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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Is this your Ancestor? Jesse Bryant of Wake County, NC #genealogy #history #northcaroliapioneersl Charles O'Hara.

Jesse Bryant of Wake County was an Eyewitness to the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
By Jeannette Holland Austin

Surrender of Yorktown The siege of Yorktown, Virginia commenced on October 17, 1781 when General George Washington led a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops against against the British General Lord Charles Cornwallis. Actually, Lord Cornwallis was out numbered by some 7,000 troops. A brilliant plan was his order rendered to Marquis de Lafayette to employ his army of 5,000 troops to block the escape of Lord Cornwallis. Meanwhile the French naval fleet blocked an escape by sea. By the end of September, Washington had completely encircled Cornwallis and Yorktown with the combined forces of Continental and French troops and after three weeks of non-stop bombardment from cannon and artillery, Cornwallis surrendered to Washington in the field at Yorktown on October 17th. Pleading illness, Cornwallis did not attend the formal surrender ceremony held two days later. Instead, he employed his second in command, General Charles O’Hara, to carry the Cornwallis sword to the American and French commanders. Among those many brave soldiers present at this occasion was Jesse Bryant of Wake County, North Carolina, who had originally substituted for another soldier in the 4th Virginia Regiment. He served under Capt. John Watkins and Lt. Charles Judkins for sixteen months, later fighting at the battle of Petersburg before returning home and waiting to be recalled. This time, he marched to Williamsburg near Little York under General Washington and fought in the battle of Yorktown. He saw first hand General Muhlenburg, Marquis de Lafayette, and the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. His rather descriptive pension application provided sufficient details to put together the part which Bryant played in helping to win freedom for the American colonies.


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Friday, August 26, 2016

Factoring Agents Handled Business Affairs

Factoring Agents in the Olden Days
By Jeannette Holland Austin

A factor is an agent who transacts business for another. In colonial days there were tobacco and cotton factors. In other words, shipping tobacco to England, the West Indies or elsewhere, required an agent to sell the crops and handle the business transactions. In 1672, one of the factors of George Lee, an English merchant, died in Virginia. At the time he was indebted to his principal for 700 pounds sterling. His property was passed into the hands of his mother who appointed an attorney to take charge of it. The whole estate was converted into tobacco, a crop which he was about to ship to his own consignee in England. The General Court interposed with an order requiring him to transfer the entire quantity to a third person in the mother country until the justice of the claim of Lee onn the property of his deceased agent had been decided. Also, all of his account books went back to England. As was the common practice, widows had plenty of suitors owing to a shortage of females in the Virginia colony. This is how the goods of an estate went into the hands of the second husband who very often showed no scruple in dealing with them as his personal property. Such was the case of Thomas Kingston, the agent of Thomas Cowell who owned a plantation in the colony about 1636. Upon the death of Kingston, his relict became the wife of Thomas Loving who appropriated the credits and merchandise of Cowell. Cowell petitioned that Loving be required to take an inventory of the property in his possession and to give bond in a large sum to hold it without further purloining it.
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Owners of Knotts Island #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

Knott's IslandKnott's Island
By Jeannette Holland Austin

Knotts Island is a marshy island and a small unincorporated community which is shared by Currituck County, North Carolina and Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is bounded by the Currituck Sound, North Landing River, Back Bay, and Knotts Island Bay. The Princess Anne County, Virginia Deeds reveals reveal the names of its original owners, viz: William Wicker deeded a plantation to his won, Richard Wicker in 1717; Cornelius Jones deeded his son Richard Jones and Rachel his dwelliing plantation in 1716 of about 100 acres; Evan Jones of Knott's Island and Hoskins Island deeded 50 acres to his daughter, Elizabeth Malbone in 1721; other owners on the island were Timothy Ives; Andrew Peacock; Thomas Dudley; William White; Levi Cressley; Thomas Sanderson and John Legat. A good many settlers came first from Princess Anne County, Virginia, and these records, especially the deeds, should be researched by genealogists.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Brave General Isaac Gregory #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

The Brave General Isaac Gregory of Fairfax Hall

By Jeannette Holland Austin (profile)

It was General Isaac Gregory, one of the bravest officers who ever drew a sword, who protected the Albemarle region from the British during the American Revolutionary War. Before the long and bloody days began and he proved his worth as a soldier, he commanded a prominent place in the public affairs of his county. His name first appeared in the Colonial Records of North Carolina during 1773 when he was elected sheriff of Pasquotank. Then, in the same year he was appointed one of the trustees of St. Martin's Chapel in Indian Town (Currituck County), a settlement whose citizens were to serve bravely in the war. After the unsuccessful attempt of General Clinton to invade North Carolina in May of 1776, no further effort to place the State under British control was made until 1780. But during the intervening years the Carolina troops had not been idle. Their valor had been proved at Brandywine, Germantown and Stony Point, and during the winter at Valley Forge 1,450 of her soldiers shared with their comrades from the other States the hunger, cold and suffering that was the portion of the army of General George Washington throughout those dreary months. The North Carolina troops aided in the brave but unsuccessful attempt to drive the British from Savannah, 5,000 of her soldiers having been sent to prevent the capture of Charleston; but the patriot forces had been unable to repulse the invaders. Savannah fell, then Charleston, and by the last of May, 1780, both Georgia and South Carolina were in the hands of the enemy, and Cornwallis was threatening to invade North Carolina. Isaac Gregory, who in May of 1779, had been promoted to the office of Brigadier-General of the Edenton District, was ordered to join General Caswell in South Carolina. As soon as he could collect his men, Gregory marched towards the Piedmont section, en route to join the army of General Caswell; and by June he was with the Brigade of General Rutherford at Yadkin's Ford in Rowan. Near this place the Tories had collected, some 800 strong; and Rutherford hoped, with the assistance of General Gregory, to crush them. But to his disappointment, no opportunity emerged because General Bryan, the Tory leader, hearing of the defeat of the Loyalists at Ramseur's Mill a few days before, crossed the Yadkin River and united with General MacArthur, whom Cornwallis had sent on to Anson County. By July 31st, Gregory, with Rutherford and his brigade, joined General Caswell at The Cheraws, just across the South Carolina border. For several weeks there was much suffering among the men on account of the lack of food. Although corn was plentiful, the rivers were so high that the mills could not grind the meal. Meanwhile, the army of Lord Rawdon was stationed near Camden, South Carolina, and General Gates, who had joined Caswell on August 17th after having learned that the British general was daily expecting a supply of food and stores for his men, determined to intercept the convoy and capture the supplies for his own army. In the meantime Cornwallis, unknown to Gates, had joined Lord Rawdon. Gates, ignorant of this reinforcement of the troops of Lord Cornwallis, marched leisurely towards Camden to capture the coveted stores. The result of the historically wasted battle which followed is known only too well. The American militia, panic-stricken at the furious onslaught of the enemy, threw down their arms and fled and General Gates, after a vain attempt to rally his troops, lost courage and abandoned his forces and stores as well. As a result General Gates brought the everlasting disgrace upon his name which is remembered unto this generation. The cowardly conduct of Gates and several of the other officers of the American army, as well as many of the militia in this disastrous battle, was offset by the heroism and courage of others; and among those who won undying fame on that fatal field, was General Gregory. Roger Lamb, a British officer, penned an account of the battle, and speaking of the disgraceful conduct of those officers and men whose flight from the field brought shame upon the American army, said: "In justice to North Carolina, it should be remarked that General Gregory's brigade acquitted themselves well. They formed on the left of the Continentals, and kept the field while they had a cartridge left. Gregory himself was twice wounded by bayonets in bringing off his men, and many in his brigade had only bayonet wounds." Hand to hand with bayonets requires far more courage than to stand at a distance firing a musket. In the midst of the heated battle, the horse of General Gregory was shot out from under him. When Lord Cornwallis saw him fall, he was certain the General Gregory was slain that he wrote the name of Gregory in his official report of the battle, for those American officers killed on the field. Afterwards, Gregory bravely fought many more battles.

Fairfax Plantation

After the war, he represented Camden County in the State Senate from 1778 to 1789. And in 1789 when the Currituck Seminary was established at Indian Town, Isaac Gregory and his friend and brother officer, Colonel Peter Dauge, were appointed on the board of trustees of this school, which for many years was one of the leading educational institutions of the Albemarle section. General Gregory lived at the Ferebee place in Camden County in a large brick house, known then, as now, as Fairfax Hall. Source: In Ancient Albemarle by Catherine Albertson (published by the North Carolina Society Daughters of the Revolution.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smallpox to Families in North Carolina #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers

Smallpox, a Disease Planted by British in North Carolina
Americans Capture Ft. Ticonderaga

By Jeannette Holland Austin Profile

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington suspected that the British were using the smallpox disease as a form of "biological warfare"by placing disease infested people into the American encampment. The reason was that smallpox was considered more of threat to the Americans than the British. Later on, the British admitted that their commanders ordered the smallpox operations. Some interesting truths help to sustain this fact in some of the last wills and testaments in the State of North Carolina. During the spring of 1781, there was an epidemic in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. A number of wills were headed up "New York" and mentioned that the testator died of smallpox. On May 10, 1775, Fort Ticonderaga was captured from the British and the State of New York was under British occupation until the war ended in 1783. The content of the wills emphasize the importance of reading them. Especially, if your ancestors were named. Not only does reading old wills represent a true history of the past, but they provide critical data to tracing the lineage of our ancestors; a much too good a resource to overlook! Images of the Tyrrell County Wills are available to members of North Carolina Pioneers

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

James Fleming of Greenville NC #history #northcarolinapioneers.com

The Fleming House in Greenville
By Jeannette Holland Austin

The James L. Fleming House, also known as the Fleming-Winstead House, is a historic home located at 302 South Greene St. in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina, was built in 1901 or 1902.

James Fleming House

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Fabulous Story of Hugh McDonald #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

The Fabulous Story of Hugh McDonald
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Jeannette Holland Austin
Profile

Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge
Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge: A short while before the American Revolution, a vessel left Isle of Skye Scotland and dropped anchor outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. It was loaded with the MacDonald Clan; and particularly Flora MacDonald, a supporter of Bonnie Prince Charles (Stuart pretender to the throne). They sent a message to the Governor of the State asking for acreage upon with to settle the clan and waited to be granted several thousand acres in Moore County.

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the Scots sided with Great Britain in the cause. One morning, the young Hugh McDonald, aged 16 years, while working alongside his father in the family field, saw a company of American patriots approaching on horseback. Not wanting to join the cause, the father ran into the woods to hide and while he was gone the patriots persuaded young Hugh to join up as a drummer boy. Shortly thereafter, the boy fought in the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, a minor but important victory for the patriots. For the next several years Hugh fought in all of the skirmishes and battles of his regiment which eventually led to the surrender at Yorktown of Cornwallis. In his pension, Hugh tells of a battle when he took a musket ball in the leg and fell to the ground. A British soldier, standing over him, sword in hand, prepared to kill him when suddenly he changed his mind and ran into the woods. That wounded leg would trouble Hugh all of his life. After the war, the MacDonald clan, having chosen the wrong side of the conflict, was compelled to return to Scotland. Meanwhile Hugh was entitled to a land grant for his service. The land was in Elbert County, and that is how the family set their roots in Georgia.

There are many such stories to be discovered in the records. Just about everybody descends from a brave soldier of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or the American Civil War. We read of the founders of this country and other heroes, yet we, too, have family members who risked everything to come to America, and take upon themselves the battle for freedom. Yet, in this age, young people are rioting in the streets, demanding, demanding, demanding. I wonder if they realize the sufferings of their own ancestors or have heard a story of their past? If so, then I expect that, instead of destroying property, they would want to help America now in its troubling times. For, it is during this era that we stand to lose our Constitutional freedoms and very life to domestic and foreign terrorists. Hugh had the right to bear arms, to save himself from invading armies, and his children served in local militias carrying weapons to further protect the countryside. So that has been the way of it from America's earliest times. One of of most precious freedoms, the right to keep and bear arms was described by Aristotle, Cicero, John | Locke, Machiavelli, the English Whigs, and others. This heritage is our right as are the freedoms for which Hugh McDonald fought so long ago.

Now, in the wake of terrorist attacks upon Paris, we are at a threshold of decision. Sit on our laurels and let Islam capture America, or fight. Veterans speak of World War II as "the big one". However, larger, more terrifying battles knock at our doors, and promise many long years of struggle. It is one which the spoiled children of the soldiers of the American Revolution and other wars do not understand. For they have been safe all these years. How can the mothers and fathers of these children change their hearts? If they knew their background, who they really are , they would begin to understand and appreciate so strong a love for our America. We can no longer depend upon the schools to teach a true history. Instead, the schools trash Thomas Jefferson, James | Madison, George Washington, and even Columbus (1492). Toyko Rose of World War II is back, propagandizing, persuading the children to forget the founding fathers. To help us discover our roots, many genealogical records are being published online. It is joyful to piece together (from actual facts) the endearing stories of the past.
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