The grant was for a tract of land containing 200 acres in Colleton County on the waters of the Saluda River bounded on all sides by vacant land surveys. Samuel and his brother, Dannett, also received grants in Old Ninety-Six/Edgfield District and this was where they settled.11,12
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. bought a tract of land from Stephen COLLINS on 2 April 1774 in Colleton County, South Carolina. The lease and release for £1000 South Carolina money for 150 acres in Colleton County in Ninelty-Six District bounded by land of Widow Brown, granted by Governor Montague 21 Feb 1772. It was witnessed by William Hill, Charles Simmons, Natanial Spraggins and William London. It was signed by Stephen Collins and proven 19 Apr 1774 by William Hill before Champress Terry, JP. Recorded 30 June 1798.13
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. appeared as head of household on a census enumerated 1779 in Old Ninety-Six District, South Carolina. The census also included these related households: Dannett ABNEY, Nathaniel ABNEY, Capt. William ABNEY and Paul ABNEY.14
     Samuel saw military service in 1781 in Old Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, during the American Revolution. He served as a private and sergeant in the South Carolina militia under Gen. Andrew Pickens. They were in the regiment of Robert Anderson. The group were irrregulars, without bayonets. During the Battle of Eutaw Springs, September 8, 1781 they fought in the front line and Samuel was fortunate not to have lost his life during the battle. Casualties were high, Gen. Nathaniel Green lost 693 men and the British Col. Stewart lost 408. Bodies were everywhere; most had to be buried where they fell. Samuel somehow got home to his family, only to be murdered in front of them by Tory raiders.
     From a Biographical Sketch of the Career of Major Wm. Cunningham: "Leaving Cloud Creek, Cunningham, with the main body of his men, proceeded up the Cherokee road towards Saluda Old Town, burning and slaughtering as he went. One of his victims was Samuel Abney, whose houses he gave to the flames. His approach drove the male inhabitants off, either seeking places of security, or in the search after a sufficient force to contend with the unexpected marauders. It was in vain that the women threw themselves at his feet and entreated that their dwellings might be spared to them, at a season when the winter was rapidly approaching. They were perhaps only too fortunate that they got off with their lives."
     The story according to the Annals of Newberry is that William "Bloody Bill" Cunningham's Tories found him sick in bed with a fever and in spite of the best efforts and prayers of his wife they hauled him out of the house and killed him in his wife's arms-- the sword that killed him passing through him and entering his wife's body also. His house, corn crib, and everything was burnt, and the only comfort left his widow was her infant son. He had crawled away and hid himself in some tall weeds nearby.
     On 19 Aug 1782 South Carolina Revolutionary accounts show "paid Martha Abney, widow of Samuel, killed by Cunningham, 8 pounds 15 pence."15,16,17
     Samuel ABNEY Sr. died in the fall of circa October 1781 in near Saluda, Ninety-Six District, South Carolina.16
Last Edited=11 Jan 2020

Children of Samuel ABNEY Sr. and Martha Harriett HAMILTON


  1. [S391] Raymond R. Abney, AFR January 2001.
  2. [S199] Abney Hintgen Brewer, "Abney Research," e-mail to John K. Brown, 25 January 2006.
  3. [S1008] Marian Dodson Chiarito, Halifax Co., VA Will Book O, #211 George Abney will, pg. 34.
  4. [S1010] Marian Dodson Chiarito, Halifax Co., VA Deed Bk. 6, pg. 178, source=DB 6-436.
  5. [S570] SCMAR, Volume IX, Number 4, Fall 1981, pg. 183, "Some Migrations from Virginia to South Carolina."
  6. [S1009] Marian Dodson Chiarito, Halifax Co., VA Deed Bk. 7, #162, pg. 28.
  7. [S199] Abney Hintgen Brewer, "Abney Research," e-mail to John K. Brown, 10 Aug 2007.
  8. [S908] Abney Hintgen Brewer, Legacy of Samuel Abney, Sr., pg. 97. SourceL Halifax County, Virginia Deed Books 7 & 8.
  9. [S1009] Marian Dodson Chiarito, Halifax Co., VA Deed Bk. 7, #239, pg. 41.
  10. [S810] Ge Lee Corley Hendrix, Edgefield County Deeds V1, pg. 121, (DB 8 pg. 416-420).
  11. [S908] Abney Hintgen Brewer, Legacy of Samuel Abney, Sr., pg. 99. Source: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Memorial, Memorial Book 11, pg. 482.
  12. [S1003] Brent Holcomb, SC Royal Land Grants, Vol. 4 (1772-1775), pg. 91.
  13. [S764] Carol Wells, Edgefield Deeds, Vol. Deed Books 13, 14, 15 pg. 99 (DB 15, pg. 329-335).
  14. [S900] "Ninety-Six District, South Carolina 1779 Census", unknown cd.
  15. [S479] A. S. Salley, Accounts Audited, Book U, No. 159 Samuel Abney, Sen.
  16. [S438] John Belton O'Neall, Annals of Newberry.
  17. [S570] SCMAR, Volume I, Number 2, Spring 1973, pg. 68, "Compensation for Revolutionary Service."

Information on this site has been gathered over many years from many sources. Although great care has been taken, inaccuracies may exist.