North Carolina Pioneers


Forsyth County Wills and Estates


Salem, North Carolina
Forsyth county was formed in 1849 from Stokes County and named after Major Benjamin Forsyth who was killed in the War of 1812. The county seat is Winston-Salem which was merged from two neighboring towns in 1913. Salem. The town of Salem was organized in 1753 when a Moravian settlement was established by Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church. The site selected was the three forks of Muddy Creek which he called die Wachau (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Later, the second Earl Granville (John Carteret) purchased the area (99,000 acres). On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would later become the town of Bethabara. This town, despite its rapid growth, was not designed to be the primary settlement on the tract. Some residents expanded to a nearby settlement called Bethania in 1759. Finally, lots were drawn to select among suitable sites for the location of a new town.

Winston. In 1849, the Salem congregation sold land north of Salem to the newly formed Forsyth County for a county seat. The new town was called "the county town" or Salem until 1851 when it was named Winston for a local hero of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Winston.

Genealogy Records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers

Index to Civil Actions in the Superior Court
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Germans Settled Salem
By Jeannette Holland Austin Jeannette Holland Austin(profile)

Bethebara Bethabara, meaning "House of Passage" was founded on November 17, 1753 by fifteen Moravian men who had departed Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to settled upon a 100,000-acre tract of land. The land grant was given by Lord John Carteret, the earl of Granville. Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek. He called this area "die Wachau" (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. The land consisted of 99,000 acres and was purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would later become the town of Bethabara. The town grew so fast that some residents expanded to a nearby settlement called Bethania. Finally, lots were drawn to select among suitable sites for the location of a new town. Salem was actually named after the Canaanite city mentioned in the Book of Genesis. The Moravians who settled Salem brought with them the German ways as well as a strong Christian faith. They were industrious tradespeople who loved music. Find your North Carolina Ancestors here The Single Brothers Workshop in Salem

The Single Brothers Workshop in Salemhoused a bakery, blacksmith shop, weaving room and joinery. Unmarried, teen-aged boys resided in the kitchen while learning a craft.

Salem, North Carolina
Historic Winkler Bakery in Old Salem


Map of Forsyth County


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North Carolina Wills