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Early Woolhopters in Savannah, GA
Posted by: Louis Corl (ID *****2411) Date: November 05, 2007 at 13:41:04
In Reply to: Wolhaupter Surname in Savannah, GA by regina mason of 17

The name Woolhopter (or Wolhopter) has a long history in Georgia, but little anywhere else. It also seems to have come from Wolhaupter in New York or New Brunswick in modern Canada.

At heritagequestonline.com there is a copy of a book with title "A COPY OF THE POLL LIST OF THE ELECTION FOR REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE City and County of NEW-YORK; WHICH ELECTION BEGAN On Monday the 23rd Day of January, and ended on Friday the 27th, of the same Month, in the Year of our LORD, MDCCLXIX." David Woolhopter is listed as an elector for some of the candidates in this election in 1769. Is this the David Woolhopter mentioned by John Augustus Wood Wolhaupter (in his August 10, 2001, posting to the Wolhaupter Family Forum of GenForum) owning property (to qualify as an elector) in New York before moving later to Georgia where he "owned over 1000 acres of land ... [and] owned and ran one of Savannah's leading newspapers?"

In the BENNETT, HUTSON, JAMES, LEE, PENDARVIS, STREET and Others family tree in the Ancestry World Tree Project at ancestry.com there is a David Woolhopter who is shown to have been born in New York, New York, and to be the father of Phillip David Woolhopter, born in 1769 in New York, New York. No other information is given for David. All this information is also in the Bennett, Hutson, James, Lee, Pendarvis, Street family tree in the Public Member Trees at ancestry.com.

Woolhopter as Newspaper Publisher and Editor

Also at heritagequestonline.com there is a copy of a book with title "PROCEEDINGS OF THE American Antiquarian Society AT THE ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN WORCESTER OCTOBER 15, 1913" that has a chapter "Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820" by Clarence S. Brigham. One of the newspapers discussed is the [Savannah] Columbian Museum that had been established in 4 March 1796 without any Woolhopter but was published starting 12 December 1797 by Gurdon I. Seymour and Philip D. Woolhopter. Several changes in ownership followed with Philip D. Woolhopter becoming sole proprietor 17 July 1809. The paper merged with the Savannah Gazette on 3 February 1817 under the ownership of Kappel, Crow & Co. What is the relationship of Philip D. Woolhopter in Savannah to David Woolhopter in New York?

In a document titled "The Louisiana Purchase: A Political Dog Fight in Print" by Alford Thomas with a date of March 31, 2004, that was found at http://mgagnon.myweb.uga.edu/4070/04SP4070-Thomas.htm, there was a consideration of how newspapers of Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, handled the 1803 cession of the Louisiana Territory. One newspaper examined was "The Columbia Museum and Savannah Advertiser," whose founders were "Gurdon Seymour and Phillip Woolhopter." Was that newspaper the one David Woolhopter owned and operated?

A copy of a book titled "SAVANNAH DUELS AND DUELLISTS 1733-1877" by Thomas Gamble that was found at heritagequestonline.com contains several references to Seymour and Woolhopter as editors of the "Museum." In one they were protecting the identity of an anonymous author. In another they were portrayed as minority Federalists imprudently antagonizing the majority Republican and Democratic sentiment of Savannah. In a third they are setting out their policy of not interferring with or accepting any responsibility for the "scurrilous or indecent epithets" employed in paid advertisements by individuals with grievances against others.

In a document titled "Georgians and the Undeclared War of 1812" by Lee Carter, 5 April 2004, that was found at http://mgagnon.myweb.uga.edu/students/4070/04SP4070-Carter.htm there is a discussion of how the War of 1812 was treated in the Georgia newspapers. One sentence says, "The editor of the Columbian Museum, Philip Wolhopter, realized that what was contemporarily known as the 'Amelia Expedition' (the Patriot War) was popular in the area."

This is the last of the associations found so far of the Woolhopter name with Georgia newspapers. There are also associations of the Woolhopter name in Georgia with printers of books and other documents.

Woolhopter (or Wolhopter) as Printer

In response to a Georgia State University graduate student's query about "a rare book published in 1800 by Seymour and Woolhofter[sic] (on the bay), located in Savannah, Georgia," a document was posted 16 November 1992 at http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/exlibris/1992/11/msg00093.html in which SJW Gordon of the American Antiquarian Society supplies some information about early printers (of Savannah?) that included:

"1797-1802 Seymour & Woolhopter (G.I. Seymour and Philip D. Woolhopter)
1802-1804 Seymour, Woolhopter & Stebbins (G.I. Seymour, P.D. Woolhopter and Francis Stebbins)
1804-1809 Seymour & Woolhopter (as above)

Dates: Philip D. Woolhopter, 1769?-1818"

The name of the printer is also given as "Seymore and Woolhofter" in the same graduate student's query.

The next question is whether this printer is the David Woolhopter mentioned by John Augustus Wood Wolhaupter in his GenForum posting as owning property and a newspaper in Savannah? The David Woolhopter who was an elector in New York in 1769 could have been the father of Philip D. Woolhopter, 1769?-1818, who first appears as a printer in Savannah in about 1797.

There are several other examples of old books that were printed by one of the firms with a Woolhopter as a part owner. One is titled "A Sermon, Occasioned by the Death of Lieutenant-General George Washington, Late President of the United States of America; Who Was Born, February 11th, 1732, in Virginia, and Died, December 14th, 1799, on Mount Vernom, His Favorite Seat in His Native Country; First Delivered in the Baptist Church, Savannah, Georgia, January 19th, 1800, and Now Published, at the Request of the Honorable City Council," and was written by "Henry Holcomb, Minister of the Word of God in Savannah" as described on page 17 of a catalog at http://www.hcaauctions.com/PDF/2007-3.PDF.

Another is listed in the copy of the "INVENTORY of the COUNTY ARCHIVES OF GEORGIA NO. 106 MUSCOGEE COUNTY (Columbus)" found at heritagequestonline.com. The book was printed by Woolhopter & Stebbins in 1802 and was titled "Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia, from Its Settlement as a British Province, in 1755 to the Session of the General Assembly in 1800, Inclusive. ..."

The University of Georgia Board of Trustees Minutes 1794-1817 found at http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/archives/trustees/1794-1817.html have a resolution on Monday 14th, November 1803, "that the President draw an Order in favor of the legal Representatives of John Habersham esq. for $18:14 paid by him for printing for the Board of Trustees to Nichs. Johnson and Seymour & Wolhopter of Savannah."

Early Woolhopter Records

An index at ancestry.com to "New York, Marriage Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1880 (Barber Collection)" has a listing for the publication in 1804 of a wedding of Philip D. Woolhopter to Sara Moecock. The image or record has not yet been viewed.

The index to "Georgia Census, 1790-1890" at ancestry.com has 7 entries in 1806 for P. D. Woolhopter of someplace other than Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia, and another entry for "and Seymour Woolhopter" that is also not in Savannah. This second name is suggestive not of a person, but of the Seymour & Woolhopter printing firm. These records have not been viewed yet to figure out what the 7 entries are for individually or whether the printing firm has a census record.

The index to the "War of 1812 Service Records" at ancestry.com has an entry for Philip D. Woolhopter inducted into and discharged from a militia company(?) with the rank of a private. Without viewing the record it is not known what the company was or any dates of this service.

"The Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave, Brought Down to the Present Time," published by the author in 1855 was found in an electronic edition at http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/grimes55/grimes55.html. William Grimes lived from 1784 to 1865 and tells a brief story of one undated period in his life:

"As Mr. Sturges was intending to remove to New York, he sold out all his property, and every thing he could wish to part with. He talked very strong of taking me on with him to New York; but after consideration altered his mind, and hired me out to a Mr. Wolhopter, a printer, in Savannah. I lived with Mr. Wolhopter all that summer, and drove his horses and carriages all about there, and out to White Bluff, where he had hired a seat for the summer, supposing it to be a healthy situation, which indeed it was; but we were tormented with mosquitoes and such other insects as infest that country, (called by different names,) to a great degree, so that we could hardly sleep at nights. We were alternately at this place and at Savannah for the space of four or five months. At the expiration of that time, Mr. Wolhopter removed back to Savannah, with his family, and I accompanied them. I will here mention that during the time I resided at White Bluff, at the request of Mr. Wolhopter I often went a fishing, and the rays of the sun beating down more severe there than where I had formerly lived, it created an ague and fever, which reduced me so low that even my attending physician, Dr. Collock. (who attended me strictly for about four months,) despaired of my life; and often since that time being borne down, under the afflictions that a slave often experiences-and indeed too often-I have wished his predictions had proved true."

A document with title "CHATHAM COUNTY, GA - Colonial Park Cemetery" that was contributed by Larry Childs and was found at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ga/chatham/cemeteries/colonialpark.txt has entries for headstones:

"Phillip Woolhopter
Feb. 11, 1818
Aged 49 years"

and

"Ann Woolhopter
Died 1800
10 months 27 days"

and

"Elizabeth Woolhopter
Died 1813
Aged 14 months"

This cemetery is located in Savannah, Georgia, and was active from 1750 to 1853. The age of 49 years for Phillip Woolhopter in 1818 would put his birth in 1768 or 1769, so it seems likely that he is the same as Philip D. Woolhopter, 1769?-1818, from the list of printers. Were Ann and Elizabeth his young children? If not, then whose were they?

An index at ancestry.com to "New York, Death Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1890 (Barber Collection)" has a listing for the publication in 1818 of the death of Philip Woolhopter. The image or record has not yet been viewed.

There are entries in the Bennett, Hutson, James, Lee, Pendarvis, Street family tree in the Public Member Trees at ancestry.com for:

Phillip David Woolhopter
Birth: 1769 - New York, New York
Death: 1818 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA

Sarah Ann Woolhopter
Birth: 1810 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA
Death: 1810 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA

Elizabeth M. Woolhopter
Birth: 1811 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA
Death: 1813 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA

Phillip David Woolhopter
Birth: 1818 - Georgia, USA
Death: 1880 - Georgia, USA

This is one of the few sources that gives David for the middle name of either of the Phillip (or Philip?) D. Woolhopters. In this tree the older Phillip has a father named David Woolhopter and an unknown mother. He is listed as the father for the three younger Woolhopters but their mother is also listed as unknown. Could the Ann Woolhopter from the headstone be Sarah Ann Woolhopter from this tree with a misreading of 1800 for 1810 on the headstone?

In the BENNETT, HUTSON, JAMES, LEE, PENDARVIS, STREET and Others family tree in the Ancestry World Tree Project at ancestry.com there is a Phillip David Woolhopter who is shown to have been born in 1769 in New York, New York, as the son of a David Woolhopter. A note has him jointly publishing the Columbian Museum (or Savannah-Columbian Museum) from 1797 to 1809 and sole owner until 1817. He is shown to have died 11 Feb 1818 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA; been buried in Feb 1818 in Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia; and to be the father of:

Sarah Ann Woolhopter, b: 1810 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA
Elizabeth M Woolhopter, b: 1811 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA
Phillip David Woolhopter, b: 1818 in Georgia, USA

His spouse is listed as Unknown Unknown. Sarah Ann is shown to have died in 1810 and been buried in Colonial Park Cemetery, Sav., Chatham Co., Ga., that same year. Elizabeth M. is shown to have died in 1813 and been buried in Colonial Park Cemetery that same year.

In the Dodd9Feb2006 family tree in the Ancestry World Tree Project at ancestry.com there is a Philip D. WOOLHOPTER who is shown to have been born in 1769. He is shown to have died in 1864. His spouse is named Catherine MORCOCK and no children are shown. This family tree has her father Samuel MORCOCK, died in 1778; her mother Catherine DAVIS, born in 1744 and died in 1813; and her siblings Avis MORCOCK, born in 1775 and died in 1811; William MORCOCK; and Sarah MORCOCK. Is it possible that Philip married Catherine before the marriage in 1804 to Sara Moecock announced in a newspaper story mentioned above? Is it possible that Sara Moecock from that newspaper story is actually Sarah MORCOCK, the sister of Catherine MORCOCK? Could the infant Ann Woolhopter, died 1800, from the Colonial Park Cemetery list be a child of a first marriage for Philip to Catherine before the 1804 wedding to Sara Moecock?

Early Censuses

Georgia was not included in the census data at ancestry.com or hertitagequestonline.com for 1790, 1800, or 1810. A search for Wolhopter, Woolhopter, or Wolhaupter in those censuses returned nothing in the part of the nation included.

A search for Wolhopter, Woolhopter, or Wolhaupter in the census data for 1820 at ancestry.com gave nothing nationwide. However, the site heritagequestonline.com has an entry in the 1820 census for Mrs. Woolhofter in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, and the image of the census record shows her as the head of a household of 23 persons, 13 of them slaves. In the Free White Males columns there are 3 from 0 to 9 years old and 2 from 26 to 44 years old. In the Free White Females columns there are 2 from 0 to 9 years old, 1 from 10 to 15 years old, and 2 from 26 to 44 years old. In other columns 1 person is shown employed in Commerce and 1 person is shown employed in Manufactures. In the Slaves columns there are 6 males from 0 to 13 years old, 1 female 0 to 13 years old, and 4 females 26 to 44 years old. Is this the widow of Phillip D. Woolhopter (died 1818)? There was no 1820 census record at ancestry.com of any household headed by a Woolhofter.

A search for Woolhopter, Wolhopter, or Wolhaupter in the census data for all states in 1830 at ancestry.com gave only:

Sarah Wolhopter, Savannah Columbia Ward, Chatham County, Georgia

Only heads of households are named in this census, so is this the widow of Phillip D. Woolhopter (died 1818)? The heritagequestonline.com image of the census record in the Columbia Ward of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, at Series: M19 Roll: 16 Page: 246 (Image 13) shows quite clearly that the last name is Woolhopter. This image shows in the Free White columns 3 males between 20 and 29 years old, 2 females between 15 and 19 years old, and 1 female between 30 and 39 years old. In the Slaves columns it shows 7 males from 0 to 35 years old and 9 females from 0 to 35 years old. The total household is 22 persons.

A search for Wolhopter, Woolhopter, or Wolhaupter in the census data for 1840 at ancestry.com gave nothing nationwide. However, at heritagequestonline.com there is an image of the census record in the Columbia Ward of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, at Series: M704 Roll: 50 Page: 63 (Image 1) with Sarah Woolhopter as the head of household. This image has in the Free White Males columns 1 person between 20 and 29 years old. In the Free White Females columns there are 2 persons 15 to 19 years old and 1 person 50 to 59 years old. In the Slaves columns there is a male 0 to 9 and 2 females 0 to 9, 3 females 10 to 23, 2 females 24 to 35, and 1 female 36 and over, for a total household of 13 persons. In another column 1 family member was reported as employed in Commerce.

A document cached by Google at http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:9eUeqg0GNLwJ:www.fhsu.edu/~phrp/Selleck/David(4)/genealogy.html+%22Elizabeth+Morris%22+Woolhopter&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en has the title "Descendants of David Selleck, Son of Nathaniel Selleck & Sara Lockwood." It was retrieved by Google May 31, 2007, but was no longer available 9 July 2007 at http://www.fhsu.edu/~phrp/Selleck/David(4)/genealogy.html. It will be referred to as the David Selleck(4) Genealogy in this accounting and has one individual descended from the David Selleck(4) base of the tree:

8 Elizabeth Morris SELLECK b: 21 Sept 1821 at New York, NY d: 12 Feb 1903 at Savannah m: at [blank]
+ Philip D. Woolhopter b: at Savannah, GA ca 1813 m 11 Jan 1847 at Augusta, GA

The index to "Georgia Marriages to 1850" at ancestry.com has a listing for the marriage of P. D. Woolhopter to Elizabeth Sellick in 1847 in Richmond County, Georgia. The record has not yet been viewed.

There is no information in the David Selleck(4) Genealogy on the descendants of this couple, but the parents of Elizabeth are listed as:

Frederick William SELLECK b: 26 June 1791 at Rome, NYd: 9 Sept 1839 at Augusta, GA
+ Sarah Ann MORRIS b: 10 April 1804 at New York, NY d: 6 June 1880 at Savannah, GA m: 12 September 1820 in New York, NY

In the BENNETT, HUTSON, JAMES, LEE, PENDARVIS, STREET and Others family tree in the Ancestry World Tree Project at ancestry.com the parents of the Elizabeth Selleck, born in 1827, who married Phillip David Woolhopter, born in 1818 in Georgia, USA, are listed as:

Frederick SELLECK b: 1791 in New York, New York
Sarah Ann MORRIS b: 1803 in New York, New York, died aft. 1880 in Georgia, USA

There is also a tree, Bennett, Hutson, James, Lee, Pendarvis, Street in the Public Member Trees at ancestry.com, that has:

Frederick Selleck, born in 1791 in New York, New York

and his spouse:

Sarah Ann Morris, born in 1803 in New York, New York, died in 1880 in Georgia, USA

who had a daughter:

Elizabeth Selleck, born in 1827 in New York, New York, died in Georgia, USA

who married:

Phillip David Woolhopter, born in 1818 in Georgia, USA, died in 1880 in Georgia, USA

The Selleck research family tree in the Ancestry World Tree Project at ancestry.com has the parents of the Elizabeth M. SELLECK who married Philip David WOOLHOPTER:

Frederick W. SELLECK, born 1791 and died 1839
Sarah Ann MORRIS

married 12 Sep 1820 in New York, New York, and the parents of 2 other children:

Marie Antoinette SELLECK b: 1831
Kate SELLECK

There is another tree, Page Family Tree in the Public Member Trees at ancestry.com, that has:

Frederick Selleck, born in 1791 in New York City, New York, USA, died in 1839 in Augusta, Richmond, Georgia, USA

and his spouse:

Sarah Ann Morris, born in 1815 in New York, New York, USA, died in Augusta, Richmond, Georgia, USA

but no daughter Elizabeth is shown for this couple.

1850 Census

When Woolhopter, Wolhopter, or Wolhaupter in the 1850 census (the first that listed all the names of free persons) nationwide was the target for an ancestry.com search the only matching (or close) individuals found were:

Catharine D. Woolhepter, born about 1817
Margaret M. Woolhepter, born about 1815
Philip D. Woolhepter, born about 1819
Sarah Woolhepter, born about 1774
Laura Woolhopter, born about 1840
Philip Woolhopter, born about 1838
T. B. Woolhopther, born about 1815

all in District 13, Chatham County, Georgia, except T. B. Woolhopther, resident of Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. All these persons were born in Georgia. The image of the census record at heritagequestonline.com for 13-Dist, Chatham County, Georgia, Series: M432 Roll: 64 Page: 197 (Image 197), for Sarah Woolhepter shows only Margaret, Catharine, and Philip D. in her household. Are they her children or grandchildren? Was she the widow of the printer, Philip D. Woolhopter, 1769?-1818? Sarah has a real estate value of 3500, Philip D. has an occupation of Merchant, and the Color column is blank for all 4 just below a household of 2 individuals who are labeled M. The slave schedule for the 1850 census at ancestry.com shows Sarah Woolhopter of District 13, Chatham County, Georgia, owning 12 unnamed slaves (8 female and 4 male) ranging in age from 55 to 6 years old. Could this Philip D., born about 1819, be the Philip, born ca 1813, of the marriage to Elizabeth Morris Selleck in 1847 from the David Selleck(4) Genealogy? If so, where is Elizabeth in the 1850 census?

The image of the census record at heritagequestonline.com for 13-Dist, Chatham County, Georgia, Series: M432 Roll: 64 Page: 93 (Image 93), for Philip and Laura shows that they complete the household of:

Margaret Gindont, born about 1800 in Georgia

according to the ancestry.com index. Her last name might also be read from the image as Guidrat. The image shows her sex to be M and all 3 individuals are labeled M in the Color column. Is Philip D. Woolhepter the father of Philip Woolhopter and Laura Woolhopter? Or for that matter is T. B. Woolhepther a brother of Philip and/or the father of these 2 children? Was their mother a slave owned by Sarah?

Familysearch.org has a pair of individual records in the International Genealogical Index v5.0 for North America with:

Laura L. Woolhopter, born about 1852 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, and marrying Robert A. Lowe about 1870 in one or 1873 in the other in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia. The 1870 marriage record has a child, Philip Alexander Lowe, born 1874 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, and has Robert A. Lowe born about 1848 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia.

The Hankinson Family of Augusta, Georgia, in Public Member Trees at ancestry.com has entries for:

Philip David Woolhopter, born in 1838 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia

and his spouse:

Elizabeth A. Selleck, born in 1834 in New York, New York, New York

and her parents:

Frederick Selleck, born in 1803 in New York, New York, New York, died in 1839 in Augusta, Richmond, Georgia
Sarah Ann Morris, born in 1804 in New York, New York, New York, died in 1880 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia

This family tree has no information about any children of Philip and Elizabeth or the parents of Philip. Is it possible that Philip born in 1838 in this family tree and Philip born ca 1813 in the David Selleck(4) Genealogy both married daughters of Frederick Selleck and Sarah Ann Morris? There are some differences, with Elizabeth A., born in 1834, in the first case and Elizabeth Morris, born in 1821, in the second. Also Frederick in the first case is born in 1803 in New York City and in the second case in 1791 in Rome, NY. Could Sarah Ann have married 2 different Frederick Sellecks and had 2 daughters named Elizabeth? Or are there errors somewhere in these trees?

The image of the census record at heritagequestonline.com for 716-Dist, Bibb County, Georgia, Series: M432 Roll: 61 Page: 162 (Image 22), shows that T. B. Woolhopther is a Bank Agt. The Color column is blank for him and all the other individuals (11) in the Mary B. Coleman household. Could he be the brother of Margaret, Catharine, and Philip D. Woolhepter?

An 1859 Savannah City Directory found at http://www.rootsweb.com/~gachath2/1859SavCityDirW.html has listings for:

Selleck, C. H.; Clerk, Jno. M. Cooper & Co.; bds. 81 Taylor

Wolhopten, M.; * [in the occupation column]; h. 81 Taylor
...
Whoolhopter, Mrs.; * [in the occupation column]; h. SW cor. York & Habersham
Woolhopter, P. D.; Book Keeper, C. A. L. Larmar; h. 81 Taylor bt. Barnard & Whitaker

with Woodward, Mrs. Ann, coming before the Whoolhopter listing. Since the list is otherwise alphabetical I think the first h in Whoolhopter is a typographical error. P. D. Woolhopter and M. Wolhopten share the same home address; who is M. Wolhopten? Who is the Mrs. Whoolhopter? Could she be the elderly mother of P. D. Woolhopter, possibly the Sarah Woolhepter of the 1850 census or is she his wife, Elizabeth Morris Selleck?

According to the David Selleck(4) Genealogy Elizabeth Morris Selleck (Woolhopter) had a younger brother:

Clarence Hanford Selleck, b. 18 Sept. 1837 at Augusta, GA, d. 27 June 1863 at Fairfield, TN, unmarried

Is he boarding with his brother-in-law P. D. Woolhopter?


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