North Carolina Pioneers

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The Westward German Migration from Philadelphia to North Carolina

Wilderness Road

Tracing German families should involve a study of their immigration from Europe to Philadelphia. Many families settled among the Quakeres, so please do not rule out Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy. Then, follow Wilderness Trail from Pennsylvania westward. The emigration route of the Germans really began with William Penn who brought them into Pennsylvania and afterwards they moved westward into the North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and the Ohio Mountains. While still in Germany, Penn was well-publicised with German contacts. The German Pietists responded first, and select families mingled with English Quakers in Philadelphia. Most of the first Germans selected to come had sufficient money left upon arrival to pay for the land which they took up. By 1710, families from other parts of Germany were in a rush to reach the New World. Ship after ship of Palatines, Hanoverians, Saxons, Austrians and Swiss breasted the Delaware. The cost of passage from the upper Rhine was costly; however, a vast number of penniless Germans managed the trip by contracting with the ship-owner to sell themselves into servitude for a term of years. These were known as "redemptioners," and their service was commonly for from four to six years. Thus, before the Revolutionary War, no fewer than 60,000 Germans had debarked at Philadelphia, to say nothing of the thousands who settled in the South. The virtues of the Germans were the economic virtues and no matter where they settled, were known as being quietly industrious and thrifty. Benjamin Franklin, when he spoke before a committee of the House of Commons said the Germans were "a people who brought with them the greatest of all wealth, industry and integrity, and characters that have been superpoised and developed by years of persecution." Why Antrim Sent so Many Immigrants to America The Trail of the Scotch-Irish into Burke County The Great Wagon Road The Scotch-Irish in Guilford County The Irish Join the Fight for Freedom in America The Tacksmen Immigrants from North Carolina come in Two Directions The Influence of German Immigrants Seven Tory Prisoners Taken The Origins of the Bethabara Colony The Name of the Clan Aboard a Ship from Scotland Migrants in the New County

Why Deeds are Important to the Genealogist

It is essential for the genealogist to search the deed records in the county where his ancestors resided. The reason is to learn what State and County he came from beforehand and other pertinent details. The following 1769 deed in Nansemond County reveals a great deal about Thomas Gregorie.

"11 Dec 1769 Thomas Gregory and his wife sold to Edward Wright 150 acres bounded by Nansemond River on one side, by a creek between him (Gregorie) and David Osheal on the other, thence by natural bounds up a branch dividing it from the lands of Gresham Coffield, orphan of Daniel Coffield, deceased, according to the meanders of said branch, then by two marked trees to the end which is an oak standing near house of Joseph Jones and upon the main road, thence from the said oak upon a line of marked trees, various courses between the said land and the land of Captain Miles King to a marsh; thence through that marsh to the said river, being the first station." It is possible to trace ancestors from the very moment they entered the country using deed records and tax digests of every place that they resided.

The Exiled Cherokees in Qualla Town

Qualla Indian Reserve The Qualla Boundary is a territory held as a land trust for the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who reside in western North Carolina. The Trust provides that the land was purchased by the tribe during the 1870s and placed under Federal protection. Individuals can buy, own, and sell the land, provided they are enrolled members of the Tribe of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. They are the Cherokees driven into exile. Before the Treaty of 1830 which removed the Cherokees from the East and Qualla Town became an Indian Reserve consisting of 72,000 acres of land in Haywood County which is occupied by about 800 Cherokee Indians and 100 Catawbas. According to Letters from the Alleghany Mountains by Charles Lanman (1849), the Cherokees mostly resided in the mountains which are watered by beautiful streams, and the valleys and slopes are quite fertile. The lower mountains are well adapted for grazing and plentiful game. According to Lanman, the Cherokees elected an old friend, WIlliam H. Thomas, as their business chief and the Indian Nation had divided into seven clans. The names are: In-e-chees-quah or Bird Clan; In-egil-lohee or Pretty Face Clan; In-e-wo-tah or Paint Clan' In-e-wah-he-yah or Wolf Clan; In-e-se-ho-nih or Blue Clan; In-e-co-wih or Deer Clan; and In-e-eo-te-ca-wih. The customs among those clans prevented their marrying among themselves, and such practices were punished by death. More than three-fourths of the population could read in their own language while the majority understood English. Guarding the Catawba River Against the Cherokees The Chowanoac Indians A Trail of Tears from Murphy, NC Yeopim Indians Sold the Chowan River to the English Tuscarora Indians Wiped Out Town Creek Indian Mound Indian Troubles

Oh, where did they go?

Trail of Old Wagon RoadAs the Native American tribes began to make Treaties and move westward, Europeans poured into the country pushing them along. From the very beginning, land grants were offered to those who would immigrate to America. During the 18th century, more land incentives were issued to occupy the lands west of the colony of Virginia, into Kentucky and Ohio. Remember Daniel Boone? As he surveyed land throughout the region, families followed. The large Boone family of some thirteen or more children in Philadelphia also sent some of its kin into new territories. A popular route out of Pennsylvania was the wagon road which crossed the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. This road led families into the heart of Shawnee lands, and they were attacked, scalped and taken as slaves. The situation was so terrible that in 1772 the Royal Governor of Virginia ordered all the militia against the Shawnee. But only two companies made it in time to meet up with the Shawnee at the falls of the Ohio River. A bloody battle was fought (Lord Dunsmore's War) which resulted in a nefarious Treaty which the Shawnee did not keep. To find ancestors in these parts one must search through the land grants being issued during the 1730s in Virginia and determine those locales. Essentially, lands were granted in the counties in western Virginia and North Carolina. However, it is necessary to search most of the western counties and track it from there. Another region to explore is the North Carolina-Tennessee lands of the Appalachian Mountains which were once known as the State of Franklin (1784-1788). Later, counties such as Burke and Cherokee, fell into Sullivan County, Tennessee. It is interesting to note that a number of early settlers in the State of Franklin came back east. No doubt to avoid the ongoing Indian troubles. During the early 1770s, they took up land grants in Wilkes County, Georgia. To learn these names, see History of Wilkes County by Davidson. The broad spectrum of settlement had its causes and effects. One must educate oneself upon the history of any given area while delving into county records of every possible origin. One record which is frequently overlooked is the Inferior Court Minutes. It is a record kept by the county clerk of the daily personal issues of residence, such as names of those persons required to work upon the roads. There is also the mentioning of the filing of estates (for example) without copying the will into that particular book. If you are unable to locate a will or estate in the county records, this does not mean that one did not exist. This book should be read carefully, as one would read a story book, to understand the people and circumstances. If we know the problems of any given community, we can reason out other possible places to search.

Some Things to Think About

Cumberland River The State of Franklin was created because men such Arthur Campbell of Washington County, Virginia and John Sevier and other frontiersmen believed that the "over mountain towns" should be admitted into the United States as a separate state. If you are researching western North Carolina, you should consider the history of the State of Franklin (1784-1788). Later on, counties such as Burke and Cherokee, fell into Sullivan County, Tennessee. The capitol for the State of Franklin was first Jonesborough (1784) and later Greeneville (1785-1788). The Tennessee counties which need researching are Blount, Carswell, Sullivan, Sevier, Greene, Washington, Wayne and Spencer. It is interesting to note that a number of early settlers in the State of Franklin came back east. No doubt to avoid the ongoing Indian troubles. During the early 1770s, they took up land grants in Wilkes County, Georgia. To learn these names, see History of Wilkes County by Davidson.

May of Haywood County

Names of Families in Haywood County Genealogy: Wills and Estates

Map of Haywood County Haywood County was created in 1808 from the western part of Buncombe County. It was named for John Haywood, the North Carolina State Treasurer from 1787 to 1827. In 1828 the western part of Haywood County became Macon County. In 1851 parts of Haywood County and Macon County were combined to form Jackson County.

Genealogy Resources Available to Members of North Carolina Pioneers

Miscellaneous Records

  • Spanish-American War Veterans
  • Indexes to Probate Records
  • Wills and Estates 1848 to 1876
  • Records of North Carolina State Archives
  • List of Marriage Licenses 1857 to 1914
  • List of Wills

Wills and Inventories 1808 to 1848


Barns, George ;Belk,Darling ;Belk,James ;Bryson, Andrew ;Cabe, John ;Cathey, George ;Colley, Daniel ;Crisp, Isaac ;Endsley, Andrew ;Floyd, Henry ;Green, Elijah ;Hall, George ;Hollingsworth, Enoch ;Hyatt, Edward ;Hyatt, Elisha ;Johnson, John ;Johnson, John (estate) ;Jones, Charles ;Jones, John ;McDowell, James ;Mingles, John ;Moody, Harlen ;Morrison, John ;Nichols, Christopher ;Norton, Gideon ;Osborn, Jonathan ;Pence, Abraham ;Ratcliff, Abraham ;Reaves, Jack ;Rhodes, Henry ;Ring, David ;Sands, Jeremiah ;Shields, George ;Strane, Andrew ;Street, John ;Walker, Felix ;Watson, Adam ;Weathers, Isaac ;Williams, Daniel ;Wilson, David

Images of Wills and Estates 1848 to 1876


Allanson, Gideon ;Allen, A. B. ;Allen, Archibald ;Allen, J. B. ;Allen, N. B. ;Allen, Z. B. ;Allison, Joshua ;Allman, G. ;Bird, William S. ;Brindle, Mary ;Brown, Hugh ;Browning, William ;Campbell, Allen ;Chambers, G. W. ;Clark, S. V. ;Colwell, Thomas ;Commons, Mat (colored) ;Cooper, Lockart ;Coyle, Lucinda ;Davis, J. L. ;Deaver, Elijah ;Edmonston, N. ;Green, William ;Hartgrave, guardian ;Holland, G. H. ;Howell, David ;Kirby, Henry ;Kellim, J. W. ;Kirby, J. H. ;Kilpatrick, Thomas ;Kilpatrick, William D. ;Long, Elizabeth ;Long, J. P. ;Love, J. R. ;Love, Thomas ;McAbee, Isaac ;McCracken, John ;McGee, John ;Moore, George ;Moore, Green ;Moore, Susannah ;Osborn, John ;Palmer, George ;Patton, James ;Penland, C. H. ;Penland, G. N. ;Penland, Robert ;Phillips, Dan ;Platt, Amos ;Rathbone, Joseph ;Rathbone, Silas ;Rhea, John ;Rinchard, Joseph ;Rivers, James ;Rogers, Robert ;Rogers, Susanah ;Sellers, Jacob ;Sellers, John ;Sparks, J. J. ;Wootten, James