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The New Court House in Wayne County
Wayne County. Goldsboro. "The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Wayne county, convened on Monday last at Waynesboro at the old county seat. On Tuesday afternoon the court adjourned to meet the next day at Goldsboro, the county seat having been changed to that place, and occupied, for the first time, in the commodious Court-House which has been erected by the County," Source: The North Carolina-Standard, Raleigh, North Carolina, 28 August 1850.
Genealogists: The History of the Region will Provide your Next Clues
Are you deep in a wallow-hole searching for your next clue as to where to find your ancestors? And more especially, it will answer the probing questions in your gut as to what these people were doing. For example, The Saponi and Tuscarora Indians occupied much of the area which later became known as Wayne County. As the Indians were driven West and counties were formed, English and Scotch-Irish families ventured into the region. The first county seat was established on the land of Andrew Bass and called Waynesborough. It is always a good idea to familiarize oneself with the creeks and rivers and those persons who settled there and witnessed deeds and other records. The fact that a family might not have recorded a deed at the local court house, does not mean that person did not exist. Indeed, a study of the first residents and the trails which they used to enter the region provide bountiful clues as to where to look next. How many old cemeteries with broken-down slate tombstones have you visited, and did you observe the shape of the soil to find graves hidden in the soil? Slate was a poor headstone. It broke and fell to the ground. I have found them buried under the soil in the woods, and stacked inside of old barns. An investigation of the surviving stones, ages of the deceased, and dates of death also provides an intriguing story. In those days, measles, typhoid fever and other ailments killed members of families and communities. The story is there! Pictured is the oldest known presbyterian cemetery in Waynesboro which is located on New Hope Road. A log church was once situated on a hillside near Fishersville about 1798. Some of the burials are of Revolutionary War Soldiers, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
His Reputation of Aggressive Warfare Earned the Name of "Mad" Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was born in Easttown Township nearthe present-day Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania. His father was an Irish immigrant and part of a Protestant Anglo-Irish family. Wayne was educated to be a surveyor at the private academy of his uncle in Philadelphia. He also attended the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), where he was in the class of 1765, but did not earn a degree there. In 1765 he was sent by Benjamin Franklin and some associates to work for a year surveying land granted in Nova Scotia and the following year he assisted the formation of a settlement in Monckton. In 1767 he worked in the tannery of his father, also as a surveyor.
He became a prominent figure in Chester County and served in the Pennsylvania Legislature from 1774 to 1780. When the war for independence commenced in 1775, Wayne raised a militia unit and earned the title of Colonel of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment the following year. He and his regiment were sent to the aid of Benedit Arnold in an attempt to help the Continental Army to invade Canada. Wayne had some success in the Battle of Trois-Rivieres and led distressed forces on Lake Champlain at Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. His service resulted in a promotion to brigadier general on February 21, 1777. Later on that year, Wayne commanded the Pennsylvania Line at Brandywine, where his troops were sent to protect the American right flank and hold off General Wilhelm von Knyphausen.
The two forces fought for three hours until the American line withdrew, and Wayne was ordered to retreat. Later, Wayne was ordered to harass the British rear in order to slow down the advance of General Howe into Pennsylvania. His camp was attacked and the Battle of Paoli ensued. General Charles Grey ordered his men to remove their flints and attack with bayonets in order to keep their assault secret. The attack earned General Grey the nickname "No Flint," but the Americans used the tactics and casualties as propaganda regarding British brutality. Thus, the reputation of General Wayne was somewhat tarnished because of American losses and he demanded a formal inquiry in order to clear his name. In October, Wayne led his forces against the British in the Battle of Germantown.
Wayne's soldiers pushed ahead of other American units, and, according to his report, when the British retreated, they "pushed on with their Bayonets taking ample vengence." Generals Wayne and Sullivan advanced too quickly, however, and became entrapped when they found themselves two miles ahead of other American units. As General Howe arrived and reformed the British line, American forces retreated. General Wayne was again ordered to hold off the British and cover the rear of the retreating body. Wayne had more bad luck when he led the American attack at Valley Force in 1778. During this battle, his forces found themselves abandoned by General Charles Lee and pinned down by a superior British force. Wayne held out until relieved by reinforcements sent by Washington. Wayne reformed his troops and continued to fight. Then, when the body of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Monckton was discovered by the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, rumors spread that Monckton had died fighting Wayne. In July 1779 Washington named Wayne to command the Corps of Light Infantry, a temporary unit of four regiments of light infantry companies drawn from all the regiments in the Main Army. Wayne went on to have some successes during the war, but suffered embarrassment when his two brigades and four cannons failed to destroy a blockhouse at Bulls Ferry opposite New York City. But Wayne was the commanding officer when there was a mutiny in the Pennsylvania Line. Wayne successfully resolved the mutiny by dismissing about one half of the line. Wayne largely returned the Pennsylvania Line to full strength by May 1781, but doing so delayed his departure to Virginia, where he had been sent to assist the Marquis de Lafayette against British forces operating there. The line's departure was delayed once more when the men again complained about being paid in the nearly worthless Continental currency. It was in Virginia that Wayne led the advance forces of Lafayette in an action at Green Spring to determine the location of Lord Charles Cornwallis. But they fell into a trap. Once again, Wayne held out against numerically superior forces until reinforced by Major John Wyllys. Then Lord Cornwallis attacked his slim forces of about 900 men. In the counter-attack, Wayne led a bayonet charge against the British, an retreated before night.
After the British surrendered at Yorktown, Wayne went further south and severed the British alliance with Native American tribes in Georgia. He then negotiated peace treaties with both the Creek and the Cherokee, for which Georgia rewarded him with the gift of a large rice plantation. He was promoted to major general on October 10, 1783. After the evacuation of Savannah, Georgia, Wayne occupied the city in hopes of being awarded some of the confiscated plantations of loyalists, but instead was awarded a land grant for his military service.
state legislature for a year in 1784. He then moved to Georgia and settled upon an insignificent tract of land granted him by for his military service. As he rode into town, he remarked upon the destruction of the great homes and plantations perpetuated by the British. He remained in Georgia and became a delegate to the state convention which ratified the United States Constitution in 1788 and in 1791, he served in the Second United States Congress as a U.S. Representative of Georgia's 1st congressional district. The Battle of Alamance
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Orphan Boy Fights Major Battles during Revolutionary War
The Siege of Charleston
The Battle of Cross Creek
The Treatment of British Prisoners during the Battle of Kings Mountain
John Penn, North Carolina Patriot
The Battle of Guilford Court House
The Battle of Eutaw Springs
The Battle of Rockfish Branch on the Cape Fear River
Patriots in North Carolina, a Precurser to the American Revolution
Soldier from Rockingham in Battle of Camden
Minutemen Played a Crucial Roll in the Revolutionary War
Villians in the Revolutionary War
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An Eyewitness to the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
Colonel Benjamin Cleaveland, Hero of Kings Mountain
Wayne County Genealogy Records
Wayne County was established on November 2, 1779 from the western part of Dobbs County. It was named for "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a general in the American Revolutionary War. The first court was held in the home of Josiah Sasser during which occasion the justices were to decide on a place for all subsequent courts until a courthouse could be erected. By 1782 the commissioners were named. In 1787 an act was passed establishing Waynesborough on the west side of the Neuse River on the land of Doctor Andrew Bass where the courthouse now stands. In 1855 parts of Wayne County, Edgecombe County, Johnston County, and Nash County were combined to form Wilson County. The county seat is Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Genealogy Records Available to Members
- Miscellaneous Records at North Carolina State Archives 1788 to 1936
- List of Estates 1930 to 1968