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The old genealogy brick wall! I recently completed tracing a family which was a project for more than 40 years. There were virtually no records. So here is what I did. I performed a work-around, researching all records surrounding it, and identified most every family in the region/regions. Once this project was completed, the real narrowing down began. In the final analysis only two families qualified to have a child of that approximate age. Published genealogies do frequently omit children, simply because the last will and testament may have omitted that child.
Somehow, we have establish the names of all the families having the same surname. The details are so important. Other sources are deeds, tax digests and inventories of estates. The annual returns of an estate list the transactions, who was paid, who received, etc. Heirs gave receipts or vouchers when they received property or cash from the estate. The sale of the property listed the widow who was given incidental household items and other names. The other names are suspect to be relatives. I cross-check the male purchasers in that county's marriage records to discern whether or not he married a daughter in the family. I want to know the identify of every person who participates in an estate. It's the only way.
Gates County Wills, Deeds, Land Patents
The earliest known expedition down the Chowan River in North Carolina was that of the Ralph Lane Colony in 1585. Then, in 1622, another expedition led by John Pory from Virginia along the Chowan River. The bordering Virginia county of Nansemond has residents whose lands overlapped into Gates County. In fact, Colonel Henry Baker of Nansemond County was granted 2400 acres near Buckland. So it was that ultimately a mail route was established leading from Suffolk, Virginia (Nansemond County) to Corapeake and Edenton, North Carolina. The stage coach route crossed the Chowan River at Barfield.
The first surviving will book of Gates County which is digitized here (1779 to 1819) was quite faded and many pages were illegitable.
Gates County Probate Records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers
Images of Gates County Wills 1779 to 1819Testators: Barnes, Thomas | Barnes, William | Benson, Miles | Benton, John | Benton, John (2) | Bethey, John | Blanshard, Aaron | Blanshard, Abraham | Blanshard, Sarah | Brady, James | Brinkley, Mary | Carter, Moore | Eason, William | Costen, Demsey | Costen, James | Daughtie, David | Davis, Garrett | Davis, John | Dunn, Sarah | Felton, Mary | Freeman, William | Garrett, James | Gatling, William | Goodman, Henry | Goodman, Joel | Goodman, Joel (2) | Goodman, William | Gordon, John | Green, Samuel | Gregory, John | Gwinn, William | Harrell, Isaac | Harrell, Jethro | Hays, William | Hill, Henry | Hines, Moses | Hinton, William | Hobbs, Guy | Hunter, Alice | Hunter, Jacob | Hyat, Solomon | Jones, Joseph | King, Henry | Langston, Isaac | Lassiter, Aaron | Lassiter, Robert | Lassiter, William | Lawrence, Rachael | Lewis, Phillip | Miltear, Jethro | Nesbit, Joseph | Norfleet, Jacob | Outlaw, James | Parker, Daniel | Parker, Elizabeth | Parker, Francis | Piland, George | Powell, John | Powell, William | Pullington, Thomas | Rice, David | Riddick, Kedar | Riddick, James | Riddick, Robert | Roberts, Jonathan | Ross, John | Rountree, Thomas | Saunders, Francis | Saunders, Sarah | Spivey, Elijah | Summer, Demsey | Summer, Edwin | Taylor, Samuel | Trotman, Elizabeth | Trotman, Rachel | Tugwell, Joseph | Umfleet, William | Walters, William | Walters, Jacob | Watters, James Bray | White, John | Wiggins, Ambrose | Williams, Demsey
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Wills and Inventories 1779 to 1819
Miscellaneous Land Patents, Land Grants, Deeds
- Brock, Thomas, deed of gift to his children, 1695
- Cason, James, Land Grant, 1686
- Iliffe, Richard, deed for 248 acres
- Iliff, Thomas Land Grant, 1687
- Illiffe, Thomas, deeds to and from, 1691
- Keeling, Adam to Alexander Keeling, 1692 deed
- Keeling, Alexander bond to Thomas Iliffe, 1694
- Lynny Land Patent for the transportation of passengers, 1665
- Medstardt to Edwards Land Patent, 1633
- Moore and Cason Land Grant, 1684
- Munday, William, Land Grant on the Currituck River, 1663
- Murden, John Land Patent for transporting persons, 1686
- Robbins and Munday Land Patent No. 4, 1652
- Walton, John for transporting Robert Munday, 1638
- Woodhouse, Henry, Land Grant, 1691
- Whitehurst, John, 1691
- Woodhouse, John, Captain, 1693