North Carolina Pioneers

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Strangers No More

Boxwoods at Westover Plantation How exciting it is to locate an old photo of the ancestors. But there is more to come for the genealogist who digs deeply into the past. A visit to the old farm place in the countryside offers a sense of their lifestyle and sacrifice to the American way. Your ancestors were ambititiously unselfishly valiant people, and proved it by forging an economy out of a new wilderness country. I hope that you take the time to walk across old pastures and dirt roads, locate rural church yards, and speak to the older generation still in the vicinity. Next, introduce yourself to them by examining deed records and take note of the legal description which provides the land lot number and acreage. A county map from the tax accessor's office will help you to find the exact spot. Also, while you are in the neighborhood, observe how the land itself seems to be missing the old generation who planted the gardens and fruit trees. How old are some of those trees? As people moved from place to place, they took seeds of trees and favorite plants. Remember, that just as Sir Walter Raleigh introduced? the potato to English soil, that English immigrants also delivered the beautiful boxwood seedlings to Virginia plantations where they continue to flourish in grand beauty today.

Genealogists Search Many States

plowing All of a person's ancestors did not reside in one State. After coming to this country, they moved around with great regularity. That is because land was so important to survival. The habit of allowing fields to remain fallow for two years or more was helpful, but not enough. A good rich, loamy soil was required to sustain generations of families. In Virginia, it was tobacco which quickly depleted the soil, and soon as ther American Revolution, families were on the move. Genealogists, look to the land grants of these soldiers (for service) and subsent land lotteries in Georgia. Many families drew and won land in the lotteries, according to the number of persons in the family. That is why it is important to examine Tax Digests, which list the number of acres and the county. We trace the movement of our ancestors through deed records, tax digests, land grants and lotteries. As families moved along, it becomes necessary to examine the county records everywhere that they resided. This is where marriage records were recorded, deeds given, and estates probated. Also, a close examination of local cemeteries and churches is indicated. Why? Because burial records and church registers also tell the story. Georgia Pioneers has a vast collection of county records and includes the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. It is easy to search from one state to the next using the same portal.

Finding the Path Across the Genealogy Maze

maze Have you ever worked one of the maze puzzles in the Altheimer's books? Once inside the maze, the idea is to find a path out. Actually, it is a good exercize for the researcher who spends years attempting to solve complicated genealogies. We expect to find marriage records, for example, but discover that many county records did not begin requiring this filing until the 1900s. But we are inside the maze and must pause to examine all of the possibilities of exit. In seeking the obvious exit, we miss tiny details whih lead to answers. For example, did you realize that the people buried in the old part of a cemetery are "the neighborhood?" It is these tombstones which provide answers. Had you researched the local deed records, wills and estates, you might recognize some of the names. In other words, you are looking at the neighbors, friends and relatives of your ancestors. A closer look at the old section might turn up the husband's of daughters. Look closely and write down everyone's name. Notice when they include a maiden name. Example: Mary Jones Smith. Gosh, Mary's parents are probably buried close by. And an examination of old wills and estates might help identify if Mary Jones belongs to your family. Thus, just as we examine every outlet in the maze, we identify every possible relationship.

The Treatment of British Prisoners of War at the Battle of Kings Mountain

King's Mountain" A gentleman lately come to town has favoured us with an account of the base treatment the unfortunate officers and men met with who surrendered prisoners of war last October to the Rebel, Col. Campbell, in the action of King's Mountain. A small party of the (British) militia returning from foraging, unacquainted with the surrender, happening to fire on the Rebels, the prisoners were immediately threatened with death if the firing should be repeated. The morning after the action the prisoners were marched sixteen miles. Previous to their march, orders were given by Campbell, should they be attacked, to fire on and destroy every prisoner. The party kept marching for two days without any kind of provisions. On the third day's march all the baggage of the officers was seized and shared among the Rebel Officers. A few days after a mock court-martial sat for the trial of the militia prisoners, when, after a short hearing, thirty gentlemen, some of the most respectable characters in that country, had sentence of death passed on them, and at six O'clock the same day they began to execute. Col. Mills and Capt. Chitwood, of North Carolina, Capt. Wilson, of Ninety-Six, and six privates were first executed. The British Officers were compelled to attend at the execution of their brave but unfortunate men, who, with manly firmness, avowed their loyalty in their last moments, and with their latest breath expressed their unutterable detestation for the Rebels and their base and infamous proceedings. The remaining twenty-one were reprieved for a time." Sources: Description of the treatment of British prisoners of war December 27, 1780; Volume 15, Page 183; KING'S MOUNTAIN BATTLE : BRITISH ACCOUNTS; Scots Magazine, January, 1781.

The Search for a Brother Killed by Tories on King's Mountain

During the American Revolution, Patriot irregulars under Colonel William Campbell of Virginia defeated the Tories at the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina. The army of Major Ferguson was served mostly by American Loyalists from South Carolina and was part of the western wing of the North Carolina forces under General Lord Cornwallis. Colonel Campbell assembled approximately one thousand frontiersmen from the backcountry to prevent the advance of Major Ferguson. Ferguson positioned his Tory forces in to defend a rocky, treeless ridge named Kings Mountain. The Patriots charged the hillside multiple times, demonstrating expert marksmanship against the surrounded Loyalists. However, Ferguson was unwilling to surrender and led a suicidal charge down the mountain where he was cut down by a hail of bullets. After his death, some of his men tried to surrender, but they were slaughtered in cold blood by frontiersmen who had already encountered the savagry of "Bloody William" Cunningham and " and "butcher" Tarleton. 157 Tories were killed and 698 captured, while the force of Colonel Campbell lost only 28 soldiers, with 60 wounded. Charles Bowan, serving in the company of Captain William Edmondson of the regiment of Colonel William Campbell participated in this battle. Afterwards, upon hearing that his brother, Lt. Reece Bowen had been killed, searched for him, but instead came across his own fallen Captain Edmondson, shot in the head and dying. He found himself near the enemy and hid behind a tree, then shot down the first man who hoisted a flag and turning to reload, his own Colonel Cleveland advanced on foot, suspecting he was a tory and demanded the countersign, which Bowen had forgotten. Cleveland levelled his rifle at the breast of Bowen, attempted to shoot, but it missed fire. Bowen, enraged, seized Cleveland by the collar, snatched his tomahawk from his belt, but was arrested by a soldier named Buchanan, who knew both parties. Bowen now remembered the countersign and gave it as "Buford."

Abee Cemetery in Gastonia

Abee Cemetery in Gastonia

Map of Gaston County, NC


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Gaston County Wills and Estates

GastoniaThe first settlers to in the Catawba and Cherokee region were in the region by the mid 1700s and were of German, Dutch, English, and Scotch-Irish origin. A fort was constructed along the Catawba and South Fork Rivers, however, most of the Cherokees had left by 1770 and the Catawba Indians removed to Fort Mill, South Carolina. Gaston County was founded in 1846 and named for William Gastson, a Congressman and North Carolina Supreme Court justice. The original commissioners of the county were ordered to establish a county seat within two miles of the Long Creek Baptist Meeting House, and they named the seat Dallas, in honor of Vice President George Dallas. Yet, a popular 1911 vote made Gastonia the county seat. Bessemer City, Cherryville, High Shoals, Lowell, McAdenville, Ranlo, Stanley, Spencer, and Mount Holly are other communities within the boundaries of Gaston County. The county seat is Gastonia (pictured).

Gaston County Wills and other Records Available to Members of North Carolina Pioneers

Images of Gaston County Wills 1847 to 1867

Testators: Armstrong, Mary ; Armstrong, William ; Arrowood, David ; Beattie, Esther ; Bell, John ; Black, Stephen; Blackwood, Joseph; Brison, John ; Caldwell, Samuel Lee ; Carpenter, David ; Cloninger, Adam; Craft, Michael ; Eaker, Daniel ; Edleman, Peter ; Ewing, Jabez ; Falls, Andrew; Falls, Mary R. ; Ferguson, James ; Ferguson, Thomas ; Ferguson, William M. ; Ford, Sarah ; Forgus, Elizabeth ; Gingles, Samuel ; Gullick, Milton ; Hanks, Thomas ; Hanner, Thomas ; Henderson, William ; Henkle, Hannah ; Hill, Ann ; Holland, Franklin H. ; Holland, Isaac; Holland, Martha; Holland, Mary C. ; Howel, Ellis; Hoyl, Andrew ; Jenkins, Ann ; Johnston, Robert ; Knox, John ; Lidell, John ; Linebarger, John; Love, Andrew ; Love, Mary ; MacLean, Thomas ; McClure, James ; McCullough, Robert; Mellon, Jonathan ; Moore, Lee A.; Neely, John; Oats, Thomas; Ormand, Benjamin; Rankin, Alexander ; Robinson, Margaret ; Robinson, Samuel ; Rutledge, George; Rhyne, John; Rhyne, Michael ; Rudasill, Susannah ; Self, William; Shipp, Elizabeth W.; Smith, John ; Smith, John (2) ; Smith, Robert ; Stowe, Larkin ; Stroup, Hosea ; Stroup, Jacob ; Stroup, Jonas; Stroup, Lawson ; Torrence, Ephraim ; Torrence, Jamison F. ; Wells, Featherston ; White, James ; Whitesides, John ; Whitesides, Wallace ; Wilson, Margaret ; Wilson, Mary A. ; Wilson, William

Images of Wills 1869 to 1898

Testators: Abernathy, J. A. ; Abernathy, James; Abernathy, Marion ; Abernathy, Miles; Abernathy, Starling; Adams, Margaret; Aderholdt, Barbara; Aderholt, David; Armstrong, Mathew ; Armstrong, M. R. ; Armstrong, Visa; Baldwin, Nancy L.; Barnhill, Mary A.; Beattie, Francis ; Beattie, James O. ; Beattie, Samuel ; Bell, Susan; Best, Samuel; Bissell, Edward; Black, Alfred and Mary; Black, Vincent; Blackwood, Ann; Blackwood, Elizabeth; Blackwood, Gideon; Blackwood, Jane; Blackwood, Leander ; Blackwood, Margaret; Boyd, Robert M.; Bradley, Albert ; Bradley, Alexander S.; Bradley, Joseph W. ; Bradley, Mitchell; Bradley, Rebecca; Broadway, Whiten; Brock, Jonas ; Bryson, Jane; Carpenter, A. W.; Carpenter, Sally; Carroll, Margaret ; Carson, James M.; Carson, Joseph ; Carson, Robert ; Cathey, Elizabeth; Clark, William ; Clemmer, Levi ; Clenenger, Fanny; Cleninger, Jonas ; Cleninger, Moses ; Combust, David ; Connell, Mary Ellen ; Connell, Robert ; Connell, Sarah; Connors, William F. ; Costner, Catharine ; Costner, Simon P. ; Craig, Robert H. ; Craft, J. P. ; Crow, John; Dameron, John ; Davenport, A. W.; Dellinger, Tempy; Derr, Silvey G. ; Dickson, William ; Eaker, David ; Ewing, Hugh F.; Ferguson, James; Findlay, Elizabeth; Finley, Ann M. ; Finley, Melissa Jane; Friday, David ; Friday, Ephraim; Friday, J. N. ; Froneberger, John; Gamble, Joseph; Garrett, Malvina ; Gingles, Dorcas; Glenn, E. L.; Grier, Margaret M. ; Groves, N. E. ; Hager, Lawson S. ; Hager, William ; Hall, J. D. ; Hampton, Celeste B. ; Hanks, Elizabeth; Harrelson, James F.; Harrelson, William ; Harrison, John ; Henderson, J. Newton ; Henderson, W. B.: Hill, William; Hines, Daniel; Holland, E. B. ; Holland, Robert; Hovis, Sarah ; Huffstetler, H. B.; Hutchinson, Charles L. ; Jenkins, D. A. ; Jenkins, Harrison ; Jenkins, Lodema; Jenkins, Smith; Johnston, S. X. ; Kiser, Jacob; Kiser, Levi ; Kiser, Susannah ; Leeper, Arthur ; Lineberger, David ; Lineberger, Lewis ; Love, Jennet ; Love, Naomi ; Manney, Caleb; McAlister, Elisha ; McBee, Sarah; McClurd, R. L.; McCready, James; McCready, William; McGill, Thomas; McKee, Pina S. ; McLean, John D.; McLean, Margaret ; McNair, Nancy ; Mendenhall, John J. ; Mendenhall, Margaret ; Nantaz, W. J. ; Neal, Sarah; Nealy, Sarah L.; Nolen, William; O'Connell, J. J. ; Ormond, John J. Jr. ; Ormond, Zenos ; Parrish, W. N.; Pasvur, George J. ; Patterson, William; Pearson, William; Perkins, Isaac ; Perry, Edward; Quinn, Eliza E. ; Quinn, James; Quinn, John W. ; Rankin, John E. ; Rankin, John ; Ratchford, Esther; Ratchford, Joseph; Ratchford, Robert; Reede, Elizabeth; Rhyne, Daniel; Rhyne, Eslie ; Rhyne, Jacob E. ; Rhyne, Jacob H. ; Rhyne, Jacob K. ; Rhyne, Moses H. ; Rudisill, Emanuel ; Rutledge, A. R. ; Rutledge, James; Ryborne, Andrew ; Scott, Ebenezer ; Shannon, James; Smith, Benjamin; Smith, James R. ; Smith, J. W. ; Smith, Martha; Smith, Mary A. ; Stowe, Elizabeth; Stroup, Caleb; Stroup, Moses ; Suggs, M. I. ; Summerson, Susan ; Tarvin, Rachel W. ; Therron, John; Thomas, Rebecca ;Thomas, Samuel ; Thomasson, D. W. ; Torrence, Harrison A. ; Torrence, Robert; Wallace, Mary E. ; Wallace, Sarah and William W. ; Warlick, Lyda ; Wells, Burrel F. ; Wells, David; White, Elizabeth R. ; White, James F. ; White, James H.; White, Mary C. ; White, Mary ; Whitesides, Margaret ; Whitesides, Mary ; Whitesides, W. T. ; Wilson, Ezra ; Wilson, Mary M. and Wilson, Robert;

Images of Wills 1898 to 1916

Testators: Adams, Jane Caroline ; Aden, Giles M. (probate) ; Anthony, A. M.; Armstrong, Clarissa ; Armstrong, George M. ; Armstrong, Margaret E. ; Arrowood, William ; Banister, Sarah ; Bayer, E. E.; Beam, D. C. ; Bell, Rosa C. ; Bell, Wiley ; Bell, William ; Berry, Nancy J.; Beatty, Eleanor ; Blackwood, James M. ; Blackwood, Mary J. ; Blackwood, William R. ; Bradford, William T. ; Brimer, C. P. ; Brison, Benjamin ; Broadaway, William ; Brown, J. L. ; Bryson, John F. ; Burk, Monroe ; Caldwell, R. A. ; Cannon, John F. ; Carpenter, B. F.; Carpenter, Dicey L. ; Carpenter, Fannie L.; Carpenter, Henry ; Carpenter, J. E. ; Carrington, Edwin T.; Carroll, Sarah E.; Carson, Margaret Elizabeth ; Carson, M. E. ; Carson, Rufus W.; Cathey, Morris ; Clark, Elizabeth ; Clark, Mary A.; Cole, Florence M.; Connell, James H. ; Costner, Jess H. ; Costner, John W. ; Costner, Mary Zoe ; Costner, Michael H. ; Costner, S. P. ; Costner, Susan Emeline ; Cox, Eli ; Davis, I. N.; Davis, W. L. ; Dellinger, Harriett ; Dellinger, Isabella ; Dewstoe, Martin; Dickson, O. C. ; Eaker, John ; Eaker, Margaret ; Elmsmore, Mary ; Falls, Thomas L.; Farley, Augustus; Farley, Janett; Farrar, Nathaniel; Farris, Margaret; Fite, Mary ; Fite, Rufus ; Flonk, Jacob; Flonk, Sallie; Foster, Elizabeth; Friday, Rufus ; Froneberger, Anna May ; Froneberger, Falls; Froneberger, Namay; Gamble, A. J.; Glenn, E. M. ; Glenn, Margaret M. ; Glenn, Mary Lavina ; Glenn, Martha M. ; Glenn, William D.; Glove, R. C. ; Gray, George A.; Gray, John E. ; Greenwell, Thomas William ; Gullick, Jane ; Gullick, John A. ; Hall Mary Ellen; Hall, W. T. ; Hand, Alfred F. ; Hand, Laura ; Hand, S. J.; Hanna, Thomas M. ; Hanna, William D. ; Hargrove, W. W.; Harris, T. P. ; Harris, William C. ; Harrison, Julia A. ; Heavner, Mary E. ; Henderson, Abier ; Henderson, Andy R. ; Henderson, Martha P. ; Henderson, Roxana; Herron, Elizabeth ; Hill, Rufus S. ; Hoffman, E. L.; Hoffman, Jonas ; Hoffman, M. P. ; Hoffman, W. C. B.; Hogue, Wade ; Holland, Julia Courts ; Homesley, Benjamin S. ; Homesley, James; Hord, Marion ; Howe, Margaret Elizabeth ; Jackson, Thomas; Jamieson, Mary L.; Jenkins, Annie ; Jenkins, Edward ; Jenkins, Jonas ; Jenkins, Joseph ; Jenkins, William ; Johnson, Laban ; Johnson, L. D. ; Johnston, Julia W. ; Johnston, Ural G. ; Jones, John E. ; Kendrick, Mary; Kennedy, James J. ; Kennedy, J. J. ; Kennedy, Nannie L.; Kincaid, J. R.; Kiser, Barbara ; Lackey, Fannie ; Lackey, G. W.; Leeper, F. W. ; Lentz, Paul ; Lineberger, David A. ; Lineberger, P. J.; Lineberger, Sarah ; Lineberger, Monroe ; Love, N. L.; Manney, M. J. ; Mauney, Jane; Mauney, Wiley ; McLean, Martha ; McNair, Jane; McNaire, Margaret ; Miller, Bell ; Miller, Catherine V. ; Miller, Margaret; Miller, Mary C. ; Miller, Robert A. Sr. ; Mitchem, Harriet ; Moore, James Walter; Morrow, R. H.; Moss, N. H. ; Moten, W. R. ; Nantz, Reeves ; Neagle, J. P.; Ormand, Ann; Ormand, B. M. ; Ormand, R. D.; Orrender, W. W. ; Parks, Ann ; Patrick, James Leander; Pegram, Edwin Larkin ; Pegram, T. C. ; Petty, C. Q.; Plume, Frederick; Pool, M. A. Sr. ; Price, Elizabeth; Prior, James ; Pryor, Eliza B.; Pryor, Mary Perlina ; Rankin, Erastus ; Rankin, Mack ; Rankin, W. D.; Ransom, Nancy; Rankin, R. P. ; Ratchford, Eliza; Ray, Thomas ; Reynolds, Matthew ; Rhyne, Alburtus; Rhyne, Mary C.; Richards, William; Riddle, George L. ; Riddle, Joseph ; Riddle, Mary J.; Robinson, Ann ; Robinson, E. J. ; Robinson, William M. ; Ross, Lidda; Sadler, Susan ; Shaw, Catherine J. ; Sherrill, William C. ; Shives, G. M. ; Sloan, Elmina Spring ; Smith, Catherine ; Smith, C. F. ; Smith, John B. ; Smith, L. C.; Sparrow, Susan S.; Spencer, William H. ; Sprott, Mary A. ; Stewart, Rebecca ; Stowe, C. T. ; Stowe, J. L. ; Stroup, Addie A. ; Stroup, Andrew ; Stroup, Belle ; Stroup, Israel R.; Suggs, L. L. ; Sumerow, Henry ; Tate, Margaret L. ; Thomas, John F. ; Thomas, Sarah A. ; Thomas, W. R. ; Thornburg, Daniel ; Thornburg, David S. ; Thornburg, Moses ; Titman, Ann C. ; Torrence, Crown ; Torrence, Ladusky ; Torrence, M. M. S. ; Underwood, David ; Walker, David M. ; Watterson, Rebecca ; Welch, Louis P. ; White, J. C. and Barbara ; White, Robert A.; Whitworth, Titus; Wilson, John F. ; Wilson, Margie ; Wilson, Thomas ; Winder, John C. ; Withers, Sue S.

Miscellaneous Wills

  • Rutledge, George, LWT (1850), transcript
Member


William Hooper House
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