When my friend Donna Potter Phillips suggested friends look for Potters in their family trees mention in her Potter Profiles blog, I decided I should conduct a search. I was fairly certain, that there wasn't a Potter in my direct line but since I've included my in-laws and a few out-laws in my tree, I'm afraid I can not remember every surname and exactly where it fits in.
I did indeed find some Potters in my tree. They belong in my son-in-law Chris' paternal line. Donna published this information on her Potters' Profiles Blog but I add it here also in an effort to reach additional people.
My son-in-law's 6th great grandfather was Stephen Potter, born about 1744 in England or perhaps Wales. He married, about 1768 in Virginia, Jemima Green. They had at least 8 children among them, Thomas Green Potter. Some researchers report that Stephen served in the South Carolina militia from 24 May 1781 to 14 Jan 1782. Others that he was a mounted soldier in General Pickens' Brigade. He is not listed among in the DAR ancestor database. I have not been able to document this assertion.
Their son Thomas Green Potter was born either in Virginia or in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina about 1775 (date calculated from tombstone). He married Elizabeth Holland, daughter of and William Holland and Ann Wayman, 1 Dec 1814 in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina. Elizabeth died in 1844. There is an obituary for Thomas at www.findagrave.com which lists him as a native of Virginia. It also states that he lived in Spartanburg and Laurens. Deacon Potter "for a period of forty years he was an exemplary member of the Methodist Episcopal Church."
Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children:
Wayman Henry Potter 1816-1890
Nancy Holland Potter 1819-1886
Thomas Coke Potter 1821-1902
Allen T. Potter 1824-1892
Francis Asbury Potter 1826- 1900
George Whitefield Potter 1828 - 1901
Elizabeth Holland Potter 1830 - 1889
The 1820 Census for Spartanburg, Spartanburg, South Carolina, enumerated 7 Aug 1820, lists a Thos G Potter with a household including: 2 free white males under 10; 1 free white male 26-44; 1 free white female under 10; 1 free white female 16-25; on male slave 14-25.
The 1830 Census for Spartanburg enumerates a Thos G Potter household including: 2 free white males under 5; 2 white males 5-9; 3 free white males 10-14; 1 free white male 40-49; 1 free white female 10-14; 1 free white female 30-39 and 1 male slave 24-35.
The 1840 Census for Laurens, South Carolina lists a Thomas Potter in a household with 1 free white male 50-59; 1 free white male 20-20; 2 free white males 15-19; 2 free males 10-14; 1 free white female 10-14; 1 free white female 15-19; 1 free white female 20-29; 1 free white female 50-59; and 1 male slave 36-54.
The 1850 Census for Laurens, South Carolina lists a Thomas Potter, age 60, male, farmer, value of real estate 3100, birthplace Virginia. Also living in the household as Frances A Potter, age 24, Birthplace South Carolina, male; George W. Potter, age 22, male; Elizabeth Potter, age 20 female.
My son-in-law's line descends from Wayman Henry Potter, born 17 Oct 1816 in Cross Anchor, Spartanburg, South Carolina. He married Elizabeth Jane Simpson about 1840 in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina.
The family had at least five children all born in South Carolina
Mary J. Potter 1843
Nancy Potter 1845
Thomas Asbury Potter 1846-1919
Sarah Potter 1849
Amanda B. Potter 1854-1935
The family emigrated to Ouachita County, Arkansas about 1858.
Amanda Bailey Potter, my son-in-law's 3rd great grandmother, was born 12 Feb 1854 in South Carolina. She married Robert Weir Copeland (1852-1921) in 1874. The family made their home in Jackson, Nevada County, Arkansas and she lived in the county the rest of her life. The Copelands had six children:
S. E. Copeland 1876
Fannie Bailey Copeland 1879-1921
Edgar W Copeland 1881
Joe Bell Copeland 1884
Amry R Copeland 1889
Lizzie Faye Copeland 1893-1978
My son-in-law descends form Fannie Bailey Copeland so I do not have any additional information on Potters. Perhaps, someone will have information on Stephen Potter's Revolutionary War service in the South Carolina militia.
The Potter surname is one of many whose origin can be found in the occupation of those originally named such. In this case, the national origin is undoubtedly from the British Isles but it might well be English, Irish, Welsh or Scots.
You, of course, know the answers. Wish you could share them with us....