North Carolina Pioneers

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Online Images of Wills and Indentures 1752 to 1795


  • Index to Wills, 1752 to 1786
  • Inquisitions of the Dead 1787 to 1795
  • Marriage Bonds found in Gates County, North Carolina
Indian Attacks during the Revolutionary War

Land Descriptions are Sometimes Tricky

Tradition has it that Joab Brooks Sr. came from England with his parents to America. He received a land grant in Cumberland County in 1756 and was removed soon thereafter to Orange County where he was granted 375 acres on the waters of Ephraim's Creek. So, where is Ephraim's Creek? There was an Ephraim Sizemore in Orange County in 1757 who resided on Tick Creek. The only way to resolve such matters is to compare them with other records, such as tax digests, and other deeds which Brooks may have witnessed. The reason is that descriptions do include names of neighbors and adjoining properties, creeks, rivers, and timberlands.

Names of Families in Orange County Genealogy, Wills, Estates

Orange County Court House

Orange County was formed in 1752 from parts of Bladen County, Granville County, and Johnston County. It was named for the infant William V of Orange, whose mother Anne, daughter of King George II of Great Britain, regent of the Dutch Republic. In 1771, the western portion of Orange County was combined with the eastern part of Rowan County to form Guilford County. Another part was combined with parts of Cumberland County and Johnston County to form Wake County. The southern part of what remained became Chatham County. In 1777, the northern half of what was left of Orange County became Caswell County. In 1849, the western third of the still shrinking county became Alamance County. And, in 1881 the eastern half of the county's remaining territory was combined with part of Wake County to form Durham County. Some of the first settlers of the county were English Quakers, who settled along the Haw and Eno Rivers. Pictured is the Eno River at Eno River State Park, North Carolina.