Joseph Culpepper of Abbeville District, SC

Male, #13518, (say 1746 - after 7 Aug 1820)
Father*Benjamin Culpepper son of Joseph (s 1724 - b 1771)
Mother*Lydia (?) (s 1725 - a 1775)
Extinct Surname?* The family branch headed by Joseph Culpepper of Abbeville District, SC is believed to have no living male descendants with the Culpepper surname. If you know otherwise, please contact Lew Griffin using the link at the bottom of this page. 
Birth*say 1746 Joseph was born at Edgecombe Co., North Carolina, say 1746. 
American Revolution*between 1775 and 1783 He provided service in the American Revolutionary War between 1775 and 1783
(DAR Listing: Joseph Culpepper, born circa 1738 in North Carolina, died after 1810 in South Carolina, married Ann Sheiller (sic) First Lieutenant, Patriotic Service, South Carolina
At the beginning of the American Revolution in 1776, Joseph served as a private in Colonel William Thomson's Third South Carolina Regiment. By 1781 was a first lieutenant in Alexander's Troop, Wade Hampton's Regiment and was wounded Sep 1781 at the Battle of Eutaw Springs. After that, from 1781 through 1783, he furnished mutton and corn for the American troops.
From the Winter 2010 issue of The Orangeburg German-Swiss Newsletter.
This falls under the heading: revolutionary War Audited Accounts of Orangeburg District by Margaret G. Waters
No. 396 Culpepper, Mr. Joseph 6 lira and 6 shilling and 0 pence for 9 sheep for state Troops and militia use
Article says: Keep in mind that there were other Orangeburgh District claims filed in addition to the ones on this list.1
Birth of Sonbetween 1784 and 1794 His son (?) Culpepper was born between 1784 and 1794 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Birth of Sonbetween 1784 and 1794 His son (?) Culpepper was born between 1784 and 1794 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Marriage*before 1785 He married Ann Theiler at Orangeburg District, South Carolina, before 1785. 
1790 Census*2 Aug 1790 Joseph was listed as the head of a family on the 1790 Census on 2 Aug 1790 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina.
(Unaccounted for are 2 males 16+ and 2 females).2 
Birth of Soncirca 1795 His son Joseph Richard Culpepper was born circa 1795 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Deed*1 Jun 1797 He granted a deed on 1 Jun 1797 at Edgefield District, South Carolina,

Sheriff Joseph Culpeper to Richard Boland, merchant of Columbia, Richland County, Camden District. Sheriffs Titles, 24 February 1797, Jacob Richman in his lifetime of Orangeburgh District seized of land containing by original survey 100 acres on Flat Spring branch of Clouds Creek, originally granted to James Cummings and by him conveyed to John McCartey; from him to Jacob Richman. Jacob Richman in his lifetime being indebted to Llewellen Threewitts in sum of £22.18, sd Llewellen Threewitts for recovery of sd sum commenced action against Richard Bolan admr of sd Jacob Richman in which action Llewellen Threewitts in November Term 1791 at Orangeburg recovered against sd Richard Bolan admr the sum and damages sustained by reason of nonperformance. Judgment at Orangeburgh 13 May 1791 directed Sheriffs to sell goods chattels and real estate of sd Richard Bolan admr of sd Jacob Richman. Sheriff Joseph Culpeper sold sd 100 acres 1 January 1792 unto Richard Bolan for £4.10 sterling. Wit Charles Williamson, William Smart. /s/ Joseph Culpeper Late Sheriff. Proven Camden District, Richland County, 5 December 1798 by Charles Williamson, J Goodwyn JRC. Recorded 8 Jan 1799.3 
1800 Census*4 Aug 1800 Joseph was listed as the head of a family on the 1800 Census at Lexington District, South Carolina. Unaccounted for are 1 male 0-10, 1 male 16-26, 1 male 26-45, and 1 female 0-10..4 
1810 Census*6 Aug 1810 Joseph was listed as the head of a family on the 1810 Census at Abbeville District, South Carolina. Unaccounted for are 2 males 16-26..5 
Deed*25 May 1818 He granted a deed to Joseph Richard Culpepper and Sarah Ann Culpepper on 25 May 1818 at Abbeville District, South Carolina,

State of South Carolina Abbeville District This indenture made this twenty fifth day of May one thousand eight hundred and eighteen Between Joseph Culpepper and Ann Culpepper (formerly Geiger) of the District and State aforesaid of the one part and Joseph Richard Culpepper of the same place of the other part

Witnesseth, That the said Joseph and Ann for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which they have and bear towards the aforesaid Joseph Richard Culpepper the son of said Joseph and also for the further consideration of Ten dollars to them paid by the said Joseph Richard Culpepper; have given granted aliened and transferd and by these presents do give grant alien and transfer to the said Joseph Richard Culpepper all and Singular the Lands Tenements negroes goods and chattels now owned by and in the possession of said Joseph and Ann his wife,

to wit, a Tract of Land lying in Abbeville District aforesaid whereon the said Joseph now lives containing three hundred and eighty acres more or less; also sundry Negroe Slaves of different ages and Sexes; also, all the Stock of every kind , Household furniture and plantation tools; and also, the future increase of those Negroes aforementioned which are now computed to the number of twenty two or three all of which negroes goods and Chattels are particularly specified in a schedule thereof hereto annexd, as part of this deed; as also, whatever Lands goods and Chattels and negroes the Said Joseph may hereafter acquire and die possessed of agreeably to the provisoes and reservations herein after expressed. To have and to hold all and singular the Lands negroes goods and chattels abovementioned, with all the rights members and appurtenances to the Said Joseph Richard Culpepper his heirs and assigns forever --

Preserving Nevertheless to the Said Joseph Culpepper and Ann his wife during their lives or the life of the survivor of them the free and undisturbed possession use and enjoyment of all and Singular the Lands negroes goods and chattels abovementioned also reserving the right of Discharging all liens debts and demands which the said Joseph may now be liable to.

It is also further agreed on and understood, between the parties to these presents that a certain little negro girl by the name of Cynthia of the number of the above mentioned negroes is now to be hereby given by the said Joseph and Ann his wife, and received and held, by the said Joseph Richard Culpepper in Trust for and for the use of his little daughter Sarah Ann Culpepper and to her heirs forever and in case the said Sarah Ann should die under the age of twenty one years and without issue of her body then and in that case the said Girl Cynthia is to be held in the same manner for the said Joseph Richard's next oldest daughter.

In Testimony of the foregoing we the Said Joseph and Ann have jointly and severally put our hands and affixed our Seals the day and date above-mentioned.

Joseph Culpepper (seal)
Ann (her mark) Culpepper (seal)

Witnesses: Jefferson L. Edwards [sic], William Y. Glover

South Carolina Abbeville District -- Personally appeared Jefferson L. Edmonds [sic] who on his oath saith that he saw Joseph Culpepper and Ann his wife sign and execute the within Instrument of writing for the purposes therein mentioned and that William Y. Glover together with himself signed his name as a witness to the proper execution thereof. Sworn to the 22nd Sept 1818 before Charles Callayson, J. P.

Schedule of all and Singular the Lands negroes goods and chattels within and contained in the deed to which this is annexed; To Wit, Old Ben & wife Silvia, Cyrus, Joe, Nat, Ben (the younger); Tressy, Doncilla, Agga, Dilea, Anson, Nathan, Tallerand, Nalso, Tom, Will, Betty, Cynthia, & Mary. Horses, cows, hogs, sheep, articles of Household and Kitchen Furniture, consisting of Beds, Tables, etc etc.6 
1820 Census*7 Aug 1820 Joseph was listed as the head of a family on the 1820 Census at Abbeville District, South Carolina. Unaccounted for is 1 male 26-45 and 1 female 26-45..7 
Death*after 7 Aug 1820 He died at Abbeville District, South Carolina, after 7 Aug 1820. 
Biography* An entry from the Biographical Directory of the Senate of the State of South Carolina‚ 1776-1964, 8 notes that Joseph was "possibly the son of Joseph and Liddy Culpeper." A source or reason for the speculation was not given. Liddy has been identified in land grant records, 9 but it seems likely that the Joseph noted in the same records was her son and not her husband. Liddy and a possible husband will be covered in the next generation.
     Lacking any record of Joseph's birth and lacking proof of his parentage, it is necessary to look for clues in extant records and to compile circumstantial evidence. A 1767 deed 10 shows "Joseph Culpeper of Craven County planter" acquiring 100 acres of land from Joseph Jackson, "situate in the fork of Santee & Wateree Rivers, William Thomson, J. P." This record would seem to indicate that Joseph was at least 21 years old by 1767 which would mean that he was probably born before 1746.
     On April 3, 1772, Joseph received a royal grant 11 of 400 acres "situate in Craven County on Tom's Creek in the fork between Santee River & the Wateree." In 1769, this portion of Craven County was designated as part of the Camden District and a 1773 map of South Carolina shows, as do today's maps. that Tom's Creek is in the fork of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers which join to form the Santee River. But the land grant was in the same area as the land that Joseph had acquired in 1767 and was very close to the land granted to Liddy Culpeper in 1771.
     Joseph was probably in his mid 20's by this time and, although it is not unreasonable to assume that he was or had been married, no record of a wife or children has been found. If, as seems likely, Joseph was the oldest son with a widowed mother and there were younger brothers to look after, he might have put off marriage until the family seemed more settled.
     Joseph probably would have been in his early 30's when the Revolutionary War began and, according to a record copied from the list of the Continental Service of South Carolina, "Joseph Culpeper" served as a private in "the 3d South Carolina Regt Commanded by Col. Wm. Thomson" from August 20, 1776. 12 By September of 1781, when he was wounded at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, 13 Joseph was serving as a first lieutenant in Alexander's Troop, 14 Wade Hampton's Regiment, Sumpter's Brigade and on October 1, 1784 he was authorized to receive 141 pounds sterling as "pay and bounty" for his service after April 1, 1782. 15 From 1781 through 1783, Joseph also furnished sheep, and, according to a note by Lt. Col. W. Hampton, Joseph "had a waggon & team in the service of the Brigade of State Troops from 18th June to 25th Nov. 1782 inclusive." 16
     Although the Revolutionary War effectively ended when General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, British troops continued to hold Savannah until July of 1782 and Charleston until December of 1782 and the Treaty of Paris was not signed until September 3, 1783.
     Sometime prior to 1782, Joseph acquired 270 acres on Sandy Run Creek near the "Saxagotha Township" in the Orangeburg District across the Congaree River from the Camden District. The land was near what is now the town of Sandy Run in Calhoun County in an area that was designated Lexington District in the 1800 census and which formally became Lexington District in 1804. In 1782, Joseph represented Saxa Gotha in the Fourth General Assembly of South Carolina.
     But Joseph still had ties and probably still owned land in Camden District, SC. On October 17, 1783, he was noted, along with Richard Perdue and Morris Moore, in Camden District, SC records witnessing the will of William Goodwyn, Sr.17
     Sometime prior to 1785, Joseph married Ann Theiler, the widow of William Geiger. will probated 1 Jul 1781. 18 The marriage to Joseph Culpeper was her third since she had been married previously to Jacob Geiger who died in 1772 by whom she had a son, John. 19
     In addition to his continuing service in the South Carolina Assembly, Joseph was also active locally, serving as justice of the peace for Lexington County in 1786 and as tax inquirer for Saxe Gotha from 1786 through 1787. 13
     In 1788, as a delegate from Saxe Gotha to the state convention which was held to consider the adoption of the Federal Constitution, Joseph Culpeper voted against ratification. 13
     Joseph was elected sheriff of Orangeburg District, SC January 24, 1789 whereupon he resigned his seat in the General Assembly. 13 On 16 Mar 1789, Sheriff Culpepper sold 150 acres on the waters of the Saluda to Rignall Williams. 20
     In 1790, Joseph was recorded in the first census of the United States and three males 16 years of age or older and three females were noted in the household. Subtracting out Joseph, his wife, Ann, and her son, John, that leaves one male and two females unidentified. They could have been relatives of Ann or, because of the close ties to Joseph and his family, the third male could have been John Culpepper and one of the two additional females could have been Liddy Culpeper, if she was still living. The other female might even have been John Culpepper's mother but this is only speculation and cannot been proven. Benjamin, Joseph's brother, was also noted in the 1790 Orangeburg District, SC census. No other Culpeper was listed as a head of household in the 1790 South Carolina census.
     Joseph Culpeper represented Saxa Gotha at the State Constitutional Convention in 1790. 13 September 6, 1790, the State of South Carolina granted "Joseph Culpeper Esqr" 200 acres of land "in the District of Orangeburgh on the third Branch of Bull Swamp Waters of Edisto River" for his service in the Revolutionary War.21 In 1791, Joseph served as a member of a commission to open and improve navigation on the Congaree River and he also served as road commissioner in 1788 and 1792. 13
     In 1792, Joseph was elected to represent Saxa Gotha in the South Carolina Senate, an office which he held until 1796. 22 Joseph appears to have been re-elected as Sheriff since he is noted as Sheriff of Orangeburg in a February 1797 Edgefield District, SC deed 23 deeding land to Richard Bolan.
     Joseph is next noted in the 1800 census in Lexington District, SC. John Culpepper and his young family were living nearby. Joseph's brother, Benjamin, was noted with his family in Edgefield District, SC. Subtracting out Joseph, his wife and young son, Joseph Richard‚ from the 1800 census record leaves a number of people residing with Joseph unaccounted for: one 0-10 year old male, one 16-26 year old male‚ one 26-45 year old male‚ one 0-10 year old female, and one 10-16 year old female. Joseph's step-son, John Geiger, might have been one of the older males. Though the other's might have been related, their identity is unknown.
     Joseph was noted as being from Orangeburg District, SC in 1807, when he signed a $20,000 administration bond dated December 14, 1807 regarding the estate of Daniel Peak/Peake/Peek. Joseph Culpeper co-signed the bond with John Culpepper who was named one of the administrators of the estate. Joseph would probably have been at least in his early 60's.
     Joseph's death is a mystery not just because no will or estate records have been found but also because his own son does not appear to have known even the year of his death. The only notice that has been found of Joseph's death is from an 1856 letter in Joseph's Revolutionary War Pension file 24 from Barnabas Strickland, who was acting as an agent for Joseph's son, Joseph Richard Culpepper. The letter states that Joseph Culpeper died between 1807 and 1810.
     Joseph's family was listed in Abbeville District, SC in the 1810 census. The oldest male (Joseph) is shown as 45+, and there is an entry for a male 10-16, who would be Joseph Richard. There are also two males listed as 16-26 and they are otherwise unaccounted for.
     In 1813, Jospeh filed suit against Esais Taylor in Lexington District, SC (Case #10, Mfilm # LX 6, Lexington District Papers, 1806-1870)
     On 2 Apr 1816, Joseph, along with Wm. Cochran and W. Bradley Lewis, made an inventory of the estate in Abbeville District of John Stokes, Sr. 25
     A deed of gift dated May 24, 1818, was found in the SC Archives by Sarah Hodnett Murphy (granddaughter of Louise Culpepper Murphy) in Book D, page 57, miscellaneous records. She writes: "In this deed Joseph gave all of his land, property, slaves, etc. (I think from my notes that he reserved a life estate, which may explain why there are no probate records for his estate after his death) to his son, Joseph Richard Culpepper. He further provided that one slave girl, Cynthia, be given to Joseph Richard's daughter, Sarah Ann Culpepper, in trust, or to the next oldest daughter if Sarah died. I made a notation that Joseph's wife, Ann, could not write her name."
     Joseph appears to be on the 1820 census in Abbeville District, with his wife Ann still living, and perhaps his son Joseph Richard and his family living in the household as well.
     After a review of the record, it seems probable that Joseph was born in colonial America since he was so active during the Revolution serving as a soldier and provisioning the troops. He was a man of enough substance that he was able to purchase land when he initially came to South Carolina. He was respected enough by his neighbors to be elected to the South Carolina Legislature several times. The names Joseph, John and Benjamin seem to tie in with those of descendants of Robert Culpeper of Norfolk Co., VA, whose father was probably the original immigrant to Virginia. Circumstantial evidence based on the proximity of land suggests that Lydia or "Liddy" Culpeper was possibly the widowed mother of Joseph, John and Benjamin.
     Joseph married Ann Theiler, daughter of Hans Jacob Theiler and Magdalena Belon, circa 1783, in Orangeburg District, SC. Born: circa 1742 (?), in Saxe Gotha, SC. 


Ann Theiler (circa 1749 - after 7 Aug 1820)
Marriage*before 1785 He married Ann Theiler at Orangeburg District, South Carolina, before 1785. 
ChartsHenry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)
Benjamin (son of Joseph) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
LWG / Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper Griffin (Lew Griffin's gtgm): Ancestral Chart
Last Edited30 Apr 2012


  1. DAR Patriot Index, Washington, DC: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 2003.
  2. 1790 Federal Census, United States.
    Unknown Township, North part, Orangeburg District, SC
    Benjamin Culpeper, page 94, 1 Male 16+, 3 Males 0-16, 3 Females, 4 Slaves
    Joseph Culpeper, page 94, 3 Males 16+, 3 Females, 22 Slaves.
  3. Carol Wells, Edgefield County, South Cazrolina Deed Books, Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1997, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.737 R2.
    Edgefield Deed Bk 16, p. 193-198.
  4. 1800 Federal Census, United States.
    Unknown Township, Lexington District, SC
    Joseph Culpepper, page 560, 2 M0-10, 1 M16-26, 1 M26-45, 1 M45+, 1 F0-10, 1 F10-16, 1 F45+
    John Culpepper, page 561, 3 M0-10, 1 M16-26, 1 F0-10, 1 F16-26.
  5. 1810 Federal Census, United States.
    Unknown Township, Abbeville District, SC
    Joel Culpepper, page 55, 3 M0-10, 1 M26-45, 1 F16-26, 1 F26-45, 0 slaves
    Joseph Culpepper, page 55, 1 M10-16, 2 M16-26, 1 M45+, 1 F45+, 23 slaves.
  6. SC Miscellaneous Records, Columbia Series; (n.p.:, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. Film 22,668.
    Volume D, p. 57-58.
  7. 1820 Federal Census, United States.
    Unknown Townships, Abbeville District, SC
    Joseph Culpepper, page 3, 1 M16-26, 1 M26-45, 1 M45+, 2 F0-10, 1 F16-26, 1 F26-45, 1 F45+, 24 slaves.
  8. compiled by Emily Bellinger Reynolds and John Renolds Faunt, (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press) p. 201
  9. "Liddy Cullpeper" received a grant of land on Griffin's Creek 22 Aug 1771 near Joseph's grant on Tom's Creek.
  10. Charleston Deed Book Y-3, 20 & 21 Jan. 1767, pp. 159-162
  11. Colonial Plats, Vol. 14, p. 279 and Royal Plats, Vol. 25, p. 218
  12. Joseph Culpeper's Revolutionary War Pension Record R. 2565
  13. N. Louise Bailey and Elizabeth Ivey Cooper, Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina), vol. III (1775-1790)
  14. A "Cavalry Company" according to his son, Joseph Richard Culpepper, in a record in Joseph Culpeper's Revolutionary War Pension File R. 2565
  15. South Carolina Archives Stub Entries to Indents, Book M No. 165
  16. South Carolina Archives Stub Entries to Indents Book I No. 396, Book B No. 47 and Book Q No. 334
  17. Brent H. Holcomb, G.R.S. and Elmer O. Parker, Camden District, S.C. Wills and Administrations 1781-1787 (1770-1796), 1978, p. 29
  18. Mrs Ann Culpeper, "late Mrs. Ann Geiger" qualified as administrator of William Geiger's estate Jan 1785
  19. The Geigers of South Carolina, compiled by Percy L. Geiger, published by his sisters, Miss Louisa Geiger and Miss Anna Esther Geiger and Harold C. Geiger, brother, after 1945, p. 29
  20. Brent H. Holcomb GRS, compiler, Memorialized Records of Lexington Dist, SC, 1814-1825, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1978, Repository: SC Archives and History Center in Columbia.
  21. South Carolina Revolutionary War Bounty Grants Book O, Vol. 2, p. 11
  22. Emily Bellinger Reynolds and John Renolds Faunt, Biographical Directory of the Senate of the State of South Carolina, 1776-1964 (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press) p. 201
  23. Deed Book 16-193
  24. R. 2565
  25. Willie Pauline Young, Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six and Abbeville District Wills and Bonds, as on file in the Abbeville, SC Courthouse, Vidalia, GA: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1969.