Friday, May 13, 2016

Fort Cathey in Burke Co. NC 1793 to 1869 - See Images to Find your Ancestors #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers

Fort Cathey
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Jeannette Holland Austin
William Cathey purchased land near Turkey Cove at the foot of the mountains where Cove Creek joined the north fork of the Catawba River and built a home there. During 1776, he built a fort in Burke County (now McDowell County) to protect the area from the Cherokee Indians. For a long while it was the furtherest military outpost in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War until Fort Davidson was constructed. As Europeans encroached upon Cherokee lands, native hostilities erupted well before the Revolutionary War. Before that, mostly explorers and traders hunted the wilderness at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. By 1750, although only a few Cherokee villages remained, the natives claimed the territory.

Fort Cathey
Monument at site of old Fort Cathey

Among those sent to defend this fort was John Franklin of Burke County, who, during 1777, was sent to Fort Cathey for three months under the command of Captain Homer Watson. During his next service, he was sent to Fort Davidson under the command of Captain Charles McDowell. Reading the details of pension records is helpful to the researcher in gathering details. For example, this John Franklin states that he was born at Ft. Stump, Virginia (now West Virginia). The next step for the genealogists is to actually locate this site and research all of the surrounding counties. 

Burke County Wills, Probate Records, Genealogy

Burke County North Carolina
Mountain scenes in Burke County, North Carolina. Burke county was formed from Rowan County in 1777 and was named after Thomas Burke, a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1781. Also, he served as Governor of the State of North Carolina from 1781 to 1782. Most of this region was settled by many Scots-Irish and German immigrants. In 1791, parts of Burke County and Rutherford County were combined to form Buncombe County. In 1833, Yancey County was formed from parts of Burke County and Buncombe County. In 1841, parts of Burke County and Wilkes County formed Caldwell Conty and during 1842 additional parts of Burke County and Rutherford County were combined to make McDowell County. Finally, in 1861, parts of Burke County, Caldwell County, McDowell County, Watauga County and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County. Burke County citizens participated in the Battle of Kings Mountain which pitted Appalachian frontiersmen against the loyalist forces of the British commander Ferguson at Kings Mountain, South Carolina during the American Revolution, and were called "Over the Mountain Men" because the militia men did not wait bur crossed over the Blue Ridge mountains to engage the fight. 

The earliest records of Burke County is a problem to genealogists because the ink in the will book dating from 1793 faded beyond recognition. 

Burke County North Carolina Probate Records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers

Digital Images of Burke County Wills 1793 to 1869 (surviving images)
  • Avery, Wrightsville
  • Bradshaw, William
  • Branch, Oliver
  • Brittain, W. L.
  • Coffee, William
  • Connelly, John
  • Connelly, Sidney
  • Connelly, Tilney
  • Dale, George
  • Day, James
  • Day, Nicholas
  • Devine, James
  • Durham, John
  • Durmire, Adam
  • Dysart, William
  • Dyson, Samuel
  • Edmiston, Sarah
  • England, Daniel
  • England, John
  • England, Thomas
  • England, William
  • Erwin, Arthur
  • Erwin, James
  • Erwin, Matilda
  • Erwin, Ulysses
  • Erwin, William H.
  • Erwin, William W.
  • Espy, Mary
  • Estes, Delphi
  • Estes, John
  • Estes, Laban
  • Estes, Reuben
  • Fair, Joseph
  • Finley, Charles
  • Fleming, Elizabeth
  • Fleming, James
  • Fleming, Robert
  • Forney, Jacob
  • Forney, Peter
  • Foster, George
  • Fox, Hugh
  • Franklin, John
  • Fullerton, William
  • Fulwood, William
  • Harshaw, Jacob
  • Hoyle, Absalom
  • Johnson, D. H.
  • Kenley, Aaron
  • Kincaid, Milton H.
  • Lail, Jacob
  • London, Marcus
  • Mathew, George
  • McGimsey, A. T.
  • McKesson, Anna
  • Newburn, John
  • O'Neil, Henry
  • Pullen, Mary
  • Ramsey, Catherine
  • Rector, Martha
  • Reynolds, Nancy
  • Robinson, Sophia
  • Scott, Ambrose
  • Scott, Rebecca
  • Seagle, Jacob
  • Smith, Mary Southerland
  • Tate, W. C.
  • Taylor, Hugh
  • Walton, Martha
  • Walton, T. George

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