While there does not appear to be a single, reliable document to account for the origins of the many Lupo (Luper, Looper) families that appear in North and South Carolina following the Revolution, numerous clues covering over fifty years and at least four states suggests that many descend from the sons of James Lupo, Sr. of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. James' will, recorded in September, 1790 names three sons, William, James and Laban and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth Gray Lupo. Of these named sons, William does not appear on the Virginia census from 1782, nor does he appear as an executor of his father's will as does Laban and James, Jr. William does appear in a state census in North Carolina taken around 1784 and by this time he already has a sizable family. Of the named executors, James is the only one to appear in court in 1790 when the will was probated but appears to have migrated to North Carolina shortly thereafter and Laban appears in Robeson County, NC before 1800. Others identified with the surnames Luper and Looper in early census records from North and South Carolina cannot be definitively connected to this particular family, though they may be descendants of another line of the Virginia or English Lupos, or they may be descendants of a Looper family which has been traced back to Pennsylvania and is said to have been of Dutch or Irish origins, though this family may also be connected to the English or Virginia Lupos.
William Lupo of Johnston County, NC
Deed records from Johnston County, NC show that in 1784 William Lupo purchased at least 100 acres of land from Joshua Hayls or Hails and his wife Amy, who are listed as living in Edgecombe County, NC, which at one time bordered Johnston. William does not appear to have held onto this tract very long, and it is likely he was using it to farm tobacco, which tended to decimate the land. From 1784 until 1795, William bought, then sold several tracts of land, usually within a few months of the purchase, which supports this assumption. On the 1784 tax lists, however, he is recorded as owning 420 acres, though no corresponding deeds have been found to account for all of this property. He also received a grant of 265 acres of land in Johnston County in 1794 (Grant# 1275, issued 17 December 1794, entry 343, entered 16 May 1793, book 86, page 352), and purchased a grant from David Sauls for 200 acres, also in Johnston County (Grant #1277, issued 17 December 1794, entry 299, book 86, page 353) for which William paid with an amount of tobacco.
On census enumerations made in 1784 and 1790, William's family is reported as follows. As can be seen by the 1790 Census of Johnston County, NC, William's family grew slightly over the intervening six years.
1 male 21 and over
2 males under 21
0 other free
2 males 16 and older
2 males under 16
0 other free persons
In the absence of other information, the assumption must be made that the individuals listed in his household in 1784 are William, his wife and their children. In addition to William and his wife, there are 2 males and 4 females. If these represent individual births, occurring 18-24 months apart, William and his wife probably were married between 1772 to 1775. Assuming William was at least 21 when he married, he would have been born 1751-54.
In 1787, William appears as a witness in a court case involving William Ward and John Rhodes, for which David Bell acted as security. David Bell also acts as witness to several deeds involving William. In the court case in 1787, William acted as security for the appearance of John Fields and John Dimont. In 1792, William purchased items from the estate of John Norris, and in October of 1804, Sallie L. Lupo, who is possibly William's wife, widow or daughter, is a purchaser in the estate sale of neighbor Abner Sauls. No estate record has been found on William in Johnston County, NC, but he can be found in records there until the end of 1794 when he disappears completely. The family vanishes from Johnston County records between 1795 and 1804, which suggests that either William died and his widow and minor children are living with in-laws or that William or his family left the area after 1794 and portions of it remained behind or moved back before 1804.
There are records of a William Lupo in Montgomery County, Georgia who appears on jury lists between 1804 and 1805 and on an insolvent tax list in 1802, 1803 and 1804 and there are tax and jury lists showing a John Lupo in Montgomery County, GA during this same time. On the two tracts of land granted to William Lupo in 1794, John Lupo is listed as a chain bearer on both with Joseph Jacobs appearing as the second chain bearer on one and William Jones, Jr. appearing on the other. William Jones shows up later as bondsman for William Lynch, who married Polly Lupo in Johnston County in 1809. In 1807, Sally Lupo married Jesse Penny in Johnston County and in 1812, Patience "Loppae" appears as a witness to the will of Sarah Carroll (sons Alexander, Isaac, Hardy, James, Caleb Penny; daughters Ann and Frances Atkins, Esther Sturdivant, Lecy Johnson, Sally Penny), the widow of Caleb Penny who married William Carrell or Carroll around 1806. William Carroll may be connected to the Carrell/Carroll family of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, with whom the Lupos intermarried. He died in 1809 and it is of interest to note that his will mentions that at the time of his death, he was living in Georgia, away from his family in Johnston County. If the William Lupo who shows up in Montgomery County, GA was William Lupo from Johnston County, NC, this suggests he was alive until at least 1805, but so far, no record has been found to conclusively demonstrate that the William in Georgia was the William from Johnston County, NC. It appears the family may have moved to Washington County, Georgia between 1806 and 1820. Most Washington County records prior to 1825 were destroyed in a courthouse fire.
Based on the scant existing information regarding William's family, people with his surname who show up in Johnston County around and just after the time he was active there and a process of elimination between James and Laban, William's family probably looked something like this:
William Lupo, born 1751-1754, Isle of Wight County, Virginia; died 1795-1805, possibly North Carolina or Georgia; married ? probably 1772-1775 in Virginia or North Carolina; wife may have been a Bell, a Sauls or a Giles. Their suspected offspring:
John, born 1775-1778; wife Judy or Judith Carter; died in Georgia, before January 1835; listed as a chain bearer in two grants to William Lupo, Johnston County, NC in 1794.
William, born 1775-1779; died before April, 1805, Robeson County, NC; see discussion of William Luper below.
Patience, born 1775-1779 (age listed as 75 on 1850 census and age 81 on 1860 census); died after 1860, Wake County, NC; witness to will of Sarah Carroll, Johnston County, NC in 1812; listed in household of William Lynch in 1850 and 1860; see listing for Mary "Pollie" Lupo below.
Mary "Pollie", born 1780-1782 (age listed as 70 on 1850 census and age 78 on 1860 census); died after 1860, Wake County, NC; married William Lynch in Johnston County in 1809.
Sarah "Sallie", born around 1788 (age 62 on 1850 census); died after 1850, Wake County, NC; married Jesse Penny in Johnston County in 1807.
One daughter, possibly born 1772-1775; one daughter, likely born 1784-1790; possibly one son, born 1784-1790 (but see info on Laban below); the names and fates of whom are unknown.
James Lupo of Edgecombe County, NC
James Lupo probably married Ann Atkinson around the time he bought 150 acres of land from Benjamin Atkinson, which was in 1778. This suggests the marriage could have occurred between 1775 and 1778 and James' birth between 1754 and 1757.
James is not grouped with James, Sr., Laban and Philip on the 1782 census but Zachariah Lupo is listed with him on this census. Later, Zachariah is listed as being over 26 and under 45 on both the 1810 and 1820 census of Edgecombe County, NC which would imply he was no older than 44 in 1820. On the tax list in 1790, Isle of Wight County, one of the categories lists white males older than 16 and under 21 and James does not have anyone listed, suggesting Zachariah was not yet in this age range. He appears to be the male 16-26 in James' household in 1800 in Edgecombe County, NC. Assuming Zachariah was no older than 44 in 1820, this implies he was born no earlier than 1776, which supports the notion that James married Ann Atkinson between 1775 and 1778. He was certainly alive by 1782 though his age at that time is not known. He died after October 21, 1821, as that is when his will was dated. It was probated at the November, 1821 session of court in Edgecombe County, NC.
James Lupo is the only named executor of his father's will to appear before the court in Isle of Wight County in 1790. James is also the only heir of James, Sr. to actually make his mark, along with his wife Anne and Laban's wife Margaret, when a deed disposing of James, Sr.'s property is entered in December, 1791. In March of 1792, a deed is recorded in Edgecombe County, NC, showing 400 acres of land bought by James Lupo from John Morris of Edgecombe County This might have been John "Norris" at whose estate sale William Lupo purchased items the same year. On the 1800 and 1810 Census of Edgecombe County, James' family appears as follows:
2 males 0 to 10
1 male 10 to 16
1 male 16 to 26
1 male 45+
1 female 0 to 10
1 female 10 to 16
1 female 16 to 26
1 female 26 to 45
1 male 10-16
2 males 16-26
1 male 45+
1 female 10-16
1 female 45+
Based on James' will, dated March 13, 1811 and probated August, 1811 in Edgecombe County, NC, his family looked something like this:
James Lupo, born Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1754-1757; died 1811, Edgecombe County, NC; wife Ann Atkinson, daughter of Benjamin Atkinson, Isle of Wight County, VA. Offspring of James and Ann Lupo:
Zachariah, born 1776-1780, Isle of Wight County, VA; died 1821, Edgecombe County, NC; married Martha "Patsy" Waller, before 1810; does not name his children in will from 1821.
Anne Lancaster, married James Lancaster; they appear to have moved to Georgia.
Moreland, born around 1791, probably Edgecombe County, NC; died 1848, Hancock County, GA; married Mary (Champion) Peek, widow of John Comer Peek, in Hancock County, 1819; his obituary in the Christian Index in 1848 gives his age as 57 and says he died from a lingering illness but otherwise provides no personal information on him.
Phoebe, married Nathan Brake? in Edgecombe County, NC in 1825; Phoebe is listed before Philip in James' will, which otherwise appears to list his heirs in descending order of age. It's possible that the Phoebe who married Nathan Brake is Zachariah's daughter.
Philip, born around 1800; died after 1870; appears on census in Edgecombe County, NC in 1850, 1860 and 1870; appears to have married more than once, possibly to Sarah Braswell around 1856.
Laban Lupo of Robeson County, NC
Though not much is known about Laban himself, quite a bit is known about Laban's family thanks to the work of James Foster Lupo, and the information he received from his grandfather, Edmond Summers Lupo, who was the grandson of Laban Lupo. The section of this website devoted to John Lupo of Lexington County, SC contains much correspondence and background information on this family. In an undated letter to a relative, Edmond Summers Lupo gives a listing of his brothers and sisters and their birth dates which is said to have come from his father. In this letter, Edmund tells us several important things. First, his father was John Lupo from Lexington County, SC; second, John's father died when John was too young to have any memory of him; third, that John had a brother named James who went to North Carolina and a brother Laban who went to Mississippi; and fourth, that John was born in 1798 in Robeson County, NC. Edmond also states that some of his father's family settled in Marion County, SC.
From tax records in Isle of Wight County, Virginia from 1790, we know that Laban does not have any males in his household between the ages of 16 and 21. Presumably, Laban was over 21 at the time. From a deed record in Isle of Wight County, VA, dated 1790-1791 (Deed Book 16, page 304), the family of James Lupo, Sr., who died in Isle of Wight County in 1790, divided up his estate and in this document, Laban's wife is listed as Margaret and James' wife is identified as Anne. From other records in Isle of Wight, we know that James married Anne Atkinson, daughter of Benjamin Atkinson, but no records have been found to suggest who Margaret's family was. Colonial law gave wives "dower rights" to certain property held by their husbands and as this was a protection against a husband selling property without his wife's knowledge, it was necessary in these cases for wives to sign off on transactions involving this property. William's wife is not listed, presumably because she had died by this time or she was not a resident of Virginia and therefore not subject to Virginia law.
The estate of James Lupo, Sr. and the subsequent sale of property from the estate yield some interesting clues about Laban and his whereabouts between 1789-1791. In 1789, when James, Sr. made out his will, he names Laban and James, Jr. as executors along with Samuel Bidgood, later identified as the guardian of James, Sr.'s daughter, Elizabeth Gray Lupo. When the will was probated, in September of 1790, Laban does not appear in court and in 1791, when the parcel of land is sold, James, Jr., his wife Anne and Laban's wife Margaret are the only ones mentioned in the deed who actually make their marks on the document, suggesting they are the only ones physically present when it was entered into the deed book. Though William and Laban are listed, James is the also only son of James, Sr. to actually make his mark on the acknowledgement of payment for the land from John Womble in January, 1791. Since it is known that Laban was still alive at this time, the fact he was not present when the will was probated or when the deed was entered into the record books suggests he was away from Isle of Wight County for an extended period of time, though his appearance on a tax list in 1790 implies he had not yet severed his ties with the county.
On the census of 1790, Johnston County, NC, there are two males in the household of William Lupo who are over the age of 16 and two males under 16. This could mean that one of the two males who'd been listed on the 1784 census was now over 16, or it could suggest that Laban was living in William's household when the census taker came through. Johnston County bordered Edgecome County during the time that James Lupo, Jr. and family migrate in 1792. If Laban was briefly in William's household, it could suggest one of the migratory patterns the family followed as they left Virginia.
Laban next appears on the census in 1800 in Robeson County, North Carolina and in 1810, there's a listing for "Beggy Looper". Her household is similar to Laban's, if we take into account Laban's having died earlier in the decade and at least one or two more children born eight or ten years earlier. By 1820, we find Margaret Lupo living in Richland County, SC, and on this same census, we find William and Philip Lupo living near one another in Marion County, SC. Richland County is next door to Lexington County, SC, where John Lupo marries Mary Price in 1819. These are the parents of Edmond Summers Lupo.
From these records, we know that Laban's wife was Margaret (Peggy is a nickname for Margaret), that she's widowed by the time of the 1810 census and that by 1820, she and her family have moved to South Carolina. We also know that there's no Margaret or Peggy Lupo on the 1782 census of Isle of Wight County, VA, though Anne Atkinson Lupo is listed, and in 1800, with the exception of Laban and Margaret, no one in their household, male or female, is over the age of 16. What this gives us is a picture of Laban and his family from approximately 1782 through 1820. Laban, unmarried, appears on the 1782 census of Isle of Wight County, VA. By 1784, he appears to have married Margaret and they have started their family.
By 1800, Laban and family have moved to Robeson County, NC. Laban probably died no later than 1805, since his son, born in 1798, is said to have been too young to remember him. In 1810, Margaret "Peggy" Lupo, appears as a widow on the census and somewhere between 1810 and 1820, Margaret and her younger children move to Richland County, SC. Since we know that some of this family also moved to Marion County, SC, we can reasonably connect William Lupo and Philip Lupo, who appear on the 1820 census in Marion, to this family as well, given that they show up in Marion County around the same time that Margaret and family show up in Richland County. We know that this is the William Lupo who married Martha Pittman, then Desdamona Barfield as a deed is recorded in Robeson County, NC in 1821, where this William and his wife Martha, identified as living in Marion County, SC, sell property she inherited from her father, Hardy Pittman.
According to the records on John Lupo of Lexington County, SC, told to his son Edmond Summers Lupo, John was born in 1798 in Robeson County. According to census records from Claiborne County, MS, the Laban Lupo who migrated there with his family, who appears to be the "Uncle Laban" mentioned in Summers Lupo's letter, was born around 1794 in North Carolina. If the James Lupo who shows up in Surry County, NC is the "Uncle James" mentioned by Summers Lupo, he was born around 1800 and these three would account for the three males 0-10 in Laban's household in 1800. This leaves us with a male 10-16, three females 16 or under and one female, presumably Margaret, 26-45. If Laban and Margaret married 1782-84, they would have had more than enough time to have had seven living children by 1800, assuming a live birth once every eighteen months to two years.
Taking all of this into account Laban's family probably looked something like this:
Laban Lupo born 1761-63, Isle of Wight Co., VA; died before 1810, Robeson Co., NC m. Margaret (possibly Atkinson, Carrell, Gray or Harrison) between 1782-84, in Isle of Wight County, VA. Their suspected children:
William, born 1784-90 (1 male 10-16 in 1800)
Two daughters, born 1784-90 (2 females 10-16 in 1800)
One daughter, born 1791-1800 (1 female 0 to 10 in 1800)
Laban, born ca. 1794 (1 of 3 males 0-10 in 1800)
John born 1798, per info from Edmond Summers Lupo (2 of 3 males 0-10 in 1800)
James, born 1799-1801, went to NC, per E.S. Lupo (3 of 3 males 0-10 in 1800)
Phillip, born 1799-1801, went to Marion County, SC (1 of 2 males 0-10 in 1810, presuming James was the other)
This listing is consistent with what's on the census in 1800 and 1810, taking into account Laban's death between 1800 and 1805 and another son born after the census in 1800 or 1801. Unless James and Phillip are twins, which seems unlikely given that there are only three sons 0-10 in 1800, the presumption is made that James was born late in 1799 or early in 1800 and Phillip early in 1801 or vice versa. William may have married Martha Pittman by 1810 and if so, they appear to be living in Margaret's household, as there's a female in the household in 1810 listed between 16-26. Ten years earlier, there are two females in the 10-16 age range and one female 0-10, but it's highly likely that at least one of the older daughters had married by this time. There's also another female between 0-10 in 1810 who could be William's daughter or the last of Laban's daughters. Philip Lupo in Marion County is almost certainly Laban's son, though, as his age in 1850 and 60 places his birth around 1800.
William Luper/Lupo, 1800 Census, Robeson County, NC
As with Laban Lupo, more is known about William Luper's family than William himself. He shows up on the census in 1800 and in records of Robeson County, NC around 1797 and by 1807, his wife, Trecy Cox Luper, appears to have remarried Silas Ivey. Much confusion seems to exist about William and his family due in part to the very aggravating naming conventions in the family at this time. For instance, just about every generation in Virginia yielded either a James or a Phillip often both and in North Carolina, the names William, James and John seem to predominate. William Luper is listed between 16-26 on the census in 1800 and Laban Lupo appears also to have a son by that name listed between 10-16. In addition, William appears to have named a son William, born 1800-1801, who shows up in records in Robeson County around 1820 before moving to Mississippi. Laban's son, William, appears to have moved to Marion County, SC before 1820.
The question researchers have tried to address for a number of years is who was William Luper's father. Different researchers have identified him as the William Lupo who appears in the will of James Lupo in Isle of Wight County, Virginia from 1790 while others identify him as a son of Laban Lupo who also appears on the 1800 census in Robeson County, NC. Other than James Lupo Sr's will from 1790, however, no evidence can be found that there was a William Lupo in Virginia prior to his mention in the will and the William mentioned in James Sr's will could just as easily have been residing elsewhere and returned to claim his portion of the estate. William Luper in 1800 is listed between 16-26, but he already has a family which includes one child, so it's safe to assume he's more than likely in the 20-26 age range, born 1774 to 1780. If so, and if he were the William Lupo from James Lupo Sr's will in 1790, then he should have appeared on the 1782 census in Isle of Wight County but doesn't, nor does he appear on a tax listing from 1790 in Isle of Wight. As it appears Laban didn't marry his wife, Margaret until after the 1782 census, and given that other than Laban and his wife, no one in their household is over the age of 16 in 1800, this strongly suggests Laban was not William Luper's father. James Lupo, Jr. made out his will in 1811 in Edgecombe County, NC and he neither mentions a son named William, nor any offspring of such a son, which rules James out as William's father. What is needed is a Lupo male with some connection to Laban who's the right age to have fathered William and by a process of elimination that pretty much leaves William Lupo in Johnston County, NC, who has two sons listed as under 21 on the 1784 census of Johnston County, NC and two listed as "under 16" on the 1790 census of Johnston County.
In July, 1805, Trecy Cox Luper received a judgement against Britton Britt for a "base born" child. Given the wording in the court documents, the child has not yet been born as payments are to commense once it is born. This appears to have been Gilbert Luper, who is said to have been born April 18, 1806. There is no further mention of William in Robeson County, NC after 1804, and given Trecy's affair with Britton Britt, it's safe to assume that William has died by this time. In court documents regarding the base born child from 1807, Trecy is identified as Trecy Ivey, suggesting she's married Silas Ivey by this time. There is a listing from 1811 where a William Lupo/Luper is appointed overseer of the road, but in all probability this was the younger William Lupo, Laban's son.
William Luper's family probably looked something like this:
William "Luper", born 1774-1780, probably Johnston Co., NC; died 1804-1805, Robeson Co. NC; married Tracey/Trecy Cox, daughter of Gilbert Cox, 1795-1797, Robeson Co., NC. Their children:
John, born 1796-99, the male listed between 0-10 in 1800.
William, born ca. 1801; moved to Mississippi after 1820.
Allen, born, ca 1803-04, said to be age 7 in 1811 when apprenticed to Trecy's brother; moved to Tennessee with brother Gilbert.
Gilbert, born ca 1805-06, probably the "base born child" fathered by Britton Britt; moved to Tennessee with brother Allen.
No evidence of any daughters
1820, 1840 Hancock County, Georgia
1820, Washington County, Georgia
1830, Houston County, Georgia
1784, 1790 Johnston County, North Carolina
1800, 1810, 1820, 1850, 1860 Edgecombe County, NC
1800, 1810, 1820 Robeson County, NC
1850, 1860, Wake County, NC
1820, 1830, 1840, Richland County, SC
1820, 1830, 1840, Marion County, SC
1782, Isle of Wight County, Virginia
1790 Tax Listing for Isle of Wight County, Virginia
1784-1794 Tax listings for Johnston County, North Carolina
1802, 1803, 1804, Insolvent Tax List for Montgomery County, Georgia
1805, 1806, Tax List for Montgomery County, GA
Letter from Edmond Summers Lupo to unnamed relative, date unknown
Correspondence from Mrs. Wallace R. Draughon, which includes material on William Lupo of Johnston County, NC, including information on deed record where heirs of James Lupo of Isle of Wight County, VA divided property.
Other researchers who have contributed material:
Jo Church Dickerson, Information on family of William Lupo of Marion County, SC.
Lou Pero and Demetra Thompson, Information on some descendants of William Luper of Robeson County, NC.
Rev. James Foster Lupo, Information on family of John Lupo of Lexington County, SC.
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