North Carolina Pioneers

Home of 8 Genealogy Websites! 700M pages of genealogy! Includes databases in: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia!



The Origins of the Bethabara Colony

In 1740 Norwegian Moravians founded a Moravian colony in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and in 1747, another colony settled in Bethabara, North Carolina. In Bethlehem these Norwegians, including some Swedish and Danish families came in contact with their kinsmen. The Swedish Lutherans of Delaware were in parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When the Swedes who settled on the Delaware lost their independence in 1656, the newly political state of New Sweden existed, but only for sixteen years. Ecclesiastically, however, the Lutherans of New Sweden remained subject to the state church at home for one hundred and fifty years more, and linguistically the colony was Swedish. The church records of this colony reveal many Norwegian names. During the 18th century, Norwegians came in considerable numbers to America and joined the Delaware Swedes. The port to look to is Gothenburg, which lies not far distant from the province of Smaalenene, since it was a regular Swedish sailing port for American bound ships. One of the most prominent members of the Bethabara Colony in North Carolina was Dr. John M. Calberlane, born 1722 in Trondhjem, Norway. He came to New York in 1753, having sailed from London on the ship Irene on June 30th, arriving on September 9th. Dr. Calberlane, whose noble character and untiring devotion to the welfare of his fellow colonists, takes its place among the old distinguished colonial physicians. On July 28, 1759, he himself succumbed to a contagious fever that visited the settlement. In a sermon delivered on Easter Sunday, 1760, Bishop Spangenberg gave public recognition of the service of Calberlane in his short life of six years in the colony. Other Norwegians among these Moravian colonists were: Susanna Stokkeberg, from sondmore, Norway, born 1715, who came to America in 1744 with her husband, Abraham Reinke, a Swede, to whom she had been married that year in Stockholm. Reinke is reputed to have been an able preacher of the gospel, the two laboring together in the congregations of Bethlehem, Nazareth, Philadelphia, and Lancaster. She died in 1758, he in 1760, leaving a son, Abraham Reinke. Peter Peterson, who was born in Norway in 1728, and had joined the church in London, came to America as a sailor on the ship Irene in 1749. He died in 1750. Jens Wittenberg, a tanner from Christiania, born 1719, came on the Irene in 1754; he died in the colony, 1788. Martha Mans (probably Monsdatter), from Bergen, born 1716, came on the Irene in 1749. She lived in Bethabara as a teacher and religious adviser until 1773. At the same time, also, came Enert Enerson, a carpenter, while in 1759 came Catherine Kalberlahn, and in 1762 Christian Christensen, a shoemaker, from Christiana. The latter was born in 1718; he had lived some years in Holland before coming to America. The year of his death is 1777. Erik Ingebretsen came over June twenty-second, 1750, via Dover, having been on the ocean six weeks, a remarkably short passage for that time. Source: A History of Norwegian Immigration to the United States : From the Earliest Beginning down to the Year 1848 by George Tobias Flom.

Moravians Settled Salem

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 Salemhoused a bakery, blacksmith shop, weaving room and joinery. Unmarried, teen-aged boys resided in the kitchen while learning a craft.
The Single Brothers Workshop in Salem
Historic Winkler Bakery in Old Salem
Salem, North Carolina


Map of Forsyth County


Genealogy History

blog Jeannette Holland Austin
Jeannette Holland Austin Profile


Join our Blog and Stay Informed about New Additions to 8 Genealogy Websites! Subscribe to Genealogy History by Email

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

  • A to C
  • D to G
  • G
  • H to L
  • L to Z
Member


William Hooper House
Follow North Carolina Pioneers Collections Google Plus