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North Carolina Pioneers




The First Use of Torpedoes in Naval Warfare

Civil War torpedo
A torpedo from the Civil War period. "Francis Edgar Shepperd is said to have been the first man to use the torpedo in Naval warfare. He came from an old North Carolina family and was a graduate of the Naval Academy. He resigned when his State seceded and entered the Confederate Navy. Twenty five years ago Shepperd, then a captain in the Confederate Navy, blew up the US gunboat Cairo with an old fashioned fixed torpedo fastened to the bottom of the Mississippi (River). Lieutenant-Commander, now Rear Admiral Thomas O. Selfridge, was in command of the Cairo. He and his men were badly shaken, but no one was killed or seriously injured. Captain Shepperd, who was lying on the bank watching the explosion made up his mind then and there that that was a cowardly way of fighting and that he never used another torpedo. He died recently in Georgetown and was buried in Philadelphia." Source: The Jones Headlight, Gray's Station, Georgia. February 11 1888.

The USS Cairo

USS CairoThe USS Cairo was one of the first American ironclad warships built for the Union Navy at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. The Cairo served as the lead ship of the Union gunboats and was named for Cairo, Illinois. After attempt of Confederate Captain Shepperd to sink her failed in June of June 1862, she went on to capture the Confederate garrison of Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River which caused Union forces to occupy Memphis. However, during the Yazoo Pass Expedition, she was sunk on December 12, 1862 while clearing mines for the attack on Haines Bluff. The Cairo was the first ship ever to be sunk by a mine remotely detonated by hand. The hulk of the Cairo can be viewed at Vicksburg National Military Park with a museum of its weapons and naval stores.

Revolutionary War Soldier Lives to be Aged 91

Joseph Lee enlisted in the Revolutionary War during 1778 from Martin County and after the war lived the rest of his life there. His widow for a pension declared that she was married to her husband in 1776. This information came from a pension. It is rare to find a marriage in the county records before the Revolution. That is one of the reasons that pensions are so valuable to the genealogist.

North Carolina Signers of the Declaration of Independence


Map of Martin County

Martin County NC

Martin County Wills and Estates



Martin County NC Martin County was formed in 1774 from the southeastern part of Halifax County and the western part of Tyrrell County. It was named for Josiah Martin, the last royal governor of North Carolina.

Genealogy Records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers

Indexes to Wills and Estates
  • 1774 to 1810
  • 1810 to 1868
Images of Martin County Wills and Estates 1774 to 1810

Ames, Thomas | Baggett, Thomas | Ballentine, Edward | Bennett, Amey | Bentley, Isaac | Biggs, Joseph | Bird, William | Blanch, Joseph | Brooks, Elizabeth | Brown, Hardy | Bryan, Robert | Carraway, David | Cary, John | Collins, John | Cooke, Robert | Daniel, Robert | Davis, John | Day, John | Edmonson, Reuben | Edmundson, Thomas | Edmunson, Thomas | Everett, John | Everett, Nathaniel Everett, William | Gainer, James | Gardner, Elizabeth | Gardner, Isaac | Gibson, William | Gilbert, John | Gordon, John | Griffin, Martin | Griffin, William | Hardison, Benjamin | Hardison, William | Harris, Kenneth | Harrison, John | Hase John | Hasty, Matthew | Hayman, Thomas | Higgins, Fanney | Holladay, Hardy | Hunter, Thomas | Hynes, John | Jenkins, William | Johnson, Joshua | Jones John | Jones, Joseph | Jones, William | >Joyce, John | Joyner, Elizabeth | Joyner, Thomas | Lamb, William | Lanier, John | Lilley, Timothy | Long, Samwell | Matthews, James | McCaskey, John | Mitchell, Rachel | Moore, Ann | Moore, Ezekiel | Moore, Hodges | Moses, Edmund | Perry, Isaiah | Price, William | Purvis, William | Rogers, William | Slade, Henry Slade, William | Smith, Mary | Smithwick, Edmund | Swain, Elizabeth | Ward, John | Ward, William | Warren, Robert | Watson, Thomas | Wheatley, Mary | Whitmell, Thomas | Whitney, Samuel Wiggins, John | Wiggins, Thomas | Williams, Elizabeth | Williams, John | Williams, Sarah | Williams, William | Wyatt, Solomon | Zeggit, James

Images of Martin County Wills and Estates 1810 to 1868

Adams, Phillip | Allen, Samuel | Ambrose John | Andrew, Wallace | Andrews, William | Askew, Allen | Askew, Moses | Baker, Agathy | Ballard, Elisha | Ballard, Nancy | Ballard, William | Balman, Stephen | Barnett, Susanne | Begett, Thomas | Benjamin, Mary | Bennett, James | Bennett, William | Biggs, Daniel | Biggs, Warren | Biggs, William | Brandon, Francis | >Brogdon, Timothy | Brown, William | Bryan, Lewis | Bryan, Mary | Bullard, Silas | Burnette, Abigail | Burnett, James | Burnette Joseph | Burress, James | Cane, Stephen | Carraway, Charlotte | Cash, Francis | Cherry, Job | Cherry, Jonathan | Cherry, Luke | Cherry, Samuel | Clark, John | Clark, Penelope | Coleman, Isaac | Coleman, Samuel | Collard, John | Coltran, John | Collen, Arthur | Craddock, Mary | Cushing, Martha | Cutterbridge, George | Daniel, Simon | Daniel, Spencer | Daniels, Kenneth | Davis, William | Eason, Jonathan | Ellis, William | Eventto, Thomas | Everrit, Simon | Fagan, Levi | Folk, Samuel | Gainor, William | Gardner, Edward | Gardner, Samuel | Gilbert, John | Goddard, George | Griffin, Edwin | Griffin, Henry | Griffin, John | Griffin, Matthew | Griffin, Noah | Griffin, Patsy | Guyther, John | Haddock, William | Hadison, David | Hagman, Ann | Hall, Alston | Hall, Charity Hardison, Hannah | Harrel, Jacob | Harris, Margaret | Harrison, Jenny | Hasty, Lyoida | Hayman, Samuel | Haynes, Rachel | Hines, John | Hopkins, Sally | Howell, Hezekiah | Howell, Levi | Hunter, David | Hyman, John | Hyman, Ned | Hyman, Susannah | Hyman, Thomas | Hyman, William | Jackson, James | James, Susan | Johnson, Amos | Johnston, Samuel | Jones, John | Jones, Richard | Joyce, Martin | Joyner, Moses | Joyner, Rosa | Joyner, Whitney | Kiff, Jesse | King, David | King, Michael | King, Robert | Latham, Elizabeth | Latham, John | Leggett, Benjamin | Leggett, David | Leggitt, Elisha | Lowell, Myles | Manning, Reuben | Mark, Thomas | Matthews, William | Medford, Henry | Mizell, Luke | Mobby, William | Molley, Alexander | Moore, Allen | Moore, Celia | Moore, Charles | Moore, Moses | Page, John | Peal, Abram | Peal, Henry | Peal, John | Peal, Thomas | Perry, Noah | Perry, William | Phillips, Thomas | Philpot, William | Pierce, William | Price, Thomas | Pugh, Nancy | Pugh, Thomas | Rawls, James | Rawls, Jesse | Rawls, Sarah | Ray, John | Reddick, Joseph | Reddick, Willis | Riddick, James | Riddick, John | Riddick, Thomas | Riddick, William | Riley, Martha Robertson, Mary Robinson, William | Rogers, Samuel | Rogerson, Clara | Rollings, John | Salsbury, James | Sherrod, Jane | Sherrod, John | Sherrod, R. A. | Simpson, Deborah | Simpson, Mary | Slade, Henry | Slade, Jeremiah | Slade, William | Smithwick, Henry Smithwick, Joel | Smithwick, John | Smithwick, Luke | Smithwick, Washington | Stallings, Kenneth | Staton, Charlotte | Swain, James | Swain, Starkey | Taylor, Frederick | Taylor, John | Taylor, Joshua | Taylor, Kinchen | Taylor, Peggy | Wade, Amelia | Ward, James | Washington, Thomas | Watson, Arthur | Watson, Elizabeth | Watson, James | Watts, William | Webb, Daniel | Webb, Mary | Whatty, John | Whitley, Pierce | Wiggins, Blake | Williams, Abner | Williams, Henry | Williams, James | Williams, Joseph | Williams, Richard | Williams, Samuel | Williams, William | Winberry, John | Wyatt, John | Wynn, David

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