Monday, December 10, 2018

Bull Durham #northcarolinapioneerscom #ncgenealogy

The Bull Durham Brand of Cigarettes

Durham Tobacco Company in 1870Bull Durham CigarettesAbout 1850, Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco, branded as "Genuine Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco," was a world-famous brand of loose-leaf tobacco manufactured by W. T. Blackwell and Company in Durham, North Carolina. Although the brand changed ownership multiple times, it remained in production until 1988 as one of the most successful tobacco brands of all time. 





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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Explaining the Pleas and Quarter Session Minutes #ncgenealogy #northcarolinapioneerscom

An explanation of Pleas and Quarter Session Minutes in North Carolina

pleasThis type of court emulates a court which met quarterly in Great Britain. In early colonial America, it also had criminal jurisdiction. The genealogist should always examine the minutes of this court. And for good reason. It is similar to the (later) Inferior Court Minutes which registered everything from wills, administrations, inventories, and estates in general. The colonial North Carolina court recorded last wills and testaments as they were entered for probate, detailed inventories, distributions, sales of perishable goods and who purchased them, names of orphans and who they were apprenticed to, appointments of adminstrators, bonds, road commissioners and a general description of road junctures, adjoining lands and ferries. These minutes tell the story of the neighboring lands and what was happening. Simply a mention of your ancestor's name is reason enough to search them, because you discover the years that he resided in that county, as well as some of his personal affairs, like ...more...



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Monday, December 3, 2018

Farmers were Searching for Rich Soil with Good Reason #northcarolinapioneers #ncgenealogy


Farmers were Searching for Rich Soil with Good Reason

tobaccoWithout modern machinery and equipment, farm land quickly lost its vitality. Typically, fields had to lie fallow for two years or so before replanting. Certain crops, like tobacco, quickly robbed the soil of its nutrients. Thus, the farmer was always on the lookout for better soil. " The Rolling Stone Gathers no Moss. Neither does the uneasy farmer, who is constantly moving or talking about moving, somewhere to find rich land. Generally speaking the migrating man belongs to that class who are careless of the soil, exhausts it for present crops without an eye to the future. His lands are heavily taxed by injurious management, and before he has secured the value of their labor be stowed in clearing them, he is left with a crippled plantation, yielding but a poor crop. To move in quest of the virgin soil again, is but incurring heavy expenses, hard labor, loss of time deprivations innumerable, besides parting with the old homestead for a mere trifle, when he could soon make it rich and productive, if he would feed it with half the care that he feeds his own imagination upon some visionary scheme of growing rich in El Dorado, to which be is about to emigrate. It will not do to hoe a great field for little crops, nor to mow twenty acres for five loads of hay. Enrich the land and it will pay you for it. Better farm fifty acres well than fifty by halves, and it is much bettor to improve the old farm, than to go off upon some expedition after a new one. Source: The North Carolina Standard, September 25, 1850.




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Friday, November 30, 2018

The Courageous Settlers of the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Courageous Settlers of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge ParkwayThose who settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains were a cross-lot of poor people from the Lowlands of the Palatinate along the Rhineland in Germany, persecuted protestants from Switzerland, Austria and Europe, and the Highlanders who suffered English tyranny because of their preference for a Stuart king upon the throne of Scotland. The Germans and Swiss landed in Philadelphia and from there carved a trail along the Wagon Road southward into the Carolinas, cutting westward through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. The Highlanders escaping imprisonment dropped anchor in North Carolina, settled for a time along the Great Dismal Swamp before finally settling the western mountains of North Carolina. They were poor and sold all that they had to make passage, some indenturing themselves. All, started with nothing save struggle and hardship, yet gave everything. They fought the war for independence and helped to build a free country! Those people. Our Ancestors. 



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Monday, November 26, 2018

The Egypt Coal Mine #northcarolinapioneerscom #ncgenealogy

The Egypt Coal Mine

Egypt Coal MineDocuments pertaining to the existence of a coal bed in the Deep River Valley is dated back to about 1775 and there was at least one coal mine in operation during 1811. During the 1850s various coal mines were in the region, and in 1853, an auger uncovered a coal seam about 400 feet deep at the Egypt site, however, a verdict was not reached until February of 1856. That event heralded the opening of the Egypt Coal Mine.







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Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Cape Fear River #northcarolinapioneerscom

The Cape Fear River

Cape Fear River in North Carolina
The first known European explorer of the Cape Fear region was Giovanni da Verrazano of  Spain who had an interest in acquiring this land for Spain. In October 1662, the English explorer, William Hilton, Jr., sent by the Massachusetts Bay Colony,  first visited the lower reaches of the Cape Fear River.
"ye [├że] 4th Octob. we weighed, and went into ye Haven, where was 5.6.7.8 fathoms water, and in a weeks time, spent with ye indians, and in sounding ye River and ye ship turning up alway against ye wind, we gott up 15. or 16. leagues into ye river; and after in our long boate, half of us went 15. leagues further, till at ye head of ye river we could not tell, which of ye many rivers to take, and so returned to our ship, and as we went and came, we found many faire and deep rivers, all ye way running into this Charles River."  (Charles River named after Charles I)  Pictured is what is called the muscle of the river.

Sir Robert Heath, attorney-general of Charles I, was granted the Cape Fear area, which was incorporated in 1629 as the Province of Carolina.  Heath wanted to settle French Huguenots on the land, when Charles forbade the use of the land to any who were not of the Church of England, Heath assigned his grant to George, Lord Berkeley.

John Vassall led some adventurers from Barbados in 1664 to the Lower Cape Fear whereupon they created the county of Clarendon, founding Charles Towne located about 20 miles upstream near the mouth of what later was known as Town Creek.  This settlement advanced to about 800 persons but began to dwindle after negotiations with the Lords Proprietors failed. The Lords Proprietors then appointed Sir John Yeamans as the governor of Clarendon County who selected a site further South of the Cape Fear, thus discouring colonization on the river. This caused the settlers to abandon the region and by 1667 the native Indians occupied it.

About 1726 , after Governor George Burrington spent the winter exploring the Capt Fear and issued grants of 9,000 acres, Maurice Moore occupied the land on the South side of the river and laid off the town of Brunswick. The Moore families and their relatives acquired more than 100,000 acres of land. During the 1730s, the town of Wilmington was established by another group of settlers.



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Friday, November 23, 2018

Genealogy is History!

Genealogy is History !

History has more to do with genealogical research than most persons realize.  We tend to think only of those persons found in traditional history books.  But is is bigger than that.  While our forefathers were drafting the Constitution of the United States, they were surrounded by family, friends, neighbors expressing their own opinions.  All of these opinions notwithstanding, the feelings and ideas of every voice helped frame the Constitution.  Were these people any less than George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or John Hancock?  Someone influences. Others act.  But everyone does not make the history books.  Whatever was occurring at any given time in history, our ancestors were involved with the business of trying to resolve their problems, whether in peace or war.  We are a record keeping people.  Thus, there is tons of information in the records to assist us in discovering the names of our own people.  You might say "My ancestor must not have done anything special, because I cannot find him inn the records". Oh, but you can!  Even if he did not sign a deed or last will and testament, his neighbors didand frequently included his name as a neighbor or someone who married into the family.  One simply has to dig deeper than he ever dreamt he'd have to.  Old wills and estates are like gold.  If you find one with your ancestor's name on it, you have hit the mother lode of information!  Granted, the old wills are bulky, mostly over 50 pages long.  This is because their lifestyles were businesses.  Every item purchased, seeds planted and crops harvested was written down somewhere.  Frequently, these items are in the inventories and sales of estates.  One has to pay attention to the names of the purchases, then examine the marriage records to learn whether or not it was a family member, like a son-in-law.  North Carolina Pioneers is in the process of digitizing all of the Wills and Estates (also some deed records) for the State of North Carolina.  Combing through 400 years of documents, page by page, is a bit much, however, the work is ongoing.  Even though most of these names are not my personal ancestors, this process alone has provided me with an interesting historical and geographical education on times past.  As the names are gathered, the puzzle comes together as to the hearts and minds of the first settlers.  The old wills (alone) provide more historical insight than any history book ever will.  One simply has to settle down comfortably in a chair and read the documents to get the flavor, and, particularly, answers.  The first settlers left no bone unturned.  Our ancestors detailed their lives all in the old Wills, down to naming distant relatives in foreign countries.  As one reads, studies and remembers, the puzzle works itself together.  The census records are fine, but before 1790, one must get down to business.  And business is researching the county records (and adjoining counties) where the ancestor resided. You are invited to become a member and enjoy the fruits Subscribe to 8 Genealogy Websites



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