North Carolina Pioneers

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The Great Wagon Road

The Great Wagon RoadThe great wagon road led many pioneers out of eastern Pennsylvania (Lancaster and York) and northeastern Maryland into North Carolina. Groups of lowland Scots from Ulster in Northern Ireland and German Lutherans who had arrived at the Port of Philadelphia traveled along that road. The road crossed the Potomac River and entered the Shenandoah Valley near Martinsburg, West Virginia and continued south through the valley on the Great Warriors Trail (Indian Road) used by Indians for many years. The Treaty of Lancaster in 1744 established the rights of the colonists to settle along Indian Road. After the French and Indian War (1756-1763) it was the most heavily traveled road in America. It is generally accepted that these first Scotch/Irish settlers claimed the richer "black jack" lands of western and southern Cabarrus County, so that German settlers arriving in the 1740s claimed lands on both sides of Dutch Buffalo Creek. To their west, along Cold Water Creek, lived a colony of Welsh/English, who brought their Baptist religious traditions with them. Later on, the colonial churches were Lutheran and Presbyterian took root.

Map of Cabarrus County


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Cabarrus Co. NC Court House

Cabarrus County Wills and Estates


Concord, NC Cabarrus county was formed from Mecklenburg County in 1792, and was named after Stephen Cabarrus of Chowan County, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons. Conrad Reed found gold here in 1799 while playing in Little Meadow Creek on the old Reed farm. His find weighed a hefty 17 pounds! John Reed or Johannes Rieth as he was known in Staatsarchiv at Marburg, Germany was one of thousands of Hessian soldiers transported over by British troops to fight against rebellious colonists during the Revolutionary War. John Reed deserted, as did many other Hessians, and migrated from Georgia to North Carolina, where he settled in an ethnic German community sometime around 1787. Reed developed placer mining, then underground mining on his property and became wealthy, his mine being known as the Reed Gold Mine. The Reed Gold Mine was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The names of the testators in the last will and testaments below appear to be of German origin, undoubtably descendants of the Hessian soldiers.

Transcripts of Cabarrus County Wills 1796 to 1822

Abendshein, Catherina Abendshein, Christian Abendshein, Rinehold Dayvault, Jacob Hadley, James Hadley, Joshua Hagler, John Hall, John
Hall, Morgan Harky, George Harris, Charles, Dr. Harris, Elizabeth Harris, Ephraim Harris, James Harris, Robert Sr. Harris, Robert
Harris, William Hartman, George Hill, Green Hope, Robert Horlacher, Christopher. Houston, Archibald Houston, John Houston, Margaret
Hudson, Fanny Hudson, Seth. Huie, Samuel Marchadant, John. McCaleb, James McClellan, Thomas McCommon, Charles McCree, Hugh
McMahan, John McRee, Richard McCree, William McEwen, Elizabeth McFaddon, Thomas. McGinnis, Charles McGraw, Benjamin McGraw, James
McKinley, Charles McKinley, John McLarty, Archibald McMakin, James McRee, David McMurrey, Robert Mealor, Peter Melchor, John
Meissenheimer, Jacob Misenheimer, Abraham Misenheimer, George Sr. Misenheimer, Jacob. Mitchler, Matthias Morris, Griffith Morris, Griffith Morris, Moses
Morris, Samuel Morris, Nancy Morris, Nancy Morton,, Samuel Phifer, George Query, Alexander Strickler, Daniel Wagoner, Will
Walcher, Adam Walker, Andrew Wallace, Aaron Wallace, James Wallace, John Wallace, William Watson, Thomas Welch, Elizabeth
Wessner, George White, Archibald White, David White, Jean White, John White, John White, Margaret White, Mary
White, Samuel White, William Wilhelm, George Wilie, Mary Wiser, Michael Wiser, Phillip Wynkaugh, Michael Yonge, Catherine
Young, Joseph Young, William
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