The history books relate events which were recorded seem to be the stories of statesmen and patriots. Yet, our ancestors were right there along beside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and so on, churning out their own problems, building homes, communities and towns while protecting their freedoms and the future freedoms of those who would live after them. Every enthusiastic family historian knows that quizzing relatives and searching census records is but a simple beginning of a life style of intensive, tedious work to acquire scraps of information and then weave together a story of someone's life. The task is one which includes rationalization and assemblage of the facts. It is one which gathers a knowledge of local histories generally unknown to professing educated historians. Inspection is one of visualization, of old life styles and habits and includes a variety of knowledge such as the way people named their children, where they worshiped, how they buried one another. We can see their handwriting in old bibles where special listings were made of the significant events of their lives; the births, marriages and deaths of their children. And if we can find a diary or hear a family story along the way, it adds to the rooted knowledge of our own background. How precious then is the preservation of our good works!
This area was part of Cherokee Nation territory at the time of European encounter. The trust land known as Qualla Boundary extends into part of Jackson County and is the base for the federally recognized tribe of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. They contribute to the high proportion of Native Americans among the county population, consisting of more than ten percent. The county was organized in 1851 from parts of Haywood and Macon counties. It was named for Andrew Jackson, President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. In 1861 parts of Jackson and Henderson counties were combined to form Transylvania County. In 1871 parts of Jackson and Macon counties were combined to form Swain County. In 1913 Sylva became the county seat.
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List of Jackson County Wills 1860 to 1966
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