North Carolina Pioneers

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Coal in North Carolina

At the late meeting of the American Association for the advancement of Science, held at New Haven,the following communication was made by Prof. Walter R. Johnson upon the coal-formation of Central North Carolina : Coal-Formation or Central North Carolina. The coal-field referred to lies partly in the County of Chatham and partly in that of Moore, very nearly in the wwraphieal center of the State of North Carolina. eographically, it appears to repose directly but in oonforniably upon the upward edges of the gold-bearing rocks; but of the decree of conformity between the two formations, Prof. J. was unable to speak with entire confidence. On proceeding from Pittsboro, in Chatham County, toward the north-easterly portion of the coal-field, we cross the edges of slates, many of which are highly indurated until within about half a mile of the openings, which expose the coal. The underlying standstone which reposes almost horizontally upon the metamorphic slates, has a slight southerly inclination of not more than 6 degrees. The Coal is here about three feet in thickness, and is covered with a friable bituminous slate, in which but few distinct organic remains could be detected but many coprolites of fishes or reptilia, and many minute shells, are observed. In this slate are also observed thin laminae of carbonate of lime. The analysis of this coal proved it to be of the highly bituminous kind, yielding volatile matter 32.83; fixed eirbon 62.78, and earthly matter 3.40 per cent. The fixed carbon consequently bears to the volatile ingredients of the coal the ratio of 1.94 to 1, or in round numbers, 2 to 1. The color of this coal is brownish black. Specimens occur on which are cavities of considerable demh, in which were once contained cave-shaped fossils. Source: The North Carolina Standard, September 25, 1850.

The Egypt Coal Mine

Egypt Coal MineDocuments pertaining to the existence of a coal bed in the Deep River Valley is dated back to about 1775 and there was at least one coal mine in operation during 1811. During the 1850s various coal mines were in the region, and in 1853, an auger uncovered a coal seam about 400 feet deep at the Egypt site, however, a vewin was not reached until February of 1856. That event heralded the opening of the Egypt Coal Mine.

Farmers were Searching for Rich Soil with Good Reason

tobacco Without modern machinery and equipment, farm land quickly lost its vitality. Typically, fields had to lie fallow for two years or so before replanting. Certain crops, like tobacco, quickly robbed the soil of its nutrients. Thus, the farmer was always on the lookout for better soil.

" The Rolling Stone Gathers no Moss. Neither does the uneasy farmer, who is constantly moving or talking about moving, somewhere to find rich land. Generally speaking the migrating man belongs to that class who are careless of the soil, exhausts it for present crops without an eye to the future. His lands are heavily taxed by injurious management, and before he has secured the value of their labor be stowed in clearing them, he is left with a crippled plantation, yielding but a poor crop. To move in quest of the virgin soil again, is but incurring heavy expenses, hard labor, loss of time deprivations innumerable, besides parting with the old homestead for a mere trifle, when he could soon make it rich and productive, if he would feed it with half the care that he feeds his own imagination upon some vision ary scheme of growing rich in El Dorado, to which be is about to emigrate. It will not do to hoe a great field for little crops, nor to mow twenty acres for five loads of hay. Enrich the land and it will pay you for it. Better farm fifty acres well than fifty by halves, and it is much bettor to improve the old farm, than to go off upon some expedition after a new one. Source: The North Carolina Standard, September 25, 1850.

Orphan Boy Fights Major Battles During the Revolutionary War

Micajah Brooks stated in his pension that he was born in Chatham County, North Carolina and was an orphan. When he was about fourteen years of age he was hired out to a widow woman by the name of Mrs. Locklin in North Carolina. The widow sent him to on an errand to Ramsour's Mill and while there, Colonel Benjamin Few rode up on horseback in the company of twenty or thirty others. Few, slapping Micajah upon the head, said: "My buck, don't you want to go with me and serve your country?" And he answered, "Gladly." Few then engaged the miller to send the horse and bag back to the widow Locklin. So began the long career of Micajah Brooks as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. First, he served as a scout on the Georgia frontier in the counties of Wilkes and Warren. He was uneducated and considered to be a young wild boy who never paid any attention to dates, but remembered that he entered service under Captain George Barber and Colonel Elijah Clarke in Wilkes County as a volunteer, thus engaging him in the skirmishes around Little River and the Battle of Kettle Creek on February 14, 1779. Colonel Greene spent much of his time in the backcountry of South Carolina and Georgia engaged in guerrilla warefare, especially after Charleston and Savannah were captured. The local militias were busily engaged in maneauvers throughout the war.

Battle of Kettle Creek

When the British attempted to take Charleston, he was serving in the army of General Greene and was sent to defend Sullivan's Island, a win for the patriots. Then he returned to Wilkes County and joiined the company of Captain John Hill.

Map of Chatham County North Carolina

Pittsboro, NC



Images of Chatham County Wills and Estates


Pittsboro, NC Chatham County was established in 1771 from Orange County, having been named for William Pitt in 1759, the first Earl of Chatham. It was Pitt who served as the British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1768 and opposed harsh colonial policies. The earliest known settlers were Quakers from England who settled along the Haw and Eno rivers. In 1907, parts of Chatham County and Moore County were combined to form Lee County. The county seat is in Pittsboro, North Carolina and Chatham County is part of the Durham-Chapel Hill area.Among the first settlers were the families of Armistead, Alston, Dodd, Kemp, Edwards, Womack, Brewer, Lambeth, Taylor, Fooshee, Waddell, and Patrick.

Chatham County Probate Records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers

Images of Wills and Estates 1798 to 1819

Alston, James to Phillip Alston (deed) | Babb, Moses | Bagley, , Henry | Barbe, Goin | Bennett, , James | Bishop, Richard | Booker, John | Booth, Moses | Branch, Edmond | Branch, Edmund | Brantly, John | Brantley, Joseph | Brasington, Joseph | Braxton, Thomas | Bray, , Henry | Brewer, Jeremiah Brooks, Thomas | Brown, Daniel | Brown, Joseph | Brown, Nancy | Bryant, Elizabeth | Bryant, Obediah | Bullard, , James | Burnett, Alexander | Burns, John Sr. | Bynum, Luke | Carniss, Matthew | Carrell, Starling | Carter, Samuel | Cate, Richard | Chapman, David | Collen, John | Cook, Abraham | Cook, , Henry | Cook, John M. | Copeland, , James | Coskatt, John | Cotton, Seth | Cox, William | Crow, John | Crutchfield, Martin | Culberson, Andrew. | Culberson, Samuel | Dabney, John and Thomas Perkins to William Vestal | Dark, Joseph Sr. | David, Richard | Davis, John | Denton, , James | Doan, John | Dorsett, Travis Douglas, John | Dowd, Judith | Dowd, Richard | Dowdy, Thomas | Duffy, William | Duly, William | Edwards, William | Emerson, Margret | Evans, Ruth | Farrar, John | Farrar, Milly | Ferrington, John | Fooshee, Joseph | Fooshee, Simon | Fuller, , Henry | Futterlok, Elizabeth | Gillimore, Samuel | Glasson, Joseph | Glover, Benjamin | Glover, Thomas | Goodwin, Gideon | Gotarton, William | Grady, Thomas | Granger, Thomas | Graves, William | Guthrie, William | Hadley, Joshua Sr. | Hall, John | Haynes, Andrew. | Headin, John | Henderson, Angeline | Hines, Boling | Hinson, James from Sarah Ronalds | Hinton, Joseph | Hobson, Joseph | Holaday, , Henry | Hollowell, Reubin | Hunter, Elisha | Hurley, Amos | Jenks, Joseph | Jones, Elizabeth | Kinchen, Alexander | Kirby, , James | Kirk, George | Lacy, Ann | Lacy, Philemon Sr. | Lea, Joseph | Leavens, Richmond | Ledbetter, William | Lucas, George | Lucas, William | Marley, Benjamin | Marsh, Robert | Marshall, Benjamin | Marshall, John | Martin, Clementine | Martin, George | Martin, William | Martin, Zachariah | Massey, , James | Matthews, Clybron | May, Joseph | McDaniel, John | McIver, Duncan | McManus, Lawrence | McSwan, John | Meacham, William Sr. | Medlin, Michael | Milliken, Quinton | Minter, John Sr. | Moffit, Hugh | Montgomery, John | Moody, William | Moon, , James | Moon, John | Morgan, Joseph | Odean, Thomas | Pace, Richard | Parker, Robert | Parish, Davis | Parrish, Robert | Partridge, Sarah | Patterson, , James | Pattmon, Mark | Pearce, Richard | Peoples, Hugh Piggott, John | Pike, Lydia | Pilkinton, John | Poe, Robert | Poe, William | Powers, David | Powers, John | Prince, Nicholas | Pritchet, Thomas | Purvis, Robert | Pyle, John | Ragland, Thomas to James Alston (deed) | Ratcliff, John | Rayland, William | Reynolds, Florence | | Ritch, Jacob | Rives, Seley | Rives, Thomas | Rogers, Josiah | Rogers, William | Rows, John | Self, Parish | Sellars, , James | Smith, John | Smith, William | Springfield, John | Staley, Christian | Stinson, Aaron | Stokes, Thomas to Obediah Bryant | Stone, Francis | Straughan, Richard | Tabor, Thomas | Teague, Bunsby | Teague, Moses | Temples, William | Thompson, John | Tomblinson, John | Tripp, John | Uttey, William | Vestal, Thomas | Vestal, William | Wade, Edmond | Ward, Rachel | Whinnery, Robert | White, John | White, John (2) | White, Katherine White, Thomas | Whitehead, Arthur | Whitehead, Joseph | Wilkins, Alexander | Williams, A. | Williams, Burwell Williams, John | Willis, William | Willson, Michael | Wilson, Rebecca | Winter, Daniel | Wistray, Benjamin | Womack, John Sr. | Womble, , James | Womble, Thomas

Wills and Estates 1818 to 1833

Armistead, Alexander | Atkinson, John A. | Atkinson, John | Avent, John | Avent, July Ann | Barbee, Betsy | Barbie, Gray | Beasley, Elizabeth | Bell, Thomas | Bland, John | Booker, , James | Branson, Joseph | Branson, Levi | Brantly, William | Branton, William | Brewer, Samuel | Brewer, Solomon | Brooks, Isaac Buchannan, Elizabeth | Buckanon, Sarah | Buckner, Jesse Burns, Thomas | Burns, William | Bush, Mary | Cate, Richard | Caveness, Matthew Cole, Elizabeth | Cole, Thomas | Cole, William Sr. | Copeland, Mark | Cotten, Rhoderick | Curl, William | Denny, Anderson Dismukes, George | Dixon, George | Dixon, Nathan Dixon, Sarah | Dixon, Solomon | Dixon, Thomas | Dodd, William | Edwards, , James | Edwards, Joshua Sr. | Fann, Rachel | Farrar, Peter | Farrar, William | Fooshee, Happy | Fooshee, Joseph | Fields, , James | Garner, , James | Gillam, William | Glass, Josiah | Glass, William | Gunter, Richard | Guthrie, Cleburn | Hackary, William | Hadley, Jane | Hamblett, William | Harris, Benjamin | Henderson, John | Hinshaw, Joseph | Hinsley, William | Hobson, Stephen | Holaday, Samuel | Horton, Benjamin | Horton, Jesse | Horton, William | Howard, Dorcas | Johnson, Jesse | Jones, , James | Justice, David | Kemp, Joseph T. | Kemp, Josiah | Lawrence, Elizabeth S. | Leighleman, John | Lindley, Thomas | Lucas, Mary | MacIver, John | Manly, Basil | Mann, Thomas | Martin, , James | Mazey, John | McCan, Mary | McDaniel, , James | McInnis, Miles | McIver, Evander | McKenzie, Murdock | McQueen, Archibald S. | McQueen, Murds | Mebane, John | Merritt, George | Merritt, William | Milton, David | Minter, Joseph | Moran, William | Moss, John | O'Kelly, Elizabeth | O'Kelly, , James | O'Kelly, William | Oldham, John | Pattishall, William | Penny, Charles | Phillips, William | Poe, Stephen | Powell, Eliza | Powell, Thomas | Prince, William | Purvis, George | Quackenbush, , Henry | Ramsey, Ambrose | Ramsey, Eliza | Ramsey, John | Richardson, Isaac | Riddle, John | Roberts, Ishmael | Roe, Solomon | Rollings, John | Sanders, A. | Sanders, Benjamin | Scarborough, Miles Sewter, , Henry | Smith, Ambrose | Smith, Lemuel | Stedman, Wiinship | Stone, Ann | Stone, Thomas | Taylor, George W.| Taylor, , James | Taylor, James (1829) Teague, David | Tyson, Cornelius | Vestal, Benjamin | Vestal, David | Walden, John C. | Ward, Robert | Ward, William | Watson, Robert | West, Ignatius | West, Thomas | Wester, Mary | White, John | White, Stephen | Wicker, Thomas | Willett, , James | Willis, Francis | Willis, William | Wilson, Stephen | Wistory, Elizabeth | Woody, Hugh

Images of Wills and Estates 1834 to 1857

Adcock, Joshua | Albright, William | Allen, John | Allen, Peter | Alston, Aran | Alston, Gideon Alston, John | Alston, Nathaniel | Armistead, Larry | Armistead, Westward | Atkinland, Richard | Bain, Francis | Barham, William | Baute, Randolph Bay, Thomas | Bell, Elijah | Bell, Mary | Benett, Solomon | Blande, , James | Booker, Phylis | Boon, Raford | Bowen, William | Bray, Harman | Bray, , Henry | Bray, , James | Bray, William | Brewer, John | Brewer, Nathan Bridges, Joseph | Bright, Simon | Brooke, Larkin | Brooks, Joab | Brooks, Richard | Brown, Ebenezer Brown, Nancy | Brown, William | Bryan, Aaron | Bryan, Reddin | Bunn, John | Burchard, Elizabeth | Burchard, Jedekiah | Burgess, John | Burnett, Isaiah| Burns, B. J. | Burns, , James | Carter, John | Chawney, Joshua | Cook, Mary | Cooper, , James | Cross, Parish | Crump, Martha | Crutchfield, Thomas | Dane, George | Daniel, Mary | Dark, Susannah | Dickens, Thomas | Dison, Benjamin | Dodd, Benjamin | Dodd, Herbert | Dodd, , James | Dorsett, John | Dowd, Richard | Dowd, Samuel | Drake, Richard | Drake, Sally | Drake, William | Edwards, David | Edwards, Hanah | Edwards, Hugh | Edwards, Isaac | Edwards, , James | Edwards, Joel | Edwards, Stokes | Emmerson, Eli | Evans, Anthony | Evans, Richard | Farrah, Powell | Ferguson, Archibald | Fooshee, Bethany | Foushee, Nelly | Fooshee, Simon | Fooshee, William | Fox, David | Fox, John | Freeman, Lewis | Garner, William | Gee, George | Gilden, , Henry | Gilmore, Stephen | Goodwin, , Henry | Gunter, Isham | Gunter, John | Guthrie, William | Hackney, Joseph | Hackney, Robert | Hadley, Jacob | Hammond, William | Hanks, John | Harland, William | Harman, George | Hartsoe, Isaac | Hash, John | Hatley, Uriah | Hattey, Abner | Haughton, John | Headen, Dolley | Headen, Isaac | Heathcock, Patrick | Henry, George | Herndon, Reuben | Hill, Jeremiah | Hinshaw, Benjamin | Hinshaw, Nancy | Hinshaw, Thomas | Hinshaw, William | Hinton, A. J. | Hobson, Joseph | Holland, Sampson | Holland, Wiley | Hodges, Joab | Holmes, Lewis | Horne, James | Horton, James | Jacks, Job | Jackson, Samuel | Jean, Barber | Jenkins, Sanford | Jinkins, Sanford | Johnson, Daniel | Johnson, John | Johnson, Michael Sr. | Johnston, John | Jones, Alston | Jones, Edmund | Jones, Susan | Jordan, William | Justice, Susannah | Kelly, Mary | Kemp, Daniel | Kemp, Joseph | Kemp, Susannah | Lamberly, John | Lambeth, Rachael Lambeth, Thomas | Lassater, Bennett Lassater, Thomas | Lassatar, William | Lindley, , James | Lindley, Joshua Mann, Isham | Mann, Joseph | Marcus, Jane | Marks, Margaret | Marsh, Susan | Masey, Sally | Mason, William | McBride, Archibald | McMasters, William | Mebane, John | Moody, Benjamin | Moon, B.| Moore, J. | Moore, Rebecca | Morgan, Joseph | Neal, , James | Owen, Winnifred Palmer, Robert | Patrick, William | Pattishall, John | Peoples, John | Perry, John | Perry, Turner | Pickett, Simeon | Pickington, Samuel | Poe, Rebecca | Pugh, Thomas | Ridell, Cato | Riggsby, Phebe | Rives, Edward | Rush, Elizabeth | Scott, Stephen | Siler, Philip Sr. | Simon, Whitney | Small, Joseph | Snipes, John | Snipes, Thomas | Stanton, Willis | Stewart, Alexander | Stillman, Robert P. | Stinson, Robert | Stone, John | Stout, William | Strom, Alston | Strangham, Bailey | Swann, Sarah | Taylor, Rowling | Taylor, Sarah | Terry, Hannah | Terry, , James | Thomas, Benjamin | Thompson, George | Toomer, John | Torance, Sarah Ann | Uttey, Gabriel | Vistal, David | Waddell, Sarah | Ward, Martha | Watson, Elizabeth | Watson, John | Webster, Elizabeth | Welch, , Henry | Welch, William | Whiteheade, John | Whitner, Margaret | Wickson, Milly | Williams, Delpha | Williams, George | Williams, John | Williams, Richard | Williams, Thomas | Womack, Green | Womack, John | Womble, Catharine | Workman, Thomas

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