John Culpepper of Randolph Co., AL

Male, #31566, (1 Oct 1772 - 13 May 1855)
Father*John Culpepper (s 1748 - a 1772)
Mother*Sarah Oglethorpe (c 1750 - a 1 Oct 1772)
DNA* John has been proven by DNA and genealogical research to be a descendant of Joseph Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC, who is a son of Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, the son of Henry Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, VA. 
Birth*1 Oct 1772 John was born at Camden District, South Carolina, on 1 Oct 1772. 
Marriage*18 May 1794 He married Nancy Gillespie at Richland District, South Carolina, on 18 May 1794 at age 21. 
Birth of Son12 Mar 1795 His son Joel Culpepper of Crawford Co., GA was born on 12 Mar 1795 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Birth of Son1 Aug 1796 His son Francis Culpepper was born on 1 Aug 1796 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Death of Son29 Sep 1796 His son Francis Culpepper died on 29 Sep 1796 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Birth of Son4 Nov 1797 His son John Jefferson Culpepper was born on 4 Nov 1797 at Orangeburg District, South Carolina
Birth of Son23 Apr 1800 His son Daniel Peek Culpepper was born on 23 Apr 1800 at Lexington District, South Carolina
1800 Census*4 Aug 1800 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1800 Census at Lexington District, South Carolina.1 
Birth of Son31 Jan 1804 His son Francis Gillespie Culpepper was born on 31 Jan 1804 at Edgefield District, South Carolina
Birth of Son3 Jun 1806 His son James I. J. Culpepper was born on 3 Jun 1806 at Lexington District, South Carolina
Birth of Son6 Dec 1808 His son George Washington Culpepper of Meriwether Co., GA was born on 6 Dec 1808 at South Carolina.2 
1810 Census*6 Aug 1810 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1810 Census at Richland District, South Carolina. Unaccounted for are 1 male 0-10 and 1 female 16-26..3,4 
Birth of Son17 Oct 1813 His son Rev. William Henry Culpepper was born on 17 Oct 1813 at Edgefield District, South Carolina
Birth of Son25 Aug 1816 His son Rev. Lewis Peek Culpepper was born on 25 Aug 1816 at Edgefield District, South Carolina.5 
Deed*Feb 1823 He granted a deed, with Robert Bell as an adjacent landowner in Feb 1823 at Edgefield District, South Carolina,

John Culpepper to Josiah Langley Sr. for $800, the tract “where I live” as granted to George Shelnut, 144 acres on Cuffeetown Creek and waters of Stephens Creek and Savannah River, adjoining said Josiah Langley and the heirs of Robert Bell. Witnesses: James Harrison, Mathew Rhodes. Nancy Culpepper gives consent.6 
Death of Son25 Oct 1825 His son Daniel Peek Culpepper died on 25 Oct 1825 at Baldwin Co., Georgia
Deed*Jan 1827 He was granted a deed in Jan 1827 at Monroe Co., Georgia,

Warren T. Castleberry of Newton Co. to John Culpepper, Sr. of Monroe Co. for $800: 202.5 acres in Lot 233 in District 13. Wit: Jas. Wilson, E. Dodson, J.P. Sarah Castleberry releases her dower rights.7 
DeedFeb 1828 He granted a deed in Feb 1828 at Monroe Co., Georgia,

John Culpepper, Sr. of Monroe Co. to Wm. G. Fitzpatrick for $800: 202.5 acres in Lot 223 in District 12. Wit: G. W. Elliott, John Haynes, J.P. (Then, John Dean witnesses next deed of John Chappell to Reddick Rutland).8 
1830 Census*1 Jun 1830 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1830 Census at Monroe Co., Georgia.9 
Death of Son6 Dec 1839 His son Joel Culpepper of Crawford Co., GA died on 6 Dec 1839 at Crawford Co., Georgia
1840 Census*1 Jun 1840 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1840 Census on 1 Jun 1840 at Meriwether Co., Georgia.10 
Death of Son15 Oct 1846 His son James I. J. Culpepper died on 15 Oct 1846 at Coosa Co., Alabama
Death of Spouse25 Jul 1848 His wife Nancy Gillespie died on 25 Jul 1848 at Meriwether Co., Georgia
1850 Census*1850 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1850 Census in 1850 at Randolph Co., Alabama.11 
Letter*26 Jun 1853 He had a letter at the Post Office Dr. Charles L. Culpepper, Sr. wrote 4 Jul 1978: Mrs. Jessie Heard (B. F. Burke's) daughter died last year. She had a sister and a brother who died two years ago.... The original letters from John Culpepper to his son Francis G. Culpepper were in the keeping of Jessie Heard and she promised them to me, but at the last she was not clear of mind and I have not been able to find them. on 26 Jun 1853.12
John Culpepper 1853 letter
Death*13 May 1855 He died at Randolph Co., Alabama, on 13 May 1855 at age 82. 
Biography* John Culpepper's Bible is believed to have existed in the early 1900's. Mrs. J. W. (Ira Gay) Deam of Gay, GA, a descendant of Joel Culpepper, John's oldest son, preserved a copy of family records which were supposed to have been in the Bible. Mrs. D. W. (Lavyn Wright) Sisco transcribed Mrs. Deam's records which began with the record of the marriage of John and Nancy (Gillespie) Culpepper followed by the note: John Culpepper was born on October 1, 1772

Full death dates were recorded for John and Nancy (Gillespie) Culpepper and all of their children except for William Henry and Lewis Peek Culpepper. A note was made after William Henry's birth record noting that he had died "1909 Randolph County Alabama." The note after Lewis Peek Culpepper's birth record read "Living in Chambers Co." So the record appears to have been copied sometime after 1909 and before 1915 when Lewis Peek Culpepper died. The Bible is not known to be in the possession of any of the descendants of William Henry or Lewis Peek Culpepper or of Mrs. J. W. (Ira Gay) Deam. There is a possibility that the Bible was still in existence 8 Oct 1942 when Rev. George Bright Culpepper wrote "ONE FAMILY - CULPEPPER" a 25 page typed, double-spaced summary of the descendants of Daniel Peek Culpepper. Rev. Culpepper wrote about Daniel Peek Culpepper's father: John William Culpepper was born in Richland District, fork of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers, South Carolina, October 1, 1772, according to the record in his family Bible, set down in his own hand.

The statement raises several questions, one of which is, did Rev. Culpepper have the Bible when he wrote this or was he working from a copy of the record or from other notes. Rev. Culpepper later made reference to "my scrapbook" which had information about the family. A granddaughter of Rev. Culpepper, Mrs. J. D. (Dorothy Culpepper) Wingfield, wrote 12 May 1993 that "I have no idea whether Geo. B. ever had possession of that bible."

A second problem is that only two copies of John Culpepper's signature are known to exist. On an 1807 bond which was included in the estate papers of Daniel Peak/Peek, John signed his name "John Culpeper" but in 1853, he signed his name "John Culpepper" on a letter to his son, Francis G. Culpepper. Otherwise the signatures are the same. Spelling was in a state of flux during John Culpepper's lifetime and it was considered a sign of education if one was able to spell the same word several different ways. But apparently, by the end of his life, John had settled on the Culpepper spelling. Neither signature had a middle initial. As noted above, Rev. George B. Culpepper specified that John's name was "John William Culpepper" "according to the record in his family Bible, set down in his own hand." But the record copied by Mrs. Deam and Mrs. Sisco gave the name as "John Culpepper." Where did the "William" come from? Joseph Richard Culpepper, a grandson of John Culpepper, had gotten a copy of a "history" that was being circulated in various branches of the family which showed that the family descended from a "John Marlo Culpeper" who was alleged to have been the John Culpeper of Culpeper's Rebellion and "first cousin to Lord Culpepper (Colepepper) who was Gov. of Virginia." The list continued down through "John William Culpepper" born "1774" a son of "Charles Marion Culpepper." Joseph Richard Culpepper puzzled over this document and did not know what to make of it. Finally, as Joseph Richard Culpepper noted in a letter to his cousin, Rev. George Bright Culpepper: I wrote to Father [Lewis Peek Culpepper] asking him to give me all the information he could relative to his father, grandfather, etc. He knows nothing farther back than his grandfather who was John instead of Charles Marion.... He says there were three brothers, John, Ben and Joseph. John was my great grandfather as was Joseph, also, on my mother's side.... John William was my father's father and your father's grandfather....

If only we had the letter that Lewis Peek Culpepper wrote to his son, we might be able to see if he had actually named his father "John William Culpepper" or if he had named both his father and grandfather "John Culpepper" and Joseph Richard Culpepper had used the "John William Culpepper" from the history in an attempt to reconcile the alleged history with what his father had written and in order to clearly distinguish his grandfather from his great-grandfather in his letter to Rev. Culpepper. In any event, the source of the name "John William Culpepper" was probably the alleged history of the family and Rev. George B. Culpepper would probably have considered Joseph Richard Culpepper's letter a confirmation of the name because Joseph Richard appeared to have been reporting information that he had gotten from his father, Lewis Peek Culpepper.

The only other indication of John Culpepper's middle name, if any, is an 1829 Upson Co., GA deed (A 434/5), in which John Jefferson Culpepper deeds land to his father for $5.00, the father's name is listed not once but three times as "John C. Culpepper." The clerk was trying to distinguish the grantor "John J. Culpepper" from the grantee "John Culpepper" and used "John C. Culpepper" to distinguish the two. Since John Culpepper, Senior was not illiterate, the "C" cannot be interpreted as his "mark." But if John Culpepper's middle initial was "C." he did not pass the name to any of his sons. And only one grandson of John Culpepper is known to have a name starting with "C," Charles William Culpepper, a son of Joel. Could John Culpepper have had a middle name of Charles? It would have been a common name for a supporter of the Stuarts but would have fallen out of favor after the Revolution.

Joseph went on in the letter to note that John Culpepper "moved from Virginia to Congaree, South Carolina and then to Edgefield [SC] and from Edgefield to Monroe County, Georgia and later to Meriwether County, Georgia, and to Randolph County, Alabama, where he died in 1855, when I was 12 years old" and not in 1852 as in the alleged history. Again it it not possible to know if Joseph Richard Culpepper was still trying to reconcile the alleged history which said that "John William" was born in Virginia with what his father had told him about the movement of the family. However, in the 1850 census of Randolph Co., AL (p. 386, family 189), John Culpepper gave his place of birth as South Carolina.

No records have been found in South Carolina for John Culpepper's presumed father, John. The elder John is believed to have lived in Camden District, SC in an area that became Richland District, SC and many early records for this district were destroyed. If the parents of John Culpepper died young, possibly before or during the Revolution, and John was their only child, then it is unlikely that any record of their existence, outside of family tradition, will ever be found.

In trying to identify where John Culpepper was born, it is necessary to look at the extant Culpepper records in districts that existed at the time of his birth. In 1769, the Province of South Carolina was divided into seven districts, three of whom have Culpepper connections: Cheraws, Camden and Orangeburg.

Cheraws District was bounded on the west by the Lynches River and the Pedee River ran through the center of it. Nancy Gillespie, who married John Culpepper, is believed to have been born in this district.

Joseph Richard Culpepper noted that "Congaree, South Carolina" was one of the places where John Culpepper had lived and Rev. George Bright Culpepper indicated that "John William Culpepper" had been born in "Richland District, fork of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers." Richland District did not exist at the time John Culpepper was born but the Congaree River was part of the Western boundary of the Camden District. The Wateree River ran through the center of the district which was bounded on the east by Lynches River and Cheraws District. The Wateree then joined with the Congaree to form the Santee River. On 3 Apr 1772, Joseph Culpepper, a presumed uncle of John Culpepper, received a grant by "George the Third... Four hundred Acres, situate in Craven County on Tom's Creek, in the fork between Santee River & the Wateree, bounding all sides on Vacant land." Tom's, Thom's or Thomson's Creek as it was known was halfway between the Wateree and Congaree near the confluence which forms the Santee river and was south of present day Columbia, SC. The land was listed as being in "Craven County." This was one of three counties established in 1682 and although it had ceased to exist in 1769, it was still used in land transactions to help specify the location of land. 22 Aug 1771, Liddy Culpepper, a presumed grandmother of John Culpepper, was granted 350 acres of land on Griffin's Creek which has not been located but was listed as being "in Craven County on the Fork of the Wateree and Congaree River." If any South Carolina land was granted to John Culpepper's father before the Revolution, no record of it has been found. If John Culpepper was born at the fork of the Congaree and the Wateree Rivers then he would have been born on the land of his presumed grandmother in Camden District, SC in an area which later became Richland District, SC and which today would be located just south of Columbia, Richland Co., SC.

After the Revolution, in 1785, counties were formed within the districts which had been defined in 1769 but the district boundaries were maintained. The area in which Joseph and Liddy Culpepper had received grants of land was then considered to be in Richland County.

In the first census of the United States in 1790, Benjamin and Joseph Culpepper, presumed uncles of John Culpepper, were the only Culpepper's listed as heads of household in South Carolina. They were both listed in Orangeburg District. This district ran southwest from the Congaree and Santee rivers to the Savannah River. John Culpepper probably moved across the Congaree River to Orangeburg District, SC with his presumed uncles and with his presumed grandmother, if she was still living. It is possible that John Culpepper was one of the three males age 16 and older recorded in Joseph Culpepper's household in the 1790 census of Orangeburg District, SC. .
In 1793, John turned twenty-one and on May 18th of the following year he married Nancy Gillespie. Presumably, they would have married in the county where Nancy was living but it is not known whether this would have been Cheraws or Camden district. Since Nancy's uncle, Daniel Peek, left an estate in what was then Richland District (Richland County was part of Camden District in 1793), it possible that the marriage took place in Richland Co., SC. Mrs. J. W. (Ira Gay) Deam preserved the following John Culpepper Bible record which was copied by Mrs. D. W. (Lavyn Wright) Sisco: John Culpepper Senior(?) and Nancy Gillespie were married on May 8, 1794, at 9:00 A.M. Cloudy, evening fair.

In "ONE FAMILY - CULPEPPER" a family summary written 8 Oct 1942, Rev. George Bright Culpepper also references the Bible record of John's marriage: According to the same record, John William Culpepper married Nancey [sic] Gillespie on May 18, 1794, the ceremony being performed by Reverend Reese, at his house on the Congaree. It was on Sunday, cloudy in the morning and fair in the evening.

Again, it is frustrating not having the actual Bible record. Which copiest made the error in the date? Was the name really "John William Culpepper"? Supporting Rev. Culpepper's version is that fact that 18 May 1794 actually was a Sunday. The location on the Congaree is logical but was it on the Richland District side or on the Orangeburg District side? What was Rev. Reese's first name and where was he located in the 1790 census? There was a Joseph Reese that had land near Joseph and Liddy Culpepper before the Revolution. The Bible records apparently also mention the exact hour of birth of each of the couple's eleven children, a penchant for detail which would continue in more than one branch of the family.

In 1785, Lexington County was one of the counties set up in the Orangeburg District. It was directly across the Congaree River from Richland County in Camden District. The county was abolished in 1791 but was reinstated as a district in 1804. John Culpepper, age 16-26, was listed as a head-of-household on the 1800 census in the Lexington portion of Orangeburg District, SC. Depending on when the census was taken, John would have been 27 or 28 years old. John was living with his wife and three sons near (1 census page after) Joseph Culpepper. There was also one girl 0-10 years of age that has not been accounted for since the first daughter born to John and Nancy's first daughter, Sarah, was not born until 1802. Since Daniel Peek Culpepper was born in April of 1800, it is possible that this was a young relative who was helping out the new mother. In a 2 Feb 1898 article about Francis Gillespie Culpepper, John Culpepper's son, which appeared in the Shiner Gazette Francis Gillespie was reported to have born in Edgefield District, SC. Francis was still living in 1898 and presumably would have been the source of this information. In addition, another son, Lewis Peek Culpepper, read this same article and found it "a tolerable correct historical account." The obituary of another son, George Washington Culpepper, also gave his place of birth as Edgefield District, SC in 1808. Edgefield District was to the west of Lexington District with which it shared half of its southeastern border. It was bounded on the southwest by the Savannah River which formed the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia. Francis Gillespie was born in 1804 and George Washington Culpepper was born in 1808 but John Culpepper does not show up in Edgefield District land records until 1814. Although the John Culpepper family appears to have been in Edgefield District at least by 1813, it is doubtful that the family was there in 1804. It is more likely that the family was still in Lexington District in the early 1800's.

A Lexington, SC researcher, Lee R. Gandee, wrote in a 23 May 1974 letter to Billy W. Dunn, that the Congaree plantations were noted for their crops of indigo and tobacco. Lee R. Gandee added: Then nearly all the people in this area pulled up and left, either to the area around Montezuma, Georgia or to Alabama--Kirkpartricks, Taylors, Fitzpatricks, Threewittses--Geigers--everybody who was anybody, for the River began destroying the low land by floods by 1800, and by 1830 the River swamps were grown up in a jungle and stagnant water made it a death-feeding pesthole of fevers as malaria and dengue-carrying mosquitoes swarmed.... Two years ago [1972], I walked 7 miles from Thom's Creek to Cayce on the Old State Road, along which these families lived, and did not pass a single house or building. It is now in huge tracts of swamp or woodland or in fields, and floods still sometimes put 15 feet of water over the old road. Just back from the river, not more than a mile or two, the poorest sand land in the county begins, and here, up from the swampy river land are the few houses that remain of the Plantation families....

By 1807, John Culpepper appears to have moved his family back across the Congaree River to Richland District, SC where he shows up in Richland District, SC estate records as an administrator of the estate of Daniel Peek, Nancy Gillespie's uncle. It is interesting to note in these estate papers that Joseph Culpepper, John's presumed uncle, signed the $20,000 Administration Bond with John. And although the name was spelled "Culpepper" throughout the documents by whomever drew up the papers, both men signed their names "Culpeper" at the bottom of the bond: ____________________________________________
Administration Bond. S O U T H - C A R O L I N A
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, That we John Culpepper John Slappy Joseph Culpepper and George Slapy are holden and firmly bound unto James Guignard Esquire, ordinary for the district of Richland in the full and just sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars lawful money of this state, to be paid to the said James S. Guignard or his successors, ordinaries of this district, or their certain attorney or assigns. To which payment well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, and every of us, our and every of our heirs, executors and administrators, for the whole and in the whole, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals, and dated the fourteenth day of December in the year of you Lord one thousand eight hundred and Seven. THE CONDITION OF THIS OBLIGATION IS SUCH, That if the within bounden administrators of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of Daniel Peak deceased, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, which have, or shall come to the hands, possession, or knowledge of them the said John Culpepper and John Slappy or into the hands or possession of any other person or persons for them and the same so made, do exhibit, or cause to be exhibited into the ordinary's office of this district, at or before the first Saturday of February next ensuing. And the same goods, chattels and credits, and all other goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, at the time of his death, which at any time hereafter shall come to the hands or possession of the said John Culpepper and John Slappy or into the hands and possession of any other person or persons for them do well and truly administer according to law. And further, do make, or cause to be made, a true and just account of their administration, at or before the first Saturday of January 1809 & afterwards whenever req[uired]. And all rest and residue of the said goods, chattels and credits which shall be found remaining on the said administrators account (the same being first examined and allowed by the ordinary of this district for the time being) shall deliver and pay unto such person or persons respectively as the said ordinary, by his decree or sentence, pursuant to the true intent and meaning of the statutes and acts of assembly, of force in this state, for the better settling of intestates' estates, shall limit and appoint. And if it shall hereafter appear, that any last Will and Testament was made by the said deceased, and the executor or executors therein named do exhibit the same to the said ordinary, making request to have it allowed and approved accordingly, if the said John Culpepper and John Slappy within bounden, being thereunto required, do render and deliver the said letters of administration, approbation of such testament being first had and made, to the said ordinary; then this obligation to be void and of none effect, or else to remain in full force and virtue. Signed, sealed and delivered,_______in the presence of______ "And afterwards whenever required" ______Interlined before signing_______/s/ John Culpeper [seal] _________________witness______________/s/ John Slappey [seal] William Guphill_______________________/s/ Joseph Culpeper [seal] Thomas Watts__________________________/s/ George Slappey [seal] Frederick Class John Wolf

John Culpepper was again listed as a head-of-household in the 1810 census of Richland District, SC. He was with his wife and a family which now included six sons and a daughter. An additional 26-45 year old woman, a 16-26 year old woman and a 0-10 year old boy were also listed in the household that year and are unidentified. Could they have included Nancy Gillespie Culpepper's mother, Elizabeth (Peek) Gillespie? Sister, Elizabeth (Gillespie) Denton was living next door with husband James Denton. At some point after this census, John Culpepper moved his family west to Edgefield District, SC. As noted above, the family might have been in Edgefield District before 1804 and then returned to Richland District for the administration of Daniel Peek's will but it is more likely that the family moved to Edgefield District after the 1810 census and possibly because of the War of 1812. A son, William Henry Culpepper, who was born 17 Oct 1813, gave his place of birth as Edgefield District, SC on a Civil War Muster Roll. This would seem to indicate that the John Culpepper family was in Edgefield District, SC by this date but John does not appear in the land records of Edgefield District, SC until Nov 1814 when he received a state grant of 138 acres on Cuffee Town Creek. The following is a Grant to John Culpepper 138 A. - Edgefield Nov. 7, 1814, from p. 278 of S. C. Archives State Grants: Vol. 59: _____THE STATE OF SOUTH-CAROLINA. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting: _____Know Ye, That in pursuance of an Act of the Legislature, entitled, "An Act for establishing the mode of granting the lands vacant in this state, and for allowing a commutation to be received for some lands that have been granted," and by these presents do grant unto John Culpepper his heirs and assigns, a plantation or tract of land, containing One Hundred thirty eight Acres Surveyed for William Dickson the 3rd Octr 1813, Situated in Edgefield District on Cuffeetown Creek Waters of Stevens Creek of Savannah River having such shape, form and marks, as are represented by a plat hereunto annexed, together with all woods, trees, waters, water courses, profits, commodities, appurtenances and hereditaments whatsoever thereabouts belonging: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said tract of One Hundred & thirty eight acres of land, and all and singular other the premises hereby granted unto the said John Culpepper his heirs and assigns forever, in free and common soccage. Given under the Great Seal of the State. WITNESS, his Excellency Joseph Alstar [?] Esquire, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said State, at Columbia, this Seventh Day of November Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred fourteen and of the Independence of the United States of America, the thirty ninth _______________ /s/ Jos [SEAL] Alstar[?] And hath thereunto a plat thereof annexed, representing the same, certified by ___________________ /s/ William Clark Surveyor General ___________________________________________Nov. 1 1814

The land was bounded by Frederick Slappey, Matthew Bassett, and others. Cuffey Town Creek parallels the Abbeville District border. John Culpepper and his family were still living in Edgefield District, SC in 1816 when the youngest child, Lewis Peek Culpepper, was born. John does not appear as a head of household in 1820 census, but is presumed to have been living in Edgefield District, SC with his family since in February 1823, John sold 144 acres "where I now live" on Cuffee Town Creek to Josiah Langley for $800. This parcel was one granted to George Shelnut, not his own 138 acre grant, the sale of which was not recorded. It is possible that one of John's married sons or daughters had been left living on the original parcel. The lot John sold in 1823 adjoined Josiah Langley and the heirs of Robert Bell, one of whom was John Culpepper's son, John Jefferson Culpepper, who had married Bell's daughter Catherine. This appears to be the land that William Bell was living on in the 1820 census of Edgefield District, SC. Perhaps John moved his family from his Edgefield District grant land to this lot between 1820 and 1823.

John and Nancy moved to Georgia when their son, Lewis, was seven, about 1823 or 1824. This would be in line with John's sale of the 144 acres "where I now live" February 1823 in Edgefield District, SC to Josiah Langley. At least two and possibly three of John and Nancy's children moved out ahead of them. Daniel Culpepper's son, James Marion Culpepper, was born Feb 1823 and based on later census records he was born in Georgia. No records have been found showing where the family was located at the time but James Marion's son, Rev. John Butler stated that his father was born in Baldwin Co., GA. Based on later census records, Sarah (Culpepper) Elliott's daughter Cynthia was also born in Georgia circa 1823. A specific place of birth is not known. Another son, John Jefferson Culpepper, and his family might also have moved on ahead although there are no records that any children were born to them during this time period. Baldwin Co., GA would have been on the route between South Carolina and Monroe Co., GA where the family finally emerges in land records.

No records have been found in Georgia for John Culpepper or any of his children until John appears in land lottery and deed records in Monroe Co., GA in 1827. According to p. 42 of Monroe County, Georgia A History compiled and published in 1979 by the Monroe County Historical Society, Inc. in Forsythe, GA: The territory which comprises Monroe County is part of the land ceded by the Creek Nation in a number of treaties with the United States. The principal treaty was entered into at Indian Springs in the Creek Nation on January 8, 1821, between the United States, represented by Daniel M. Farney of the State of North Carolina, and David Meriwether of the State of Georgia, and chiefs, headman, warriors of the Creek Nation, in Council assembled. The land in question was all land lying east of the Flint River and running up the eastern bank of the same, along the water's edge to the head of the principal western branch, which was later named Line Creek. From the head of Line Creek the direction took the nearest and most direct line to the Chattahoochee River. It then followed the eastern bank of the Chattahoochee to the "Shallow Ford," where the boundary between the Creek Nation and the State of Georgia at the time touched the river. The Creek Nation had made many improvements in several sections of this land, and these were one thousand acres to be laid off in a square so as to include the Indian Springs in the center; six hundred forty acres on the western bank of the Ocmulgee River to include the improvements in the possession of the Indian Chief, General William McIntosh.... Within this treaty there was agreed to be paid to the Creek Nation for the cession of this land a total amount of two hundred thousand dollars in fourteen consecutive payments.... This treaty at Indian Springs was not generally accepted by Creek people since they were being gradually crowded out of the land of their forefathers. For this reason it was decreed by the Creek Nation that no further treaty would be signed with the whites unless the entire Creek Nation was in full agreement and then it was only to be signed by those appointed by the nation for that purpose. In spite of this, however, on February 12, 1825, another treaty was entered into with the Creek Nation at Indian Springs. This treaty was signed by all the chiefs and headmen of all Creek towns except those of Tohauhatchee. The land ceded in this treaty included all the land lying within the boundaries of the State of Georgia as defined by the compact.... The land was divided into five counties: Dooly, Houston, Monroe, Fayette and Henry....

3 Jan 1827, "John Culpepper Sr. of Monroe" bought 202 1/2 acres (Lot 223 Book E p. 179 witnessed by James Wilson and E. Dodson, recorded 20 Nov 1827) in the Twelfth District of Monroe County, GA for $800 from Warren T. Castleberry and sold it the next year for the same price. This would seem to show that John was already in Monroe before he bought the land. G. W. Elliott, witnessed the 1828 deed. It is not known if he was related to William Elliott, the husband of John Culpepper's daughter, Sarah. By 1830, John and Nancy had only one son, Lewis, still living at home with them in Monroe County, GA. Living nearby was Mary (Corley) Culpepper, widow of John's son, Daniel. Sometime between 1830 and 1832, John and Nancy apparently moved on to Crawford Co., GA where there sons Joel and James had been recorded in the 1830 census. "John Culpepper, Sen[ior]" of "Marshall's, Crawford" drew lot 174 in the 22nd district of section 3 of the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery of Georgia. As a married man who was a U. S. citizen with a son under 18 years of age who was a U. S. citizen and who had lived in Georgia for three years, he would have been entitled to two draws. The land was a 160 acre lot located in the southeast corner of what was Floyd Co., GA and is now on the southern border of Bartow Co., GA near where Paulding and Cobb Co. meet the Bartow Co., line. No record has been found of John and Nancy moving to the land, nor has any record been found of the sale of the land. The family is next noted moving on to Meriwether Co., GA.

In the mid-1830's, John and Nancy Culpepper moved to Meriwether County, GA along with son, William Henry Culpepper, and his family. Another son, George W. Culpepper, was already living in Meriwether Co., GA. John and Nancy bought land there in 1838. A descendant, John William Culpepper, obtained a copy of deed F-396 in which, on 24 May 1838, Eli Peavy sold 50 acres on the north side of land lot #255 in the 8th District of Meriwether County, Georgia, containing 50 acres to John Culpepper for $35.35. John and Nancy were noted in the 1840 census of Meriwether Co., GA (p. 123, John Culpepper 1 male 60-70 with 1 female 50-60 living next to son, William H. Culpepper). The following is an account of John Culpepper as a settler in Greenville, Meriwether Co., GA which appeared in the Greenville, GA Vindicator on April 21, 1905: Nearly eighty years ago a group of hardy yeomanry settled on adjacent farms a few miles northwest of Greenville near the old Ector mill (now Maffett's). They were John, George and William Culpepper, Allen, Eli and David Peavy, Freeman Blount, Daniel Keith, Joel Sears, William Sutherland, Robert Kendrick, James Martin and the Carlisles. At that time these denizens were neither rich or very poor, but self-reliant, self-sustaining and mutually helpful in many ways. Then and in many sequent years it was customary in the country to have log-rollings, house-raisings and wheat-reapings in which the neighbors joined forces either personally or by colored proxy. In the dark hours of sickness, death, or misfortune of any kind the sympathetic hearts and hands of the neighborhood were promptly united to assist and relieve the distressed. This was especially the era of the best men and women of Georgia and from such have sprung those who have done most in the private and public walks of life to conserve true nobility of character, moral and christian civilization. John Culpepper removed in early life from Virginia [according to the 1850 census record, he was born in South Carolina and all indications are that his extended family had recently moved to South Carolina when John Culpepper was born] to South Carolina thence emigrating to Monroe county, Georgia from where he came to Meriwether locating on what is now known as the Willis Jarrell place near town. After residing here some years he disposed of his farm reinvesting in a choice plantation in Randolph county, Ala. Then he spent the remainder of his long life contentedly as he harvested luxuriant crops from the alluvial lands bordering on the Chattahoochee [read Tallapoosa River?]. He belonged to the honest primitive class of citizenry who scorned deceit, lying and trickery, esteeming true character and a good name above filthy lucre and corrupted honors. Though not a churchman, the old patriot was a firm believer in the christian religion as was attested by his conduct in the practice of its precepts. He was the father of eight sons and two daughters, all of whom located in various parts of this state and Alabama. All were substantial highly respected citizens, reflecting honor on their special callings and the name of their revered ancestor. This is a remarkable family for longevity. All attained very old age some of them having lived more than a century.

John William Culpepper also obtained a copy of deed G-458-459 dated 28 Jan 1842 in which George Washington and William Henry Culpepper sold the west half of land lot "#226" [should be 256] which they had purchased in 1838 in the 8th District containing 100 acres, to John Culpepper for $400.00. In a 25 Apr 1995 letter, John William Culpepper wrote:

The Mead Board Company currently owns [lot] 226 [256?] and part of [lot] 225 [255?]. We talked to Bill Gibbs at the Meriwether office and he could not provide any information regarding burial sites on the property, but suggested contacting Tom Brannon at their Yatesville Office in Upson County, which we did. Mr. Brannon pulled out the plat maps and we looked at them without noting any burial sites on the property....

Land Lots 225 & 226 [255? & 256?], 8th District are located approximately 2 to 3 miles northwest of Greenville, about one mile east off of Georgia Route 100 on the Jarrell road. 255 cuts across Jarrell Road.

Eleanor [Willingham] and I located a cemetery nearby lot 255 and just off of the Jarrell Road and it had a number of Peavy graves but no Nancy Culpepper.

It is not clear at what point, John Culpepper moved on to Randolph Co., AL. According to Meriwether Co., GA Deed I-392 obtained by John William Culpepper, John Culpepper and William H. Culpepper sold for $1,000 to Jacob Moon the Meriwether Co., GA District 8 lot 256 containing 202 1/2 acres which George Washington and William H. Culpepper purchased in 1838 half of which John Culpepper purchased from George Washington and William H. Culpepper in 1842. John and William H. Culpepper also sold as part of the package the 50 acres off of the north side of lot 255 which John Culpepper had bought in 1838.

The question that this raises is whether or not John Culpepper moved to Randolph Co., AL before or after Nancy's death. According to Mrs. J. (Clara Haralson) Moorcroft, writing about her grandparents in "THE WILLIAM CULPEPPER AND SALLY LESLIE FAMILY," Clara's mother, Sarah Jane Culpepper, was six years old when the William Henry Culpepper family moved with the widowed John Culpepper from Meriwether Co., GA to Randolph Co., GA. Sarah Jane Culpepper would have been six years old in 1850 and in fact both William Henry and the widowed, John Culpepper were listed in the 1850 Randolph Co., AL census. However, "William H. Culpepper" is noted in Randolph Co., AL land records in 1848. He bought or was granted 39 acres and 24 rods of land (Certificate or Warrant 10628) in the southwest part of the northeast division of Section 10 in Township 22 South, Range 10 East of Randolph Co., AL. The land appears to be to the west of Wadley about half way between the town and Pleasant Hill Church. All records on William Henry's youngest daughter, Caroline F., show that she was born in January 1849 in Alabama. This would seem to verify that the family was already in Alabama by 1849. If John Culpepper was a widower, then it appears that the William Henry Culpepper family moved to Randolph Co., AL with William Henry's father around the time that William Henry Culpepper purchased land there in Aug 1848 and after the July 1848 death of Nancy (Gillespie) Culpepper. A 78 year old John Culpepper was listed (p. 386, family 189) on the 1850 census in Randolph County, AL living nearby his son, William Henry (p. 386, family 183). John listed his birthplace as South Carolina and he owned $5,500 worth of real estate. An 8 year old grandson, Lewis W. Culpepper, a son of William Henry Culpepper, was also listed as living with his grandfather. Unfortunately no record has been found of the land that John Culpepper bought in Randolph Co., AL but based on census records it must have been very close to William Henry's land and probably at least four times as large based on the amount of real estate he was supposed to have owned. Section 11 which covers the western portion of Wadley was already accounted for by early settlers (1835 - 1837) with the exception of one 40 acre portion that William Henry Culpepper purchased in 1855 (poor ink makes the entry almost impossible to read). Section 10 where William Henry had his land seems to be similarly accounted for by people who settled in the late 1830's and 1840's with the exception of another piece of land that William Henry purchased in 1855 which was a parcel immediately north of his own land. The records of Section 3 which was immediately north of Section 11 are in many cases impossible to read because of the poor ink. The entry for John J. Culpepper's land is still legible. It is about the right size to account for the amount of property that John Culpepper owned in 1850 and it is near enough to William Henry to account for the proximity of the census records. Is it possible that John Culpepper actually owned the land that John J. Culpepper was noted with in the 1850 land record?

But according to the letter which follows, John Culpepper had broken up housekeeping by 1853. The question is then where was he living when he died. One possibility is with William Henry. The other possibility is with his daughter, Sarah (Culpepper) Elliott. The Wadley City Cemetery, which is in this grid area, was originally named the Elliott Cemetery and was presumably on land owned by Sarah (Culpepper) Elliott, John Culpepper's daughter. She is believed to have been in the area before 1855 since one of her sons married in Randolph Co., AL in 1855. Sarah was also recorded in the Almond P. O. district in the 1870 census but was not living close to her brothers. In the 1880 census, she was recorded in the Louina P. O. district whereas William Henry was in the Flatrock district. This suggests that she was probably living in the Wadley area. In the 1853 letter which follows, John Culpepper writes of trying to get some of his children to come to Randolph Co., AL. It is possible that Sarah came shortly after this and settled on land that John Culpepper had purchased and that the Wadley City Cemetery land and the land to the south of Wadley where John Jefferson Culpepper descendants were found was at one time owned by John Culpepper.

In 1853, John Culpepper wrote a letter to his son Francis G. in Lavaca County, Texas, which has been preserved all of these years by that branch of the family. He mentions various relatives but unfortunately does not tell us anything of his own ancestry. John died in Randolph County, AL, May 13, 1855.

The following is the letter that John Culpepper, living near Louina, Randolph County, AL wrote to Francis G. Culpepper who had been in Sweet Home, TX for about two years:

______________Randolphs County Ala'a, 26th June 1853
Dear Children,
I rec'd your letter, dated 7th May, on 13th June And was very happy to hear you was all well and hope these lines May still find you Likewise. I have to inform you we are (mostly) Complaining, but all up, its common in our country for complaints And many Deaths, this is 3rd Letter I have wrote, I have just return'd from An uncommon Broad (of two months) and found many of our kin poorly. I shou'd have wrote Sooner but waiting to hear from them, thinking I cou'd Give you their Situation, I find all I have heard from better, but Washingtons oldest Daughter, left this world on Wednesday night 15th last. Sick two months. While gone, I saw mostly our kind, they are something like Old times, not as much alteration as I expected, but great alteration in The Country, Crops thare is Sorry, so it is here, but Wheat is good all over. Very dry now, I have nothing more worth Notice, to inform you. I am glad to hear you are Still pleas'd with your Country, likewise Hear your Children settled near, I thought Daniel was gone. I am glad to hear of Mr. Humphries, I can't git the Boys to write no how nor no whare, Lewis is in Pike Zebulon, by promise him & wife will be Here July, Some others of our relations have promis'd to Come but uncertain. I am trying to git more of them here but don't know how it may turn. I am trading my blacks for Land and quit Houskeeping, but am Lonesom and Dissatisfi'd, Stile, but am Old and cant hear makes more difficulties. But thank God I wore out Shoes fast, and travil all the way alone. I wish to hear from you often, but I don't know how to fix it, I think the falt is In the Post Masters, your letter Lay there 11 days, you never Said anything of a change in your Post Office, this Letter comes from a new name, I understand it Sweet Home whare I have Directed this Letter. Perhaps it wou'd be something more Satisfactory to know whare your Relations Are Settled.

Joels Widow & family (John in Morgan) are at Haralson Viledge Coweta County. Daniels d[itt]o Dead, James & Caroline Talbot yet, John gone West. John Slappey is Living with your Aunt Betsy, he is mar'd got One Child.

The rest is whare you left them. I Dont know of anything more worth your Notice. Write Soon Long Coming, ____________________So Ends _________________________From your Father _____________________/s/ John Culpepper

"Washington's oldest daughter" mentioned in the letter was Nancy Louisan, daughter of George Washington Culpepper, of Meriwether Co. GA, who died June 16, 1853, at 11:25 A.M., according to the G.W.C. Bible record.

"I thought Daniel gone" refers to Daniel Fey Culpepper, the son of Francis Gillespie Culpepper. He did not leave Lavaca Co. TX until around 1900, and died shortly thereafter in Devine, TX.

"Lewis is in Pike Zebulon, by promise him & wife will be Here July" refers to Lewis Peek Culpepper, the youngest son of John W., who lived in Zebulon, GA until 1859, when he moved to Randolph Co. AL. In a letter written in the early 1900's to Rev. George B. Culpepper, a son of Lewis, Joseph Richard Culpepper, mentions going with his father to visit John Culpepper when Joseph was 12 years old, i. e., in 1853.

John Culpepper was not listed as a slave-owner in the 1850 slave schedule of Randolph County, Alabama so it is not clear when or where he got the slaves that he intended to trade "for land."

"This letter comes from Sweet Home" refers to the name that Francis Gillespie Culpepper gave to the land when he arrived in Lavaca County, TX, in the spring of 1851. According to his granddaughter, Jessie Burke Heard, "he stopped the wagons and told the people that this was the place he wanted to make his home, so he then and there named the place Sweet Home."

"Joel's widow and family (John in Morgan) are at Harelson Viledge" refers to Nancy (Corley) Culepper, widow of John's oldest son, Joel, who was in Coweta County, GA in 1850, as were her children, Charles W., Sara A. B., James Benjamin, and Elijah Milton. "John in Morgan" refers to Nancy's oldest son, John L., who was in Morgan Co. GA, and was later killed in the Civil War, at Winchester, VA, on Feb 24, 1862.

"Daniels d[itt]o Dead" is a problem. If it was a reference to his son, Daniel P. Culpepper, as a mental note before going to talk about Daniel's children, James and Caroline, then it is odd since Daniel would have been dead for over 25 years and Francis Culpepper would have known that. If it referred to the fourth son of Joel and Nancy, then it is odd that the death was not noted in the Family Bible of his sister, Mrs. I. W. (Sarah A. B. Culpepper) Sims who did note the death of her brother John in 1862. The abbreviated ditto symbol "do" is under the word Widow of the line above. Possibly the line should be read "Daniels [Widow] Dead" since Daniel's widow, Mary (Corley) Culpepper had died in 1851 the year when Francis G. Culpepper left for Texas and he might not have heard the news.

"James and Caroline Talbot yet, John gone West" refers to James Marion Culpepper and Nancy Caroline Culpepper Cooper who were children of John's son, Daniel Peek Culpepper, who had died in 1825. James and Nancy Caroline were in Talbot Co., GA in 1850. Daniel Peek Culpepper's youngest son was John Francis Culpepper who died in Johnson Co. TX in 1916.

"John Slappey is living with your Aunt Betsey." This reference is to Betsey (Gillespie) Denton Dixon, who was the sister of Nancy Gillespie Culpepper, the wife of John Culpepper. John Slappey or his wife were apparently her relatives. The Slappeys have not been located in 1850 census records.

The graves of John and Nancy (Gillespie) Culpepper have not been found although there are memorial stones for them in the cemetery of the Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Lone Oak, GA. If, as appears to be the case, Nancy died before John Culpepper moved on to Alabama, then she probably is buried somewhere near Greenville, GA. Mrs. Eleanor (Culpepper) Willingham, in a 28 Sep 1987 letter, wrote of trying to locate the graves of John and Nancy Gillespie Culpepper. In Wadley, AL she located a "Mr. Smith" who was "over 80" and who had married a Culpepper descendant who thought that John Culpepper had lived in the neighborhood. He also spoke of a cemetery "down on the [Tallapoosa] river-which would be almost inaccessible." Mr. Smith had not heard that John and Nancy were buried there but said "it could be a possibility." Mr. Charles Lee Culpepper, Sr. wrote 4 Jul 1978: My son [Charles Lee Culpepper, Jr.] said that he went to the Court House of Randolph County, but they told him that all the records were burned during the civil war....

John William Culpepper, a great-great-great-grandson of John and Nancy Culpepper wrote about the Wadley City Cemetery in an 18 Aug 1994 letter: On one of the full length stone slabs covering one of the graves in the Wadley Cemetery, there is carving indicating the individual was buried in 1856. Many of the graves with such rock slabs have no carving. It is an old cemetery, and originally the Elliot family cemetery [John Culpepper's daughter, Sarah married an Elliott]. The grave with the carving is near the grave of Wm. Henry Culpepper [a son of John and Nancy Culpepper].
It is also possible that the unmarked graves are those of Sarah O. (Culpepper) Elliott and her daughter, Cynthia, who are supposed to be buried in the cemetery. 
Family Bible*1969 Mrs. D. W. (Lavyn Wright) Sisco wrote 20 Jan 1978: I am so sorry Ira [Gay] Deam died before I got to visit with her in person. Had it not been for Ira, I probably would have given up looking for ancestors long ago. I began corresponding with her in 1967.... Ira was rich in information. In one letter she mentioned having her notes in a large box--she mentioned about having no one except one young niece [in Atlanta] to leave her records with--she mentioned a cousin, Edith, in Macon [with] whom she exchanged information.... In 1969 I typed some information for her--Bible Record for John W. and N. G. Culpepper.... At one time we were so confused over some ancestor she wrote, "When I get to the great beyond I can't wait to grab all those Culpeppers and say let's get this mess figured out." After Mrs. Deam's death, her daughter, Mrs. W. H.(Gay Deam) Davison, wrote that her mother "left no written records that she could find."12
John Culpepper Bible transcript
Research note1999 He is referenced in a research note for Charles Marion Culpepper (Apocryphal).13,12 


Nancy Gillespie (circa 1778 - 25 Jul 1848)
Marriage*18 May 1794 He married Nancy Gillespie at Richland District, South Carolina, on 18 May 1794 at age 21. 
ChartsHenry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
LWG / Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper Griffin (Lew Griffin's gtgm): Ancestral Chart
Last Edited20 May 2018


  1. 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.
  2. Priscilla Turner, compiler, Meriwether Co., GA Cemeteries, Spartanburg, SC: , 1993, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Book: 975.8455 V39.
    Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church Cemetery, near Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., GA
    + George W. Culpepper, 6 Dec 1808 – 20 Dec 1901.
  3. P 173 (John 1m 26-45 w/5m 0-10, 2m 10-16, 1f 0-10, 1f 16-26, 2f 26-45)
    p 173 Nancy (1 of 2 females 26-45 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 Joel (1 of 2 males age 10-16 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 John J. (1 of 2 males age 10-16 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 Daniel P. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 Sarah O. (1 female 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 Francis G. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 James I. J. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper)
    p 173 George W. (1 of 5 males 0-10 in hh of John Culpepper).
  4. 1810 Federal Census, United States.
    Columbia, Richland District, SC
    John Culpepper, page 173, 5 M0-10, 2 M10-16, 1 M26-45, 1 F0-10, 1 F16-26, 2 F26-45, 16 slaves.
  5. J. W. Culpepper Bible Record, POB from Joseph R. Culpepper.
  6. Edgefield Co. SC Deeds abstracted by Lew Griffin , Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.737 R2.
    Edgefield Deed Bk 43, p. 322.
  7. Abstracted by Lewis W. Griffin, Monroe Co., GA Deeds, 1822-1868, Books A-P, Salt Lake City, UT: Monroe County Superior Court, Published on Microfilm by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1966, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. Films 164,136 - 164,143.
    Book E, page 179.
  8. Abstracted by Lewis W. Griffin, Monroe Co., GA Deeds, 1822-1868, Books A-P, Salt Lake City, UT: Monroe County Superior Court, Published on Microfilm by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1966, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. Films 164,136 - 164,143.
    Book E, Pages 238-239.
  9. 1830 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 194, Unk Twp, Monroe Co., GA (ID: 31566)
    John Culpepper, 1 M10-15, 2 M15-20, 1 M50-60, 1 F50-60.
  10. 1840 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 123, Unk Twp, Meriwether Co., GA
    John Culpepper, 1 M60-70, 1 F50-60.
  11. Census: 1850 in Randolph Co., AL. p 386
    John Culpepper 78 SC $5000 real estate
    Lewis 8 in hh of grandfather John Culpepper.
  12. Lewis W. Griffin Jr. (#47), e-mail address.
  13. Warren L. Culpepper (#1942), Former publisher of Culpepper Connections, e-mail address.