Jacob Pennington

Son of Abraham


There are numerous Jacob Penningtons in Group 8, the earliest of which is the Jacob listed as a son in the will of Abraham Pennington, written 1755 in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Jacob, son of Abraham, was probably born in northern Virginia, Maryland, or southern Pennsylvania around 1716. In the 1740s, Jacob was living in Frederick County, Virginia, but by 1748 he had purchased land in South Carolina.

Jacob wrote his will in Berkeley County, SC in 1762, mentioning daughters Mary (Noble), Sarah (Bright), Abigail (Casey-note: in the will, it is spelled "Cassey", not "Cafey" as is given in many published transcriptions), Charity, Elizabeth, Delilah, brother Abraham, wife Mary.  No sons are mentioned.  Executors were his wife Mary and son-in-law James Bright.  The will states that Jacob is healthy, and that his wife is bearing a child.  Further, the will dictates that a parcel of land be set aside for sale upon the death or remarriage of his widow Mary, with proceeds of the sale to go to the unborn child.  Jacob's will was proved around 1774 and records surrounding the estate settlement show that Jacob had not one, but three more children: Naomi, Jacob, and Ruth.

Based on one of Jacob's deeds in Frederick County, Virginia, it is believed that Jacob's first wife was named Charity, last name unknown. His second wife was Mary-daughter of John Cannon, progenitor of the Newberry District (SC) Cannons. Following Jacob's death, Mary remarried Abraham (or Abram) Gray of the Laurens District.  Based on records surrounding Mary and Abraham Gray, it appears that there may have been a fourth child born to Jacob and Mary between 1762 and 1774.  This would be a John Pennington, who migrated to Caldwell County, Kentucky before 1810.

Jacob is of some historical note in South Carolina by virtue of having constructed a fort ("Pennington's Fort") which provided a refuge for beleaguered settlers during the Cherokee Wars of the 1760's. He has numerous descendants, many of whom descend from his daughters who married into the Casey, Powers and other lines.

Among the other Jacob Pennington's was the Jacob who brought his family to Lawrence County, TN around 1816 ("Jacob-TN", click here for more on Jacob-TN).  Many researchers believe that Jacob-TN is the same Jacob who born to Jacob and Mary Cannon Pennington between 1762 and 1774.  Finding proof for this connection is the goal of several researchers including myself.

More information is presented in the timeline/summary below.


Jacob Pennington timeline


First-some comments and disclaimers

Circa 1716: Jacob Pennington born. The location is unknown, but may have been somewhere around Cecil County, MD.

5 Mar 1744 (Frederick County, VA): Jacob Pennington bonded, along with several other men, to enable Jacob to serve as administrator of estate of Samuel Williams [PP 12-1, p. 42].

5 Mar 1746 (Frederick County, VA): Indenture made between Jacob Pennington and John Harding for sum of 5 shillings for 100 acres of land on west side of Shenendoah River. Land was part of Abraham Pennington's 3 Oct 1734 patent. Jacob's wife Charity relinquished her dower rights [PP 12-1, p. 42].

Oct 1747: Jacob Pennington of Frederick County, VA grants his "trusty & well beloved friend Isaac Pennington" power of attorney [PP 12-1, p. 42]. This action might have been taken in preparation for Jacob's subsequent migration to SC.

1748: Jacob buys land from John and Elizabeth Frasher on "low grounds of the Congaree" in SC [Charleston Deed Book, see "James Stark...."].

1749: Jacob petitions for 350 acres of land on Savannah River in SC, states he came from PA with his wife and 5 children. Later, petitioned for a change in location to Newberry County, says he's from VA [PP 24-1, p. 74-76, article summarizes info in "A Tale of Mid-Cities", published by the Mid-Cities Genealogy Society].

1755: Jacob buys 200 acres from John and Rachel Fairchild [Charleston Deed Book, see "James Stark...."].

1760: Jacob "built a fort or stockaded house for the use of his family and friends on the Enoree River, about three miles below present day Whitmire" (see article on Penningtons Fort, by Mary Ann Johnson, Old Newberry District Quarterly, Spring 1994, vol. 3, no. 1). "Pennington's Fort" is mentioned in numerous documents and appears on old maps of the Enoree region.

1761: Jacob and his brother Abraham were investigated on charges of conspiring to defraud settlers seeking the protection of Pennington's Fort. No case was proven.

Dec 1762: Jacob writes his will in Berkeley County, SC. The will mentions daughters Mary (Noble), Sarah (Bright), Abigail (Casey, written as "Cassey" in the will), Charity, Elizabeth, Delilah, brother Abraham, wife Mary (pregnant), no sons. Executors: wife Mary, son-in-law James Bright. Indicates he has land holdings on Beaver Dam Creek and at "mouth of Indian Creek". Jacob was of good health at the time the will was written [note: Jacob had lived on Indian Creek, a tributary of the Enoree River, before moving to Beaver Dam Creek, which is a tributary of the Saluda River.]

19 Sep 1764: Jacob Pennington and his wife Mary sells 390 acres to William Murray. Land was part of Jacob's 1754 grant [from Ruth Dickey's "The Penningtons of Big Buffalo", p. 7].

1770: Jacob and wife Mary convey 300 acres on south side of "Broad River on King's River, now Enoree" above William Ferguson's land including "Great Cane Bottom", to Alexander Lockhart of Tryon, NC.

2 Dec 1774: Inventory of Jacob's estate (thus, one assumes he died in 1774).

18 Mar 1777: Inventory on 250 acres land belonging to Jacob Pennington-deceased. Jacob's 1762 will had stipulated that 250 acres be set aside for the child his wife Mary was carrying.

22 Jul 1784: Abbeville, SC probate court-Levi Casey, Charles King, and Henry White bonded in the amount of 2000 pounds stirling for the estate of Ruth, Jacob, and Naomi Pennington.

25 Dec 1784: Charles King and Levi Casey received from Abraham Grey and his wife (Mary, widow of Jacob Pennington, deceased) 200 pounds sterling for full and fair portion of the estate of Jacob Pennington, deceased, belonging to Ruth, Jacob, and Naomi.

Nov 1789: John Thomas verified under oath that Ruth, Jacob, and Naomi, Charles King and Levi Casey, were all satisfied with the settlement. As Joint Guardians and Trustees, of the legatees, and Abram Grey, Mary his wife, and James Bright as executors were fully satisfied. This indicates that Ruth, Jacob, and Naomi were of age and did receive their inheritance by November 1789 [info on Jacob's later children submitted to PP by Helene Stone, Sunland CA. See PP 13-1 and PP 2-2, p. 68].