Jeannette Holland Austin Profile
Thomas Pollock Devereux and his son, John Devereux, were planters in North Carolina who owned eight large plantations and between fifteen and sixteen hundred slaves. Their fertile lands were situated in the rich river bottoms of Halifax and Bertie counties where they raised corn and cotton, and droves of hogs, which were sent to Southampton county, Virginia, for sale. The plantations have all disappeared from the landscape, and it appears that the main home, Runiroi, was situated near the Kehukee Church in Halifax County. The names of the plantations were Conacanarra, Feltons, Looking Glass, Montrose, Polenta, and Barrows, as well as a large body of land in the counties of Jones and Hyde. His residence was at Conacanarra, where the dwelling stood upon a bluff commanding a fine view of the Roanoke river, and, with the pretty house of the head overseer, the small church, and other minor buildings, looked like a small village beneath the great elms and oaks. The principal plantation and winter home was called Runiroi, in Bertie county. The others were called The Lower Plantation and Over the Swamp. From Kehukee bluff, the plantation could be seen stretching away into the distance, hemmed in by the flat-topped cypresses. The house at Runiroi was a comfortable, old, rambling structure, in a green yard and flower garden, not ugly, but quite innocent of any pretensions at comeliness. Neither was there, to many, a bit of picturesque beauty in the flat surroundings; and yet this very flatness did lend a charm peculiar to itself. The approach from the public road, which followed the bank of the river, was through the willow lane, between deep-cut ditches, which kept the roadway well drained unless the river overspread its banks, when the lane was often impassable for days. In the springtime, when the tender green boughs of the willows were swayed by the breeze, it was a lovely spot, and a favorite resort of the children. Source: Plantation Sketches by Margaret Devereux (1906)
The Hope Plantation was built by David Stone, a congressman, senator and twice governor of North Carolina around 1803. The two-story frame house features a pedimented portico and the 1763 gambrel roof of the King-Bazemore House, built by William King, a Bertie County planter. Pictured is the hall of Hope Plantation which was used as a summer living area. Find your North Carolina Ancestors
Genealogists: Identify Everyone!
By Jeannette Holland Austin (profile)
If you discovered an old document (such as a last will and testament) which contains names of people you cannot identify, here is what to do. Search the deed books for that county and make notes of the lands which they owned and bordered. Land grants are an excellent early resource, as well as tax digests. Also, search marriage records to learn of any of these guys married daughters of your ancestor. Next, go to the census records and look for names of the children as well as birth dates and where born. Neighbors, friends and neighbors witnessed documents, such as deeds, wills, marriages and pensions from war records. The idea is to ascertain the identify of everyone associated with your ancestor. You will be surprised what you learn!
Bertie County Wills and EstatesBertie County was form 1722 from Chowan County. When researching this county, one should also consider southern Virginia, bordering North Carolina as many Virginians took up land in North Carolina. Some of the first settlers were Jesse Harrell whose descendants removed to Georgia and Kentucky; George and John Clements who had relatives in Pittyslvania County, Virginia; James and John McDowell, brothers, originally from Wigtown, Galloway (Scotland); and the Wynns family of Winnson plantation.
Bertie County Wills and other Records Available to Members of North Carolina Pioneers
Bertie County Wills
- Abstracts of Bertie County Wills ca 1720 to 1799
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