SC Pettypool Family

The Elusive George Pool

The Census of 1790 and 1800 enumerate a George Pool living in Spartanburg county, South Carolina. Using the Census age brackets, he was born before 1774.1 The family in 1800 consisted of one male age under 10 years, one male age 26-44 (presumably George) and four females age less than 10 years, one female age 10-15, and one female 26- 44 (presumably the spouse).

George Pool of Spartanburg does not appear in the Census of 1810 or 1820, at least in Spartanburg or Laurens counties. The next appearance of a George Pool is in the 1830 Census, in Laurens county, South Carolina.2 While it is tempting to connect the two, I do not believe that there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to support a connection.

Spartanburg and Laurens counties do share a border and it is common for families to move back and forth from time to time, so the change of location is not perhaps significant. And as we will see soon, there exists a land transaction that will tempt us to jump to a conclusion about a move from Spartanburg to Laurens.

Taking the often unreliable Census age at face value, the age brackets do not quite match up: George of Spartanburg apparently was born before 1774, but George of Laurens was born between 1791 and 1800 . The composition of the 1830 family– one male age 10- 14, one male age 30 -39 (presumably George); one female age 15- 19 and one female age 20- 29 — certainly could be a later version of the Spartanburg family, if we ignore George’s age. And the ages of the children make a case that Laurens George should have appeared in an earlier Census. However, to date, I have not been able to find a convincing candidate for George of Laurens before 1830.

In 1816 a plat was registered for George, describing “…twenty acres surveyed for him the 7th of November 1816 Situate in Laurens District on the waters of Raiborns Creek.”3 While this could signal a move of George of Spartanburg to Laurens, it equally could be a younger George of Laurens establishing a family. Again, ambiguity reigns.

In 1819, Seth Petty Pool, Thomas P. Pool, and George Pool were bonded to appear and “answer to a bill of indictment to be exhibited by Henry Meredith” for Forcible Entry and Detainour. James Meredith and Herman Waldrop were bonded to appear as witnesses. The case was Nolle Prosequi in the Fall Term, 1820.4 (As a side note, conflict between the Pool and Meridith families was to continue for another generation: there is a story there, if only I could find it.)

In General Sessions court, Spring Term, 1834, there were two indictments of George Pool. One [illegible], found not guilty, one for Trading with Slave, found Guilty. “The defendant having been found Guilty, the court proceeded to pass the following sentence, viz. ‘let the Defendant be imprisoned three months’.”5

George Pool of Laurens has not been found in any subsequent records. Our guide to the early 20th century oral history of the family, Bessie Poole Lamb, describes George as “among other children of Seth Pool of which little is known”.6 She then proceeds to give a short anecdote about George, and then a very specific date of death: 24 November 1835. So presumably there were persons in the early 1900’s who believed that they knew something of George Pool’s history. Unfortunately Ms. Lamb gives us no hint of the source of any of her information on George.

So, we are left with two shadowy George Pool families- or maybe one? Who are the parents of these two George’s? What happened to the Spartanburg family? Why is the Laurens family not in the 1820 Census? Who are the descendants of these two families? If you can shed any light on these two families, please contact me.


  1. 1790 United States Federal Census, Year: 1790; Census Place: Spartanburg, South Carolina; Series: M637; Roll: 11; Page: 22; Image: 33; Family History Library Film: 0568151; family of George Pool. 1800 United States Federal Census, Year: 1800; Census Place: Spartanburg District, South Carolina; Series: M32; Roll: 50; Page: 176; Image: 347; Family History Library Film: 181425; family of George Pool. 
  2. 1830 United States Federal Census, 1830 U S Census: , Laurens, South Carolina, Page: 277; NARA Roll: M19-169; Family History Film: 0022503. 
  3. South Carolina State Plats: Columbia Series 1784- 1860, S213192, Volume 44, Page 202, Item 2, SC Department of Archives & History, 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223. 
  4. Laurens Court of General Sessions Indictment Papers (Recognizance Bonds), Thomas P. Pool, Seth P. Pool & George Pool Bill of Indictment for Forcible Entry & Detainour; SC Department of Archives & History, 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223. 
  5. Laurens County Clerk of Court (General Sessions) General Sessions Journal 1800-1810 1810-1824 1825-1840, Spring Term, 1834, SC Department of Archives & History, 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223. 
  6. Bessie P. Lamb, Mary-Mack Poole Ezell, A GenealogicaL History of the Poole, Langston, Mason Families and Kindred Line of Upper South Carolina, 1931, p. 15.